North Vernon officials look to lower speed limit on SR 3

Feb 23, 2016 252

Traffic on a section of State Road 3 in North Vernon is expected to slow down in the near future. The North Vernon City Council voted Monday night to approve a plan to lower the speed limit on a section of the road, from the intersection of Madison Avenue to IN 750/US 50, to 45 miles per hour. City officials say that the affected section of State Road 3 was turned over from the state to local officials for maintenance within the past year. North Vernon Police Chief James Webster pushed for the change, which he says is needed after a slew of traffic crashes in that area. A representative with the city’s Streets Department told council members that expenses will be minimal, as the road signs needed for the change are already available. The city council unanimously approved the change. The body is expected to give its final approval to the plan in two weeks. ...

Bartholomew County FFA Alumni Association launched

Feb 23, 2016 377

On the eve of National FFA Week, organizers have announced the formation of the Bartholomew County FFA Alumni Association. Last week, organizers met at at the Bartholomew County 4H Fairgrounds and unanimously agreed that the Association should be formed. This began the process for obtaining a local charter from the National FFA Alumni Association. The Association elected its first slate of officers, approved a constitution and bylaws, and agreed on a $20 fee for annual membership dues. Officials elected include: • Don Barriger – President • Jackie Arnholt – Vice President • Cathy Robertson – Secretary • Dianne Barriger – Treasurer Officials say that regular meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month, inside the Family Arts Building at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds. Association President Don Barriger says that anyone interested in FFA and the promotion of its goals is welcome to join. He adds that there is no need to have been actively involved with FFA in the past. ...

Father accidentally killed by young son

Feb 23, 2016 285

A Bartholomew County man was accidentally killed by his young son, according to authorities. Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department Spokesperson Judy Jackson says that at 9:17 p.m. on Sunday, deputies responded to a shooting in the 200 block of Clinton Street in Hartsville. On arrival, deputies reported finding 62-year-old James E. Lonaker with a gunshot wound to his upper body. Investigators say that evidence at the scene indicates that Lonaker’s six-year-old son accidentally shot his father when he picked up an unsecured 38-caliber revolver and fired a shot that struck Lonaker. They say that Lonaker was apparently sitting at his desk and did not see the child pick up the handgun, which belonged to Lonaker. Jackson says that Lonaker was being flown to Methodist Hospital when he died en route. She adds that Lonaker’s wife and one-year old child were also in the house at the time of the shooting. Authorities say that neither were injured. Sheriff Matt Myers says this was a tragic accident. He is using this opportunity to... ...

North girls head to state finals

Feb 22, 2016 275

By Sam Simmermaker The Columbus North Bull Dog girls basketball team won the school’s first state basketball championship a year ago.  Don’t look now, but the CNHS ladies are knocking on the door of the throne room for a second year in a row. Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, the Canines will meet the Penn Kingsmen for the 2016 4-A title. Adding a bit of spice to the festivities is the fact that North defeated Penn in a holiday tourney earlier in the season, 67-52. Tickets are $15 and will be available 9 a.m-3 p.m. at the North athletic office.  Broadcast:  1010 WCSI and 1010wcsi.com, beginning with the pregame show at 7:30 p.m. Clear the decks for Penn (27-2) vs. Columbus North (27-1), Saturday at 8:15. There will be a community rally at North’s Memorial Gymnasium, win or lose, when the team arrives home after the game. Go Bull Dogs! ...

Hartsville man killed in accidental shooting

Feb 22, 2016 321

A Hartsville man died Sunday night after being accidentally shot by his 6-year-old son, according to authorities. James E. Lonaker, 62,  died while being flown by helicopter to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Bartholomew County deputies were called to a home in the 200 block of Clinton Street in Hartsville at 9:17 p.m. and found that Lonaker had been shot in the upper body, said Judy Jackson, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department. She said that Lonaker appeared to have been sitting at his desk when he was shot. Deputies reported that an unsecured .38-caliber revolver  had been picked up by the child and the shooting was an accident. Lonaker’s wife and a 1-year-old were at home at the time of the shooting and neither were injured, Jackson said. The incident is under investigation by the sheriff’s department. Hartsville volunteer firefighters, Columbus Regional Hospital paramedics and STAT Flight helicopter assisted at the scene. ...

Police chase ends in crash and arrest

Feb 22, 2016 304

A Columbus man was arrested on several charges after he allegedly crashed his vehicle into a detached garage on Friday morning. Columbus Police Department Spokesman Lt. Matt Harris says that at approximately 11:10 a.m., Officer Frank Dickman, observed 20-year-old Tyler S. Houchens driving a car on 25th Street. The officer reported that he knew that Houchens had a warrant for his arrest and tried to pull him over. Police say that Houchens refused to stop and rapidly accelerated towards a busy school pedestrian crossing at 25th Street and Home Avenue. Harris say that Officer Dickman terminated the pursuit as Houchens sped away at a high rate of speed. A short time later, police were notified that Houchens had crashed into a detached garage in the 1100 block of 24th Street. When Houchens’ vehicle struck the garage, it pushed a parked vehicle through the back garage wall. Houchens allegedly fled on foot, but was apprehended in the back yard of a residence in the 1500 block of 21st Street by Officer... ...

Columbus Police arrest man sleeping at laundromat

Feb 22, 2016 295

An intoxicated man was arrested at a local laundromat Saturday morning after he allegedly fought with Columbus Police officers. Columbus Police Department Spokesman Lt. Matt Harris says that at approximately 2:10 a.m., officers were dispatched to the Warsh House, located at 3995 Williamsburg Way, in regards to an unresponsive person inside the laundromat. Sgt. Jennifer Van Vactor and Officer Branch Schrader arrived at the business and allegedly found 32-year-old Brandon L. White, sleeping on a table. Officers reported that they had difficulty waking White up and noted that he had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Police say that once White was awake, he became belligerent and resisted arrest when the officers attempted to take him into custody. Harris says that White was later transported to Columbus Regional Hospital for jail clearance. While at the hospital, police say that White continued to be belligerent and later spit on a hospital security officer. Harris says that White was eventually transported to the Bartholomew County Jail where he was booked... ...

Woman arrested after allegedly pulling knife on ex-husband

Feb 22, 2016 214

A Columbus woman was arrested after she allegedly threatened her ex-husband with a knife during an argument on Sunday afternoon. Lt. Matt Marris, spokesman for the Columbus Police Department, says that at approximately 2:30 p.m., Officer Chris Strickland responded to the 2400 block of East Lincoln Village Drive in regards to the disturbance. The alleged victim told police that his ex-wife, 59-year-old Jeanette L. Lockridge, began arguing with him while they were in the kitchen of the residence that they share. During the argument, Lockridge allegedly grabbed a knife from a kitchen drawer and began advancing towards the alleged victim. Police say that he was able to get out of the residence and was not injured. Harris says that Lockridge was arrested and booked in the Bartholomew County Jail on a preliminary Felony charge of Intimidation-Drawing a Deadly Weapon. ...

Police arrest wanted Columbus resident

Feb 22, 2016 263

A Columbus woman was arrested on several charges Sunday afternoon after she allegedly lied about her identity during a traffic stop. Columbus Police Department Spokesman Lt. Matt Harris says that at approximately 4:20 p.m., Officer Ivan Shultz stopped a vehicle near Indiana Avenue and Mapleton Avenue for having an expired license plate. During the traffic stop, Shultz reportedly spoke with a passenger who told him that she did not have an identification card. When Shultz conducted a computer records check, he noted that the photograph that accompanied the records did not match the name given by the passenger. Harris says that officers later determined that the passenger was 36-year-old Brea D. Shipley. Authorities say that as Shipley was being taken into custody, officers allegedly found heroin her pants pockets. Harris says that Shipley, along with a pair of outstanding Bartholomew County warrants, was booked to the Bartholomew County Jail on preliminary charges of Possession of Heroin, False Identity Statement and False Informing. ...

Jennings County authorities find wanted man in CSL

Feb 22, 2016 290

Jennings County Sheriff’s Deputies were able to find, and arrest, a wanted man over the weekend. Department Spokesman Lt. Mike Mowery says that at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, deputies were dispatched to a home on Honey Locust Place in Country Squire Lakes. Authorities were told that a wanted man, 36-year-old Michael E. Bates, of North Vernon, was there. Mowery says that Deputies David Turner and Anthony Maberry found Bates asleep in a vehicle with a syringe in the seat next to him. After waking Bates up, the deputies placed him under arrest. Authorities say that the syringe contained heroin. They also reported finding a spoon with residue, as well as other drug paraphernalia in plain view. Bates was booked in the Jennings County Jail for the outstanding warrant, along with charges of Possession of a Syringe and Possession of a Narcotic Drug. ...