The Press-Dispatch

August 14, 2019

The Press-Dispatch

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Local �������A1-8 Sports �����B1-2 Classifieds B3-5 History �������B6 Church ����C1-3 Home Life C4-7 Obituaries ��C7 Gibson C10-11 School �����C12 WHAT'S INSIDE: CONNECT WITH US: NetEdition ��� pressdispatch�net/edition Facebook ���� facebook�com/pressdispatch E-Mail ��������� news@pressdispatch�net Phone: �������812-354-8500 Fax: ������������812-354-2014 E-Mail ������������������ editor@ NEWS TIPS: PIKE PUBLISHING Wednesday, August 14, 2019 Volume 149 Number 34 Phone 812-354-8500 Petersburg, IN 47567-0068 (USPS 604-34012) $ 1 Three sections 26 pages Six inserts See SCHOOL on page 2 See STOLEN on page 2 See WINSLOW on page 2 By Andy Heuring A Petersburg teen was arrested last week on charges stemming from a vehicle stolen from Hunt- ingburg and found in Petersburg in February. Bryan S. Marret, 18, of 112 S. 11th St., Petersburg, was charged with theft and criminal conver- sion, both level 6 felonies. On February 21, Kaitlyn Jerg- er, of Huntingburg, notified po- lice that her 2003 Ford Taurus had been stolen from her parents' driveway on Eighth St., Hunting- burg. Jerger told police she had parked her car in her parents' driveway when she got home from work. She left her purse and keys in the car. Then at about 5:20 a.m. the next morning, she noticed her car was gone. A week later, on February 28, Dubois County central dispatch was notified by Petersburg Police Sgt. Chad McClellan they had lo- cated Jerger's vehicle. They had it towed back to Huntingburg, where the Indiana State Police crime tech collected DNA evi- dence from the vehicle. Jerger's purse or valuables in her purse were not found. Petersburg Police Cpl. Kyle Mills then talked to Hunting- burg Police and told them he had a tip Marret might have been in- volved. A sample of Marret's DNA was sent to the crime lab and on June 10, the State Police lab re- leased the findings of their report, which stated Jerger's vehicle con- tained DNA of which Marret was a contributor. Three vehicles from the Peters- burg area were reported stolen at about the same time. Petersburg Police Chief Chuck Baumgart said their investigation is waiting on DNA results from the Indiana State Police lab from those vehi- cles that were taken. The first vehicle taken from Pe- tersburg was a silver 2005 Chev- rolet Colorado four-door pick- up. It was taken from Jim Gas- kins' driveway on February 26 and has a license plate number of TK750NAY. Gaskins' truck was located months later on the campus of Oakland City University. On Saturday, March 2, Baumgart said police received a call at about 7:30 a.m. from Am- ber (Clark) Ashley that her 2006 Chevrolet Equinox had been sto- len from her residence at 205 N. Marret charged with theft, conversion for stolen car By Andy Heuring An investigation of a threat marred the start of school in Pike County last Wednesday. It turned out to be a repost- ing of a meme from March of 2019. Pike County Prosecutor Darrin McDonald, in a new release issued last Wednesday, stat- ed, "A thorough investigation revealed the alleged threat emanated from social me- dia posts containing inappropriate humor. The most recent post of which was posted in March 2109." McDonald continued in the release, "A f- ter an investigation by the Pike County Sheriff's Department," he determined "no credible evidence existed that the youth in- volved had any intention, or apparent abil- ity, to harm anyone." McDonald said reports that a student was arrested are erroneous. "To the extent that media reports stating that the youth was "detained" or suggest in any way that the youth is being charged with a juvenile offense, those are likewise false. Every ac- cused person is entitled to due process. Un- fortunately with recent violence, social me- dia can create unnecessary fear and rush to judgment." The sequence of events got started when someone saw the old post from March and forwarded it to the school Facebook page at 11:53 p.m. on Tuesday. Pike County Sheriff Kent Johnson said when people started getting up early Wednesday morning, it was noticed and he was notified. He said they immediately sent deputies to the schools and went to the boy's house. He said the boy and his guardians were cooperative and allowed a search of the house. "There were no weapons, no mani- festo, no lists," said Sheriff Johnson. He said after a discussion with Prosecu- tor McDonald, "We concluded it wasn't an School begins in midst of threat investigation By Dennis Marshall The Winslow Town Council voted in a new marshal and deputy at its monthly meeting on Monday, Aug. 12. Steve Nelson, the current part-time dep- uty, was unanimously approved as the new Winslow marshal. "The big thing was he has already served as a deputy," Council president Joshua Popp said. "This is a just a move up for him. He has already been trained and is already cer- tified, so he should be good to go." Nelson, a Winslow native and deputy for the past 11 years, will be paid $28,500 annu- ally, with the opportunity for an increase af- ter the first year, pending council approval. He replaced Steve English, who held the post for 32 years, before having to step away from the position due to health issues. Nelson said the first business as the new marshal will be to make some equipment upgrades that will help modernize the de- partment. Winslow Town Council names Nelson new marshal By Andy Heuring Pike County Councilmen began their yearly budgeting process on Tuesday morn- ing with sobering news, which prompted them to look into hiring a financial consul- tant to help them plan for the future. Pike County Auditor Judy Gumbel sent an email on July 31, 2019 warning the coun- ty councilmen Pike County's Net Assessed Value was going to drop nearly $ 90 million or about 20 percent. "The majority of the drop can mostly be attributed to Indianapolis Power and Light's decision to redistribute their as- sets," stated Gumbel's email. She said IPL's assessed value in Pike County had dropped by $ 93,971,520 and overall Pike County had a net loss of $ 87,829.537, which is a drop of about 20 percent. Pike County's assessed value in 2018 was $713,476,500 and has dropped to $ 625,646,963 for 2019. Gumbel gave the Council a chart of the assessed value back to 2009 when it was $ 635,062,800. It had in- creased to $747 million in 2012 and peaked at $779 million in 2014 before starting to fall every year since then. "We all got an email from Judy on what the assessed value is going to look like. The initial numbers are mind-boggling," said Councilman Jon Craig. "We are looking at a big reduction in as- sessed value. It will drop more than $ 90 million. That will be life changing for us. We have a great nest egg, but we are going to have to dip into that. We will have to, there is no question about it," said Craig. He continued, "Utilities are assessed state-wide and they tell us what the as- sessed value is. I think we ought to bring in a financial consultant to plan on this. Otherwise we might just be shooting from the hip," said Craig. "I would like permission a seek a propos- al on managing our revenues as we manage our budgets," said Craig. "You can't stick your head in the sand," said Council President Greg Willis. "We need to look at this with concern. We don't want to reduce services to people of the county," said Willis. He said he didn't have a problem with contacting a firm as long as it didn't obligate the county to any expense. Craig suggested they contact Baker and Tilly, which was formerly Umbaugh Asso- ciates. He said the scope of what the coun- ty wants Baker and Tilly to do is determine the costs. "They will probably have a wide range of services they can provide. "I think it would be irresponsible for us not to look at this," said Councilman Den- nis Bishop. Councilmen were in session most of the day on Tuesday, meeting with various de- partment heads and going over the pro- posed budgets for each department. In Sep- tember the council will meet again and re- view the budgets and set each budget and vote on them. The September meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 10, following their regular monthly meeting, which starts at 8:30 a.m. Council learns assessed value of county will drop by 20% Ford injured in semi crash Tuesday in Otwell A Bruceville man was injured early Monday morning when the semi-truck he was driving overturned as he went around the sharp curve on Highway 257 in Otwell near Circle A. John Ford, 79, suffered face and back injuries in the crash. He was trapped in the semi- truck cab by power lines on the truck for nearly an hour. Pike County Deputy Sheriff Brad Jenkins investigated the crash. He said witnesses told him Ford appeared to be traveling too fast for the turn. His trailer was full of construction debris. "It looked like they had torn down an old house, " said Deputy Jenkins. Jenkins said the truck took out two utility poles, one owned by Dubois REMC and the oth- er by Frontier. Once Ford was extricated from the semi-cab he was taken by Pike County EMS to Deacon- ess Midtown in Evansville. First day of school Miss Jenna Knepp helps Ruger Moore get his folders in order on the first day of school at Winslow Elementary School last Wednesday. Knepp is a new kindergarten teacher at Winslow.

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