Deputies rescue two from East Fork White River

Feb 20, 2017 53
Photo courtesy of Indiana Department of Natural Resources conservation officers.

Photo courtesy of Indiana Department of Natural Resources conservation officers.

Jackson County deputies rescued two people who were trapped when their boat lost power and then was swept over a dam Sunday on East Fork White River.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation officers report that the incident happened at just after 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon at the Rockford Dam where two people were fishing on the upriver side of the dam, when their boat lost power to its trolling motor. The people in the boat tried to start their main motor, but it wouldn’t start either.

Deputies arrived and threw a rope with a throw bag to the boaters, and pulled them in close enough to shore so that they could evacuate before their boat went over the dam.

Both of the occupants were taken to Schneck Medical Center for treatment of hypothermia and are in good condition. Conservation officers say that they were carrying the required life preservers onboard the boat but the occupants weren’t wearing them at the time of the incident.

Deputies Joey Francis and Dustin Steward were first on the scene for the rescue. They were assisted by Indiana Conservation Officers, Brownstown Police Department, Indiana State Police, Seymour Fire Department and Jackson County paramedics.

The incident remains under investigation.

City to buy downtown car wash property

Feb 20, 2017 62

The city of Columbus is going to buy a downtown business property.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission on Friday morning held a special meeting and voted to spend $300,000 for the Bob’s Car Wash property on Second Street, says Sarah Cannon, the commission president.

The city also expects to have to spend between $95,000 and $180,000 to remediate environmental contamination at the property, based on estimates from a 2012 environmental study.

The property was appraised for between $290,000 and $295,000 in February of 2015, according to the commission’s resolution.

Cannon said the city would commission another environmental study on the property.

That is the last property in that block that the city doesn’t already own. The city had already acquired the former Bartholomew County REMC property, the former Rhino lining property along with the site of a former creosote plant. The city has long planned to consolidated the properties, finish cleaning them up and then sell or offer them to a developer.

Cannon said there are no current plans lined up for the property.

Homeowner holds three at gunpoint in burglary

Feb 20, 2017 46

A Bartholomew County homeowner held three people at gunpoint, who were allegedly caught robbing his home early Saturday morning.

Authorities say the incident happened when the property owner found two suspicious vehicles in the driveway. Deputies were called to the 1200 block of East County Road 450S at about 6:02 a.m. that morning to find the homeowner holding 31-year-old Derek Sarver, 28-year-old Natasha Carr and 28-year-old Stephen McFarland at gunpoint.

Items belong to the homeowner were found in the back of a pickup at the property and the pickup had been reported stolen from Columbus earlier in the morning, says Caitlyn Gross, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department.

Sarver, Carr and McFarland are facing charges of burglary, theft and auto theft.

Derek Sarver

Derek Sarver

Natasha Carr

Natasha Carr

Stephen McFarland

Stephen McFarland

Jackson County Visitor Center offers grants

Feb 17, 2017 116

The Jackson County Visitor Center 2017 Developmental Grant application is now available. The grants will offer 1:1 funding match assistance to not-for-profit groups. These include a city, county or public organization, tourism related business or an organizational combination for new projects or enhancements designed to have a direct impact on Jackson County and tourism.

Successful projects will provide recreational, cultural, entertainment and/or educational attractions or events which enhance the quality of life in Jackson County and tourism offerings for residents, visitors and groups.

Projects should be completed within a year from the notification date of grant approval.

Application deadline for 2017 is April 1, with awards presented in June. Any funds left after the June awards may be available during an additional cycle.

For additional information and an application, visit the Jackson County Visitor Center offices at 100 North Broadway or call (812) 524-1914. You can also visit

Park Foundation highlights bike share program

Feb 17, 2017 141

The ColumBike program dominated discussion during Thursday night’s Columbus Park Foundation Report to the Community.

Dick Boyce, interim director of the Columbus Bike Share Program, says that ridership peaked at 754 bike riders in June, but has fallen steadily since. The report says that more than 12-thousand riders have utilized the bicycles since the program kicked-off in May.

Lee Jones, of B-Cycle, said that the city needs to make the bike share program as accessible as possible. Andrew Myer, with the Cummins Six Sigma program is looking into ways to improve ColumBike. He says the study revealed that the pricing structure, check-in process and bike safety were top concerns of local riders.

Currently, there are eight bike kiosks with a total of 78 bikes available to area riders.

Traffic stop leads to drug charges for Shelbyville man

Feb 17, 2017 137

A Shelbyville man already facing drug charges is in more trouble with the law after a Thursday afternoon traffic stop in Johnson County.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department says that Deputy Scott Rautio was patrolling State Road 37 near Banta Road when he saw a car drive by with the driver trying to hide his face. After a subsequent traffic violation, the deputy pulled the car over and spoke with the driver, 30-year-old Joseph Ramsey. Deputy Rautio says that Ramsey was acting suspiciously, so he asked for consent to search him and his vehicle. That search allegedly resulted in the discovery of methamphetamine, a digital scale, plastic bags and over $900 in cash.

Ramsey, whom police say was already out on bond for meth charges in Rush County, was arrested on preliminary charges of Dealing Methamphetamine and Possession of a Controlled Substance. Due to the Rush County charges, Ramsey bond amounts were doubled. He was eventually released on a $1,000 cash bound, according to Johnson County officials.

Theft, police chase ends with Columbus woman behind bars

Feb 17, 2017 149

A Columbus woman was arrested Wednesday after a police chase.

Stevie Hammond Badger; photo courtesy of Columbus Police Dept.

Stevie Hammond Badger; photo courtesy of Columbus Police Dept.

Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman, says that the chase came about after officers were called to Best Buy on North National Road at approximately 1 p.m. on a report of a woman fleeing with stolen merchandise. As police arrived, the woman was allegedly driving away with over $1,600 worth of video games. Harris says the woman, 31-year-old Stevie N. Hammond Badger, refused to pull over. At one point he says that Hammond Badger drove through two yards in an effort to evade officers. Police ultimately ended the pursuit after several minutes out of concern for public safety.

During a follow up investigation, officers reportedly found Hammond Badger at her home in the 1000 block of Kelli Drive later the same afternoon. Harris says that she was arrested and placed on a 48-hour hold preliminary charges of Resisting Law Enforcement in a Vehicle, Theft with a Previous Conviction and Driving while Suspended with Prior Conviction.

Main Street of Hope announces appointment

Feb 17, 2017 149

Susan Thayer Fye has been appointed as part-time executive director of Main Street of Hope. That announcement was made by the organization’s board of directors.

Susan Thayer Fye

Susan Thayer Fye

Fye is a Bartholomew County native and has been self-employed for 35 years, working in real estate. She previously worked as an accountant for Bartholomew County Hospital, now Columbus Regional Health. Fye also taught classes at Ivy Tech as an accounting and computer science instructor.

Within the past three years, Fye served on the Columbus city Board of Public Works, Columbus Redevelopment Commission, and also was President of Columbus Downtown, Inc. prior to it’s dissolution in 2013. She currently serves on the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Merit Board.

Fye is a 1971 graduate of Hauser Junior/Senior High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting with a minor in computer science from Indiana University. She also received a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana University.

Fye says that she is grateful for the appointment, saying “I am delighted to be in a position to use the skills and knowledge I have to make my home town an amazing place to live, work, and visit.”

TN man arrested by Jennings County authorities

Feb 17, 2017 102

A suspicious man in the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department parking lot is facing charges after he was arrested earlier this week. Authorities say that at 2:16 a.m. on Tuesday, Deputy Bryan Katterhenry and Reserve Deputy Jason Littrell were standing in front of the sally port at the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department finishing up work from a previous arrest.

Raborn T. Flanagan; photo courtesy of Jennings County Sheriff's Dept.

Raborn T. Flanagan; photo courtesy of Jennings County Sheriff’s Dept.

While standing there, the two deputies reported seeing a man walking around vehicles in the employee parking area of the parking lot. Deputies did not recognize the man as an employee. At one point deputies saw him gain entry and sit down inside a vehicle. The man was ultimately identified as 45-year-old Raborn T. Flanagan, of Johnson City, TN.

The owner of the vehicle came out and told deputies that he kept a weapon inside of the vehicle. For safety deputies attempted to place Flanagan in restraints while they checked him for weapons. They say that Flanagan forcefully resisted the deputies.

Corrections Officer Tyler Smith came out of the jail to assist. While on the ground, Deputy Katterhenry deployed his TASER to subdue Flanagan.

Flanagan faces preliminary charges of:

Battery on Law Enforcement – Level 5 Felony
Resisting Law Enforcement – Level 6 Felony
Unauthorized Entry to a Motor Vehicle – Class B Misdemeanor
Disorderly Conduct – Class B Misdemeanor

Shelbyville man killed by officer’s shot

Feb 17, 2017 85

The autopsy of a man killed in a Tuesday night shooting in Shelbyville revealed the man died from an officer’s rifle shot.

Indiana State Police say that the autopsy of Steven Oliger indicate the bullet that struck him was a .223 caliber round fired from the rifle of a Shelbyville Police Officer. The official autopsy report will not be available for several weeks. Police say Oliger fired a shot from the deck of a home at 1103 Fallway Court at about 10:30 p.m. when an officer returned fire.

ISP says that Shelbyville Police Chief Mark Wiedner does not wish to release the identity of the involved officers at this point. The investigation is ongoing.