Hearing reset on proposed Stucker Fork increases PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 16 February 2018 16:29



A hearing at the Indianapolis office of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) has been rescheduled about proposed increases in rates charged by Stucker Fork Conservancy District.

The hearing had been set for Wednesday, March 7, but was recently rescheduled to Wednesday, April 25.

When the Stucker Fork petition was first filed last September, it attracted the attention of one of its bigger customers, Morgan Foods Inc. of Austin. The firm’s attorneys filed a petition to intervene last October, which was granted. Now, the company has the ability to present evidence and cross-examine any witnesses Stucker Fork may call to testify.

The April 25 hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 222 at the PNC Center, 101 West Washington Street, Indianapolis. It is open to the public.

Staff of the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) will represent the public in the case.


Finley Township loses community leader/supporter Leon Dart PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 16 February 2018 16:26



Word traveled quickly in the Finley Township area of Scott County that another community leader, Leon Dart, had died on Friday, February 9.

Leon was a Jennings County native, the son of the late Clinton Cooley and Flora May Dart Cooley. He moved to Scott County before starting high school, graduating from Scottsburg High School in 1953. Leon was a life member of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, located in Finley Township.

A farmer, Leon worked at the old American Can Company in Austin for years. He retired from both those occupations, but it was the path he trod in community service that most Finley folks recall. Younger ones may remember Leon and wife Betty Sue co-leading the Eager Beaver 4-H Club in Finley Township. He was always a strong supporter of 4-H and FFA.

Leon served as Finley Township trustee and as Finley’s township assessor, all under the Democrat Party banner. He and others in the community worked hard to support the Finley Volunteer Fire Department. The department operated what is now the Scottsburg Warriors Restaurant on the grounds of the Scott County Fairgrounds for years. Dollars earned by feeding fair visitors and workers helped the department obtain equipment and gear.

For most of those years, anyone wanting to talk to Leon during the county fair could find him at the restaurant, checking and organizing supplies and cooking some memorable dishes for fairgoers.

As the department’s numbers declined, the restaurant was turned over to the SHS Band of Warriors parents. Leon had already begun to help another fire department fund-raiser, the annual Leota Country Frolic, which celebrated its 35th year last August. Because his passion was euchre, Leon was not only in charge of booth rentals but also the annual euchre tournament that still takes place on the Thursday night before each Frolic begins. To say he was an avid player is underplaying his interest in the game.

He also coordinated the annual euchre competition held during the annual Pig Roast in the Park at Beechwood Park in Scottsburg.

Leon was a man who loved and enjoyed his family and his life in Finley Township. He was married to his partner and best friend, the former Betty Sue Miner, for 62 blessed years. His kids can recall many instances of Leon offering a few of his pearls of wisdom and common sense as well as some wonderful stories about his childhood and youth.

He leaves behind Betty Sue, as well as their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And a lot of friends.

No service or visitation will be held. Instead, his family has planned a celebration of his life on Saturday, April 28, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Light's Dance Barn, 1366 South Zion Road, Scottsburg. Tributes to Leon will be offered from 2 to 3 p.m. that day.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be arranged through the staff of the Stewart & Hoagland Funeral Home in Scottsburg to benefit the Finley Volunteer Fire Department or the Leota Frolic.

Expressions of sympathy may be expressed to the family by visiting www.stewart-hoaglandfuneralhome.com.

Funeral service held for former public servant Lee Bridgewater PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 16 February 2018 16:22




Supporting his community and making it better were lifelong goals of Lee Bridgewater, 89. Bridgewater died on Saturday, February 10, after several years of ill health.

During his life, Lee saw his hometown of Scottsburg change and grow. He started life in 1928 as the son of the late Forest “Chub” Bridgewater and Frances Morgan Bridgewater.

After enjoying a typical small town youth, Lee graduated from Scottsburg High School in 1948. Eight years before he graduated, he joined the First Baptist Church of Scottsburg. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and, when he returned, he married his sweetheart, Bertha Riley.

The couple settled down to raise a family, Lee working as head usher at the old Indiana Theater and Scott Theater for 15 years. The tales he could have told! He also worked at U.S. Shoe in Crothersville and, when a position came open, he moved on to work in quality control for Cummins Engine Company in Columbus for 26 years, retiring in 1989.

Lee also turned his energies to the local Democrat Party. He served as a Scott County Councilman for eight years and as a Scottsburg City Councilman for 15 years. He joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge 555 in 1948, and he was a charter member and life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Scott County Post 6582. He also kept his membership at American Legion Scott Post 234. His duties at his church expanded to cover 70 years of service in one capacity or another.

Lee has left his wife of 64 years as well as his devoted sister, Alberta Bridgewater, and a son, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

The funeral service was conducted on Wednesday, February 14, at Collins Funeral Home in Scottsburg. Pastor Irmal Elliott, Phil LaMaster and the Rev. Kevin Sills officiated.

Full military rites were conducted at the graveside at Scottsburg Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be arranged through staff of the funeral home to benefit his church.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.collinsfuneralhome.net.



Japan-Owned Manufacturer Expanding in Crothersville, Adding Jobs PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcus Amos   
Friday, 16 February 2018 16:20



Aisin Drivetrain (ADI), a Japan-owned manufacturer of automotive and heavy equipment parts, announced plans today to expand its operations in Jackson County, creating up to 47 new jobs by the end of 2018.

"Global companies like Aisin Drivetrain continue to find success in Indiana, and they provide good jobs for Hoosiers," Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. "We'll continue sharing our economic success story and ensuring businesses like Aisin Drivetrain have access to our skilled workforce and pro-growth business environment."

The company, which is a subsidiary of Kariya, Japan-headquartered Aisin Seiki Co., will invest more than $16 million to expand its manufacturing operations at 1001 Industrial Way in Crothersville. ADI, which manufactures automotive components and systems such as industrial transmissions, commercial transmissions and power steering columns, will renovate and purchase new equipment in order to accommodate design changes for steering columns and other automotive components being incorporated by its customers. The company will supply parts for vehicles such as the Toyota Avalon and Lexus ES, and plans to begin work on upgrades later this month.

"Aisin Drivetrain is proud to be a major contributor to the local Crothersville community, including Jackson County and Scott County, Indiana," said Scott Shade, executive vice president and company officer for ADI. "ADI maintains a diverse, equal opportunity working environment to facilitate professional growth. ADI strives to provide a stable working environment for its employees and their families. Crothersville is an ideal site to support Aisin’s company operations with its easy access to Interstate 65 and its close proximity to major cities. This allows ADI to work closely with its customers. Hoosiers work hard; ADI works hard in A State That Works!"

ADI employs more than 382 full-time Hoosier employees at its Crothersville facility with plans to complete hiring for manufacturing positions in August. New positions are expected to offer competitive wages. Interested applicants can apply by mailing resumes to the Crothersville facility or completing an application in person.

Since 2008, ADI has invested nearly $80 million into its Indiana operations. Aisin Seiki, which is part of the Toyota Group, designs and manufactures automotive and industrial parts as well as lifestyle and energy products. The company is one of the top ten global automotive suppliers, producing a variety of parts including transmission, brake, engine and IT units. Aisin employs more than 115,400 people across the world, including approximately 3,934 in Indiana. Including ADI, Aisin has 10 companies in Indiana, including Aisin USA Manufacturing in Seymour, Aisin Chemical Indiana in Crothersville, ATTC Mfg. in Tell City, ADVICS in Terre Haute, Aisin Logistics in Franklin, and INTAT Precision in Rushville.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered AISIN Drivetrain Inc up to $425,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The town of Crothersville will consider additional incentives at the request of the Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation.

"Any growth in our industry is good for the community," said Crothersville Town Council President Danieta Foster. "We are pleased with this news and look forward to continuing to support, in any way we can, our industrial community."

ADI is one of more than 280 Japanese business establishments in Indiana that employ more than 58,000 Hoosiers. Among all U.S. states, Indiana has the largest amount of Japanese investment per capita. Last year, 40 foreign-based companies committed to locating or growing in Indiana, planning to create 5,607 new jobs for Hoosiers.

ADI is a manufacturer of a wide range of products for customers in the automotive and heavy equipment industries including, Toyota, Lexus, FCA and Nissan. The company’s products include industrial transmissions, commercial transmissions and power steering columns.

Community saddened at death of Commissioner Kelley Robbins PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 16 February 2018 16:19



Kelley Robbins loved to talk, sometimes about his business, sometimes about the business of the county, but, most of all, about his family.

He and wife Jean had two children. They were also blessed with the next generation, two grandchildren, who could overwhelm this gentle man with their activities. But he loved every minute of it. “Oh, those grandkids are just terrible,” he’d comment, ending the conversation with a wink of his eye and a broad grin. He loved his family deeply.

He also loved Scott County. He was born in 1953 in Scottsburg to the late John M. Sr. and Goldie Pearl Comer Robbins. The family farmed in Finley Township with his dad serving many years on the Scott County Council. That’s probably where his interest in local politics took root.

Kelley and his brothers and sisters all graduated from Scottsburg High School, Kelley saying goodbye in 1971. He enrolled at Purdue University, getting a degree in horticulture and returning in 1974 to start Robbins’ Landscaping and Nursery, building a couple of greenhouses and planting fields of young spruce that he trimmed into fine-looking Christmas trees. Dozens of families over the past 42 years have trekked across his fields, searching for the ideal tree to take home and decorate.

Kelley married the former Jean Mulcahy in 1978. They soon added a daughter and son to the Robbins clan.

Kelley became a member of the County Council when John Sr. retired. He served for 27 years. He offered his services to the Board of County Commissioners when a vacancy occurred about three years ago. He won that Democrat caucus. He rarely missed a meeting of either the County Council or Commissioners, but his seat was empty for the two most recent meetings as he battled cancer and heart problems.

He lost that battle at his home late on Friday morning, February 9, surrounded by his family and several of his friends. Kelley was 64.

During his service to his community, he was a member of the Church of the American Martyrs and Knights of Columbus Council 8052. For his county, he served as a president and a member of the Scott County Economic Development Corporation board of directors and the Southeast Indiana Recycling District board. He enjoyed serving and most enjoyed the conversations he’d have with others wanting this county to move forward despite its problems.

He strongly supported moving the Scott County Health Department into a new building. At a county auction last summer, he was there, moving around, chatting with folks on the grounds of the department’s new home. “I think (improving local health services) is one of best things we’ve done in a while for our residents. We need to concentrate more on living better lives, healthier lives,” he said once after a fairly contentious meeting.

Denny Wilson, Scott County Democrat Party Chairman, commented that Kelley will be greatly missed. “He has served this county for many years, providing us with leadership. His efforts have helped this community,” stated Wilson.

Bob Tobias, District 1 Commissioner, also noted that Scott County “…has lost a beloved official who distinguished himself as a great public servant to all. He was dedicated to continue to move this county forward. I really don’t have the words to express his loss. Kelley was not just a fellow Commissioner, he was my friend. It was my honor and privilege to serve on the Board of Commissioners with Kelley. He will be greatly missed.”

The newest member of the Board of Commissioners, Mike Jones, also expressed his feeling of a great loss. “I was shocked to hear of his passing and saddened. I’ve known Kelley most of my life and have always known him to have a great passion for Scott County. He has served the county well. We offer our prayers and thoughts to Jean, Katie, Kyle and the entire family,” Jones stated.

Calling at the Collins Funeral Home was conducted on Monday evening, February 12, and the mass of Christian burial was held at his church on Tuesday morning, February 13.

Burial was in Bethel Cemetery near Leota back in Finley Township.

Memorial gifts may be arranged through the funeral home staff to benefit a new endowment created in his memory, the Kelley Robbins Endowment Fund for Public Health.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.collinsfuneralhome.net.


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