Monthly Archives: June 2017

Two arrested on drug charges after trespassing accusation

Brandy Jenkins. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Two Columbus residents were arrested on drug charges Monday after they were caught in a store where they had already been banned.

Columbus police report that 34-year-old Franklin E. Byars and 29-year-old Brandy L. Jenkins were accused of trespassing at the store on Carr Hill Road at about 1:50 ten till two that afternoon. While searching Jenkins, officers allegedly discovered methamphetamine in a metal tin and a glass smoking pipe. Byars also allegedly was carrying meth in his pants pockets.

Franklin Byars. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

They are both facing preliminary charges of possession of methamphetamine and criminal trespassing. Jenkins is also facing a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Update: “Armed and dangerous” suspect caught in Bartholomew County

Aaron L. Gillespie. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department

Bartholomew County officials say that a wanted man out of Iowa is under arrest after an incident last night, where residents were warned to lock their doors and to be on the lookout for an armed and dangerous fugitive.

And the sheriff’s department is crediting employees at Rightway Fasteners for their help corralling the suspect.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department reports that they were notified at about 6:20 p.m. last night that 35-year-old Aaron L. Gillespie was believed to be in Bartholomew County. Gillespie was wanted on several felony warrants from Iowa and for questioning by another Indiana law enforcement agency. They were told that Gillespie was staying with a woman at a campground  in the 8800 block of County Road 300 W and that he was believed to be armed.

Bailey A. Davenport. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

A deputy went to the campground and while waiting for backup, saw Gillespie’s vehicle leave the campground, driven by a woman. When deputies pulled the vehicle over, the woman allegedly ran away. A gun, ammunition and drug paraphernalia were found inside the vehicle, according to police reports.

Several police agencies began searching for Gillespie in the area of the campground, including deputies, Columbus police and a city police dog, Indiana State Police and two drones provided by the Bargersville Fire Department.

Police issued an alert to area residents through the Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Center’s Everbridge alert system, which sends out targeted, automated phone calls, text messages and e-mails. Residents were warned to lock their vehicle and home doors and to call 911 if they saw Gillespie. Nearby, Rightway Fasteners went into lockdown mode based on the alert.

At about 1:20 a.m.  in the morning, workers at Rightway saw Gillespie run through the parking lot. Deputies say that Rightway workers Wayde Schmeski and Benjamin Jones took Gillespie to the ground and held him until authorities arrived. They were assisted by a third employee, Shawn Snyder.

Gillespie was taken to Bartholomew County Jail on the outstanding warrants as well as on a preliminary charge of possession of methamphetamine.

The driver, 23-year-old old Bailey A. Davenport of Philadelphia, is facing preliminary charges of carrying a firearm without a permit, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting law enforcement.

Produce vendors sought for Hope Farmer’s Markets

Organizers of the monthly Hope Farmer’s Market say they are looking for more vendors to sell produce or other wares on the Town Square.

That could even be gardeners with extra vegetables from their home garden. There is no cost to participate in the event, which runs on the first Friday of the month through October. The next farmer’s market is Friday, July 7th from 5 to 8 p.m.

If you are interested in signing up you can contact the Hope Clerk-Treasurer’s office at 812-546- 0423

Thirty-three people arrested in Jennings County sweep

Authorities in Jennings County arrested more than 30 people during a sweep last week. Sgt. Andrew Richmond, spokesman for the North Vernon Police Department, says that on Friday, June 23rd, officers of the North Vernon Police Department joined Jennings County Sheriff’s Deputies, Jennings County Circuit Probation Officers, Indiana State Parole Officers and corrections officers from Jackson and Jennings counties for a “special enforcement operation.”

Sgt. Richmond says that authorities joined to conduct compliance searches on offenders currently on probation, parole and house arrest. He says that these compliance searches uncovered a variety of both violations, as well as new criminal activity. In addition, Richmond says that deputies and officers engaged in “proactive criminal patrols.”

Sgt. Richmond says that 33 people were arrested on new charges during the operation. These charges range from outstanding warrants, driving while suspended, possession of paraphernalia and possession of controlled substances.

“This is the second time in recent months that all local departments have joined forces to seek out criminal activity in the county and the results speak for themselves,” said North Vernon Chief of Police James Webster. He added, “The focus and effort that goes into a single combined patrol shift is just remarkable and I thank everyone involved.”

Elevator at City Hall still out of service

The elevator at Columbus City Hall remains out of service. City officials say they expect it to be up and running again sometime next week. They were originally hoping the elevator would be back in service by the end of this week.

In an effort to ensure that all public meetings are accessible to everyone, city officials have moved the following meetings to Hamilton Center, located at 2501 Lincoln Park Drive, next week:

Wednesday, July 5 – Columbus Board of Public Works & Safety at 10 a.m.
Wednesday, July 5 – City Council at 6 p.m.

Those with accessibility needs who have business at City Hall over the next week should to call (812) 376-2500 for assistance.

City officials also remind you that city offices will be closed Tuesday, July 4th for Independence Day.

Silver Alert issued for Beech Grove woman

Miracle Nevills; photo courtesy of Indiana State Police

The Beech Grove Police Department is investigating the disappearance of an adult from Beech Grove, Indiana. Beech Grove is located approximately six miles southeast of Indianapolis.

Miracle Nevills is a 22 year old black female, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 115 pounds, with short black hair and brown eyes. Miracle Nevills was last seen Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in Indianapolis and is believed to be in danger.

She was last seen wearing a black head scarf and an olive green shirt. Miracle Nevills may be disoriented and require medical assistance.

If you have any information on Miracle Nevills, contact the Beech Grove Police Department by calling (317) 782-4950 or 911 or by email at [email protected].

Miracle Nevills; photo courtesy of Indiana State Police

Seymour military vet pushes for shelter

A Seymour restaurant owner and military veteran is pushing for a shelter for homeless veterans to be established in that city. Robert Liter owns D’s Diner at Freeman Field. He recently approached the Freeman Field Airport Board Authority for help in making this a reality.

While citing statistics about homeless vets and suicide rates, Liter says that he has a more personal reason for wanting to help his military brethren… a cousin named Darren Potter who was killed in the line of duty after being sent to Iraq as a member of the Kentucky National Guard.

Liter says that no one can deny the need.

As for what happens next…

While there is no timeline for the project, Liter is adamant that this is a dream that he will not give-up on.

Downtown Dairy Queen celebrates 50 years

The downtown Columbus Dairy Queen is celebrating a half-century in business. Julie Franke is the manager and daughter of owners Bob and the late Noel Franke. She says that menu items will be half-off, all day on Thursday…

She says that the location has always been owned and operated by her parents…

The downtown Dairy Queen, located in the 600 block of Third Street, is open from 6 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. You are invited to take part in Thursday’s celebration.

ATV helmet law for children goes into effect Saturday

Indiana Conservation Officers want to remind you about a new state law going into effect on Saturday. Starting then any children riding or driving an ATV will be required to wear a helmet.

They say that the law applies on both public and private lands, however it does not include golf carts. Conservation officers say the goal is to protect Hoosier children from preventable brain injuries, serious bodily injuries or fatalities caused while operating or riding on off road vehicles.

They also report that a commonly asked question is what to do if you child is too small to wear a helmet. They suggest that if your child is too small to safely ride on an off-road vehicle with a helmet that you should keep your child off of those vehicles.

State offers fireworks locations at Indiana parks

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says that you can celebrate Independence Day with fireworks at several state parks, starting tomorrow night at the Indiana Dunes and concluding with festivities at Monroe Lake’s Fairfax Recreation Area on Monday night.

The schedule of fireworks shows:

  • Indiana Dunes State Park, June 29
  • Clifty Falls State Park, July 1
  • Patoka Lake, July 1
  • Pokagon State Park, July 1
  • Raccoon SRA (Cecil M. Harden Lake), July 1
  • Versailles State Park, July 1
  • Monroe Lake, Fairfax SRA, July 3

For more information, visit the IDNR website.