Monthly Archives: September 2019

Gas leak impacts more than a dozen Columbus homes

More than a dozen homes in Columbus were impacted by a gas leak.

Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the Columbus Fire Department, says that at about 2:20 p.m. on Monday, firefighters and Vectren Energy crews responded to a gas leak in the 3400 block of Marilyn Street after an REMC service crew struck a 2 inch gas line with an auger. As a precaution, traffic was restricted on both Marilyn Street and Carolina Street.

Authorities say no evacuation of homes took place. Repairs to the gas line are ongoing.

Seymour Police continue efforts to keep roads safe

The final enforcement blitz for this fiscal year is in the books for the Seymour Police Department.

SPD recently participated in Operation Pullover Blitz 99. Capt. Carl Lamb, department spokesman, says that officers worked overtime attempting to locate impaired drivers. During this blitz, he says that 21 traffic stops were initiated, and one arrest was made. That arrest was for operating while never receiving a license. SPD did not locate any impaired drivers during this blitz.

The Seymour Police Department’s first traffic safety activity for fiscal year 2020 will be the department’s seventh consecutive “Rule the Road” teen age driving program. In this program, approximately 35 students from Seymour High School will drive Seymour Police cars on five driving courses specially set up for this event.

Capt. Lamb says this event is set up to supplement drivers’ education and have police instructors teach young drivers techniques not often instructed during drivers’ education. This event is scheduled for October 10th at Freeman Field.

This event is a team effort between the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and the Indiana donor network. Lamb says that registration for this event is currently closed, however, other events will be conducted in 2020.

Thrive Alliance aims to help area veterans

Thrive Alliance is holding it’s Veterans Stand Down event this week. Sue Lanborn is an organizer.

Lanborn explains that vets can receive free haircuts, a meal and resources to help with medical care, food, clothing and other benefits. The event begins Thursday, Oct. 3 at 10 a.m. at Donner Center in Columbus.

This program is designed to help veterans in Bartholomew, Jackson, Brown, Decatur, Jennings and Shelby counties.

Columbus Police and Fire to hold “Touch a Truck” event Wednesday morning

Columbus Police, firemen and first responders will be on hand for the annual “Touch a Truck” event on Wednesday.

Columbus Police Department spokesman Lt. Matt Harris explains that vehicles and equipment from all departments will be on hand for youngsters to get up close and personal.

Wednesday morning’s event will be held at Clifty Park beginning at 9 a.m.

Columbus Walk to End Alzheimer’s raises over $115,000

Photo courtesy of Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Indiana Chapter

More than 600 residents from the Columbus-area joined the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s in the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease on Sunday, at Mill Race Center. Participants raised $115,223, exceeding the Greater Indiana Chapter’s goal of $98,000.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with the support we’ve received from this community,” said Kyle Davern, manager, Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Columbus. “The event itself is an important way for individuals and families who are impacted by the disease to come together in a spirit of hope, and every dollar raised has an impact long after the last participant crosses the finish line.”

Organizers say that the money raised through the Walk to End Alzheimer’s supports local care and support programs available to the community free of charge. It also funds Alzheimer’s and dementia research.

Local man arrested on drug charges

Eric Winship; Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Dept.

A local man is being accused of a number of drug-related charges.

At about 11:45 p.m., Sunday, Columbus Police transported 27-year-old Eric Winship, of Columbus, to the Bartholomew County Jail. Winship was asked if he had anything on his person to which he responded “no”. After a pat down, Winship was taken to the jail’s recently purchased) body scanner. Police say the scanner clearly showed Winship was in possession some type of “pouch.” Officers eventually found a large corner-cut clear bag with a white powdery substance which tested positive for nearly nine grams of methamphetamine. A second check allegedly uncovered a smaller bag containing orange-colored pills which tested positive for Suboxone.

Winship was arrested on preliminary charges of:

Possession of a Controlled Substance
Possession of Methamphetamine
Possession of Marijuana
Trafficking with an Inmate

Winship remains behind bars in lieu of $88,500 bond.

Driver arrested after Saturday night police chase

Chester Rooks. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

A Columbus driver is being accused of driving while intoxicated after a weekend chase.

Columbus police report trying to pull over a vehicle near 32nd Street and Marr Road at about 11:45 p.m. Saturday night. But rather than stop, the driver sped away. The driver stopped near 25th Street and Marr Road, but as the officer got out of the patrol car, the driver took off again.

Officers made a high-risk traffic stop at an apartment complex parking lot in the 2400 block of Marr Road. As the driver was being arrested, police report a strong smell of alcohol was detected on the driver, 56-year-old Chester L. Rooks. Rooks is being charged with resisting law enforcement in a vehicle and driving while intoxicated.

Auto-theft suspect subdued with Taser

Melvin Foree. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Columbus police say that they subdued an auto theft suspect with a Taser Sunday afternoon after he allegedly ran from police.

The incident starts at about 4:55 p.m. yesterday afternoon when a man asked a resident for a drink of water in the 400 block of Center Street, then jumped into the man’s pickup, taking it and an attached trailer.

The suspect, 37-year-old Melvin G. Foree was found inside a nearby fast food restaurant on Third Street according to police reports. Foree is accused of throwing a soda at police and then running away. The stolen truck and trailer were returned to the owner.

Foree is facing preliminary charges including resisting law enforcement, auto theft and theft.

Addictions recovery walk set tonight for Donner Park area

There will be walk to celebrate those in recovery from addictions tonight in Columbus.

The Moving Forward walk will start at 6 p.m. near the cemetery at Donner Park and conclude with a rally at the Donner shelterhouse. Organizer John Cunningham with the Recover Out Loud group explains:

After leaving from 17th Street just south of the old city cemetery, it will  head down 17th Street to Central and then circle back on 10th and 11th Streets to conclude with the rally at the Donner shelterhouse. Part of the purpose of the route is to pass by two convenience stores that Cunningham said have been frequent sites of drug activity he saw during his time in addiction.

He says that the walk will take about 45 minutes to complete, and the rally will follow.

Organizer Meagan Cothran with the Recover Out Loud group explains that the walk is meant to show the community is unified in fighting addiction:

Organizers expect several hundred people will take part tonight. The rally will include speeches, music and door prizes.

Former athletic directors chosen as Hope parade grand marshals

Michael Dean reads the proclamation recognizing Dave irvine as the 2019 grand marshal of the Hope Heritage Days parade.

Hope Heritage Days wrapped up on Sunday with the annual parade through the small northeastern Bartholomew County town. Two former athletic directors at Hauser Jr. Sr. High School were recognized as the parade grand marshals — Dave Irvine and Bob Miller.

Irvine was the only one able to attend and Heritage of Hope CEO Michael Dean read a proclamation recognizing him before the start of the parade:

Irvine, a graduate of Columbus High School, served as athletic director of Hauser for 20 and a half years. Before him, Miller served for 24 years.