News

Operation Big Brother defendants are continuing to move through the Dubois County Court system and another sentencing took place yesterday.

Margaret MacDonald42-year-old Margaret ‘Faith’ MacDonald of Huntingburg was sentenced to a total of 10 years during a hearing yesterday in Dubois Superior Court. The first 4 of those years will be served in the Indiana Department of Corrections, followed by 2 years on work release through Dubois County Community Corrections. MacDonald will then spend 4 years on supervised probation.

MacDonald originally pled guilty back on June 1st to a Class B felony for Dealing in Methamphetamine. Under that plea agreement, Superior Court Judge Mark McConnell had complete discretion over the sentencing. However, the sentence could not be more than 16 years. The range of sentences for Class B felonies is between 6 and 20 years, with an advisory sentence of 10 years.

Yesterday’s sentencing means 12 of the 16 Operation Big Brother cases have been resolved. One of the remaining 4 cases is set for sentencing in Dubois Superior Court today.

Sentences imposed in these cases have totalled 113 years, with 89 of those years being jail time.

A Spencer County teen escaped serious injuries after he rolled his car over north of Huntingburg.

At 7:35 pm, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were called to US 231 north of Phoenix Drive. Deputies say 16-year-old Devin McNabb of St. Meinrad was going southbound on US 231 when he fell asleep. A short time later, McNabb’s vehicle crossed the center line and the northbound lanes of US 231 before going off of the east side of the roadway.

After going off-road, McNabb’s vehicle kept going south, hitting a private drive culvert and going airborne for a short time. McNabb then hit an embankment and rolled over onto its roof where it came to rest facing south in the ditch.

McNabb was able to get out of the vehicle. He was treated at the scene for minor cuts and abrasions and later went to Memorial Hospital by private vehicle. Deputies say McNabb was wearing a seatbelt and his vehicle’s airbags deployed, thus greatly reducing the severity of his injuries. McNabb’s car was a total loss.

Huntingburg Police, Indiana State Police, Memorial Hospital EMS, and a wrecker from KARS also assisted.

German American Bancorp says the news continues to be positive when it comes to company growth in 2015.

Company officials say earnings for this year’s 2nd quarter rose by 8% on an earnings per share basis. Net income for the 2nd quarter came in at $7.3 million or 55 cents a share. That’s up from $6.7 million and 51 cents a share for the 2nd quarter of last fiscal year.

GAB says the picture is even rosier for year-to-date earnings. Through the first half of fiscal year 2015, German American’s earnings rose by 12% on a per share basis, coming in at $14.6 million or $1.10 per diluted share. The first half of 2014 saw earnings of $13 million or 98 cents per diluted share.

Now GAB says the quarterly earnings improvement can be attributed to increases in both net interest and non-interest income. Net income is up 2% or roughly $335,000 over the 2nd quarter of 2014 while non-interest income rose by 11% or roughly $619,000 over last fiscal year’s 2nd quarter. Total loans were also up, rising by 7% over 2nd quarter 2014 numbers on a linked quarter annualized basis.

In a news release, German American Chairman and CEO Mark Schroeder says the company is very happy with its 2nd quarter and year-to-date earnings reports. He says company earnings have exceeded $7 million in 4 consecutive quarters, thanks to continued loan portfolio growth and GAB’s disciplined approach to expense control.

GAB has also announced its regular quarterly cash dividend. The company’s Board of Directors declared that dividend at 17 cents per share. The dividends are payable August 20th to shareholders of record as of August 10th.

Authorities arrested a Huntingburg man last night after he threw bricks at a truck while intoxicated.

Chester VolzHuntingburg Police were called to a home in the 700 block of East 7th Street on this report at around 6:40 pm. HPD says officers located a black and gold 2006 Ford F150 owned by Michael Weitkamp. Weitkamp’s truck was heavily damaged according to police, with windows broken out of it.

Witnesses told police that 57-year-old Chester Volz had thrown a brick at the truck and then walked away. The witnesses pointed Volz out to police when Volz was seen walking through an alley. Officers say Volz appeared to be unsteady as he walked and witnesses say Volz came out of the alley before throwing the brick.

As they spoke with Volz, officers noted the smell of alcohol on him. Volz was detained and taken back to the scene where more interviews were done with the witness.

Volz refused to give a breath sample, but the alcohol odor and witness testimony was enough for police to take him into custody. Volz was booked into the Dubois County Security Center on Class B misdemeanors for public intoxication and criminal mischief.

Even with yesterday’s housing announcement in Huntingburg, officials with Dubois Strong say the implementation of recommendations from its recent housing study remains a work in progress.

Dubois Strong president Ed Cole was pleased with the plans for the new Hunter’s Crossing subdivision in Huntingburg. More than 120 new houses will be built in the subdivision along with a new city park. The new development will span an area between 14th and 17th Streets on the city’s north side. Jagoe Homes of Owensboro will be the exclusive builder and Indianapolis-based Boxer Girl LLC will be the developer of the site. The south end of the neighborhood will also connect to the new railroad overpass project that will soon be under construction.

Cole says yesterday’s announcement was just the first step in moving ahead with housing efforts in Dubois County. He says other plans in other areas will come together soon:

The housing study was done by Development Concepts Inc. of Indianapolis. The findings of the housing study were originally unveiled back on June 30th, almost exactly 1 month ago. Cole says he was satisfied with the $150,000 average price point for Hunter’s Crossing homes as that price lines up perfectly with what the housing study recommended.

Of course, there are other efforts going on towards housing in Dubois County, including re-purposing of older buildings. Two such projects are turning the former St. Joseph’s Hospital building in Huntingburg into senior living units and making workforce apartments out of the former JOFCO building.

Cole says re-purposing older buildings is an idea that will remain in play for future projects:

Cole says workforce housing will remain a point of emphasis for Dubois Strong. Last month’s housing study found that very few workforce housing units have been built in Dubois County over the last 3 decades.

The ongoing controversy with Planned Parenthood is drawing much outrage among both state and local lawmakers.

23 Senate Republicans recently sent a letter to Governor Mike Pence backing his decision to investigate whether any Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana have any involvement in trafficking aborted baby remains. District 47 senator Erin Houchin and District 48 senator Mark Messmer are among those to sign the letter.

In the letter, the senators point to a moral obligation to ensure that trafficking of human body parts is not occurring in Indiana. The letter also thanks the Governor for taking prompt action.

The revelations about Planned Parenthood first surfaced last week. The news has caused much outrage across the nation, with Republicans in Congress seeking to de-fund the organization. That effort was blocked in the US Senate.

Planned Parenthood receives $500 million in funding from the federal government each year.

Details have been announced for the 3rd edition of the ‘Ferdinand Folk Fest Fondo’.

The cycling event will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 19th and 20th in conjunction with the Ferdinand Folk Fest. The event will once again support the Sisters of St. Benedict and their work through Family Scholar House.

Of course, the event is hosted by DC Multisport. The fondo will feature 3 different bike routes on Saturday, which are 26 miles, 33 miles, and 50 miles long, respectively. Sunday’s ride will be the 50 mile one. All of the routes will take bikers through parts of Dubois and surrounding counties.

All proceeds from the fondo will be given to Family Scholar House. The group’s goal is to end poverty and empower families and youth through education in an effort to bolster the community. The fondo has raised nearly $10,700 over its first 2 years.

Registration forms are available by going online to ferdinandfolkfestival.com. Go to the ‘Events’ tab and click ‘bicycle ride’.

You can also register by going to active.com.