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Flu impacts hospital visitation policy at Schneck

The flu is impacting visitation at a Seymour hospital. Schneck Medical Center has implemented visitor restrictions, effective Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 7 a.m., to help protect patients, staff, and the community from the spread of influenza.

Schneck officials say that no more than three visitors may be admitted to a patient’s room at one time. Visitors must include immediate family and significant others as identified by the patient. Visitors must also be at least 18 years-old.

Anyone with the following symptoms is asked to refrain from visiting patients:
• Fever and/or chills
• Sore throat
• Muscle aches
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Cough
• Fatigue
• Headache
• Vomiting and/or diarrhea

All visitors must wash their hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, before and after visiting a patient. Hand sanitizer can be found throughout the hospital as well as outside each patient’s room.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of patients with flu-like symptoms in the last week prompting us to implement visitor restrictions,” said Stacy East, Infection Preventionist at Schneck. East says, “If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please seek medical attention. If you are sick and are not getting better, contact your healthcare provider for further treatment.”

For more information on how to protect you and your family, visit

Seymour man arrested for Child Molesting

A Seymour man was arrested Thursday on child molesting and battery charges in regards an incident that happened last month.

“The Tribune” is reporting that 62-year-old Mark Alan Hurley is facing preliminary charges of Child Molesting – Fondling or Touching a Child under 14 and Battery on a Person Less Than 14. The paper says that Hurley’s arrest stems from an investigation that started Dec. 13, when Seymour Police Department was notified of an incident involving Hurley and a 10-year-old girl at an apartment complex in the 1300 block of West Second Street in Seymour.

If convicted, Hurley faces up to 14-and-a-half years in prison.

For more on this story, visit

Program for first-time home buyers coming to Columbus

A free workshop for first-time home buyers is coming to our area.

Apprisen, in partnership with First Financial Bank, Southern Indiana Housing and Community Development Corporation, and the Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Home Buyer Program, is sponsoring a free First Time Home Buyer Workshop. It will be held on Saturday, Feb. 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at YES Cinema in downtown

Workshop topics include:

– Preparing for home ownership
– Working with a real estate agent
– Understanding budgets and credit history
– Finding and working with a lender
– Home inspections and home maintenance
– Preventing loan default

Each attendee will receive a HUD home buyer certificate of completion at the end of the workshop. Registration is required.

For more information or to register, contact the Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center at (812) 379-1630 or by email at

Census kicks off April 1st

We have entered a new decade, meaning the United States is conducting a census count to determine the number of people in the country.

Robin Hilber, chair for the 2020 Census Complete Count Committee in Columbus, says the actual census date is April 1st. Hilber says the hope is that every person residing in Bartholomew County will either fill out the questionnaire or respond online. This is only done once per decade and helps to determine government funding for education, health care, housing, roads and other needs.

Those who do not respond in April by mail, phone or on online will have a Census worker visit them in May or June to make sure they are counted.

Hilber says that census jobs are available for those interested. For more information, visit

Event to benefit area veterans set for Saturday in North Vernon

A special event Saturday, Jan. 25 in Jennings County to benefit area veterans. Niki Hartwell is a marketing consultant for White River Broadcasting and an organizer for this event.

Cost to take part in the brunch is $7.

Hartwell says that money raised during the brunch benefits the Vet to Vet program of North Vernon.

There is no cost for vets to take part in the physicals.

Hartwell adds that all area veterans are invited, not just those in Jennings County.

Bartholomew County establishes Fatal Alcohol Crash Team

Deputy Mark Helms; Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Dept.

Bartholomew County officials have established the Bartholomew County Fatal Alcohol Crash Team (F.A.C.T.). The team was put together to investigate all vehicular traffic crashes in the county involving fatal and/or serious bodily injury, as deemed necessary by the investigating agency. The team will be activated for an incident in which impairment is believed to be involved.

The agencies that comprise the Bartholomew County Fatal Alcohol Crash Team are: Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, Department of Natural Resources, Columbus Police Department, Columbus Fire Department, Dispatch, Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office and the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office. All eight agencies will work together as one unit.

The Team leader is BCSO Deputy Mark Helms, a retired ISP Trooper, who is a crash re-constructionist specialist in both the private and public sectors. Helms previously served as the Lead Instructor in Crash Investigations for the Indiana State Police Recruit Academy as well as the Indiana University Police Academy.

Silver Alert declared for teenage mother, young son

Caneesha Ellis; Photo courtesy of ISP
Kannon Ellis; Photo courtesy of ISP

A Statewide Silver Alert has been declared.

The Crown Point Police Department is investigating the disappearance of Caneesha Ellis, a 16 year old black female, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 180 pounds, black hair with brown eyes. Also, missing is her 7 month old son Kannon Ellis. Kannon is 27 inches tall, 18 pounds, black hair with brown eyes, last seen wearing a grey fuzzy bear snowsuit.

Kannon and Caneesha are missing from Crown Point, Indiana which is 138 miles northwest of Indianapolis and was last seen on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. They are believed to be in danger and may require medical assistance. 

If you have any information on Kannon and Caneesha Ellis, contact the Crown Point Police Department at 219-660-0000 or 911.

Newborn surrendered safely at Seymour Fire Station

A healthy newborn was placed inside the Safe Haven Baby Box at Seymour Fire Station 3 on Thursday afternoon.

“The Tribune” is reporting that Seymour Fire Department personnel were notified by an alarm at 1:30 p.m that the infant was placed in the box at the station at 605 Meadowbrook Drive. The baby girl was retrieved within one minute. The little girl was the first newborn to be surrendered in Seymour’s baby box. The paper says that the baby was taken to Schneck Medical Center and is doing well.

Indiana’s Safe Haven Law allows people to take newborn babies to any hospital emergency room, police station or fire station without any questions asked and no risk of arrest or prosecution.

For more on this story, visit

Study ranks Columbus #1 small city for manufacturing

Columbus has been ranked as the number one small city where manufacturing is thriving. That’s according to a new study from business insurance provider AdvisorSmith.

According to the report, Columbus had manufacturing output of $4.0 billion in 2018, which was $48,799 per capita, compared with a national average of $7,032. The city has 350% more manufacturing jobs than the national average on a per-capita basis, and had a manufacturing output growth rate of 3.6% during the study period. Manufacturing employment also grew 1.5% over the same period. Columbus is one of the biggest manufacturing cities in the nation, as 38% of the people who work in Columbus work in the manufacturing industry. In addition, Columbus ranked #2 among cities of all sizes.

AdvisorSmith analyzed cities based upon data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The study ranked cities based upon their manufacturing output per capita, manufacturing employment, and other factors.

You can check out the entire report at

ISP Troopers with local ties promoted

Major Larry D. Jenkins; Photo courtesy of ISP

Two members of the Indiana State Police with Bartholomew County ties have been promoted.

The Superintendent of the Indiana State Police, Douglas G. Carter, has announced the promotion of Captain Larry D. Jenkins to the rank of Major. Maj. Jenkins will serve as the Assistant Chief of Staff Communications and Information Systems, and will oversee the Regional Dispatch Centers, Indiana Criminal History Repository, Indiana Data and Communication System, and the Indiana Vehicle Crash Records Program as well as all advise on all information technology needs for the department.

Jenkins, who is originally from Mitchell, Indiana, is a 1986 graduate of Mitchell High School. He earned his Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Franklin College. Jenkins graduated from the Indiana State Police Recruit Academy in 1991 and was appointed as a Trooper and assigned to the Indiana State Police Post in Indianapolis.

In 1999, Jenkins transferred to the State Police Post in Seymour and patrolled Bartholomew County. In 2004, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and served as a computer generalist with the Information Technology Section of the Criminal Justice Data Division. In 2007 Jenkins was promoted to the rank of First Sergeant and given command the Information Technology Section.

In 2014, Jenkins was promoted to the rank of Captain, and he served as Commander of the Criminal Justice Data Division until this recent promotion.

Jenkins and his family live in Bartholomew County.

Captain Robert D. Simpson; Photo courtesy of ISP

Also promoted was First Sergeant Robert D. Simpson to the rank of Captain. Capt. Simpson will serve as the Criminal Justice Data Division Commander overseeing the State Firearms License Unit, Indiana Criminal History Repository, the Indiana Vehicle Crash Records Program and the Indiana Data and Communications System, as well all information technology needs for the department.

Simpson, who is originally from Columbus, is a 1984 graduate of Columbus North High School and earned his Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Vincennes University in 1986. Simpson graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in March of 1991 and served with the Columbus Police Department until 1999.

In 2001, Simpson graduated from the Indiana State Police Recruit Academy and was appointed as a Trooper assigned to the State Police Post in Indianapolis. In 2003, Simpson transferred to the State Police Post in Seymour, patrolling Jackson and Bartholomew County. In 2005, he was promoted to Detective at the Seymour Post specializing in Child Crimes.

In 2008, Simpson was selected to serve with the FBI as a Task Force Officer with the FBI Cyber Crimes Division and in 2010, he was transferred to the Technical Services Unit specializing in technical investigations. In 2015, Simpson was promoted to First Sergeant in the Criminal Justice Data Division where he served as Assistant Commander in the Information Technology Section. In April of 2018, Simpson graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Simpson and his family live in Columbus.