Bradford Raths

A Jasper man who was involved in an SUV vs UTV crash north of Ferdinand last week has died.

In a news release, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies say 71-year-old Leroy Witte of Jasper succumbed to his injuries at St. Mary’s Hospital in Evansville yesterday afternoon. Deputies say he died at 1:45 pm from head and chest injuries. Ferdinand Crash

Witte was the passenger aboard a UTV being driven by 74-year-old Edgar Ebert of Ferdinand at the time of the accident on State Road 162 near County Road 815 South. Sheriff’s deputies say the accident occurred at around 12:45 this past Thursday afternoon when Ebert, who had been going northbound on the east shoulder of the highway, tried to make a hard left turn to go west on County Road 815 South. The UTV was hit in the driver’s side by an northbound SUV driven by 29-year-old Sally Stout of Jasper. The impact happened about 20 yards south of the intersection and authorities say the 2 vehicle continued
sliding northwest before finally coming to rest in a ditch.

Witte was initially taken to Jasper’s Memorial Hospital before being airlifted to St. Mary’s. Ebert, who was airlifted from the scene to St. Mary’s, remains in the hospital in critical condition.

The flurry of road construction continues with several local bridges and roads to be impacted over the next few weeks.

A total of 3 bridges and a major highway in Crawford and Perry counties will see restrictions as we conclude September and head into October. First, officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation say a bridge spanning the Patoka River along State Road 145 near Eckerty will be down to one lane starting this Thursday, September 24th for a rehabilitation project. The bridge is between West County Road 1025 South and North Williams Ridge Road. INDOT says flaggers will control traffic as lane restrictions will only be in place during daytime hours. This project is set to be completed October 2nd.

Also in Crawford County, state officials will be restricting traffic flow on State Road 66 bridges near Leavenworth and Sulphur starting on Thursday. The Leavenworth bridge spanning Interstate 64 will be undergoing bridge deck rehabilitation while the Sulphur area bridge spanning the West Fork of the Little Blue River will see bridge rehabilitation work. Again, restrictions will be limited to daytime hours and flaggers will control traffic. Work on these bridges is also set to be completed on October 2nd.

Finally in Perry County, crews will be doing some pavement sealing along State Road 145 near Bristow starting on or around this upcoming Monday, September 28th. The closure will affect State Road 145 between State Road 37 and Huffman Road in Bristow.

Now the Bristow closures will be at intermittent points as crews do the sealing work. The 10 mile stretch will be closed between 7 am and 3 pm local time each day. Local traffic will have access at points of closure. Heavy traffic should use State Roads 37 and 545 along with Interstate 64 as a detour while this work is ongoing. Sealing work should be done on or around October 5th.

In all cases, INDOT is asking motorists to slow down and be aware when around construction crews. For the latest news and information about INDOT, you can follow INDOT Southwest on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

You can also go to the INDOT TrafficWise traveler service at

A proposed railroad overpass project in Huntingburg will take a big step forward in the near future.

Huntingburg mayor Denny Spinner says state officials have scheduled a public hearing for the project plans. That hearing is set for Thursday October 15th beginning at 6 pm at the Huntingburg Event Center.

Now Spinner says plans for the overpass project will be delivered to city hall within the next week. He says a full set of those plans will be available for public viewing at city hall after October 1st and before the public hearing.

The meeting will be more of a comment opportunity rather than a question and answer session. Spinner says comments will be collected by state officials on hand and each comment will get a response from the state prior to documents being finalized.

Spinner says this next step is a big one for all involved:

Of course, the railroad overpass project was formally announced back in June of 2013. The project got its ‘notice to proceed’ back in January of 2014.

The new overpass will be built along Styline Drive to help take traffic off of US 231 through downtown. The road will be extended from 12th Street to connect with 14th Street near the Huntingburg Event Center. The new overpass will span both 12th Street and the railroad track. DLZ Indiana LLC is the engineering firm leading the overpass construction effort.

80% of the project’s $9 million price tag is being funded by state and federal dollars. The remaining 20% will come from city and county local matches.

Spinner says the project remains on schedule at this point. Construction will begin sometime during fiscal year 2017.

August unemployment figures are now in and Dubois County is holding on to the lowest unemployment in Indiana.

According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s numbers released earlier today, Dubois County’s unemployment for the month of August was at 3%, down 3 tenths of a percent from July’s number. Dubois County is still holding on to a narrow lead over 2nd place Hamilton County. That lead remains at 1 tenth of a percent.

Among other local counties, job news was also good. Daviess County tied for the 6th lowest unemployment in Indiana at 3 and a half percent. Spencer County continued its recent round of strong showings, coming in with 3.6% unemployment in August. Warrick County also reported 3.6% unemployment last month.

Pike County reported unemployment of 3.8% for August as did Martin County. Perry County came in with 4.2% unemployment while Crawford and Orange counties continue to be among the highest unemployment rates in Indiana. Crawford County reported 5.2% unemployment and Orange County was at 5.4%.

Vermillion County once again had Indiana’s highest unemployment rate at 6.6%. As a state, Indiana has an unemployment rate of 4.6%, which state officials say is right at full employment. It’s also the lowest unemployment rate for the Hoosier State since 2007.

Indiana’s labor force participation rate jumped up to 63.6% in August, still tops in the Midwest and a full percentage point above the national average. The state did shed 5,500 private sector jobs last month despite the labor force increasing by just over 5,600 people in August.

The corn harvest is now underway in Dubois County..and the impact of heavy spring and summer rains may have diminshed enough for good returns according to local officials.

Purdue Extension ag agent Ken Eck says crop surveys that were completed on Friday show that the county’s corn harvest is currently at 38%, with much of the corn that was planted in early spring being harvested. Eck says moisture for local crops were reported at between 19 and 26%, with dry down times and moistures widely varying from farm to farm and even field to field. Eck says much of that is due to corn varieties and local soil and field conditions. Eck says more farmers are expected to begin harvesting this week as corn crops continue to mature.

Now as for soybeans, Eck says that harvest has also started, though only in limited areas of the county. As of last week, only about 3% of the soybean crop has been harvested. Eck says most soybean fields are still dropping leaves as the plants continue to mature.

On a final note, some farmers are already beginning to seed winter wheat. Eck says farmers need to wait until after the wheat ‘free-fly’ date of October 7th to seed the wheat in order to significantly reduce the chance of Hessian fly infestations, which could lead to eventual crop losses.

Eck says that October 7th date also applies to other winter cover crops including wheat, rye, barley, and other cereal grains.

This week marks College Go! Week as state officials are urging students to start planning for their education after high school.

College Go! Week is an annual campaign run by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. It runs from this week all the way through November and is designed to help Hoosiers find what they need to go off to college and eventually graduate with a degree.

To do that, state officials are unveiling the new and improved Learn More Indiana website. The site features several practical college and career-readiness activities, including:

-An interactive college map

-Career exploration tools

-Student checklists for all ages


-Paying for college 101

among other features. District 48 senator Mark Messmer says the website has something for everyone:

More information is available by going to

This year’s Huntingburg Herbstfest royalty was announced over the weekend ahead of this week’s big event.

Erica Buechlein, the daughter of Bob Buechlein and Angie Brooks, will be this year’s Herbstfest queen. Jessica Hilsmeyer was the first runner-up with Bailey Maria Barrett as 2nd runner-up.

Of course, the Herbstfest gets underway this Thursday night at Huntingburg City Park. Some of the key events that night will include the opening of food booths and the beer garden along with a performance by the Dubois County Cloggers on the Main Stage at League Stadium.Herbstfest Queen

The Herbstfest will run through Sunday. Other highlights of the fest are musical performances by Kirby Staley, Haywire, and the Celebration Singers; a barbecue and chili cook-off; the wildcard and championship rounds of the WBDC Cornhole Tournament of Champions; and the parade.

This year’s parade will conclude the Herbstfest. It gets underway at 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon along 4th Street.