Monthly Archives: May 2018

Suspect in ATM skimming arrested in Columbus

Claudiu C. Mihai; photo courtesy of Columbus Police Dept.

Columbus police officers made an arrest Wednesday morning of a suspect they believe is tied to a rash of fraudulent ATM withdraws. Lt. Matt Harris, department spokesman, says that shortly before 7 a.m., officers responded to an ATM in the 3500 block of West Jonathan Moore Pike. A witness reported seeing a man at the ATM for several minutes and contacted police dispatch after becoming suspicious.

When officers arrived, the suspect, 23-year-old Claudiu C. Mihai, of Yonkers, NY, allegedly fled on foot. Police gave chase and caught Mihai a short time later. The officers reported recovering over $1,100 in cash from Mihai, along with several gift cards that appeared to have been reprogrammed into debit cards utilizing the victims’ bank account information.

This arrest comes after CPD received numerous complaints about fraudulent withdraws from their bank accounts. Authorities suspect that a card skimming device was used to replicate their cards. Detectives are urging you to check your bank accounts for fraudulent activity. If you suspect fraudulent charges or withdraws, contact your financial institution immediately.

Mihai was arrested on a preliminary charge of Resisting Law Enforcement. He remains behind bars on a 48-hour hold as detectives continue their investigation. Harris says that additional charges are likely.

Columbus home seriously damaged in early morning fire

A Columbus home was seriously damaged in an early morning fire today.

Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department.

Firefighters were called to the 2300 block of Bittersweet Boulevard at about 2:45 a.m. this morning after 911 callers reported heavy flames at the back of the home. The lone occupant had already escaped when firefighters arrived. Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the fire department, said that firefighters had the fire under control about 10 minutes after they got there.

The fire, which started on a back porch, spread to the inside of the home causing more than $90,000 in damages, Wilson said. No one was injured but the homeowner cannot return to the residence. No cause for the fire has been identified.

Hope Town Square to host Friday farmers’ markets

This year’s season of the Hope Farmer’s Markets will kick off on Friday on the Town Square. The markets are from 5 to 8 p.m. on the first Friday of the month.

In addition to vendors and fresh produce, the farmer’s markets feature a classic car cruise-in on the east side of the square and live music. This week’s show will feature the Night Owl Country Band.

The markets are organized by Main Street of Hope. For more information you can call 812-546-0423.

Local high school seniors named STEM winners

Pictured left to right: John Dalloul, Gov. Eric J. Holcomb, Abraham Oliver, Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, Megan Singer, Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick and Trevor Vogel; photo courtesy of the Governor’s Office

A pair of area high school students were among those announced as the winners of the 2018 Governor’s STEM Team awards. STEM covers: science, technology, engineering and math. Four students, one from each of the four STEM subject areas, were honored in a ceremony Tuesday in the Governor Eric Holcomb’s office.

Abraham Oliver, a senior at Brown County High School, was named the Technology winner. The Governor’s Office says that Oliver has plans to attend Stanford University in the fall to study computer science and math.

Trevor Vogel, a senior at Jennings County High School, was named the Math winner. Trevor plans to attend Indiana State University to study Mathematics.

The Science winner was John Dalloul of Terre Haute South Vigo High School. Megan Singer of Carmel High School was named the Engineering winner.

Each winner received a $1,000 college scholarship through Indiana’s CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan and letterman jackets identifying them as members of the Governor’s STEM Team.

Envision Columbus public session Wednesday night

The Envision Columbus group will be holding a public session Wednesday night. Tracy Souza is with the Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County. She explains that Envision Columbus is a public-private partnership aimed at improving and developing downtown Columbus.

Souza says that this will be the second of three public meetings. The first was about gathering input on all sorts of proposals. Thus far, she says that community involvement has been excellent.

As for Wednesday night…

Those projects are expected to include an urban grocer, retail reinvigorization strategies, hotel and conference center, housing and the Crump theater.

Wednesday night’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at city hall and you are invited. You can get more information online at

Disaster Recovery Center in Madison

A Disaster Recovery Center is open through Thursday in Madison to help Indiana flood survivors. The DRC hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during these days.

Disaster Recovery Centers offer in-person support to individuals and business owners. Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the State of Indiana are available to provide assistance to anyone filling out their applications or updating their status. Voluntary organizations are available and offer a variety of services to help survivors recover.

The DRC is inside the Brown Memorial Gymnasium at 100 Broadway Street in Madison. For more information on Indiana’s recovery, visit

Sheriff’s Academy to hold Disability Friendly Day

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office and Developmental Services, Inc. have partnered to offer Disability Friendly Day at the 2018 Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Youth Academy. “We want all Bartholomew County kids to be able to experience our Sheriff’s Youth Academy,” said Bartholomew County Sheriff Matthew A. Myers.

Myers says that Monday, June 4th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. is “Disability Friendly” Day at the Sheriff’s Youth Academy. Special needs youth, ages 7-14, are invited to attend.

You can register online at:

Two Columbus residents arrested after traffic stop

William K Long; photo courtesy of Columbus Police Dept.

Two people were arrested on several charges during a traffic stop Monday afternoon. Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus Police Department, says that at approximately 1 p.m., Officer Ivan Shultz stopped a vehicle in the 1800 block of Hawcreek Avenue for a minor violation. Shultz spoke with the driver, 51-year-old William K. Long, of Columbus, and determined that he had a warrant for his arrest. Officers also spoke Long’s passenger, 40-year-old Christina S. Greathouse, of Columbus, and determined that she had two local warrants for her arrest.

While searching Greathouse, officers allegedly located drug paraphernalia containing methamphetamine in one of her pants pockets. Police say that a search of Greathouse’s purse yielded additional narcotics and drug paraphernalia. The officers also reported finding a pack of cigarettes containing marijuana where Greathouse was seated in the car.

Christina S. Greathouse; photo courtesy of Columbus Police Dept.

Along with the outstanding warrants, Greathouse is facing additional preliminary charges of Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Wanted Columbus man arrested on drug charges

Scott W. Bryant; photo courtesy of Columbus Police Dept.

A local man was arrested on a Bartholomew County warrant and drug charges Sunday afternoon. Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus Police Department, says that at approximately 2:55 p.m., Officer Robert Mitchell saw 51-year-old Scott W. Bryant, of Columbus, inside a vehicle in the 700 block of California Street. Mitchell noted that Bryant had a warrant for his arrest and he was taken into custody a short time later. While searching Bryant’s clothing after his arrest, officers allegedly found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Along with the Bartholomew County Warrant, Bryant is facing preliminary charges of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Methamphetamine.

Lack of seat belt leads to drug arrest

Kesha M. Froedge. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

A Memorial Day traffic stop led to an arrest on drug charges for a Taylorsville woman.

27-year-old Kesha M Froedge was arrested on preliminary charges of possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and paraphernalia.

According to reports from Bartholomew County deputies, an officer was working on Operation Pull Over at about 9:50 a.m. yesterday morning when he saw a driver run a stop sign at West County Road 650N and North Main Street in Taylorsville. And the driver was not wearing a seatbelt.

When he pulled the car over, the deputy smelled a heavy scent of marijuana. A search allegedly revealed methamphetamine, a glass pipe, marijuana and a marijuana pipe and two cut straws with drug residue.

Operation Pull Over is an enforcement blitz aimed at enforcing seat belt use. Froedge is also facing traffic citations for running the stop sign and not wearing a seat belt.