All posts by John Clark

Drive-thru flu vaccinations available Tuesday

The Bartholomew County Health Department is offering a drive-thru flu clinic next week at the Nursing Division offices on Foxpointe Drive.

Most insurances can be billed for flu vaccines. If you are uninsured or your insurance does not pay for flu vaccines, you are eligible to receive a free dose. The clinic will also accept cash, credit and debit cards. The quadrivalent vaccine will be $20 and the high dose for those 65 or older, or flublok for those are immunocompromised will be $60.

Children under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian present.

The flu clinic will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday October 3rd at the offices at 2625 Fox Pointe Drive.

Pence makes case for presidency at second GOP debate

Heading into Wednesday night’s Republican debate, Columbus native, former Indiana governor and former Vice President Mike Pence has been slipping in the polls. He was hoping to make a difference last night.

Pence was among the seven GOP candidates for president to debate for a second time in the last few months on Wednesday. The debate took place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and saw Pence go in hard to try and convince voters that he is the right person for the job to lead the country in the next presidential term.

“I’m the most experienced, most qualified, and most consistent conservative in this field,” he exclaimed at one point during the debate. “I’m ready to lead America home!”

The debate covered topics including healthcare, terrorism, energy, the economy, and transgender Americans.

Pence said he would oppose most transgender surgeries and would give parents more power in what is going on in terms of gender identity with their kids at school.

For Pence, he said that would include passing a ban on transgender surgeries and hormone therapy anywhere in the country.

Pence said he’ll tackle Obamacare by giving more power to the states.

“My former running mate, Donald Trump, has a plan to consolidate power in Washington,” Pence said. “If I’m president of the United States it’s my intention to make the federal government smaller by returning to the states those resources and programs that are rightfully theirs. That means all Obamacare funding.”

Pence added that would also include shutting down the federal Department of Education.

Finally, he touted plans to open up America’s energy sector.

“If I’m president of the United States we are going to open up federal lands,” he said. “We are going to unleash American energy. We are going to have an all of the above energy strategy.”

The latest Economist/You Gov poll posted by RealClearPolitics has former President Trump, who was not at the debate, with a healthy lead over the other candidates for the GOP nomination. He hold a 42-point lead over Ron DeSantis. Pence is polling fifth.

Story courtesy of Network Indiana

Kids events to celebrate Exhibit Columbus Saturday

Kids will have a chance on Saturday to tour the Exhibit Columbus installations in downtown Columbus.

Organizers say that Next Generation Day will be a family friendly event starting at noon on the Bartholomew County Public Library plaza. There will be a dance performance, poetry reading, snow cones and music.

There will also be the unveiling of more than 30 miniature installations created by Bartholomew Consolidated Schools sixth graders. Their projects were on the theme of “What does downtown Columbus need now?” The miniatures will be displayed in a custom trailer made by Columbus Area Career Connection students.

Participants can also collect buttons for a lanyard by visiting installation locations around the downtown area.

Next Generation Day is a partnership between the Council for Youth Development, the Bartholomew County Public Library, Bartholomew Consolidated School’s STEM and C4 Programs, the Indiana University J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program, the Columbus Pride Festival and Fiesta Latina.

Bartholomew County election worker chosen to oversee state office

A former Bartholomew County election clerk has a new role in the Secretary of State’s Election Division.

According to Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales, Dustin Renner has been chosen as the new election director for the state. Renner has served as the deputy legislative director with the Association of Indiana Counties and as chief deputy clerk for Bartholomew County.

Renner will provide technical assistance to county clerks and the clerks’ association. He will also represent the secretary of state on the Statewide Voter Registration Core Team and will be responsible for working with Ball State University’s Voting System Technical Oversight Program. He will also assist with election-related legislation.

Renner said he was excited about the new role working with county clerks and representing the Secretary of State.

Courthouse incident leads to three drug trafficking arrests

Three people have been arrested after an investigation into drug trafficking in Bartholomew County.

According to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, correctional officers noticed suspicious activity while transporting inmates to the county courthouse for hearings. They reported that a woman placed suboxone on the courthouse grounds, which was then retrieved by an inmate and taken back to the jail.

The investigation revealed that the woman, 26-year-old Kelsa Burton of Columbus was working under the direction of 31-year-old Erik Peetz II of Columbus, who was a jail inmate at the time. The inmate who picked up the suboxone was identified as 41-year-old Justin Bowles of Columbus.

Bowles and Peetz are being accused of conspiracy to deal in a controlled substance and Bowles is facing another charge for possessing the drug.

Burton is facing charges of dealing in, conspiracy to deal in and possession of a controlled substance, as well as trafficking with an inmate outside a facility.

Sheriff Chris Lane said attempting to traffic drugs into the jail is a serious offense and endangers the safety and order of the facility.

Erik Peetz II
Kelsa Burton
Justin Bowles

Brownstown officer accused of battery in Seymour incident

A Brownstown police officer is under arrest, accused of battering a woman in Seymour.

According to the Seymour Police Department, officers were called to a battery complaint on Saturday on East Seventh Street. A woman told police that she had been hurt and an investigation began.

Today, officers arrested 38-year-old Michael J. Huff of Brownstown on charges of battery and false informing.

Brown music scholarship applications now available

Applications are now available for next year’s Brown Music Awards for Bartholomew County high school seniors.

The $3,500 scholarship winners are chosen during a music competition that will be held on February 10th at Columbus Indiana Philharmonic’s Helen Haddad Hall on Franklin Street., in Columbus

The awards are the Anna Newell Brown Award for Vocal Excellence and the Betty F. Brown Award for Instrumental Excellence. The scholarships aim to encourage formal vocal and music education for Bartholomew County students.

Both competitions are administered by Heritage Fund, the Bartholomew County Community foundation.

Applications are due by December 7th. You can get more information or apply by looking for the scholarships link at

Next Miller Prize conversation tomorrow at The Commons

Exhibit Columbus’ next chance to talk with the recipients of the J. Irwin and Xenia Miller Prizes is coming up tomorrow with the creator of InterOculus, the lighted canopy installed over Fourth and Washington Street.

According to organizers, the conversation will be with Vishaan Chakrabarti of the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism will be from 3 to 5 p.m. at The Commons Thursday. A reception will start at 3 p.m. to explore the installation.

The discussion will also feature Lee Bey, the architecture critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, who is also a photographer, writer, lecturer, and consultant along with Dave Hayward, the executive director of public works for the city of Columbus, who served as community curator for the installation.

The Miller Prize recognizes architectural and design excellence. Their work is featured among the 13 Exhibit Columbus installations at iconic locations around the downtown area. This fall’s Exhibit Columbus installations will be on display through November 26th.

Thursday’s event is free and you are invited to attend but registration is required. You can sign up here:

Flu clinic offered Saturday in Seymour

Schneck Primary Care in Jackson County will be offering drive-thru flu clinics on Saturdays starting this weekend.

The vaccine is available in regular dose and high dose for those 65 and older. The cost of the flu vaccine is covered by most insurance plans or you self-pay. You should bring your identification and your insurance information.

The clinics will be this Saturday and October 14th from 8 to noon on Level 4 of the Schneck Professional Building Parking Garage in Seymour. And October 7 from 8 to noon in the Schneck Primary Care Parking Lot in Brownstown.

The vaccines will be available on a first come, first served basis. For more information, call 812-522-1613.

Deadline for state career scholarships coming up Monday

The deadline is coming up Sunday for Hoosier students to apply for new career scholarships worth $5,000.

Area legislators are encouraging students who want to pursue work-based learning and credentials outside the classroom to apply for the Career Scholarship Account program. Students in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades at an accredited public or private school can received up to $5,000 to access training opportunities. About 1,000 spots are available for this school year.

State Rep. Jennifer Meltzer of Shelbyville said the scholarships can make it easier for students to learn more about potential careers while also perfecting their skills.

To be eligible students must be enrolled in a course or educational experience approved by the Indiana Department of Education.. They may also be enrolled in an apprenticeship, applied learning experience, work-based learning and/or credential attainment experience approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

Students approved for the scholarships will receive the $5,000 over four disbursements and can use the money toward certain qualified expenses.

Approved courses and classes can be in areas such as accounting, cybersecurity, information technology, software development, veterinary science and others.

State Rep. Ryan Lauer of Columbus said that students should have many options to find a career at which they can excel.

You can find a link to learn more here:

Or register by Oct. 1st here: