Local unemployment figures are now out and Dubois County once again fared well.
The September numbers released this morning by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development show Dubois County is now at 3.4 percent unemployment. That is down 3 tenths of a percent from August’s number.
Dubois County still has the lowest unemployment rate in Indiana. Its lead over Hamilton County is now 4 tenths of a percent. It was 3 tenths for August.
Among other local counties, Daviess County is tied for the 4th lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.9 percent, a drop of 2 tenths from August. Martin County is also back in the top 10 at 4.1 percent.
Moving around the area, Warrick County’s unemployment came in at 4.3 percent, Spencer County is at 4.6, Pike County and Perry County are tied at 4.9 percent, Orange County 5.3, and Crawford County is now at 5.8 percent unemployment. The highest unemployment rate in Indiana was found in Lake County at 7.2 percent.
As a state, Indiana’s jobless rate dropped to 5.7 percent for September. That’s down 1 tenth from August and is now 2 tenths lower than the national average. The state unemployment rate has now dropped in 16 of the past 22 months.
Indiana added 59 hundred manufacturing jobs in September, one of the largest one month increases for the state in a decade. It’s also one of the largest increases in the nation.
However, losses concentrated mainly in leisure and hospitality and in trade, transportation and utilities resulted in an overall decline of 1,900 private sector jobs last month.
Bridge cleaning projects conducted by the Indiana Department of Transportation will force maintenance crews to close lanes of Interstate 64 between State Road 162 at Exit 63 near Ferdinand and State Road 66 (Exit 92) in Crawford County.
INDOT says work will begin tomorrow and last for about a week.
For construction updates and traffic alerts, follow INDOT on social media at facebook.com/INDOTVincennesDistrict and at twitter.com/INDOTSouthwest or you can access INDOT’s TrafficWise Traveler Information Service at indot.carsprogram.org.
Authorities are now seeking charges against 3 people following an accident in the southwestern part of the county overnight.
At 12:25 this morning, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were called to County Road 400 South near County Road 130 West on a reported single vehicle accident. Deputies were originally told that the vehicle had flipped over several times, though no EMS was requested.
When they arrived, deputies found that 18-year-old Austin Zehr of Huntingburg had been driving east on County Road 400 South and had just crossed the railroad tracks when his vehicle went off of the south side of the roadway for an unknown reason. Zehr’s vehicle then went another 50 feet before going into a ditch and hitting an embankment with the front of the vehicle. The impact caused the vehicle to spin 180 degrees and the back of the vehicle also hit the embankment. The vehicle finally came to rest facing north.
A passenger in Zehr’s vehicle, Christian Mattingly, had left the scene before deputies arrived. He was found a short time later and he was charged with minor consuming after deputies found that he’d been drinking. An unidentified young girl who was riding in Zehr’s vehicle was also found to have been drinking. She was released to her parents.
Deputies say this accident is still under investigation. Zehr was found to be driving at an unsafe speed. Charges against him will likely be filed after the investigation is done.
Huntingburg Police and a wrecker from KARS also assisted.
Officials with the Jasper Deanery are pleased thus far with the ongoing transition to a county wide Catholic school system.
Holy Trinity Catholic School’s formation was officially announced late last month, though the process has been going on for nearly the last year. The school was formed following recommendations from officials with the Catholic Diocese of Evansville and local groups.
Father Gary Kaiser of Precious Blood Catholic Church was chosen by Bishop Charles Thompson to serve as the delegate for school administration. Kaiser says though change is not easy, he is proud of how everyone involved has embraced the process:
Holy Trinity will be formed through the combination of St. Mary Preschool in Ireland with Jasper’s Precious Blood and Holy Family schools. St. Mary will continue to house 3 and 4 year olds for preschool. Meanwhile, some 3 and 4 year olds along with students in kindergarten through 2nd grade will go to Precious Blood School and Holy Family School will house students from 3rd grade on up to 8th grade. The new school will be led by principal Sally Sternberg and assistant principal Michelle Brandle.
Now all 11 Jasper Deanery parishes will be supporting Holy Trinity. Officials with the Evansville Diocese have said Holy Trinity’s formation could serve as an example to other parishes across the Diocese. Kaiser agrees, saying the merger is something we may see more of:
Enrollment for the new school is expected to rise. Kaiser says the enrollment figures are helping to keep Catholic education as a quality option for families going forward:
The new Holy Trinity school system will be opening in time for the start of the 2015-2016 school year.
A Birdseye man was airlifted to an Evansville hospital following an SUV vs scooter accident last night.
Just after 6:10 last night, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were called to an area at the intersection of State Roads 64 and 145 in Birdseye. Deputies say 23-year-old Zach Russell was riding a scooter westbound along State Road 64 when he tried to turn south on State Road 145 in front of an oncoming vehicle for an unknown reason.
The oncoming vehicle driven by 25-year-old Clarissa Neal tried to avoid the scooter, but could not and hit it with the front passenger’s side of her vehicle. The impact threw Russell off of the scooter.
Russell sustained possible head and leg injuries. He was lifeflighted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Evansville for treatment. Meanwhile, Neal was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital for treatment of chest pain.
Deputies say this accident is still under investigation. The Birdseye Volunteer Fire Department, Memorial Hospital EMS, Indiana State Police, a wrecker from Berg’s Garage, St. Mary’s Lifeflight, and Dubois County Dispatch all assisted.
Local health officials are now getting prepared in the event that the Ebola outbreak reaches Southwestern Indiana.
Yesterday evening, a group of more than 40 emergency management and health care personnel from Dubois and surrounding counties met at the Medical Arts Building Conference Room at Memorial Hospital. The meeting was designed to be informative rather than panicked.
Now the meeting gave local health officials the chance to learn more about Ebola. Specific topics included how its transmitted and the correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The group also reviewed the most up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and talked more about what needs to be done if a suspicious case were to arise.
In a news release, Dubois County Health Department Administrator Donna Oeding says the meetings will continue as updates are given by the CDC. She emphasizes that groups are preparing and there is no panic at this point.
Kimball International has chosen its leadership for the foreseeable future.
During yesterday’s annual meeting, shareholders of the Jasper-based company elected all 10 nominees to serve on the Board of Directors. Folks were elected to serve 1, 2, or 3 year terms to represent the company’s Class A shareholders. Terms go until the next Annual Shareholders meeting or until a successor is duly qualified and elected.
Douglas Habig, Timothy Jahnke, and James Thyen were elected to 1 year terms on the board. 2 year term appointees were Donald Charron, Patrick Connolly, and Kimberly Ryan. Finally, Robert Schneider, Geoffrey Stringer, and Christine Vujovich were elected to 3 year terms. For Class B shareholders, Thomas Tischhauser was elected as a Director for a 1 year term.
Also yesterday, Class A shareholders ratified an advisory vote to approve compensation for executive officers. They appointed Deloitte and Touche as the company’s independent registered public accounting firm for next fiscal year.
In additional business, the company declared quarterly dividends for stock. It will be 5 cents a share for both Class A and Class B common stock. That will be payable on January 15th of next year to shareholders of record as of Christmas Eve of this year.
On a final note, yesterday also marked a special celebration at Kimball. The company hosted a retirement event for outgoing chairman Douglas Habig and president/CEO James Thyen. Habig and Thyen are both retiring later this year. Jasper mayor Terry Seitz presented both of them with a key to the city as part of the celebration.