Local Coverage

Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for the person or people responsible for money that was unintentionally taken from a Jasper business.

Walmart DriverDeputies say the money was accidentally taken last Thursday from the Walmart on Jasper’s north side. Deputies say a customer accidentally left an undisclosed amount of cash at the store. DCSD says a person or several people picked up the money and its believed that they aren’t sure how to go about finding the rightful owner.

The case is being investigated by sheriff’s department detective John Anderson, whose goal is to return the money to its rightful owner. Anderson is asking anyone who may have information to call (812)-482-3522. He can also be reached on his cell phone at (812) 639-9055.

Though there is still no decision on a future site for the Jasper Library, there may be an end in sight.

Last night in a special meeting, the Jasper Library Board continued its lengthy discussion on the feasibility of the former desk site. The board learned that the ‘Jasper Cultural Center’ project will also be tied in with the city’s ongoing push to become one of ‘America’s Best Communities.’

Board president Dean Vonderheide stated that the cultural center would be 1 of 2 projects that would be considered for city funding should Jasper win the America’s Best Communities designation. Of course, Jasper is currently in the quarterfinal round of that competition.

Vonderheide says having the cultural center project as a potential funding target should Jasper become one of America’s Best Communities only reinforces his view:

The board also learned that state DINO tax credits are not contingent on the preservation of the building, meaning part of the Hoosier Desk building could be torn down if need be. Additionally, library director Christine Golden told the board that if the new cultural center were to be built at least 2 feet above the flood zone, flood insurance would not be required according to officials with German American Insurance. Temporary flood insurance would be needed if part of the building remained in the flood zone though that would depend on the lender.

Now the board heard about a modified timeline for a likely decision on a future site. The Jasper Common Council and Jasper Arts Commission will meet in executive session on August 12th to discuss the cultural center. That meeting falls the day before the Jasper Library Board’s next regular meeting on August 13th.

There was some public comment on the project at last night’s meeting. Jasper resident Janice Kemker told the board something needs to be done soon:

Meanwhile, Vonderheide says the board is trying to stay patient while plans come together:

On a somewhat related note, Jasper city officials will be hosting a public celebration of its success to date in the America’s Best Communities competition. That will take place on Thursday August 6th from 5:30 to 7 pm at the Hoosier Desk site.

Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a pair of Birdseye residents in connection with a recent break-in.

Joey HargerDeputies were called at 6:30 yesterday morning to a residence along Kings Ridge Road near Birdseye about a burglary that happened overnight Monday into Tuesday. When they arrived, deputies found that someone had forced their way into the residence through the front door.

Autumn DeichThrough their investigation, deputies identified 30-year-old Joey Harger and 31-year-old Autumn Deich (both of Birdseye) as the suspects. Harger and Deich were taken into custody after they were found at a residence in Crawford County and questioned by police.

Harger is facing burglary and theft charges while Deich is charged with aiding burglary and aiding theft. Deputies say Harger also is charged in connection with 2 warrants out of Dubois Superior Court for failure to appear and a writ of attachment.

Authorities say everything that was taken from the residence was found and returned.

Operation Big Brother defendants are continuing to move through the Dubois County Court system and another sentencing took place yesterday.

Margaret MacDonald42-year-old Margaret ‘Faith’ MacDonald of Huntingburg was sentenced to a total of 10 years during a hearing yesterday in Dubois Superior Court. The first 4 of those years will be served in the Indiana Department of Corrections, followed by 2 years on work release through Dubois County Community Corrections. MacDonald will then spend 4 years on supervised probation.

MacDonald originally pled guilty back on June 1st to a Class B felony for Dealing in Methamphetamine. Under that plea agreement, Superior Court Judge Mark McConnell had complete discretion over the sentencing. However, the sentence could not be more than 16 years. The range of sentences for Class B felonies is between 6 and 20 years, with an advisory sentence of 10 years.

Yesterday’s sentencing means 12 of the 16 Operation Big Brother cases have been resolved. One of the remaining 4 cases is set for sentencing in Dubois Superior Court today.

Sentences imposed in these cases have totalled 113 years, with 89 of those years being jail time.

A Spencer County teen escaped serious injuries after he rolled his car over north of Huntingburg.

At 7:35 pm, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were called to US 231 north of Phoenix Drive. Deputies say 16-year-old Devin McNabb of St. Meinrad was going southbound on US 231 when he fell asleep. A short time later, McNabb’s vehicle crossed the center line and the northbound lanes of US 231 before going off of the east side of the roadway.

After going off-road, McNabb’s vehicle kept going south, hitting a private drive culvert and going airborne for a short time. McNabb then hit an embankment and rolled over onto its roof where it came to rest facing south in the ditch.

McNabb was able to get out of the vehicle. He was treated at the scene for minor cuts and abrasions and later went to Memorial Hospital by private vehicle. Deputies say McNabb was wearing a seatbelt and his vehicle’s airbags deployed, thus greatly reducing the severity of his injuries. McNabb’s car was a total loss.

Huntingburg Police, Indiana State Police, Memorial Hospital EMS, and a wrecker from KARS also assisted.

German American Bancorp says the news continues to be positive when it comes to company growth in 2015.

Company officials say earnings for this year’s 2nd quarter rose by 8% on an earnings per share basis. Net income for the 2nd quarter came in at $7.3 million or 55 cents a share. That’s up from $6.7 million and 51 cents a share for the 2nd quarter of last fiscal year.

GAB says the picture is even rosier for year-to-date earnings. Through the first half of fiscal year 2015, German American’s earnings rose by 12% on a per share basis, coming in at $14.6 million or $1.10 per diluted share. The first half of 2014 saw earnings of $13 million or 98 cents per diluted share.

Now GAB says the quarterly earnings improvement can be attributed to increases in both net interest and non-interest income. Net income is up 2% or roughly $335,000 over the 2nd quarter of 2014 while non-interest income rose by 11% or roughly $619,000 over last fiscal year’s 2nd quarter. Total loans were also up, rising by 7% over 2nd quarter 2014 numbers on a linked quarter annualized basis.

In a news release, German American Chairman and CEO Mark Schroeder says the company is very happy with its 2nd quarter and year-to-date earnings reports. He says company earnings have exceeded $7 million in 4 consecutive quarters, thanks to continued loan portfolio growth and GAB’s disciplined approach to expense control.

GAB has also announced its regular quarterly cash dividend. The company’s Board of Directors declared that dividend at 17 cents per share. The dividends are payable August 20th to shareholders of record as of August 10th.

Authorities arrested a Huntingburg man last night after he threw bricks at a truck while intoxicated.

Chester VolzHuntingburg Police were called to a home in the 700 block of East 7th Street on this report at around 6:40 pm. HPD says officers located a black and gold 2006 Ford F150 owned by Michael Weitkamp. Weitkamp’s truck was heavily damaged according to police, with windows broken out of it.

Witnesses told police that 57-year-old Chester Volz had thrown a brick at the truck and then walked away. The witnesses pointed Volz out to police when Volz was seen walking through an alley. Officers say Volz appeared to be unsteady as he walked and witnesses say Volz came out of the alley before throwing the brick.

As they spoke with Volz, officers noted the smell of alcohol on him. Volz was detained and taken back to the scene where more interviews were done with the witness.

Volz refused to give a breath sample, but the alcohol odor and witness testimony was enough for police to take him into custody. Volz was booked into the Dubois County Security Center on Class B misdemeanors for public intoxication and criminal mischief.