Yesterday marked the 2nd time in as many days that local authorities have made an arrest for intoxicated driving with young children in the vehicle.

At 5:15 last night, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a 1 car slideoff at the corner of Beth and Ann Lanes in Jasper. When they arrived, deputies found that the driver (26-year-old Lorryn Luttrell of Jasper) had been drinking.

A field sobriety test and a chemical test done at Memorial Hospital found that Luttrell’s BAC was .18%, more than twice the legal limit. Deputies say a 3-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy
Lorryn Luttrellwere riding in the car at the time of the slideoff.

Luttrell was arrested and taken to the Dubois County Security Center. She is facing a felony charge for operating while intoxicated endangerment.

Jasper Police and a wrecker from Uelbehor’s also assisted. Deputies say the 2 children were taken from the scene by Child Protective Services.

As mentioned, this is the 2nd such incident this week. On Wednesday afternoon, 32-year-old Rebecca Long of Jasper was arrested for OWI endangerment after she crashed her car along US 231 just south of the Huntingburg Airport with her 3-year-old son as a passenger.

Another leadership promotion has been announced at Jasper-based Kimball International.

Yesterday, the company announced that John Kaufmann will serve as the new vice president of global operations for Kimball Hospitality. That company is the leading furniture supplier for hotels within the United States.

In his new role, Kaufmann will be responsible for the strategic and day-to-day running of all direct manufacturing, global supply chain, and operations support functions at Kimball Hospitality. He enters this position with more than 20 years of experience at Kimball International.

Kaufmann’s previous management roles range from engineering and manufacturing to logistics and research and development. He graduated from Clarkson University in New York with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Kaufmann and his wife Donna live in Jasper with their 2 daughters.

The former general manager for the Patoka Lake Regional Water and Sewer District has been honored with a major award.

Bruce Heeke received the Manager of the Year award from the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water. The award was presented at the organization’s spring conference last Wednesday in French Lick.

Heeke worked for the Patoka district for 35 years before retiring last year. He was the district’s very first employee after working for Midwestern Engineers in forming the district.

Heeke is still serving as a consultant on an ongoing project that is the largest in the district’s history.

A new report released earlier today finds that Dubois County is still among the healthiest in Indiana.

The report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute ranked Dubois County 5th out of 92 Indiana counties. That’s up from 6th last year.

In a news release, Dubois County Health Department administrative director Donna Oeding says this report is an important one because it helps the department identify factors affecting residents while comparing those to other counties in the state.

Oeding also points to the Dubois County Public Health Partnership as an example of how collaboration has made a strong impact on the county’s health ranking. Members of the partnership include Memorial Hospital, Kimball International, VUJC, Jasper Engines and Transmissions, and Crisis Connection among many others.

Now Dubois County ranked 5th in both health outcomes and health factors. The health outcomes ranking is based on measures of length of life and quality of life. Meanwhile, the health factors ranking is based on four factors, which are health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment factors.

Among other local counties, Warrick County was the only other county to rank in the top 20 in 19th. Spencer County came in 25th, Martin County 44th, and Daviess County cracked the top 50 in 49th.

Meanwhile, other counties did not fare very well in these rankings. Perry County came in 70th, Pike County 81st, Orange County 82nd, and Crawford County was 85th.

The full report is available by going online to

Tomorrow will mark a historic day for the city of Huntingburg.

Miller-Valentine Group and TRI-CAP will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for the ongoing conversion of the former St. Joseph’s Hospital building into senior living units. Work on the project has been underway since last week.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 10:30 tomorrow morning at 1900 Medical Arts Drive in Huntingburg. Mayor Denny Spinner says the project will be important to the city in more ways than one:

Spinner says the hospital project is also a major part of the Stellar Communities process. He says the project was originally slated as one of the Stellar projects, but progress moved ahead of the Stellar process, thus this became a standalone effort.

Spinner says in addition to Pete Schwiegeraht and project firm Miller-Valentine Group, there are several other people who deserve credit:

Tomorrow’s ceremony will feature numerous speakers including Spinner, TRI-CAP Executive Director Joyce Fleck, and 8th District Congressman Larry Bucshon among others.

Now the new development will be known as ‘The Lofts at St. Joseph’s’. Miller-Valentine says this is the first tax credit development tailored to adults age 55 and older to be built in Dubois County. In all, there will be 45 senior living units created from a 30 thousand square foot portion of the former hospital building and a brand new building on adjacent land.

There is also a significant economic development impact from this project. Miller-Valentine says The Lofts at St. Joseph’s is expected to generate nearly 4 million dollars for the local economy while creating 68 new jobs.

For more information, you can go online to

A Jasper woman wound up in jail after crashing near the Huntingburg Airport Wednesday afternoon while driving under the influence with a toddler in the vehicle.

At 3:30 yesterday afternoon, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were called to an area along US 231 just south of the airport. Sheriff’s deputies say 32-year-old Rebecca Long had been going northbound on the Rebecca Longhighway at the time of the crash. Long told deputies she was trying to pull over to let her 3-year-old son use the bathroom when she lost control of her car and hit a ditch. Damage to Long’s vehicle was estimated between 2 and 5 thousand dollars.

During the investigation, deputies found that Long had been driving under the influence of alcohol and possibly other substances. Long failed a field sobriety test and a blood draw at Memorial Hospital found that her BAC was .22 percent, nearly 3 times the legal limit.

Long was arrested and booked into the Dubois County Security Center. She is facing a felony for OWI Endangerment. Deputies say the charge is a felony since her son was in the vehicle with her when the crash happened.

Huntingburg Police and a wrecker from KARS also assisted.

A Huntingburg couple will have to stay somewhere else for awhile after their home was damaged by an overnight fire.

Just before 9 o’clock this evening, the Huntingburg Volunteer Fire Department was called to the Jim Gatwood residence in the 100 block of East 22nd Street. Huntingburg assistant fire chief Glen Kissling says the fire was reported by a passerby. Kissling says Huntingburg Police contacted Gatwood to inform him of the fire as there was nobody home at the time it started.

Kissling also says crews were able to identify the cause of the blaze:

Kissling says by the time fire crews arrived, the fire had spread from the basement to the 1st floor and part of the 2nd floor of the home. Kissling says the house sustained heavy smoke
damage throughout along with structural damage to a bathroom above the laundry room. He says all of that damage likely makes the home unlivable for the foreseeable future.

Nobody was hurt in this fire. Fire crews were on scene for more than 2 hours. Huntingburg Police, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies, Memorial Hospital EMS and Huntingburg Utilities also assisted.