All posts by John Clark

Legal Aid hosting Bartholomew County walk-in clinic today

Legal Aid is hosting a free walk-in legal clinic for Bartholomew County residents today.

Legal Aid offers the clinics for low-income residents of its eight-county district including Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Jennings and Johnson counties.

If you take part you will have a brief consultation with a volunteer attorney to answer general questions, to offer legal information or to receive other advice. The walk-in clinic will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Bartholomew County Public Library

From 3 to 4 p.m. the session will focus on general legal counsel. From 4 to 5 p.m. the clinic will focus on evictions.

FFY receives $140k grant from Circle K golf tourney

Note: This story has been updated

A Circle K sponsored golf championship tournament going on at Otter Creek donated $140,000 to the Foundation for Youth this week.

According to organizers, the American Junior Golf Association Circle K Junior Championship brings together young players from around the country to compete. The tournament is in its 12th year at Otter Creek.

Each year, the title sponsor, Circle K, hosts an invitational event for its supplier companies with part of the proceeds going to support Foundation For Youth programming. On Sunday at an event at The Commons, Kevin Merritt, with Circle K and the tournament co-chairman presented the donation check, saying that “Circle K looks for ways to uplift people and we appreciate how Foundation for Youth uses their resources to brighten lives every day.”

Chuck Kime, executive director at FFY, called the donation exceptional, saying that the organization appreciates the local, national and international support that made the gift possible. He said the donation will enable the club to reach more children that need help the most. FFY includes the local Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Columbus Youth Camp, Athletics, Aquatics and other programs.

John Fairbanks, this year’s tournament chairman, said that FFY will maximize the contribution to “make a real difference in the lives of area youth.”

Photo courtesy of Foundation For Youth. Rachel Kerschner, Chuck Kime and Melissa Fairbanks, with FFY, at Sunday’s event at The Commons.

Two arrested after Columbus SWAT team raid

Note: This story has been updated

What started as a burglary investigation led to two arrests after the Columbus police SWAT team raided a home last week.

According to Columbus Police Department, officers were investigating the burglary of a local business on North Long Road after tools came up missing on June 12th. Video evidence was available of the two suspects and Columbus investigators identified them as 34-year-old Brian Sheckles of Trafalgar and 27-year-old Anthony Sanabria of Columbus.

Sheckles had already been arrested on an unrelated charge for possessing methamphetamine on June 18th.

The SWAT team raided Sanabria’s home in the 4900 block of North County Road 150W on Friday serving a search warrant for the missing tools. During that search, drugs were found at the home and a second search warrant by the Bartholomew County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team recovered more drugs, drug paraphernalia and a handgun.

Sanabria was arrested at the home on the original charge of burglary. 41-year-old Nicole Hernandez was also arrested at the home on charges including maintaining a common nuisance, and for possessing meth, cocaine and the drug paraphernalia.

Police say more charges are possible.

Photos  courtesy of Columbus Police Department

Nicole Hernandez
Anthony Sanabria
Brian Sheckles


Local First Financial branches donate 500+ books

First Financial Bank says its recent book drive generated more than 4,000 books to help its financial literacy efforts across the four states it serves.

The book drive in May collected donations of 511 books about personal finance and similar subjects at bins in the Columbus, Edinburgh and Hope branches. First Financial will now donate the books to Little Libraries in Columbus, Bartholomew County Public Library, Turning Point, and schools, libraries and other community-focused organizations.

First Financial associates also distributed a list of books and articles to support growth in financial literacy for all age groups from elementary school to adults. The list will continue to be available in local First Financial locations upon request.

First Financial Bank and associates teamed up with community residents to collect over 4,000 books in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois from May 6-24.

A list of financial center locations is available online at

Photo courtesy of First Financial Bank

People Trail on Third Street bridge to close Tuesday

The Columbus Parks and Recreation Department will be closing part of the People Trail Tuesday while it works to remove a tree from the Third Street bridge.

The city says the trail will be closed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday while the tree is removed. It will reopen after crews have removed any debris left behind.

For more information, call parks and recreation at 812-376-2599.

Centra plans new Zionsville location as part of merger

Centra Credit Union is opening a new branch in Zionsville, as part of its partnership and merger with a smaller credit union.

In December, the Columbus-based Centra announced its plans to absorb NorthPark Community Credit Union, which had been operating as on online only institution since 2019. After approvals, the $43 million dollar NorthPark group was brought into the $2 billion dollar Centra family earlier this year.

Before going virtual, NorthPark operated service centers in Lebanon and Zionsville. Centra opened a Lebanon center in March. At the new branches, members will be able to meet with financial professionals and visit a drive up interactive teller ATM machine with extended hours.

The Zionsville location will be Centra’s 28th location, including others in central and southern Indiana, in Jamestown, New York and Whitakers, North Carolina. The Zionsville location is expected to open in Late July.

Picnic set for tonight to get your thoughts on downtown plaza

Designers of a revamped entrance plaza into downtown Columbus want your thoughts on sprucing up the area.

Organizers and designers will be holding a Community Engagement Picnic from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. this evening. That will be on Jackson Street, between First and Second Streets.

The 1.5-acre plaza on either side of Second Street and overlooking the Bartholomew County Courthouse is known for its memorials to POW/MIAs, public safety officers and the Robert D. Garton veterans memorial plaza. Organizers would like to refresh the area overall, and tie the plaza into the nearby 1821 Bicentennial Trail as well as a riverfront development project.

The city will be hosting the design firm chosen to revamp the plaza, Merritt Chase based in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, first at the city’s redevelopment commission meeting and then at the picnic.

Landmark Columbus through the Columbus Design Institute is working with the city on the project.

Photo by Hadley Fruits courtesy of Landmark Columbus

Farm Bureau Day today at Bartholomew County 4-H Fair

The Bartholomew County 4-H Fair continues today with Bartholomew County Farm Bureau Day.

The midway opens at 5 p.m. with Dollar Day today and $2 tickets per ride.

Entertainment tonight includes Green Timbe Music featuring Louis and Teresa Green at the Farm Bureau Building, Fishers of Men Christian contemporary music at the David Boll Theatre and Three Bar J Rodeo at the Grandstands, all starting at 7 p.m. this evening.

You can get more information at

Schneck exec chosen for rural health board

Susan Zabor. Photo courtesy of Schneck Medical Center.

Susan Zabor , Vice President of Clinical and Provider Management and Chief Quality Officer at Schneck Medical Center, has been elected to the Indiana Rural Health Association Board of Directors.

According to the hospital, Zabor began her career as a staff nurse at Schneck Medical Center in 1996. After working at a different hospital, she returned to Schneck as a staff nurse in 2005, rising through positions as Quality Outcomes Coordinator, director of Lean Six Sigma & Organizational Projects before taking on her current role.

She holds a bachelors degree from Purdue University, and two master’s degrees from the University of Southern Indiana.

Zabor said that the association is “essential for ensuring that rural communities have access to quality healthcare,” saying the association works to address health care disparities and advocates for rural communities.


Winners announced in Catalyst Columbus pitch competition

Organizers of the recent Catalyst Columbus pitch competition are announcing the three winners of the inaugural event.

According to the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, the event was designed to foster regional entrepreneurship and featured pitches from 20 startup businesses. The competition awarded $20,000 to Bartholomew and Jackson County entrepreneurs.

First place prizes of $7,500 were awarded to CayPops Bakery, founded by recent Columbus North High School graduate Caylyn Pruitt, and Tiny Kindness, led by Rachel Hunt.

A third place award of $3,000 went to Pendulum started by Eric Silver and a $2,000 award went to fourth place award winner Sitka Nursery and Tyler Short. Stephanie Strothmann earned $1,000 for Purple Shamrock Farm.

Judges were Brian Riley, CEO at Guardian Bikes; Maria Wilkins, Technical Advisor at Cummins; and Lena Blackstock, Partner at Process/Practice Studio.

The Catalyst Pitch Competition was made possible through the support of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Duke Energy, the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, and Catalyst Columbus.