Work continues locally on initiatives aimed at helping businesses do better.

One of those is the Purdue Technical Assistance Program (TAP). The program is designed to provide high-value solutions which in turn strengthen businesses across the state. It does this through work to increase profits for businesses while decreasing costs and implementing growth and innovation engineering systems.

Last week, the Dubois County Council authorized a continuation of an agreement between Dubois Strong subsidy group Grow Dubois County and the TAP program. The new agreement was announced earlier last month.

Grow Dubois County will be contributing 250 thousand dollars to the Purdue TAP program over the next 5 years if the agreement is still intact. Dubois Strong president Ed Cole says the contract is a series of 5 1-year agreements, meaning that either side could opt out of the contract with 30 days notice. Thus, the contract would send $50,000 a year from Grow Dubois County to the TAP program.

Cole says this effort has come about as part of a new plan to utilize funds for Grow Dubois County:

Purdue TAP has worked with several local companies including German American, Jasper Rubber, and RideTech.

Now Grow Dubois County says the partnership has been advantageous for both sides. Since it began in 2007, the partnership has resulted in more than 33 million dollars in local economic impact. The impact includes more than 30 million dollars in increased and retained sales.

Officials say the program has also impacted nearly 270 jobs in the area.

A Daviess County man was taken into custody after Jasper Police received reports of an intoxicated driver.

Just before 8 o’clock last night, JPD says a concerned motorist called about a possibly impaired driver. The caller told police they had been following the vehicle north from Huntingburg. Police say the vehicle was reportedly swerving all over the road, went left of center several times and struck the right side curb.

The caller told police the vehicle then pulled into the El Maguey restaurant on the city’s north side where the driver got out and stumbled into the restaurant. An officer soon arrived on scene and watched Guadalupe Sandovalthe man stumble back out of the restaurant with a few other people. All of them got into the drunk man’s vehicle and left the restaurant.

After stopping the vehicle, the officer found that the man (47-year-old Guadalupe Sandoval of Washington) was intoxicated. After failing field sobriety tests, Sandoval was taken to Memorial Hospital where his BAC came in at .25%, more than 3 times the legal limit. Sandoval admitted to police he had been drinking before he drove to El Maguey.

Sandoval was arrested and booked into the Dubois County Security Center. He is charged with OWI, OWI Endangerment and OWI with a BAC of .15% or higher.

We now know who bought the winning lottery ticket that was sold in Dubois County earlier this week.

One Stop Convenience Store in Birdseye says Angie Raufeison of Wickliffe was the winner of Wednesday’s Hoosier Lottery Cash 5 drawing. Of course, Raufeison bought the ticket at the One Stop Convenience Store.

Raufeison took home more than 309 thousand 600 dollars, which is the largest cash prize for the game since March 6th when a Clark County couple took home more than $470,000.

The Hoosier Lottery says all 5 winning numbers were matched on the ticket. The numbers were 1-31-32-35-37.

The recent debate over re-purposing of the former Hoosier Desk building has raised questions about hiring consultants to oversee city projects in Jasper.

Though the Jasper City Council voted yesterday to approve $28,000 in city funding for studying the building, there was much opposition to the idea. Several on the council, including Tom Schmidt, voiced concerns about using public money for private projects.

Schmidt reiterated those concerns during a telephone conversation with WBDC News yesterday:

Schmidt was the only council member who voted against funding the Hoosier Desk study. He also raised the idea of having local people do the same work as the consultants are doing:

Schmidt says many of his constituents have also expressed their concerns about hiring consultants. He says building studies ought to be conducted by building owners.

Now other council members who voted for the study also expressed their concerns. Kevin Manley and Earl Schmitt were among those. Manley stated the studies should have been done prior to now and expressed his concerns about the amount of money being spent on the consultants.

Mayor Terry Seitz defended the study as a necessary part of revitalizing the building. He also pointed out that the council voted to fund the Downtown Riverfront Master Plan and the conversion of the JOFCO building into workforce housing, both of which were private projects.

Seitz also pointed out that the money for the projects is coming out of economic development income taxes rather than the general fund of the city.

Though education remains a concern in Indiana and across the country, 8th District Congressman Larry Bucshon says there is progress being made.

Bucshon says the biggest change in the education field has been the need to be more geared towards careers. He says the skills and training that is now required for most jobs is a lot different than in the past:

Bucshon says Indiana’s recent efforts to focus on career and technical education are leading the way as other national leaders try to catch up.

Now Bucshon also has concerns about the ongoing costs of education. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama announced his plan to make 2 year community college tuition free for people who want to attend. The plan would provide tuition-free classes for students enrolled in classes at least half-time with a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

The plan has been well received by many across the country. It’s modeled after one in the state of Tennessee which guarantees that 2 year community college tuition is free.

Bucshon says though the plan is somewhat on the right track, there are still issues to address:

Bucshon says there are also unintended effects on 4 year colleges. He says the plan would likely take students away from 4 year colleges.

As for his own ideas, Bucshon says he wants to keep education control as close to the student as possible. He says the federal government should not be heavily involved in state-run community college programs such as Ivy Tech.

A Pike County man who pleaded guilty to preparing false safety records has learned his fate.

In a news release, United States Attorney for the Southern Indiana District Josh Minkler says 67-year-old Oril Dent of Winslow will serve 2 years of probation. The sentence was handed down by Chief US District Judge Richard Young after authorities say Dent falsified safety training certifications that are required to be maintained by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act.

Additionally, Assistant US Attorney Todd Shellenbarger says Dent will not be allowed to provide or offer any Mine Safety and Health Training of any kind as part of his sentence. Dent will also have to pay a 3 thousand dollar fine.

Authorities say Dent sold Mine Safety and Health Administration hazard certificates of training between October of 2011 and April of 2012 while he operated a training business as an underground and surface coal mining safety instructor. According to authorities, Dent sold the certificates to coal hauling truck drivers who were required to be trained. However, Dent did not provide training to any of the drivers. He did sign the certificates stating the training had been done when in fact it had not been done.

In the news release, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph Main says poor training has been identified in a number of investigations into mining deaths. Main says falsification of training records is a serious offense and cannot be tolerated.

For the 2nd time in 2 days, local authorities have made an arrest on intoxication charges stemming from leaving the scene of an accident.

Just before 5:40 last night, Huntingburg Police were called to a residence in the 400 block of North Van Buren Street on the reported accident. When they arrived, police found the suspect vehicle parked behind a residence in the 500 block of East 5th Street.

At that residence, Huntingburg officers spoke to the driver (45-year-old Sharon Sorrell of Huntingburg). Sorrell admitted to police that she had been drinking. She also told officers that she had hit a street sign and a pole in the area while driving her vehicle.

A chemical test at Memorial Hospital found that Sorrell was heavily intoxicated with a BAC of .36 percent, or 4 and a half times the legal limit. Sorrell was lodged in the Dubois County Security Center after being medically cleared.

Sorrell is charged with OWI and with leaving the scene of an accident.