Seymour man to serve 28 years for producing child porn

Jan 25, 2017 125

A Seymour man has been sentenced to 28 years in prison after taking sexually explicit images of a 9-year-old girl. U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler announced today that 50-year-old Robert D. Jenkins of Seymour was sentenced in the case which started in March of 2015. A woman discovered the photos of her daughter on Jenkins’ phone and turned the phone over to the Seymour Police Department. An investigation found more sexually explicit images that appeared to have been taken in Jenkins’ home. He was convicted in federal court of producing child pornography. Jenkins had previously been convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor and child molestation in a 2001 Jackson County case and was sentenced then to three years in prison. ...

First Christian Church in need of help maintaining landmark

Jan 25, 2017 113

Friends of First Christian Church Architecture turned out last night to learn more about a project to help maintain a Columbus landmark. The church at 531 Fifth Street opened 75 years ago and was the first of Columbus’  landmarks of Modern architecture. Church officials say that a recently completed inspection of the church revealed some serious problems endangering portions of the building designed by Eliel Saarinen. Steve Wiggins, a church elder, said those problems range from stairs with failing limestone, to problems with the clock tower that could be hundreds of thousands to repair. He said the church has to separate the projects that detract from the religious mission, its priority, from those which are purely aesthetic. The new group aims to help the church with repairs. The first project is to repair the skylight and window that light the back of the sanctuary. The current skylight leaks and is causing water damage to the sanctuary and the church’s organ. Architect Louis Joyner explains what needs to be done: The... ...

Columbus considers purchase of eastside properties

Jan 25, 2017 123

The City of Columbus is looking to buy and swap some property at the end of the State Street bridge to help improve the East Columbus neighborhood. The city plans to buy two Stadler Drive properties with two houses just on the southeast side of the bridge. Then the city would tear down the homes so that green space and a trail can be completed across the properties. The city’s Redevelopment Commission this week approved hiring two firms to provide appraisals on the two properties, at a cost of not to exceed $1,700. The city would have to base its purchase price on the average of those appraisals, according to Stan Gamso, attorney for the commission. The city is also looking to do a land swap with Mariah Foods for a small triangular piece of property right at the end of the bridge. Heather Pope, the city’s redevelopment director, said the city would like to swap a neighboring piece of city-owned property that used to be a street going into... ...

Northbound I-65 to close Friday in Johnson County

Jan 24, 2017 115

The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to install a test section of barrier wall delineators on Friday along the right side of northbound Interstate 65 in southern Johnson County. INDOT says that the northbound I-65 lane will be closed to traffic at mile marker 86.06 for approximately 30 minutes, beginning at 10 a.m., while installers affix the “A”-shaped metal delineators to concrete wall sections. INDOT officials say the reflective delineators mounted on pre-cast concrete barrier wall sections help motorists navigate through construction zones at night. They add that existing delineators are secured to concrete walls by an adhesive. However, efforts to remove snow and ice, along with damage from passing vehicles has required a number of pieces to be replaced. INDOT’s Office of Material Management wants to see if these test-pieces, which are mechanically affixed with screws and bolts, will improve durability and service life. If you plan on traveling north through Johnson County at around 10 a.m. on Friday, you may want to plan an alternate route. ...

Columbus groups to study community housing planning

Jan 24, 2017 129

A Columbus group is set to take part in an effort to help develop housing plans for the community. The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) and Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) announced Tuesday that teams from Columbus, Elkhart, Martinsville, Indianapolis and Plymouth will be participating in the 2017 Indiana Supportive Housing Institute. The IHCDA says that the Columbus team will be comprised of Centerstone of Indiana, Inc. as the “Team Lead.” Thrive Alliance is listed as a participating organization. Organizers say that over the next six months, these teams will work closely with IHCDA and CSH through a series of targeted training and group exercises. They will also be provided technical assistance and presented with pre-development financing opportunities. The Institute will culminate with the “Finale in the Fall” where teams will present their plans to a group of public and private investors. “The Institute will allow these organizations to develop detailed, individualized supportive housing plans for their community that can be used to apply for funding from multiple... ...

Shelby County receives support for more judicial officers

Jan 24, 2017 114

Courts in Shelby County are gaining support for their requests for additional judicial officers. That from a report by TheIndianaLawyer.com. In September 2016, the Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary recommended both Shelby County and Clark County each get one magistrate to help with heavy dockets. According to the report, two bills pertaining to the extra officers were filed in the Indiana House of Representatives and are scheduled for a hearing this week before a House committee. House Bill 1053, authored by Rep. Sean Eberhart, a Shelbyville Republican, would allow Shelby Superior courts to appoint a full-time magistrate. The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee will consider the bill when it convenes at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. The story cites a 2016 Indiana Caseload Assessment Plan to Utilize Resource Efficiently report, which states that Shelby County is ranked 11th in terms of need for more judicial officers. With three judges now, each court docket is 22 percent heavier that what it should be under the weighted measurement. The 2016... ...

Railroad repair crews set to work on U.S. 50 tracks in Seymour

Jan 24, 2017 101

CSX repair crews will revisit its rail crossing on U.S. Highway 50 at Seymour for most of the day Wednesday. Weather permitting, workers will redo repairs made at the approach on the east side of the U.S. 50 tracks. The Indiana Department of Transportation says that drivers will be detoured around the rail crossing beginning at 9 a.m. • Westbound U.S. 50 travelers will be directed around the rail closure via East Street, south to Bruce Street, east to Jeffersonville Avenue, returning north to U.S. 50. • Eastbound traffic will be routed south on Carter Street, east on Bruce Street, returning north on East Street to U.S. 50. Indiana Department of Transportation officials have been advised that repairs will take approximately six hours to complete. U.S. 50 is expected to be reopened to traffic by 3 p.m. ...

Purdue Polytech professor receives honor

Jan 24, 2017 126

The U.S. Department of Defense announced that seven professors in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute will be part of the national Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute. The institute is headquartered and led by Carnegie Mellon University. One of the seven named to this prestigious institute was Purdue Polytechnic Columbus Assistant Professor, Dr. Austin Creasy. The institute is the latest public-private Manufacturing USA Institute created by the U.S. government, industry, academia and the nonprofit sector to assist the advanced manufacturing sector in the country. The new organization will leverage artificial intelligence, autonomy, 3-D printing and other emerging technologies to make industrial robotics more affordable for businesses of all sizes, adaptable for many uses, and able to achieve more. Government, industry and academic leaders said this new generation of robotics has the potential to create large numbers of new jobs and fuel economic growth by putting the U.S. squarely in the lead on advanced manufacturing. Dr. Creasy is currently on the Engineering Technology faculty at Purdue Polytechnic Columbus. ...

Illegal U-Turn leads to crash involving semi

Jan 24, 2017 142

A semi-driver from Jackson County is being blamed for a two-vehicle crash in Monroe County on Monday that hospitalized two people. Curt Durnil, spokesman for the Indiana State Police, says that shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Monday, a semi tractor-trailer started across State Road 37 from Winery Road, heading west to Simpson Chapel Road. Investigators say the semi driver then performed an illegal U-Turn and proceeded east across State Road 37. Authorities say this maneuver occurred in the path and right of way of a southbound passenger car. Durnil says the driver of the car tried to avoid the crash, but was unable to do so. Once the car crashed into the semi’s trailer, investigators say the semi continued to travel eastbound, causing the passenger car to roll over and become trapped underneath the trailer. The driver of the car, 41-year-old Jeremy Johnson, of Bedford, suffered head and back injuries and was taken to IU Health Bloomington. His passenger, 37-year-old Elizabeth Johnson, of Bedford, suffered head injuries and was also... ...

Theft suspect caught wearing victims’ clothing

Jan 24, 2017 127

A Columbus man was arrested on theft and other charges after he was found wearing a victim’s clothing and after leaving his ID card in a stolen backpack. 30-year-old Christopher Battin was arrested after a string of vehicle break-ins on Sunday evening in the 2500 block of 25th Street. Witnesses described a suspect who was riding on a bicycle and carrying a backpack stolen from one of the vehicles. A short while later, officers found the discarded backpack and it contained stolen items as well as Battin’s driver’s license, says Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus Police Department. Officers saw Battin on a bicycle near 22nd Street and Keller Avenue. Witnesses confirmed that he was the person they saw in the vehicles, but they also confirmed that he was wearing a coat and shoes taken from a vehicle. A search as he was being arrested also allegedly recovered a small amount of heroin, Harris said. Battin is facing preliminary charges of theft, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, criminal... ...