Year in Review: Top stories, photos of 2013

From local sources

The stories that got the attention of Herald readers in 2013 largely involved controversy, fatal accidents and police action.

A lone feature story was in the mix. Our Saturday feature on 2013 Southridge High School graduate Ben Weber and the relationship he has with his sister and legal guardian, Meagan (Weber) Bayer, ranked 10th in online viewing.

When it came to photo galleries, your interests included tornado damage, new construction and a local festival.

Here is the rundown of our top 15 stories, based on online tracking on our website, followed by the most-viewed photo galleries. The lists start with the most popular items.


Ӣ Huntingburg business owner and former city official Jeff Summers apologized for an offensive message displayed on his business sign Jan. 21 and voluntarily resigned his position on two community boards. Jan. 23

”¢ The Huntingburg Police Department released more information on the people involved in a deadly three-vehicle crash Dec. 24. Killed in the 7:35 a.m. accident in the 1400 block of North Main Street was 18-year-old Alan G. Hopf, of 2215 S. 600W. The Duff-area driver was pronounced dead at the scene by the Dubois County Coroner’s Office. Dec. 26

”¢ The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a Dec. 17 accident just east of the Bretzville Junction that killed two people and injured another. Pronounced dead at the scene were Jessica L. Morgan, 20, Birdseye, and Eric M. Bureau, 28, Dale. Dec. 17

”¢ Forest Park boys basketball coach Nate Hawkins abruptly resigned from his position Jan. 14, saying that he is stepping away for “personal reasons.” Jan. 15

”¢ Dan Koch, partial owner of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, claims Vanderburgh Circuit Court made two errors in its December ruling that gave majority ownership of the Santa Claus parks to his brother Will’s widow, Lori Koch. Dan Koch filed an appeal in the Indiana Court of Appeals in Indianapolis just days after the ruling. He filed a brief laying out his case in March. March 26

”¢ A collision on a snowy highway in northern Daviess County killed a Jasper woman the afternoon of March 5. Pronounced dead at the scene of the 3:33 p.m. accident by the Daviess County Coroner’s Office was 61-year-old Margaret A. “Magy” Clark. March 6

”¢ Both drivers in a Jan. 9 accident involving a car and a semi on U.S. 231 south of Jasper were Dubois residents, according to the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department. The most seriously injured of the drivers, Wayne Mehringer, 45, was flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center for treatment of trauma to his head, abdomen and leg areas, deputies said. The other driver was Thomas Seng, 55. Jan. 9

”¢ A crash Dec. 21  on U.S. 231 in the WITZ Bottoms south of Jasper killed two drivers and injured two passengers. Killed from injuries sustained in the 8:30 a.m. accident were Marcos A. Ayala, 18, of Huntingburg and Earl B. Cox, 49, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., according to the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department. Dec. 23

Ӣ A single-vehicle crash Dec. 15 near the Schnellville Conservation Club resulted in the death of the driver, Mitch Haas, 21, of Ferdinand. Dec. 16

Ӣ 2013 Southridge High School graduate Ben Weber and his sister, Meagan (Weber) Bayer, lost their father in 2003. Nearly seven years later, they lost their mother. The two decided then that Meagan, just six years older than Ben, would become his legal guardian. From there, a special relationship between the two developed. Sept. 7

Ӣ The Jasper Board of Public Works voted Feb. 12 to suspend with pay Jasper police officer David Drew while the board goes through the procedural steps to terminate his employment. Feb. 12

Ӣ Authorities were notified at 10:36 a.m. July 19 that an aircraft had gone down at the Huntingburg Conservation Club, southeast of Huntingburg. The crop duster that crashed by the conservation club lake had only one occupant, the pilot, who was injured. July 19

”¢ A Dubois man involved in a weekend bar fight in Jasper died Sept. 16 at an Evansville hospital. Timothy R. Stafford, 41, was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m. CDT at St. Mary’s Medical Center, according to Jasper Police Department detective Sgt. Rick Chambers. Jasper police respond to a bar fight maybe once a month, but Chambers, who has been a city officer for 27 years, cannot remember ever working a fatal bar fight. Oct. 17

Ӣ A five-hour standoff that ensued after a firearm was reported to have been discharged in a Haysville home Oct. 5 ended when an Indiana State Police special weapons and tactics team stormed the residence and took the suspect, 46-year-old Brian K. Mehringer, into custody. Oct. 7

”¢ President Philip J. Koch died April 9 at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville after suffering cardiac arrest April 1. He was 47. The Santa Claus man was CEO of HO HO Holdings LLC, the parent company of the campground and resort, the Santa Claus Christmas Store, Kringle Place Shopping Center and Santa’s Land LLC. April 9

Photo galleries

Police standoff in Haysville, Oct. 5.

Area deer hunters and their bucks, Dec. 18.

Indiana storm damage, Nov. 18.

New Jasper High School gym, May 24.

St. Patrick Celebration in Ireland, March 18.

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