Local News

Saving taxpayers money By State Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper):

Jasper (NNDC):

Indiana State Auditor Suzanne Crouch (R-Evansville) is shown talking with District 63 State Representative Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) during the recent session of
the Indiana State Legislature.
Photo: Evansville Courier & Press

This week, the Indiana Senate passed House Bill 1007, which will use cash to pay for six university capital improvement projects, saving taxpayers $135 million in future interest costs. This bill now goes to the governor for his signature.

My Democrat colleagues tried to make hay out of this bill through their failed amendments addressing teacher pay. Indiana teachers should be very wary of what they tried to do. It’s not responsible to raid retired teachers’ pensions in order to try to free up money for current teachers’ salaries; it’s not responsible to push out a payoff of that teacher pension fund until the 2040s that would ultimately cost taxpayers an additional $2.1 billion; and it’s not responsible to use one-time surplus money in a way that would end up raising the costs of all future budgets.

Passing HB 1007, as it is written, was the right thing to do for Hoosier taxpayers – it pays off debt, it doesn’t push a due date out; it pays in full now, it doesn’t incur $135 million in interest costs; and it frees up real money that can be dedicated to ongoing needs.

Teacher pay is important and that’s why we increased K-12 funding by $763 million in our last budget. With that said, we haven’t even seen the full impact of  teacher raises that came from that budget increase. State budgeting requires discipline, but with 50% of our current General Fund – 50 cents out of every dollar – going to K-12 education, we have demonstrated where our priorities lie, and we will continue to prioritize funding for our K-12 schools in the future so local school boards can continue to increase teachers’ pay.

Good government means making disciplined choices and that’s what the Indiana Republicans have demonstrated through our support of HB 1007 this session.

As always, feel free to contact my office directly with your questions and concerns by email at Senator.Messmer@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.

Local Man arrested on Multiple Charges

 Jasper (NNDC):

47 year old Virgil Lee Gordon Gilpatrick of Jasper was arrested on multiple felony charges around 5:00 PM Friday.



Miscellaneous Information: Jasper Police Officers were dispatched to the corner of 6th St. and St. John St. in reference to receiving two complaints of an altercation between two male subjects. Upon officers’ arrival, a male subject exited the residence with a bicycle and began fleeing the scene. Officers pursued on foot and the male
subject was apprehended a short distance away. The male subject was identified as the above Mr. Gilpatrick. After investigation it was determined that the altercation was verbal only. Mr. Gilpatrick was placed under arrest for  resisting law enforcement and during a search of his person, officers located 6 grams of methamphetamine and a gram of marijuana. Mr. Gilpatrick was ultimately lodged in the Dubois County Security Center.

Dubois County Sheriff’s Office assisted on scene.

Local Media Present Highlights for 2019

Dubois County (NNDC):

Earlier this week the Jasper Chamber of Commerce and the local Rotary Club hosted a luncheon at VUJC for the local media outlets. The purpose was to highlight the top 12 stories for 2019.

The stories are submitted to a review board who vote on the winners.

Due to length I’ve presented only the top 4 stories for both news and sports. Most videos below are 1-2 minutes.

Media Members gather to here to review and celebrate keeping Dubois County and surrounding informed with the most relevant and update news as possible.  The 12 most voted upon are listed from first to last.

Top 12 News Stories 2019:

  1. Murder in St. Anthony/ Trial & Sentencing  – WBDC
  2. Girl Scout Death – WITZ
  3. Memorial Hospital & Anthem Blue Cross Negotiations – News Now
  4. Birdseye murder suspect sentenced – The Herald
  5. Ferdinand & Huntingburg Chambers merge – News Now
  6. Groundbreaking and construction for Cultural Center & Library – WITZ
  7. Flooding in region – WBDC
  8. Ferdinand Veterans’ Memorial opens – News Now
  9. Northeast Dubois School Corp closings/renovations – The Herald
  10. Dean Vonderheide takes over as Mayor of Jasper – WITZ
  11. Coal to diesel plant given permits from IDEM – The Herald
  12. Huntingburg Stellar Community projects – WBDC

Top 12 Sports Stories 2019:

  1. Southridge High has another successful baseball season – WBDC
  2. Jasper High switches sports conferences – WITZ
  3. Heritage Hills High football success – News Now
  4. Heritage Hills softball success – News Now
  5. Southridge High wins Goal Post trophy – WBDC
  6. Local athletes pass away – Forest Park wrestler & former DC Bomber – The Herald
  7. Jasper High names new football coach – WITZ
  8. Scott Rolen named to St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame – WITZ
  9. Dubois Co. Bombers successful season – News Now
  10. Local basketball players set scoring records and coach sets milestones – The Herald
  11. Jasper High boys basketball wins sectional – WBDC
  12. Jasper High cross country team goes to state finals – The Herald


Opening Remarks:


Top 4 news stories of 2019:


Top 4 Sports Stories of 2019:

Area High School Basketball Scores


Jasper Wildcats over Forest Park  62  –  53

Southridge Raiders were defeated by Heritage Hills 83 – 38

Northeast Dubois Jeeps defeated the Vincennes Rivet Patriots  57 – 39



Street Work Closes part of a Main Intersections

Jasper (NNDC):

Beginning Monday, several streets in Jasper will be closed through Friday, or as soon as work is completed. Areas include the west side of the Third and Newton street intersection; the south side of the Fourth and Clay street intersection; and the north side of the Second and Clay street intersection.

The street closures are required for the Wastewater Department to perform standard sanitary sewer repairs.

Local Attorney Receives Prestigious Sagamor of the Wabash Award

Jasper (NNDC):

(Story from local sources and pictures by Chad Blessinger)

In his usual reserved way, Art Nordhoff Jr. graciously accepted the Sagamore of the Wabash award at the Dubois County Museum’s annual membership dinner. The award is given by the governor and is one of Indiana’s highest distinctions.

For decades, he has provided legal expertise to school and government boards with helping people always at the foremost of his mind.

Nordhoff is an avid historian and known for his love and commitment to preserving Dubois County history. He was a strategic member of the group that started the successful, local museum, something he holds near and dear to his heart. Though he received the actual award, in his humble way, praised all the people who have helped him in his projects

The Sagamore of the Wabash is awarded to distinguished citizens for exemplary public service to their community and to the state of Indiana. The award was created by former Indiana Gov. Ralph Gates nearly 75 years ago, and each governor since has presented the award to worthy recipients.

Dubois County Commissioner Elmer Brames explained during the surprise presentation that the term “Sagamore” is borrowed from the Algonquin-speaking Native American tribes of the northeastern United States. It was used to describe “a lesser chief or great man in the tribe to whom the chief could look for wisdom, advice and guidance.”

Brames remarked that he nominated Nordhoff for the honor because he has been serving the public and public officials for years. Rep. Shane Lindauer, R-Jasper, ultimately presented the nomination to Gov. Eric Holcomb for consideration, and Lindauer passed the award off to Nordhoff on Thursday.

Nordhoff earned his degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from Indiana University-Bloomington. He and Patty married after he earned his accounting degree.

He worked as a tax attorney at Arthur Andersen in Indianapolis for two and a half years before coming back to Jasper in 1967 to practice law with his father and uncle, who ran Nordhoff Law Office. He still works at the office today.

Hoosier Highlights for Jan 26th to Feb 1st

Hoosuer Highlights (NNDC):

January 26 – February 1

The Week in Indiana History


1859     Otto Stark was born in Indianapolis.  Exhibiting an early talent in art, he went on to study in New York and Paris.  He experimented with impressionism, a new style at the time.  Returning to Indianapolis in the 1890s, he became a member of the famed “Hoosier Group” of artists.

1877     Fire destroyed the Academy of Music in Indianapolis at the southeast corner of Illinois and Ohio Streets.  Governor James D. Williams had taken the oath of office there just three weeks earlier.

Riley1921     Indiana Governor Warren McCray met with members of the James Whitcomb Riley Memorial Association at the Statehouse.  They shared with him a proposal to build a children’s hospital in tribute to the Hoosier Poet, who had died five years earlier.  The Governor agreed that there was a need for a medical facility for children and pledged the state’s cooperation.

Gone with the Wind1940     Thousands lined up at Loew’s Theater in Indianapolis for the Indiana premier of Gone With the Wind.  Governor M. Clifford Townsend and Mayor Reginald Sullivan were among those in the opening night audience for the highly-anticipated movie.  The theater had installed new projector lenses to enhance the richness of the Technicolor process used in the film.

Gus Grissom1967    A flash fire aboard the Apollo I test capsule took the lives of Hoosier astronaut Gus Grissom and fellow astronauts Edward White and Roger Chaffee.  Grissom (pictured) had grown up in Mitchell, Indiana, and served in the Air Force during the Korean War.  He earned a degree in mechanical engineering at Purdue University.

plow1978     Indiana Governor Otis Bowen declared a snow emergency for the entire state after the worst blizzard on record.  State Police said all roads should be considered closed.  A record 30.6 inches of snow fell in Indianapolis during the month.

Now available:  This beautiful pin which captures the stunning colors of the stained glass above the rotunda at the Indiana Statehouse.  Order information is below.


Follow us on Instagram: @instatehousetouroffice

Follow this link to subscribe to Hoosier History Highlights and to view archived editions



Indiana Department of Administration

Guided tours of the Indiana Statehouse are offered Monday through Saturday.  For more information, check our website listed at the bottom of this page.

(317) 233-5293


Indiana Quick Quiz

1.  The Gus Grissom Memorial is located in which Indiana State Park?

2.  The “Hoosier Group” of artists includes Otto Stark, Richard Gruelle, William Forsyth, J. Ottis Adams, and what other well known Indiana artist?

3.  After serving as Governor, Dr. Otis Bowen went on to serve on the Cabinet of which United States President?

Answers Below



“There have been times when all of us wished we had gone into some other line of work. . . but when the first man touches down on the moon a few years from now, we’ll know that the whole thing has been more than worth it.”

– – – Gus Grissom


How is Census information used?

Here are some of the ways:             Distribution of more than $675 billion annually in federal funds back to state and local governments. . . Redistricting of state legislative districts. . . Forecasting future transportation needs. . . determining areas eligible for housing assistance. . . assisting federal, state, and local governments in planning and implementing programs and services

ANSWERS:  1.  Spring Mill State Park  2.  T. C. Steele  3.  President Ronald Reagan

Dubois County Health Department to Hold Emergency Drill

Jasper (NNDC):


The Dubois County Health Department will be closed to the public on January 30th, 2020 from 8 AM – 12 NOON.

The Health Department staff will practice the setting up of a mass point of dispensing (POD) location to provide medication if there were an outbreak or attack of an agent.  This drill is a requirement for part of a grant the Local Health Department was awarded by the Division of Emergency Preparedness DEP within the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH).  The DEP is the entity responsible for administering the Public Health Emergency Preparedness grant (PHEP) received from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and the Healthcare Preparedness Program (HPP) grant received from the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).  The goal of the exercise drill is to enhance the County’s Local Health Department’s preparedness operations in order to better respond to public health and healthcare emergencies.  

A POD’s sole purpose is to distribute medication in order to prevent illness. PODs are not treatment sites. If there were an outbreak, residents that were exposed or found to be at risk of exposure to the identified agent would come to the POD to receive medication that would be funded by the ISDH and at no charge to the participant.  Anyone who would be experiencing symptoms from the identified agent should contact their family physician or go to the hospital or other treatment location for treatment.  Those actively experiencing symptoms would not receive the medication that would be dispensed as a prevention measure.  

For the purpose of the emergency pod exercise drill, a made-up scenario of a Hepatitis A exposure in a buffet style popular restaurant was created.  In the made-up scenario, the supposed worker handled food while ill and prepared food for consumption by customers on 1/18/20 and 1/19/20.  Therefore, a POD will be set up on Jan 30th from 9 AM – 12 Noon.  This vaccination clinic scenario will be scheduled at the Jasper Middle School.  The staff of the Local Health Department each are assigned a role to help with the setup of the POD exercise.  

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, brown colored urine, and light-colored stools.  Yellowing of the eyes or skin may also appear.  People can become ill up to 7 weeks after being exposed to the virus.  In 2019, Several Counties throughout the State of Indiana had experienced outbreaks of this nature and have had to set up PODs to prevent the spread of this communicable disease.  Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, along with vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will prevent the spread of this disease.  Indiana law has required a hepatitis A vaccine for school admission since 2014, and the vaccine is required for students entering 6th and 12th grades in 2018, so many students have already been vaccinated.  

Emergency Preparedness for public health is a service that the Dubois County Health Department continues to provide.  The entire staff of the Health Department has been working very hard to ensure the safety of the residents of Dubois County.  They are committed to be a public health service provider and to ensure the optimal well-being of our community.  Administrative Director, Jo Ann Spaulding states, “We are committed to prevention efforts that promote and protect our community’s health by serving with dedication, respect, and responsibility. Being prepared for a public health emergency is part of our job, and we are thankful for those partners who are helping us remain protected.

Reminder, the temporary closure of the Dubois County Health Department services to the public on January 30, 2020 is for an exercise drill only and from 8 AM to 12 Noon.

Violating the new Smoking Law Raises Penalties for Retailers who don’t Comply

Statewide (NNDC):

Increased enforcement of the new tobacco with an age limit of 21 warns retailers who repeatedly sell to minors they could lose their license to sell tobacco for breaking the law. Before reaching that point, fines would be higher, with the penalty for a first violation more than doubled, from 200 dollars to a minimum of 500.

Most of the debate in the House focused on the part of the bill that’s already federal law: raising the minimum age for smoking and vaping from 18 to 21. 

14 House Republicans voted against raising the age as an infringement on personal freedom. Seymour Representative Jim Lucas half-seriously suggested the bill opens the door to a “war on cheeseburgers” to roll back obesity-related illnesses. And he argues it’s unfair to allow 18 year olds are able to be part of the military and serve our country yet not be allowed to smoke.

Studies have concluded that smoking is a leading cause of premature birth, which makes it a major factor in Indiana’s chronically high infant mortality rates. Making cigarettes harder to get at an early age improves the odds of keeping prospective mothers tobacco-free.

The Senate could pass its own version as soon as Thursday, but the two chambers still have to agree on a single final version.

Recycling of Old Christmas Lights a Huge Success

Dubois County (NNDC):

The second annual Christmas light recycling program was another success with over 1000 pounds of old or broken Christmas lights. This is the second year a half ton of light strands were collected Vs heading to the landfill.

Carla Striegel-Winner, remarked that the program was a resounding success again. Carla is the director of the Dubois County Solid Waste Management District, the agency that oversees the program.

The district plans to offer the program again next season.