Carey Schneider

Martin County authorities are trying to sort out the details of an apparent homicide that took place earlier today.

Martin County Prosecutor Mike Steiner says an elderly male was the victim of an apparent shooting in an area north of Shoals.

Steiner says the body was discovered around 9:30 this morning (WED) at a residence north of Dover Hill near Trinity Springs.

Now a suspect identified as Nathan Baker has been captured. Baker was reported to have lead authorities in a chase that started in Willams and ended along State Road 158 west of Bedford around 2:30 this afternoon. Baker at that time was taken into custody without incident.

As a result of the shooting officials in both the Shoals and Loogootee school corporations decided to put their schools on lockdown at around 12:30.

This a a developing story we’ll have more on the WBDC News once more details have been released.

Officials with the Town of Ferdinand say they have been informed by the Ferdinand Police Department that a number of local businesses in recent days have  received counterfeit bills.

In a release Ferdinand Town Manager Chris James says area banks have caught at least a couple of the phony $20 bills when they were turned in with normal business deposits.

James says officers have been notifying other businesses to be extra vigilant in examining currency when handling transactions and strongly encourage the use of special marking pens as a precautionary measure.

The Dubois County Prosecutor’s office says the first   sentence has been handed down for a defendant of Operation Double Trouble.

Of course on June 4th local law enforcement officers began serving arrest warrants for drug dealing offenses stemming from the investigation which resulted in authorities serving 18 individuals with arrest warrants as part of 2 rounds of arrests for drug dealing charges in Dubois and Spencer Counties.

The prosecutor’s office says 24-year old Bryce Sadler of Jasper, was the first Operation Double Trouble defendant to enter into a plea agreement and was sentenced yesterday in the Dubois County Superior Court.

Sadler Mug

Bryce Sadler

Sadler entered into an agreement with prosecutors  that called for him to plead guilty to Dealing in Methamphetamine, a Level 5 felony, and serve 2 years at the Indiana Department of Correction.

The agreement called for this sentence to run consecutively to a 180 day sentence that Sadler is currently serving at the Dubois County Security Center for Possession of Paraphernalia and Carrying a Handgun Without a License, both Class A misdemeanors.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Beth Sermersheim stated that this Operation will differ in the length of jail sentences that will be handed down to the defendants.

Thus far, defendants of Operation Big Brother have received a total of 141 years in sentences, with 113 of those years served in jail.

34-year old Ryan Groeschen of Ferdinand, is the most recent Operation Big Brother defendant to enter into a plea agreement.

Groeschen Mug

Ryan Groeschen

Last Tuesday August the 11th, Groeschen entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to Dealing in a Schedule III Controlled Substance, a Class B felony, and be sentenced to 12 years, with the first 8 served at the Indiana Department of Correction, followed by the last 4 on Work Release.

Sermersheim says that due to changes in the Indiana Criminal Code in July 2014, drug dealing offenses are punished much less harshly. Many of the offenses charged as part of Operation Double Trouble are Level 5 felonies, which are only punishable by a sentence of 1 to 6 years.

Under the old criminal code, most dealing offenses were classified as Class B felonies, which were punishable by a sentence of 6 to 20 years. Sermersheim stated that it’s unfortunate that they are longer able to hand down lengthy sentences for drug dealing offenses.

A pair of local volunteer fire departments were called into action this morning to battle a house fire near Mentor.

Just before 9:30 am Schnellville firefighters were called to a home belonging to Ron Wiseman along the 9200 block of East State Road 64.

Schnellville Fire Chief Mark Fischer says a truck driver who was passing by the residence saw flames through the home’s front living room window.  Fischer says the truck driver contacted Wiseman a fellow trucker and the home’s owner who was just a few miles away. The two alerted authorities before running a garden hose through a door and were able to knock most of the fire out before the first crews arrived on the scene.       

Fischer says Weisman’s wife and two children were also away from the home when the blaze broke out however the family dog and two cats were still inside.  Firefighters entered the residence and were able to bring the pets out of the house safely.    

Fischer says damage from the fire was confined to the the home’s living room by the TV and entertainment center. He also noted that the rest of the house sustained heat and smoke damage and that it is temporarily uninhabitable.

There were no injuries.

Damage to the home is estimated at 10-thousand dollars.

Schnellville fire department sent 10 men and 4 trucks to the scene. They along with 8 men and a pair of trucks from Birdseye were on the scene for 90 minutes.    

Officials with the Jasper Municipal Water Department are letting their customers and the general public be aware that due to multiple water leaks along Second Avenue and Riverside Drive a boil order has been issued.

Water officials say the area affected is east on Second Avenue beginning at Hillside Drive which includes Hillside and Riverside Drives as well as Sherri Lane.  They say this is the only portion of The city of Jasper that is affected.

Officials also note that this boil order will remain in effect for a minimum of 48 hours.  The Jasper Municipal Water Department says they will notify local media once the boil order is lifted but again it will remain in place for at least a 48 hour period.

In the meantime areas affected are advised to boil their water for human and pet consumption for a minimum of 5 minutes.

Any further questions can be directed to the Jasper Water Department.  Their number is 812-482-5252.

Four people were injured including two young children in a two vehicle head-on collision early Wednesday evening along State Road 56 just east of the Dubois Crossroads.

The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department says just before 6 o’clock last night 57-year old Brian Baker of West Baden was headed eastbound on State Road 56 and, for an unknown reason, his SUV crossed the center line and drove into the path of a westbound passenger car driven by 54-year Jeannine Martin of Jasper.

Authorities say both Baker and Martin were extricated from their vehicles and taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in Jasper, where they were both later lifeflighted to St. Mary’s Medical Center In Evansville. They say Baker  sustained an injury to his upper left leg while Martin suffered chest and abdominal injuries. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.      

Two young children in Martin’s vehicle, a 2 Year old and 10 Month old child suffered minor injuries and were also transported by ambulance to Memorial where they were treated and released.    

Police say both vehicles were a total loss and credit the use of properly worn safety restraints by both drivers and passengers for lessening the severity of their injuries.

The accident is still currently under investigation and authorities say charges are pending.

Deputies were assisted at the scene by Indiana State Police, Dubois Fire Department and First Responders and Memorial Hospital EMS.

A Birdseye man lost his life when he lost control of his motorcycle near a railroad track was struck by a train in Birdseye Thursday evening.

The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department says just after 8:30 last night deputies were called the area of State Road 145 at the railroad tracks where deputies who were assisted by Indiana State Police say 57-year old Larry Schwartz of Birdseye had been operating his Harley Davidson motorcycle and traveled south on State Road 145 at the railroad tracks.

Authorities say Schwartz disregarded the track’s cross arms that were down in order to warn drivers of an approaching train that was about to cross 145.

They say as Schwartz drove his bike between the cross arms south across the tracks, he turned south onto First Street, drove off the right side of the street, and into a rock area next to the railroad tracks where deputies say he lost control of his Harley and laid the bike on its side on top of him pinning himself underneath.

Deputies say it was at this time the train was passing by and struck Schwartz who suffered massive head trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Dubois County Coroner.

Authorities estimated Schwartz’s Harley Davidson had sustained under 1-thousand dollars in damages.

Deputies were assisted at the scene by Indiana State Police, the Birdseye Town Marshall, Birdseye First Responders and Memorial Hospital.