The debate continues over possible improvements to a pair of streets in the town of Ferdinand.

Last night, the Ferdinand town council heard from several residents in the 3rd and Georgia Street area. Those residents voiced a desire to have the street brought up to city standards in order to promote development in the area. Several folks expressed their concern that the lack of a paved street in the area is scaring away folks who may want to build their house in an area.

Ferdinand town council president Ken Sicard says the town will continue looking into the issue:

Property and street superintendent Tom Lueken has been looking into potential costs for bringing the 3rd and Georgia Street area up to town standards. Those numbers will likely be brought forward at a future meeting.

Also last night, the council heard a further update on tax abatement plans for the Sisters of St. Benedict. Proposed plans would see Benet Hall converted into 15 senior housing units. The units would be 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartments for lower to middle income senior citizens. They would also feature amenities such as a community room and an exercise facility along with being energy efficient. Rent for the units would tentatively be somewhere between 320 and 650 dollars a month, though nothing is set in stone there.

Sicard says that project plus ongoing work to locate a brewery in the area is a win-win situation:

If approved, renovation work on Benet Hall would start sometime next year with the project being completed in 2016. The total investment would be 4.1 million dollars. The council has one more special meeting to further discuss the abatement. That meeting will be held at 5 pm on Monday October 27th at Ferdinand Town Hall.

In final notes, the council set up this year’s fall clean-up days. These will be held on October 21st and 22nd.

SULLIVAN, Ind. (AP) – Workers spent hours unloading hundreds of pumpkins from a semitrailer that slid down an embankment along a southwestern Indiana highway.

Charles Hancock of Hancock Trucking says a crew of 15 people worked four hours Tuesday on moving the pumpkins from the wrecked trailer along U.S. 41 in southern Sullivan County.

Sheriff’s Sgt. William Snead tells the Tribune-Star (http://bit.ly/1r97Npe ) the truck crashed Monday night during a storm with heavy rain and strong winds. The driver was hospitalized with cuts to his head.

Many of the 1,800 pumpkins spilled from the tarp-covered trailer into a farm field. Snead says the towing company wanted the rest removed before moving the truck.

Hancock says he expected being able to salvage about 80 percent of the pumpkins that were bound for St. Louis.

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) – Police in Evansville say a suspected shoplifter led police officers on a 25-mile-long chase sometimes before she was arrested.

The chase began Tuesday evening after the car hit another vehicle on the city’s east side, then fled from officers on Interstate 164.

Police Sgt. Jason Cullum tells the Evansville Courier & Press (http://bit.ly/1xRUuz5 ) the 40-year-old female driver topped 100 mph and crossed the highway’s median from the northbound lanes into southbound traffic. She drove back into the city, where she stopped and was arrested.

Cullum says several items possibly stolen from a Wal-Mart were found inside the woman’s car. She faces preliminary charges including theft, resisting arrest, criminal recklessness and drug possession.

The driver blamed for a accident nearly three weeks ago north of Ferdinand that took the life of a Tell City woman and seriously injured a Ferdinand woman was taken into custody this morning.

Back on September 24th, Indiana State Police say 24-year old Brandon Chamberlain of Huntingburg, was traveling northbound on State Road 162, north of Ferdinand when police say he drove his heavy duty pick-up truck left of center, striking a southbound car driven by 60-year old Donna Marie Evans of Cannelton.

Police say the impact pushed Evans’s vehicle backwards and off of the east side of the roadway. Evans died as a result of her injuries.

As Chamberlain’s pick-up continued north, police say he could not maintain control of the vehicle and Brandon Chamberlaindue to the violent dynamics of the crash, an ATV in the bed of Chamberlain’s truck became airborne and bounced through the windshield and roofline of an SUV, driven by 58-year old Donna Trafton of Ferdinand.

The Impact by the ATV shattered the windshield of Trafton’s SUV and peeled the roof back off of the vehicle before coming dislodged and landing in a driveway on the west side of the roadway. The SUV came to rest on a hillside, also on the west side of the roadway. Police say Trafton suffered two broken vertebrae in her neck.

Through a police investigation and crash reconstruction, police determined that Chamberlain was not only traveling northbound in the southbound lane, but was traveling 74 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone at the moment of the collision. Police also learned that Chamberlain was operating under the influence of alcoholic beverages.

Police have charged Chamberlain with two counts of Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death – one count for the OWI with a prior conviction and one count for OWI with a blood alcohol content higher than 0.15%, and Operating While Intoxicated Causing Serious Bodily Injury.

Chamberlain was booked into the Dubois County Security Center this morning.

A heavy round of thunderstorms dissipated as it hit our area yesterday evening.

The storms began moving into our area at around 7 o’clock yesterday evening. The system then stalled out a bit as rain continued to fall throughout the night and into the morning hours.

Dubois County Emergency Management Director Tammy Humbert tells WBDC News that the bulk of the storm travelled through the Haysville and Dubois areas. She says no major damage was reported anywhere in the county. Humbert says the highest wind gust reported by storm spotters was between 50 and 55 mph.

Now the system turned into more of a rainmaker as it entered Dubois County although Dubois, Spencer, and Warrick counties were under severe thunderstorm and/or tornado watches at some point throughout the evening.

Michael Wilhite is our weather partner with SouthernIndianaWeather.com. He says the rainy weather pattern of the last couple of days can be expected to continue for the foreseeable future:

Multiple weather maps have the majority of Dubois County (including Jasper and Huntingburg) with about an inch of rainfall overnight. Some areas to our south and east reported higher rain totals.

Progress has slowed a bit with the Huntingburg Airport’s new T-hangar project, though officials are pleased with the overall pace of the work.

Last night, airport manager Travis McQueen told the board that contractor WB Koester of Evansville has built the field up to final grade for the new hangar. However, McQueen says the rain has halted the project for the time being.

McQueen says all is well to this point. He also says the next portion of work on this project is now in site:

WB Koester’s work on this project is expected to cost more than 318 thousand dollars. Jasper Lumber’s work will come in at close to 308 thousand.

Also last night, McQueen gave the board another positive fuel report. He says activity at the airport has been on a steady upward trend throughout the year. The last 30 days have seen the airport acquire more than 25 thousand gallons of Jet A fuel.

McQueen says local pilots and folks coming in to the area to work with local businesses have been a driving force behind the growth:

McQueen says the airport believes it has been blessed with the business increase. He says airport officials remain hopeful that it continues.

A pair of Dubois County Leadership Projects are continuing to move forward in Jasper.

Jasper mayor Terry Seitz says the first of these is callboxes along the Riverwalk. That project was originally proposed by Josh Gunselman, who is a Jasper resident.

Now this project was originally started last year. The goal is to give folks along the Riverwalk the ability to call for law enforcement or other emergency help should an emergency situation arise.

Seitz says to this point, 3 of the call boxes have been installed and are active. He says a total of 6 boxes will be put up before all is said and done. Seitz says the goal is to keep the boxes out of the flood area and to avoid the rain during the installation process.

Seitz says seeing this project continue to grow is the product of many different individuals and organizations:

Now Seitz says the boxes will be spread out all across the river walk. The first 3 were installed along the bottom of the Riverwalk. The other 3 will be put along the upper portion of the trail.

The second project is the continuing efforts towards having a dog park in Jasper. Jasper resident Jill Cravener, who was the city’s 2014 designee for the DCLA, proposed the idea earlier this year.

Seitz says the new park is set to be located just north of Gutzweiler Park near the Buffalo Trace Golf Course. He says the fence framework for the park is already done.

Seitz says a lot of the credit for the project coming about goes to Cravener:

Seitz says the goal is to open the dog park in the spring of 2015.