Monthly Archives: December 2015

Columbus man facing charges for allegedly threatening a judge

A Bartholomew County man was arrested after allegedly threatening a Dearborn County Judge via social media.

WSCH Radio in Lawrenceburg is reporting that a screenshot, sent to the Lawrenceburg Police Department, showed that Robert M. Faulkner, of Columbus, threatened to shoot the unnamed judge. According to the station’s report, the alleged threat came after one of Faulkner’s family members was arrested Dec. 10th on a warrant for a probation violation.

The report says that the alleged threat originated from a Facebook post that was started by the family member as she was preparing to go to court. In that post, the woman asked for others to wish her luck, say WSCH reporters. The report goes on to say that, according to a probable cause affidavit, Faulkner responded to the post with, “Now I’m pissed, I’m be putting bullets in that judge.”

Lawrenceburg Police told the station that they received a screenshot of the alleged threat from at least one concerned resident.

Faulkner was arrested and is facing two preliminary charges of Intimidation, a Level 6 Felony and Battery, a Class “B” Misdemeanor.

Columbus man arrested on sexual misconduct charge

A Columbus man is facing a felony charge of sexual misconduct with a minor after an investigation yesterday by Bartholomew County deputies.

Judy Jackson, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department, says that 22-year-old Dylan J. Carley of County Road 300E was arrested after deputies were called at 7:20 p.m. Wednesday to investigate the accusations. She said no additional information on the case is being released yet and the investigation is ongoing.


New Year brings new mayor to Columbus

Columbus Mayor-Elect Jim Lienhoop officially takes the reins of city government tomorrow.

Lienhoop defeated incumbent Mayor Kristen Brown in the May Republican primary and was unopposed in the November general election. Lienhoop says that he’s been working on his transition since July.  He notes that one of the areas important to him was having the lowest amount of turnover at City Hall as possible with a new administration coming in.


Department head changes include the naming of Mary Ferdon as the city’s Director of Community Development and director of Administration.

Lienhoop on transition

Alan Whitted will serve as part-time City Attorney.


Dave Hayward will oversee the city’s public works department as well as working as City Engineer. The new fire chief will be Mike Compton. All other of Mayor Brown’s department heads will remain in place.

You are invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony for Lienhoop, and other Columbus officials, at 11 a.m. tomorrow at City Hall.

Sheriff urges caution in New Year’s celebrations

Local law enforcement officials say they hope you will stay safe tonight, during any New Year’s Eve festivities.

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers and his department suggests that you should remain mindful of your surroundings and how others are acting and give a wide berth to those who seem out of control. And if someone appears intoxicated, keep them from driving. Instead call them a cab to ensure they get home safely, and don’t let them leave with someone they do not know.

Sheriff Matt Myers Facebook page

Piano blaze threatens Columbus home

Columbus firefighters battled a fire in a piano that threatened a home on Trestle Drive last night.

Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the fire department, said a homeowner was watching television when she noticed a haze of smoke coming from another room. When she went to investigate, she found that a lit candle in a Christmas centerpiece had caught her upright piano on fire. After trying to smother the flames with a skillet, she called for help at about 8:43 p.m. and escaped the home with her two dogs.

Wilson said the firefighters used a handheld water fire extinguisher to put the flames out. The piano was a complete loss, but the flames were confined to the piano, he said. The home also suffered about $8,000 in smoke damage.

Flood warnings expiring tonight

Several area rivers remain under a flood warning until 7:45 p.m. tonight. That includes Driftwood River, East Fork White River, Flatrock River and Muscatatuck River.

As of 5 a.m., East Fork White River in Columbus had dropped below its 9 foot flood stage and the river in Seymour was only a few inches away from dropping from moderate to minor flooding.

Driftwood River at Edinburgh is still about a foot and a quarter above minor flood stage. Flat Rock River in Columbus has stopped flooding and is expected to return to its normal level by this afternoon.

The National Weather Service is estimating that the Muscatatuck River at Wheeler Hollow on the Jackson County line has dropped from moderate to minor flood stage.

Floodwaters start to recede in Columbus, Seymour

Many of our area rivers remain under flood warnings through Thursday, but the water appears to have crested and begun falling in Columbus and Seymour.

According to the National Weather Service, East Fork White River in Columbus peaked at 11.36 feet at about 11:30 last night and is starting to recede. As of 7  a.m., the river was at 11.1 feet, about 13 inches above the minor flood stage. It is expected to drop below flood stage by tomorrow morning.

Driftwood River fell below the moderate flood stage this morning after cresting at 14.27 feet yesterday afternoon. The river is expected to fall back to normal levels by early Friday morning.

In Bartholomew County, road closings include County Road 400N at Tinkey Bridge; County Road 800S between Jonesville Rd and U.S. 31; Tellman Road, Southern Crossing and State Road 11 at Garden City. Mill Race Park, Noblitt Park and parts of the People Trail are closed due to high water.

East Fork White River in Seymour crested at 17.89 feet at about midnight last night and is starting to recede. As of 6:45 a.m. the river was at 17.68 feet, about 9 inches inches above the moderate flood stage. It is expected to drop below moderate flood stage by early tomorrow morning and back to normal levels by Saturday.

North Vernon closer to acquiring quarry / reservoir

North Vernon is closer to having a new source of water for city residents. The city has been working with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) for some time to secure a quarry site in the city that is currently owned by Hanson Aggregates. Under the proposal, INDOT would purchase the quarry, then transfer ownership to the city so it may use it as a reservoir.

Richard Morin, an engineering consultant hired by North Vernon officials, appeared before the North Vernon City Council Monday night. He told the council that Hanson has agreed to sell the site for $2.5 million, under three conditions. They are: Hanson must be allowed to use the scale and offices for one year; the company would be allowed to remove any existing aggregate for one year; there must be no further mining of the site for 99 years.

The North Vernon City Council voted 3-to-1 to approve those conditions. The lone “no” vote came from incoming Mayor Michael Oakes. With the approval, INDOT can resume work to with Hanson officials complete the sale. INDOT representative Kathy Eaton-McKalip told council members that the sale is expected to be finalized in mid-to-late January.

Columbus man arrested after alleged domestic dispute

A Columbus man was arrested Tuesday morning after an alleged domestic dispute.

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department Spokesperson Judy Jackson ZEIGLER JEREMY Dsays that Deputy Sgt. Kris Weisner responded to a call in the 700 block of Della Road just before 2:30 a.m. When he arrived, the alleged victim told Sgt. Weisner that she and 24-year-old Jeremy Zeigler had been arguing. She alleges that Zeigler kicked in a door and grabbed her while she was attempting to call 9-1-1 for help. She added that Zeigler left before deputies arrived.

Jackson says that Deputy Matt Bush located Zeigler driving in the area a short time later. Zeigler was arrested and booked in the Bartholomew County Jail on preliminary charges of Domestic Battery with Children Present and Interfering with the Reporting of a Crime. His bond was set at $12,500.

Driver arrested after pedestrian struck

A Columbus man is under arrest after allegedly striking a pedestrian with his vehicle and then fleeing the scene of the accident Monday night.

Sgt. Matt Harris with the Columbus Police Department said officers were called to the 1200 block of 13th Street on a report of a man hit by a vehicle at about 9:17 p.m. Witnesses said a vehicle was speeding in the area and the victim, 27-year-old Benjamin Taylor, stepped into the street to try to slow the vehicle down. Instead he was struck and the driver fled the scene, Harris said.

Taylor was unconscious when police arrived. He was flown by medical helicopter to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with serious injuries.

About an hour later a family member of 31-year-old Benjamin “Seaun” Anderson reported that Anderson may have struck someone with his vehicle. Anderson was arrested on a preliminary charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving serious bodily injury.