New beer festival planned for Hope area

May 26, 2016 345

A new festival planned for this fall will bring 25 craft breweries to northern Bartholomew County. 450 North Brewing Company and Indiana On Tap, the state’s craft brewing organization, are organizing the Corn Maze Beer Festival on October 1st. You will be able to navigate through a corn maze behind Simmons Winery, with beer stations scattered throughout the inside of the maze serving free samples of craft beers, according to the brewery. There will also be food trucks and other activities. The festival will be from 1 to 5 p.m. and there will be shuttle service available to the festival and special rates at local hotels. Michael Brookbank, organizer of the festival, says that the corn maze will also be open to the public after the festival. Indiana On Tap ...

Visitors Center honors caretaker of Miller property

May 25, 2016 256

The Columbus Visitors Center held its annual meeting on Wednesday afternoon. The organization, which is tasked with growing tourism to the area, honored Ben Weaver with the “Partner of the Year Award.” Karen Niverson, executive director of the Visitors Center, explained that Weaver takes care of the former grounds and home of J. Irwin and Xenia Miller as an employee of the Indianapolis Museum of Art… Weaver said that he was honored by the recognition and proud to help take care of such an important piece of Columbus history. Weaver thanked his grandmother, for introducing him to the Miller family and helping him to understand and appreciate the architecture of the property. ...

Columbus residents arrested in a stolen vehicle

May 25, 2016 294

Two Columbus men were arrested in Johnson County after being pulled-over in a stolen vehicle. Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Tom Ashley, Jr. says, that at 1:28 a.m. on Wednesday, he was on a routine patrol, driving south on US 31 in front of Franklin Middle School when he saw vehicle headed north with no headlights. The deputy turned around and pulled the car over at US 31 and Mallory Parkway. Deputy Ashley spoke with the driver, 45-year-old David Ward, of 311 Hege Ave., and his two passengers. Ward allegedly told the deputy that his license was suspended. As the deputy ran the vehicle’s license plates, Ward reportedly informed him that the plates were false. This led Deputy Ashley to check the car’s VIN, when he learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Bartholomew County. When informed of this fact, Ward reportedly stated that he got the car from a family member in Columbus and that he didn’t know it was stolen. As deputies were searching the car,... ...

Franklin man arrested after clocked doing 133 mph in a 55 mph zone

May 25, 2016 271

A Franklin man was arrested for reckless driving after a Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy reported clocking him doing 133 mph in a 55 mph zone. Deputy Travis Derrett says that at 7:10 a.m. on Tuesday, he was traveling east on State Road 144, just west of County Road 100 West when he saw a vehicle speeding westbound on State Road 144. The deputy activated his front radar and reported receiving a brief clock of 133 mph as the car passed him. When he turned the radar off and then activated his rear antenna, he says that he received a clocked speed of 103 mph when the vehicle was near the area of County Road 100 West. Deputy Derrett reported that he turned his patrol car around to pull the car over. As he caught up to it, he noted that the vehicle was braking heavily. The deputy conducted a traffic stop moments later on State Road 144 near County Road 200 West. The driver, 25-year-old Justin Palmer, reportedly told the... ...

New CRH emergency room means new entrance

May 25, 2016 235

This morning Columbus Regional Hospital moved its emergency room into the newly expanded emergency department space. Kelsey DeClue, spokeswoman for the hospital, says this will mean a change if you need to go to the emergency room with a new entrance off of 17th Street between the hospital campus and the hospice. 05-25 Kelsey DeClue emergency-1 ...

Columbus police warn of car burglaries

May 25, 2016 272

Columbus police are warning about an increase in vehicle break-ins and suggest you take extra precautions to keep your valuables safe. Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman with the Columbus Police Department, explains: 05-25 Matt Harris-2 That comes after a break-in last week where a thief stole a boy’s hearing implants from a locked car. Harris said that the hearing implant thefts happened last week near Pence Place apartments where a thief broke out the window of a vehicle to steal the belongings. If you have any information on that case or other thefts should contact the Columbus Police Department at 376-2600. ...

Neighbors protest 25th Street gas station proposal

May 24, 2016 206

Editor’s note: This story has been edited since its original posting. A new gas station is being planned for 25th Street in Columbus, but neighbors are opposing the development. The proposed Ricker’s Gas Station would combine the former rental car and laundry properties between Cherry Street and Cottage Avenue. About a dozen concerned neighbors turned out last night to a meeting of the Columbus Board of Zoning Appeals to voice their concerns. Those concerns included crime, possible oversaturation of gas stations in the area, potential chemical spills and worries about a possible increase in tobacco use among children, among others. Assistant Planning Director Melissa Begley explained that the property is zoned for such a business. Opponents said they planned to ask City Council to rezone the property if necessary to stop the project, but Begley said the project would likely be grandfathered in. BZA members seemed to struggle at times to get the neighbors to understand that the body does not have the authority to shut down a properly-zoned project.... ...

Section of U.S. 31 in Jackson County set to close

May 24, 2016 247

The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to close U.S. Highway 31, between U.S. 50 and State Road 250, in Jackson County for two-weeks while contractors remove and replace a 2,400-foot section of concrete pavement at Kriete Corner. Harry Maginity, INDOT spokesman, says that this closure is tentatively scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 31, weather permitting. INDOT officials say that U.S. 31 will be open, to the construction site, for local traffic coming from the north. They add that there will be no local access between Kriete Corner and State Road 250 and that all through-traffic should detour around the closure via Interstate 65. Maginity says that this work is part of a $5,188,987 rehabilitation project along 21 miles of U.S. 31 between U.S. 50 and Lake Road, just south of Scottsburg. Dave O’Mara is the state’s contractor. Workers, say Maginity, will be making full-depth concrete patches and partial-depth asphalt patches on rural segments of U.S. 31 in both Jackson and Scott Counties. In addition to pavement repairs, he adds... ...

National Road closed, businesses evacuated, after gas leak

May 24, 2016 298

A large gas line was struck by heavy machinery at the new Kroger site at 3080 N. National Road in Columbus on Tuesday afternoon. Officials say the rupture was caused by a worker operating a backhoe at the construction site. The initial call was received by dispatch workers at 2:44 p.m. The Columbus Fire Department  responded to the scene within minutes and began evacuating nearby businesses. Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the fire department, says that four businesses had to close, at least temporarily, as a result of the gas leak. They were identified as: Fazolis, Sunbelt Rentals, Top Dog Car Wash and Nichols Body Shop. Wilson says that the gas line that was damaged was originally reported as being a 12-inch line. Once the scene was evaluated, he says that it was actually a six-inch gas line with approximately 54 pounds of pressure per square inch. CFD officials say that Vectren workers were finally able to stop the flow of natural gas at 5:44 p.m. There has been no... ...

Columbus Fire Department fully staffed after swearing-in ceremonies

May 24, 2016 224

The Columbus Fire Department is fully staffed after two firefighters were sworn in by Mayor Jim Lienhoop Tuesday morning. Capt. Mike Wilson, fire department spokesman, says that the ceremony took place during the Board of Public Works and Safety Meeting. He explains that these new hires, Josh Hanson and Daniel Pinnow, will undergo a department familiarization program as part of their on the job training. After completing the 10-week program, Wilson says that the pair will receive their shift and station assignments. The hiring of Hanson and Pinnow, says Wilson, brings the number of sworn firefighters working for the Columbus Fire Department up to 95. The department has released biographical information for both new hires. Hanson is a 24-year-old Hope resident. He is a 2009 graduate of Southwestern High School in Shelby County and a 2014 graduate of Ivy Tech Community College where he earned an associate’s degree in Public Safety. Following graduation, Hanson completed an internship with the Sugar Creek Township Fire Department in Hancock County. Hanson is a... ...