New trash routes, curbside recycling take effect today

Feb 2, 2015 361

Today marks the first day of the new sanitation routes and curbside recycling for the city of Columbus.

Most Columbus residents will need to have their trash out on a different day of the week than they are accustomed to. You can check out a list of the new days on the city website at columbus.in.gov.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 8 a.m. today at the City Garage at 2250 Kreutzer Drive. Mayor Kristen Brown along with others will cut the ribbon when the recycling collection truck rolls out of the City Garage to make its first rounds. The recycling truck will feature the new Columbus Recycles logo and colors.

As of Friday afternoon, nearly 6,800 residences have signed up for the recycling service. That is 42 percent of the homes that receive city sanitation service, exceeding the city’s goal of 40 percent after the first year of service.

You are invited to take part in this morning’s event.

Door alarm leads to arrest of Columbus man

Jan 30, 2015 423

A Columbus man has been arrested for allegedly carrying electronics out the side door of a store on Merchant Mile yesterday.

Sgt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus Police Department, says officers were called to the store at about 6:40 a.m. Thursday after the man was seen carrying a television and other electronic items out a side door. Officers knew which door the man was going out because of an alarm and located 43-year-old Michael B. Purdue, of Columbus, who was loading items into his truck, which was parked outside the door.

Purdue allegedly ran when he saw officers and was caught a short distance later. He was found to be carrying a billfold reported stolen earlier in the week and methamphetamine, Harris said.

Purdue was arrested on preliminary charges of theft, resisting law enforcement, possession of stolen property and possession of methamphetamine.

Hope offers groundhog chance to see his shadow

Jan 29, 2015 506

A special Groundhog Day event is taking place Monday in Hope.

Kathy Hershey is the president of Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators in Hope. She says that Grubby the Groundhog, a wildlife ambassador for Utopia, will be predicting the coming of Spring at 8 a.m. on the town square. Hershey says that a coffee and donut reception will be held immediately after at Auntie Aimee’s Tea Room on the square.

Hershey says that Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators is a state and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility. She adds that they handle all animals native to Indiana, in eagles. Hershey says Utopia has one of the largest flight cages in the state for eagles. She adds that Utopia does not charge for their services and they rely on the generosity of the public.

For more information on Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators, visit their website at www.utopiawildlife.org.

Schneck offers free mammograms

Jan 29, 2015 263

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 499

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 291

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 1477

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 507

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 379

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 347

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.