Monthly Archives: June 2021

Sheriff outlines changes to gun permits going into effect July 1

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers is pointing out changes to the state’s gun permit laws that go into effect tomorrow.

Under the changes, fees will no longer be charged for either a 5-year or lifetime license to carry a handgun. The two licenses can also be held concurrently. The Sheriff’s Department will also no longer be taking fingerprints for the licenses.

Myers said that he supports the changes and does not believe that law-abiding citizens should have to pay a fee to exercise their rights.

You can get more information on applying for a gun permit here.

Locations and information for fingerprinting is available here. 

Kids Day at midway, truck pulls at grandstand for today’s Bartholomew County fair.

The Bartholomew County 4-H Fair continues today with Young Farmer’s Day. Fairgrounds buildings open at noon today, with the Midway opening at  2 p.m. until 10 p.m. for Kids Day. Wristbands will be $18 all day and night.

Entertainment and activities today include the Adventure Day Carnival at the David Boll Theatre, Extension Homemakers Puppy Pillow Session at the Family Arts building and Kids Carnival Games and farm trivia at the Farm Bureau Building. At 7 p.m., the Night Owl Country Band will be performing at the David Boll Theatre and Indiana Truck Pulling Association will be at the grandstands. The Easterling Magic Show will be at 8 p.m. at the Farm Bureau Building.

You can click here for more information on the fair schedule.

Cummins to acquire share of compressed natural gas fuel company

Cummins is announcing plans to acquire a 50 percent equity interest in Momentum Fuel Technologies from Rush Enterprises.

Under the agreement, Cummins will produce branded natural gas fuel delivery systems for the commercial vehicle market in North America. Those will combine Momentum Fuel Technologies’ compressed natural gas fuel delivery systems, Cummins’ powertrains and the engineering and support infrastructure of both companies.

The joint venture will offer aftermarket support through Rush Truck Centers dealerships and Cummins distributors which will be able to service both the engine and the fuel delivery system. Rush Truck Centers has more than 100 dealership locations in 22 states and is the largest network of commercial vehicle dealerships in the United States.

Cummins’ and Rush Enterprises’ networks together represent over 250 locations in the US and Canada and will be equipped with certified technicians and access to a comprehensive vehicle parts inventory.

The proposed transaction is expected to close later this year.

You can get more information here.

State police release more details of Sunday Columbus shooting

Indiana State Police are releasing more information about a Sunday morning shooting involving a Columbus police officer, that left a suspect in critical condition.

According to police reports, an out-of-town homeowner was alerted through remote security video that an unknown man was on his property. The homeowner called 911 and Columbus police Sgt. Lukas Nibarger was called to the home in the 3300 block of Woodland Parkway at about 4:12 a.m.

Nibarger encountered a man at the residence who refused to comply with commands and began to run away. Nibarger chased the man, later identified as 38-year-old Jacob D. Rice, into the back yard where Rice fired a shot towards the officer, troopers say. The shot missed and Nibarger returned fire with his department-issued handgun, striking Rice once.

Nibarger called for an ambulance and provided medical care to Rice until the ambulance arrived. Medics then transported Rice to Columbus Municipal Airport where Lifeline transported him to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where he remains in critical condition.

Troopers say that the gun Rice used in the shooting had been stolen from a car in Columbus.

The investigation is still ongoing. The Indiana State Police will forward their report to the Bartholomew County Prosecutor when completed.

Columbus firefighters honored for lifesaving efforts

22 Columbus firefighters are being recognized for their efforts to save a disabled woman from a burning home earlier this month.

At Tuesday morning’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, Fire Chief Andy Lay and deputy chiefs Mark Ziegler and Mike Kutsko honored the firefighters who responded to a home fire in the 200 block of Hinman Street on June 17th.

The Medal of Valor was presented to six fire department members who were directly responsible for the rescue of the woman: Lt. Shawn McNealy, Firefighters Jeff Brown, Dan Smith, Cody Hercamp, Cory Hampton, and Chris Baker

The Medal of Courage was presented to 16 additional firefighters who operated at the scene. The Medal of Courage was also presented to two Columbus Regional Health Ambulance Service Technicians who provided medical care and transport for the injured woman.

Those included: Lay, Ziegler, Battalion Chief Terry Whitis, Lieutenants Scott Maley, Rick Mullis, Ron Sexton and Josh Allman, Captains Mike Wilson and  Ben Spencer, Firefighters Paul Chapple, Andy Johns, Jared Lucas, Casey Taylor, Justin Sims, Bryan Bailey and Ryan Hirtzel; Paramedic Gabe Thomas, and EMT Conner Bridges.

Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department.

North Vernon man sentenced for sexual exploitation of a minor

A North Vernon man is heading to prison for 25 years for sexually exploiting a toddler.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana is announcing that 26-year-old Gage Campos has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, in addition to 20 years of supervised release and $10,000 in restitution to the  victim.

According to police reports, Campos was arrested in September after images of sexual exploitation of a child were found in his Google account and on a cell phone. The images were created between July and October of 2019, when the victim was toddler. Authorities also learned that Campos had a position of trust over the child.

In addition to sexually explicit images of the minor victim, forensic examiners also found evidence that Campos had been collecting child sexual abuse material for at least 4 years. Campos used Google to search for material and images related to the sexual abuse of children.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identified the photos as being in Campos’ account and turned the evidence over to the Indiana State Police and FBI. Investigators identified Campos, recovered evidence from his residence, obtained a confession, and ensured the safety of the  victim.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Red Cross seeks donors in midst of severe blood shortage

The American Red Cross is looking for your help as the agency is reporting a severe blood shortage.

Donors of all blood types – especially type O and those giving platelets – are being urged to make an appointment to give now to help ensure hospitals have the blood supplies they need over the Fourth of July holiday and beyond.

Those who donate July 1st through the 6th will receive a Red Cross embroidered hat. And, donors between July 7-31 will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.

The Red cross will be taking donations from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, July 1st, at Ivy Tech Community College on Central Avenue in Columbus and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, July 2nd at Developmental Services Inc. on 10th Street.

You can schedule an appointment to give blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS

Pence: Rural broadband language included in interagency agreement

Legislation by Columbus Congressman Greg Pence to speed the installation of broadband internet in rural areas is being incorporated into a federal interagency agreement.

That agreement is between the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

The agencies announced the interagency agreement, and Pence’s office said on Monday that it was a key part of legislation that he introduced and that was signed into law by President Trump as part of last year’s Consolidated Appropriations Act.

Pence said that the agreement seeks to end the agency’s duplicating efforts and to ensure taxpayer dollars are targeting unserved and underserved areas.

Pence said that the pandemic showed how essential reliable broadband is. He said he was pleased that facets of his legislation are becoming reality and this agreement will help ensure that rural America is no longer left behind.

Columbus man arrested after running across Interstate 65

Michael A. Sample. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

A Columbus man was arrested after a deputy saw him running across Interstate 65.

According to police reports, the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department deputy was southbound on the interstate between the Columbus and Edinburgh exits at about 6:54 Sunday evening, when he saw a man run across the interstate, crossing in front of oncoming traffic.

The deputy stopped and tried to contact the man, who jumped a fence near County Road 250W and then ran down a driveway before finally stopping.

Sheriff’s department police dog Jari found a capped syringe near the man, who was identified as 29-year-old Michael Sample.

Sample was arrested on preliminary charges of public intoxication, possession of drug-related paraphernalia and obstruction of justice.

County replaces failing emergency dispatch backup equipment

The Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Center is upgrading some equipment after problems were found with backup gear during a recent outage at the center.

Todd Noblitt, emergency operations director for the county, asked the Bartholomew County Commissioners to ratify the decision to replace the failing equipment. He said that during an incident two weeks ago, when the main dispatch system went down, dispatchers found they were having difficulty communicating on the backup repeater equipment in Harrison Township. That equipment was replaced.

Noblitt said a second item to be replaced was the system that lets the dispatch center send its signal to state towers for broadcast.

Without the replacements, he said the backup equipment had problems communicating with emergency departments when they were in the field throughout the county.

The cost to replace all of the equipment is just over $23,000 and it was purchased from ERS Wireless, Noblitt said. Some of the replaced equipment is more than 20 years old, he said.

Noblitt said that money for both improvements are already within the emergency operations center budget. Bartholomew County Commissioners ratified the emergency expenditures at their meeting Monday.