All posts by John Clark

Two arrested in Jackson County infant deaths

Jackson County deputies arrested two women today on felony charges of neglect of a dependent after both fell asleep with their infant, while allegedly on drugs, and the babies died, in two separate incidents recently.

The sheriff’s department says that Ada Baldwin was arrested today after in investigation into an November incident where her child died in Freetown after sleeping with Baldwin in her bed. The coroner ruled the cause of death was undetermined or a Sudden Unexplained Infant Death. She was arrested in the Washington County Jail where she was being held in a different case.

25-year-old Hailey J. Martin was arrested today after a similar incident in January in Hamilton Township where her child died. The coroner ruled the cause of death in that case was also undetermined or a Sudden Unexplained Infant Death.

In neither case did the forensic pathologist find that the cause of death was asphyxiation. In both cases the women had illegal drugs in their system, according to police reports.

Sheriff Rick Meyer warns that co-sleeping is dangerous as infants don’t have the ability to move away to protect themselves. He says these deaths were tragic and preventable.

For more information on the dangers of co-sleeping you can contact either the Jackson County Health Department or your family doctor.

Tennessee residents arrested after thefts from outlet mall.

Indiana State Police arrested two out-of-state suspects in Scott County yesterday, after thefts at the Indiana Premium Outlets mall at Edinburgh Mall. That came after very similar incidents in May involving Kentucky residents.

Troopers were called to the incident at about 4 Wednesday afternoon after thefts were reported at the Polo Ralph Lauren store in the mall and the suspects fled south on Interstate 65. State Police caught up to the vehicle in Jackson County but the driver raced away. Other departments joined the efforts and the driver hit a tire-deflation device placed by Austin police.

The driver slammed on the brakes on the right shoulder of the highway and was rear-ended by a Jackson County deputy. Items from the original reported thefts as well as from other stores were recovered by Edinburgh police.

22-year-old driver Tatyana J. Burgess of Antioch, Tennessee and 20-year-old Jernithia A. Bell of Nashville, Tennessee were taken to Schneck Medical Center to be checked out and then to jail on various charges including:

  • Burgess — Resisting law enforcement, possession of stolen property, reckless driving and possession of a controlled substance.
  • Bell — Possession of stolen property.

In similar incidents in late May, three Kentucky residents were arrested after thefts from the outlet mall and fleeing south on the Interstate. Officers believe the incidents may be connected.

Boil water advisory issued for Nashville residents

Nashville Utilities has issued a boil-water advisory for some of its customers in the area of Van Buren, Gould, Mound and Main streets due to a water main repair.

Affected addresses include:

  • 26 N Honeysuckle Ln to 135 N Honeysuckle Ln.
  • 10 N Van Buren to 194 N Van Buren
  • 23 N Jefferson St., to 161 N. Jefferson St.
  • 60 Molly’s Ln.
  • 44 W Gould St. to 91 W Gould St.
  • 44 Printers Ln.
  • 49 W Mound St. to 91 W Mound St.
  • 40 Main St. to 46 W Main St.

Customers should bring all water to a full boil for five minutes before drinking it or using it in food preparation.

The boil water advisory is in effect until 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon. You can get more information by calling (812) 988-5526.

First Christian Church supporters launch effort to save tower

First Christian Church. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Carol M. Highsmith

First Christian Church in Columbus is announcing a new initiative to save the landmark’s clock tower.

The church is partnering with Landmark Columbus Foundation, Columbus Area Visitors Center, Heritage Fund, and architect Louis Joyner to raise money to repair the iconic tower, part of the first modern architectural landmark in the city.

The 166-foot tall tower has been repaired several times over the years, including the last major effort in 1976. Now it needs a substantial renovation of the top one-third of the tower. The repair costs are estimated at $2.4 million. The goal is to raise the money and start the repairs by next year, the tower’s 80th anniversary.

The church and tower were designed by architect Eliel Saarinen in 1942 and it is recognized as one of the first Modernist church designs in the United States.

Joyner applied for and received a half million dollar Save America’s Treasures grant from the US Department of Interior. That requires a local match.

Fundraising efforts will launch with a Save Our Tower Campaign event at 4 on Wednesday, June 23rd at the church at 531 Fifth Street. It will include a presentation on the church history and a guided architecture tour of the church by J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program Director T. Kelly Wilson.

Photos: First Christian Church. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Carol M. Highsmith

Landscape architects chosen for Ivy Tech, AirPark campus project

A landscape architect has been chosen for the college campus project at the Columbus Municipal Airport.

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol of Seattle, Washington, has been chosen to develop a landscape design framework that will unite the look of the schools and partners at the AirPark Columbus Campus including Ivy Tech Community College, IUPUC, Purdue Polytechnic Columbus and the Community Education Coalition, the coalition announced this morning.

Cummins will be providing grant funds for the architecture fees, the third architectural project Cummins has paid for at the airport campus, including the Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence which opened in 2011, and the new Ivy Tech building set to open in 2022

The architecture firm will be creating the landscaping at the location where the current Poling Hall sits after it is demolished next summer, as well as a unifying look for all the schools that will be implemented in the coming years. Firm representatives said they envision a welcoming, inclusive, and inspiring landscape for the AirPark Campus.

Organizers view the Ivy Tech project as an opportunity to design a new entrance to the campus.

BCSC launches effort to recruit and educate future teachers

Bartholomew Consolidated Schools will soon be offering a program that will let those without college degrees work in classrooms, earn their degree and get a guaranteed teaching job in the school district.

The school district is unveiling its Pathway to Teacher Licensure Program. The program will recruit “paraeducators” to work full time in classrooms. At the same time, they will also be pursuing their bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College online.

BCSC will pay tuition and textbook fees. Participants will be required to maintain a certain GPA, to meet support staff evaluation goals, and to remain with BCSC until their degree is completed. After completion they will be given a teaching position and will be required to stay for at least two years.

The district’s goals are to provide teachers with support personnel, to address teacher shortages and to grow teachers trained in the BCSC systems, culture and expectations.

There will be information sessions on the program from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on June 22nd via Zoom, and from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. June 23rd and 24th at Columbus North High School.

Pence making trips to presidential campaign trail states

Former Vice President and Columbus native Mike Pence will be in Des Moines, Iowa this summer.

Bob Vander Plaats, CEO of The Family Leader, says Pence will headline the Family Leadership Summit at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center on July 16th.  Plaats says the summit helps explore how faith impacts every part of life.

The Iowa engagement comes on the heels of a trip to New Hampshire last week. Both states are seen as stepping stones for a run at the presidency.

Pence is also scheduled to appear later this month at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Pence will be the second speaker in the “Time for Choosing” series on Thursday, June 24th. Organizers say the series is a new forum for leading voices in the conservative movement to address critical questions facing the future of the Republican Party.

This story is courtesy of our news-gathering partners at TTWN Media Networks Inc.

Ivy Tech offering vaccine clinic Thursday at campus

Ivy Tech Community College will be offer walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics throughout the state Thursday including a clinic at the Columbus campus on Central Ave.

Vaccines will be offered on a first-come, first serve basis. Supplies are limited. The exact type of vaccine will vary by location. You will need a state-issued ID to get vaccinated at the campuses.

Those who get vaccinated will be entered into a drawing for a Mac or PC laptop provided by the school.

Ivy Tech is hosting clinics in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and Walmart pharmacy.

The clinic will be from from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. You can get more information at

County Council adopts broad rescue spending plan

Bartholomew County has adopted a proposed plan for $16.2 million in spending from the American Rescue Plan. County Council voted last night to approve the county commissioners spending outline for the money.

Commissioners explained that the plan was flexible and subject to revision, but promised to keep the council involved in changes to the plan and how the money should be allocated.

However, there was disagreement from Councilman Greg Duke, over a line item for local not-for-profit groups. Commissioners outlined spending $1 million to offset revenue lost during the pandemic to local not-for-profit groups.

Duke said he opposed the idea that the county would be picking winners and losers amongst charity groups by awarding them the recovery money.

Duke also took issue with a penciled in note on the plan calling for $307 thousand dollars in other expenses and premium pay for some county employees, saying the council should not be approving such an open-ended plan.

Ultimately, all the council members voted in favor of the spending plan.