Local Coverage

A pair of county police departments are investigating weekend vehicle break-ins that have a common thread.

In Jasper, JPD is looking into 2 vehicle break-ins that happened between 6 and 7 o’clock Saturday night. The first one happened at Full Out Tumble and Cheer along Cathy Lane. The 2nd took place at the Animal Medical Center along Crossroads Avenue. Jasper Police say both vehicles had their windows smashed out with some sort of tool and women’s purses were stolen out of each vehicle.

Anyone who noticed anything suspicious in either area is asked to call JPD at (812)-482-2255 or the department’s anonymous tip line at (812)-481-COPS.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand Police say something similar happened sometime between 5:30 and 8:30 pm behind Tres Agaves Mexican Grill. Authorities say someone knocked out windows in 2 vehicles parked behind the restuarant with a tool of some kind and women’s purses left on the front seat were taken. Any information on this case can be reported by calling Dubois County Dispatch at (812)-482-9111.

Now police across the county are again reminding the public to either take their valuables with them or lock them in the trunk when leaving their vehicle. Additionally, you should always lock your vehicles, even if you’re only leaving for a couple of minutes.

Residents in Dubois County who wish to burn debris or other items can now return to doing so.

The Dubois County Commissioners announced over the weekend that they have lifted the countywide burn ban. That ban had been in place for about a week due to a lack of rainfall.

Now county officials say last week’s rainfall ended the need for the burn ban. They say vegetation and the ground got enough moisture to warrant lifting the ban.

With the lifting of the burn ban, several burning activities can now resume, which include:

-Open burning with conventional fuel such as wood or other combustible material

-Burning of debris from timber, vegetation or even construction projects


-Campfires and recreational fires such as bonfires and pit fires.

Martin and Spencer County still have burn bans in place as of this point.

This week is Fire Prevention Week all across Indiana and the state fire marshal’s office wants you to be prepared.

Indiana fire marshal James Greeson says there are several steps to take to ensure you are guarded against fires. These include installing smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside of each separate sleeping area and on each level of your home, including in the basement.

Now Greeson says there are other tips to follow as well. These are:

-Test smoke alarms every month and change batteries at least once every 6 months.

-Replace smoke alarms every 8-10 years.


-Know the difference between the 2 types of smoke alarms.

Greeson says ionization smoke alarms work best when there is a fast-moving fire that breaks out. On the other hand, he says photoelectric alarms are quicker to detect smoldering, smoky fires. He says you can also get specialty alarms, which are a combination of both alarm types.

On a final note, Greeson says smoke alarms provide extra time for escape, but families and businesses need to practice an escape plan in the event of a real fire. Escape plans should be practiced both during the day and at night.

For more information on fire safety, you can go online to GetPrepared.IN.gov.

The developer for a pair of new Jasper housing projects says the projects fill a local void..and TIF will not be a big factor for area finances.

Of course, Pete Schwiegeraht of Miller-Valentine told the Dubois County Council earlier this week about the projects. These projects are Phase 2 of the JOFCO workforce housing effort (which would add up to 40 additional units) and planned senior housing to be built in the former Jasper Wood Products building.

Schwiegeraht asked for $200,000 in all ($100,000 for each project). He told the council that it will be a small price to pay for millions of dollars in local investment. The council decided to table the issue until October over TIF concerns.

Schwiegeraht says he understands the concerns about TIF, but these projects will get currently unused properties back on city tax rolls:

Of course, Jasper’s TIF district was originally approved early this year. The district covers about 1/3rd of the entire city and 90% of its industrial space.

Jasper mayor Terry Seitz pushed hard for TIF, arguing it was necessary for economic development. However, members of the county council raised concerns about it in light of a study done by Ball State economist Dr. Michael Hicks. Hicks’ study found that although TIF districts generate funds for cities to use for other purposes not related to budgets, using them heavily often leads to higher tax rates in areas that are not covered by the TIF district. County council president Greg Kendall previously expressed his concerns about city budgeting along with taxes. He stated TIF isn’t necessarily bad, but Jasper officials needed to be careful how they move forward with it. Kendall also pointed out that county budget constraints could become a bigger problem should TIF not work out for Jasper.

Now Miller-Valentine officials announced the new housing projects at last week’s regular Jasper City Council meeting. In the end, Schwiegeraht says the projects came about because the firm found a greater need for housing in the area:

Schweigeraht says once other funding sources are secured, Miller-Valentine will be applying for state housing tax credits to help with project funding. Those tax credits are usually awarded in March of each year.

Tomorrow marks a special day for manufacturing that will be celebrated both locally and all across the country.

Vincennes University Jasper Campus will be hosting ‘National Manufacturing Day’ at the Center for Technology, Innovation and Manufacturing on campus. The celebration runs from 9 am to 3 pm tomorrow.

Now a total of 7 schools from the area will bring students in every hour and a half throughout the day. The event aims to inform students and the community as a whole about world class products that are made here locally. Officials say many people (and especially students) are not aware of the diversity of local products which are made and then distributed to companies all over the world.

Officials are expecting more than 300 students to show up. There will be 12 local manufacturers represented throughout the event.

For more information, you can contact Ray Niehaus at the Center for Technology, Innovation and Manufacturing by calling (812)-482-3177.

You can also email rniehaus@vinu.edu.

Officials with WestGate at Crane say yesterday’s annual College Fair was a huge success.

More than 800 students from 12 high schools across 5 counties attended the college fair. There were also additional individual groups and home schooled students who attended.

Now WestGate at Crane says 35 colleges and universities in all registered for the event. They came from across Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

Of course, the college fair also featured a scholarship giveaway. The scholarships, which are in honor of Chuck LaSota, were funded by the ‘Running for Our Future’ 5K event. This year’s 5K raised $3,000 for scholarships.

There were 3 scholarship winners. Clay Reynolds of Shakamak High School took home a $500 scholarship, Jessa Newby from North Daviess Junior/Senior High School won $1,000 and Alex Stuffle (also from North Daviess) won a $1,500 scholarship.

The 3rd annual fair attracted more students, high schools, colleges and universities, and scholarship money than ever before. In a news release, fair organizer Alexandria Jackson says she’s really happy to be able to put this event together for area students. She says there isn’t really a better opportunity for students to learn more from these colleges and universities in one place at one time.

The event began at 9 o’clock and ran until 11 am. Scholarships were awarded at 10 o’clock.

Some of the colleges and universities on hand included Rose-Hulman, Marian University and the University of Southern Indiana.

Authorities in Huntingburg are continuing to investigate a hit-and-run accident involving a Perry County woman.

At around 1:45 yesterday afternoon, Huntingburg Police were called to the 1000 block of North Main Street just north of Toy’s Parts City on the reported accident. HPD says the victim (Mildred Mitchell of St. Croix) was turning her silver 2007 Jeep Compass into a parking lot when she was hit by a large, older 4 door sedan. The sedan was tan or beige with a burgundy top.

Again, police say the sedan left the scene. Anyone who has any information is asked to call Huntingburg Police at (812)-683-4111.