Category Archives: Top Story

Indiana DNR offers tips for deer hunter safety

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is reminding deer hunters to be safe out there, with the deer reduction zone season underway and archery deer season starting on Saturday.

More than 300,000 hunters are expected to take part in the deer seasons, which run through Jan. 31st.

DNR says the most common injuries during deer seasons are accidents involving tree stands and elevated platforms. Conservation officers urge you to take safety tips such as wearing a full-body safety harness, maintain three points of contact during ascent and descent, use a haul line for hunting gear and making sure your firearms are unloaded the action is open and the safety is on before you attach them to the haul line.

Other safety tips from DNR:

  • Use a tree stand safety rope.
  • Make certain to attach your harness to the tree before leaving the ground, and that it remains attached to the tree until you return to the ground.
  • Use boots with non-slip soles.
  • Carry emergency equipment, such as a cellphone and flashlight.
  • Make a plan before you hunt.
  • Tell someone your plan, including where you will be hunting and when you plan to return.
  • Stick to your plan.
  • Identify game before pointing a firearm.
  • Know your target and what is beyond it.

You can get more safety tips on the IDNR website.

Hoosier Lottery urges area winners to claim prizes

The Hoosier Lottery is announcing five Powerball winners who have yet to claim their prizes after Saturday’s drawing including two tickets sold in our area.

A $50,000 winning ticket was sold in Edinburgh, and a $100,000 winning ticket was sold in Greenwood.

Another $50,000 dollar ticket was sold in Indianapolis.

There are two even bigger winners a $1 million dollar ticket was purchased at Bedels One Stop Marathon in Laurel and a $2 million dollar winning ticket was sold at a Circle K in New Albany.

Hoosier Lottery officials are encouraging everyone to check their tickets to see if they won.

Story courtesy of our new-gathering partners at TTWN Media Networks Inc.

Immunization clinic Friday at Hauser High School

A reminder that the Indiana Immunization Coalition will be holding a community immunization clinic in Hope Friday

The clinic will be from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Hauser High School Auditorium.

You should bring your insurance card as the coalition will accept and bill all insurance carriers. There is no cost for anyone without insurance, except for the Shingles vaccine.

Everyone who takes part will be vaccinated with all of the CDC recommended vaccines.

You can register online at and use the enrollment code IN 65942.

FFY celebrating Great Girls, Wonderful Women in October

Foundation for Youth will be hosting the eighth annual Great Girls, Wonderful Women Luncheon next month.

The luncheon gives women in the community the chance to interact with and have lunch with girls at FFY.

The guest speaker will be Hanna Omar. The MC will be Skye Nicholson, life coach at Souls’ Truth Coaching based in Columbus.

The event will be held in person at FFY on Hope Avenue. There will also be a streaming option for those who can’t attend in person.

The luncheon will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. on October 20th with the doors opening at 11:30 a.m.

Individual tickets are $100, a table for 6 women is $500. Corporate table sponsorships are also available.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Foundation For Youth Scholarship Fund. The fund provides girls with the opportunity to participate in FFY programming, even if registration fees are a barrier for their family.

Tickets are available online at

New Hope museum to celebrate rural mail history

A collection of rural mail carrier historical artifacts will be unveiled in its new home next month in Hope.

In 1896, Hope was one of two locations in the country to test the then-new idea of using mail routes to provide mail to rural homes, rather than just allowing mail to be picked up in town at the post office. The Hope experiment started 127 years ago on Oct. 15th and is the longest continuing location for rural mail delivery in the country.

Previously, Hope had a small building on the Town Square that served as a home for the artifacts but that was torn down in 2015 to make way for improvements on the Town Square. The artifacts eventually passed to the Yellow Trail Museum, which has acquired a neighboring building for the items to be displayed on the northwest corner of the square.

The Rural Letter Carriers Museum will be holding a grand opening on Sunday Oct. 16th from 2 to 6 p.m. in the afternoon. Events will include an open house, ice cream social, ribbon cutting and a meal at Willow Leaves of Hope.

If you plan to attend the meal, you must RSVP. The cost will be $18. For more information you can call 812-344-4737.

Pence makes endorsement in Utah Senate race

Former Vice President and Columbus native Mike Pence is throwing his support behind a fellow Republican in Utah’s U.S. Senate race.

Pence announced yesterday that he is supporting Senator Mike Lee’s bid for a third term in the Senate. Pence called Lee a strong, principled conservative who he hopes will be part of a Republican-controlled Senate following the election.

Pence said he believes conservatives like Lee can help “steer the country” back to the policies that made it “strong and secure and prosperous during the Trump-Pence administration.”

Lee thanked Pence for the support, saying in a statement they share similar values and concerns.

Story courtesy of our news-gathering partners at TTWN Media Networks Inc.

Columbus Conversations to start Thursday at Mill Race Center

The Columbus Conversations Forum will kick off this year’s season with an event Thursday at Mill Race Center.

The event will be focused on authors with ties associated with the Columbus AirPark campus. The evening will feature readers including Patrick Nevins, an Ivy Tech Columbus Campus associate professor who recently published his first novel, “Man in a Cage.”

  • Others scheduled to read include:
  • Elisabeth Hegmann
  • Joshua Holycross
  • Brittany King
  • Jay Lesandrini
  • Nancy Pulley
  • Matt Rothrock

The event will be moderated by Kate Wills, Program Director and Professor of English at IUPUC.

The forum will be at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at Mill Race Center.

Columbus Conversations are sponsored by IUPUC and Mill Race Center. It is made possible by a grant from Innovate Indiana, a program administered by the IU Council on Regional Engagement and Economic Development.

Parks department to clean Columbus city cemetery Monday

The Columbus City Cemetery is set for a spring cleanup on Monday.

The cemetery is just south of Donner Park. If you have a family plot in the cemetery you are asked to pick up any items you wish to save by Sunday.

The city parks department workers will remove and discard any worn or out-of-season decorations that remain on the ground during the cleanup.

For more information you can call 812-376-2599.

Stolen rental van recovered after weekend pursuit

Bartholomew County deputies recovered a stolen rental van on Sunday but not before a man jumped from the vehicle.

According to reports from the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, a deputy noticed the stolen U-Haul truck at about 5:44 p.m. Sunday afternoon driving southbound on U.S. 31. The deputy tried to pull the vehicle over however the driver refused to stop. As they drove in the Harvest Meadows area, a passenger jumped from the vehicle. He was quickly taken into custody.

The deputy continued searching for the stolen vehicle and found it again on West County Road 450N heading toward U.S. 31. After the vehicle finally stopped on County Road 400N, the driver 37-year-old Joseph Mark Harshbarger, of Indianapolis, was arrested on preliminary charges of:

  • Resisting law enforcement with a vehicle
  • Possession of stolen property
  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Driving while suspended – prior

The passenger, 37-year-old Brian Petro, of Indianapolis is being accused of criminal trespass.

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department

Two arrested for drunk driving within hours over the weekend

Jacob Crays. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Two men were arrested for driving drunk over the weekend in Columbus, despite prior convictions for driving under the influence.

According to Columbus Police, officers were called to reports of a reckless driver at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday night near Middle Road and Poshard Drive. Police saw the vehicle driving slowly and stopped the driver, 26-year-old Jacob M. Crays of Cicero, Indiana. Crays had glassy eyes and slurred speech and there was also an empty wine box in the car. After failing several field sobriety tests and being taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for a blood test, he was arrested on a preliminary charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction.

Trent Barthel. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department

A few hours later, an officer saw a driver blow through the stop light at 25th Street and U.S. 31. According to the officer, the driver was going so fast the patrol car shook as the pickup went past. Police stopped the driver near Eastbrook Plaza at about 1:15 a.m. in the morning. The driver, 40 year old Trent F. Barthel of Buffalo, Minnesota failed several field sobriety tests and was taken to CRH for a blood test. A search of his vehicle recovered marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He is facing preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction, and for possessing the marijuana and drug paraphernalia.