Local Coverage

A couple of events for this year’s Ferdinand 175th birthday celebration have been announced.

Entries are currently being accepted for the “Fashions of Olde” contest (formerly Ladies of the Bustle). That contest is set for opening night of the celebration on Thursday June 18th at 6 o’clock in the Ferdinand Community Center.

Now women of all ages can participate in this event. Categories of fashion will include Little Dickens for those from infants up to 8 years old; Rebel Rousers for kids ages 9 to 17 and Lads and Lassies for those 18 and older. Individual prizes will be handed out for family groups, other groups, and best overall for either the most memorable individual or group.

Contestants can enter 2 categories with the same outfit and could enter a 3rd by changing their outfit. The entry deadline will be 6 pm on the 18th.

Then, a NEW event is being featured at this year’s celebration. Fitness at the Fest is scheduled for Friday June 19th and Saturday June 20th. The competition goes from 6 to 10 pm Friday night and from 8 am to 5 pm on Saturday.

Some of the exercises in the competition will include box jumps, presses, running, sit-ups and burpees. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

The cost to enter this event is $35 and registration is due by Monday June 1st. For more information on all of the events at Ferdinand’s 175th celebration you can go online to ferdinand175.com.

SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (AP) – A Spencer County woman is bringing a collection of English novels and a diamond ring on the PBS television show “Antiques Roadshow” to see what they’re worth.

Brenda Winkler of Santa Claus says she’s been trying to get on the program for four years.

Each of the items already has a story and sentimental value. When her father Chester died, he left Winkler an inheritance which she used to buy a diamond ring from Olinger Diamond Center in Jasper. The diamonds weigh three karats and are set in a 14K gold right.

She purchased the books for $25 years ago in the town of Arthur, 40 miles northeast of Evansville, during an antiquing trip with her father. She believes they are first edition books.

Today is the ultimate celebration of sacrifices made by so many men and women for our freedom and the Dubois County Veterans Council has been leading the effort to honor our nation’s veterans.

Saturday morning, the veterans council hosted Dubois County’s annual Memorial Day Ceremony on the Courthouse Square in downtown Jasper. The day featured many remembrances of our soldiers, including POW-MIA’s. Steve Bartles led the honors for local POW-MIA’s. Bartles says its all about keeping the memories alive for those who gave their all in defense of freedom:

The ceremony also featured recognition for deceased veteran Tom Messier. Messier was born in 1935 in Bourboness Illinois. He began serving in the United States Marine Corps as an artilleryman at the age of 19.

Messier left for Vietnam in August of 1965. He was an Artillery Chief in Vietnam and directed accurate fire in support of Marines and soldiers on the ground. Messier retired from the Marine Corps in August of 1974 with several commendations and medals.

Messier also helped to start the Southern Indiana Leatherneck detachment of the Marine Corps League and served as detachment paymaster for 7 years. He was later honored with Silver and Bronze Distinguished Citizen Medals among other honors.

Dave Englert of the Southern Indiana Leathernecks read a tribute to Messier. Englert told the crowd that serving his country ultimately shaped Messier’s life and legacy:

Family members then lay a wreath at the veterans memorial on the Courthouse Square in Messier’s honor.

NSA Crane Commander Timothy A Craddock was the guest speaker for Saturday’s ceremony. Craddock thanked those who made it to the ceremony and says its a sign that people’s views on veterans from years past is changing for the better:

More than 130 veterans who were living in Dubois County passed away over the last year. Their names were read as part of the ceremony as well.

A reported electrical fire at an area business kept fire crews busy for a short time.

At around 7 am, fire crews with the Huntingburg Volunteer Fire Department were called to the OFS Brands headquarters in the 1200 block of East 6th Street. Huntingburg Assistant Fire Chief Glen Kissling says when they arrived, there was no fire though smoke had filled the building. Kissling says a heating unit in the sauna room of the building’s fitness area had shorted out, causing an electrical smolder. Kissling says the power supply had been shut off prior to crews arriving on scene and fire crews spent their time clearing the smoke out of the building.

Kissling says there were about a dozen employees in the fitness area at the time of the fire, but there were no injuries. The Huntingburg Fire Department responded with 2 trucks and 12 men. Crews were on scene for about 20 minutes.

Though local companies are struggling to fill jobs, problems are also being felt statewide.

State Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Steve Braun made a stop at VUJC yesterday afternoon to discuss those issues. Braun says the state will have about 1 million jobs it will need to fill over the next 10 years as the Baby Boomer generation retires and other new jobs are created. Braun says career and technical education is key to that future and our school systems need to lead the way:

Braun says Jasper and Dubois County continue to be leaders in job creation and low unemployment both locally and statewide. However, he says it will take a larger collaborative effort to help the rest of the region and state catch up:

Now several educators also spoke up during yesterday’s discussion. Forest Park High School principal Jim Mehling has been in education for more than 30 years and expressed his concerns about balancing teaching life skills such as problem solving with giving people what they need to be successful entering the workforce:

Braun also discussed ongoing issues at the community college level, where many students are not finishing classes. VUJC dean Dr. Alan Johnson says that problem is often attributable to lack of preparation:

Braun says the DWD received an additional $50 million from the state in the most recent budget. He says the department will seek to work with groups such as Conexus and Radius Indiana to identify talent and begin to fill the open jobs.

Older residents of Dubois County who need help getting back into the workforce this summer have an easier way to do so.

The Indiana State Office of Experience Works says it is operating the Senior Community Service Employment Program in 43 counties statewide, including here in Dubois County. The program is available at no cost to eligible individuals and provides paid community service assignments at local and public nonprofit organizations, training, and job search help.

In a news release, Experience Works state program manager David Hicks says older workers may find the job search in modern times a bit overwhelming. Hicks says the program allows older people to build confidence, earn income, and gain valuable skills that respond to today’s job market.

The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Labor and administered by Experience Works to provide a springboard to jobs with local employers. Applicants must be age 55 or older, unemployed, and meet additional income guidelines.

For more information, or to find out if you qualify call Experience Works toll-free 844-219-0060.

This year’s Memorial Day ceremony in Dubois County is now set.

The ceremony will be held on the downtown square in Jasper tomorrow morning beginning at 10 am. All veterans organizations in Dubois County are being represented and local veterans who passed away will be remembered.

Tom Messier is this year’s deceased veteran who will be recognized tomorrow. Messier was born in 1935 in Bourboness Illinois. He began serving in the United States Marine Corps as an artilleryman at the age of 19.

Messier left for Vietnam in August of 1965. He was an Artillery Chief in Vietnam and directed accurate fire in support of Marines and soldiers on the ground. Messier retired from the Marine Corps in August of 1974 with several commendations and medals.

Messier remained active locally even after his retirement from the Marine Corps. He was an active member with the American Legion Post #147 and helped to start the Southern Indiana Leatherneck Detachment of the Marine Corps League in November of 1995. He served as detachment paymaster for nearly 7 years, winning both the Silver and Bronze Distinguished Citizen Medals among other honors.

Tomorrow’s ceremony will also feature guest speaker Commander Timothy Craddock from NSA Crane, Steve Bartles conducting the POW/MIA Ceremony and Larry Feldmeyer with the Celebration Singers will be singing the National Anthem and other patriotic songs.

In the event of bad weather, the ceremony will be moved to the VFW Post #673 in Jasper.