Monthly Archives: January 2024

Two teens sentenced for robberies in Johnson, Marion counties

Two Indianapolis teens will spend more than five years in federal prison for robberies of businesses including a restaurant in Beech Grove and a store in Greenwood.

The U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Indiana says that Corey Rice and Antonio Williams, both 19, have been sentenced for their roles in three robberies. The first, on April 23rd of last year was of a Subway in Beech Grove where the two pulled weapons on employees and left with about $400.

On April 30th, they hit Indy Smoke Time in Greenwood and left with $570. And 45 minutes later they robbed a Dollar General Store on West Washington Street in Indianapolis. They were arrested about 10 minutes after that robbery by police in downtown Indianapolis. Police caught them at an apartment complex on the central canal and officers saw the two throw trash bags into the canal.

Police said that during an interview Williams admitted that he threw the cash from the robberies into the canal after seeing police approach.

The FBI and Indy police investigated the crimes.

Rice is being sentenced to 60 months and Williams to 66 months for three counts of interference with commerce by robbery.

Jackson Street lane to close until 2025 for Bartholomew courthouse work

The north lane of Jackson Street behind the Bartholomew County courthouse in downtown Columbus will be closing for more than a year.

The Columbus Board of Public Works and Safety approved a request from the county commissioners yesterday to close the sidewalk and north lane starting Monday and lasting through April of next year. Commissioners say that the area is being closed because it will be needed for storage of materials during renovations at the courthouse.

There will be a temporary chain link fence installed and the courthouse lawn will have posts with snow fencing to keep people away from the storage area. A Road Closed sign will also be installed at Jackson and Second Streets.

Image courtesy of Bartholomew County.

New exhibit to be displayed at The Commons for Black History Month

Black History Month gets underway Thursday and there is a full month of activities being organized in Columbus and Bartholomew County.

That will include the return of two exhibits documenting local contributions by black residents, the “Soul of Philanthropy” and the “And Still We Rise” displays, which will be available to view starting Tuesday and running through the end of the month at the Bartholomew County Historical Society. The two exhibits have been previously on display at The Commons. There will be a reception for the two exhibits on February 8th .

Black History Month Organizer Whittney Gaines explains the previous exhibits:

Gaines explains that this year there will be a new exhibit at The Commons:

The  exhibit will feature the Kwanzaa exhibit that was constructed for the Festival of Lights Parade. It will explain the history of the holiday and how it ties into the experience of Black Americans.

The displays are being hosted by the the local African American Foundation, the African American Pastors Alliance, NAACP Columbus and Paths to Success.

You can find out more about all of the community’s Black History Month activities at

Forest Service opening up last of eclipse-week campgrounds

The U.S. Forest Service is soon opening up the last block of campsite reservations for Hoosier National Forest campgrounds during the April total solar eclipse.

According to the agency, all developed campground campsites will be available by reservation only from March 29th through April 10th. That is due to the high number of visitors expected in southern Indiana to view the eclipse. This includes campsites which have previously been designated as first come, first served. The agency says the sites are expected to fill quickly.

The reservations are being phased in with the final batch of seven campgrounds opening up for reservations on Monday, February 5th. Those include Blackwell, Hickory Ridge, Shirley Creek, Youngs Creek, Saddle Lake, Buzzard Roost and German Ridge.

Camping fees will be waived at German Ridge and Saddle Lake during the eclipse reservation period. The other campgrounds have no fees to camp. However there is a $8 service fee for each reservation made online.

You can make a reservation at

The eclipse is Monday April 8th and the path will encompass most of the Hoosier National Forest. The next full solar eclipse in our area will be August of 2044.

Hickory Ridge Campground near Norman. Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.

Seymour police make arrest in burglary from May

Seymour police have made an arrest in a burglary investigation that began in May.

According to the police department, officers began investigating a burglary of a garage in the 100 block of South O’Brien Street on May 9th. A suspect took cordless and hand tools, a gas trimmer and screws. Evidence at the scene was sent to the Indiana State Police lab for investigation.

Police say that they received an investigative lead in the case on January 19th. On Saturday, officers were called to a home about a call of disorderly conduct and one of those invovled was the suspect identified in the burglary. 27-year-old Zachary A. More of Seymour was arrested on preliminary charges of burglary and theft with a prior conviction.

A search of More’s jacket revealed two spools of wire, job-site markers and a plant-like material. More allegedly told police that he had taken the wire and markers from Home Depot earlier that day. He is now facing more charges of theft and possession of spice.

Columbus driver involved in fatal Shelby County crash

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated

A Columbus driver was involved in a fatal accident Monday in Shelby County.

According to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, 23-year-old Johnathan May of Shelbyville was pronounced dead in the crash Monday afternoon on South State Road 9. Authorities say that May’s SUV crossed the centerline in the 10000 block of the highway at about 2:55 p.m., pulling into the path of a semi carrying grain being driven by 65-year-old Gary Jaquess of Columbus. The two vehicles collided head on.

Jaquess and a passenger in the SUV, 22-year-old Alexis Eversole of Shelbyville, both suffered injuries and were taken to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis by Shelbyville Fire Department medics.

The Shelby County Fatal Crash Team was called to the scene and the investigation is ongoing.


County purchasing eclipse glasses for emergency workers, celebrations

Bartholomew County emergency workers and other officials will be prepared for the upcoming solar eclipse, under a plan for eclipse viewing glasses approved by the county commissioners Monday.

Bartholomew County Emergency Management Director Shannan Cooke asked the commissioners to ratify a purchase made for the shaded glasses to arrive in time for the April 8th total eclipse. Cooke said that three bids were received to purchase the glasses, but one was not certified as safe for eclipse viewing and another could not guarantee the glasses would arrive in time for the event.

Cooke said that the plan is to distribute the glasses to emergency workers and county employees. They will also be made available to organizers of events that day to be held in the county, as opposed to events in the city limits.

The commissioners approved the spending of just over $5,500 for the glasses. Cooke said the money was coming from leftover funds from the previous year and a grant from Duke Energy specifically for eclipse related purchases.

Flood warning remains in effect for Jackson County

A flood warning remains in effect for East Fork White River at Seymour.

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis says that minor flooding is underway and minor flooding is forecast.

According to river gauges, East Fork White River crested yesterday at almost a foot above the minor flood stage. The river is at 12 and a half feet this morning, that is about six inches above the minor flood stage. It is expected to fall back below flood stage by this afternoon.

The flood warning is now in effect until early Wednesday morning.

Louisville suspect caught in Seymour hardware store thefts

A Louisville man has been arrested in Seymour, accused of stealing merchandise from Home Depot.

According to the Seymour Police Department, officers were called to the store one night last week after a suspect from previous thefts was seen in the store again and had taken more merchandise. Area authorities began searching for the suspect’s vehicle and Scottsburg police stopped the vehicle on Interstate 65. The suspect and vehicle were taken back to Seymour.

During an interview, 54-year-old Christopher J. Tyrrell admitted to having stolen about $7,000 in items from the Seymour store in five separate incidents dating back to November. A search of the vehicle revealed items that had been reportedly stolen on Friday and Tyrrell was arrested of felony and misdemeanor theft charges.

Phone scammers impersonating deputy, demanding payment

Local authorities are warning about a phone scam with the scammer pretending to be a sheriff’s deputy.

The Decatur County Sheriff’s Department says that residents have reported the phone calls from a person claming to be Sgt. William Hall with the department. The fake deputy is threatening that victimes must pay a bond amount or fees and that they must be paid through a phone app or Walmart.

The sheriff’s department says that the person is not a deputy and has no affiliation with the department.

Security experts say that deputies will never call and demand a payment. If you are wanted on a warrant you will be arrested and booked into the county jail. Any bonds are paid in cash and in person at the sheriff’s department. No legitimate agency will demand you pay in phone apps, gift cards, crypto currency or a money card system.

If you receive a call like this or have any questions, you are urged to contact your local sheriff’s department or police agency.