News

Jasper Police are investigating an attempted break-in at the Jasper Youth Sports Complex.

Police say sometime between 6 o’clock Monday night and 7 o’clock yesterday morning, a suspect or suspects tried to force their way into a maintenance shed on the property. JPD says the person was not able to get into the shed.

Now Jasper Police and the Community Strike Force Against Crime are offering a $750 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this incident. Anyone with information is being asked to call Jasper Police at (812)-482-2255.

You can also call the department’s anonymous tip line at (812)-481-COPS.

Although the public turnout for recent comprehensive plan meetings in Ferdinand has been low, its not causing alarm for town officials.

Roughly a dozen town residents showed up to the most recent comprehensive plan meeting held last week at the Ferdinand Community Center. That meeting was the 4th one held about a new comprehensive plan with the 3 previous ones being more small group based.

Ferdinand town manager Chris James says the silence is probably a good thing:

James says this comprehensive plan process has been somewhat new to him. He says its also been a great learning experience:

Of course, the town is looking to put together a framework for the next 5 to 10 years. Ideas from the current comprehensive plan that was adopted back in 2007 will also be used.

Some of the new ideas included more affordable housing, jobs for teenagers and everyone in general, adding sidewalks along Main Street and a future run at the Stellar Communities designation.

Now with the community meetings completed, the next steps fall to the Ferdinand Plan Commission. Town officials say the commission with work with consultant Kathy Kleindorfer to come up with a final proposal.

That proposal is expected to come before the Ferdinand Town Council for its approval later this fall.

A southeastern Dubois County man was killed in a car vs motorcycle accident yesterday afternoon in northern Spencer County.

Just after 3 o’clock central time, authorities were called to an area about half a mile east of the intersection of State Roads 62 and 162 near St. Meinrad. Fatal AccidentSpencer County Coroner Robert Fuller says 47-year-old Joe Edward Smitson of St. Anthony was riding westbound on State Road 62 when he crossed the center line for an unknown reason and hit a small car head-on. A pair of witnesses later told authorities it appeared that Smitson was having mechanical issues with the motorcycle at the time of the crash according to Fuller.

Fuller says Smitson suffered serious head injuries due to blunt force trauma and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Fuller says Smitson was not wearing a helmet.

No other injuries were reported, though a LifeFlight helicopter from St. Mary’s was originally called to the scene and later was sent back. State Road 62 was closed in the area for about 3 hours while the accident was being investigated.

Santa Claus Police, the St. Meinrad Fire Department, Spencer County Sheriff’s Deputies, the Spencer County Coroner’s Office and Spencer County EMS also assisted.

Nearly 300 marijuana plants were removed from a field in southwestern Dubois County early this morning.

According to Dubois County Deputy Prosecutor Beth Sermersheim, about 269 marijuana plants were removed from 3 separate plots within corn fields near Holland. The plants were removed by Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies and Indiana State Police troopers. Entering Field

Now the plants were found during flyovers done by both the sheriff’s department and state police. After the land plots were confirmed to have marijuana plants growing, sheriff’s deputies and the prosecutor’s office secured a warrant to place surveillance equipment in the area which allowed authorities to monitor any activity in the area. Marijuana Plants

Of course, authorities are continuing to investigate the individuals who planted and maintained the 3 plots. Anyone with information is asked to call narcotics officer John Anderson at (812)-482-3522 or (812)-639-9055.

A potential redevelopment of the former Jasper Cabinet property has taken another step towards reality.

This morning, the Jasper Redevelopment Commission passed a declaratory resolution for the project. The resolution creates a new tax increment finance district, which will be called the Jasper Riverfront TIF. This TIF would be separate from the TIF district the city created back in March.

Jasper Redevelopment Commission president John Bell says the project is still a low-risk, high-reward proposition for the city:

Now the project was first discussed at last month’s redevelopment commission meeting. An unnamed developer entered into a purchase agreement with Jasper Cabinet property owner Jerry Fuhs prior to last month’s meeting. The Jasper Cabinet property has been vacant since the company closed back in 2002.

Ed Curtin is representing the developer. He also owns CWC Latitudes, which is the firm that helped Jasper to establish the original TIF district, which the Jasper Cabinet property is currently part of.

Curtin says today’s move forward is nothing but good news:

Curtin told the RDC last month that the separate TIF district was one of the conditions of the developer moving ahead with the project. He stated the separate TIF was needed to protect potential revenue generated from it against any losses due to property taxes among other reasons.

The name of the developer and details of the project will not be revealed until the Jasper City Council’s meeting in October. If the council approves plans at that time, final approval from the redevelopment commission would come at its November meeting.

Officials with Westgate at Crane have announced information for this year’s annual College Fair.

The 2015 college fair will be at WestGate Academy coming up on September 29th. It will run from 9 to 11 am that day. All high school students, including homeschool students are invited to attend.

Of course, the WestGate College Fair has been more and more successful each year. WestGate officials say more than 25 colleges and universities attended along with more than 800 high school students. This year’s fair is already promising to be bigger than that, with colleges from Illinois and Kentucky set to take part. Indiana state schools such as Purdue University, Indiana University, and Ball State University have registered as well as private schools like Rose-Hulman, Franklin College, and Hanover College.

Now there will also be scholarships given out at the college fair. These scholarships, which are in honor of Chuck LaSota, will be awarded at 10 o’clock that morning. Students who apply have to be at the fair in order to receive their scholarship funds.

The scholarships were funded for this year by the ‘Running for Our Future’ 5K event that WestGate at Crane hosted earlier in the year. There are 3 scholarships to be awarded with 1st place getting $1,500. 2nd place gets $1,000 while 3rd place gets a $500 scholarship.

For more information on this year’s WestGate at Crane college fair, you can contact Sarah Miller by email at sarah.miller@stimulusengineering.com.

Officials at Patoka Lake will be offering one more tour of the dam for 2015 coming up this week.

This Saturday morning, the Army Corps of Engineers will give a special presentation at 10 am to get the tour underway. Those interested should meet at the Patoka Lake Nature Center at 9:30 am. Those touring the dam will then car caravan to the Patoka Lake Dam. You can also meet up with everybody at the Dam, which is off of Highway 545.

The tour will include a trip inside the tower structure of the Dam. The Corps of Engineers will be talking more about how spring flooding and the lake’s level are controlled. They’ll also talk more about the history of the dam, including who built the dam and reservoir back in the 1970’s.

As mentioned, this will be the final Patoka Lake Dam tour for 2015. For more information, you can contact Dana Reckelhoff at (812)-685-2447.