Schneck offers free mammograms

Jan 29, 2015 297

Schneck Medical Center will be offering 45 free screenings mammograms to low and middle income women.

The Seymour hospital has received a grant from the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust to cover the costs. To qualify for the screening mammogram, women must be 40 years of age or older, uninsured, and meet the financial requirements.

If you or someone you know needs a screening mammogram and does not have insurance you can contact Schneck at 812-522-0413.

Hope moves forward after marshal’s conviction

Jan 29, 2015 531

The Hope Town Council will be deciding what to do next after the conviction yesterday of suspended Hope Town Marshal Randy Bailey.

Bailey was found guilty yesterday morning of a felony count of official misconduct as well as a misdemeanor count of false informing by a jury in Bartholomew Circuit Court.

The charges stemmed from an incident over Memorial day weekend in 2012, when Anthony Paul, a Hope resident, decided to confront Bailey on the marshal’s front porch over an incident that took place the previous evening. Bailey had Paul arrested for allegedly making a death threat against him, but Paul was carrying a digital recorder in his pocket to record the encounter. Authorities found the recording showed that no death threats were made. And the jury agreed.

The jurors received their instructions from Judge Stephen Heimann Wednesday morning after five days of testimony and evidence. They came back with the guilty verdict about three hours later. Bailey’s sentencing hearing will take place March 24 at 8:30 a.m.

Paula Pollitt, president of  the Hope Town Council, says that body will meet in executive session Monday night to discuss how to proceed. That meeting is not open to the public. Bailey was suspended without pay in the fall of 2013 after charges were filed. Matt Tallent has been acting town marshal since then.

Sheriff warns of burglaries, suggests tips for protection

Jan 29, 2015 310

After a recent wave of burglary reports, the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department is warning you to be careful and to protect your property.

Sheriff Matt Myers suggests you  report any suspicious persons and/or activity in your neighborhood to the Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Center by dialing 9-1-1.

Among the tips, offered by the sheriff’s department:

  • Do not put out empty boxes of expensive items like flat-screen TVs.  Keep boxes out of sight until trash day.
  • Keep lock boxes or safes in a hidden area of the house.
  • Close curtains or blinds to prevent thieves from taking inventory of your home and its layout.
  • Keep ladders and other tools that can be used to assist in a home entry in a locked shed or garage.
  • Keep garage doors closed and locked.
  • Make sure the home’s address is visible to police.
  • Do not post your family name on the mailbox.
  • Don’t talk about vacation plans or other trips in public areas and certainly do not post this information on social media.
  • Do not let mail and newspapers pile up.
  • Keep the outside of your home illuminated and keep shrubbery trimmed.
  • Make the house seem like someone is home by using lamps or a radio on a timer.
  • If possible, purchase a home security system.  Homes without security systems are two to three times more likely to be broken into.

Bailey found guilty of all charges

Jan 28, 2015 1532

Suspended Hope Town Marshal Randy Bailey was found guilty of both charges against him in Bartholomew Circuit Court.

Bailey is guilty of official misconduct, a felony, and false informing a misdemeanor. The charges stemmed from an incident over Memorial Day weekend in 2012, when Anthony Paul, a Hope resident, decided to confront Bailey on the front steps of the marshal’s home over an incident the night before.

Bailey had Paul arrested for allegedly making a death threat against the marshal, but Paul was carrying a digital recorder in his pocket recording the conversation, which authorities found contained no death threats.

The jury received their instructions from Judge Stephen Heimann this morning and came back with a verdict at just after 11:30 a.m.

Police warn of phone scam

Jan 28, 2015 543

Columbus police are warning of a scam that took advantage of a local woman.

Sgt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the police department, said that officers received a report from the victim who said she received a call from a person she thought was a family member who was in trouble.

The woman bought two pre-paid credit cards and passed the information to a person on the phone who identified themselves as an attorney. After sending the information, the victim realized they had been taken in by a scam.

Harris said police are warning you not to send money over the phone to people you don’t know. If you have any questions, or think you might have been the victim of a scam, he urged you to call Columbus Police at 812-376-2600.

Educational greenhouse planned near old landfill

Jan 28, 2015 420

The path has been cleared for an educational greenhouse to be built on county-owned property west of the former landfill near Petersville.

The Bartholomew County Solid Waste Management District is partnering with Ivy Tech to provide an agricultural field station for use by Ivy Tech and local high school students who wish to learn more about alternative farming. The greenhouse will measure 40 feet by 120 feet. An existing pond will be used to grow fish and shrimp.

The Columbus Board of Zoning Appeals approved plans to construct a driveway and the greenhouse during its meeting Tuesday night. While neighbors said they were supportive of the property being used in a constructive manner, they expressed serious concerns with the installation of another driveway so close to existing driveways.

The city zoning ordinances require 400 feet of space between driveways in that area. This new driveway will be 165 feet from its nearest neighboring drive.

The board elected to take the advice of the county engineering department, who inspected the area and said that traffic should not be affected.

Bailey trial heads to jurors

Jan 28, 2015 388

Jurors today will begin considering the case against Randy Bailey, the suspended Hope town marshal who is accused of official misconduct and false informing.

The trial in Bartholomew Circuit Court stems from an incident over Memorial Day weekend in 2012, when Anthony Paul, a Hope resident, decided to confront Bailey on the front steps of the marshal’s home over an incident the night before. Bailey had Paul arrested for allegedly making a death threat against the marshal, but Paul was carrying a digital recorder in his pocket recording the conversation, which authorities found contained no death threats.

Bailey took the stand in his own defense Tuesday morning and the attorneys made their closing arguments yesterday afternoon. The special prosecutor, Cynthia Crispin, argued that this is a simple case of “he said/he said” that is different because of the recording. Defense attorney Tom Barr pointed to suggestions that a second recorder might have been involved and to the technical skills and equipment of Paul’s father, who works on computers and operates a sound lab in his basement.

The jury would have received their instructions and begun deliberation last night, but jurors asked Judge Stephen Heimann to reopen the session this morning.

Tablet drive for special needs children scheduled for Friday

Jan 28, 2015 323

A program to get used computer tablets into the hands of special needs children will be seeking donations this Friday.

David McArdle, a pilot for Cummins is organizing the second annual effort by Tablet ReConnect. McArdle got the idea for the project when a friend gave McArdle’s family a used tablet to be used by McArdle’s son with special needs.

“It was amazing seeing the things that he knew, that we didn’t even know that he knew — identifying letters, numbers, shapes, colors,” McArdle said. “All of these things because he just never spoke. So we got to thinking, ‘Why don’t we collect more of these used iPads and give them to these special needs kids who could really use them the most.'”

He said last year’s event generated 40 tablets that were redistributed to those children in Columbus.

“Just hearing the feedback from parents of how well these kids succeed and learn from the interactions on these tablets, has been amazing,” McArdle said. “That is really some of the biggest benefit that comes out of them.”

This year, the effort is hoping that businesses will get involved and donate old tablets when they upgrade to new equipment.

McArdle said the drive will be for any model of used tablet or used cellphone. They can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at The Commons Mall behind the Chaos sculpture, at the Bartholomew County Public Library, and for Cummins employees, at the Cummins Office Building, the Commons Office Building and the Irwin Conference Center..

Anyone dropping off a working tablet or donating $100 or more will be entered into a contest for an iPad mini. You can find more information at tabletreconnect.com

City officials consider selling Walesboro airport property

Jan 27, 2015 426
A 2006 aerial view by Phil Brooks looking west at the former Walesboro airfield showed that the former runways & taxiways remained in fine shape.

A 2006 aerial view by Phil Brooks looking west at the former Walesboro airfield
showed that the former runways & taxiways remained in fine shape.

Columbus officials are considering selling the city’s Walesboro airport property in the hopes of creating a new industrial park in the area.

Doug Pacheco, a contractor hired by the city to move projects through the city pipeline, told the redevelopment commission last night that the city is working on a request for proposals on what could be done with the airport property.

“I think the city is probably interested in selling that property to a developer, who will come up with a master site plan, that will give us options,” Pacheco said.

City officials have said that the city is running out of large areas suitable for new industrial development.

“Walesboro is the largest and probably the last area of develop-able land of any size in Columbus,” Pacheco said. “The Woodside business park right now is filling up and almost full. So this one has an opportunity to have a rail spur and really promote more of either light industry or research and development. So this is a big deal for the city of Columbus to have an area like that.”

Part of the approval process would be to get state and federal officials to agree that the former airport is not in the flood plain, Pacheco told the Columbus Redevelopment Commission last night.

Columbus hopes to find restaurant tenant

Jan 27, 2015 517

Columbus officials hope to have a tenant signed for the empty restaurant space in the city-owned Jackson Street parking garage by this summer.

The space was formerly occupied by Bistro 310, which closed abruptly in December. Heather Pope, director of the city redevelopment department, is working on a request for proposals for the vacant space. She said the city would likely start seeking proposals by the end of February, and those would be due back in her office by April 17th.

The city is going through an appraisal process now to make sure that the rent range in the request for proposals is neither at the high- or low-end of the downtown market, she said.

City officials hope to find another restaurant to fill the space, Pope said.

“A restaurant or a version that sells obviously food, but maybe there is an alcohol component to it as well,” Pope said. “But we are not necesarily looking for something that is only open five days a week. We want something that is active seven days a week to help draw people downtown.”

She anticipated finding a tenant and signing them to a contract by mid June.

“Our goal is to fill it as soon as possible, obviously,” Pope said.