County approves new employee health care costs

Nov 24, 2015 450

Bartholomew County Commissioners have approved changes to the county employees healthcare plan that will raise those employees premiums and deductibles. Some employees say the changes will cost them more than $1,000 a year. Among the changes, new deductibles will be $2,000 for an individual, and $4,000 for a family. Premiums are also doubling. Commissioner Rick Flohr said the changes were necessary for the county to work within the budget numbers available. Commissioners president Larry Kleinhenz said the dramatic changes have some employees upset, but the new plan was the best that could be done. Commissioners voted unanimously yesterday morning to approve the changes to the plan. ...

Playing children suspected in garage fire

Nov 24, 2015 423

Columbus authorities believe that two children playing with matches led to a garage fire yesterday afternoon on Pence Street. A neighbor discovered the fire in the 200 block of Pence Street and called 911 at 3:39 yesterday afternoon. When firefighters arrived flames were engulfing a garage at the rear of the home. Capt. Mike Wilson with the fire department says that firefighters stopped the blaze before it spread to the home, but there was minor smoke damage. A car and motorcycle inside the garage were also damaged. Witnesses said that children were seen playing in straw in the garage shortly before the fire started. When Columbus police talked to the children they found that the kids had been playing with matches in the garage. Police said no criminal charges are pending. No one was injured and the Red Cross is helping the family with shelter. The damage is estimated at $50,000. ...

Thanksgiving With Pets

Nov 23, 2015 475

Who’s ready for Turkey? Me! If there’s one thing I like, it’s eating! And, I’ll admit it… I usually sneak some food to my Pug, Dharma. But, that’s not always a good idea. ...

Anniversary of the First Jukebox, Today, November 23!

Nov 23, 2015 580

On this day in 1889, the first jukebox began operation in a San Francisco saloon. That revelation brought to mind an awesome book by William Bunch called Jukebox America, in which he traveled across the country to check out vinyl jukeboxes at impressive points in the American music scene –  one for the blues in Chicago, one in his grandfather’s hometown, and so on. One of the things he passes along in the book is the unwritten rule that the first selection in a jukebox is generally the operator’s favorite, the single that pretty much HAS to be there.  It presents an interesting idea, in that it isn’t the famous “desert island” question – you can put (at most) 100 singles in one of these things, so it’s not like your selection is terribly limited.  However, it does make for great conversation…which song (or pair, technically) is the one that sets the stage for everything else that follows?  It doesn’t even have to be your absolute favorite song, when you think about... ...

Two arrested after shoplifting reported at outlet mall

Nov 23, 2015 376

Two women were arrested last night after a shoplifting report at the Edinburgh outlet mall. Sheriff Doug Cox of Johnson County reports that officers received a call at about 6:20 p.m. last night that a shoplifting suspect had fled the area in a gold Volkswagen. A deputy, who was near Franklin at the time, waited on the Interstate until he saw the car drive past and then he pulled the car over. Two women in the vehicle said at first that they weren’t involved in the thefts but a passenger matched the description of the suspect. After being told they had been identified, they admitted that bags full of merchandise, still with the tags attached were in the back seat. The passenger, 52-year-old Lisa York of Indianapolis was taken back to the Edinburgh Police Department where she was arrested on a charge of theft. The driver, 31-year-old Amber Meals, was found to be driving on a suspended license. ...

Cigarette drop leads to driver’s drug arrest

Nov 23, 2015 432

A driver who allegedly flipped a cigarette out the window right in front of a Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputy early Saturday morning on Interstate 65 was arrested on drug charges. Judy Jackson, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department, said Deputy Matt Bush was patrolling on Interstate 65 near the Columbus exit at about 3 a.m. Saturday, when he noticed that the car in front of him didn’t have a working license plate light and the driver threw a lit cigarette out the window. After stopping the vehicle, Bush reported that he smelled a strong scent of marijuana inside the car. A search of the driver, 20-year-old Douglas Skaryd of Bannister, Mich., revealed 370 grams of marijuana, a scale and plastic baggies. He was arrested on a preliminary charge of dealing marijuana. ...

CRH emergency room doors shattered by driver

Nov 23, 2015 564

A Columbus woman is undergoing a mental health evaluation after allegedly intentionally crashing her car into the emergency room doors at Columbus Regional Hospital yesterday afternoon. Sgt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus police, said officers were first called to 27th and Chestnut streets at about 4:22 p.m. Sunday on a report of a black Honda intentionally crashing into a vehicle several times. Just under 20 minutes later, an off-duty officer saw the same vehicle crash into the emergency room doors at the hospital, back up and crash into the doors again. The driver then allegedly fled on 17th Street, where Columbus police cars boxed the vehicle in and forced it to a stop, but not before the driver crashed into several of the cruisers, according to police reports. A man inside the emergency room was injured by flying glass and while a valet driver was inside the entranceway when the driver crashed through, he was uninjured, Harris said. ...

Wilson to challenge Smith in State Representative race

Nov 20, 2015 372

Republican Lew Wilson has announced his candidacy for the office of State Representative for Indiana District 59 in the 2016 general election. He is challenging incumbent State Representative Milo Smith, who is serving his fifth term. Wilson, the Bartholomew County Assessor, says he is running to reform “critical defects in the tax assessment and appeals process.” Wilson says that new state laws passed since 2011 have crippled the tax appeal process in a manner that hurts the county taxpayers as a whole and directly favors property tax representatives and tax lawyers. He says that these laws have cost Indiana cities and counties vital budget revenue that is needed to fund schools and to provide emergency services. Wilson argues that these laws also unfairly shift the additional tax burden to county residents. “These bills have created a revenue drain on cities and counties that will continue to burden tax payers for years to come unless they are changed,” says Wilson. He says he is running to help make those changes happen... ...

Columbus woman seriously hurt after vehicle strikes deer

Nov 20, 2015 620

A Columbus woman suffered severe injuries Thursday evening after the vehicle she was driving struck a deer. Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department Spokesperson Judy Jackson says that Deputies responded to the crash, at 2765 W Carr Hill Road, just before 6 p.m. On arrival, Deputies found the driver, 41-year-old Amy Baker, unconscious and suffering from head injuries. Baker’s husband, a passenger in the vehicle, reportedly told investigators that they struck a deer, causing them to run off the road, hit a mailbox and run through a tree line. The vehicle ultimately came to rest in the front yard of a home. Deputies said the deer hit the front of the vehicle, flew over the hood and through the windshield, into the back of the car. Baker was life-lined to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. The deer was found in the rear of the vehicle. Sheriff Matt Myers is taking this opportunity to remind you to be aware as you drive at this time of year. He says that many deer are on... ...