UPDATE: Jasper Police say the child succumbed to his injuries just before 7:10 this morning. Hopf is now facing a Level 1 felony for aggravated battery causing the death of a child under the age of 14.

ORIGINAL STORY: A Jasper man was taken into custody early this morning on felony battery charges after a young child was found with life-threatening injuries.

At around 4 o’clock this morning, Jasper Police were called to the emergency room at Memorial Hospital to investigate the possible physical abuse of a 1-year-old boy. Police say the child was brought to the ER at around 12:30 this morning.

Police found that the boy had severe facial burns, bite marks on his arm, cuts to his upper lip, and Charles Hopfhad suffered a severe, life-threatening brain injury. Police further found that 21-year-old Charles Hopf had been caring for the boy at the time the injuries were sustained.

The boy’s mother, India Clay, told police that she had left him with Hopf at around 6:30 last night before she went off to work. During an interview with police, Hopf confessed to biting the child on the arm earlier in the evening. Hopf also told police the head injury may have occurred when he pushed the boy down after becoming frustrated with him. As for the burns, Hopf stated that he had been giving the child a bath and the water was accidentally turned on too hot.

Hopf was booked into the Dubois County Security Center. He is facing a Level 3 felony for Aggravated Battery.

The 1-year-old boy was airlifted to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville for further treatment of his injuries.

Another economic vision will soon become reality in the City of Jasper.

This morning, Jasper mayor Terry Seitz was joined by local and state officials to announce a new “shovel-ready’ site within the city limits. The 142-acre site will be located on the south side of town just off of US 231 near the Kimball Industrial Park. The site also features a 155 thousand square foot building that is ready to accommodate business services and general light manufacturing.

Jasper mayor Terry Seitz says the designation is another positive step for the city:

Now the shovel ready program is run through the state’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs. It is designed as certification for areas across Indiana that have proven to be prepared for economic development and investment opportunities.

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, who oversees that department, was on hand for this morning’s announcement. She says though there are some who question its effectiveness, the program has produced good results:

This announcement is the 2nd major economic development news in Jasper this week. On Wednesday night, the Jasper City Council approved a new tax increment finance district that will cover most of the city’s industrial area, including the shovel ready site.

Kimball International board chairman and CEO Bob Schneider says the new area will work hand-in-hand with the TIF district to move the city and the county forward:

Also on hand this morning were representatives for 8th District Congressman Larry Bucshon and senators Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly, Susan Reed with the Indiana Municipal Power Agency, and Dubois Strong president Ed Cole.

Jasper attorney Scott Blazey says he plans to seek the Republican nomination for the 3rd District seat on the Jasper City Council.

The 47-year-old has been associated with the Ripstra Law Office in Jasper for 23 years. He is trained as a certified Family Law Mediator.

Blazey is also a member of both the Dubois County Bar Association and the Indiana State Bar Association. He is a past president of the Dubois County Bar Association and a founding member of the Dubois County Drug Court.

In a news release, Blazey says his experience as an attorney will serve him well on the council should Scott Blazeyhe be elected. He says he intends to be the volce for the 3rd District.

Blazey is a 1985 graduate of Heritage Hills High School. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Evansville in 1989 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Dayton in 1992.

Blazey has been a youth basketball and soccer coach for the past 15 years for both the Greater Jasper and Southwest Dubois School Corporations. He is the current Freshman Girls Basketball Coach at Jasper High School.

Blazey attended the Republican National Convention in 1988 as a student representative for the Indiana Delegation. He is also a former Chairman of the Dubois County Republican Party, having served in that role for 4 years along with having been on the Dubois County Election Board. He has been the attorney for the Holland Town Board since 1996.

In the community, Blazey is a member of St. Joseph Parish and the Jasper K of C. He also is a member of the University of Evansville Alumni Club where he helped to establish a Dubois County Scholarship Program.

Blazey’s other community service includes being a member of the Dubois County Museum and being a former member of the Mentors 4 Youth Board of Directors.

Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center have announced recipients of both the DAISY Award and the GARDENER Award.

Tammy Barkley was honored as the DAISY Award winner for this quarter. Tammy’s nominator cited her willingness to go above and beyond to help people in need.

The DAISY Award is an international program aimed at celebrating extraordianary clinical skill and Tammy Barkley - DAISYcompassionate care provided by nurses on a daily basis. Memorial Hospital recognizes a nurse with this award each quarter of the year. This quarter, there were 2 other nurses nominated. They are Marny Hammond and Ruth Goldman.

Meanwhile, Doug Faulkner was honored as this quarter’s GARDENER Award winner at Memorial Hospital. Faulkner is the hospital’s chaplain in pastoral care. Faulkner’s nominator also described efforts to go above and beyond to help folks in need, even pointing out a specific case.

The GARDENER Award was created by Memorial Hospital as a result of the DAISY Award program. The Doug Faulkner - GardenerGARDENER Award is designed to honor those on the support staff at the hospital such as maintenence, billers, therapists, and medical records staff among others.

There were 6 other nominees for the GARDENER Award. These were Rodney Flick, Julie Green, Deb Kempf, Taylor Main, Kelly Sermersheim, and Malinda Xanders.

For more information on either award or to nominate someone, you can go to mhhcc.org. You can also call Tammy Billings at 996-0154.

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) – A deal to build a convention hotel in downtown Evansville has collapsed and taken down a $71.3 million plan that also included an apartment tower, parking garage and infrastructure upgrades.

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke announced the development at a Thursday news conference with Old National Bank President Bob Jones.

Jones says a consultant to the bank found the value of naming rights for the convention hall long known as The Centre isn’t worth the money the bank was prepared to invest in the project. The Evansville Courier & Press reports (http://bit.ly/13hKl4D ) the financing gap came to $6.5 million.

The bank last year pledged to be an investor along with developer HCW after the City Council set a $20 million cap on public financing.

Winnecke says he’ll keep working on the project.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The chairman of the State Budget Committee says the state’s revenue forecast for the next two years is “moderately positive” despite predictions that Indiana will have $129 million less to work with in 2015.

Republican Sen. Luke Kenley says he is cautiously optimistic after receiving a report Thursday that projected revenue growth of 2.4 percent in fiscal 2016 and 3.2 percent the following year.

The forecast calls for sales tax revenues to increase by $13.8 million for the current year, or 4.8 percent, then grow 4.1 percent and 4.7 percent the next two years. The forecast also projects gaming revenue will drop below 2003 levels.

Gov. Mike Pence says the numbers are encouraging but that his administration will use caution as it finalizes its budget recommendations.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana officials say a heavy equipment parts maker in Plymouth plans to create 475 jobs by 2017 and 15 other companies have pledged to create nearly 1,700 other jobs over the next decade in return for more than $19 million in tax credits and other incentives.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. said Thursday that AMI Industries Inc. plans to create 250 jobs next year and 225 more by 2017 while investing $8.5 million to equip and improve production equipment for farm and automotive components. The state will provide up to $2.3 million in tax credits and $300,000 in training grants.

Indiana House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (PEE’-lath) expressed skepticism that all of the jobs will materialize. He says Indiana’s average household income fell 12 percent from 2002 to 2013.