Monthly Archives: August 2020

Driver arrested after crash into fire hydrant

Charles W. Wininger. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

A Columbus man was arrested on drunk driving charges after crashing into a fire hydrant and then fleeing the scene, according to police reports.

The incident happened at about 1 a.m. on Sunday near 29th Street and Fairlawn Drive. Officers found a damaged truck nearby. The driver, 32-year-old Charles W. Wininger had slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, according to police reports. A portable breath test showed he had a BAC of .109 percent.

He was arrested on the preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

Seymour man killed in Interstate 65 crash Sunday

A Seymour man is dead after a crash on Interstate 65 last night.

36-year-old Demetrius A. Burnam died from blunt force trauma in the accident according to the Bartholomew County coroner’s office.

Police say that they were called to the single-vehicle crash about three miles south of the Columbus exit at about 9:52 p.m. Sunday night. For unknown reasons, Burnam’s vehicle left the road and rolled over. He was found dead when police arrived.

The accident remains under investigation by the Columbus police department’s crash reconstructionists.

Police: Woman poured gasoline in arson attempt

Paige N. Sneed. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department

A Columbus woman is accused of pouring gasoline around a home and vehicles Saturday morning in an arson attempt during an argument.

Columbus police were called to the 700 block of California Street at about 10 a.m. Saturday morning and noticed the strong odor of gasoline near the home. They also saw a gas can lying on its side next to the front porch and an oxygen tank propped up against the porch.

29-year-old Paige N. Sneed, of Columbus, was taken into custody on a preliminary felony charge of attempted arson.

Child found unconscious in swimming pool

A 5-year-old was flown to IU Riley Children’s Hospital Saturday after being found unconscious in a Bartholomew County swimming pool.

Bartholomew County deputies report being called to the 5000 block of Somerset Lane at just after 6 p.m. Saturday evening. When they arrived they found the child’s father performing CPR on the unconscious child. Deputy Sgt. Andrew Whipker assisted with the life-saving efforts until medics arrived.

Deputies report that the child appears to have left the residence unnoticed and had been in the pool for about five minutes. The child was last reported to be in serious but stable condition at the hospital.

Two arrested arrested over abandoned vehicle scavenging

Indiana State Police say that two area men were arrested trying to steal catalytic converters off of vehicles broken-down on the interstate.

State Police say that a trooper was driving on Interstate 465 near Pendleton Pike on Friday when he noticed two vehicles stopped on the right shoulder. One had an abandoned vehicle tag on it, and there were two men working underneath the vehicle. The trooper discovered that the two were detaching the catalytic converter from the disabled vehicle.

40-year-old Stefan Hartford of Shelbyville and 31- year-old Jeremy Prater of Flat Rock were arrested on preliminary charges related to the theft.

This is the second arrest on similar charges in the past two weeks in central Indiana. Troopers say that  motorists who have to leave a vehicle abandoned on the roadside should return to get it as soon as possible.

Troopers say the public can keep an eye out for those using a saw on a disabled vehicle. There are few roadside repairs that will ever require such a tool. If you see something suspicious, you should get a description of the person or vehicles involved and report it to police.

Area communities to see funds for job retention programs

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch

Several area communities will receive a share of more than $10.9 million in federal grant funds through the federal COVID-19 Response Program.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch made the announcement last week, saying that there were 42 rural Hoosier communities receiving funds in Phase 2 of the program.

Communities could apply for up to $250,000 for grants or loans that will go to businesses to retain Low-to-Moderate Income jobs.

Shelbyville has been awarded $250,000 to provide $10,000 grants to small businesses with fewer than 100 employees located in the city.

Nashville was awarded $250,000 to provide grants to businesses for retaining low-to-moderate income employees’ jobs.

Jennings County was also awarded $250,000 to provide $5,000 to $10,000 grants to eligible businesses to assist with job retention through employee salaries, rent/mortgage payments, health/ safety materials, or technology services to accommodate remote work or a change in operations.

Columbus Municipal Airport to receive $2.8 million grant

Columbus Municipal Airport will be receiving nearly $2.8 million dollars in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program to make infrastructure and safety improvements at the facility.

Congressman Greg Pence, a Columbus Republican, announced the award last week. He said $279,350 of the funding was coming as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act, which he supported in March.

Pence said he wrote a letter of support for the Columbus Municipal Airport’s grant request and urged the FAA to prioritize the request.

Pence pointed out that the Columbus airport is one of the top 5 in the state in terms of operations, and not only does it serve local business needs, but also supports military training at Camp Atterbury.

The FAA says that the Airport Improvement Program grant program provides a certain amount of funding each year, based on passenger volume. If their capital project needs exceed their available entitlement funds, then the FAA can supplement their entitlements with discretionary funding.

Festival of Lights parade canceled over COVID-19 concerns

There will be no Festival of Lights parade in downtown Columbus this December.

Organizers of the annual event made the announcement over the weekend, saying that they had been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and with the number of people taking part in the parade, combined with the thousands who would normally attend, they concluded that the parade could become a super-spreader event.

Although the parade, originally scheduled for December 5th, is more than 90 days away, organizers said that those making floats begin their planning and their purchasing as early as Labor Day. Plus, the work on the floats can take hundreds of hours of group effort, leading for another possible cluster of cases of COVID-19. Organizers also said that they feel a responsibility to the sponsors who fund the event, and the downtown businesses that plan special activities surrounding the annual parade.

Finally, organizers aid that they look forward to celebrating the holidays with area families again in 2021.

Columbus man accused of possessing child pornography

Bradley Burton. Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police.

A Columbus man was arrested Thursday on a charge of possession of child pornography after a four-month long investigation.

Indiana State Police are reporting that the investigation by the Indiana State Police-Internet Crimes Against Children Unit began in April after a cybertip was received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That investigation led to a search warrant being served yesterday at a home on South Cherry Street in Columbus.

31-year-old Bradley K. Burton was arrested after the search on a felony charge of possession of child pornography.

The Indiana State Police-ICAC Unit was assisted by the Indiana State Police-Cyber Crimes Unit and Crime Scene Investigator Sgt. Martin Mead, Indiana State Police-Versailles Post.

Kidscommons reopening after staff COVID-19 positive test

Kidscommons is reopening today, just over a week after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The downtown Columbus children’s is announcing that all employees are now healthy and the staff are excited to welcome guests back to the museum.

Last week, kidscommons was notified that an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The employee had last worked on Aug. 15th and did not have close contact with children and families who visited the museum within the previous two weeks.

Museum staff followed CDC protocols for community-related exposure and shut down the museum last Friday.

During the closure, the staff sanitized and deep cleaned the entire facility. The museum will continue to take precautions including social distancing, requiring staff and guests to wear protective gear, taking temperature checks for staff and guests, and frequent sanitizing of the museum and exhibits.

Online ticketing is now required for all members and guests to limit contact when entering the museum.  You can purchase tickets at