Monthly Archives: August 2021

Camp Atterbury now on list to receive Afghan refugees

Camp Atterbury has been approved as a site to temporarily house Afghan evacuees in support of Operation Allies Refuge, the Secretary of Defense announced yesterday.

The Defense Department, through U.S. Northern Command, has agreed to provide the State Department with transportation and temporary housing, sustainment, and support inside the United States for Afghan special immigrant visa applicants, their families and other at-risk individuals. That will be at suitable facilities, in permanent or temporary structures, as quickly as possible.

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said that as Hoosiers, we are proud to do our part and provide a temporary home for Afghan evacuees who have supported this nation.  He said “Our federal partners are taking necessary and appropriate steps to establish that there is a smooth process to allow these men, women and children to quickly find their permanent home across the United States.

Holcomb said he has faith in the Indiana National Guard’s ability to support this federal mission.

Task Force Atterbury, consisting of active-duty and National Guard service member, will provide housing, medical, logistics, and transportation when the Afghans arrive.

Congressman Greg Pence yesterday said on Twitter that over the coming week, capacity at Camp Atterbury will built to support about 5,000 people. Northern Command estimates that Camp Atterbury will reach initial operational capability in the next few days.

Camp Atterbury joins Fort Pickett, Marine Corps Base Quantico and Fort Lee in Va.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort McCoy, Wis.; Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in N.J. to provide temporary housing and support for up to 50,000 Afghans.

Red Cross seeking blood donors; local drive locations, times set

The American Red Cross says the spike in COVID-19 cases is part of the cause for 10 percent drop in blood donations in recent weeks. But already stressed hospitals are seeing a rising need for blood and platelets.

You can donate blood in Bartholomew County from 1 to 6 p.m. today at the Bartholomew County Public Library on Fifth Street, from 9 to 2 tomorrow at Ivy Tech Community College on Central Avenue and from 9 to 2 Friday 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

Governor extends state of emergency for 18th time

Indiana’s state of emergency is being renewed for the 18th time. Governor Holcomb announced the declaration renewal yesterday. It paves the way for federal funding in response to the pandemic. The extension puts the state of emergency in effect through September 30th.

The governor also extended an executive order allowing for temporary health care workers, and out of state health care workers to work here, but only through Wednesday. According to the governor’s office the short-term extension will allow for ongoing conversations with healthcare stakeholders to support hospitals during the current COVID surge.

Our news-gathering partners at TTWN Media Networks Inc. contributed to this report

Commissioners approve revisions to ban puppy mills

Bartholomew County Commissioners have given their final approval to an ordinance that seeks to ban puppy mills in the community.

The Commissioners approved revisions to the county animal control ordinances yesterday morning. The new ordinance would repeal the previous law, that has been in place since 1978.

The major changes limited breeders of dogs and cats to having a maximum of 10 unaltered females more than a year old in their facility. That was for owners breeding the animals for future sales of their offspring. The ordinance was revised from the first reading two weeks ago, when it would have applied to any non-agricultural animals.

Commissioners said the community has not had any concerns raised about the breeding of other animals such as guinea pigs or rabbits.

The new ordinance must still be published in the newspaper and a 30 day waiting period will go into effect after that before it becomes official, said County Attorney Grant Tucker.

Authorities searching for missing Bartholomew County woman

Bartholomew County officials are searching for a woman missing for more than a week.

Deputies say that they are searching for 37-year-old Heather Ann Steuver. She is a white woman, 5-7 and 115 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen at her home on Sunday, Aug. 22nd.

If you have any information on her whereabouts, you should call 812-379-1689 or call 911.

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Heavy rain possible due to remnants of tropical storm

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis says that much of our area is under a marginal risk of excessive rainfall and rapid flooding today.

Joe Nield, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis told our news-gathering partners at Network Indiana that southern Indiana will receive a glancing blow from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Nield says the heaviest rain will likely be along the Ohio River.

Southeastern Bartholomew, southern Decatur, Jackson and Jennings counties are all within the marginal risk area, which means a 5 to 10 percent chance of heavy rain and flooding. Areas further to the southeast are under a slight risk, with Kentucky under a moderate risk.

Students, staff grieving over loss of Columbus East junior in hit-and-run

Bartholomew Consolidated Schools say students and staff are grieving after the death yesterday morning of 16-year-old Lily Streeval, a junior at Columbus East High School.

Streeval was trying to cross Gladstone Avenue to get on a school bus yesterday morning when a driver allegedly passed the stopped bus, which had its stop arms extended, hit Streeval and then fled the scene. He was later arrested.

School officials say that secondary school students were onboard the bus at the time of the crash and they are being provided with support from school counselors and staff. At East, an announcement was made to students and staff members during the day and a moment of silence was held. Counselors will be in each of Streeval’s classes to meet with her classmates.

Additionally, ongoing support is being provided to all students and staff members at Columbus East, as well as any other students and staff within our corporation who have been affected by this tragedy.

Superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts said it was a devastating loss. He called Streeval full of life and said Auto Tech had emerged as her favorite class and she was considering a career in that area.

Columbus East student dies while getting on school bus

Shiam Sunder Shankara Subramanian. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Note: This story has been updated

A Columbus East High School student has died after being struck by a car Monday morning while attempting to get on the school bus.

16-year-old Lily J. Streeval of Columbus died due to blunt force trauma to the cervical spine and chest, according to the Bartholomew County Coroner’s office.

The car’s driver fled the scene of the crash without stopping, but has been arrested.

According to reports from the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, the crash happened at about 6:55 a.m. Monday morning in the 1900 block of South Gladstone Avenue. Police say the bus was stopped with its stop arms extended, and Streeval was attempting to cross the road to get on the school bus. That’s when the driver of the car ignored the stop arms, passed the bus and hit the student.

The driver fled the scene and was followed by a witness before getting stuck in a yard on County Road 250E, where he was taken into custody.

The driver, 25 year old Shiam Sunder Shankara Subramanian of Columbus was arrested on preliminary felony charges of leaving the scene of an accident causing death, reckless driving and passing a stopped school bus with arms extended causing death.

Streeval was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus Police Department and Indiana State Police are investigating the fatal hit and run crash.

“We are working closely with Bartholomew County School Corporation officials in regards to this investigation,” said Chief Deputy, Maj. Chris Lane.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. A tragic event like this affects many people and we are thinking of everyone involved.”

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department

Columbus looks for your thoughts on future of parks, recreation

The city of Columbus wants your thoughts on the future of the city’s parks and recreation. There will be a Zoom session tomorrow afternoon to get your feedback on the department’ first strategic master plan and update to the park system master plan.

The city wants to know what you see as the future needs for parks, recreation, trails and open space. The session will include a presentation on future demographics and recreation trends. There will be a question and answer period and public comments.

The meeting will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. You can attend via the Zoom app here.