All posts by John Clark

Second week of Exhibit Columbus Symposium talks start Tuesday

The Exhibit Columbus 2020 Symposium is heading into its second week of events with a focus on Resiliency and Climate Adaptation.

The first session next will be at 2 Tuesday afternoon and will feature a discussion of landscape architecture and research as a response to climate crises with designer Iñaki Alday and landscape architect Kate Orff, moderated by Iker Gil.

Thursday will be a Columbus Conversation at noon featuring Miller Prize recipients Belinda Tato and Jose Luis Vallejo of Ecosistema Urbano along with Rachel Kavathe, Heather Pope, Jason Larrison, and Randy Royer talking about ecological initiatives in our community.

All of this year’s Symposium conversations are happening virtually and they will be going every other week through the last week of October.  You are encouraged to take part and the conversations are all free.

You can find more information or sign up for the conversations at

Two-county chase ends with crash into police cars

Derek Smith. Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police

A Louisville man is accused of leading police on a chase through Jackson and Bartholomew counties yesterday.

Indiana State Police are reporting that a trooper noticed a car with no license plates speeding just north of Seymour on Interstate 65 at about 4:30 Wednesday afternoon. The trooper tried to stop the vehicle near the Jonesville exit but instead the driver took off.

Other police agencies joined the chase, which ended when the car hit two state police vehicles north of the Columbus exit.

The driver, 29 year old Derek Smith was taken into custody and found to be carrying two handguns, one of which had been reported stolen out of Louisville. Smith was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital to be checked out before being taken to the Jackson County Jail on preliminary charges of Resisting Law Enforcement in a Vehicle, Possession of Stolen Property, Reckless Driving, and Possession of a Handgun without a Permit.He was also wanted on a warrant out of Lafayette.

Bartholomew 911 center to buy mobile dispatch units

The Bartholomew County 911 center is making plans to go mobile in case of an emergency that wipes out service at the center.

Todd Noblitt, director of the 911 center, told the county commissioners this week that as part of the ongoing upgrades to the 911 phone system, the county now has the opportunity to use mobile command units. Noblitt said that the portable equipment will give the county the ability to operate 911 services from alternate locations. It will replicate all the center’s capabilities all the way down to the location detection technology that allows dispatchers to locate the caller’s exact spot.

The equipment will also allow the center to increase its capacity by four fully-functioning consoles, Noblitt said. That would come in handy during major emergencies or crisis situations such as during a flood or other disaster.

Noblitt said he would like to find a location that could be used as a secondary dispatch center and permanently store the consoles there but until then, they would be stored at the dispatch center. However, commissioners said they would prefer them to be stored at a 24-hour facility such as the county jail. But they agreed that the units needed a permanent home.

The four mobile command units will cost just over $104,000 and Noblitt said it would be paid for out of federal funds from the CARES act allotted for COVID-19 expenses.

Commissioners approved the addendum to the 911 center’s contract with AT&T.

Columbus cemetery cleanup planned next week

The Columbus City Cemetery is slated for a cleanup next week. The parks and recreation department says that the cemetery, next to Donner Park is slated for its fall cleanup on Thursday, October 1st.

If you have a family plot in the cemetery, you are asked to pick up any items that you wish to save by Monday. Parks Department personnel will be removing and discarding worn and out-of-season decorations that remain on the ground on October 1st.

For more information: (812) 376-2599.

Next free legal clinic set for Oct. 6th

Legal Aid will be holding a free Legal Aid Clinic by phone for residents of the agency’s eight-county district on Tuesday, Oct. 6th. That district includes Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Jennings, Johnson, Rush, and Shelby Counties.

The Legal Aid Clinic uses local volunteer attorneys, to offer free legal consultations to low-income individuals. You can expect to receive a brief consultation over the phone to answer general questions, offer legal information, or to receive other assistance or advice.

Although the clinic will be from 3 to 5:30, you must first register between noon and 1:30 on Tuesday, Oct. 6th.

You can register by calling Legal Aid at 812-378-0358.

Ivy Tech holding information day in Jackson County

Ivy Tech Community College will be having an information session next week in Jackson County where you can learn about the school’s programs and how to prepare for college and a career.

The session will be from 3 to 7 p.m. on September 29th at the Jackson County Learning Center. You will be able to meet with staff from the Ivy Tech Columbus campus and learn about courses being held in Jackson County. You will also be able to find out more about how to pay for college, including how to apply for scholarships, grants and financial aid.

You can get more information at

Holcomb: Indiana to upgrade to Stage 5; Masks to still be required

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced this afternoon during his afternoon press conference that Indiana was moving to Stage 5 of the Back on Track Indiana plan.

The state will move to the next stage on Saturday.

Holcomb said that masks are still going to be required. He said that residents’ adherence to mask requirements is what is letting the state move to the next stage.

According to the Indiana Back on Track plan, Stage 5 will mean reopening, with appropriate social distancing:

  • Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs may operate at full capacity
  • Personal services may open at full capacity
  • Gyms, fitness centers and workout facilities may operate at full capacity
  • Conventions may resume at full capacity
  • Amusement parks, water parks, and like facilities may operate at full capacity. Social distancing guidelines should be maintained
  • Cultural, entertainment, and tourism sites may open at full capacity. This includes museums, zoos, aquariums, and like facilities
  • Pari-mutuel horse racing and county and state fair racing may operate at full spectator capacity
  • Raceway events may return to full capacity


This story will be updated

Community vaccination clinic set for Saturday at Columbus East

A community vaccination clinic is being planned for later this week in Columbus.

The clinic, being organized by the Bartholomew County Health Department, the Indiana Department of Health and the Indiana Immunization Coalition will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at Columbus East High School.

The clinic will be for those 2 years old and older. Those with private insurance, Medicaid and even the uninsured are invited to attend. Most vaccines will be available including the flu vaccine.

You will need to wear a mask to participate. If you have any questions call 317-628-7116

Campus to host diversity discussion Oct. 13th

IUPUC’s Center for Business and Economic Development will be hosting an interactive conversation about the importance of diversity in economic development next month.

The discussion, called Lead By Design: Unveiling the Bias, will discuss how equity and inclusion is vital to achieving economic development..

The session is scheduled from 8 until 9:45 a.m. the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 13 and it will be held by Zoom app. Nichole Pence Becker will be the moderator for the event and the keynote speaker will be Mark Stewart, president of the United Way of Bartholomew County.

The event is free but registration is required. You can get more information at