The Press-Dispatch

September 11, 2019

The Press-Dispatch

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Local �������A1-8 Obituaries A3&C7 Sports �����B1-5 Classifieds B6-11 History �����B12 Church ����C1-3 Home Life C4-6 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@pressdispatch�net NEWS TIPS: PIKE PUBLISHING Wednesday, September 11, 2019 Volume 149 Number 38 Phone 812-354-8500 Petersburg, IN 47567-0068 (USPS 604-34012) $ 1 Three sections 32 pages Six inserts See WATERLINE on page 6 By Andy Heuring A Petersburg woman suffered multiple fractures in a traffic accident when she crashed head-on into a semi-truck last Wednesday afternoon. Apryl Hill, 34, of 1504 E. Walnut St., Pe- tersburg, was driving south on Highway 61 at 3:51 p.m. when she drove left of center and hit the northbound semi-truck with the front left of her 1988 Oldsmobile Delta 88. It then spun 180 degrees and came to rest in the southbound lane, facing north. The semi-truck was driven by Steven Owen, Jr., 25, of 435 E. Harrison St., Oakland City. He was not injured. Pike County Deputy Sheriff Jared Sim- mons said witnesses said Hill was attempt- ing to pass two vehicles on a double yellow line. Hill said she fell asleep and went left of center. Hill had to be extricated from her vehi- cle. She suffered several fractures, includ- ing broken bones in both legs and feet, two broken ribs, a shattered pelvis, broken right wrist and multiple lacerations over her entire body. She was transported to Deaconess Mid- town by Pike County EMS. As of Tuesday, she was still in the hospital. Damage was estimated at between $10,000 and $25,000. Hill injured in crash with semi near Pike Central See WINSLOW on page 3 By Andy Heuring "I'm doing a lot better," said Joey Wells on Friday, three days removed from being severely burned when gas fumes on a brush pile exploded. Wells said he was working on a brush pile at a residence in Glezen last Tuesday. "We were doing a brush pile and poured some gas on it," said Wells. He explained they put just a small amount of gas on the brush pile and let it sit for a while. He said, trying to be safe, they lit a stick on fire and then threw the stick on the pile. "It didn't do anything and the flame on the stick was going out. So I reached to get the stick and it went boom. It was almost like a stick of dynamite going off," said Wells. The force of the explosion blew Wells down and back- wards about 10 feet. He said it also blew the brush pile up into the air, blew out the windows of the nearby house, and shook the ground and windows throughout Glezen. It also caused second degree burns on his right arm, top of his hand, face and both ears. Wells said he got into a car with his mother-in-law and she was going to drive him to Daviess Community Hospital in Washington. "About Bell's Hill, the pain got so bad, I said 'I can't make it.' So we went to Illinois St. to the EMS Building." Both ambulances sta- tioned there were already out on calls, but Wells said he ran in the building and started yelling, and it didn't take long for them to get him help. They called for first responders. EMS Director Chris Young and EMA Director Ryan Ben- ner responded and were able to help him. He said they were able to give him something for the pain and he was then taken to Petersburg Elementary School, where an air ambulance met him and flew him to a special burn hospital in Louisville. "Chris and Ryan, and all the first responders took good care of me," said Wells. He stated the paramedics on the helicopter said, "they gave me enough to tranquilize King Kong, but I remem- ber the whole flight." He said Tuesday night and Wednesday morning were pretty rough, but by Friday, he said he was doing much better. He added he would find out later if they were go- ing to have to do skin grafts. Wells was released from the hospital on Thursday and was talking by phone on Friday for the interview. Anoth- er sign of his improvement was his attending the Mon- day night Winslow Town Council meeting, which he rare- ly misses. Wells said he knows he was lucky. "They told me if I hadn't had sunglasses on, I would have been blinded." "They told me I should have a full recovery. It may take a month to get back to normal." Wells suffers burns in gasoline explosion Marching Band season Sarah Lane plays and looks at the crowd while marching in a display of multi-tasking during a performance of the Pike Central Marching Band. They started competition season Saturday with a third place at the Evansville Central band contest. See story and additional photos on page A-8. More drama in Winslow with council, fire dept. By Dennis Marshall The drama continued between the Winslow Town Coun- cil and Winslow Volunteer Fire Department on the coun- cil monthly meeting on Monday, Sept. 9. The strain was created when the council requested finan- cial records from the fire department several months ago. "A few meetings back we requested to have a review over their fundraising account," Winslow Town Council Presi- dent Joshua Popp said. "We found out that they were sup- posed to supply an annual report to the town. We asked and were pretty much denied. It's our understanding that it's supposed to be provided to the town and this has caused a lot of drama with those guarded funds." The council recently met with the Patoka Township Fire Department about taking over the Winslow area, but noth- Christopher Render By Andy Heuring A Pike Central teacher was arrested in Owensville over Labor Day weekend on preliminary charges of battery in the presence of a child and strangulation. Christopher Render, 46, of Ow- ensville was arrested by Gibson County Sheriff's Deputy Bruce VanHoven and Haubstadt Town Marshal Jeremy Volk at about 6:14 p.m. September 1. According to a news release from the Gibson County Sheriff's Department, po- lice were called to a disturbance on S. Bannerstone Dr. near Ow- ensville. Deputy VanHoven said after talking to the all parties at the scene, Render was taken in- to custody on the preliminary charges. Render is a business teacher at Pike Central High School. No formal charges had been filed by Gibson County as of Tuesday. Pike County Superintendent of Schools Suzanne Blake said Render is no longer in the classroom and his status is under review. PC teacher arrested battery, strangulation in Owensville By Andy Heuring The County Council voted unanimously to approve an additional appropriation of $ 857,000 to build an eight-inch waterline to the River Birch Farms project. They al- so approved a 10 -year tax abatement for re- al property and a five-year tax abatement plan for personal property. Paul Wheatley of The Wheatley Group, which is a consultant for the Pike Coun- ty Economic Development Corp., told the council the project brings investment of $ 6.4 million in real property and $5.75 mil- lion personal property as well as $5.1 mil- lion in post construction improvement. It will also provide 22 new jobs at an av- erage wage of $15/hour. He said the payback in the property tax- es and local income taxes would occur in 2026. Wheatley said indirect jobs created for vendors and related services to the facili- ty will create an additional 20 jobs with an average wage of $20 an hour. Besides jobs and tax revenue, Wheat- ley said other benefits include: promot- ing a positive cash flow from the TIF dis- tricts that can be used for additional infra- structure development. The project will be a large water customer, which will help offset Petersburg's water rates and costs from new water and wastewater treatment plants. He added by building the waterline to this project that is located on the south- western corner of the 8,000 -acre mega-site, it will provide a waterline to most of the 8,000 acres for future development. Connie Neininger, Business Develop- ment Director for the Indiana Dept. of Ag- riculture said agri-business projects typi- cally have a much higher multiplier factor in the benefits to a community. She add- ed in rural Indiana communities like Pike County, these are the types of projects that fit. "A new Honda plant dropping out of the sky isn't going to happen. Communities that are waiting on that to happen are clos- ing schools and roads," said Neininger. She gave examples of the payback to communities of various types of develop- ment projects. She said residential devel- opment typically cost government $1.29 to provide services for every dollar invested in new housing. Typical business develop- ment costs the government 48 cents for ev- ery dollar invested, while Agriculture de- velopment only costs 25 cent for each dol- lar invested. "It is a much better return," said Neininger. "We have been working on attracting capital investment and providing jobs for more than four years," said Pike EDC Ex- Council approves $857,000 for water to new project By Andy Heuring Former Petersburg Police Officer Isaac Salters was charged on Tuesday in Knox County with official misconduct, a Level 6 Felony; operating a vehicle while intoxi- cated, endangering a person and operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance in person's body. Salters on Sunday, August 25 crashed his patrol car while driving north on Highway 61 hitting a utility pole and overturning the vehicle that ended up in a field. The vehicle was a total loss. Pike County's E911 dispatch had been getting calls about a police car all over the road and driving erratically before report- ing it had crashed. Knox County Sheriff's Capt. Charles Hel- derman responded and found Salters. He had Salters took a blood test and tested pos- itive for benzodiazepines and opiates. Salters resigned from the Petersburg Po- lice Department following the crash. He was taken into custody, but formal charges were not filed against Salters in Knox County until Tuesday, September 10. The Petersburg Board of Public Works hired Bryce Manning to replace Salters at their Tuesday, September 3 meeting. Former officer charged for crashing patrol car in Knox Co. The mangled car of Apryl Hill, 34, of Petersburg, sits on the side of Highway 61 after it had collided head-on with a semi-truck going north on Highway 61 last Wednesday afternoon. Hill suffered multiple fractures and remains in the hospital. 39 Sales Pike County Yard Sale ALFORD OTWELL PETERSBURG WINSLOW THIS SATURDAY, SEPT. 14 SEE PAGE B-6

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