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Although Indiana is dealing with a teacher shortage, lawmakers say one area where jobs will be plentiful over the next few years in education is life sciences and technological innovation.

Lawmakers are touting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching as a strong future profession for young Hoosiers going to school for teaching. Indiana is projected to add 115,000 new STEM jobs by 2018. 40% of those jobs will require post-secondary education which would lead to an associate’s degree while the other 60% would require a 4 year degree.

Now these STEM jobs are part of a recruitment effort by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. The Commission is funding the jobs through grants out of a program established by state lawmakers back in 2013. Officials say the grants will allow organizations to recruit, prepare, place and retain educators in schools where there are shortages of teachers with appropriate training and expertise in STEM subject areas.

District 48 senator Mark Messmer says the program is already working wonders:

New or existing non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for a portion of nearly $10 million to support their efforts to recruit, train, retain and place STEM-field teachers in high-need Indiana schools. To be eligible for the grant, applicants must present programs that result in individuals becoming licensed or trained to teach science, technology, engineering or math in Indiana public K-12 schools. Individuals receiving program support through this grant must seek employment in an eligible Indiana public school.

The full grant application and budget worksheet can be found online at www.in.gov/che. Winning entries will be selected by a committee of K-12, higher education and workforce stakeholders and announced in November 2015.

A Jasper man was cited over the weekend after he hit a pole while driving drunk.

Just before 1:50 Sunday morning, Jasper Police were called to Clay Street just east of Wernsing Road about a 1 vehicle accident. JPD says 20-year-old Ricardo Herrera had been going south on Clay Street when his vehicle went left of center for an unknown reason. Herrera’s vehicle then hit a city owned light pole.

Police found that Herrera had been drinking prior to getting behind the wheel. Herrera also suffered a broken arm and was taken to Memorial Hospital for treatment. He was later cited for Minor Consuming and for Driving Without Ever Getting a License.

Damage to the light pole was estimated at $5,000. Jasper Police were assisted by the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department and a wrecker from Uelbehor’s.

Dubois County officials are set to host another Medication Collection Day in late September.

Officials say the collections will take place on Saturday, September 26th. There will be 3 collection locations set up across Dubois County. Locations are the Celestine Fire Station off of East State Road 164, the Ireland Fire Station off of West State Road 56 and the Jasper State Police Post on Jasper’s north side. The fire stations will be open for collections from 10 am until noon while the state police post will be open from 10 am to 2 pm.

Expired, unwanted, and unused medications, vitamins, ointments, syrups, drops and
aerosols not in pressurized containers will be accepted at the collection sites. No sharps, infectious materials (anything containing bodily fluids), or waste will be collected. Sites are open to Dubois County households only.

Now law enforcement officers will be at each site along with volunteers and staff to oversee disposal. Questions may be directed to the Dubois County Solid Waste District at (812)-482-7865.

The collection day is being sponsored by Indiana State Police, Dubois County Sheriff’s Department, Substance Abuse Council, TRI-CAP RSVP, Habig Older Americans Center, Dubois County Solid Waste Management District and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Of course, if you can’t make it this weekend, the Huntingburg Police Department has a 24/7 dropbox for residents to dispose of unwanted medicines. That dropbox is open to all Dubois County residents.

Officials with TRI-CAP are inviting the public to an open house for its south side Jasper facility next month.

The open house will take place on Thursday September 24th. A ribbon cutting will take place at 4 o’clock that afternoon. Guided tours and an open house will start around 4:15 and will continue until 6:30 pm.

The event will also feature a charity performance for TRI-CAP by Will Read and Sing for Food. That performance begins at 7 o’clock and the cost will be $10.

Of course, TRI-CAP is putting the finishing touches on the renovation of its 17,000 square foot clinic along Third Avenue in Jasper. The building also has office space and classrooms.

TRI-CAP also thanks the Jasper Chamber of Commerce, USDA Rural Development, Universal Design and Seufert Construction for their help with this renovation project.

Police arrested a Jasper man overnight after he violated a no-contact order against him.

At 2:55 this morning, JPD received a call from a person saying that 34-year-old Phil Neukam was calling in violation of a no-contact order from a previous case between the two. The caller also told JPD that Neukam had threatened them multiple times about the previous case in an effort to get the victim to drop the charges. Phillip Neukam

Police detained and questioned Neukam, who admitted to breaking the no-contact order. Neukam was booked into the Dubois County Security Center without incident.

Neukam is charged with a Level 6 felony for Intimidation along with a Class A misdemeanor for Invasion of Privacy.

A pair of leaving the scene accidents led to a Jasper man’s arrest overnight after he was found to be under the influence of drugs.Logan Williams

Just before 10:30 last night, Jasper Police were called to the 500 block of East 15th Street where officers say a westbound vehicle had hit a parked car and then left the area. As officers were on their way, JPD says a 2nd crash was reported where a street sign at 14th and Jackson Streets was damaged. Officers found the vehicle involved in the crashes abandoned in the middle of the road in the 600 block of East 14th Street a short time later.

24-year-old Logan Williams was found near the vehicle and later told police he had been the driver. Police determined he was responsible for both accidents and appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance. A blood draw at Jasper’s Memorial Hospital found synthetic drugs in his system.

Williams was taken and booked into the Dubois County Security Center. He’s charged with OWI-Controlled Substance, Possession of a Synthetic Drug and Leaving the Scene of an Accident.

Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies and Luegers Wrecker Service also assisted.

Ferdinand officials are continuing to work towards a new comprehensive plan for the town.

Last night, the Ferdinand Town Council hosted another meeting at the Ferdinand Community Center. The meeting was open to the public and those who did show up were actively engaged in coming up with ideas. Town officials, including council president Ken Sicard were happy with the efforts of those who did show up.

Sicard says those on hand also represented each generation, including younger people. He says it’s been impressive to have the younger generation on board as the town works on this plan:

Many of the ideas last night revolved around new restaurants. 2 such proposals were a Los Bravos restaurant and a new German restaurant.

Last night marked the 4th meeting on a new comprehensive plan. The previous 3 were small group meetings with groups from Forest Park High School, local businesses, and volunteer organizations. Some of the ideas which come out of the group meetings include more affordable housing, adding sidewalks along Main Street and making a run at the Stellar Communities designation in the future.

Of course, in spite of the new ideas Sicard says there will be some ideas from the previous comprehensive plan that will be used as well:

The town’s last comprehensive plan was adopted back in 2007.

Now Sicard says with the meetings completed, the next steps fall to the Ferdinand Plan Commission. Sicard says the commission will work with the ideas presented through the meetings and will eventually bring ideas to the town council for their approval.