Monthly Archives: November 2015

Fake $50 leads to Columbus man’s arrest

A man’s attempt to spend a fake $50 bill led to his arrest Saturday evening near downtown Columbus, according to authorities.

Sgt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus police, said police were called to the 1200 block of Washington Street at almost 9 p.m. Saturday on a report that a man had tried to spend a fake $50 bill, and then ran away from the store before officers could arrive. The suspect, 25-year-old Joshua W. Olmstead was found a short time later near 15th Street and Lafayette Avenue.

Olmstead was arrested on a preliminary charge of counterfeiting, a Level 6 Felony.

Man accused of shooting at thief’s vehicle

Dylan Jones
Dylan Jones

A Columbus man was arrested over the weekend after allegedly shooting at the car of a person who was breaking into vehicles.

Sgt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus Police Department, says that police were called to the area of Cardinal Drive at just after midnight Sunday morning on a report that someone was breaking into vehicles. Police talked to 22-year-old Dylan M. Jones who described a Hispanic male wearing a dark colored hat and shirt breaking into vehicles and then fleeing in a dark colored Volkswagen Jetta.

But Jones also told police he had fired at the thief’s vehicle. A search revealed a bullet hole in a neighboring apartment, inches away from a window. Jones was arrested on a preliminary charge of criminal recklessness while armed with a deadly weapon, a Level 5 Felony.

The alleged thief’s vehicle has not been located. If you have any information, you can contact the Columbus Police Department at 812-376-2600.

Search continues for escaped prisoner

Local police are still looking for for 26-year-old Dustin Allen Evans, who escaped from Edinburgh Police in downtown Columbus on Nov. 17th.

He was chased in Hope last week and officers tried to serve an arrest warrant on him Saturday morning in Franklin, but he was not captured, said Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox.  That attempt was in the 500 block of Kentucky Street in Franklin at about 7:50 a.m. Saturday, according to records from the dispatch center.

Evans is five feet four inches tall and about 160 pounds, with distinctive tattoos including the word “Misunderstood” on his left temple and the cartoon character Stewie Griffin on his right forearm.

Authorities say that if you see Evans you should not approach him, but instead call 911. He is considered armed and dangerous.

City opening bids to sell downtown Columbus property (with audio)

Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown is moving ahead with plans to sell the city’s property at 2nd and Lafayette streets downtown.

The majority of the property was originally acquired as part of a land swap with Bartholomew County REMC, during Mayor Fred Armstrong’s administration. Back then, the city had planned a sports complex for the site.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission has decided that the best use of the property next door to the Bartholomew County Jail would be as a combined hotel/apartment complex. Mayor Brown has called a special meeting of the Redevelopment Commission at 5 p.m. tomorrow to receive any bids for the sale of the property. The meeting will be in the City Council chambers at City Hall.

Incoming Mayor Jim Lienhoop said earlier this month that he is skeptical of the planned use. He said that the land was zoned for commercial use with a great deal of thought by earlier city leaders.

Jim Lienhoop on dowtown property

Donor challenges public to keep Flamenco

The Columbus Area Arts Council is announcing that a potential donor is challenging the public to raise the money to keep the Flamenco sculpture in downtown Columbus.

Geri Handley, chairwoman of the committee trying to purchase the statue said last week that $7,300 had already been donated toward the $40,000 goal. But a donor has offered a grant for the final $5,000, should the group hit a benchmark of $35,000.

Flamenco is the red sculpture at the corner of Fourth and Washington streets, on the north side of The Commons. It was originally installed as part of the 2014 sculpture biennial.

For more information or to make a donation, you can go online to or call 812.376.2539.

Sheriff offers safe-shopping tips

Although Cyber Monday has become a day for online shopping, Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers is offering some safety tips for those shopping at brick-and-mortar stores during the holiday season.

On the sheriff’s Facebook page, he says when getting into your vehicle you should have your keys in hand on the way to the car, and check your back seat before getting in.  And always lock valuables in the trunk, and don’t leave them in the passenger area.

Other tips:

  • Don’t flash cash – consider a one-time, pre-paid card.
  • Carry your wallet or purse in front of you, close to your body to deter pickpockets.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, ask store security to assist you.
  • If you are shopping with children, make sure they know what to do and where to go if you get separated.

Sheriff Matt Myers Facebook page

City looks to solve Central Avenue flooding issue

Columbus city officials are touting a new plan that would fix drainage problems at Rockyford Road and Central Avenue.

But instead of costing more than a million dollars to install storm sewers in the area, an underground a retention solution would cost closer to $40,000 they say.

Mayor Kristen Brown said that the underground storage system will be installed on property owned by Willow Crossing. The 74-foot-long structure will be connected to existing storm drains and is designed to handle water from a 10-year-flood. She said they expect it to have a service life of about 75 years.

Brown says that the area has been plagued by flooding for years and city officials are happy to be able to provide the cost-efficient solution.

Weather permitting, the new drainage structure could be built by the end of December.

Fugitive sought in Hope neighborhood

Police from three local agencies searched a Hope neighborhood for an escaped fugitive Wednesday night. Town Marshal Matt Tallent said that Hope police received a tip that 26-year-old Dustin Allen Evans was at a gas station there. When officers arrived they spotted Evans, who escaped last week in downtown Columbus from the Edinburgh Police Department.

Evans allegedly refused to stop, drove away in a vehicle and eventually abandoned the vehicle in the Goshen Meadows neighborhood and ran away. Officers lost track of Evans and reinforcements from the Indiana State Police and Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department cordoned off the neighborhood. A Columbus police dog searched the area for more than an hour, but Evans could not be found.

Police say that Evans is five feet, four inches tall with brown hair and brown eyes. But his most distinctive feature is a tattoo on his left temple that says “misunderstood.”

If you have any information on Evans whereabouts, you can call the Edinburgh Police Department at 812-526-3501.

Columbus teen injured in Thanksgiving eve crash

Correction: An earlier version of this story had the road incorrect.

A Columbus girl was seriously injured in a crash on Thanksgiving Eve on County Road 330W near Road 450N.

The Indiana State Police report that 17-year-old Cheyenne Armstrong of Columbus was headed south on Road 330W at about 7:30 p.m. when her car left the road and rolled several times. She had to be cut from the vehicle by rescue workers before being flown to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis by Lifeline helicopter. Police say that she suffered several serious internal injuries.

The Indiana State Police were assisted at the scene by the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, Columbus Fire Department, German Township Volunteer Fire Department and Columbus Regional Hospital paramedics.

Firefighters offer Thanksgiving safety tips

The Columbus Fire Department  is hoping you will be safe today but also wants you to be aware that the greatest danger of a kitchen fire comes today.

Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the fire department, says that statistics shows that the chances for a home fire doubles on Thanksgiving Day.

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires, and locally, the fire department has had three Thanksgiving day home cooking fires since 2006. Two were fires on a stovetop and the third involved a turkey fryer, Wilson said.

He suggested some safety tips for home cooking including:

  • Establishing a kid-free zone in the kitchen, by not allowing children within three feet of appliances.
  • Never leave food cooking on a stove top unattended
  • Turn pot handles inward to avoid an accidental spill. Also keep the pot lid nearby in the event of a grease fire. Never put water on a grease fire.
  • Keep combustible materials such as dish towels and aprons away from burners.
  •  Keep an ABC type fire extinguisher nearby.
  • If you plan on deep frying your turkey, always do so outdoors away from a structure.
  • Don’t fry a turkey on a wooden patio.
  • Turkey fryers can easily tip, which can let the hot oil spill, injuring adults, children and pets.