Local judge appointed to judicial committee

Mar 21, 2017 155

Bartholomew County Superior Court 1 Judge Jim Worton will represent other Judges in Judicial District 21 on the Board of Directors of the Judicial Conference of Indiana.

A press release from the court explains that District 21 includes Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson, Jennings, and Decatur Counties. The board directs activities that “promote an exchange of experience and suggestions regarding the operation of Indiana’s judicial system, promotes the continuing education of judges and seeks to promote a better understanding of the judiciary.”

Members of the board of directors are elected to two-year terms by the other judges in their district. Judge Worton’s new responsibility includes quarterly meetings, but is not expected to effect his ability to handle his court’s caseload.

This marks Judge Worton’s second appointment to a judicial committee, as he also serves on the State Judiciary’s Courthouse Security Committee.

North Vernon man facing numerous drug charges

Mar 21, 2017 319

A North Vernon man was arrested on drug charges after police there executed a search warrant on a home in the 100 block of Hoosier Street. North Vernon Police say they visited the home at 8:20 p.m. Monday night after Officer Kyle Hall obtained the warrant following observations he made while responding to a call for service at the address.

NVPD says that Officer Hall, Officer Lucas Newsom, Reserve Officer Michael Holliday and Sgt. Keith Messer served the search warrant. They allegedly found, and seized, 9.1 grams of methamphetamine, four syringes, multiple clear plastic baggies, several containers containing meth residue, multiple prescription pills, and 10 cell phones.

Officers arrested 39-year-old Jonathan D. Russell on preliminary charges of Dealing in Methamphetamine, Possession of methamphetamine, Possession of a Hypodermic Needle, Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Legend Drug Act Violation and Possession of Paraphernalia.

Cummins announces plan to cut water use in half

Mar 21, 2017 96

Cummins announced on Tuesday that it plans to cut water usage by half. A press release from the Columbus-based diesel engine manufacturer says the company has increased its facility water goal to a 50 percent intensity reduction by 2020, compared to its 2010 consumption rate. Cummins made the announcement on the eve of “World Water Day,” created by the United Nations to “serve as a way to have global education and preparedness for future water management.”

Cummins says the revised goal represents a total water savings of 763 million gallons of water since 2010. Company officials say that is equivalent to the water needed for drinking, sanitation and hygiene for 395,000 people for a year.

“Thanks to the hard work of our employees around the world, we have surpassed our initial target, but we know we should do more and are raising the bar with a revised goal,“ said Brian Mormino, Executive Director of Environmental Strategy & Compliance.

To achieve the 50 percent reduction, Cummins says it will expand the work it does with its sites in water program management, including intensive engagement with higher water use locations, water balance creation and sub-metering. The company also announced plans for high impact and showcase projects, such as an alternative bio-tech system for producing high quality treated wastewater for process reuse at one of its engine plants.

Brown County crash claims life of Bloomington man

Mar 21, 2017 118

One person was killed and another injured in a two-vehicle crash Monday afternoon in Brown County. Dep. Gregory Pittman, public information officer for the Brown County Sheriff’s Department, says that at 2:41 p.m., deputies responded to a head-on collision just west of the old Ski World resort on State Road 46 West.

Pittman says that the eastbound driver, 60-year-old Timothy Ellison, of Crooked Creek Road, was taken to Bloomington Hospital for minor injuries. The westbound driver, 28-year-old Joseph E. Dusard, of Bloomington, was trapped in the vehicle and had to be removed by fire units. Pittman says that emergency personnel, including a doctor at the scene, tried to resuscitate Dusard, but were unsuccessful. Dusard was pronounced dead on the scene.

Pittman says that both drivers were wearing seat belts and airbags were deployed. State Road 46 was closed for several hours in both directions. The crash remains under investigation.

Hope man hospitalized after Tuesday morning crash

Mar 21, 2017 137

A Hope man was hospitalized after his overturned vehicle was discovered Tuesday morning. Judy Jackson, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson, says that deputies were called to the 5800 block of East County Road 450 North at 9:46 a.m. on a report of a vehicle that was off the road and possibly submerged.

Photo courtesy of the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department

Photo courtesy of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department

When deputies arrived, they reported finding the vehicle along the side of the river next to a bridge. The driver, 21-year-old Tony Whittington, was conscious, but trapped inside the upside-down vehicle. The fire department, working with Bartholomew County Water Rescue and Recovery, extracted Whittington from the vehicle. He was then life-lined to Indianapolis with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries. Jackson says that investigators believe that Whittington may have been trapped inside the vehicle for about four-hours.

It is not known at this time what caused the accident, but Jackson says that a report is being forwarded to the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office for drug-related items allegedly found inside the vehicle.

Columbus woman flown to Indy hospital after crash

Mar 21, 2017 111
Photo courtesy of the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Dept.

Photo courtesy of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Dept.

A Columbus woman was flown to an Indianapolis hospital after a Monday afternoon crash. Judy Jackson, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman, says that just after 2 p.m. deputies responded to a one-vehicle crash on County Road 650 East, just south of 25th Street.

Investigators say that the driver, Mary V. Swinney, drove off the east side of the roadway on County Road 650 East, hitting two mailboxes before striking a large tree. They add that Swinney wasn’t wearing a seat-belt, resulting in her being thrown into the passenger’s seat.

Smith honors special advocates at Statehouse

Mar 21, 2017 45
Rep. Milo Smith represents CASA volunteers at the statehouse yesterday. Photo courtesy of Indiana House GOP.

Rep. Milo Smith represents CASA volunteers at the statehouse yesterday. Photo courtesy of Indiana House GOP.

State lawmakers are recognizing court-appointed special advocates this week at the statehouse.

Rep. Milo Smith, a Columbus Republican, honored the national organization for its work with a resolution. CASA’s act as advocates for children in the legal system, especially in neglect cases. Smith said that 4,000 advocates provided a voice for almost 30,000 Indiana children in child abuse and neglect cases last year.

You can find out more about volunteering as a CASA locally by going to apowerfulvoice.org.

Phase Two of State Street project gets initial approval

Mar 20, 2017 83

Phase Two of the “Connecting State Street” project has cleared one hurdle after the Columbus Redevelopment Commission gave its unanimous approval Monday evening. The body heard a presentation about the project from United Consulting.

The project includes a side-path extending south from the Haw Creek bridge, near Stadler Drive, to Mapleton Street. Just under a half-mile long, officials call this path the “core” of the State Street project. Future sections will complete connections to downtown and Mill Race Park.

Phase Two also includes five green spaces. This includes two near Stadler Drive and three near Indiana Avenue. This spaces are slated to include 84 shade trees, 10 flowering trees, benches and 6,719 bricks. Nine-hundred of those bricks will be engraved.

Total cost of this phase of the project is estimated at $2.6 million, which is in line with what city officials had expected.

Due to the expense, the redevelopment commission’s approval of the project is only a “recommendation” for the city council to move forward with necessary funding. That body is expected to consider the matter next month.

Warrant leads to arrest of North Vernon man on drug charge

Mar 20, 2017 250
David W. Uberin; photo courtesy of North Vernon Police

David W. Uberin; photo courtesy of North Vernon Police

A North Vernon man was arrested Sunday afternoon after police there executed a search warrant. At about 4:30 p.m., officers served the warrant, which ended in the arrest of 58-year-old David W. Uberin. Police say the warrant came about after Officer Isaac Barkes gathered information over several weeks that indicated drug activity was taking place at the home.

During the search, police say they found several capsules of a non controlled, prescription medication not contained in a labeled prescription container, along with a small bag with white residue. Drug analysis on the bag is pending.

Uberin was arrested on a preliminary charge of Possession of a Legend Drug without a Valid Prescription, a level 6 felony.

Additional appropriation sought for county bridge fund

Mar 20, 2017 86

The Bartholomew County Highway Department is requesting an additional appropriation for just over one-million dollars for the Cumulative Bridge Fund. Danny Hollander, county highway engineer, explains…

Hollander is asking the county council to put the $1,010,000 left over from last year’s projects into this year’s bridge budget. Hollander says that money in the Cumulative Bridge Fund can only be used on bridge projects…

County Council meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the fourth floor of the County Government Office Building.