Local Coverage

Longtime Jasper Chamber of Commerce executive director Nancy Eckerle has announced her plans to seek the Republican nomination for 1 of 2 at-large seats on the Jasper City Council.

The 57-year-old Eckerle previously served on the council from 1996-1999 and represented District 5. Eckerle says though she’s been out of politics for a little while, the forward movement of the city is prompting her to run for office once again.

Eckerle says she is hoping to continue the city’s recent momentum. She says doing that will take a lot Nancy Eckerleof effort from everyone.

Eckerle currently serves as president of the Jasper Strassenfest Board of Directors. She is also a board member of the Redevelop Old Jasper Action Coalition and Dubois Strong. Eckerle co-founded the Dubois County Substance Abuse Council and serves as its co-chairperson. She has also organized the Summer Riverwalk Concert Series, Jasper’s O’Tannenbaum Days and the Patoka 2000 Beautification Project. She is also on numerous other boards and committees.

Eckerle has led the Jasper Chamber since 1987. She graduated from Jasper High School in 1976 and earned degrees in social work from Vincennes University and Indiana State University.

Eckerle was honored with a Young Hoosier Award from the Jasper Jaycees in 1993. She was nominated for the first Athena Award from the Rotary Club of Jasper back in 2012 and she was named a certified professional by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Association last year.

The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department is warning folks about another potential scam.

Deputies say at around 6:30 last night, they received a report from a citizen about a letter and a check that had come in the mail. The department says the mail came from Liberty Financial Services and stated that she had won the lottery. The citizen told deputies she wanted to warn others in the area to be on the lookout for similar letters.

Now DCSD is reminding folks that if something seems too good to be true…it probably is. Anyone who has questions about possible scams should contact local law enforcement or their financial institution.

Jasper City Councilman Kevin Manley is planning to run for another term.

The 60-year-old has represented the 6th District on the council for the last 8 and a half years. He is currently the Executive Director of the Dubois County Visitors Center, a role that he has been in for Kevin Manleythe last 3 and a half years. Prior to that, Manley worked for Kimball International and Dad’s Root Beer Company.

Manley serves on several different area boards. These include the Indiana Tourism Association, the Southern Indiana Marketing Cooperative, and Sports Indiana. Manley is the treasurer for DC Multisport and chairman of the Radius Tourism Pillar.

In the community, Manley is a member and former board member of the Jasper K of C. He is also a member of the Moose Lodge #1175 and the Jasper American Legion Post.

Manley is a 1972 graduate of Jasper High School and has been an active sportsman throughout his life. He spent 9 years as a 7th grade basketball coach and 3 years as a Pony League coach.

In a news release, Manley says he is proud of his service to the council. He says he looks forward to playing a role in shaping a brighter future for the city of Jasper.

The Jasper Chamber of Commerce has announced details for the first legislative breakfast of 2015.

That breakfast is scheduled from 8:30 to 10 am on Saturday, January 10th. It will be held in the theater room at the CTIM building on the Vincennes University Jasper Campus.

Those confirmed to attend thus far are District 47 State Senator Erin Houchin, District 74 State Representative Lloyd Arnold, and District 63 State Representative Mike Braun. The 3 will discuss various committees that they have been assigned to, bills that they want to introduce during the upcoming legislative session and get acquainted with their constituents.

The Jasper Chamber says it plans to hold a 2nd legislative breakfast coming up in March. No dates have been set at this point.

3 people escaped injury after a 2 car accident on the south side of Jasper overnight.

Just before 7:50 last night, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the intersection of South Meridian Road and State Road 162 on a reported accident. Deputies say 45-year-old Brenda Neuhoff of Huntingburg had been going southbound on South Meridian Road when she forgot to stop at the intersection with State Road 162. At this point, Neuhoff noticed an eastbound vehicle driven by 64-year-old David Berkman of Jasper and tried to accelerate through the intersection. Berkman saw Neuhoff’s vehicle go through the intersection without stopping and tried to slow down to avoid a collision. He could not and the two vehicles hit.

Berkman’s vehicle hit the right rear of Neuhoff’s vehicle. After the impact, Neuhoff’s vehicle continued south on South Meridian Road and hit a guardrail on the east side of the road. Berkman’s vehicle continued eastbound and spun around 180 degrees. His vehicle wound up on the south side of the roadway facing westbound.

Neuhoff, a passenger in her vehicle (17-year-old Derek Neuhoff of Huntingburg) and Berkman all refused medical treatment at the scene.

Damage to Neuhoff’s vehicle was estimated at 12 thousand dollars. Berkman’s vehicle sustained 10 thousand dollars in damages. Neuhoff was cited for disregarding a stop sign.

Jasper Police, the Jasper Fire Department, Memorial Hospital EMS, and a wrecker from Uelbehor and Sons all assisted.

Radius Indiana is touting the leadership of women across Southern Indiana in light of several women being appointed to leadership roles.

Late last week, Washington County Economic Growth Partnership Executive Director Sabrina Burdine was chosen as the chair for the Local Economic Development Organization Advisory Council for Radius. That council consists of leaders from the 8 county area that Radius serves.

The leaders work together to give counsel to the board and staff at Radius Indiana. The LEDO Advisory Council also sits on Radius’ executive committee.

In a news release, Radius Indiana president/CEO Becky Skillman says Burdine has been a great partner Sabrina Burdinefor Washington County. Skillman says having Burdine take the lead for the LEDO Advisory Council will help shape another successful year for the area. She also says its great to see women such as Burdine take on more local leadership roles such as this one.

Meanwhile, Burdine says she is appreciative of the LEDO Advisory Council’s confidence in her. She says she is looking forward to working with each of the county LEDO’s to come up with projects that move the region forward and keep it competitive.

On a related note, Radius’ Board of Directors recognized Brianne Jerrels. Jerrels was recently hired as the executive director for the Greene County Economic Development Corporation.

Finally, the board approved 2 new members for 2015. Julia Heitz Cassidy and Jennifer Vaughan filled those two spots. Heitz Cassidy is the Vice President of General Counsel and Secretary for Kimball International. Vaughan is the Chancellor for the Bloomington campus of Ivy Tech Community College.

A trio of Shoals residents were taken into custody earlier today following an investigation by Indiana State Police and Indiana Parole Officers.

At about 10:50 this morning, state police trooper Jarrod Lents assisted 2 Indiana Parole Officers as they did a parole search at the home of 47-year-old Darren Bruce Stone in the 15000 block Darren Bruce Stoneof Ivy Lane in Shoals. 32-year-old Julie Lents of Shoals met officers at the door. Lents told them that she along with 20-year-old Katie Stone-Payne (also of Shoals) were the only 2 people at home. After doing a protective sweep of the residence, trooper Lents found Darren Bruce Stone hiding behind a shower curtain in the shower.

While inside the residence, officers found a loaded .22 caliber handgun, marijuana roaches, and other drug paraphernalia in plain sight. Stone was not allowed to have a firearm because police say he is a convicted serious violent felon.

Julie LentsAfter getting a search warrant for the residence and outbuildings from the Martin County Prosecutor’s Office, officers found 2 baggies of marijuana, a straw that had methamphetamine in it, and additional drug paraphernalia items.

Stone, Lents, and Payne were all taken into custody and booked into the Martin County Jail. Each of them are facing Level 5 felonies for possession of methamphetamine with a firearm along with Level 6 felonies for illegal possession of a syringe, Class A misdemeanors for possession of marijuana, and Class B misdemeanors for possession of paraphernalia.

Katie Stone-PayneStone and Payne are each facing Level 6 felonies for maintaining a common nuisance while Lents is charged with a Class B misdemeanor for visiting a common nuisance. Lents is also facing a Class A misdemeanor for false informing. Stone is charged with a Level 4 felony for possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Martin County Sheriff’s deputies also assisted Indiana State Police.