Category Archives: Top Story

Holiday assistance sign-ups start today in Bartholomew County

Those in need of holiday help in Bartholomew County can begin signing up for assistance starting today through the United Way’s Holiday Helpline.

The helpline registers families and children for food and gift assistance with programs including the Community Center of Hope Angel Tree, Fireman’s Cheer Fund, Shop With A Cop, St. Bartholomew Giving Tree, Toys for Tots and Love Chapel Holiday Food Pantry.

Children may be registered for one gift program and households may receive one food box.

The deadline to apply is December 3rd. You can call from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Fridays at 812-375-2216. If you need help in Spanish, you can call Su Casa at 812-375-9370.

Health officials: Take steps to remain safe during Halloween fun

Local health officials are offering suggestions for staying safe during trick-or-treating and other Halloween celebrations.

The Jackson County Health Department suggests that you incorporate a cloth or surgical mask into your costume. You shouldn’t use a costume mask as a substitute.

You should avoid crowded indoor parties and instead, enjoy outdoor activities. You should trick-or-treat in small groups. If you are feeling sick, you should stay home.

Before eating any candy, be sure to wash your hands. And adults should check all candy to make sure it is safe.

And you should get vaccinated. Adults and children 12 and older should get a COVID-19 vaccine, and everyone should get a flu shot, according to the agency.

Hunter injured in fall from tree stand

A hunter was injured last week after falling 25-feet from a tree stand in Decatur County.

According to reports from Indiana conservation officers, 44-year-old Jeffrey Berkemeir of Greensburg was attempting to remove a hang-on tree stand at about 11:32 a.m. Thursday morning in the 8700 block of East County Road 150N. He was using a full-body safety harness but the lineman’s rope became untied for unknown reasons, leading to the fall.

Berkemeir suffered severe injuries to both his legs and was flown by helicopter to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treatment.

Jennings authorities seek help in tortured dog investigation

Jennings County authorities are looking for information after a dead dog was found in a ditch last week.

The dog, which appears to have been a black pit bull, was severely burned and it was dragged to the area with a leash or rope after being set on fire. The body was found in a ditch off of Country Manor Street in Country Squire Lakes.

The sheriff’s department asks that if you have any information on the case that you call investigator Ian McPherson at 812-346-4911. You can leave information anonymously.

Ivy Tech offering free financial aid help today in Columbus

Ivy Tech Community College is offering help today in Columbus if you need assistance filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

The FAFSA is the starting point for financial aid including federal and state assistance as well as many scholarships.

You will need to bring your 2019 and 2020 tax returns, which are required to complete the FAFSA.

You can drop in any time between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Central Avenue campus.

FAFSA assistance sessions are also coming up in Seymour, Franklin and Shelbyville through December:

  • Columbus: Central Avenue campus Nov. 15th and Dec. 20th
  • Seymour: 323 Dupont Drive on Oct. 27th.
  • Shelbyville: 2177 Intelliplex Drive on Nov. nd2 and Dec. 7th.
  • Franklin: 2205 McClain Drive on Nov. 11th and Dec. 16th.)

Legal Aid offering free phone clinic Tuesday

Legal Aid is holding a Free Legal Aid Phone Clinic from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Legal Aid offers the clinics for low-income residents of its eight-county district.

If you take part you will have a brief consultation with a volunteer attorney to answer general questions, to offer legal information or to receive other advice over the phone.

To take part, you must first register between noon and 2 Tuesday by calling 812-378-0358.

Road repairs to snarl interstate traffic near Greensburg

INDOT says drivers will see restrictions this week on Interstate 74 in Decatur County as crews patch the highway.

Barrels will be placed early this week, with patching starting as early as Thursday between St. Paul and Greensburg. Work will start in the westbound lanes and then move to the eastbound.

You can expect lane closures both during the day and at night. The work is expected to finish by mid November, weather permitting.

INDOT reminds you to to slow down, to use extra caution, and to drive without distractions in all construction zones.

Report: Inmate’s family suing Jackson County for $30 million

Photo of Ta’neasha Chappell after her May arrest. Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police

The family of an inmate who died this summer while in the custody of the Jackson County Jail is suing authorities for $30 million dollars according to the Seymour newspaper.

The Seymour Tribune is reporting that the family of Ta’Neasha Chappell filed the lawsuit Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The complaint alleges that the sheriff, jail commander and jailers were indifferent to getting the 23-year-old Louisville, Kentucky woman medical treatment after she fell ill on July 15th in the jail, according to the newspaper report.

She was taken to Schneck Medical Center on the afternoon of July 16th, where she died later that evening.

Chappell was being held at the jail on various charges after an incident in May, where she was accused of theft from the Edinburgh Premium Outlet Mall, then fleeing from police at speeds of up to 100 mph through Bartholomew, Jackson, Scott and Clark counties, before crashing into the rear of a truck near Clarksville.

You can read more information at

Cummins unveils natural-gas powered engine

Cummins is introducing a 15-liter natural gas engine that the company calls a “game changer” as an option to traditional diesel power trains for heavy-duty trucking.

The Columbus-based engine manufacturer announced the new engine yesterday. The engine is expected to offer up to 500 horsepower and 1,850 foot pounds of torque, but still weigh 500 lbs less than comparable diesel engines. It won’t require Selective Catalytic Reduction to meet California or Environmental Protection Agency emission standards.

Company officials say the new engine is also the basis for the hydrogen internal combustion engine currently being tested.

The company says that when powered with renewable natural gas, using methane collected from organic waste as the primary fuel source, the system can produce net greenhouse gas emissions at or below zero.

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