Columbus man arrested after shoplifting complaint

May 22, 2017 128

William Smith; photo courtesy of Columbus Police Dept.

A Columbus man was arrested on several drug and theft charges Friday evening. Officer Alyson Rech, Columbus Police Department spokeswoman, says that officers were dispatched to Fair Oaks Mall at 6:45 p.m. on a report of a shoplifter. Police spoke with the suspect, 34-year-old William E. Smith, outside of the mall. Mall security and a store employee told police that they saw Smith place a pair of shoes inside his backpack, then leave without paying for them. During the investigation, officers reported finding several items on Smith that had been stolen from other stores inside the mall. After Smith was taken into custody, officers allegedly found a syringe, methamphetamine and a glass smoking pipe inside of Smith’s backpack.

Smith was arrested on preliminary charges of Theft, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Legend Drug Injection Device and Possession of a Legend Drug Smoking Device.

Columbus man held without bond after fight

May 22, 2017 119

Elliott J. Blackburn; photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Dept.

A Columbus man is facing a felony charge after a fight on Sunday hospitalized another man. Judy Jackson, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman, says that shortly after 5 p.m., Deputy Adam Warner responded to a call about a fight in the 5100 block of County Road 450 East. When Warner arrived, he reported finding a semi-conscious man on the ground. The suspect, 22-year-old Elliott Blackburn, allegedly confessed to authorities that he had battered the 24-year-old victim.

The victim was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital with injuries to his face. Jackson says the man was later transported to an Indianapolis hospital for surgery. His condition is unknown.

Blackburn is being held without bond on a preliminary charge of Battery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury.

Traffic stop leads to arrest on drug charges

May 22, 2017 90

Julian White; photo courtesy of Columbus Police Dept.

A local man was arrested on a number of drug charges after a traffic stop Sunday night. Officer Alyson Rech, Columbus Police Department spokeswoman, says that Officer Brandon Decker stopped a vehicle at 11:15 p.m. near Indiana Avenue and Mapleton Street after he noticed that it did not have working tail lights. After Decker stopped the car, he noted that the driver, 25-year-old Julian White, was moving his hands and appeared to concealing something in his lap. When White got out of the vehicle, Decker says he saw four blue pills in the driver seat, along with several pill bottles that did not belong to White. During the stop, Officer Branch Schrader deployed his K-9 partner, Argo, who detected the odor of narcotics coming from the car. A search of the vehicle allegedly resulted in the discovery of a burnt spoon containing methamphetamine, two syringes and several pills that were not prescribed to White.

White was arrested on preliminary charges of:
Possession of a Legend Drug
Possession of Paraphernalia
Possession of Methamphetamine
Possession of a Legend Drug Injection Device
Maintaining a Common Nuisance

Sheriff says IRS scam circulating again, along with new scam

May 22, 2017 67

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers is warning about an old scam making the rounds again.

The sheriff says a county resident reported an attempt to steal money using the IRS scam, where a scam artist calls, claiming hat you have an outstanding warrant because you have not paid your federal taxes. If you don’t pay right away, usually with a pre-paid card, they claim that deputies will arrest you.

Myers warns that the IRS will never ask for you to make an immediate payment over the phone to avoid arrest. Experts also say that the IRS will not call to threaten arrest nor will they ask for payment through means such as an Apple card.

Myers said there is also a scam going around by email claiming that you need to install Dropbox to receive an important file from the Indiana Association of Counties. He said you should always use caution when receiving emails that seem out of the ordinary.

Arts council to unveil new look at Tuesday meeting

May 22, 2017 52

In a time of challenging funding for local arts projects, and a shifting landscape of responsibilities, the Columbus Area Arts Council will be getting a facelift.

That will be unveiled at the arts council’s annual meeting starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon at The Commons.

Kathryn Armstrong, executive director of the local arts agency explains that the Arts Council will have new branding, new logos and a new website:

The event will also coincide with Chaotic Tuesday, a monthly event at The Commons where the Chaos II sculpture will be active for the public to view, Armstrong said.

The local band Dresden will perform at Chaotic Tuesday after the annual meeting.

Columbus trash pickup delayed next week by holiday

May 22, 2017 54

The City of Columbus will have no trash, compost, recycling or brush collections next Monday because of Memorial Day.

Collections will run one day behind the rest of the week with Friday’s collections on Saturday. You should have your trash out by 7 a.m.

People Trail closes to allow historic bridge installation

May 22, 2017 69

The Columbus Parks and Recreation department is closing the People Trail over Haw Creek from now until September to install a historic bridge.

The work is being done just outside Lincoln Park and when it is finished, a historic truss bridge that used to span Clifty Creek at Newbern will have a new home in Columbus.

The county highway department had to preserve the historic bridge in order to build a new one and the city agreed to take over the old structure. The bridge will allow the People Trail to cross Haw Creek east of Hamilton Ice Arena and then loop under the 25th Street bridge, connecting with the northeastern portion of the trail.

The parks department announced this morning that the People Trail will be closing  from 25th Street at the north end and from 19th Street at the south end for about four months while they install the bridge, starting today.

County dispatchers receive heroes award from IU Lifeline

May 22, 2017 62

Bartholomew County dispatchers were recently chosen for this year’s Public Safety Communicator Heroes Award by IU Health Lifeline.

The helicopter ambulance service chose Bartholomew County dispatchers because of “their continued dedication to safety and excellence in communication”while dealing with very stressful situations, says Kristy Gibson with Lifeline.

She said that Bartholomew County’s 911 center goes above the call of duty  to ensure everyone on scene is aware of vital information, calling them professional and efficient during chaotic scenes.

An award ceremony was held earlier this month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Among other organizations honored was Columbus Regional Health’s ambulance service.

Columbus SWAT team arrest man after shotgun blast

May 22, 2017 102

The Columbus Police Department SWAT team was called out Saturday afternoon after a naked man was reportedly shooting a shotgun in the Candlelight Mobile Home Park.

22-year-old David Valentine is facing  a charge of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon after the incident, which started at about 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Police report that they were called to the 2900 block of Bayberry Drive and discovered a shotgun blast fired from inside Valentine’s trailer, had torn through the wall, leaving a large hole, and then hitting a neighboring home. The SWAT team and police negotiators were called in and Valentine surrendered about two hours later.


Mother arrested after early morning Amber Alert

May 22, 2017 84

Andrea Rhoades. Photo courtesy of Columbus police.

A Columbus woman is under arrest, accused of taking her 1 year old child that she does not have custody of, and sparking an Amber Alert early Sunday morning.

Authorities say that 43-year-old Andrea Rhoades was arrested in the 3300 block of Sycamore Drive at about 9:15 a.m. Sunday morning and her 1-year-old son was rescued unharmed. The incident began at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday night in Hope when she took the child, according to police reports.

At about 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning, Columbus police issued a statewide Amber Alert saying that they believed the boy was in extreme danger.

She is facing a preliminary charge of interference with custody.

Rhoades was arrested in April, accused of driving while intoxicated with an unrestrained child in the vehicle. You can click here for more information on that story.