Community News Archives for 2023-12

BMV closed Saturday thru New Year's Day

All Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) branches will be closed Saturday, Dec. 30 - Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, in observance of the New Year’s holiday.

Branches will resume regularly scheduled business hours on Tuesday.

Visit this link for a list of branch hours by location.

Customers can also complete over a dozen common transactions at a BMV Connect kiosk or online at  

Powerball to reach estimated $760 million prize for Saturday drawing

No one hit the jackpot for Wednesday's Powerball drawing.

That means the prize that reached $707.2 million will skyrocket to an estimated $760 million for the next drawing on Saturday.

There was a reported $1 million dollar winner in California and a $2 million dollar winner in Texas.

Saturday's drawing should be the sixth largest Powerball jackpot in history. There hasn't been a jackpot winner since October 11 when a winner in California took home $1.76 billion.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 292.2 million.




AG Rokita encourages Hoosiers to check

After ringing in the new year, Attorney General Todd Rokita invites Hoosiers to visit to see if they have some extra money waiting for them in 2023.  

“Our hardworking Hoosiers deserve to have their money returned,” Attorney General Rokita said. “My office is committed to serving the people of Indiana and protecting their individual liberty. Getting unclaimed property back in the hands of its rightful owner is crucial.”  

With the new year rolling in, let’s celebrate together with newly discovered cash.  

In 2022, Attorney General Rokita’s office returned over $62 million in unclaimed property to its rightful owners. This is in addition to the $48 million returned in unclaimed property in 2021. 

Unclaimed property is any financial asset with no activity by its owner for an extended period of time. This can include once unclaimed property in its custody. The Unclaimed Property Division at Attorney General Rokita’s office conducts outreach efforts to locate the rightful owners or heirs.    

Individuals and/or businesses have 25 years to claim money once it is reported to the Unclaimed Property Division. 

Over $700 million remains to be claimed, and it can be returned to its rightful owners in 2023. Visit or text CLAIM to 46220 to search your name, family, or business.   

You can also contact the Unclaimed Property Division at 1-866-462-5246 or   

You may also like and/or follow the Unclaimed Property Division on Facebook.   

Powerball reaches $685 million for Wednesday drawing

Someone could celebrate the holidays in style with a Powerball win.

No one matched all six numbers from Saturday's Powerball drawing. There hasn't been a winner since october as the post grows to $685 million for tonight's drawing at 11 p.m. The cash sum would be $344 million.

The odds of winning are 1 in 292 million.


Not everything in the holidays is good for the heart

The joy of the winter holiday season is often marred for many as research shows that more people die from heart attacks during the last week of December than at any other time of the year.

"The holidays are a busy, often stressful, time for many of us. Routines are disrupted; we may tend to eat and drink more and exercise and relax less. We’re getting too little sleep and experiencing too much stress. We also may not be listening to our bodies or paying attention to warning signs, thinking a trip to the doctor can wait until after the new year,” said Dr. William Gill, a cardiologist who is president of the American Heart Association. He continued “While we don’t know exactly why there are more deadly heart attacks during this time of year, it’s important to be aware that all of these factors can be snowballing contributors to increasing the risk for a deadly cardiac event."

Scientific research finds an uptick in cardiac events during the winter holiday season. A study published reported that more cardiac deaths occur on December 25 than on any other day of the year; the second largest number of cardiac deaths occurs on December 26, and the third largest number occurs on January 1.

Research also shows that the biggest increases in these holiday heart attack deaths are among people who are not in a hospital. This highlights the importance of recognizing symptoms and seeking immediate medical care. Starting CPR immediately and calling 9-1-1 could be the difference in life or death in those situations. Hands-Only CPR is something nearly everyone can learn and do.

The American Heart Association has more on ways to live heart-healthy during the holidays and all year long at



State Rep. Jack Jordan encourages filling out surveys ahead of legislative session

With Indiana's lawmakers set to return to the Statehouse on January 8 for the start of the 2024 legislative session, State Representatives Jack Jordan (R-Bremen) released online surveys to gather constituents' feedback on important issues.

To get started, local residents can visit Jordan's website at or Teshka's website at and click on the red "Take My Survey" button.

Representative Jordan said, "I want to hear what issues and topics matter the most from my constituents in House District 17. I highly encourage Hoosiers to take a few minutes to fill out my survey and make their voices heard as we embark on another legislative session."

To complete online surveys, constituents must be a resident of the district and submit it by the December 31 deadline. Constituents can check which House district they reside in by visiting the Indiana General Assembly's website at, clicking on "Find Your Legislator" on the homepage and entering a home address.

Constituents can also expect to receive or may have already received a copy of their state representative's survey mailer in their mailbox.

The 2024 legislative session begins January 8 and must conclude by March 14. Hoosiers can stay informed and engaged by visiting, where they can watch session and committee meetings, read proposed bills, and view calendars and agendas.

To stay updated during the legislative session, Hoosiers can sign up for their legislator's email newsletter by visiting and entering their email address under "Subscribe to eNews" or by calling 317-232-9600.

State Rep. Jack Jordan (R-Bremen) represents House District 17, which includes all of Fulton County, and portions of Marshall and Pulaski counties.


Gov. Holcomb directs flags to be flown at half-staff

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Sandra Day O'Connor, retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Per President Biden, flags should be lowered to half-staff from midnight until sunset on December 19, 2023, marking the day of interment.

Gov. Holcomb is also requesting residents and businesses to lower their flags on the day of internment.

Mike's Trash continues coats drive through December 29

Mike's Trash LLC is still collecting winter hats and gloves to donate to local area schools. 

Children in need at elementary schools Columbia, Riddle, Caston and Akron will receive what is collected. 

Mike's Trash stated in a social media post that they are close to having full toters to give back to the community.

The collection is for new items, not used. It will continue through December 29.

Items can be taken to the Mike's Trash office at 824 Main Street in Rochester.

2024 Indiana Missing Children's Day Poster Contest

The Indiana State Police is proud to partner again in 2024 with the U.S. Department of Justice in promoting the National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest. 

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25th as National Missing Children’s Day.  This day is dedicated to encouraging parents, guardians, caregivers and all concerned individuals with the well-being of children to make child safety a priority.  It serves as a reminder to continue our efforts to reunite missing children with their families and loved ones.  It also serves as an occasion to honor those who are dedicated to this very noble cause.  The National Missing Children’s Poster Contest provides an opportunity for schools, law enforcement, and parents/guardians to discuss and promote child safety.

The state winner will receive a national award certificate from the U.S. Department of Justice and their poster will be selected to go to the national judging competition.  The national winner, along with his/her parents and teacher, and the state manager will be invited to Washington, D.C. to participate in the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Missing Children’s Day ceremony.

Some important facts about the contest:

  • There is NO LIMIT on the number of posters a school can submit.
  • Only one (1) poster per student is allowed for submission.
  • Students who submit posters MUST be in the 5th grade. 
  • Artwork should reflect the theme “Bringing Our Missing Children Home”. This phrase MUST appear somewhere on the poster.
  • The theme may be depicted in the artwork through one or a combination of illustrations and can be created using media such as acrylics, watercolor, pencils, charcoal, magic markers, spray paint, crayons and pastels. Digitally produced images, collages, cut-outs and stamping WILL NOT be eligible for consideration.
  • The finished poster MUST measure 8 ½ x 14 inches.
  • The poster must be submitted with a COMPLETED application, which includes a description of the poster and a brief biography of the artist.
  • All poster contest rules can be found here: 2024 Poster Contest Packet
  • Deadline for submissions from participating organizations to be received by Sergeant Seth Tumey is February 16, 2024.

Submissions are to be sent to:
Indiana State Police Museum
Attn: Sergeant Seth Tumey
8660 E. 21st Street Indianapolis, IN 46219

If ever a child goes missing, contact your local police department or dial 9-1-1.  It is also a good idea to keep an updated picture or cell phone image, and a DNA sample from your child.  For more safety and prevention tips please visit:   

Town of Culver asks residents to help with water line survey

In 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised the Lead & Copper Rule and is now requiring all water utilities to identify the service line material for all customer’s waterlines.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management has set a deadline of October 2024 to identify the material and submit a report of findings.

This applies to those who receive a utility bill from the Town of Culver.

To aid the Culver Utilities Department in completing this project, the town is asking that property owners check the material of the water line where it enters their residence or business. It will probably be located in your basement or crawl space. Then report the material type on the online survey found here: There are pictures of the different materials (copper, lead, galvanized, and plastic/PVC) on the survey in case you need help identifying which material you have.

Culver Town Clerk Karen Heim has attached the 2023 Town of Culver Water Quality report that is mailed out annually in case citizens have questions on the quality of Culver’s water. This report also can be found on the Town’s website at

The Culver Utilities Department appreciates your time in helping them work to make sure that lead does not exist in their system or your home.  If you have any questions, contact the Culver Clerk’s Office or the Culver Utilities Dept.


Early registration ends this week for Midwest Cover Crops Council

The Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC), a collaboration among researchers, Extension staff, farmers, agencies and industry to facilitate widespread adoption of cover crops across the Midwest, will host its 2024 Annual Meeting and Conference at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis-Airport on Feb. 13-14.

Registration online includes special early-bird rates through Friday (Dec. 15).

 “This annual meeting and conference has been in place for the MCCC since 2006, and it is important for bringing producers, students, scientists and industry partners together to discuss current cover crop topics and their significance to sustainable agriculture,” said Anna Morrow, the MCCC’s senior program manager. “Not only does it provide chances for learning and networking, but it also provides access to resources to help interested people get started.”

The MCCC Annual Meeting, which will be Feb. 13, is open to the public and will feature state and province reports summarizing cover crop research and activities across the Midwest. The first day concludes with a reception that includes a graduate student poster competition.

A keynote presentation by Robert Myers, director of the University of Missouri Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Sustainable Agriculture Research and education regional director of Extension Programs, kicks off activities on Feb. 14. There also will be a farmer panel and a general session moderated by Barry Fisher, Indiana farmer and retired USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services soil health specialist. Breakout sessions will focus on cover crop use in field crops, grazing and specialty crops.

To attend both days, the cost per person is $75 through Friday (Dec. 15) and $100 after. To attend only on Feb. 14, the early-bird rate is $60 per ticket and $85 after. Students can attend the conference at no cost.

Cash prizes will be provided to graduate student poster competition winners. 


BMV announces December and January holiday hours

All Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) branches will be closed Saturday, Dec. 23 – Tuesday, Dec. 26 in observance of the Christmas holiday.

Branches will resume regularly scheduled business hours on Wednesday, Dec. 27.

Additionally, branches will be closed Saturday, Dec. 30 - Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, in observance of the New Year’s holiday. Branches will resume regularly scheduled business hours on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.

Visit this link for a list of branch hours by location. Customers can also complete over a dozen common transactions at a BMV Connect kiosk or online at  

Duke Energy financial aid available

To help lower energy costs for low-income families this winter, Duke Energy Indiana is making more than $425,000 in financial aid available to eligible customers through the company’s Share the Light Fund®.

“The assistance we offer through the Share the Light Fund will help community members who may struggle to pay their electric bills as the temperatures dip,” said Stan Pinegar, president of Duke Energy Indiana. “Customers with past-due utility bills or in need of ongoing assistance can take advantage of these funds to get the help they need.”

Duke Energy works in partnership with the Indiana Community Action Association to distribute funds to qualifying customers to pay energy bills, deposits and reconnection/connection charges.

“As the weather gets colder, the cost of heating a home and keeping the lights on can become a significant burden for families who are already struggling to make ends meet,” said Ed Gerardot, executive director of the Indiana Community Action Agency. “These funds can provide much-needed relief for our neighbors in need, helping ensure they can stay warm through the winter.”

Eligibility for the Share the Light Fund is based on income, family size and the availability of resources. Customers can receive up to a $300 credit annually on their account. Individuals should contact their local community action agency to see if they are eligible. Click here to find a listing of service providers by county.

Duke Energy offers a number of other tools and resources to help customers take control of their energy use and save money. To learn more about these programs, visit

Trees at Tippecanoe River State Park in Winamac available for firewood

Three state parks are available for cutting and collecting firewood.

With a permit, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources says certain trees can be cut at Turkey Run State Park in Marshall, Shades State Park in Waveland, and Tippecanoe River State Park in Winamac.

The cost of one pickup-truck load is $10.

Starting today at Tippecanoe River State Park people can obtain a permit and begin cutting trees through March 1. Wood can be cut daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Permits can be obtained before each individual load at the park’s office Monday through Friday, not including holidays, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

DNR states the firewood is for personal use only and can’t be sold.




Fulton County Chamber of Commerce urges shoppers to shop small and complete passports

The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce is reminding shoppers that the last day to participate in the Shop Small Passport Program is December 10.

This program is a way for shoppers to have fun and support the local economy.

To participate, get your passport from this story or visit any of the participating businesses around Fulton County.

Participating businesses include:


  • Blue Dragon Taekwon-do
  • Brooch Boutique
  • Clay’s Flooring & Furniture, Co.
  • Craft Crossing & Antiques
  • Elemental Art Studio
  • Evergreen Eatery
  • Flirt Boutique
  • Fulton County Wellness Center
  • Grace & Jane Boutique (inside the Mustard Seed Mercantile)
  • Green Oak Antiques
  • Inlaws Custom Crafts
  • Jarrety’s Place
  • Lilly Pad Boutique
  • Mustard Seed Mercantile
  • Northern Traders
  • Nubiano's Pizza
  • Petunia’s Antiques & Treasures
  • Rochester Bagel & Coffeehouse
  • Rochester Greenhouse
  • Roots Yoga Project
  • Ruthless Bar & Patio
  • Schmack Em’ Bait and Tackle Shop
  • Smith Farm Stores
  • The Winning Edge
  • Tip A Canoe Brews
  • Uncorked
  • Unnecessary Extras
  • Webb's Family Pharmacy Akron
  • Webb’s Family Pharmacy Rochester

When you stop by participating businesses through December 10, have an employee stamp your passport with a sticker. Each sticker is one entry, and you may earn up to ten entries per sheet. Turn in your passport at the Chamber office by December 13 at 5:00 p.m. to be entered to win one of ten $25 Chamber Dollars or the grand prize, $250 in Chamber Dollars.

Winners will be announced on December 15.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Small Business Season, please contact the Chamber at (574) 224-2666 or

Gov. Holcomb directs flags to be lowered in honor of Pearl Harbor Day

Gov. Eric Holcomb is directing flags to be flown at half-staff across Indiana in remembrance of Pearl Harbor Day.

Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday, Dec. 7. Gov. Holcomb is also requesting businesses and residents to lower their flags to half-staff.

Cong. Yakym December mobile district office hours, locations

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

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

Congressman Yakym’s staff will be at the Plymouth City Hall, on the second floor on Thursday, December 7 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and in the Starke County Courthouse in Knox on Tuesday, December 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST.

Second District constituents can contact Congressman Yakym’s staff at his Rochester District Office at 709 Main Street in downtown Rochester on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. or weekdays at the Mishawaka District Office at 2410 Grape Road Suite 2A from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Fulton County Community Foundation Scholarship application available

The Fulton County Community Foundation scholarship application will be available Monday.

The application is entirely online and can be found at under the Fulton County tab. Applications must be submitted by February 6.

For more information about community foundation scholarships, contact Shannon Berger, Scholarship Coordinator for the Northern Indiana Community Foundation at 574-223-2202 or email

High school students can also contact their guidance department for more information.