Local Coverage

Whoderville residents may soon be able to get gas service from the city of Jasper.

Last night, the Jasper Utility Service Board approved continuing the process of expanding service to Whoderville. Extending the line is expected to cost just over 92 thousand dollars.

Now the board heard last night that 29 Whoderville residents have expressed their interest in hooking up to the city of Jasper’s gas utility. Any Whoderville resident that decides to hook up to the gas utility will have to make a 1 thousand dollar deposit and pay an 18 dollar monthly charge for up to 10 years. City attorney Renee Kabrick told the board the charge would be reevaluated every 2 years to decide if it needs to be adjusted based on interest rates.

Utility service board chairman Wayne Schuetter says several factors came together to make the idea more feasible:

The city will be sending out letters to Whoderville residents regarding the idea. Those interested will have to get the letter back to the city prior to September 12th. Those who turn it in after the 12th will have to pay a 15 hundred dollar deposit. Those who sign the letter will also have to sign annexation waivers in case the city chooses to annex the area down the road.

The 18 dollar monthly charge could come as early as October’s bill if the project moves forward. The Jasper City Council will look into the issue further at its next meeting tomorrow evening at 7 pm.

Also last night, the board heard about issues surrounding utility deposits for some of the city’s largest customers. Kabrick stated that several customers had expressed their concern over paying abnormally large amounts of money when they want service for a new structure or an existing structure that they just bought. The current policy requires a deposit equivalent to 1 and a half months of a structure’s average utility cost.

Schuetter says its an issue the city will have to do more research on:

Schuetter says current ratepayers will not be impacted by any potential change.

The board approved hiring Indianapolis-based firm Hackman Hulett and Cracraft to study the issue further. That cost will not exceed 5 thousand dollars.

The Indiana State Police Jasper Post now has 3 new troopers.

Troopers Ross Johnson, Andrew Watson, and Mitchell Wier were part of the recently graduated 73rd recruit academy of the state police. 46 new troopers in all came out of that academy, which formally graduated back on May 14th after completing more than 900 hours of structured training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield. That training included criminal and traffic law, general police subjects, arrest techniques, emergency driving, physical tactics, and firearms qualifications.

Trooper Johnson is a Newton, IL native. He graduated from Newton Community High School in 2010 and from State Troopers 1Olivet Nazarene University in 2013. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Olivet Nazarene. Trooper Johnson’s primary patrol area will be Dubois County.

Trooper Watson is from Washington. He graduated from North Daviess High School in 2008 and from the Chef’s Academy in 2010, where he earned a degree of applied science in Culinary Arts. He joined the state police after working at the JW Marriott hotel in downtown Indianapolis. Trooper Watson will mostly patrol in Daviess and Martin counties.

Finally, Trooper Weir is a Plainville native. He also graduated from North Daviess High School in 2008. Following high school, Weir went to Campbellsville University for 1 year and then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served 4 years in the Marines and attained the rank of Sergeant. He is the son of Master Trooper Gary Weir, who also serves with the Jasper District. Trooper Weir will also primarily patrol Daviess and Martin counties.

Well we’re now closing in on flu season across the area and 1 local organization is already looking to help you get ready.

TRI-CAP is set to partner with Walgreens stores in our listening area to offer FREE flu shot clinics coming up next month. The shots will be provided to anyone who needs or wants one.

If you don’t have health insurance but still want a flu shot, you can get one at these clinics. TRI-CAP will have someone available on-site to assist you.

Kids can also get vaccinations. Children ages 7 to 10 can be vaccinated as long as they have a doctor’s prescription. Meanwhile, kids age 11 and up can be vaccinated with permission from their parents.

The flu clinics get started on September 16th at 10 am eastern time in Petersburg. There will be 7 clinics in all next month, including 1 each for Jasper and Huntingburg.

The Jasper clinic will be open from 3 to 5 pm on September 16th at TRI-CAP’s office along 3rd Avenue. Meanwhile, the Huntingburg clinic will be from 3 to 5 pm on September 18th at the Stork Place along North Van Buren Street. All aforementioned times are eastern time.

Now TRI-CAP officials are reminding folks to get their flu shot this year and to get it every year. They say getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent doctor visits during flu season. It also is the best way to reduce your chance of getting the flu and then spreading the virus to others.

Holiday World and Splashin Safari has now joined the wave of fundraising efforts geared towards ALS research.

Yesterday, full-time staff at the park stood under the massive tipping bucket at Kima Bay and were doused with water as part of the Ice Bucket Challenge. The staff also brought their own buckets and hard hats with ice as part of the challenge. The park then issued its own ice bucket challenge to Kings Island, Dollywood, Six Flags St. Louis, and Silver Dollar City.

Now ALS, which is often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. As many as 30 thousand Americans face the disease at any one time.

As of yesterday, officials with the ALS Association reported more than 13 million dollars has been raised by groups and individuals accepting the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Holiday World is set to make a 3-fold donation to ALS fundraising efforts. Those will come from staff, a park donation, and a donation from the Koch family.

Indiana’s unemployment rate is the same as it was last month.

Numbers released this morning by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development show the state unemployment rate remains at 5.9%. Indiana did post another month of strong private sector job growth, adding 99 hundred jobs. Of those, 55 hundred were added in the state’s manufacturing sector.

Now the unemployment rate remained steady due to another sizeable increase in the state’s labor force. Department of Workforce Development spokesman Joe Frank says that labor force has grown by more than 54 thousand over the last year.

Frank says Indiana’s continued job creation is driving people back to the workforce:

Other sectors that had gains this month included the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+3,200 jobs), private educational and health services (+2,100) and construction (+900).

Indiana’s unemployment rate remains lower than the national average. It’s the 2nd lowest in the region, trailing only Ohio.

Data for Dubois and surrounding counties is set to be released tomorrow as it is made available.

A Martin County Sheriff’s deputy escaped injury after a crash in the eastern part of the county yesterday.

At 3:30 pm, Martin County Deputy McBeth was headed westbound along US 50 just west of State Road 450 on his way to assist Indiana State Police and Loogootee Police with a domestic dispute in Loogootee. As he was driving, McBeth lost control of the department’s Ford Explorer pool vehicle. The vehicle then came to rest on its driver’s side.

Deputy McBeth was not hurt in the incident as mentioned. The Explorer has extensive front end damage. Deputies say the vehicle is a total loss.

Well the St. Anthony Sesquicentennial celebration is now in the books and parade winners have been announced.

Yesterday’s parade began at 4 pm after being pushed back from its original 1 o’clock start time due to rains across the area. There were 6 classes of parade float in all. Those were emergency vehicles, animal pulled/horseback, marching/walking units, best tractor, best vehicle, and best float.

The winners are as follows:

Best Emergency Vehicle: St. Anthony Fire Dept

Best Animal/Horseback Entry: Knies Saw Mill

Best Marching/Walking: Forest Park Marching Rangers

Best Tractor: Donny Lampert for Sheriff

Best Vehicle: Past St. Anthony Queens

Best Float: St Anthony Conservation Club

Yesterday also featured the beard judging contest and closing ceremonies.