Bradford Raths

An Ohio-based company will be getting a tax abatement towards expansion efforts at its plant in Tell City.

Earlier this week, the Tell City Council gave its initial approval for Parker Hannifin’s abatement request. The company plans to invest 4.1 million dollars in equipment for the plant. The council also will designate the plant’s property as an economic revitalization area, thus allowing for the abatement.

If the council gives its final approval next month, property taxes for the new investment would be phased in over a 10 year time period. There is no impact for property taxes that the company is paying for its existing area.

Parker Hannafin project manager Steve Callas told the council that the plant currently manufactures on 13 different product lines. He also told the council that sales for one of the lines have doubled over the last year or two and the current equipment is already at 93 to 95 percent capacity, thus the need for the expansion.

The company also considered doing the expansion in another country, but Callas and others fought to keep the plant in Tell City as employees with experience and an established supply chain are already in place at that plant.

The overall investment is valued at 4.8 million dollars. Callas says though no jobs will be created initially, new jobs could be coming should product sales continue to grow.

Discussions about a new T-hangar at the Huntingburg Airport are continuing.

Last night, representatives from Wolpert Engineering presented plans for a new 10 unit T hangar to the Dubois County Airport Authority. Though 10 units is the starting point, 2 to 4 more units could be added on in the future to meet demand.

DCAA president Brian Craig says there is already more demand for the new hangar than available space. He says flexibility will be an important part of this project:

Huntingburg Airport manager Travis McQueen told the board that all 12 of those who requested space were Dubois County residents and all of them made the required deposits for a spot in the new hangar.

McQueen also suggested forming a committee to accept and go through the bids for the project. The board approved that recommendation and set a special meeting to award the bid. That meeting will take place at 5:30 pm on August 4th.

Also last night, the board approved the hiring of certified flight instructors for the airport. The instructors are set to be paid 28 dollars an hour and will work no more than 29 hours a week. The board then approved changing the salary ordinance to reflect the new employees and their pay.

A doctor who was recently hired by Daviess Community Hospital was arrested over the weekend after he was found to be driving under influence from prescription drugs.

On Sunday, Evansville Police stopped a vehicle driven by 40-year-old Samuel Byrd of Vincennes near the intersection of Green River Road and Morgan Avenue. A witness told police that Byrd had hit 2 curbs before leaving a nearby restaurant.

Police say Byrd passed a breathalyzer test, but failed several other field sobriety tests. Byrd later told jail officers that he had taken a prescription known as Propanol earlier in the day Sunday.

Byrd was lodged in the Vanderburgh County Jail on operating while intoxicated charges. Meanwhile, police also found marijuana in Byrd’s vehicle. Byrd’s wife, 38-year-old Tracy Green-Byrd, was arrested on possession of marijuana and public intoxication charges.

Daviess Community Hospital announced last week that Byrd would join the staff at the hospital’s medical clinic on Grand Avenue. Byrd is a Washington High School graduate and practiced medicine in Evansville and Vincennes prior to his hiring at DCH.

Two drivers were injured in a Huntingburg area crash yesterday.

Just after 6:25 pm, Huntingburg Police were called to an area near 12th and Jackson Streets on the reported accident. Police say Terri Petry of Huntingburg was northbound on Jackson Street when she failed to stop for a vehicle driven by Daniel Flores of Huntingburg. Flores was eastbound along 12th Street when Petry’s vehicle hit his vehicle.

Petry complained of neck pain and was taken to Memorial Hospital by ambulance for treatment. Flores complained of back pain and refused treatment at the scene. He later went to Memorial Hospital by personal vehicle.

Damage to Petry’s vehicle was estimated at 25 hundred dollars while Flores’ vehicle sustained 2 thousand dollars in damage.

Alumni of the St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology now have a new contact person at the school.

School officials have announced that Christian Mocek is set to take over as the next director of alumni relations for the school. Mocek replaces Timothy Herrmann. Herrmann will be entering the monastery this fall.

Mocek earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University last year. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Michigan last month.

Mocek spent the last 2 summers as a college intern at St. Meinrad. He served in the “One Bread, One Cup” program of liturgical leadership for youth. During the summer of 2012, he also served as an intern for United Way of Greater Toledo.

Prior to coming to St. Meinrad for work, Mocek was a program assistant for the Center for Educational Outreach in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In that role, he trained college students for outreach work both in schools and the community. He also previously served as an educational specialist at Excellent Schools Detroit.

Mocek began his new job yesterday.

Habitat for Humanity of Dubois County got a boost for its fundraising efforts.

Last night, Will Read and Sing for Food hosted a benefit for Habitat at the Center for Manufacturing, Innovation, and Technology on the Vincennes University Jasper Campus. The show featured several local essayists and musicians, including Scott Saalman, Abbie Rumbach, Marc Steczyk, and Bethany Boeglin. Evansville radio reporter Cass Herrington also read several essays at last night’s show. Herrington hosts All Things Considered and the Trend for WNIN.

For Saalman, the opportunity to help organizations like Habitat for Humanity is what the performances are all about:

Last night’s show drew a full house to the auditorium in the CTIM building. Melissa Baxter is the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Dubois County. She says the turnout for the event is a sign of support for the organization:

Habitat for Humanity of Dubois County is closing in on its 20th anniversary. The organization was started back in 1995.

Now last night’s show was the 49th show for the Will Read and Sing group. The group’s first show was held on the VUJC campus back in October of 2011. They have raised more than 28 thousand dollars for area charities since their founding.

With the Mid-State Corridor now a priority project for Indiana, local leaders are now trying to keep the ball rolling.

Last week, the state’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Transportation announced the project as a Tier 2 project, meaning that it is slated for completion within the next 5 to 10 years. That announcement was good news for area business leaders, but it also brought new questions, such as how the project will be funded, to the forefront.

OFS Brands CEO Hank Menke has been leading the Mid-States Corridor project from the beginning. He says funding for the project could take on several different sources, but there is still a lot to sort out:

Menke also says the total cost of the project is still not clear.

In all, Menke is excited to see the project become a priority. He also says the economic development that’s happening along Interstate 69 in Daviess County is similar to what will happen locally once the Mid-States Corridor is completed:

The Blue Ribbon panel prioritized state projects into 3 tiers across 4 different modes of transportation. Those were water, air, road, and rail. Tier 1 projects are recommended to be done within 5 years, Tier 2 5 to 10 years, and Tier 3 projects are on a 15 to 20 year completion time frame.