News

The story of a Jasper native who made history will be immortalized at the Dubois County Museum this weekend.

The Dubois County Museum will be opening “The Story of Bill Schroeder and the Jarvik 7 Heart” as a permanent exhibit this Sunday afternoon. The exhibit will be open from 1 til 4 pm on Sunday.

Schroeder was the 2nd person to ever receive the Jarvik 7 artificial heart. He was 52 years old when he received the heart via transplant on November 25th of 1984 at Humana Heart Institute in Louisville. Dr. William C DeVries performed the transplant.

Schroeder passed away on August 7th of 1986 after battling a lung infection. He lived 620 days after receiving the Jarvik 7 heart, which at that time was the longest that anyone had survived with the heart.

The new exhibit will feature the Jarvik 7 heart that Schroeder used. Bill’s widow, Margaret Schroeder and other family members will be on hand to talk with guests and show off national news articles that featured Bill Schroeder’s story.

Refreshments will be available for those who attend Sunday afternoon. Admission is free, though donations are accepted.

The Dubois County Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm and Sundays from 1 to 4 pm. For more information, you can go online to duboiscountymuseum.org.

Officials in Ferdinand have announced the next event aimed at building community spirit ahead of this year’s 175th anniversary celebration.

Next Saturday and Sunday, the St. Gangolf church choir from Dudenhofen, Germany will be performing 2 concerts at the Monastery of Immaculate Conception. The choir has 40 members.

The show will also feature nearly 50 guests from Dudenhofen who will be coming to Indiana to celebrate this shared family heritage. The St. Gangolf Choir was founded back in 1853 and has performed in churches all across Germany. Next weekend’s shows will be the first time that they have performed in the US.

Of course, Dudenhofen was where many immigrants who settled in the area now known as Ferdinand came from. Family surnames that trace their origins there include Arnold, Balbach, Lindauer, Nord, and Tretter among others.

The choir will be performing Old German songs such as Loreley and Once a Little Boy Saw a Rose Saturday evening beginning at 7:30 pm. The Palm Sunday performance gets underway at 1:30 pm and features works such as “Gloria”, “Sanctus”, and “Agnus Dei” written by Austrian composer Joseph Haydn.

There will be free admission to both concerts. The public is invited to attend.

Jasper city officials remain optimistic that the battle over electrical customers and territory can be resolved.

Last night, the Jasper City Council became the latest entity to sign a resolution supporting change to Senate Bill 309. City officials have argued that the bill as written takes away current negotiating rights that cities have for customers. The proposed amendment would allow for the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to give electric customers in annexed areas the choice between municipal utilities and investor-owned utilities.

Jasper mayor Terry Seitz was among several city officials who went to Indianapolis last week to testify in front of the House Utilities Committee concerning the amendment. Seitz says the amendment is needed to protect customer choice:

Huntingburg mayor Denny Spinner and Ferdinand town manager Chris James also testified before the committee last Wednesday.

Now Dubois REC general manager Don Book has repeatedly praised Senate Bill 309 as a necessity to keep the playing field level. He has also maintained over the last several months that the REC’s don’t want to lose investments that they have already made:

The bill passed through the Indiana Senate by a wide margin. It is still awaiting a vote in the House.

Local officials have announced an upcoming opportunity for you to get rid of any old and unwanted medications.

The Dubois County Medication Collection day is set for Saturday, April 25th. There will be 3 collection sites set up that day along with the 24/7 dropbox at the Huntingburg police station.

On the 25th, the Ferdinand and Holland Fire Stations will each be open from 10 am until noon to collect the unwanted medications. Meanwhile, the Indiana State Police Jasper Post will also be collecting unwanted drugs 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.

Law enforcement officers are present at each location to oversee disposal, as well as volunteers and staff from the other Collection Day sponsors. Residents with questions may contact the Dubois County Solid Waste District at 812-482-7865.

The collection day is being sponsored by Dubois County Solid Waste Management, the Dubois County Substance Abuse Council, the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department, and Indiana State Police among others.

The Jasper Arts Center has announced a special performance coming to town tomorrow evening.

JCAC will present The Diamonds with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The show gets underway at 7:30 tomorrow night. The performance will feature the best of Jukebox Junction. The Diamonds will be leading the show and will be backed up by the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

The Diamonds made their leap to stardom with their 1957 hit song Little Darlin’. The group has gone on to win 3 gold records along with more than 30 appearances on American Bandstand and even being on the soundtrack for the movies American Graffiti and Happy Days.

Meanwhile, the modern day Glenn Miller Orchestra formed in 1956 following popular demand. The band dates back to the early 1940s when leader Glenn Miller disappeared in December of 1944, downed over the English channel at the height of his popularity. The orchestra now plays an average of 300 live dates a year all around the world.

For more information or to inquire about tickets, you can call the Jasper Arts Center at (812)-482-3070.

Dubois County has fallen out of the top spot in lowest unemployment as all area counties saw significant rises in their rates for January.

Locally, Dubois County dropped to 2nd among the lowest rankings in the state. Dubois County’s unemployment was at 4.8% in January, 7 tenths of a percent higher than it was in December. Hamilton County on Indianapolis’ north side is now #1 in the state at 4.6%.

Among other local counties, Daviess County tied for 3rd lowest in Indiana at 5.1%. Pike County came in at 5.8%, Warrick County at 5.9%, Martin County 6%, Spencer 6.7%, Perry 7.1%, Orange 8.5%, and Crawford County had the 3rd highest unemployment in Indiana at 9.1%. Vermillion County was the most unemployed county in Indiana at 9.7%.

Now statewide, Indiana saw 86 hundred jobs created in the private sector for January, thanks in large part to the Trade Transportation and Utilities sector along with the Manufacturing sector. The state’s unemployment rate was at 6% last month, an increase of one tenth from December’s number.

A round of building improvements will soon be coming to the Northeast Dubois School Corporation.

Last night, the Northeast Dubois school board started the process of freeing up the funds needed for these improvements. The board approved a 3 part resolution to start the process, which will involve a second refinancing of its loan on Dubois Middle School. The first refinancing was done last year.

Now the improvements will be done in 2 phases. Phase 1 consists of 10 high-priority projects including new heating and air units at both the Northeast Dubois High School and Dubois Middle School gyms along with replacing classroom rooftop units at the middle school and upgraded controls at all buildings to meet air quality standards.

Phase 1 is expected to cost around 2 million dollars to complete. It will be funded through a slight increase in the middle school loan rate. The board approved an increase of just over 2 and a half cents for 2016, which would take that rate up to just over 30 cents. The increase will be included in the district’s 2016 budget.

Northeast Dubois superintendent Bill Hochgesang says the improvements gained importance over the last year as more and more things have needed repair. Hochgesang says though the funding wasn’t there in the past, now is the time to get things fixed:

The district is hoping to have Phase 1 projects done by the start of the 2015-2016 school year.

Now Phase 2 has 10 lower-priority projects with it. Hochgesang says those projects will be revisited in 2 to 3 years.

A public hearing on the proposed improvements will be held at next month’s board meeting, which is set for April 21st at 7 pm.