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WROI News

U.S. 31 North corridor focus of INDOT meeting in Rochester

The Indiana Department of Transportation is hosting a public meeting in Rochester on Thursday, December 1, to discuss the U.S. 30 and U.S. 31 corridors studies.

 

During this meeting, organizers will focus specifically on U.S. 30 North.

 

The meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at Rochester High School. A presentation begins at 6 p.m.

 

The ProPEL U.S. 30 and U.S. 31 study teams are looking for public input for Planning and Environmental Linkages studies along 180 miles of U.S. 30 and U.S. 31.

 

ProPEL U.S. 30 and U.S. 31 is an INDOT initiative that uses collaborative PEL studies to consider community, economic, and environmental goals when planning transportation projects.

 

Learn more about the studies and how to meet with organizers at ProPELUS30.com and ProPELUS31.com.

 

Recovery Cafe Fulton County hosts grief support group starting December 3

The holidays can be a difficult time for many experiencing grief and loss. With festivities right around the corner, memories and traditions can be a trigger to those who have lost a loved one, or who are feeling alone.

 

This year, Recovery Cafe Fulton County is reaching out to those dealing with anything from the end of a relationship, death, illness, loss of proximity and anything else that may cause one to be sad for a prolonged period of time.

 

Starting December 3 at 10 a.m., the Recovery Cafe, 715 Main St in Rochester, will be opening its doors with open arms to those looking for a listening ear, with a support group on Saturday mornings specializing in grief and loss. Personal, confidential and open to anyone, the group hopes to bring a sense of togetherness for those dealing with the hardships of life and show that they are not alone.  

 

Grab a free cup of coffee and chat. There is no cost to join the judgement free group, that is welcome to anyone and led by an experienced grief group leader. 

 

 

 

 


RHS Juniors raise awareness about the homeless

Thanksgiving week often brings thoughts of friends and families gathering together for a meal to give thanks. Recently, Rochester High School Juniors learned a little more about what they should be thankful for in their American Studies class taught by teachers Hope Showley and Jesse Atkinson.

 

Teaming with Lindsay Barts and the Lady Bug Foundation on a community project for Fulton County HOPE to raise awareness about the homeless, Showley felt like November being National Homeless Awareness Month, was the perfect time.

 

 

On Tuesday, Showley and Atkinson took each class to sit on the courthouse lawn to demonstrate and raise awarenenss on the homeless situation, teaching students not only the curriculum, but also empathy.

 

Junior MaKenna Jackson said the experience has opened her eyes and made her a little more thankful this holiday season. 

 

 

Student Jake Seuferer was more shocked by how close to home the problem actually was. 

 

 

 

Cracked fuel injector prompts Ford recall

Ford Motor Company will urge owners of 2020-2023 MY Bronco Sport and Escapes with 3-cylinder, 1.5L engines to visit their dealership to inspect for a potential cracked fuel injector.

 

When the engine is operating, a cracked fuel injector could cause fuel and/or fuel vapor to accumulate near hot surfaces, resulting in a potential under hood fire.

 

“Taking care of our customers who are affected by this potential issue is our utmost priority,” said Jim Azzouz, Executive Director, Global CX Products & Customer Relations. “Once the repair is available, we will ask customers to schedule service with their preferred dealer.  They can then take advantage of our complimentary pickup and delivery or a loaner to make sure the repair is completed at their earliest convenience.”

 

Ford is taking steps to minimize the inconvenience for customers, including providing an option to arrange for free pick-up, repair and delivery, in addition to owners taking vehicles themselves to Ford dealers.

 

Ford will:

Update the engine control software. To detect whether the fuel injector is cracked and, if so, provide a dashboard message to customers to seek service.

 

Additionally, if a pressure drop in the fuel rail is detected, engine power will automatically be reduced to minimize any risk, while also allowing customers to drive to a safe locations, and stop the vehicle and arrange for service.

 

Install a tube that drains fuel from the cylinder head and away from hot surfaces, and check for excessive fuel odor near the top of the engine, another indicator of a possible issue.

 

Ford has not issued instructions to stop driving vehicles under this recall.

 

This recall affects 518,993 vehicles in the United States. Ford is projecting a low failure rate for fuel injectors experiencing external leak(s) at 15 years/150,000 miles 


Community Foundation scholarship applications available starting in December

High school students graduating in the spring will want to get their information ready to fill in scholarship applications soon on the Northern Indiana Community Foundation website.

 

The Fulton County Community Foundation has more than 65 scholarship funds available. Scholarship dollars are varied and cover a wide range of criteria. Whether a graduating senior, current college student, or non-traditional student there are scholarships available. FCCF endowment scholarships typically range from $300 to $5,000.

 

Fulton County Community Foundation Director of Development Brian Johnson

Says the applications should be available starting next week.

 

 

Johnson also notes criteria varies depending upon the scholarship.  He advises have all your information ready.

 

 


 

Rochester's Outlet Youth Center hosts successful Thanksgiving

The Outlet Youth Center hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner on Tuesday for all attending students and families, volunteers, and board members.

 

65 people attended the event at 491 Apache Drive.

 

"It was such a cool experience to watch our students take pride in the space and share it with their families. They introduced them to our volunteers, and we got to meet so many parents we hadn't yet been able to meet. It was the first time we were really able to bring the entire "family" together," said Taylor Showley, Assistant Director at The Outlet.

 

 

The Outlet is closed the remainder of Thanksgiving week but will reopen on Tuesday, November 29 for the After School Program that is open to students 6th-12th grade from 3-5:30pm. 


Winter Wonderland coming to Winamac December 2-3

You might want to wear your ugliest sweater if you go to Winamac next weekend.  It could win you a prize.

 

An ugly sweater party is just one of the many items on the schedule for Winamac's Winter Wonderland det for December 2-3.

 

Vendors will be in several locations starting at 6:00 pm on Friday in Winamac offering holiday shopping opportunities. They'll be available on Saturday from 8:00 am - 1:00 pm, also.

 

An electric parade will be in Winamac's downtown on Friday evening at 7:00 pm.  Santa will arrive with the parade.

 

The event is hosted by the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce.

 

Four County's name change to 4C Health comes with efforts to provide quicker service

Four County, a comprehensive behavioral health provider in North Central Indiana, recently announced that the company’s name was changing to 4C Health. Accompanying this name change is associated change in logo and tagline. The rebranding reflects the goals of the company for the future and the changing terrain of behavioral health toward integration.

 

Four County was named to reflect the four Indiana counties it is designated to serve as a community mental health center: Cass, Miami, Fulton, and Pulaski. Carrie Cadwell, CEO/President, stated “Since 2015, we have grown to serving 14 rural Indiana counties, it was time to start looking at developing a bridge from our history to our current state and ultimately to our future.The change to 4C Health is reflective of the next evolution to ensure we continue to be here for all of our rural communities and move with the changing federal and state landscape for behavioral health.”

 

Keith Kolb, Four County Board President, had this to say, “Four County has a long history of providing mental health services to our rural area. The evolution of mental health has evolved rapidly over the last 5 years and your provider has evolved with it. Our new name and logo are meant to recognize our history and focus on our future as your community mental health provider. The 4CHealth organization looks forward to providing high quality and readily available services and responding to the changing needs of our community.”

 

Cadwell says with the rebranding they are undergoing changes in how services are offered at the Miami County location.  Most notably, how quickly people can receive help.

 

 

Cadwell says it’s imperative their organization be ready when someone seeks their help.

 

 

“We have referred to Four County as 4C for a very long time, now when we talk about ‘4C’ we will bring to mind the promise of Care that is Compassionate, Collaborative, and Competent,” said Cadwell, “The name and tagline will reflect appreciation for our history, who we are today, and where we are headed in whole person health for those impacted by mental health concerns. I knew we got it right when our board unanimously approved the change.”


Rochester one site of INDOT public meetings for US 30 and US 31 corridors

The ProPEL US 30 and US 31 study teams are asking for Hoosiers’ input as they begin Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) studies along approximately 180 miles of US 30 and US 31.

 

The study teams will host six public information meetings to provide updates and gather input about the vision and scope for the planning studies, including local transportation needs and community priorities along the US 30 and US 31 corridors in northern Indiana.

 

Public information meetings will be held in each of the four study areas: 

 

US 30 West 

Wednesday, November 30, 2022 

  • 5-7 p.m., presentation at 6 p.m.
  • Oregon Davis School (5990 N. 750 E., Hamlet, IN 46532) 

US 30 East 

Monday, December 5, 2022

  • 5-7 p.m., presentation at 6 p.m.
  • Sweetwater Sound (5501 US Hwy 30 W., Fort Wayne, IN 46818) 

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 

  • 5-7 p.m., presentation at 6 p.m.
  • Lincoln Elementary School (203 N. Lincoln St., Warsaw, IN 46580)

US 31 North 

Thursday, December 1, 2022 

  • 5-7 p.m., presentation at 6 p.m.
  • Rochester Community High School (1645 S. Park Rd., Rochester, IN 46975)

US 31 South 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 

  • 5-7 p.m., presentation at 6 p.m.
  • Tipton County Fairgrounds (1200 S. Main St., Tipton, IN 46072)

Thursday, December 8, 2022 

  • 5-7 p.m., presentation at 6 p.m.
  • Peru Jr. High School (30 Daniel St., Peru, IN 46970)

To accommodate those unable to attend the in-person public meetings, recorded presentations and opportunities to comment will be available after each meeting at ProPELUS30.com and ProPELUS31.com.

 

In addition to public information meetings, ProPEL US 30 and US 31 study team members are visiting communities on a regular basis to hold office hours. Office hours are informal, in-person conversations where residents, businesses and others interested in the studies can ask questions, provide input, and receive regular updates. The goal of community office hours is to make it easier for community members to interact with the study teams – at a time and location that is convenient for them. Community office hours will be held twice per month in each area and locations will vary. Dates, times and locations can be found on each study website, as well as on ProPEL US 30 and ProPEL US 31 social media pages.

 

ProPEL US 30 and US 31 is an INDOT initiative to streamline transportation planning using collaborative PEL studies to consider environmental, community, and economic goals early in the planning process. Through the PEL studies, INDOT aspires to create smarter transportation systems that build stronger communities. The studies span 180 miles across 12 counties and includes US 30 from Valparaiso to the Indiana/Ohio state line (excluding I-69 and I-469 around Fort Wayne), as well as US 31 between Hamilton County and Plymouth (excluding the Kokomo bypass). Counties within the study area include Allen, Fulton, Hamilton, Howard, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Marshall, Miami, Porter, Starke, Tipton and Whitley Counties.

 

Once the studies are completed in 2024, INDOT will evaluate results to identify and develop projects along these corridors.

 

More information about each study can be found on the websites and social media pages listed below.

 

ProPEL US 30:

ProPELUS30.com

Twitter: @ProPELUS30

Facebook: @PropelU.S.30

Instagram: @propelus30_31


ProPEL US 31:

ProPELUS31.com

Twitter: @ProPELUS31

Facebook: @PropelU.S.31

Instagram: @propelus30_31

Indiana State Poultry Association continues tradition of giving that dates back to 1940's

Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler and the Indiana State Poultry Association recognized the generosity of Indiana’s poultry producers at the 75th annual Indiana state poultry recognition event at the Indiana Statehouse. Over the past year, Indiana poultry farmers have donated nearly 100 tons or 200,000 pounds of poultry products to Hoosiers in need.

 

"I am so proud of the Hoosier poultry producers and the large impact they have on food-insecure Hoosiers," said Lt. Gov. Crouch, who also serves as Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. "Donating 200,000pounds of poultry products throughout the year is an incredible feat, and I am grateful I was able to thank them in person today for their generous donations."

 

For decades, Indiana’s poultry producers have been working to address food insecurity in their local communities by providing protein to food banks across the state. Some of the main products that were donated over the course of this year include eggs, chicken, duck and turkey.

 

The strength of Indiana’s poultry sector was also recognized during the ceremony as Indiana is one of the top poultry producing states in the country. According to the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service, Indiana ranks No. 1 in duck production, No. 2 in egg production, No. 4 in turkey production and is home to high quality broiler chicken production as well.

 

The poultry industry is a substantial economic driver for the state contributing more than $15 billion in total economic activity. Additionally, this sector employs more than 12,500 Hoosiers.

 

"Our Hoosier farmers are incredibly generous and quick to give back to their community," said Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. "This event highlights their year-round contributions to various food banks and pantries located throughout Indiana and we are grateful to recognize them."

 

Indiana State Poultry Association (ISPA) members continually give back to their local communities throughout the year. According to ISPA president Becky Joniskan the large poultry donations come from the small communities across Indiana our poultry farming families call home.

 

"Indiana’s bountiful, high quality feed, ample water supply, dedicated farmers, and business climate that understands the needs of agriculture make it an ideal place to raise poultry," said Joniskan. "We pride ourselves on feeding our neighbors, our nation, and, indeed, the world, with wholesome, nutritious poultry products."

 

This ceremony marks an annual tradition that dates back to the late 1940s. Organized by ISPA, one of the oldest poultry organizations in the nation, it was designed to recognize the strength of Indiana’s poultry industry, as well as the annual donations made by its members, who are responsible for more than 95% of the chicken, duck, turkey and eggs produced in Indiana.


Indiana State Police step up patrols for holiday season

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year. AAA is predicting 54.6 million people will be heading out for the holiday. Of those, nearly 49 million will be traveling by car, a rebound to almost pre-pandemic levels.

 

This time of year is also associated with higher drinking rates, which combined with the sheer number of drivers on the road, makes it an especially dangerous time for motorists.

 

To prevent crashes, the Indiana State Police  will be ramping up enforcement as part of the Safe Family Travel campaign. Starting this week, officers will be out in greater numbers conducting saturation patrols designed to discourage impaired driving and promote seat belt use.

 

Safe Family Travel operations begin before Thanksgiving each year and run through New Year’s Day. The extra high-visibility enforcement is funded with grants provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).

 

According to NHTSA, drunk driving, and fatal crashes spike during the Thanksgiving holiday season. This can be attributed, in part, to cultural phenomena like “Blackout Wednesday” or “Drinksgiving,” an event synonymous with heavy alcohol consumption. This year’s holiday also comes at a time when fatal crashes and dangerous driving are up across the state and nation.

 

In Indiana, 932 people lost their lives on the road last year, a 4% increase from 2020. Of those fatalities, 12 occurred during the Thanksgiving holiday season, with more than half (7) found unbuckled at the time of the crash.

 

On average, approximately one-fourth of the state’s traffic fatalities are caused by drunk drivers.

 

“Impaired driving is life-threatening, but even more so around the holidays,” said Robert Duckworth, ICJI Traffic Safety Director. “With so many ride options available, there’s no reason that should be the case. We’re asking everyone to plan accordingly and to make safety a priority. Our goal is zero fatalities this year.”

 

With officers on high-alert, motorists are encouraged to plan ahead to get home safely by designating a sober driver or by using public transportation or a ride service like Uber or Lyft. Even if one drink is consumed, never drive impaired or let friends get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking.

 

It’s also important to wear a seat belt, put away the distractions and follow posted speed limits. Travelers are encouraged to check road conditions before each trip and to leave with plenty of time to reach their destination safely.

 

“We’re anticipating a very busy travel season this year, so for those sharing the road, remember to slow down, drive sober and buckle up,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “Most fatal crashes are avoidable, not inevitable. We want everyone to make it to the Thanksgiving table safely.”

 

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in Indiana and all 50 states. Those who choose to drive impaired are, not only risking their life and the lives of others, but also could face an arrest, jail time, and substantial fines and attorney fees. The average drunk driving arrest costs up to $10,000.

 

Motorists are encouraged to contact the department or call 911 if they encounter an impaired or unsafe driver on the road.

Seven Penguin Point locations closed

Several Penguin Point locations in the area are now closed. 

 

In all, seven sites were announced Monday as closed with no reason given.

 

Around since the 1950’s, Plymouth and Warsaw were towns with locations that closed.

 

On the Penguin Point Facebook page it reads:

 

As you may have heard, we made the difficult decision to close seven of our Penguin Point locations effective immediately. These locations include Plymouth, Elkhart on Bristol, Elkhart on Lusher, Fort Wayne, Marion, Goshen, and Warsaw on Lake St. It was a great pleasure to serve these communities and we look forward to seeing many of you at our remaining locations.

Our commitment to the Penguin Point team is steadfast, and every member of each store was offered a position at one of our other locations. We want to personally thank the team members who made these locations a welcoming space for families for so many years.

We will continue to provide service at our nine other locations across northern Indiana. Please visit us in Warsaw on Center St or Detroit St, Wabash, Auburn, Elkhart on Center St, Syracuse, Columbia City, North Manchester, and South Bend.

Semi driver seeks lesser bail after crash with bus of hockey team in Warsaw

A New York truck driver is asking for a reduced bond as he faces more than two dozen charges for his semi crashing into a hockey team's bus on November 12 in Warsaw.

 

Initial bail in the case had been set at $77, 500.

 

Victor Santos of Brooklyn, New York, appeqared in court on Monday for an initial appearance.  Among the charges, operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury and criminal recklessness.  Court documents show Santos took a breathalyzer test and it came back at .13% when the legal limit is .08%.

 

The investigation has determined the school bus had a green arrow to turn and Santos should have stopped for a red light.  Witnesses have reported seeing the semi weaving and speeding before the crash.

 

13 members of the Chicago Saint Ignatius College Prep's hockey team were injured. The team had been playing at Culver Acadmies.

 

 

made his first court appearance on Monday for the 26 charges —  including operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury and criminal recklessness — that he faces for the Nov. 12 crash.

 

During his appearance, a motion was filed to reduce his bond. Jail records show his bail is set at $77,500. His lawyer also requested a Spanish-interpreted hearing.

 

Santos is accused of driving drunk and crashing into a school bus in Warsaw.  The bus flipped onto its side injuring 13 teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17. Three of those teenagers were taken to the hospital in critical condition. The semi driver continued west and stopped off the road and into a ditch about an eighth of a mile from the intersection.

 

Investigators believe at least one student was ejected from the bus when the semi-truck hit it from behind.

 

Dispatchers were notified just after 8 p.m. of a semi-truck swerving into other lanes and driving at excessive speeds. The truck was also reportedly driving off the road as it entered Warsaw on U.S. 30.

 

The school bus was carrying members of Chicago's Saint Ignatius College Prep's hockey team when it crashed. The team was returning to their hotel after a game against Culver Academies.

 

Original story

A New York man has been charged with over two dozen counts regarding the school bus - semi crash that occurred in Warsaw on Saturday night.

 

The Warsaw Police Department says after extensive investigation by Warsaw Police and the Kosciusko County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, these charges have been officially filed on the suspect, Victor Santos.

 

The crash involving a hockey team from St. Ignatius College Prep out of Chicago resulted in multiple injuries.

 

Santos faces four counts of Causing Serious Bodily Injury While Operating a Vehicle, a Level 5 felony and 22 counts of Criminal Recklessness (While Armed with a Deadly Weapon), a Level 6 felony.

 

Bond in this case has been set at $75,000.00 surety plus $2,500.00 cash. The investigation continues on behalf of the Kosciusko County Prosecutor.  Additional charges or enhancements could follow in the future. 

 

 

 

Joseph Hershberger sentenced for role in barn fires

50 years in prison.  That's the sentence handed down by a judge in Elkhart County for a man charged with burning eight barns.

 

Jospeh Hershberger, 42, pleaded guilty to eight counts in the series of fires.  The judge suspended 46 years of the initial 96 sentence.  He's also scheduled to decades of probation following his release and to pay $80, 000 restitution.

 

Hershberger must still face further arson charges in Kosciusko and Marshall counties.

 

Hershberger's girlfriend, Sherry Thomas, also faces eight counts of arson for her role.

 

Giving Tuesday to be celebrated November 29

Come celebrate the positive impact your dollars make in Fulton County at the Fulton County Community Foundation’s (FCCF) annual Giving Tuesday event at their office, 227 E 9th Street, Rochester, on November 29.

 

This event marks what’s known as the Global Day of Generosity, an international holiday that highlights local and global nonprofits that work year-round serving their communities.  Giving Tuesday takes place every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

 

This year’s Giving Tuesday celebration will be from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., andlunch will be served from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Additionally, there is a $50,000 match opportunity this year for the Fulton County Community Fund, and several other funds can be matched up to $5,000.

 

More information can be found at www.nicf.org.

 

 

 

Snowplow driver killed in Starke Co. accident

A driver of a Starke County Highway Department snowplow was killed in a Friday accident.

 

Law enforcement and medical personnel were called just before 5:30 am Friday to Hamlet.  Initial reports indicate hazardous weather conditions led to the snowplow sliding off the roadway.  The plow then came back and rolled over in the center median.

 

Jeffrey Day, 48, of Etna Green, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Law enforcement awarded grants to curb dangerous driving

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) awarded $5.7 million in grant funding to more than 200 police departments for enhanced traffic enforcement. Departments will use the funding to conduct overtime patrols and carry out strategies aimed at curbing dangerous and reckless driving.

 

Most of their efforts will take place during targeted enforcement campaigns, which coincide with some of the deadliest times of the year to be on the road, such as the holiday season and Labor Day. While officers will be on the lookout for all traffic violations, their focus will be on addressing some of the leading causes of fatal crashes including impaired driving, speeding, distracted driving and lack of seat belt use.

 

According to the latest statistical projections from NHTSA, 20,175 people died in motor vehicle crashes nationwide in the first half of 2022, up slightly from the previous year. Despite the discouraging report, traffic fatalities decreased by 4.9% in the second quarter of 2022 – signifying the first year-to-year decline since the start of the pandemic.

 

Unfortunately, this is the opposite of what statewide data is showing in Indiana, as fatalities continue to rise. As of October, ICJI estimates that 814 people lost their lives in fatal collisions this year. While that’s up 2.4% from the same time in 2021, it represents an 18.5% increase from pre-pandemic 2019.

 

The rising number of crash-related deaths can be attributed, in part, to an increase in unsafe driving behavior such as speeding, driving impaired or distracted, and not wearing seat belts, according to ICJI.

 

The grants were awarded last month using federal NHTSA funds. The largest amount went to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department at $1.3 million, as urban areas, like Marion County, continue to see the largest increase in fatal crashes.

 

The first campaign of the program, Safe Family Travel, kicks off next week and is designed to cut down on impaired driving and promote seat belt use during the busy holiday season, followed by a St. Patrick’s Day-focused enforcement operation in March.

 

Area departments receiving funding:

 

Kosciusko County, $81,950

Winona Lake Police Department* (TSP)                                

Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department

Claypool Police Department                                       

Mentone Police Department

Milford Police Department                                         

Pierceton Police Department

Silver Lake Police Department                                   

Syracuse Police Department

Warsaw Police Department

 

Cass County, $13,000

Cass County Sheriff's Department* (TSP)                            

Logansport Police Department

 

Marshall County $55,550

Marshall County Sheriff’s Department* (TSP)                    

Bremen Police Department

Bourbon Police Department                                                   

Plymouth Police Department

Culver Police Department                                                           

Argos Police Department

 

Wabash County

Wabash County Sheriff's Department, $15,000                   

Wabash Police Department, $15,000

North Manchester Police Department, $10,000

 

 

Miami County                   

Miami County Sheriff's Office, $4,500

 

RTC announces first project completion of fiber optic build out expansion in Fulton County

RTC celebrated its first completed project in their Next Level Connections fiber build out to all of Fulton County on Wednesday in Leiters Ford.

 

Having recently completed fiber builds in the towns of Macy, Burket, Silver Lake and Mentone, RTC Fiber Communications is now engaged in several fiber expansion projects throughout Fulton, Marshall and Pulaski Counties.

 

On May 5, 2022, RTC was awarded six grants from Next Level Broadband Connections Round 3 in the amount of $14,852,523. These funds will aid RTC in being able to pass an additional 4,954 homes with fiber.

 

The total cost of these projects are estimated to be over $25 million. RTC made the decision to move forward with this endeavor because we feel it is what’s right for the longevity and economic viability of Fulton County and the surrounding area. All of Fulton County and parts of Pulaski and Marshall will have access to speeds up to 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps).


RTC Fiber Communications is now installing fiber broadband and voice services to customers in the town of Leiter’s Ford. The completion of this project makes fiber available to over 130 Leiter’s Ford residents and businesses. RTC is on track to complete fiber builds for the town of Kewanna by the end of 2022, bringing fiber to another 360 customers.

 

RTC’s expansion represents a vote of confidence in how we have grown over the past several years, with our Board and Shareholders reiterating this confidence through strong support of the communities we serve as well as, our management team and employees.

 

RTC is extremely thankful of the support we have received from our current and future fiber communities. Bringing fiber to rural Indiana would not be possible without the support of those living within these communities.


“We are so excited!” - says Sheila Ruhnow, Leiters Ford Tavern Owner and our 1st customer installed.


There were many businesses involved in helping make this project happen. We appreciate each and every one. RTC President, Joe McCarter, also thanked OCRA (Office of Community & Rural Affairs), “they’ve done a great job administering this grant. Without them choosing us and our county, we wouldn’t be standing here today”.
 

Student arrested as Maconaquah Elementary deals with Wednesday bomb threat

A student will face felony criminal charges for making a bomb threat to the Maconaquah Elementary School.

 

The Maconaquah School Corporation Police Department said the threat came in via voicemail message just before 8:00am on Wednesday.  Explosive detection dogs from the Indiana State Police and the Howard County Sheriff's Office were used to search the building.  Police note the suspect with his cell phone was found during the search.

 

A search was also performed at the middle school but no explosive devices were found and there was no evidence that there was a danger.

 

 

 

Slick roads contributed to an accident with a Fulton County deputy

A Fulton County Sheriff's Department deputy was involved in a crash Wednesday.

 

Just before 9:00 pm Wednesday, Fulton County Deputy Mitch Scott was responding to a accident on US 31.  As the deputy was approaching US 31 from West 6th in his Dodge Durango, the Durango slid through the intersection due to the snowing conditions at the time, and struck the rear semi-trailer of a northbound Freightliner. The Freightliner, pulling two pup trailers, overturned after being struck.  The semi and first trailer ended up in the ditch.   Deputy Scott’s vehicle ended up in the ditch with air bag deployment. 

 

Deputy Scott was transported to Woodlawn Hospital with complaints of shoulder pain.  The semi driver was uninjured. 

 

US 31 was closed between West 6th and West 3rd street for several hours for clean-up.

 

Assisting on scene was the Fulton County Sheriffs Office, Rochester Police, Indiana State Police, Rochester Fire, Lutheran EMS, Fulton County EMA, Wilson’s Tow and Transport along with Reichert & Knepp Wrecker Service.  

ISP Peru Post adds new detective from Miami Co. to its ranks

Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter announced the reclassification of Trooper Jon Cole to the position of detective.

 

Cole is an eight-year veteran of the Indiana State Police Department. He earned his assignment into the Criminal Investigation Division through written testing and a competitive oral interview process. Detective Cole will work from the Indiana State Police Peru Post, which is responsible for Cass, Fulton, Grant, Howard, Miami, Tipton, and Wabash Counties.

 

Detective Cole graduated from the Indiana State Police Recruit Academy in May of 2014 and was assigned to the Indiana State Police Peru Post, where he worked road patrol primarily in Miami County.  

 

Cole has served as a field training officer. In 2021 he was recognized as the Indiana State Police Peru Post Trooper of the District. The award is given annually to the trooper that personifies integrity, professionalism, and a well-rounded work ethic. Cole was selected by the command staff at the Peru District for dedication to his job, traffic and criminal enforcement, community involvement, instructor ratings, and other services performed for the department beyond normal expectations. 

 

Cole holds a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Indiana Wesleyan University. He resides in Miami County with his wife and their two children.

State of Indiana reports first death involving monkeypox as a factor

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) has confirmed the death of an Indiana resident in which monkeypox was a contributing factor. The individual had multiple other health conditions that contributed to the death. No additional information about the patient will be provided due to patient privacy laws.

“Although monkeypox cases in Indiana have declined significantly as a result of the availability of vaccine, it is important to remember that this disease is still circulating and can cause severe illness and death,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Our hearts go out to the family of this Hoosier, and I encourage anyone who is at risk to protect themselves by getting vaccinated.”

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 21 days of exposure to the virus. The most reported symptom of monkeypox is a rash. Some people may have flu-like symptoms before rash, while others may develop a rash first followed by other symptoms, and others may only experience a rash. The rash typically lasts for two to four weeks. People are considered infectious until all scabs from the rash have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

Most people who get monkeypox recover without any serious complications or the need for medical treatment. However, people living with a condition that weakens the immune system, such as advanced or untreated HIV, AIDS, certain cancers, an organ transplant, or another immune deficiency disorder, may be more likely to have serious complications or need treatment. In rare occasions, severe illnesses may lead to death. Getting vaccinated can protect against getting monkeypox or can reduce the severity of illness in individuals who contract the monkeypox virus. Contact your local health department or healthcare provider about getting vaccinated.

Since June 17, 264 cases of monkeypox have been reported in Indiana, with most occurring among males ages 18 to 39.

To learn more about monkeypox, visit https://monkeypox.health.in.gov. Anyone who has symptoms is encouraged to contact a healthcare provider.

Trent Odell announces intent to run for mayor in Rochester

As Trent Odell notes, it’s been out there for awhile.  But now, with the completion of county and midterm elections this month a focus begins on upcoming municipal elections.

 

Odell appeared on GIANT fm WROI to announce his  candidacy for Mayor of Rochester on the Republican ticket.

 

 

Odell says his history with Odell Lumber and Supply offers a snapshot of who he plans to be if elected as mayor.

 

 

 

 

Family sponsors sought for Miracle Tree program

Anyone looking for a way to give back this Christmas season can sponsor a family in need within the Rochester School Corporation or Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation through the Miracle Tree program.

 

Miracle Tree has been a holiday tradition in Fulton County for years thanks to the generous donors and businesses that have supported the program.

 

The Rochester tree is located at Shepherd’s Chevrolet at the corner of SR 25 and 14, Rochester IN. Tippy Valley trees are set up at Bell Memorial Public Library in Mentone and Akron Carnegie Public Library in Akron. Families who have expressed an interest in receiving help this year were assigned a number. Those numbers were then placed on ornaments and hung on the trees.

 

A potential sponsor will know how many children are in the family and their ages. Each family has a wish list for the sponsors to use when shopping, filled with clothing sizes and toys requested.

 

If a person, business or organization is interested in sponsoring a family, they simply take an ornament from the tree and give it to the front desk at the dealership or library. The sponsor is then provided a wish list for that family with items the children might want for Christmas.

 

Sponsors wrap the gifts they purchase and then return them back to a community location specified on each wish list. To avoid any confusion, there are specific instructions on each wish list on how to mark the gift after it has been wrapped so organizers know which gift belongs to which family and child.

 

There is no limit to the amount of money a sponsor can spend on a family. Gifts will be distributed to the families with a drive-thru pick up in December.

 

The Miracle Tree assisted over 260 families and provided Christmas gifts for more than 750 childrenin 2021. 

 

Lifetime suspension from hunting is first of its kind in Indiana

An Indiana Conservation Officer investigation has resulted in multiple charges, fines, and the first lifetime hunting suspension of its kind in state history for a West Lafayette man.

 

Hanson Pusey, 25, was sentenced Thursday in Warren County Court to a lifetime hunting suspension along with home detention, probation, and payment of replacement fees stemming from an investigation by DNR Law Enforcement involving the illegal hunting of wild turkeys in Indiana and six other states.  

 

In spring 2020, conservation officers in District 3 received information that Pusey, whose hunting privileges had been suspended since March 2019, was still hunting and taking multiple turkeys illegally in Indiana and other states.

 

Using advanced surveillance techniques, investigators monitored Pusey, gathering evidence of poaching in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, as well as in Indiana, where they documented him taking four spring turkeys in Indiana in 2020, two after the season closed. Officers also documented Pusey helping family and friends poach turkeys. Search warrants were served on the man’s residence, and in cooperation with the other states’ fish and wildlife law enforcement agencies, filed charges in all them.

 

During the search of the residence, officers found that Pusey had kept the spent shotgun hulls from turkeys he had harvested, identifying the states and dates he took them. Officers documented 83 spent casings in the collection dating back to 2012, including 14 dated within three months of his first suspension of hunting privileges in 2019. Four were listed by Pusey as being taken from Indiana.

 

Punishments for various charges from the other states included $4,125 in fines and costs and an eight-year hunting license suspension in Pennsylvania, $324 in fines and costs and an indefinite suspension in Connecticut, $700 in fines and costs and license suspension during probation in Massachusetts, $2,335 in fines and costs in Georgia, $278 in fines and costs in North Carolina, and $525 in fines and costs in Tennessee.

 

Pusey was charged again in February for hunting without permission and theft of a trail camera card in Warren County, despite the 2020 investigation and his convictions in the other states.

 

To report hunting or fishing violations, call Indiana Conservation Officer Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536 or 1-800-TIP-IDNR. 

 

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