Two arrests for threats at Laville Jr. / Sr. High School.

An Indiana State Police investigation resulted in two juveniles being taken into custody after threats were made to students at LaVille Jr. / Sr. High School.


Around noon Friday officials at the LaVille Jr./Sr. High School were made aware of students circulating on social media a list of student’s names that two students intended to do harm to at a school dance. School officials immediately contacted the Indiana State Police Bremen Post, and an investigation began.


As a result of this investigation, two 13-year-old females were taken into custody for Intimidation and Conspiracy to Commit Murder.  Both juveniles were taken to the Thomas N. Frederick Juvenile Justice Center.

Ameri-Can of Argos receives IDEM award for pollution prevention grants

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) awarded five Indiana businesses a total of $50,000 in grant funding through a partnership with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). Each business has been awarded $10,000 in this first round of grant funding.  

This grant funding provides up to 50% of the cost to implement pollution prevention projects, which were developed following water, air, solid waste, toxics, and energy (W.A.S.T.E.) audits at each facility. IDEM's W.A.S.T.E. Audit Program provides on-site or virtual technical assistance at a significantly reduced cost to Indiana manufacturers. Each participating facility received 16 hours of training and up to 40 hours of technical assistance from the Purdue MEP program and is eligible for funding to implement improvement projects. Below is a list of recipients selected to receive the first round of funding:

1. BCI Solutions, Inc. (Bremen, Ind.) received grant funding to train staff on compressed air basics and energy savings to improve institutional knowledge. Also, BCI Solutions, Inc. will switch to more efficient light fixtures at their facility and anticipates to save 50,000 kilowatt hours annually.

2. Ameri-Can Engineering (Argos, Ind.) received grant funding to improve the layout of their plant, reduce the use of forklifts, reduce heating and cooling losses, and upgrade to more efficient equipment. Ameri-Can Engineering expects to see an annual reduction of more than 12,000 kilowatt hours in electrical use, reductions in natural gas consumption, reductions in hazardous materials used and waste generated, and a reduction in air emissions and water use.

3. Kokomo Transmission Plant (Kokomo, Ind.) received grant funding to eliminate a waste stream by recovering and separating metal and oil for reuse and recycling. This will result in a reduction of approximately 240,000 pounds of waste per year that is currently being incinerated. 

4. ALOM Technologies (Indianapolis, Ind.) received grant funding to install electric vehicle chargers for its fleet, digitize processes instead of using paper, and train staff on the benefits of pollution prevention and sustainability. 

5. Kokomo Casting Plant (Kokomo, Ind.) received grant funding to retrofit their current cooling process, which will result in the reduction of 305,000 gallons of water per year.

A second round of grants will occur in early 2022.

Rochester man arrested, another wanted on warrant in OPERATION JACK-O-LANTERN

The Kosciusko County Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET 43) made a number of arrests on drug related charges in Kosciusko County and surrounding counties with OPERATION JACK-O-LANTERN.


During the overnight hours of, October 27 and October 28, after several months of covert surveillance and undercover operations, the Kosciusko County Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET 43) and officers from multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the county arrested 26 people on drug related charges and have 8 drug related arrest warrants are outstanding. 


Arrests included:

Julie Pierce, 49, of Warsaw

COUNT I: Attempted Trafficking with an Inmate, Level 5 felony, Bond $10,250


Thomas Daniel Rensberger, 45, of Warsaw

COUNT I: Dealing Methamphetamine, Level 4 Felony; COUNT II: Possession ofMethamphetamine, Level 6 Felony; Bond $15,250

Jason Spriggs, 39, of North Manchester

COUNT I: Conspire to Commit Trafficking with An Inmate. Level 5 Felony; Bond: $ 10,250

Angela Rose Trager, 37, of Warsaw

Probation Violation, COUNT I: Possession Methamphetamine Level 6 Felony, Bond: $5,250

Crystal D. Butler, 44, of Milford

COUNT I: Dealing Methamphetamine, Level 4 Felony; COUNT II: Dealing Methamphetamine, Level 4 Felony; COUNT III: Dealing Methamphetamine, Level 5 Felony; COUNT IV:  Poss of Methamphetamine, Level 6 Felony. COUNT V: Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 6 Felony.COUNT VI: Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 6 Felony. COUNT VII: Dealing MethamphetamineEnhancing Circumstances, Level 3 Felony;  COUNT VIII: Dealing Methamphetamine Enhancing Circumstances, Level 3 Felony; COUNT IX: Dealing Methamphetamine Enhancing Circumstances, Level 4 Felony; COUNT X: Possession of Methamphetamine Enhancing Circumstances, Level 5 Felony; COUNT XI: Possession of Methamphetamine Enhancing Circumstances, Level 5 Felony; COUNT XII: Possession of Methamphetamine Enhancing Circumstances, Level 5 Felony; Bond $20,250


Christopher Eugene Konkle, 46, of Warsaw: 

COUNT I: Possession ofMethamphetamine, Level 6 Felony; COUNT II: POSSESSION OF SYRINGE, Level 6 Felony. COUNT III: Possession of a Controlled Substance,Class A Misdemeanor; COUNT IV: Driving While Suspended,Class A Misdemeanor; COUNT V: Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor, Bond $5,250


Austin Lamarr Mcquiller, 27, of Warsaw

COUNT I: Dealing Methamphetamine, Level 2 Felony; COUNT II: Dealing Methamphetamine Enhancing Circumstances, Level 3 Felony. COUNT III: Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 4 Felony; COUNT IV:Possession ofMethamphetamine Enhancing Circumstances, Level 5 Felony; Bond: $25,250


Alan Leonard Foyle, 50, of Syracuse

Violation of Probation, COUNT I: Possession Methamphetamine Level 6 Felony; COUNT II: Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Level 6 Felony: Bond: $5,250


Kaylee D. McClain, 35, of Goshen

COUNT I: Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 6 Felony; COUNT II: Possession of Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor; COUNT III: Possession of Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor. Bond: $5,250


Jodi Kay McClain, 56, of Syracuse

COUNT I: Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Level 6 Felony; COUNT II: Possessionof Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor; COUNT III: Possession of Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor.Bond: $5,250


Connie J. Slusher, 62, of Warsaw

COUNT I: Possession of methamphetamine, Level 6 Felony, COUNT II: Possession of a controlled substance, Class A Misdemeanor. Bond $5,250


Nicole R. Grimmett, 38, of Claypool

COUNT I: Possession of methamphetamine, Level 6 Felony, COUNT II: Possession of a controlled substance, Class A Misdemeanor. COUNT III: Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor, Bond $5,250


Garland Goble, 55, of Warsaw

COUNT I: Possession of a controlled substance, Class A Misdemeanor, Bond $500.00 cash


Eric Watkins, 26, Homeless

COUNT I: Possession of a syringe, Level 6 Felony, COUNT II: visiting a common nuisance, Class C Misdemeanor, Bond $5,250


Jonahlyn Quirk, 29, Homeless

COUNT I:Possession of a syringe, Level 6 Felony, COUNT II: visiting a common nuisance, Class C Misdemeanor, Bond $5,250


Latisha Hernandez, 27, of Winona Lake

COUNT I:visiting a common nuisance, Class C Misdemeanor, Bond $500.00 cash

Jason Wade, 39, of Warsaw: Warrant,Probation Violation COUNT I: Resisting law enforcement, Class A Misdemeanor, COUNT II: visiting a common nuisance, Class C Misdemeanor, Bond $500.00 cash


Michael Nelson, 34, of Rochester

Warrant Failure to Appear Bond $5,000, Warrant Parole Violation, No Bond, COUNT I: Possession Methamphetamine, Level 6 felony, Bond $5,250


Jamie Michelle Mcquiller, 26, of Warsaw

COUNT I: Maintaining a common nuisance, Level 6 Felony, COUNT II: Possession of a controlled substance, Class A Misdemeanor, Bond $5,250


Katie Suzanne McCarty, 28, of Warsaw

COUNT I: Driving while suspended, Class A Misdemeanor, COUNT II: Possession of marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor, COUNT III: Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor.  Bond $600.


Sharon Eileen Tusing, 51, of Warsaw

COUNT I: Possession Methamphetamine, Level 6 felony, COUNT II: Maintaining a common nuisance, Level 6 felony COUNT III: Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor,. Bond $5,250


Ian M Rodden, 43, of Goshen

COUNT I: Dealing Methamphetamine, Level 4 Felony;COUNT II: Dealing Methamphetamine, Level 4 Felony; COUNT III: Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 6 Felony. COUNT IV: Possession ofMethamphetamine, Level 6 Felony: Bond:  $15,250


Steven Gordon Roy Peddle, 26, of Warsaw

COUNT I: Possession of marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor, COUNT II: Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor, Bond $600.00 cash


Christopher Allen Niles, 19, of Syracuse

COUNT I: Possession of a controlled substance Class A Misdemeanor, COUNT II: Possession Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor, COUNT III: Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor; Bond $ 500.00 cash

Mona LisaObando, 56, of Syracuse

COUNT I: Dealing Methamphetamine, Level 2 Felony; COUNT II: Possession ofMethamphetamine, Level 3 Felony. COUNT III: MAINTAINING A COMMON NUISANCE, Level 6 Felony. COUNT IV: Possession Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor. COUNT V: Possession Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor. Bond $25,250


Scott Eugene Walter, 47, of Pierceton


COUNT I: Dealing Methamphetamine, Level 4 Felony; COUNT II: Dealing Methamphetamine, Level 4 Felony; COUNT III: Possession ofMethamphetamine, Level 6 Felony;  COUNT IV: Possession ofMethamphetamine, Level 6 Felony., Bond $15,250


Warrants have been issued for the following people, if you know the location of any of the individuals please notify your local law enforcement agency or contact the NET 43 tip line at NET43@kcgov.com or by telephone at 574-372-2494:


Ridley Lee Brown, 42, of Warsaw

COUNT I: Dealing Methamphetamine, Level 2 Felony; COUNT II: Possession ofMethamphetamine, Level 3 Felony; COUNT III: Possession of a Narcotic Drug, Level 6 felony; COUNT IV: Possession of Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor: COUNT V: Habitual Offender Enhancement.; Bond $26,000


Nathan Hare, 26, of Syracuse

Possession of paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor, Bond: $500.00 cash


Tara Rae Holbrook, 37, of Warsaw

COUNT I: Possession ofMethamphetamine, Level 6 Felony; COUNT II: Driving While Suspended, Class A Misdemeanor; COUNT III: Possessionof Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor; COUNT IV: Possession of Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor; COUNT V: Possession of Marijuana Prior Conviction, Class A Misdemeanor. Bond: $5,500


Dennis Bradley, 32, of Rochester

COUNT I: Attempted Trafficking with an Inmate, Level 5 felony, COUNT II:  Possession of a Legend Drug, Level 6 Felony: Bond $10,250


Turner Joseph Pike, 22, of Syracuse

COUNT I: Possession Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor, COUNT II: Possession Paraphernalia Class C Misdemeanor; Bond $ 500.00 cash


Ronald Allen Tackitt, 59, of Syracuse

COUNT I: Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 4 Felony; COUNT II: Possession ofMethamphetamine Enhancing Circumstances, Level 3 Felony. COUNT III: Possession Paraphernalia,Class C Misdemeanor. Bond $20,250.


Jesse Lee Lemaster, 40, of Warsaw

COUNT I: Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 6 Felony; COUNT II: Possession of Syringe, Level 6 Felony; COUNT III: Possession of Paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor, Bond $5,250


Gregory Keith Parks, 39, of Milford

COUNT I: Possession of Methamphetamine, Level 6 felony, COUNT II: Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Level 6 felony, Bond $5,250.


The defendant’s charge (arrest) is merely an accusation and the defendant are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


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.


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


Curse or coincidence: A pattern of bizarre explosions at the Kewanna junction of St Rd 14 and 17

Whether it's a curse or a coincidence, the bizarre pattern of explosions at the intersection of State Road 14 and 17 first started as a tragedy. The Logansport Pharos-Tribune reported that on September 11, 1923, Mabel Sheridan, a 23 year old newlywed, was killed in her home at the junction from a gasoline explosion.


Her husband of six months, Mike Sheridan, had been in Kewanna on business at the time.  The lone witness, Mabel's four-year-old niece, Imogene Overmyer, said her aunt had been preparing a fire in her stove when she mistook the gasoline for kerosene.


The child was found outside the home unconcious when Mabel's brother in-law and neighbor Dan Sheridan discovered the scene. Dan retrieved Mabel from the burning home but it was too late. Mabel died within minutes of being pulled from the house. 


In a bizarre turn of events, on April 6, 1951 it was reported in the Rochester Sentinel that Dan Sheridan, died from burns after being consumed in a fire. The fire happened near his residence north of Kewanna on State Road 17, near State Road 14.   


The elderly, retired farmer had been burning trash across the road, when the fire became out of control. A neighbor, Raymond Urbin, witnessed Dan falling into the flames and ran to the gas station for help. By the time he got help, Dan's clothes were nearly all burnt off.


The Kewanna Fire Department came and put out the blaze, but most of the field was reportedly burned first. Dan died the next morning. At one point in time Dan also used to own and run the gas station that used to be at the intersection as well. 


Long time Kewanna resident Terry Engle claims in 1959 a home owned by Robert McClelland had burned down at the junction as well. Terry calls the intersection 'Malfunction Junction.' 


The Culver Citizen reported of another fire at the junction on July 1, 1963, that injured seven people. Fumes from an underground gasoline storage tank was lit by a butane water heater causing the explosion of the gas station, that was also a combined grocery store and family home. 


The May family of six and family friend Tommy Messer, 37, of DeLong were eating dinner in the living room of the home when flames shot through the building. Murle May, the father, was treated at the hospital in critical condition with burns on over 60% of his body. Two year old Vicky May also had burns on over 60% of her body and was taken to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis in serious, critical condition. Four other May family members Alice, 22, Murlyn, 14, Kathy, 13, and Curtis, 14 months were taken to Woodlawn Hospital and later released.


The next explosion happened in December of 1964 with the same family, at the same location, but this time it was in a 50 foot mobile home. This fire was said to be linked to the home's furnace and happened while the children were inside alone. Their mother had been at work in Rochester and their father, Murle, was jhelping a customer at the gas station.


Vicky May, 4, escaped the fire, but two year old Curtis May suffered burns for the second time in 17 months. It was reported he was taken to Pulaski Memorial Hospital and thankfully survived. 


Terry Engle remembers the last fire at the junction being a garage owned by Frank Johnson in the 1990's. Over the decades the junction malfunctions have long been forgotten by most. Those who do remember, see the red flashing light at the intersection of 17&14 as a reminder of what burned there long ago.  






(Photo by Terry Engle)

Meshekenabek - The legend of the Manitou Monster

Photo credit : Tippecanoe County Historical Association


The legend of the 'Manitou Monster' has remained an Indiana mystery beneath the waters of Lake Manitou for hundreds of years. Reported by several Native Americans and early settlers throughout the 19th century, they told of a creature nearly 60 feet long with a head the size of a steers' and a body like a serpent. 


Originated from an ancient Potawatomi legend, the local Native Americans claimed the waters of Lake Manitou held supernatural powers and a large serpent-like creature. Another legend spoke of the Manitou Spirit not allowing anyone to drown in the lake, so long as he was not bothered. 


The legendary, 55 - foot deep, man-made lake was created in 1827. The 1826 treaty between the United States government and the Potawatomi Native American Tribe required the United States to build a corn mill. Prior to the mill's construction, a dam was built, flooding five small lakes and 775 acres of land. 


The Native Americans named the lake Manitou, a duel translation that means both good spirit and master of life or evil and the devil. Meshekenabek, the serpent monster, was rumored to have lived in one of the smaller lakes and began taking up residence in the body of water. Fulton County historian Shirley Willard wrote about the Manitou Monster in the Fulton County Folks Volume 2, which can be found at the  Fulton County Museum. 


Native Americans told early settlers that several members of their tribe had seen a monster serpent with a scaly tail coming to the surface of the water. While legends sometimes claim the Native Americans refused to bathe, fish or even canoe in the water, the legitimacy of that rumor cannot be verified.  


Almost immediately the settlers began to report seeing the water monster. A surveyor by the name of Austin W. Morris reported having much difficulty in keeping flagmen that were brave enough to carry the surveyor's flag near the water. 


John Lindsay was Fulton County's first blacksmith.  He was among the settlers who claimed to have personally witnessed the creature. He was quoted describing it:

"The head being about three feet across the frontal bone and having something of the contour of a beef's head, but the neck tapering and having the character of the serpent. Color, dingy with large yellow spots."


Lindsay claimed to have seen the creature raise its head out of the water about two hundred feet from shore and swim around on the surface in front of him. 


In July of1838, two men from the Robinson family rowed to shore in a panic after seeing the creature while fishing. They claimed the creature was nearly 60 feet long. The Robinson's story was reported in The Logansport Telegraph. 


A portrait of the monster was made by the famous artist, George Winter, and published in that paper August 11, 1838. Winter also painted portraits of the Potawatomi tribe members who lived near Kewanna. As mysterious and frightening as the creature was, it still did not chase the Potawatomi's away by choice. They were later removed at gunpoint on September 5, 1838 by the United States government. 


The newspaper story about the Manitou Monster traveled across the country. 'Men of the sea' from the east coast  volunteered their services, in hopes of catching a trophy. The crew brought professional equipment to the lake, yet only caught more rumors of being scared away by the creature. Some locals claim the only thing the crew was looking for was the bottom of a whiskey bottle. 


There were no more public talks of the creature being spotted again until May 26, 1849, when a buffalo carp was caught in the lake weighing several hundred pounds. Headlines in The Logansport Journal read, 'The Devil Caught at Last.' 


A romantic novel titled Manitou was published in 1881 by author Margret Holmes. The fictional novel was set on the shores of Lake Manitou and the Central House hotel. Rochester was smack dab in the middle of something much stranger than fiction. 


In 1888, after catching a 116-pound spoonbill catfish, one of the men saw an oppurtunity to bring the monsters legend back to life. Phillip Cook bought out the rest of the men for the catfish, taking it to the Fulton County Courthouse lawn in a horse trough. Cook kept it at the courthouse for a week and charged 10 cents a person to see it, a big price at that time. He exibited the 'Mantiou Monster' for another week in Logansport, doing a 'land office' business. After two weeks in a horse trough, Cook noticed the massive fish growing weak and took it back to Rochester to be butchered. He then went to sell the meat for 10 cents a pound. 


In modern times, no reports of sightings at the lake have been made, but the mystery of the Manitou Monster lurking among the waters and swamps still remains among the most popular local legends in Fulton County.  

Arrest made in Fulton County death investigation

An arrest has been made in connection to a death in rural Fulton County.


The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department issued a press release with the arrest of Christina Mendoza, 27.  Mendoza is charged with Domestic Battery resulting in Death.


The charges stem from an investigation by Fulton County authorities and the Indiana State Police into the death of Cheyenne Ruttschaw, 21.  On August 30, emergency personnel were called to aid an unresponsive female.  Ruttschaw was pronounced dead at the scene.


An autopsy was performed on September 1 by Dr. Scott Wagner at the Northeast Indiana Forensic Center in Fort Wayne.  On October 12, Dr. Wagner determined the cause of death to be multiple blunt force injuries and the manner of death to be a homicide.


“This is a great example of agencies working together, pooling resources for the benefit of the community and families involved,” stated Fulton County Sheriff Chris Sailors.  “While an arrest has been made, this investigation is far from completed with additional arrests possible.”


Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Cheyenne Ruttschaw between August 28, 2021, and the early evening of August 30, 2021, is encouraged to contact Det / Sgt Travis Heishman with the Fulton County Sheriff’s office at (574) 223-2819 or the Indiana State Police at (765) 473-6666.


Evans Agency LLC moves to new East Seventh Street location

Judy Evans at Evans Agency LLC has been servicing the Rochester community's insurance needs for the past 17 years. Striving to provide her clients with service that makes them comfortable, secure, and happy, Judy takes her client's needs personally. Their new office at 115 E 7th St makes visits even easier for their clients, with convenient parking and downtown location.  



The staff at Evans Agency provides a little bit of everything like home and auto insurance with umbrellas to cover individual needs. They also provide life insurance, farm insurance, Medicare products and supplements and identity theft protection. 



Jarrety's Place up for sale, no longer serving during normal hours

Like many current businesses, after months of struggling to stay open due to not having staff, Jarrety's Place had its last day with normal hours Saturday, October 23. 


The Rochester business at 710 Main Street is now up for sale.  Current owner Dawn Nicodemus says she's already got a few interested potential buyers. Until the building sells, Dawn says she will be open sporadically for quick lunches and will still be renting out space for groups and special events. 



She hopes the new owners will continue the Jarrety's Place tradition. Dawn said she is willing to help whoever buys her business with whatever she can to make it successful after transferring hands. 


Dawn, who started Jarrety's Place in 2006, says it's been an honor to serve such a supportive, loyal community for the past 14 years. 



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

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 to begin offering Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots for eligible populations following CDC, FDA authorization

The Indiana Department of Health announced today that it will begin offering booster doses of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine to eligible Hoosiers following federal authorization of the additional dose.


Booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been available since late September.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday approved the administration of a booster dose of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine to counter waning immunity. The FDA and CDC have previously authorized booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine in specific populations, as well as a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna for immunocompromised individuals.


The CDC has issued booster eligibility guidance:

  • For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at six months or more after their initial series:
  • Booster doses are also recommended for anyone 18 or older who got the single dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine two or more months ago.

Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.


“The approval of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters will help provide additional protection to many Hoosiers, especially our most vulnerable residents in long-term care facilities and others who are most at risk,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “The COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide strong protection against severe illness and death. Whether Hoosiers are getting their first dose or a booster shot, they will find vaccines widely available across the state.”


Eligible Hoosiers who want to obtain a booster dose can go to www.ourshot.in.gov to find a location or call 211 for assistance. Upon arriving at the vaccination clinic, Hoosiers will be asked to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements set forth in the EUA.

Shepherd's early release from prison sets off protest at Fulton County Courthouse

Protesters gathered on the eastside of the Fulton County Courthouse Thursday morning in outrage over the early prison release date for Alyssa Shepherd.


Shepherd was convicted of striking and killing three kids and severely injuring a fourth in a 2018 Fulton County bus stop crash. 



Brittany Ingle, the mother of the three children killed, spoke out during Thursday's event. 



Fulton County Prosecutor Michael Marrs says Shepherd's sentence and original release date of September 22, 2022 was already a light one for a conviction of three Level 5 felonies for reckless homicide and one Level 6 felony for criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon.


Marrs was informed last week that Shepherd had completed a Bible study course through the department of corrections.  That's allowed six extra months to be cut off her sentence. 


An additional time cut from a community transition program was also completed by Shepherd, meaning she could be released as early as December 20, 2021. 


Marrs filed a motion Thursday opposing the December release. 



Marrs said every day Shepherd spends in jail is helpful to the family of the victims who have to live with the pain of losing their children for the rest of their lives. 



In the meantime, Marrs said all that's left is the judge's decision for the motion, which will be made in the next 30 days. 


Kernan ceremony and dedication on campus at Notre Dame October 30

The University of Notre Dame, the class of 1968 and friends of Joseph E. Kernan, former South Bend Mayor and 48th Governor of the State of Indiana, will be honored with the permanent installation of a memorial bench and tree Saturday afternoon, October 30, on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. 


President Emeritus, the Reverand Edward 'Monk' Malloy, will officiate.


Media are invited to attend the dedication and blessing which will occur at 4:30 p.m. on the north side of the Matthew and Joyce Walsh Family Hall of Architecture, facing Notre Dame Stadium.  The event is expected to last twenty minutes.


"We hope you will join us in taking the opportunity to remember Joe, his life, and the values for which he stood," commented Tom Cuggino, life-long friend and classmate to Joe Kernan. "Sincere thanks to all those who've contributed to the memorial for Joe – whose support also raised $10,000 for the Veteran's Fund at Notre Dame – a cause that was close to Joe's heart."


The location of the ceremony is just east of Eddy Street on Holy Cross Drive, south of the stadium parking lot.  The occasion takes place three hours prior to kickoff of the Notre Dame/North Carolina football game.


For those who wish to continue contributing to the Veteran's Fund at Notre Dame, the website address is https://giveto.nd.edu/1968.  To know more about Joseph E. Kernan, visit www.JoeKernan.com.


Joe Kernan, the oldest of nine children, graduated from St. Joseph's High School in South Bend. He was a catcher on the baseball team at the University of Notre Dame, and graduated with a degree in Government in 1968.


?Kernan entered the United States Navy in 1969 and served as a Naval Flight Officer aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. In May of 1972, Kernan was shot down by the enemy while on a reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. He was held as a prisoner of war for nearly 11 months. Kernan was repatriated in 1973 and remained on active duty with the Navy until December of 1974. For his service, Kernan received numerous awards, including the Navy Commendation Medal, two Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Flying Cross.


?After completing his Naval service, Kernan worked for Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati. In 1975, he returned to South Bend, where he worked for both the Schwarz Paper Company and the MacWilliams Corporation. He was South Bend's city controller from 1980 to 1984.


?Joe Kernan was elected mayor of South Bend in 1987, 1991 and again in 1995, when he won with more than 82% of the vote. At the time, he was the longest serving mayor in the city's history.


?In 1996, Frank O'Bannon and Joe Kernan were elected to the top two positions in Indiana government. The O'Bannon-Kernan team was elected for a second term in 2000. As lieutenant governor of Indiana, Kernan served as the president of the Indiana Senate, the director of the Indiana Department of Commerce and as the commissioner of agriculture.


?Upon the death of Governor Frank O'Bannon on September 13, 2003, Lt. Governor Kernan assumed the position of Governor of Indiana.  Kernan made history immediately by appointing Kathy Davis as Indiana's first female Lt. Governor.


?Joe is survived by his wife Maggie and seven siblings who live in Maine and the Washington, DC area. Joe and Maggie married in 1974. They lived in South Bend, where Maggie worked as a marketing executive at 1st Source Bank until her retirement. A Purdue University graduate, Maggie has been active in community service for over three decades.

Wabash man killed in Thursday crash

A Wabash man was killed in a Thursday two-vehicle crash.


Just before 10:30 am, officers from the Indiana State Police and the Wabash County Sheriff’s Department responded to a two-vehicle crash on State Road 124 at America Road.


The preliminary crash investigation by Senior Trooper Todd Trottier and Senior Trooper Jeremy Perez revealed that Jason Sturgill, 28, of Wabash, was driving a 2002 Chrysler mini-van southbound on America Road approaching a stop sign at the intersection of State Road 124. The van failed to stop at the stop sign and pulled onto State Road 124 striking a grain trailer being pulled by a westbound 2018 Freightliner semi-tractor. The Freightliner was driven by Douglas Nicodemus, 45, of Columbia City.


Sturgill was pronounced deceased at the crash scene.


A two-year-old girl in Sturgill’s van was transported, via ambulance, to a Ft Wayne hospital. She had non-life-threatening injuries.


Nicodemus was transported to a local hospital, treated, and released. 


The crash is still under investigation. Neither the use of alcohol nor narcotics is suspected as having contributed to the crash.

Logansport hosts its first Day of the Dead celebration Oct. 22

The Logansport Cultural Diversity Committee announced in a press release they will be hosting Logansport 's first Day of the Dead event at the State Theatre, Friday, October 22, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.


Doors open at 6 p.m.


The evening will have an assortment of live entertainment with music, dancing, traditional 'sugar skull style' face painting, food and other vendors. Local art from the Logansport Art Association will be on display honoring the Day of the Dead, as well as an altar honoring those who have passed.


At Friday's event they would like to display photos of community members' deceased loved ones. 


You can message Logansport Cultural Diversity Committee on Facebook with a photo of your loved one and answers to the questions below and they will be sure to display their photo during the event.


1. Name of deceased loved one

2. Date of birth and date of passing (Month, Day, Year)

3. Short message you would like displayed along with picture (not required)

Questions? Message us here on Facebook or email us at info@logansportculturaldiversity.org


For questions, email info@loganportculturaldiversity.com or message their Facebook page.


Food Finders Food Bank Inc. Mobile Pantry currently no financial requirements to receive food

Since 1981, Food Finders Food Bank has been a critical food source for the communities of 16 surrounding counties in Indiana.


Assistant Mobile Pantry Coordinator Andria Bradford of Lafayette say Mobile Pantry serves up to two locations a day now. They strive to provide food to those in need, advocate for the hungry, and educate the public about hunger-related issues. 


WROI GIANT fm News spoke with Bradford at a drop-off center in Kewanna at the corner of Logan and Aurora Street. 


Bradford said the Mobile Pantry hopes to provide meals for a week for families.


Other food providers in the area can be found at foodfinders.org.


A list of local food pantries from the website will also be provided at the end of the story, including their hours and addresses. 



Bradford says with the price of food skyrocketing and people needing help now than ever, the program is currently available to anyone wanting food, regardless of income.



Volunteers from various churches and businesses fill up the vehicles in a drive-thru fashion, the only thing they ask for is that the vehicles are cleaned out enough to have room to load the groceries in. 




Other locations for food sources in Fulton County are:


Athens Community Church

30 S. 650 E, Athens

(574) 265-5054

Open the second and fourth Monday of the month from 2pm-6pm. 


Matthew’s Market

100 W. 3rd St., Rochester

(574) 223-3107

Monday from 11:30am-1pm and Thursday's from 4pm-6pm. 


Kewanna Community Food Pantry

114 S. Toner St., Kewanna

(574) 817-0015

Every Thursday from 8:30 am-10:30 am


Columbia Elementary School Pantry

1502 Elm St, Rochester 

Friday's during the school year, call for hours

OrthoPediatrics Corp. recognized in COVID Stops Here Campaign

OrthoPediatrics Corp. (“OrthoPediatrics” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: KIDS), a company focused exclusively on advancing the field of pediatric orthopedics, today announced it has been awarded a Silver metal designation as part of the “COVID Stops Here” campaign for achieving an 80% plus vaccination rate at its Indiana headquarters.


The COVID Stops Here campaign recognizes Indiana workplaces that have achieved widespread vaccination against COVID-19. Organizations that have achieved at least a 70% vaccination rate are eligible to receive a designation. It is critical that Hoosiers work together to stop the spread of coronavirus – including the dangerous new Delta variant.


OrthoPediatrics’ President, David Bailey, reiterated the company’s stance on COVID-19, “Since the beginning of the pandemic, our first priority has been the health and safety of our associates. We are proud of the work our team has done throughout this crisis, and the steps everyone is taking to keep our community safe. This program from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce is a great way to educate Hoosier companies and recognize the employees who are doing their part to stop the spread of COVID.”


The Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Wellness Council of Indiana are promoting the COVID Stops Here campaign as a way to celebrate workplaces that are leading the fight to stop COVID-19 – and to encourage more organizations to join their ranks.        


“It’s become clear that the COVID-19 vaccine is Indiana’s best pathway to recovery,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “Employers have an essential role to play and we’re pleased to recognize those organizations making it a priority for the betterment of all.”

Ruth Gunter, owner of Ruthless Bar & Patio, brings inspiration for National Women's Small Business

October is National Women's Small Business Month, highlighting the benefits and industry women bring to communities when they own a small business. 


Small business owner Ruth Gunter is proving just that with her newest establishment.  Ruthless Bar and Patio opened its doors officially at 4:00 pm on Friday, October 8. It's now open for business Monday thru Saturday from 11am to 11pm. 


The location at 604 Main St, formerly the Dugout, has come a long way since being bought by Ruth and her husband Dwight Gunter in 2018. Remodelling and gutting was nothing new to the Gunter's. Also business owners to the Evergreen Eatery, as well as apartments on North Main Street, the Gunter's knew how to bring their unique visions to Rochester and make it a success.


Dwight's ambition and do-it-yourself attitude inspired Ruth to believe nothing was impossible. 



Dwight had only gutted the building of the former Dugout before his passing on August 13, 2019. Married to Dwight for 20 years, it was the first time in two decades Ruth was taking on a project without her partner. 



Taking charge and owning the vision she had, Ruth dove head first into construction. Giving up was not an option. 



Ruth says the biggest thing about being an entrepreneur is believing in yourself. 



The True Art Company plans another mural in Rochester

The True Art Company, which did the historic Mail Pouch restoration at 426 Main Street in August is bringing another mural to Rochester. 


Transforming, revitalizing, uplifting, and empowering the community, Brandon Eads, founder of The True Art Company has his heart set on Nelson's Well Drilling & Plumbing, 630 E 9th Street, to be his next canvas for the non-profit organization's Mural Consciousness Program.


The mural's theme will be based on Chief Menominee. 



Brandon said once they have all the funding in place, the project will take around two months to complete. Those interested in sponsoring the project can contact Brandon by visiting thetrueartcompany.com or find them on The True Art Company's Facebook page. 



Irene Ray: 'The accused Witch cast out of Rochester in 1932'

(Headline clip published in The Republic, Columbus, Indiana, May 12, 1932, accessed from Newspapers.com)


When Irene Ray moved her family to Rochester in 1932 the community was far from thrilled. Amid desperate times, after applying for relief and welfare support, her husband Charles, daughter Iloe and cat Fuzzy were placed in a large but shabby home on Audubon Ave. 


As the Great Depression gripped the nation, most families in Fulton County were struggling too. Neighbors found great resentment in the outsiders collecting welfare from their county. 


The family was well aware that they were not welcome by the other residents. The outcast’s reputation went from bad to worse over the next six years after multiple altercations with various townspeople. Multiple citizens soon started accusing Irene of witchcraft, blaming her for various misfortunes happening in the community.


After 25-year-old Georgia Knight Conrad suddenly became ill, gossip and murmurs turned into shouts and harassment for the Ray family.


The Knight family claimed Mrs. Ray caused their daughter to have leakage of the heart by stealing hair from her hairbrush, combining it with cat hair and vinegar, and burying it in a bottle for a spell. Rumors of her hexing methods ranged from voodoo dolls, spells, and consulting with a more powerful witch in Plymouth for deaths. 


When Rochester’s Chief of Police Clay Sheets died suddenly of what appeared to be a heart attack, Irene was again blamed by the enraged townspeople. Chief Sheets had previously overseen the removal of Ray’s six-year-old granddaughter with charges of ‘morals of the household.’ Newspapers reported that Irene exploded in anger and accused Chief Sheets of being a tool of the Knight Woman, warning he would be sorry too. 


Other accusations Mrs.Ray was blamed for included hexes that induced insomnia, nervous indigestion, floods, and fires. 


A neighboring farmer claimed Irene had cursed his potato field after he confronted her about stopping her habit of using his property as a shortcut. 


As the allegations against Mrs.Ray mounted, concerns were brought to States Attorney Murray McCarty who only laughed, as witchcraft was something that was not illegal or a chargeable offense in 1938 Indiana. Police began being pressured to arrest Irene regardless, threatening bodily harm to her if they did not take action. 


There were eight alleged victims of hexes from Irene in Rochester by the time she was arrested on May 11, 1938, with charges of vagrancy. She was released the next day and her charges were dropped after promising the new Police Chief she would leave town. 


Mrs.Ray denied all accusations, quoting a reporter for a newspaper out of Columbus, Indiana The Republic.  “If my accusers got right with God they won’t need to put such things on me, as I am living for the Lord and I intend to until I die. I won’t do the work of the devil because witchcraft is the handiwork of satan. I feel sorry for my accusers because they cannot think any other way.” 


Irene,  often noted as a heavily black-haired woman, was rumored to have been Native American. Mrs. Ray would later claim she was unsure of having any Native American descent. 


Irene and Charles moved to a house outside of town north of Lake Manitou. After the Rays left Rochester, Georgia Conrad’s mother claimed her daughter's condition immediately began to improve. Georgia died two years later from her condition. 


Six months after being cast out of Rochester on November 4, 1938, Irene and her husband were hit by a car while walking on what is now St Rd 14. The driver May Kern of Athens, was on her way home from work and hit the couple as she tried to avoid a child on a bicycle. 


Irene died at the scene and her husband was critically injured with a skull fracture. She was buried in Bremen.


Locally, other than newspaper articles, little history remains of the outsider that was rejected from our town so long ago.


A newspaper clipping from Irene's death was published November 5, 1938, in Logansport's Pharos-Tribune and can also be accessed on newspapers.com. 


Outside of Fulton County, the unusual story caught national attention from coast to coast, with out-of-state newspapers headlines and books about the ‘modern-day’ banished Witch from Rochester, Indiana, as the allegations continue to outlive her 83 years later. 



Natural gas market prices to cause potentially higher winter heating bills compared to last year

Due to current market price projections for natural gas and assuming normal
winter weather, NIPSCO natural gas customers could expect to see increased costs this winter  compared to last year, which is a trend across much of the country.


Each year, NIPSCO and other Indiana energy providers provide a forecast for home heating bills during the upcoming cold weather season. Projections take into account market forecasts, supply trends and storage levels, and are based on normal weather projections. If temperatures are colder or warmer than normal, usage amounts and bills could differ.  


NIPSCO has been the lowest natural gas cost provider in Indiana on average over the last 10 years according to IURC comparisons (Source: Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s 2021 Residential Bill Survey). There are two primary components of natural gas bills – the cost of the natural gas itself and the cost of delivering the natural gas to customers. For the cost of natural gas itself – which is largely
dependent upon the market prices – NIPSCO does not control these costs; the company passes them directly through to customers with no markup and does not profit on that portion of the bill.


Before billing, natural gas commodity costs must be reviewed and approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). Keeping costs down related to the deli very of natural gas to homes and businesses is essential, and NIPSCO is actively working to institute technologies and other system improvements to create long-term efficiencies for the benefit of customers.


Over the course of the upcoming five-month winter heating season — Nov. 1 to March 31 — NIPSCO’s average natural gas residential customers using 630 therms
could expect to pay approximately $590 total. This compares to $422 last winter,
and it represents about a $168 difference (40 percent) or $34 per month on average

*Note: Actual bills vary by customers depending on the home’s age and size, number in the household, number and age of gas appliances, thermostat settings and insulation levels.


To help ensure customers receive the best price for natural gas, NIPSCO purchases gas in the market from a variety of supply sources throughout the year. Gas storage is also used to help offset market price volatility.


NIPSCO’s gas distribution system consists of two on-system storage facilities and
connects to seven interstate pipelines providing access to major North American supply basins.

There are a multitude of factors contributing to the anticipated increase in costs this winter season, including that natural gas market prices are 92 percent higher than last winter and U.S. storage balances are behind last year’s total and the five-year average storage balance at this time of year.

Global demand for natural gas and a ramp up in industry operation is also putting pressure on the supply of natural gas. And, the lowered storage balances have driven up pricing in the short-term.

The winter bill projections provided do not relate to NIPSCO’s recent request made with the IURC in September to increase its natural gas base rates. That request will go through a comprehensive regulatory review process and any changes will not take effect until after a decision is made – expected in the second half of 2022.

Billing and Payment Options
Customers who are experiencing financial difficulties are encouraged to visit nipsco.com/assistance or call NIPSCO’s Customer Care Center as soon as possible to determine what options might be available to offer help. Some of those solutions include:

· Payment Agreements: NIPSCO has expanded its flexible payment arrangements to allow customers to spread their past due balance over six months by paying a portion of their past due balance, plus current charges incurred. LIHEAP-eligible customers may be able to enroll in a 12-month plan. Customers can learn more and enroll at NIPSCO.com / payment plans . NIPSCO's customer care team will also work with customers to set up a personalized payment  plan. Customers can call 1-800-4-NIPSCO (1-800-464-7726) to discuss options.

· Payment Assistance Programs: Based on income levels, customers may qualify to receive local, state and federal utility assistance dollars as well as support fund s from separate NIPSCO programs. Customers can visit NIPSCO.com/Assistance to find additional resources , or call their local community action agency, Energy Assistance Program (EAP) agency or Township Trustee's office. Between Dec. 1 and March 15, natural gas providers in Indiana do not disconnect service to customers enrolled in the state Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) who are delinquent on their home heating bills.

· Budget Plan: A free service to all NIPSCO customers to help manage their monthly energy bills by spreading out gas costs over an entire year. The Customer Care Center is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT. For more information on billing options and payment assistance, visit NIPSCO.com/assistance.


Energy- and Money-Saving Programs
Usage makes up the largest portion of the average energy bill. Because of this, NIPSCO offers energy - efficiency programs to help manage usage and, in turn, bills. A full list of programs and tips available to NIPSCO customers can be found at NIPSCO.com/SaveEnergy.

Warsaw man thrown from tractor in collision

Emergency crews were dispatched to a collision involving a farm tractor shortly before 10:00 Wednesday morning 4900 block of West County Road 200 North, in Harrison Township, in Kosciusko County.


The preliminary results of the investigation indicate that a pickup truck driven by Travis Heckaman, 35, of Plymouth, was behind the farm tractor driven by James Earl, 83, of Warsaw, prior to the collision; which occurred when Earl was reportedly turning onto his driveway from the shoulder of the roadway. The front right corner of the pickup struck the rear left wheel of the tractor


Earl was ejected from the tractor, as it slid from the roadway into his yard.  He was transported by ambulance to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, with a complaint of back pain.




Family of Judah Morgan in shock over death; says La Porte Co. CPS partially responsible

It doesn't seem real to the family of four-year-old Judah Morgan, whose violent abuse and murder at the hands of his own parents has left the LaPorte County community shaken.


WROI GIANT fm News and Fulton County Post spoke with the boy's uncle, Jesse Morgan of La Porte, in front of the vigil Wednesday evening.  It was held in the 3100 East block of County Road 875 in rural Hamlet, where the young boy was found dead early Monday morning.


Morgan says the family is still trying to come to terms with the tragedy but that something must be done with CPS to save future tragedies like Judah's from happening again.



According to the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department, the child’s parents have been arrested in connection with the brutal murder. Judah’s father Alan D. Morgan was arrested Monday and was formally charged with murder, five counts of child neglect, and one count of animal cruelty. 


His mother, Mary Yoder, is also facing four charges, including two counts of neglect of a dependent, one of those counts resulting in death.


Judah’s autopsy showed he died from blunt force trauma to the head. 


Judah had only lived at the home where the abuse took place for five and a half months prior to his death.  He had been fostered by his adult cousin, Jeena Hullett, for four years. DCSF brought him back to his birth parents in April for a six-month trial period. 



Court documents revealed disturbing details of the abuse that stemmed from potty training accidents. Judah's mother, Mary, admitted he was often punished in a dark basement for days at a time with no clothes, food, and was sometimes tied with duct tape. 


Jesse Morgan said the abuse and death of his nephew was something the LaPorte County CPS should have caught, had they checked up on him and been more thorough. 



Covid-19 vaccines, boosters available at Thursday Fulton Co. clinics in October

The Fulton County Health Department Covid-19 vaccine clinic at 125 E. 9th St. Rochester, will be open 8:30 - 11:20 am and 2:00 - 3:10pm on the following Thursdays in October:


Thursday, October 14

Thursday, October 28


Register online at www.coronavirus.in.gov  or walks-ins are welcome during open hours. Masks are required and social distancing will be practiced.


Moderna is available for 18 years and older.

Pfizer is available for 12 years and older


Pfizer boosters are available 6 months after the second dose for individuals

- 65 years and older

-Adults 50-64 years old with medical conditions

-Long-term care setting residents aged 18 and older

-Individuals with medical conditions 18-49 years old

-Employees and residents at increased risk for Covid-19 exposure and   transmission

Missing woman found with help of search dog

Searchers with the help of a search dog found a woman who had lost her way in a wooded area near Knox.


The 74-year old woman was reported missing Thursday afternoon after walking to a friend's house.  She was gone about seven hours.


Authorities think she took the wrong trail and then became confused.  She was found about a mile from her home.  The dog was brought in late Thursday night and the woman found about 1:00 am Friday.  She was described as being weak but otherwise unharmed.




Lennox Feel The Love recipients in Mentone thankful for new heating and air conditioning system

Lennox Feel The Love recipients Jimmy and Priscilla Nash of Mentone felt the love from Collier's Heating and Air Conditioning of Warsaw  with a new furnace and airconditioning unit, free of charge. 


The Lennox Feel The Love program provides heating and cooling equipment at no cost once a year to one locally nominated family. Nominations from the community help determine each year's recipients. Over 200 other Lennox dealers nationwide performed installations over the weekend. Collier’s Heating & Air conditioning is one of two in Indiana.


Past nominees have included community figures such as teachers, firefighters, and volunteers; families facing hard times; veterans; senior citizens living in older homes; and people impacted by natural disasters.


Collier's co-owner Kevin Lehman says the company's involvement with the program for the past three years has been a rewarding experience. 



The Nash's were unaware they had even been nominated when they had received the phone call about being this year's Feel The Love recipients.  


The family was nominated by the Kosciusko County Housing for Hope.  Their old furnace was out of date and theair conditioning is imperative for Jimmy's health.  Priscilla Nash said receiving this has been a miracle.



Nominations for next year's Feel The Love recipient can be submitted to feelthelove.com after June 2022. This year there were only 12 nominations turned in locally. 

29th annual Chili Cook-Off winners

Fulton County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jillian Smith appeared on GIANT fm Saturday afternoon to talk about the day's activities and announce the winners from the Chili Cook-Off.



2021 Chili Cook Winners

1st Place - "ChainBreakers" Celebrate Recovery at St. John's Lutheran Church LCMS

2nd Place - "The Iron Chili's" Rochester Metal Products

Peoples' Choice - "Pecos Prez" Community Presbyterian Church, Rochester, Indiana

Best Decorated Booth - "ChainBreakers" Celebrate Recovery at St. John's Lutheran Church LCMS


Explosion at rural Twelve Mile residence seriously injures resident

Authorities in Cass County are investigating a house explosion.

Just before 10:00 am Friday Cass County Central Dispatch was notified of an explosion in the area of County Road 600 East and 800 North. Cass County deputies and Indiana State Police troopers responded along with units from Harrison Township, Twelve Mile and Logansport Fire Departments and Phoenix Ambulance Service also responded.

The initial scene was discovered at a residence in the 7000 block of County Road 600 East.

Paul Ulerick, 63, of rural Twelve Mile, was working in his basement when his residence exploded.  A neighbor heard and felt the explosion and was able to remove Ulreick from the debris and fire. Ulerick was transported to Logansport Memorial Hospital and then flown by air ambulance to a trauma center in Fort Wayne.

The fire departments extinguished the fire and confirmed that no one else was inside when the explosion occurred.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office and Indiana State Fire Marshal is investigating.

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

Street closings, parking changes begin tonight ahead of Saturday's Chili Cook-Off and Red Hot Car Show

The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Blacktop Cruisers is organizing the 29 annual Chili Cook-Off and Red Hot Car Show. This event will take place on Saturday from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm in Downtown Rochester.


The City of Rochester will close Main Street from Fourth Street to Ninth Street; and Fifth and Sixth Streets from the alley west of Main Street to the alley east of Main Street; Seventh and Eighth Streets from the alley west of Main Street to Madison Street; and Madison Street from Seventh to Ninth street.


Road closures will begin after 5:00 pm on Friday, October 8.


Rochester Police Chief Shotts asks that vehicles be moved from East Eighth Street by Friday, October 8 at 4:00 pm and all other named streets by 11:59 pm. 

City of Rochester flushing water lines

M.E. Simpson Co. is performing the semi-annual unidirectional flushing of the City of Rochester water lines - a process to clean the mains. 


The work will continue for 30 days, weather permitting. 


During this time, the city advises that residents may experience cloudy or discolored water at any time.  The water is however safe to use and drink, according to a city press release. 


Running it longer before use may help clear it, residents are encouraged to avoid washing white clothes while the water is discolored.

Fulton, surrounding counties among regions submitting for READI funds

Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced 17 regions representing all 92 counties submitted proposals for funding from the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). Together, these proposals, which aim to accelerate small- and large-scale growth within their communities, total more than $1 billion in requested funding; the READI budget is $500 million.

“Secretary Chambers and I are impressed with and appreciative of all the hard work and collaborative energy invested in the READI regional development plans submitted across the entire state,” said Gov. Holcomb. “I have no doubt these plans will be the beginning of transformational progress that will impact Hoosiers for generations to come.” 

In July, regions indicated their intent to pursue READI funding. Each region convened a broad, diverse group of stakeholders, including major employers and anchor institutions, education partners, economic development professionals, philanthropy partners, and elected officials, to develop a game plan for population and economic growth. In these plans, regions outlined their proposal to invest in their growth and prosperity, outlining a series of strategies focused on physical projects and sustainable, multi-year programs to advance quality of place, quality of life, and quality of opportunity. 

The regions that submitted READI regional development plans are:

  • 70-40 Greater Mt. Comfort Corridor, led by the Hancock County Economic Development Council
    Counties: Hancock, Marion
    Proposal Themes: Improve quality of life to increase region’s vibrancy, attractiveness, sustainability and affordability; attract, train and retain highly skilled workforce; increase diversity, equity and inclusion
  • 180 Alliance, led by the West Central Indiana Alliance
    Counties: Boone, Hendricks, Montgomery, Putnam, Johnson and Morgan
    Proposal Themes: Bolster region’s quality of life, outdoor recreation, arts and culture, housing for talent attraction, infrastructure improvements and talent development
  • Accelerate Rural Indiana, led by the Decatur County Community Foundation
    Counties: Decatur, Rush, Shelby
    City: Batesville
    Proposal Themes: Increase connectivity, make place-based investments including housing projects and public infrastructure, market the region and create career pathways for new students and adults needing to upskill
  • East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, led by the East Central IN Regional Partnership
    Counties: Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Grant, Henry, Jay, Randolph, Wayne
    Proposal Themes: Boost population trends to end population decline, mobilize learning systems to increase educational attainment and build equitable economic opportunities to increase median household income and earnings
  • Greater Lafayette Region, led by the Greater Lafayette Commerce Community and Economic Development Foundation
    Counties: Benton, Carroll, Fountain, Tippecanoe, Warren, White
    Proposal Themes: Retain existing talent and welcome new talent to increase the region's population, along with increasing housing opportunities, accelerate digital adoption among industries
  • Indiana First Region, led by the Southwest Indiana Development Council
    Counties: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Harrison, Knox, Martin, Pike, Orange, Spencer, Perry
    Proposal Themes: End population and job losses through investments in training programs, public infrastructure, fiber optics, transportation and improved connectivity throughout the region
  • Indiana Uplands, led by the Regional Opportunity Initiatives Inc.
    Counties: Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen
    Proposal Themes: Scale and differentiate targeted industry clusters, ensure talent strategies meet industry demands, invest in key quality of life initiatives
  • North Central, led by the North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council
    Counties: Cass, Clinton, Fulton, Howard, Miami, Tipton
    Proposal Themes: Attract and retain people, develop the talent and skills of its current and future workforce, and connect talent with the jobs the region needs to be successful

  • Northeast, led by the Northeast Indiana RDA
    Counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Kosciusko, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, Whitley
    Proposal Themes: Grow population, increase educational attainment and raise per capita personal income
  • Northwest, led by the Northwest Indiana Forum
    Counties: Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Pulaski, Starke
    Proposal Themes: Build on success of IGNITE the Region plan, which focuses on business development and marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation, infrastructure, talent and placemaking
  • Southern Indiana, led by the Our Southern Indiana Regional Development Authority
    Counties: Clark, Floyd, Jefferson, Scott, Washington
    Proposal Themes: Nurture a diverse economy by improving destinations, workforce and entrepreneurship, real estate development, natural assets, connections and gateways, and infrastructure
  • South Bend/Elkhart, led by the Northern Indiana Regional Development Authority
    Counties: Elkhart, Marshall, St. Joseph
    Proposal Themes: Raise post-secondary talent attainment, improve minority income disparity, provide higher wage job opportunities and stimulate positive in-migration
  • South Central Indiana Talent Region, led by the Southern Indiana Housing and Community Development Corporation
    Counties: Bartholomew, Jackson, Jennings
    Town: Edinburgh
    Proposal Themes: With its largest anchor institution Cummins, Inc., this region is focused on advancing new and emerging technologies, ensuring careers are well-paying and equitably distributed and people are well-educated and trained; and to cultivate a culture of resiliency
  • Southeast, led by SEI READI Inc.
    Counties: Dearborn, Ohio, Switzerland, Union, Franklin, Ripley (excludes city of Batesville)
    Proposal Themes: Prioritize talent attraction and development as the region’s foremost opportunity for growth
  • Evansville Region, led by Southwest Indiana RDA (SWIRDA)
    Counties: Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick
    Proposal Theme: Bring new high-paying job opportunities, increase population, reduce the number of households living in poverty and improve the health and well-being of residents
  • West Central, led by the Wabash River RDA
    Counties: Clay, Knox, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo
    Proposal Themes: Leverage the region's higher-educational access, its destination assets and its proximity to Illinois to attract and retain students and visitors in the region
  • White River Regional Opportunity Initiative, led by the Central Indiana Regional Development Authority and Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization
    Counties: Hamilton, Madison, Marion
    Proposal Themes: Foster entrepreneurial ecosystem, generate high-quality and high-wage job opportunities and create vibrant places that attract and retain high caliber talent

READI builds on the framework and successes of the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative and the 21st Century Talent Initiative, encouraging regional collaboration and data-driven, long-term planning that, when implemented, will attract and retain talent in Indiana. The IEDC will work closely with the newly established READI review committee to follow the evaluation timelines and assess the submitted plans before making formal recommendations for funding to the IEDC board of directors in December.


Members of the READI review committee include:

  • Bill Hanna, Executive Director, Dean and Barbra White Family Foundation
  • Isaac Bamgbose, President and CEO of New City Development
  • Jason Dudich, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Treasurer, University of Indianapolis
  • Jason Blume, Executive Director, Innovation One
  • Kelli Jones, Co-Founder and General Partner, Sixty8 Capital
  • Leah Curry, President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana
  • Lori Luther, Chief Operating Officer, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital

More information on the READI review committee, as well as links to download the regions’ proposals, is available at IndianaREADI.com. A map of the identified regions can be found here.

A Quilt for Mother's Tears, Inc. donates three vests to K-9 program

On September 20, 2013, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Rod Bradway, a Kosciusko County native, was mortally wounded while saving a domestic violence victim and her ten-month-old child. In the aftermath, Rod’s mother, Sheri, turned to her passion of quilting as a tribute to her son. Subsequently, Sheri and her quilter’s group formed A Quilt for Mother’s Tears; which provides quilts to the mothers of fallen law enforcement officers.


Tom Bradway, Rod’s father, approached Sheriff Kyle P. Dukes earlier this year about purchasing ballistic vests for the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Division; specifically for the working dogs. Sgt. Travis Shively, division commander, spent numerous hours researching the proper vest style for the program. Once Sgt. Shively decided upon Armor Express Tex 10, with Gemini ballistic and stab protection, Tom and Sheri graciously donated three vests; which will be worn during Special Operations Group (SOG) and high-risk situations.




Chris Trowbridge, owner of Maverick Promotions in North Webster, designed a memorial patch to be worn on top of the vest carriers. The body armor was recently issued to our K-9 deputies and is now part of their daily duty complement.


“I am appreciative of the graciousness of the Bradway family and the opportunity to honor Rod’s legacy,” stated Sheriff Dukes.


Caston Elementary School receives national recognition for commitment to empowering students

Caston Elementary School announced today that it has been recognized as a 2020-21 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School.


It is one of just 310 schools across the U.S. to receive this honor for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Launch. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in schools across the U.S. 


Caston Elementary Principal, Jennifer Lukens had this to say about the impact of PLTW, “We are honored to receive this recognition. Our teachers have embraced PLTW because they see the value of the engaging hands-on curriculum, along with the students' desire and enthusiasm to create, ask questions, and want to learn more”. 


The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, Caston Elementary School had tohave more than 75 percent of the student body participating in the program and had to offer at least two PLTW Launch modules at each grade level during the 2019-20 school year. 


Studies show that students decide as early as elementary school whether they like, and think they are good at, math and science. Whether designing a car safety belt or building digital animations based on their own short stories, PLTW Launch students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and develop a passion for and confidence in STEM subjects.  

“It is a great honor to recognize Caston Elementary for their unwavering commitment to provide students with an excellent educational experience despite the unusual circumstances and unique challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presented to the educational landscape this past year,” said Dr. Vince Bertram, President and CEO of PLTW. “They should be very proud of their achievements in unlocking their students’ potential and equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in life beyond the classroom no matter what career path they choose.”

Caston Elementary is part of a community of PreK-12 schools, colleges and universities, and corporate and philanthropic partners across the country united around a passion for providing students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning opportunities. For more information about PLTW’s recognition program, visit pltw.org/our-programs/program-recognition.  

Fulton County REMC names Andrew Horstman new CEO

The Fulton County REMC Board of Directors has selected an electric cooperative industry veteran and power supply expert to lead the organization as its new CEO.

The board has named Andrew Horstman as president and CEO of Fulton County REMC. He will succeed current Fulton County REMC President and CEO Joe Koch, who is retiring. Horstman has more than two decades of experience working
for Wabash Valley Power Alliance (WVPA), the wholesale power supplier for Fulton County REMC.


He began as a field engineer and for the last 13 years has worked in WVPA’s power supply department, where he led demand-response, community solar, smart grid and electric vehicle programs. He most recently worked as manager of grid innovation and distributed energy resources for the generation and transmission cooperative that provides electricity to 23 distribution co-ops serving 325,000 families and businesses in three states.

“I am excited to build on the strong foundation of member satisfaction, financial stability and innovation already in place at Fulton County REMC,” Horstman said. “I look forward to working with the board of directors and co-op employees as
we take on the challenges and opportunities facing electric utilities as the grid evolves to incorporate more renewable energy and prepare for electric vehicles.”

Fulton County REMC board members set the qualifications desired in a new CEO and believe that Horstman exceeds those goals, said Dennis Burton, president of the Fulton County REMC Board of Directors.

“We look forward to having Andrew join us in guiding our co-op into the future. We are excited by the passion he already has shown for this position,” Burton said. “We see his knowledge, professionalism, experience and
understanding of technology and innovation coming to this industry as tremendous assets. We welcome him and his family to our community.”

Horstman, who earned his bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering technology from ITT Technical Institute, will begin his role as CEO as Fulton County REMC on November 1.


Koch, the current president and CEO of Fulton County REMC, first began working with the cooperative in 1998 and has served as CEO since 2011.

Upcoming Duke Energy projects could cause power interruptions.

Duke Energy has a series of projects that may cause power interruptions.

A letter from Duke Energy’s Don McDuffy, Director Asset Design, went out to many Fulton County residents who could be impacted by the projects.  The letter states that Duke Energy is working on outdoor upgrades to improve energy service and reliability and that you may see crews conducting planning meetings, performing tree trimming or placing lawn flags to identify safe work areas.

The letter goes on to say that if trees need to be trimmed Duke Energy crews will use techniques created by the National Arborist Association and work with a certified Indiana arborist and do everything possible to keep
power interruptions to a minimum while work is in progress.

The project list includes:
Project name: Rochester Grid Strengthening Project 9170088

Date: October 2021 through May 2022

Location: Along 13th Street, west of Bittersweet Lane to Park Road, and south on Park Road to 18th Street

Along 18th Street from Southway 31 to Sweetgum Rd

Along Sweetgum Rd between 18th Street and US Highway 31

If you have questions, please call 800.589.6822 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and mention the project name listed above or visit duke-energy.com/Reliability.

Pedestrian hit, killed in Plymouth accident

A pedestrian was struck and killed in Plymouth Monday morning.

Marshall County Central Dispatch received a 911 call about 6:30 am Monday regarding a vehicle -  pedestrian accident.  The investigation indicates that a vehicle operated by Andrea Finley, 24, of Plymouth was eastbound on SR 17 when her 2017 Jeep struck a pedestrian that was walking in the roadway. 

The pedestrian, Roy McCarty, 58, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The Plymouth Police was assisted by Plymouth Fire / EMS, the Marshall County Sheriff's Department, and the Marshall County Coroner.


IRS extension deadline to file 2020 taxes is October 15

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding an estimated 188,400 Indiana residents who asked for an extension to file their 2020 tax return, that they have until October 15, 2021 to file and avoid the penalty for filing late.


The IRS urges everyone to file electronically in order to avoid delays and speed the processing of their return.


October 15 is the deadline for just about everyone.  Only members of the military and others serving in a combat zone, have more time. They normally have 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file and pay any taxes due.


There is usually no penalty for failure to file if the taxpayer is due a refund. However, people who wait too long to file and claim a refund, risk losing it altogether. The safest and fastest way for people to get a refund is to file electronically and have their refund electronically deposited into their bank or other financial account. Taxpayers can use direct deposit to deposit their refund into one, two or even three accounts.


IRS Free File is still available in English and Spanish giving taxpayers who earned $72,000 or less in 2020 a way to file and claim credits like the Recovery Rebate Credit, Advanced Child Tax Credit. The Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms, is also available for people comfortable preparing their own taxes. 


Street closures announced for this weekend's Chili Cook-Off and Red Hot Car Show

The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Blacktop Cruisers is organizing the 29th annual Chili Cook-Off and Red Hot Car Show. This event will take place on Saturday, October 9 from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm in Downtown Rochester.


The City of Rochester will close Main Street from Fourth Street to Ninth Street; and Fifth and Sixth Streets from the alley west of Main Street to the alley east of Main Street; Seventh and Eighth Streets from the alley west of Main Street to Madison Street; and Madison Street from Seventh to Ninth street. Road closures will begin after 5:00 pm on Friday, October 8.

Rochester Police Chief Shotts asks that vehicles be moved from East Eighth Street by Friday, October 8 at 4:00 pm and all other named streets by 11:59 pm.


This event draws hundreds of visitors to Fulton County! We created an event for the Chili Cook-Off and Red Hot Car Show on the Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. We kindly ask that you “share” this event on your business page on the days leading up to the event.

If you have any specific questions regarding the road closures, please do not hesitate to contact Chief Shotts at 574.223.3313

If you have any questions regarding the Chili Cook-Off, feel free to contact the Chamber of Commerce at 574.224.2666.

Kosciusko Co. Sheriff's Office asks public's help to find missing Cromwell man

The Kosciusko County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's assistance to find a man who has been reported as missing.


Donald Eugene Barley, 51, of Cromwell, is 5'9" tall and weighs 210 pounds.  He has brown hair and hazel eyes.



Barley was last seen at his residence in early September.


If you have information as to his whereabouts, please contact Sgt. Francis at 574-267-5667.

Drivers airlifted from Friday crash scene

Two Wabash men were airlifted from the scene of a head-on collision on Packerton Road Friday morning.


Investigating deputies determined that Kyle Thomas, 18, of Wabash, was traveling northbound on Packerton Road; when he began to pass another vehicle on a hillcrest. Thomas’ Buick Rainier struck the front end of a southbound Chevrolet Impala, driven by Jessie Monroe, 53, of Wabash.


Following a lengthy extrication, Thomas and Monroe were airlifted to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne with non-life threatening injuries.


Assisting at the scene were the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, Silver Lake PD, Parkview EMS and Samaritan Air Ambulance, Lutheran Air Ambulance, Sidney Fire Department, Silver Lake Fire Department, Claypool Fire Department, and Warsaw-Wayne FT