News

The Spencer County Tourism Commission is set to award grants this spring.

The commission says 5 thousand dollars in grants will be available to not-for-profit groups whose work is related to tourism efforts. The grants will be awarded to those organizations, events, or entities that promote tourism throughout Spencer County.

The event or project that funding is requested for must increase visitor attendance from outside of the immediate area. Commission president Eric Snow says the county has enjoyed a recent boom in tourism offerings for visitors. He says the grant program is designed to foster that development while maintaining Spencer County’s position as a top area destination for tourists. The county is currently home to nationally known attractions including Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari, Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort, and Lincoln’s Indiana Boyhood home with national and state parks.

For more information or to get an application, you can call the Spencer County Visitors Bureau at (812)-937-4199. The deadline for completed applications is March 30th.

Authorities are continuing to look into the disappearance of a Bloomfield woman who has been missing for nearly a month.

Indiana State Police detectives are working to figure out what might have happened to 18-year-old Marina Boelter. Boelter was last seen on New Year’s Eve getting into a 4 door 2009-2011 model year Mercury Milan outside of the Bloomfield IGA where she worked.

State police say the person of interest with the car had been described as a heavy set white man in his 40s or 50s. State police say all leads have been exhausted in this area and no further tips or information are needed relating to the vehicle or the man.

State police are continuing to follow up on any new leads or information they get. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Indiana State Police Bloomington Post at (812)-332-4411. You can also contact Sgt. Curt Durnil via the Bloomington Post’s Facebook and Twitter pages with more information. All tips can remain anonymous.

Now Boelter was last seen wearing blue jeans with rhinestone designs on the back pockets, a black and purple jacket and Nike tennis shoes, described as white, with a pink swoosh and black trim.

You can continue to help in the efforts by going to Facebook dot com forward slash Find Marina Boelter.

SULLIVAN, Ind. (AP) – Indiana State Police say an arrest has been made in the death of a pregnant Sullivan woman who went missing in November.

Authorities say 32-year-old Johnus Luke Orr of Sullivan was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with two counts of murder in the death of Tiffanie Adams. Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom says Orr is Adams’ stepbrother.

The 20-year-old Adams was reported missing on Nov. 7. She was last seen on November 5th walking from her father’s home to her mother’s house, nearly one block away. Her body was found Dec. 30 by a farmer harvesting corn in a field northeast of Sullivan. Authorities say she was almost 8 months pregnant at the time of her death.

Sullivan County Prosecutor John Springer has not released details of the case against Orr, who is jailed without bond.

Anyone who may have more information on this case is asked to call the Indiana State Police Putnamville Post at (765)-653-4114 and talk with Detective Michael Taylor. You can also report the information to Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom at (812)-268-4044.

All callers can remain anonymous.

An insurance fraud investigation spanning several months ended with a Huntingburg woman’s arrest on felony charges.

Back in October of last year, Huntingburg Police detective Sgt. Christian Gogel began investigating insurance fraud incidents involving a Sarah Ann Hernandez. Gogel says those incidents happened as far back as June of 2012.

After further investigation, Gogel found that 42-year-old Bernice Barrientos-Galeana was working at a local furniture factory using Sarah Ann Hernandez’s name and date of birth. She was also using a fake Berenice Barrientos-GalenanaDriver’s License to get insurance. Gogel says the insurance provided by the factory to its employees had gotten its information from Jasper’s Memorial Hospital and then contacted the company.

At around 7 o’clock last night, Gogel and Dubois County Sheriff’s deputy Jesus Monarrez spoke with Barrientos-Galeana at the Huntingburg Police station to further investigate. Barrientos-Galeana was taken into custody at about 8 o’clock last night.

Barrientos-Galeana was lodged in the Dubois County Security Center on a Level 6 felony for Synthetic Identity Deception. She posted bond early this morning.

The Dubois County Community Foundation has announced the appointment of a pair of new board members

The foundation says new members Andy Seger and Dr. Kim Gunderson will be part of a 15-member board that oversees the foundation’s finances, grant-making policies and practices and strategic planning.

Seger serves as chief financial officer for Wabash Valley Produce, Inc. He is a graduate of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and serves on the board of Diversified Maintenance Systems, a janitorial-business based in Tampa, Fla., and works in portfolio investment for Frontenac Company, a private-equity firm based in Chicago. He also serves on the advisory board of the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Indiana University and on the Economic Development Commission and Redevelopment Commission for the City of Jasper. Seger resides in Jasper. He and his wife, Audrey have four children.

Meanwhile, Dr. Gunderson is an optometrist at Gunderson Eyecare in Jasper, which she and her husband opened in 2006. The IU graduate has served as an examiner for the National Board of Examiners of Optometry and is a member of the Jasper Lions Club, was past president of the Ireland Elementary PTO and serves on Jasper Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors. Kim and her husband Todd live in Ireland with their three sons.

Other recent changes to board officers include Pat Miller’s appointment as president, replacing Bill Kaiser with Jen Verkamp taking Miller’s place as vice president.

A pair of bills filed by District 48 State Senator Mark Messmer aim to make life easier for Indiana wineries.

The bills are Senate Bill 337 and Senate Bill 338. Bill 337 is designed to make it easier for distributors to directly sell their wine to consumers. If passed, wine distributors would no longer be required to meet face to face with their consumers. New provisions would be put into place for direct shipping if proper guidelines are followed. Additionally, the current limits on wine that can be shipped in Indiana would be raised to 2 and a half times more than the limit under current law.

Meanwhile, Bill 338 is more aimed at farm wineries. If passed into law, it would allow for those wineries to get permits for selling and shipping their products.

However, there would be price limits put into place. The limits would be $301 per bottle or gallon and no more than 5 thousand gallons sold or shipped over a permit period.

Messmer says the changes in policy are long overdue:

On a related note, Messmer presented Special Joint Resolution 2 at the Indiana Statehouse last week. The resolution honored the Indiana Winery and Vineyard Association for 40 years of service. Messmer also recognized them for providing Hoosier jobs, supporting Indiana’s economy and nurturing Indiana’s grape and wine industry.

Wineries in attendance included Oliver Winery in Bloomington, Huber Orchard and Winery of Starlight, Wildcat Creek Winery of Lafayette, Owen Valley Winery in Spencer, and Indianapolis-based Easley Winery.

Now Messmer has several other bills he is working on this session. He says you can go online to iga.in.gov and find resources to keep up with what’s going on at the Statehouse:

Questions may be directed to Messmer’s office at 800-382-9467 or by email at Senator.Messmer@iga.in.gov.

A leaving the scene accident and not cooperating with police led to a Huntingburg woman being put in jail overnight.

Just after 8:05 last night, Huntingburg Police were called to the 600 block of North Washington Street on a report that a white SUV had hit 2 trees in the area and was possibly trying to leave the scene.

When they arrived, police found 44-year-old Joan Noble behind the wheel of the Jeep Cherokee that had damage to the front end. Police immediately noted the smell of alcohol coming from Noble.

Noble chose not to cooperate when police asked her to step out of the vehicle, so officers removed her from the vehicle and detained her. After further investigation, police found that Noble was intoxicated with a BAC of .24%, 3 times the legal limit. Noble also was found to be driving on a suspended license with a prior conviction.

After being medically cleared at Memorial Hospital, Noble was lodged in the Dubois County Security Center on several charges. These were Operating While Intoxicated, Driving While Suspended with a Prior Conviction, Disorderly Conduct, and Resisting Law Enforcement. Damage to Noble’s Jeep was estimated at 25 hundred dollars.

Jasper Police and Memorial Hospital Staff also assisted.