Monthly Archives: December 2018

Bush to serve on City Council; plans run for seat in 2019

Local Republicans have chosen a new City Councilman for Columbus

David Bush was chosen Saturday by a caucus of Bartholomew County Republican leaders in City Council District 3 to take the seat of Frank Jerome, who is resigning.

Bush’s family owns Bush Family Market, where he started work at a young age.

Bush said that the attended St. Peters Lutheran and Columbus East schools locally, before going to Purdue University. He returned to the community.

Bush owns Kenny Glass. He, his wife and their three children live in Sandy Hook Subdivision.

Party officials say that Bush was selected on the first ballot Saturday. Other candidates for the seat were Jon Padfield and Russ Polling Sr.

Glass says that he plans to seek election to a full term to the District 3 seat in next year’s election. He said he sought the appointment not because of any particular issue he wants to address, but because of a desire to serve. the community where he grew up.


Hub set to open in 2019 to aid addicts in recovery

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop looks at the community’s efforts to reduce the opioid crisis as a major success this year.

He praised the partnership between the city, county and Columbus Regional Health through the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress coalition.

While last year the County Council approved an income tax hike, in part, to address the crisis., this year the city and county have approved funding for several projects.

Among the approvals, was funding for a centralized hub to be operated by ASAP where an addict can get help from various agencies and organizations all in on place.

Lienhoop said that one of the major obstacles to recovery is an inability to navigate the system of organizations and entities that are meant to address addiction problems in the community.

He said the idea is to have a central point with a contact person to help those in need navigate the  system.

The hope is to have the hub open early in 2019, Lienhoop says.


Authorities urge you to celebrate responsibly

It’s New Year’s Eve. Law enforcement agencies are urging you to celebrate responsibly. Chris Lane is Chief Deputy for the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

If you plan on drinking, don’t drive.

Lane says deputies will be joining other law enforcement officers across the nation in an effort to stop drunk and impaired driving…

If you spot what you believe to be an impaired driver, Lane urges you to call 911.

Overdose deaths see a drop in Bartholomew County

While the drug epidemic continues to impact area families, overdose deaths are down considerably in Bartholomew County. Coroner Clayton Nolting says that, thus far, there have been 14 confirmed overdose deaths in the county. That’s down from 30 in 2017.

{12-31 CLAYTON NOLTING-3} :13.5 Q: drug categories.

He also noted that Fentanyl was a factor in two deaths, a considerable decrease from the previous year.

We asked Nolting for his thoughts on why the figures have dropped so drastically…

{12-31 CLAYTON NOLTING-2} :17.4 Q: other addictions.

Nolting adds that his office is awaiting the toxicology report in one case to determine cause of death, possibly bumping the total number of deaths to 15.

Seymour City Council to appoint At-Large member

Applications are being accepted for appointment to the Seymour City Council to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Councilman-at-Large Shawn Malone, who is moving out of the city. Malone’s term runs through the end of 2019.

Applications are available at Seymour City Hall, 301-309 North Chestnut Street. City officials say that eligible candidates must have lived in Seymour City for at least a year and be qualified to vote in the city at the time of their appointment.

Candidates must submit their applications to the Mayor’s Office at Seymour City Hall no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, January 11. All applications will be public record.

The City Council will consider nominations at a special Council meeting on Monday, January 14th at 5 p.m.

Mayor looks to advance 4 Envision Columbus initiatives

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop speaks last year at  Cummins headquarters.

The city of Columbus is hoping to start some major improvements in the downtown area next year.

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop says that in 2019, the city will begin advancing the objectives outlined by community members during the creation of the Envision Columbus downtown plan. The first object revealed during the study was walkable downtown neighborhoods.

The mayor said the second major objective will be to increase foot traffic in the downtown area.

Those objectives led to four projects that are moving forward: a hotel/conference center with performance space, an urban grocery, neighborhood revitalization and townhome housing.

He explains that the idea behind neighborhood revitalization would be to fix up some of the dilapidated homes in the community.

The exact path any of these paths will take have yet to be set in stone. The mayor says the challenge will be to find the right developer, who wants to build the right type of project in the perfect location.

Envision Columbus is the first downtown plan since 2005 and the planning is being funded by Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County and Cummins.

County Republican leaders to name Jerome’s replacement on city council

Bartholomew County Republican Party leaders are meeting Saturday morning to select who will be replacing departing Columbus City Councilman Frank Jerome. Three men are vying to fill the remaining year of Jerome’s term.

Barb Hackman, party chairwoman, says that seven party precinct committee members from City Council District 3 will caucus at 10 a.m. at Republican headquarters. She adds that an eighth committee member will be unavailable.

Those being considered are:

– Russ Poling Sr., who is a member of the Columbus Plan Commission and works at Cummins Inc.;
– Jon Padfield, an assistant professor at Purdue Polytechnic Columbus and former District 30 state representative;
– David Bush, owner of Kenny Glass Inc.;

Hackman says that if a quorum is not reached on Saturday, she will have to select Jerome’s replacement.

Jennings County set to have second-highest income tax rate in state

Eight Indiana county individual income tax rates will increase with the start of the new year. Jennings County is one of them. While other counties are seeing a larger year-to-year increase, Jennings County will have one of the highest tax rates in the state at 3.15 percent. That’s an increase of nearly 25 percent over the current county income tax rate of 2.5 percent. The Indiana Department of Revenue says only one Indiana county, Pulaski in the northwest corner of the state, has a higher county income tax rate. That stands at 3.38 percent.

The increase was approved earlier this year by Jennings County Council in an effort to fund a new jail. That vote was 4-3. Leaders say that there are no specific plans in place yet to actually build a new jail facility. This merely allows the county to capture funds for the project.

Other area counties’ 2019 income tax rates are unchanged and as follows:

Bartholomew – 1.75%
Brown – 2.52%
Decatur – 2.35%
Jackson – 2.1%
Johnson – 1.0%
Shelby – 1.5%

Sheriff’s Dept. adding school resource officers

Deputy Jessica Pendleton; photo courtesy of BCSD
Deputy Teancum Clark; photo courtesy of BCSD

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office plans to add two uniformed school resource officers in county schools once classes resume at the start of the year.

Sheriff Matt Myers says that deputies perform hundreds of school security checks each year performed by various deputies. Now, he says the department will provide two full-time school resource deputies to schools in Bartholomew County.

Sheriff Myers says that Deputy Jessica Pendleton, an 11-year BCSO veteran, will work with the Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corporation and Deputy Teancum Clark will work with the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. Deputy Clark has been with the Sheriff’s Office for five years.