News

More recognition has been bestowed on Jasper’s Memorial Hospital and Healthcare Center.

Earlier this month, the hospital was honored with the 2015 Partnership Matters Award from the Southwest Indiana Area Health Education Center (AHEC). AHEC says Memorial deserved the award due to the hospital’s position as as regional leader in comprehensive health care along with an ongoing commitment to the future healthcare workforce and unique educational opportunities for residents.

In a news release, Southwest Indiana AHEC director Jane Friona says family doctors affiliated with Memorial Hospital will precept 9 family medicine clerkships for 3rd year medical students. The clerkships include free living space as needed and free meals.

The Partnership Matters Award is designed to recognize organizations or programs whose partnership provides outstanding opportunities for success in local AHEC programs. Winners also must have the motivation to collaborate with other entities to transcend boundaries and leverage scarce resources in order to build the next generation of Hoosier health professionals.

Details have now been announced for this year’s Halfway to the Folk Fest event.

This year’s performance will take place on Saturday April 25th starting at 7:30 pm. The show will once again take place at the Gaslight in Huntingburg.

Singer-songwriter Aaron Persinger will be the featured performer that night. An Indiana native, Persinger has been writing and performing songs for nearly 30 years. He has opened for several different acts such as R.B. Morris, the Yonder Mountain String Band, and Todd Snider.

For additional information about Persinger, visit www.aaronpersinger.com.

It’s spring time and Huntingburg has announced ‘Spring Cleaning Days’ to get a jump start on the season.

Spring cleanup days start next Thursday, April 9th from noon til 7 pm. They continue from noon til 7 pm on Friday April 10th and from 8 am to 4 pm that Saturday April 11th.

Costs will be $2 per car, $5 per truck, $5 per trailer under 8 feet and trailers over 8 feet will cost $10. Vehicle tires with and without rims along with large truck and tractor tires, televisions, computers and monitors will all be accepted for additional fees for each item.

Small, loose items must be placed in a trash bag to be accepted. Small items are considered those smaller than 12 to 18 inches.

Items containing Freon, such as refrigerators, dehumidifiers and air conditioners, require a certificate from a licensed plumber stating the Freon has been removed. Wood, plywood, asphalt shingles and other construction debris will not be accepted.

“Spring Cleanup Days” are for Huntingburg residents only. A utility bill and ID are required. The City reserves the right to refuse any item.

For more information, please contact Rachel Steckler at Huntingburg City Hall at 812-683-2211 or by email at rsteckler@huntingburg-in.gov.

Early returns from an ongoing housing study in Dubois County have greatly surprised some local officials.

This evening, Dubois Strong president Ed Cole told the Dubois County Council that project firm Development Concepts Incorporated of Indianapolis has found there is, in fact, no shortage of available housing units in the county. Cole says instead, the firm has concluded that many of the available houses and apartments don’t fit with the type of housing that many people are interested in.

Cole says this revelation will change Dubois Strong’s future approach when it comes to housing development:

Cole says the study will also lead to a closer look at how many units of workforce housing are needed in the county and where those should be implemented. He says local participation was excellent as more than 1,100 workers completed surveys that were conducted as part of this study.

Cole told the council that the findings will push the completion of the study back a little bit as the data that was collected will need to be studied a bit further. Cole says Design Concepts Inc. will now likely conclude its work in early May rather than in mid-April.

The cost of the study was originally expected to end up somewhere around $35,000.

Ongoing work on the 9-1-1 communications upgrades in Dubois County hit a minor funding snag within the last couple of weeks.

This evening, the Dubois County Council heard that county attorney Art Nordhoff recently recommended an investment into a performance bond as insurance for the communications system work. The council decided to approve that recommendation, though there was reluctance from some members to do so. The bond adds a little over $44,600 to the original cost of the project, bringing the project’s total cost up to around $860,000.

Now law enforcement and other emergency personnel across the county maintain that the project is an important one. Sheriff Donny Lampert says the impact of the upgrades will be felt in several different areas:

The rest of the funding for the project was approved at January’s council meeting. Advanced Radio Communications is working on this project with help from Digital Sky Wireless.

Once completed, the new system will allow for 95% of the county to be covered by emergency communications. Officials say that is significantly better than current coverage levels.

Dubois County’s unemployment rate remains low after a large decrease in the month of February.

Numbers released this afternoon by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development show that Dubois County still has the 2nd lowest unemployment rate in the state. That rate came in at 4.2% for February, down 6 tenths of a percent from January. Hamilton County retains the top spot at 4.1%.

Among other local counties, Daviess County is tied for the 4th lowest unemployment rate at 4.7%. Warrick County came in at 5.2%, Pike County 5.3%, Martin County 5 and a half percent, Spencer 5.8%, Perry 5.9%, Orange County was at 7.8%, and Crawford County came in at 8.4% for February. Vermillion County again had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 9.7%.

Now statewide numbers released on Friday show that the state’s unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a percent down to 5.9% for February. Spokesman Joe Frank says the state‘s economy added 1,700 new jobs led mainly by private educational and health services, manufacturing and the leisure and hospitality sectors. Indiana‘s unemployment rate remains higher the national rate of 5.5% for February. Frank says that‘s because in the past few years, Indiana has seen a big increase of about 80,000 people returning to the labor force.

Frank says that‘s an indication that people are more optimistic about their job prospects…..

Frank says the state has added about 268,000 private sector jobs – 90,000 in manufacturing – in the past few years following the economic downturn back in 2008.

Indiana remains among the top ten states for job creation. Frank says they expect the labor force and private sector job growth trends to continue.

The search continues for the nesting site of a bald eagle they say died from injuries after being shot in northwestern Dubois County.

Indiana Conservation Officers say the search efforts have included using aircraft and drones to search Eagle Search 1nests in the area. Conservation officers say 3 nests that are closest to where the eagle was found have been ruled out, as all 3 turned out to be 2 parent nests.

In a news release, Indiana Conservation Officer Kenny Tincher says the amount of phone calls and help recieved from citizens so far has been almost overwhelming. Tincher says local agencies and the Dubois County Sportsman’s Club have donated money to cover costs of using the aircraft and drones.

Now this story began back on March 19th when conservation officers were called to an area in northwestern Dubois County near the Pike County line after getting a report of an injured eagle. Conservation officer Joe Haywood said last week the eagle’s actions suggested that something was wrong:

The eagle was found in flooded timber and was taken to a federal wildlife rehabilitator. Haywood says rehab efforts stalled when the bird could not keep food down. The bird was later taken to the Indiana Eagle Search 2Raptor Center in Nashville after bullet fragments were found during X-rays.

The bird died enroute to the Raptor Center.