Community News Archives for 2021-03

U.S. 31 to be resurfaced in Fulton County

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces lane closures for U.S. 31 between State Road 110 and Southway 31/Old U.S. 31 beginning Monday, April 5. 


Lane restrictions will be in place through mid-September, 2021 for a resurfacing project. One lane will remain open in each direction throughout the life of the project. The ramps at U.S. 31 and State Road 25 will also be resurfaced during this timeframe, with the exact timeline to be announced at a later date.  

INDOT to host Virtual Career Fair Thursday, April 1

The Indiana Department of Transportation will host an online, virtual career fair on Thursday, April 1 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET.


INDOT is recruiting applicants for open full-time and seasonal positions in highway maintenance, fleet services, construction engineering and construction project inspections. Recruiters from INDOT will be available to answer questions and provide information on the benefits of joining the State of Indiana team. INDOT offers $250 sign on and $500 retention bonuses for eligible candidates.


Click here or visit to attend INDOT’s virtual career fair. Advance registration is not required.


Summer seasonal positions run from April through October at a starting pay of $16 per hour. Candidates should have a valid driver's license and commercial driver's license (CDL). A high school diploma or GED is preferred but not required.


For questions, please email

Support group for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, April 7 at the Recovery Cafe Fulton County

The Recovery Cafe Fulton County, 715 Main St in Rochester, will be holding a support group for women who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or gender-based abuse.  It will be on April 7 at 7:00 pm. 


This is a free event for those willing to share as able, commit to supporting others and have the understanding that sharing will be done in confidence. 


The group will be led by an experienced facilitator, with structural conversation and a time for open discussion. 


Major Mike's Military Surplus and Camping Supplies now open for business

Major Mike's Military Surplus and Camping Supplies was originally going to be a web-based business.


After seeing the castle-like building for rent outside of Culver, 12893 State Road 17, it was an opportunity owner Mike Cissna couldn't pass up. 




The surplus store has a little bit for everyone interested in military surplus and camping supplies or survival gear.  




Mike's military background has been his push and passion behind the store. 



Major Mike's Military Surplus and Camping Supplies had their grand opening March 6. The museum-like atmosphere has created positive public feedback.


Their hours are Thursday and Friday from 9am to 6pm and Saturday's from 9am-4pm. 



Rochester City Pool set for May 29 opening

The scheduled opening of the Rochester City Pool is tentatively set (weather permitting) for Saturday, May 29.


The pool was closed for the 2020 season due to Covid-19.


Governor’s instructions for operation this year express that all personnel (except lifeguards when in observation chairs) will be required to wear a mask. 


Social distancing for non-related patrons is still strongly encouraged, but will be left up to patrons’ judgment, as will the wearing of masks.


All will participate at their own risk.

New To Town: Homestyle Cooking & Grill

New to Rochester - Homestyle Cooking and Grill (BBQ) had their grand opening at their newest location at 614 East Ninth Street on March 11.


Owner RT Harris and partner Tabitha Mersch say business has been steady, 


Inspired by his grandfather, owner RT started his BBQ business in Monterrey, Indiana five years prior. 



The business is run completely by family members, keeping the tradition alive. They also still have Momma's favorite sides, made by Momma. Their hours are 11am to 7pm Thursday thru Saturday and 11am to 5pm Sunday. You can call to order at 574-223-4053.




RT shared one of his BBQ secrets. 


You're encouraged to check for recalls during Vehicle Safety Recalls Week

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) and Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) are encouraging motorists to check for vehicle recalls during Vehicle Safety Recalls Week.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, there were 886 safety recalls affecting 55 million vehicles and other equipment in the U.S. Unfortunately, approximately 25% of vehicle recalls go unrepaired, which puts drivers, passengers and other road users at risk.


Checking for vehicle recalls is a quick and easy process:


Find the vehicle’s 17-digit VIN number, which is located on the lower portion of the car’s windshield on the driver’s side. It may also be on the vehicle’s registration or insurance card.


Enter the VIN number into the search bar at


Within seconds, drivers will know if the vehicle is subject to an open safety recall.  If one exists, motorists should contact a dealer for the vehicle manufacturer to schedule an appointment as soon as possible for the free recall repairs.


If you think your vehicle may have a safety-related defect that isn’t part of a current recall, contact NHTSA online or by calling the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236. Even one complaint is enough to trigger a safety recall.


For more information about vehicle or equipment recalls, visit

State Road 17 bridge over Mill Creek to be closed

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces a road closure for State Road 17 between C.R. W 550 S and C.R. W 400 S beginning Monday, March 15.


The bridge will be closed through mid-May, 2021 for a bridge deck overlay project. 



Motorists should seek an alternate route. The official detour will follow State Road 16, U.S. 35, and State Road 14. 

Free FAFSA aid this Sunday

Indiana residents planning to attend college in fall 2021 should submit the 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before April 15 for consideration of state-based financial aid. Families can get free FAFSA help from financial aid experts during the virtual College Goal Sunday event from 2-4 p.m. local time on March 7.  Students/families can learn more and access the event.


Before attending the event, new student filers and one parent are each encouraged to apply for their U.S. Department of Education FSA IDs.  The 2021-22 FAFSA will collect 2019 tax information. Most families will be able to use the IRS data retrieval tool built into the FAFSA to retrieve their tax data, but parents should also have available the 2019 IRS tax return, 2019 W-2 forms, and current bank statements and investment information for manual data entries. Students who worked in 2019 should have their own income information available as well. Current students 24 years of age or older may complete the FAFSA with their own 2019 IRS tax return, 2019 W-2 forms, and current bank statements and investment information. 


The Division of Financial Aid provides financial aid information to students and families through community outreach, via email, and online.


Purdue University’s Division of Financial Aid can be reached by calling 765-494-5050 during the hours of 8 a.m to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or by emailing

Specialty crop growers eligible for federal funding

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) is currently seeking project proposals from Indiana’s specialty crop industry to present for funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The proposals must enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Indiana, defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops. 


“Indiana is a thriving home to many agricultural endeavors, which includes producing a variety of outstanding specialty crops,” said. Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. “This funding opportunity will allow our specialty crop industry the ability to advance through research, market development, and education and training.”


The USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program offers federal funding annually to the state departments of agriculture to support their specialty crop industries. The allocation amount for Indiana is unknown at this time.


Applicants can include non-profit and for-profit organizations, governments and public or private colleges and universities. ISDA encourages applicants to develop projects focused on issues such as enhancing food safety, pest and disease control, developing organic and sustainable production practices, and developing local and regional food systems.


Funding will not be awarded to projects that benefit a particular commercial product, or provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual. Each project must identify at least one expected measurable outcome that specifically demonstrates the project’s impact on enhancing the competitiveness of eligible specialty crops.


ISDA's funding priority will focus on three main areas:

  • Funding Area I: Market Enhancement
  • Funding Area II: Access, Education and Training
  • Funding Area III: Research

“It is more important now than ever to leverage these financial opportunities, and I want to encourage all eligible businesses or organizations to apply,” said Bruce Kettler, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director. “These dollars will go a long way in ensuring Indiana’s robust specialty crop sector remains thriving for years to come.”


Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on March 25, 2021, and proposals must be submitted online through the Indiana State Department of Agriculture's Grants Management System.

For more information and the solicitation click here.


For a full list of eligible specialty crops please click here.