State Road 252 to close Tuesday for bridge work

Mar 28, 2017 91

The Indiana Department of Transportation will be closing State Road 252 in southern Shelby County on Tuesday. They will be repairing the bridges over Lewis Creek and Flat Rock River, both west of the town of Flat Rock, over a six- to eight-week period. That’s part of a  $12 million dollar rehab project on State Road 252. Officials say residents will be able to get home by detouring around Interstate 65 west of the closure, or east of the closure by State Road 9. ...

BCSC schools look at $12 million in improvements

Mar 28, 2017 66

Bartholomew Consolidated Schools will be going out to bid on a series of contracts to make an estimated $12 million in improvements to many of the community’s schools. The school board voted last night to seek bids on the projects, divided up into chunks of about $2 million each over several phases, says Superintendent Jim Roberts. Only about $6.7 million dollars would be paid by property taxes. But the projects should have a negligible impact on taxpayers, Roberts says. The remaining projects would be paid for out of a combination of savings from previous projects and an interest refunding program for special bonds the district issued, Roberts says. All told the district is planning about $12 million in projects. Some of those could start as early as May. ...

Hope seeking input on downtown work

Mar 28, 2017 64

Residents and business owners in Hope will have a chance Thursday to give their thoughts on what direction the town should go to improve the community. Susan Thayer-Fye, executive director of the Hope Main Street group, says the town has been working with consultants Storrow Kinsella and architect Louis Joyner on a downtown revitalization plan Thayer-Fye said those improvements could range from new facades to the buildings around the downtown, to better streetscaping around the Town Square or even improvements on the square itself such as better lighting at the shelterhouse. Although the session mainly will focus on gathering information from those with a vested interest in downtown Hope, it is open to anyone with an opinion on the town’s redevelopment efforts, Thayer-Fye said. After gathering opinions and finalizing the plan, the town would then seek funds for any improvements. Those would likely start with requests for funding  through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The meeting is at 6 p.m. Thursday at Hope Moravian Church. ...

County trims contract for outsourced IT work

Mar 28, 2017 63

Bartholomew County government will be saving about $8,500 a month under a change to their contract which has temporarily outsourced most of their Information Technology needs. Bartholomew County Commissioners approved an amendment to their contract with Sharp Business Solutions on Monday. Commissioners hired the company last year to help maintain the county’s computer networks after the county’s entire Information Technologies department quit. The county had been paying just over $19,000 a month for Sharp’s services, but the amendment would drop that to $10,473. The amended agreement, which contracts with Sharp through Sept. 13, has reduced manpower needs from two people to one. Commissioner Rick Flohr says the change was made with the belief that the county will have a fully-staffed IT Department by then. ...

Columbus legislator bringing wrecked car to Statehouse

Mar 28, 2017 45

There will be a wrecked car at the statehouse today. State Rep. Milo Smith, a Columbus Republican, will be holding an event to publicize legislation he introduced that would have required people use only hands free devices while driving their vehicles. Smith’s legislation would have outlawed any use of telecommunications devices while driving, unless they were voice operated or hands free or in cases where a driver was calling 911 to report a bonafide emergency. The bill did not get a hearing this year. Smith plans to reintroduce the legislation next session. Smith will be joining Jill Biddle of Kirklin at an event this afternoon. Her 17-year-old daughter died in June of last year when she had a head-on collision while texting and driving. Biddle has been using her daughter’s wrecked car at schools and other events to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while distracted. The event will be at 1 p.m. his afternoon at the Bicentennial Plaza at the Statehouse. ...

Senior project to aid Columbus police dogs

Mar 28, 2017 66

A Columbus high school student’s senior project would buy training collars for the city’s police dogs. Faith Plummer, a senior at Columbus East, is going to be holding a Junior Paw Patrol Boot Camp on Saturday, April 8th. The camp for children ages 6 through 10 will include presentations by the Columbus police and their canines, a school resource officer, a detective and also hostage negotiators. Plummer is being mentored in her project by Dylan Prather. When Prather was a senior, his project raised money to purchase a police dog for the city department. Later, as a county emergency dispatcher, he led a project to raise money for a Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department police dog, Diesel. The camp will be $20 and a lunch will be provided. The camp will be 10 to 2 on April 8th at the Columbus Police training facility at the airport. You can get registration information by e-mailing Plummer at 17plummerf@students.bcsc.k12.in.us ...

Craft fair will bring awareness of Lyme Disease

Mar 28, 2017 48

A craft and vendor fair will be held on April 8th and 9th at Hotel Indigo in Columbus to benefit those who have been afflicted with Lyme Disease. Money from the LYMEaid Fundraiser will go to benefit Indiana Lyme Connect, which works to support those with the tick-born infection and to educate the community about the disease, which frequently goes misdiagnosed for years. The fair with more than 30 vendors will be from 10 to 1 on April 8th and 1 to 5 on April 9th. For more information, call 812-350-4654. ...

Driver arrested after crash that killed pedestrian

Mar 27, 2017 77

A Columbus man is under arrest, accused of killing a pedestrian while driving under the influence last evening. 36-year-old Michael Demaio was arrested at a home in the 2000 block of Chandler Drive shortly after the 7:15 p.m. crash on Taylor Road near Lakeside Drive. Police say that 30-year-old Anshul Sharma died after being hit by the van last night. 28-year-old Samira Bharadwaj was seriously injured. She was flown by helicopter to IU Methodist Hospital where she remains in critical condition. Witnesses saw a minivan with a damaged windshield driving erratically after the accident. Police found the vehicle at the home on Chandler Drive and spoke to Demaio inside, where they noticed he appeared to be under the influence. He was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for blood tests and is facing preliminary felony charges of failing to stop after an accident that resulted in death, failing to stop after an accident involving injury, operating a vehicle while intoxicated resulting in death and operating a vehicle while intoxicated resulting in... ...

Dozens arrested in Jennings drug crackdown

Mar 27, 2017 68

The North Vernon police, Jennings County sheriff’s deputies and officers from the county probation and community corrections departments made more than 30 arrests last week as part of a crackdown on illegal drugs in the community. Lt. Mike Mowery, spokesman for the sheriff’s department, said the 12-hour-long countywide operation happened Thursday when the police began a series of home searches, criminal interdiction patrols and warrant services. 33 people were arrested, about 40 homes were searched, 13 vehicles were stopped and the police dogs Heros and Vampyr went out on seven searches. Mowery said that the charges ranged from possession of drugs to driving while intoxicated and possession of alcohol by a minor. North Vernon Police Chief James Webster said this was an effort to disrupt and dismantle drug distribution channels in the community. ...

Pedestrian killed in Taylor Road accident

Mar 26, 2017 66

One  pedestrian died and another was injured in an accident Sunday evening on Taylor Road. Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the police department, says the accident happened about 7:15 p.m. on Taylor Road near Lakeside Drive. The injured pedestrian was transported to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Harris says the driver of the vehicle was arrested but no further information is yet available. ...