Monthly Archives: September 2018

Seymour man arrested on child molestation charges

Jerry Rice; photo courtesy of Indiana State Police

Indiana State Police Detectives arrested a Seymour man on child molesting charges following a four month investigation.

Authorities say the investigation began in May when a female came forward to report she had been molested by 73-year-old Jerry W. Rice on multiple occasions in the early to mid-nineties when she was between three and nine years old. The woman reported that the incidents occurred at a home owned by Rice in rural Jackson County.

Through the course of the investigation, detectives say they found a second victim of Rice who had not come forward until now. The second victim told investigators that Rice molested her in the mid-eighties in Vallonia.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Indiana State Police submitted the case to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for review. On Thursday, Indiana State Police arrested Rice at his home.

Rice was charged with two counts of Child Molesting, Class A Felony, and two counts of Child Molesting, Class C Felony. He is being held pending his initial court appearance in Jackson Circuit Court.

Two arrested after trespassing on Union Street property

Jamie Freyn; photo courtesy of Columbus Police Dept.

Two Columbus men were arrested Thursday afternoon for trespassing on abandoned property. At approximately 3 p.m., Columbus Police responded to the 1500 block of Union Street in regards to two suspicious males who were in the backyard of an abandoned house. When officers arrived they located Jamie L. Freyn, 48, and Craig T. Smith, 49, on the property, and confirmed that they did not have permission to be there.

Officers say they found a glass smoking pipe and a metal tin containing methamphetamine in Freyn’s clothing. Smith allegedly admitted to officers that he had paraphernalia in his pockets, leading to his arrest as well. While searching Smith, police say they found a small plastic bag containing methamphetamine in his bag.

Craig Smith; photo courtesy of Columbus Police Dept.

Freyn and Smith were arrested on preliminary charges of Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Paraphernalia.

Details offered in search for missing Taylorsville girl

A missing Taylorsville girl has been found safe. That’s according to Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers.

The search for 9 year old Kelsea Manza started at just after 7:30 p.m. last night when her family contacted authorities saying that she had not come home and they last saw her walking towards Taylorsville Elementary. Witnesses said she was seen playing at Taylorsville Elementary between 6:30 and 7 p.m.

At shortly after 9, authorities issued an alert over the Everbridge system, but concentrated in the Taylorsville area. At just after 10, that alert was sent to the entire Bartholomew County community.

Deputies found the girl lying in bushes near the school at 12:13 p.m. Due to the cool, wet weather conditions, she was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital to be checked out. She had no injuries.

Myers says that she was found safe after a six hour search. He offered some safety tips, should your child go missing:

  • Immediately call law enforcement and provide them with up-to-date information and photos.
  • Make sure your child knows his/her address and telephone numbers of family members.
  • Provide physical characteristics:  height, weight, hair and eye color.
  • Are there any distinguishing characteristics:  glasses, contacts, braces, birthmarks, etc.
  • Provide medical information:  medications, allergies, physician and contact numbers.
  • Fingerprints are critical to complete your child’s identification.
  • Also, be sure to take a head-and-shoulders photo of your child and update it every 6 months.

The sheriff’s department was assisted in their search by Columbus Police Department, Edinburgh Police Department, Bartholomew Consolidated schools, Indiana State Police, Indiana Conservation officers, Columbus Fire Department and German Township Fire Department.

An investigation into the incident remains ongoing.

Team looks for Columbus projects that never happened

The Never Built team of Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell have found some tantalizing clues on their hunt for architectural projects planned for Columbus, but that ultimately fell through.

The team, who have done similar projects in New York and Los Angeles, spoke yesterday morning on the first day of the Columbus activities for the Exhibit Columbus symposium. They said their research is just beginning locally but they have found plans for a vastly different entrance to downtown, a proposed revamp of the entrance to Mill Race Park, a possible Frank Lloyd Wright home here and other architectural artifacts.

The team began combing through the Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives at the Bartholomew County Public Library earlier this summer and talking to local residents. Their research will ultimately take them to architectural firms and archives around the country looking for those illusory projects.

Ultimately, the team plan to finish their Columbus work in time for the next phase of Exhibit Columbus — the installations that will take place downtown next year.

They were joined onstage by Matthew Kreilich of Minneapolis-based Snow Kreilich Architects whose firm had started designing a State Street complex to replace the former Bartholomew County annex building and to house Volunteers in Medicine. But the project ultimately fell apart. Kreilich said he felt honored and overwhelmed to have been chosen for a Columbus project. He said it is a challenge to try to come up with a building that will stand the test of time and stand alongside the other architectural landmarks here.

And while the project falling through was ultimately disheartening, about 20 percent of the projects in his practice end up falling through. He said he thought that ratio was fairly standard across the industry and that in today’s world there are very few projects that proceed from first concept to actual building without some sort of delay or hiccup.

He said that while every architectural project starts with a fresh slate based on the client’s needs, ultimately elements of the discarded projects frequently show up in later works that actually get built.

Symposium events start again this morning at First Christian Church. You can get more information at

Update: Taylorsville girl found safe after search

Kelsey Manza. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.


Sheriff Matt Myers reports that Kelsey Manza has been found safe. That comes after six hours of searching by deputies along with Columbus Police Department, BCSC officials, Indiana State Police and German Township Fire Department.

Original Story:

The Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Center sent out an alert to the Taylorsville area at about 9:15 p.m. Thursday saying that they were searching for a missing girl. A countywide alert was sent at just after 10 p.m.

According to the alert, they are searching for 9-year-old Kelsey Manza. She was last seen in the area of Taylorsville Elementary’s playground around 6:30 p.m. and was wearing a red and white Christmas sweatshirt and black leggings.

If you know anything about her whereabouts, you should call 911.

Six-hundred move to Atterbury for warfighter exercises

Nearly 600 citizen-soldiers with the 38th Infantry Division, headquartered in Indianapolis, moved into Camp Atterbury this week to train for nine days in October for a warfighter exercise.

Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry says the exercise will evaluate the soldiers’ proficiencies as they respond and communicate to various battlefield scenarios.

“Warfighter 19.1 is a unique opportunity for the 38th Infantry Division to develop proficiency in collective training tasks in a decisive-action environment,” said Maj. Gen. Gordon L. Ellis, the division’s commanding general. “It provides the division with the opportunity to conduct operations in conjunction with other divisions and a higher, corps headquarters.”

The military says these exercises train the command and staff teams in six areas: command and control, movement and maneuver, intelligence, targeting processes, sustainment, and protection.

ASAP takes steps to become a nonprofit corporation

The Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress in Bartholomew County has announced plans to better serve the community. The Substance Abuse and Advisory Accountability Committee met Thursday and approved plans to establish ASAP as a nonprofit corporation. Jeff Jones, ASAP executive director, explains that the local drug problem is not going away anytime soon. With that, he explains that there needs to be a more permanent presence, as well as a hub to help those suffering from addiction.

09-28 JEFF JONES-2

ASAP is seeking nearly $503,000 in funding from the city of Columbus and Bartholomew County to set up a hub location at the former United Way office complex in the Doug Otto Center. That money would be used to rent the approximately 2,700 square foot space, as well pay for permanent staffing. Jones explained that between the new ASAP and the hub, four full-time employees and one part-time employee would be needed, along with volunteers.

The Substance Abuse Public Funding Board will consider the request when it meets on Oct. 15th. If approved there, both the city and county councils would need to give their approval before any money is spent.

Culvert replacement work set for SR 7 in Jennings County

Construction signs will be placed early next week along State Road 7 south of Vernon in advance of a $1,382,700 culvert replacement and repair project.

INDOT officials say site clearing will occur this fall followed by utility relocations. Actual construction will begin next spring.

The Indiana Department of Transportation has contracted Dave O’Mara to remove and replace two existing box structures. One is located on State Road 7, two miles south of State Road 3, the other is located three miles south of State Road 3. Crews will repair or modify two other structures, one just north of Count Road 300 South and the other located and about 700 yards north of County Road 100 South.

Installation of new precast concrete box culverts at Turkey Run Creek and at a tributary of Vernon Fork will require 30-day closures of State Road 7.

Repair of other structures at Turkey Run Creek and at a tributary of the Muscatatuck River will require lane restrictions for up to 45 days. All four State Road 7 worksites are located between County Meadows and County Road 300 South.

Yes Cinema schedules viewing for suicide-prevention film

Kevin Hines survived jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge in a suicide attempt. On Tuesday, he will be be bringing a program to Columbus aimed at helping those suffering from depression and their families, recognize the signs of a potential suicide.

Hines is a mental health advocate, speaker, bestselling author and documentary filmmaker.

Tuesday’s event runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9 :30 p.m. at Columbus North’s Judson Erne Auditorium. Events around his visit are being organized by Centerstone and Bartholomew Consolidated Schools.

His film, “Suicide: The Ripple Effect” will be shown in a separate event at Yes Cinema on Tuesday, Oct. 9th. The screening is free to the public but registration is required.

You can get more information at

Exhibit Columbus events move downtown today

The second Exhibit Columbus symposium is underway, with events in downtown Columbus today.

Participants will start the morning at St. Peters Lutheran Church with a presentation by the Never Built team, who are looking at projects planned for Columbus but never constructed. The team, of Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell, were in Columbus in July doing research for the project.  You can read more about their visit here.

Interview with Goldin and Lubell:

This afternoon, participants will be taking walking tours downtown and participating in more events at City Hall, Yes Cinema and the former Republic building on Third Street. This evening will include events at North Christian Church and a celebration at the Columbus Pump House.

You can get the complete schedule here.