Austin Pair Arrested After Theft From Wischmeier Trucking

Crothersville Police were called to Wischmeier Trucking on 600 South about a half mile west of Crothersville with a report of thievery in progress on Thursday, Feb. 16. An alert passer-by notified police that three men appeared to be attempting to steal items from the business.
As chief of Police Brent Turner and Capt. J.L. McElfresh arrived around 3:30 p.m., they saw a male running into a wooded area north of the former Regal Industries plant and another male leaving in a pickup truck.



The Crothersville officers requested assistance from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and the Indiana State Police to help locate the suspects. A vehicle description was obtained and Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputies Rob Henley, Dustin Steward, and Reserve Deputy Brad Barker were able to stop a vehicle matching the description.
The driver of that vehicle, Robert Northern, 41, of Austin, was found to have an active warrant out of Scott County for burglary.
With the assistance of Crothersville Officer Matt Browning, Jackson County Sheriff Deputy Rick Meyer, Jackson County Reserve Deputy Steve Murphy, Indiana State Troopers Tia Deaton and Michael Thiron, an extensive search was conducted for the other two suspects north of the trucking company business. However, no other suspects were located
Around 6:30 p.m. that evening, Crothersville officers received a call of a suspicious male in the area of 5100 South County Road 1000 East which is near the Wischmeier Trucking facility.
Officers responded to that call and located a male that matched the description of one of the suspects.



After questioning, Capt. McElfresh arrested Jaron Mullins, 29, of Austin for burglary and theft.
In addition to being wanted on a warrant for burglary in Scott county, the driver of the truck, Robert Northern was charged with burglary and theft for the incident at Wischmeier Trucking. Additionally, he faces charges of probation violation, carrying a handgun without a permit, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of controlled substance
Both men were booked into Jackson County Jail and being held without bond.
Chief Turner said the investigation is continuing and an arrest of the third suspect is expected.

Musical Comedy ‘The Addams Family’ On Derby Dinner Theatre Stage

Derby Dinner Playhouse is presenting the macabre Broadway musical ‘The Addams Family’ now through April 9.
‘The Addams Family’ features an original story, and it’s every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family—a man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before—keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the who family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s ‘normal’ boyfriend and his parents.
‘The Addams Family’ is based on the cartoon characters created by Charles Adams, who also inspired the television show that first aired in 1964. This devilishly delightful musical features music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Songs featured in this production are “When You’re An Addams”, “Pulled”, “Wednesday’s Growing Up”, “The Moon and Me” and more.
Derby Dinner’s production of ‘The Addams Family’ is directed by Lee Buckholz with Musical Direction by Scott Bradley and Choreography by Heather Paige Folsom, The cast includes Bobby Conte, Isabel Nesti, Chris Bryant, Kaylee Annable, Cary Wiger, Aidan Singleton, Elizabeth Loos, Mitchell Lewis.
For ticket information contact the Derby Dinner box office at 812-288-8281 or visit

Elected Leaders vs Media: It’s Historic

Curt-lineby Curt Kovener

Donald Trump’s combative relationship with what he calls “the dishonest media” is nothing new.
Politicians, elected officials, and bureaucrats have been complaining about the press since the very first days of our country.
Thomas Jefferson, our nation’s third president and the man who penned the Declaration of Independence, wrote in a letter to an early US Congressman, “I deplore … the putrid state into which our newspapers have passed and the malignity, the vulgarity, and mendacious spirit of those who write for them. As vehicles of information and a curb on our functionaries, they have rendered themselves useless by forfeiting all title to belief.”
Seven years earlier, Jefferson had written a letter to John Norvell, an aspiring journalist who went on to become the co-founder of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper,” Jefferson said. “Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.”
By comparison, Trump’s criticism almost sounds tame. On his first full day in office, Trump told a crowd of CIA employees he had “a running war with the media.”
“They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth,” he said.
The fact is that presidents and journalists aren’t supposed to be friends. Jefferson said as much in 1787 in a letter to Edward Carrington, a delegate to the Continental Congress.
“The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people,” he wrote, “the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
Journalists are the watchdogs on government. As Wilbur F. Storey, editor of the Chicago Times put it, “It is a newspaper’s duty to print the news, and raise hell.”
Chicago Evening Post journalist and humorist Finley Peter Dunne gets at least partial credit for another old saying, that “a newspaper’s job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”.
Ken Paulson, then the editor of USA Today, wrote in May 2006 that the media’s role as a guardian of our freedoms had not always been embraced by the American public.
“After all,” he wrote, “politicians and public officials have stock speeches about media bias and favoritism, all in effect saying: ‘Ignore the barking. The watchdog is rabid’.”
The challenge for journalists, he said, is to keep at it.
“When we do our jobs the right way, striving every day to publish reports of integrity and balance, when we ask the tough questions, when we fight to keep the public’s business public and when we provide the kind of watchdog reporting that is the lifeblood of a democracy, we fulfill our promise to that first generation of Americans who believed that one of the best ways to guarantee a democracy was a free and vigorous press.”
That was true in Jefferson’s day, and it’s true today.
– – – – –
Our thanks to Kelly Hawes, assistant editor of CNHI’s Indiana news service for the research.


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Town Considering ‘1-Strike & Out’ Dog Law

In an effort to make the community safe from vicious or aggressive dogs, the Crothersville town council is considering a “1-Strike and You’re Out” amendment to their current dog and cat ordinance.
The amendment was introduced as an effort to combat an ongoing problem with a few households that harbor aggressive animals in town.
Last month the council introduced an animal ordinance that was breed specific which was met with opposition by local residents. The council said they would go back to square one to develop a law which helped to curb aggressive animals and was more palatable to pet owners.
Introduced at the Feb. 7 town council meeting the council is considering adding the amendment to the existing ordinance that “Any animal that causes bodily harm to a victim, person aiding the victim or another animal will not be allowed within the town limits on the first offense.”
“If a dog, any dog, bites, scratches or otherwise causes bodily harm to a person or another animal, it will be up to the owner to remove that animal from town limits after the first offense,” said council member Bob Lyttle.
Even if the dog does not attack, owners of dogs that behave viciously when unprovoked will be required to keep the animal “confined to a structure, fenced yard, kennel or leashed and accompanied by the owner at all times”, according to the proposed local ordinance.
Additionally, the owner must post warning signs of a dangerous animal at the entrance of their property.
Citations for violation of that section will carry a fine that escalates with each offense. After a third violation, the animal will not be allowed inside the town limits.
The town already has a local law on the books that requires residents to keep dogs and cats confined to their property with out a leach.
Allowing any neutered dog or cat to run at large can result in a $20 fine for the first offense. Each subsequent offense within 12 months gets an additional $20 added to each offense.
For unaltered dogs and cats the fines are greater: first offense is $40 and they escalate by $40 for each additional offense.
Allowing a vicious or potentially dangerous animal to run at large, which includes escaping from a kennel, fenced, yard or tether, is a $100 fine for the first offense, according to existing local ordinance. For each subsequent offense, the fine increases to $150.
Failure to post a warning sign of a dangerous or vicious dog can result in a $50 fine.
The proposed amendment also defines feeding strays as ownership. “Dog and cat owners who feed their animals outside should do so in a manner that does not encourage stray and feral cats. If the resident is regularly feeding animals on their property, these animal will be considered to belong to the resident and any running-at-large fines shall be levied against the resident.”
The amendment will be given a second reading at the March 7 town council meeting.
In a related matter, Cathi Eagan, a volunteer with an area spay & neuter program informed the council that her organization can assist with a feral cat problem in Crothersville.
If the town or town residents can capture (live trap) stray cats, Spay Neuter Services Indiana will have the animal fixed so it cannot reproduce and then return it to the area where it was found.
“In communities that have a spay/neuter program over the years, this has been found to be a way of eventually decreasing the stray cat problem,” said Eagan.
There is no cost to the town. Brownstown veterinarian Dr. Kristen Tormoehlen volunteers one day a week to perform spay/neuter surgeries.
After the surgery, the town needs to keep the animal confined for a day before releasing them back into their neighborhood.
“It may take a few years but this has to help,” said Lyttle. “We need to do this. It’s a start.”
The rest of the council agreed voting unanimously to participate in the program. Town workers will begin setting live traps in areas known to have feral cat problems.
Eagan also told the council that she would leave some vouchers at town hall for residents who have pets that are not fixed. The vouchers allow pet owners to have their pet spayed or neutered for only $20.
In other matters the council approved applying for another housing grant to allow income eligible residents to make needed repairs or upgrades to their homes.
Trena Carter of ARa in Columbus reminded the council that the community received $155,000 in the most recent grant to improve local housing. “Though we will be applying for the maximum $350,000, we may receive less funding based on the need,” she said.
The grant requires a 10% local match. Carter said that a public hearing on the matter would be held in April with applications for residents seeking housing repair assistance being available sometime next month.
The council voted 5-0 to pursue thee grant.
Contracts were signed with ARa to administer and the FPBH of North Vernon, the town’s engineering firm, to design work for the recently announced Storm Water Grant.
The town was recently approved for a $500,000 grant to improve surface water drainage in the community.
“We expect to go to bid in early June, open bids in late June, and begin work on the project in July,” said town engineer Brad Bender.
In a final matter, the council signed a proclamation naming last week ‘Lady Tiger Week’ in honor of the team winning the school’s first even sectional basketball championship.

Tuesday Open House Planned At ‘The Gathering Place Café’

An open house has been planned for the newly named ‘The Gathering Place Café’ at the Crothersville Senior Center, 114 E. Main Street, for next Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 4-6 p.m.
Wellness fellowship, exercise, nutrition for older adults of the Greater Crothersville area are featured.
The Café is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m.
Meals are free for area residents age 60 & over. And just $5 for persons under age 60.
A variety of information on senior issues from Thrive Alliance partners will be available during the open house.
Kelly Sue Hensley is Wellness and Nutrition Director for the meal site at the Center. The center can be reached at 812-793-2523.

online Sr Cits
Leadership for the Crothersville Senior Citizens was installed at the newly re-named ‘The Gathering Place Café’ recently.
Seated:  Joyce Harmon, board member and Brenda Holzworth, secretary.
Standing: Doug Spicer & Paul Hall board members; Paul Hensley, vice president; Lynn Hoskins, president; James Dailey, treasurer; and Doris Kovener, reporter and local Advisory Board member to Thrive Alliance.
~submitted photo