Monthly Archives: August 2018

Hydrant flushing scheduled for Columbus

Hydrant flushing in Columbus is set to begin in the coming days. Columbus City Utilities says that staff will be flushing hydrants throughout the city from September 10th through September 13th.

Flushing is set to begin on the following days:

Monday, Sept. 10 – Everything West of Haw Creek to the White River and South of U.S. 31 (National Road) to Water Street, beginning at 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 11 – Everything East of Haw Creek to U.S. 31 and all portions of the city West of White River and Flatrock River (Woodside, Tipton Lakes, Brookside, etc.), beginning at 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 12 – Everything East of Haw Creek and North of National road (Everroad Park East, Flintwood, Hiker Trace, etc.), beginning at 4 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 13 – Everything West of Haw Creek and North of U.S. 31 (Forest Park, Everroad Park West, Park Forest, etc.), beginning at 4 p.m.

The purpose of the flushing is to remove iron and manganese sedimentation from the water mains, say utilities staff. This sedimentation can cause discoloration of clothing. Utilities customers may experience some discoloration of their water in certain sections of the city during flushing. It is recommended that residents of the area being flushed avoid washing laundry the evening of the flushing as well as the next morning.

Drivers are asked to use caution when approaching flushing crews. If the water spout obscures your vision of the roadway beyond the hydrants, you should obey the directions of the utility employee and wait for the flush to end. Parents are asked to please keep children from playing in the water flows and around flushing crews.

State grants aim to grow Indiana livestock sector

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture is now accepting matching grant applications to help grow the Hoosier livestock sector.

This funding is available to non-profit organizations, commissions and associations in the following livestock species: cattle, swine, sheep, equine, goats, poultry, camelids, ostriches, cervidae, bison, aquaculture and rabbits.

“As an advocate for agriculture, we are proud to make these funds available to promote and educate Hoosiers about the importance of our livestock industry,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “I encourage organizations in these sectors to take advantage of this opportunity and apply.”

State officials say these grants can be used for promotional purposes, like hosting an educational event or livestock show, or for market development, such as a research project or value-added feasibility study. Both grants will reimburse up to 50 percent of the amount spent to conduct or support the project.

“Animal agriculture is critical to Indiana’s food system and contributes billions of dollars to our economy,” said Bruce Kettler, ISDA director. “This funding creates opportunities to not only tell that story, but also explore ways to add value to our agricultural products.”

Applications are available online at and are due by Oct. 1st at 5 p.m. Award winners will be announced this December.

Sheriff’s Department looks into destroyed mailboxes

Damaged mailboxes have Bartholomew County authorities asking for your help identifying the suspects. The Sheriff’s Department says that several mailboxes in the area of 7500 North 330 West were damaged late Thursday night in to Friday morning.

Authorities say that vandalizing a mailbox or the mail inside is a federal crime. Anyone found guilty faces a fine of up to $250,000 and three-years in prison for every mailbox damaged.

The Sheriff’s Department is asking anyone with information on these incidents to call them at (812) 379-1650 or the Tip Line at (812) 379-1712. You can also send an email to [email protected]. Tips and information can be left anonymously.

Crash ends in drunk-driving charge for Columbus man

Christopher Green; photo courtesy of Columbus Police Dept.

Columbus Police arrested a local man Friday morning after he crashed his vehicle in the area of North Marr Road and County Road 450 North.

Shortly before 3 a.m., an SUV driven by 53-year-old Christopher M. Green crashed and flipped onto its side, coming to rest in a field. Police spoke with Green who told them that he swerved his SUV to avoid colliding with another vehicle that was in his lane. During this conversation, officers began to suspect that Green had been driving under the influence.

Authorities say that Green failed several field sobriety tests and was taken to Columbus Regional Health for a blood draw. He was then arrested on a preliminary charge of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.

Driver found carrying heroin and gun

David M. Frank. Photo courtesy of Columbus police.

A Columbus man is being accused of carrying heroin and a gun, after a traffic stop by police Thursday evening.

An officer pulled over a vehicle at 17th Street and Central Avenue after it changed lanes improperly at about 9:40 Thursday night. A police dog alerted to the smell of narcotics inside the vehicle. A search of the driver, 59 year old David M. Frank, allegedly found the drugs hidden in his clothing and a handgun he did not have a permit to carry.

He was arrested on charges of possessing those items.

Columbus and CRH to make offer for Fair Oaks Mall

The Fair Oaks Mall may have a new future. The city of Columbus is partnering with Columbus Regional Health and Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County to make an offer to purchase the more than 35 acre site for $5.9 million. Mayor Jim Lienhoop says the idea is to create an indoor sports complex and parks facilities.

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While the city wasn’t looking to buy the mall, Lienhoop says he wanted the city to be ready for a potential opportunity.

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Lienhoop talks about the city’s partnership with CRH…

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CRH officials say they are honored to have been asked to partner with the city. Kelsey DeClue, CRH spokeswoman, says the hospital is excited to be a part of this.

As for how CRH plans to utilize the facility…

Mayor Lienhoop says the current breakdown of costs is $4,087,500 for the city, $1,362,500 for CRH and $450,000 from Heritage Fund. A pair of appraisals on the property earlier this year established a value of $5.45 million. Lienhoop says that the mall owners were less than enthusiastic about that figure and stuck to the $5.9 million asking price. He says that since the city is pretty much bound to appraised values, the city asked Heritage Fund for a grant to cover the difference. Mayor Lienhoop adds that the hope is to close on the deal before the end of the year. Prior to that, he says there will be opportunities for input from the community.

As for businesses already in the mall, Lienhoop says the city plans to work with them on a case-by-case basis. He says how the process develops will largely depend on the terms of the leases. Regardless, Mayor Lienhoop says that businesses shouldn’t be displaced until 2020. While the hope is to close on the purchase before the end of the year, studies and public input sessions should keep the facility as is through the end of next year.

INDOT announces work in Decatur County begins next week

Culvert replacement work on State Road 3 in Decatur County is set to begin next week. The Indiana Department of Transportation says its contractor will begin replacing the existing culvert at Poplar Root Creek, located 8.6 miles north State Road 7 on Tuesday, September 4th. This work is dependent on the weather.

INDOT says that this work, just south of Sardinia, will close State Road 3 for up to 20 days. A signed detour will route drivers around the site via State Road 46, U.S. 31 and State Road 7.

Replacement of a State Road 3 small structure at Wyaloosing Creek, about 16 miles north of State Road 7, just north of Westport, will be scheduled after the Poplar Root Creek culvert is put in place.

Bartholomew County Corrections Officer promoted

Haley Holdreith; photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department

A Bartholomew County Corrections Officer has been promoted. Haley Holdreith is being promoted to the rank of Sergeant, effective Monday, September 3rd. Sheriff Matt Myers says that Holdreith replaces Sergeant Kyle Weaver who has accepted a position with the Columbus Police Department.

North Vernon Officers to be honored next week

A section of the U.S. 50 Bypass at North Vernon will be named “Officer Anthony Burton and Reserve Officer Lonnie Howard Memorial Highway” at a presentation next week. The Indiana Department of Transportation will unveil memorial signage at a ceremony on Wednesday, September 5th at 10:30 a.m. in the south parking lot at Lord of Life Lutheran Church. The church is located at 3300 North State Road 3 along the U.S. 50 Bypass near the site where the officers were killed in 1993 following a standoff in which the suspect intentionally crashed his vehicle into a patrol car.

State Representatives Jim Lucas and Randy Frye will be joined by Mayor Mike Ochs, Police Chief James Webster, Pastor Adrian Krebs and INDOT personnel in addressing families of the fallen officers at Wednesday’s public event.

You are invited.

Traffic stop leads to two drug arrests

Kyle Hunter; photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Dept.

A Wednesday afternoon traffic stop led to the arrests of two Columbus residents. At about 4 p.m., a Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped a vehicle in the 3100 block of Washington Street in Columbus.

Police arrested the driver, 35-year-old Kyle Alexander Hunter on preliminary charges of Dealing Heroin, Dealing Methamphetamine, Possession of Heroin, Possession of Methamphetamine, Maintaining a Common Nuisance and Operating a Motor Vehicle without Receiving a Driver’s License. Hunter remains in the Bartholomew County Jail in lieu of a $605,000 bond.

Authorities arrested a passenger, 34-year-old Kristen Hunter, on preliminary charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance and Visiting a Common Nuisance. She has since been released.

“We continue to be more aggressive with traffic enforcement. When deputies are not responding to calls for service, they continually work traffic enforcement,” said Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers.

Kristen Hunter; photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Dept.

“Routine traffic stops that lead to drug-related arrests are more common and deputies are recovering more drug-related items and paraphernalia, keeping more and more drugs off our streets. Traffic stops often serve as the first step to a larger investigation and this was certainly the case with these arrests,” added Sheriff Myers.