New cabins at Abe Martin Lodge set to open early next year

New cabins at Abe Martin Lodge in Brown County State Park may be ready for guests in early 2016.Abe Martin Lodge General Manager Missy Myers said the 12 guest suites arranged in six duplex cabins aren’t quite ready to be occupied. But once they’re finished, she should have no problem renting them out, she said.“We’re at capacity, and there’s always people that want to come stay, so this is going to definitely help get those people in here,” she said.

Most of the existing family cabins are already booked for all weekends in October 2016.

The cabins will target a slightly different guest demographic than the existing family cabins, Myers said. They have central heating and air — and no wood stoves — and everything is on a single floor.

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The cabins are generally more upscale than the existing cabins and will rent for $229 during the week and $259 on weekends, she said.

Current family cabins can be reserved on the Abe Martin Lodge website for about $160 during the week and $200 on weekends.

Each suite will sleep up to six, with two queen beds and a sleeper sofa, Myers said. There is also an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant cabin.

The new cabins were financed through the Indiana Finance Authority, said Brown County State Park Manager Doug Baird. The bonds issued to build the cabins are to be paid off through revenue from renting them.

Former county sheriff’s jailer moves on as state trooper

A former Brown County Sheriff’s Department jail officer has joined the Indiana State Police Bloomington Post as a probationary trooper.Caleb Garvin graduated from the 75th Indiana State Police Recruit Academy on Nov. 19, according to an ISP press release.Garvin, a Bloomfield native who graduated from Eastern Greene High School in 2008, worked for five years as a jailer in Brown County.

He has an associate degree in law enforcement from Vincennes University and was a reserve officer for the Ellettsville Police Department for four years prior to becoming an Indiana State Police trooper.

Garvin will continue training for the next three months as part of the ISP Field Training Program, during which he will be supervised by a field training officer.

He will primarily be assigned to patrol Greene County.

Remodeled county BMV includes restrooms, computerized tests

The Brown County branch of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has a new look and new services for customers.One welcome improvement is public restrooms, bureau spokeswoman Sarah Adolf said.Employees could escort patrons to the employee restrooms in the back, but this presented a security concern, Adolf said.

“People typically don’t wait in our branch more than 15 minutes, but if you have kids or if you have a transaction that happens to be taking longer, it’s just nice to have,” she said.

The branch now has three computer testing terminals. In addition to enabling customers to take the driving exam in 11 different languages, the terminals eliminate the tedious task of hand-grading written tests, Adolf said.

That means employees will be able to use their time more efficiently, she said, and customers should not have to wait as long to be served if others are in the branch taking tests.

However, for those who wish, the paper test option is still available, Adolf said.

The restrooms, repainting, new carpet and new counters were done as part of the lease renewal on the building, Adolf said. As such, the cost of those improvements fell to the landlord.