News

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.

A Huntingburg man was taken into custody yesterday afternoon after he was found to be out of control for unknown reasons.

Just before 3:45 pm, Huntingburg Police were called to a home in the 100 block of South Chestnut Street on the report. When they arrived, police were told that 48-year-old Donald Cawthorne and 70-year-old Robert DeBoard (also of Huntingburg) had been travelling in a vehicle together when Cawthorne began hitting DeBoard for an unknown reason.

The two were calmed down and returned to the home. At that point, Cawthorne became agitated again and started breaking things inside the home before police arrived. After briefly detaining Cawthorne, police decided to file charges against him.

Cawthorne was taken into custody and lodged in the Dubois County Security Center. He is facing a Class A misdemeanor for battery.

A Jasper man was taken into custody after a verbal dispute turned violent.

At 2:30 this morning, Jasper Police were called to a verbal dispute that had taken place at a home in Jasper. A woman at that home told police that she and 23-year-old Robert McKee had gotten into a verbal spat prior to officers arriving. As McKee left the residence, he then punched out the rear window of the woman’s vehicle.

Police later found McKee at a residence in the 500 block of West 43rd Street. He was then questioned about the broken rear window. During the investigation, police say McKee did not cooperate and struggled with officers.

McKee was taken into custody and lodged in the Dubois County Security Center. He is facing charges for criminal mischief and resisting law enforcement.