Local Coverage

Jasper Redevelopment Commission president John Bell has announced his plan to seek the Republican nomination for District 3 on the Jasper City Council.

In a news release, Bell says he and his family love the city because it is a unique and special place to live. He says the city still needs to push forward to allow Jasper to continue growing and prospering with future businesses that are looking to either build or expand in the community.

The 49-year-old Bell is a Jasper native. Bell graduated from Purdue University and spent 7 years working at Kimball International, mostly as the Quality Assurance Manager and being a liason B&W Sittingbetween the sales and manufacturing divisions.

In 2000, Bell was hired as the Chief Operating Officer for Williams Bros. Pharmacy. He also serves as Chief Operating Officer for TrueScripts Management Services, a company that he is an owner of as part of a partnership started last year.

Bell has been very active in the community over the last 6 years. In addition to leading the Jasper Redevelopment Commisson, some of his community work has included being on the Parklands Advisory Board, the Jasper Library Building Committee, and being involved with the city’s Downtown Riverfront Master Plan.

Bell also serves on the Young Life Finance Committee and is president of the Business Network Alliance Organization. He’s a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Jasper.

Girls on the Run serving Dubois County is starting its first season today and tomorrow.

In all, 65 girls in grades 3 through 5 will be participating this year. The girls will be taking part in after school and evening programs over the next 10 weeks designed to allow them to define their life on their own terms.

Now the after school programs will be held at 10th Street Elementary each Monday through Thursday for 10 weeks. The evening programs will be held at 5th Street Elementary on Tuesdays and Thursdays during that time.

The culmination of the first year will come in April. At that point, the girls will join running buddies to complete a 5K run to celebrate. The girls will be partnering with the Jasper Cross Country Boosters to take part in the Wildcat Runaway 5K.

Girls on the Run Serving Dubois County is an independent council of Girls on the Run International. For more information, you can go online to gotrswin.org.

The Indiana Sheriff’s Association is seeking nominations for this year’s college scholarships.

Dubois County Sheriff Donny Lampert says 40 such scholarships will be awarded statewide this year. To qualify, students have to be Indiana residents. They also must be either a current member of the sheriff’s association or have a family member who is an association member. Students have to be attending a college or university in Indiana and must be enrolled as a full-time student with a law enforcement area major.

Applications are available from all 4 high school guidance counselors, the Dubois County Sheriff’s department, or by writing to the Indiana Sheriff’s Association in Indianapolis to request a form. You can also download it by going online to indianasheriffs.org. The deadline for applications this year is April 1st.

The scholarships are coming from the Indiana Sheriff’s Assocation’s Scholarship Fund. The fund was established to receive, invest, and dispense money for college scholarships to qualified students who are looking to pursue an education and career in law enforcement.

A report of a man in an unrented hotel room led to the arrest of a Jasper man on drug charges.

Carlos HernandezJust before 3:30 Saturday afternoon, Jasper Police were called to the Econolodge on that report. The caller told police the man had fled the scene on foot.

Officers later found the man (19-year-old Carlos Hernandez) near 5th Street Elementary and detained him. During a search, police found that Hernandez had drug paraphernalia and synthetic marijuana.

Hernandez was booked into the Dubois County Security Center. He is facing charges for possession of a synthetic drug and possession of paraphernalia.

A Florida man man was taken into custody early this morning on a number of charges including 3 felonies for OWI, Resisting Law Enforcement and Obstruction of Justice after he lead police on a brief pursuit in Jasper and then refused to cooperate with authorities.

At around 1:40 this morning an officer with the Jasper Police Department was traveling behind a northbound SUV on Clay Street near JR’s Bar.

Police say the vehicle turned east onto 2nd Street before crossing Newton Street and then turned left onto Main. Police say as the driver 26-year old Toby Shelly of Bradenton, Florida turned his SUV east at 3rd Street from Main, he accelerated at a high rate of speed.

The officer then activated his emergency lights and siren and the vehicle continued to accelerate southbound on 3rd Avenue on the city’s southeast side.

The officer continued his pursuit and police say Shelly turned his SUV east onto Rumbach Avenue nearly colliding with the curb before coming to a stop in the parking lot of Fazoli’s restaurant.

After a short investigation, police determined Shelly was intoxicated, however he refused standard field sobriety tests or portable breath tests.

Police took Shelly to Memorial Hospital for a blood draw but he still refused. A warrant was issued for a blood/urine sample and Shelly once again refused.

Police say Shelly became belligerent and continued to yell an scream at officers and hospital staff after he was asked several times to stop.

Shelly was then taken to and booked into the Dubois County Security Center on Class 6 Felony counts of Driving while Intoxicated with a prior. Obstruction of Justice and Resisting Law Enforcement after attempting to run from authorities. He is also facing a misdemeanor count of Disorderly Conduct due to his behavior at the hospital.

A local REC is now telling its side of the story with tensions continuing between cities and rural electric companies over current laws.

Earlier today, Dubois REC CEO and General Manager Don Book issued a statement in response to a story we aired yesterday concerning Senate Bill 309 and a recent article in Electric Consumer. In the statement, Book denies that the article called out city officials by name or referred to any cities or towns as ‘predators.’ Book also says anyone who wants to read the article in its entirety can go to electricconsumer.org to do so.

Book says the current law is unfair as it relates to how territory works. He says under the current law, cities are allowed to take territory from the REC’s, but the REC’s cannot take territory from the cities.

Book says Dubois REC is among those statewide who have been losing territory to cities and towns. He says that has led to a negative impact financially for the group.

Book says arguments against Senate Bill 309 are taking the wrong approach:

On a final note, Book says Dubois REC does have a good working relationship with Jasper, Huntingburg, and Ferdinand. He says the real issue is the unfairness of the law.

Residents from Spencer and surrouding counties got their chance to chime in on needed improvements for an area intersection.

Last night, the Indiana Department of Transportation hosted a public hearing at Heritage Hills High School for the south junction of US 231 and State Road 62 near Dale. The intersection has been the site of several fatal accidents, including an accident that took the life of 60-year-old Susan Grundhoefer of Dale just over 3 weeks ago. Grundhoefer had been going westbound on State Road 62 and tried to cross the southbound lanes of US 231. She failed to yield the right of way to a southbound SUV and her vehicle was hit in the right side door.The impact caused Grundhoefer’s vehicle to roll over and it came to rest on its roof. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Several people spoke last night, including members of Susan Grundhoefer’s family. Grundhoefer’s son, Seth, was among those who took the floor to speak. He says this accident has brought the community together to find a permanent solution:

During his speech, Grundhoefer criticized changes that were made to the intersection over the last few years. He stated the changes simply have not been enough:

In the end, Grundhoefer says everyone needs to continue pushing for change in order for it to happen.

Meanwhile, INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield says all options are on the table for the intersection:

Others on hand last night included North Spencer school officials, law enforcement, and other INDOT staff.