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WROI News Archives for 2021-05

UPDATE: Identity released of 3rd person killed in Thursday Kosciusko Co. crash

Update:  The third person killed in a Thursday Kosciusko County crash has been identified. 

 

Han Nguyen Le, 36, of Warsaw, was the driver of the Nissan Maxima involved in Thursday's two-vehicle crash that killed three people.

 

Original Story

Three people are now confirmed dead in a two-car crash and fire in Kosciusko County Thursday.

 

Emergency crews were dispatched to a two-vehicle collision on Old Road 30, east of State Road 13, Thursday afternoon. Deputies with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office arrived within minutes of the initial call and discovered a 2014 Nissan Maxima fully engulfed in flames and two unresponsive females inside a Kia Sportage.

 

 

The preliminary results of the investigation indicate that the eastbound Maxima passed an eastbound motorcycle and collided head-on in the westbound lane with a westbound Kia Sportage, driven by Teressa Johnson, 66, of Warsaw. The collision caused significant front-end damage to both vehicles; entrapping all occupants. 

 

According to witnesses at the scene, the Maxima was traveling at a high rate of speed prior to the crash.

 

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Fatal Team responded with North Webster Police, Pierceton Police, Winona Lake Police, North Webster / Tippecanoe Township Fire, Pierceton Fire, Lutheran EMS and the Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office.

 

Johnson and a front seat passenger, her daughter, Amanda Johnson, 43, of Warsaw, were pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the Maxima remains unidentified at the time of this press release.

 

This incident remains under investigation.

Mayor Ted Denton named to the OCRA Rural Affairs Working Group

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and Denny Spinner, executive director of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, recently appointed Rochester's Mayor Ted Denton to serve on the newly formed Rural Affairs Working Group.  

 

The governor has tasked this group with investigating avenues to set the course for Regional Recovery through new OCRA programs or the use of existing OCRA programs, such as the Stellar Communities program. The Rural Affairs Working Group will be using resources from the Purdue Center for Rural Development. Purdue will facilitate conversations on how Hoosiers can partner together to help lead rural communities to the Next Level recovery. 

 

The OCRA Rural Affairs Working Group is made up of 12 members and includes the representation of elected officials, economic development professionals and those inthe field of higher education.

 

Spinner said the state appreciates the willingness of those selected to be part of the process that will enable the Office of Community and Rural Affairs to launch new programs in the coming years.

 

Mayor Denton said:

 

“We are fortunate to have so many strong, dedicated leaders from around the state in this new working group, I am honored to be a part of it.”

 

The Rural Affairs Working Group’sfirst meeting recently took place on May 24.

Health officials urge eligible to sign up for food assistance - Marshall County on list

Seniors aged 60 or older in certain Indiana counties who have a household income at or below 130 percent of the current federal poverty income guidelines are encouraged to sign up for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), which supplies free food to seniors.
 

Eligible individuals must meet the income criteria and live in Allen, Brown, Crawford, Dearborn, DeKalb, Dubois, Elkhart, Gibson, Hendricks, Huntington, Johnson, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Lawrence, Marion, Marshall, Martin, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Perry, Porter, Posey, Spencer, St. Joseph, Steuben, Switzerland, Vanderburgh, Warrick or Whitley counties.
 

Each state in the federal CSFP program has a maximum number of seniors who can receive the monthly USDA food packages. In Indiana, 5,560 seniors can receive free food through the program.
 

Because the population of eligible seniors changes frequently, Indiana maintains a waiting list to ensure that 100 percent of the food packages are used each month. If the state does not achieve 100 percent participation, the maximum number of individuals who can receive food packages may be reduced.
 

State health official estimate that about 100,000 potentially eligible seniors in the state are not enrolled in the program.
 

CSFP works to improve the health of low-income persons at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA foods. The monthly packages include animal protein, plant-based protein, fruits, vegetables, starches, milk, grains and cheese. 
 

More information about CSFP and how to apply can be found online at https://www.in.gov/isdh/24779.htm. A map of CSFP service areas and contact information can be found by clicking here.

OPERATION MAYFLOWER nets multiple drug arrests, more wanted on warrants

During the overnight hours of Wednesday, May 26 and Thursday, May 27 after several months of covert surveillance and undercover operations, the Kosciusko County Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET43) and officers from law enforcement agencies throughout the county arrested multiple individuals on drug related charges and have 10 arrest warrants outstanding.

 

The following people were arrested:

 

Ryan Baldwin             

Possession Narcotic Drug, Level 6 felony; Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor; Bond $5,250.

 

Alaina Yeazel             

Dealing methamphetamine level 3 felony, Possession of Methamphetamine level 5 felony, Possession of a syringe, Level 6 felony, Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor; Bond $20,250

 

Tarah Prater              

Possession of methamphetamine, level 6 felony, Possession paraphernalia enhancement Class A Misdemeanor, Bond: $5,250

 

Daniel Holbrook         

Possession of a Firearm by a Serious Violent Felony, a level 4 felony. Bond: $15,250

 

Shawn Prater             

Possession of methamphetamine level 6 felony, Possession of Methamphetamine Enhancing circumstances, Bond $10,250.

 

Jayme Staner             

Possession Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor, Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor

 

Darrin Teeple 

Dealing Methamphetamine, level 3 felony, Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 5 felony, Bond: $20,250

 

Aaron Brubaker         

Possession of a methamphetamine, Level 6 felony, Possession of a syringe, Level 6 felony.  Bond: $5,250

 

Arvida Clark               

Possession Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor, Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor

 

Leisa Ann Bowling     

Possession of Meth - Level 6 Felony, Visiting a common nuisance, Class C Misdemeanor Bond $5,250.

 

Darrin Diaz                 

Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 6 felony; Possession of Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor; Bond $5,250.

 

Kellie King                  

Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 6 felony, Maintaining a common nuisance, Level 6 felony, Bond $5,250.

 

Bret Allen Bailey        

Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 6 felony, Possession of Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor; Possession Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor Bond $5,250.

 

Marry Meadows        

Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 6 felony, Possession of Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor; Possession Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor Bond $5,250.

 

Samantha McGinnis

Possession of a narcotic drug, level 6 felony, Bond:  $5,250

 

Ty Wayne Marshal Brown   

Possession of a Narcotic Drug, Level 6 felony, Possession of a syringe, Level 6 felony; Bond $5,250.

 

Cameran Carver        

Possession Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor            Possession Paraphernalia Class C Misdemeanor

 

Cassondra Hilty          

Possession of methamphetamine, a level 6 felony; Bond: $5,250

 

Roy Lee Allen             

Possession of methamphetamine, a level 6 felony; Possession Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor, Possession Paraphernalia Class C Misdemeanor Bond: $5,250.

 

NET 43 says warrants have been issued for the following people.  Anyone who may know the location of any of the individuals is asked to notify your local law enforcement agency or contact the NET 43 tip line at NET43@kcgov.com or by telephone at 574-372-2494.

 

Ashly Bevelhimer       

Dealing methamphetamine, level 3 felony; Possessionmethamphetamine Level 5 felony Bond: $20250.

 

Carlton Harwood       

Dealing Methamphetamine, level 2 felony, Possession of a methamphetamine, Level 3 felony; Bond: $25750.

 

Richard Larrison        

Possession methamphetamine, Level 3 felony:  Bond: $20,250

 

Jeffrey Konkle 

Dealing in a Narcotic Drug, Level 5 felony; Possession of a Narcotic Drug, level 6 felony, Bond $10,250

 

Eric Swick                   

Possession of a Narcotic Drug, Level 6 felony, Bond: $5,250, Dealing a Narcotic Drug, Level 5 felony Possession of a Narcotic Drug, level 6 felony, Bond: $10250

 

Wayne Weaver            

Dealing methamphetamine level 3 felony, Possession of Methamphetamine level 5 felony, No Bond

 

Bradley Wine 

Possession of methamphetamine, level 5 felony; Possession of a narcotic drug, level 5 felony Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor, Bond: $10,250

 

Jesse Lemaster           

Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 6 felony, Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor.  Bond $5,250

 

Whitney Carol Miller

Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 6 felony, Possession of Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor, Possession of Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor.  Bond: $5,250.

 

Jacob Yeazel               

Dealing methamphetamine level 3 felony, Possession of Methamphetamine level 5 felony, Possession of a syringe, Level 6 felony, Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor; Bond $20250.

 

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

Rochester driver arrested for reckless homicide for crash that killed 6-month-old child

A Fulton County man has been arrested for his role in a fatal auto accident.

 

Indiana State Police report that an investigation into a crash that occurred on May 10, has resulted in the arrest of Andrew King, 35, of rural Rochester, IN. Indiana State Police Sergeant Rick Brown served King with a Miami Superior Court I arrest warrant alleging criminal charges for reckless homicide and false informing. King was arrested at his home and transported to the Miami County Jail. 

 

The arrest stems from an investigation conducted by the Indiana State Police Peru Post’s Crash Reconstruction Team that revealed that King was distracted while driving a 2016 Volvo semi-tractor, pulling an empty semi-trailer, northbound on U.S. 31 approaching a red light at Miami County Road 100 North about 4:00 pm. King did not stop for the red light and rear-ended a Toyota Corolla, pushing it into a Chevrolet Malibu.

 

Sarah Wallace, 32, of South Bend, was driving the Toyota Corolla. She was flown from the crash scene to a Fort Wayne hospital with serious injuries. She was treated and released two days later. Cecilia Wallace, 2, a backseat passenger in the Toyota, was flown from the crash scene to Riley's Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. She has undergone multiple surgeries and is still in the hospital. Leo Wallace, six months, was also a back seat passenger in the Toyota. He died from injuries sustained in the crash.

 

Christine Wells, 75, of Rochester, was driving the Chevrolet Malibu. She was treated and released from Dukes Memorial Hospital on the day of the crash.

 

 

The Youth Outlet kicks off summer with 'Friday's at the Park' on June 4

If your kids are looking for something to do this summer, The Youth Outlet Center will be kicking off 'Fridays at the Park' located in the Rochester City Park, beginning June 4, 2-4 pm. 

 

Patience Hisey, Executive Director to The Youth Outlet Center.

 

 

Hisey says she has recruited some local high schoolers to help plan the summer activities and crafts with the kids.

 

 

Three people killed in Thursday Kosciusko Co. crash

Three people are now confirmed dead in a two-car crash and fire in Kosciusko County Thursday.

 

Emergency crews were dispatched to a two-vehicle collision on Old Road 30, east of State Road 13, Thursday afternoon. Deputies with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office arrived within minutes of the initial call and discovered a 2014 Nissan Maxima fully engulfed in flames and two unresponsive females inside a Kia Sportage.

 

 

The preliminary results of the investigation indicate that the eastbound Maxima passed an eastbound motorcycle and collided head-on in the westbound lane with a westbound Kia Sportage, driven by Teressa Johnson, 66, of Warsaw. The collision caused significant front-end damage to both vehicles; entrapping all occupants. 

 

According to witnesses at the scene, the Maxima was traveling at a high rate of speed prior to the crash.

 

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Fatal Team responded with North Webster Police, Pierceton Police, Winona Lake Police, North Webster / Tippecanoe Township Fire, Pierceton Fire, Lutheran EMS and the Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office.

 

Johnson and a front seat passenger, her daughter, Amanda Johnson, 43, of Warsaw, were pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the Maxima remains unidentified at the time of this press release.

 

This incident remains under investigation.

NaloxBox now in Pulaski County

At the end of April Pulaski County Drug Free Council announced that a Naloxbox was mounted at the corner of Monticello and 12th Street in Winamac.

 

 

A second location is also planned to be set in Francesville in the coming months.  It will be announced once it's officially mounted.

 

The NaloxBox mission is to improve the capacity of bystander rescuers by saving the lives of victims of opioid overdose with strategically placed innovative smart cabinets in settings most in need of quick accessibility. 

 

Each NaloxBox is designed to accommodate up to two doses of the potent antidote for opioid overdose named naloxone (brand name Narcan®), and is equipped with a mask for rescue breathing, gloves, and information on how to obtain personal naloxone and how to access addiction treatment.

 

Opioid overdose is currently the leading cause of death among adults 50 years old and younger in the United States. 

 

Fulton Co. Health Dept. has Covid clinics scheduled this week and for June

The Fulton County Health Department is holding several upcoming COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the community center and health department.  The department is offering the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.

 

Community Center, 625 Pontiac Street, Rochester

•           Thursday May 27:  1 -6 pm

•           Friday, May 28:  8 am - 12:30 pm and 1-4 pm

 

Health Department 125 E 9th Street, Rochester

June 10:  8:30 to 11:20 a.m. and  2-3:20 p.m.

June 24:  8:30 to 11:20 a.m. and  2-3:20 p.m.

 

District 4 Councilman Marty Smith told the Rochester City Council Tuesday night that the Covid shot clinic will be moving out of the community center.

 

 

The Community Center isn’t going to be ready for full opening at the end of the month.  The Fulton County Council on Aging is adding staff.

 

 

Fulton, Cass, Miami counties in newest 21st Century Talent Region

State officials Tuesday announced two 21st Century Talent Regions, a designation that helps economic developers in geographic areas to attract, develop and connect workforce talent. 

 

One of the new regions is in north central Indiana with Cass, Clinton, Fulton, Howard, Miami and Tipton counties.

 

Blair Milo currently serves as the State of Indiana’s first Secretary for Career Connections and Talent. Appointed by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb into the position created by Executive Order in August of 2017.  She’s the former mayor of LaPorte.

 

 

What is it?

21st Century Talent Regions are places that commit to using a systems approach to attract, develop, and connect Hoosier talent. Regions are self-defined with regard to their geography and are working toward building and implementing a plan to increase educational attainment, raise household income, and grow population.

 

What does a community need to do to become a 21st Century Talent Region?

  1. Commit.  Commit to working across geographic lines and across organizations to attract, develop, connect and retain talent.  
  2. Organize. The 21st Century Talent Region must organize itself with a designated leader and regional participation including, but not limited to: local governments, business, K-12 education, economic development, higher education, non-profit(s), and workforce development.
  3. Connect.  Once organized, the lead organization for the region can connect with the Office of Career Connections and Talent to receive assistance in organizing efforts to attract, develop, connect and retain talent.
  4. Build.  In collaboration with the Of?ce of Career Connections and Talent and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and with technical assistance provided by CivicLab, the region must build a plan to grow population (attract and retain talent), increase educational attainment (develop talent), and raise household income (connect talent).
  5. Implement.  After building a collaborative talent plan, a region must implement the priorities identified. Following this implementation, a region will receive a 21st Century Talent Region designation.

 

What does a Talent Region look like to the community once it has been designated?

  • Students – able to identify a career and education path best fitting them earlier in order to achieve a post-secondary credential and employment
  • Educators – opportunity to further align learning and needs of the community
  • Adult workers – able to more easily transition to new career opportunities if impacted by technology, displacement or other individual circumstances
  • Businesses – able to access the talent needed to grow
  • Community leaders – better able to access and invest resources to develop, attract, connect and retain talent 

Fulton County area students receive Indiana Higher Ed scholarships

A number of area students are among the 200 statewide scholarship recipients the Indiana Commission of Higher Education has awarded to the fifth class of Next Generation Hoosier Educators.

 

Selected through a competitive process based on academic achievement and other factors, recipients will receive $7,500 annually (up to $30,000 total) for committing to teach in Indiana for at least five years after graduating college.

 

Among the area students who received the scholarship:

 

Carlee Blackburn, Rochester                                                

MalloryHiatt, Rochester

Brynn Buczkowski, Caston                                       

Arika Warren, Tippecanoe Valley                              

 

“Hard work, passion and academic excellence are just a few characteristics of these future teachers,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “We are pleased to award them with a scholarship as they pursue their teaching credentials that will ultimately benefit their students and the state.”

 

A total of 439 students applied for the 2021-22 Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship, with applications from 231 high schools in 84 of Indiana’s 92 counties. 72 percent of applicants were Indiana high school seniors with the remainder comprised of current college students.

 

To qualify for the scholarship, students had to either graduate in the highest 20 percent of their high school class or earn a score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT or ACT.

To continue earning the scholarship in college, students must earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete at least 30 credit hours per year.

Indiana State Police to investigate death of Marshall Co. jail inmate

The Indiana State Police has been requested to investigate the death of an inmate at the Marshall County Jail.

 

The Indiana State Police were contacted Sunday morning after jail staff found the inmate unresponsive in a cell at the jail.  Tiffany Helbling, 31, of Plymouth, was found unresponsive in the jail cell at approximately 9:00 am. Jail staff immediately began life-saving efforts until emergency medical technicians arrived.

 

Helbling was transported to The Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth where she was pronounced deceased.

 

Helbling was in the cell alone.

 

An autopsy, to include toxicology, will be performed on Helbling Monday.  

Brookston man arrested in Miami County fatal shootings

Three people were found dead of apparent gunshot wounds at a Miami County home.  An arrest has been made in the case.

 

A joint homicide investigation, by the Indiana State Police and the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, led to the arrest of Mitchell Page, 25, of Brookston. Page was incarcerated in the Miami County Jail for three counts of murder.

 

On May 21, officers from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a home at 2834 South 300 West, Lot 137, Peru, (Woodland Hills Trailer Court) to check the welfare of the residents. Officers discovered the bodies of Jessica Sizemore, 26, Jessiah Hall, 37, and four-year-old Rae’Lynn Sizemore.

 

All three of the deceased lived at the home. Preliminary evidence indicates they were shot to death on May 16. Autopsies have been scheduled.

 

An uninjured two-year-old boy was also found at the home. He was transported to Duke’s Memorial Hospital and medically cleared.  He was released into the care of the Indiana Department of Child Services - Miami County Division.

 

During the investigation, officers developed probable cause to arrest Page for three counts of murder. He was taken into custody at a relative’s home in Lafayette.

 

Sizemore and Page have a child together.

 

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the Indiana State Police by calling 765-473-6666 or the Miami County Sheriff’s Office at 765-472-1322.

Rochester woman killed in car - motorcycle crash

A Rochester woman was killed in a car – motorcycle accident in Cass County Friday night.

 

Just after 10:00 pm, calls came into Cass County Central Dispatch about a crash at the intersection of State Road 25 and CR 525 North.  The initial investigation shows Greg Duval, 61, of Logansport, was driving a 2010 Ford Escort southbound on SR 25 and attempted to turn east onto 525 North.  Kelsie Blitz, 26, of Rochester was northbound on SR 25 on a 2016 Kawasaki Ninja and struck the passenger side of the Ford Escort.

 

Biltz was transported to Logansport Memorial Hospital.  She was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

 

Duval was not injured.

 

The intersection was closed for about three hours for the investigation and clean-up of the crash scene.  It remains under investigation.

 

Agencies assisting at the accident scene included Logansport Police, Logansport Fire, Twelve Mile Fire, Harrison Township Fire, Cass County Emergency Management, Phoenix Ambulance Service and the Cass County Coroner.

 

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Cass County Sheriff’s Office at 574-753-7800.

Rochester woman killed in car - motorcycle crash

A Rochester woman was killed in a car – motorcycle accident in Cass County Friday night.

 

Just after 10:00 pm, calls came into Cass County Central Dispatch about a crash at the intersection of State Road 25 and CR 525 North.  The initial investigation shows Greg Duval, 61, of Logansport, was driving a 2010 Ford Escort southbound on SR 25 and attempted to turn east onto 525 North.  Kelsie Blitz, 26, of Rochester was northbound on SR 25 on a 2016 Kawasaki Ninja and struck the passenger side of the Ford Escort.

 

Biltz was transported to Logansport Memorial Hospital.  She was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

 

Duval was not injured.

 

The intersection was closed for about three hours for the investigation and clean-up of the crash scene.  It remains under investigation.

 

Agencies assisting at the accident scene included Logansport Police, Logansport Fire, Twelve Mile Fire, Harrison Township Fire, Cass County Emergency Management, Phoenix Ambulance Service and the Cass County Coroner.

 

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Cass County Sheriff’s Office at 574-753-7800.

Three people found dead in Peru home

A welfare check by the Miami County Sheriff's Office resulted in the discovery of three dead bodies.

 

A family member contacted law enforcement when they failed to get in touch with the members of the family at a home in Peru.  Cause of death appears to be a gunshot wounds.

 

The identity of the victims has not be released.

 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Miami County Sheriff's Office (765) 472-1322 or the Indiana State Police at (765) 473-6666.

 

 

Tippecanoe Valley HS to host Brendyn Stump visitation Sunday; balloon release Friday evening

Brendyn Ryan Stump of Akron, Indiana passed away at 4:48 p.m. on Monday, May 17, 2021 at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the young age of 16. 

 

Brendyn was critically injured Saturday, May 15, 2021 when the vehicle he was driving, crashed into a utility pole along State Road 14 at the Packerton Road intersection in Kosciusko County. 

 

He was enjoying his sophomore year at Tippecanoe Valley High School in Akron, Indiana where he excelled at many sports.  He was a varsity basketball and baseball player at school as well as a member of AAU Basketball out of Fort Wayne…Summit City Elite.

 

Brendyn wasn’t just about all sports, he was also a very intelligent young man and made the top ten academically in his freshman class, with a current GPA of 3.9.  He was an honor roll student.

 

Visitation will be held from 1:00 -3:00 p.m. and 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, at Tippecanoe Valley High School.  Celebration of Life 11:00 a.m. on Monday, at Warsaw Community Church.

 

A graveside service will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery in Pierceton.

 

Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home,  Warsaw, is handling arangements.

 

Memorial donations in Brendyn’s memory may be directed to help a fellow Tippecanoe Valley student Dillon Prater with his medical expenses.  Checks can be made out to Tippecanoe Valley High School, 8343 SR 19, Akron, Indiana  46910 and in the memo line please write Medical Expense Fund for Dillon Prater. 

 

Hoosier voters to receive postcard with election information in the mail

Hoosier voters are beginning to receive postcards in the mail from the Secretary of State’s office.

 

The office is mailing these postcards as part of a statewide voter list refresh. The goal is to identify outdated and inaccurate voter registration information to improve the accuracy and integrity of Indiana’s voter registration list.

 

 “These mailings help us identify records that need updating or are no longer valid. This helps us create a more accurate picture of voter turnout for the state and helps ensure our elections remain safe and secure. Hoosiers deserve to know we have accurate voter lists,” Secretary of State Holli Sullivan said.

 

Postcards that are returned to the office as undeliverable will be used to identify outdated voter registration information. If the first mailing is returned as undeliverable, a second postcard will be sent to the forwarding address on file with the U.S. Postal Service. The second postcard will ask the voter to confirm or update their residence address or cancel their Indiana voter registration using a postage pre-paid voter response card.

 

Hoosiers should use the postcard as a reminder to verify, update or start a voter registration online at www.indianavoters.com. Voters may also visit their local county clerk’s office.

 

Voters who need assistance can call the Hoosier Voter Hotline at 866-IN-1-VOTE.

Peru man struck by truck in Miami County

An early morning truck - pedestrian accident resulted in a Peru man flown to the hospital with life threatening injuries.

 

Just after 12:30 Wednesday morning, officers from the Indiana State Police and the Peru Police Department responded to a vehicle-pedestrian crash on Broadway Ave near Park Drive in Peru.

 

The preliminary crash investigation revealed that Stacy Haines, 39, of Peru, was driving a 2004 Dodge Dakota pickup truck northbound on Broadway Ave approaching Park Drive. Andrew Rose, 25, of Peru, was walking northbound on the side of Broadway Ave. For an undetermined reason, Rose crossed into the path of the Dodge and was struck by the truck.

 

Rose was initially transported to Duke's Memorial Hospital, in Peru, but was later flown by medical helicopter to an Ft. Wayne hospital. He sustained life-threatening injuries.

 

Haines was not injured.

 

The accident remains under investigation.

 

Fulton County leaders meet to discuss ARP funds

A combined meeting of the Fulton County Commissioners and Fulton County Council Tuesday was scheduled to discuss future uses for funds available through the American Rescue Plan.

 

Fulton County is eligible for $3,873,834 through the Federal ARP Act Grant.

 

Counties, cities, and towns throughout Indiana are getting ready for the massive infusion of funds coming from the American Rescue Plan Act, the $1.9 trillion bill signed into law in March to provide additional federal COVID-19 relief to mitigate the fiscal impact of the pandemic.

One-fifth of the bill’s total funds – about $350 billion – will be deployed to state and local governments in two tranches, with half expected to come in May and June of this year, with the second a year after the initial allotment. An estimated $7 billion will be distributed to Indiana’s state and local governments, with the requirement that the funds must be spent by December 31, 2024.

 

These funds, as outlined by the federal law, may be used for the following purposes:

 

  • To respond to the pandemic or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality;
  • For premium pay to eligible workers performing essential work (as determined by each recipient government) during the pandemic, providing up to $13 per hour above regular wages;
  • For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the pandemic (relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency);
  • To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure

 

Suggestions of projects from the meeting included:

 

? Broadband and internet access for all students

? Fulton County Y.O.U.T.H. Center

? Courthouse windows

? Help small businesses

? Paving the museum parking lot for ADA compliance for a future testing and / or vaccination site

? County parks

? 4?H Fair Board (grounds maintenance)

? Fulton County H.O.P.E.

? Drug and alcohol rehabilitation

 

Bryan Lewis, Jim Showley, Phyl Olinger and Randy Sutton will belong to a committee to review and explore projects. The committee can consult with other businesses and non?profits.

 

Jim Showley and Rick Ranstead will attend the Regional Planning Council meeting in Kokomo on May 27.

First reading of bond ordinance for courthouse - justice center project approved by Pulaski Co. Council

The Pulaski County Council voted 4-3 to approve the first reading of a $5.6 million bond ordinance for the Pulaski County Justice Center's expansion project Monday evening in the Pulaski County Highway Garage. 

 

 

The tie-breaking vote was cast by Council President Ken Boswell ending the joint meeting with the Pulaski County Council in applause. 

 

 

It's the first of an estimated $11 million in total for renovations, which will include the restoration of the county courthouse. Updating the Pulaski County Justice Center and renovating the historic 1895 courthouse has been an ongoing topic. The Pulaski County Courthouse has not been in compliance with state and federal security for years. 

 

The commissioners and council members revisited budget cuts as ways to save during the meeting, something Pulaski County CDC Executive Director Nathan Origer says, could end up costing the taxpayers in the end. 

 

 

Origer has overseen the development of the project and reminded everyone at Monday's meeting that wasted time is wasted money. 

 

 

Pulaski County Sheriff Jeff Richwine brought up his concerns with security and the safety of his jailers and the need to get the work release program going.  

 

 

The judges from both courts, Mary Welker and Crystal Kocher, were also in attendance at the meeting and spoke out about their concerns. 

 

A second reading will be voted on at the council meeting in June for a final decision on the bond ordinance. 

 

 

Rochester, Mentone fire crews in Tippy Shores East Tuesday

Rochester and Menone fire departments responded to a house fire Tuesday afternoon.

 

Firemen were called to 7798 Tippecanoe Shores.  Heavy smoke and fire damage has been reported.  No injuries have been reported.

 

No word on a cause at this time.  

 

The property owner is listed as Timothy and Shelly Holloway.

Koch to retire from Fulton County REMC; annual meeting next month

Fulton County REMC has a significant change to prepare for by the end of the year.  It’s CEO is retiring.

 

Joe Koch says retirement is coming just before the end of the calendar year.

 

 

Fulton County REMC is also gearing up for its annual meeting coming up in just about a month.  It will feature some aspects that allow for dealing with any Covid concerns while offering the ability to vote on director elections.

 

Chief Operating Officer T.J. Garner.

 

 

Garner says that evening they will provide an online annual meeting revealing the outcome of the elections.

 

 

Koch says the election will bring one definite notable change to the board of directors.

 

 

Again, the annual meeting is June 21.

Fulton County joins Click It or Ticket campaign to remind motorists to buckle up

On any given day, more than 90 percent of motorists can be found wearing their seat belts. Unfortunately, the small percentage of people who choose not to buckle up make up a disproportionate amount of the fatalities that occur every yearon Indiana roads.

 

It’s a concern that the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is working to address this spring by participating in the national Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign. From May 17 to June 6, officers will be out in greater numbers seeking to educate motorists about the importance of wearing a seat belt.

 

The high-visibility patrols are paid for with funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).

 

“Part of our job as law enforcement is to educate and that includes reminding drivers and passengers that buckling up isn’t just a suggestion, it’s the law,” said Sheriff Chris Sailors. “If these extra patrols wake people up to the dangers of not wearing a seat belt, we’ll consider our mission a success.”

 

Between 2015 and 2019, seat belts have saved more than 69,000 lives in the U.S., according to NHTSA. Despite knowing the benefits, people still refuse to buckle up, a choice that too often can end in tragedy.

 

Last year, more than 800 people were killed on Indiana roads, of which, 565 occurred in passenger vehicles. Sadly, 364 of those, or 6 out of 10, were not wearing seat belts.

 

Out of any age group, male drivers, particularly those between the ages of 15 and 34, were the most likely to be found not wearing a seat belt at the time of a crash.Additionally, individuals not wearing seat belts were three times more likely to get injured in a crash when the driver was speeding and seven times more likely when the driver was impaired.

 

“If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that life is precious,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “We expect more people will be venturing out and taking road trips this spring, and wearing a seat belt is still the best way to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road.”

 

According to the department, officers will be writing citations and conducting high-visibility patrols during the day but especially at night, when unrestrained driving is at its peak (midnight to 4:00 a.m.).Under Indiana’s primary seat belt law, officers can stop and cite drivers and passengers just for failing to wear a seat belt.

 

Drivers can also be cited for each unbuckled passenger under the age of 16, and children under eight must be properly restrained in a federally approved child or booster seat.

 

Throughout the campaign, officers will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt enforcement, which means anyone caught not wearing one will receive a citation.

Akron driver, 16, injured in car-utility pole crash

An Akron teenager was critically injured in a one-car crash.

 

Multiple agencies responded to a single vehicle collision in Lake Township about 6:45 pm Saturday. Although the investigation by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Fatal Team is ongoing, deputies have determined that Brendyn Ryan Stump, 16, was traveling eastbound on State Road 14 when his vehicle left the south edge of the roadway. The 2017 Ford Fusion turned sideways in the ditch and struck a utility pole at Packerton Road.

 

Fire crews extricated Stump from the vehicle and he was airlifted to a Fort Wayne hospital in critical condition. The intersection remained closed for an extended period while crews removed the vehicle and repaired the utility pole.

 

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, Claypool Police Department, Pierceton Police Department, Silver Lake Police Department, Silver Lake Fire Department, Sidney Fire Department, Warsaw-Wayne Township Fire Territory, Parkview EMS, Parkview Samaritan Air Ambulance and Indiana Department of Transportation all responded to the accident scene.

Tax deadline coming up on Monday

The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) reminds Hoosier taxpayers to file and pay their individual income tax returns by the Monday, May 17, 2021 deadline.

 

Individuals who are not able to file by May 17 can file an extension directly with DOR or with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If the IRS extension is granted, the Indiana extension is automatically granted. A timely filed extension moves the federal tax filing deadline to Oct. 15, 2021 and the Indiana filing deadline to Nov. 15, 2021.

 

It is important to note that the extension only shifts the filing deadline and not the payment deadline. Ninety percent of the taxes owed are still required to be paid by May 17, 2021 to avoid penalties and interest.

 

For customers who need to make or schedule a payment, the DORpay system is a convenient and secure way to verify, make or cancel scheduled payments online. To access this service, visit dorpay.dor.in.

 

More information regarding individual income tax filing and payments can be found on DOR’s website at dor.in.gov.

Mock DUI crash event at Rochester HS shows dangers of drinking and driving

Rochester High School students got to see the dangers of driving under the influence first-hand at the bi-annual mock DUI crash Thursday afternoon at Rochester High School. 

 

RHS Assistant Principal Lauryn Atkinson says there were a few extra new features adding to the drama this year. 

 

 

 

Atkinson says the event has made quite the impact on RHS students throughout the years, who never seem to forget it. 

 

 

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Greg Heller, RFD Fire Chief Tom Butler, and Woodlawn Hospital's Emergency Director  Jean Bauer organized the event. 

 

RHS students watched, as members from the Fulton County Sherriff's Department, Union Township Fire Department, and EMS's played out the scene with members from the RHS Drama Club. 

 

 

The event, which started off in the Rochester High School parking lot, included the crash scene and its bloody victims, the rescue of the other injured victims, and the arrest of the drunk driver.

 

The story continued inside the Rochester High School gym, with an ER scene that ended in tragedy and a courtroom sentencing. 

 

 

 

RHS Drama Club members acting this year were Raegan Trottier, who played the drunk driver and Ellie Shank, Reagan Becker, and Baylee Bradley, who played the frantic friends at the scene.

 

Calen Campbell was the body on the scene on top of the windshield and Calin Sayger, Ethan Brady, and Khya Gilbert were the injured victims inside of the vehicles. 

Hoosiers age 12 and older can receive Covid-19 vaccine beginning Thursday morning at clinics statewide

The Indiana Department of Health announced today that Hoosiers age 12 and older can begin receiving a free COVID-19 vaccine at 8 am Thursday.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended the use of the Pfizer vaccine for this new age group on Wednesday following the FDA’s expansion of the vaccine’s Emergency Use Authorization. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one of the three COVID-19 vaccines that is currently approved for use in individuals younger than age 18.

 

“The Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 and was well tolerated by adolescents participating in clinical trials,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “This vaccine is the next step toward getting back to normal for children who have missed out on so much over the past year, including school and extracurricular activities. Those who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to quarantine if they are a close contact of a positive case unless they develop symptoms of COVID. That is welcome news for both children and parents.”

 

To find a vaccination clinic that offers the Pfizer vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and search for a site that lists Pfizer as an option, or call 211 if you do not have access to a computer or require assistance. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are permitted.

An adult must accompany a child age 12 to 15 to the appointment; parental consent is required for minors.

 

As of today, a total of 4,657,343 doses have been administered in Indiana. This includes 2,461,137 first doses and 2,196,206 individuals who are fully vaccinated. The fully vaccinated number represents individuals who have received a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and those who received the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Chris Keisling retiring as Rochester HS principal, new Logansport girls bball coach

Rochester High School principal Chris Keisling is retiring after seven years at RHS and 36 years in education. 

 


Keisling says he's never stopped learning alongside his students over the past three decades.

 

 

Seeing the impacts he's made on the students over the years is what made his job worthwhile. 

 

Although excited to get back into the coaching world again, there is a lot from RHS that Keisling will miss. 

 

 

Keisling takes over a Logansport girls team that won only five games last season and hasn’t been above .500 since a 24-3 record in a 2013-14 season that ended in the semistate with a 44-41 loss to Penn.

 

Before his time at Rochester, Keisling served as a teacher and assistant basketball coach under Basil Mawbey at Lewis Cass.

 

Prior to that, he was the varsity girls’ basketball coach at Western High School where he compiled a 68-15 record and a state title in 2014 to go with a semistate appearance in 2012.

 

 

Teen critically injured in Tuesday night crash

A location obtained from Snapchat led emergency personnel to a crash southeast of North Webster Tuesday night.

 

Easton Adkins, 19, of Columbia City was reportedly attempting to locate an acquaintance near Durham Lake around 10:30 pm. Witnesses informed deputies that they lost telephone contact with Adkins and began to search the area.

 

The initial results of the ongoing investigation indicate that Adkins was traveling eastbound on CR 350 N, east of CR 925 E. The Ford Fusion left the roadway and collided with a tree near the public access entrance in the Pisgah Marsh Nongame Area.

 

Adkins was airlifted from the scene in critical condition by the Parkview Samaritan Air Ambulance.

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, North Webster Police Department, North Webster / Tippecanoe Township Fire Department and Parkview Samaritan Air Ambulance responded to the scene.

 

Andrew Hartley joins Four County as Chief Operations Officer

Four County is pleased to announce the hire of Andrew Hartley as Chief Operations Officer for Four County. Hartley brings with him over 16 years of leadership experience, most recently as the Superintendent of Plymouth Community School Corporation, the largest school corporation in Marshall County, Indiana. 

 

“Andy’s broad leadership experience and dedication to technology, data-driven decision-making, and fiscal stewardship will be a great asset to Four County. While Four County has a variety of programming, we have a specialty in school-based mental health serving 29 school corporations and 105 school buildings. We are looking forward to the expertise Andy will lend to those programs also.” said Carrie Cadwell, CEO Four County.

 

Hartley had this to say about joining Four County, “I am honored to be joining the Four County team. Four County is an organization with a clear focus on having a positive impact in the lives of the people and the communities it serves, which is closely aligned with what my professional purpose has been throughout my career. I am excited to get started and begin learning and contributing to the great work they are doing.

 

Four County is a non-profit Community Mental Health Center serving the communities of North Central Indiana for over 45 years. Four County started as the designated community mental health center for Cass, Miami, Fulton, and Pulaski Counties. To better meet the need of North Central Indiana, we have expanded our services to Howard County, Tipton County, White County, Carroll County, Marshall County, Clinton County, and Wabash County. We are rural behavioral health specialists and strive every day to expand access and quality care in all counties we serve.

Indiana State Police Peru Post annual memorial service; trooper killed in Fulton Co. in 2008 remembered

An inscription on the memorial stone in front of the Indiana State Police Peru Post reads, “We Will Remember Them”. That promise was kept when local law enforcement officers, retired state police employees, local government officials, and family members of the fallen joined employees from the Indiana State Police Peru Post as they paid tribute to the 47 Indiana State Police employees who have died in the line of duty since the department’s inception in 1933.

 

Since the early days of the Indiana State Police, memorial services have been held at all Indiana State Police Post during the month of May The memorial services are a way of paying tribute and remembering the ultimate sacrifice paid by state police employees who died while serving and protecting the citizens and visitors of Indiana. The services are also for the family members of the fallen heroes. The memorial services let the families of the fallen know that the sacrifice made by them and their departed loved ones will never be forgotten.

 

The service started with troopers standing at attention as Captain Jeremy Kelly, Area I commander for the Indiana State Police, read a roll call of the fallen employees. Lieutenant T.J. Zeiser, commander of the Indiana State Police Peru Post, provided a brief description of what lead to the fallen employees’ final call. The solemn ceremony ended with the playing of Taps by a bugler.

 

Four troopers from the Indiana State Police Peru Post have died in the line of duty:

 

  • Sergeant Glen R. Hosier died April 26, 1971, of a gunshot wound he received while leading officers up the staircase of a Miami County home. He was attempting to arrest a murder suspect. 
  • Trooper Robert J. Lather II died July 6, 1982, in an automobile crash on U.S. 31 in Miami County. He was assisting the Howard County Sheriff’s Department in pursuit of a traffic violator. 
  • Master Trooper Detective David E. Rich died July 5, 2007, of a gunshot wound he received when a motorist he stopped to assist opened fired on him as he approached a disabled vehicle on U.S. 24 in Wabash County. 
  • Trooper Daniel R. Barrett died January 27, 2008, while attempting to catch a speeding vehicle on U.S. 31 in northern Fulton County. His police car left the roadway and struck a tree, killing the trooper instantly.

Winamac High School guidance counselor Kate Daily retiring

The ending of the 2020-2021 school year is bringing big changes for Winamac High School guidance counselor Kate Daily.  She's retiring after 32 years in education. 

 

 

Daily said providing support and inspiration to her students is what motivated her. 

 

 

Daily has seen firsthand the impact her support has given to former students, who are now successful adults in the community. 

 

 

Daily says she will miss hearing all of her students stories and watching them grow, but will be watching from afar within the community. 

 

 

Her retirement plans are still up in the air, with several things being tossed around. 

 

 

What Daily's biggest plan is, is finding herself. 

 

 

Bill Friend, former Indiana Majority Leader joins board of U.S. 31 Coalition

Former Indiana State Representative Bill Friend has been elected to the U.S. 31 Coalition Board of Directors. 

 

Friend, who served for 16 years representing parts of Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, Marshall and Miami Counties, also served as Republican Majority Leader. 

 

“Bill Friend is an exemplar Hoosier who cares deeply about bringing U.S. 31 up to freeway grade status and the positive effects it will have on every community along the corridor,” commented Brad Bagwell, President of the U.S. 31 Coalition Board of Directors. “His expertise and his connections with just about everyone along the highway will be a formidable asset as we continue to push for finishing the entire highway.”

 

Friend was elected to the Indiana State House of Representatives in 1992. In 2018 he announced he would not be running for reelection.

 

Prior to serving at the Statehouse, Friend also served as Allen Township Trustee/Assessor, a member of the Miami County Council, and Miami County Auditor.

 

Friend and his wife Ann are residents of Macy, Indiana, where they’ve raised three children and own a successful livestock operation.

 

A 1967 graduate of North Miami High School, Friend has a degree in biology from the University of Indianapolis.

 

 

 

6-month old killed, 2-year old injured in multiple car crash

A child was killed in a multiple-vehicle accident Monday afternoon.

 

Officers from the Indiana State Police and the Peru Police Department responded to a three-vehicle crash on U.S. 31 at Miami County Road 100 North just before 4:00 pm.

 

The preliminary crash investigation by Indiana State Police revealed that Christine Wells, 75, of Rochester, was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Malibu northbound on U.S. 31. The Malibu was stopped or slowing for a red light at 100 North. Sarah Wallace, 32, of South Bend, was driving a 2013 Toyota Corolla behind the Mailbu and was also stopped or slowing for the red light.  The Toyota was behind the Chevrolet.

 

Indiana State Police say Andrew King, 35, of Rochester, was driving a 2016 Volvo semi-tractor, pulling an empty enclosed semi-trailer, and did not stop for the red light.  The semi-tractor rear-ended the Toyota, pushing it into the Chevrolet.

 

Leo Wallace, six months, a back seat passenger in the Toyota, died from injuries sustained in the crash. Cecilia Wallace, 2, also a backseat passenger in the Toyota, was flown from the crash scene, via medical helicopter, to Riley's Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. She sustained life-threatening injuries. Sarah Wallace was also flown from the crash scene. She was transported to a Fort Wayne hospital with serious injuries. Cecilia and Leo Wallace are Sarah Wallace's children. They were both properly secured with child safety seats, but the crash impact was too severe to prevent their injuries.

 

Neither King nor Wells was injured.

 

This is an ongoing investigation. After the investigation concludes, a report will be forwarded to the Miami County Prosecutor's Office for review.

 

The Indiana State Police was assisted at the crash scene by the Peru Police Department, the Peru Fire Department, Miami County Emergency Management, Samaritan Medical Helicopter, Lutheran Medical Helicopter, Dukes' Hospital EMS and Fulton County EMS.

Parasite detected in wild swans in Lake County

Wildlife officials have confirmed the presence of a parasitic flatworm in wild swans from Wolf Lake. Diagnostic testing was conducted at the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

Mute swans examined by the USGS had fatal infections of the intestinal parasite Sphaeridiotrema globulus. This parasite causes death in many species of waterfowl, including swans, diving ducks, and coots. Lead testing was also performed on the swans, and results were within the range of nontoxic background levels.

The cause of death of the Canada geese collected from the same area could not be determined, despite extensive testing. The geese tested negative for bacterial and viral infection, lead poisoning, heavy metals, salt toxicity, botulism, and toxic organic compounds. All birds tested negative for avian influenza.

"Wildlife disease investigations can be challenging, especially when multiple factors, including adverse weather conditions, may be involved," said USGS scientist Julia Lankton. "While we could not confirm a cause of mortality for the Canada geese, we are glad that the mortality event seems to have resolved and dead birds are no longer being reported." 

Peak mortality in Canada geese was observed over a period of approximately a week in late February after a period of severe cold weather, and deaths subsided in early March. Mute swan deaths were not observed until early March.

“The DNR, together with state, federal and private partners, has been monitoring migratory bird populations in the area and mortality seems to have subsided” said Mitch Marcus, fish & wildlife health supervisor for the Indiana DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.

The parasite that infected the swans poses no known risk to humans, pets, or the commercial poultry industry. Snails consumed by swans and other waterfowl serve as an intermediate host for the parasite. Infected birds may appear weak or unable to fly and often die. Control measures have not been developed for this parasite, and waterfowl deaths may recur on a regular basis.

Car crash into tree, homes kills Warsaw man

A Warsaw man was killed in a single vehicle collision early Sunday morning.

 

According to the preliminary results of the ongoing investigation, the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office reports that a 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander was traveling southbound on 1st Street in Pierceton when it went left of center and crossed the northbound lane, north of Tulip Street. The vehicle exited the east side of the roadway where it struck a tree and two residences. Interior and exterior damage occurred to both homes.

 

Dontaye Y. Cain, 28, of Warsaw, was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office. Zacheriah Cain, 26, of Warsaw, was transported to a Fort Wayne hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Rochester McDonald's under new ownership

After beginning this month by buying the Rochester McDonald's on May 1, Bill Boldt and his wife, Flo, are doing more than just turning things around at their new restaurant.  They're living the American dream. 

 

Buying Rochester's store is something that Boldt has wanted to do for years. He plans to make sure Rochester's McDonald's meets the standards in service and food as his other businesses. 

 

 

 

Boldt takes pride in making sure his establishments not only are a great place to eat, but also a great place to work. 

 

 

Husband and wife arrested on neglect, drug charges

A Peru couple faces neglect of a dependent and drug charges.

 

On Friday, Indiana State Police report that a criminal investigation by Indiana State Police Trooper Steven Glass resulted in the arrests of Byron Parsons, 54, and his wife, Breanna Parsons, 29, both living in the 400 block of West Third Street, Peru. The couple was incarcerated in the Miami County Jail to faces criminal charges for neglect of a dependent, possession of a syringe, possession of heroin, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Glass started an investigation after a request was made from the Miami County Division of the Indiana Department of Child Services (MCDCS), for police assistance, in an emergency removal of the Parson's three-year-old daughter from their Peru home. The girl had allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl during an MCDCS investigation. Trooper Glass located Breanna Parsons and the three-year-old during a traffic stop in Peru.

 

Further investigation led to Glass being granted a Miami Superior Court II search warrant for the Parsons’ home. During a subsequent search, officers allegedly found methamphetamine, heroin, a syringe, and items of drug paraphernalia.

 

Byron Parsons was located at his place of employment in Peru. Indiana State Police say Parsosns had methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia on his person when he was arrested.

DNR accepting Indiana Conservation Officer applications

The Indiana DNR Division of Law Enforcement is looking to fill Indiana Conservation Officer (ICO) positions across the state.

 

Anyone interested should first read “Become a Conservation Officer” at on.IN.gov/dnrlaw and complete the pre-screening test under the “Apply” link on that website. Successful completion of the pre-screening test is required to receive an application for the hiring process. To maximize the time needed for DNR Law Enforcement to complete the process, the pre-screening test needs to be submitted by midnight, June 3.

 

To be qualified to pass the pre-screening test, you must be a United States citizen and be 21 years old by Oct. 30. You also must be able to pass minimum Indiana Law Enforcement Academy physical fitness requirements as listed at https://www.in.gov/ilea/2338.htm.

 

Conservation officers comprise Indiana’s oldest state law enforcement agency. ICOs are fully recognized Indiana police officers who enforce and uphold all DNR rules and regulations as well as all other Indiana state laws. ICOs spend most of their time on the job enforcing fishing and hunting regulations, conducting marine boat patrol on Indiana’s waterways, and patrolling DNR properties to keep them safe and family friendly.

Free Yoga in the Park every Saturday through September 4

The Recovery Cafe Fulton County is teaming up with several local yoga instructors for free yoga classes in the Rochester City Park.

 

Yoga instructor Lindsay Barts had a vision when she started the now weekly event with Pat Brown, founder of the Fulton County Recovery Cafe. 

 

 

Starting at 8:00 am every Saturday morning through September 4, 'Yoga in the Park' welcomes anyone for a free will donation. 

 

 

Lindsay would like to grow the yoga community, in her quest to start a healthy trend in Fulton County. 

 

Lindsay is excited to see what the future holds. 

 

 


DOR provides guidance, tax worksheet for including unemployment income on 2020 individual tax returns

The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) issued guidance for individual income tax filers who received unemployment compensation in 2020.

 

Additionally, DOR issued a new worksheet for customers to use when claiming the state’s existing unemployment compensation tax deduction on their 2020 Indiana individual income tax return.

 

On April 22, the Indiana General Assembly passed an update to Indiana’s conformity to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), but specifically decoupled from certain provisions of IRC, and Governor Holcomb signed this into law on April 29.

 

As a result, Indiana taxpayers cannot use the federal unemployment compensation exclusion on their 2020 Indiana individual income tax returns and that income must be added back in. They may, however, still be able to deduct some portion of their unemployment income on their state tax return in accordance with Indiana’s current tax laws.

 

“Our teams are working diligently in response to these directives to minimize the impact to our customers and provide additional information and instructions regarding these recent changes,” said DOR Commissioner Bob Grennes.

 

Hoosier taxpayers who have been waiting to file their taxes should do so by the May 17, 2021 deadline.

 

Individuals who are not able to file by May 17 can file an extension directly with DOR or with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If the IRS extension is granted, the Indiana extension is automatically granted. A timely filed extension moves the federal tax filing deadline to Oct. 15, 2021 and the Indiana filing deadline to Nov. 15, 2021.

 

It is important to note that the extension only shifts the filing deadline and not the payment deadline. Ninety percent of the taxes owed are still required to be paid by May 17, 2021 to avoid penalties and interest.

 

Those who use a tax preparation software, online services or a paid tax professional to prepare their tax return should check for information from their vendor or preparer regarding software updates or instructions to add back unemployment income excluded from their federal adjusted gross income.

 

Those not using tax preparation software or online services can refer to DOR’s website for additional instructions and a revised Unemployment Compensation Worksheet to calculate and deduct the nontaxable portion of unemployment income.

 

Taxpayers who received unemployment income in 2020 and have already filed their individual income tax return should not file an amended return at this time. DOR will be providing additional information for these customers soon.

 

For more information on filing state taxes, visit DOR’s website at dor.in.gov and click on the “Learn More” button under “Unemployment Benefits and Taxes”.

OrthoPediatrics Corp. reports first quarter 2021 financial results

OrthoPediatrics Corp. (“OrthoPediatrics” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: KIDS), a company focused exclusively on advancing the field of pediatric orthopedics, announced today its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021.

 

First Quarter 2021 and Business Highlights

 

  • Generated total revenue of $21.5 million for first quarter 2021, up 31.2% from $16.4 million in first quarter 2020; domestic revenue growth was 25.8% and international growth was 55.6% in the quarter
  • Grew Worldwide Trauma & Deformity revenue 19.2%, worldwide Scoliosis revenue 60.4%, and Sports Medicine/Other revenue 120.5% in the first quarter 2021 compared to the first quarter 2020
  • Converted Germany, Austria, and Switzerland to direct sales agency model, expanding international agencies to a total of 14
  • Achieved milestone of treating an estimated 200,000 children since starting the business
  • Deployed $5.3 million of consignment sets in first quarter 2021, up 61% compared to $3.3 million in the same period in the prior year
  • Maintained strong balance sheet with approximately $78.0 million in cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments, and restricted cash as of March 31, 2021
  • Launched dedicated ApiFix website aimed at informing patients, families, and healthcare providers of a viable new alternative for the treatment of progressive adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS)
  • Recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work in Indiana” for a fifth year

Mark Throdahl, Chief Executive Officer of OrthoPediatrics, commented, “The Company’s first quarter results reflect the resilience of our business, steady execution of our strategy and the unwavering dedication of our team. With revenue growth exceeding 30% year-over-year, adjusted EBITDA and gross margins continuing to improve, and meaningful progress across all product categories, OrthoPediatrics is well positioned for sustained growth as we advance toward recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are particularly encouraged by the 19% growth in Trauma and Deformity and 60% growth in Scoliosis, both of which are seeing increased momentum after having been impacted by the deferral of elective surgeries in 2020. In addition to achieving 26% domestic sales growth, International sales grew 56%, with sales agencies growing 122% and, most critically, stocking distributors growing 15% in the quarter.”

 

Mr. Throdahl continued, “I’m proud to report that the proactive steps the Company took at the beginning of the pandemic have helped ensure a smooth path to recovery and position OrthoPediatrics as stronger today than it was before the outset of COVID-19. In addition, our success has been aided by the strategic acquisitions of Orthex, ApiFix, and Telos Partners as well as our continued investment in sets. Looking ahead, we remain intently focused on capturing the significant opportunity in the pediatric orthopedic market and driving long-term value for our stockholders.”

Miami County part of DNR's planned aerial treatments

Aerial treatments conducted by Indiana DNR divisions of Forestry and Entomology & Plant Pathology to slow the spread of gypsy moth in selected areas of Allen, Miami and Wells counties could begin the week of May 10, if the weather allows.

Gypsy moth is one of North America's most devastating invasive forest pests and has caused thousands of acres of defoliation across the eastern United States.

Treatment begins shortly after sunrise but could be delayed until later in the morning or to the next day due to unfavorable weather conditions such as morning fog or rain. Treatment should take about an hour. A second treatment will occur four to 10 days after the first, weather permitting. During treatment, a yellow airplane flying 75-125 feet above the treetops will conduct the treatment, starting at sunrise and continuing throughout the day, as the weather and flight schedules permit. With favorable weather, treatments may be completed by late morning or early afternoon.

The airplane distributes a spray containing the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, referred to as Btk, into the treetops of infested areas where gypsy moth caterpillars feed on tree leaves. Btk kills gypsy moth caterpillars by disrupting their digestive systems after they ingest it.

Btk has been used for decades by organic gardeners and does not adversely affect people or animals. People who live or work near the treatment areas might want to stay inside when the planes are flying and for about 30 minutes after treatments are complete. This gives the material time to settle out of the air and stick to treetops. For more information on Btk, call toll-free at 1-866-NO-EXOTIC (663-9684) or call your county extension office.

If the weather cools and slows the emergence of the caterpillars, the first treatment application could be delayed until the week of May 17. Updates will be posted on Twitter @INdnrinvasive. DNR will also issue news releases to update the status. Once treatment begins, rain or high wind may interrupt it for that day. If that happens, treatment would resume the next suitable day and continue until all sites have been treated.

All sites will receive two treatments. The timing of second treatments is also weather dependent, although they are likely to begin during the week of May 17.

To determine if your property is in the treatment areas or to view maps of all treatment locations, or for more information about gypsy moth, see gypsymoth.IN.gov.

Two people killed in SR 15 crash

Two people died in a three-vehicle collision on State Road 15, south of CR 1000 N.

 

According to the preliminary results of the investigation, Ray Frost, 77, of Larwill, was traveling northbound on State Road 15 about 10:30 am Monday. As Frost was attempting to pass a northbound vehicle in front of him, his vehicle struck a southbound Pontiac driven by Ciera England, 26, of Leesburg.

 

Frost’s Nissan continued northbound in the southbound lane and struck a Honda minivan driven by Mary Velazquez, 51, of Winona Lake. Frost was partially ejected and pinned under his SUV when it rolled.

 

Velazquez was extricated from her minivan by the Milford Fire Department. Both Frost and Velazquez were pronounced deceased at the scene by the Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office.

 

England was transported by EMS to a Warsaw hospital for evaluation.

 

This crash remains under investigation by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Fatal Team.

 

New federal relief grants available through Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The U.S. Small Business Administration is launching the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to provide relief for the restaurant and food service industry, which has been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for this funding is high, so the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and the Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) are encouraging Hoosier businesses to register and apply for funding through this program as soon as possible.

Through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, eligible businesses may receive awards between $1,000 and $5 million per location to offset expenses, such as payroll, supplies, and operating expenses, incurred between Feb. 15, 2020, and March 11, 2023. Interested businesses may register starting today, Friday, April 30, at 9 a.m. EDT, and the portal to submit applications will open on Monday, May 3, at 12:00 p.m. EDT. 

To help Hoosier restaurant and food service owners apply for and access available funds, the Indiana SBDC is partnering with gener8tor to offer no-cost webinars, including two in Spanish. The first webinar is scheduled for today at 3 p.m. EDT. Consultations and application assistance will also be offered through designated virtual office hours beginning next week. In addition, Spanish interpretation services will be offered through the regional Indiana SBDC offices. Specific dates, times and more details are available on the Indiana SBDC website

“Indiana restaurants and food service owners were quick to respond and pivot during the height of the pandemic,” said David Watkins, state director for the Indiana SBDC. “We’re grateful for their perseverance and want them to know more federal funding will be available through this new relief program. It is vital for eligible Indiana businesses to apply as soon as possible, as we anticipate these federal funds will be distributed quickly across the nation.”

RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION FUND

Grant Details:

  • The SBA may provide funding up to $5 million per location, not to exceed $10 million total for the applicant and any affiliated businesses.
  • The minimum award is $1,000.
  • Eligible expenses include business expenses such as payroll, supplies, and operating expenses, construction of outdoor seating and some business debt.
  • Funds must be spent on expenses that were/are incurred between February 15, 2020 and March 11, 2023. 

Eligibility

  • Eligible entities are businesses that are not permanently closed and include businesses where the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink.
  • This includes:
    • Restaurants
    • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
    • Caterers
    • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
    • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars (e.g., coffee shops, ice cream shops)
    • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms* (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Breweries and/or microbreweries* (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Wineries and distilleries* (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Inns* (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
    • Other similar places of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink


Register & Apply
Registration, more details and the application are available at sba.gov/restaurants. Account registration opens today, Friday, April 30, at 9:00 a.m. EDT, and the portal to submit applications will open Monday, May 3, at 12:00 p.m. EDT. 

For more information on available recovery and relief resources, programs and grants available to small businesses, including the Indiana Small Business Restart Grant and Indiana Hospitality and Entertainment Grant, please visit isbdc.org/covid-resources

Winamac High School student tested positive for COVID last week

Eastern Pulaski School Superintendent Dara Chezem announced Monday that a Winamac Community High School student received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis on Friday, April 30.

 

Parents of students considered to be close contacts were notified. 

 

HIPAA guidelines were used to protect the individual’s health information.

 

Motorcycle - deer accident sends Rochester man to South Bend hospital

A Rochester man was seriously injured in a car-deer accident Sunday.

 

It happened in the 2:00 hour Sunday afternoon on State Road 17 at West 200 North.

 

Indiana State Police report David Hatfield, 46, was driving a 2007 Harley Davidson.  According to dispatch reports he was not conscious when emergency units arrived.

 

Hatfield was flown to South Bend Memorial.  No further word is available on his condition.

 

Charges filed in death of Etna Green woman in November car - pedestrian accident

The death of a Kosciusko County woman in November has resulted in charges against a Rochester man.

 

Larry Smith, 57, has been charged with causing death while operating a vehicle, a Level 4 felony.  According to the November accident report, Smith was the driver of a pickup that struck and killed Carol Hoffer, 84.  Hoffer was crossing a street at the intersection in Etna Green when the incident took place at 4:45 pm.

 

Smith said he never saw Hoffer.

 

Results on a blood draw at the time of the crash investigation have shown amphetamine and methamphetamine in Smith's system at the time of the accident.

 

In the incident report in November Smith’s address was listed as Leesburg.

 

WROI story originally posted November 4, 2020

A Kosciusko County woman was struck by a car and died Tuesday.

 

Carol Hoffer, 84, of Etna Green died as a result of injuries she sustained after being struck by a vehicle in Etna Green Tuesday evening.

 

According to investigating deputies, Hoffer was walking on Broadway St. when she was struck by a 1999 Ford F150 driven by Larry Smith, 57, of Leesburg. Immediately prior to the collision, Smith turned west onto Broadway St. from Walnut St.

 

Hoffer was transported by the Samaritan Air Ambulance to South Bend Memorial Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

 

Smith was not injured in the collision.

 

This crash remains under investigation by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Fatal Team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On My Way Pre-K applications for the 2021-2022 school year now available statewide

Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is now accepting applications from families statewide who may be eligible for grants for their children to receive free, high-quality, pre-kindergarten education through the On My Way Pre-K program for the 2021-2022 school year. Information about the program and the link to apply can be found at OnMyWayPreK.org.

 

For the 2021-2022 school year, a child is eligible for an On My Way Pre-K voucher if they will be 4 years old by Aug. 1, 2021, and plan to start kindergarten in the 2022-2023 school year. An eligible child must live in a household with income below 127% of the federal poverty level and have parents or guardians who are working, going to school, attending job training or searching for employment.

 

A limited number of vouchers will be available for children who will be 4 years old by Aug. 1, 2021, live in a household with income up to 185% of the federal poverty level, and have:

 

  • A parent/guardian who is working, attending job training or an educational program, looking for employment OR
  • A parent/guardian who receives Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits

For the second year, an easy-to-use, online application called “Early Ed Connect” will serve as the application for both On My Way Pre-K and child care assistance provided in Indiana via the federal Child Care Development Fund or “CCDF.” Early Ed Connect offers the benefits of easier attachment of documents and notification of successful submission. A Spanish version is also available as well as support for any technical issues.

 

On My Way Pre-K awards grants to 4-year-old children from low-income families so that they may have access to a high-quality pre-K program the year before they begin kindergarten. Families who receive a grant may use the grant at any approved On My Way Pre-K program throughout the state.

 

Once the family has met eligibility requirements and has been awarded a grant for their child, they may choose from any of the approved On My Way Pre-K programs. Families can search approved providers at www.ChildCareFinder.IN.gov.

 

Approved pre-K programs may be located in a public or private school, licensed child care center, licensed home or registered ministry as long as that program meets the quality requirements and is registered as an On My Way Pre-K Provider. Families may choose from a program that is full-day or part-day, as well as from programs that end with the school year or continue through the summer. Families who need help finding an approved pre-K program can also call 800-299-1627 for assistance from an early learning referral specialist.

 

Nearly 14,000 Hoosier children have attended pre-K through a grant from 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. OECOSL continues to partner with Purdue University on a longitudinal study of children who have participated in the program in an attempt to measure their success. OECOSL also updates the Indiana General Assembly every year on the program. The most recent report can be found here.

 

The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is a division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

 

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

North Manchester man killed in weekend crash

A Wabash County man was killed in a truck – tree crash over the weekend.

 

Shortly before 2:30 am Saturday, Kosciusko County emergency personnel were dispatched to the intersection of Country Club RD and CR 200 S for a single vehicle collision. According to the preliminary results of the investigation, Anthony Sumner, 51, of North Manchester, was traveling eastbound on CR 200 S and did not stop at Country Club RD. The Ram 1500 struck a tree on the east side of the intersection.

 

Sumner was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office.

 

This crash remains under investigation by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Fatal Team.

 

KCSO, Winona Lake Police Department, Lutheran EMS, Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory, Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office assisted at the scene.

Rochester leaders seek input on nuisance ordinance

The Rochester City Council is seeking public input regarding discussions over expansion of the nuisance ordinance.

 

Rochester Mayor Ted Denton explains what the council is considering.

 

 

The mayor explains what, in part, has prompted the issue.

 

 

Mayor Denton says they do not intend to infringe on the free speech rights of Rochester citizens.

 

 

The mayor says the issue was addressed at last week’s council meeting and the council was allowed time to reach out and get reaction.

 

 

The mayor encourages people to e-mail or call him, also.

 

The proposed change to theordinance, if it comes up for a vote and passes, would read…..It shall be unlawful for any person to erect, construct, cause, permit, keep or maintain within the limits anything whatever which is injurious to the general health, welfare and safety of the public, or which is vulgar, obscene or profane.

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