Category Archives: Local News

Heat index to push to near 100 this afternoon

The heat index is expected to climb to nearly 100 again this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

High temperatures in the lower 90s will be combining with high humidity levels to produce possibly dangerous heat.

If you are planning to be active outdoors, take breaks out of the sun and drink plenty of fluids. And authorities are warning that young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles.

Five arrested after investigation into suspicious home

Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department

Five people are facing charges after arrests made early this morning in an ongoing investigation in Columbus .

Columbus police say that they have been receiving tips from the public about illegal activity at a home in the 3100 block of Miami Court.

As part of that ongoing investigation, police stopped a vehicle driven by 24-year-old Mary J. Craig of Hartsville and a police dog alerted to the odor of narcotics inside. A search revealed heroin and drug paraphernalia. Craig and her passenger, 43-year-old Justin S. Sholty of Columbus were arrested.

A second vehicle was stopped that was driven by 49-year-old Donald L. Moody. After methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were found in the vehicle, he was also arrested.

A search warrant was served at the Miami Court home shortly after midnight by the Columbus SWAT and Intelligence-Led Policing teams. Police discovered methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, along with three firearms.

Two people inside the house, 44-year-old Ryan A. Moody and 29-year-old Micah D. Orr, both of Columbus, were taken into custody.

Charges include:

  • Craig: Possession of Heroin, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Sholty: Possession of Heroin, Possession of a Legend Drug Injection Device
  • Donald L. Moody: Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Ryan A. Moody: Possession of a Firearm by a Serious Violent Felon, Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Possession of Methamphetamine, Dealing in Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of a Legend Drug, Possession of a Legend Drug Injection Device, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Micah Orr: Possession of Heroin, Visiting a Common Nuisance, Possession of a Legend Drug Injection Device
Donald L. Moody
Justin S. Sholty
Mary J. Craig
Micah D. Orr
Ryan A. Moody


Lilly Scholarship applications now being accepted

Applications are now available for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships through Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County.

Two Lilly Scholarships will be awarded to Bartholomew County students for 2021. The scholarship provides full tuition, required fees and a up to $900 per year for books and equipment for four years of undergraduate study at any accredited Indiana public or private college or university.

Applicants must live in Bartholomew County; be on course to graduate from a public or private Indiana high school by the end of next June; have at least a 3.5 GPA and demonstrate significant school involvement, community service, good character, leadership skills and financial need.

Applications and all required materials must be submitted by Sept. 2nd. You can find the application and get more information at

Coronavirus update for July 8th: Jennings County sees another death

Jennings County has added another death from COVID-19.

According to the most recent update from the Indiana State Department of Health, there are 48,626 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Indiana, an increase of 314 cases since Monday’s update.

There have been 2,524 deaths in Indiana as of Tuesday afternoon’s update, an increase of 19 since Monday.

Bartholomew County has had 589 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 44 deaths. Jennings County reported a death on July 6th, bringing the county total to 12 deaths and 176 cases. That was the first death in an area county since last week.

CRH Wound Center recognized by national group

Columbus Regional Health’s Wound Center is being recognized by the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services.

The hospital facility was recently chosen for the Healogics President’s Circle. The hospital was rated on scores for patient satisfaction and wound healing time.

The Wound Center offers specialized wound care to patients suffering from diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, infections and other chronic wounds which have not healed in a reasonable amount of time.

The Wound Center is a member of the Healogics network of nearly 800 centers. You can get more information at

Gleaners giving out food in Columbus today

Gleaner’s Food Bank will be having a drive through food distribution in Columbus today.

You can pick up food from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Columbus Municipal Airport Aviation Bldg.. That’s at 5175 N Warren Drive. You will stay in your vehicle and the food will be delivered to you. Organizers stress that there should be no early arrivals and there is no parking on River Road or Cunningham Drive.

East Columbus fire leaves four homeless

Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department

Four people were left homeless after a Sunday afternoon fire on the east side of Columbus.

Columbus firefighters say they were called to Reo Street at 1:54 p.m. Sunday afternoon and found heavy fire at the back of a single story rental property. All of the occupants were already out when firefighters arrived.

Firefighters used hoses from the rear of the home to knock down the majority of the flames and then went inside to finish knocking out the fire.

There were about $50,000 in damages to the home and its contents. Investigation revealed that flammable liquids and vapors ignited near a heat source, causing the fire. Firefighters say it was determined to be accidental.

No smoke alarms were found in the home.

The Salvation Army is assisting tenants with emergency shelter. No injuries were reported.


Hope-area schools outline reopening plans

Flat Rock-Hawcreek Schools are releasing details of their school reopening plans. The district plans to resume in-person teaching and learning this fall with the first day of school for students on August 4th.. Virtual learning options will continue to be made available for students who are not able to attend due to COVID-19.

Among the changes being made to accommodate the pandemic response, there will be daily screenings of students and staff. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or a fever of more than 100 degrees will be sent home.

Students will have assigned seating wherever possible. Two masks will be provided to students and staff. While they will be required to have them accessible each day, they will not be required at all times. But will be required in some situations, such as while riding the bus.

Lockers will not be issued to Junior/Senior High students in order to promote social distancing but students will be allowed to have small backpacks in classrooms.

The district plans to release more detailed information on enrollment and online registration by July 17th.

County faces steep drop in revenue as incomes fall

Bartholomew County could be looking at a drop in revenues next year of nearly $1.8 million dollars. That’s based on calculations by County Auditor Pia O’Connor.

Bartholomew County Auditor Pia O’Connor. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County.

O’Connor briefed the County Council members at their work session this week on what she sees confronting the council as it begins to put together next year’s budget. By her estimates, property tax revenue should be up by just over 4 percent. But income taxes, which make up more than half of the county’s revenues, could be down by 13 percent or more she said. That would mean $1.8 million less than this year’s $36.2 million in revenue, she said.

O’Connor cautioned that the state is not yet providing any estimates on income taxes, but with the high unemployment rate and the fact that Cummins is cutting many employees pay by 20 percent, there will be a substantial drop in funds. She said that the county will likely see the first state predictions about the time the county starts preparing its budget next month.

Income taxes now pay for the jail operations, along with local funds to fight the opioid epidemic, public safety needs and other projects.

O’Connor said that county department heads turned in their budgets for next year last week, and for the most part those budgets were flat. The only exception was the sheriff’s department budget submission which actually grew and included employee raises, while other departments kept those flat.

Coronavirus update for July 7th: No new local deaths reported

According to the most recent update from the Indiana State Department of Health, there are 48,331 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Indiana, an increase of 330 cases since Sunday’s update.

There have been 2,505 deaths in Indiana as of Monday afternoon’s update, an increase of 6 since Sunday.

Bartholomew County has had 586 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 44 deaths. The last reported death in Bartholomew and surrounding counties was Wednesday in Jennings County.