Monthly Archives: May 2021

Motorcyclist dies in Sunday afternoon crash on State Road 11

A Jonesville area motorcyclist is dead following a crash on South State Road 11 near County Road 850S Sunday afternoon.

30-year-old Sterling Albert Wessel was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash by the Bartholomew County Coroner’s office. The cause of death was massive trauma.

Wessel’s motorcycle collided with a delivery truck at about 4:37 p.m. Sunday afternoon near the intersection of State Road 11 and County Road 850S.

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the accident.

Wanted man captured after hiding, running from police

Craig Pike. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Columbus police say that a wanted local man tried to run away from officers, but he was quickly taken into custody.

Officers noticed a man trying to hide behind a trash can to avoid police at around 7:15 p.m. Thursday night in the 1200 block of Eighth Street. When the officer got out of his car, the man took off running.

Police caught up to him at 8th and Reed Street and discovered that he was 51-year-old Craig A. Pike of Columbus, who was wanted on a Bartholomew County warrant. As he was taken into custody, officers searched his backpack and recovered drugs and paraphernalia.

In addition to the outstanding warrant, he is facing new charges of resisting law enforcement, plus possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Scammers faking calls from Duke Energy

Seymour police are warning of a scam going on in the area, where scammers are pretending to be Duke Energy and demanding immediate payment over the phone of a fake past due bill.

According to the police department, the scammers are spoofing local numbers making it appear that they are automated call services threatening to turn off your power if you don’t pay over the phone by check or credit card.

The callers are likely calling from overseas, police say. You should never give out personal information, credit cards numbers or any other information to a caller. Instead, call Duke Energy directly if you have questions about your account.

Duke Energy says if you receive such a call, you should report it to the police. You can contact Duke Energy immediately at 800-521-2232.

Governor extends public health emergency, loosens restrictions

Governor Eric Holcomb today extended the public health emergency declaration for the state of Indiana by another month, but he also loosened some restrictions around the state.

According to the governor’s office, continuing the public health emergency allows individuals who otherwise would not be eligible to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to continue doing so. And it allows the state to continue to receive pandemic emergency funds for programs such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

A second executive order relaxed some more restrictions including removing the mask mandate for state facilities. Masks will still be required in settings where people are closely packed together such as state prisons and the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Masks are also still required inside COVID testing and vaccination clinics.

Face masks will still be required inside Indiana schools through June 30th, but not outdoors on school property. Starting July 1st, school boards will be able to determine what restrictions are needed locally.

The governor’s office says Hoosiers should still follow CDC guidance for when fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people should wear masks and take other protective measures.

Hope American Legion post to hold area services Monday

The Hope Post of the American Legion will be holding its traditional round of Memorial Day ceremonies Monday morning in northeastern Bartholomew County. The post will perform full military services at eight locations Monday morning.

The first service will be at 8:30 a.m. at Sharon Cemetery at the grave of Jonathan Moore. The Revolutionary War veteran was a bodyguard for General George Washington. The final service will be at 11 a.m. at Hope Moravian Cemetery’s Veterans Memorial. You can find a complete schedule below.

  • 8:30 a.m. – Sharon Cemetery
  • 8:50 a.m. – Newburn Cemetery
  • 9:15 a.m. – Hartsville Town Square
  • 9:40 a.m. – Hawcreek Church Cemetery
  • 10:00 a.m. – Simmons Cemetery
  • 10:15 a.m. – Old St Louis Cemetery
  • 10:30 a.m. – Hawcreek Bridge
  • 11 a.m. – Hope Moravian Cemetery Veteran Memorial

WCSI introduces new radio host to fill Limbaugh spot

There will be a new conservative voice on News Talk 1010 WCSI and 98.1 FM, starting Monday afternoon.

White River Broadcasting General Manager Bob Morrison explains that Dan Bongino will be taking the place of long-time talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh, who died earlier this year. The show will will air daily starting at noon.

Bongino is a former Secret Service agent and New York police officer. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress three times.

He rose through the conservative pundit ranks with his support for former President Trump. He is a frequent guest of Fox News and has been hosting a highly rated podcast. In the weeks following the election in November, it ranked either #1 or #2 among all podcasts on Apple.

Bartholomew Memorial Day services set for Monday morning

There will be a Memorial Day service at the Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans on the Courthouse lawn Monday.

Zach Ellison, an organizer for the event, explains that the names will be read of all veterans who have died since the last community remembrance service in November 2019.

Anyone who has a veteran family member who has died since Nov. 2019 is encouraged to contact Heath Jewell at Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home to make sure their name is on the list.

The National Anthem will be performed by Camilla Gehring and the invocation will be by Chaplain Reeves Flint. That will be followed by a wreath laying ceremony, Ellison said.

The service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday morning.

Photograph from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Toddler in critical condition after being found in Lake Santee

A young girl is in critical condition after nearly drowning in Decatur County last night.

Indiana conservation officers are reporting that the incident happened last night at Lake Santee. The Decatur County dispatch center received a report that a 2-year-old girl had disappeared from her home on Lake Santee Drive at about 8:51 p.m. at night. Clarksburg EMS arrived on the scene and quickly found her unconscious in about three feet of water.

She was flown by medical helicopter to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. The incident is under investigation.

Driver arrested after crashing into two vehicles

Jason E. Ballard. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Columbus police say that a driver tested at more than twice the legal alcohol limit crashed into two vehicles last night on Jonesville Road.

Police were called to the area around County Road 200S and State Road 11 at about 8:50 last night after a pickup truck crashed into the back of a vehicle stopped at the intersection. The driver then reportedly left the scene, crashing into another car on the road.

The driver, 45-year-old Jason E. Ballard had slurred speech and his eyes were bloodshot and glassy. Field tests came back at .227 percent blood alcohol level, close to three times the legal limit. After a blood test at Columbus Regional Hospital, he was arrested on charges of Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident.