City Utilities discover source of well contamination

Jul 20, 2017 107

Columbus City Utilities has found the source of an e-coli contamination that polluted one of the city’s drinking water wells last month and led to a city-wide boil water advisory. Keith Reeves, the city’s utilities director, says that corrosion in the well casing has left small holes in the tainted well near the Bartholomew County 4-Fairgrounds, allowing contaminants into the water. He said that a contractor inspected the affected well with a camera and discovered the corrosion about 20-25 feet down the well shaft. Reeves said that the well has been taken off line until the problem is fixed. He said that officials are still figuring out the scope of the repairs but estimated it could run up to $20,000.

The city declared its first citywide boil water advisory last month in almost two decades after testing revealed the contamination. The Utilities Service Board met Thursday and heard an update from Reeves on fixes to be made to the notification process, should this occur again.

Columbus man arrested on drug charges after traffic stop

Jul 20, 2017 121

Parker Broady; photo courtesy of Columbus Police

A Columbus man was arrested on drug dealing charges after a traffic stop Wednesday night. Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman, says that shortly before 10 p.m., officers saw a vehicle that was traveling left of center near 17th Street and McClure Road. Officers stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, 21-year-old Parker R. Broady. A short time later, Harris says that a CPD canine alerted to the odor of narcotics in the vehicle. While searching the vehicle, police allegedly found a backpack containing marijuana, Xanax, and several baggies.

Broady was arrested on preliminary charges of Dealing Marijuana, Dealing a Schedule IV Substance, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of a Schedule IV Substance.

State wants over $11,000 from former golf course employee

Jul 20, 2017 105

The state is looking to recoup money lost when an employee of an Edinburgh golf course pleaded guilty to stealing from the facility. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced Thursday that the state has filed a complaint in Johnson County seeking recovery of stolen public funds, as well as court costs, legal fees and other expenses.

Hill says that the state wants more than $11,000 from Ethan Duke, a former employee of Timbergate Golf Course who pleaded guilty to theft. Authorities say that Duke was sentenced to more than 500 days on home arrest after he confessed to stealing nearly $4,000 from the facility.

The Indiana Attorney’s General office says that in October of 2016, the State Board of Accounts conducted an audit of Timbergate, which is a public golf course owned by the town of Edinburgh. The audit revealed that the $4,000 went missing between April 18, 2015, and May 30, 2015.

According to the audit, employees at Timbergate discovered that on the night of May 30, 2015, no cash transactions were entered on the register. Further, the amount of money in the cash register came up $229.13 short based on goods and services sold by the golf course that day. Hill says that a supervisor confronted Duke, who reportedly confessed to the theft and was later arrested.

Hill says that the golf course recovered a little more than $300 when Duke was arrested. The state is now seeking a treble damages claim under the Crime Victims Relief Act. That equals three times the $3,683 in misappropriated funds, as well as $800 in audit costs.

Neighbor dispute flares again, weeks after shooting

Jul 20, 2017 59

A dispute between neighbors that led to a shooting last month in Johnson County, is flaring back up again.

Sheriff Doug Cox says that the victim in the shooting, Jeff Weigle, is still recovering in the hospital. But he was recently threatening to leave the hospital and do harm to the man who shot him, Indianapolis Paramedic Dean Keller.

Keller shot Weigle four times, at the property near Greenwood, including a hit to the chest that caused a sucking chest wound, authorities say. Prosecutors found that Keller was acting in self defense and declined to press charges. According to police reports, Keller shot back at Weigle, after Weigle displayed a handgun and shot at him while mowing the grass. Authorities say this has been a long-running dispute between the men.

Cox says that a warrant was served on Weigle in the hospital for criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and now they are working on a protective order. Jail staff are observing Weigle at an undisclosed rehab facility, the sheriff says.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the two men have clashed more than a dozen times since 2009. In 2011, both men were arrested on battery charges ges after a fight. Keller was stabbed in the arm in that fight, and Weigle suffered cuts, scratches and bite wounds, according to a police report.

Grand opening tonight for Hope visitors center

Jul 20, 2017 56

The Yellow Trail Museum in Hope will be having the grand opening of its new Visitors Information Center tonight, July 20th.

The new center is a project with the Columbus Area Visitors Center. The new center and the part-time staff person it brings ais allowing the Yellow Trail Museum to stay open more days of the week. They have also expanded their website and are offering new services such as a walking tour.

The grand opening will be held 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. tonight. The Yellow Trail Museum is on the northwest side of the Hope Town Square.

Messer aims to restore benefits to veterans who attended ITT Tech

Jul 19, 2017 69

Congressman Luke Messer, a Republican representing Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District, had a proposal to help veterans impacted by the closure of ITT Technical Institute. It passed the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Wednesday, as part of a larger GI Bill reform package.

The Congressman’s office explains that Messer’s proposal retroactively restores GI Bill benefits to veterans who were attending Indiana-based ITT Tech, which closed its doors in September 2016. The closure impacting 40,000 students nationwide, including more than 7,000 veterans.

Messer’s provision provides full restoration of GI Bill benefits within 90 days to students who attended ITT Tech, if they were not able to transfer their credits to a new institution. It also helps veterans who may be impacted by a school closure in the future.

Rep. Messer says this was a bipartisan effort, noting that he worked with Rep. Mark Takano, a California Democrat.

Sheriff needs more money to operate jail

Jul 19, 2017 75

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers says he needs more money to operate the jail. During Tuesday night’s county council meeting, Myers explained that he needed an additional appropriation of $50,000 to cover overtime costs at the jail.

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Myers talks about some of the accounting measures his department has taken to cover costs.

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As for how the department plans to handle overtime at the jail for the rest of the year…

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The Sheriff explained that an increase in inmates has been a factor in the overtime expenses at the jail.

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A state statute, which took effect this year, requires counties to house Level 6 felons in their jails instead of sending them to the Indiana Department of Corrections. While the state reimburses the counties some money for every Level 6 inmate, Myers says that the county, on average, has to spend much more than is received.

The county council approved Myers’ request for the additional $50,000 appropriation in the hopes that it will be enough to cover overtime costs at the jail for the remainder of the year. The Sheriff is expected to ask for a substantial increase in staffing when preparing this year’s budget.

Casto takes on more duties at Cummins

Jul 19, 2017 67

Cummins is announcing that company vice president Carole Casto will be taking over marketing communications along with her corporate communications responsibilities.

In that role, she has been overseeing global communication strategy, executive speech writing, crisis communications, digital, visual and internal communications and external communications.

The new responsibilities will include marketing plans, product launches workign with the sales and account teams and representing the company at global trade shows and industry events.

She has been with the company for 14 years and lives in Indianapolis with her husband and their son.

Hope police, deputies chase wanted man

Jul 19, 2017 79

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Carl R. McNicholas. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Hope police and Bartholomew County sheriff’s deputies chased a pickup truck in the northern part of the county, eventually arresting the fleeing fugitive.

The chase happened last night, starting at about 11:30 p.m. when Hope police tried to stop the pickup The driver fled at speeds between 30 and 60 mph. Around County Roads 700E and 700N , deputies assisted by deploying tire deflating devices. The truck’s tires blew out and eventually stopped in a yard on Jackson Street in Hope.

The driver, 33-year-old, Carl R. McNicholas of Jackson Street, was arrested on new charges of resisting law enforcement and driving while suspended. He was also wanted on 11 outstanding warrants.

Two arrested in investigation into storage unit thefts

Jul 19, 2017 61

Jeremiah Clark. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Columbus police arrested two people last night allegedly breaking into storage units on 15th Street.

Police were alerted that a suspicious person carrying a bag was inside the fence of Storage Express. An officer noticed that the fence had been cut, a security camera had been moved and an unattended vehicle was nearby at about 2:30 this morning. Inside the facility, a flashlight could be seen and voices could be heard.

Cheryl Bailey. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

When 31-year-old Jeremiah W. Clark of Franklin and 30-year-old Cheryl L. Bailey of Edinburgh left one of the storage buildings they were arrested, says Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus Police.

They are facing preliminary charges of burglary and theft.