Scott Deputies Take 5 To Jail

The new year brought much of the same with Scott County Sheriff’s Deputies making five arrests on drug or weapon related charges
On Monday, Jan. 4, Deputy Chris Bowling with the assistance of Officer Hodge and Officer Newsome of Austin Police Department made a traffic stop on Coffee Pot Road. Deputy Bowling talked with the occupant of the vehicle, Christopher Helton, 33, of Paris Crossing. Bowling’s investigation led to the arrest of Helton on charges of possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
That same day, First Sergeant John Hartman, Deputy Rick Barrett, and Major Joe Guarneri responded to a report of an unresponsive male in the Lexington area. When the deputies arrived, they spoke with Stephen Hawkins, 42, of Lexington. Officers questioning led to the arrest of Hawkins for maintaining a common nuisance, possession of narcotic drug, possession marijuana.
Scott Deputies remained busy that day when Corporal Johnney Coomer stopped a vehicle in rural Scott County for a traffic violation. Coomer’s investigation led to the arrest of Dale Perkins, 47, of North Vernon, for possession of methamphetamine, visiting a common nuisance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On Tuesday, Jan. 5, Deputy Coomer made another traffic stop for a violation this time in Scottsburg. His questioning led to the arrest of Theodore Lewis, 45, of Henryville for possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and maintaining a common nuisance.
Last Wednesday, Jan. 6, Corporal Johnney Coomer contacted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office requesting their assistance with the service of an arrest warrant. In a short period of time Deputy Coomer met with the Jackson County Sheriff’s deputy who had already made contact with the wanted person, Rodney Collins, 47, of Crothersville, and transported him to the Jackson/Scott County line. Coomer then served the outstanding arrest warrant placing Collins under arrest for two counts of escape fleeing lawful detention with a deadly weapon.
All were incarcerated in Scott County Jail.

Crothersville Teachers Receive Community Foundation Classroom Education Grants

Grants from the Community Foundation of Jackson County will help start a literature circle, create motivational walls and fight impaired driving at Crothersville Jr-Sr High School.
According to Dan Davis, Foundation President & CEO, three teachers from Crothersville Junior-Senior High School— Tracy Karnes, Rhonda McCammon and Matthew Otte— received 2020 Classroom Education Grants this winter:
The grants are among 14 awarded county-wide to help teachers innovate in their classrooms. Several other Classroom Education Grants awarded in this latest round will help teachers cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Karnes will use the Classroom Education Grant to buy materials for the creation of motivational walls at the school.
“I am wanting to continue to inspire each student to think outside of the box and think of ways to encourage and motivate others,” Karnes said. “I believe many students will grow emotionally, mentally and physically.”
Without art, band or music classes, students must find other ways to express themselves, Karnes said. Motivational walls offer a means for students to do so.
McCammon will buy copies of “Number the Stars” for her sixth-grade students. She said it will be a start to the school’s Sixth-Grade Literature Circle and evolve in future years. The book by Lois Lowry is a Newberry Medal recipient that tells the story of a young Danish girl during World War II.
“Through the Literature Circle, students can be inspired to love and appreciate reading,” McCammon said. “They can learn to have real conversations where ideas and opinions are shared in a way that lets all members of the group be heard.”
Otte plans to buy Drunk Buster Low Level Nightime Goggles for use at the high school.
The goggles will allow students to have a first-hand simulation on the effects of impairment, including reduced alertness, slowed reaction time, confusion, visual distortion and alteration of depth and distance perception, he said.
The project will take place in the school’s health classes during prom time and Red Ribbon Week, Otte said.
The Classroom Education Grants awarded this year total $3,066, Foundation Vice President Sue Smith said. They are funded with earnings from the Jackson County Unrestricted Endowment, administered by the Foundation. The Jackson County Unrestricted Endowment was established by the Board of Directors with gifts from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help meet community needs within Jackson County.
Applications for the annual Classroom Education Grants program are accepted each fall.
The Foundation offers endowment services, gift planning, charitable gift annuities, and scholarship administration. It was created in 1992 and made its first grants in 1994. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $7 million in grants and scholarships across Jackson County. The charitable nonprofit administers more than 200 funds with assets of more than $15 million.

The Times Takes A Holiday Break

This will be the final issue of 2020 for the Crothersville Times as we take our traditional holiday vacation. Look for your first issue of the Times on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.
From Curt the editor, Becky the occasional columnist, Willow the Cat and Emma the Great Pyrenees who are in charge of Wilderness critter control…thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!

Indiana Supreme Court Suspends Jury Trials Until March Due To COVID

Jackson & Scott County Prosecutors Say It Will be Business As Usual For Them

Last week the Indiana Supreme Court handed down an Order Suspending Jury Trials statewide until March 1, 2021, citing the need for drastic measures as COVID-19 continues to surge. The state’s highest court beleives in-person jury trials pose an exceptional risk to everyone involved—even if every precaution is taken.
“We have hope that 2021 will bring improved conditions. But hoping is not enough. There is more we must do, and we must act now,” Chief Justice Loretta Rush said about the Court’s latest action to address the pandemic. “Since March, we have been balancing the requirement to keep courts open with the need for public health. The worsening pandemic creates urgency for us to halt jury trials as we maintain all other court operations, including through remote proceedings.”
The Supreme Court has given local courts authority to adjust operations since the beginning of the public health emergency, most recently in a November 10 order. This authority has included holding remote proceedings and streaming public hearings online.
In addition, a Resuming Operations Task Force released guidance on managing court proceedings as conditions change, guidance on safely resuming court operations, and protocols for mitigating in-court exposures.
Despite all the measures that have been taken, more than 6,000 Hoosiers have died from the virus, and Indiana has the fourth highest daily cases per 100,000 residents in the nation. By limiting non-essential in-court proceedings, Indiana courts can avoid intensifying the pandemic’s impact on our communities.
According to Scott County Prosecutor Chris Owens, his office will use other means allowable to see that criminals are held accountable during the jury trial suspension.
“Our office will still fight to resolve cases by agreement and we will continue to use other ways to see that people charged with crimes in our county are held responsible for their actions,” Owens said. “I have met with my staff and stressed the importance of continuing to keep cases moving toward resolution so that a backlog does not occur. During this time, we will put extra effort into the types of hearings that are still allowed, like probation violations or offenders who violate conditions of their bond.”
“We’ll not be slowing down during this time and criminals in our community should be put on notice that we will still pursue you and see to it that justice is being served,” he added.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jeff Chalfant said the suspension of jury trials is “necessary for everyone’s safety and health” and it shouldn’t be much of an inconvenience for the prosecutor’s office.
“When March rolls around hopefully people can come in and have a trial if they want to,” he said.
Chalfant said there were no jury trials from March until August because of Indiana’s stay-at-home order that lasted from late March through early May, and because there has not been a lot of jury trials in Jackson County this year.
Between August and November, six felony jury trials were conducted.

Christmas ‘Star’ Celestial Event Visible This Week

When Jupiter and Saturn appear close together in the night sky this week, their combined light might be what the Bible’s nativity story in the Gospel of Matthew called the Star of Bethlehem, according to faculty and staff at Ball State University.
“People have long wondered if the Star of Bethlehem could be explained by natural celestial events. Some astronomers believe the ‘star’ may have been a series of celestial events,” said Dayna Thompson, director of the Charles W. Brown Planetarium at Ball State.
In coming days, Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer in the sky then they have in 400 years. This event has been labeled “The Great Conjunction,” Thompson said.
Such events have been recorded for thousands of years, she noted.
“For ancient people, the word ‘star’ didn’t have the same meaning that it does for us today,” she said. “Sometimes comets were referred to as stars. Also, ‘star’ didn’t have to refer to a single celestial object or event.”
Jupiter and Saturn appeared close together in the sky in the years 7, 6, and 5 BC in a constellation astrologically significant to the Jewish people. This was followed by the appearance of an exploding star in the pre-dawn sky of 5 BC. These events are all candidates for natural occurrences of the Star of Bethlehem, Thompson said.
“This is one reason why people are referring to the current close grouping of Jupiter and Saturn starting on December 21 as a ‘Christmas Star’ event,” she said. “The other reason, of course being the date of the event, as it’s so close to Christmas. December 21 also happens to be the date of the Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year.”
An astronomical conjunction occurs when any two heavenly bodies appear to pass or meet each other as seen from Earth. To make one “great,” though, requires an encounter between our solar system’s two largest planets. The orbits of Jupiter and Saturn align to allow the giant worlds to seemingly convene roughly every 20 years.
While called a Great Conjunction, of course, the planets are never actually close at all; during this week’s encounter, they will still be separated by more than 453 million miles.
For the last great conjunction, on May 28, 2000, the apparent distance between Jupiter and Saturn in the sky was 68.9 arc minutes, or more than twice the diameter of the full moon. The 2020’s great conjunction coincides with the December solsticeand appear roughly the thickness of a dime held at arm’s length.
The last time Jupiter and Saturn appeared so close was July 16, 1623, when Galileo was still alive, a little more than a decade after he first used a telescope to discover Jupiter’s four largest moons that now collectively bear his name. The odds are low, however, that Galileo or anyone else on Earth managed to witness that great conjunction, which was virtually impossible to see because of its apparent position near the sun.
The prior great conjunction to appear as close and as visible as the current one occurred on March 4, 1226. “For perspective, Genghis Khan was still roaming Asia then,” says astronomer Patrick Hartigan at Rice University in Houston.
To view the current Great Conjunction, find a spot where you can watch the sunset with a clear horizon in front of you, free of trees or buildings. In the hour or so after nightfall, first Jupiter will appear in the western sky, and then Saturn, both shining dots distinguishable from the stars by the fact they do not twinkle.
Although the great conjunction arrived on Monday, Dec. 21, “while fading, Jupiter and Saturn will still be visble through Christmas. By watching, you can get a sense how celestial mechanics works in the nighttime sky.
The BSU planetarium’s “Christmas Star” program explores potential natural explanations for the Star of Bethlehem and common modern-day misconceptions about the event, researched and written by Dr. Ron Kaitchuck, the previous director of the Brown Planetarium and professor emeritus.
While the planetarium is closed this holiday season due to COVID-19, its “Christmas Star” planetarium program is on YouTube 360 at

Traffic Stops Result In Drug Arrests

On Friday, Dec. 11, Scott County Sheriff’s Deputies Johnney Coomer and Skylar Thompson responded to a traffic accident in rural Scott County where one vehicle had left the scene. As officers were conducting the investigation at the accident scene they alerted other law enforcement agencies of the description of suspect vehicle description. In a short period of time the Scottsburg City Police Department made a traffic stop on a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle that left the scene
Deputy Coomer and Scottsburg City Police efforts led to the arrest of Amy Stacy, 35, of Deputy, for driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated endangering another, possession of a controlled substance, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, driving while suspended with a prior conviction and possession of paraphernalia.
On Sunday, Dec, 13, Deputy John Hartman stopped a vehicle in rural Scott County. His investigation led to the arrest of two people on drug related charges.
Peggy Collins, 47, of Crothersville, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a legend drug, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of paraphernalia.
Corey Smith, 27, of Underwood, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and visiting a common nuisance.
That same day Deputy John Hartman served an outstanding arrest warrant on Katherine McCarter, 37, of Scottsburg charging her with possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia, driving without a license, and compulsory school attendance violation.
On Monday, Dec. 14, Deputy Johnney Coomer served an arrest warrant at the Scott County Jail on a woman incarcerated on a previous charge. Felicia King, 44, of North Vernon, now faces additional charges of possession of methamphetamine.
On Tuesday, Dec, 15, Deputies Chris Bowling and Charlie Morgan and officers with the Austin Police Department responded to a disturbance call in rural Scott County. Their investigation led to the arrest of Christopher Caudill, 36, of Austin for possession of a legend drug, possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance.
All were incarcerated in Scott County Jail.