Kewanna Post Office to temporarily close due to safety concerns

The Postal Service will temporarily close the Kewanna Post Office, located at 203 E Main St., effective immediately, due to safety concerns regarding the building conditions.

Street delivery to Kewanna customers will not be affected.

Kewanna customers can access retail services, PO Box mail, and package pickup at the Rochester Post Office, 601 E 9th St., 46975.

The Rochester Post Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Currently, there is no information on when repairs to the Kewanna Post Office will be complete.

Argos man killed in Sunday motorcycle accident

The Kosciusko County FACT team continues to investigate a fatal motorcycle crash that killed an Argos man.

Colton Brock, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash that happended Sunday evening on N. State Road 19 just north of W. State Road 10.

The 1995 Suzuki left the roadway for an unknown reason. It went into the ditch and struck the embankment of a driveway and Brock was thrown from the motorcycle.

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Winamac Police Department investigates abuse allegations at Kingdom Kids Daycare and Preschool

An investigation involving an abuse allegations at a local daycare is underway in Winamac after a video emerged on social media last week, according to a press release from the Winamac Police Department.

A text was sent out to parents of students at the school announcing the closing of Kingdom Kids Daycare the following day of the video leak, on September 22. With further research on social media and by calling the school and speaking with several parents, GIANT fm WROI news reporter Shelby Lopez confirmed the school is in fact closed for good. 



The Winamac Police Department press release stated the completed case report had been sent to the Pulaski County Prosecutor's office as of Tuesday, September 26, to review for criminal charges. 

The report was officially made September 21, two weeks after the incident had taken place, when Officer Shelby Pickens had been made aware of the circulating video that now has almost 79,000 views. 

The video taken inside Kingdom Kids Daycare and Preschool located at Winamac Church of the Nazarene. The video showed a child grabbing on to a man's leg, while the man had another child on his shoulders.


After telling the child on his leg to let go multiple times and the child refusing, the man is seen kneeling on the child's chest until he let go. The child then laid on the floor by himself crying until the end of the video as the man walked away.

The child, as well as the child's mother, was later identified and told investigators that the child had not been treated for any injuries, but had cried on the floor for about 10 minutes afterwards. Although no serious injuries were made, the child was said to be emotionally traumatized from the event and 'scared to go back to daycare.' 



The man was later identified as the pastor of the Winamac Church of the Nazarene, and he interviewed with police voluntarily. The Winamac Police Department also said the Winamac Church of the Nazarene, as well as the owners, have been cooperative throughout the investigation. 



Indiana Department of Child Services has also been contacted and is doing their own independent inquiry, with the cooperation of the Winamac Police Department. 

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Judge puts Indiana DCS contempt decision on hold during Hendricks County hearing

A Hendricks County judge has decided to wait on making the decision to hold Indiana's Department of Child Services in contempt of court for failing to produce documents relating to the case of Judah Morgan, who was killed by his biological parents in 2021.

The boy, age 4, had been placed with his biological parents for the first time on April 7, 2021. Despite past abuse allegations, claims that he was being abused during the placement, and reported violations over the summer of 2021, Judah was found murdered in the family's rural Hamlet home on October 11, 2021. 

Still, Hendricks Superior Court Judge Robert W. Freese said during Monday's hearing in Danville that he will wait to decide if whether DCS will be held in contempt of court

Representing Judah's foster family, attorney Charles P. Rice, claims DCS continues to withhold records that would be essential to the case. Records include internal text messages, emails, photos, video recordings, mandated drug tests that should have been conducting and more from Judah's case are among the record the attorney claim they do not have, despite multiple requests.  

During Monday's court session, Indiana DCS Director Eric Miller, was called to prove the department was not in contempt of court for failing to provide those documents after the department had been named as a non-party in a suit filed by the family of Judah Morgan against his biological father, Alan Morgan.

Court documents revealed Miller took the stand, reiterated that he was not involved enough with the day-to-day machinations of the department to understand particulars of how court-ordered documents might have been provided. Miller claimed that he had been advised by the DCS counsel that all necessary documents required for the case had been handed over to the court. Miller also claimed his email, nor those of past DCS directors, were ever searched. 

Attorney Rice further questioned Miller on if the records even exsisted, since they hadn't been presented to the court. Miller claimed that that could very well be the case. 

Court documents stated representatives for Indiana DCS had argued Monday that the documents they provided to the court were what they had, and that additional documents shouldn't be required to produce more documents just because the plaintiff thinks they should. DCS attorneys William Young and E. Ryan Chouse claimed that the department had gone through over 130,000 records with a team of 20 attorneys to gather up documents that the court had ordered them to provide. 

It was reported that Indiana Department of Child Services Internal Affairs Officer Christine MacDonald also took the stand. She testified some of the information the court requested, like text messages, would have had to be provided by third-party providers like Verizon or the Indiana Office of Technology. MacDonald claimed that she did not look for text messages, specifically as part of the court order, because she believed she could not get access to them. 

Regardless, Jenna Hullett, Judah’s foster mother and second cousin who had raised the boy since he was an infant, said she will continue advocating for changes on DCS, and plans on moving forward with this lawsuit with hopes of making that change. 

Judge Freese agreed there were some issues with the the lack of documentation provided by DCS, but that he also wanted to give them time to get documents and not overburden an agency. Freese said he believed more subpoenas to third parties had been warranted following DCS claims of producing all documentation. The judge was also concerned about the emails of the current DCS director and former DCS director, Terry Stigdon, never being searched. 

Judge Freese said that the director had testified that the department had never destroyed or disposed of any documents since Judah's death, and that if they have produced everything there would not be anything else for DCS to give attorneys representing Judah's family regarding the death of the boy.

Judge Freese stated he wanted orders from both parties by Monday, October 2. 

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Cass County Agribusiness Park to upgrade road infrastructure with help of $1.8M grant

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.8 million grant to Cass County for road infrastructure upgrades at the Cass County Agribusiness Park.

This project will increase business operations and provide continued industrial growth in a region impacted by changes in the energy economy. This EDA investment will be matched with $1.4 million in local funds. It is expected to create or retain more than 200 jobs and generate $68.5 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is about empowering all communities with the resources they need to lift up working families. That’s precisely what this award will do by helping those impacted by shifts in the energy sector to grow and diversify their economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment in critical road infrastructure will strengthen Cass County Agribusiness Park’s role as an economic driver in the region for decades to come.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to partner with Cass County through this strategic, place-based grant as it seeks to bring new opportunities to the region,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “We look forward to helping increase capacity at the Cass County Agribusiness Park and provide a much-needed boost to the regional economy.”

This project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal. ACC projects support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.

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Pulaski County Drug-Free Council introduces new, safe way to dispose of used needles

Pulaski County residents now have a safe way to dispose of used needles, thanks to a new initiative of the Pulaski County Drug-Free Council and community partners.

Ribbon cutting ceremonies are scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday evening at the Pulaski Memorial Hospital front entrance. Also, September 30, 11 a.m. at Monterey Family & Women's Health Services and on October 14, 12 p.m. atMedaryville / White Post Volunteer Fire Department.    

The "Prevent Pricks” program is designed to be inclusive of all syringe using residents, specifically those with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, and others who use sharps to treat various medical conditions, including people who utilize illicit drugs.

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Winamac High School senior awarded McDonald's HACERĀ® National Scholarship

McDonald’s of Greater Indiana and Southwest Michigan is proud to announce that Ariana Gualajara, a talented and promising student from Winamac has been awarded the prestigious McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship, joining a select group of 31 Hispanic students from across the nation.

With this scholarship, Ariana will pursue her higher education at Ball State University where she plans to study Architecture. She was the only winner in the state of Indiana.

Gualajara is an exceptional student at Winamac Community High School, demonstrating excellence both academically and in extracurricular activities. She has been a dedicated member of the National Honor Society for two years and has actively participated in both track & field and cross country. Her passion for music is evident through her membership in both the concert and pep bands. Beyond her school commitments, Ariana volunteers her time at St. Peter's Church.

The McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship, established in 1985, remains committed to providing college scholarships and resources for Hispanic students, having awarded more than $33 million in scholarships to over 17,000 students nationwide. McDonald’s awards a total of $500,000 annually through this program. Scholarship recipients are selected based on their academic achievement, community involvement, and financial need.

"Everyone deserves a fair chance at chasing their dreams. We recognize the financial hurdles many students and their families face in pursuing a college education, and for this reason, McDonald’s and our Hispanic Owner/Operators remain committed to our investments and fostering educational opportunities,” said Richard Castro, a McDonald’s Owner/Operator and national HACER® scholarship chairperson. “We’re proud to celebrate our newest recipients and encourage aspiring college students to kickstart their journey toward a brighter future by applying for HACER®."

This scholarship program continues to bridge the gap for Hispanic college-bound students, aligning with McDonald’s longstanding commitment to nurturing the diverse communities it serves. Recent research reveals that the number of Hispanic students pursuing higher education is steadily increasing, with projections indicating significant growth by 2026. However, disparities persist, particularly at four-year institutions, where Hispanic graduation rates trail their White non-Hispanic peers.

Hispanic high school seniors aspiring to pursue higher education and their parents are encouraged can learn more about the resources offered in both English and Spanish and for details on how to apply online.

The next scholarship application period opens next month and runs through February 2024, continuing McDonald’s commitment to educating the next generation of youth.

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State Road 14 closure approaching in Fulton County

State Road 14 will close between State Road 25 and C.R. 400 E / Bessmore Park Rd on or after Monday, October 2 through mid-November to replace a small pipe structure.

Official detour will follow State Road 25 and State Road 19.

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City of Rochester water customers asked to fill out survey

City of Rochester water customers should have received a letter in the mail along with a survey asking customers to identify the water service line material coming into the home.

Customers are asked to take a few minutes to answer the survey questions online or on the sheet included with the letter and return to the water office. This is a
federal requirement for the water department to begin preparing a plan using the survey results to replace any lead service lines that may be found in the water

This information will then allow the water department to apply for grants and other financial support to offset any costs associated with a lead service line replacement project in the future.

The city assures that the city water is safe and tested regularly to ensure quality water is provided to all customers.

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Application portal for state's mortgage assistance to close in October

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority announced that the state’s mortgage assistance program, the Indiana Homeowner Assistance Fund, will close the application portal on Friday, October 20.

The Indiana Homeowner Assistance Fund was created with a grant from the American Rescue Plan under the direction of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The program began taking applications and distributing funds in February 2022. Since then, more than 9,100 Hoosier households have received an average of more than $13,000 in assistance in the form of mortgage reinstatement, ongoing mortgage payments and the payment of delinquent property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and homeowner association fees for the homeowner’s primary residence only.

With the amount of assistance that has already been disbursed, the funds that are currently obligated for upcoming payments and the number of applications that are being processed, the program is very near to distributing the total amount of funds available for homeowner assistance. On Oct. 20, the fund’s portal will close to active applications and begin maintaining a waiting list for those homeowners who would like to apply for new funds as they become available. All existing program eligibility requirements will remain in effect for future applicants and awards. The program is designed to assist Indiana homeowners with low to moderate incomes who have experienced a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Awards are limited to one per household and are provided in the form of a five-year forgivable, interest-free loan.

Visit 877GetHope.org for eligibility information or to register for the opportunity to apply for assistance.

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Wabash to host Rural Justice and Public Health Summit

Three hundred people are expected in Wabash on Friday, October 13 for a justice and health event at the Honeywell Center.

The Rural Justice and Public Health Professionals Summit is open to justice stakeholders and healthcare partners from across the state.

The summit will address the unique challenges of justice and healthcare professionals in rural communities—including scarce resources, red tape, and isolation. Participants will learn about opportunities for collaboration, resources, and strategies to meet the needs of rural professionals.

Session topics include:

  • Deinstitutionalization and the Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council
  • Shared Responsibilities, Understanding the Sequential Intercept Model
  • Public Safety and Wellbeing
  • Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health
  • Funding Resources

A resource area will allow representatives from service providers including recovery houses, peer coaches, and family support services to connect with participants through a session titled Breaking Down Silos & Building Bridges Statewide.

Attendees (lawyers, judges, social workers, healthcare providers) may earn certain professional continuing education credits. The Summit is a partnership between the Indiana Supreme Court, the Wabash County Bar Association, the Association of Indiana Counties, the Court of Appeals of Indiana, the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana (DTCI), Indiana University, Indiana Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council, the Indiana Department of Health, the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA), NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Indiana, and the Office of Governor Holcomb.

Funding support is provided by DTCI and ITLA and the State Justice Institute.

Justice, healthcare, government officials, and community leaders must register by September 29

Be aware and careful as harvest equipment starts moving on area roads

Harvest season is officially underway for Indiana’s 94,000 farmers, which means more slow-moving farm equipment will be on Indiana’s rural roads and highways. To keep Hoosiers safe this year, state agencies are asking motorists to be alert and patient, as they share the road with farm equipment this fall.

“At least once each fall as I am traveling through rural Indiana, I find myself behind or crossing paths with large agricultural equipment,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “It is important to remain alert this fall and keep an eye out for these slow-moving farm vehicles, and if the opportunity allows, to safely navigate around them.”

In 2020 three vehicles were involved in crashes with farm equipment in Indiana which resulted in two deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“The fall harvest season is certainly an exciting and busy time for farmers and motorists,” said Don Lamb, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. “By working together to practice alert driving, we can all make it home safely to our families each night.”

Farm equipment during harvest season could include tractors, combines, grain carts, grain wagons, and large trucks hauling agricultural products. These vehicles are wide, sometimes taking up most of the road, and often travel at speeds no greater than 25 mph.


Indiana DCS accused of failing to preserve records for case involving torture death of 4-year-old Judah Morgan

A Hendricks County judge is standing his ground reiterating that Indiana Department of Child Services director Eric Miller, not another representative as requested by Indiana DCS, is tasked with proving why his department should not be held in contempt of court for failing to obey a court order to produce documents related to the torture-death of a 4-year-old LaPorte County boy. 


Indiana DCS was recently accused of failing to provide documentation for the death of Judah Morgan. The 4-year-old, who was murdered in LaPorte County October 11, 2021, by his biological parents, had been in the care of DCS since his birth. Judah had been placed with his biological parents for the first time just six months prior to his murder. He was raised in a kinship placement arrangement with his second cousin, Jenna Hullett's family.

Not only were Judah's biological parents in the DCS system with Judah, they also had cases on his two other siblings, where known abuse was confirmed. In the years leading up to Judah's death, Hullett said she tried to alert DCS of ongoing abuse. After Judah was placed on what was supposed to be a six-month home trial with his biological parents, Alan Morgan and Mary Yoder, DCS was alerted about violations made, but Hullett claims all reports were ignored. 

The Hullett family was turned down for adoption and forced to give Judah to his biological parents on April 7, 2021, despite multiple claims of abuse. Judah was starved and beaten to death by his biological parents in what is now being described as 'a house of horrors'.


In January of this year, Indiana DCS was named as a non-party to a case seeking damages against Judah's biological father Alan Morgan. Morgan, 29, was sentenced to 70 years in prison last November for the beating death and torture of Judah. In August, Judah's biological mother, Mary Yoder, 27, pleaded guilty to her involvement with the murder.

On top of taking aim at Morgan, the civil lawsuit also is going after the Indiana Department of Child Services. The lawsuit is accusing DCS of dropping Judah's case file while he was under the care of Morgan and Yoder, despite him being considered 'an endangered child' and 'ward of the state since birth.' 

Represented by Attorney Charles P. Rice, documents were requested from Judah's DCS case file. The attorney claimed DCS failed to provide any. 

On August 30, Hendricks County Superior Court Judge Robert Freese filed an order requesting Miller prove that the Indiana Department of Child Services was not in contempt of court by failing to provide requested documents for court. A hearing had been scheduled for September 6, however, it was moved to September 25, after DCS asserted that internal affairs officer Christine McDonald ws more closely involved with the production of court-ordered documents from the department. 

Attorneys representing the case insisted that it should be Miller tasked with providing the lack of contempt on behalf of DCS before the judge, in a motion filed on Tuesday. 

On September 9, DCS made a file conceding that they were out of compliance. Attorneys argued in the filing that DCS allegedly had notified the court that '17,000 previously unproduced emails' had been found from Judah's case. Attorneys argued that within months following Judah's death, DCS was served a notice from Judah's estate that should have prompted a litigation or internal preservation hold, which was never made. 

Attorneys allege DCS admitted "it can't find" multiple filings beyond just missing records, including vital proof through text messages, voicemails, photos, the biological parents drug screenings and more. 

Judge Reese agreed that Miller should prove his department is not in contempt of court, and that Miller should appear before the court on September 25, at 1pm. 

On August 16, Miller was also named alongside Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, in another class-action lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. The lawsuit accuses Holcomb of violating the rights of abused and neglected children, after failing to address persistent and ongoing issues within the Indiana welfare system. The suit similarly accused Miller and his department for failing their consitutional duty to protect children in the care of the state. 

Miller was officially appointed as the director of DCS by Holcomb in May of 2023.

Indiana State Police-Peru District saturation patrol nets eight impaired drivers

The Indiana State Police Peru Post conducted targeted patrols across the district with a primary focus on impaired driving interdiction and overall traffic safety.

These patrols occurred on Friday, September 8, and Friday, September 15. Troopers worked overtime, changed their schedules, and worked areas they do not normally work to participate in the dedicated patrol.

The following numbers are a snapshot of the overall productivity of those patrols:

-422 traffic stops

-205 traffic tickets issued

-375 warnings were issued

-29 criminal cases drawn

-8 arrests for Operating While Intoxicated/ 4 felony violations

-3 warrant arrests

-28 arrests for Driving While Suspended Prior / Operator(s) Never Licensed

-23 drug-related charges

-14 arrests for Possession of Marijuana

-5 arrests for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

-1 arrest for Possession of a Legend Drug

-1 arrest for Possession of Cocaine

-2 arrests for Possession of a Controlled Substance

-1 arrest for Habitual Traffic Violator

-1 arrest for Neglect of a Dependent

-3 vehicle crashes investigated


On My Way Pre-K supporting more Hoosier children than ever, families still time to apply

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning announced that the On My Way Pre-K program for eligible 4-year-olds and their families has reached record enrollment – supporting more than 7,500 Hoosier children so far this year, up about 21% from last year.  

On My Way Pre-K allows 4-year-olds from low-income families to receive a free, high-quality, pre-kindergarten education through Indiana’s only state-sponsored pre-kindergarten program. Information about the program and the link to apply can be found at OnMyWayPreK.org.  

More children than ever before are eligible due to Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana General Assembly expanding eligibility this year. Starting in August, children were eligible if their families made as much as 150% of the federal poverty level, up from 127%. For example, a child from a family of four is eligible if household income is $45,000 per year or less.  

“We are celebrating supporting an additional 1,300 children this year, giving them an equal opportunity to learn and grow alongside their peers,” said Courtney Penn, director of the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. “I am proud of our team’s commitment to reach kids in every county, ensuring that as many young learners as possible are better prepared for elementary school and beyond.”  

Though school has started, families can still enroll. Staff and partners continue to work to recruit more On My Way Pre-K providers to support as many children as possible. An easy-to-use, online application called “Early Ed Connect” serves as the application for both On My Way Pre-K and child care assistance provided via the federal Child Care Development Fund, or CCDF.  

Eligible families may choose from any of the more than 1,100 approved On My Way Pre-K programs located across Indiana. These programs are operated in homes, centers, schools and religious settings, allowing families to choose the type of setting that works best for them. Families can search approved providers at www.ChildCareFinder.IN.gov.  

More than 28,000 Hoosier children have attended pre-K through the On My Way Pre-K program since it began in 2015. The program, which started as a five-county pilot and then expanded to 20 counties in 2017, became a statewide program in 2019. A long-term study released last year showed that children who attend On My Way Pre-K are better prepared for school and that the benefits continue well into elementary school. 

Families may call 800-299-1627 for assistance from an early learning referral specialist or for other questions about On My Way Pre-K. 

Arrest tied to March overdose death in Pulaski County

An arrest in Pulaski County is connected to an overdose death that took place in March.

Pulaski County Sheriff’s deputies investigated an overdose on March 16 in the area of 700 North and US 35. It was determined the victim was overcome by a high level of fentanyl and was unable to be revived. The victim was later pronounced deceased after several attempts to revive were unsuccessful.

Deputies continued to pursue a criminal investigation in attempt to hold the illicit drug dealer accountable for his involvement in this death.

After months of investigation with the assistance of the Starke County Prosecutor, formal charges were filed against Henry Ruiz, 38 of Knox.  Ruiz was arrested for Dealing in a schedule I, II, or III controlled substance resulting in death. He is being held on a $50,000 cash bond.



80-year-old Rochester woman continues her 147 lb weight loss journey with local non-profit TOPS, named 2022 Indiana Queen

A Rochester woman who lost 147 pounds thanks the local nonprofit weight-loss support organization TOPS Club Inc for her continued success.

Wilma Graves had been struggling with consistent eating habits for a long time before getting serious about her weight-loss.

When Graves reached her goal in 2019, she knew if she didn't continue to stay on track, her hard work would be for nothing. Graves joined the support group in February 2022, and says it's that support that helps her maintain the healthy weight she is at today.

Graves also hopes telling her story will also help inspire others to live a healthier, happier life. 



Currently, Indiana has an adult obesity rate of 36.3%. According to GlobalData’s report, 70% of Hoosiers are classified as overweight or obese. The revelation has been cited as a “significant public health challenge” in the Hoosier state, with only one-third of the population avoiding the added weight that negatively impacts one’s health and lifestyle.

TOPS provides an individual approach to weight loss for overall wellness. Their consistent group support, health education, and recognition are all key components to successful and consistent weight management. During 2022, TOPS members in Indiana lost a cumulative 6,827 pounds.

Meeting are every Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Fulton County Community Center, 625 Pontiac St, in Rochester. Graves says she believes it is the meetings that help her to be consistent in her day-to-day life. 



In 2022, TOPS Club unveiled its top “royalty” from 2022 for 2023, praising women and men recording their largest weight loss at the end of each year in the TOPS program, regardless of the time taken it had taken to reach their goal.

Last year, Graves was crowned 2022 Indiana Queen and honored at an Indiana state recognition event in French Lick.

It turned out that Graves had inspired more people than she ever imagined. 



Graves said it is commitment to change that has kept her going, as well as the support from here peers at meetings. Changing habits such as cutting out fried food and potatoes, eating very little bread, and focusing on protein, fruits and vegatables has been what has brought Graves to where she is today. 



Weekly meetings are the heart of TOPS support. Meetings can be held in-person or online. In-person meetings start with an optional weigh-in, and members sharing challenges, successes, or goals. A brief program is followed, covering a variety of health and wellness topics, and are sometimes concluded
with awards and recognition for the week.

Visitors can attend their first TOPS in-person meeting free, with no commitment. 

For online membership, meetings are conducted via Zoom and are offered at least five times during the week, helping with accountability. Membership starts at $49 per year, plus nominal monthly chapter fees. To join TOPS, visit www.tops.org, or call 800-932-8677 to learn more about TOPS. 

Indiana Department of Workforce Development releases state's August employment report

Indiana’s unemployment rate in August stands at 3.4%, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. By comparison, the national unemployment rate for August stands at 3.8%.

In addition, Indiana’s labor force participation rate moved to 63.5% for August, remaining above the national rate of 62.8%. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3,429,353 - a decrease of 714 from the previous month.

"The number of Hoosiers in the labor force remains near an all-time high, and the need for skilled workers has never been greater," said DWD Commissioner Richard Paulk. "Individuals looking for their next job are encouraged to visit a WorkOne office or utilize the online resources available through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to re-enter the workforce and fill one of the many open positions across the state. For many of Indiana's most in-demand jobs, there are resources available to obtain the necessary skills Indiana employers require. Qualifying workers may be eligible for free training to help them increase their earnings."

Private sector employment in Indiana decreased by 4,400 jobs over the last month, resulting in a gain of 45,800 jobs from this time last year. Indiana's August private employment stands at 2,843,100. 

Industries that experienced job increases in August included construction, which had 1,300 jobs added over the month, and manufacturing, which increased by 400 jobs.

As of Monday, there were 104,794 open job postings throughout the state. In August, 15,247 unemployment insurance claims were filed in Indiana.

Individuals looking for work, training or career information are encouraged to visit in.gov/dwd/job-seekers.



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Warsaw among Indiana cities to launch visions, strategic plans to fuel growth, prepare for state investment

Three Indiana cities unveiled ambitious economic development plans, outlining long-term strategies to better fuel economic growth, innovation and quality of life for current and future residents.

These new growth agendas for Michigan City, Seymour and Warsaw were developed in partnership with local residents and funded by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) in an effort to increase economic mobility and opportunity statewide, enabling these smaller communities to be better equipped to access new funding from the recently expanded Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). 
“As we think about increasing the vibrancy of our regions and advancing quality of life and quality of place across Indiana, we want to ensure that all communities – regardless of size or resources – have the opportunity to grow and better position themselves for long-term success,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce David Rosenberg. “These three plans directly address the challenges small cities face when working to build economic opportunity. The visions and strategies now in place in Michigan City, Seymour and Warsaw will enable these communities to better attract capital and fuel development and revitalization, positively impacting their residents and creating more opportunities for families for years to come.” 
These three plans were developed during year-long ‘learning labs’ that enabled local teams, including government, industry and nonprofit officials as well as current residents, to work together with national community development officials from the Brookings Institution and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to develop place-based strategies that bridge systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity. The bold, long-term plans will equip each community with the tools needed to better compete for community and economic investment, particularly through the state’s nationally recognized READI program, which received another $500 million allocation from state leadership this spring. 
“It is clear from both data and experience that equity-focused community investment plans can produce sustainable gains that have a positive ripple effect beyond any one project or neighborhood,” said William Taft, senior vice president of economic development with LISC. “For these three cities, these goals are achievable. They have committed local champions behind them, and they offer great opportunities for investors to empower real community-driven transformation.”
Michigan City, Seymour and Warsaw each tailored its strategy to its local assets, needs and opportunities. Their plans, which are highlighted below, share many common goals, such as expanding career pathways to high-quality jobs, building and preserving affordable housing, and transforming distressed or underutilized land into vibrant commercial facilities and public space for arts and recreation. The plans are based on the principles of community-centered economic inclusion (CCEI), which builds community wealth within underinvested places by directly engaging with residents; breaking down barriers related to race, income and geography; and connecting to broader economic growth in the region. 

  • Michigan City | Vibrant Michigan City: Economic Prosperity for All

    The Vibrant Michigan City playbook serves as a dynamic roadmap for progress, presenting a variety of projects, policies and programs to foster a vibrant and thriving community. The community’s strategies aim to leverage the unique opportunities and tackle the unique challenges of each of its three main areas – west side, east side and mid-town – such as increasing quality of life assets, such as banking, grocery stores and public parks, to improve livability; advancing revitalization to retain talent; and ensuring employment diversity to ensure opportunities for residents. 

    “By working through this process as a community, we have sparked a sense of collaboration that is vital to putting the Vibrant Michigan City agenda items into action,” said Clarence L. Hulse, executive director of the Economic Development Corporation Michigan City. “Our community is so appreciative of the opportunity to work with the initiative’s partners to create a more economic inclusive environment not only here in Michigan City, but also in cities and towns across the country that can mirror our playbook as a guide.”
  • Seymour | Burkart Opportunity Zone: An Inclusive Economic Development Agenda for Seymour
    Seymour’s strategic agenda provides actionable, achievable and measurable steps to help close persistent gaps in economic opportunity and enhance the quality of life for all its residents. This includes agenda items such as enhancing career pathways, building small businesses, welcoming and engaging new immigrants, expanding the trail system and development a new master plan for parks, expanding housing options and improving affordable living options, and creating new places for recreation and socialization. 
    “Being selected by the State of Indiana for this project has presented us a tremendous opportunity to not only bring many residents to the table to discuss the future of Seymour, but also to put plans together to work towards making those changes a reality,” said Seymour Mayor Matt Nicholson. “A tip of the hat to the leadership of Brookings and LISC  for helping us through this process.” 
  • Warsaw | Critical Corridor Connections: An Inclusive Economic Development Agenda for Warsaw
    Warsaw’s strategic plan is designed to grow strategic sectors and address economic stagnation and inequity by coordinating and concentrating workforce, small business, real estate development and placemaking efforts. The community outlines specific initiatives to advance its built environment, economic development, civic life and social life, including projects and programs such as reviving downtown, inspiring entrepreneurship, advancing access to living wage manufacturing jobs, increasing public access to lakes and recreation assets and reinvigorating industrial heritage sites. 
    “Our community is thrilled to be part of this extraordinary opportunity. We are appreciative of the efforts of LISC and Brookings who guided us through convening businesses, residents and community leaders in the Critical Corridors that link Warsaw and Winona Lake,” said Suzie Light, leadership partner at the Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation. “Our robust Agenda will lead to lasting inclusive partnerships and transformative projects. We are thankful for all the members of our team that worked together and shared their talents and vision for Warsaw.”

Indiana’s nationally recognized READI program is a statewide initiative that seeds community development projects and programs to catalyze economic and population growth. The IEDC initiated this pilot program after identifying gaps in the initial READI application process as smaller communities needed more specific, concentrated support. The organization started with these three unique communities with the intent that the strategies developed can be replicated across smaller, similar communities in Indiana. 
“The well-being of our cities and our nation depends on creating equitable landscapes of opportunity where more people, small businesses, and places can thrive,” said Hanna Love, senior research associate at Brookings. “CCEI provides local leaders with the tools to lay the groundwork for a strong and healthy future, and to do so in a way that is accountable to communities that have for too long been denied the chance to thrive.”
The IEDC has successfully obligated the initial $500 million investment, which was appropriated in 2021, to more than 360 projects and programs across 17 regions. The state’s investment is expected to yield more than $12 billion total invested in Indiana’s quality of life, quality of place and quality of opportunity.

To learn more, visit IndianaREADI.com

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Rochester man arrested for fleeing law enforcmement

A Rochester man was arrested after trying to flee law enforcement.

The Fulton County Sheriff's office says Deputy Abbigayle Miller observed an SUV commit a traffic infraction in the area of CR 650 S. and Old US Hwy 31 located in Fulton County. She initiated a traffic stop using her emergency lights but the vehicle failed to yield.

The vehicle then entered into Miami County and turned north onto 400 S. from 1350 N. The vehicle then drove off the roadway into a bean field and then through a fence. When deputies caught up with the vehicle they found the driver door opened and the driver had fled.

Deputy James Dulin used his K-9 partner, Agi, and performed a track of the driver. A short time later they located a male lying in the field. Agi was sent to apprehend the male who surrendered without further incident.

The male driver was identified as Cary Guyer, 31, of Rochester. Guyer was transported to Woodlawn Hospital for medical clearance but did not suffer any injuries from the incident.

Guyer was booked at the Fulton County Jail for Resisting Law Enforcement with a Vehicle, Resisting Law Enforcement, Driving While Suspended-Prior, Operating a Vehicle Never Licensed, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Possession of Paraphernalia.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office and the Indiana State Police assisted Fulton County.

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INDOT hiring for winter season

The Indiana Department of Transportation is looking for individuals to fill jobs for this winter.

INDOT will host Winter Seasonal Hiring Events on Tuesday, September 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (local time) at 13 locations across the state.

Winter seasonal positions run from early November to early April. Pay starts at $21 per hour for full-time operations and $25 per hour for on-call snowplow-only operations. Job duties for full-time seasonal positions include performing general highway maintenance, traffic maintenance, snow and ice removal and other duties related to winter operations.

A valid CDL is required to be considered for full-time or on-call positions.

Registration is not required to attend the event. Interviews will be conducted on-site, and INDOT team members will be available to answer questions and provide more information about open positions and careers with the agency.

For a full list of hiring event locations and more information, visit bit.ly/INDOTSeasonal or text INDOT Winter to 468311.

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$449,020 winning CA$H 5 jackpot ticket sold in Peru for Friday's drawing

Hoosier Lottery CA$H 5 tickets should be checked carefully as one entry matched all five numbers in Friday night’s $449,020 CA$H 5 jackpot drawing. 

The $449,020 jackpot winning ticket was purchased at JJ’s #8 Travel Plaza located at 2964 W. 100 N. in Peru.

The winning CA$H 5 numbers for Friday, Sept. 15, are: 11-18-26-28-40. Players can check their tickets with the free Hoosier Lottery Mobile App by downloading here.

The ticket holder should ensure their ticket is in a secure place, consider meeting with a financial advisor and contact Hoosier Lottery customer service at 1-800-955-6886 for specific claim instructions.

CA$H 5 overall odds are 1 in 11.

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Acoustic bat monitor to gather data in Fulton County

Fulton County Soil and Waste Associate Supervisor Valerie Gordon welcomed visitors last Wednesday to her rural home west of Rochester, as Indiana DNR representatives Tim Shier and David Wile installed two acoustic bat monitors.

Fulton County is now one of many counties throughout Indiana participating in the acoustic bat survey that will identify, track, and gather data regarding bat migration.

Shier said the monitors will be collected in October, where the data will be recorded in a statewide database. 



Around 10 bat species are said to be found in Indiana, with seven or eight being more commonly found. The most important job bats do for this area is pest control. Shier explained that it's been estimated bats save the agricultural industry in the US more than five billion dollars annually in pest control. Because of this, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepared a policy to protect the bats during mating season, stating tree clearing can only occur during inactive bat season. Currently, the inactive bat season is from October 1 to March 31. 


You can learn more about the importance of bats in next month when the Kewanna Union Township Public Library will be hosting two events on October 18 at 11 a.m. and October 19 at 5:30 p.m. with Tony Carroll, DNR Wildlife Biologist. Attendees will also be able to make and take their own bat homes. 

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FBI, Starke County investigation results in arrest for child exploitation

A Knox man was taken into custody by detectives with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department.

Patrick R. Jenkins, 41, was arrested on charges related to internet child exploitation. The investigation began in mid-July and was a collaborative effort between Starke County Detectives and agents with the FBI.

The FBI became aware of internet conversations between Jenkins and an underage female. During these conversations, Jenkins is alleged to have solicited the girl for sex. Agents with the FBI contacted local authorities and shared information with Starke County detectives. Upon completion of the investigation, contact was made with Jenkins at his residence and he was taken into custody.

A report was submitted to the Starke County Prosecutor’s office and formal charges were filed. Jenkins is charged with Child Solicitation, a Level 4 felony. He is currently being held at the Starke County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

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Tommy G Memorial Foundation presents $3,840 check to family of toddler mauled by dog

Tommy G Memorial Foundation founder Colleen Ksiazek met with the mother and siblings of 3-year-old Emry Sands Sunday afternoon at Poblanos in Winamac to present the family with two checks totaling $3,840. 

The money was raised from a spaghetti benefit supper at the Winamac Faternal Order of Eagles.

The toddler was mauled by a dog earlier this summer, setting the family back both financially and emotionally.



Thanks to Riley Children's Hospital, Emry's recovery has been successful, but isn't quite over yet. The toddler's mother, Shaelee Shepard, said she's thankful for the contributions give to aid their family during her daughter's recovery.

Between still having to take care of their other three children at home, countless trips to Riley in Indianapolis, and still having bills to pay, the journey hasn't been an easy one.

Shepard said although miracles have been made during her daughter's recovery, Emry will still need up to five more additional surgeries before all is said and done.