Bartholomew County deputy completes railroad safety training program

Deputy Andrew Whipker; photo courtesy BCSO
Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Whipker recently completed training for a train/railroad safety program called “Operation Lifesaver”. Deputy Whipker is now available to give presentations to community residents of all ages, businesses, organizations, groups, schools, social clubs, etc. Anyone who would like to schedule a presentation, may contact the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, 812-379-1650.

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Design Committee plots future for mall site

The group tasked with figuring out the city of Columbus’s plans for the Fair Oaks mall property held it’s first meeting Friday afternoon. The Fair Oaks Community Development Corporation’s Design Committee held its first meeting inside the mall property, which was purchased in December. The committee agreed to terms for Requests for Proposals that would transform the 36 acres from mall property to a “great community asset.” The RFPs should include plans for an indoor space, outdoor space and connectivity between the two. The scope of the work is being broke down into four sections. Section 1 – Existing property and ideas for the future, with focus on the needs and desires of facilities for Columbus Parks and Rec and Columbus Regional Health. Section 2 – Focus on surrounding areas and how to best integrate the mall property. These include items like People Trails, parks, sidewalks, etc. Section 3 – Making the property compatible with a revitalized 25th Street. Section 4 – Address the future of Donner Center once most operations move to the mall property. The Design Committee will formalize the RFP with the understanding that firms must have them submitted by March 20th. A sub-committee will then go over the proposals with a recommendation to the full board, who will decide how to proceed. Prospective firms will then be interviewed by the board by April 18th. The Design Committee will then make it’s recommendation to the Fair Oaks Community Development Corporation.

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Hope man arrested on five outstanding warrants

Chanceton M. Daniels. Photo courtesy of Columbus police.
A Hope man driving without a license plate was arrested on five outstanding warrants yesterday afternoon according to Columbus police. Officers report stopping the vehicle at about 3:40 p.m. Thursday afternoon near 13th Street and Michigan Avenue. The driver, 25-year-old Chanceton M. Daniels, also had a suspended driver’s license. He was taken into custody.

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SMART Recovery programs available in community

SMART Recovery meetings are now underway in Bartholomew County. The program is free and works in conjunction with other recovery groups. Scott Hundley, director of counseling for Community Downtown, explains the program in an interview last fall. You can find a SMART Recovery meeting at
  • 5:30 p.m. Mondays at Community Downtown 522 7th St. in Columbus
  • 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Peters Lutheran Church 719 5th St. in Columbus
  • 11 a.m. Thursdays at CRH
  • 6 p.m. on Thursdays at Ogilville United Methodist Church, 9250 E. State Road 58

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Security guard injured in attack

Jennifer L Bunting; photo courtesy of Columbus Police Dept.
Columbus Police arrested two people on theft and drug charges Wednesday afternoon. At approximately 1:25 p.m., officers were dispatched to Target in the 1800 block of North National Road. The store security guard advised officers that he was battered while attempting to stop a woman, later identified as Jennifer L. Bunting, 27, of Columbus, who was suspected of stealing merchandise from the store. CPD officers located the suspect’s vehicle on Middle Road and stopped it a short time later. Bunting, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was taken into custody. Officers reportedly found stolen merchandise in her possession and also inside the vehicle that was driven by Damon L. Bailey, 20, of Columbus. In addition, the officers reported finding two syringes as well as drug paraphernalia inside the car.
Damon L Bailey; photo courtesy of Columbus Police Dept.
Bunting’s infant child, who was also in the vehicle, was cared for by Child Protective Services who responded to assist the officers. Bailey and Bunting were both arrested on preliminary charges of Theft, Possession of a Syringe and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Bunting is also facing a charge of Battery.

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Three dead after crash, fire on Interstate 65 Wednesday

Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police.
Three people are dead after a five-vehicle crash and fire on Interstate 65 yesterday about two miles south of the Jonesville Road exit. Sgt. Stephen Wheeles with the Indiana State Police says that 67-year-old John W. Mumma, of Philo, Illinois along with 57-year-old Glenn E. Cardelli, and his wife 57-year-old Kathryn L. Cardelli, both of Minocqua, Wisconsin all died in the crash yesterday morning. They were slowed for construction work in southbound traffic behind a semi in the left lane at about 10 a.m. in the morning when a semi driven by 46-year-old Roger E. Woody of Mooresboro, North Carolina hit them from behind. Wheeles said that Woody failed to slow down for the backed up traffic. The Cardellis were in a motor home that was pushed into Mumma’s pickup that was then pushed under the back of the slowed semi in front. Woody’s truck then hit another semi in the right lane. The vehicles burst into flames, with a fire that raged until early evening shutting down the interstate. Wheeles said that the highway was finally reopened last night after almost 11 hours. Neither Woody, nor the drivers in the other two semis,  Cameron R. Haskett, age 28, Halethrope, Maryland and Anatoliy M. Petrov, age 43, Park Ridge, Illinois,  were injured. The crash remains under investigation.

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CRH Joint and Spine Center to host joint pain seminar

The Columbus Regional Health Joint and Spine Center will be hosting a free joint pain seminar. The session will take place from noon to 1 p.m., February 18 at Mill Race Center. Dr. Darryl A. Tannenbaum, a board certified orthopedic surgeon, is an ankle, elbow, foot, hand, hip, joint replacement or revision, knee, shoulder, sports medicine, and wrist Specialist. He’s slated to discuss the latest research on pain management, surgery and getting the best outcomes for returning to an active lifestyle. This seminar is free, however, registration is required. For more information or to register, visit crh.org/events.

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Lauer bill targets those who steal from taxpayers

New State Rep. Ryan Lauer, a Columbus Republican representing District 59, successfully got his first bill passed the Indiana House of Representatives. The body voted unanimously in support of Lauer’s legislation imposing tougher penalties on government officials and employees who are convicted of stealing public funds. Lauer says House Bill 1192 would require public servants who steal public funds to reimburse the stolen amount through their pensions, if they cannot pay the amount back themselves. Currently, a person cannot be required to use their pension to pay off debt, even if it would be used to repay stolen tax dollars. Lauer says this bill would be an important deterrent to discourage officials from violating public trust. “We need to protect taxpayers by ensuring offenders are held responsible when theft occurs,” Lauer said. “Many times, thieves spend the stolen money before they are caught. This legislation would help enable communities to get their public funds back even when offenders no longer have the money.”

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Toyota announces acquisition of East Chicago-based company

Toyota Industries North America, Inc. announced Wednesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Hoist Liftruck Mfg., LLC. The agreement for the company went into effect Feb. 8th and the new company will be known as Hoist Material Handling, Inc. “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in building a terrific brand and quality products,” said Hoist Founder Marty Flaska. “I am retiring and will no longer be part of the business, but the company is in good hands. It’s an honor to hand it off to the industry leader Toyota.” “This is the perfect next step in the expansion of our Toyota Heavy Duty line,” said Jeff Rufener, President of Toyota Material Handling U.SA. “Hoist has been a great manufacturer of heavy-duty equipment for years and brings a group of passionate, talented associates that will help us in our role as a full-line equipment supplier. We are excited about the future of Hoist Material Handling.” The acquisition of Hoist Material Handling adds to Toyota’s presence in Indiana. Headquartered in East Chicago, with a 550,000-square-foot factory, Hoist has nearly 25 years of experience manufacturing heavy-duty cushion tire and pneumatic forklifts, reach stackers, container handlers and associated equipment.

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