Yet another area school district has now voiced its opposition to the elimination of state tax revenue.
Last night, the Southeast Dubois School Board signed a joint resolution with the Ferdinand Town Council opposing the proposed elimination of the business personal property tax in Indiana without replacing the lost revenue. The 4 Dubois County school districts would lose more than 3.5 million dollars combined. The Southeast district would stand to lose 371 thousand dollars out of its budget according to superintendent Rick Allen.
Allen says not replacing the lost money would have a strong effect on the district:
As for the town of Ferdinand, they would stand to lose 18 percent of their budget should the revenue from the tax not be replaced.
In other business, the board also approved purchasing a new bus to replace one of its older ones. The board approved a quote from Kerlin Bus Sales at a total cost of 97 thousand 787 dollars. That cost includes 5 thousand dollars for a parts and service agreement.
Allen says replacing buses is something that’s done every so often as the law allows:
In final notes, the board approved a bid for Section 2 of roof work at Forest Park Junior/Senior High School. Hedinger Roofing’s bid for 213 thousand dollars was accepted after a bid from Preferred Construction was turned down due to them not having all of the necessary paperwork submitted.
Heavy rains in November sped up the process for the roofing project, which had originally been slated to be done a couple of years down the road.
As winter begins to move out of the area, officials in Daviess County are now looking ahead to spring road work.
County officials are anticipating a busy spring as far as roadwork is concerned. The main focus point will be ongoing work along County Road 900 East. That project, known as the Odon-Cannelburg Road Project, is set to have the first section of work done by mid-July though county commissioners president Tony Wichman says meeting that deadline will be tough.
The Odon-Cannelburg Road project is set to widen the road to have 12 foot wide concrete lanes and 8 foot wide asphalt shoulders. That work will cover an area between county road 450 North and just to the north of county road 550 North. A box culvert is also set to be installed under 550 North and five cross pipers will be going in under County Road 900 East.
Now that stretch of road is currently open to just local traffic. Truck traffic is currently being rerouted over County Road 650 East as a detour. Officials say keeping traffic off of County Road 900 East will be key to getting the work done on time.
The Odon-Cannelburg Road is not the only project the county has coming up this year. Other projects will include a new connector road between Interstate 69 and Business Route 50. Additionally, maintenance work is set to be a big deal this year as several roads have deteriorated badly and plenty of potholes will also need to be patched.
Indiana has approved legacy projects for the state’s upcoming 200th birthday and a trail for Spencer County is among those that were approved.
Earlier this week, the Indiana Bicentennial Commission announced that the Santa Claus-Lincoln Discovery Trail is 1 of 19 projects that have been approved in the first round. The new trail will be a 12 foot wide multi modal trail. It will support the facilities in and around both the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial and Lincoln State Park.
The trail will extend from a facility located along the American Discovery Trail Route through the town of Santa Claus. It will also go through the intersection of State Roads 162 and 245 and will pass Heritage Hills High School and Middle School, hotels and motels, Holiday World, and Christmas Lake Village among other attractions.
Santa Claus town attorney Kevin Patmore says the trail will make things easier for people to get through the town during busy times of the year:
Patmore says the town has already received 340 thousand dollars to do the trail’s initial design. He also says INDOT has pitched in 80 percent of the construction cost for the trail.
Patmore also says the town is working with Spencer County to have 2 county roads running through the memorial vacated to keep motorized traffic out of the park. A new road would be built for those cars nearby.
To be approved, the projects have to meet at least 1 of several different criteria, including being culturally inclusive and creating a legacy for the future among others.
A full list of projects and a downloadable application can be found by visiting indiana2016.org.
The city of Huntingburg is set to play host to a unique event later this month.
Coming up next Saturday, March 15th the program “Step-Up Saturdays” will be coming to Huntingburg. Huntingburg mayor Denny Spinner says the program was started by LaPorte mayor Blair Milo:
The program is set to take place across all 92 counties in Indiana as each county is targeted to host a 5K run/walk event.
Spinner will also participate in next Saturday’s 5K event. He says its a good chance to remind folks about the importance of healthy living:
The event will begin at 2 pm next Saturday at Huntingburg City Park. Now children and adults of every fitness level are being encouraged to participate in the event. Times will not be recorded in this event as it is meant to be more of a social outing.
For more information, you can contact Huntingburg City Hall at 683-2211.
A Ferdinand man was taken into custody yesterday on battery and sexual battery charges.
Jasper Police received a report from Indiana Adult Protective Services about two male patients at Southern Hills Counseling Services that had filed a complaint. The complaint alleges that 54-year-old Martin Thomas inappropriately touched the two patients while he was a registered nurse at Southern Hills.
According to police, further investigation found that Thomas had also inappropriately touched a third male patient at Southern Hills. Police say Thomas touched all three patients in the groin area in order to be sexually gratified though the contact was unwanted.
Thomas was taken into custody and was lodged in the Dubois County Security Center. He is facing battery and sexual battery charges. Police say the investigation into this case is still ongoing.
Anyone who has any further information is asked to call the Jasper Police Department at 482-2255. Folks can also call the anonymous tip line at 481-COPS.
Another area law enforcement agency is set to change its procedure for fingerprinting gun permit applicants.
Starting this upcoming Monday March 10th, Huntingburg Police say they will no longer be using paper cards to fingerprint applicants. They say residents will now need to schedule a fingerprinting through MorphoTrust. MorphoTrust representatives are in Jasper each Tuesday between 8 am and 4:30 pm to help folks. You can call 1-877-472-6917 to schedule an appointment. You can also go to morphotrust.com and schedule an appointment electronically while completing the online permit application. Anyone who has questions can call the Huntingburg Police Department at 683-3003.
Now Huntingburg Police are the second area law enforcement agency to make this move. Back on February 10th, the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department also made the switch to automated fingerprinting through MorphoTrust. Officials say the switch will reduce the number of rejections for folks that are applying for a gun permit.
Indiana State Police switched over to the Automated Fingerprint Identification System back on January 1st.
A new statewide program is encouraging high school and college students to “Drive Now. Txt L8R.”
The new program is a partnership with several state agencies including the Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana State Police, and the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles among others. 5 thousand dollar scholarships will be awarded to those students that can come up with the most creative and viral social media posts through Twitter, Instagram, and Vine. There is a catch however: any post that is composed while driving will be instantly disqualified.
INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield says educating the younger generation on texting and driving dangers is a big part of making Indiana’s roads safer:
High school and college entries will be awarded separately and each social media account that is registered can have up to 3 students working together. The 5 thousand dollar scholarships will be deposited into the 529 college savings plans for the winners. 5 different categories will be awarded. They are:
Twitter: most tweets, retweets, and favorites
Vine: most likes
Vine: most creative
Instagram: most likes
Instagram: most creative
All entries must be posted during the month of April (Distracted Driving Awareness Month). They also have to have the hash tag TXTL8RIN to be eligible. Students can register their Twitter accounts and read contest rules by going to txtl8r.in.gov.