Bradford Raths

Even with yesterday’s housing announcement in Huntingburg, officials with Dubois Strong say the implementation of recommendations from its recent housing study remains a work in progress.

Dubois Strong president Ed Cole was pleased with the plans for the new Hunter’s Crossing subdivision in Huntingburg. More than 120 new houses will be built in the subdivision along with a new city park. The new development will span an area between 14th and 17th Streets on the city’s north side. Jagoe Homes of Owensboro will be the exclusive builder and Indianapolis-based Boxer Girl LLC will be the developer of the site. The south end of the neighborhood will also connect to the new railroad overpass project that will soon be under construction.

Cole says yesterday’s announcement was just the first step in moving ahead with housing efforts in Dubois County. He says other plans in other areas will come together soon:

The housing study was done by Development Concepts Inc. of Indianapolis. The findings of the housing study were originally unveiled back on June 30th, almost exactly 1 month ago. Cole says he was satisfied with the $150,000 average price point for Hunter’s Crossing homes as that price lines up perfectly with what the housing study recommended.

Of course, there are other efforts going on towards housing in Dubois County, including re-purposing of older buildings. Two such projects are turning the former St. Joseph’s Hospital building in Huntingburg into senior living units and making workforce apartments out of the former JOFCO building.

Cole says re-purposing older buildings is an idea that will remain in play for future projects:

Cole says workforce housing will remain a point of emphasis for Dubois Strong. Last month’s housing study found that very few workforce housing units have been built in Dubois County over the last 3 decades.

The ongoing controversy with Planned Parenthood is drawing much outrage among both state and local lawmakers.

23 Senate Republicans recently sent a letter to Governor Mike Pence backing his decision to investigate whether any Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana have any involvement in trafficking aborted baby remains. District 47 senator Erin Houchin and District 48 senator Mark Messmer are among those to sign the letter.

In the letter, the senators point to a moral obligation to ensure that trafficking of human body parts is not occurring in Indiana. The letter also thanks the Governor for taking prompt action.

The revelations about Planned Parenthood first surfaced last week. The news has caused much outrage across the nation, with Republicans in Congress seeking to de-fund the organization. That effort was blocked in the US Senate.

Planned Parenthood receives $500 million in funding from the federal government each year.

Details have been announced for the 3rd edition of the ‘Ferdinand Folk Fest Fondo’.

The cycling event will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 19th and 20th in conjunction with the Ferdinand Folk Fest. The event will once again support the Sisters of St. Benedict and their work through Family Scholar House.

Of course, the event is hosted by DC Multisport. The fondo will feature 3 different bike routes on Saturday, which are 26 miles, 33 miles, and 50 miles long, respectively. Sunday’s ride will be the 50 mile one. All of the routes will take bikers through parts of Dubois and surrounding counties.

All proceeds from the fondo will be given to Family Scholar House. The group’s goal is to end poverty and empower families and youth through education in an effort to bolster the community. The fondo has raised nearly $10,700 over its first 2 years.

Registration forms are available by going online to ferdinandfolkfestival.com. Go to the ‘Events’ tab and click ‘bicycle ride’.

You can also register by going to active.com.

Huntingburg’s north side will soon welcome a new subdivision as part of a countywide workforce housing initiative.

This morning, city and county officials gathered to announce plans for the new Hunter’s Crossing subdivision. The new neighborhood will be in an area between 14th and 17th Streets and will feature 147 land plots of varying sizes for single family workforce housing for purchase. City officials say more than 120 new homes will be built in the neighborhood.

The goal will be to attract younger families, though the homes will be open to all ages and there will not be government subsidies. The new homes will be priced at $150,000.

Now Indianapolis-based developer Boxer Girl LLC will be heading up the development efforts with Jagoe Homes of Owensboro, Kentucky serving as the exclusive builder. Jane Hendrickson spoke on Boxer Girl’s behalf this morning.

Hendrickson says Huntingburg has a lot to offer for developers. She says workforce housing for younger families is now on the uptick after the housing market crash of 2008:

As mentioned, this morning’s announcement marked the first major step for county economic development group Dubois Strong in implementing the recommendations of its recently completed housing study. Dubois Strong president Ed Cole says the number of lots that will be part of this project was a unexpected surprise for him and others:

In addition to the housing, a new city park will be built next to the subdivision. Huntingburg mayor Denny Spinner says the park turned out to be one of the biggest parts of this deal:

The south entrance of Hunter’s Crossing will connect to the new railroad overpass which will be under construction within the next year. Spinner says that also played a key role in making this project a reality.

Construction at Hunter’s Crossing is set to be done in phases. The first phase will get underway in the spring of 2016.

The project will be privately funded. The total investment is expected to be between $17.2 and $20.8 million.

Local police took a Jasper man into custody early yesterday morning after he threatened to harm his 2 young children..and then harm himself.

Jacob HundleyJasper Police and other Dubois County Law Enforcement were searching for 21-year-old Jacob Hundley early yesterday morning when the threat was reported just after 4:10 am. Police say Hundley told his girlfriend that he was going to drown his children (age 2 and 4) before harming himself.

After authorities arrived at his residence in the 900 block of Mill Street, Hundley opened the door and then immediately tried to close the door and go back inside once he saw officers standing outside. Officers were able to grab Hundley and arrest him.

Once he was arrested, Hundley tried several times to get away from the officer before turning to the officer and becoming very aggressive. Hundley also threatened one of the officers as he was being taken to a patrol car for transport to jail.

Hundley was lodged in the Dubois County Security Center on 2 Level 6 felonies for Intimidation along with a Class A misdemeanor for Resisting Arrest. Police say Hundley also is facing charges connected with a warrant for his arrest that was issued in Perry County.

State lawmakers are hard at work this summer with topics to study ahead of the 2016 legislative session.

District 48 senator Mark Messmer is on Interim Study Committee on Public Policy. Topics assigned to his commmittee are all related to smoking laws and other regulations. These include:

· Whether smoking should be prohibited in bars, casinos, and private clubs, and the fiscal impact of prohibiting smoking in these establishments;
· Whether e-cigarettes should be defined as tobacco products and subject to smoking bans and taxation;
· The fiscal impact of an increase in the cigarette tax, including the impact of the tobacco tax on smoking rates and healthy living ratings relative to other states, and possible funding sources for tobacco-use prevention and cessation programs; and
· The fiscal impact of changing existing laws regarding cigarette tax distribution.

Messmer says the bipartisan Legislative Council will also be charged with many other topics prior to the 2016 General Assembly. These include ISTEP testing, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, legislative and congressional redistricting, and mental-health illnesses that lead to teen suicide.

For the complete list of topics that will be discussed during the interim, visit our blog at www.IndianaSenateRepublicans.com/blog.

Now other local lawmakers are also on committees this summer and fall. District 47 senator Erin Houchin is serving on interim study committees for commerce and economic development, elections and public safety/military affairs.

Meanwhile, District 74 representative Lloyd Arnold is also serving on the public safety/military affairs study committee with Houchin. District 63 representative Mike Braun is not on any study committees. Instead, he is serving on the Military Base Planning Council.

Beaches at Patoka Lake will likely be closed for the rest of this year.

Patoka Lake Interpretive Naturalist Dana Reckelhoff says summer flooding at the lake is currently holding water some 10 feet above the normal summer pool. The closure also extends to the Osborn Boat Ramp fishing pier, where high waters have made the area inaccessible.

In a news release, Reckelhoff says the US Army Corps of Engineers are only able to release small amounts of water from the dam. He says that’s due to flooding in farm fields downstream all across the listening area.

Now boaters can still get out on the water. However, Reckelhoff says there is a large amount of debris still floating in the lake due to all of the rain.

Reckelhoff says boaters should use caution while out on the water.