The city of Columbus has extended the deadline to have your voice heard on the first Strategic Master Plan for the Parks and Recreation Department.
A survey is available online through Friday, January 7th that is looking for your opinion on what the next 10+ years should entail for the city parks system. According to the parks department the survey results will help the agency create the strategic master plan that will shape the future parks, recreation, trail and open space needs of the community. And it will help determine what those parks, programs, special events and facilities will look like going forward.
You can take the survey at www.imagineyourcolumbusparks.com. The website is ADA accessible and multilingual. You can also ask for a translated copy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department is warning about the consequences if you are caught drinking and driving this holiday weekend.
According to Sheriff Rick Meyer, if you are caught operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, you will be handcuffed and taken to the sheriff’s department. You and your car will be searched and your vehicle will be towed at your expense. At the station, you will be asked to take a certified breath test. If you refuse, your drivers license will automatically be suspended for one year. If you take the test and your blood alcohol level is .08 percent or greater, your license will also be suspended and you will have to post bond to be released from jail.
If you are convicted, you will have to pay court costs and fees of more than $300, plus any fine. You could receive a jail sentence, have your license suspended and be required to attend drug and alcohol classes. You could also have to submit to random drug screenings.
Meyer said that the penalties increase if this is your second or third arrest for driving under the influence.
Meyer said he hopes that everyone has a fun and festive time over the holiday, but make sure you do so responsibly.
Meyer provided tips on safe drinking during the holidays from Mothers Against Drunk Driving:
- Plan ahead and always designate a non-drinking driver
- Never ride with a drunk or impaired driver
- Choose to be the non-drinking designated driver
- Host parties that include non-alcoholic beverages
- Provide alternate transportation for guests who choose to drink
Main Street of Hope has announced the winners of this year’s Deck the Town Christmas light competition and it is a familiar family.
Contest organizers say that the Griffin family of Manor Drive were the winners, for the third straight year, of the contest.
The contest is conducted through the Main Street of Hope Facebook page and the photo with the most likes is the winner. The winner is awarded a traveling Leg Lamp like the one in the movie “A Christmas Story.” The Griffins will again keep the trophy until mid-January and their names will be added to a commemorative plaque that will travel with the trophy.
You can get more information on the Main Street of Hope Facebook page.
Columbus Regional Health is ending 2021 much the way it ended 2020 – – with a high number of COVID-19 patients.
The hospital yesterday reported that it had 201 people admitted to the hospital overall, with 54 of those admitted for COVID-19. Of those, 48 were unvaccinated and six were vaccinated. Those numbers were from last week.
On Dec. 31 of last year, the hospital had 40 COVID-19 patients.
Earlier this month, the hospital came one patient away from reaching the pandemic-high 59 set on December 2, 2020. Almost all of this month has had more than 40 COVID-19 patients at a time.
Bartholomew County had 95 positive COVID-19 test results as of Wednesday, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. That was the fourth highest single day for positive tests in the county this year.
The National Weather Service in Indianapolis has issued a flood warning for East Fork White River at Seymour that goes into effect this morning.
Minor flooding is forecast, according to the agency. The river is expected to rise to the minor flood stage of 12 feet by late this morning, and to crest at about 14 feet by Friday afternoon. The flooding should end by the evening of New Year’s Day. Everything should be back to normal by early next week.
As of this morning the river is at about 11 feet, which is just below the minor flood stage.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is asking for your help to catch those duping would-be campers with fake reservations at state campgrounds.
According to the agency, the scams have been ongoing since July. A third party has been advertising and fraudulently renting campground spaces to Hoosiers, but when they arrive at the site, they find that the space they have already paid for is not actually available.
DNR says that if you made such a reservation through social media to save a site for the upcoming year, that you may have actually been taken in by the scammers. The scam has affected campers at Trine State Recreation Area, Spring Mill State Park, Morgan-Monroe State Forest, Greene Sullivan State Forest, and McCormick’s Creek State Park.
DNR says the only legitimate way to reserve a campsite is through the agency website at Camp.IN.gov or by calling the DNR Reservation Line at 866-622-6746.
If you believe you have been a victim of this scam, you can contact the Indiana Conservation Officer Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536.
The Columbus Bluegrass Jamboree will be held again on Saturday , January 8th at Donner Center.
The event will begin with an open jam at 4 p.m. and group performances starting at 5 p.m.
Masks are required in the city facility.
The Jamboree is sponsored by Columbus Parks and Recreation and Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center. For more information, you can call 812-614-0955 or visit columbusbluegrassjamboree.com.
Local government offices will be closed Thursday and Friday for the New Year’s holiday, including Bartholomew County and Columbus offices.
City trash and recycling routes will be running on their normal schedule.
Columbus City Utilities says that if you have a problem with your water or sewer service, you can call 812-372-8861 and follow the prompts.
The Columbus/Bartholomew County Recycling Center will still be open Thursday, but will close on Friday, according to the Bartholomew County Solid Waste Management District. All district facilities will be closed on New Year’s Day, Saturday. That includes the Bartholomew County Landfill, Petersville and Harrison Township Convenience Sites and the Columbus/Bartholomew Recycling Center.
Friday is not a holiday for Seymour’s Department of Public Works and trash and recycling routes will be on their normal schedule.
The Indiana National Guard says it has ceased Operation Hoosier Allies Support, the mission to collect donations for Afghan evacuees who are staying at Camp Atterbury.
This includes all donation sites at Indiana National Guard armories.
Team Rubicon will still accept donations at its Johnson County site.
The Guard reported earlier this month that the Camp Atterbury Rail Deployment Facility, at 5921 Schoolhouse Road will continue to accept donations until the end of January.
Local activists campaigning for humane treatment of dogs were on the receiving end of complaints before the Bartholomew County Commissioners this week.
Lynda Ziegler brought the complaint to the commissioners, saying that her parents were being harassed by members of the Change 4 Bartholomew County animal advocacy group and the group is continuing to trespass on her parents’ rural property. The group has been taking photos, posting on social media and complaining about the treatment of an Australian shepherd dog on the property who lives in a kennel with an old shelter.
Ziegler, county commissioners and county animal control officer Mark Case said that there is nothing inhumane about the way the dog is being treated. Commissioners praised her parents for being good stewards of the animals on their farm and said the accusations against them have been investigated and are unfounded.
Ziegler urged the commissioners to take action against the animal advocacy group and said they have contacted law enforcement to keep the members off their property.
None of the members of the advocacy group were present at this week’s meeting.