For The Record: 7/21



BRETZVILLE — The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department arrested Myron J. Persohn, 45, of 343 W. 11th St., Ferdinand, at 10:40 a.m. Wednesday and accused him of felony drunken driving (blood alcohol content .33 percent).

Persohn was arrested after a deputy clocked the 2002 Dodge Ram he was driving on State Road 162 north of County Road 700S going 76 mph in the 55 mph zone.

Authorities booked Persohn into the Dubois County Security Center at 2:15 p.m. on a preliminary Level 6 felony count of drunken driving. The impaired driving charge was elevated to a felony because of a prior conviction for the offense within the last five years.


HUNTINGBURG — A fire this morning that destroyed a building in the Steinkamp Home Center lumber yard at 1000 N. Main St. was most likely electrical in nature, according to the Huntingburg Volunteer Fire Department.

Fire Chief Scott Patberg said an alert individual at a nearby MasterBrand Cabinets plant reported seeing smoke at 5:20 a.m. Firefighters arrived to find flames coming out the edge of the room of a 48-by-32 pole barn that stored materials and contained a break room and a fork lift.

The department’s newest aerial truck was used to fight the fire while the other aerial ladder was tasked with protecting buildings near the lumber yard behind the home improvement store.

No other buildings were damaged and there were no injuries. The structure that caught fire was destroyed but some of the materials stored in it may be salvageable, according to Patberg.

Four trucks and more than 20 firefighters were on the scene for more than two hours.

The Huntingburg Police Department, Huntingburg Municipal Utilities and Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services assisted.


JASPER — A Jasper family was temporarily displaced Wednesday because of a fire affecting their homes basement electrical panel.

Units of the Jasper Volunteer Fire Department were called to the 1410 Jackson St. home of Travis and Angela Blair at 12:41 p.m., according to Fire Chief Kenny Hochgesang.

Hochgesang said Travis Blair came home to find a new central air conditioning unit not running so he went downstairs to work the breaker.

“He said it (the breaker) was glowing and when he flipped it, it popped,” Hochgesang said.

Blair exited the home and called authorities at that point.

A fire that erupted around the electrical panel traveled across the basement ceiling, blackening the joists for the floor above.

Hochgesang said there was really no structural damage.

Firefighters set up exhaust fans to draw out smoke after extinguishing the fire.

Four trucks and 27 firefighters were on the scene for an hour.

Damage was estimated at $15,000.

Hochgesang said the Blairs will be staying elsewhere until the electrical service is repaired.

On Tuesday, at 2:36 p.m., the department responded to an alarm activation at Jeff and Angelo Smith’s 3523 Dogwood Drive home.

There was no fire, Hochgesang said. Instead, firefighters found a bad battery in a basement detector. An alarm company was contacted to address the issue.

Five trucks and 23 firefighters were on the scene 20 minutes.


BRETZVILLE — Information from the public helped the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department locate the driver in a hit-and-run accident that occurred Wednesday morning at the Bretzville Junction.

Wesley J. Gutgsell of Birdseye was eastbound on State Road 64 in a 2009 Chevrolet pickup truck when the 6 a.m. accident occurred at State Road 162, according to the sheriff’s department.

A deputy said Gutgsell stopped at the highway intersection, then started to proceed on a green traffic signal.

What was reported as a westbound purple or maroon passenger car, possibly a Mitsubishi Eclipse or something similar, failed to yield as it turned south from State Road 64 onto State Road 162, the sheriff’s department said.

Gutgsell’s truck sustained damage estimated at between $2,500 and $4,000, according to a deputy.
The car continued southbound without stopping.

Several hours later, the sheriff’s department received information that the car was a purple 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse that had been driven by Marie Cummings, 27, of 5592 W. State Road 64, Taswell.

The sheriff’s department said Cummings had gone back to her Crawford County home after the accident. She allegedly admitted to being the driver.

A deputy said Cummings will be summonsed to appear in court on a preliminary misdemeanor count of leaving the scene of a property damage accident. She will also be cited for having no insurance on the car and may be cited for having expired plates and for driving on a suspended license.

Indiana State Police assisted.

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