Community News

Highlight your photography talents with the Indiana Agriculture Photo Contest; submissions open soon

During the month of June, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture will accept submissions for the 17th annual Indiana Agriculture Photo Contest. The contest is open to all Indiana residents and was created to recognize the hard work and contributions of Hoosier farmers, as well as the beauty of the state’s agricultural landscape.

“Each and every Hoosier is welcome to submit an entry to the contest,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana's Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “No matter the camera equipment you own, we encourage you to submit your best images showcasing Indiana agriculture.”

Participants are encouraged to submit photos reflecting the wide array of agriculture. The categories photos can be entered under are:

  • On the Farm: Showcasing any building, piece of equipment or activity that is a part of life on an Indiana farm.
  • Faces of Agriculture: Featuring those who grow and produce food, fuel and fiber in Indiana.
  • Agritourism: Spotlighting Indiana’s seasonal and agricultural destinations, such as orchards, wineries and farmers markets.
  • Conservation: Highlighting Indiana’s natural beauty with landscapes, water and wildlife.

In total, ten winners will be selected: two from each category and two overall. Winners will be invited to attend a special ceremony at the Indiana State Fair, where they will be recognized and receive certificates from Lt. Gov. Crouch and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Don Lamb. Contest winners will also have their photographs featured in the offices of the Lt. Governor’s Family of Business in Indianapolis throughout the year.

“Indiana agriculture is a beautiful thing and we are blessed to be surrounded by so much of it,” Lamb said. “I look forward to seeing how that beauty is captured in this year’s contest."

Contestants can submit up to five photos in digital format accommodated by a submission form for each photo. Photos will be evaluated based on creativity, composition and category representation. Entries must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. (ET) on June 30, 2024.

Click here for entry forms, guidelines and criteria or visit ISDA.IN.GOV

Wonka production receives funding

The Tom Wilson Memorial Fund, a Fulton County Community Foundation fund, recently granted $1,500 to support the “Willy Wonka Jr.” production put on by Epsilon Theatrical Co. of Indianapolis.

Thanks to local sponsorship like this one, all children under 18 were admitted free to the performance.


Pictured are Mandie McCarter and Mona Zeyen (Riddle School), Wendy Zent and Andi Lee (Tom Wilson Memorial Fund).

DNR offers boating safety tips going into Memorial Day weekend

With Memorial Day weekend here, Indiana Conservation Officers remind Hoosiers to make water safety a priority now and throughout the summer.

“With the kickoff to summer upon us, all Hoosiers are urged to recognize the danger water poses and make water safety the utmost priority,” said Capt. Jet Quillen of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Law Enforcement.

Follow these basic safety tips:

Discuss the dangers of water with your family and loved ones before going out.

Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.

Go with a buddy.

Do not venture around flooded or fast-moving waterways.

Wear a life jacket.

Keep an extra watchful eye on children.

Avoid alcohol.

If you go boating, make sure you know the rules and boat safely. Reduce speed in unfamiliar areas and be aware of unusual water conditions respective to your size and type of boat. These are not only safety tips, but also important environmental considerations, as they can help prevent beach erosion. Regardless of your boat type, assess water levels before going out and monitor your speed while underway.

Designate a sober boat operator. Alcohol causes impaired balance, blurred vision, poor coordination, impaired judgment, and slower reaction time. Wave action, sun exposure, and wind can magnify these effects. It is illegal to operate a motorboat or personal watercraft in Indiana while intoxicated due to alcohol or drugs. Indiana law defines intoxication as having a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater.

Each life jacket should be United States Coast Guard approved, in good working condition, and size appropriate for the wearer. New life jackets are designed to be lighter, less obtrusive, and more comfortable than those of the past. Inflatable life jackets allow mobility and flexibility for activities like boating, fishing or paddling, and can be much cooler in warmer weather than older-style life jackets.

To learn more about boating education and safety, see

Road closure next week on State Road 119 in Pulaski and White counties

State Road 119 will be closed between U.S. 35 and State Road 16 for seal coating operations for approximately three days starting on or after Tuesday, May 28.

The official detour for this closure will follow State Road 16, State Road 39, State Road 14 and U.S. 35

Through traffic should utilize the detour or seek an alternate route. Local traffic should exercise caution and follow traffic directions carefully in the area where work is occurring.

This work is weather dependent, and the schedule is subject to change.

IDHS honors Hoosier EMS personnel during National EMS Week

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb proclaimed May 19–25, 2024, as EMS Week, to encourage Hoosiers to celebrate and honor emergency medical service personnel throughout Indiana. 

This is part of the national EMS Week campaign, now in its 50th year, led by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). The 2024 theme is "Honoring Our Past. Forging Our Future."

Indiana has close to 25,000 certified emergency medical responders, emergency medical technicians, advanced emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

"These trained EMS professionals clock into the job every day knowing they will be put in high-stress situations. They handle the chaos and stress with a professional attitude that ensures the best prehospital care is given to everyone," said State EMS Director Kraig Kinney. 

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security invites you to learn more about the EMS community in Indiana, whether it is the growing area of mobile integrated health, challenges that face EMS or recognitions of many of Indiana's EMS personnel by visiting or visiting the IDHS social media pages on FacebookX (formerly known as Twitter) and Instagram

Fulton County Sheriff's Reserve Deputy Clark Kroft graduates Reserve Academy

Fulton County Reserve Deputy Clark Kroft recently graduated from the Kosciusko County Reserve Academy.

The reserve academy facilitated by the Kosciusko Co. Sheriff’s Office is offered to all reserve police officers. The academy consists of over five months and 200 hours of training in firearms, emergency vehicle operations, defensive tactics, criminal and traffic law, report writing, court room testimony and more.

The unique thing about the police reserves and the academy is that it is all volunteer.

“Clark is a valuable asset to the office and the reserve program. I commend him for volunteering and completing the academy. The reserve program is a valuable component to the success of the office. They play a valuable role in the day-to-day operations. If anyone believes volunteerism is dead, we have several reserve deputies that would beg to differ,” stated Sheriff Travis Heishman.

Anyone interested in obtaining information about how to become a reserve is encouraged to contact Chief Deputy Matt Utter @ 574-223-2819.

Fulton County historical Society to honor veterans Sunday

A special veterans program is scheduled for this weekend.

The Fulton County historical Society will meet on Sunday at 2 p.m. Veteran speaker for the event will be Jason Snyder who served in Iraq. His father is an Air Force Veteran.

All Veterans will be recognized during the meeting.

The public is welcome and refreshments will be served.



Area students receive Indiana Sheriff's Association scholarships in Fulton County

Fulton County Sheriff Travis Heishman presented Brianna Yarber and Jacob Sayger with a scholarship on behalf of the Indiana Sheriff’s Association in the amount of $750 each.

Yarber and Sayger were recently selected along with 38 other individuals throughout the state to be awarded $750 scholarships for the next academic year.

Yarber has been an employee of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office as a correctional officer for the last year. She will be starting her senior year at Trine University in the fall. Her law enforcement career will begin after completing the ILEA academy in the Spring of 2025.

Sayger is a senior at Maconaquah High School and plans to attend Indiana University Kokomo in the fall. Upon completion of his post-secondary education he expressed interested in working for the Indiana State Police.


INDOT with SR 10 closure through September

State Road 10 will close in Marshall County between Filbert Road and Fir Road on or after Monday, May 20.

The closure will run through late September for a bridge replacement project over Deer Creek.

Official detour will follow State Road 331, U.S. 30 and U.S. 31.

Flags to half-staff Wednesday for Peace Officers Memorial and Police Officer Week

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags to be flown at half-staff statewide in honor of the Peace Officers Memorial and Police Officer Week.

Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until sunset in Indiana on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. Gov. Holcomb is asking Indiana businesses and residents to lower their flags as well.

Closure planned for next week State Road 110

State Road 110 in Marshall County will close for approximately 10 days between Nutmeg Road and Muckshaw Road on or after Monday, May 20.

A project there is for a bridge thin deck overlay over Eddy Creek.

Official detour will follow U.S. 31, State Road 10 and State Road 17.

Rochester Redevelopment Commission to hold special session Wednesday

The City of Rochester Redevelopment Commission will meet in special session to discuss the proposed purchase of McDonald Drive in Rochester, and the work proposal for the impaired building at 130 E. 8th Street in Rochester. 

The meeting will be held Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in the City Building Complex.

Indiana's first 2024 Free Fishing is Sunday

Indiana’s first Free Fishing Day of the year is May 12.

On Free Fishing Days, Indiana residents do not need a fishing license or a trout/salmon stamp to fish on the state's public waters, so it’s the perfect time to bring your family and friends along and have some fun outdoors.

All other rules such as seasons, bag, and size limits apply. Find a fishing location near you using the Where To Fish map.

Leave non-perishable food items by your mailbox Saturday for Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

The National Association of Letter Carriers' annual Stamp Out Hunger(R) Food Drive will be held on Saturday.

The letter carrier food drive, which began in 1993, is the country's largest single-day food drive.

Each year, the Stamp Out Hunger drive is held on the second Saturday in May. Letter carriers in cities and towns across the United States collect donations of non-perishable food items left by residents near their mailboxes before that day's mail delivery.

One in eight Americans, including millions of children, elderly and veterans, are unsure where their next meal will come from. The timing of the letter carrier food drive is significant--by spring, food pantries are largely depleted of winter holiday food donations, and school lunch programs are about to close for the summer.

Anyone wishing to participate should place a bag of non-perishable food items by your mailbox this Saturday.  



Project update: State Road 14 in Pulaski/Fulton Counties

State Road 14 will closed between C.R. 1100 W and State Road 17.

Approximately one mile closures will continue westward sequentially until the scheduled pipe replacements have been completed. Resurfacing of the entire roadway will follow.

While local access will be maintained, through traffic should seek alternate routes. The official detour will follow U.S. 35, State Road 10 and State Road 17.

Fulton County Community Health Fair set for Wednesday

No appointments necessary for vaccines at Wednesday's Fulton County Community Health Fair.

Adults and Children are eligible and it doesn’t matter if you have insurance or not. 

Wednesday's event in the Community Building at the Fulton County Fairgrounds runs from 4 - 7 p.m. It features health screenings, vaccines, community resources, giveaways and more.

Fulton County vote centers open until 6 p.m.

Voting centers for Tuesday's May primary will be open until 6 p.m.

All Fulton County registered voters may vote Tuesday at any of the vote center locations:

Rochester West Vote Center - Fulton County Fairgrounds, 1009 W 3rd St., Rochester

Rochester East Vote Center - Community Resource Center, 625 Pontiac St, Rochester

Fulton County East Vote Center - Akron Community Building, 815 E Rural St., Akron

Fulton County South Vote Center - Fulton Community Building, 204 E Dunn St., Fulton 

Fulton County North Vote Center - Fulton County Historical Museum, 37 E 375 N, Rochester

Fulton County West Vote Center - Kewanna Fire Station, 404 Toner St, Kewanna


Gov. Holcomb directs flags to flown at half-staff

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags to be flown at half-staff statewide in honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service per President Joe Biden.

Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until sunset in Indiana on Sunday. Gov. Holcomb is asking Indiana businesses and residents to lower their flags as well.

Yakym announces district staff mobile office hours for May

Congressman Rudy Yakym (IN-02) announced the following dates, times, and locations that his office will be holding mobile staff office hours in May throughout Indiana’s Second District.

Mobile office hours will allow for Congressman Yakym’s staff to assist constituents with casework questions: 


Cass County

Thursday, May 16, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET

Walton-Tipton Library

110 N Main Street
Walton, IN 46994


Elkhart County

Wednesday, May 1, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

Nappanee City Hall
300 W Lincoln Street
Nappanee, IN 46550


Thursday, May 9, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

Goshen Chamber of Commerce

232 S Main Street

Goshen, IN 46526


Fulton County

Rochester District Office – Tuesdays, 8:00 a.m.– 12:00 p.m. ET; Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

709 Main Street

Rochester, IN 46975


Thursday, May 9, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET

Akron Clerk’s Office

206 W Rochester Street

Akron, IN 46910


Kosciusko County

Thursday, May 9, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET

Etna Green Town Hall

106 S Walnut Street

Etna Green, IN 46524


Tuesday, May 28, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

Warsaw City Hall

102 S Buffalo Street

Warsaw, IN 46580


La Porte County

Monday, May 13, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. CT (10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET)

La Porte Parks and Recreation Department

250 Pine Lake Ave.

La Porte, IN 46350


Monday, May 20, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CT (2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET)

Hanna Public Library 

108 E West Street

Hanna, IN 46340


Marshall County

Thursday, May 9, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET

Bremen Town Hall 

111 S. Center St.

Bremen, IN 46506


Monday, May 13, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET

Plymouth City Town Hall (Mayor’s Office on the Second Floor)

124 N Michigan Street

Plymouth, IN 46563


Miami County

Friday, May 3, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET

Peru City Hall (Conference Room on the Second Floor)

35 S Broadway

Peru, IN 46970


Thursday, May 16, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET

Bunker Hill Utility Office

101 W Broadway

Bunker Hill, IN 46914


Pulaski County

Monday, May 13, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. ET

Pulaski County CDC/Economic Development (Board Room)

623 W Eleventh Street

Winamac, IN 46996


Monday, May 20, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET

Medaryville Town Hall

409 E Main Street

Medaryville, IN 47957


Starke County

Monday, May 13, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CT (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET)

Starke County Courthouse

53 E Washington Street

Knox, IN 46534


Monday, May 20, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CT (12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET)

North Judson Town Hall

310 Lane Street

North Judson, IN 46366


St. Joseph County

Mishawaka District Office - Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

2410 Grape Road, Suite 2A

Mishawaka, IN 46545


Wednesday, May 1, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET

North Liberty Town Hall

300 S. Main Street 

North Liberty, IN 46554


Wabash County

Friday, May 3, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET

North Manchester Public Library

405 N Market Street

North Manchester, IN 46962


Thursday, May 16, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Wabash City Hall

202 S Wabash Street

Wabash, IN 46992

Indiana Beach debuts The All American Triple Loop Roller Coaster

Indiana Beach is introducing The All American Triple Loop Roller Coaster.

This Schwarzkopf triple looping masterpiece offers speeds up to 53.4 mph and gravity-defying forces of 5.6 G's,

Scheduled for debut on Opening Day at Indiana Beach Amusement Park on May 11, The All American Triple Loop is set to redefine thrill-seeking adventures for park guests. A special VIP preview night on Friday, May 10, exclusively for 2024 Season Pass holders, will allow enthusiasts to enjoy the loops and twists of this thrilling coaster before anyone else.

In a collaborative effort with the Boys & Girls Club of America, Indiana Beach will auction off the inaugural rides on The All American Triple Loop, offering participants a chance to be part of the coaster's historic first runs. For details on participating or supporting this charity initiative, visit

The All American Triple Loop adds to Indiana Beach's lineup of attractions, including seven roller coasters, a full water park, and over 50 rides and attractions.



State Road 16 closure in Cass County this week

State Road 16 in Cass County will close between C.R. 1050 W and C.R. 900 W on or after Monday, April 29 through late May for a bridge deck overlay project.

The official detour will follow State Road 119, State Road 39, U.S. 24 and U.S. 35.

INDOT had previously announced that this project would begin in early April.

DNR offers ORV safety tips

With the coming of warmer weather, off-road vehicle (ORV) enthusiasts are eager to ride. Indiana Conservation Officers reminds the public to operate ORVs responsibly.

remember to follow these safety rules:

  • Always wear a Department of Transportation (DOT)-compliant helmet. All riders under 18 years of age are required by law to wear a helmet while operating an ORV. Goggles, long sleeves, long pants, and over-the-ankle boots are also recommended.
  • Never operate or ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Never carry a passenger on an ORV designated for one occupant, and don’t ride with more than one passenger on an ORV specifically designed for two occupants.
  • Children should only ride ORVs if they meet the minimum age designated by the manufacturer of that ORV.
  • Riders younger than 14 years of age are required to be supervised by an adult at all times when riding an ORV.
  • ORVs are primarily designed to be operated off-road and should be operated at a speed where the operator can control the ORV and stop in time to avoid a collision.
  • On side-by-side style ORVs, in addition to helmets and other safety equipment, seat belts should be worn by the operator and any passengers.

To learn more about ORV safety visit and register for a comprehensive online off-road recreational vehicle course.

Prescription Drug Take Back set for April 27

The Indiana State Police will partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for their 26th “Prescription Drug Take Back” initiative.

The “Take Back” initiative seeks to prevent prescription drug abuse and theft through proper disposal of unwanted prescription drugs.

Collection sites will be set up nationwide for expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs which will be properly disposed of without threat to the environment. This program is for pill and liquid medications. Vaping pens without batteries and vaping cartridges will also be taken. Needles or sharps of any kind will not be accepted for disposal. This service is free and anonymous with no questions asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—pose both potential safety and health hazards.

As in the past, unwanted medications may be dropped off at any Indiana State Police Post, except for the Toll Road Post.

The Indiana State Police Peru Post will host their collection site from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. on April 27. The Peru Post is located at 1451 N. Eel River Cemetery Road, Peru.

Please help keep officers safe by ensuring no needles or sharps are included in your contents at drop-off.