Bradford Raths

Huntingburg’s new bike share program is officially off and riding.

This morning, city officials debuted the new program at Huntingburg City Park. 8 bicycles in all will be available to the public for riding anywhere in town or as far as they would like in the amount of time they rent the bike for.

Now this program came about last year as one of the Dubois County Leadership Academy’s capstone projects. The idea was first presented to the city’s park board last fall.

Mayor Denny Spinner says this bike share couldn’t have been done without the DCLA’s help:

Those interested in joining the new bike share program can do so by downloading the Zagster Mobile App or by going to zagster.com/huntingburg. Rentals will cost $3 an hour or $24 a day up to 24 hours.

A Jasper attorney has announced her plans to run for city office.

Brittany Brockman - 2015 Candidate for Jasper City Council - colorIn a news release, Brittany Brockman says she will seek the District 4 seat on the Jasper City Council that is currently held by Tom Schmidt. Schmidt is retiring from the council after 40 years, so Brockman will square off with Democrat Dave Hurst in November’s general election.

In a news release, Brockman says Jasper must continue to preserve its sense of German pride while continuing to expand on new ideas that will attract the next generation. Brockman says she wants to encourage young people to return to Jasper to start their families and careers and she believes her business law and estate planning background makes her the best candidate to do all of that.

Brockman currently owns Brockman Law Firm, which she opened in July of last year along Main Street in downtown Jasper. She is a 2006 graduate of Jasper High School and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Indiana University in 2009. She then earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from IU’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.

Brockman has worked various internships with the Indiana Senate in 2008, the IU McKinney School of Law’s Disabilities Clinic in 2013 and at the Steven C. Bradley Law Office in Jasper during 2013 and 2014 before opening her own practice.

Brockman has a 4-year-old son Jack. Jack currently attends Holy Trinity Catholic School in Jasper.

Brockman joins a Republican field of Jasper council candidates that includes Nancy Eckerle, Dean Vonderheide, John Bell and Kevin Manley.

A Crawford County man was airlifted to a Louisville hospital and may face charges after he drove his truck into a house near Birdseye.

IMG_0452At around 3:15 yesterday afternoon, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies say 19-year-old Steven Lang of Eckerty had been going southbound on County Road 1025 East just north of Schnellville Road at a high rate of speed when he went off of the roadway to the left. Lang’s pickup truck went through a yard and field before hitting a home owned by Tina Madden in the 10000 block of East Schnellville Road at the intersection with County Road 1025 East.

IMG_0451Lang was conscious and alert when emergency crews arrived according to police. He was taken by ambulance to Birdseye Town Park, where he was airlifted to the University of Louisville hospital for treatment. Authorities say the extent and severity of Lang’s injuries are not known, though they say he may have suffered a head injury. Deputies say 2 people were in the home at the time of the accident, but neither of them were hurt.

Meanwhile, the sheriff’s department says alcohol may have been a factor in this crash. The crash is still being investigated. Deputies say Lang’s truck was totalled.

Indiana State Police, the Birdseye and Schnellville Fire Departments, Dubois REC, Memorial Hospital EMS and a wrecker from Berg’s Garage all assisted.

Huntingburg fire crews were kept busy for a short time last night after the smell of gas was reported at a city business.

At 6:55 pm, Huntingburg firefighters were called to the Family Dollar store in the 700 block of North Main Street. When they arrived, firefighters found that the building had been evacuated.

Huntingburg assistant fire chief Glen Kissling says investigators found a gas pipe fitting that was leaking inside of a storage area in the building. Kissling says gas was shut off to the building and the store was advised to contact maintenence personnel to fix the leak.

Kissling says everyone was allowed back into the building after gas was shut off. No injuries were reported.

The Huntingburg Fire Department responded with 2 trucks and 20 men. They were on scene for about 20 minutes.

Concerns are being raised about the city of Jasper’s tax abatement program in light of some companies struggling to fill jobs that they promised to fill.

Last night, the Jasper City Council found Stens Corporation to be not compliant with the terms they set out in their abatement. The council learned that Stens originally promised to hire 98 employees when they filed for abatement, but they’ve only hired 28 to date. No representatives of Stens attended last night’s meeting to answer questions from the council. The Stens abatement was originally reviewed at the April council meeting and was tabled at that point.

Now last night the council also reviewed abatements granted to Jasper Chair Company, Cash Waggner and Associates, 3 Peoples Properties, Meyer Distributing and Braun Family Properties. All of those were found to be in compliance, though the council held a brief discussion about issues these and other companies have had with filling out the city’s paperwork for the program, which have led to discrepancies resulting in other reviews being tabled at council meetings.

Some company representatives on hand last night addressed the trouble they’ve had with not only finding people to hire, but keeping employees over the long run. Meyer Distributing Controller Greg Hochgesang spoke to the council last night. He stated this issue is making it that much more difficult to make the necessary hires:

Meanwhile, mayor Terry Seitz says the city’s paperwork is not an issue. However, he is concerned about the hiring and retention issue and he says the state may need to make some changes to their tax abatement policies to help Jasper out:

In other business, the council approved vacating part of the city’s right of way along 2nd and Main Streets near Headquarters restaurant. The city had owned a 60 foot right of way there since the 1880’s when 2nd Street was moved north to what is now the Headquarters parking lot.

2nd Street was moved back to its present location after the bridge which extended Newton Street across the Patoka River was built.

Congratulations go out to a pair of local high school students honored with statewide scholarships.

trentsmithJasper High School senior Trent Smith and Southridge High School senior Teresa Bowling were each presented with a $500 scholarship from the Indiana Sheriff’s Association Scholarship Fund. Smith and Bowling are among 40 students statewide to be honored with ISA scholarships.

Smith, the son of Bruce and Kim Smith plans to attend VUJC and major in Criminal Justice. Meanwhile, Bowling is the daughter of Richard and Christine Bowling. She plans to attend the University of Southern Indiana and also intends to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice.

Teresa BowlingNow scholarship winners are chosen by the ISA’s Scholarship Committee. To be eligible, a student must be an active affiliate or associate member of the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association or be the dependent child or grandchild of a current ISA member.

Applicants must also be Indiana residents, must attend an Indiana college or university, major in a field related to law enforcement and enroll as a full-time student taking at least 12 credit hours.

Local emergency personnel will be doing some training in an area rail yard next weekend.

The Dubois County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), in conjunction with ISTS out of Louisville, KY will be hosting a Full Scale HazMat Exercise on Saturday May 30, 2015. The exercise will be held in Huntingburg, IN at the Norfolk Southern Rail yard located at the intersection of 6th and North Van Buren Street. The exercise is scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. and end by 2:00 p.m.

Now Norfolk Southern Railway will be bringing in box cars, tankers and a small locomotive to simulate a train derailment and release of an Extremely Hazardous Chemical. Agencies responding will be staging at the Memorial Gymnasium back parking lot in Huntingburg by 7:30 a.m. There will be numerous emergency vehicles in the area of the Gymnasium and the Rail yard.

Dubois County Emergency Management Director Tammy Humbert is asking the public to note that this is an exercise and there will be a lot of activity in and near the rail yard in Huntingburg. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Dubois County Emergency Management Agency at 812-482-2202.