Monthly Archives: August 2023

Update: Missing North Vernon girl found

3:50 p.m. update: The girl has been found.


A Statewide Silver Alert has been declared for a missing Jennings County girl.

The Jennings County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the disappearance of 16-year-old Justine Jones. She is missing from North Vernon and was last seen at about 1 this morning. She is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance.

She is a white girl, 5-feet 3 inches tall with black and blond hair and green eyes.. She was last seen wearing a white tank top and jeans.

If you have any information on Justine Jones, you should contact the Jennings County Sheriff’s Office at 812-346-4911 or 911.

Justine Jones. Photo courtesy of Jennings County Sheriff’s Department
Justine Jones. Photo courtesy of Jennings County Sheriff’s Department


Dog’s escape leads to man’s rescue in Jennings County

A dog’s broken chain led to a man’s life being saved in Jennings County.

According to the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department, a couple found the escaped dog on Saturday, National Dog Day. As they went door to door trying to find the owners of the loose dog, they could hear a man calling for help from inside a home. One of the Good Samaritans entered the home where he found an elderly man in need of immediate medical assitance. The elderly man had been down and unable to get up for at least two days.

Medics and firefighters were called to the scene and took the man to the hospital. A medic told deputies that the man likely would not have survived much longer if he had not been found.

The dog was taken to Animal Control by Sheriff Kenny Freeman and was soon reunited with her owners and is back home safely.

The department thanked the Good Samaritans who not only helped save a dog, but also the elderly resident. The sheriff says that while the man was not her owner, the dog breaking free helped save a life.

Photo courtesy of Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.

Emergency workers to hold Sept. 11 ceremony at Columbus City Hall

Columbus emergency workers will be observing the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks with a ceremony at the Columbus City Hall plaza.

The outdoor ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m., on Sept. 11th with a moment of silence at the moment the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. There will also be a dispatch over the emergency radios honoring the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives that day in the attacks on New York City, the Pentagon and on Flight 93, that crashed in Pennsylvania.

Members of the Columbus Fire Department and Police Department Color Guard will take part in the ceremony. The ceremony is scheduled to last about 30 minutes. The rain location will be the Cal Brand meeting room in City Hall.

Toyota Material Handling recognized for environmental achievements

Toyota Material Handling is being recognized for its environmental efforts.

The Columbus company, has been named to the G75 Green Supply Chain Partner list. The list is released each year by Inbound Logistics, and recognizes 75 companies that go above and beyond prioritizing green initiatives and helping global supply chains become more sustainable.

Bill Finerty, Toyota Material Handling President and CEO, said the company is committed to creating a sustainable tomorrow. He said the parent company, Toyota Industries Corporation, has committed to a leadership initiative to create a carbon-neutral society, a recycling-based company, harmony with nature and the promotion of environmental management.

In 2021, Toyota was recognized with the Indiana Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for its CO2 reduction projects. Those efforts have contributed to an estimated CO2 savings of the equivalent of 3,000 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles being driven for a full year.

Toyota Material Handling has held zero-landfill status since 2004. Local sustainability efforts include the company’s annual Environment Week. The Toyota Environment Week team planted more than 2,500 trees and 2,000 butterfly garden seed packets in the local community last year to protect the local butterfly population and support biodiversity.

Free Labor Day weekend concert set for Mill Race Park

The 37th annual free concert to benefit Our Hospice of South Central Indiana is set for Saturday night at Mill Race Park.

Alternative country group Sister Hazel will be the headliner and Indiana country musician Levi Riggs will be the opening act for the show.

The concert is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser through the sale of raffle tickets, T-shirts and sponsorships. Due to COVID, the annual event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021, then rained out last year.

The Lindsey Street parking lot will be open for chair drop offs from 8 to 11 a.m. and the park will be closed to vehicles after 11 a.m. Food vendors will start selling at 4:30 p.m.

$10 Raffle tickets and $20 concert T-shirts will be sold at designated tents and can be purchased only with cash or check. Raffle ticket sales will end at 8:30 p.m. with the grand prize drawing for $10,000 at 10 p.m.

Organizers say that you can’t bring tents or large umbrellas, or pets although service animals will be allowed. No smoking or vaping will be allowed and you can’t climb on the Exhibit Columbus art installation at the park. They also ask that you don’t use foul language or engage in unruly behavior.

Saturday evening’s events will kick off at 6:30 p.m. with welcoming remarks. Riggs will perform starting at 7 p.m. and Sister Hazel will take the stage at 8:30 p.m.



Security forces train at Camp Atterbury, Muscatatuck

Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Urban Training Center hosted Operation Combined Victory over the past few days, the first ever validation exercise for Security Force Assisance Brigades preparing for deployment.

According to the Indiana National Guard, the excercise provided a scenario that tests soldiers ability to advise, support and assess a friendly force that is in conflict. The exercise focused on decision making in a rapidly evolving environment with political upheaval.

Organizers with the Security Force Assistance Command called Atterbury and Muscatatuck one of the country’s premier trainining facilities and said the training replicates threats that can be found in real-world theaters.

The training included two brigades and portions of the 54th Security Force Brigade, which is part of the Indiana National Guard.

Brown County drug crisis film makes national PBS debut

A documentary film from Nashville is making its national debut on PBS stations across the country.

The Addict’s Wake produced by Glory Girl Productions of Nashville will be appearing on stations throughout August and September in time to coincide with National Overdose Awareness Month in August and National Recovery Month in September. It will be appearing on the PBS World Channel which reaches more than 120 public broadcasting stations across the country. The abridged version of the feature length film has been edited specifically for a national public-television audience.

The documentary focuses on the people of Brown County who have felt the effects of the addiction crisis. Producers say the film seeks to encourage communities to act and to find a pathway to hope and recovery.

Lisa Hall, the producer and president of Glory Girl Productions, said that while the film focuses on Nashville, the larger issue affects almost every community across the country.

The Addicts Wake received the Audience Choice Award at the Heartland International Film Festival, and won the Sedona International Film Festival’s Independent Spirit Award.

Locally, the film will be on at 9 p.m. Thursday night on WFYI.

Bloomington woman arrested in Bartholomew fake pill investigation

Torien Thornton. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

A Bloomington woman is being accused of distributing counterfeit pills in local counties, and had her child in the car when she was caught.

According to the the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, the county’s Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team was investigating the distribution of possible fentanyl in the community disguised in fake Oxycodone pills. JNET seized more than more than 200 counterfeit pills over several days in the investigation. That led them to develop 19-year-old Torien Thornton of Bloomington as a suspect in the distribution.

Thornton was found in her vehicle Monday in Brown County and arrested in a joint operation with the Brown County Sheriff’s Department. Police also found that Thornton’s 3-year-old child was in the car along with the narcotics.

She was arrested on felony charges of dealing narcotics and neglect of a dependent. The Indiana Department of Child Services took the child into care.

A passenger, 19-year-old Aireana Brandon of Bloomington was arrested on a charge for possessing marijuana.

Evidence photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Cummins leader stepping down from VP role

Cummins executive Tracy Embree is stepping back from her role as Vice President and President of the Distribution Business.

Accordidng to the Columbus based engine manufacturer, Embree will leave Cummins on September 8th to pursue another opportunity.

Embree has served with the company for 23-years in various leadership roles. She has led the Distribution Business since 2019.

Under her leadership, the business achieved record sales and profitability and expanded its product line to include transmissions. Embree also helped to increase market share around the world.

Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins CEO and chair, said Embree coached and mentored numerous employees and her focus on delivering results have made her an effective business leader.

Cummins Senior Vice President Tony Satterthwaite will serve as interim leader of the Distribution Business, which he previously led from 2015-2019.

Fifth Third financial empowerment event set for Sept. 15th

The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce and Lincoln Central Neighborhood Family Center are partnering to bring the First Third Bank Financial Empowerment Mobile to Columbus in a few weeks.

The event gives you a chance to view your credit report, to learn about fraud awareness and prevention, tips on avoiding foreclosure as well as financial decision tools. Door prizes will also be available.

The mobile will be at Lincoln Central Neighborhood Family Center at 1031 Sycamore Street from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 15th.

For more information you can call Lincoln Central at 812-379=1630.