Monthly Archives: December 2016

Hope to have first drug store in 30+ years

Lester Burris, vice president/manager of Panacea Pharmacy
Lester Burris, vice president/manager of Panacea Pharmacy

Residents of the Town of Hope got some good news last night — next year the town will be getting its first pharmacy in more than 30 years and it will fill a historic building on the Town Square.

Lester Burris with Panacea Pharmacy made the announcement during last night’s state of the town meeting. He said that his company would be opening a pharmacy in the former Irwin Union Bank Branch and Hope Star-Journal building on the Town Square.

Burris describes the company’s plans:

Burris said that Hope’s demographics make for a good fit.

“We are finding that in other small communities around the state, where they used to have things that have moved to bigger cities… there is still a need, especially for a health care type of service in those communities,” Burris said. “A lot of times people are just going without. o I think there is a certain need for it here.”

Lester Burris, at left, and J.T. Doane unveil the sign for the new Hope Wellness Pharmacy.
Lester Burris, at left, and J.T. Doane unveil the sign for the new Hope Wellness Pharmacy.

Burris credited Town Manager J.T. Doane with selling the pharmacy owners on the attraction of the town.

“Kind of like the slogan — it is a surprising little town. We found that to be true,” Burris said.

Panacea Pharmacy operates two other pharmacies, one in Bloomington and one in New Castle, Burris said.

Town officials say that it has been 30 to 35 years since the town has had a pharmacy. The pharmacy is expected to open in February.



Local government offices closed for New Years

Local government offices are closed today and Monday for the New Year’s holiday. That includes Columbus City Hall and City Utilities. If you have a water or sewer service emergency you can 812-372-8861 and follow the prompts.

The Columbus City Garage wants you to be aware that trash and recycling pickup are on their normal schedule, despite the holidays. Bryan Burton, the city’s director of public works, says that they have been getting calls from residents asking about the holiday schedule, but because Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Sundays, collections will continue as normal this week and next.

The Bartholomew County Recycling Center and Landfill are open today from 7:30 to 4:30, but the Solid Waste Management District Offices are closed. On Saturday, the recycling center is closed but the landfill will be open from 7:30 to 4. The Harrison Township and Petersville Convenience Sites will be open from 8 to 3. Both the recycling center and the landfill are closed Monday.

Local officials prepare for inauguration trip

Local officials are preparing for their trip to Washington D.C. to witness the inauguration of Columbus-native Mike Pence as the next Vice-President of the United States. Barb Hackman is the Bartholomew County Republican Party Chairwoman…

Hackman says that these buses will be making additional pickups in Richmond and New Castle.

The group will arrive in Washington D.C. Wednesday night, Jan. 18. On Thursday, the group will tour the nation’s capital before attending that evening’s Indiana Society Ball, co-chaired by Indiana First Lady Karen Pence…

The group will wrap up its trip on that Saturday when they hold a reception for state officials, including incoming Gov. Eric Holcomb and, hopefully, new Vice-President Pence. The group is scheduled to return home on Sunday, Jan.22.

Hackman says that just over 100 people are a part of this trip.

Phone scam invokes Columbus Police Dept.

Columbus Police want you to be aware of a scam going on where the department’s name is being used in an effort to get your money.

Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman, says that he was contacted by a former BCSC teacher who got a phone call Thursday from someone claiming to represent CPD and attempting to raise money for the “junior police camp.” Harris stresses that the department does not solicit funds for any of its programs over the phone. He explains that most of the department’s community programs, such as the CPD Youth Academy and Public Safety Academy, are held at no charge to participants. If a business or community member is interested in making a donation to a police department program, such as DARE, they can contact the police department directly.

Lt. Harris says, “It is disappointing that there are persons who would try to use the good reputation of our police department to scam members of the community.”

If you receive similar calls, you should hang up and inform police about the attempt, along with any information on where the call may have come from.

Arrest made in hit-and-run involving a house

A Columbus teen is facing charges after a Tuesday morning hit-and-run involving a house.

Ethen Robertson; photo courtesy of the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Dept.
Ethen Robertson; photo courtesy of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Dept.

Caitlyn Gross, with the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, says that at approximately 9:30 a.m. that day, deputies were dispatched to the 6100 block of South Jonesville Road to investigate an accident with possible injury. They learned that an SUV went off the road, through a picket fence and crashed in to a house. The driver then fled on foot. Authorities say the vehicle caused extensive damage to the outside of the home and also struck a gas line, which required Vectren to respond.

Gross says that later that day, Deputy Andrew Dougan received information about the driver. He has been identified as 19-year-old Ethen Robertson. While investigating the tip, deputies learned that Robertson had a Body Attachment out of Bartholomew County.

Gross says that Deputy Dougan received another tip informing him of Robertson’s location. She says that units went to the 3100 block of 13th Street, where they were allowed into the home. Inside, they found Robertson, who was arrested on the Body Attachment, as well as charges of Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Operating Without Ever Receiving a License.

Text message scam hits local resident for nearly $1,600

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office wants to warn you of a scam being spread through text messages.

According to Detective Jason Williams, victims receive texts from a suspicious phone number advising them that they have been approved for up to a $60,000 grant for home improvements. In this case, Williams says the phone number had an out of state area code.

The victim is then requested to transfer money via MoneyGram to a person named Sara Doria, which is believed to be a false name. The grant money never arrives and the victim is given an excuse while being tricked into continuing to send more money.

Williams said that a victim was scammed out of almost $1,600 on Wednesday morning.

Authorities say that it’s important to not give any personal information out through text messages. If you receive a similar message, you are asked to report police.

Pets saved, no injuries in Taylorsville fire

A Taylorsville woman escaped a Wednesday morning fire at her home and firefighters saved both of her pets.

German Township Volunteer firefighters were called to the 1200 block of Pearl Street in Taylorsville at 8:27 a.m. yesterday and found heavy fire in the kitchen of a single story home, days Deputy Chief Matt Lynch. A resident had already escaped but a cat and dog were still inside the home. Firefighters found the dog in the living room and the cat hiding under a bed and were able to save both of the animals.

Investigators say that the exact cause of the fire is unknown, but the resident said that her husband had used the stove earlier in the morning to cook breakfast and she sat an item on the stove. Firefighters say the fire is being called unintentional. Total damage is estimated at about $60,000 with the fire damage contained to the kitchen. No injuries were reported.

Clifford, Harrison Township, and Columbus Township firefighters also assisted at the scene.

North Vernon woman accused in high-speed chase

A North Vernon woman is being accused of leading Indiana State Police on a 90 mph chase.

A trooper tried to stop a vehicle at about 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon for a traffic violation on U.S. 50 in Dearborn County. Instead of stopping, the driver allegedly took off on U.S. 50 at speeds of more than 90 mph, heading towards Aurora. Eventually the vehicle’s right front tire blew out, but the driver continued driving for about five more miles before losing control and crashing into a guardrail, state police say.

Police found that the driver, 23-year-old Sabrina E. Richman appeared to have already been injured before the crash, but the cause of those injuries are unknown, said Sgt. Stephen Wheeles spokesman for the state police. She was taken to the University of Cincinnati Hospital for treatment of those injuries, where she was allegedly found to have drugs and drug paraphernlaia on her.

Wheeles said the information in the incident has been forwarded to the Dearborn County prosecutor’s office for consideration of charges.

Columbus Parks and Rec wants your feedback

The Columbus Parks and Recreation Department says that now is your time to help shape the activities and programs at city parks. Nikki Murphy is a spokeswoman for the department…

Murphy says that if you have ideas on how to improve area parks, this is your best opportunity to affect change. Your next chance will be in 2021, as these master plan surveys are taken every five years.

To take part in this survey, which Murphy says takes approximately 15 minutes, visit If you prefer, you can get a hard copy of the survey at any parks location. This survey is available through Jan. 6.

Shelbyville Police investigate alleged sexual assault

Police in Shelbyville are investigating an alleged sexual assault.

WSVX radio is reporting that police were dispatched to the Major Hospital Emergency Room early Tuesday morning where they spoke with the female victim. The woman reportedly told officers that she had returned to her home in the 2000 block of South Miller Street from a Christmas gathering. When she walked up to her door, the woman said that two men came out from behind the bushes and assaulted her.

According to the report, the woman said she was tied up around her wrists then her clothes were cut from her body. She also reportedly told police that she remembered being sexually assaulted by one of the men. The victim reportedly told officers that she believes that she was drugged at some point during the incident and remembers waking up outside around 10:26 p.m. From there, she said that she then went to the hospital.

The woman reportedly told police that one of the men was about six-feet tall and the other was about average height. No other information was made available.

If you have any information about this incident, you are asked to contact the Shelbyville Police Department.

For more on this story, visit