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WROI News Archives for 2021-09

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.


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 


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 will be Friday, September 17 from 4 pm-7pm at the Rochester High School football field, prior to the Tippecanoe Valley - Rochester football game. The meal 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.  


A note about changes in the benefit.  There will be two locations.  On the west side of Rochester HS will be drive-up only.  Gates for the game will open at 5:30 pm.  You must purchase a game ticket to pick up a dinner at this location.


For the past three-and-a-half decades, Ken Hughes 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. 



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.