Monthly Archives: April 2023

Teen dies in Edinburgh shooting Saturday

Pedro Castillo-Salmeron. Photo courtesy of Edinburgh Police Department.

An Edinburgh teen was shot to death Saturday and a 20-year-old is in custody.

According to the Edinburgh Police Department, officers were called to the 600 block of South Pleasant Drive where they found a 14-year-old boy who had been shot in the chest. The boy was taken to Riley Hospital for Children where he was pronounced dead. Authorities have identified the victim as  Jonathon Elliott of Greenwood.

The suspect was identified by a witness as 20-year-old Pedro Castillo-Salmeron who had left the scene. Police located and arrested Castillo-Salmeron on a preliminary charge of reckless homicide.

Police say that there is no known motive for the shooting and they are still investigating.

If you have an information on the incident, you are asked to contact Edinburgh Police Chief Doyne Little at (812) 526-3500.

Downtown Columbus streets closing Saturday for events

The city of Columbus Engineering Department is warning about some downtown street closures this weekend.

According to the city, Sixth Street will be closed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday between Washington and Jackson Streets. That will be for Independent Book Store Day at Viewpoint Books. Setup for the event is starting this afternoon.

Also on Saturday, Fourth Street will be closing from 7 to 9 p.m. for the Hauser Prom Walk In to the Forge.

That will be between Washington and Franklin Streets.

Columbus woman facing drug-dealing charges

Briana McFarland. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

A report of an impaired driver Thursday night in Bartholomew County led to the arrest of a driver on drug-related charges.

According to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, after the witness report, deputies found the vehicle and saw the driver make several traffic violations. After pulling the vehicle over for a traffic stop, a department police dog alerted to the odor of drugs in the vehicle. A search revealed more than 10 grams of methamphetamine inside. The driver, 32-year-old Briana McFarland of Columbus also admitted to carrying more than 10 grams of fentanyl.

She was arrested on preliminary charges of dealing in methamphetamine and fentanyl, as well as for possessing the drugs, a legend drug injection device and drug paraphernalia.

Evidence photo courtesy of Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.

Jennings investigation leads to recovery of stolen gun

Miranda Garrett. Photo courtesy of Jennings County Sheriff’s Department

A weeks-long investigation in Jennings County has led to the recovery of a stolen gun in Columbus.

According to the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department, the investigation started on April 13th when a burglary was reported in Country Squire Lakes. Among the items taken were a motor vehicle and a firearm. The vehicle was recovered two days later and evidence led police to a home a few doors down from the site of the burglary.

A search warrant was issued and more stolen items from the home were recovered, along with drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine. A suspect, Miranda Garrett was taken into custody.

Last week, deputies came to Columbus to follow up on a lead from their investigation about the location of the firearm. It was recovered by deputies.

Garrett is facing charges of Burglary, Theft, Auto Theft, Violation of Indiana’s Legend Drug Act as well as for possessing methamphetamine, a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

The sheriff’s department is urging residents who are going to be away from their home for weeks or months to contact the department to have extra patrols check on your property while you are away. That should include a list of people and vehicles that are authorized to be at your home while you are away.

The sheriff’s department says the investigation is ongoing. If you have any information you can call Deputy John Hartman at 812-346-8642

Local Ivy Tech campuses offering free classes for high school students

Ivy Tech Community College will be offering free classes for high school students this summer, where they can explore their future career path and earn college credits. That includes the college’s Columbus, Franklin, and Shelbyville campuses.

The program is for students in 9th through 12th grades and students who qualify will receive free tuition and textbooks, with no limit on the number of courses students can take.

To qualify for enrollment for the free summer classes, students must be Indiana residents at any high school, including eighth graders entering ninth grade, graduating seniors, homeschool students, and students at adult high schools.

You can find  more information here:

Designs sought for local youth Shine On campaign

The Council for Youth Development in Bartholomew County is looking for submissions of designs for its upcoming  “Shine On” postcard campaign.

For International Youth Day in August the council distributes 8,000 postcards to local youth. The goal is for each postcard to end up in the hands of a young person in the community with a meaningful message written on the back by a community member. The cards will feature four designs by four young artists.

The card designs should illustrate the Shine On theme and should be vibrant, cheerful designs inspiring area children, teens, and young adults. The artwork needs to be saved as a JPG file with 300 dpi, 5 inches x 7 inches and no larger than 1 GB.

Submissions must be scannable and digitally uploaded and contain the words “Shine On” in the design. The deadline to submit artwork is May 10th.

Community members who want to write an inspirational message can pick up postcards from 11 different distribution sites across the community beginning August 1st.

You can submit designs at

Brown County Legal Aid clinic set for Tuesday

Legal Aid is hosting a free walk-in legal clinic in Brown County next week.

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 will be Tuesday, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Brown County Public Library.

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

Saturday stuffed animal collection by Young Marines postponed

A Saturday event to collect stuffed animals for a Young Marines project has been canceled due to expected bad weather.

The event was originally scheduled to be held at a Columbus Walmart store Saturday and will be rescheduled.

The first annual Stuffed with Love campaign hopes to raise money and donations to provide 1000 stuffed animals to local hospitals and medical facilities to help children in need. According to organizers, a stuffed animal can calm a child and help them feel safe in times of crisis. The drive is being organized by 12-year-old Roger Douglass of Seymour and his Young Marines troop.

There are still dropoff locations at ATI Rehab Clinics in Columbus, Seymour and Franklin, at Seymour Decorating Center and Family Pharmacy in Brownstown. The campaign ends May 20th.

For more information call 812-603-5412

INDOT: State Road 135 traffic to be restricted in Brown, Jackson counties.

INDOT is planning road work that will tie up traffic on State Road 135 in Brown and Jackson Counties.

Starting on May 1st, you will see lane restrictions on State Road 135 between State road 46 and Story. Crews will be closing one lane of S.R.135 over Strahl Creek, which is about 7 miles south of State Road 46. That is so crews can complete a bridge rehabilitation project.

During the work, there will be temporary signals which will alternate traffic through the work zone, one lane at a time.

The restrictions are expected to last through the end of October. The schedule is dependent on the weather.

Starting on May 8th, crews will begin chip-sealing on State Road 135 in Jackson County.

They will be working on State Road 135 from U.S. 50 to approximately seven miles north of State Road 56. You can expect to see lane closures and flaggers while the work is ongoing.

INDOT asks that you slow down, drive without distractions and pay extra attention to worker safety in all work zones.

Early voting ends on Monday; Primary election is Tuesday

Early voting is winding down as we head into next week’s municipal primary elections in Indiana.

Early voting is still available in Bartholomew County at Nexus Park, the former Fair Oaks Mall from 8 a.m. to 5 today. On Saturday, you can vote from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Nexus Park and at the Governmental Office Building on Third Street downtown.

Early voting ends at noon on Monday. Election Day is Tuesday and Bartholomew COunty voting centers will be open from 6 to 6.

In Columbus, there is a contested race for mayor on the Republican ticket with former State Rep. Milo Smith and Mary Ferdon, the city’s current executive director of administration and community development. They are vying to replace incumbent Mayor Jim Lienoop, who opted not to run for a third term.

On the Democratic side, there is a contested race for the City Council District 3 seat with incumbent Jerone Wood, Michael Kinder and Tony Hayden.

You might see some new names on your ballot with the addition of more seats to the Columbus City Council. Last year, Columbus City Council approved moving the city up to a second class status. Second class cities have nine council members instead of the current seven. That means the addition of one new district seat, which led to redrawing the district boundaries. There will also be an additional at-large seat on the ballot.

You can check your voting status at

Mary Ferdon. Photo courtesy of the candidate.
Milo Smith. Photo courtesy of the candidate.