News

Holiday World and Splashin Safari will be hosting bluegrass music over the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

The performances will be part of the first “Red, White, and Bluegrass” festival that the park is hosting. The performances will begin on Saturday and will run through Labor Day Monday.

Notable groups to perform will include Blue Moon Rising and Town Mountain on Saturday, Rambling Rooks and the Steel Drivers on Sunday, and the Claire Lynch Band on Labor Day Monday.

Now this weekend’s bluegrass concerts are part of the regular ticket price for Holiday World and Splashin Safari. You can save on 3 day tickets by going online and using the promo code “BLUEGRASS”. The three day tickets are available for 75 dollars a person and again, can be used for all three days of the Red, White, and Bluegrass event.

For more information, you can go to HolidayWorld.com/Bluegrass. You can also call 1-877-463-2645.

The Tri-County Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be coming to Jasper later this year.

The annual event is set to take place on Saturday, October 4th along the Jasper Riverwalk. Registration is set for 9 am and the walk will be at 10 am. The event is being put on by the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Now the walk raised more than 31 thousand dollars last year. This year’s goal has been set at 38 thousand dollars. Officials with the Alzheimer’s Association say Alzheimer’s is the only one of the top 10 causes of death in America where there is no treatment to stop or even slow its progression.

The walk will also serve as a chance for more than 200 Tri-County area participants to learn more about Alzheimer’s and what they can do to change the trajectory of the disease. Some predictions say more than 130 thousand Hoosiers and 86 thousand Kentucky residents will be affected by Alzheimer’s by the year 2025.

This walk is one of 12 that are held across the region by the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana. The walks are held across the months of September and October each year. The combined fundraising goal for this year is at just over 1.1 million dollars. Last year marked the first time in the chapter’s history that the 1 million dollar fundraising mark was reached.

The local Alzheimer’s chapter provides support groups, caregiver training, and a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week helpline for 125 counties across Kentucky and southern Indiana. To participate in this year’s walk you can contact Elizabeth Betts at ebetts@alz.org or by calling 812-475-1012.

Officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation say crews with Norfolk Southern will close State Road 64 for seven days spread over a two week period to replace the railroad crossing just east of U.S. 231 in Huntingburg.

INDOT says weather permitting the State Road 64 closures will occur in two phases.

Crews anticipate closing the crossing at 8 am next Tuesday September 2nd and reopen it the following day on Wednesday the 3rd. Crews will then close the crossing the following work week beginning at 8 am on Monday, September 8th. The new crossing is expected to be open to traffic by Friday, September 12th.

Local traffic will have access up to the railroad crossing, where all lanes will be closed and no through traffic will be allowed. The detour for heavy highway will follow US 231 and Sstate Road 162.

Governor Pence has declared August 24 through 31 as Rail Safety Week in Indiana. INDOT urges drivers and pedestrians to remember that if you “See tracks? Think train!”

More information is available at www.seetracksthinktrain.org.

The Indiana State Police Jasper Post is continuing to investigate the weekend theft of a truck and trailer from the Shoals area.

Trooper Jarrod Lents says a blue and steel colored 2007 Townscraft trailer was taken from the parking lot of Stonebelt Freight Lines along Freeman Road sometime on Sunday. Lents says the trailer was loaded with building materials worth several thousand dollars and was covered by a tarp.

Trooper Lents also says employees at Schilli Transporation Service reported that a white 2006 Kenworth semi tractor was taken from their lot along Red School Road sometime early Sunday morning. Schilli is right across the street from Stonebelt Freight Lines.

State police say the stolen truck was likely used to steal the trailer with building materials. Anyone who has any information on the case or where the stolen vehicles and materials are at is asked to call the Indiana State Police Jasper Post. That number is 482-1441.

All callers may remain anonymous.

Changes and improvements may be on the way for Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium as soon as next year.

Last night, Jasper Football Boosters president Richard Farr presented a proposal to the Greater Jasper School Board on behalf of the football boosters, the football program, and the Jasper High School athletic department. Farr sought approval to pursue fundraising for new artificial turf for the facility as part of a 3 to 5 year improvement plan. Farr told the board the turf would be completely funded by community donations.

As part of that plan, the boosters will work with JHS athletic director Andy Noblitt and head football coach Tony Ahrens to negotiate field naming rights for businesses or individuals that could help to fund the new turf. Final approval of the funding and rights would have to be granted by the school board.

Now any naming changes would not affect the stadium itself. Farr says the naming rights would only apply to the playing surface. Jerry Brewer guided the Wildcat football program for 44 years before retiring in 2002. The stadium was named in his honor in September of 2008.

Farr says the estimated cost of field turf for Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium would be around 7 to 800 thousand dollars. He says the improvements are much needed:

Farr also noted that Southridge High School made the transition to field turf 5 years ago for about 500 thousand dollars. Thus, he told the board the 7 to 800 thousand dollar estimate was fairly close to reality.

Farr stated that the current turf was damaged after the harsh winter and an abnormally cool summer. He says mother nature has taken its toll:

Farr says replacing the current field would cost somewhere around 300 to 350 thousand dollars. However, he also pointed out there would be an additional cost of roughly 30 thousand dollars a year for maintaining a new grass field. Farr says artificial turf has a life span of 8-12 years and requires little in the way of maintenance.

Now if the change to field turf is approved and funding is secured, the new playing surface could be in place in time for the 2015 football season. The board directed superintendent Dr. Tracey Lorey and Noblitt to further study the annual cost of maintaining the current football field. A decision on the turf could come at next month’s board meeting.

As mentioned earlier, new turf is only 1 part of the 3 to 5 year improvement plan Farr presented. Improvements to stadium entrances, seating, press facilities, and restrooms were also part of Farr’s proposal.

Compensation for county employees continues to be a hot topic for the Dubois County Council.

Last night, the council heard from Adam Auffart with the Purdue Technical Assistance Program (TAP). Auffart laid out a plan that would determine whether employees were being overpaid or underpaid or if they were being fairly paid.

Now Auffart’s idea sparked some discussion amongst the council. Councilman Mark Brescher stated that a formula to determine fair compensation for employees in the future needs to be put in place as part of any study. That suggestion was echoed by county council president Greg Kendall and others.

Kendall has been on the council for 30 years. He says over that time, things have changed to a point where a complete study is needed:

Meanwhile, Auffart says setting a formula for the future is the right way to go in his view:

Now the council is still considering Waggoner, Irwin, and Scheele as a firm that could do the study for the county. The price tag for the study is set at nearly 50 thousand dollars. Any study would likely take 9 to 10 months to complete. The goal is to have it done in time for next year’s budget discussions.

On a related note, the council heard from sheriff Donny Lampert concerning the raises the council agreed to give to employees at last Monday’s budget hearings. Lampert expressed concern that the raises for part-time employees turned out to be higher than those for full-time employees. Last Monday, the council agreed to give $30 bi-weekly raises for full-time workers and 45 cent per hour raises to part-time workers. According to Lampert, part-time employees in his department would wind up with a 936 dollar raise whereas full-time workers would only get an 810 dollar raise.

Lampert proposed adjusting the raises to make them even for all employees. The council opted to leave things as they were for this year and to continue looking into things for the future.

A new country music festival will be coming to Jasper just in time for Labor Day weekend.

The 1st ever Bud Light Country Music and Brew Fest is set to take place this Saturday from 11 am to 4:30 pm along the River Walk. The festival will feature three acts in all.

The first act set to take the stage will be Haywire. They will be starting their performance at 11 o’clock. The Linda Smith Band will then take the stage at 1 o’clock as the second act.

The headlining act will be Nashville recording artist Jason Sturgeon. He will take the stage at 3 pm. Sturgeon will perform through to the close of the festival on Saturday.

The Country Music and Brew Fest is set to follow up this year’s 3rd Heartland Half Marathon, 5K, and Team Challenge. There will also be several different food vendors featured. These include BR Associates and Villa Pizzeria. Hedinger Beverage will also be on hand to supply the brews for this event.

Folks are invited to bring lawn chairs as seating will be limited at the River Walk. Picnic blankets are also being recommended.

For more information, you can contact Kevin Manley at 482-9115. You can also go online to visitduboiscounty.com or to the festival’s Facebook page.