North Vernon women arrested on drug charges

Feb 21, 2017 85

Two North Vernon women were arrested on drug charges as part of an Indiana State Police criminal interdiction patrol in Jennings County. Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, Indiana State Police spokesman, says that Troopers Rick Hewitt, Randel Miller, and Brent Lykins conducted patrols near North Vernon throughout the day Sunday to look specifically for criminal offenses. During this patrol, troopers issued 10 traffic citations and 18 warnings. Wheeles says the troopers also made eight arrests on charges such as minor consumption, false informing, drug offenses and domestic battery. They also found people wanted on warrants. Wheeles says that two arrests took place at approximately 12:50 p.m. when Trp. Lykins stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on Norris Avenue, near White Street, in North Vernon. During the course of the traffic stop, the trooper became suspicious and asked Trp. Miller and K-9 “Jinx” to assist. Authorities say that Jinx was alerted to the odor of illegal drugs coming from the vehicle. A search reportedly revealed suspected methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, controlled substances, and... ...

Seymour man killed in crash on US 31

Feb 21, 2017 67

A Seymour man was killed Monday night in a one-vehicle crash in Jackson County. Indiana State Police say that troopers were called US 31 near Commiskey Pike at approximately 11 p.m. ISP says the initial investigation by Trooper Korry Clark indicated that a car driven by 27-year-old Robert Robbins was traveling north on US 31 near Commiskey Pike, approaching a sharp curve near the I-65 overpass. Police say that Robbins was unable to navigate the curve and his vehicle left the roadway and struck a guardrail. ISP says that Robbins was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene by Jackson County Coroner Michael Bobb. Investigators say that speed and alcohol are both believed to be contributing factors in the crash. They add that Robbins was not wearing his seat-belt. The investigation is ongoing. ...

Wanted man claims to be his brother after police stop

Feb 21, 2017 79

Bartholomew County deputies arrested a wanted man last night, but only after he allegedly tried to pass himself off as his own brother. According to the sheriff’s department, a deputy tried to pull over a vehicle on U.S. 31 but the driver switched lanes, sped up and eventually turned off onto Robin Way before pulling over. The driver identified himself with his brother’s name but the deputy suspected he was really Cody Manvilla, says Judy Jackson, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department. A second deputy who had prior experiences with Manvilla arrived and confirmed that the 25-year-old Taylorsville man was allegedly misidentifying himself. Manvilla was wanted on four warrants for failing to appear in court and is now facing new charges of  possession of methamphetamine, false informing, driving while suspended with a prior conviction and operating a vehicle without ever receiving a license. ...

Police chase ends with dog bites in farm field

Feb 21, 2017 66

A Columbus man is under arrest on several charges after a 25-minute police chase last night through downtown and into the county. The chase started after police noticed a car driving without a license plate in the 1600 block of Franklin Street at about 11:15 p.m. last night. When an officer tried to pull the vehicle over, the driver instead fled, eventually driving through two farm fields before getting stuck in the 3400 block of South County Road 250E. Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the police department, says the driver, 26-year-old Jose Garcia Rodriguez left the vehicle and reached toward his waist as he ran away. Columbus police dog Argo and his handler Officer Branch Schrader took the man into custody. Rodriguez was treated at the hospital for dog bites before heading to jail. Rodriguez is facing preliminary charges of possession of meth, resisting law enforcement both in a vehicle and on foot, criminal recklessness and operating a vehicle without a license. ...

County ready to receive rent for office space

Feb 21, 2017 78

Bartholomew County has found itself in the landlord business. Through a land swap last fall with Columbus Regional Health, the county government became owners of a medical office building on Fox Pointe Drive that houses part of the county health department. As part of that swap, the county also now owns two other offices in the building that are leased to companies. Yesterday morning the county commissioners set up a new fund to receive those rental payments and to pay out expenses related to the rental properties, says Commissioners President Carl Lienhoop. Lienhoop says that since the swap, the rent has still been going to the hospital and that money will be transferred to the county now that the fund has been established. The exact amount of those rental payments aren’t yet known by the county, but the county will be responsible for the property taxes on those two offices, as well as paying an owner’s association fee of more than $5,000 a year to the office park, Lienhoop said. Last... ...

Real estate report shows fluctuations from county to county

Feb 20, 2017 51

Real estate market stats in central Indiana indicate the housing market is still going strong. F.C. Tucker says that January 2017 pending sales were up 11.7 percent compared to January 2016. Similarly, the average year-to-date home price for the 15 county region rose 7.1 percent to $180,866. According to the report, pending sales in Bartholomew County were down 6.5 percent in January of 2017, compared to January of 2016. Decatur County pending sales dropped by 5.9 percent and Shelby County saw a 6.7 percent decrease in that same period. F.C. Tucker says that Brown County saw a 25 percent increase in pending sales, Jennings County a 15.4 percent increase and Johnson County saw an increase of 14.3 percent in the same period. F.C. Tucker says that active listings for area counties varied wildly from January 2016 to January 2017. According to the company’s report, Bartholomew County saw a five-percent increase in active listings. Jennings County saw an 80.6 percent increase. Brown County had 20.9 percent decrease in active listings. Decatur... ...

iGrad program launches in Jennings County

Feb 20, 2017 69

Ivy Tech Community College has launched the iGrad high school student success program at Jennings County High School with two Jennings County natives and graduates of the school leading the program. Ivy Tech officials say that LeAna Matern is serving as the Jennings County High School iGrad Team Leader, and Shelly Perry is the school’s iGrad College and Career Coach. The iGrad program recognizes and removes barriers for 9th-12th grade students to increase academic success through coaching, mentoring and tutoring. The Jennings County iGrad program is specifically focused on preparing students to enter science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career fields that employers say are vital to regional economic development. “Our team leaders and coaches in the iGrad program are integral in helping students shape their futures and find success in their education and careers,” iGrad Program Director Laurie Dickerson said. “LeAna and Shelly are very familiar with the Jennings County community, economy and educational system and are well suited to lead the iGrad program at Jennings County High School.... ...

Flu causes change to visitor policy at hospital

Feb 20, 2017 70

The flu has led to extra precautions being taken at an area hospital. Stephanie Furlow, spokeswoman for Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, explains that the hospital has implemented visitor restrictions in an effort to help protect patients, staff and the community from the spread of influenza. Furlow says that, until further notice, no more than three visitors may be admitted to a patient’s room at one time. In addition, visitors must also be at least 18-years-old and immediate family members or a significant other, as identified by the patient. Schneck staff are asking anyone with flu-like symptoms to stay away from hospital patients. These symptoms include: • Fever and/or chills • Sore throat • Muscle aches • Runny or stuffy nose • Cough • Fatigue • Headache • Vomiting and/or diarrhea Furlow adds that all visitors must wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after visiting a patient. She says that hand sanitizer can be found throughout the hospital, as well as outside... ...

Area hospitals honored in ‘Top 100’ list

Feb 20, 2017 76

Schneck Medical Center in Seymour and Major Hospital in Shelbyville have been named to the “Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals” in the nation. That’s according to The National Rural Health Association’s Rural Health Policy Institute, iVantage Health Analytics and The Chartis Center for Rural Health. Stephanie Furlow, Schneck spokeswoman, says that the release of this list expands on research presented as part of the report: “2017 Rural Relevance Study: Vulnerability to Value” from The Chartis Group. She explains that the hospitals named are top performers in managing risk, achieving higher quality, securing better outcomes, increasing patient satisfaction and operating at a lower cost than their peers. ...

Crash with semi hospitalizes Columbus man

Feb 20, 2017 97

A Columbus man was hospitalized after a crash with a semi-truck in Jennings County. Lt. Randall Marshall, spokesman for the North Vernon Police Department, says that officers were called to the intersection of State Road 7 and State Road 750 at 10:41 a.m. Monday. Police say that a car driven by 77-year-old William Thompkins was northbound on State Road 7 and collided with a semi driven by 53-year-old Randy Perkinson, of Vernon, who was traveling west on the 750 Bypass. Lt. Marshall cites witnesses who say that Thompkins’ vehicle ran a red light, striking the side of the semi’s trailer. The car then became lodged under the trailer and was dragged west of the intersection before the semi could get stopped. He says that both vehicles then caught on fire. North Vernon Police say that several people stopped and helped to fight the blaze until officers and firefighters arrived. Lt. Marshall says that Thompkins had to be cut from the car. He was to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital before being... ...