Deputies rescue dog in Hartsville

Feb 24, 2017 142

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputies rescued a dog Friday morning in Hartsville. Judy Jackson, department spokeswoman, says that Deputy Adam Warner responded at 10:13 a.m. to a report of a dog “in distress” in the middle of a pond. When deputies arrived, the owner told them that her two dogs were swimming in the pond when the animals appeared to get stuck. The owner told deputies that she jumped in and was able to rescue one of the dogs. However, the other dog, a five-year-old black lab, was paddling but struggling to stay above water. Jackson says that off-duty Deputy Andrew Dougan, a member of the Bartholomew County Water Rescue Team, responded to the scene and was able to successfully rescue the dog. Neither the owner, nor her dogs, were injured. ...

Edinburgh man arrested on domestic violence charges

Feb 24, 2017 151

Columbus police say that they arrested an Edinburgh man after they saw him in a domestic fight in a vehicle. The incident happened around 12:10 p.m. Wednesday near 10th Street and Central Avenue. After pulling over the car, the driver 39-year-old Angelito Mercado, allegedly refused to follow officer’s orders, including getting out to the car and acting belligerent toward police, says Lt. Matt Harris, with the police department. Officers found out that Mercado was wanted on a warrant on contempt of court charges. He said he was having a medical problem and after being taken to be checked out at Columbus Regional Hospital, he was arrested on preliminary charges of domestic battery, criminal confinement, disorderly conduct, resisting law enforcement and driving while suspended. ...

Greenwood toddler dies after being run over

Feb 24, 2017 148

A toddler has died after being hit by an SUV her mother was driving last night in Johnson County. Deputies say 27-year-old Ashley Cook was backing out of her driveway on Walker Street in Greenwood, when she hit her one-year-old daughter. A mechanic had been working on a vehicle in the driveway and Cook was moving her vehicle so he could leave. She told police that she thought all of the children were up near the house. Witnesses said that they at first thought Cook had run over a brick in the driveway but found the girl had been run over by the vehicle and was bleeding from her head, according to police reports. The child was enroute to Riley Hospital for Children, when paramedics diverted to Community Hospital South where she was pronounced dead. ...

Bartholomew County faces major budget needs

Feb 24, 2017 132

Bartholomew County government is facing some tough financial decisions this year. That’s from Laura DeDomenic, this year’s County Council president. She says that there is only so much money, but there are major investments needed in a new highway garage, on repairs to the county courthouse and from staffing shortages in the county sheriff’s department. For example, DeDomenic said a lack of funds meant that there was only one sheriff’s deputy staffing the front entrance to the courthouse when a man allegedly began rampaging and throwing chairs after a court hearing earlier this month. But other offices are also at risk, DeDomenic said. For example, the county treasurer’s and auditor’s offices are unprotected, should a disgruntled taxpayer have an issue. From her perspective, the public safety needs are the most important facing the council. She said that the county has to maintain the courthouse because it is a historic landmark that is important to the community. The County Commissioners are expected to announce millions of dollars in needed repairs to... ...

Hope considers town-wide trash collection

Feb 24, 2017 121

The Town of Hope is looking at choosing a trash company to serve the entire town. Town Manager J.T. Doane says that having a unified contract could save residents money over the individual services they pay for now. The town has invited three companies to make bids on a contract. The town is working on details of how many people pay for their service currently, Doane said. The Town Council will hold a public session next month to hear the companies’ proposals and to ask questions. Doane said that he also plans at that meeting to present the Town Council with a new ordinance to help the town crack down on trash on private properties around the community. He said that while he and the town’s code enforcement officer talk to residents about messes on properties, there is no ordinance that actually regulates the issue. The special session will be at 6 p.m. on March 7th at the town hall. ...

Columbus Township Fire Dept. to hold open house

Feb 23, 2017 113

The Columbus Township Fire Department is holding a community event Saturday at Station 1. Chief Dave Thompson explains… In addition… The chief says this is their first event since staffing changes were forced upon them by the township board… Chief Thompson says that the department is making due with the staffing reduction. He added that the real test is covering duties when one of the remaining full-time firefighters are out sick or on vacation. Thompson says that, in a perfect world, his department would be allowed to return to last year’s staffing levels. Saturday’s chili cook-off and open house begins at noon and is expected to last until approximately 4 p.m. You are invited. ...

North Vernon man arrested for dealing heroin

Feb 23, 2017 123

A North Vernon man was arrested for dealing heroin after a Wednesday evening traffic stop. Sgt. Andrew Richmond, spokesman for the North Vernon Police Department, says that Sgt. Todd Beam pulled a vehicle over in the area of Park Avenue and South Elm Street at 7:14 p.m. Beam discovered that the driver, 23-year-old William C. Heilman, had a suspended driver’s license. Heilman was cited and released from the scene. The vehicle was seized to be impounded because there was no other driver to release it to. During an inventory search of the vehicle, Officer Isaac Barkes reportedly found several small bags of heroin in a storage compartment of a door. Police say that Heilman was quickly found and taken into custody. Heilman is facing charges of Dealing in Heroin (Level 4 felony) and Possession of a Heroin (Level 6 felony). Police say they seized 3.4 grams of heroin. ...

North Vernon man arrested on drug charges

Feb 23, 2017 117

A North Vernon man is facing drug charges after a traffic stop on Wednesday morning. Sgt. Andrew Richmond, North Vernon Police Department spokesman, says that he stopped a car at 10:17 a.m. and had his K9, “Heros,” sniff around the car. Richmond says that Heros was alerted to the odor of drugs coming from the vehicle. A search allegedly revealed items related to the packaging and sales of drugs. The driver, 23-year-old Jerod C. Palmer, was also searched and was allegedly found to be in possession of one-tenth of a gram of heroin, two syringes, digital scales and other paraphernalia. Palmer is facing preliminary charges of Dealing in a Controlled Substance (Level 6 felony ), Possession of a Controlled Substance (Level 6 felony ), Illegal Possession of a Syringe (Level 6 felony) and Possession of Paraphernalia (Level A misdemeanor). He is being held in the Jennings County Jail on $1,055 bond. ...

Cherry Street home damaged in overnight fire

Feb 23, 2017 104

Columbus firefighters battled a blaze last night in a home on Cherry Street. Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the Columbus Fire Department said a passerby noticed smoke coming from a home near Cherry and 22nd Streets at about 2 a.m. Firefighters were on scene within 6 minutes, Wilson said. The smoke was coming from the kitchen area at the back of the home. The home is undergoing renovations, Wilson says. Damages are estimated at about $20,000. No one was at home at the time of the fire and there were no injuries. ...

Hope wants on track to Stellar Communities award

Feb 23, 2017 109

The town of Hope plans to take part in a program that could make the town a Stellar Community. The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs issues the Stellar Community awards which lead to millions of dollars for projects in small towns. Hope officials says the town plans to take part in a new Hometown Collaboration Initiative, which it sees as a first step toward becoming a Stellar Community. Town manager J.T. Doane explains that if accepted, the town will be assigned a coach to help guide it through the process and to develop in one of three areas, leadership, business growth and economic development. Town Council president Clyde Compton said officials are dedicated to making Hope the best town in Indiana.   North Vernon was chosen as a Stellar Community five years ago, which unlocked more than $13.8 million dollars in funding for downtown projects. More information on the Hometown Collaboration Initiative is available here. ...