Monthly Archives: March 2023

Pence urges calm, questions New York prosecutor

Former Vice President and Columbus native Mike Pence is urging supporters of former President Trump to stay calm if Trump is arrested tomorrow. Pence says the potential indictment of Trump is “deeply troubling” but adds “violence will not be tolerated.” Trump has urged his supporters to “take back our nation” amid protests.

Pence is also criticizing the Manhattan District Attorney for possibly pursuing charges against his former boss. Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Pence said indicting a former President would be a politically-charged move and insisted New York City has bigger problems to worry about.

Former President Trump says on social media he expects to be arrested on Tuesday in connection to the hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels when he was running for the White House in 2016.

Story courtesy of TTWN Media Networks

Local leaders plan mental health initiative

Local government officials and leaders of organizations will be holding a kickoff event next month for a new three-year initiative to address mental health in Bartholomew County and Columbus.

Similar to the creation of the Alliance For Substance Abuse Progress in Bartholomew County, local groups in government, health care, mental health and education are coming together and plan to devote resources to address what they see as an urgent need to act on rising mental health challenges in the community. Organizers say that those challenges are creating new strains on city and county services, schools, healthcare providers and employers. The initiative is meant to understand the local situation, to identify gaps and best practice solutions and to begin implementing solutions.

The keynote speaker at the April event will be Dr. Marc Brackett, PhD, Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University.

Also taking part in the kickoff event will be Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop, Bartholomew County Commissioner Carl Lienhoop, Suzanne Koesel, CEO of Centerstone of Indiana, Jim Bickel, CEO of Columbus Regional Health, Mark Stewart, executive director of the United Way of Bartholomew County and Dr. Jim Roberts, Superintendent, Bartholomew Consolidated Schools.

The free event will be at 6 p.m., on April 5th at The Commons in downtown Columbus and you are invited to attend.

National Guard troops compete for Best Warrior trophy

Indiana National Guardsmen and Slovakian service members competed in this year’s Best Warrior Competition over the weekend at Camp Atterbury. The competition tested basic soldier skills including physical fitness, marksmanship and combat readiness.

The three-day event started Friday and included a variety of events such as an obstacle course, medical evacuation exercise, gun-firing lanes, combat fitness tests, a ruck march, land navigation and an appearance board. 20 National Guard soldiers and one airman took part in the competition in sub-freezing temperatures. Slovakia, which partners with the Indiana National Guard, sent three participants.

Spc. Samuel Parker, an infantryman with the 151st Infantry Regiment and Sgt. Christopher Swygart, an infantryman with the 293rd Infantry Regiment, were recognized as the winners of “Best Noncommissioned Officer” and “Best Warrior.” They will represent the Indiana National Guard at the regional competition later this year and possibly national competitions.

Photo: Senior Airmen Evan Nieves, with the 122nd Fighter Wing, sprints through the obstacle course for the Best Warrior Competition, Friday at Camp Atterbury. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Hannah Clifton)

Legal Aid hosting Jennings County clinic Tuesday

Legal Aid is hosting a free walk-in legal clinic in Jennings County tomorrow.

If you take part you will have up to a 10-minute consultation with a volunteer attorney to answer general questions, to offer legal information or to receive other advice.

The walk in legal clinic for Jennings County community members will be Tuesday, from 3 to 5 pm at the Jennings County Public Library.

From 3 to 4 the session will focus on general legal counsel. From 4 to 5 p.m. the clinics will focus on evictions.

Pence returns to important presidential primary states

Former Vice President Mike Pence, a Columbus native, has made another visit to New Hampshire and is headed to Iowa this weekend as speculation about his political future continues to grow.

Pence was in the Granite State yesterday where he appeared at a fundraiser for the Republican party.

Pence also told New Hampshire media that he won’t comply with a subpoena from the special counsel that’s looking into the actions of former President Donald Trump on the day protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol because he believes that subpoena is unconstitutional.

Pence will be in Des Moines, Iowa this weekend. He’ll be part of a panel discussion on America’s Foreign Policy with former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. The event is sponsored by the Bastian Institute.

Both New Hampshire and Iowa are seen as key states in the presidential primaries. And while Pence’s name has been raised as a possible candidate in the 2024 White House race, he hasn’t said when he’ll decide if he’s going to enter the contest.

Story courtesy of TTWN Media Networks.

Seymour teen facing charges after gunfire in home

A Seymour teen has been arrested, accused of firing a handgun several times inside a home.

According to Seymour Police Department, the incident happened last month but was reported to authorities this week. The 15-year-old allegedly pulled a handgun, pointing it at another child and firing it multiple times in the home. A search warrant was issued for the home and while searching there, police discovered controlled substances, leading to a second search warrant. Officers found a stolen handgun, more than 2000 rounds of ammo, signs the gun had been fired inside the home, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

The 15-year-old was arrested on preliminary felony charges of criminal recklessness, intimidation, pointing a firearm, and theft.

Registrations open for civics summer camp by IUPUC

Registration is now open for a summer civics camp for local students through IUPUC.

According to the school, the new iEngage program will be a free weeklong program for students in 4th through 8th grade. It is a civics education program offered through the IU Center on Representative Government, a non-partisan, educational institution founded by former Indiana congressman Lee Hamilton. The center’s goal is to to teach the skills that are essential to sustaining representative democracy.

Each day, campers will work on tackling an issue that’s important to them, while also learning from local leaders and organizations who work to solve community issues.

This summer’s program will be co-directed by Stephanie Serriere, Ph.D., IUPUC professor of social studies education and Elizabeth Osborn, Ph.D., director of education at the Center on Representative Government.

There will be no cost to the students. A camp T-shirt, lunch and snacks will be provided along with transportation to and from Foundation for Youth, if needed. The program is funded by the Center on Representative Government, the Bill and Norma Perry Memorial Fund, Rick and Alice Johnson and Heritage Fund.

The program will be from June 26 to 30, with registration now open. The deadline to register is May 1st.

To learn more about iEngage visit

Columbus man among arrests in Johnson County sweep

Kendrick Harper. Photo courtesy of Johnson County Sheriff’s Department

A Columbus man was among those arrested in a Johnson County crackdown on drug dealing.

Johnson County deputies along with police from Franklin, Greenwood, and Marion County worked together to serve more than 30 drug warrants Wednesday on what they are calling “high end dealers.” That included a Johnson County SWAT team raid of a Greenwood home.

Sheriff Duane Burgess said more than two thirds of those involved came from outside of Johnson County to sell narcotics.

28-year-old Kendrick Harper of Columbus was one of those arrested and is facing felony charges of dealing methamphetamine.

Those accused include 18 people from Indianapolis, with others from Carmel, Camby and Martinsville.

TTWN Media Networks contributed to this report

Police looking for drunk, impaired drivers during tourney

State and local police agencies have joined in a traffic enforcement blitz aimed at cracking down on speeding, impaired driving or anyone driving aggressively during the college basketball tournament.

The enforcement campaign includes more than 200 state and local law enforcement agencies around Indiana, including the Seymour Police Department and Indiana State Police. It is specifically meant to focus on the weeks around the NCAA Basketball Tournament, including St. Patrick’s Day and will last through Tuesday, April 4th.

Officers are conducting high-visibility, overtime patrols, with the extra enforcement funded through National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grants administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

Police say that if you are going to an event involving drinking, you should designate a sober driver, use public transportation or take a ride service to get home safely.

If you are driving and encounter a possible impaired or unsafe driver on the road, you should call 911.

North Vernon biker gang leader sentenced to 120 years

Michael J. Karnuth. Photo courtesy of Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.

A North Vernon motorcycle gang member has been sentenced to 120 years in prison.

According to the Jefferson County prosecutor’s office, Michael J. “Billy Goat” Karnuth was sentenced this week by Jefferson Circuit Court Judge D.J. Mote.

Karnuth was found guilty last month of murder, attempted burglary committed while armed with a deadly weapon, attempted robbery committed while armed with a deadly weapon and obstruction of justice. Karnuth was also found to have been a member of a criminal organization and that he committed the crimes to further the interests of the organization.

Prosecutor David Sutter says Karnuth was sentenced to 60 years on the murder charge and an additional 60 years on the criminal gang enhancement.

Members of the Pagans and Warlock motorcycle gangs confronted a man they believed had been wearing tattoos, colors and patches of a motorcycle gang, despite not being a member in June of 2021. Gunfire broke out and Pagans gang member 35-year-old Dustin B. Lindner of Georgetown, Kentucky was killed.

Karnuth was president of the Heavy Hitters chapter of the Warlocks motorcycle club.