Bradford Raths

Ferdinand firefighters were kept busy overnight after a trailer carrying sawdust caught fire at a local factory.

Just before 9 o’clock last night, the Ferdinand Volunteer Fire Department was called to MasterBrand plant 22 along West 3rd Street. When they arrived, Ferdinand fire chief Dan Lindauer says the trailer had ignited after a bearing in the auger system under the trailer’s roof overheated. Lindauer says the trailer had been parked next to the plant when the fire started and it was full of sawdust.

Lindauer says he had employees pull the trailer away from the building so that crews could get the fire put out. He says it was fortunate that the fire was reported as soon as it was:

Lindauer says there were maintenance personnel around the trailer at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported. Lindauer says damage was confined to the inside of the trailer.

The Ferdinand Fire Deparment responded with 4 trucks and about 25 men. They were on scene for about an hour and a half. Ferdinand Police and Memorial Hospital EMS also assisted.

Huntingburg city officials have announced plans for this year’s 5-5-5 run/walk events.

Mayor Denny Spinner says the first of this year’s 5-5-5’s will take place on Friday April 10th. This year’s schedule will feature 5 events in all and each will take place at 5 pm on the 2nd Friday of each month between April and August.

Of course, the city began the 5-5-5 events last year. Spinner says the free events drew more than 900 participants in all. He says 93 people completed all 5 of the runs, which came with the incentive of a free t-shirt.

Spinner says the events are more of a social gathering than a competitive race:

The events are free to take part in. For more information, you can go to

Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari is launching a charity auction for seats on the first running of the new Thunderbird winged coaster.

The “Thunderbird’s First Flight” auction is now underway. The auction will run through April 8th. The 20 highest bidders will win 2 seats each on the first public rides for Thunderbird.

Park officials say the auction will benefit the Give Kids the World charity. Give Kids the World is a 70-acre nonprofit resort near central Florida’s top attractions. That resort aims to give children with life-threatening illnesses and their families one week vacations for free. Those kids and their families then get a 1 year pass for free visits at theme parks and other attractions across the country, including Holiday World. Holiday World is a charter member of the program.

In a news release, park president Matt Eckert says supporting the mission of Give Kids the World is important to Holiday World and its employees. Eckert says helping the families is a big reason for why the charity auction idea was launched.

To place your bid in “Thunderbird’s First Flight”, you can go to

Holiday World opens for the season on April 25; Splashin’ Safari opens May 13.

The story of a Jasper native who made medical history is now immortalized at the Dubois County Museum.

Yesterday afternoon, the museum opened up the permanent exhibit titled “The Story of Bill Schroeder and the Jarvik 7 Heart”.

Bill Schroeder was the 2nd person to receive the heart developed by Dr. Robert Jarvik after he suffered a pair of heart attacks and underwent bypass surgery.

Bill’s wife, Margaret Schroeder says the decision to have the transplant was made in the spring of 1984. She says the idea of an artificial heart was originally unthinkable:

Bill Schroeder recieved the Jarvik 7 via transplant on November 25th of 1984 at Humana Heart Hospital in Louisville. He was 52 at the time of the transplant.

The surgery, performed by Dr. William C DeVries, went well, though it took more than 6 hours to complete. After returning to the operating room a few hours later due to internal bleeding, Schroeder stayed in the intensive care unit for nearly 2 weeks before leaving on December 7th of 1984.

Margaret Schroeder says community support played a key role in getting the family through the process:

Margaret says she is still going through support letters to this day. She says the exhibit is a great honor for the couple’s 6 children and the grandchildren, some of whom are looking into medical careers.

Meanwhile, Bill Schroeder lived for 620 days after receiving the Jarvik heart, which is the longest that anyone has ever lived on an artificial heart. He passed away on August 7th of 1986 after battling a lung infection and a series of strokes.

The museum exhibit features the Jarvik 7 heart along with local and national news articles and news footage from a Louisville television station.

District 48 State Senator Mark Messmer’s work on the Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee yielded a couple of bills this past week..including one that might have you think twice about how you insure your rental car.

Messmer is the Senate sponsor for House Bill 1062. The bill is designed to help the consumer by changing how rental car companies deal with damaged cars. Currently, if you choose not to buy the rental car insurance that is offered by a rental company, the company is not able to collect any payment for damage from the renter. However, Messmer says there is a huge caveat to insuring a rental car with your own car insurance policy:

House Bill 1062 would allow rental companies to charge renters for damages to a rental car either up to the amount of that person’s insurance deductible, or $500 if the person doesn’t know how much their insurance deductible is.

Now if the actual damage to the rental car costs less than what was collected from the renter when the car was returned, the rental company would be required to refund the over payment. House Bill 1062 has passed out of the Senate.

The House now either has to concur or send the bill to conference committee.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A newspaper is reporting that top officials at the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles knew for years that they were overcharging residents for driver’s licenses and other fees.

The Indianapolis Star reports ( ) that officials did nothing to return the extra money until someone filed a class-action lawsuit in 2013.

The newspaper says the state overbilled residents more than $60 million between 2007 and 2013.

Among those who’d been informed of the overcharges were former BMV Commissioner R. Scott Waddell and his chief of staff, according to emails obtained by The Star.

Waddell received a spreadsheet from a deputy BMV director identifying 17 overcharges two years before giving sworn testimony claiming he’d known nothing about the problem.

State officials have characterized the overcharges as an innocent mistake.

Pike County authorities are investigating the death of a Winslow man after his body was found earlier today.

In a news release, Pike County Sheriff Jeremy Britton says the body of 41-year-old Anthony Arnett was found at around 4:40 this afternoon near his home in the 4200 block of South Pike County Anthony ArnettRoad 300 East near Winslow. Police say his body was found in an area just northeast of the residence.

Britton says the cause of Arnett’s death is undetermined pending an autopsy to be done by the Pike County Coroner’s Office. Britton says this investigation is still ongoing.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana Conservation Officers, Indiana State Police, a Pike County EMT K-9 Search Team, and the Pike County Coroner’s Office also assisted.