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Local Briefs 11/09/12

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New City Council districts approved at meeting

Proposed changes to the five Columbus City Council districts received initial approval from the council on Wednesday.

The changes make the populations of the districts more balanced, and shift some precincts from one district to another. With the changes, the largest precinct would have 9,207 people (District 5) and the smallest would have 8,486 (District 1). Currently, the largest has 11,771 people (District 2) and the smallest 6,372 (District 5). The changes reflect 2010 U.S. Census figures for Columbus.

The council must pass the altered districts a second time. The next council meeting is 6 p.m. Nov. 20 at Columbus City Hall, 123 Washington St.

Also Wednesday, the council:

  • Approved the transfer of $32,500 for the aviation budget, to cover the salaries of two airport directors for the remainder of the year. The new airport director has started the job, but the outgoing director doesn’t leave until the end of the year.
  • Approved a $75,000 inter-fund loan for a Community Development Block Grant.

Police chase shuts down I-65; man arrested

A police chase involving a suspected drunken driver briefly shut down the northbound lane of Interstate 65 mid-day Thursday.

At about 12:20 p.m., Columbus police responded to a call of a possible drunk driver in the area of U.S. 31 and Central Avenue, said Lt. Matt Myers, public information officer for the Columbus Police Department. Patrolwoman Courtney Plummer responded and identified the vehicle on U.S. 31, ready to turn north onto I-65.

The driver didn’t respond to her initial attempts to stop the vehicle, whose speed reached 70 mph despite driving on one tire rim, Myers said. Plummer finally got the vehicle pulled over about five miles north of the I-65 and U.S. 31 interchange.

Other officers from the Columbus Police Department, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police assisted and helped in securing the driver, Lorenzo Marcedo Mendez, 24 of 204 Washington St. in Franklin.

Mendez tested for an .08 percent blood-alcohol concentration level and was found to have multiple identifications. He was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, operating a vehicle without ever receiving a license, false informing and possession of a false government identification, Myers said.

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