TDI Brands has opened a new showroom in The Gardens at AmericasMart in Atlanta.
The permanent showroom contains merchandising displays, examples of store layouts and a collection of gardening accents and accessories.
The space, mainly showcasing products from the Tierra Garden division, is positioned directly next to TDI Brands’ established Stone Age Creations showroom. Between the two showrooms, the majority of products offered by TDI Brands and its divisions are on display.
Local State Representative Mark Messmer says he’s pleased to see restitution for Shoals Community Schools from the settlement reached between the State of Indiana and the Indiana State Teachers Association and the National Education Association.
Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced earlier this week that her office finalized a settlement of a federal securities fraud lawsuit for $14 million, which accused ISTA and NEA of defrauding Hoosier schools out of over $27 million. Shoals Community Schools wills receive nearly 94-thousand dollars from the settlement.
In a release Messmer says while he’s pleased to see local schools receive a portion of their money back, he remains deeply troubled that the ISTA and NEA are not completely repaying Shoals Community Schools for the money they deliberately mismanaged. The republican from Jasper represents portions of Daviess, Dubois, Pike and Martin Counties.
The ISTA offered teachers and other school employees a medical plan that allowed school corporations to invest their excess claim balances to offset future health care costs. The Secretary of State’s complaint alleges that the ISTA did not invest the money as promised, but instead used the money to cover significant shortfalls in their long-term disability plan and to invest for ISTA’s own benefit.
The winter storm that we’ve all been hearing about the last several days looks to be on its way.
The National Weather Service is calling for a mixture of freezing rain and sleet to start anytime in the listening area from this evening into the overnight hours.
A WINTER STORM WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR MOST OF IF NOT ALL OF SOUTHERN INDIANA. IT WILL TAKE EFFECT FROM 10 PM EST THIS EVENING TILL 1 O’CLOCK EST SATURDAY MORNING.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAYS THE INITIAL CHANGE OVER TO A WINTRY MIX OF SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN IS EXPECTED TO OCCUR ACROSS SOUTHERN INDIANA LATER THIS EVENING.
THE PRECIPITATION SHOULD TRANSITION AGAIN TO JUST SNOW DURING THE MORNING HOURS…WITH SNOW INTENSITY FORECAST TO PICK UP DURING THE AFTERNOON.
SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS WILL RANGE FROM 4 TO 8 INCHES ACROSS SOUTHERN INDIANA WITH THE HEAVIEST OF THE SNOW EXPECTED TO FALL FRIDAY AFTERNOON.
FORECASTERS SAY THERE WILL BE A BRIEF PERIOD DURING THE LATE EVENING AND OVERNIGHT HOURS WHERE FREEZING RAIN WILL MAKE
DRIVING EVEN MORE DANGEROUS. TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO RAPIDLY FALL ACROSS THE ENTIRE AREA ON FRIDAY NIGHT.
These conditions, in addition to low temperatures, may cause roads to be extremely icy and travel conditions dangerous.
With all of the weather that’s expected, state, county, and local street crews spent today putting plows on trucks and loading up on salt.
Jasper street commissioner Raymie Eckerle says not being able to pretreat the roads has changed the preparation for this storm to an extent:
Eckerle says the unpredictability of the weather makes the job of street crews that much more difficult:
With this significant winter weather system expected to make its way to Indiana this
evening, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is also encouraging folks to prepare in advance.
Preparations include charging cell phones and other items in case power is interrupted, evaluating whether driving is necessary, taking your time if you decide to drive, and gathering items for your car and home in case they are needed.
Those considering going out onto the roads are advised to check the weather forecast and travel conditions prior to leaving, and allow for extra travel time. If driving during the storm is necessary, make sure you have a fully charged and functioning cell phone. A vehicle preparedness kit is also strongly encouraged.
Plans for the former Jasper Country Club property continue to take shape.
During a public meeting held yesterday afternoon at Jasper City Hall, project consultants Barry Alberts of CityVisions and David Gamble of Gamble and Associates presented their visions for the country club property to a full house in the council chambers. Gamble and Alberts’ presentation laid out 13 points for transforming the country club site. Some of the key points were: a publically accessible site that’s open all year round, an easily accessible place with a series of small, distributed parking areas, and a transformation implemented with flexibility and change in mind.
Gamble says the plans came about thanks to their work with the advisory team:
Gamble says both he and Alberts hope to be a part of the final design and implementation of any changes to the property.
Meanwhile, Jasper mayor Terry Seitz says both Gamble and Associates and CityVisions did great work on this project. He says its now up to the city and others to give the consultants what they need to move forward:
The meeting was not without debate however. A portion of last night’s meeting was spent debating the use of country club land by the Greater Jasper School Corporation for any future development. At the center of the issue is the possibility of a new elementary school for the corporation, stemming from the ongoing feasibility study being done for the corporation by Indianapolis-based Gibraltar Design. Gibraltar has stated at previous school board meetings that 15 acres of land would be their recommendation and some folks have contacted city council members to express their concerns about such a purchase.
Greater Jasper School Board president Nancy Habig says the school board never planned to do anything until the consultants had reached this point in their work. She says now that the consultants have reached this point, discussions between the school board and others are now necessary before further actions are taken:
Habig also says the city and school board need to look for win-win situations all around. She says she is hopeful that more in-depth discussions will take place as time goes on.
New leadership will soon be in place at Forest Park Junior-Senior High School.
Last night, the Southeast Dubois School board announced that longtime Forest Park teacher and assistant principal Jim Mehling was promoted as the school’s new principal while the board in return appointed teacher and baseball coach Jarred Howard as assistant.
Mehling will replace Jeff Jesse who last month announced his retirement after 10 and a half years at the school. The 1977 graduate of Forest Park attended Indiana State University on a baseball scholarship and received his degree in education from ISU in December of 1980. One month later Mehling began his nearly 33 year career at Forest Park after accepting an invitation from longtime superintendent Woody Buechler to return to his alma mater.
Mehling taught math and helped coach various sports including 19 years as head baseball coach before moving into administration. He has been the assistant principal at Forest Park for the last 10 years.
Mehling says he’s anxious to tackle his next role and continue working on building the tradition of Forest Park:
With Mehling becoming the new leader at Forest Park, the Southeast board named Howard to fill the assistant principal’s post.
A native of the Blue Grass State, Howard is a 1993 graduate of McLean County Kentucky High School. Like Mehling, Howard too went to college on a baseball scholarship and graduated from Oakland City University in 1998 with a degree in Business Education. Her later earned his masters from Oakland City before obtaining an administration degree from the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky.
Howard says he’s ready to take the next step:
Howard is now in his 16th year at Forest Park and has spent the last 13 years as the school’s baseball coach. A role he plans to continue.
The new appointments will take effect on January 1st.
A convicted Pike County murderer will have to wait a bit longer to hear of his fate.
A re-sentencing hearing for Chris Helsley that was set for this upcoming Monday will now take place on April 21st of next year. The case is being handled by Dubois County Circuit Court Judge William Weikert. Weikert is hearing the case because Pike County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Biesterveld was prosecuting the case when Helsley was convicted, thus he had to recuse himself.
Pike County Prosecutor Darrin McDonald says the sentencing phase of the trial was originally scheduled to take three days. However, Helsley’s defense attorneys listed 16 witnesses and stated that it would take more than three days. Thus, the case was moved to April when more days are available on the court calendar.
Now Helsley was originally convicted of murdering then-Pike County EMT’s Brad Maxwell and Marsha Hale back in April of 2001. He filed a petition back in May of this year claiming that he had been inadequately represented both in the trial and in the sentencing phase. He also requested a hearing to overturn both the sentence and his conviction.
On hearing day, Helsley and the state reached a last minute agreement that called for his conviction to be upheld, but his original sentence of Life Without Parole would be overturned and re-tried.
At that hearing, McDonald cited statements from Michael Keating (Helsley’s attorney) concerning the original trial and sentencing. Keating stated that he felt his trial defense was adequate, but the defense during the sentencing hearing “might have been substandard.”
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Gov. Mike Pence is set to provide more details about his second-year agenda he says will focus on education, road construction and other economic issues.
Pence is scheduled to speak Thursday at a legislative conference put on annually by the Indianapolis law firm Bingham Greenbaum Doll. He has already said he plans spending his second session with the General Assembly pushing for a range of issues broadly focused on improving the state’s economy.
Included in his second-year agenda is a measure that would expand the number of charter schools. Others would search for ways to pay for new road construction and consider recommendations on improving career preparation among students.
Pence had moderate success pushing through his initiatives during his first legislative session this year.