Monthly Archives: September 2017

Suspect dies after Columbus police shooting

Officer Joshua McCrary. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

The Indiana State Police report that the suspect in a police shooting this morning died after an exchange of gunfire with a member of the state police SWAT team early this afternoon.

The deceased suspect has been identified as 44–year-old Quentin Starke of Bartholomew County.

Sgt. Jerry Goodin with the Indiana State Police says that police from multiple agencies were searching woods near a gravel road off of County Road 200S at about 12:21 this afternoon when a state trooper came across Starke trying to hide in the secluded area. Starke allegedly pulled out a rifle and fired at the trooper, who returned fire.

Goodin said it is not yet clear whether Starke was killed by a shot from the trooper or his own gun. An autopsy will be performed by the Dearborn County coroner’s office.

The incident started at about 4:20 a.m. this morning when Columbus Police Sgt. Joshua McCrary tried to pull over a vehicle near 11th and Washington Streets for a traffic infraction. Instead of stopping, the driver fled. Bartholomew County deputies deployed tire deflation devices near Garden City on State Road 11 which police believe the driver struck. He turned off onto County Road 200S, near a water treatment plant and began to run away.

As McCrary approached, Starke allegedly fired at the officer with a rifle, injuring the officer. McCrary was treated for his injuries at Columbus Regional Hospital and released. State Police say they do not yet know whether McCrary was hit by the bullet, or debris from Starke’s shot.

Officers from agencies including the Columbus police, Bartholomew County deputies and state police cordoned off the area and began the search for Starke. That included a state police helicopter and police dogs from several agencies, Goodin said.

Although the shooting happened at 12:21 p.m., there was a delay in identifying the body because Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting is a Columbus police officer, as are several of his deputies. And those that are not police officers are friends with the Columbus police officers, Goodin said.

That led the state police to call in an outside coroner’s office to handle the death scene and subsequent autopsy, Goodin said.


Services set for beloved columnist Harry McCawley

Harry McCawley speaks at a 2015 seminar on the history of Columbus City Hall. WRB photo.

A memorial service for Harry McCawley, long-time local journalist and retired associate editor of The Republic will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7th at North Christian Church, 850 Tipton Lane, Columbus, with Nic Cable officiating.

Family and friends may gather for visitation from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday at Barkes, Weaver & Glick Funeral Home on Washington Street and from 12 p.m. until service time Saturday at the church. Inurnment will be at City Cemetery at a later date.

McCawley, 77, died Thursday afternoon at Our Hospice of South Central Indiana in-patient facility in Columbus after a 10-month battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow.

Memorial contributions may be made to Our Hospice of South Central Indiana, Columbus Philharmonic Symphony, Bartholomew County Historical Society, or the donor’s choice of charities.

Online condolences and special memories may be shared with the family at

For more on our coverage of McCawley’s death, click here.

Suspect caught in shooting of Columbus officer

Officer Joshua McCrary. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

A suspect is in custody after a morning shooting of a Columbus police officer. That’s after the suspect exchanged gunfire with an Indiana State Police SWAT team before being captured, according to officials.

Police had cordoned off an area around the Columbus wastewater treatment plant near Southside Elementary School this morning after a fleeing suspect shot at and injured a Columbus police officer.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department reported this morning that they were searching for white man with red/brown hair and facial hair. He was last seen wearing a black shirt, jeans and a ball cap. He is believed to be around 6 feet tall, 190 pounds and is in his late 30s or early 40s.

Sgt. Stephen Wheeles with the Indiana State Police said that the officer who was hit was Sgt. Josh McCrary. He said he did not know if McCrary had been hit by a bullet or debris. He was treated at Columbus Regional Hospital and released.

Columbus Police Lt. Matt Harris says that a Columbus officer tried to pull over a vehicle at 11th and Washington streets at about 4:30 a.m., when the driver took off. Bartholomew County deputies deployed tire-deflation devices near Garden City, which they believe the suspect struck. He then drove off on a gravel road near the water treatment plant, driving to a tree line. He then fired shots at officers, hitting a Columbus officer, before running into the woods, Harris said.

The Sheriff’s Department announced at about 1 p.m. that the suspect was in custody and they had called off the search. Wheeles said that the suspect was hit by police gunfire and his condition is unknown. All officers on the scene are uninjured, he said.

Update: Missing boy found unharmed

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.
9:55 p.m. Update: The child has been found unharmed.
 The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help locating a missing child. 12-year-old Agustine Ordonez, also known as Junior is an autistic boy last seen at Central Middle School in Columbus and he is likely to still be in the area.

He is 4’9″, 70 lbs, with brown eyes and black hair. He was last seen wearing a red t-shirt, gray jeans, black Puma shoes and a neon green digital camouflage backpack.

If you have seen Junior or have any information on his whereabouts, please contact the sheriff’s department immediately by either dialing 9-1-1 or calling the dispatch center at 812-379-1689.

Amvets spearheading drive to help Hurricane Harvey victims

Amvets Local 509 is taking donations for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Organizers say there will be a staging area at the former Reeves Reliant Center near the corner of Seventh Street and Reeves Way in Columbus on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Donations will be accepted from noon to 6 p.m. each day. Items requested include: air mattresses, diapers, baby wipes, rubber boots, cleaning supplies, dog food cat food and other pet supplies. Water and clothing are NOT needed.

Rick Caldwell, an organizer, says that a truck was donated for the cause and that everything collected will be shipped to an Amvets post in Texas once the drive wraps up Wednesday night.

For more information, visit the Amvets Local 509 page on Facebook.

Vernon man charged in Charlottesville incident

Dennis L. Mothersbaugh; photo courtesy of Jennings County Sheriff’s Dept.

A Jennings County man has been arrested and will be extradited to Charlottesville, Virginia, to face an assault-and-battery charge stemming from clashes between white supremacists and counter-demonstrators in August.

The Jennings County Sheriff’s Department says that 37-year-old Dennis L. Mothersbaugh, was arrested Thursday afternoon a his Vernon home.  Our news-gathering partners at “The Republic” are reporting that the Virginia warrant was issued after video from the clashes surfaced online. Police say that the video shows Mothersbaugh marching with white supremacists and punching two people.

Community leader, Harry McCawley, dies at 77

Harry McCawley speaks at a 2015 seminar on the history of Columbus City Hall. WRB photo.

Columbus has lost a community leader, its leading journalist and one of the longest serving community voices. Harry McCawley, former associate editor of The Republic newspaper died yesterday at Our Hospice of South Central Indiana. He was 77.

Best known for his weekly columns and his deep knowledge of Bartholomew County history, behind the scenes he shaped the community’s opinion through daily editorials and was a strong advocate for local veterans.

Former Mayor Fred Armstrong remembers being interviewed by McCawley.

One of the projects that Armstrong remembers McCawley quietly organizing and leading was the portraits of Jack the Bum and Carl Miske that now adorn the walls of the large meeting room at Columbus City Hall.

Former Indiana Senate President Pro Tem Bob Garton talks about McCawley’s impact:

Garton talks about McCawley’s impact as the person carrying the memory of the community.

Former Republic editor John Harmon remembers McCawley poring over the clip files in the paper’s library, digging up historical tidbits.

Harmon says that community groups always wanted and needed McCawley’s support for their projects and events.

Harmon talks about McCawley’s intense workload, producing more stories, columns and other material than anyone else at the newspaper.

McCawley pushed for the Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans on the courthouse lawn and was an organizer of the annual Salute concert on Memorial Day.

Zack Ellison worked closely with McCawley coming up with the names and the letters to be featured on the memorial.

Ellison says that McCawley used his platform at the paper to raise awareness about the veterans memorial project — and to raise funding.

McCawley started at The Republic in 1966 and retired from the newspaper in January of 2014 but continued writing frequent columns throughout his retirement.

Former newspaper publisher Bud Herron remembers his friend and colleague:

Herron talks about McCawley’s dedication to veterans.

For many in the community, McCawley was the voice of the paper. Herron explains:

Herron praised the depth of McCawley’s local knowledge, saying that he was a walking encyclopedia of Bartholomew County history:

McCawley had been fighting cancer. He is survived by his wife Julie, son Chris, daughter in law Misty and four grandchildren.

Services are being arranged by Barkes Weaver and Glick Funeral Home on Washington Street.

‘Men Take a Stand’ event Tuesday at City Hall

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Turning Point is putting on a number of events aimed at educating the community about domestic violence issues. Stephen Dischinger says that one such event, “Men Take a Stand,” takes place next week.

Dischinger says that a group will gather prior to the event.

Dischinger says this event is important in helping the community understand that men are a vital component in ending the cycle of domestic violence and nurturing healthy relationships. If you can’t take part in the march, you are welcome to go straight to city hall for the noon event.

You are urged to keep active during ‘WALKtober’

October bring “WALKtober,” designed to help people stay active. Laura Garrett is the communities initiative lead for Healthy Communities. She explains that her organization puts out a calendar of all-walking related events put on by other groups throughout the month.

Garrett explains the importance of WALKtober.

You can check it out the calendar and other WALKtober-related events online at

Driver injured after rollover accident on State Road 58

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Bartholomew County deputies say a driver was injured after rolling his pickup several times last night.

The accident happened at about 6 p.m. Wednesday evening in the 14000 block of State Road 58, when 57-year-old Kevin Rucker of Seymour drove just off the road, lost control and went off into a ditch. That’s according to Sheriff Matt Myers.

Rucker was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital to be treated for a shoulder injury, the sheriff said.