Monthly Archives: February 2016

Parolee arrested on drug-related charges

A North Vernon parolee is under arrest again on drug related charges after a home check Friday night.

The parole office, deputies from the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department and the Indiana State Police checked on the resident at a home on North County Road 700W at about 7 p.m. Friday, according to Lt. Mike Mowery spokesman for the sheriff’s department. That was after reports of drug activity at the home, Mowery said.

37-year-old Nicholas J. Johnson was allegedly found to have about 1.7 grams of methamphetamine, a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, Mowery said. In addition to possession charges for the drugs and paraphernalia, he is also facing preliminary charges of maintaining a common nuisance.

New veterans court underway in Bartholomew County

Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Judge Jim Worton says a new court for veterans is now underway.

Worton said last week that the Indiana Judicial Center has provisionally certified the Bartholomew County Veterans Problem Solving Court. The first hearings were held on Thursday and the new program already has participants, the judge says.

Worton says that Brad Barnes, the county’s chief probation officer, is coordinating the program and Rick Caldwell is coordinating the mentor program for the court. The court will be providing veterans to serve as mentors for program participants.

The judge says there are 24 veterans courts set up in Indiana.

CPD officers deploy Taser to arrest wanted suspect

Columbus Police officers had to use a Taser during the arrest of a local man Thursday afternoon.

Department Spokesman Lt. Matt Harris says that the incident took place in the 2700 block of Rosewood Lane at approximately 2:30 p.m. He says

Thomas W. Morrison, Jr.
Thomas W. Morrison, Jr.

that Officers John Velten and Curtis Nelson found Thomas W. Morrison, Jr., who was wanted on a Jennings County warrant. Harris says that when officers attempted to take Morrison into custody, he refused to put his hands behind his back. Police allege that Morrison continued to resist arrest and struggled with the officers, which led to the Taser being used. They add that Morrison was taken into custody a short time later.

Morrison was booked in the Bartholomew County Jail on the Jennings County warrant, charging him with Failure to Appear on an Initial Charge of Domestic Battery in the Presence of a Child, as well as an additional charge of Resisting Law Enforcement. Authorities say that Morrison is being held without bond.

MainSource Bank targeted by scammers

MainSource Bank is the latest bank to have its identity used in a scam intended to obtain personal information from both customers and non-customers of the bank. Bank officials say the scam targeted residents of Central and Southern Indiana and involved a mass text message, claiming that MainSource Bank was asking for verification of sensitive data due to an issue with account security. Bank officials say MainSource Bank did not send the texts and stresses that its data systems were not compromised.

Chris Harrison, Executive Vice President of Retail Administration for MainSource, said, “MainSource Bank is aware that we were fraudulently targeted in recent text messages designed to gather personal information for the purpose of identity theft. Such attempts at theft is both concerning and disheartening. We are working with law enforcement and internet providers to identify and stop the persons responsible for the fraudulent activity and taking steps to assist anyone who has provided personal information as a result of the scams.”

Bank officials confirmed the list of consumers who received such messages was not obtained from MainSource’s records. In addition, the bank confirmed that their operating systems have not been compromised and customer data continues to be secure.
Harrison continued, “No consumer should ever provide personal information to someone reaching out electronically in an attempt to verify data. I encourage our customers to ignore such attempts with the confidence that neither MainSource Bank, nor any legitimate financial institution, would ask for verification of account and PIN numbers, social security information or birth dates.”

Bank officials are urging anyone who responded to this text scam with personal information to contact their local MainSource Bank branch as soon as possible.

Columbus firefighters rescue 18 pets from house fire

Columbus Firefighters say they rescued 18 pets from a house fire Thursday night.

Columbus Fire Department (CFD) Spokesman Capt. Mike Wilson says that firefighters responded to the blaze at about 9 p.m. in the 2100 block IMG_8127of Park Avenue on the city’s east side. He says that firefighters didn’t know if anyone was in the house, so a crew made entry through the front door.

A resident ultimately informed firefighters that everyone made it out of the home, but added that several pets were still inside. Firefighters ultimately found eight kittens, eight adult cats and three dogs. As crews began to remove the pets from the home, firefighters determined one adult cat was deceased and an additional cat was in respiratory distress. Wilson says that two cats received oxygen from rescuers.

Columbus Fire Department Investigator Matt Noblitt has ruled the fire as accidental, caused by overloading of an electrical power-strip. He added that no working smoke alarms were discovered in the home. Damages were estimated at $30,000.

City to take another look at Rocky Ford Road consultant issue

Plans to Improve Rocky Ford Road have been set back a step after state officials found fault with the way the city of Columbus selected a consultant.

David Hayward, City Engineer and Executive Director of Public Works, says that the city received a letter from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) that indicated that “certain processes weren’t followed.” He added that the letter from INDOT did not elaborate on what those processes were. However, Hayward says that INDOT recommended that the city begin the consultant selection process again, which is already underway. Failure to do so, said Hayward, would cost the city over $500,000 in federal funds.

The issue is seemingly tied to the administration change at City Hall. Last year, the Columbus Board of Works initially considered giving the contract to Indianapolis-based Janssen & Spaans Engineering. City officials later awarding it to United Consulting. Shortly after Mayor Jim Lienhoop replaced Kristen Brown at City Hall, the city looked at the issue again and reverted back to the original decision to award the contract to Janssen & Spaans.

Hayward says that this new development is not expected to delay the start of work on the Rocky Ford Road project. He says that work is expected to begin late this year or early next year, with completion by the end of 2017. Improvements are to include the widening of lanes, the addition of a bike lane and other amenities.

Prayer Breakfast set for Good Friday in Seymour

Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman’s Office says that the annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will be held on Good Friday, March 25 at 7:00 a.m. at The Pines Evergreen Room. The restaurant is located at 4289 US Hwy 31 N.

Luedeman’s office says that Fellowship of Jackson County Clergy will present the Good Friday program, with music provided by the Lutheran Men’s Chorus.

The cost for the buffet breakfast will be $10 per person. Doors will open at 6:30 a.m. so that attendees may go through the buffet line before the service begins. Once everyone is seated, the service will begin. The program is scheduled to conclude at approximately 8 a.m.

The Mayor’s Office says that reservations are required by Thursday, March 17 at City Hall.

Water drive this weekend to help residents of Flint, MI

Area residents are conducting a multi-location water drive this weekend to help residents of Flint, Michigan. That city’s water supply has been deemed unsafe.

Organizers say that they have already collected nearly 200 gallons of water. They hope to add to that total significantly with the water drive that will take place this Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can drop off your donation of sealed containers of water at the following locations:

Casey’s General Store – State Street and Gladstone Avenue in Columbus;
Noble’s Barbershop – Fifth Street and Washington Street in Columbus;
Hilton Garden Inn – US 31 North in Taylorsville

While volunteers will be on hand to take water donations, event organizers say that they are still in need of a number of supplies. These include: pallets, shrinkwrap and handheld palletjacks. If you are able to help with these supplies, you are asked to contact Phillip Beardman London or Jeremy Littiken, via Facebook. Otherwise, you are encouraged to do what you can by dropping off your water donation this Saturday.

Two Columbus firefighters sworn-in Tuesday morning

Two Columbus residents were announced as the city’s most recently hired Columbus firefighters Tuesday morning at the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting.

Columbus Fire Department Spokesman Capt. Mike Wilson says that Firefighter Eric Green and Firefighter/Paramedic Nick Tuttle were

Chief Mike Compton and Firefighter/Paramedic Nick Tuttle
Chief Mike Compton and Firefighter/Paramedic Nick Tuttle

sworn-in by Mayor Jim Lienhoop at the meeting. Wilson says that both men will undergo department familiarization and firefighter training through April.

Currently, the Columbus Fire Department has 93 sworn firefighters. Wilson noted that the department needs to hire two additional firefighters for the department to be at full staff.


Chief Mike Compton and Firefighter Eric Green
Chief Mike Compton and Firefighter Eric Green

CFD accepting applications for full-time firefighter

The Columbus Fire Department (CFD) is accepting applications for the position of full-time firefighter. CFD Spokesman Capt. Mike Wilson says that applications are available to download from the fire department page of the City of Columbus website at

Wilson says that applications can also be picked up from the Columbus Fire Department administrative office, at 1101 Jackson Street, but he says there is a five-dollar fee for using this method. Wilson says that completed applications may be emailed to [email protected], or delivered to the Columbus Fire Department administrative office. He adds that all completed applications must be received by 4 p.m. on March 31.

Questions may be directed to (812) 376-2679 or (812) 376-2585.