Local Coverage

Tuesday’s announcement of broadband internet coming to Huntingburg marks the end of a long process for Perry-Spencer Communications.

Company officials and the city have been talking for several years about the idea. PSC president and CEO Jim Dauby says other successful broadband buildouts in our area helped to spark the Huntingburg project:

Dauby says the projects have all been C-LEG overbuilds. C-LEG stands for Competitive Local Exchange Carrier and is a procedure where PSC takes their products and overbuilds a network from them, much like AT&T and Time Warner do.

Now broadband will be a new city utility in Huntingburg. PSC will be working with city utilities in the design and buildout of this project, which will begin in the spring of 2016. Dauby says the project is expected to cost around $3 million in all based on past experience with broadband buildouts.

Of course, the announcement was a momentous one for Huntingburg..but also for state officials continuing to work towards broadband connectivity in rural areas. Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann was unable to be in attendance Tuesday morning, but she did send along a congratulatory letter, one that Spinner read during the announcement:

State officials say rural broadband will remain one of their top priorities.

Now the rural broadband issue has also become noteworthy on the national level. Back in July of last year, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a $100 million budget for rural broadband efforts.

Dubois County department heads and county officials have begun discussions on how to raise salaries for all county employees.

Last night, the Dubois County Council and the Dubois County Commissioners held a joint meeting to discuss ongoing salary issues. Of course, many county department heads were in attendance last night including highway superintendent Steve Berg, health department administrative director Donna Oeding and sheriff Donny Lampert.

The meeting was organized by county council vice president Jerry Hunefeld. He says the time is now to begin addressing salary concerns:

Now salary concerns date back to 2012 when the county council began to look at the issue. Efforts over the last couple of years have aimed at comparing the salaries of Dubois County employees with those of corresponding employees in other counties. The council voted 4-3 last October in favor of having Waggoner, Irwin, Scheele and Associates come in and do a salary study for county employees. That was pulled off of the table last November in the wake of the county’s then $1.3 million budget shortfall.

The outside study was seen as a bad idea by many county department heads, including Steve Berg. Berg says officials don’t need to look outside of Dubois County to make a good comparison:

Other department heads suggested that each member of the county council come out and spend time with county employees to get an idea of what they do as part of any salary structuring effort.

Meanwhile, Donna Oeding appreciated the county’s effort but stated any salary change movement will have many moving parts to it:

The council and commissioners will meet with department heads again on November 17th to continue the discussion. A decision on what to do for county salaries is expected by May 1st of next year.

Parents in the Northeast Dubois School Corporation got their first chance to voice their opinion on a future direction for the district.

Last night, the Northeast Dubois School Board hosted a public forum at the Celestine Community Center. The meeting was mostly led by Brookston-based Administrator Assistance, a firm who is leading a feasibility study on behalf of the corporation.

Northeast Dubois superintendent Bill Hochgesang says Administrator Assistance laid out several ideas for the future. The list, which contained several ideas, included scheduling changes amongst the schools, a referendum on the 2016 ballot, and consolidating the corporation’s 2 elementary schools into 1 school.

Hochgesang says its all about making the right decision for the corporation..which means keeping all options open:

Hochgesang says more than 400 people showed up to last night’s forum. Several of them stood up to speak and Hochgesang says many people praised the corporation for its recent efforts in technology. However, Hochgesang says many people were adamant about keeping both elementary schools open and not consolidating them.

Hochgesang says the idea of a referendum generated a mixed response in terms of whether or not it would be supported by the public. However, he says the support for the district is undeniable, based on last night’s turnout:

A 2nd public forum will be held next Tuesday October 13th at Dubois Middle School. That forum gets underway at 6 o’clock.

Now the feasibility study as a whole is expected to cost around $20,000 to complete. School officials are hoping to have the study done by late December with findings to be made public at the board’s January meeting.

A Daviess County couple were taken into custody earlier this week after nearly 20 meth labs were found in their home.

Just before 10 o’clock Monday night, Indiana State Police and Washington Police arrived at a home in the 2000 block of South State Road 57 just outside of Washington to investigate suspected meth activity. After meeting with 50-year-old Daniel and 44-year-old Tina Purdue (both of Washington), officers noted tin foil with suspected drug residue on it in plain sight. Officers then obtained a search warrant through Daviess County Court.
Drug Items

Daviess County Sheriff’s deputies joined in the search of the home after the warrant was obtained. Authorities say they found 19 one pot meth labs. They also found 24 syringes, 54 foil “boats” used for smoking meth, numerous other smoking devices, marijuana, Hydrocodone and other drug paraphernalia.

Both Daniel and Tina Purdue were booked into the Daviess County Security Center. They are each facing Level 6 felonies for Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance. Additionally, each is charged with Level 5 felonies for Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 3 felonies for Manufacturing/Dealing Methamphetamine and Class A misdemeanors for Possession of Paraphernalia.

Daniel Purdue

Daniel Purdue

Now state police are continuing to ask for your help in removing meth and other drugs from communities. Anyone with information on such activity can call the Indiana State Police Jasper Post at (812)-482-1441.

You can also call ISP’s Meth Suppression Section at 1-800-453-4756.

Authorities in Daviess County are investigating an accident along US 50 that claimed the life of an elderly woman.

Daviess County Sheriff’s deputies were called to US 50 east of County Road 1250 East near the entrance of Daviess-Martin Medical Clinic at around noon yesterday. Daviess County deputies say 81-year-old George Nolan of Montgomery had been driving eastbound on US 50 when he began slowing down to make a left turn into the parking lot at the Daviess-Martin Medical Clinic. Daviess County Fatal

Deputies say Nolan’s vehicle was rear-ended by a semi being driven by 39-year-old Jerry Ray Patten of Lawrenceville, IL. The impact pushed Nolan’s vehicle off of the north side of US 50 and onto the lawn
of Daviess-Martin Medical Clinic. Meanwhile, the semi skidded off of the south side of the highway and into a nearby field.

A passenger in Nolan’s vehicle (79-year-old Elizabeth Nolan of Montgomery) was found unresponsive when medical crews arrived on scene. After trying to revive Elizabeth Nolan, authorities took her by ambulance to Daviess Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later. Meanwhile, George Nolan was also taken by ambulance to Daviess Community Hospital and was later flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Evansville for treatment of unknown injuries. Patten was not hurt according to deputies.

Now the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department says the accident is still under investigation pending medical and toxicology reports. The Montgomery and Cannelburg Fire Departments, Southwest Ambulance Service, the Daviess-Martin Medical Clinic and Indiana State Police all assisted.

Huntingburg is the latest Dubois County community to join the broadband revolution.

This morning, city officials and representatives of Perry-Spencer Communications (PSC) came together to announce a joint effort to bring broadband to Huntingburg. The plan, dubbed ‘High Speed Huntingburg’, will begin to take shape over the coming year.

Huntingburg mayor Denny Spinner says broadband is long overdue in the city. He says broadband access holds the key to the city’s long-term success:

Now broadband will be a new city utility in Huntingburg. PSC will be working with city utilities in the design and buildout of this project, which will begin in the spring of 2016.

PSC president and CEO Jim Dauby was also on hand for this morning’s announcement. He says the project has been a long time coming for the city and says its part of addressing a much bigger problem:

Dauby says the project is expected to cost around $3 million in all based on past experience with broadband buildouts. He says the company will soon begin working with the city on design plans. The project will be an entirely private investment made by PSC with no subsidies from the city.

Huntingburg is the 2nd community this year to announce a major broadband project. Earlier this year, Jasper city officials announced a partnership with Smithville Telecom of Ellettsville for the region’s first ‘Gigacity’.

A Monday afternoon crash in northeastern Dubois County claimed the life of an Orange County woman.

Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were called to State Road 56 east of County Road 750 East at around 3:40 pm. Sheriff’s deputies say 71-year-old Beverly Stiles of Paoli was driving eastbound on State Road 56 when she told deputies she tried to move her vehicle to the right for a combine that was going westbound on the highway. IMG_0309After moving her car over, she told deputies she lost control of the car before going over into a ditch on the south side of State Road 56, hitting an embankment at the end of the ditch before coming to rest.

Stiles had to be extricated from her vehicle by Dubois Volunteer firefighters, an effort that took more than half an hour. She was then taken by ambulance to Jasper’s Memorial Hospital before being airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Evansville. She succumbed to her injuries at St. Mary’s at 5:20 pm central time.

Authorities say they are continuing to investigate the crash. The Dubois Fire Department, Memorial Hospital EMS and the Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office all assisted sheriff’s deputies.