Conservation officers holding area recruiting events

Conservation officers for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will be having a recruiting event on Monday for the district which covers Bartholomew, Brown, Johnson and Shelby counties, along with other counties.

The District 6 recruiting event will be at the Morgan Monroe State Forest Training Center starting at 7 in the evening. The center is at 6220 Forest Road in Martinsville.

The event will explain the 2021 Indiana Conservation Officer hiring process, including duties of a conservation officer, preparation for the written exam, preparation for core values training, and physical agility testing requirements.

Other upcoming recruiting events will be held:

  • District 6: Saturday, June 5 at 9:30 a.m. at the Bloomington Public Safety Training Center, 3230 S Walnut Street in Bloomington.
  • District 9: Sunday, May 23, at the Recreation Hall inside Versailles State Park, 1387 E. US Highway 50 in Versailles starting at 3 p.m. .
  • District 9:  Saturday, June 5 at the Schilling Community Center, 900 Mill Street in Brookville, starting at 10 a.m.

Other counties in District 6 include Hendricks, Hancock, Morgan and  Monroe counties.

District 9 includes Rush, Fayette, Union, Decatur, Franklin, Jennings, Ripley, Dearborn, Jefferson, Switzerland, and Ohio counties.

You can  more information here.

Trail passes now available online for Hoosier National Forest

The U.S. Forest Service says you can now purchase your trail permits for Hoosier National Forest online.

The permits are required for those older than 17 who want to ride bicycles or horses on the forest’s trails. You have the option to buy a day pass or annual pass, as well as a variety of payment options.

The permits can be printed out or carried virtually, and displayed on your mobile device.

You can also still buy the permits in person with cash, check or credit card, at Forest offices in Bedford and Tell City, and at other local vendors.

You can take advantage of the new service by going to

Photo: Water falls from Hemlock Cliffs in Hoosier National Forest. Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

Sheriff seeks leads on roadside fires origins

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department is asking the public to be on the lookout for someone setting fires along rural roadways.

The sheriff’s department said there were several fires set in Carr and Owen Townships yesterday. These are not the same fires that farmers have been setting to burn off unwanted vegetation, Sheriff Rick Meyer said.

A possible description indicated the fires were set by two people riding on a 4-wheeler, but that has not been confirmed, Meyer said.

If you have any information, you can call 812-358-2141 and report it to the Sheriff’s Department.

Smoke on the Square returns to Hope Saturday

The 10th annual Smoke on the Square fundraiser will be held tomorrow on the Hope Town Square.

The event is a fundraiser for the Community Center of Hope to benefit the center’s food bank and child care center. Last year would have been the 10th anniversary event, but it had to be postponed to August and then canceled due to the pandemic.

The event features a BBQ cookoff competition between teams and public BBQ dining.

The public portion of this year’s event will be a drive through from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with meals starting at $5 for hot dogs, to $10 for a brisket meal. Individual sandwiches and sides will also be available.

The amount of food for the public is limited. Organizers suggest you order ahead at

New app to help Columbus residents with trash, recycling

The city of Columbus is announcing a new app to help you with your trash collection and recycling.

The app, called Columbus Collects, provides the pickup schedule for trash, recycling, yard waste and brush collections at your home address. Reminders can be set to alert you to your upcoming collections.

There is also a section of the app called the Waste Wizard that will let you find out if a particular item can be reused, recycled or composted, or if it must be disposed of in the trash.

Bryan Burton, director of the city Public Works Department, said residents already do a great job diverting waste away from the landfill, but the app makes the process even easier.

The app is available for both Android and Apple devices.

New courthouse scanner detects hidden weapons

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department says a new security scanner at the county courthouse is already finding contraband items, even after only a few days of operation.

The new scanner, which features a touchless system to protect deputies and the public, was installed while the courthouse was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In October, Bartholomew County Commissioners approved the purchase of a new scanner for bags, purses, backpacks and similar items at a cost of just over $30,000. It was built by LAURUS Systems from Ellicot City, Maryland

Since going operational on Tuesday, the scanner has located a loaded magazine for a firearm, a knife, a razor blade and a credit card knife.

Sheriff Matt Myers says that all patrons of the courthouse are required to go through the new scanner. And no weapons of any kind are allowed in the building.

Further, Myers says the deputies will not provide a place to store contraband items while you are in the courthouse. They need to be secured in a vehicle or left at home.

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department

No one injured in morning school bus crash

A crash between a school bus and another vehicle Thursday morning in Bartholomew County, led to no injuries and only minor damages to the vehicles.

Bartholomew County sheriff’s deputies were called to the 3600 block of North County Road 250W at about 7 a.m. Thursday morning for the accident. Eight children were onboard the bus at the time of the crash and there were no signs of injuries.

Columbus Regional Health paramedics checked on the condition of all the students as a precaution.

Police memorial set for Friday morning in Columbus

A memorial service for police officers and police dogs who have fallen in the line of duty last year will be held Friday morning at the Public Safety Plaza near 2nd and Jackson streets in downtown Columbus.

Columbus police officers will read the names of 362 police officers and 22 police canines who died in the line of duty in 2020. Among those to be remembered will be Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department police dog Diesel, who died in November after being hit be a vehicle while chasing a suspect near Interstate 65.

This year’s event will feature area law enforcement Honor Guards, bagpipers, a 21-gun salute, and the playing of Taps.

It will start at 9 a.m. Friday morning. The event is free and you are invited.

Photo: Columbus Police Department honor guard presents the colors at the 2019 memorial service. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

North Vernon bypass to see lanes closed next week

Drivers in Jennings County will see lane closures starting next week as crews work to install rumble strips on the North Vernon bypass.

INDOT says that contractors will begin work on Monday installing the rumble strips on a section of U.S. 50. You will see daytime lane closures with flaggers between State Road 3 and Buckeye Street while the work is in progress.

INDOT says that corrugations will first be installed and their sealant must cure for five days. Crews are scheduled to return on Monday May 24th to install center pavement markings, weather permitting.

INDOT asks you to slow down, to use extra caution and to drive without distractions in all work zones. The schedule is dependent on the weather.

Hope main street group chooses new leader

Matt Lee. Photo courtesy of Heritage of Hope

The town of Hope has a new leader for its Town Square revitalization efforts. Main Street of Hope is announcing that Matt Lee has been chosen to take over as executive director of the organization.

He will be taking over from Susan Thayer Fye who has held that position just over four years and is retiring.

Lee leads the Night Owl Country Band, including performing and promoting the band. He graduated from Hauser Jr.-Senior High School and is also a programmer for Christopher Stephens Corp.

Main Street of Hope is a not-for-profit group under the umbrella of Heritage of Hope. It is dedicated to the revitalization of the Hope Town Square through historic preservation and beautification.