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Health department announces changes to Covid-19, monkeypox dashboards

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) today announced changes to its COVID-19 dashboard to reflect new publishing schedules and additional surveillance tools.


Beginning this week, the COVID dashboards at will be updated each Wednesday by 5 p.m. This change reflects a national shift to evaluating weekly metrics rather than daily case counts and will ensure that trends in COVID-19 activity remain available to the public and healthcare providers to help inform decisions.


Breakthrough case counts and hospitalizations have been removed from the vaccine dashboard at and from the youth dashboard in recognition of the fact that the widespread use of at-home tests, new variants and updated vaccines no longer provide a clear picture of breakthrough cases. 


IDOH also has added a new wastewater surveillance dashboard that shows the results of SARS-CoV-2 tests conducted on untreated wastewater. Since people infected with the virus can shed it in their stool even if they do not have symptoms, wastewater surveillance can serve as an early warning that COVID-19 is spreading in a community.


“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made changes to our dashboards to ensure we are providing information that most accurately reflects the current situation so that individuals and communities can take steps to protect themselves and their families,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “These adjustments allow us to better evaluate COVID-19 activity in communities at a time when many cases go unreported due to the high use of home tests.”


In addition to the changes to the COVID-19 dashboards, IDOH has shifted to weekly updates of its monkeypox dashboard at to reflect declining case counts.

Keepsake round barn christmas ornaments on sale now

In 2021, Fulton County participated in Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb and the Indiana Statehouse Tour Office’s “92 Reasons to Celebrate.” The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce partnered with local artist Erica Coffing to design and submit an ornament highlighting Fulton County’s historic round barns, which was on display at the statehouse all season long.


Chamber Executive Director Jillian Smith is proud to announce that the Chamber is collaborating with Coffing once again to create replica ornaments to be sold to the public this holiday season.


These limited-edition ornaments will be available for purchase on Saturday, October 8 from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. in front of the Chamber office located at 822 Main Street in Rochester. Individuals can then purchase ornaments from the Chamber office beginning October 11 during regular business hours.


Ornaments are $20 each and proceeds will be deposited into the Chamber Agency Fund at the Fulton County Community Foundation to support beautification projects in Fulton County.


Please contact Kellie Scobie at 574-224-2666 with any questions.


$50K Powerball ticket bought in Plymouth

A $50, 000 Powerball ticket was sold in Marshall County.


The Hoosier Lottery says the ticket was purchased at a Plymouth Speedway on North Michigan Street.


The winning numbers were 6-10-24-33-67, Powerball of 11.


No ticket matched all of the numbers and the Powerball.  The next jackpot will be $322 million.


For the Plymouth winner, the odds of matching four balls and the Powerball was 

1 in 913,130.

Auditor of State confirms all automatic taxpayer refund checks are printed & mailed

More than 1.5 million automatic taxpayer refund (ATR) checks have been printed and mailed, confirmed State Auditor Tera Klutz, CPA today.


“We successfully completed printing on September 21 and sent the last batch of automatic taxpayer refund checks to the postal service on September 22,” stated Auditor Klutz. “Most Hoosiers who filed a 2020 tax return in 2021, should have received their automatic taxpayer refund via direct deposit or mailed check by now.”


Klutz continued, “While most eligible recipients have received their refunds, we are aware that many need further assistance to claim it. Due to the checks being issued from the 2020 Indiana tax return some recipients have passed away or moved and we are working to get those checks reissued to the proper name and address.”


Do you need a refund check reissued?

• If an individual received a payment who has since passed away, the living spouse or executor needs to file a Distributee's Affidavit for Disposition of Estates SF# 49377 with the Auditor of State, and include a copy of the Death Certificate.

• If an individual received a check that could not be deposited due to blurriness or printer error, the recipient needs to file an Affidavit for Lost or Not Received Warrant SF#42850 with the Auditor of State.


Completed and notarized forms can be mailed to the Indiana Auditor of State at 200 West Washington Street, Room 240, Indianapolis, IN 46204. Feel free to contact us directly at with any questions regarding this process.


Do you need a refund check split? Hoosiers who received a joint check of $650 made out to both spouses who filed their 2020 individual income taxes jointly, but who have since divorced and need the check separated and reissued should mail the original check along with a written request to divide the refund to:


Indiana Department of Revenue
Attn: Non-Responsible Spouse
PO Box 7202
Indianapolis, IN 46207


Did you qualify for the automatic taxpayer refund, but you still have not received a direct deposit or mailed check? You are encouraged to contact the Indiana Department of Revenue directly after November 1 to allow time for returned mail to process.


For more information, visit the Automatic Taxpayer Refund page on the AOS website.

Paving schedule set for Rochester streets

The City of Rochester Street Department has announced that the city street paving projects are scheduled to begin on or around October 10. 


In a notice about the upcoming projects the city asks that residents in these areas move all vehicles off the street prior to October 10, and refrain from parking on the street during the resurfacing in that respective area. 


If you have any questions, please contact the Street Department at 574-223-4740.


The following streets / areas are on the schedule: 

Gregory Farm Village


Schoolview Addition


Long Beach Drive


Rochester Blvd – Jackson to Lakeshore


Madison St – 13th to 14th St


W 12th St – Park Rd to Fulton


W 9th St Clay to Fulton


W 5th St - Clay to Fulton


W 4th St- Alley to Pontiac (South half lane)


W 6th St - Minnow Creek to Clay


E 16th St – Bancroft to Wallace


E 6th St – Indiana Ave to Pool parking lot


E 6th St – Main to Monroe




Logansport man charged with child molestation

A Cass County man was arrested by Indiana State Police on child molestation charges.

A criminal investigation by Indiana State Police Detective Wendell Beachy resulted in the arrest of Justin Bault, 40, 2347 East Cass County Road 350 North, rural Logansport.  Bault was arrested during a traffic stop on State Road 25 and Cass County Road 350 North, when troopers served him with a Cass County arrest warrant alleging criminal charges for three counts of child molestation and a single count of child exploitation.

On August 2, Beachy started an investigation after receiving information that two girls had possibly been molested in Cass County. During the investigation, evidence revealed that Bault allegedly molested two girls at separate times when they were approximately seven years of age.

Bault was incarcerated in the Cass County Jail.

Norfolk Southern to close portion of U.S. 31 in Tipton County

Norfolk Southern Railroad announces closure to a portion of U.S. 31 in both directions between S.R. 28 and W. 100 S. starting on or after Monday, October 3, through Wednesday, October 5.


This closure will allow Norfolk Southern Railroad to replace the rail in the crossing. 


The official detour: 

  • Traveling North on U.S. 31: S.R. 28 to S.R. 19 to S.R. 26 back to U.S. 31
  • Traveling South on U.S. 31: S.R. 26 to S.R. 19 to to S.R. 28 back to U.S. 31

No public comment at Fulton County Council budget public hearing

The Fulton County Council held a public hearing on the 2023 budget during their monthly meeting this week.


Council President Phyl Olinger opened the public hearing, and no one in the room spoke regarding the budget.  The council will have the first reading of the 2023 budget during next month’s meeting.


County Councilman Ron Dittman says the budget is one of the harder things the council must do.


In other business, Sheriff Chris Sailors presented his monthly report for August.  The Sheriff’s Department had 792 incidents, 143 traffic stops, 75 criminal case investigations, and 26 accidents.  The daily average inmate population for August was 105. 


The next County Council meeting is on October 18, at 4:30 pm.  

Rochester City Council agrees to vacate an alley next to The Times Theater

A request by a city business to have an alley vacated was approved by the Rochester City Council.


The council voted unanimously to approve a request by The Times Theater to vacate the alley next to their building on Main Street's west side between Sixth and Seventh St. 


Council member Ruth Gunter, a property owner to the northside, chose to recuse herself from the vote, due to conflict of interest. 


The decision came after a public hearing on the request, where The Times Theater Chairman Julie Shambarger explained they plan on using the building's side entrance as a second emergency exit for the theater.



Commissioners give go-ahead on tax break for RTC to bring internet to Fulton Co. homes

Efforts to increase internet access and broadband capabilities were brought before Fulton County Commissioners this week.


Commissioner Rick Ranstead explains RTC’s efforts to get fiber into Fulton County homes, the grant which powers those efforts, and the request made this week.



Ranstead says it is worth the investment for residents and future growth.



Two former Starke County detectives indicted by grand jury

Two former detectives with the Stark County Sheriff's Department have turned themselves in to face charges.


Following a lengthy investigation by detectives with the Indiana State Police Criminal Investigation Division Lowell Post, evidence and testimony was recently presented to a grand jury. The subject matter of the grand jury involved missing evidence from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department. At the conclusion of the proceedings, the grand jury issued indictments.


Adam Gray- 50, of Knox

  1. Official Misconduct- Level 6 Felony (4 counts)
  2. Theft- Class A Misdemeanor (2 counts)
  3. Dealing Paraphernalia- Class A Misdemeanor
  4. Dealing Marijuana- Class A Misdemeanor

 Don Ferguson- 54, of South Bend

  1. Official Misconduct- Level 6 Felony (3 counts)
  2. Theft of Firearm- Level 6 Felony
  3. Theft- Class A Misdemeanor
  4. False Informing- Class B Misdemeanor

Both individuals have turned themselves in to the Stark County Jail.

54 years of family being celebrated at Shepherd's

Shepherd’s Family Auto Group has been in business for 54 years. It all started back in 1968 by Robert “Bobby” Shepherd.


At Shepherd’s the old saying is they will always treat you like family and part of that is because Shepherd’s was started by family, and continues to be run by family today.



Bobby talks about the struggles of the car business and realizing he wasn’t in control of the obstacles and struggles they had dealt with.


Shepherd’s Family Auto Group made the decision to expand from their North Manchester location to Rochester in 1994.  In 1999, they continued that expansion into Kendallville and opened their newest store in Auburn in 2019.  Each location of Shepherd’s has a family member running the location.


Austin Shepherd on each location.



At Shepherd’s if you know what you’re looking for and it doesn’t happen to be on the lot, there’s always a possibility that Shepherd’s could find it for you within their network.



Shepherd’s Family Auto Group continues to celebrate their 54 years in business with the September Sales Event that has been extended through the end of the month.  



Sult Family Medicine, Fulton County's first direct primary care practice

Board certified family physician Dr. Jennifer Sult took a big leap when she officially opened her own practice this past August at 710 East 9th St in Rochester.


Born and raised in Fulton County, Sult decided to return to her roots to follow her passion for helping others after medical school. Hired to practice at Woodlawn Hospital in 2008, the 'big corporation feel' wasn't what Sult had been looking for when wanting to become a doctor. 



Leaving Woodlawn in 2020, Sult had taken the past two years to create her own practice where she was more in control and able to have a better relationship with her patients, bringing a new model of health care to Fulton County.


Promising her patients convenient care, Sult says her practice provides same day or next day appointments, as well as access to Sult via phone, text, or video. Patients pay a small monthly fee for service that you would expect at your family doctor. Membership costs vary, but the monthly fee means no primary care fees or co-pay and unlimited visits.  Unlike an urgent care facility, Sult Family Medicine does not provide one time visits. 



Sult's primary care includes in-office procedures like injections, suturing, EKG, minor skin problems and more, plus after hours access to access to a physician and significantly cheaper labs and prescriptions. Transparent about pricing, Sult says her patients will never have surprise bills when leaving her office.



With no long term contracts and unprecedented medical access for the area, Sult said she has gotten new patients daily, and spots are filling up fast. Sult does plan to cap her limit, and will stop accepting new patients once she gets 700. 

ProPEL to examine U.S. 30 and U.S. 31 corridors

The Indiana Department of Transportation says a study of the U.S. 30 and 31 corridors gets underway this fall.


ProPEL is an INDOT initiative to streamline transportation planning using collaborative PEL studies to consider environmental, community and economic goals early in the planning process. INDOT says ProPEL studies will assess innovative ways to renovate our roadways and corridors, while prioritizing community needs and equitable infrastructure.


INDOT is asking for the Hoosiers’ input as it begins streamlined planning studies along the U.S. 30 corridor in Northern Indiana.

U.S. 30 West: Study area extends from SR 49 (Valparaiso County) to West County Road 700 North (Fulton County) and Beech Road (Marshall County).

U.S. 30 East: Study area extends from Beech Road (Marshall County) to the Indiana/Ohio state line (Allen County).

Multiple public meetings will be held along the corridors, with the first set of meetings expected this fall. The PEL studies will examine mobility, safety, economic development, land use, environmental impacts and other factors along the corridor.


U.S. 31 North: Study area extends from just south of Eel River (Miami County) to just south of the Fulton/Marshall County line.

U.S. 31 South: Study area extends from 276th Street (Hamilton County) to just south of Eel River (Miami County)


Studies are to be complete by Fall of 2024.  Public meetings are expected to be scheduled for this fall.





Lebanon man sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for trafficking meth in Parke, Clay, and Vigo counties

Max W. Woodard II, 51, of Lebanon, was sentenced to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.


According to court documents, on April 19, a law enforcement officer stopped Woodard’s vehicle for a traffic violation near U.S. 40 and North Miami Gardens Street in Vigo County. The officer identified Woodard as the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle. Woodard appeared nervous when the officer approached his vehicle, and he did not comply with the officer’s commands. The officer asked Woodard to exit the vehicle, but Woodard refused. The officer attempted to open Woodard’s door, but it was locked. The officer continued to ask Woodard to exit the vehicle and he continued to refuse.


Another officer with a police K9 arrived on the scene and the K9 alerted to the presence of controlled substances inside the vehicle. Officers searched the vehicle and found a black bag containing 477 grams of methamphetamine. Woodward was traveling to Terre Haute, to sell the methamphetamine when he was stopped by police. Woodard was taken into custody and transported to jail.


The next day, investigators went to Woodard’s residence in Lebanon, after he consented to a search of his residence. The officers found two loaded firearms in Woodard’s couch: a black 9mm handgun and .22 caliber handgun. Two additional firearms were surrendered to law enforcement by a third-party who had removed the firearms from Woodard’s residence shortly before officers’ arrival. All four firearms belonged to Woodard.


Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Michael Gannon, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Indianapolis Field Office, made the announcement.


The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. As part of the sentence, Judge Stinson ordered that Woodard be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for five years following his release from federal prison.



Crime victims assistance grants awarded to several area agencies

Several area agencies were awarded federal grants to assist crime victims.


The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) awarded $67 million in federal grants to more than 190 public and non-profit entities through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) program.


The funding will be used to provide direct services and assistance to crime victims throughout the state.


Among area grantees:

Cass County Prosecutor, $62, 276

Miami County Prosecutor, $89, 774

Pulaski County Prosecutor, $118, 446

Kosciusko County Prosecutor, $69, 856

Kosciusko County Shelter for Abuse, $596, 840

CASA of Kosciusko County, $118, 950


VOCA funding is provided by the Office for Victims of Crime under the U.S. Department of Justice and comes from the fines and restitution paid by convicted federal offenders.


The Victims of Crime Act was established by Congress in 1984 to support state and local programs that assist victims of all kinds of crime including assault, robbery, homicide, driving while intoxicated, fraud, elder abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking and many others. Overall, VOCA funds are designed to help survivors stabilize their lives after a victimization, participate in the justice system and restore a measure of security and safety to their daily lives, along with addressing the physical and emotional trauma of crime.


Over the next two years, these grants will fund a variety of initiatives in Indiana including mental health counseling, transitional housing, crisis intervention, legal aid, and child and youth services. The funding will also be used to support victim advocates, sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) and other victim-focused positions.


This cycle, priority was given to projects that focus on serving marginalized and underserved communities, as well as promote equity and racial justice.


“When it comes to addressing the needs of crime victims, one size does not fit all,” said Kim Lambert, ICJI Victim Services Director. “That’s why funding sources like VOCA are important because they allow organizations, embedded in the community, to create and tailor services to the individual.”


The projects for the 2022-2024 grant cycle were approved by the ICJI Board of Trustees and will be made available to organizations starting in October.


LaPorte County father pleads guilty to murder of 4-year-old Judah Morgan

A La Porte County father has pleaded guilty  in the death of his 4-year-old son, Judah Morgan, after Judah was found murdered last October at their home in rural Hamlet.


Alan D. Morgan, 29, admitted to committing murder and battery on Wednesday in court. In return prosecutors agreed to take off 'life without parole' as a possible sentence. The charges of neglect of a dependent and animal cruelty were also dropped. 


The defense agreement also resolved an additional case with Morgan, who pleaded guilty to resisting law enforcement. Charges related to drug possession, reckless driving and operating a vehicle under the influnce were all dropped. 


On October 11, 2021, La Porte County Sheriff Deputies were called to Morgan's home, after a call around 2:45 am about a report of an unconcious child. Shortly after, Judah's body would be discovered in a back room nude, covered in bruises, and wrapped in a blanket. 


According to charging documents, after failing to make contact, deputies responding to the 911 call entered the residence through an unlocked door. Reporting the home to be in disarray and smelling of the rotten food, trash, and animal feces that was strewn about, officers also discovered an extremely malnourished dog in a locked crate. Three other children were also found in the home unharmed and sleeping, but alone. Unfortunately for little Judah, he would be pronounced dead at the scene. 


Court documents stated the 4-year-old was sent to the basement as punishment for not being potty-trained like his other siblings, typically three times a week. It was reported the unfinished basement was cold, dark and without working lights. Judah would be kept in the basement for a few days at a time, often enduring horrific abuse, and withheld food and water. 


The child's mother, Mary Yoder, 26, is also faces charges of  neglect resulting in death. Yoder is due back in court in December. Morgan's sentencing is set for November 29. 

Jury needs just minutes to convict Winamac man; sentencing Tuesday

A Winamac man will be sentenced next week following a jury taking just minutes to return a guilty verdict.


Pulaski County Prosecutor Kelly Gaumer stated in a press release that Scott Freeman was found guilty of possessing a narcotic drug.  The charge stems from an incident on June 20 when Freeman was seen by Sgt. Fred Rogers of the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department driving a golf cart.  Freeman was known to be wanted on an active warrant.  During his arrest, Freeman was found to have a pill in his pocket.  It was identified as Acetaminophen Oxycodone, a Schedule 2 narcotic.


The six-person jury found that Freeman did not have a prescription for the pill and returned a guilty verdict in under ten minutes.


Freeman faces a possible sentence of six to 30 months.  He will be sentenced Tuesday, September 27.






NIPSCO requests increase in electric rates to IURC

NIPSCO says generating cleaner electricity from renewable energy projects and upgrading its electric grid to support the transmission and monitoring of that electricity are some of the key factors leading to a request with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to adjust its base electric rates next year.


NIPSCO is a subsidiary of NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI).


While the proposed increase was filed with the IURC, it will undergo a thorough regulatory review process, which includes the opportunity for the public to provide input. Any changes to a customer’s bill that are ultimately approved by the IURC will be phased in over time beginning in late 2023 and into 2024, versus a one-time increase.


NIPSCO’s last request to change electric rates was in 2018.


“The investments we’re making provide direct benefits to all our customers, the communities we serve and the local economy,” said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO president. “Beyond the necessary upgrades, grid modernization and customer-centric enhancements that are critical to ensure the level of service our customers expect for the future, a significant portion of the investments are tied to our future energy transition and the addition of new renewable energy projects located in Indiana.”


NIPSCO transition includes renewable energy generation, which represents approximately $840 million in new investments through 2023. In turn, customers directly benefit by receiving a credit on their bills from 100 percent of the revenue associated with the sale of excess power currently being generated by the existing renewable projects and the sales from the upcoming additions. We currently forecast that benefit to be $50 million annually, depending on how much energy is ultimately generated from these sources.


“While there are near-term costs associated with the investments being made to get our wind and solar projects off the ground, customers are already benefiting from these existing renewable projects and will continue to see cost savings grow in the long term when we’re able to eliminate the costs associated with running our remaining coal-fired electric generating facilities by 2026-2028,” added Hooper.


The company also says it is investing approximately $700 million for electric transmission and distribution system upgrades, technology improvements, and safety and reliability initiatives to be completed by the end of 2023, with plans for similar investments into the future.


NIPSCO says it seeks to further its commitment to customers in several ways, including:  


• Proposing new bill payment assistance programs for income-qualified customers, with a portion funded by NIPSCO


• Continuing investments to thwart and protect its electric grid against cybersecurity threats


• Upgrading and replacing overhead and underground cable to increase reliability 


• Modernizing the electric grid with automated technology that identifies problems and outages to enable us to restore service faster


• Enhancing the overall customer experience through the introduction of a new mobile app, along with the ability for customers to connect with customer care agents online via live or automated chat, the continuation of energy efficiency programs and more


As a regulated energy provider, NIPSCO cannot change any rates or charges to its customers without the approval of the IURC. NIPSCO’s natural gas rates are not affected by this request.    


Based on NIPSCO’s proposal, an average residential electric customer using 668 kilowatt hours (kwh) per month, paying approximately $120 today, would see an overall increase of approximately $19 per month, or approximately 16.5 percent, spread over multiple years.


The change would begin to occur by September 2023, with the remaining changes applied in March 2024 and July 2024. 


As the company retires its remaining coal-fired generation, the costs associated with operating and maintaining those facilities during the transition to more renewable resources will reduce and eventually be eliminated. This proposal ensures customers are only paying costs as NIPSCO incurs them, and the associated savings of approximately $6 per month will be passed directly back to customers – providing a more real-time benefit to customers.


Actual projected bill impacts may vary by customer – including non-residential customers – depending on usage and future potential changes in market prices for commodities like coal.


Bill payment assistance and energy savings programs are available  


As the current economic effects of inflation and the pandemic are being experienced, it’s important to know that help continues to be available. Bill payment assistance programs are available for customers experiencing financial difficulties – including low-income customers. 


Outside of the state and federal energy assistance programs and moratorium on winter service disconnections, NIPSCO provides funding for an additional bill reduction program, credit arrangements, budget plans and reduced deposits for eligible customers, including: 


• Payment Agreements: NIPSCO has expanded its payment plan agreements to offer its most flexible payment plans to customers that need financial support, including a three-month option, a six-month option introduced during the pandemic and a 12-month option for eligible LIHEAP customers. Customers can learn more and enroll at  


• LIHEAP Program: LIHEAP support is available to households that are at or below 60 percent of State Median Income (SMI). The program opens on October 1 for online and mail-in applications. Customers can learn more and find out if they qualify at? call 2-1-1. 


• Township Trustees: A limited amount of energy assistance funds are available through local Township Trustee offices. NIPSCO customers are encouraged to contact their local Township Trustee to see what help may be available. 


• The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (IERA): Provides up to 18 months of rental and utility assistance for renters. Additional information can be found at


Customers experiencing difficulty with paying their bill – regardless of their income – are encouraged to contact our Customer Care Center Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT at 1-800-464-7726 to determine what help might be available to them. For more information on bill assistance, customers can visit


In addition to offering a variety of payment assistance options, NIPSCO offers a number of energy efficiency programs to help lower energy usage and bills. Visit for more information on available programs and other ways to save.


For more information pertaining to NIPSCO’s request, visit

Rochester's Drew Strasser making comeback from frightening August 5 collapse at school; benefit dinner Friday

The Mayo Clinic defines sudden cardiac arrest as the abrupt loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness. The condition usually results from a problem with the rest of the body.


It seems unlikely that on the morning of August 5 at Rochester High School 17-year-old Drew Strasser was the least bit concerned about such a health tragedy.  The senior was at his first Friday morning tennis practice of the season.  Suddenly, a teenage athlete who had shown no signs of what was to come collapsed and wasn’t breathing or responsive.


Drew’s mother, Laneia.



Now, Drew’s on the way back.  In fact, a return to school has already happened. 



Not surprisingly, Laneia says Drew is still recovering.  And, what’s more, they are continuing to search for the cause.



Support from the school and community has been there from the get-go.



Coming up Friday, ahead of the Rochester home football game with Peru, there will be a carry-out hog roast dinner benefit for Drew Strasser.  Proceeds from the free will donation dinner at the RHS parking lot will help with medical and travel costs for Drew’s stay at Riley Hospital for Children.


The dinner is from 4:00 -7:00 pm, or until it’s sold out.



Bridge maintenance on SR 25 to continue into mid-October

The Indiana Department of Transportation with traffic restrictions on State Road 25 between Fulton and Metea.

Crews will be performing bridge maintenance between E. C.R. 875 N and E. C.R. 900 N. There will be alternating lane closures in the area and traffic will be controlled by a temporary traffic signal.

Work is scheduled to start on or after Sept. 19 and is expected to wrap up by mid-October. All work is weather-dependent and schedules are subject to change.

INDOT encourages drivers to consider worker safety by slowing down, driving distraction free and using extra caution when driving in and around all work zones.


Legislation to rename Mishawaka veterans clinic for Jackie Walorski headed to president's desk

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a signing ceremony for the Indiana delegation’s bill, H.R.8656, to rename the Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic in Mishawaka, Indiana the “Jackie Walorski VA Clinic.”


The legislation passed the House unanimously on August 12, passed the Senate unanimously on September 8, and is now headed to the president’s desk.


Congresswoman Jackie Walorski served on the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs for two terms, where she worked tirelessly to provide Hoosier veterans with quality care and advocated for the construction of a VA Clinic in Mishawaka.


Said Rep. Banks: “Today was an extremely emotional day in Congress for those who were lucky enough to know Congresswoman Walorski. It provided me with some closure and I hope the friends and colleagues we shared feel the same way. I’d like to thank Speaker Pelosi for honoring Rep. Walorski’s memory by hosting today’s ceremonial bill signing and bringing H.R.8656 to the House floor for speedy passage. I’d like to thank the rest of the Indiana delegation for coming together during a difficult time for us all and especially for the support they’ve offered the Walorski family.”  




Grow Wabash County to make E-Commerce coaching available

Grow Wabash County has secured a $50,000 grant from Region 3A utilizing EDA CARES Act funding to be able to identify and teach small, for-profit Wabash County businesses ways to improve their electronic commerce (e-commerce) presence.


Grow Wabash County invites for-profit small businesses in Wabash County to apply for its new E-Commerce coaching program presented in partnership with Cyclone Social.


This E-Commerce program will allow for 10 to 12 small businesses in Wabash County to receive high quality instruction and support to help them develop an e-commerce platform to sell their goods and/or services online. These coaching sessions will take place one-on-one between business owners and members of the Cyclone Social team and together they will take a holistic approach to creating and maintaining a successful e-commerce website.


Cyclone Social, a digital media agency based in Fort Wayne, has taken the lead on many projects geared towards giving brick and mortar businesses the tools and knowledge needed to establish a dynamic presence online.


"We have seen small, brick-and-mortar stores turn to e-commerce and absolutely explode with their businesses,” Andrew Lamping, founder and CEO of Cyclone Social, said. “It's exciting for us to be a part of this program and support so many remarkable businesses in expanding to e-commerce."


The selected businesses will be able to participate in this program free of charge, though certain ongoing fees (i.e. domains, website upkeep, etc.) to maintain their E-Commerce website will be the responsibility of the business owner.


“One of our main motivations at Grow Wabash County is to help our local business community grow, thrive and ultimately remain competitive in this ever-changing business landscape,” Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO of Grow Wabash County, said. “Every day, more and more business in being done, at least partially, online, so we are excited to be working with Cyclone Social to help our local small businesses take the success they have as a brick and mortar business and multiply it by building out their virtual business presence.”


Business owners interested in applying to receive E-Commerce coaching from Cyclone Social are asked to complete the application

at: In order to qualify for this program, a business must be a for-profit small business that operates in Wabash County.



A full copy of the Request For Proposals (RFP) can be found on the Grow Wabash County website at


Questions regarding the submission process may be directed to Chelsea at or 260-563-5258. 



Warsaw's KGP closing plant, laying off nearly 200

KGP in Warsaw says it is closing its manufacturing facility.  Nearly 200 people will lose their jobs.


The Minnesota-based company submitted a WARN notification to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.  The company cites a raw material shortage as the reason for the shutdown.

The layoffs are expected to be permanent.


It was just in January of last year that KGP announced it was hiring 200 people at the facility.


Three waves of reduction are planned with one each in November, December and January.

Rochester couple shocks loved ones with surprise wedding

When Eric Crispen and Carla Smiley started planning their wedding last year, they knew they wanted to keep it lowkey. Taking it to a new extreme, the couple decided to not even tell their wedding guests until they were standing at the altar. 



Inviting guests to their house on West 9th Street for an 'open house' to show off their new home renovations, the only ones who knew about the wedding were their children, and a select few friends that Carla had spilled the secret to. 



Already prepared with food, drinks and a canopy set up for dinner, the ceremony started after their ordained son-in-law, Josh Groom, ushered family and friends to the lawn for a 'toast' that ended with the couple saying, 'I do.'


Wendy Reinartz, a close friend who helped reintroduce the couple, was one of the guests who were left in shock.