Bradford Raths

The 4th quarter and total fiscal year 2015 numbers are now in for Kimball International..and company officials are pleased.

The Jasper-based company says 4th quarter net sales came in at $159.1 million. That’s up from $137.1 million from the same quarter in fiscal year 2014.

Kimball International also says income from continuing operations was at $4.7 million or 12 cents per Class B diluted share. The adjusted numbers (which exclude charges related to restructuring plans and the Kimball Electronics spin off) come out to $5.8 million or 15 cents per Class B diluted share.

Orders received were also up by 15% in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year over the same time last year. Officials say each of the company’s vertical markets grew except for education. The most significant growth has been in the hospitality and other commercial vertical markets.

Now the year-end numbers are also strong for Kimball International. Company officials say fiscal year 2015 net sales were at $600.9 million, an increase of just over $57 million from fiscal year 2014. Income from continuing operations came in at $11.1 million or 29 cents per diluted share, up from $3.4 million and 9 cents per diluted share last year.

In a news release, Kimball International chairman and CEO Bob Schneider says the company is pleased with its ongoing turnaround. He says the combination of growing business, large increases in sales and much higher profitability are all good signs for the future.

Last night marked the formal kickoff for the 2015 Jasper Strassenfest.

The 37th edition of the fest officially got underway at 6 o’clock last night with the Opening Ceremonies, though there were other events throughout the day. Crowds began filing in at around 5 o’clock last night with the opening of the food booths on the downtown square.

Mayor Terry Seitz once again delivered this year’s Burgermeister proclamation:

Of course, this year’s Strassenfest has special meaning. Seitz was joined on stage last night by 36 guests from Jasper’s sister city of Pfaffenwieler, Germany. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the ‘Sister Cities’ partnership between the two cities.

The Pfaffenweiler contingent was led by mayor Deiter Hahn. Hahn is also serving as the Burgermeister this year.

As part of the partnership, the visits take place every 5 years with representatives of each city visiting the other city’s major festival. Most recently, group from Jasper traveled to Pfaffenwieler back in 2010 to celebrate the partnership’s 25th anniversary and Seitz visited Pfaffenwieler last summer.

Seitz says this year’s Strassenfest will be a memorable one for both cities:

Other officials on hand last night included former Jasper mayor Fritz Gutgsell, who led the partnership effort on Jasper’s behalf along with representatives from the Jasper Partnership Commission. Though the Strassenfest is celebrating the first 30 years of the partnership, officials in both communities already have their eyes on the future:

The Pfaffenweiler group will be staying in Jasper through August 9th. They will tour southern Indiana and take part in several events during their stay.

In addition to the celebration of sister cities, the opening ceremonies included a welcome from this year’s Miss Strassenfest Camille Ruff:

Of course, the Strassenfest will continue through Sunday. Other notable events include the Talentspiel (hosted by 18 WJTS), rides on the Spirit of Jasper train and the Strassenfest parade. The parade will get underway at 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon.

The 37th Strassenfest concludes with a fireworks show Sunday night at 10 o’clock.

An investigation into money stolen from a Huntingburg business led to an employee’s arrest last night.

Alicia HiggsHuntingburg police were originally called to Casey’s General Store in the 300 block of South Main Street at about 7:30 yesterday morning on a reported employee theft. HPD says an employee (later identified as 32-year-old Alicia Higgs of Huntingburg) had taken money out of the cash register. Additionally, HPD says Higgs was wanted on warrant out of Gibson County for Aggravated Assault, a probation violation and family strong-arm. Higgs’ driver’s license was also found to be suspended due to prior traffic convictions.

Police watched Higgs drive into the parking lot of Casey’s at around 8:40 pm and immediately took her into custody on the warrants. After arresting Higgs, police noted a strong smell of alcohol. Higgs was taken to Jasper police headquarters, where a certified chemical test found her BAC at .113g/210.

Higgs was booked into the Dubois County Security Center on the Gibson County warrant. She is also charged with Operating While Intoxicated and Driving While Suspended-Prior.

Police say the theft investigation is continuing and Higgs may face more charges down the road.

Big changes are in the works at the Dubois County Museum.

In a news release, museum officials says admission fees will be charged beginning on September 1st. Currently, the museum does not charge admissions, but encourages visitors to donate money.

Now admissions will be set at $12 per family, $5 for adults, $3 for high school students and $2 for middle and elementary school students. Children younger than 4 years old along with museum membership card carriers will get in for free.

The museum is also announcing membership prices for 2016. Levels of membership are $25 per person, $40 for a couple and $50 per family. Other memberships that can be purchased are Bronze ($100), Copper ($250), Silver ($500), Gold ($1,000), Platinum ($3,000) and Benefactor ($5,000). The museum is a 501c3 non-profit and all donations are tax-deductible.

The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm, Saturdays from 10 to 4 pm and Sundays from 1 to 4 pm. The Dubois County Museum is closed on Monday.

For more information or to apply for a membership, you can go to duboiscountymususem.org. You can also call the museum at (812)-634-7733.

8th District Congressman Larry Bucshon has announced plans for a job fair to be held in Dubois County.

Bucshon will be hosting the fair on Friday August 28th at Ruxer Gym on the Vincennes University Jasper Campus. The job fair will begin at 1 o’clock with the first hour until 2 pm for veterans only. The job fair is then open to the public from 2 pm until its conclusion at 5 pm.

Now more than 400 employers have been invited to take part in the job fair. It’s being put on in coordination with WorkOne Southwest, the Jasper Chamber of Commerce, VUJC and the City of Jasper.

To register for this year’s job fair, you can go to bucshon.house.gov/event/2015-dubois-county-job-fair. Jasper Chamber director Nancy Eckerle says booth spaces are still available for this event.

Details have been announced for another fundraiser for this year’s Ferdinand Folk Fest.

Bloodshot Records recording artist Bobby Bare Jr. will perform at the Gaslight in Huntingburg to raise money. That performance will take place at 7:30 pm on Saturday, August 29th.

Bare Jr.Bare Jr., the son of Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Bare, has 1 Grammy nomination to his name along with several successful albums from his band the Young Criminals’ Starvation League. He also was the front man for the critically-acclaimed southern rock band Bare Jr. in the 1990’s.

Bare Jr. has been involved in music since he was 8 years old. Critics say his musical style is somewhere between hard rock, roots rock, indie rock and alternate country. For more information, you can go to bobbybarejr.com.

Tickets for the August 29th show will be $10. Tickets are available at the door and all net proceeds will go to this year’s 6th annual Ferdinand Folk Fest.

The 2015 Ferdinand Folk Festival is Saturday, September 19th at Ferdinand’s 18th Street Park. It’s free to attend and is once again presented by Best Home Furnishings.

Other sponsors are Kyana Woodstock, Access Storage Now and Kimball Electronics.

Tonight will mark the beginning of the 2015 Jasper Strassenfest.

The 37th annual fest formally gets underway at 6:15 tonight with Opening Ceremonies though there are other events throughout the day. The Celebration Singers will perform on the east steps of the courthouse beginning at 5:45. Other events tonight will include the opening of the beer garden, the baby photo contest, Full Out Tumble and Cheer and the Karaoke Contest.

Of course, the Strassenfest will continue through the weekend. Other events will include the Coca-Cola Hotshot Contest, a golf scramble, rides on the Spirit of Jasper train, and the parade. This year’s Strassenfest parade gets underway at 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon. Fireworks will cap the Strassenfest at 10 o’clock Sunday night.

Now this year’s Strassenfest will have special meaning. 36 guests from Jasper’s sister city of Pfaffenwieler, Germany arrived in town early this morning. The contingent, which includes Pfaffenwieler mayor Dieter Hahn, will take part in tonight’s opening ceremonies and will be staying in the city until Sunday August 9th thanks to several host families.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Sister Cities partnership between Jasper and Pfaffenwieler. Former Jasper mayor Fritz Gutgsell, who led the partnership effort on Jasper’s behalf, will also be on hand for tonight’s opening ceremony.

Current Jasper mayor Terry Seitz traveled to Pfaffenwieler last summer. He says the partnership is still a great opportunity for both cities thanks to a new generation of local leaders:

Keep it tuned here to 18 WJTS for more on Strassenfest throughout the weekend.