Contractors for a Huntingburg senior housing project are now looking forward thanks to some good financial news.

As we first reported yesterday, TRI-CAP has recieved a 500 thousand dollar Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis to be used for redeveloping the former St. Joseph’s hospital property. TRI-CAP executive director Joyce Fleck says this week’s announcement means the largest components of financing for the project are now in place. She says the Miller-Valentine Group is now set to take more of a lead role on the project now that the funding is pretty well in place. The firm is now looking to get the building secured and getting ready to bid the project.

Fleck says the project will help to revitalize the St. Joseph’s campus among other benefits:

The project aims to convert roughly 30 thousand square feet of the building into living space along with adding on another 27 thousand square feet. 45 new apartments for older residents will be created when all is said and done.

TRI-CAP was 1 of 39 applicants statewide to get AHP funding. The 500 thousand dollars was the maximum amount available and not everyone who applied got funding. More than 50 entities applied for AHP funding.

Now Miller-Valentine was awarded nearly 800 thousand dollars in tax credits for this project back in February. The project is expected to be completed sometime in 2017.

The total investment on this project is more than 8.6 million dollars. The St. Joseph’s property has been vacant since its closing back in 2007.

A Haysville man will soon be facing charges after he crashed while trying to turn into his driveway.

Just before 3:25 yesterday afternoon, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the reported accident along US 231 just south of County Road 600 West. Deputies say 73-year-old Richard Brinkman had been going northbound along US 231 when he tried to turn east into his driveway. Deputies say Brinkman overshot the driveway and went into a ditch, rolling over onto its side in the process. Brinkman’s vehicle was a total loss.

Haysville First Responders had to extricate Brinkman from the vehicle. He was taken by EMS to Memorial Hospital to be treated for injuries to his arms and face. Deputies also found that Brinkman was intoxicated. His BAC registered at .16 percent, twice the legal limit. Brinkman was not arrested due to his injuries, but sheriff’s deputies say the investigation is still ongoing and Operating While Intoxicated charges are expected to be filed at a later date. US 231 was down to 1 lane while the accident scene was being cleared.

Memorial Hospital EMS also assisted.

Authorities are continuing their investigation into an overnight shooting in Knox County.

At about 2 o’clock this morning, police were called to a residence in the 700 block of Durbin Street in Bicknell on the reported shooting. Indiana State Police say 33-year-old Paul Ryan Russell was standing outside near Durbin and Cherry Streets in Bicknell when he saw 48-year-old Todd Godare walking towards him. State police say Russell then went inside the residence and got a baseball bat before coming back outside. Godare then allegedly shot and killed Russell with a 22 caliber revolver. Godare left the scene in his 1999 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck.

At about 4 o’clock this morning, Vincennes Police saw Godare and attempted to pull him over. Godare did not stop and led police through city streets before stopping along State Road 61 near Kimmel Road a short time later. Authorities say Godare then used the same weapon he shot Russell with to take his own life.

Authorities say the investigation is still ongoing. Autopsies have been scheduled for tomorrow morning.

Indiana State Police were assisted by Bicknell Police, Vincennes Police, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, and the Knox County Coroner’s Office.

An accident in Martin County led to the arrest of a Shoals man on intoxication charges.

Just before 10:35 yesterday morning, Martin County Sheriff’s deputies were called about an injury accident on State Road 450 south of Lundy Road. Deputies say 58-year-old Darrell Baker was northbound along State Road 450 near Lundy Road when his moped hit a 17-year-old boy who was directing traffic for a blacktopping company.

The boy sustained several head injuries. He was taken to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, where he is listed in stable condition.

Meanwhile, Baker was taken to Daviess Community Hospital for a toxicology screening. Baker preliminarily tested positive for THC/marijuana. Baker was then taken into custody and lodged in the Martin County Jail, where he is being held without bond. He is facing a level 6 felony for operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury.

The Shoals Fire Department, Martin County EMS, and an Air Evac helicopter also assisted.

Contestants for this year’s Junior Miss and Miss Strassenfest pageants have been announced.

7 girls in all will be competing for this year’s Miss Strassenfest crown. They are Mallory Alles, Karlie Eckert, Kaitlyn Leistner, Katie Letterman, Annie Stenftnagel, Mariah Thewes, and Hannah whalen. This year’s Miss Strassenfest will get a 1 thousand dollar scholarship while the first runner-up gets a 500 dollar scholarship. A second runner-up, Miss Congeniality, and Miss Photogenic will also be awarded.

Meanwhile, 8 girls will be vying for the Junior Miss Strassenfest honors. They are Zoe Biggs, Peyton Blackgrave, Mackenzie Cooley, Chloe Herzog, Madison Hostetter, Breann Lechner, Emily Patterson, and Emma Reutepohler. The winner will get a 250 dollar scholarship and the first runner-up will get a 125 dollar scholarship. This contest will also award a second runner-up, Miss Congeniality, and Miss Photogenic.

The Miss and Junior Miss Strassenfest pageants will be held on Saturday at the Jasper Middle School auditorium. The pageants get underway at 7 pm with the Junior Miss pageant first, followed by the Miss Strassenfest pageant.

Tickets are still available for 5 dollars each. They may be purchased at the Jasper Chamber of Commerce’s office along West 6th Street. You can also call 482-6866 to get your ticket.

The Barr-Reeve School Corporation now has a legal battle to deal with.

Members of the district’s Classroom Teachers Association have filed unfair labor practice (ULP) charges against superintendent Travis Madison and the 3 elected Barr-Reeve school board members. Among the allegations, the association alleges that new teachers were hired at higher salaries than what teachers with more experience already working for the district were making.

The ULP also alleges that 2 teaching positions were eliminated without discussing it with the teachers association. Those positions were then filled by certified assistants who were paid lower salaries according to the ULP.

Indiana State Teachers Association UniServe director Veronica Hobbs says the ISTA is fighting to ensure that current Barr-Reeve teachers are being rewarded for their loyalty and years of serving the corporation. She also says the new hires should not be making more than what the more experienced teachers earn.

The complaint against the school board was filed late last month. The board then requested mediation between the 2 sides. Hobbs says the mediator will be involved for up to 3 sessions prior to Sept. 8th.

Meanwhile, Madison says the district is hopeful that the meetings will settle the problems at hand. If mediation does not succeed, the case would move to a full hearing in Indianapolis later this year.

With several projects in the works, the city of Jasper is looking at new ways to fund some of them.

Today, the Jasper Redevelopment Commission hosted an open house at the train depot about the idea of creating a tax increment finance (TIF) district. The city does not currently have any TIF districts.

Today was designed for folks to offer their suggestions on areas of the city that would be best suited for a TIF district. City leaders are looking into several different projects that could be done using TIF district funding. These range from riverfront development such as the former Jasper Cabinet buildings to work on the Downtown Square and repurposing of the former Astra Theater. Other projects include the ongoing aquatics study and the former Hoosier Desk building.

The open house was led by Ed Curtin. Curtin is the owner of CWC Latitudes, the firm that is leading the city through the TIF district process. Curtin says TIF districts can be an effective way to spur economic development in a community:

From the city’s standpoint, Jasper mayor Terry Seitz says the TIF district is an important tool that can help the city grow into the future:

CWC Latitudes will be reporting back to the Redevelopment Commission at the August meeting. TIF districts can exist for up to 25 years under state law.