Monthly Archives: May 2023

Local legislator accused of driving under the influence

Jim Lucas. Photo courtesy of Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

Seymour State Rep. Jim Lucas is being accused of driving under the influence and other charges after an arrest early this morning.

Indiana State Police say Lucas was arrested after crashing his vehicle on I-65 just north of Seymour around midnight Wednesday and that he initially left the scene in the vehicle.

Officers with the Seymour Police Department say they found the vehicle in a different location nearby and he was arrested.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office website shows Lucas as an inmate as of 3:46 a.m.

Lucas is facing preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with endangerment, leaving the scene of a crash and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Lucas represents parts of Bartholomew, Jackson, Scott and Washington counties

Story courtesy of Network Indiana

Presentation tonight on hospital’s farmland plan

A reminder that Columbus Regional Hospital and the Columbus and Bartholomew county planning department will be holding a public information session tonight on the proposed plan for a large section of farmland stretching from Interstate 65 to Garden City.

The hospital is proposing a new district, called the City View district, to cover the development of the nearly 700 acres of farmland on the south side of Jonathan Moore Pike. The area has previously been known as Garden City Farms. The district plan includes a future health care facility, residential neighborhoods, commercial centers, and a research & development campus. It sets aside open spaces, green corridors, and room for other amenities.

The plan, if adopted, would guide the future development of the property by becoming a master plan for the hospital and a part of the city of Columbus Comprehensive Plan.

The session will be from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at Nexus Park, the former Fair Oaks Mall. A presentation will start at 6:45 p.m.

Seymour police arrest three over holiday weekend

Seymour officers arrested three people over the holiday weekend including two on drug-related charges.

According to the Seymour Police Department, officers working to interdict drugs entering the community stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation Friday near Sprenger Road. The driver, 42-year-old Penny S. Rivera was found to be a habitual traffic violator and was taken into custody. A passenger in the vehicle, 49-year-old Felicea A. Booker of Seymour admitted to police that she was carrying methamphetamine and marijuana and was arrested on drug possession charges.

On Monday, a Seymour interdiction patrol stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation near Kessler Park. While talking with the driver, officers say that they noticed the smell of marijuana inside the vehicle. During a search, officers discovered drug paraphernalia. The driver, 47-year-old Brandy M. Mix of Scottsburg allegedly told police that she was carrying methamphetamine. She was arrested on charges for possessing the drugs and paraphernalia.

Family Film Festival kicks off for free next week in North Vernon

A summer full of free family movies will kick off next week at North Vernon’s Park Theatre Civic Centre.

The Free Family Film Festival will be going on each Wednesday from June 7th through July 26th. More than 4,000 children are expected to take part in the festival. The theater uses state of the art projection and sound systems, organizers say. The festival gives children who may not have a chance to attend a movie at a theater a chance to see them on the big screen.

The first film will be “Sonic the Hedgehog 2”

Movies are shown twice every Wednesday. Doors open at 9 a.m. with the movie starting at 10 a.m. in the morning, followed by afternoon movies with the doors opening at 1 p.m. and the movies starting at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the box office.

A concession combo for children is $2 and includes a small popcorn, drink and bite-size candy.

Other upcoming movies include:

  • June 14: “The Bad Guys” (PG)
  • June 21: “Minions: The Rise of Gru” (PG)
  • June 28: “Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank” (PG)
  • July 5: “Mummies” (PG)
  • July 12: “DC League of Super-Pets” (PG)
  • July 19: “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” (PG)
  • July 26: “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” (PG)

You can get more information by calling  the theater at 812-346-0330.

Attempted murder charge filed in Lincoln Park shooting investigation

Edmarius Oats. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Formal charges have been filed against two 18-year-olds in the drive by shootings last week at Lincoln Park in Columbus.

According to Prosecutor Lindsey Holden-Kay, Edmarius Oats of Columbus is being charged with attempted murder and three counts of aggravated battery. Alexander Parker of Columbus is facing charges of assisting a criminal and four counts of aiding, inducing or causing aggravated battery.

Four people were shot in the incident which started at about 7:44 p.m. the night of Tuesday, May 23rd.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Oats had been in a dispute with one of the victims, 18-year-old Gavin Hardin, over a girl they had both previously dated. Hardin was at the basketball court with the other victims, including 23-year-old Tyler Hamm and a 17-year old and 16-year old.

Oats is accused of making threats against Hardin using a social media call, saying that he would come to the court to shoot him. According to witnesses, shorty afterwards, a car driven by Parker passed by, then returned in the opposite direction and Oats was seen firing shots from the back seat, hitting the victims.

Parker was found driving the vehicle on his way to Franklin and was taken into custody. A search of the vehicle revealed three spent shell casings from a 9 mm pistol. Police say that Parker refused to identify the person who was in the vehicle with him.

A witness reported that Oats was dropped off at his home on Old Field Lane after the shooting.  The Columbus and Bartholomew County SWAT Team was called to the scene and negotiators contacted Oats on his cell phone. He surrendered to the SWAT team.

During an interview, he denied being involved and said that he had never spoken with or communicated with Hardin. Before his arrest, a search of Oats’ social media showed photos of him displaying firearms and cash, but Oats said the weapons were not his.

Alexander Parker. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.


Stolen Ohio school bus stopped in Shelby County

Updated May 31st.

A driver is under arrest after a stolen school bus caused chaos in Shelby and Decatur counties Tuesday, crashing into police cars and other property.

According to the Indiana State Police, the bus was stolen in Cincinnati just after 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. Troopers say that the driver was outside of the bus when he saw it driven away. The owners used GPS onboard the bus to track it into Indiana and state police were alerted at about 10:15 a.m. State troopers and a Batesville officer found the bus headed westbound into Decatur County on Interstate 74. They tried to pull the bus over, but instead of stopping, the driver took off through Decatur and Shelby counties, even driving through fields and yards, causing damage. Several police vehicles were damaged in collisions with the bus.

The chase ended at about 11:15 a.m. near State Road 9 and Shelby County Road 25E, south of Shelbyville, when police used a tire-deflation device and then boxed the bus in.

No children were on the bus at the time it was stolen.

32 year old Chad A. Murdock of Cincinnati is facing charges of resisting law enforcement, criminal recklessness with a vehicle, possession of stolen property and criminal mischief.

Network Indiana and TTWN Media Networks Inc. contributed to this report. Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police.

Seymour man accused of child solicitation

Mark Snyder. Photo courtesy of Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

A Seymour man has been arrested after an investigation by a civilian group into child solicitation.

According to the Seymour Police Department, officers were contacted earlier in May about a man who solicited a sexual act online from who he believed to be a minor. The sting was organized by a private organization through social media and the information was turned over to police investigators.

After obtaining a search warrant for web-based applications and a second for a home in the 700 block of North Elm Street, officers discovered evidence of child solicitation.

Police arrested 55-year-old Mark L. Snyder on Thursday on a felony charge of child solicitation.

Fire, explosions destroy Columbus storage shed

A Friday morning fire completely destroyed a storage shed in the Shadow Creek Farms neighborhood of Columbus.

According to Columbus Fire Department, firefighters were called to the blaze at about 10:30 Friday morning in the 3200 block of Parkview Drive. Witnesses told emergency dispatchers that there had been several explosions inside the storage shed. When firefighters arrived, the storage building had already burned away and items that had been inside were still on fire. Firefighters also heard several spray cans explosing in the wreckage.

Firefighters put out the fire with water from a hose. The property owners said that no one had been in the building for more than 24 hours and they had no idea of what might have started the fire.

Although firefighters searched the debris for a cause, but couldn’t find one because of the extensive damage.

The damages were estimated at $4,000.

Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department.

Your thoughts on Bartholomew courtroom recordings sought

Bartholomew County judges are looking for your thoughts on new rules that would allow cameras in county courts in some cases.

The comment period opens on Thursday for the new rule proposals for news media.

The Supreme Court of Indiana bans broadcasting of court proceedings in the state but will allow local courts to make exceptions.

The rules being proposed by Judges Jonathan Rohde, James Worton and Kelly Benjamin would allow access to officially designated news organizations.

The proposal sets out requirements that the news media must be unobtrusive and quiet, may not move around the courtroom or conduct interviews in the courtroom. Cameras would have to be on a fixed mount and cannot be moved, tilted or panned when court is in session. Handheld cameras would not be allowed.

Violations of the rules could result in contempt of court charges or other sanctions.

Braodcasting will always be prohibited if the proceedings are closed to the public. The proposed rules would also prohibit recording hearings of minors, child in need of services, protective orders, and hearings involving victims of violent offenses, sex offenses and domestic abuse.

You can find a link to the online comment form here: Commenting starts on June 1st and ends on July 1st.

Domestic dispute call turns to arrest in Jennings County

Kevin Swindall. Photo courtesy of Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.

A call about a domestic disturbance last week in Country Squire Lakes led to the arrest of a man on a variety of charges including trying to sneak drugs into the jail.

According to the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department, deputies were called to the area of Derbyshire Court on Thursday and talked to a victim of a reported battery. Deputies searched the area and found a suspect, 33-year-old Kevin Swindall. Swindall was already out of jail on a pre-trial release on unrelated charges and was taken into custody.

Deputies asked Swindall if he had any contraband on him prior to being taken to the jail and he said he did not. But a search at the jail revealed he was carrying hidden methamphetamine and marijuana inside of him.

He is facing charges including:

  • Domestic Battery
  • Battery
  • Strangulation
  • Intimidation
  • Possession of Methamphetamine
  • Possession of Paraphernalia
  • Possession of Methamphetamine within a Penal Facility