Monthly Archives: April 2021

Sheriff’s Department sees success with drug treatment efforts

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department is touting the success of its in-jail drug treatment program. Since launching in January of last year, there have been 49 graduates from the program, with the most recent class of 22 graduating this week.

The program, called BART for Begin, Accept, Reveal and Transform, provides more than 400 hours of group and individual drug treatment.

Chief Deputy Maj. Chris Lane said that part of the jail has been turned into a drug treatment facility to help treat inmates who have been determined to be open to the benefits of the program.

The most recent treatment group started in January and graduated 13 men and 9 women.

Graduating class photos courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Ivy Tech/Indiana State partner in engineering program transfers

Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana State University are announcing a new agreement that will allow community college engineering students to easily transfer to the university.

Under the new agreement, any Ivy Tech engineering student meeting the transfer agreement requirements can transfer into Indiana State’s Bachelor of Science in Engineering program as a junior. Requirements include passing 61 credits for their Associate of Science, application for admission to Indiana State University, course grades of “C” or better and an average grade-point average of 2.0 or higher.

According to the schools, Ivy Tech’s engineering program provides a foundation in science, mathematics, and engineering for electrical, mechanical, civil, computer or other engineering. Dr. Russ Baker, Ivy Tech’s vice president of Academic Affairs says the agreement will allow seamless transfers into the engineering degree at ISU.

To learn more about Ivy Tech’s engineering program, you can visit

Discarded charcoal starts apartment fire in Toter

Columbus firefighters say that an apartment fire was sparked Wednesday night after charcoal fire remains were dropped into a trash Toter.

A neighbor noticed the blaze outside of an apartment in the 2800 block of Village Drive at about 9:53 p.m. Wednesday night. When firefighters arrived on the scene, the fire had already been extinguished, leaving behind a melted trash Toter at the rear entrance to the apartment.

The apartment’s resident told firefighters that they put what appeared to be cold coals into the Toter, but firefighters believe there was enough heat to ignite materials in the Toter, and then the bin itself, melting it to the ground.

The fire caused about $8,000 in damages, all to the exterior of the building.

Columbus Fire Department suggests you place any coals into a non-combustible container, such as a metal pail and let them cool for up to 24 hours before being placed into your plastic Toter.

Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department.

Local roads, streets to receive share of Community Crossings grants

Local communities are getting shares of more than $100 million dollars in state grant money to fix their roads.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced yesterday that 218 Indiana communities had been approved for Community Crossings matching grants through the Next Level Roads program. Applications are evaluated based on the need, the current conditions and the impacts to safety and economic development. To qualify for funding, local governments must provide local matching funds. Larger communities must provide a 50 percent match, or 25 percent for smaller communities.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said that infrastructure improvements drive economic development.

Local awards included:

Bartholomew County $ 990,928.50
Columbus $ 689,351.25
Elizabethtown $ 77,969.25

Jackson County $ 1,000,000.00
Seymour $ 108,200.18
Crothersville $ 269,897.25

Jennings County $ 1,000,000.00

Decatur County $ 999,866.58
Greensburg $ 75,373.15

Shelby County $ 824,573.62

Nashville $ 200,745.00

Yellow Trail returns with Sunday Socials this weekend

The Yellow Trail Museum in Hope will be restarting its monthly Sunday Social series this weekend.

The history-focused gatherings are held on the first Sundays of the month and generally focus on a specific theme.

Organizers are looking for stories about businesses around the Hope Town Square and information provided will be used for a new walking tour. You are encouraged to bring news articles and photos.

Sunday’s event will be from 2 to 4 at the museum, on the northwest corner of the Hope Town Square. You can get more information by calling 812-343-3798.

Brown County bridge work to start Monday

INDOT says you will see flaggers in Brown County as crews work on bridges over Bean Blossom Creek, starting on Monday.

Contractors will be completing joint repairs and replacement on the State Road 45 bridges over about a 10-day period. The flagging will be happening during the daytime hours and no overnight restrictions or closures are planned.

INDOT says you should slow down, use extra caution, and drive without distractions in and near all work zones. The schedule is dependent on the weather.

Motorcyclist, passenger injured in U.S. 31 crash

A motorcyclist was injured and a passenger seriously hurt in a crash on U.S. 31 Tuesday afternoon.

Bartholomew County deputies say that a motorcycle driven by 53-year-old Tony G. Michael of North Vernon failed to slow for traffic on U.S. 31 just south of County Road 100S at about 3:56 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

After losing control, the cycle skidded for about 75 feet before finally coming to a stop. Michael and a female passenger were both thrown from the bike and neither was wearing a helmet, deputies say.

Michael was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital by ambulance while the passenger was flown by medical helicopter to an Indianapolis hospital.

Wanted man arrested after westside chase

Ethen A. Robertson. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Columbus police arrested a man wanted in two Indiana counties and in Florida, after he ran from officers.

Police report that then noticed 23-year-old Ethen A. Robertson in the 4500 block of West Jonathan Moore Pike at about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

But when he realized police were watching, he took off running across the highway. Police used a police dog to find Robertson hiding in woods near the road and took him into custody.

He was wanted on warrants from Bartholomew and Jennings counties, as well as Pasco County in Florida. He is facing a new charge of resisting law enforcement.

Sex offender accused of failing to register

Jeremiah J. Burris. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

A Columbus man was arrested Tuesday night for failing to register as a sex offender and invasion of privacy.

Bartholomew County deputies served an arrest warrant on 39-year-old Jeremiah Burris at about 8:52 p.m. Tuesday night at his home. After initially shutting the door against authorities, Burris surrendered and was taken into custody on four counts of invasion of privacy and failing to register as a sex offender.

Chief Deputy Major Chris Lane said that when sex offenders fail to register, they become a risk to the community and to public safety. He said the department gives offenders every opportunity to register, but if they don’t, “we will search for them, we will find them and they will be arrested.”

Lane said that Sheriff Matt Myers is evaluating the need for additional staff in the department’s Sex Offender Office.

State police seek help identifying man’s body

Indiana State Police are looking for your help identifying a man found dead yesterday morning in a rural area of Ripley County. The man appears to be a white male in his 30s or early 40s.

He was about 5 feet 7 inches tall, and 160 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes, and a beard. He had distinct tattoos on his upper right arm.

State police say that they do not yet know the man’s cause of death. An autopsy is scheduled for this afternoon.

If you have any information you can contact Detective Tracy Rohlfing at the Indiana State Police Versailles Post at 812-689-5000.

Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police