A St. Anthony teen was injured after hitting a tree in front of a home on Newton Street in Jasper yesterday.

At 7:55 last night, Jasper Police were called to the 1400 block of Newton Street on a reported one vehicle accident. Police say 17-year-old Carrie Broadway was driving southbound on Newton Street just south of 15th Street when something got stuck under the brake pedal of her vehicle. As Broadway tried to remove the item, it hit the accelerator causing the vehicle to speed up. Broadway then went left of center to avoid traffic in front of her before going off of the east side of the roadway and hitting a tree in the front yard of a home in the 1400 block.

Broadway suffered a fractured ankle in the accident. She was taken to Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Damage to Broadway’s vehicle was estimated at 4 thousand dollars. Police did not file charges.

Memorial Hospital EMS also assisted.

This year’s edition of the Santa Claus Land of Lights will be opening soon.

The 6th annual Family Christmas Light Adventure will open Thanksgiving evening (November 27th). The light display, which is done at Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort, is designed to tell the Shining Story of Rudolph. It does this through thousands of bright, energy-efficient LED lights and dozens of storyboards.

The light show spans 1.2 miles, making it one of the largest lighting displays in North America. Each vehicle that goes through the display will get their picture taken with Rudolph.

Part of the proceeds from the light show will go to Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ohio Valley. Nearly 33 thousand dollars has been raised to sponsor families at the Ronald McDonald House in Evansville over the first 5 years of the event.

Discount coupons of $4 off per vehicle are being offered at 39 different McDonalds locations across Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. The Santa Claus Land of Lights will be open from 5 to 9 pm central time on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays starting Thanksgiving Week and running through December 14th. It will then be open every night from December 17th through New Year’s Eve, with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

For the complete operating schedule or to buy passes, you can go online to SantaClausLandofLights.com.

The debate is now heating up as the city of Jasper continues looking into tax increment financing districts.

The Jasper City Council held a lengthy discussion surrounding TIF districts last night. Rich Starkey and Ed Curtain with CWC Latitudes gave a presentation to the council on what TIF districts can do for a city’s economic development.

The city has proposed an area for a TIF district. The new TIF would cover the majority of the industrial area in Jasper. It would stretch from an area near the Patoka River to as far north as 36th Street, as far south as the southern boundary of the city along US 231, and most of the city’s east side. A declaratory resolution for the TIF was passed during Monday’s Redevelopment Commission meeting.

The TIF idea was met with mixed feelings. Councilman Kevin Manley was among those who voiced concerns. Manley pointed to the loss of money for the Greater Jasper School Corporation among other local entities. Members of the Dubois County Council also were on hand last night to express their concerns about the impact that a TIF would have on county funding. Other affected entities would include the Jasper Public Library and even the Huntingburg Airport.

Manley says he isn’t sure that a TIF district is needed due to the success of the city’s tax abatement program and other incentives:

Manley also expressed concerns about the timeline with a TIF district. A TIF district would be in place for up to 25 years. By contrast, tax abatements last 10 years at the most.

Concerns were also raised about the management structure for TIF. The money from the city’s proposed TIF area would go to the Jasper Redevelopment Commission. They would then use the money to pay for projects that are already part of an improved plan or to help businesses. Major spending would have to be approved by the council.

Jasper mayor Terry Seitz remains a big supporter of a TIF district. He says the TIF would be another opportunity for the city to be competitive. He also appreciates the feedback from citizens and the council on the idea:

The council is expected to make its final decision on TIF at next month’s meeting.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana wildlife officials say bobcat sightings are increasing and the state could someday allow a limited fur-trapping season for the wildcats.

Bobcats were classified as endangered from 1969 until 2005, when they were removed from Indiana’s endangered species list.

WRTV reports (http://bit.ly/11tVG0l ) the state Department of Natural Resources has been tracking an increase in bobcat sightings around Indiana. The agency this week posted on its Facebook page a photograph of a young bobcat struck and killed by a car in central Indiana’s Tipton County.

The DNR says Indiana’s bobcat population is expected to continue growing in areas with good habitat.

The agency says it’s possible there may be a limited trapping season for bobcats in the future, especially in their strongholds in southern and northeastern Indiana.

As we near Christmas, folks in Santa Claus are getting ready to kick off holiday festivities in style this year.

On December 1st, Santa and his elves will be making this year’s special Christmas postmark available to the public. It will be available from 5 to 7 o’clock central time that evening inside of the Original Post Office at the Santa Claus Museum and Village.

Kids who are wanting to write letters to Santa this year are also invited to stop by the post office and visit with Santa. He’ll be helping kids of all ages to get their Christmas lists finished up. Letters have to be received by December 20th in order to get a response from Santa and the elves.

Now this year is extra special for Santa Claus. This year marks the 100th year for the Santa’s letters program.

Pat Koch says the program has thrived over the years thanks to the help of many people:

The first 20 visitors on December 1st will get a free commemorative pin in honor of the anniversary. Postmaster James Martin and Santa Jim Yellig are featured on the pins. Martin was the postmaster who started the letter program back in 1914. Meanwhile, Yellig was the original Santa who put in many hours to answer children’s letters.

Now volunteers are still being sought to answer letters this year. Koch says this year will likely be another busy year for answering letters:

For more information or to volunteer, you can go online to santaclausmuseum.org. You can also call 812-544-2434.

Koch and Greg Martin (James Martin’s great-grandson) will be signing copies of the book Santa Claus on December 1st as well. Koch says the book contains many historical photos and local stories, including how the town was named.

Copies of the book are available for purchase at the Santa Claus Museum gift shop.

A St. Meinrad monk has received special recognition from the National Religious Vocation Conference.

Earlier this month, Father Anthony Vinson, OSB, was honored with the 2014 Recognition Award. Father Anthony has served 2 terms on the NRVC’s national board.

Fr. Anthony has also served on several different committees, including time as chair of the finance committee. He was one of the NRVC’s site coordinators for the English-speaking venue at the 2013 World Youth Day in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Fr Anthony is credited with strengthening the collaboration between NRVC and the Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry during his time on the board. That collaboration played a role in NRVC’s successful participation in the National Catholic Youth Conference. He also served on an advisory group designed to study establishment of a fund to help religious institutions in welcoming candidates who have student loans. That group work led to the development of the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations.

Father Anthony will be the secretary-treasurer for the new fund’s board of directors.

Currently, Fr. Anthony serves as administrator of St. Meinrad (St. Meinrad, IN) and St. Boniface (Fulda, IN) parishes and as the director of pastoral formation for Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology. He also serves as a chaplain at St. Xavier High School, Louisville, KY.

LEBANON (AP)- A Wisconsin-based retailer plans to shut down its central Indiana distribution center and eliminate nearly 100 jobs.

Shopko Stores Operating Co. has told state officials it will permanently close its Lebanon distribution center next year. The company says its first layoffs will start in mid-January, with the shutdown expected to be completed by the end of September.

The Green Bay, Wisconsin-based company says it has more than 300 stores in 21 states, but none are in central Indiana.

Shopko previously had stores in Loogootee, Petersburg, and Bloomfield here in southwestern Indiana. Those stores were closed this past summer.