Monthly Archives: December 2017

City Council to redo overpass funding vote

The Columbus City Council will be taking a mulligan on the second reading to approve the transfer of $10 million to INDOT for the overpass project taking traffic into downtown over the railroad tracks at State Road 11 and Jonathan Moore Pike.

Mary Ferdon, the city’s director of administration, calls the measure, scheduled for Tuesday night, a “formality.” She explains that because of the type of non-reverting fund created for this money, it was originally believed the appropriation did not need to be advertised. However, city officials realized the appropriation should have been advertised. Ferdon notes that the ordinance appropriating the funds did not change.

City Council meets Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Decatur County judge disciplined

The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has issued a Public Admonition of Decatur Circuit Court Judge Timothy B. Day. Judge Day for his actions in response to incidents in October of 2014 and December of 2015. The seven-member Commission investigates alleged ethical misconduct by judges.

The admonition says that both incidents involved the judge, his estranged wife and guns. In the first incident, the pair were separated but still spent time together. Judge Day went to the apartment complex of the man that his wife had been seeing after she denied being romantically involved with the man and suggested that her husband meet him. In the parking lot of the apartment complex, Day and his wife got into a heated argument, which led to her calling a Indiana State Police Trooper that she knew, informing him that her husband had a shotgun. When the trooper arrived, he secured the shotgun and spoke with both parties. The wife later refused to speak to law enforcement and retracted her earlier statements. Judge Day told investigators that he always kept a loaded shotgun in his pickup truck. A special prosecutor declined to file charges.

In the second incident, Day and his wife were still separated and divorce proceedings were underway. Day’s wife and 16-year-old daughter came to his home so the girl could prepare to go out with friends. The pair were discussing a possible reconciliation when the judge received text messages from a woman he was dating. The investigation revealed that the judge’s wife became jealous, grabbed his phone and threw it out on to the driveway. Their daughter retrieved the phone for her father. As she took it to her father, she found her parents playing “tug-of-war” with a rifle. Judge Day says that he was putting the gun in a closet to keep it away from his wife. He told investigators that the rifle had a sentimental value to him and that his wife knew that. He said he feared she would take it. The pair quit fighting over the gun when their daughter got involved.

The Commission says that at no time during, or immediately after the December 29, 2015 incident did Judge Day call the police or inform the Commission that another incident involving a gun had occurred. The Commission believes that, “considering the totality of circumstances of these two incidents, which occurred less than fourteen months apart, Judge Day made several missteps which escalated the conduct and led to more police involvement. By engaging in this conduct, the judge violated his ethical duty to act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary and to avoid the appearance of impropriety, as required by Rule 1.2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct.”

This Admonition concludes the Commission’s investigation, and Judge Day will not formally be charged with ethical misconduct.

Police plan to continue saving lives of overdose victims

As communities across the country deal with the opiate drug epidemic, some are trying to scale back the use of Naloxone also known as Narcan — a drug antidote which can rescue an overdose victim from the brink of death.

Some communities have even gone as far as forbidding police officers from using the antidote on repeat victims.

But with nearly 30 overdose deaths this year alone in Bartholomew County, local authorities say that is not happening here. Lt Matt Harris with the Columbus police said that the department believes it is important first to protect lives.

Harris said that the use of Narcan has saved many lives in the city.

Harris said that the drug has proven itself to be a cost effective way to save lives.

Harris says that for many of those with addictions it takes several times hitting rock bottom before they can make the decision to turn their lives around.


Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers said that it doesn’t matter to him how many times a single person may need to be revived with Narcan..

Myers said his deputies are in the business of saving lives.

Myers said he is willing to stake his career on the importance of helping those who are overdosing.


Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting said last week that there had been 29 overdose deaths of all types in the county so far this year, with 23 confirmed as opiate overdoses and two to three more he expected would be confirmed after toxicology results are complete.

Shelter opening for extended hours in extreme cold

The Brighter Days Housing shelter in Columbus is announcing that it will be open all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday to help the homeless in our community during the extreme cold temperatures that are forecast.

They are also looking for volunteers to help staff the shelter during the extended hours. If you would like to volunteer you can email [email protected].

The shelter is at 421 S Mapleton Street in Columbus. For more information you can call (812) 344-4512

Firefighters save home from two burning vehicles

Photo courtesy of German Township Volunteer Fire Department.

Firefighters from three agencies battled a two-vehicle fire yesterday, saving a home near Taylorsville.

German Township, Clifford and Columbus Township volunteers were called to the fire on North Farmstead Court at 1:06 p.m. yesterday afternoon to find the two vehicles burning in a driveway just feet from the home.

German Township Chief Matt Lynch says that the firefighters used water to cool the house and keep it from catching fire. They then worked to extinguish the two vehicles, eventually dropping 2,000 gallons of water on the blazes.

“My first priority was to keep the house from catching on fire so I instructed the initial crews to wet down the house then focus their attention to the cars,” says Capt. Jake Goodin, the on-scene incident commander.

“I didn’t want the homeowner to not only lose two cars but the house also.”

The homeowner said that they noticed light smoke coming from under the hood of an SUV when they pulled in, but thought it was oil spilled during a recent oil change. A child at the home noticed the vehicles burning and the resident called 911.

Both vehicles were a total loss, Lynch says.

Photo courtesy of German Township Volunteer Fire Department

Vectren suggests tips for natural gas leak safety

With home heating going full blast in the bitter cold, Vectren Energy is giving some suggestions on what you should do if you start to smell natural gas.

The company says that if you start smelling natural gas inside of a home or business, you should leave immediately and move to where the smell of the gas is no longer noticeable. Once you get safely away you should call Vectren at 800-227-1376 and stay away until emergency crews arrive and give the all-clear.

The company says that several activities could cause the gas to ignite if it has been building for a while. For example, you should not use the phone, cell phone or send a text message while still inside the building nor should you call or text anyone who is still in the area.

Vectren says you should not turn on or off any lights, appliances or other electrical source, you should not light matches and you should not try to start a vehicle that is in a garage in an affected building.

Vectren says it does not charge to inspect a suspected gas leak and workers will respond around the clock, any day of the year.

While natural gas is odorless, the gas company includes an additive that smells like rotten eggs or sulfur, so you can notice leaks.

Ivy Tech Columbus offering Express Enrollment next week

Ivy Tech Community College in Columbus will be holding Express Enrollment Week Tuesday through Saturday next week, so that new students can sign up in one stop to the campus.

Ivy Tech employees will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Jan. 2nd through the 6th, at the college on Central Avenue to help new students complete their application, to answer financial aid questions, to meet with an adviser, to get your previous credits assessed or to sign you up for the ACCUPlacer placement test.

If you have any questions, you can check our the Ivy Tech Columbus Facebook page or RSVP at You can also call
(812) 372-9925

Downtown McDonalds helping with Turning Point fundraiser

Turning Point Domestic Violence Services is having an opportunity this weekend to help the agency’s Raise the Roof fundraiser, thanks to the downtown Columbus McDonald’s location.

The agency has been working to raise $25,000 to replace the roof on the emergency shelter and transitional housing. That will be matched by a $25,000 grant from Dave and Jo McKinney, says Elizabeth Jones, vice president of resource development for the non-profit agency.

The Third Street McDonald’s in downtown Columbus will be selling punch cards on Saturday and Sunday for $20, with half of that going to the fundraiser. The punch cards are good for one sandwich on the menu, once a week all year long. The cards are also good at McDonald’s owned by the same franchisee in Brownstown, Trafalgar and Franklin.

Turning Point works to end domestic and dating violence in  Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Jennings, Johnson and Shelby counties.

If you have any questions you can call  Turning Point at 812-379-5575

Time left for charitable giving before close of 2017

Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County is reminding people that there is still time to make a charitable donation before the end of the year. With recent changes to the tax code there could be a financial incentive for some residents to make a donation before the end of the year to maximize their allowable deduction.

Any donations would have to be posted by Dec. 31st. And the Heritage Fund suggests you consult with your tax professional to get advice.

If you have any questions about donating to Heritage Fund, you can call 812-376-7772 or stop by their offices at 538 Franklin Street in Columbus.