News

Dubois firefighters were called to a fire last night which turned out to be a property owner cleaning up debris from another fire.

Just before 9:30 last night, Dubois firefighters were called to the Steve Stackhouse property in the 8300 block of North Cuzco Road North after a passerby called with a report of flames that could be seen from a distance. After arriving at the scene, firefighters found a pile of debris burning that the landowner had intentionally set.

Nobody was on the property when firefighters arrived, so the fire was put out. Dubois fire department spokesman Zach Eichmiller says a house on the property burned down early last year and the fire was set to clean up debris that was left from the home.

3 trucks and 26 men went to the scene. Fire crews were there for about 15 minutes.

The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department has partnered with all 4 Dubois County high schools for a motivational speaker.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday, the department says Janie Burkett Harrison will be speaking at each of the 4 high schools. Next Tuesday, Harrison will speak at Dubois High School from 8 to 9 am and at Forest Park High School from 1 to 2 pm.

Then on Wednesday, Harrison will speak at Jasper High School from 9:30 to 10:30 am. She’ll be at Southridge High School from 1 to 2 pm.

Now Harrison’s life testimonials at each of the high schools are aimed at students. However, the public is invited to attend free of charge. Harrison will also talk to inmates at the Dubois County Security Center in a private presentation.

The daughter of a pastor, Harrison chose a life of bulimia, drug addiction, and alcoholism as a teenager. That led to her being imprisoned at 22 years old. She was paroled after 18 months though she was still dealing with her addictions. Harrison then received a 40 year prison sentence for breaking her probation in December of 2008. 6 weeks after being sentenced, Harrison went to a rehabilitation center and has since become an author and speaker.

Harrison’s passion is to help people and their families who are affected by drug or alcohol addiction. For more information, you can go to janieburkett.com.

Expenses were covered by the inmate commissary fund and a grant from the Dubois County Community Foundation.

Authorities have not yet been able to definitively identify remains that were found at the scene of a house fire north of Dubois over the weekend.

Dubois County Coroner Bob Veatch says an examination of the remains by a forensic pathologist found that they are of a man in his 50s who died in the fire. The date of death is listed as Saturday and the location is in the 9700 block of North 400 East near Dubois.

Veatch says the name of the victim could not be determined. He says an anthropologist will now be consulted to try and definitively identify the remains.

WBDC News has received an obituary for a Michael Bauer of Dubois who passed away at his home at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon. The obituary from the Becher Kluesner Funeral Home in Jasper says Bauer was 56 years old and funeral arrangements are pending. Dubois fire officials say a Michael Bauer is presumed to have died in the fire, which burned for more than 12 hours on Saturday.

Now the fire was originally called in at around 3 o’clock on Saturday afternoon. Dubois fire department spokesman Zach Eichmiller says the fire probably started sometime between 1 and 3 o’clock in the morning on Saturday. He says the fire burned so long since the house was in a rural area, thus making it hard for anyone to have seen it burning.

A house and 3 other buildings on the property were total losses.

The autopsy reports for 3 people who were killed in a Jasper apartment fire back in November have been released.

In the reports, Dubois County Coroner Bob Veatch says the deaths of 20-year-old Alex Snedeker, 20-year-old Linsey Parsley, and 3-year-old Robert Parsley on November 26th were accidental. The cause of death for all 3 is listed as asphyxia due to inhalation of soot, super heated air, and carbon monoxide.

The autopsy also contained other findings. Veatch reported that Snedeker and Parsley had levels of methamphetamine and THC in their bodies. Linsey Parsley was additionally found to have amphetamines and benzodiazepines in her system. Robert Parsley’s autopsy turned up levels of methamphetamine.

Now the fire broke out at 4:45 in the morning back on November 26th. Jasper fire chief Kenny Hochgesang says the upstairs apartment where the 3 lived was fully engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived on scene. He says emergency personnel tried to get into the upstairs apartment only to be pushed back by heat and flames.

Hochgesang says the fire started in a clogged dryer vent in the apartment. He says batteries were removed from a downstairs smoke detector and upstairs smoke detectors didn’t appear to be working at the time of the fire.

With continued concerns at the state level about funding for infrastructure, one area state senator says tweaks to the fuel taxing system might be the answer.

District 48 State Senator Mark Messmer says state lawmakers need to continue looking at ways to adjust the state fuel excise tax. He says there also could be provisions made to get more revenue out of people who drive alternative fuel vehicles. Messmer says that could involve creating a provision that would require alternative vehicle users to pay into the system.

Now the state has already imposed a gasoline usage tax. That tax, which took effect on July 1st of last year, replaced the prepaid sales tax on gasoline that was previously collected from retail merchants.

The new tax, which is a rolling tax, is calculated by taking the statewide average price per gallon and multiplying it by 7%. The Indiana Department of Revenue says the gas tax in July came out to roughly 23 cents a gallon. The previous gas sales tax was at 19 cents per gallon prior to the July change.

Messmer says finding solutions will take up the bulk of the legislative session. He says though changes are needed, sweeping change is unlikely:

Hoosiers are currently paying an average of $1.97 a gallon according to GasBuddy.com. That equates to a tax rate of just under 14 cents a gallon.

A Huntingburg man was taken to an Evansville hospital after an early morning accident caused by icy roadways.

At 8:45 yesterday morning, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were called to State Road 64 just west of the Bretzville Junction on a reported 1 vehicle accident. Deputies say 84-year-old Kemmel McKim had been going east on State Road 64 approaching the Bretzville Junction when he lost control of his truck on the icy road. The truck then slid off of the south side of the highway and down a steep embankment. The truck then hit a tree before coming to rest.

Deputies say McKim was trapped inside of his vehicle and had to be extricated by St. Anthony Volunteer firefighters and first responders. McKim complained of left shoulder and chest pain. He also reported possible broken ribs, and a right foot injury. McKim was taken to Memorial Hospital in Jasper for treatment. He was later taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Evansville.

State Road 64 was closed for about an hour yesterday morning. Memorial Hospital EMS and Kars Wrecker Service also assisted.

A Dubois area man is believed to be dead following a fire at his residence that destroyed 4 buildings and burned for more than 12 hours yesterday.

Just after 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon, firefighters with the Dubois Volunteer Fire Department were called to the Mike Bauer residence in the 9700 block of North 400 East after a member of Bauer’s family called to report the fire. When they arrived, Dubois Fire Department spokesman Zach Eichmiller says the house and 3 barn-like structures were fully engulfed in flames. They also learned that Bauer was nowhere to be found, though all of his vehicles and tractors used on his farm were accounted for.

Other family members arrived at the scene and made numerous phone calls to try and find Bauer. Personnel on scene then began searching the area where Bauer’s bedroom was believed to be and found human remains that could not be identified at the scene. The remains were taken from the scene by the Dubois County Coroner’s Office.

Meanwhile, firefighters along with a representative from the state fire marshal’s office, Dubois County Coroner Bob Veatch, and a search team with cadaver dogs from Ohio Valley Search and Dubois Fatal FireRescue returned to the scene this morning. Eichmiller says the search dogs did give some signals near the area where the remains were found.

Veatch tells WBDC News a forensic pathologist is set to examine the remains tomorrow. He says the remains were not a full human body due to the heat from the fire and the length of time that the fire burned. Eichmiller says it has been presumed that Bauer is the one who perished in the fire since he has not been found.

Eichmiller says the fire probably started sometime between 1 and 3 o’clock yesterday morning. He says the fire likely started in the home and wind spread the flames to the other buildings. Eichmiller says the fire burned for so long since the home is in a very remote location, thus making it hard for anyone to have seen it burning. Eichmiller says the cause of the fire is undetermined and the representative from the State Fire Marshal’s office is continuing to investigate.

The Dubois Fire Department responded with 4 trucks and 30 men. They were on scene for about 4 and a half hours yesterday afternoon and evening.

Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies and Dubois County EMS also assisted.