Jasper Police are looking for help as they investigate a fire set on the Jasper Riverwalk pedestrian bridge.

JPD says they were called about the fire at around 6:40 yesterday morning when someone saw smoke on the bridge. After arriving, officers say they found some boards on the bridge that were smoldering and had been for some time. A hole was burned in 2 of the boards.

Now Jasper Police say the fire was started when someone ignited paper material on the bridge. Anyone who has information is asked to call JPD at (812)-482-2255 or the department’s anonymous tip line at (812)-481-COPS.

The 2nd sentencing of the week connected to Operation Big Brother has taken place.

Joseph ChristmonOn Wednesday in Dubois Superior Court, 42-year-old Joseph Christmon of Birdseye was sentenced to 16 years to be served at the Indiana Department of Corrections. Christmon pled guilty back on July 2nd to a Class B felony for Dealing in Cocaine. Additionally, Christmon will have to pay $240 in restitution to the Dubois County Sheriff’s Community Strike Fund.

As mentioned, Christmon’s sentencing was the 2nd one of the week. On Tuesday, 42-year-old Margaret ‘Faith’ MacDonald of Huntingburg was sentenced to a total of 10 years, 4 of which will be served at the Indiana Department of Corrections. The rest will be split between Dubois County Community Corrections work release and supervised probation. MacDonald also pled guilty to a Class B felony, though hers was for Dealing Methamphetamine.

Christmon is the 13th Operation Big Brother case to be resolved. The Dubois County Prosecutor’s Office says 3 cases are still outstanding.

Sentences imposed for Operation Big Brother defendants have totalled 129 years. 105 of those years are jail time.

A prominent Warrick County bridge will have new vehicle weight restrictions effective immediatelty.

Officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation say the State Road 68 and 161 bridge that spans Upper Pigeon Creek will have a 15 ton weight limit. The bridge is about 2 miles east of the State Road 161 and State Road 68 junction.

Now INDOT says the weight limit is the result of recent inspection and analysis. Any and all vehicles weighing more than 15 tons will need to find an alternate route. INDOT says weight limit signs will be put up near the bridge within the next few days.

For the latest news and information from INDOT, you can go to the INDOT Southwest Facebook and Twitter pages.

An accident near Huntingburg yesterday afternoon left 4 people with injuries.

At 4:25 pm, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the intersection of US 231 and County Road 750 North on a reported 2 vehicle accident. Deputies say 84-year-old Edward Bawel of Jasper had been going north on US 231 when he failed to see a vehicle stopped ahead of him that was waiting to turn west onto County Road 750 North. Bawel’s vehicle then ran into the back of the van, which was being driven by 60-year-old Gail Werne of Huntingburg. Bawel’s vehicle came to rest while the impact pushed Werne’s vehicle through the intersection and into a resident’s yard on the east side of the road.

Bawel complained of pain in his neck and lower leg and a passenger (Mary Ann Bawel) had bruising on her chest. Meanwhile, Werne complained of right leg pain and a 12 year old boy riding in her van had a laceration to the chin. Authorities say all 4 refused EMS, but were taken to the Memorial Hospital Emergency Room by family for treatment.

Both vehicles were totaled.

Jasper-based Meyer Distributing is expanding its footprint.

On its website, company officials say Meyer has completed the acquisition of Portland, Oregon-based 5 Seasons RV Distribution. The purchase covers that company’s U.S. operations.

In a news release, Meyer Director of Purchasing Bruce Terwiske says Meyer Distributing has been getting numerous requests from RV customers and suppliers for additional product lines. Terwiske says this purchase makes Meyer the best avenue to keep competition in the marketplace, which allows customers to get great products at low prices.

Now Meyer Distributing says it will complete the integration of 5 Seasons RV Distribution into the system within the next few days. At that point, company officials say they will begin adding infrastructure to connect all Meyer inventory faster while largely increasing items stocked in Portland.

Meyer Distributing also says it will continue looking acquisitions and partners in the Pacific Northwest to strengthen its presence there. For more information, you can go to meyerdistributing.com.

The 4th quarter and total fiscal year 2015 numbers are now in for Kimball International..and company officials are pleased.

The Jasper-based company says 4th quarter net sales came in at $159.1 million. That’s up from $137.1 million from the same quarter in fiscal year 2014.

Kimball International also says income from continuing operations was at $4.7 million or 12 cents per Class B diluted share. The adjusted numbers (which exclude charges related to restructuring plans and the Kimball Electronics spin off) come out to $5.8 million or 15 cents per Class B diluted share.

Orders received were also up by 15% in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year over the same time last year. Officials say each of the company’s vertical markets grew except for education. The most significant growth has been in the hospitality and other commercial vertical markets.

Now the year-end numbers are also strong for Kimball International. Company officials say fiscal year 2015 net sales were at $600.9 million, an increase of just over $57 million from fiscal year 2014. Income from continuing operations came in at $11.1 million or 29 cents per diluted share, up from $3.4 million and 9 cents per diluted share last year.

In a news release, Kimball International chairman and CEO Bob Schneider says the company is pleased with its ongoing turnaround. He says the combination of growing business, large increases in sales and much higher profitability are all good signs for the future.

Last night marked the formal kickoff for the 2015 Jasper Strassenfest.

The 37th edition of the fest officially got underway at 6 o’clock last night with the Opening Ceremonies, though there were other events throughout the day. Crowds began filing in at around 5 o’clock last night with the opening of the food booths on the downtown square.

Mayor Terry Seitz once again delivered this year’s Burgermeister proclamation:

Of course, this year’s Strassenfest has special meaning. Seitz was joined on stage last night by 36 guests from Jasper’s sister city of Pfaffenwieler, Germany. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the ‘Sister Cities’ partnership between the two cities.

The Pfaffenweiler contingent was led by mayor Deiter Hahn. Hahn is also serving as the Burgermeister this year.

As part of the partnership, the visits take place every 5 years with representatives of each city visiting the other city’s major festival. Most recently, group from Jasper traveled to Pfaffenwieler back in 2010 to celebrate the partnership’s 25th anniversary and Seitz visited Pfaffenwieler last summer.

Seitz says this year’s Strassenfest will be a memorable one for both cities:

Other officials on hand last night included former Jasper mayor Fritz Gutgsell, who led the partnership effort on Jasper’s behalf along with representatives from the Jasper Partnership Commission. Though the Strassenfest is celebrating the first 30 years of the partnership, officials in both communities already have their eyes on the future:

The Pfaffenweiler group will be staying in Jasper through August 9th. They will tour southern Indiana and take part in several events during their stay.

In addition to the celebration of sister cities, the opening ceremonies included a welcome from this year’s Miss Strassenfest Camille Ruff:

Of course, the Strassenfest will continue through Sunday. Other notable events include the Talentspiel (hosted by 18 WJTS), rides on the Spirit of Jasper train and the Strassenfest parade. The parade will get underway at 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon.

The 37th Strassenfest concludes with a fireworks show Sunday night at 10 o’clock.