The Herald Bulletin

March 30, 2013

Local and State briefs

By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin

More meal vouchers available in April

ANDERSON — The Touchpoint A’la Carte, Senior Meal Vouchers that are distributed at the Community Hospital Anderson Education Center on the first Wednesday of each month, have all been distributed for the month of March.

The next distribution date is Wednesday, April 3, at 10 a.m. at the Community Anderson Education Center, 1923 N. Madison Ave.

Information: 298-2533.



Winds whip ditch burn into grass fire

CHURUBUSCO — A northeastern Indiana family trying to clear a ditch by burning off grass had to call firefighters when winds whipped the flames into a fire that scorched more than an acre of land.

Firefighters were called to the Allen County property early Saturday afternoon to douse flames that had spread out of control.

Firefighters prevented the flames from spreading to a nearby collapsed barn.



Special prosecutor gets case vs. marshal

COLUMBUS — A special prosecutor has been appointed to hear allegations of excessive force and harassment against a south-central Indiana town marshal.

Jennings County Prosecutor Alan Marshall has been appointed to hear the case against Elizabethtown Town Marshal Tom Nienaber. Issac McGuire, 19, alleges that Nienaber committed two instances of wrongful behavior during two separate medical emergencies at his family’s home. Nienaber says his actions toward McGuire were warranted.



Man incompetent for trial in wife’s killing

TERRE HAUTE — A western Indiana judge has found a Terre Haute man incompetent to stand trial in his wife’s fatal stabbing.

Vigo County Superior Court Judge David Bolk on Thursday ordered Robert E. Spitler II sent to a state mental health facility for treatment.

Spitler was arrested in September after he called 911 to report that he had stabbed and killed his wife.



Woman sentenced for bilking employer

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis woman has been sentenced to 29 months in federal prison for allegedly bilking her former employer out of more than $400,000.

Brenda K. Helpling was sentenced Thursday by a federal judge who also ordered her to pay more than $410,000 in restitution. The 52-year-old had pleaded guilty in November to mail fraud.

Court documents show Helpling had been the controller of Frakes Engineering.



76-year-old found dead at casino

GARY — Northwestern Indiana police are investigating the fatal shooting of a 76-year-old woman whose body was found in a parking garage at Gary’s Majestic Star Casino.

Lt. Matt Argadine of Griffith police said Mary Austgen of St. John was reported missing Thursday by relatives she works with at a Griffith business. Her body was found about 4 a.m. Friday in the parking garage at Buffington Harbor. The Lake County coroner’s office lists her cause of death as a single gunshot wound to the lower left torso.



Feds seek shorter bribery sentence

EVANSVILLE — Federal prosecutors are seeking a reduced sentenced for an Indiana man who pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe contracting officials at a U.S. Army base in Kuwait.

Wajdi Birjas pleaded guilty to bribery and money laundering conspiracy charges in 2010, but his sentencing has been delayed four times. The Evansville man could face more than seven years in prison when he’s sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Evansville.