*pulls head out of bag just long enough to type blog entry on National Junk Food Day*

Jul 21, 2016 401

In honor of National Junk Food Day, I’ve been thinking about my favorite junk foods, and I’m a little bit curious about yours. Yeah, I know, there’s always one person who says “carrot sticks are fine for me, or if you’ve got some nice celery” – woo-eee, great.  🙂  What I want to know about is what you’d do at a party, or when no one is looking.  Do you prove that old potato chip adage of “you can’t eat just one,” except with, like, Twinkies? These are the snacks that have tended to make me lose control.  If I got an Easter basket, or a Christmas basket FULL of these, I’d be deliriously happy. Let’s start with the one I first got addicted to… Bless you to one of my great-aunts for getting me into these wonderful things.  I was nine years old, and she had a can of these things that just…well, I’d never had anything like them before.  Not sure they made anything larger than the 6 ounce... ...

Block Party set for Saturday evening in downtown Columbus

Jul 20, 2016 252

The Columbus Area Arts Council’s Johnson-Witkemper Insurance Biggest Block Party Ever is Saturday. Organizers say it will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the heart of the Arts District at Fourth and Washington streets downtown. Fourth Street between Jackson and Franklin streets and Washington Street between Third and Fifth streets will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning 9 a.m. on Saturday morning and will remain closed until 3 a.m. Sunday. “Although streets will be closed, sidewalks and businesses will remain open,” said Tami Sharp, Program Director of the Arts Council. “We encourage people to shop downtown during the day and return for the Block Party in the evening,” added Sharp. Johnson-Witkemper Insurance Biggest Block Party Ever is an annual fundraiser for the Arts Council. Organizers say that three stages will feature 12 bands playing a diverse blend of music throughout the evening. A wide range of food options will be available for purchase, as will beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks. In addition, the Kid’s Zone will provide... ...

Volunteers in Medicine shut down after discovery of powder

Jul 20, 2016 199

The discovery of a hazardous material closed the Volunteers in Medicine clinic Wednesday afternoon. Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the Columbus Fire Department, says that firefighters were dispatched to the clinic, at 940 North Marr Road, after a white powdery substance was found on a dollar bill retrieved from a donation box. He says that Columbus Police were the first to respond. Volunteers in Medicine staff members reportedly told them that a staff member was counting monetary donations from a drop box inside the facility, when the powder fell out of a folded bill and onto the counter-top. CPD then called for the Columbus Fire Department to help identify the substance. Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters learned that three staff members were in the facility when the white powder was discovered. Capt. Wilson says that the facility was immediately closed to the public. After making sure that no one in the building was hurt, firefighters turned their efforts to identifying the powder. During the initial response, CFD utilized the... ...

Authorities investigate alleged home invasion in Johnson County

Jul 20, 2016 300

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an alleged home invasion that took place early Wednesday morning. Just after 12:30 a.m., deputies responded to the 4700 block of Welton Street in Greenwood after dispatch received a call about a burglary in progress. Sheriff Doug Cox says that just before deputies arrived, the dispatcher heard a commotion, along with the caller noting that a man inside of the house had a gun. When deputies arrived, they found the male resident walking through a neighbors yard, pointing towards Mcalpin Street, yelling to them that the suspects fled in that direction. Deputies searched the area, but found nothing. The resident returned to his home with the deputies and explained what happened. The residents, a husband and wife, told investigators that a large male had entered the home through a bedroom window and grabbed the husband. The wife says that she then grabbed her two young daughters and locked the three of them in a closet. As this was going on, the wife says... ...

Hope council seeks limits on dangerous activities in square

Jul 20, 2016 192

Officials in the town of Hope want to more closely supervise what activities are allowed on the Hope Town Square — at least without the prior approval of the Town Council. The town council gave its first approval to a measure this week that would require the council’s authorization before users of the square could engage in some activities at events. Among the limitations, the town would require people to seek approval for the use of alcoholic beverages, fires, climbing walls or bounce houses., trampolines, petting zoos and pony rides, fireworks and archery. Council members asked the town attorney to add firearms to the list before the ordinance returns for consideration of second and final approval next month. ...

BCSC to receive $750-thousand in TIF funds

Jul 19, 2016 245

The Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation will get $750,000 out of Columbus’ Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) funds under a plan approved Tuesday evening by the Columbus City Council. The school corporation originally asked the city for nearly $1.1 million to cover programs aimed at increasing student success. The areas focused on by BCSC include: growing the graduation rate, increasing education in math and science, as well as helping students with special needs transition to productive members of society. The school corporation asked for $253,825 in TIF funding for the iGrad program, which has a goal of attaining a 100-percent graduation rate in BCSC. Officials say that iGrad helps students with academic issues in grades 8 through 12, by increasing educational attainment through additional academic support and mentoring to students who have been identified as “at risk” for not completing high school. The program is about helping students receive the help they need to successfully complete high school, then go on to college, additional training or the work force. Corporation officials note that... ...

Columbus annexes nearly 72 acres near Woodside

Jul 19, 2016 223

The city of Columbus now has more property available for industrial use. The Columbus City Council gave final approval Tuesday evening for a plan that annexed and rezoned nearly 72 acres of property on Deaver Road next to the Woodside Northwest Industrial Park. The project, put forward by Steve Booher, saw the land annexation change from agricultural use to industrial. Annexation also allows the property to tap into city services such as water and sewer Prior to the vote, Mayor Jim Lienhoop said that Columbus was in desperate need of shovel-ready industrial property. The mayor said there are several industrial parcels available around town, but they are all in the 10-acre range. Lienhoop noted that, while these smaller parcels are fine for some businesses, other, larger developments need 50 acres or more. While there is no known customer for the property currently, city officials believe that it is only a matter of time before the newly-annexed property is utilized. The annexation and rezoning was approved on a unanimous vote of... ...

Seymour man killed in North Vernon crash

Jul 19, 2016 299

A Jackson County man was killed in a one-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon in Jennings County. Officer Seth Beville, Public Information Officer for the North Vernon Police Department, says that officers were called to the scene at 12:20 p.m. Investigators say that the driver, Aaron C. Brown, 39, of Seymour, was driving an SUV westbound on US 50 East, near Flintwood Drive, in North Vernon. A witness told police that, for unexplained reasons, Brown’s vehicle went left of the center yellow line, continued to drift across the left lane, eventually leaving the road and crashing into a tree, head-on. Investigators say that the impact caused the SUV to roll onto its passenger side. Brown was pronounced dead at the scene. Police are still investigating the crash. ...

Body of suspect in a child abuse case found inside home

Jul 19, 2016 214

Deputies with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department discovered a dead body Monday while conducting a welfare check. Sheriff Doug Cox says that deputies were sent out to the 700 block of Restin Road in the Carefree South addition in Greenwood at about 4 p.m. The Sheriff says that neighbors had called authorities after noticing that the property’s lawn had not been maintained like it normally was. When deputies arrived, they were unable to get anyone to come to the door. Sheriff Cox says that, at that point, a deputy used a credit card to open an access door on the attached garage. Once they made entry, they reported that they could smell a dead body inside the home. Sheriff Cox says that, at that point, the deputies backed out, secured the scene and called for detectives and a search warrant. Sheriff Cox says that once the search warrant was obtained, detectives went in to the home and found the body of 50-year-old William Brenner in a hallway. Authorities say that... ...

A “Hometown Boy Makes Good” Story, but Probably Not the One You Were Expecting.

Jul 19, 2016 313

Well, to be fair, he’s been “made good” for a while – and he’s actually not from here, but a little further north in the state. If you’ve never had the chance to be amused by Jim Gaffigan, a comedian who grew up in the midwest, specifically Chesterton, Indiana, this might be a good place to start.  His appearance on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a much easier entry than stand up; it’s just two guys talking about their job, except the job happens to be comedy.  Find more here. And, for that matter, if you haven’t checked out any of Jerry’s guests on the show, there are great episodes worth checking out all over the place here.  (My personal faves include the chat with Jon Stewart, the Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner two-fer, the Robert Klein interview, an informative one with another hometown guy in David Letterman, and a conversation with Stephen Colbert ahead of his hosting gig on CBS’ The Late Show.) Happy exploring! – Todd Berryman Middays on... ...