Beaches closed at Monroe Lake for holiday

May 23, 2017 12

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is announcing that you won’t be able to go to the beach at Monroe Lake on Memorial Day. That’s because the beaches at Paynetown and Fairfax state recreation areas are underwater. The Army Corps has been releasing water from the dam as part of their flood control efforts, but it won’t drop in time for the holiday. IDNR says that the primary purpose of Monroe Lake is flood control along lower Salt Creek and recreation comes second. ...

Toddler struck by truck and killed in Westport

May 23, 2017 5

A two-year-old girl was struck and killed by a pickup last night in Westport. Indiana State Police are reporting that the accident happened at about 9 p.m. Monday night on State Road 3 near Main Street. Police say that 2-year-old Lena Snowden entered the street from the Pine Lake Apartments, moving into the path of the truck being driven by 45-year-old David C. Vanderbur of Greensburg. The little girl was pronounced dead at the scene. State Road 3 was closed down for about two hours after the crash. Indiana State Police were assisted at the scene of the crash by the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department, Westport Police Department, Westport Fire Department, Decatur County EMS, Decatur County Coroner’s Office and the Department of Child Services. ...

INDOT plans to widen I-65; seeks your thoughts

May 23, 2017 5

The Indiana Department of Transportation wants your thoughts on a plan to add lanes to Interstate 65 between Columbus and Seymour. The agency will hold two public meetings early next month looking for comments on the plan. The $143 million dollar project would widen and update the 14 miles of the interstate, adding traffic lanes between U.S. 50 in Seymour and State Road 58 in the Walesboro area. It would also rehabilitate seven overpass bridges. They will be holding public meetings at Columbus City Hall on June 7th, and at the Brownstown Town Hall on June 8th. Both meetings will start at 6 p.m. with a presentation on the plan. ...

Edinburgh to see railroad closings next week

May 23, 2017 3

The work to add new rails to the Louisville and Indiana railroad line through Bartholomew County is ongoing and pretty soon that work will be in the town of Edinburgh. The town is warning of closings, starting on Wednesday, May 31st going through Thursday, June 1st as crews replace the tracks. Each intersection will have to be closed twice, first on one side of an intersection and then again as they replace the other side of the rails. The town says that railroad crossings should only be closed for a few hours at a time and that the work should not be going on at night. Among the affected streets and roads: County Road 900N County Line Rd. Perry St. Thompson St. Main Cross St. Naomi St. County Road 700E County Road 650S County Road 775E The city will have a detour set up through Center Cross Street, or State Road 252. And all of this work is dependent on the weather. ...

Messer to serve on task force targeting government overreach

May 22, 2017 17

Rep. Luke Messer, a Republican representing Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District, was appointed by House Speaker Paul Ryan to serve on the recently created bipartisan Task Force on Intergovernmental Affairs. The group is charged with working to restore the proper balance of power between federal, state and local governments. Messer is among seven Republican House members appointed to the 13-member Task Force. “Indiana has proven time and again that the best government is closest to the people it serves,” Messer said. “Our states, cities and counties are the true engine for innovation in government. I’m excited to work on this Task Force to combat federal overreach and return power to states.” Messer’s office say the Task Force will partner with state and local governments to determine where the federal government has overstepped, and come up with solutions to return control to states and local entities. The Task Force will also provide a forum for states, cities, and counties to showcase innovation and creativity in solving public policy problems. “Federalism is not... ...

Columbus man arrested after shoplifting complaint

May 22, 2017 21

A Columbus man was arrested on several drug and theft charges Friday evening. Officer Alyson Rech, Columbus Police Department spokeswoman, says that officers were dispatched to Fair Oaks Mall at 6:45 p.m. on a report of a shoplifter. Police spoke with the suspect, 34-year-old William E. Smith, outside of the mall. Mall security and a store employee told police that they saw Smith place a pair of shoes inside his backpack, then leave without paying for them. During the investigation, officers reported finding several items on Smith that had been stolen from other stores inside the mall. After Smith was taken into custody, officers allegedly found a syringe, methamphetamine and a glass smoking pipe inside of Smith’s backpack. Smith was arrested on preliminary charges of Theft, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Legend Drug Injection Device and Possession of a Legend Drug Smoking Device. ...

Columbus man held without bond after fight

May 22, 2017 19

A Columbus man is facing a felony charge after a fight on Sunday hospitalized another man. Judy Jackson, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman, says that shortly after 5 p.m., Deputy Adam Warner responded to a call about a fight in the 5100 block of County Road 450 East. When Warner arrived, he reported finding a semi-conscious man on the ground. The suspect, 22-year-old Elliott Blackburn, allegedly confessed to authorities that he had battered the 24-year-old victim. The victim was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital with injuries to his face. Jackson says the man was later transported to an Indianapolis hospital for surgery. His condition is unknown. Blackburn is being held without bond on a preliminary charge of Battery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury. ...

Traffic stop leads to arrest on drug charges

May 22, 2017 19

A local man was arrested on a number of drug charges after a traffic stop Sunday night. Officer Alyson Rech, Columbus Police Department spokeswoman, says that Officer Brandon Decker stopped a vehicle at 11:15 p.m. near Indiana Avenue and Mapleton Street after he noticed that it did not have working tail lights. After Decker stopped the car, he noted that the driver, 25-year-old Julian White, was moving his hands and appeared to concealing something in his lap. When White got out of the vehicle, Decker says he saw four blue pills in the driver seat, along with several pill bottles that did not belong to White. During the stop, Officer Branch Schrader deployed his K-9 partner, Argo, who detected the odor of narcotics coming from the car. A search of the vehicle allegedly resulted in the discovery of a burnt spoon containing methamphetamine, two syringes and several pills that were not prescribed to White. White was arrested on preliminary charges of: Possession of a Legend Drug Possession of Paraphernalia Possession... ...

Sheriff says IRS scam circulating again, along with new scam

May 22, 2017 101

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers is warning about an old scam making the rounds again. The sheriff says a county resident reported an attempt to steal money using the IRS scam, where a scam artist calls, claiming hat you have an outstanding warrant because you have not paid your federal taxes. If you don’t pay right away, usually with a pre-paid card, they claim that deputies will arrest you. Myers warns that the IRS will never ask for you to make an immediate payment over the phone to avoid arrest. Experts also say that the IRS will not call to threaten arrest nor will they ask for payment through means such as an Apple card. Myers said there is also a scam going around by email claiming that you need to install Dropbox to receive an important file from the Indiana Association of Counties. He said you should always use caution when receiving emails that seem out of the ordinary. ...

Arts council to unveil new look at Tuesday meeting

May 22, 2017 20

In a time of challenging funding for local arts projects, and a shifting landscape of responsibilities, the Columbus Area Arts Council will be getting a facelift. That will be unveiled at the arts council’s annual meeting starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon at The Commons. Kathryn Armstrong, executive director of the local arts agency explains that the Arts Council will have new branding, new logos and a new website: The event will also coincide with Chaotic Tuesday, a monthly event at The Commons where the Chaos II sculpture will be active for the public to view, Armstrong said. The local band Dresden will perform at Chaotic Tuesday after the annual meeting. ...