Dubois County Sheriff Donny Lampert says something needs to be done to address ongoing issues with mental health locally and statewide.

Lampert says mental health is often an overlooked problem, especially with those who go to jail as many of them struggle with drug and alcohol addictions and aren’t getting help before they are incarcerated. Lampert says that lack of help is often the first thing he sees when a person is brought in:

Lampert says the current system is flawed as help in the form of programs such as work release is more reactive. Lampert says having reactive programs is good while the person is in jail, but without proactive efforts, those programs often don’t translate:

Lampert says he has gotten several calls from local people who are asking for help before they wind up in jail. He says problems often begin when those people look for help, but either need an insurance card or have to pay up to $2,800 to get into a mental health center.

Lampert believes there is a need for more accessible mental health centers, including possibly putting one in Dubois County. He says though mental health centers are the best solution, state funding will likely be the biggest hurdle to that happening:

Currently, the closest mental health center to Dubois County is Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare in Boonville. Lampert says the centers would fill a role once played by state hospitals, all of which lost significant funding in recent years.

A Mt. Vernon man was hospitalized after he went off the road and into a tree on Jasper’s west side.

Just before 7:20 Saturday night, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were called to State Road 56 just west of County Road 180 North. Sheriff’s deputies say 52-year-old James Heckman had been going westbound on State Road 56 when he blacked out for an unknown reason. His pickup truck then went left of center and off of the southside of the roadway, where it went down an embankment and hit a tree head-on before coming to rest in a ditch.

Heckman was able to safely get out of the truck according to deputies. He was taken to Memorial Hospital to figure out why he blacked out and for treatment of minor injuries on his hand and foot.

Damage to Heckman’s pickup came in at $15,000. State Road 56 was down to 1 lane for nearly an hour while the accident scene was cleared.

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

Authorities are investigating an off-road vehicle (ORV) accident in southern Pike County that sent an Evansville man to the hospital.

Just before 8 o’clock last night, Indiana Conservation Officers were called to an area of the Interlake State Recreation Area southeast of Spurgeon where the accident was reported. Conservation officers say 34-year-old Stephen Hazlett Jr. and 28-year-old Tyler Francis (both of Evansville) had been riding an ORV along trails at Interlake SRA when the vehicle turned over ORV Accident Mapafter going off the trail. Authorities say the driver overcorrected after the vehicle went off of the trail. Hazlett and Francis were both thrown from the ORA.

Francis was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Evansville for treatment of head injuries and lacerations on his face. Meanwhile, Hazlett Jr. sustained head injuries, but refused medical treatment.

Conservation officers say alcohol may have been a factor in this accident. The crash is still under investigation. Hazlett Jr. and Francis were not wearing helmets or other protective gear at the time of the crash according to authorities.

The Pike County Sheriff’s Department, Pike County and Warrick County EMS, the Spurgeon Deputy Marshall, the Spurgeon and Lockhart Fire Departments, and Indiana State Police all assisted conservation officers.

2 area Indiana State Police troopers were honored for their service yesterday.

Trooper AllenTroopers Michael Allen and Jeremy Galloway from the Jasper Post were presented awards during an award ceremony at the Indiana Government Center.

Trooper Allen was honored as the Jasper District Trooper of the Year for 2014. Allen received the award for his outstanding enforcement work in traffic and criminal enforcement, case and crash investigations, public information programs, community service, and for exemplifying the professionalism and integrity that is expected from Indiana state troopers.

Meanwhile, Trooper Galloway was presented with the district’s OWI award for his work in removing Trooper Gallowayimpaired and intoxicated drivers from the roadways. In all, he arrested 40 such drivers in 2014.

On an additional note, trooper John Davis was honored with the OWI award from the Evansville District. Trooper Davis, who primarily patrols in Pike County, arrested 43 impaired or intoxicated drivers last year.

The start of spring marks a chance to get outdoors, hang out with friends, and even get some workouts in.

Yesterday, Huntingburg residents got the chance to do all of that as the first 5-5-5 run of the year was held. Between 150 and 200 people turned out yesterday.

Of course, this is the 2nd year for the 5-5-5 events. Huntingburg mayor Denny Spinner launched the events last year. More than 900 people took part in the 5-5-5 events that were held in 2014.

Spinner, who also ran in this event, says this year could be even better:

93 people earned T-shirts last year for completing all 5 of the 5-5-5 events. The T-shirts are still being given away this year to anyone who completes each event.

Several corporations have also partnered with the city for the 5-5-5’s. These include OFS Brands, Farbest Foods, MasterBrand Cabinets, and the St. Meinrad Archabbey among several others.

Anyone who is interested in seasonal work will get a chance to apply for jobs at a Spencer County campground next week.

Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort will be holding a job fair next Saturday, April 18th from 9 am to 3 pm central standard time. It will take place at the campground office along Holiday Boulevard in Santa Claus.

You can show up anytime during the 6 hour timeframe next Saturday. Lake Rudolph officials are looking to hire for numerous positions. These include Guest Services Coordinators, Lifeguards, Activities Assistants, Groundskeepers, and Maintenence Technicians among others.

All applicants are welcome. Lake Rudolph is encouraging college and high school students along with retirees and others to apply. You must be at least 16 years old to apply, though some jobs will require applicants to be older.

For more information or to apply if you can’t attend next Saturday, you can go online to lakerudolph.com/employment.

Lake Rudolph opens for the season the weekend of April 24th and 25th. The campground will be open daily beginning May 1st.

Federal authorities say a Dubois woman was among 14 defendants arrested during a methamphetamine bust earlier this week that originated in 3 counties.

In a news release, United States Attorney for the Southern Indiana District Josh Minkler says 30-year-old Amanda Dill of Dubois and 13 other people were taken into custody on gun and drug-related charges. Dill is facing charges related to methamphetamine distribution.

Now the bust was initiated early Wednesday morning when federal agents along with state and local police served arrest warrants in Marion, Morgan, and Vigo counties. In all, 24 firearms and 13 pounds of methamphetamine were seized during the bust.

Minkler says the drug ring had been operating since June of last year. He says the defendants used cell phones to coordinate meth distribution using coded text messages to discuss prices and quantities. According to Minkler, meth was frequently received and distributed on consignment with distributors being paid in full after distribution was completed.

Federal officials say 25-year-old Honan and 21-year-old Ramon Rivera Bonilla, both of Indianapolis were the leaders of the operation. Officials say those 2 sent large amounts of meth to 33-year-old Charles and 44-year-old Thresa Talley. The Talleys then distributed the meth to 34-year-old Amanda Sims and 42-year-old Brian Ridener (both of Martinsville) and 33-year-old Brandon Ross of Terre Haute. Federal officials say those 3 then redistributed the meth throughout the Indianapolis, Martinsville, Mooresville, and Terre Haute areas.

41-year-old Oscar Diaz-Reyes of El Salvador along with 34-year-old Joshua Camplin of Martinsville and 42-year-old Ronald Woods of Indianapolis face additional charges related to firearm possession. The other 3 to be arrested were 26-year-old Martin Gonzalez Jr and 27-year-old Larry Key (both of Indianapolis) and 39-year-old Michael Bones of Terre Haute.

Minkler says methamphetamine is an ongoing problem that needs to be addressed by law enforcement. He says his office will be using every available resource to help keep communities safe. Meanwhile, assistant US attorney Mathew Lasher says Dill and the others all face decades-long prison sentences should they be convicted.

The FBI, DEA, Indiana State Police, the Vigo County Drug Task Force, and the Morgan and Vigo County Prosecutor’s Offices led the investigation.