Monthly Archives: July 2017

County officials discuss contributing to overpass project

Bartholomew County officials say they are willing to contribute to the construction of an overpass to take vehicle traffic over the railroad at State Road 11 and Jonathan Moore Pike. The city of Columbus is responsible for coming up with half of the $30 million price-tag. Carl Lienhoop, county commissioner president, told the county council Monday night that he met with Mayor Jim Lienhoop to talk about the plan.

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Between the city’s TIF District and Cummins’ TIF District, $9.5 million is expected to be accounted for. County officials indicate that they’re willing to contribute two-million dollars, but Councilman Jorge Morales is concerned that Columbus won’t be shouldering enough of the burden.

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Noting Cummins’ willingness to contribute to the project, along with the company’s recent announcement of spending $50 million to improve it’s headquarters in downtown Columbus, Lienhoop says that he thinks it is important that the county do what it can to show that it appreciates all that the diesel engine manufacturer contributes to the community.

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County officials have invited Mayor Jim Lienhoop to next week’s county council meeting to further discuss the finances of the project. That will be held Tuesday, Aug. 8th at the County Government Office Building on Third Street. There’s been no word on if the mayor will be attending.

Senior project assists with suicide prevention

Ivy Tech Community College has received a contribution for a suicide prevention and intervention program from a Columbus North High School senior who organized a run/walk event in memory of her brother.

Chris Schilling, Ivy Tech spokesman, says that Lauren Frederick donated the proceeds from Scotty’s Mile, a one-mile run/walk on July 20, to the Hope Squad, a peer-to-peer program designed to train students how to provide outreach to students in distress with a direct connection to the local mental health system.

Schilling says that Frederick’s brother, Scotty, passed away from suicide at the age of 23 in December of 2010. Frederick was in the fifth grade at the time. Her family held a one-mile run/walk to raise money for suicide awareness and prevention two years ago in memory of Scotty. Frederick organized the event again this year as part of her high school senior project.

“For me and my family, this event is a really good way to make something positive out of this situation and remember Scotty,” Frederick said.

More than 100 people participated in Scotty’s Mile this year. The family hopes to make Scotty’s Mile an annual event.

Ivy Tech is developing the Hope Squad in partnership with IUPUC and community stakeholder support through a grant from Heritage Fund – The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County to teach Ivy Tech Columbus and IUPUC students how to intervene in and prevent possible suicidal threats by peers.

“We are so grateful to Lauren and her family for their thoughtful and kind donation to the Hope Squad as we work with IUPUC and our community stakeholders to develop this imperative program,” said Therese Copeland, Ivy Tech Executive Director of Resource Development. “We believe the Hope Squad will prepare our students and our community to gracefully and effectively intervene and prevent tragic loss of life.”

Organizers say that members of the Hope Squad work together with college counseling staff and mentor advisors who assist in triaging to emergency operations or mental health as appropriate. Additionally, Ivy Tech will be using suicide gatekeeper training in the community and at the college to provide skills and knowledge about suicide risk factors, how to respond to someone in distress, and how to assist them in seeking help.

The program will begin this fall with the start of the 2017 academic year. Schilling says that the Hope Squad is in the process of planning events for Suicide Prevention Week, starting on Monday, September 11.

Columbus police ready for DARE golf fundraiser

The Columbus Police Department will be hosting its annual DARE charity golf tournament at Otter Creek Golf Course on Friday.

Lt Matt Harris spokesman for the police department says that Columbus police put a large amount of resources into the drug abuse prevention program.

Harris says Columbus has one of the largest DARE programs in the state, dedicated to providing an anti-drug message to area 6th-grade students.

Harris says that the program costs more than $15,000 annually in operational costs, which is paid for through donations and fundraisers.

Harris said that they believe DARE is a vital tool to reach kids with the anti-drug message, and to build trust between the community and its officers. The department recently added a second fundraiser, a motorcycle ride, to help with the fundraising.

The golf event is $125 per person or $500 per team. That includes lunch provided by Texas Roadhouse and dinner by Mancino’s Pizza and Grinders. The winning team will receive free steak dinners for a year from Texas Roadhouse. You can get more information at

Night Owl Country Band to play at Hope Farmer’s Market

The next Hope Farmer’s Market is coming up on Friday. It will include a performance by the Night Owl Country Band, a rescheduled Touch-A-Truck with area volunteer firefighters and the monthly cruise-in. Last month’s planned Touch-A-Truck was rained out.

Friday’s event will also include fundraisers for the Hope Chamber of Commerce and the Community Center of Hope. All proceeds from the community center’s hot dog and drink stand will go toward the restoration of the old Hope school gymnasium.

The monthly Hope Farmer’s Market is held on the first Friday of each month through October from 5 to 8 p.m. on the Hope Town Square..

Columbus looks to other solutions to ease train troubles

The city of Columbus continues work on preparing for an increase in train traffic coming through the city.

Along with the project to construct an overpass to take vehicle traffic over the tracks at State Road 11 and Jonathan Moore Pike, Mayor Jim Lienhoop explains that steps are being taken to reduce noise from the trains.

Lienhoop says that there are four crossings in Columbus, and trains are required to blow their whistles three times for each crossing. Or 12 times for each train running through the city.

Mayor Lienhoop says that the city is applying for a so-called “quiet zone” from the federal government that would allow trains to roll through the city without sounding those whistles.

Along with the overpass project, Jim Lienhoop explains that the city has approached Bartholomew County officials about making improvements to Lowell Road.

Staff and students at Purdue Polytechnic Columbus have offered to develop an app to help drivers know how train traffic is moving through the city.

The Columbus City Council is scheduled to consider final approval of a new city fund that will allow the city to accept money toward the overpass project. Council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

Updated: Scipio couple dies in Bartholomew motorcycle crash

A tragic accident this weekend killed a Scipio couple who were riding in a motorcycle rally for their dead son.

Our news-gathering partners at The Republic report that both 45-year-old Travis J. Setser, and his wife 51-year-old Suzanne M. Setzer died after the crash in southern Bartholomew County on Saturday afternoon.

The newspaper reports that their motorcycle was hit by a pickup truck when they tried to cross at the intersection of County Roads 850S and 400W. Travis Setser was pronounced dead at the scene by Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting. Nolting said the cause of the death was blunt force trauma.

Suzanne Setser was flown by Statflight helicopter to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, where she later died, the newspaper reports.

The ride was in memory of Suzanne’s son Clayton Fowler. The 27-year-old died on July 10th of a drug overdose, according to The Republic..

The crash remains under investigation.

Bartholomew County announces road closures

The Bartholomew County Highway Department has announced a set of road closings in the coming days. They are:

County Road 300 South, between County Roads 550 West and 650 West, and Carlos Folger Road will be closed to through traffic on Monday for paving.

Lowell Road, between County Road 250 West (to the south) and 250 West (to the north), will be closed to through traffic from approximately 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday for road improvements. County officials say that this section is scheduled to be closed again on Thursday morning in the hopes that it will be reopened on the evening of Friday, Aug. 4th.

You are asked to avoid these areas during these times.

Child molestation / abduction case delayed

The trial of a man wanted for abducting and molesting a girl in Jackson County more than 18 years ago has been continued. “The Seymour Tribune” is reporting that 61-year-old Charley Hollin, of Salem, Oregon, had been set to stand trial Aug. 22nd in Jackson Circuit Court. The newspaper is reporting that Jackson Circuit Court Judge Richard W. Poynter agreed to Hollin’s request to push the trial back to Feb. 6th.

Hollin was arrested and charged in January in connection with the 1999 incident where a 10-year-old girl was abducted at knife-point from outside Girls Inc. on West Second Street in Seymour. The girl was taken to a secluded area, molested and released naked on a country road near Cortland. Her abductor threw her clothing out of the vehicle before she was found and rescued by a passing motorist.

According to the report, Hollin is facing three counts of Child Molesting and two counts of Criminal Confinement. He was initially was charged in 2000 by the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office but disappeared before police could arrest him.

For more on this story, visit

Ceremony held to mark opening of Moving Wall

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop addresses gathering at the Moving Wall.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall exhibit arrived in Columbus yesterday. The half-sized replica followed a parade route through the city before being assembled by staff and veterans at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds. A welcoming ceremony was held last night, where a proclamation was read by Mayor Jim Lienhoop. The mayor reflected on veterans and the price of freedom.


Mayor Lienhoop says that it’s important for all of us to remember and appreciate the sacrifices made by veterans and active military personnel.


Lienhoop read a proclamation proclaiming July 27 through July 31 as “The Moving Wall Week” in the city of Columbus.

Organizers say that special programs, including music, an invocation and a speaker, will be held through Sunday at noon and 6 p.m. In addition, a mobile vet center is located at the fairgrounds to help provide veterans with information on their medical benefits and assist with medical referrals.

Everyone, veterans and civilians are encouraged to visit the display.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall arrives in Columbus

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall exhibit has arrived in Columbus. After a parade through the city Thursday morning, organizers assembled the half-sized replica at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds for a five-day stay. Organizers say that the exhibit will be open, and guarded 24-hours a day. It is free to visit, though good-will donations are being accepted.

A special welcoming ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. That will include remarks from Mayor Jim Lienhoop, special music from Southern Indiana Pipes & Drums, as well as a three volley salute and the playing of “Taps” by the American Legion Post #24 Color Guard. You are invited.