Category Archives: Top Story

Senate seeking students to serve as pages for 2024 session

The Indiana Senate is now accepting applications for next year’s Senate Page Program.

Students in grades six through 12 can tour Indiana’s Statehouse, listen to debates and help staff with age-appropriate tasks. Students also have the opportunity to meet with their state senator in the all-day program. Serving as a page is considered an excused absence from school.

The 2024 Senate Page Program begins in January and runs through February. Pages are scheduled for Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. They begin their day at 8:30 a.m. and are dismissed at 3:30 p.m. Groups serve together on Wednesdays.

You find a link to more information and to apply here:

Firefighters offer safety tips after candle-sparked blaze

After a mobile home fire sparked by an unattended candle in a bedroom last week, Columbus Fire Department is stressing safety tips to protect your family and property.

No one was injured in the fire in the Candlelight Mobile Home Park on Wednesday and a woman with seven children under the age of 9 in the home was able to evacuate them all. But firefighters report that no smoke alarms alerted the resident to the danger and at least one had been knocked down in the bedroom hallway and had not been replaced.

Firefighters say that working smoke alarms save lives. A working smoke alarm allows the precious time needed to escape the deadly smoke and heat conditions created in residential fires. The Columbus Fire Department provides no-cost smoke alarm installations for Columbus residents in need of working smoke alarms.

The department is also stressing that open flames and supplemental heat sources need to be monitored at all times. Candles should have at least 12 to 18 inches of space that is free of anything that can burn. A space heater should leave at least three feet free of combustible material.

If you need assistance or more information you can contact the Columbus Fire Department at (812) 376-2769 or visit the Columbus Fire Department website:

Red Cross asks for blood donors during winter slowdown

The American Red Cross is asking you to set aside time this holiday season to donate blood.

Due to holiday travel schedules, seasonal illnesses and hazardous winter weather, the Red Cross anticipates difficulties providing enough blood for patients in need during the winter months.

Through the end of December, those who donate will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and be entered into a chance to win a $1,000 Amazon gift card and 65-inch television.

There will be several local donation opportunities including from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Senior Citizens Center on Buckeye Street in North Vernon and from noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday at First United Methodist Church on Eighth Street in Columbus.

You can schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Other local donation dates include:

  • Dec. 19th — 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Tea Creek Baptist Church, 5280 S. Co Rd 300 W., North Vernon
  • Dec. 19th — 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Columbus Municipal Airport, 4770 Ray Boll Blvd, Columbus
  • Dec. 20th — 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Decatur County Memorial Hospital, 720 N. Lincoln Street., Greensburg
  • Dec. 27th 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 719 Fifth Street, Columbus

Four Florida men arrested after Seymour chase

A police chase last week in Seymour led to the arrest of four Florida men after a crash.

According to the Seymour Police Department, officers from the department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department were alerted about a vehicle that was fleeing from authorities to the north and was entering the community on Friday. Officers soon found the SUV speeding southbound on Interstate 65 about five miles north of the Seymour exit.. They tried to pull the vehicle over, but the driver continued to race away before taking the Seymour exit and crashing on U.S. 50 at Meadowbrook.

Four people got out of the vehicle and ran away but were quickly taken into custody.

26-year-old Keeonon Y. Seymour of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was arrested for resisting law enforcement in a vehicle, leaving the scene of an injury accident, criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, and resisting law enforcement on foot. 36-year-old Ingram Harper, of Coral Springs, along with 27-year-old Ydnel Termilen, and 25-year-old Raheem Tamar McLeod, both of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were arrested for resisting law enforcement on foot. Harper was also found to have outstanding felony warrants.

Indiana State Police, Seymour Fire Department, and Jackson County medics also assisted at the scene.

Flamenco sculpture finding new home in downtown Columbus

A refurbished iconic Columbus artwork will be receiving a new home downtown this week.

According to the Columbus Area Arts Council, the red metallic Flamenco structure will be reinstalled at the entrance to Mill Race Park on Eighth Street between Lindsey and Brown Streets.

The artwork, by Ruth Aizuss Migdal, had been installed outside The Commons at Fourth and Washington Streets. However, it was removed earlier this year for routine maintenance including welding repairs and new paint. It was originally installed in downtown Columbus during the 2014 Columbus Sculpture Biennial organized by the arts council and is now owned by the city of Columbus, purchased with community donations.

The new location is part of a “Mill Race Park Gateway” project by Landmark Columbus Foundation. The gateway, designed by Hitchcock Design Group, is meant to improve the connections between the downtown area, the Columbus Transit facility, Mill Race Center, Mill Race Park and the People Trails. Partners on the gateway project also include Mill Race Center, Columbus Regional Health’s (Healthy Communities Initiative), the Landmark Farm Foundation, the Lincoln Central Neighborhood Family Center, and the city of Columbus.

There will be an dedication ceremony for the new installation on Thursday from 11 a.m.  to noon starting at the Cummins LiveWell Center at 806 Jackson Street, then moving 8th and Brown Streets for the gateway opening and rededication of the sculpture.

Chamber hosting legislative preview today

The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a legislative preview luncheon starting at 11:30 a.m. today at Columbus City Hall.

State Senator Greg Walker, and Representatives Ryan Lauer and Jennifer Meltzer will be on hand to answer questions and talk about the upcoming session.

Topics will include how to improve early learning programs, the design of career-based learning programs, water management, tort reform, healthcare costs reduction and more.

The luncheon is sponsored by Milestone Contractors.

Crump Theater hosting youth boxing events

The Crump Theatre is hosting boxing-related events this weekend after being chosen for the Indiana Silver Gloves tournament.

Organizers say it is a first for the theater.

Silver Gloves is a youth boxing competition for kids ages 8 to 16. The tournament is being hosted by Columbus PAL Boxing.

Jess Schnepp project coordinator for the Crump renovations explains:

Schnepp said from her research, this is the first such event held in the more than 130 year history of the theater. She explains what will have to happen to transform the theater into a boxing venue.

Tonight there will be a social event and showing of the movie Creed 3 starting at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s fights start at 3 p.m. with the doors opening at 2 p.m.

Tickets range from $5 for children 12 and under for Saturday’s bouts, to $35 to include the Friday night movie showing and  social event.

You can get more information at

Photo courtesy of Crump Theater

Columbus riverfront project advances with $11+ million approval

A more than $14 million improvement project for the East Fork White River in downtown Columbus is moving forward after winning approval from Columbus City Council this week.

The council was asked this week to approve spending up to $11.6 million for the project, on top of more than $2.4 million raised through grants and donations.

The project would remove the low-head dam between the Second and Third street bridges, shore up the riverbanks, provide for in-water recreation and other improvements. The city would also make the final connection of the People Trail under the Robert N. Stewart bridge finishing a complete loop around the city.

Several residents said they were opposed to parts of the project, citing concerns over the $3.9 million in recreational improvements, the need for the in-river recreation and the low water levels in the river.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission recommended the spending last month, but it has a cap of $500 thousand dollars before spending must be approved by City Council. The council gave its first approval for the project this week. Councilman Frank Miller was the single vote against the proposal.

Two arrested after chase through Decatur, Shelby counties

A couple was arrested after fleeing from a stolen car on Interstate 74 after a Decatur County deputy first noticed the vehicle was driving with only one headlight.

According to the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department, the incident started at about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday night when the deputy noticed the missing light and that the driver was speeding. The deputy pulled the vehicle over, but after momentarily stopping, the driver took off at speeds of up to 110 mph, heading into Shelby County. Shelby County deputies used tire deflation devices to bring the vehicle to a stop, but a man and a woman carrying an infant jumped out of the passenger side door and ran from the vehicle.

Deputies captured the man, who was identified as 21-year-old Joseph L. Butler of Indianapolis. The woman, 22 year old Tyshiana A.S. Fultz, also of Indianapolis was soon found. The 11-month old baby was determined to be the couple’s child.

Deputies say that the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Marion County and that Butler was wanted on two outstanding Marion County warrants. A search of the vehicle recovered a magazine for a firearm and a search of the area where Butler was captured recovered a weapon that matched the magazine.

Butler was arrested on preliminary charges of unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Serious Violent Felon, Neglect of a Dependent, Resisting Law Enforcement and possession of Marijuana.

Fultz is being accused of resisting Law Enforcement, neglect of a dependent, possession of marijuana and reckless driving.

Their child was taken into protective custody by the Indiana Department of Child Services.

Two Columbus East seniors chosen for Lilly scholarships

Two Columbus East High School seniors have been chosen as the recipients of the 2024 Bartholomew County Lilly Endowment Community scholarships.

Heritage Fund – The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County is announcing that Nadia Harris and Sivangi Patel would be receiving the scholarships.

Harris is the daughter of Emily Harris. She has been active in Key Club, Women’s Varsity Soccer, Student Assembly, Best Buddies, Student Government and National Honor Society. She plans to major in biology.

Patel is the daughter of Nainesh and Avantika Patel. She has been active in National Honor Society, Women’s Tennis, Youth Leadership Bartholomew County, Key Club and Health Occupation Students of America. She plans to pursue a nursing major.

The two were chosen from 50 applications this year to Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County. Other finalists were J.R. Hughes, Henry Ulrich and Monica Santana from Columbus East. From Columbus North High School: Seth Poindexter. From CSA-New Tech: Janelly Villalobos and from Hauser Jr-Sr High School: Colin Kistler, Isabella Kilps and Grace Hattabaugh.

Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships provide for full tuition, required fees and up to $900 per year for required books and equipment. They are meant for students planning four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to a bachelor’s degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university.

Since they were started in 1998, 55 Bartholomew County students have been named Lilly Endowment Community Scholars.

Sivangi Patel
Nadia Harris