Monthly Archives: April 2022

Full Salute! concert returns for Bartholomew Memorial Day weekend

A full version of the annual Salute! concert is returning to Columbus on Memorial Day weekend for the first time in two years.

The free concert, performed by the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, will be held on Friday, May 27th starting at 7 p.m. on the lawn of the Bartholomew County courthouse. Organizers say that with the lull in the pandemic, it is important to the community to be able to come together for fellowship but also to honor those who have given their lives in defense of the country.

Over the last two years of the pandemic, the annual concert has been performed with restrictions on audience size and spacing in 2021, and was canceled in 2020 with only a virtual watch party for discussion with philharmonic members and video clips of past performances.

This year’s Salute! concert will be the last performance with the philharmonic by conductor David Bowden, who is retiring after 35 years with the orchestra.

The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic is also asking you to donate to support the Salute! concert. Donation information is available on the orchestra website at or you can stop by the philharmonic offices at 315 Franklin Street.

Jackson deputies being outfitted with communication boards

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department is taking steps to better communicate with community members with autism and other verbal communication limitations.

Sheriff Rick Meyer is announcing that the department will now have patrol vehicles equipped with communications boards provided by the Autism Society of Indiana. The devices displays photos, symbols and pictures meant to aid people who have limited verbal language skills, so they can express themselves to deputies. Those who need help can use several methods to communicate using the boards, including gestures, pointing or blinking their eyes.

The boards are designed to provide vital information to law enforcement and includes the ability to help answer questions such as “Where do you live?” “What’s your phone number?” and “Do you feel sick?” or even if a person has a driver’s license. It also has a keyboard displayed, so a person can point to letters to spell out a message to officers.

Photo: Jackson County Sheriff Rick Meyer displays communications boards being outfitted in deputy’s vehicles. Photo courtesy of Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

State auditor outlines plan for special tax refund deposits

Indiana’s State Auditor Tera Klutz says you will soon start seeing your automated taxpayer refund showing up by direct deposit.

Because Indiana closed the 2021 fiscal year with excess reserves, $1.1 billion is being split between retirement funding and the automated refund for taxpayers. Individual income tax filers will receive a $125 refund, starting in May, while married couples will receive a $250 payment when filing jointly. The automatic taxpayer refund is separate from any regular Indiana income tax refund you may be due.

For those who do not have direct deposit set up or who filed for an extension to pay on their 2021 taxes, checks will be mailed later this summer.

She says there is nothing you need to do to receive this refund.

North Vernon man arrested in assault on store worker

David Parrish. Photo courtesy of Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.

A North Vernon man was arrested Wednesday, accused of sexual battery and other crimes against an employee at a store there.

According to reports from the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department, a male customer was accused of grabbing a female employee at about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon at a store in the 3700 block of North State Road 7. Police report that the man fondled the woman and rubbed against her, before running from the store when a manager confronted him.

Police obtained a description of the suspect from witnesses and store video.

Later in the evening, deputies were called to a disturbance on Wentworth Place where a male was pounding on a front door and yelling. A deputy recognized the man based on the description of the earlier incident. Officers arrested 34-year-old David Parrish on preliminary charges of sexual battery and battery.

Parrish is also accused of drinking a deputy’s beverage without permission and is facing another charge of theft.

Early voting hours continue ahead of Tuesday primary

There is still time to vote early before Tuesday’s primary election. In Bartholomew County early voting continues today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at NexusPark, in the former JC Penney’s store in the Fair Oaks Mall Buildings.

On Saturday, early voting will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at NexusPark and at the Governmental Office Building on Second Street. Early voting wraps up on Monday from 8 a.m. to noon at NexusPark.

Vote centers will be open in Bartholomew County from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday. You can vote at any of the 13 voting sites around the county in Tuesday’s primary.

Local voters will be choosing candidates for everything from members of Congress down to town council members and state delegates.


Forecasters warn of severe weather threat Saturday

The National Weather Service says there is a chance for severe thunderstorms near our area on Saturday.

Western Indiana is under a slight chance of severe weather Saturday, in a line roughly from Indianapolis to Bloomington to Jasper. The rest of our area is under a marginal risk for severe weather. The danger is highest Saturday evening and over night.

The weather service says damaging winds, large hail, heavy rain and isolated tornadoes are all possible.

Camp Atterbury troops preparing weapons for Ukraine

The Indiana National Guard has been preparing armored personnel carriers at Camp Atterbury before they are sent to the war in Ukraine.

Hoosier Guardsmen inspected, repaired and test drove M113 armored personnel carriers this week to ensure they are fully operational.

Brigadier Gen. Justin Mann explains in a video released by the Indiana National Guard.

The armored personnel carriers are being shipped from Camp Atterbury as part of a military aid package the U.S. is providing to Ukraine.

Photo and video courtesy of Indiana National Guard.

Muscatatuck Wildlife Refuge plans reopening after two years.

The Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge will be reopening its visitors center for the first public event in more than two years.

Organizers say that there will be “Welcome to the Wild” event held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7th to celebrate the reopening.

Activities will include a bird walk, a tree walk and a cake walk, a hawk and eagle program and an owl program both with live birds, plus children’s activities and a silent auction.

Visitors will be allowed into areas of the refuge that have been closed.

For more information, you can call 812-522-4352, or visit

Ivy Tech offering next nature hike with biology prof

You have a chance to learn more about local biology and our environment with a series of nature hikes featuring Ivy Tech Community College Columbus biology professors.

The nature hikes will be held on the first Saturday of every month with the next hike on Saturday, May 7th. Those interested can gather at the Driftwood Public Fishing Area, at 8825 S U.S 31, near Edinburgh. The hike will start at 7:30 a.m.

Ivy Tech Columbus faculty member Dr. Tom Sobat will lead the hike and provide information about birds and wildflowers.

Hikes are open to all community members. Ivy Tech will have several pairs of binoculars available but encourages anyone who owns binoculars to bring them.

For more information, you can contact Sobat by email at [email protected].

Deadline nears for next Bartholomew County Works class

The deadline to sign up for the next Bartholomew County Works job readiness training workshop is coming up next week.

Bartholomew County Works is committed to helping members improve their lives, gain full-time employment and achieve economic self-sufficiency. It provides resources in areas including transportation, finances and budget setting.

The workshop itself will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  the week of May 9th, in the Sarla Kalsi Conference Room, at YES Cinema. Workshop topics will include: applications, resumes, interviews, personality and skills inventories, interview attire and body language and other subjects.

The class size is limited. The deadline to apply for May’s workshop is 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.

To get more information on signing up, call Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center at 812-379-1630.