Columbus North graduate honored by Board of Works

Jan 31, 2017 66

A recent Columbus North High School graduate was honored Tuesday morning during the most recent meeting of the Board of Public Works and Safety for his senior project to benefit city firefighters. Columbus Fire Department Capt. Mike Wilson says that 17-year-old Shane Bryant created fuel canister holders for all CFD emergency response vehicles. Bryant fabricated 24 aluminum fuel canister holders as a C-4 student at Columbus North after CFD officials approached C-4 students about the project. Wilson says that Bryant, a mid-term graduate, was a student in the Engineering Manufacturing – Welding Technologies program under the instruction of Derik Gratz. He adds that this marks the second occasion that one of Gratz’s students has partnered with a public safety agency for a senior project. Wilson explains that CFD uses gasoline and other fuels for various rescue tools. He says that the wall mounted canister holders will prevent fuel spills as well as provide easy access for quick use. Bryant received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Board of Public Works... ...

House fire in Hope injures firefighter, home destroyed

Jan 31, 2017 48

Hope Volunteer Firefighters responded to a house fire Tuesday morning in the 900 block of Jackson Street. Chief Randy Wood says they got the call at about 6 a.m. Wood says the fire spread, making the house a total loss. One resident was displaced, but not injured. Wood says that a firefighter suffered a dislocated shoulder fighting the blaze and had to go to the hospital. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by members of the Columbus Fire Department and the Bartholomew County Fire Inspector. ...

‘Columbus Polar Plunge’ set for Saturday

Jan 31, 2017 55

Officers from the Columbus Police Department are set to take the plunge this weekend to raise money for a good cause. Lt. Matt Harris talks about the “Columbus Polar Plunge” taking place downtown to benefit Special Olympians across the state… Saturday’s event takes place at 11 a.m. near Fourth Street and Washington Street outside of the Commons and you’re encouraged to come and watch. Harris says that, so far, officers have raised nearly $700 for this year’s Columbus Polar Plunge. If you would like to take part in the plunge, you can register online at soindiana.org/polar-plunge. You will also be able to register from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on the morning of the event. Officials with the Indiana Special Olympics say that you must raise at least $75 to participate. ...

Columbus man arrested on battery, other charges

Jan 31, 2017 56

A Columbus man was arrested Monday night after police say he injured a group of people, including two juveniles. Judy Jackson, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman, says that at 8:21 p.m., Deputy Adam Warner was sent to a reported battery in the 1400 block of Tellman Road. Upon arrival, Deputy Warner reported finding a female and a boy who had been run over by a vehicle. Jackson says that the suspect, 33-year-old Steven Richards, of Pearl Street, had also physically assaulted two other adults and one minor female. Victims told police that Richards became angry when they tried to stop him from driving his vehicle while intoxicated. Jackson says that Sgt. Gary Knoef and Deputy Jon Lanning found Richards at his home where he was arrested on preliminary charges of Battery, Criminal Recklessness and Failure to Stop Following an Accident. Richards remains in the Bartholomew County Jail without bond. Jackson says that one female and two minors were treated and released at Columbus Regional Hospital. She says that two adults... ...

Two arrested on drug charges after Franklin traffic stop

Jan 31, 2017 45

Two Bartholomew County residents were arrested on drug charges in Johnson County after a traffic stop. A Johnson County deputy pulled over the vehicle on U.S. 31 near Franklin at about 12:40 this morning because the driver did not use a turn signal, according to police reports. Both of the car’s occupants had a hard time finding the car’s registration and a police dog alerted to the smell of drugs inside the vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed oxycodone, foil packs containing what appeared to be heroin and drug paraphernalia, according to the police report. Deputies arrested the driver, 42-year-old Jeremy Hedger of Elizabethtown on a preliminary charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. The passenger 30-year-old Rhiannon Mitchell of Columbus was arrested on preliminary charges of possession of paraphernalia, possession of heroin, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a needle. ...

Convicted felons crowding Bartholomew County Jail

Jan 31, 2017 60

New state rules that are forcing counties to keep low-level convicted felons in county jails are causing headaches in Bartholomew County. The change last year meant that Level 6 felons are no longer shipped off to state prisons. Jail Commander Maj. John Martoccia said that the Bartholomew County Jail had almost 200 prisoners yesterday. Last year 76 of those inmates were convicted felons. But in 2015, there were no Level 6 felons in the county jail. Martoccia said that the extra inmates do put a strain on the jail staff. “The numbers are up, so once you get the numbers up, the staff are pretty much pushed to the limit, to do more work,” Martoccia said. “That goes from transports to medical.” “If we can’t complete something, we do have to have staff stay over to make sure the task is completed,” Martoccia said. There is also the added difficulty of keeping the convicted felons separated from the prisoners with misdemeanors and those who are in jail as suspects, but who have... ...

City’s first structure fire of the year quickly squelched

Jan 31, 2017 53

A mother and toddler escaped from a fire in their Columbus home’s attic yesterday afternoon in the city’s first structure fire of the new year. A neighbor noticed smoke coming from the attic of a home in the 200 block of Mapleton Street at just before 2 p.m. yesterday afternoon, says Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the Columbus Fire Department. The 24-year-old mother and her 3-year-old daughter got out of the home with no injuries. Firefighters were on scene within minutes and ended up going through a vent in the roof to attack the fire, and then to remove smoldering insulation, Wilson says. The fire was caused by an electrical short in the attic space. Damage was estimated at about $2,500. ...

14-year-old escapes downtown Columbus fire

Jan 31, 2017 44

A 14-year-old girl escaped a fire last night in her family’s home on 16th Street. Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the Columbus Fire Department says that firefighters were called to the home in the 500 block at just before 9 p.m. last night. Firefighters had the fire out within five minutes of their arrival and spent about an hour on scene helping the family salvage items from the home. Wilson said that the fire damage was contained to the one bedroom but there was smoke damage in the home. He estimated those damages at about $40,000. The family received assistance and shelter last night from Salvation Army. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, Wilson said.         ...

Stolen gun pointed during North Vernon dispute

Jan 30, 2017 47

Two people were arrested and a stolen gun recovered after a report of a pistol being brandished in a North Vernon store parking lot Friday. Police were called to an auto parts store at about 5:25 p.m. Friday afternoon after a woman pointed a gun at another woman. Officers found the suspect’s vehicle in a nearby parking lot. After questioning the owner, 20-year-old Kore A. Kirk of Indianapolis, police noticed a strong smell of marijuana according to police reports. They also discovered 20-year-old Kenisha D. Jones of Indy hiding inside the vehicle, police say. A search revealed packaged marijuana, a gun that turned out to be stolen and a digital scale, along with real and counterfeit money. Jones is facing preliminary charges of intimidation with a deadly weapon, possession of stolen property, dealing marijuana and pointing a weapon, as well as possession charges for the marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Kirk is facing charges of dealing in marijuana and possession of the drugs and paraphernalia. ...

Sheets of fake money found during traffic stop

Jan 30, 2017 56

A driver allegedly made unsafe lane changes in front of a deputy on Interstate 65 early Saturday morning, leading to a traffic stop and an arrest on fraud charges. After being stopped near the Columbus exit at about 1:35 a.m. Saturday morning, the driver told a Bartholomew County deputy that the car was a rental. A  passenger appeared to be under the influence was identified as 20-year-old Chastity Martin of Indianapolis, who was wanted on a Hendricks County warrant, says Judy Jackson, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department. A Columbus Police Department dog alerted to the smell of drugs in the vehicle and a search allegedly revealed drugs and drug-related items as well as printing ink and sheets of fake money.  Checkbooks and cash were also located. Police discovered that the names on the checks did not match the name the driver gave the deputy. Police identified the driver as 35-year-old David Young of Indianapolis, Jackson said. He was arrested on preliminary charges of fraud, possession of a legend drug, identity deception,... ...