Fulton County REMC Solar Site ribbon cutting in Talma celebrates grand opening

Fulton County REMC and AG Technologies are currently making history by partnering together on Indiana’s first battery storage of energy collected from a solar array.


It’s now collecting energy through a grid of 2,855 solar panels on a five-acre plot of leased land, east of Alumni Tech Products in Talma. Storage will come from two 56,000 pound Tesla batteries.


The grand opening was celebrated Thursday, on-site with speeches and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. 


Joe Koch, CEO of Fulton County REMC said the local support has been tremendous. 



Koch explained the impact this project will make on the community.



The project is being financed by First Federal Savings Bank. Dick Belcher, CEO of First Federal Savings Bank reminisced during the ceremony.  



FFW Corp announces changes to senior management

FFW Corporation (OTC PINK: FFWC), parent corporation of Crossroads Bank, announces changes to senior management.


Roger K. Cromer, President, and CEO of FFW Corporation, the parent corporation of Crossroads Bank, announces the retirement of Jennifer Southers, Senior Vice President of Retail Banking, effective January 7, 2022.  Jenni’s banking career has spanned more than 40 years, the last 16 years at Crossroads Bank.  Jenni has provided positive leadership and has been an invaluable partner.  We will miss her insight and wisdom on the management team.  We wish her well as she enters a new chapter in her life.


Effective October 1, 2021, Emily Boardman, CPA, previously Crossroads Bank Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will be promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer.  In her new role, Ms. Boardman will lead our Retail Banking Division and continue to manage our human resource, IT, compliance, and deposit operation areas.  Emily started her career in May 2007 as our Controller and was promoted to CFO in 2009.  In 2015, she added the various operational duties noted above and has brought a focus on strategic planning and employee/community engagement.


Effective October 1, 2021, Kirsten Pendarvis, CPA, previously Controller at Crossroads Bank, will be promoted to Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.  In her new role, she will oversee all accounting and financial systems, budgets, capital investments and serve as the liaison with auditors and regulatory agencies.  Kirsten started her career in April 2020 as our Controller and had previously worked at BKD CPAs & Advisors, focusing on providing audit servicing to community financial institutions.


This is an exciting time for Crossroads Bank to promote talent within the organization as opportunities arise. This transfer of duties will provide a seamless transition for customers and employees alike.

Full Tilt Arts honors the Potawatomi with Main Street mural

Full Tilt Arts artists Christine Walsh and Erica Coffing wrapped up Rochester's newest mural honoring the native Potawatomi tribe Saturday, September 18, just in time for the 46th Annual Trail of Courage Living History Festival. 


Like all great art, the finished product had several changes and transformations from the original idea and rough draft Christine started with. 



The changes embraced the dark reality of what the Trail of Death was about and features the number of steps taken from Indiana to Kansas. It also features the traditional beadwork on moccasins, as well as a silhouette replica that is a feature on the mile markers along the Trail of Death. 



Erica Coffing says the project struck a long-time passion the artist has had since childhood and was honored to work alongside Christine. 


More information about the mural and its origin can be found posted on site beside the art on the East Alley on Main Street between Seventh and Eighth Street.


Full Tilt Arts has one more project to complete in Rochester this year. Christine and Erica are planning another Potawatomi tribute behind Webb's pharmacy, on a low wall on West Eighth St. 


'Baby Box' coming soon to Rochester Fire Department

Rochester Fire Chief Tom Butler announced at this week's Rochester Common Council meeting that a 'baby box' is officially making its presence in Fulton County thanks to the local Knights of Columbus #5584.


It will be located at the Rochester Fire Department. 



Two seriously injured in Fulton County crash

A two vehicle crash Monday afternoon at US 31 and SR 110 (Fulton /,Marshall County Line) resulted in two people being flown to a Ft. Wayne Hospital.


At approximately 3:00 PM (9/27/2021) Fulton County 911 received numerous calls concerning a crash at US 31 southbound lane and SR 110. Responders arrived and found a 2010 Chevy Silverado pickup truck and a 2017 Ford F350 pulling a·5th wheel camper off-the roadway in the southwest corner of the intersection in the ditch.


A preliminary investigation by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office suggests the Chevy pickup driven by Jerry Lee Honeycutt, 71, of rural Rochester was westbound on SR 110 and crossing the southbound lanes of US 31 and pulled into the path of the Ford F350 / camper driven by Robert Lynn Hammonds, 67, of Sullivan, Missouri.


Honeycutt and his passenger, Becky Ammerman, 59, of Macy were extricated from the Chevy truck by Rochester Fire and both were flown from the scene by Lutheran Air and Air Med to Lutheran Hospital in Ft. Wayne with critical injuries.


Hammonds was checked by medics on scene and released with very minor injuries due to airbag deployment.


Assisting the Fulton County Sheriff's Office with this crash, Rochester Fire Department, Lutheran EMS, Argos EMS, Lutheran Air, Air Med of Memorial Hospital.

Four County announces $15 minimum wage

Four County is raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour. The change takes effect September 26 and applies to all full-time and part-time staff.


This change is estimated to impact over 53% of current staff between starting wages and associated wage scale adjustments which is based on Four County experience as well as previous years of qualified work experience when starting their career with the Center.


This increase is estimated to mostly impact the salaries for administrative support and clinical tech positions as much as 33% annually. Four County will continue to review all other job class compensation moving forward keeping pace and competitive with industry and local economic wage demands.


Melissa Robertson, Four County's Director of Adult Intensive Services remarks, "We have already seen that with this wage increase that we are attracting new talent to Four County."


This change is consistent with an emerging national trend by employers that are voluntarily increasing their minimum wage following the Executive Order to raise federal contractors minimum wage. Over the last four years Four County has made over $3.6 million in new investment in staff. The increase to $15 per hour minimum wage continues this trajectory by adding an additional almost $500, 000  in staff investment annually.


"Raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour will make a tremendous, positive impact on the well-being of our employees, especially those in support and clinical technician positions. The impact is not theoretical, it is real life impact. This can be emphasized even more when considering what it means for our rural workforce. Behavioral health workers are critical and solid minimum wage is paramount.", provides Carrie Cadwell, Chief Executive Officer with Four County.
Four CountyMedia

Fulton Co. Health Dept. holding free Covid-19 testing

Fulton County Fairgrounds

1009 W 3rd Street, Rochester

Free Drive-up testing site.

No appointment required. 

Enter from State Road 31


Monday & Friday 8am-4pm

Wednesday 12pm-8pm

Saturday 8am-1pm


Rapid Tests only at this time


10-digit dialing in Indiana's 219 & 574 area codes starts in one month

Beginning on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, everyone in northern Indiana’s 219 and 574 telephone area codes will be required to use 10 digits, rather than seven, to make local phone calls.


(For example, callers should start dialing “219-555-5555” or “574-555-5555” instead of “555-5555.”)


Local calls made with seven digits will still work until the end of the permissive dialing period on Oct. 24, 2021, which was established to allow everyone time to adjust to the new dialing pattern and to make any required system changes before 10-digit dialing becomes mandatory for local calls. This six-month transition period started in April.


The change to 10-digit dialing is necessary to accommodate the national “988” National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, as designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). All telecommunications providers in the United States are required to implement the three-digit 9-8-8 dialing code for the hotline by July 16, 2022. Under the FCC order, 10-digit dialing must be in place before then for any area code with a “988” prefix.


Starting on Oct. 24, 2021, you must use 10-digit dialing for all local phone calls. After this date, if you do not use 10 digits, your call will not be completed and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again.


Beginning July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will be reachable by calling the three-digit 9-8-8 code. The lifeline can be reached before and after that date at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).


The most important facts for residential consumers and businesses in these area codes to know are:

Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.

You will need to dial area code + telephone number (a total of 10 digits) for all local calls in the 219 and 574 areas.

You will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number (a total of 11 digits) for all long-distance calls.

Calls that are local now will remain local.

10-digit dialing for local calls will not change the price of a call, your coverage area, or other rates and services.

You can still dial three digits to reach 911 for emergency services.

You can continue to dial three digits to dial 211 (social services), 411 (directory assistance), 711 (telecommunications relay service), or 811 (call to request utility locate before you dig).

You should start including the area code together with your seven-digit local telephone numbers when providing numbers to others.

You should make sure that all preprogrammed numbers for local calls are set to include the area code. Examples include life safety systems, medical monitoring services, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile/wireless phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions.

You should check your website, stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, personal or pet ID tags and microchips, and other items to ensure that the phone number includes the area code. 


Any safety and security equipment, including medical alert devices and alarm systems, must be programmed for mandatory 10-digit local dialing unless the calls are already directed to toll-free or long-distance telephone numbers. If you are not sure whether your equipment needs to be reprogrammed, contact your medical alert or security provider. All necessary reprogramming must be completed before Oct. 24, 2021.


Specific area codes in 35 states, including all four of Indiana’s neighboring states, are implementing 10-digit dialing to accommodate the 988 Lifeline.


Mandatory 10-digit dialing has been in place for several years in Indiana’s 317 and 812 area codes; it was implemented to accommodate the addition of new “overlay” area codes due to shrinking number supplies.


The 260 and 765 area codes are not affected.


A video summarizing the changes is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6ODK_a82-Y.

Indiana farm fatality summary stresses importance of safety; 2020 deaths in Fulton, Wabash, Miami

Purdue University’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program released the annual Indiana Farm Fatality Summary with Historical Overview, coinciding with National Farm Safety and Health Week.


The annual observance has been the third week of September since 1944. The program reported 25 work-related on-farm deaths in the state of Indiana in 2020, including one grain entrapment, nine involving tractors and four involving off-road or utility terrain vehicles.


Farm fatalities for the past 50 years continue to trend lower, likely reflecting safer machinery and work practices while also corresponding with a decline in the number of farmers. Despite this encouraging trend, report members urge agriculture workers to remain diligent and follow safety procedures. No Indiana agency documents farm-related nonfatal injuries, but prior research has indicated that approximately one in nine Indiana farms has a farm-work-related injury incident that requires medical attention each year.


Documented incidents involving those age 60 or older account for nearly half of all cases in the past five years, including over half of the victims in 2020.


Among the 2020 incidents:

89-year old caught in blueberry harvesting machine in Fulton County


Grain bin entrapment that resulted in the death of a 66-year old in Wabash County


Tractor runover that resulted in the death of a 77-year old in Miami County


“Historically, farmers over the age of 60, including many who work only part time, have accounted for a disproportionate number of farm-related injuries. Recent spikes in frequencies of fatalities over the past 10 years makes this population of older farmers a special concern,” the report states.


Bill Field, Purdue agriculture and biological engineering professor and Extension safety specialist, has summarized over 1,100 farm fatalities during his career.


“This annual summary is a somber reminder that our food can come at a cost of lives, health and well-being for farm families,” Field said.


As Hoosier farmers begin to harvest, program members remind farmers to keep safety a top priority. Agriculture safety guides, disaster preparedness resources and the Indiana Farm Fatality Summary can be found online.

Fulton Co. Commissioners allow more time for 911 employees to use vacation time; speed limit change for road

Finding time to take a vacation can be a difficult thing.  Work, activities, family all stand in the way with getting away. 


Especially work. 


That’s why Fulton County Commissioners decided to allow more time to take a vacation for employees as an agency deals with Covid and short-staffing.


Commissioner Brian Lewis says 9-1-1 and dispatch have been hard hit.



Lewis says they give thanks and a tip of the cap to everyone working in emergency services.



Fulton County Commissioners made a speed limit change on a section of roadway.  The decision comes instead of implementing stop signs in the area.




Eastern Pulaski Schools implement mask requirement starting Wednesday

Superintendent Dara Chezem announced Monday that the Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation has seen an increase in the impact of COVID-19 on students and staff this year and especially in the last week.  


This has prompted Eastern Pulaski School Corporation to implement new guidelines and a mask requirement starting Wednesday, September 22.


Since school has started, EPCSC has had a total of 527 students and staff quarantined or isolated due to close contact with a positive case.  Some of the students have been in their third quarantine this school year.  Of these quarantines, 71 individuals were positive. 


EPCSC currently has 29 positive cases and 113 quarantined staff and students this week alone. In comparison, last year at this time, they had only 38 positive cases and half the quarantines.


In order to keep more students in the classroom and not interrupt their educational process with more quarantines, the School Board approved  that EPCSC schools comply with the Governor’s executive order with the following guidelines for wearing masks:


     1. All students are required to wear a mask while riding the bus.

     2. All students in grades PK-12 will be required to wear a mask at all times while in a school building with

          the following exceptions:

          a. During times of strenuous exercise such as PE,

          b. During extracurricular sports when the athlete is participating in a competition.

          c. During meal times,

          d. Outdoor recess shall be times when masks are optional.

     3. The corporation will continue to track the number of quarantines/isolations and reevaluate the need for masks.  


Chezem is also asking parents for their cooperation in wearing masks while in EPCSC buildings this week for all in-person parent-teacher conferences.

Arrangements for over-the-phone conferences may be made by request. 



Fatality in three-vehicle Fulton County crash

A rural Rochester man was killed in a three-vehicle accident.

About 2:00 pm Saturday, a GMC Sonoma driven by James Rans, 72, was northbound on Old 31 / Southway when he crossed the northbound US 31 and was struck by a Dodge Journey driven by Stephanie Vandermolden, 46, of Michigan.

The Dodge struck the GMC on the passenger side of the vehicle.  It then rolled onto its side partially ejecting Rans.  From that point, either one or both of the vehicles then collided with a southbound passenger van driven by Nathan Crull, 66, of Rochester.  Crull was waiting at the intersection to cross the northbound lane.

Rans was declared dead at the scene.

Vandermolden, a passenger in the Dodge Journey and Crull were checked out by medics at the scene.

A passenger in Crull’s vehicle, Margaret Doran, of Rochester, was also injured.  She was flown by air ambulance to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office preliminary investigation shows Rans failed to yield the right-of-way and crossed into the path of the Journey.  It was also determined that Rans was not wearing a seat belt.

At this time, the crash is still under investigation by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office along with the Fulton County Coroner's Office.

Assisting at the scene on Saturday were the Fulton County Sheriff's Office, Rochester Fire Department, Lutheran EMS, Samaritan, Fulton County Coroner Office.

Remains of Cass County Army Sgt. identified from Korean War

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced that Army Sgt. Stanley L. DeWitt, 18, of Royal City, Indiana, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for June 5, 2020.

In late 1950, DeWitt was a member of Medical Detachment, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 6, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered.

On July 27, 2018, following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for identification.

To identify DeWitt’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

DeWitt’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

DeWitt will be buried in his hometown. The date has yet to be determined.

Pair arrested in Miami on drug charges; one suspect escaped custody earlier this year

Two people were arrested as a search warrant was served in Miami.


On Thursday morning, a search warrant at 10483 South Poplar Street in Miami, led to the arrests of occupants Candace Causey, 25, and Tanner McReynolds, 28. Both will face criminal charges for dealing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of paraphernalia. McReynolds faces an additional charge for possession of marijuana.


Indiana State Police assisted the Howard County Sheriff’s Department with a search warrant at a home on 10483 Poplar Street. Deputies were searching for Causey, who had allegedly escaped custody earlier this year. Causey was located in the residence. 


While officers were searching for Causey, they allegedly observed, in plain view, approximately 25 grams of methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. 


McReynolds was transported to the Miami County Jail. Howard County officers transported Causey to the Howard County Jail. Indiana State Police will forward a report to the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office for consideration of criminal charges against Causey. 

Authorities asking for public's help to find missing Wabash Co. woman

A missing Roann, Indiana woman has the Wabash County Sheriff’s Department asking for the public'shelp.

Sue Bennett, 89, was last seen on Tuesday, September 14, at 9:30 pm.  Authorities said she is in need of medication and may be in medical danger.

Bennett is 5'8" tall, 150 pounds with gray hair and blue eyes.

She has a 2003 red Toyota Camry with an Indiana license plate RKC940.

Anyone with information on Bennett’s whereabouts is asked to call Wabash County Central Dispatch at (260) 563-9223 or their local law enforcement agency.

Rochester AD Kevin Renie talks about disappointment of Bell Game cancellation

You could hear it in Kevin Renie’s voice when he appeared Thursday morning on ‘From the Bench’ on GIANT fm WROI. 


There's disappointment, maybe even fatigue, from Wednesday’s decision to cancel the annual football clash between Rochester and Tippecanoe Valley due to Covid issues with the Zebras football program.



Most sports leave open the chance to reschedule a game.  Football doesn’t.  That left scenarios to find a way around the dilemma few and far between.



The Rochester athletic director says a lot of effort and planning and the community feeling around the game are now lost.



Fortunately, at least, he decision to cancel Friday’s football game is isolated to that one event.




Caston School Corp discontinues mandatory quarantines of non-symptomatic close contact people.

The Caston School Corporation will not be requiring students to quarantine non-symptomatic close contact people.


The Caston School Board approved the revision to Caston School Corporation's Re-Entry Plan 2021-22 Wednesday evening in the Caston High School Gymnasium, despite executive orders placed by  Governor Holcomb.


Caston Superintendent Paul Voigt said that parents will still be notified of any student that has come into close contact, but will be given two options. 



Voigt said there are, as of Wednesday, currently 38 students being quarantined.   21 of those 38 students were nonsymptomatic and quarantined for not wearing a mask.


The new guidelines are effective immediately, allowing those students who are currently being quarantined to return to school if they are not showing symptoms. 



Tippecanoe Valley - Rochester Friday football cancelled

Tippecanoe Valley released the following information regarding the cancellation of the Vikings Bell Game matchup on Friday at Rochester and a newly scheduled matchup they will play instead.  


The following released by Tippecanoe Valley thru Twitter:


Due to Covid issues within the Rochester football program, the Friday night varsity football game has been canceled.  #9 (3A) Tippecanoe Valley will now travel to #7 (1A) North Judson for a 7:30 pm kickoff with the Blue Jays.

If you purchased a ticket for Tippecanoe Valley at Rochester, you can receive your refund by returning your ticket at the following times:

Thursday, September 16 from 6:30pm-8:00pm at the football ticket gate

Tuesday, September 21 from 6:30pm-8:00pm outside door 23 (main gym entrance)



The public, dignitaries, family, friends, honored Logansport Marine Cpl Humberto Sanchez Tuesday

It was an emotional day in Logansport Tuesday, during the funeral for Cpl Humberto Sanchez. The Logansport Marine was killed on Aug 26 in the Kabul airport suicide bombing along with 12 other US service members.


Since the news of Sanchez's death, Cass County and surrounding communities have poured out their support for the fallen Marine. 


In attendance at the funeral were former Vice-President Mike Pence, Gov. Eric Holcomb, and U.S. Senator Todd Young. The streets of Logansport were filled with supporters during the funeral procession from Life Gate Church to Mt. Hope Cemetery. 


Students from Columbia Sixth Grade Academy were among the supporters lined up along Hanna Street and Pleasant Hill Street in Logansport during the funeral procession, just a few blocks away from Mt. Hope Cemetery.


Mother speaks out; watched Monday's Cass Co. truck - school bus collision

Monday's truck - school bus collision near Cass County Road 1225 South on U.S. 35 may have resulted in no major injuries, but for Jessi Boyd, the mother of the children on the west side of U.S. 35 waiting to board the stopped bus, it was like watching her worst nightmare.


The Lewis Cass school bus driven by Sharon Case, 69, of Walton, was stopped in the southbound lane of U.S. 35 when it was struck from the rear by a bucket truck driven by James Mayhill, 40, of Walton, who was towing a trailer loaded with a Kubota skid steer.  The stop arms and warning lights on the bus were activated prior to being hit. 


Boyd said she has always preached to her two sons about bus safety prior to this incident. Her oldest son Paxton, 11, grabbed his brother Owen, 5, away from the road as the bus was hit and he was one step away from boarding. Owen was left unharmed other than a scratch on his nose from flying glass.





Boyd said this isn't the first close call, but it has been the scariest.



No injuries in Cass Co. truck - school bus collision

No injuries in a collision Monday morning between a bucket truck and a Lewis Cass school bus.

It happened in the area of Cass County Road 1225 South on U.S. 35 just after 6:30 am.  A bucket truck driven by James Mayhill, 40, of Walton, was towing a trailer loaded with a Kubota skid steer.  A 2022 International school bus, driven by Sharon Case, 69, of Walton, was stopped in the southbound lane of U.S. 35 with the stop arms and warning lights activated.  The truck struck the rear of the school bus.

There were no students on the bus at the time of the crash.  Two students were standing on the west side of U.S. 35 waiting to board the stopped bus.  The children were uninjured.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office, Galveston Fire, Indiana State Police, and Phoenix Ambulance Service responded.

Rochester Metals, Sequel Wire and Cable to receive Manufacturing Readiness Grants

Industries in Fulton and Marshall counties will benefit from recently announced grants.


The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), in partnership with Conexus Indiana, announced the fourth round of awards totaling more than $2.8 million to 34 Indiana businesses in Manufacturing Readiness Grants to support a projected $17.4 million in technology-based capital investment in Indiana.
The Manufacturing Readiness Grants program was launched in 2020 to stimulate private sector investments to modernize Indiana’s manufacturing sector. Based on the program’s success, the Indiana General Assembly appropriated $20 million in additional funding to the two-year state budget that runs through June 30, 2023, to help position Hoosier operations for future growth and prosperity. Availability of the new funding on July 1, 2021, has enabled a total of 122 awards to date totaling nearly $9.7 million in grants to Hoosier companies in 50 counties, supporting technology-based capital investment projected to be more than $68.6 million. 


Among those receiving grants:


  • Rochester Metal Products Corp. (Fulton County; $25,000 grant award), a manufacturer of quality gray and ductile iron castings, is investing in a cobot to automate part of its production process. 
  • Sequel Wire and Cable LLC (Marshall County; $6,710 grant award) is a startup company and manufacturer of copper fabricated and insulated wire and cable products for use in a variety of markets including OEM, wire and cable distribution, appliance, automotive and RVs. The company is implementing automated data collection on production machines across its facility.

The 34 grant recipients in this round include companies from 22 Indiana counties and cover a wide range of specialties, including aerospace and defense, automotive, custom electronics and medical devices.

Recipients include: 

  • Rochester Metal Products Corp. (Fulton County; $25,000 grant award), a manufacturer of quality gray and ductile iron castings, is investing in a cobot to automate part of its production process. 
  • Sequel Wire and Cable LLC (Marshall County; $6,710 grant award) is a startup company and manufacturer of copper fabricated and insulated wire and cable products for use in a variety of markets including OEM, wire and cable distribution, appliance, automotive and RVs. The company is implementing automated data collection on production machines across its facility.


Miami Co, Walton and Knox receive OCRA GRANTS

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced 25 rural Indiana communities will receive more than $12.8 million in federal grant funding to improve water infrastructure and to address blighted properties. 


The State of Indiana distributes Community Development Block Grant funds to rural communities, which assist units of local government with various community projects such as infrastructure improvement, downtown revitalization, public facilities and economic development. 

Funding for OCRA’s CDBG programs originates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program and is administered for the State of Indiana by OCRA. For more information, visit in.gov/ocra/cdbg. 


The Blight Clearance Program encourages communities with blighted properties to focus on long-term community development and revitalization through improving quality of place, generating jobs and spurring economic revitalization. Eligible projects include the removal of deteriorated or abandoned downtown buildings or vacant/unusable industrial sites. 

  • The City of Knox is awarded $137,674 to demolish the former Moose Lodge building located in the downtown district of Knox. The proposed project will demolish the structure and includes the removal of approximately 6,900 square feet of asbestos-containing floor tile and approximately 5,100 square feet of asbestos-containing mastic, which was used as tile adhesive. The completion of the project will improve the downtown’s appearance and make it more attractive to visitors, residents and future developers. 
  • Miami County is awarded $333,070 to eliminate a blighted, unsafe structure that is known to have environmental issues with asbestos, a history of vandalism and a loss of structural integrity. Activities include demolition of the building, removal and proper disposal of materials, and remediation of any hazardous materials, which includes most notably asbestos and possibly lead base paint. Upon completion, the site will become local public greenspace. 

The Stormwater Improvement Program strives to reduce flooding, cut stormwater treatment and energy costs, protect rivers, lakes and vital landscape, and generate jobs to spur economic revitalization. Types of activities that are eligible for this grant funding include stormwater improvements, as well as demolition and/or clearance.

  • The Town of Walton is awarded $509,155 to improve stormwater flow throughout the community by reducing field run-off through the installation of new 12”, 15” and 18” storm sewer pipes. The project will eliminate standing water through the construction of a new headwall and by-pass connection and includes the construction of 11 new manholes to reduce inflow and infiltration, and overflow conditions. 



New light poles, traffic signal painting next week in Rochester

Rochester’s downtown light pole project will get busy next week.


Ted Redinger, Project Manager with Michiana Contracting Inc.



Redinger says they will have some traffic control in place while painting.






"I want to make sure my cousin's legacy doesn't end"; Cousin of Cpl Humberto Sanchez speaks out about the Logansport hometown hero

The Logansport community continues to honor Corporal Humberto Sanchez, the 22-year-old Logansport Marine who was killed with 12 other American soldiers in late August, after an attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. On Sunday, September 12 his body will be returned to his hometown. 


Since his death on August 26,  the community has shown its support for the hometown hero and his family with memorial tributes and signs in yards and businesses across Cass County.


Ruben Roque, a close cousin of Cpl Sanchez says the outpouring from the small community they grew up in has meant a lot for the family.



Cpl. Sanchez is scheduled to arrive at Grissom Air Reserve Base at 10:30 AM, Sunday, September 12. The family is requesting privacy at Grissom and wants those participating in the procession to join outside of the base. Those wanting to show their support for Cpl Sanchez and line his route home can follow after he leaves the Grissom Air Reserve Base between 10:45 am and 11:15 am. The route will be as follows:

Leaving Grissom Air Reserve Base heading West on State Road 218 towards US 35 (Walton)

Turning north on US 35 and proceeding to Logansport.

Exiting onto Main Street from US 35 and continuing towards Burlington Ave.

Turning North onto Burlington Ave and proceeding to the intersection of 3rd and Market St.

Turning East onto Market Street and proceeding to 18th Street.

Turning North on 18th Street and proceeding to Broadway

Turning West on Broadway and arriving at Gundrum Funeral Home.


There will be no ceremony upon Cpl. Sanchez’s arrival at the funeral home, and the family is looking for privacy. They requested that those coming from the procession not congregate around the funeral home.


Visitation for Cpl. Humberto Sanchez will be held from 1:00 - 7:00pm on Monday, at LifeGate Church, 831 Burlington Ave, Logansport, IN 46947.


A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, at LifeGate Church in Logansport. Burial with full military graveside rites will follow at Mt Hope Cemetery, Logansport.


Roque said his cousin was proud to serve his country and died doing what he loved. 



His legacy is already being honored with a scholarship fund started by Roque and Logansport businessman Dave Price early last week. The family requests any memorial contribution go to the Cpl Humberto Sanchez Memorial Scholarship Fund, through the Cass County Community Foundation Inc PO Box 441, Logansport, IN 46947.







Fulton County could aid proposed development with READI grant; wait on for state announcement

A proposed 83-acre development would bring multi-family housing, hotel space and retail to Rochester and Fulton County.


Commissioner Brian Lewis said the Tuesday presentation before commissioners offers something the area needs.  



Lewis says a study has told Fulton County something it knows, hotels are needed.



The plans preliminary right now, but hopeful.



The development could include an area for hotels, over 600 apartment units and retail space.


FEDCO Executive Director Terry Lee says for the RealtyMatrix development, the infrastructure (water, sewer, storm water/detention, streets) was preliminarily listed at approx $10m. So for their project, the local match would need to be $5 million with $5 million from READI, if awarded.





Inmate's death declared a homicide

The death of an inmate at the Miami Correctional Facility has officially been declared a homicide.

On Tuesday, an autopsy was performed on Matthew Koch, 42, who had been found deceased, in his prison cell, at the Miami Correctional Facility.   


The autopsy conducted by Dr. Thomas Sozio, forensic pathologist, determined that Koch’s death was a homicide caused by blood loss from multiple sharp force trauma wounds.


Investigators are conducting an active homicide investigation.  



Original release from 9/6//2021:

Indiana State Police Investigating Death at the Miami Correctional Facility


Bunker Hill – Indiana State Police Detective Wendell Beachy initiated an investigation, at the request of the Miami Correctional Facility, into the death of inmate Matthew Koch, 42.


At approximately 11:30 a.m., correction officers found Koch unresponsive in his P Housing Unit cell. Despite life-saving measures performed by prison staff members, Koch succumbed to his injuries. Investigators suspect foul play and are treating the death as a homicide. 


Ken Hughes Benefit Dinner at RHS Friday, September 17

The Ken Hughes Benefit Dinner has been rescheduled for Octobr 1, location yet to be determined. The dinner was originally planned to be Friday, September 17 at RHS before the Rochester-Tippecanoe Valley football game that had been canceled.


The meal for October 1 includes a Burkett's pulled pork sandwich, chips, cookie, and a drink for eight dollars. Proceeds go towards RHS teacher and football coach Ken Hughes's extensive medical bills.  


For the past three-and-a-half decades, Ken Hughes has been a part of Rochester sports.  He has been coaching on the sidelines of Zebra football since 2005. Winning games hasn't been the only battle for Hughes. He was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma in his right hip in 2005, resulting in surgery to remove the 28 cm mass. 


Cancer returned in 2008 and Hughes was treated with radiation, but his battle was still not over. Another cancer return in 2011 resulted in a hemipelvectomy, costing him his right pelvis hip, and leg. Since the radical surgery, Hughes has been cancer-free and has gone back to teaching and coaching at Rochester High School.


At the of last year, however, he was thrown another curveball. 



Recovery after his neck surgery meant building back his strength with physical therapy. By March of 2021, Hughes ran into further complications that required another surgery and an even longer recovery. 



Now back in his classroom and on the field, his recovery still isn't over. Calling it quits is not an option for the father of three, with two kids in college and one a senior in high school. 


First Christian Church of Rochester organized the benefit dinner to help the costs of the substantial medical bills generated in the past eight months from extensive hospital stays, two surgeries, home health care equipment, wound care supplies, and a new wheelchair. Tickets are available at RHS and First Christian Church. Donations can also be sent to First Christian Church at 1101 Madison Street in Rochester. 


Hughes says he's grateful for the supportive community he lives in. 




Photo by Paula Beehler

Development could bring hotels, apartments and retail space to Fulton County.

A proposed 83-acre development would bring multi-family housing, hotel space and retail to Rochester and Fulton County.


Commissioner Brian Lewis said the Tuesday presentation before commissioners offers something the area needs.  



The development could include an area for hotels, over 600 apartment units and retail space.


Mask mandate starts Thursday for Rochester schools

Masks are again mandated for students and staff inside Rochester schools when social distancing isn't possible.


The Rochester School Board approved a mask mandate be reinstated for schools in the system with the increase in Covid activity and Fulton County, once again, in the Red category on the state’s coronavirus dashboard map.

The board met for a two hour study session before opening the meeting at 6:30 pm Tuesday.  

Superintendent Jana Vance says the mask mandate for students and staff will be effective Thursday.


Gaiters and cloth masks will be accepted for most.  However, in the case of contact tracing students will be provided with a surgical type, medical mask.


The superintendent notes Governor Holcomb’s most recent executive order that allowed for reducing quarantines if masks were being used.


Vance says the decision and the ongoing battle with rising cases is beyond frustrating.


Again, the Rochester mask mandate is effective starting on Thursday and will be reviewed, much the same way as the governor’s executive order, each month.


Procession for fallen Marine Corporal Humberto Sanchez

The body of a Logansport native will return to the state this weekend.


On Sunday, the body of Marine Corporal Humberto Sanchez, 22, Logansport, will be transported to Indiana. Sanchez was killed on August 26, while serving on active duty in Kabul, Afghanistan.


Sanchez’s body will arrive at Grissom Air Reserve Base at approximately 10:30 a.m. A procession escorting his body to Logansport will depart the airbase at approximately 10:45 a.m.


The procession route is as follows:


- North on Foreman from the base, 

- West or left on SR 218 to US 35, 

- North or right on US 35 to East Main Street., (Logansport)

- Right on East Main Street

- Continuing west on East Main Street to Burlington Avenue 

- Turning north or right on Burlington, (Burlington turns into 3rd Street) 

- Continuing north to East Market Street

- Turning east or right on East Market, continue east on Market Street to 18th Street

- Turning north or left on 18th Street, staying on 18th Street for two blocks

- Turning west or left onto Broadway for 1 ½ blocks and arriving at Gundrum Funeral Home on 1603 East Broadway   


There will be a garrison flag positioned at Market and 8th Streets in Logansport. The procession will stop there for approximately 30 seconds.


Those wishing to honor Corporal Sanchez’s ultimate sacrifice to our country are encouraged to line the procession route. Suggested viewing areas are Foreman near Grissom Air Reserve Base, along State Road 218 and U.S. 35 in Walton, and along the entire route in Logansport. 


Google link of the procession route:


Fulton County, Rochester city leaders discuss FEDCO; Exec Director Terry Lee resigning effective Sept 24

The future of the Fulton Economic Development Corporation certainly seems to be one that will take on a new look.  What exactly that means is still to be determined.


The Fulton County Council on Tuesday morning and, later that evening, the Rochester City Council, met to discuss that very topic.  FEDCO Executive Director Terry Lee has announced he will leave that post on September 24.


Rochester Mayor Ted Denton says now is the time to restructure, reshape FEDCO.  It’s a conversation that had already started.



The mayor told the council he has interest in the way Crawfordsville disbanded their former setup for an economic development corporation and utilized a PR firm in its new structure.  It’s a firm that has also worked with the community of Culver.



The mayor noted communication will be the key going forward.  He says the county and city can’t rely upon one person to enhance growth, economic development.



FEDCO’s Board of Directors, which includes members of city and county government, is scheduled to meet Friday morning to continue discussions.