County considers raising income tax rates

Sep 11, 2017 16

The Bartholomew County Council is considering an increase to the local income tax rate as a way to balance the county’s budget and to improve public safety. Laura DeDomenic, the council president, says that after all the budget hearings and increased spending requests were made, the county is looking at deficit spending of about $1.7 million dollars next year. DeDomenic, the council president, says that the increase would be half a percentage point and would raise about $4.8 million dollars annually. Of the proposed increase, half would go directly to public safety needs, focusing on the jail, courts and youth services center. She said part of the stress on the system is due to the heroin epidemic. She explains where the money would go: During last week’s council work session, she urged other council members who oppose the income tax increase to come back with a plan of how the county should better make ends meet. DeDomenic said the reaction from the public has been largely positive so far. But... ...

INDOT training to affect traffic between Seymour and North Vernon

Sep 8, 2017 33

Indiana Department of Transportation Southeast District personnel will train for responding to an earthquake disaster next week. Operations will include route clearing, bridge inspection and building assessments. Many of these preparedness activities will occur at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center at Butlerville. Authorities say this will cause a noticeable traffic increase between Seymour’s district headquarters, the unit facility at North Vernon and the MUTC. On Monday and Wednesday, INDOT teams will be deployed from Seymour traveling along U.S. Highway 50 and its bypass at North Vernon to the INDOT unit location. On Tuesday and Thursday, convoys of teams will deploy from the North Vernon unit to the Muscatatuck training area throughout the day via U.S. 50. Officials say these training programs are conducted each year to assure INDOT readiness for responding to natural disasters. ...

Inmate faces charges after jail vandalism and battery

Sep 8, 2017 34

An inmate at the Bartholomew County Jail is facing additional charges after being accused of tearing apart a section of his cell door and using metal rods from it as a weapon. Our news-gathering partners at “The Republic” are reporting that 21-year-old Jordan Rhoades, of Columbus, was charged Friday in Bartholomew Superior Court 1 with three felony counts of Battery Resulting in Bodily Injury to a Public Safety Officer and one count of Criminal Mischief. Rhoades is accused of taking the metal rods from the cell door and throwing them at three Bartholomew County Jail deputies. The charges also accuse him of intentionally damaging jail property. According the report, the incident happened over the Labor Day holiday weekend. It says that Rhoades and another inmate, 37-year-old Joe Reed, of Columbus, kicked out a sections of cell doors. While Reed and Rhoades were moved to a separate confinement area, the paper says that other inmates blocked the bottom of their cell doors and allowed showers and toilets to overflow, flooding several... ...

North Vernon man killed in one-vehicle crash

Sep 8, 2017 39

A Jennings County man was killed in a one-vehicle crash Friday morning in Bartholomew County. The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department says that a passerby noticed the crashed vehicle shortly after 7 a.m. on County Road 330 West near County Road 450 North. Investigators believe the vehicle left the road, struck and embankment and rolled. Clayton Nolting, Bartholomew County Coroner, identified the driver as 53-year-old Jeffrey L. Hanson, of North Vernon. Authorities say that Hanson was the only person in the vehicle and was not wearing his seat-belt. Nolting says that Hanson died from blunt-force trauma to the chest. The cause of the accident remains under investigation. ...

Child recovering after being shot in Ripley County

Sep 8, 2017 37

Indiana State Police are investigating the shooting of a four-year-old boy in Ripley County. Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, ISP spokesman, says that detectives were called to a home located in the 1000 Block of South County Road 625 East near Milan at 9:40 p.m. on Thursday. The initial investigation by Detective Kip Main indicated that police were called to the home after family members took the small child to the hospital after he was shot inside the home. Police believe the child found a loaded gun and shot himself in the abdomen. Wheeles says that family members immediately rendered first aid and then took the child to the Dearborn County Hospital. He was then transferred to Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati for further treatment. The child’s injuries are not believed to be life threatening and he is expected to make a full recovery. The investigation is ongoing and state police say that their findings will be turned over to the Ripley County Prosecutor’s Office for review. ...

City utility investigates water supply

Sep 7, 2017 32

Columbus City Utilities continue its work on getting to the bottom of a recent report about its water supply. Keith Reeves is the director of the utility. 09-08 KEITH REEVES-1 Reeves says that Dioxane is a very common substance found in a wide variety of household products. 09-08 KEITH REEVES-2 Reeves notes that the Columbus sample was from four years ago. 09-08 KEITH REEVES-4 Reeves stresses that Columbus’ water supply is not in violation of any environmental rules, as Dioxane is not a regulated contaminant. He adds that testing on the city’s water supply will commence shortly to see if the issue remains. That testing is expected to take about a week. If an issue is found, Reeves says that the utility will take necessary steps to address the issue. ...

WRB and listeners raise over $3,200 for for Harvey relief

Sep 7, 2017 27

The White River Broadcasting family of stations raised $3,270 for victims of Hurricane Harvey during our “Help for Harvey Radiothon” on Thursday. Listeners of 101.5 WKKG, 106.1 The River and WIN 104.9 contributed cash, as well as their song requests, to help make a difference for those in need. Our morning teams worked the entire 12-hour shift in conjunction with this fundraising effort. White River Broadcasting will be presenting the contribution to representatives of the American Red Cross next week. All of us here at White River Broadcasting thank you for your help and support. ...

Jennings County man faces charges in stabbing

Sep 7, 2017 27

A North Vernon man has been arrested for attempted murder in connection with an incident in July that left a 40-year-old Seymour man with life-threatening injuries. Our news-gathering partners at “The Republic” are reporting that 32-year-old Gary Eugene Thomas was arrested Tuesday by Seymour police at the Jennings County Jail, where he was being held on a state parole violation. According to the report, Thomas’ arrest stems from a July 20 stabbing in the 400 block of North Jackson Park Drive. The victim suffered numerous stab wounds and had to be flown to an Indianapolis hospital. Along with the attempted murder charge, the paper says that Thomas is facing charges of Aggravated Battery Posing a Substantial Risk of Death and Battery by Means of a Deadly Weapon. For more on this story, visit TheRepublic.com. ...

More details revealed about weekend jail mayhem

Sep 7, 2017 31

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department is releasing more information about a chaotic situation in the county jail over the holiday weekend that left three jail staff injured and caused thousands of dollars in damages. Jail staff reported that on Monday, inmates Joe Reed and Jordan Rhoades allegedly kicked out sections of their cell doors. Rhoades then allegedly used debris, including metal rods, to attack the staff. He was subdued with a Taser, according to Judy Jackson,. spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department. One of the jail staff received injuries from the metal rods including to her abdomen and leg, while the other two suffered minor injuries. Rhoades was in trouble earlier this year for an eruption in the county courthouse when he threw chairs, injuring a deputy prosecutor and destroying a computer monitor. Both inmates have been placed in confinement, said Sheriff Matt Myers. Details about the incident including video have been forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for possible charges against those involved. Myers said. ...

Testing underway to find source of increased water contaminant

Sep 6, 2017 28

Columbus City Utilities are investigating why there is an increased level of Dioxane in water distributed to the city, as well as customers of Southwest Bartholomew Water Corp. Keith Reeves, director of city utilities, says that a report from Environmental Working Group, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization headquartered in Washington, DC, illustrated the elevated levels. He explains that this report took its information from reports made by all state utilities to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. In the results for the City of Columbus, Reeves says that it is reported that Dioxane levels measured at 0.483 ppb (parts per billion). This is in comparison to the “healthy level” of 0.35 ppb indicated by EWG. However, he stresses that Dioxane is not a regulated contaminant for drinking water under either EPA or Indiana drinking water regulations, so it is not tested for on a regular basis. Reeves says that Dioxane is a very common chemical that is regularly found in the atmosphere. He went on to say that it is mostly... ...