Three Kosciusko Co. residents arrested after drug tips

An extensive NET43 investigation based upon numerous reports of alleged narcotics activity occurring at 9811 N Majestic Way, on the south side of Lake Wawasee in Turkey Creek Township, culminated in the execution of a search warrant late Tuesday night.


Shortly before midnight, Kosciusko County SWAT raided the residence of David Charles Reed, 47, of Syracuse. Three of the four subjects located within the home were taken into custody and incarcerated in the Kosciusko County Jail. Investigators located narcotics, numerous paraphernalia related items, firearms and cash within the confines of the property.


Additional personnel from the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, Pierceton and Syracuse Police Departments, the Kosciusko County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Lutheran EMS assisted with this incident.


Reed faces several charges:  possession of methamphetamine, dealing in a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, possession of  a hypodermic syringe or needle, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and maintaining a common nuisance.


Also arrested, Reed’s daughter, Kandice Ranae Ferguson, 18, of Syracuse.  She is charged with Possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.


Anthony Wayne Pollard, Jr., 54, of Pierceton is charged with false informing and visiting a common nuisance.


Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) 43 is a collaborative law enforcement unit, consisting of officers from the Warsaw and Winona Lake Police Departments, the Indiana State Police and the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office.

If you have information on suspicious drug activity, drug trafficking, or drug suspects; please contact NET43 at NET43@kcgov.com or by telephone at 574-372-2494.

Man arrested on six criminal warrants

A citizen’s tip resulted in the Miami County arrest of a Kokomo man wanted on several warrants.


On Wednesday morning Miami County law enforcement received a tip that Steven Landrum, 38, was walking on State Road 18 near Miami County Road 400 East. The tipster believed Landrum had an active warrant for his arrest.


ISP Trooper Jon Cole responded to the area and located Landrum. Further investigation revealed that Landrum was wanted on multiple arrest warrants totaling nine separate criminal charges.

Landrum was wanted on two separate Miami County Superior Court II warrants alleging probation violations for original felony charges of resisting law enforcement. He was also wanted on four separate Howard Circuit Court arrest warrants alleging criminal charges for intimidation, criminal confinement, domestic battery, unlawful possession of a firearm by a domestic batterer, pointing a firearm, invasion of privacy, and escape from home detention.  


Landrum was incarcerated in the Miami County jail.  

Knox man arrested for dealing controlled substance - testosterone gel

Dealing testosterone gel is why a Knox man is behind bars.


An Indiana State Trooper pulled over a 2015 GMC pickup truck on Monday for a moving violation.

During the traffic stop, the trooper discovered that the driver of the truck, Michael Minix, had an active warrant for drug dealing out of Marshall County.


During a search of Minix's truck, the trooper found 30 plastic tubes marked "Testim" and 30 plastic tubes marked "Testosterone Gel 1.%" and a large amount of cash. These substances are considered schedule III controlled substances, according to Indiana State Police.


Minix was arrested for Dealing in a Controlled Substance as well as for the warrant and transported to the Marshall County Jail.

Former Indiana governor Joe Kernan passed away

Joseph Kernan, the 48th Governor of the State of Indiana, died Wednesday morning following a long illness.


He is survived by his wife, Maggie, and seven siblings.


Kernan, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, began his career as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy. He and his co-pilot were shot down while on a reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam in 1972. He spent 11 months as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, including at the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison.


Kernan returned home in 1974 to begin a career in business. His path led him to the city government, where he served three consecutive terms as Mayor of the City of South Bend.


In 1996, he was asked by Frank O’Bannon to join him as candidate for Lt. Governor. O’Bannon and Kernan were elected in November of that year and won reelection in 2000.


In 2003, Kernan became governor upon O’Bannon’s death. He was sworn in as the state’s 48th governor. He made history by appointing Kathy Davis as Indiana’s first female Lt. Governor.


Kernan retired from politics in 2005 and remained busy in his hometown of South Bend. He worked as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame and in his own consulting firm.

“Indiana mourns the loss of Joe Kernan, a bone fide American hero, decorated Navy officer, and truly selfless statesman who always placed the interests of his fellow Hoosiers first,” said Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.


“Distinguished isn’t a strong enough word to describe him. Without regard for personal cost, Joe Kernan devoted every ounce of his life, time and again, to upholding the oath he took, and serving the country and state he loved.


Undeterred after being shot down and tortured in Vietnam, he returned and led his beloved City of South Bend as mayor for three terms, and our state as our 47th lieutenant governor. When duty called him to step into a role he didn’t seek, he served as our 48th governor.


Through his decades of servant leadership and sacrifice, Joe Kernan modeled all the best of what it means to be a Hoosier and his legacy will continue to live on in each of us whom he inspired.”


Funeral arrangements are being made by Welsheimer’s Funeral Home in South Bend. Memorial contributions may be made to the Veterans Fund at the University of Notre Dame.


Please direct your gift to support scholarships and fellowships for military-connected students to giving.nd.edu, by phone (574) 631-5150, or by mail: University of Notre Dame, Department of Development, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556.

State Road 39 to have lane closures for resurfacing project

The Indiana Department of Transportation has scheduled lane closures for State Road 39 in Pulaski County between State Road 16 and State Road 14 beginning Monday, August 3.


Crews will be resurfacing the road. Lane closures will occur for approximately ten hours a day,


during daylight hours only. Flaggers will direct traffic in the area where work is occurring.


The project is expected to be completed in mid-November. 

Mysterious seeds from China showing up in the mail

Packets of unsolicited seeds from China have appeared in mailboxes across the nation, perplexing residents and sparking invasive species concerns.


Indiana joined a growing list of states warning residents not to plant the unidentified seeds after the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) received “several” calls and emails about possible recipients.


At least two Hoosiers reported receiving seed packets in the mail since Saturday, the Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC) said Monday.


Officials were unable to confirm where in Indiana the packages were sent.


The seeds, enclosed in small plastic bags and tucked in square or rectangular packets with Chinese shipping labels, appear to be sent from Shenzen.


Photos of several seed packets, provided to News 8 by a member of the Association of American Seed Control Officials (AASCO), show the contents mislabeled in English and Chinese as “stud earrings.”


The packages contain no jewelry.


“I’ve been in the seed business over 30 years I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Don Robison, Indiana’s state seed administrator.


Some seeds reported in other states look similar to wheat or cucumber seeds, he said, but could carry unknown disease.


The OISC’s primary concern is determining whether the seeds come from an invasive plant that could threaten native species, including local agriculture.


States with economies driven by agriculture are responding with heightened concern; some farm supply chains are still recovering from pandemic-related disruptions.


“Indiana has 12 million acres of crops and we want to make sure we protect those crops,” Robison said. “We want to make sure the seed’s not thrown away and gets in a landfill, where it can then grow and expose other seeds other crops to a disease that Indiana doesn’t have.”


If seed control officials confirm a threat, efforts could be launched to search for seeds that were improperly disposed of, he added.


Federal and state officials warned recipients not to plant, destroy or throw away the seeds.

Hoosiers who receive unsolicited seeds in the mail with Chinese shipping labels are urged to immediately send the packets to the Indiana State Seed Laboratory at Purdue University.


- Do not plant

- Do not throw away

- Do not microwave, burn or otherwise destroy


Label packet "Foreign Seeds for Identification" and send to:


Indiana State Seed Laboratory

Purdue University

175 S University St

West Lafayette, IN 47907



Change for RHS baccalaureate ceremony; school starting times change

Rochester High School will be having a separate baccalaureate ceremony from graduation this year. 


Jana Vance, Rochester Schools Superintendent explains




Also, Vance wants to make sure all parents are aware that they will be changing the start times of school this year.



Heroin use is a concern for ISP


With all the issues of COVID-19 going on we asked Sgt. Tony Slocum with the Indiana State Police if meth use was on the rise since people have been home more and not able to get out.



Argos woman severely injured in weekend car-motorcycle accident

Just before 9:00 am Saturday 911 Dispatch received a call of a car - motorcycle accident on Old US 31 near the intersection of 550 North in Fulton County. 


Emergency crews found that Pamela Renee McCoy, 55, of Argos was riding a 2000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle southbound on Old US 31 approaching 550 North.  A 2017 Ford Edge driven by Carl M. Anspach, 85, of Winamac was northbound on Old US 31 and attempted to turn west on county road 550 North.  Anspach turned in front of McCoy causing her to collide with the passenger’s side of the Ford Edge.


McCoy, who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, was thrown from the motorcycle. 

She sustained several lacerations and was flown from the scene due to an intrusive leg injury. 


Anspach was not injured in the accident. 


Assisting the Indiana State Police on scene were the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, Lutheran EMS, Rochester Fire Department, Samaritan helicopter and Wilson’s Towing. 

Severe weather possible today ahead of cool down

Isolated severe thunderstorms could happen at times today, according to the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.


“We’ll have a front moving through later today and what that’s going to do is bring us chances for showers and thunderstorms. Those chances will increase as the day goes on,” says Crystal Petit, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis. “The best chances will be between 2 pm and 8 pm.”


Petit says the threat of severe weather is “marginal.” That means storms could be spotty and typically will be limited in duration and/or intensity.


“Most of these are going to be regular thunderstorms. There is a chance a few of them could produce damaging winds, so you could see a couple of trees down. There could be some flooding as well in low lying areas,” says Petit. “Chances will continue through the overnight hours and then the storms will likely move out by then.”


Temperatures are supposed to cool down as well.


“The rest of the week looks like we’ll have highs in the mid-80s to start and then, as we get later into the week, highs in the lower 80s. Some chances for showers and thunderstorms too, but overall it looks like a pretty nice week,” says Petit.


Petit also urges you to keep an eye on the forecast because it can always change.

Rochester schools reopening plans adjusted

With the ever-changing information about the cornavirus and the reopening of schools, Jana Vance, Rochester School Corporation Superintendent, says the school board made some changes at their last meeting. 



Vance also said there have been changes to the graduation plans for the class of 2020.



Need a county intersection trimmed up give them a call

The Fulton County Highway Department is busy mowing this summer. Fulton County Commissioner Steve Metzger says if you know of an intersection that needs some trimming you can give the highway department a call.




Commissioner Metzger was asked about the intersections of state highways and county roads and who maintains them.



Mayor Ted Denton says it's worth it to wear your mask

As a reminder, starting today the Governor's mandate of wearing a mask begins.


Rochester Mayor Ted Denton says he understands it’s an inconvenience but it is worth it in the long run.  He asks you not to give the local workers a hard time about it.  It wasn’t their decision.



Hot, humid for weekend; relief next week

You can expect another hot and humid weekend.


Aaron Updike, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis, says highs on Saturday will be in the upper 80s, and near 90 on Sunday, but it will feel like it's close to 100.


If you're not a fan of the hot summer weather, don't worry. Updike says after rain and thunderstorms roll through the majority of the state on Monday, we'll have a break from the heat. Temperatures next Tuesday through Friday will only be in the lower to mid 80s.

Indiana AG says governor has overstepped powers

Governor Holcomb's mask order is renewing attention on Indiana's emergency powers law -- with Attorney General Curtis Hill arguing he's overstepping those powers.


Five conservative Republican senators, including Majority Leader Mark Messmer (R-Jasper), asked Hill for an advisory opinion on whether Holcomb has the authority to require you to mask up. Hill's nonbinding reply: he doesn't.


The law says the governor can take any "reasonable and necessary" action in an emergency -- even Hill acknowledges it doesn't spell out any limitations. But he argues that while an emergency declaration was clearly needed at the start of the pandemic, Holcomb shouldn't be able to renew it indefinitely. After four months, he contends legislators should weigh in, And he argues a mask order, especially with a criminal penalty attached, amounts to creating laws, and says legislators would have to give him that authority specifically.


The emergency law says "knowingly, intentionally or recklessly violating an emergency order is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a thousand-dollar fine.


The law says emergency declarations expire after 30 days unless the governor extends them, which Holcomb has done several times, generally in two-week increments. There's no limit on how many times it can be extended -- only a provision allowing the legislature to vote to end the emergency. Legislators won't reconvene until November 17 unless Holcomb calls a special session, which Democrats have requested for other reasons.


Hill says he doesn't question the intentions of Holcomb, nor the mayors and county commissioners who issued mask orders before the statewide mandate. But he argues Holcomb's order intrudes on legislative authority.


Opinions from the attorney general are advisory only -- Hill says it's up to the five senators to decide whether to pursue legal action to block the mandate before it takes effect on Monday.


Jonathan Weinzapfel, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, is coming to Holcomb's defense, arguing the law gives the governor broad authority in an emergency, and explicitly states the penalty for violating an emergency order. He maintains it's both the right policy decision and legally authorized, and says he'd gladly defend it in court if he were attorney general already. He accuses Hill of playing politics.


Relations between Holcomb and Hill had been chilly even before Holcomb called for the attorney general's resignation after accusations of inappropriate touching came to light in 2018. Hill's reelection campaign ended two weeks ago when he lost the Republican nomination to former Congressman Todd Rokita.

Crash between car and motorcycle on US 31 sends two to hospital

Indiana State Police troopers responded to a personal injury crash between a motorcycle and a passenger car that sent two to the hospital.


Around noon, Trooper Jon Hart observed that traffic was coming to a stop on US 31 near 12 B Road in the northbound lanes. As Hart arrived he saw that a motorcycle was laying on its side near the center median and a silver passenger car was pulled to the side of US 31.


Preliminary investigation by Hart indicates that a silver 2007 Chevrolet driven by Michael Hall, 66 of Vicksburg, MI, was driving westbound on 12 B Road when he stopped at the stop sign at the intersection with US 31. Hall then began to cross the northbound lanes of US 31 to attempt to turn left to go south on US 31 when he pulled into the path of a northbound blue and black 2013 Harley Davidson being ridden by Tyler Swihart, 23 of Plymouth causing the Harley Davidson to collide with the Chevrolet in the driver’s side door. Swihart was thrown over the handlebars of the motorcycle, landing in the center median.


Swihart was flown from the crash scene to Memorial Hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life threatening. Swihart was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Hall was transported to St. Joseph Plymouth Medical Center with injuries that are not believed to be life threatening.


Both northbound lanes of US 31 opened at approximately 1:20 p.m.


The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, Lutheran Air, Plymouth Fire Department, and Hammels’s Towing.


2020-07-24 US31 MC 1



2020-07-24 US31 MC 2

Recap of last week's Fulton County 4-H Fair

The 2020 Fulton County 4H Fair was anything but ordinary, like everything else during the pandemic. 

Despite the obstacles, Fulton County 4-H Youth Development Educator Amber Barks and Fulton County Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator Mark Kepler say, everyone pulled thru to make the best of things during the four day fair week. 

The key words for the week being resilience and adaption. 



Many counties across the state opted for virtual fairs, but the Fulton County 4-H council decided that if they were able to do it safely, following guidelines and restrictions, they wanted to give it a go, giving the 4-H kids the spotlight they deserved.  



RTC, who recorded every show this year during the fair, made it easier to practice social distancing.


"For those adverse to the heat, watching online was even better," said Barks. They also plan to showcase more of the building projects later to the public. 


A modified version of the Indiana State Fair will be held in August on the State Fairgrounds, but with limited attendance and showing. 



Both Barks and Kepler remain optimistic about the uncertain future and what it holds for the Fulton County 4-H, but have plans to keep everything running as 'normal' as they can. 









Look twice and be patient says Indiana State Police

July started out as a deadly one for motorists in the ISP Peru Post district.


Sgt. Tony Slocum with Indiana State Police.



Sgt. Slocum says there was one common factor.



He reminds drivers to take a second look and be patient. 



Fulton County Pack a Backpack is getting ready for the school year

As school time approaches and it’s time to get all those school supplies there is a group in Fulton County that is willing to help those in need. 


Jackie Johnson with Fulton County Pack a Backpack tells about the organization she started.



The number of kids they have helped has grown since they began.



Johnson explains how to register your child and how pick up will take place this year.



You can still help out with a monetary donation by mailing it to Fulton County Pack  a Backpack, 806 Main St in Rochester, or drop it off at Tidewater Executive Tax Services.

Anti-mask protest Sunday at Statehouse

An anti-mask protest is planned for Sunday afternoon south of the Indiana Statehouse.


"We feel that the crisis has ended and it is time to return the state back to normal operations and to not ask for people to wear masks. The masks are ineffective," says Robert Hall, organizer of the protest and leader of the Indiana Conservative Alliance and Grassroots Conservatives.

Governor Holcomb planned on fully reopening the state on the 4th of July, but chose to keep the state in "stage 4.5". Earlier this week, he also decided to stay at 4.5 for "at least the next two weeks."


"The number of deaths from the China virus has reduced to below the level it was prior to the start of it in March," says Hall.


More than 2,600 people have died from coronavirus in Indiana. On Wednesday, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said an increase in positive cases of coronavirus played a part in the decision for the state to stay at 4.5. She said the hot spots continue to be in the northern part of the state, in Marion County and in southwestern Indiana.


"The number of cases have increased because they're testing more people. The crisis is over. It's not as serious as it was. We shouldn't have these draconian measures going on. Wearing masks can be harmful to your health causing oxygen deficiency and toxic carbon dioxide in your blood," says Hall.


A new study published by Mass General Brigham finds that face masks can go a long way in stopping the coronavirus in its tracks. According to the study from the Boston-based nonprofit hospital, the rate of coronavirus infections fell dramatically from the middle of March to the end of April when health care workers and patients both wore masks in a hospital setting.

The study found that N95 and surgical masks are more effective than bandannas and scarves, but that those face coverings are better than not wearing one at all.


Holcomb has not issued a statewide mask mandate, but has encouraged people to wear masks. Hall says that sets a dangerous precedent.


"It's ridiculous. Some of the stores are now requiring people to wear masks because they're following his lead. They should be voluntary not mandatory," says Hall.


Hall was asked about the increase of coronavirus cases across the country and the possibility that people traveling from other states could bring the virus to Indiana.


"But it hasn't yet. The number of cases are up because testing is up. Symptoms are either mild or people are asymptomatic. It's not as serious as they told us it was going to be. It's not a crisis anymore," says Hall.


Hall was asked what he plans to do if the City of Indianapolis or Marion County Health Department plans on issuing the protesers a fine or some kind of punishment.


"We know attorneys that will help fight anything. There's no law that requires it. It's really questionable on a legal basis," says Hall.


The anti-mask protest is scheduled for Sunday at 200 West Washington Street from 4-6 pm.

American Red Cross wants your help to sew face coverings

If you like to sew, you could be a great help to the American Red Cross!


The Indiana Region of the American Red Cross is looking for people to help sew and distribute face coverings during the coronavirus pandemic. The face coverings can be hand-sewn or sewn using a machine.


In Indiana, more than 8,000 face coverings have already been sewn and distributed over the past seven weeks to agencies providing childcare, senior and veteran services, according to the American Red Cross–Indiana Region.


“These face coverings are so important. Wearing them is a simple way to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19,” said Jeff Imel, American Red Cross–Indiana Region director of Service to the Armed Forces and International Services.


Non-sewers are also needed for tasks like cutting out patterns, ironing, disinfecting and packaging, and inventorying and delivery to organizations.


For more information, visit redcross.org/indiana/volunteer/make-face-coverings.html .

Fulton County Public Libraries to reopen

The Fulton County Public Library has some good news.  Andrea Stienback with the details.




Andrea details the hours the libraries will be open.




Fulton County Chamber of Commerce Awards Ceremony

The coronavirus pandemic played havoc with the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner.  After months of waiting and reorganizing it became a breakfast event held at the Manitou Moose Lodge on Wednesday.


The ceremonies included recognition of the Business of the Year, the Smith Sawyer Smith Agency.




Odell Lumber was honored in the Emerging Business of the Year category.



Owner Trent Odell.




Evan Gottschalk of First Federal Savings Bank was awarded the Business Professional of the Year.



Gottschalk gave credit to two mentors who joined him at the breakfast.



The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce with an award that involves direct impact to their organization, the Chamber Volunteer of the Year which was presented to Janet West with Beacon Credit Union.




The final presentation of the breakfast didn’t just honor a past year of accomplishments.  It recognized a lifetime of contributions in Fulton County.  Mark and Joyce Sroufe were presented with the Community Service Award.




A long list of accolades highlighted the Sroufe’s efforts including the Mill Creek Golf Course, Woodlawn Hospital and the walking trail, the original brick walk at Manitou Mountaiin and at the Fulton County Library.  Woodlawn Hospital’s Serenity Garden and development of Centennial Park, just to name a few.


Joyce Sroufe.



Mark Sroufe complimented the community and joked they’ve been around awhile.


Toll Brothers to close in Knox

A Starke County company has filed a WARN notice with the state regarding 35 workers.


Home builder Toll Brothers stated in its letter to the Dislocated Worker Unit that it will close its operations in Knox effective September 4.  35 workers will be impacted.


The letter further states that while this will close all of the Toll operations at the Knox facility, operations may be continued by the new tenants including hiring of employees.  If the tenant doesn’t want to continue the operation with the current employees, they will be laid off.

Kroger will require masks in all stores

Kroger submitted the following information about requiring customers to wear masks starting July 22:


With the increase in COVID-19 cases across the country—as America’s grocer—we are committed to doing our part to help reduce the spread of the virus.


Kroger’s most urgent priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been to provide a safe environment for our associates and customers while meeting our societal obligation to provide open stores, ecommerce solutions and an efficiently operating supply chain so that our communities have access to fresh, affordable food and essentials.


As an employer, grocery provider and community partner, we have a responsibility to help keep our associates, customers and communities safe. According to the CDC, wearing a facial covering, combined with social distancing and frequent handwashing, has been scientifically proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Starting July 22, we will require all customers in all locations to wear a mask when shopping in our stores, joining our associates who continue to wear masks. We are taking this extra step now because we recognize additional precautions are needed to protect our country.


We respect and acknowledge that some customers, due to medical reasons, may not be able to wear a mask (small children are exempt). We encourage those customers to consider an alternative option like a face shield or facial covering. If they’re unable to wear a mask or an alternative design, we request that they use our ecommerce services like pickup or delivery. To support all households during the COVID-19 pandemic, our grocery pickup service remains free (generally a $4.95 fee).

Walmart, Best Buy to require masks

If you want to shop at Walmart or Sam’s Club on or after Monday, July 20, you will need to wear a face mask.


The company said in a statement Wednesday:


“As the number of confirmed cases has spiked in communities across the country recently, so too have the number and types of face-covering mandates being implemented.


Currently, about 65 percent of our more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is some form of government mandate on face coverings. To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20.”


Another retailer, Best Buy, announced Tuesday that it will also require shoppers to wear face masks. Costco started requiring customers to wear masks in stores beginning in May.

Emergency crews called to missing swimmer, age 5, at Pike Lake

A 5-year-old swimmer was recovered from the water at Warsaw's Pike Lake Beach Tuesday.


Emergency personnel responded just after 7:00 pm Tuesday after the boy disappeared while swimming.  He was located in about five feet fo water.


He was flown to a Fort Wayne hospital for further medical attention following life saving measures at the scene.


Indiana Conservation Officers state the incident remains under investigation.



NIPSCO warns customers to be aware of scams during COVID-19 pandemic

 Scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic are on the rise. Calls from scammers to homes and businesses posing as NIPSCO employees continue to occur —an issue impacting many energy companies around the United States.

Recent, and common reports from NIPSCO residential and business customers state that they have received calls and texts from people claiming to be NIPSCO employees and demanding payment to avoid their service being disconnected. However, the company wants to emphasize that NIPSCO does not demand immediate payment by meeting us in person or using a specific type of payment method.


If a customer receives a suspicious call like this, they should hang up and immediately contact NIPSCO’s Customer Care Center at 1-800-464-7726 to check on the status of their account. Additionally, customers should NOT call any number they are given.

Because of the financial impact on customers associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, NIPSCO voluntarily suspended shutoffs for non-payment and waived late fees in mid-March, prior to the issuance of Governor Holcomb’s executive order. When the executive order expires, NIPSCO plans to continue suspending shutoffs for non-payment until further notice to provide additional help to customers who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will provide advanced notice and communications following any changes to these decisions and we will continue to work with customers on our most flexible arrangements. Assistance is available and to learn more, please visit NIPSCO.com or you can speak with a representative.

Additional tips for customers to avoid potential scams:


  • Call us first – If you are unsure about a phone call, email, program, offer or person claiming to be affiliated with NIPSCO, please call our 24-hour Customer Care Center at 1-800-464-7726.
  •  Guard your personal information – Never give personal information, including your NIPSCO account number, social security number and/or banking information to unconfirmed sources. We only ask for a social security number when establishing new service or verifying a customer’s identity.
  •  Know your payment options – We will never ask for a pre-paid debit card or money gram as a payment method. To more easily spot a potential scam, learn more about our payment options at NIPSCO.com/bills-and-payments . - more - NIPSCO WARNS CUSTOMERS OF SCAMS PAGE 2
  •  Never agree to meet in person – Some scammers ask customers to meet them in person to make payments with cash or prepaid cards, which you should avoid. What to do if someone visits your home or business
  •  Ask to see ID – Our employees and contractors carry photo ID badges and will gladly show you upon request.
  •  Use caution with cash – Our employees do not collect cash payments nor deliver cash refunds or rebates to customers. Refrain from sending cash through the mail to prevent loss or theft. For more information on authorized, secure payment methods and locations, visit: NIPSCO.com/billsand-payments .

Fulton County Transpo to open

Fulton County Transpo is opening back up soon. 


Rusty Moore is the Transportation Supervisor.




Moore says there will be new procedures for all drivers and passengers.




There are other changes that will take place, also. 




To schedule your pick up call 223-4213 starting on Thursday or Friday from 7am-3pm

A charge of criminal recklessness with a firearm after Cass Co. deputy reported bullets going by him

On July 13, 2020, at approximately 9:00 p.m. Cass County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Gentile was sitting stationary observing traffic flow on State Road 25 near the Cass - Carroll County line. Deputy Gentile started hearing what he believed to be gunshots and the sound of bullets passing by his vehicle. Deputy Gentile exited his vehicle and took cover while summoning immediate assistance.


A perimeter was established with arriving officers and the Indiana State Police Aviation Unit was called to assist. Prior to the Indiana State Police Aviation Unit arriving, officers found there were three individuals located on a property northeast of the intersection of County Road 500 South and County Road 575 West. Further investigation revealed that the individuals were target shooting without a proper back stop. It was determined that an AK47 style firearm was being used and had been fired in the direction of the highway.


The Indiana State Police Aviation Unit arrived on scene and searched the area. It was determined that no other threat existed.


“This was not an active shooter situation. It was a case of a gun owner target practicing with a high power rifle without taking safety precautions and shooting towards a safety backstop. Please be a responsible gun owner and ensure safe gun handling rules are followed, " stated Sheriff Ed Schroder.


Alexander Greene, 18, of Galveston, was incarcerated at the Cass County Jail on a charge of Criminal Recklessness with a Firearm, a Level 6 Felony.


This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Joe Nies at 574-753-7800.




The inaugural Nickel Plate Music & Arts Festival cancelled, rescheduled for 2021

The first ever Nickel Plate Music & Arts Festival that had been scheduled for Saturday, August 29th in downtown Rochester has been cancelled and rescheduled for Saturday, August 28th, 2021, due to concerns related to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.


The event, which would have featured live music and art related exhibits and activities had gained an enthusiastic amount of interest from potential participants, vendors, and the attendees alike. Festival founder Christine Walsh, inspired by the impressive number of creative people who live in the area, sought to create an event that would showcase their talents while engaging the rest of the community in the same spirit as the old Round Barn Festivals. Hopes that the Coronavirus would recede enough to still stage the event dimmed, as the virus continues to thrive and cause ripples of uncertainty in our lives.


“We really wanted to make a good impression with our first Festival,” Walsh said. “and we really don’t know what is going to happen between now and the originally scheduled date, but it does not seem like the Coronavirus is going to cooperate by going away before then.”


After consulting with the Rochester Downtown Partnership and public officials, the decision to postpone the event was decided with a heavy heart, but also, with a healthy dose of optimism.

“I’m sad we have to wait a year to see it happen, but on the bright side, that gives us another twelve months to plan and prepare to make the festival even better,” Walsh said. “I want it to be remembered as an awesome event that people will be talking about and looking forward to in the years ahead; I see this delay as nothing less than an opportunity to make it even better than I originally imagined it.”


If you would like to send a donation to help support this event, or if you would like to sponsor a specific musician or art project, please contact cwalshRDP@gmail.com for more information. 

Section of State Road 106 will be closed in Bremen for 60 days

State Road 106 will be closed in Bremen between Montgomery St and Washington St starting today ((Monday, July 13.))


This road closure is due to underground water and sewer main replacement, installation of new drainage, and utility work. The closure will be in place for approximately 60 days.


Drivers should seek an alternate route.


INDOT will be resurfacing State Road 106 from U.S. 6 W to U.S. 6 E which will cause future lane closures in this area.


U.S. 6 is also currently closed near Bremen between State Road 106 and Miami Rd for a bridge super structure replacement over the east branch of Bunch Ditch. The project is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Rochester schools online registration ends this week

Online registration continues through this week for Rochester schools.  It’s scheduled to close July 17. 

Parent instructions for online registration can be found on the corporation’s website, zebras.net.


Also, the Learning Center will be opened Tuesday for parents to seek guidance in the registration process.  It will be open from 9:00 am – 8:00 pm.


July's tax deadline is next week

You've had an extra three months to finish your taxes, but time is almost up.


Wednesday is the deadline to file your state and federal tax returns. The I-R-S and Indiana extended the usual April deadline because of the pandemic.


The extra time has slowed the usual last-minute flood of returns. Indiana estimates about 200-to-400-thousand returns are still out, a fraction of what normally comes in at the deadline. Indiana Department of Revenue Commissioner Bob Grennes says that's actually helped with the processing of returns -- instead of a crush of returns all at once, he says they've been spread across April, May and June.


Grennes says there shouldn't be any delay in processing refunds. He says while the I-R-S and some states are dealing with a backlog caused by pandemic-related work stoppages, Indiana has continued operations throughout.


If three more months still wasn't enough, you can request an extension to file, but you still have to pay what you owe by Wednesday. If you can't, Grennes says you can call the department to ask about a payment plan.

Domestic dispute, standoff ends with man surrendering to Rochester Police

A brief standoff with Rochester Police ended peacefully Tuesday.


Officers were called to the area of Rochester Boulevard and Ewing Road about 10:00 pm Tuesday.  The caller stated that there was a verbal argument between neighbors. 


Police report that Howard Hart was found to be intoxicated.  Following the initial altercation, police say Howard went into his residence and returned to the neighbor’s carrying a handgun.  Howard is reported to have made threats to the neighbor with the gun in his hand.  The police report indicates Howard did not point the gun at the neighbor at any time.


Howard went back to his home and would not respond to commands from officers.  At about 11:30 pm, Howard finally came out and was taken into custody without further incident.

Reopening Rochester schools in the pandemic doesn't call for 'concrete' plans

Fluid.  Flexible.  Nimble.  Just a few of the words used to describe school plans to reopen amidst the current coronavirus situation.


Following Monday’s special work session of the Rochester School Board that was dominated by COVID-related conversation, everything from athletics to masks and PPE for staff and students to transportation, Superintendent Jana Vance has added the phrase, “on the fly.”



Vance notes that decisions made now may not be the same ones made days or weeks from now.  And she realizes new scenarios may come to the forefront once kids return.



Good news…..registration, for the most part, will be the same.  With one key box to look for.



In a note coming up this week, Columbia Elementary will be hosting Kindergarten Roundup July 8 and 9.






Commissioners sign OCRA grant paper work


Fulton County Commissioner Bryan Lewis has some good news for the Fulton County business that will be receiving a portion of the $250,000 COVID-19 grant from OCRA.





No injuries in gravel truck - INDOT truck crash

A rolled over semi impacted traffic on US 30 in Starke County Monday.


The accident shut down US 30 from State Road 39 to State Road 35 in Starke County Monday afternoon.  A semi loaded with gravel ran into the back of an INDOT truck that was performing road work.  The gravel load spilled all over the roadway when the semi rolled over following the collision.


No serious injuries were reported.

Independently organized parade persists with Akron tradition

Over two dozen people paraded the town of Akron Saturday, despite the official Akron Fourth of July Parade being postponed because of risks during the Covid-19 pandemic. 



The Fourth of July parade has been a tradition held high in Akron since 1961. It celebrates not only the birth of our country, but also the day Akron was founded on July 4, 1836. 


In early May, the Akron Chamber of Commerce and Akron Fourth of July Committee announced that the Akron Fourth of July Parade, Akron fireworks and associated events scheduled on July 4, 2020 would be postponed. 


In June, longtime Akron residents Amanda Carlson and Aaron Ramsey decided to take their town's tradition into their own hands by organizing their own parade. 



By word of mouth, social media and handing out flyers, their determination to uphold tradition pulled together a semi, motorcycles, floats, antique cars and whoever else wanted to participate in the drive-by parade. 


Parade watchers could be seen spread out along Mishawaka Street, as the patriotic procession followed the usual route that went west on Rochester Street and north on Mishawaka Street.  It was followed by a community picnic at Pike Memorial Park. 


The parade's official postponement date was slated for September 26, 2020 during the Akron Summer's End Festival. 


Fireworks will not take place in Akron during 2020 but the town instead hopes for a possibly bigger display in 2021. 

Fulton County Animal Center fundraiser

The Fulton County Animal Adoption Center is having its first fundraiser since the start of the cornavirus.


Janet Showley says they are planning a big one. 



Showley has the dates and details of the rummage sale fundraiser.



State responds to Alyssa Shepherd appeal

The state has responded to an appeal filed by the attorneys of a woman convicted of hitting and killing three children at a bus stop in Fulton County in 2018.


Alyssa Shepherd was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for reckless homicide, criminal recklessness, and reckless driving for hitting and killing the children as they were crossing the street to get on the bus to school. The school bus was stopped along State Road 25 with the stop-arm extended at the time of the crash.


Shepherd and her attorneys filed an appeal in the case in mid-January saying the state "failed to present substantial evidence from which recklessness could be inferred." They argue the state did not prove Shepherd made the "conscious choice" to pass the school bus and that the whole thing was simply an accident.


In a 53-page document filed by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill and Deputy AG Ellen Meilaender, the state responded to Shepherd's appeal.


"The evidence is sufficient to sustain the jury’s convictions finding Defendant acted recklessly when she disregarded a stopped school bus," read the brief. "Driving past a stopped school bus is a voluntary improper act, and failing to slow down at all when approaching a stopped bus is refraining from doing a proper and prudent act."


Hill and Meilaender added in the brief that the state also proved that Shepherd knew it was a stopped school bus as she approached.


"There is no dispute that Defendant drove past the school bus and that she did so without slowing down until the literal last second before she hit the children," the brief read. "Her truck’s crash data recorder showed that the Defendant was driving nearly 60 miles per hour less than 3 seconds before impact."


Where the state does agree with Shepherd's attorneys is her conviction for reckless driving. The appeal argues convictions for reckless driving and criminal recklessness constitute the same action and thus are a case of double jeopardy. The state said Shepherd's conviction for reckless driving would be vacated, but her criminal recklessness conviction still stands.


It's not clear when Shepherd's appeal will be heard in court.

Governor announces modifications to state's Back on Track Plan; most restrictions, capacities stay in place

Governor Eric Holcomb announced the state will modify the Back On Track Indiana plan through at least July 17.


While a few restrictions will lift on July 4 in version 4.5 of the plan, most will stay in place. Elkhart County will remain fully in Stage 4 until at least July 17. Local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines.


“While most of our health indicators remain positive, our data indicates a need to be extra cautious, which is why we will pause much of our Back on Track roadmap,” Gov. Holcomb said. “I urge Hoosiers to maintain vigilance in social distancing and wearing masks so we can continue to reopen our state for business.”


Gov. Holcomb has used data to drive decisions since the state’s first case of the novel coronavirus in early March and he continues to do so as the state continues a sector-by-sector reset. The state will move to reopen while continuing to monitor and respond to these four guiding principles:


  • The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide has decreased for 14 days
  • The state retains its surge capacity for critical care beds and ventilators
  • The state retains its ability to test all Hoosiers who are COVID-19 symptomatic as well as health care workers, first responders, and frontline employees
  • Health officials have systems in place to contact all individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and expand contact tracing


Through at least July 17, the following restrictions will continue:


  • Social gatherings following the CDC’s social distancing guidelines will be limited to up to 250 people. This limit applies to wedding receptions, parties, and other events where people are in close physical contact for extended periods of time, particularly indoors.
  • Dining room food service may continue operations at up to 75 percent capacity as long as social distancing is observed. Bar seating in restaurants may continue operations at 50 percent capacity. Bars and nightclubs may continue operations open at 50 percent capacity as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • Cultural, entertainment and tourism sites may continue operations open at 50 percent capacity.
  • Movie theaters, bowling alleys and similar facilities may continue operations open at 50 percent capacity.
  • Amusement parks, water parks and similar facilities may continue operations open at 50 percent capacity. Reservations are encouraged to limit the number of customers at any one time.
  • Raceways may continue operations open at 50 percent grandstand capacity.


Beginning July 4, fairs, festivals and other similar outdoor events may open. Pari-mutuel horse racing and county and state fair racing may begin with 50 percent spectator capacity. Youth overnight camps may open.


K-12 school operations may begin the 2020-21 academic year on July 1. Extra-curricular, co-curricular activities may resume July 6.


Outdoor visitation is required at assisted living facilities and nursing homes beginning July 4 and indoor visitation may begin. Hospital visitations with precautions are encouraged.


Hoosiers 65 and over and those with high-risk health conditions – who are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus – should adhere to social distancing guidelines and remain cautious. Face coverings in public places are highly recommended.


Gov. Holcomb and Indiana State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, today announced a statewide initiative to encourage Hoosiers to wear masks to limit the spread of COVID-19.


The #MaskUpHoosiers initiative is launching with videos and photos of state government leaders, celebrities, and Hoosiers from all walks of life sharing their heartfelt reasons for wearing a mask in public, which is one of the strongest steps possible to limit the spread of COVID-19, saving lives and allowing the state to continue its phased re-opening. Additional photos and videos will be featured as the educational campaign progresses. Visit www.coronavirus.in.gov/maskuphoosiers to learn more.


To learn more about the different stages and the associated dates to get a better understanding about where we’re going as a state, click here to see the full plan: BackOnTrack.in.gov


The Governor signed an executive order implementing these changes to the Back on Track Indiana roadmap. The Governor also signed an executive order extending the public health emergency through Aug. 3. The executive orders can be found here: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm

Indiana's Stage 5 for re-opening will wait a couple weeks

Stage 5 of Indiana’s reopening plan isn’t coming this weekend.  It’ll be at least another two weeks.


Governor Eric Holcomb on Wednesday labeled the next two weeks, July 4 – 17, instead, as Stage 4.5.  It marks a mostly status quo with allowance for outdoor events.



The governor says certain types of events can go ahead if they adhere to social distancing and other guidelines.



Aside from that, most restrictions, capacities remain the same.



Moving to Stage 5 is now targeted for July 18.