Robotics team to take part in competitions

Mar 23, 2017 92

A robotics team involving around 40 area high-school students are working hard to compete against other teams from around the world. Reed Nowling is a student at Columbus East. He says that teams had six-weeks to design, build and program a robot to accomplish a specific task.

Elizabeth Hales is a student at Columbus North. She says that clear communication and what is learned in various classes are big components in creating a good robot.

Nowling says that a set of competitions begin this weekend…

Nowling says that the team has already received invites to both the state and world competitions. However, in order to take part in the state and world events, he says the team needs to raise $25,000 to cover expenses. If you would like to help, you are asked to visit the team’s website at

Cummins announces promotion to leadership

Mar 23, 2017 107

Cummins has announced a promotion among the company’s leadership. The Columbus-based diesel engine manufacturer announced Thursday that Melina Kennedy has been promoted to Executive Director – Global Rail and Defense. In this role, Kennedy will report directly to Power Systems President Norbert Nusterer and will join his leadership team.

“Over the past few years, Melina has demonstrated a deep understanding of our business, earned our customers’ trust and led impressive revenue growth in our Rail and Defense businesses,” said Nusterer. “Moving forward, I am confident that Melina will continue to grow our Rail and Defense businesses by expanding our customer base for our tremendous product portfolio.”

Prior to leading the Rail and Defense teams, company officials say that Kennedy served as Director of Executive Communications, creating and delivering global and strategic internal and external communications for the Chief Executive Officer and other senior leaders at Cummins. Before joining Cummins, Kennedy spent more than 15 years practicing law and holding key public-service roles throughout Indiana.

Road closures planned for next week in Seymour

Mar 23, 2017 67

Seymour Water Pollution Control will have a contractor replacing a sanitary line between Holiday Drive and Polley Drive starting Tuesday morning.

Holiday Drive will be blocked east of the 800 block from 8 a.m. until noon.

Marley Lane will be closed to through traffic from 8 a.m. until noon.

Repairs are scheduled to be completed by Wednesday.

Local students serve as pages at the Statehouse

Mar 23, 2017 67

State Rep. Milo Smith, a Columbus Republican, recently welcomed student pages to the Statehouse.

As a House page, these participants toured government offices, helped staff with daily duties and joined Smith on the House floor during the legislative session. Students who took part were:

• Zuenal Deniz, from Columbus, attends Columbus Signature Academy, New Tech Campus;
• Yunging Fu, from Columbus, attends Columbus North High School;
• Anna Gray, from Columbus, attends Columbus North High School;
• Eunseok Lee, from Columbus, attends Columbus East High School;
• Ahmad Mohiuddin, from Columbus, attends Columbus Signature Academy, New Tech Campus;
• Hassathorn Phongam, from Columbus, attends Columbus East High School; and
• Lina Schaefer, from Columbus, attends Columbus North High School.

Smith said students, ages 13 to 18, should consider participating next session.

Deputies searching for this week’s most wanted fugitive

Mar 23, 2017 63
Jeremy W. Sweet. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department.

Jeremy W. Sweet. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department is searching for 34-year-old Jeremy Wayne Sweet as their most wanted fugitive of the week.

Sweet is wanted on an outstanding warrant for dealing and possession of methamphetamine. He stands 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 165 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. he has several tattoos.

If you have any information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, you can call the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department’s Captain Dave Steinkoenig at 812-565-5940, or you can call the sheriff’s department tip line at 812-379-1712.

Tips and information can be left anonymously.

Hope officials want input on square revitalization

Mar 22, 2017 99

Main Street of Hope is holding a public workshop on Thursday, March 30 in the Fellowship Hall at Hope Moravian Church. The organization is encouraging you to bring their ideas to the 6 p.m. meeting in an effort to help plan the future of the Hope Town Square.

The Town of Hope received a planning grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs for a Downtown Revitalization Plan. Officials say the plan will “establish a road-map to create a market-viable and sustainable downtown, as a unique destination within the tri-county region.”

Once this workshop has concluded, the organization says that a follow-up public meeting will be held on April 24 to review the plan prior to it being finalized.

Lucas’ bill on firearms passes House committee

Mar 22, 2017 95

The House Committee on Public Policy voted in support of a bill sponsored by State Rep. Jim Lucas that would allow correctional facility employees to keep their firearm on company property in a locked vehicle.

Under the Seymour Republican’s proposal, employees of the Department of Corrections who are legally allowed and licensed to carry a firearm, would be permitted to keep their handguns on prison property. It would require the firearm to be stored in a locked case and kept out of sight in a secured vehicle.

“Employers should not be able to infringe upon their employees who are legally allowed to carry a handgun with a license to carry,” Lucas said. He continued, “While they are at work, a person should not be prohibited from safely storing their firearm in a locked case in their trunk or out of plain sight inside their secured vehicle.”

With this proposal, Lucas says that state employees of the Indiana General Assembly who are licensed to carry a handgun would also be allowed to have a firearm in the state capitol building. This would include elected officials and full-time employees of the Indiana House of Representatives, Senate and Legislative Services Agency.

Woman accused of towing a stolen trailer

Mar 22, 2017 108
Susan Coomer. Photo courtesy of Columbus police.

Susan Coomer. Photo courtesy of Columbus police.

Columbus police arrested a local woman who was allegedly driving a minivan pulling a stolen trailer.

45-year-old Susan M. Coomer of Columbus pulled into a gas station on Gladstone Avenue near State Street Wednesday morning and an officer checked the license plate of the trailer she was pulling, only to find out that the plate belonged to another vehicle. The actual trailer had been reported stolen out of Greensburg.

Coomer was arrested at the store and was allegedly found to be carrying a small amount of marijuana, says Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus police.

She was arrested on preliminary charges of auto theft and marijuana possession.

Hope to continue investigating trash service

Mar 22, 2017 122

The town of Hope will continue investigating a possible town-wide trash service.

The Town Council last night decided to seek bids for a trash provider. That’s after a public discussion which included some angry questions and comments from the public.

Several people suggested that the town hold off on a new trash service until a recently enacted trash ordinance is allowed to make an impact. Under the new law approved two weeks ago, people can be fined up to $25 a day for having junk-covered properties. Others said they were concerned about the cost of a town-wide service and said they were happy to haul away their own trash for free.

But some residents supported the idea, saying that they were tired of the wild animals and vermin drawn to piled garbage around the community and suggested a trash service would help clean up the town.

Council President Clyde Compton took issue with one commenter who said the town would have to charge so much to administer the service that there was no way it would save money for residents.

The Town Council will accept bids and then take up to 90 days to consider those proposals.

Seymour man faces rape, other charges, after stand-off

Mar 21, 2017 269

A Seymour man is facing charges, including rape, following a stand-off at his home on Monday. WDRB television in Louisiville is reporting that a Jackson County Sheriff’s Department deputy was dispatched to the home of 46-year-old Alan Karenke after someone reported that a rape was occurring there.

The report says that when the deputy knocked on the door, Karenke came to the door in a bath robe and asked what the deputy wanted. When the deputy told Karenke about the allegations and asked to be allowed inside, Karenke allegedly cursed at him, told the deputy that he needed a warrant and went back inside.

According to the affidavit obtained by WDRB, the deputy wrote: “Due to the circumstances of a possible rape that had occurred, I went to the front in an attempt to try and gain entry,” the deputy wrote in the probable cause affidavit. “As I was coming around the house, I observed on the far northwest side of the house, a female with blonde hair had her head out of the window.”

“I asked her if she was okay, and I observed her look back at the door in the room,” the deputy wrote. “And at this time, I grabbed her out of the window and brought her back to my patrol car in the driveway.”

According to the station, authorities say the alleged victim is 18-years-old. The woman reportedly told authorities that she had awoken that night to find Karenke performing a sex act on her. The teen reportedly said that, after the alleged assault, she tried to leave, but was trapped by Karenke.

Once authorities learned that there were three children in the house with Karenke, they reportedly tried negotiating with the man to get him to allow them outside. Police say that when he refused, the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) was called to the scene. Once the team entered the home, they subdued and arrested Karenke on preliminary charges of Rape, Criminal Confinement and Resisting Law Enforcement. The children were found to be unharmed.

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