Oh DEER. Or, The Animal Uprising Rolls Merrily Along.

Oct 27, 2016 425

Deer, or, as my late uncle Randy used to refer to them, the rats of the forest. 🙂 Contrary to the spirit of Disney films, the animal isn’t one of nature’s more brilliant creatures. Having spent a period of six months watching deer on a completely open highway turn around and run BACK into my car after I slowed up to let them pass by, I may be a little jaded about the relative intelligence of cattle-with-a-rack. After the four-deer-in-six-months spree, I actually suggested, not entirely kidding, that the Department of Natural Resources could install a cow sweeper – the thing on old-fashioned locomotives – on my car, and I could single-handedly take care of the overpopulation problem in various state parks, let alone the highway. My understanding, from smarter minds than mine as regards deer, is that overpopulation is exactly the problem. Not enough resources and too many animals will invariably equal trouble, regardless of the animal. The deer just happen to be larger and capable of more unthinking damage.... ...

2016 Trick-Or-Treat Hours

Oct 27, 2016 691

Halloween is Monday, October 31st! So, what are our trick or treat hours? I’m glad you asked! ...

Train hits dump truck north of Columbus

Oct 27, 2016 198

A train hit a dump truck this morning at U.S. 31 and County Road 550N near Silgas. Deputy Chief Matt Lynch with the German Township Volunteer Fire Department says the truck was headed westbound on the county road and stopped at the stoplight with U.S. 31. at about 7:43 a.m. Unfortunately for the driver, the rear of the truck was still over the railroad tracks when the northbound train came through, striking the dump truck and spinning it about 90 degrees. The train was carrying brand new cars, Lynch said. Neither the dump truck driver nor the train conductor were injured in the accident. He said it was lucky that the spinning dump truck did not hit any other vehicles. The road was still closed for cleanup at about 9:15 a.m. Lynch said drivers should always make sure not to stop on railroad tracks. ...

Hope nears finish of major water system project

Oct 27, 2016 144

The town of Hope has substantially completed a major upgrade to its water system. Town Manager J.T. Doane says that with the $2 million project done there should be money left over for other projects. The project was funded by grants and a state low-interest loan program that will forgive much of the loan. 10-27-jt-doane-1 The work replaced more than two and a half miles of water mains in the town. Some of those had been in the ground for 80 years or more and leaks were wasting up to 45 percent of the town’s water. 10-27-jt-doane-2 The project has been going for almost a year, Doane said. 10-27-jt-doane-3 Doane said that there is still work to be done on a connection to Eastern Bartholomew Water Corp. along County Road 600N. Eastern Bartholomew provides the town its water supply. ...

Coroner’s office candidates consider Owsley case fallout

Oct 27, 2016 190

Current and former Bartholomew County officials are facing a federal lawsuit over the handling of the investigation into Cary Owsley’s 2013 shooting death. Bartholomew County Coroner Larry Fisher opted not to have an autopsy performed and ruled the death a suicide. However family members disagreed and Owsley’s body was eventually exhumed and autopsied. Several sheriff’s deputies were disciplined for the way the crime scene was handled. This year, Fisher has elected not to seek re-election and two new candidates are seeking the coroner’s office, Republican Clayton Nolting, who is a current deputy coroner and Columbus police officer, and Paula Rothrock a case manager for Columbus Regional Hospital emergency department and former Columbus Police officer. We asked the candidates “The county coroner’s office has been drawn into controversy and a federal lawsuit by the death of Cary Owsley and how that death investigation was handled. What policies would prevent that sort of issue going forward?” Rothrock said: 10-24-paula-rothrock-q4-full Nolting said: 10-24-clayton-nolting-q4-full Nolting’s primary opponent, Ron Shadley, recently endorsed Rothrock saying that... ...

Purdue Polytechnic offering “Day in College” for students

Oct 26, 2016 148

Purdue Polytechnic is going to be holding a “Day in College” event at the Columbus campus for students interested in engineering and technology careers and for their parents. The event will be from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4th at the school on 4444 Kelly Str. Students will be able to meet with professors and students in classes, and get demonstrations of technology used in the classrooms such as virtual reality and robotics. They will also be able to meet with area businesses offering internships and careers in engineering and technology fields. You can find more information and register online at polytechnic.purdue.edu/columbus/dayincollege. ...

Narcotics team makes arrest in heroin trafficking case

Oct 26, 2016 173

Bartholomew County officials believe they have arrested a man who has been bringing heroin into the community from Indianapolis and Cincinnati. The county’s joint narcotics enforcement team, arrested 25-year-old Ryan S. Redmon of Columbus and 27-year-old Chelsie D. McFall of Elizabethtown in a traffic stop on Indianapolis Road at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus police department says that Redmon was wanted on a Bartholomew County warrant for allegedly dealing narcotics. McFall was driving the vehicle when it was stopped and she was allegedly intoxicated. Redmon was arrested on the outstanding warrant and is facing new preliminary charges of possession of methamphetamine and of a legend drug injection device. McFall is facing preliminary charges of driving a vehicle while intoxicated, possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a legend drug injection device. Harris said the investigation into drug trafficking into Bartholomew County is still continuing. The Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team is a combined effort of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, the Columbus Police Department and the Bartholomew... ...

County council candidates weigh new taxes

Oct 26, 2016 182

Bartholomew County voters will be choosing from seven candidates for the three at-large seats on the County Council in next month’s election. Incumbent Republicans Bill Lentz and Evelyn Pence are facing fellow Republican Matt Miller, along with Democrats Pam Clark, Lynne Fleming and Diane Hawes plus Libertarian candidate Josh Brown. We asked the candidates if they would support any new taxes: Some current County Council members say the county needs more revenue. How do you feel about raising income taxes, instituting a wheel tax or the commissioners creating a community capital development fund? Brown said he supported a diversity of taxes to better spread the burden. But raising taxes wouldn’t be his first choice. 10-16-election-josh-brown-q5-full Clark said that most counties in Indiana have instituted a wheel tax. 10-16-election-pam-clark-q5-full Fleming said that there will have to be new taxes. 10-16-election-lynn-fleming-q5-full Hawes said that she would support an income tax before a property tax hike 10-26-election-diane-hawes-q5-full Lentz said that he does not support raising taxes 10-26-election-bill-lentz-q5-full Miller said that ultimately the decision... ...

Area school superintendents take issue with ISTEP

Oct 26, 2016 140

A large group of area school superintendents are protesting the results of the ISTEP exam. Superintendents from District 8 in southeastern Indiana sent a letter to state lawmakers and the State Board of Education this week taking issue with the accuracy of the tests and the school grades that would come out of the test scores. The school superintendents said that while they believe in accountability, they think that the schools should be graded on more than just a single flawed test score. They asked state officials not to put letter grades on their schools based on the flawed exam. Among the school superintendents signing the letter are school leaders from Flat Rock-Hawcreek, Decatur, Jennings, Brown county schools, as well as Seymour, Crothersville, Brownstown and Greensburg school districts. You can read the letter here. ...

Low-income housing at former St. B site clears another hurdle

Oct 25, 2016 168

A planned low-income housing development at the site of the former St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in downtown Columbus has cleared another hurdle after the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals agreed to a number of variances. Nick Surak is with the WODA Group, the developer of the proposed project… Surak says that the development calls for 60 units in three buildings, with 42 one-bedroom units and 18 two-bedroom units. He explains this will reduce the need for on-site parking spaces… Surak talks about the expected tenants… The BZA agreed to the variances during its meeting Tuesday night. They include: building setbacks from the street, a reduced number of parking spaces and an entrance to the development. As for the next step, Surak says that he must file applications with the state for the development to receive the necessary tax credit to make this project economically feasible. He says that these applications must be filed by November 7th with a response coming in the next few months. Surak says that while he... ...