News

Troopers with the Indiana State Police Jasper Post are continuing to investigate a weekend murder in northern Daviess County..and they want your help in doing so.

Just before 5:10 last Saturday morning, a state police trooper found the body of 40-year-old Aaron Byers of Elnora in a corn field along Crime Scene 1County Road 300 East, about a quarter of a mile south of State Road 58 just west of Elnora.

State police say their detectives and investigators have been working relentlessly on the case. Numerous interviews have been conducted and several leads have been pursued, but state police say they now need help from the public.

Anyone who has any information on what happened is asked to call the Indiana State Police Jasper Post. That number is 482-Byers Truck1441. State police say any information folks can provide may turn out to be critical in solving the case.

State police say other details concerning the autopsy and the cause of Byers’ death are being withheld due to that information still being used by investigators to solve the case. No specific timetable for the release of that information has been set.

There is still work to be done in Spencer County, though progress has been made.

That was the message delivered during this morning’s state of the county address. County commissioners Al Logsdon and Jim Seiler delivered the speech. Logsdon pointed to schools as a great example of the progress in the county. He stated he was proud of both county school districts as they both were close to being among the elite school systems in the state based on test scores.

Another topic of discussion was the condition of roads in the county. Logsdon says despite complaints from some folks, the roads are as well-maintained as they can be for now:

Logsdon and Seiler also told the crowd that the county has laid out long-term plans for paved roads countywide. He stated there are no plans for any of the gravel roads as of this point.

On the negative side, Logsdon and Seiler addressed the issue of brain drain in Spencer County. Logsdon says Spencer County is a great place to live and pleaded with younger folks to do just that:

This morning’s address was hosted by the Spencer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. Our sister station, 103.3 The Fix, served as sponsor of the event.

Now you can watch the commissioners’ address in its entirety next week on 18 WJTS. The address will air as an In.Form program at the end of the regular newscast.

A workforce housing project in the City of Jasper is moving right along.

Last night, the Jasper City Council got an update on the ongoing plans to convert a large part of the former JOFCO building at 13th and Vine Streets into apartments for working folks. The factory originally closed in the early 2000’s, though the office space was being used before Jasper Group purchased JOFCO last year. The office space is now occupied by Cash Waggner.

Pete Schweigeraht with Miller-Valentine Group told the council that the firm is now getting ready for the financing phase of the project. Schweigeraht stated there could be up to 65 apartments available
once the project is completed. The council approved moving forward with the tax credit financing proposal. Miller-Valentine will now be sending that proposal to the state.

Jasper mayor Terry Seitz says the project serves as another opportunity to develop
the city going forward:

The council also gave Seitz permission to continue discussing financial incentives for the project. Seitz says those incentives will be brought back to the council at its October meeting.

Now the project was originally proposed at the council’s regular May meeting. The apartments would be a mix of 1 and 2 bedroom units and the complex would also feature green space and in-house laundry facilities.

The project is expected to cost around 12 or 13 million dollars. State tax credits are being sought through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to keep the rent below the market rate.

This weekend’s Ferdinand Folk Festival will include a visit from royalty.

Archduke of Austria Markus Salvator von Habsburg-Lothringen, his wife Archduchess Hildegard, his cousin Count Ferdinand Otto Graf von Seefried and wife Dr. Monique Seefried, are set to visit the fest coming up on Saturday. They will also be touring several other sites throughout the area.

Now this marks the 2nd trip to Ferdinand for Archduke Markus. He originally visited the town back in 2003 during Heimatfest. His visit was prompted after learning of the town, which was named in honor of his ancestor, Emperor Ferdinand the 1st. Ferdinand the 1st gave money to Father Joseph Kundek to fund his pioneering mission work here in southwestern Indiana.

During that visit, Archduke Markus presented a 19th century portrait of Emperor Ferdinand the 1st. That portrait currently holds a special place of honor at the Monastery of Immaculate Conception of Ferdinand. The archduke vowed to return.

In the meantime, he has sent ideas and well-wishes to friends he made in the town on his first visit 11 years ago. He also wrote a letter to the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs in support of
Ferdinand’s efforts to get grant money for the restoration of the Wollenmann House.

This will be the first visit to Ferdinand for Count Ferdinand. He is the founder of Atlanta, Georgia-based Seefried Industrial Properties Inc. US House Speaker John Boehner appointed Count Ferdinand to the World War 1 Centennial Commission in July. Archduke Markus and Hildegard will fly into Indianapolis from Vienna late on Thursday, September 18 and will have a busy schedule in the Capital city. They will then be brought to Ferdinand Saturday morning in time to join the festivities at the Folk Fest.

The royals will be honored by a special presentation from the State Champion Forest Park Marching Rangers. The band will be performing “Radetzky March” by Johann Strauss and “Children of the Regiment” by Juylius Fucik. The band will also play music from this upcoming fall’s marching band show, a show titled “Aquatica.”

A special mass in German will take place at 9:30 on Sunday morning in St. Ferdinand Catholic Church. Father John Boeglin from Jasper’s Holy Family Catholic Church along with German-born Deacon James King will lead that mass.

St. Ferdinand Parish will host an open house reception in the Spiritual Life Center immediately following the mass.

This week’s Tire Recycling Day was a huge success for the Dubois County Solid Waste District.

Solid Waste Director Carla Striegel-Winner says 10,300 pounds of tires in all were recycled on Monday. Streigel-Winner says the goal of the day was to ensure that residents from around the county could recycle their old tires to prevent them from becoming fire hazards and a breeding area for disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Folks wanting more information on the Solid Waste District and items that it accepts can call the Processing Center at 481-7040. You can also go online to duboiscountyin.org/offices/sanitation.
The processing center and offices are located along South County Road 350 West on Jasper’s west side.

Officials with the Jasper Water Department have issued a boil order for all customers in the Jasper and Ireland area.

The department is currently working through issues with the quality of water coming out of the Patoka River. Utilities general manager Bud Hauersperger says there was an unusually high concentration of manganese in the river water. He says the issues with it began last night.

Hauersperger says the manganese levels caused several issues for the city’s water treatment plant:

Hauersperger says water department crews are continuing to work at resolving the problem.

Meanwhile, Jasper mayor Terry Seitz says he is thankful for the support from both city workers and the public:

All customers in the Ireland and Jasper areas are being asked to bring all cooking and drinking water to a boil for 5 minutes before using. Hauersperger says water used for showers, cleaning, and other purposes should not be affected. The boil order is expected to last at least 3 days.

Now several entities around the area are stepping up to help out with water. The Dubois Water System is providing water to residents who bring containers to the intersection of Crossroads and 2nd Avenues near the Easttown Bowling Alley. The Jasper Water Department has set the limit at 5 gallons of water per person. Exemptions can be granted by going to the water utility office along 2nd Avenue and getting a voucher.

Further questions may be directed to the Jasper Water Department at 482-5252.

Dubois County is now ALL-IN.

Last night marked the county launch event for the ALL-IN initiative of Indiana Humanities. The event was held from 5 to 7 pm at the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Manufacturing on the Vincennes University Jasper Campus.

The launch was an opportunity for folks of all ages to get involved with the interactive ALL-IN program. Indiana Humanities designed the web-based program with the idea of connecting people with their communities ahead of the state’s bicentennial celebration in 2016. The program accomplishes this through 16 interactive challenges. The challenges are divided into categories such as explore, discover, and dream.

Keira Amstutz is the president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. She says the organization is pleased with the mix of people who showed up to last night’s launch:

Some of the challenges at the launch included ethnic food and music, family stories, a timeline challenge called “Indiana-versary,” book donations, inspirational quotes, and a board to recognize folks in the community who are shaping the future of Indiana.

Vincennes University Jasper Campus dean Dr. Alan Johnson says he was pleased with the turnout. He says many in the community came together to make the event a reality:

Now several organizations partnered with Indiana Humanities for last night’s launch. These included VUJC, the municipalities of Jasper, Huntingburg, and Ferdinand, the Jasper Chamber of Commerce, Purdue Extension, and the Sisters of St. Benedict.

Now if you were unable to make it to last night’s launch, you can still get involved with the ALL-IN initiative. You can go to indianahumanities.org/all-in to do so.