Management of the Parklands property has now become a topic of interest for Jasper city officials.

Last night, the Jasper City Council held a discussion on how the land should be governed. Currently, the Jasper Redevelopment Commission holds the land and its managed by the Jasper Parks Department.

That didn’t sit well with some on the council. The discussion then moved towards having the park board take sole control of the Parklands property for any present and future development.

Jasper mayor Terry Seitz says the discussion is all part of what will be a lengthy process for the Parklands property:

Seitz says 2015′s budget will mark the first time for the city to specifically set aside money for the Parklands property. He says the next budget will utilize reserve money from the park department’s budget to be used for that purpose.

The final vision report is set to be presented at the next meeting of the park board. That meeting is set for September 9th.

The Parklands property opened for public use back on July 1st as a walking trail and managed meadows area. It had been closed since the end of 2012 when the former Jasper Country Club ceased operations.

A Jasper man was taken into custody after he battered a woman at his apartment.

Just after 12:30 yesterday, Jasper Police were called to an apartment in the 300 block of East 5th Street after a 9-1-1 call from Apartment B was disconnected before dispatch could speak with anyone. When they Vincent Gonzalesarrived at the home, officers were told that 30-year-old Vincent Gonzales had battered a woman who lives at the apartment. Officers then learned a second woman tried to call 9-1-1 after the incident, but the call was disconnected after Gonzales pulled the phone cord from the phone.

Gonzales was taken into custody and lodged in the Dubois County Security Center. He is facing a battery charge along with a Class A misdemeanor for interfering with the reporting of a crime.

2 troopers with the Indiana State Police Jasper Post have been recognized for a job well done.

Sergeant Robert Gardner was presented with a Commendation Award. Meanwhile, Trooper Jarrod Lents was honored with the Purple Heart and a Combat Action Award. The awards were presented during a ceremony yesterday afternoon at the Indiana Government Center.

Gardner’s Commendation Award was related to his efforts in a missing persons case back in 2009. On November 2nd of that year, a 15-year-old girl was reported missing to the Spencer County Sheriff’s Robert GardnerDepartment by her mother and step-father. While the initial report was being taken, a Spencer County deputy found the girl’s body in the backyard of the family’s home. Sgt. Gardner along with other Jasper Post troopers were called to the scene and Gardner immediately took a leadership role in the investigation. The investigation took a little less than 2 days, after which the step-father was arrested.

Sgt. Gardner then spent many hours assisting the Spencer County Prosecutor’s Office with preparing this case. The trial in this case began back in May of 2012. Gardner spent more than 4 days testifying in the trial, which ended with the step-father’s conviction on all criminal counts.

Meanwhile, Trooper Lents was honored for his work on a reported disturbance turned deadly in Daviess County in 2013. Back on June 17th of last year, Lents was called to the Black Oak Armament gun shop in Montgomery after it was reported that a man was trying to rob the store.

At about 2 pm that afternoon, Lents and 60-year-old James Jones of Shoals exchanged gunfire. Trooper Jarrod LentsLents was hit at least 5 times by bullets during the exchange.

After being taken to Daviess Community Hospital, his injuries were found to be non-life threatening. He was treated and released and returned to work on July 1st of last year.

Jones was later pronounced dead at the hospital from a single gunshot wound to the head.

High school football season is approaching and a Huntingburg boy scout troop has announced an upcoming fundraiser at one of the games.

The Huntingburg Kiwanis Club is set to team up with Boy Scout Troop 181 for a fundraiser. The Burger-Dog-Chili Fest will be held before the annual Jasper vs. Southridge football game on August 29th.

The fundraiser will take place from 5 til 7:30 pm at the Central Christian Church’s multipurpose room along South Main Street. Net proceeds from the fundraiser will be given to Troop 181.

The Huntingburg Kiwanis Club has been serving the city since May of 1922. They have been the charting organization for the boy scout troop since 1923.

Well the celebration will continue for the city of Huntingburg in light of its recent designation as a Stellar Community.

City officials have announced that the official “Stellarbration” will take place at 2 o’clock on Friday along Market Street. The celebration is being coordinated by Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann’s office as part of last week’s big announcement.

Huntingburg mayor Denny Spinner says he hopes to see a large crowd on Friday:

Now Market Street is set to be closed during the celebration. The event is free and open to the public. Questions may be directed to Rachel Steckler at 683-2211.

Huntingburg was named as 1 of this year’s 2 Stellar Communities last Thursday during a ceremony at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis. The city now stands to receive more than 10 million dollars in state funding over the next 4 years thanks to Thursday’s announcement.

Folks in Jasper wanting to learn more about local businesses got to do so today.

This afternoon, the Jasper Chamber of Commerce hosted the first ever “BizBuzz” luncheon as part of the ongoing effort to draw attention to local companies. Companies that were in attendance gave 3 to 5 minute long presentations about their business and how people can get involved.

Jasper Chamber director Nancy Eckerle says chamber board president Jane Balsmeyer deserves credit for the idea. She says the “BizBuzz” idea even has some similarities with a popular TV show:

Eckerle says ‘BizBuzz’ was designed to replace the chamber’s “Time Out for Business” event series. She also says the chamber asked those presenting to think outside the box and get creative with what they were presenting.

Now there were 7 businesses in all that presented today. Those included Jasper Engines and Transmissions, German American Bank, and Stens Corporation. The lunch was catered by Azura Cafe.

Students in the Northeast Dubois school corporation will continue to have a wellness program available to them in the future.

Last night, the school board approved having TRI-CAP run the wellness program at the school for the 2014-2015 school year. Paige Mundy will once again be the person in charge of the program at school.

Now the program was started back in 1994 by TRI-CAP. It originally had teen wellness centers at all 4 high schools in Dubois County. The goal of the program was to give students free access to teen health services. Those can include issues such as family conflicts, alcohol/drug use, and teenage pregnancy.

It originally was only in the high schools, but it has since expanded down to the middle and elementary school levels at NE Dubois. Last August, the state eliminated the grant funding used for this program. Thus, the program was discontinued by TRI-CAP.

Rick Gladish is the principal at Northeast Dubois High School. He says having the wellness program in place has made a difference at the high school:

Meanwhile, superintendent Bill Hochgesang says the program expansion to all grades was agreed on once TRI-CAP’s funding disappeared:

In other business, the board approved the neutralizing of its pension funds for 2015. This marks the third year of a four year program the state enacted which requires that school districts transition away from moving money out of their bus replacement funds to instead taking money out of the capital projects fund. This year’s balance will be 75% from CPF and 25% from dance paties.

Hochgesang says the change in the process has gone fairly well, though there have been a few minor problems:

On a final note, the board announced plans for back to school nights at the elementary schools. Celestine Elementary’s will occur on August 27th and Dubois Elementary will have its celebration the next night (September 28th).