Multiple felony charges have been filed against an Odon man in connection with a July 4th confrontation.

Odon Police took 23-year-old William Wise into custody late last week on a Daviess County warrant for aggravated battery, battery by means of a deadly weapon, and reckless driving.

According to a probable cause affadavit filed in Daviess Superior Court, Odon Police were called to a residence in the 300 block of Gum Street on July 4th. When they arrived, they found Rick Arthur bleeding from the head. Arthur told police he had been injured during a confrontation with Wise. Arthur stated he threw a beer that hit Wise’s truck.

Police say Arthur and Wise then began arguing when Wise got into his truck. In the confrontation, police say Arthur got tangled up in the truck cab and wound up being dragged nearly 250 feet along Garton Street prior to being thrown from the vehicle.

Meanwhile, Wise told officers he kept driving with Arthur being dragged along because he was trying to get away from drunks who were chasing him.

Wise is being held in the Daviess County Jail on a 100 thousand dollar bond.

Dubois County once again has the lowest unemployment rate in Indiana.

Numbers released this morning show that Indiana’s unemployment rate is at 5.9 percent for the month of June. That’s up 2 tenths of a percent from May’s number. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says that rate increase can be attributed to 4 thousand people returning to the workforce to look for jobs.

The state gained 10 thousand private sector jobs in June and no major sectors reported job losses. That marks the largest June increase on record. The state has now added 235 thousand 300 jobs since July 2009, which was the low point for employment in the state.

Now locally, Dubois County once again led the way with the lowest unemployment in Indiana at 4.3 percent, 2 tenths ahead of 2nd place Hamilton County. Daviess County dropped to 6th in the state with an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent in June. Martin County was just outside the top 10 with a rate of 5 percent, Spencer County was at 5.2 percent, Warrick County 5.3, Pike County 5.4, Perry County 6 percent, Orange County 6.5, and Crawford County at 6.8 percent. Vermillion County had the highest unemployment rate in Indiana last month at 8.8 percent.

Despite a 2 tenths increase last month, Indiana’s unemployment rate remains the 2nd lowest in the region, trailing only Ohio.

Local residents who are looking for work got the opportunity to do so earlier today.

Indiana 8th District Congressman Larry Bucshon hosted a job fair at Ruxer Gym on the Vincennes University Jasper Campus this afternoon. The fair featured a special hour for area veterans from 1 to 2 pm before opening to the general public from 2 to 5 pm.

For veterans, Bucshon says getting a job is an important step in getting them re acclimated to society:

The fair featured 34 different employers and more than 600 jobs were available. Bucshon says job fairs help to match employers with people that have the skills they need:

Congressman Bucshon, Huntingburg Mayor Denny Spinner and Jasper mayor Terry Seitz addressed employers and job seekers this afternoon as part of the event.

The city of Jasper is now looking at future ideas for zoning properties.

Last night, the steering committee held its 5th of 6 meetings designed to come up with a unified subdivision control and zoning ordinance. Last night’s meeting focused on the zoning aspect of the new unified ordinance. Among ideas to be discussed last night were the possibilities for a “park” provision in the ordinance.

Director of community development and planning Darla Blazey says that provision would dictate how land around city parks is used in the future:

A second idea that was discussed last night was the idea of a “neighborhood business” provision in the zoning part of the ordinance. Blazey says that would set up zoning areas that allow for convenience businesses such as grocery stores or doctor’s offices to be located near neighborhoods for easier access to residents. As far as other businesses go, Blazey says the committee also looked into the structure of business zoning as it exists now and ideas for the future.

The steering committee is now moving into the final stages of its work. Blazey says last night was just another example of how well things have gone:

The final meeting is set to be held in September and plan drafts are expected to be presented to the committee at that time. Blazey says a public hearing will be held, likely following the Jasper Plan Commission’s September meeting.

New statewide grant money is becoming available and Dubois County could be cashing in.

The Lilly Endowment has announced a 6th phase for its Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative. 66 million dollars in grant money will be made available as part of this initiative. The first 5 initiatives distributed 985 million dollars in grant money.

Locally as mentioned, Dubois County could be getting part of that new money. The Community Foundation would be eligible to get 500 thousand dollars of the funding based on population guidelines set by the Lilly Endowment. Dubois is one of 65 Indiana counties in the 500 thousand dollar category, which is for counties with a population of up to 50 thousand.

Brad Ward is the CEO of the Dubois County Community Foundation. He says the money will be used for future work. He also says local matches could also increase the amount of money the foundation gets:

The program will include 2 basic types of grant support. These are funds for building unrestricted endowments and funds to be used for any charitable purpose as chosen by a community foundation. A community foundation has to put at least half of the funding that it receives into the unrestricted endowment. The matching incentives would be more weighted towards gifts to unrestricted endowments and would recognize gifts on a 2 dollar to 1 dollar basis. That would be the highest level match in the program.

There are 3 other funding categories. 17 Indiana counties qualify for the 1 million dollar category (50-150 thousand population), 7 counties are in the 1.5 million dollar category (150-300 thousand population), and 3 counties are in the 2 million dollar funding group (more than 300 thousand population).

Indiana now has 94 community foundations or related groups across the state’s 92 counties. That’s up from 12 in 1990. Ward says the growth shows statewide commitment to building for the future:

Applications for the funding are due by September 11th.

A head-on crash in Spencer County critically injured 2 drivers.

At about 7:30 this morning, Indiana State Police say 19-year-old Spencer Co Crash 1Colton Claspell of Newburgh was going eastbound on State Road 66 just east of Hatfield. After he passed County Road 800 West, police say Claspell crossed the center line and went into the westbound lane for an unknown reason. Claspell’s vehicle then hit 2 mailboxes and went along a cornfield before colliding head-on with a vehicle driven by 66-year-old William Boehman of Maceo, KY. The impact pushed Boehman’s vehicle into a driveway on the south side of the road. Claspell’s vehicle came to rest on its driver’s side.

Spencer Co Crash 2State police say both Claspell and Boehman suffered critical injuries in the accident. Both were airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Evansville. Both vehicles were total losses in this crash. Authorities say the investigation is still ongoing.

The Spencer County Sheriff’s Department, the Luce Township Fire Department, Spencer County EMS, and St. Mary’s Hospital also assisted.

A Jasper man suffered injuries after an accident with a dog overnight.

Just after 10:05 pm, Jasper Police say 42-year-old Steven Schepers was riding his motorcycle northbound in the 1400 block of Greene Street when a dog tried to cross the road in front of him. Schepers was unable to stop in time and his motorcycle hit the dog and toppled over.

Schepers suffered a laceration above his eye, but he refused medical treatment at the scene. The dog was injured in the crash and will be taken to an animal clinic. Schepers’ motorcycle sustained 500 dollars worth of damage. The dog’s owner was cited under city ordinance for allowing an animal to run at large.