Local News: Friday, December 15, 2017

Jasper Library Reveals Design Plans for Cultural Center

Dubois Co. Free Press

JASPER — The Jasper Public Library revealed designs for its portion of the new Jasper Cultural Center.

Those designs revealed last night during the library board of directors meeting last night.

Now you have your chance to give your input on the project.

The Jasper Arts Commission is expected to have it’s portion of the design ready to reveal in January.

After that, the Library and the arts commission will hold a joint, public meeting Thursday, January 11th at 6 p.m. to give final approval of the designs.

The designs will be posted on the Jasper Library website for the public to view.

The new Cultural Center will be built on the site of the former Hoosier Desk Building at the corner of Third Avenue and Mill Street.

The design includes lighting that can be moved to accent certain features and areas, expandable rooms, high ceilings and a glass-enclosed mezzanine for natural sunlight.

Deconstruction on the current site is expected to begin in February.


Only Minor Injuries After Crash Total 2 Vehicles

HOLLAND — A crash yesterday near Holland totals two vehicles, but only results in minor injuries.

It happened around 4-30 yesterday afternoon on State Road 161 just north of the intersection of Main Street.

Police say a driver didn’t see a car ahead waiting to turn left on to Main Street and crashed.

That driver was cited for following too closely.

Both vehicles are a total loss.

One driver complained of neck pain, the other of head pain.


Traffic Alert:  US 231 Remains Closed North of Loogootee

LOOGOOTEE — U.S. 231 north of Loogootee remains closed today from U.S. 50 to State Road 58 for a railroad crossing repair project.

Today should be the last day for the closure, of course that depends on weather.

Local traffic will have access to the point of closure.

All other drivers should detour using State Road 58, Interstate 69 and U.S. 50.

INDOT urges you to slow down and stay alert near the road crews.


Public Hearing Set on Jasper Electric Rate Changes

JASPER — The Jasper Common Council will hold a public hearing on city electric rates, Wednesday, December 20th at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Rates are expected to drop for Jasper Utility Customers after a recent study found the cost to provide power to customers had gone down.

If approved, the rates would be decreased in phases beginning in 2018 and going down, each year, through 2020.



Decision on Cold Beer Sales Could Resurface 

STATEWIDE — A study committee recommended against expanding cold beer sales in Indiana. But a less-talked-about recommendation could eventually change that “no” to “yes.”

The panel has recommended higher permit fees to sell alcohol, higher fines for violations, and higher fines for alcohol-related crimes like D-U-I. The committee estimates that would raise more than two-million dollars a year, which it suggests should be split evenly between helping counties to establish “problem-solving” courts for people with drug and alcohol issues, and beefing up the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission’s enforcement ability.

Committee chair and former Greenfield Senator Bev Gard says Indiana has just 71 excise officers to police the whole state. She says it’s conceivable the state could revisit the question of allowing more stores to sell beer cold if it has the resources to conduct compliance checks and improve its ability to compile and review data.

House Speaker Brian Bosma called Indiana’s lengthy alcohol code “antiquated” when the legislature established the study panel. But Gard and Lafayette Republican Ron Alting, who’s likely to be in charge of any Senate hearings on alcohol bills, say that description and other criticisms are unfair. They say the law can be improved, but emphasize alcohol is a product with well-known consequences to society — Alting notes it’s the most-abused drug in both Indiana and the nation. He and Gard say Indiana’s system does an effective job of controlling who can buy alcohol without creating undue burdens.

And Alting says while Indiana is the only state to make a distinction between selling beer warm or chilled, its laws are less restrictive than other states in other respects. For instance, it’s one of the few states which lets groceries and pharmacies sell hard liquor.

Alting rejects charges that political contributions by the liquor and grocery industries affect the legislature’s path on the issue, and says polls commissioned by supporters of cold beer, showing a majority of Hoosiers in favor of broadened access, won’t be a factor either. He notes polls show even more support for legalizing marijuana.

The study committee did recommend legalizing alcohol sales on Sundays.

The General Assembly convenes for the 10-week session January 3.


















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