DCBi Staff

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A federal appeals court has upheld Indiana’s right-to-work law banning mandatory union fees in a split decision.

Two judges on the three-member panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the state law doesn’t wrongfully take property from unions and is constitutional. But Chief Judge Diane Wood dissented, writing that federal labor law “does not support such sweeping force for Indiana’s right-to-work law.”

The Indiana Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Thursday on a pair of cases challenging the law on state constitutional grounds. Indiana became the first Rust Belt state to approve a right-to-work law in 2012.

The legislative fight drew thousands of union protesters to the Statehouse in 2011 and 2012, in one of the state’s most divisive and drawn-out debates.

Spontaneous combustion is believed to be the likely cause of a fire that destroyed a haybarn early this morning in Duff.

Firefighters with the Huntingburg Volunteer Fire Department spent over five hours at the scene and remained on site as of early this morning.

The blaze broke out around 1:30 at Whitsitt Farms located along the 3200 block of South 650W.

Huntingburg Fire Chief Scott Patberg says a  metal-sided 40-by-60 pole barn full of large round hay bales was engulfed in flames upon their arrival along with a 20-by-60 lean-to attached to it that contained farm implements.

The Holland Volunteer Fire Department and the Ireland Volunteer Fire Department were on hand to provide tanker assistance.

A Cooper Rail Service track hoe was brought to the scene to spread the remnants of the building and the bales so firefighters could get to hot spots.

No Injuries were reported.

Patberg says the main barn, the lean-to and their contents were a total loss. All of which were insured.

Yesterday the Jasper Redevelopment Commission decided to allow the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to take over management of the Parklands property.

The commission will maintain ownership of the   property although all planning, maintenance, and improvements will be the responsibility of the parks department and Jasper Park Board.

Last month the Jasper Common Council asked for a list of pros and cons for the redevelopment commission to own The Parklands.

During yesterday’s meeting commission president John Bell asked parks Director Ken Buck, who was on hand what he thought about the ownership.

Buck said that as they have learned more about the role of the redevelopment commission in the ownership of The Parklands, they have realized the potential advantages.

CityVisions and Gamble and Associates will be presenting The Parklands plan during the next meeting of the Jasper Park Board next Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 at Jasper City Hall.

To assist in paying for the improvements outlined in the Jasper Downtown/Riverfront and Parklands plans, the city is exploring the implementation of tax increment financing districts.

Dubois County is planning to conduct a tax sale next Thursday, September 11th for delinquent properties that have delinquent taxes and special assessments due from the prior year’s spring installment.

In Indiana, the county treasurer and auditor are required to sell tax liens on delinquent properties that remain unpaid from the prior year’s spring installment. The county will offer the tax sale certificates at a public sale that is not less than the total amount due in delinquent taxes, costs, and penalties.

In a news release Dubois County Auditor Kathy Hopf says the purpose of the Tax Sale is to offer delinquent properties in order to collect back taxes to help fund local government services,

Meanwhile county treasurer Chad Blessinger noted there are currently 43 properties available for the tax sale totaling nearly 81-thousand dollars in delinquencies.

In addition to serving as a source for local governments to collect unpaid property taxes, tax sales also serve as an opportunity for real estate investors to earn interest income upon redemption of the property within one year from the sale, or to take title to the property through a post-tax sale process that involves petitioning the local court for a tax deed.

Anyone interested in registering and bidding at the County Tax Sale should visit the SRI, Inc. website at www.sri-taxsale.com and read  information provided regarding tax sales.

The governing board of directors for the Lincoln Amphitheatre is in negotiations for a transition to new management for the theater and restructuring of the Lincoln Boyhood Drama Association.

As a result, the production of ìRoute 66î scheduled for September 12th thru the 14th has been canceled. All ticket holders are being contacted with information concerning their ticket purchases.

The “Trail of Terror” will take place as scheduled October 11th, 17th, 18th, 24th and 25th as an activity of the Friends of Lincoln State Park.

A statement noted that members of the board are looking forward to the future of Lincoln Amphitheatre to include the continuation of the signature drama “A. Lincoln: A Pioneer Tale” as well as other events.

More information about the transition and scheduling of future events will be posted at www.LincolnAmphitheatre.org as it becomes available.

BEDFORD, Ind. (AP) – Visitors to the Hoosier National Forest can take a hike or watch a Dutch oven cook at a celebration scheduled later this month.

The Wonders of Wilderness Celebration marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The event will be held Sept. 27 in the Charles C. Deam Wilderness.

Visitors can see the Hoosier National Forest’s mules and learn about the primitive tools used to maintain trails in the wilderness area. People can also try to cut a log with a crosscut saw.

The event also includes a search and rescue discussion and tips on how to remain safe when hiking in the forest.

Guided hikes on the rugged, six-mile Sycamore Loop Trail will start at 3 p.m.

Vincennes University is pushing ahead with plans for a $4.35 million student center that will link three other buildings, creating a mall-like complex in the heart of the campus.

School President Dick Helton says construction is slated to last up to months on the school’s main campus, but a start date for the project has yet to be set.

The new student union will link the current Physical Education Complex, the Aquatic Center and the Donald G. Bell Student Recreation Center.

Helton says the complete project will “connect all of the area’s most-popular activities” and give students a space where they can feel comfortable socializing, getting a bite to eat and enjoy recreational opportunities.

The school’s trustees have approved four separate contracts for the new building.