All posts by Bryan Watson

North Vernon Mother Arrested After Child Ingests THC Gummy

A North Vernon mother was arrested after her small child ingested THC-infused gummies.

On February 2nd , the Jennings County Sheriff’s Office, along with Jennings County EMS and the Spencer Township Fire Department, responded to a 911 call referring to an unconscious and unresponsive five-year-old girl at a home in Spencer Township.
Upon arrival, deputies found the child on the floor of the residence and immediately started gathering information from the child’s mother and assisting EMS in caring for the unresponsive child.

Due to the seriousness of the situation and the child’s unresponsiveness, a medical helicopter was requested to the helipad at Ascension St. Vincent Jennings Hospital. The child was transported by Jennings County EMS to St. Vincent Jennings and transferred by medical helicopter shortly thereafter to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital for further treatment. Deputy John Hartman collected information at the scene from the mother and conducted additional investigations in reference to this case in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Child Services. The child regained consciousness a day after being admitted and was discharged 24 hours later.

It was later determined that the child had been exposed to a package of THC-infused gummies and was acting abnormal and lethargic the day prior to the 911 call, however, treatment was not sought out until the next day after she was found unconscious. The investigation also revealed this was the second time the child had been exposed to THC-infused products, however, the first incident went unreported.

Investigators later received an arrest warrant from the Jennings County Circuit Court for the mother, Amanda Johnson, of North Vernon, for Neglect of a Dependent Causing Serious Bodily Injury, a level 3 felony. Johnson was taken into custody without incident on March 10th.

The Jennings County Sheriff’s Office cautions parents to be careful when experimenting with THC-infused products and to keep those products out of the reach of children.

Cummins Announces the Retirement of Mary Chandler CEO of Cummins Foundation

Today, Cummins Inc.announced that Mary Chandler, Vice President – Corporate Responsibility and Community Relations and CEO of the Cummins Foundation, is retiring later this spring and Jim Schacht, currently a member of the Corporate Responsibility Leadership Team, will succeed Mary and be promoted to Vice President of Cummins.
Jim Schacht held positions in the telecommunications and investment banking industries before coming to Cummins. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and an M.B.A. from Harvard University. Schacht also grew up here in Cummins’ headquarters community of Columbus.


Mary Chandler Courtesy of Cummins Inc.

Friends of Columbus Animal Care Services Holding “Furry Friends Food Bank Distribution” Today

Friends of Columbus Animal Care Services (FCACS) will be handing out pet food through their newly named Furry Friends Food Bank distribution on Thursday, March 16th, from 4:00pm to 5:30 pm in the new location of Columbus Municipal Airport 4770 Ray Boll Blvd. The pet food will be distributed in the parking lot in front of the plane, Charlie 119.

The purpose of the pantry is to assist local community members with keeping their pets in their home and out of area shelters. Pet food will be available from the van from 4:00-5:30 pm or until supplies last. Mixed brands of cat food will be distributed in 4.5 pound bags and dog food in 14.5 pound bags.

Please plan to stay in your vehicles and line up for the food. The food will be brought to you in your vehicle.

This program is one of several Friends of Columbus Animal Care Services initiatives designed as “alternatives to intake” at the shelter. Friends of Columbus Animal Care Services is the 501(c)(3) non-profit partner of Columbus Animal Care Services.

Please note, in the event of bad weather, we will not distribute in active thunder and lightning but will if simply raining.

Seymour Man Arrested After Fleeing Police and Crashing Into Parked Vehicles.

A Seymour man was arrested last Friday on several charges after the suspect fled police only to crash into several parked cars.

On March 10th about 6 p.m., a K-9 officer with the Seymour Police Department (SPD) tried to stop a 2006 Ford Mustang for driving on the wrong side of the road in the 700 block of West 5th St., per SPD’s Lt. C.J. Foster.

The driver, Michael D. Taylor, 39, refused to stop and accelerated away before striking a stop sign, a fire hydrant, and three parked vehicles, according to police. Taylor then fled on foot but was arrested a short time after, according to law enforcement.

Taylor was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction, operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or greater, leaving the scene of a property damage crash, resisting law enforcement, and resisting law enforcement in a vehicle. The amount of damage to city property and parked cars are not currently known.

Continued Filming Shuts Down Streets For Most of Thursday

A few city streets will be shut off from the public today, Due to continued filming for the movie, The Ice Cream Man, the following closures will be in effect for most of today from 6AM – 8PM.

These are the following streets affected:

7th Street from Franklin Street west to Lafayette Avenue

The northern half of the City/Library parking lot, as well as the entrance/exit off 7th Street

and The North South alleys between Franklin and Lafayette at 7th Street.



Greenwood Man Arrested For Murder

The Greenwood Police Department announced Monday that Marco Antonio Gonzalez, of Greenwood, has been taken into custody and charged with murder.

He is accused of shooting to death 52-year-old Indianapolis resident, Timothy A. Sannito, last Wednesday in the parking lot of the Ale Emporium on County Line Road, in Greenwood.

The Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office says that Gonzalez is currently being held in the Johnson County Jail in Franklin. The investigation is ongoing.

Washington Street Closed Most of Wednesday and Thursday Due To Filming

Washington Street will be closed from 3rd to 4th street Today (Wednesday) from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Tomorrow (Thursday), March 16th from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for film production.

The Columbus Board of Works approved a special use of right of way request for the filming. Writer and Director Robert  Monoit, of Driver Productions, will be shooting “The Ice Cream Man”, a film about a Jewish ice cream parlor owner in 1941 Amsterdam named Ernst Cahn who helped spur what became “The February Strike”, which is considered the first and largest anti-Nazi protest during World War II.

Columbus benefactor and entrepreneur Tony Moravec, who passed away in November, helped fund the film and lent use of Zaharakos for filming.

On My Way Pre-K Now Accepting 2023-2024 Applications

Following a record-setting year of enrollment for On My Way Pre-K, Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 school year. On My Way Pre-K allows 4-year-olds from lower-income families to receive a free, high-quality, prekindergarten education through Indiana’s only state-sponsored prekindergarten program. Information about the program and the link to apply can be found at

“We enrolled more than 6,200 children in 2022 and expect to enroll even more this year,” said Courtney Penn, director of FSSA’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. “The Purdue University long-term study released last year showed that children who attend On My Way Pre-K are better prepared for school and that the benefits continue well into elementary school. As we enroll an even larger group of children, we know more will be better prepared to succeed throughout their school years.”

For the 2023-2024 school year, a child is eligible for On My Way Pre-K if they:

will be 4 years old by Aug. 1, 2023
plan to start kindergarten in the 2024-2025 school year
live in a household with an income below 127% of the federal poverty level
have parents or guardians who are working, attending job training or an educational program, looking for employment, or
meet other requirements specified on this page
An easy-to-use, online application called “Early Ed Connect” serves as the application for both On My Way Pre-K and child care assistance provided via the federal Child Care Development Fund or CCDF. Early Ed Connect makes it easy to attach documents and notifies the user that their submission was successfully submitted. A Spanish version is also available.

Once the family has met eligibility requirements and completed the enrollment process, they may choose from any of the 1,055 approved On My Way Pre-K programs located across Indiana. These programs are operated in homes, centers, schools and religious settings, allowing families to choose the type of setting that works best for them. Families can search approved providers at

If a family needs help working through the enrollment process or finding an approved pre-K program, they can go to to connect with a manager in their county.

More than 21,000 Hoosier children have attended pre-K through the On My Way Pre-K program since it began in 2015. The program, which started as a five-county pilot and then expanded to 20 counties in 2017, became a statewide program in 2019. OECOSL also updates the Indiana General Assembly every year on the program. The most recent report can be found here.

The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is a division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

Families may call 800-299-1627 for assistance from an early learning referral specialist or for other questions about On My Way Pre-K.

January Unemployment/Employment Report For Indiana Released

According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Indiana’s unemployment rate in January stands at 3.1% while the national unemployment rate for January is 3.4%.

The state’s labor force participation rate held at 63.4% for most of January, remaining above the national rate of 62.4%. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3,409,096, a decrease of 973 from December.

Private sector employment in Indiana increased by 12,600 jobs over the last month, translating to a gain of 85,300 jobs from this time last year. Indiana’s January private employment stands at 2,825,700.

Industries that experienced job increases in January included:

Construction (+6,700);
Leisure and Hospitality (+4,700);
Private Educational and Health Services (+2,500);
Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+1,500); and
Professional and Business Services (+300).

As of March 1st, there were 130,839 open job postings throughout the state. In January, 19,460 unemployment insurance claims were filed in Indiana.