Monthly Archives: July 2023

Theft suspect takes ColumBUS to make escape

A man suspected of shoplifting an air conditioner from a store, tried to make his getaway on a Columbus city bus.

According to the Columbus Police Department, the incident happened Saturday afternoon at about 4:25 p.m. when officers were called to the eastside Walmart store on Whitfield Drive. Store security told officers that a man took an air conditioner from the store, then got on the ColumBUS with the air conditioning unit to escape.

Police soon stopped the bus near Indiana Avenue and Ross Street where the suspect, 31-year-old Cameron Sampson tried to exit the bus. He was detained an the air conditioning unit was found on a bus seat, still in its large box.

Sampson was arrested on a preliminary charge of theft.

Rescheduled State Road 11 work to start next week

State Road 11 will be closing south of Seymour starting next week while a small drainage structure is replaced under the roadway.

According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, contractors have been working on a resurfacing project on the highway between U.S. 50 and State Road 250 since June. That work will include the replacement of the structure between County Road 300N and the Burkhart Boulevard bypass at Grassy Fork Creek.

The work will start Monday and State Road 11 should be closed for about 20 days. The work schedule is dependent on the weather. The drainage structure replacement was originally scheduled for earlier in July but it was delayed.

Traffic will be detoured to State Road 250 to Interstate 65 to U.S. 50. Local traffic will still have access up to the point where it is closed.

Milestone Contractors was awarded the $2.6 million resurfacing project.

INDOT asks you to slow down, drive without distractions and be alert to worker safety in all construction zones.

Former fair board leader, animal control officer dies

The recently retired Bartholomew County animal control officer died in an off-road accident while farming Sunday afternoon.

According to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, deputies were called to the 9000 block of East County Road 700N at about 3:07 p.m. Sunday afternoon about a man injured in while riding an off-road vehicle. 62-year-old Mark Case died from blunt force trauma to the head sustained in the accident according to the Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office.

Case had retired earlier this month and his final report was read at this morning’s County Commissioners meeting.

Sheriff Chris Lane said that Case was an outstanding public servant and that he will be greatly missed.

Case had also served on the board of directors of the Bartholomew County 4-H Fair since 2000. Previously president of the fair board, he was currently serving as vice president.

Driver injured after being struck by motorcycle

A Tennessee man was seriously injured after being struck by a motorcycle during a crash on Interstate 65 in southern Bartholomew County Sunday afternoon.

According to Indiana State Police, the incident appears to have started when a bicycle fell from a vehicle and was struck by two drivers in the southbound lanes of the Interstate. A vehicle was damaged by the bicycle debris, and its driver, 27-year-old Jonathan Brown of Lebanon, Tennessee, pulled over.

A group of motorcyclists from Lexington, Kentucky then hit the debris, causing one cyclist to crash. 62-year-old Leslie D. Spillman of Lexington suffered non-life-threatening injuries. A second cyclist, 39-year-old Darrell Brooks saw that Spillman had crashed and turned his bike around, driving northbound in the southbound shoulder to help.

However, Brown also saw the accident and as he went to help Spillman he was struck and seriously injured by the northbound motorcycle. He was flown to a Louisville hospital by medical helicopter. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police

Slide repair project to start today near Scipio

State Road 7 will see restrictions starting today as crews work to stabilize a sliding hillside.

According to INDOT, a contractor, GeoStabilization International, plans to begin work on the slide repair project north of Scipio near Road 625W. The contractor will be constructing a soil nail wall to stabilize the roadway and the hillside. They will also be replacing a guard rail.

You will see temporary traffic signals in the area.

The work is expected to take 10 days. The work schedule is dependent on the weather.

INDOT asks you to slow down, to drive without distractions and to be cautious of worker safety in all work zones.

CRH moving forward with plan for large farmland project

Columbus city officials will be considering a nearly 700 acre development by Columbus Regional Health on the west side of the city next week.

The hospital is proposing a new district, called the City View district, to cover the development of the property on the south side of Jonathan Moore Pike, which stretches from Interstate 65 to the railroad tracks just to the west of the downtown area. The area has previously been known as Garden City Farms.

Jeff Bergman, planning director for the city, said that the plan, if adopted by the city, 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 proposed 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.

Columbus Plan Commission will consider adopting the plan at its August meeting. If approved there, the next step would send the plan to Columbus City Council for final adoption.

The plan commission is looking for public comment on the proposal. If you would like to attend the meeting you can do so in person or virtually via WebEx. You are also invited to submit written comments prior to the meeting, but those should be sent by noon on Aug. 9th.

The plan commission meets at 4:30 p.m. on August 9th at Columbus City Hall.

You can find a  draft of the plan here:


Rural 25th Street to see road painting today

Rural 25th Street in Bartholomew County will be reduced to a single lane of traffic most of the day today while work continues in the area.

According to the Bartholomew County Highway Department, crews will be painting pavement markings in the area. The affected area is from the Columbus city limits near Booher Court to the intersection with State Roads 46 and State Road 9.

You should avoid the area, if you can. If you must drive in the area, the highway department asks you not to drive across the wet paint.

Land trust group seeks national re-accreditation

A southern Indiana not-for-profit group that maintains nature preserves in communities including Bartholomew and Brown counties is seeking to renew its accreditation with a national organization.

The Sycamore Land Trust is seeking renewal of its status with the national Land Trust Alliance. That renewal process is seeking any public comments on how the Bloomington-based group complies with national quality standards. Those standards focus on the ethical and technical operation of a land trust.

Sycamore Land Trust preserves nearly 11,500 acres of forests, wetlands, wildflower meadows and other open land in eight counties. In Bartholomew County, the trust oversees the Tangeman Woods and the Touch the Earth Natural Area.

The Land Trust Alliance accreditation recognizes organizations that meet standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever.

You can find the standards or  leave signed, written comments here:

U.S. 50 work to pick up in Seymour next week

The milling and paving project on U.S. 50 in Seymour will move to around-the-clock work, starting next week.

According to INDOT, crews will begin 24-hour milling and paving operations starting Monday between Community Drive and O’Brien Street. The milling will happen first, followed by patching and paving, staring in the outer lanes of U.S. 50 and then transitioning to the inside lanes. You can also expect temporary closures on side streets as the work is being performed.

Message boards will be in place during the work to alert you to lane closings.

You can expect lanes to be closed around the clock while the work is being done, lasting for about a week. The work schedule is dependent on the weather.

Another phase of the $6.3 million dollar project will be between O’Brien Street and Agrico lane this fall, finishing before Seymour’s Oktoberfest. Dave O’Mara  is the contractor for the project.

Project to improve Westenedge Drive starts Tuesday

The city of Columbus says an improvement project on Westenedge Drive will begin next week, tying up traffic through November.

According to the city engineer’s office, the work between Rocky Ford Road and Parkside Drive is set to begin Tuesday. The project will include reconstructing the street, improving the storm sewers and adding a 10-foot side path on the east side of the drive.

The street will be closed during the work, which is expected to last through late November. Only local traffic will be allowed through.

The project is expected to be fully completed by April.