Bradford Raths

Dubois Strong is now forming a new group aimed at keeping various projects moving forward.

Last night, board president Dr. Alan Johnson appeared before the Dubois County Council to discuss the new group. The new entity will be called Grow Dubois County. It’s being set up as a not-for-profit organization.

Now the goal of Grow Dubois County will be to oversee economic development based projects. These include the ongoing housing study among others. Other goals are geared towards small business. These include fostering an atmosphere for innovation in Dubois County, attracting talent, and instilling business fundamentals into young entrepreneurs.

Dubois County Council president Greg Kendall says the group will help to move things forward:

The Vincennes University Jasper Campus Foundation and the Dubois County Community Foundation will be partnering with Dubois Strong for the new effort.

Part of Dubois Strong’s annual funding will be funneled towards Grow Dubois County. That will amount to 15 thousand dollars.

The new group will be governed by a board of directors as well. New Dubois Strong president Ed Cole will be on that board and the county council will also make an appointment to the board.

Kendall says its all part of the county’s responsibility to keep Dubois Strong moving in the right direction:

Some questions came up during the meeting about if the funding change would make Grow Dubois County subject to Indiana’s Open Door Law as far as public meetings go. Attorney Bill Kaiser told the council Grow Dubois County would not be subject to the Open Door Law this year. However, he was not sure what would happen next year depending on the funding for next year. Kaiser did say the money should now go more directly to programs and services than it has in the past.

In final notes, the council voted 4-3 to move ahead with a salary study for the county. The study would be done by Waggner, Irwin, Scheele, and Associates at a cost not to exceed 50 thousand dollars.

A traffic stop in Jasper found drugs and other related items in a vehicle and led to the arrest of a Dubois man.

Just before 7:10 last night, Jasper Police pulled over a vehicle driven by 35-year-old Casey Cole for Casey Coleseatbelt and license plate violations. Police say the license plate belonged to a white 1993 Dodge 4D. Cole was driving a red Geo Metro.

Further investigation found meth, marijuana, and other drug paraphernalia in Cole’s vehicle. Cole was charged with a Level 6 felony for possession of paraphernalia with a prior conviction along with a Level 5 felony for possession of meth. He also faces a Class B misdemeanor for possession of marijuana and citations for having an open container and operating a vehicle with false/fictitious registration.

A passenger in Cole’s vehicle (35-year-old Cassandra DeKemper of Jasper) was also charged. She is facing a Level 5 felony for possession of methamphetamine along with a Class A misdemeanor for possession of paraphernalia and a Class B misdemeanor for possession of marijuana.

Both were lodged in the Dubois County Security Center.

A Huntingburg man was arrested overnight after police investigated a hit-and-run accident.

Just before 9:35 last night, Huntingburg Police were called to a residence in the 800 block of North Jackson Street referencing an impaired man. When they arrived, police found that 25-year-old Andrew Andrew Bowman

Bowman had taken a 2000 Gold Buick Regal owned by Janet Schepers. They also found Bowman had hit a 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer owned by Logan Karpiak, causing about 3 thousand dollars worth of damage to Karpiak’s vehicle. Bowman then continued to the Jackson Street residence.

Police took Bowman into custody. Further investigation found that he had a Schedule 4 controlled substance known as diazepam on him.

Bowman was lodged in the Dubois County Security Center. He’s charged with failing to stop after an accident and possession of a Schedule 4 Controlled Substance.

Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies and Rescue Unit 230 also assisted.

Officials at 5th Street Elementary are continuing their efforts to improve the school.

Last night, principal Leah Jesse along with several teachers and students were in attendance to tell the Greater Jasper School Board more about what they’re doing. The presentation focused on the school’s ongoing efforts to gain accreditation through advanced education.

Now there are 5 standards in the accreditation process. These are leadership, leadership in general, assessment for student learning, support services, and the use of school data. The 5 categories are under a broader framework of purpose and direction.

Jesse told the board school faculty and staff generally look at the whole child to find ways to encourage them to excell in the classroom rather than just looking at data.

Jesse says the goal is to ensure that students are in a strong learning environment:

Jesse says a second goal is to let student data drive the efforts of teachers to make children successful. However, she says data can’t be the main focus:

5th Street Elementary currently has an enrollment of 418 students. They range from pre-school to 2nd grade.

There are about 50 faculty and staff members.

A weekend burglary has led to another reward being offered by Jasper Police.

The department says G and T Industries had several different items stolen from its location in the 200 block of 30th Street sometime over the weekend. The Community Strike Force is offering a 1 thousand dollar reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Anyone who has any information is asked to call the Jasper Police Department at 482-2255. You can also call the department’s anonymous tip line at 481-COPS.

We’re 1 week away from the election and area residents are running out of chances to interact with candidates for the 8th District congressional seat.

Tomorrow night, the 3 candidates for Indiana’s 8th Congressional District will be at the Jasper Arts Center for a public forum. That forum will get underway at 7 o’clock tomorrow evening. It’s sponsored by Vincennes University and the City of Jasper. The participating candidates are incumbent Republican Larry Bucshon, Democratic challenger Tommy Spangler, and Libertarian Andrew Horning.

Dr. Alan Johnson is the dean of the Vincennes University Jasper Campus. He says while some other debates only feature the Democrat and Republican candidates, having all 3 parties has worked well locally:

Now this year’s forum will take place in 2 parts. The first part will see candidates appear on stage with a 3 member panel. That panel will consist of 2 local news media members and a VUJC student. The conversation is designed to be free-flowing and candidates can be asked different questions. Then part 2 of the forum will see all 3 candidates on stage with a moderator. Candidates will answer questions from the audience. Each candidate will have 90 seconds per question. Johnson is hopeful that folks will learn something new from tomorrow night’s event:

This will be the 5th Congressional forum to be hosted in Jasper. The forums began back in 2006.

Open seating will be available in the 675 seat Arts Center auditorium. Admission is free that evening and no tickets will be needed.

Now there will be some rules in place for the audience tomorrow. These include no campaign signs, banners, etc allowed in the building or on the grounds at the Jasper Arts Center, no applause or expression of agreement or disagreement with candidates, and no taking pictures or recording video from the audience.

You can listen to the forum live on WBDC-FM tomorrow evening beginning at 7 o’clock. Our TV partner 18 WJTS will be recording the forum. It will air at a later date.

Current state representative Mark Messmer is looking beyond next Tuesday’s election to some of the issues likely to come up in the 2015 general assembly.

Messmer is now stressing the importance of ethics and public confidence in state government as we head through next Tuesday’s election and beyond. Messmer says the state’s fiscal climate, low unemployment rate and its rank as the best Midwestern state for business put Indiana in a good spot.

However, Messmer says it will remain important for state officials to be accountable:

Messmer says several steps have been taken in recent years to ensure that Indiana’s government is as transparent as possible. These actions include the 2005 passing of legislation requiring House committee members to vote in person. Messmer has also touted the state’s recent creation of a transparency portal. The online database’s goal is to give Hoosiers access to state information ranging from contracts to various agency budgets. Messmer will be running against Democrat Larry Vollmer for the District 48 state senate seat next Tuesday.

Now the talk about ethics reform in the Statehouse began following the recent controversy surrounding former Republican state representative Eric Turner. Turner, who was the Speaker Pro Tem of the Indiana House, resigned last month following his successful effort to kill a proposed moratorium on nursing home construction during this past year’s legislative session. Turner and his son owned Mainstreet Property Group, which would have benefitted from the effort.

Turner was later cleared of wrongdoing by a House ethics panel.