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Rash of burglaries has CPD on alert

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The Columbus Police Department is reminding residents to keep their doors and windows locked after a rash of recent burglaries.

Since Sept. 10, there have been 35 burglaries or attempted burglaries reported to the CPD. That’s nearly 20 percent of the year-to-date total of 184 burglary reports and more than twice as many as the 17 reported during the same 30-day span last year.

“These have been very quick burglaries — in and out,” Columbus Police Chief Jason Maddix said, noting the bulk of them have been west of Central Avenue and south of 17th Street.

The burglars have stolen from a variety of sources, including houses, garages and sheds.

“Especially with the garages and sheds, they’re taking a lot of tools,” Maddix said.

Maddix recommends residents keep their garages, sheds, cars and homes locked and their lights on. He encourages people to lock their homes even when they are inside their homes.

Maddix said he doesn’t know if the burglaries are related but encouraged the public to call the CPD at 376-2600 with information. All tips can be made anonymously.

“We need the public’s help to report suspicious activity and just be more diligent about locking doors, keeping their lights on and calling us if there’s been an incident,” he said.

Pit bull quarantined

after attacking two men

The owner of a pit bull that bit a Bartholomew County man Tuesday night is cooperating fully with authorities.

Andrew Grider of Columbus is required to quarantine his dog for 10 days. Mark Case, the county’s animal control director, said Grider is keeping the dog in his garage, away from other people and animals.

“He’s doing exactly what he needs to be doing,” Case said, adding that the dog was up-to-date on his vaccinations.

Grider was walking with his two pit bulls, a male and a female, on Della Road in the Jewel Village housing addition Tuesday when he stopped to talk with a group of friends gathered on a front porch.

Simon Purdue, 43, said he was holding the male pit bull’s leash when the dog suddenly lunged at his face, resulting in a broken nose, cuts to the left side of his face and left forearm, and a hole in his upper lip.

Purdue said the dog appeared to calm down, but later lunged at another man on the scene. Both men went to Columbus Regional Hospital, but Purdue went home before he was treated. He returned to the hospital Wednesday and was treated and released.

Fiscal health leads to debt upgrade for Cummins

Fitch Ratings has upgraded Cummins’ debt because of the company’s fiscal health and good growth opportunities.

Fitch said Friday that the Columbus-based engine maker is in a good position to take advantage of tougher emissions and fuel economy regulations.

“Our strong balance sheet gives us the flexibility to continue to invest in future growth opportunities and increase returns to shareholders,” said Tom Linebarger, Cummins chairman and chief executive officer, in a news release.

“Fitch’s announcement today is recognition of the strong financial discipline we have employed over a number of years,” Linebarger said.

Fitch upgraded Cummins’ rating from “A-” to “A.”

Companies such as Fitch or S&P’s predict, through credit ratings, which companies are more likely to pay back their loans on time. Generally, the better the rating, the less interest the company will have to pay to borrow.

Cummins shares rose 1.17 percent Friday, closing at $87.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a 0.02 percent gain, while the NASDAQ and S&P 500 recorded losses.

Advocates for Children director earns honors

Therese Miller, executive director of Columbus-based Advocates for Children, was named the 2012 Indiana State Guardian Ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocate Program Director of the Year Friday.

Miller was nominated by Advocates for Children Program Director Anne Pringle and Bartholomew County Juvenile Magistrate Heather Mollo for her compassion, dedication and leadership within and outside the CASA organization.

The announcement was made at the staff and director’s meeting of the Indiana State GAL/CASA Conference.

Advocates for Children is a nonprofit agency that provides trained volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in Bartholomew, Decatur and Jennings counties.

Builders association plans membership meeting

The Jackson-Jennings Builders Association will meet Tuesday at Luecke Audio and Video in Seymour.

The board of directors will meet at 5:30 p.m., followed by the general membership meeting at 6:30 p.m.

President Mike Dippold will give a report on the annual golf outing held in September.

Doug’s Famous Chili will be furnished by Luecke’s, along with other homemade food.

After the meal, Don and Dave Luecke will show what is new in the appliance, audio and video lines.

Any one involved or interested in the building trades is welcome to attend. For more information, contact Mike Dippold at 812-216-2876.

Swap costumes, learn about other cultures

A free day today at the Kidscommons children’s museum will feature a costume swap and a chance to learn about other cultures.

Admission is free for anyone between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., according to Diane Robbins, community relations and marketing manager for the facility at 309 Washington St.

The costume swap from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. will allow children to bring in gently used costumes of all sizes and trade for new ones. Or, people can just pick up a costume without a trade-in. However, donations will be accepted.

The passport program from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. will allow children to interact with different countries and learn about their cultures through music, art, storytelling and history.

Children will take home their own passports with a uniquely designed photo and stamps from around the world.

Church, family center team for coat drive

The Living Room Church and the Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center are asking for donations of new and gently used coats for both children and adults. The coats will be distributed 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 3 at The Living Room at 14th and Sycamore streets.

Donations will be accepted at QMIX, 825 Washington St.; The Salvation Army, 2525 Illinois St.; The Ridge, 2800 Bonnell Road; Eastside Community Center, 421 McClure Road; and Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center, 1039 Sycamore St.

For information: 379-1630.

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