Update: Missing Columbus boy found

May 21, 2017 85

10:12 a.m. update: Solomon Rhoades has been found and he is safe. His non-custodial mother, Andrea Rhoades, has also been located.

Previous story is below:

Columbus police are investigating the abduction of Solomon Rhoades, a 1-year-old white boy who is 2 feet 6 inches tall, 31 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes.

Andrea Rhoades

Police believe the child was abducted by Andrea Rhoades, a 43-year-old white woman, 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighing  201 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes. They believe she may be in a gray 2003 Chevrolet Blazer, with Indiana plate number XVK 853.

The boy was last seen at 8:30 p.m. Saturday night in Hope.

If you have any information on Solomon Rhoades, you can contact the Columbus Police Department at 1-888-58 – AMBER or 1-888-582-6237. Or you can call 911.

Nominations being accepted for Jack Cramer Award

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Columbus Parks and Rec are accepting nominations for the Jack Cramer Ideals of Athletic Competition Award. The award is sponsored by the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department in memory of Jack Cramer, a former local athlete who died at the age of 33 in 1978.

This award is presented annually to a male and female senior high through adult aged athlete, coach or sports organizer. All nominees must live or work in Bartholomew County.

Last year’s winner in the female category was Alison White and Kendal Hammel in the male category.

Nomination forms are available at Donner Center. The deadline to submit nominations is June 15.

State Police to hold memorial service on Wednesday

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The Indiana State Police-Versailles Post will conduct its annual memorial service on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the post.

Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, public information officer for the Versailles Post, says that since 1933, forty-six Indiana State Police employees have died in the line of duty. He says that five troopers from the Versailles District were among them. Wheeles says that troopers, as well as other law enforcement officers from the area, will gather Wednesday to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

Those being honored include:

Trooper George A. Forster, died May 17, 1941, in an automobile crash on State Road 3 near Paris Crossing in Jennings County.

Trooper Earl L. Brown, died August 31, 1955, after being shot by a suspicious person who was walking on the old US 31 (State Road 11) near Columbus in Bartholomew County.

Trooper Robert C. Gillespie, died June 8, 1962, in an automobile crash while en route to a call for assistance in the town of Mitchell.

Trooper William R. Rayner, died December 18, 1966, after being shot by a suspect in a stolen vehicle in Decatur County.

Trooper Andrew P. Winzenread, died April 25, 1997, after being struck by a semi-tractor trailer after stopping to assist a disabled motorist on I-74 in Decatur County.

Wednesday’s service is expected to last approximately 30 minutes.

Wide range of groups supporting Sunday rally

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A wide range of community groups are supporting a Sunday rally in Columbus, to celebrate the community’s diversity.

More than 20 groups, ranging from agencies like the city Human Right Commission and the Heritage Fund to affinity groups such as NAACP and Pride Alliance are supporting the rally, which kicks off at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon on the steps of City Hall.

One of the organizers, Bob Pitman, explains the support:

One of the organizers, Debra Haza, has Native American heritage. She explains why she is supporting the rally:

Mayor Jim Lienhoop will read a proclamation from the steps of City Hall and delegations will make speeches from a stage on Fourth Street.

Sondra Bolte, talks about the speeches that are planned:

The rain location for the event is The Commons.

Railroad work closing County Road 550N, Long Road

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Crews working on updating railroad tracks through Columbus and Bartholomew County say that County Road 550 North will be closed, beginning Saturday and running through Tuesday, May 24th. They will also be closing Long Road, which is the entrance to Shelby Materials.

You will still be able to use Industrial Drive to get into the plant though.

Crews will be replacing the tracks and installing new railroad ties.

Free legal aid offered Monday at United Way center

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The Bartholomew County Legal Aid office will be having a free legal clinic on Monday from 3 to 5 p.m. at their offices in the Doug Otto United Way Center on 13th Street in Columbus.

People with low incomes will be able to have a 10 to 15 minute consultation with a local volunteer attorney. The attorneys will be able to answer general questions, offer legal information and advice.

These are held on the fourth Monday of every month.

Hope residents urged to move vehicles for paving work

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The Town of Hope will be having milling and paving operations going on today and Monday.

They are urging you to move your vehicles if you are normally parked on any of the streets scheduled for work. If you don’t move it, you will be towed, town officials say.

Milling work is going on today, while paving will be done Monday.

The work is being paid for out of grant money from the state Community Crossings fund.

The streets to be paved are:

  • Jackson Street from Harrison Street to Walnut Street
  • Jackson Street from Union Street to Aiken Street
  • Washington Street from West End to Main Street
  • Harrison Street from Grand Street to Jackson Street
  • Butner from South of Midway to Hitchcock
  • Midway from State Road 9 to Butner
  • Hitchcock from Butner Drive to Hitchcock Court
  • Hitchcock from north end to south end

Free fishing tomorrow at state facilities

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If you would like to fish for free in public waters, you’re in luck.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says that tomorrow is a “Free Fishing Day” tomorrow. Indiana residents who are 18 or older can fish public waters and you don’t need a fishing license or a trout stamp.

State officials say that a number of city, county and state parks will host fishing events and derbies. In our area, events are slated for Lake Cottonwood in Edinburgh and Brown County State Park in Nashville.

For more on these events, visit GoFishin.in.gov.

Search continues for armed robbery suspects

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Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

A search continues for three suspects in the robbery of the Ricker’s gas station in southern Columbus yesterday.

Lt. Matt Harris with the Columbus police says that two men were questioned by Indiana State Police yesterday but they were not taken into custody and have not been arrested. He said detectives are out still working to gather evidence and information in the case.

Police say three masked men entered the store, displayed a gun and stole cash before fleeing in a stolen Hummer. After a 100 mph chase up the interstate, the men crashed the vehicle and then ran away in Greenwood.

Police also suspect the men robbed a Seymour motel that night.

They are described as:

  • A white man who was about six feet tall and wore a black hooded sweatshirt or jacket with a black face mask
  • A man who was 5-7 to 5-9 who wore a dark blue hooded sweatshirt, with khaki pants, white tennis shoes and a red knit hat and who may have had blonde hair.
  • And a man who was 5-5 to 5-7 and was seen wearing all black clothing with a black face mask. There was a design on his dark pants and knit hat with red and white stripes.

If you have any information, you should contact the Columbus Police Department at 812-376-2600. All suspects should be considered armed and dangerous.

Tips and information can be left anonymously.

Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.


Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Police memorial ceremony starts at 9 downtown today

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In commemoration of National Police Week, a memorial service to honor law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty will be held this morning at nine at the Public Safety Plaza near Second Street and Jackson Street in Columbus.

During the thirty minute ceremony, officers will read the names of 145 police officers killed in the line of duty during 2016. A wreath will be placed at the memorial in honor of Howard County Deputy Sheriff Carl Koontz who died in 2016.