Monthly Archives: March 2024

Body found near East Fork White River

Authorities are investigating after a man’s body was found west of Seymour near East Fork White River.

According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, authorities were alerted at about 7:11 p.m. Thursday evening after the body was discovered in the woods near the Bellford Bridge.

The identity of the man is being withheld until family members are notified.

An autopsy is scheduled to determine his cause of death and deputies say the investigation is ongoing.

State Road 11 to be restricted during bridge projects

INDOT says that traffic on State Road 11 will be restricted between Jonesville and Seymour starting soon, due to bridge work.

According to the agency, crews will be rehabilitating a bridge in Jackson County over East Fork White River overflow, about two miles north of Seymour and just north of the blue bridge. You can expect temporary traffic signals to be in place while the work is going on.

The work will start on or after April 9th and is scheduled to wrap up in July, but the work schedule is dependent on the weather.

After the project is done, contractor crews will begin work on another bridge on State Road 11 in Jackson County.

This is part of a $6.9 million contract awarded to Milestone Contractors that includes three district bridge projects and one guardrail project.

INDOT urges you to slow down, to drive without distractions, to use extra caution and to be alert to worker safety in all work zones.

Vehicle charging stations to be installed with state grants

Several locations in our area are receiving awards to improve the state’s infrastructure for electric vehicles.

INDOT has announced the first round of awards for the “Charging the Crossroads” initiative through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program. According to the state agency, more than 100 locations applied for the grant money and 39 charging stations will be installed at site’s designated as being along Indiana’s designated Alternative Fuels Corridors.

In our area, charging stations will be installed at

* The Thornton’s station at Edinburgh off of Interstate 65 and U.S. 31.
* The Holiday Inn express & Suites on Rampart Road off of Interstate 74 in Shelbyville.
* The Travel Centers of America truck stop off of U.S. 50 and Interstate 65 at Seymour.

INDOT expects the installation of initial charging stations to begin in 2025. Charging stations must be installed every 50 miles along the designated corridors, within one mile of an intersection or interchange to meet federal requirements.

Recent audio interviews about the April 8th eclipse

Recent interviews about the upcoming eclipse:

News and Views interview with Sheriff Chris Lane and Sgt. Dane Duke from the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department. March 30th.

News and Views interview with Erin Hawkins from the Columbus Area Visitors Center with Angelo Anton from the Shelby Community Band. March 30th

AM Columbus interview with Lt. Matt Harris and Sgt. Skyler Berry from the Columbus Police Department. March 26th

AM Columbus interview with Amy Berquist about downtown Columbus events. March 19th

News and Views interview with Shannon Cooke, head of Bartholomew County Emergency Management, Lt. Matt Harris with the Columbus Police Department and Capt. Mike Wilson with the Columbus Fire Department. March 9th.

Part 1

Part 2

AM Columbus interview with Jody Coffman with the city of Columbus. Feb. 15th

AM Columbus interview with Erin Hawkins from the Columbus Area Visitors Center. February 1st

News and Views interview with Erin Hawkins from the Columbus Area Visitors Center. Jan. 26th

Part 1

Part 2

AM Columbus interview with Jody Coffman with the city of Columbus. Jan. 18th

Immunization clinic being offered in April for Bartholomew County

The Indiana Immunization Coalition will be holding a community immunization clinic at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Columbus next month.

The church is at 2651 California Street in Columbus and the clinic will be from 3 to 6 p.m. on April 24th.

Everyone who takes part will be vaccinated with all of the CDC recommended vaccines. The clinic will consult the state immunization registry to see what vaccines you are missing.

Amanda Organist with the Bartholomew County Health Departments says that with Indiana continuing to be in the midst of a Hepatitis A outbreak and with the state having a measles outbreak, now is the time to get vaccinated. Vaccines will be available for children and adults.

Walk ins are accepted. But to help gauge how much vaccine to bring, you can register online at and use the enrollment code IN 65942.

You should bring your insurance card as the coalition will accept and bill all insurance carriers. There is no cost for anyone without insurance, except for the Shingles vaccine.

State Road 39 closing in April near Tampico for bridge replacement

State Road 39 in Jackson County will be closing near Tampico for almost three months as crews put a new deck on a bridge.

According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, the work two miles north of Tampico will be starting on April 9th. Contractors will be closing the road just south of East County Road 400S. The detour will take drivers to State Road 250, to Interstate 65 and onto State Road 256.

The work is expected to take 11 weeks.

The work schedule is dependent on the weather.

The work is is part of a $4.5 million contract awarded to Dave O’Mara

INDOT urges you to slow down, to drive without distractions, to use extra caution and to be alert to worker safety in all work zones.


Jackson County man to serve 30 years after 2021 shooting death

A Jackson County man has been sentenced to prison in a death investigation going back to 2021.

According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, 27-year-old Brady A. Parrish pled guilty in February to the voluntary manslaughter in the death of 58-year-old Lisha Branum of Seymour in 2021. He was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison with 10 of those being a suspended sentenced.

Officials say that Branum was killed by two gunshots to the back and had been dead in the home for several days before she was discovered on Nov. 11th, 2021. A shotgun shell casing was recovered at the scene and DNA evidence linked the casing to Parrish. The department used cell phone data, along with video camera evidence in the investigation to piece together the events leading up to Branum’s death.

Parrish had traveled to Kansas City Missouri on the day the body was found and was arrested there in August of 2022 before being extradited back to Jackson County.

The Jackson County sheriff and prosecutor praised investigators for their extensive work that led to an arrest in the case.

Rooms still available at local hotels for eclipse travelers

Local tourism officials say that there are still rooms available in Columbus and Seymour for those who want to visit during the April 8th solar eclipse.

Expectations are that the local population could be more than doubled by visitors coming to see the celestial event. The track of totality stretches diagonally through Indiana from Evansville, through our area all the way to Fort Wayne.

Erin Hawkins, spokeswoman for the Columbus Area Visitors Center, said that there are still a few rooms available to rent in Bartholomew County if you want to encourage your family and friends to attend. She said the expectation is that the event turnout will be like a Super Bowl for our area.

Arron Banks with the Jackson County Visitors Center said that there are a handful of rooms still available at the hotels there. Several smaller venues such as bread and breakfasts and campgrounds have already sold out.

The eclipse will start at around 1:30 p.m. and last through about 4:30 p.m. that Monday, with total darkness happening around 3:01 p.m. in the afternoon.

Radio station’s Easter Egg hunts move to Nexus Park Saturday

White River Broadcasting’s 65th annual WCSI Community Easter Egg Hunt gets underway tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the morning.

For the first time the hunt will be held indoors at Nexus Park, the former Fair Oaks Mall on 25th Street.

Bob Morrison, our company’s general manager explains:

There will be four separate areas set up for children younger than 2, from 3 to 4, from 5 to 6 and from 7 to 8. Local police, fire, companies and organizations will have information available at Nexus Park, although there will not be police and fire vehicles to explore this year.

At 11 a.m. in the morning we will be hosting the WKKG Egg-Ceptional Community Easter Egg Hunt, also at Nexus Park. This hunt is for children with sensory or mobility issues.

Morrison explains:

Children should bring their own baskets.

WRTV celebrates Simmermaker as dean of Indiana sportscasters

White River Broadcasting’s veteran sports director Sam Simmermaker was featured in a segment Wednesday night on WRTV celebrating his nearly 65 years in Columbus broadcasting.

Simmermaker, 90, grew up in Pulaski County, graduating from Star City High School  and  Indiana University in 1954. He began his radio career in Goshen in 1958, after serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. From 1958 to 1963 he covered Indianapolis Indians games for WTTV.

He started his career in Columbus at WCSI on Jan. 1, 1960. Sam talked about his early career last year:

His first role in Columbus was in news, but he soon began his sportscasting role on WCSI.  Since then, he has covered generations of high school athletes here. In his interview with WRTV, Simmermaker said that one of his favorite parts of the job is when he is approached by a parent who is thrilled to have their kid’s name on the radio during a game.

Among the honors Simmermaker has received during his career include:

  •  Indiana Sportscaster of the Year in 1976 and in 1997 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
  • Indiana Sportscaster of the Year in 1971 by the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.
  • Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame inductee in 1998.
  • Indiana Associated Press Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame inductee in 1991.
  • Best Sports Play-by-Play award by Network Indiana in 2002 and 2004.
  • Best Sports Play-by-Play award by Indiana Broadcasters Association in 2005.
  • Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.