Bradford Raths

Round 2 of Operation Double Trouble took place this morning and led to several more arrests on drug dealing charges.

Dubois County Deputy Prosecutor Beth Sermersheim says 7 subjects were arrested DSC_4869during a raid early this morning. Those arrested this morning were:

38-year-old Michael Bryant Jr of Huntingburg. He’s charged with a Level 2 felony for Dealing in a Narcotic Drug and a Level 4 felony for Dealing in Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone

50-year-old Andrew Dodd of Huntingburg, who faces Class A and Level 2 felony counts for Dealing in Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone. He’s also facing a Habitual Substance Offender Enhancement on the Level 2 felony count.

41-year-old Trell Ferguson of Huntingburg is facing a Level 5 felony for Dealing in a Schedule 4 Controlled Substance.

37-year-old Joni Goldman of Huntingburg, who faces Level 2 and Level 3 felonies for Dealing Methadone

31-year-old Adrienne Holmes of Huntingburg, who faces a Level 5 felony for Dealing in Methamphetamine

45-year-old Shannon “Dean” Tredway of Huntingburg, who faces a Level 4 felony for Dealing in a Narcotic Drug and a Class A misdemeanor for Dealing Paraphernalia

AND

68-year-old Cary Trusty of Huntingburg, who is charged with 2 Level 3 felony counts for Dealing Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine.

Sermersheim says a total of 20 people were charged with drug dealing felonies as part of Operation Double Trouble. She says only 19 warrants were secured due to 1 person passing away prior to the Prosecutor’s Office applying for warrants.

Now in a press conference this morning at the Dubois County Security Center, Sermersheim stated she is pleased with how the operation turned out. However, she says those arrested in Operation Double Trouble will get lighter sentencing than in the past thanks to changes made to the state’s criminal code back in 2014:

Sermersheim says this morning’s arrests mark the end of Operation Double Trouble. Meanwhile, Dubois County Sheriff Donny Lampert says he’s pleased with the cooperation between local law enforcement agencies for Operation Double Trouble. He also says efforts to combat drugs locally will have to become more proactive than reactive in order to change the culture:

Sermersheim says a 3rd undercover drug operation is in the works, though of course she could not provide further details.

A Huntingburg woman was slightly injured and faces an intoxication charge after crashing her car in a ditch in southwestern Dubois County this morning.

Tabitha KlineA deputy with the Dubois County Sheriffs Department says at around 7:10 am, 21-year-old Tabitha Kline was traveling northbound on Duff RD SE when she ran her passenger car off the east side of the road and into a large ditch, hitting an earth embankment. Authorities say Kline’s vehicle continued north in the ditch and off of the roadway, travelling for a short distance before coming to rest. The impact of the crash caused the side curtain airbags to deploy.

Kline was taken to Memorial Hospital in Jasper to be treated as she complained of pain to her head and neck. While at Memorial, deputies say Kline tested with an alcohol level of .139. She was charged with Operating While Intoxicated and was booked into the Dubois County Security Center without incident.

Deputies were assisted by Huntingburg First Responders and Memorial EMS

Though many issues got resolved during this past general assembly, road funding over the long term remains a subject of debate.

Of course, this past legislative session was a budget year. Lawmakers wound up with a major increase in education funding, but road and infrastructure funding was some $200 million less than what had originally been sought. Because of that shortfall, many state lawmakers are now pointing to roads as the top issue in the 2016 General Assembly.

Now at the crux of the issue has been finding a long-term funding formula for roads rather than using dollars out of the state’s general fund. District 63 representative Mike Braun is on the House Roads and Transportation Committee. Braun says the formula discussions will continue through summer study committees and into next year. He says the funding formula will also need to take into account regional road projects such as the Mid-States Corridor.

Braun says in the end, it will still come down to a collaborative local effort to move things ahead:

Now Indiana’s gas tax revenue for last year came in at 527 million dollars. That’s a drop of 55 million dollars since 2004. The state funding problems have extended to the Dubois County Highway Department as well. In recent months, county highway superintendent Steve Berg appeared before the Dubois County Council to ask for needed funds to replace equipment. He says that $200,000 would have been available had there been enough state funding to keep his department running.

Berg also proposed an idea of his own for fixing the state road funding formula:

Berg says he discussed that idea with state legislators prior to the end of the 2015 General Assembly in late April.

A pair of local senators have been chosen for interim study committees this summer in preparation for next year’s legislative session.

District 47 senator Erin Houchin and District 48 senator Mark Messmer will both be on multiple Senate committees this summer. Houchin will serve on interim study committees for Commerce and Economic Development, Elections, and Public Safety and Military Affairs. Meanwhile, Messmer will serve on the Interim Study Committee on Public Policy along with the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

Of course, lawmakers are assigned to the interim committees for the summer and fall months. There are 20 such committees this summer focused on issues ranging from agriculture and natural resources to education to elections to roads and education.

The topics for summer study are assigned by the bipartisan Legislative Council which is made up of 16 voting members including 8 state representatives and 8 senators.

To see interim committee agendas and stream the hearings online, you can go to in.gov/iga.

This year’s Ferdinand 175th celebration is in the books and winners for Sunday’s parade have been announced.

The best walking unit went to the Forest Park Dance Team with the Forest Park Band in 2nd. Knies Sawmill was honored with the Equestrian Award. Ed and Betty Roos’ 1961 Cadillac was honored as the Best Antique Vehicle.

Meanwhile, the Santa Claus Fire Department took home top honors in the New Emergency Vehicle class with their 2010 Ferrara Pumper truck called “Rudolph.” The Ferdinand Knights of Columbus won the Best Float honors while Mike Lindauer along with Francis Lindauer and Sons won the best Antique Tractor award with their Kitten Steam Engine. The Lindauers’ Kitten 8 barrel water wagon garnered top honors in the Antique Farm Equipment category. Finally, the Huntingburg Fire Department’s 1942 American LaFrance fire truck “Betsy” won in the Antique Emergency Vehicle category.

As for overall awards, the Judge’s Award went to the Schnellville Sesquicentennial ‘hat’ float. St. Ferdinand Church’s entry was the Queen’s Court Pick and the Community Spirit Award was given to Psi Iota Xi.

Now you will be able to see the Ferdinand 175th parade in its entirety tomorrow night on 18 WJTS. The broadcast gets underway at 7:30 following the local newscast.

18 WJTS will also be broadcasting the Ferdinand 175th Queen and Little Miss/Mister pageants. Those air at 7:30 this evening, again following the local newscast.

Royalty for this year’s Daviess County Fair has now been crowned.

Jordan CarrLast night, 18-year-old Jordan Carr was honored as this year’s queen. This year’s pageant took place at 8 o’clock and there were 5 contestants in all.

The Daviess County Fair continues through this week. Highlights of the rest of the fair are the Little Miss and Mister contest at 7 o’clock tomorrow night, the demolition derby and the first ever go cart races at 7:30 this Saturday night.

The Daviess County Fair concludes this Saturday night.

The news just keeps getting better for unemployment both in Dubois County and all across the state.

According to May numbers released this afternoon by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Dubois County still has the state’s lowest unemployment rate. However, that rate did creep up 3 tenths of a percent to 3.2%. Indianapolis suburb Hamilton County remains in 2nd place this month with an unemployment rate at 3.4%.

Among other counties, Daviess County came in 6th lowest at 3.7%. Spencer County entered the top 10 this month. They’re tied for 7th lowest unemployment at 3.8%. Warrick and Pike Counties both came in at 3.9%, Martin County came in at 4%, Perry County 4.5%, Crawford County at 5.6% and Orange County had our area’s highest unemployment at 6%. Vermillion County once again had the state’s highest unemployment rate. It was at 7.1% this month.

Now overall, Indiana’s unemployment rate is down 3 tenths to 5.1%. The DWD says the state’s unemployment rate has dropped by 3.3% since January of 2013 and 5.7% since July of 2009, both of which are 3rd best in the country. The state added 9,700 private sector jobs in May. Since the beginning of 2015, Indiana has added 29,400 private sector jobs and has added 289,100 private sector jobs since the state’s low point of employment back in July of 2009.

Among other area states, Indiana’s unemployment rate is tied with Kentucky for the lowest. Ohio is close behind at 5.2% with Illinois at 5 and a half percent and Michigan at 6 percent.