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WROI News Archives for 2022-06

Program 5pm Monday at Rochester's Fulton County Public Library for kids to talk about school violence

School shootings.  Violence.  Uvalde, Texas, the most recent to become known for it.  

 

Pat Brown with Recovery Café says it’s time for teens to be able to talk about it.  And they will tonight.

 

 

He says it’s worth it if even one kid is helped.

 

 

Brown says tonight’s program was initiated by a teacher.

 

 

The Youth Outlet Center will team with the Recovery Café in the event at 5pm at the Rochester branch of the Fulton County Pubic Library

 

 

ISP troopers and Miami Co. Sheriff's Department officers honored

The Indiana State Police Department held an awards and recognition ceremony in Indianapolis. The ceremony publicly recognized the achievements and deeds of self-sacrifice and accomplishments of Indiana State Police employees from around the state. four local troopers and two sheriff’s deputies were recognized at the ceremony. 

 

Trooper Jon Cole was recognized as the 2021 Indiana State Police Peru Post Trooper of the District. The award is given annually to the trooper that personifies integrity, professionalism, and a well-rounded work ethic. Cole was selected by the command staff at the Peru District for dedication to his job, traffic and criminal enforcement, community involvement, instructor ratings, specialty assignments, and other services performed for the department beyond normal expectations. Cole has worked for the state police for eight years. He patrols primarily in Miami County. 

 

Trooper Derek Rine was recognized with the Indiana State Police Peru District Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Award for his commitment to removing impaired drivers from Indiana roadways. In 2021, Rine led the Peru District with 25 impaired driving arrests. He has served with the Indiana State Police for three years and patrols primarily in Fulton County.

 

ISP Sergeant Andrew Smith, Trooper Andrew Baldwin, Miami County Sheriff’s Officer Alex Wolfe, and Miami County Sheriff’s Officer James Bean were recognized with an Indiana State Police Life Saving Award. On August 25, 2021, the officers responded to a motorcycle crash on northbound U.S. 31 near Miami County Road 900 South, in which William Lidy, 48, of Russiaville, was found lying next to the motorcycle. He did not have a pulse and was not breathing. A good Samaritan was performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The officers took over the CPR from the good Samaritan. Before medical personnel arrived on the scene, Lidy started to breathe and regained a pulse. Officers also applied an automated external defibrillator (AED). It advised no shock was needed. Lidy was eventually flown, via medical helicopter, to a Ft Wayne hospital where he was stabilized and expected to make a full recovery.

 

Baldwin and Smith have served five years with the Indiana State Police. For information about the Miami County Sheriff’s officers, please get in touch with their department.  

 

“I am often amazed at the professional skill and heroic acts police officers perform daily,” stated Lt. T.J. Zeiser, commander of the Indiana State Police Peru Post. “These officers deserved recognition for their dedication to the law enforcement profession and the communities in which they serve.”

Fulton County Sheriff's Office joins Operation Blue Heat which results in 68 arrests on 171 criminal charges

Recently, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department was among nine police departments in north-central Indiana that teamed up for three days to enforce traffic laws and help stem the flow of illegal narcotics. 

 

Officers from the Indiana State Police, the Miami County Sheriff’s Department, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, the Tipton County Sheriff’s Department, the Kokomo Police Department, the Logansport Police Department, the North Manchester Police Department, and the Thorntown Police Department utilized marked and unmarked police cars to conduct saturation patrols on U.S. 31 in Miami, Howard, Tipton, and Fulton Counties. Patrol officers were augmented by K-9 officers utilizing narcotic detecting police dogs. 

 

Officers dubbed the unannounced three-day patrol “Operation Blue Heat.” The goal was to enforce traffic laws and catch individuals who utilize Indiana roadways to transport and distribute illegal narcotics. U.S. 31 was chosen because a large volume of motorists use the road to travel through the heart of northern Indiana. Officers wanted to serve notice that as the summer temperatures increase, so will their vigilance in keeping illegal narcotics from reaching Hoosier communities.  

 

From June 21 through June 23, officers teamed up to make 68 criminal arrests on 171 mostly drug-related charges. Twenty-two of the charges were felonies. Officers also issued 86 traffic citations and 297 written warnings. There was also one driving while impaired arrest. During the three days, officers allegedly located cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, edible marijuana food, MDMA, THC oil, ketamine, and prescription medications. They also located drug paraphernalia. The contraband was found during traffic stops made by the various police departments. 

 

“This is the tenth year we have organized a summer driving season kickoff patrol,” stated Indiana State Police Sergeant Andrew Smith, who organized and oversaw the patrol. “Summer is a peak travel time with an increased volume of motorists on Indiana roads. Police officers want to remind drivers to follow all traffic laws for the safety of everyone using Indiana’s roads. The patrol should serve as a warning that police officers will utilize all of the resources at their disposal to catch and arrest the few who transport illegal drugs.”

 

Aerial treatments completed for spongy moth in Fulton and surrounding counties

All aerial treatments conducted by the Indiana DNR divisions of Forestry and Entomology & Plant Pathology to slow the spread of gypsy moth, now called spongy moth, for this year were completed as of Wednesday.

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

Treatments for this destructive pest were conducted in Allen, Fulton, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Marshall, Miami, Noble, Porter, Pulaski, Starke, Wabash, and Wells counties.

The treatments done most recently employed a mating-disruption process using SPLAT GM-O, an organic product made with food-grade materials. The droplets contain pheromone, which disrupts the insect's mating cycle.

The DNR will return to northern and perhaps sections of central or southern Indiana next spring and summer to continue the battle to slow the spread of this insect.

Maniac Mac's Fireworks in Rochester for the Fourth of July season

 

Open since Memorial Day weekend, Maniac Mac's Fireworks at 913 E Ninth St in Rochester is part of the McCartney family business that provides a wide variety of brands and different types of artillery shells, cakes, bottle rockets, missiles and more.

 

 

The Rochester location is now the fifth seasonal firework store the family has opened this Independence Day season. Daughter Mackie McCartney, who helps run the stores with her dad, Neil McCartney, and older brother, Trey, said all of their products are hand-picked by her and her brother. 

 

 

Maniac Mac's Fireworks will be open daily from 11am to 7pm until July 4, or until supplies last. 

Gov. Holcomb calls a special session to return $1 billion to Hoosier taxpayers

Governor Eric J. Holcomb Wednesday signed a proclamation calling a special session for the General Assembly to convene on July 6, 2022, to take action on his plan to return more than $1 billion of state reserves to Hoosier taxpayers.

 

“This is the fastest, fairest and most efficient way to return taxpayers' hard-earned money during a time of economic strain,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Indiana’s economy is growing and with more than $1 billion of revenue over current projections, Hoosier taxpayers deserve to have their money responsibly returned. I’m happy to be able to take this first step and look forward to signing this plan into law as soon as possible.”

 

Each taxpayer would collect about $225 in addition to $125 Hoosiers are currently receiving from the state’s automatic taxpayer refund (ATR). All told, each eligible Hoosier would receive about $350; a married couple filing jointly would receive about $700.

 

Click here to view the proclamation.

Fulton County ARPA funding approved; $1.5 million distributed

A recommendation from the ARPA Funding Committee has received approval from the Fulton County Commissioners and the Fulton County Council.

 

County Council President Phyl Olinger read off the recipients that were recommended for ARPA funds.

 

 

Here is the list as well.

 

$150,000 – RTC for broadband expansion

$150,000 – Akron Revitalization Committee (ARC) for two big needs

$150,000 – Town of Fulton for major needs

$150,000 – Town of Kewanna

$150,000 – Leiters Ford Community Building for upgrades

$150,000 – Nyona/South Mud Lake Conservancy District for sewer needs

$150,000 – 4-H Fairgrounds for repairs and maintenance to amphitheater and buildings

$90,000 – $30,000 Habitat for Humanity to finish the new house at 7th/Fulton Ave. and $60,000 for  a storage building

$50,000 – Fulton County United Way for building repairs and upgrades

$60,000 – Kewanna Public Library for technical equipment

$250,000 – Employee Bonuses of $2,000 for Fulltime employees/$1,000 for part-time employees

 

A total of $1,500,000 was approved by the council.  

Fulton County Highway workers asking for pay raise

With budget time approaching employees at the Fulton County Highway Department have concerns about possible pay raises.

 

County Highway Superintendent John Geier told the Fulton County Council that his crews are very busy with a lot of different activities including patching, changing out culverts, and finishing up the first round of mowing county right a way’s. 

 

Highway Clerk Leslie Bruner spoke on behalf of all the department employees regarding pay raises as it is getting closer to budget time and concern over how raises are given.

 

 

Bruner went on to ask the council, how it is fair to give one department a raise but not all.

 

During Bruner's speech to the council she noted that with only a three percent raise last year, county highway drivers are still behind what surrounding counties pay.  She went on to explain why they feel they should be brought up to average pay.

 

Fulton Council President Phyl Olinger told the highway workers that were present that they do hear what they are saying, and all comments will be considered coming up at budget time next month. 

 

The county council set budget hearings for July 12 and 13. 

Rochester Iron & Metal, Inc. among those to receive Manufacturing Readiness Grants; Paragon Medical, ,ITAMCO also named

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), in partnership with Conexus Indiana, announced the sixth round of awards totaling nearly $4 million in Manufacturing Readiness Grants to 43 Indiana businesses, supporting a projected $46.1 million in technology-enabled capital investment across Indiana.

 

Recipients include companies in Fulton, Marshall and Kosciusko counties.

 

Launched in 2020, the Manufacturing Readiness Grants program was created to stimulate private sector investments to modernize Indiana’s manufacturing industry. Since then, $17.4 million in grant funding has been awarded to 212 companies in 60 counties, prompting proposed projects with combined budgets of $138.9 million and $22 million in estimated new wages.

 

In recently published case studies, Conexus Indiana provides an in-depth look into various completed projects, highlighting business impact and outcomes. These, along with data analysis from applications and surveys, find:

 

  • Rather than displacing workers, investments in technology are freeing workers from tedious tasks to perform higher-value, higher-paying functions.
  • Awards support modernization at primarily small and midsized firms (average of 165 employees) with long histories of participation in Indiana’s manufacturing economy (average of 37 years in operation).
  • The most adopted technologies include robotics, cobots, 3D printing and next-generation machines with sensor-enable features such as data analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • 68% of companies report Manufacturing Readiness Grants have enabled or expanded the scope of technology projects, and an additional 26% say the grant accelerated project timelines.

Recipients include:

  • ITAMCO Co. (Marshall County; $191,240 grant award) is a gearing and precision machining manufacturer for heavy-duty industries including mining, off-highway vehicles, marine, wastewater, construction and aviation. The company is investing in automation and robotics to augment both the pre- and post-heat treatment steps in its manufacturing process.
  • Paragon Medical Inc. (Kosciusko County; $105,000 grant award) is a contract medical device manufacturer that produces a full range of components for the global orthopedic and life sciences market, including bone screws, plates, orthopedic implants, endoscopic devices, sterilization trays and more. The company is investing in additive manufacturing, with a focus on metal 3D printing, enabling rapid iteration on patient-specific devices for the medical device market.
  • Rochester Iron & Metal Inc. (Fulton County; $37,500 grant award) is a recycler and reseller of scrap metal. The company is investing in an automated conveyor belt, magnets and pre-shredder, which will create production efficiencies such as increased throughput and energy savings while also eliminating heavy, unshreddable metals from the company’s existing auto shredder.

Winamac man injured in I-94 tractor-van crash

A Pulaski County man was injured in a tractor - van collision Tuesday morning on I-94 in Porter County.

 

Indiana State Police responded at 7:00 am responded to a crash on I-94 westbound.  ISP Motor Carrier units  reported that a tractor pulling a lawn mower had been struck by a vehicle.

 

Preliminary investigation shows that a John Deere tractor with a pull-behind mower deck, was traveling eastbound along the north ditch of I-94. The tractor had to stop mowing due to the bridge at the 26.6 mile-marker. The operator of the tractor then drove into the westbound lanes in an attempt to make a U-turn and proceed back westbound along the same north shoulder. However, the driver of the tractor, Harold D. Johns, 68, of Winamac,  failed to yield to a 2004 Ford van that was travelling in the right lane. The driver of the van was not able to avoid the tractor in the roadway.

 

Johns sustained serious injuries and was flown to South Bend Memorial Hospital for treatment.

 

The driver of the van, Andrew Weston, 27, of Michigan City, was not injured and refused medical treatment at the scene.

 

 

Alcohol / drugs are not believed to be a factor in this crash. All the westbound lanes were closed for approximately four hours for crash investigation and scene cleanup.

 

COVID-19 vaccines available for children under 5

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) announced today that COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months up to age 5 are now available at some Indiana providers, expanding the population eligible to be protected against the disease. Shipments will continue to arrive at participating locations this week.

 

IDOH has updated its map at www.ourshot.in.gov to show sites that have indicated they will offer the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for this age group. Both vaccines received authorization from the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week. Initial sites will include private healthcare providers, local health departments and some hospitals and pharmacies.

 

Vaccines are currently available on a walk-in basis at most locations, or parents can contact their child’s healthcare provider to schedule an appointment if the provider is offering the vaccine. Due to staggered vaccine delivery dates, parents are encouraged to contact the provider before arriving to ensure the age-appropriate dose is available. IDOH is working to update its online registration system so that appointments for this age group can be made via www.ourshot.in.gov as soon as possible.

 

Visit the Indiana Department of Health at www.Statehealth.in.gov for important health and safety information or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StateHealthIN.

Rochester Downtown Partnership to celebrate heroes with banner program

The Rochester Downtown Partnership is looking to celebrate Rochester’s heroes with a special project.

 

Rochester Downtown Partnership Volunteer Design Committee Chairman/ Executive Board Member Chad Hisey says if you have someone you feel is deserving of being recognized you can become a part of their banner project.

 

 

Hisey says the banners will go up in January following the take down of Christmas decorations and will be up until May.

 

He says you can find forms to fill out at several locations.

 

 

Forms can also be found at Webb’s Family Pharmacy.

 

Hisey notes that digital pictures are needed to create the banners and the libraries are helping those who need assistance.

 

 

The submission deadline is September 30.

 

The Youth Outlet Center continues to grow post pandemic restrictions

The Youth Outlet Center has kicked off summer with activities to keep kids busy in every age group this year.

 

Youth Outlet Executive Director Patience Hisey said the program has grown in leaps and bounds since COVID restrictions have lifted. 

 

 

Their Summer Student Program is everyday during the week from 3pm to 4:30pm and provides a place for middle school and high school aged kids to hang out, watch movies and have snacks. 

 

Every Friday afternoon they also have Friday at the Park from 2-4 pm that includes crafts, snacks and ends with ice cream sundaes at the big pavilion by Manitou Mountain in the Rochester City Park.

 

The Friday morning preschool book club keeps the younger crowd busy and has increased in popularity this summer, averaging around 40 kids plus parents every Friday morning at 10 am. Open for little ones five years and under, they are provided with stories, crafts and social time. Older siblings are also welcome.  

 

 

Hisey said they're always looking for volunteers to do one day a week from 3-4:30 pm. Anyone interested must pass a background check and can contact Hisey at 574-223-5437 or visit their website at theoutletyouthcenter.org. 

 

They also still offer the community shower and laundry area to anyone in need, by appointment only. Toiletries, supplies and even clothes are provided, all thanks to donations from the community. 

 

 

Always accepting donations of all kinds ranging from hygiene items to snacks, Hisey said the Rochester community has been extremely generous with their donations. 

 

 

Three men injured in two-car Fulton Co. crash

Three Fulton County men were seriously injured in a Saturday night car crash.

 

Just before 8:30 pm, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Lutheran EMS, Rochester Fire Department and Parkview Samaritan responded to the intersection of County Road 100 North and 200 West for a personal injury accident.  A Dodge pickup was overturned in the field and a Nissan passenger car was off the road in the grass.

 

The preliminary investigation found that Austin Mollett, 26, of rural Rochester, was driving a 2004 Nissan Altima southbound on 200 West while Peter Karras, 53, of rural Rochester was westbound on 100 North in a 2021 Dodge Ram.  The vehicles collided in the intersection.

 

Mollett and a passenger in his car, Danny Cook, 23, of rural Rochester, were transported via medical helicopter to Fort Wayne.  Karras was taken by ambulance to South Bend.

 

Due to the seriousness of the injuries an Indiana State Police Crash Reconstruction Team was requested to assist and, ultimately, take over the investigation.

 

First probable case of monkeypox identified in Indiana

State health officials announced that the first probable case of monkeypox in Indiana in 2022 has been identified. No further information about the patient will be released due to privacy concerns.

 

Initial testing was completed at the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) Laboratories today. Confirmatory testing is pending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Based on the initial positive test and preliminary case investigation, state health officials consider this a probable monkeypox infection. The patient remains isolated, and health officials are working to identify anyone the patient may have had close contact with while infectious.

 

“The risk of monkeypox among the general public continues to be extremely low,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Monkeypox is rare and does not easily spread through brief casual contact. Please continue to take the same steps you do to protect against any infection, including washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, and check with a healthcare provider if you have any new signs or symptoms.”

 

Person-to-person transmission is possible either through skin-to-skin contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores or contaminated items, such as bedding or clothing, or through exposure to respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact.

 

Monkeypox typically begins with fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and exhaustion about 5 to 21 days after exposure. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body. Some people may only develop the rash. The illness typically lasts for 2 to 4 weeks. People are considered infectious until all scabs from the rash have fallen off.

 

The CDC reports that 113 monkeypox cases have been confirmed in 21 U.S. states and territories in 2022. Visit the CDC’s website for more information on the monkeypox outbreak.

Silver Alert: Mary Ann Rassi, 88 - Kosciusko County

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the disappearance of Mary Ann Rassi.

 

Rassi, 88, is a white female, 5 feet 2 inches tall, 135 pounds, gray hair with brown eyes.  She was last seen wearing a green shirt, blue checkered pajama pants and black shoes. and driving a cream 2005 Lincoln Town car with an Indiana plate UEX526.

 

Mary Ann is missing from Milford, Indiana was last seen on Saturday, June 18, at 9:18 am.  She is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance. 

 

If you have any information on Mary Ann Rassi, contact the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department at 574-267-5667 or 911.

Three area residents graduate 82nd Indiana State Police Recruit Academy

The 82nd Indiana State Police Recruit Academy completed its graduation ceremony in the Indiana State Capitol Rotunda on Thursday.  After the commencement address, the oath of office for the 18 new State Police officers was delivered and each new trooper was then presented their badge and official identification by Superintendent Carter and his staff.

 

The graduation marked the culmination of 23 weeks of intense training which totaled more than 1,100 hours. Some subject areas of training included criminal and traffic law, de-escalation, emergency vehicle operations, defensive tactics, firearms, impaired driving detection, scenario-based training, and a host of other academic subjects related to modern policing.

 

The class includes:

Garret Schroder, Royal Center (Lafayette)

Austin Slone, Pierceton (Toll Road)

Adrianna Ward, Amboy  (Peru)

 

Each graduating trooper will be assigned to one of 14 State Police Posts across Indiana. Once at their assigned district, the new troopers will spend the next three months working side by side with a series of experienced Field Training Officers. The purpose of the field training is to put to practical application the training received throughout the formal academy training. Upon successful completion of field training, the new troopers will be assigned a state police patrol vehicle and will begin solo patrol in their assigned district.

Rochester street closures for culvert and drainage line replacement starts June 20

The City of Rochester Street Department and Fulton County Highway Department are working on a joint project replacing culverts and drainage lines on both West 3rd and 6th streets.  Weather permitting, work is scheduled to begin the week of June 20, with road closures. 

 

6th Street will be closed on Wednesday, June 22 and Thursday, June 23, between Sweetgum Rd and Clay St.  3rd Street will be closed on Friday, June 24, between Sweetgum Rd and Barkman Dr (Riddle Elementary).  

 

If you have any questions, please contact the Street Department at 574-223-4740 or Fulton County Highway Department at 574-223-2385

I-65 bridge over the Wabash River renamed for Purple Heart recipient, Pulaski Co. native

The Indiana Department of Transportation announced the I-65 bridge over the Wabash River was renamed for a Purple Heart recipient. The renaming ceremony was held Wednesday in West Lafayette.

 

Indiana House Concurrent Resolution 6, which passed during the legislative session earlier this year urged INDOT to rename the bridge on I-65 over the Wabash River in honor of Captain Ronald D. Gutwein.

 

 

INDOT, along with Captain Gutwein's family and HCR 6 authors Rep. Edmond Soliday, Rep. Doug Gutwein, Rep. Jim Pressel, and Rep. Don Lehe held a renaming ceremony Wednesday at the Indiana Veterans' Home in West Lafayette. The bridge will be renamed the "Captain Ronald D. Gutwein Memorial Bridge."

 

Captain Ronald D. Gutwein was born and raised in Francesville, in Pulaski County. The Vietnam War veteran served two tours in Vietnam. He risked his life to deliver essential troops and items for the successful completion of his unit's missions throughout the war and to evacuate soldiers from danger. He was awarded two Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, two Army Commendation Medals, numerous air medals and was nominated for the Distinguished Service Medal, the second-highest decoration for the United States of America awards for heroism.

 

Captain Ronald D. Gutwein left the army but continued to serve in the Middle East as an aviation safety consultant to U.S. allies and also conducted flying medivac missions for the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota until his untimely death.

 

Fulton Co. man pursues, crashes into man he suspected of stealing gas

A Fulton County farmer chased a Plymouth man who he said stole gasoline from him.  The pursuit ended in a crash and arrest.

 

Just before 1:00 am Tuesday, Cass County Central Dispatch was notified of a two-vehicle crash north of State Road 16 on Cass County Road 600 East.  Preliminary investigation showed Jon Allen Sailors III, 24, of Plymouth, was driving a 2001 Ford F-150 southbound on the county road when a 2005 Ford F-350 driven by Bryan Slisher, 58, of Rochester, collided with him.

 

Sailors was flown via medical helicopter to a trauma center in Fort Wayne.  Slisher was not injured.

 

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department says Slisher suspected Sailors had stoen gas from his farm.  When confronted by Slisher, Sailors fled the scene and Slisher gave chase.

 

Slisher was arrested for a Level 6 Felony, Criminal Recklessness.

 

The incident remains under investigation.

 

Peru man wanted on warrant arrested on additional drug charges

An observant Indiana State Police trooper located and arrested a Peru man wanted on a felony arrest warrant for two counts of dealing methamphetamine and two charges for possession of methamphetamine. 

 

Monday night, Trooper Steven Glass observed Wallace E. Taylor, 31, of Peru, near 315 Blackhawk Court, in Peru. Glass knew Taylor had a Miami Superior Court II warrant for his arrest and took him into custody. Taylor purportedly had approximately five grams of methamphetamine on his person when he was arrested.

 

Taylor was incarcerated in the Miami County Jail. Glass served him with the arrest warrant alleging two counts of dealing methamphetamine and two charges for possession of methamphetamine. Taylor also faces additional charges for possession of methamphetamine and possession of a narcotic drug. 

 

Fulton County Clerk Teri Furnivall retiring on June 30

After eight years in her position and 14 years working in the courthouse, June 30 will be the last day of work for retiring Fulton County Clerk Teri Furnivall.

 

Furnivall says although she looks forward to travelling with her husband Mike and visiting more often with her three children, she will miss her job. 

 

 

Having lived most of her life in Rochester, Furnivall has been familiar with the community. Since becoming County Clerk, Furnivall was impressed to learn just how strong the outlined communities are, and how much Fulton County, as a whole, depends on them during voting time. 

 

Furnivall says she will most likely will return to help during election time in the future, if needed. 

State Road 18 to be closed overnight this weekend

Indiana Department of Transportation contractor Rieth-Riley Construction Co. will be closing State Road 18 at the intersection with U.S. 35 overnight this weekend in Cass County as part of the resurfacing project on U.S. 35 through Galveston. 

 

State Road 18 will be closed between Woodlawn St and Sycamore St from approximately 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Friday, June 17 to Saturday, June 18 and possibly again from approximately 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday, June 18 to Sunday, June 19.

 

These closures are for deep patching in the U.S. 35 and State Road 18 intersection. The official detour will follow U.S. 31, State Road 218 and State Road 29.

 

Resurfacing work on U.S. 35 between State Road 18 and South Fork Deer Creek will be ongoing through mid-July, with flaggers directing traffic in the area where work is occurring. 

Bonnell retires after 28 years at Lake City Bank

After 28 years at Lake City Bank in Rochester, Friday was the last day for retiring bank teller Diana Bonnell.

 

Nearly three decades of building relationships with her customers and coworkers makes retirement come as a bittersweet end to Bonnell's career at the bank. 

 

 

Bonnell's plans for retirement are spending more time with her family, and more importantly, her three grandchildren. 

Aerial mating disruption treatments scheduled for spongy moth

Aerial mating disruption treatments conducted by Indiana DNR divisions of Forestry and Entomology & Plant Pathology to slow the spread of gypsy moth, now called spongy moth, are planned for the week of June 20.

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

Mating-disruption treatments for this destructive pest using SPLAT GM-Organic are planned in Allen, Fulton, Huntington, Kosciusko, Marshall, Miami, Porter, Pulaski, Starke, Wabash, and Wells counties and will take several days to complete.

Treatment begins shortly after sunrise but could be delayed until later in the morning or the next day due to unfavorable weather conditions such as morning fog or rain. Treatment time will vary depending on the size of the treatment site. A yellow airplane flying 75-125 feet above the treetops will conduct the treatments, continuing throughout the scheduled day, as the weather and flight schedules permit. With favorable weather, treatments may be completed by late morning or early afternoon.

SPLAT GM-Organic is a biodegradable, food-grade material infused with the female pheromone to attract and confuse the male moths so that mating does not take place. This material does not affect any insects other than spongy moth.

Once treatment begins, rain or high wind may interrupt it for that day. If that happens, treatment will resume the next suitable day and continue until all sites have been treated.

Updates will be posted on Twitter @INdnrinvasive. DNR will also issue news releases to update the status. To determine if your property is in the treatment areas or to view maps of all treatment locations, or for more information, see gypsymoth.IN.gov.

Ivy Tech Kokomo honors Rochester teacher as top dual credit faculty member

Ivy Tech Community College has honored Valerie Hoover of Twelve Mile, an English and Education teacher at Rochester High School since 2004, as one of 19 individuals across the state selected to receive the inaugural Excellence in Dual Credit Instruction President’s Awards, the highest honor for Ivy Tech dual credit faculty.

 

At a banquet in Indianapolis June 8, the College honored each of the winners for their excellence in instruction and their positive impact on the dual credit students that they served during the 2021-2022 academic year. A committee made up of Ivy Tech faculty, program chairs, and college administration selected the honorees based on nominations from various stakeholders including dual credit students, secondary and post-secondary administrators, and Ivy Tech K-14 team members. Lori Kixmiller from Fishers High School was named the 2022 statewide award recipient at a ceremony in Indianapolis this week.

 

“Dual credit faculty serve an important role by introducing our high school students to college material and providing them with an opportunity to see that they can do college-level work,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. “Without a dual credit experience, many students would never take the next step into higher education.”

 

Mary Craig, executive director of K-14 Initiatives for the Ivy Tech Kokomo Service Area, said it was an honor to nominate Hoover for the award. “In the seven years I have worked with Valerie in the dual credit role, I have learned she is a relentless advocate for her students, as well as a perpetual, consummate professional in all she does – a stellar representation of Ivy Tech’s mission and values,” Craig said. “Rochester Community School Corporation is fortunate to have a teacher of her caliber and integrity on staff.”

 

Hoover teaches five college-level Education courses at Rochester High School through Ivy Tech’s dual credit program. Tara Kaser, Education department chair for Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Service Area, seconded Craig’s assessment.

 

“Valerie puts in the time and effort to make sure that her classes are interesting and her students want to be there,” Kaser said, noting the interactive projects and field experiences that Hoover utilizes. “It is clear her students trust her and feel supported by her. As should be the case with all teachers, Valerie is her students’ number one advocate.”

 

Kaser said Rochester students can earn up to 14 college credits, representing about $2,000 worth of college classes per student, through the dual credit Education courses Hoover teaches. The majority of those credits can transfer directly into Ivy Tech’s Education programs.

 

“By earning these credits, students essentially complete an entire semester of college work by the time they leave high school,” Kaser said. “That sets them up to earn their associate degree in a year and a half, or to easily handle the accelerated work of Ivy Tech’s ASAP program and, in just one year, be ready to transfer on to a four-year school as a junior.”

 

The Excellence in Dual Credit Instruction President’s Award is modeled after the College’s President’s Award to recognize College faculty and adjunct faculty members from Ivy Tech locations throughout the state.

 

“Our dual credit faculty work tirelessly to ensure high quality, college-aligned content to students for little to no cost, saving families thousands of dollars,” said Dr. Rebecca Rahschulte, vice president of K-14 Initiatives & Statewide Partnerships for Ivy Tech. “We are honored to be able to recognize dual credit instructors throughout the state through this award.”

Farms in Cass, Pulaski and Starke among 2022 Featured Farmers at Indiana State Fair

The Indiana State Fair and Corteva Agriscience are proud to unveil the highly anticipated 2022 Featured Farmers that will be honored at this year’s Indiana State Fair. In its seventh year, this program celebrates and helps put a face on Hoosier agriculture by connecting consumers with fellow Hoosiers who grow the food they eat. These 18 farm operations represent all regions of the state, showcasing different agricultural products throughout the 18-day State Fair, July 29-August 21.

“Our Featured Farmers program connects fairgoers to Hoosier farmers daily during the State Fair with opportunities to learn more about where their food comes from,” said Cindy Hoye, executive director, Indiana State Fair Commission. “These farmers have incredible stories to tell, and we are proud to honor and celebrate them.”

Visitors to the Indiana State Fair can attend a live chat at 2:30 p.m. in the Glass Barn with a Featured Farmer every day of the Fair, in addition to many other opportunities to talk with that day’s Featured Farm family and learn about their operation. To learn more about the farmers, visit IndianaStateFair.com

“Corteva Agriscience, is pleased once again to be the presenting sponsor of the Featured Farmer program at the Indiana State Fair. During the past seven years of sponsoring the Featured Farmer program, we have been able to honor farm families from across the state and provide an opportunity  for fairgoers who are consumers to meet these farmers who spend their days working to feed all of us,” said Susan Carney, Strategic Marketing Communications Leader, Corteva Agriscience.

 

Here is the complete list of featured farmers, farm products and their home counties:

  • (July 29) Sheller Family Farms (Corn), Hamilton County
  • (July 30) Martin Family Farms (Swine), Warren County
  • (July 31) Red Frazier Bison Ranch (Bison), Greene County
  • (August 3) Goin’s Blueberry Lane (Blueberries), Starke County
  • (August 4) Gutwein Popcorn (Popcorn), Pulaski County
  • (August 5) Hodgen Farms (Soybeans), Putnam County
  • (August 6) New Age Provisions Farm (Urban Farmer), Marion County
  • (August 7) Eggersman Brothers Cattle (Beef Cattle), Jackson County
  • (August 10) Salomon Farms LLC (Corn/Soybeans, Custom baling), Whitley County
  • (August 11) Countryside and Apple Hill Orchards (Apples), Vanderburgh
  • (August 12) Wagler Dairy (Dairy Cattle), Brown County
  • (August 13) Dutch Valley Growers (Tomatoes & Onions), LaPorte County
  • (August 14) Superior Dairy (Dairy Cattle), DeKalb County
  • (August 17) 3D Valley Farm (Maple Syrup and other farm delicacies), Harrison County
  • (August 18) Mark & Peggy Jones (Hardwoods), Orange County
  • (August 19) Bourbon Bound Farms (Whiskey/Corn/Cover Crops), Jackson County
  • (August 20) Lick Creek Flower Company (Flowers), Madison County
  • (August 21) Scott Farms (Wheat, Corn & Soybeans), Cass County

 

Governor proposes returning $1 billion to Hoosier taxpayers

Governor Eric Holcomb today announced a plan to return $1 billion of state reserves to Hoosier taxpayers, following higher than expected revenue performance this fiscal year.

Each taxpayer would collect about $225 in addition to $125 Hoosiers are currently receiving from the state’s automatic taxpayer refund (ATR). All told, each eligible Hoosier would receive about $350; a married couple filing jointly would receive about $700.

“Hoosiers have real needs right now during this period of high inflation, from the gas pump to buying groceries, and everyone should benefit from the state’s success,” said Holcomb.

The governor has outlined his plan with legislative leaders.

“I’ve met with Speaker Huston and Senator Bray and have asked them to discuss getting a billion dollars back into Hoosier hands with their colleagues,” said Holcomb. “I’ve committed to work with them to call a special session before the end of June to take action to align this second round of returns with our current ATR.”

The state’s reported revenues for May, released today, were $209 million over forecast. For 11 months of the fiscal year, revenues are $1.075 billion over forecast. 

If approved, an additional deposit would be made to the bank accounts of eligible Hoosiers, just like the current ATR. For those who will receive paper checks beginning in August, one check for $350 for individual taxpayers, or $700 for those filing jointly, would be issued.

Rochester schools undergoing paving, summer projects; iPad sale this summer

School’s out.  So thoughts may float to buildings that are quiet with little to no activity during these summer months.

 

Not exactly the case at Rochester.  Rochester Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jana Vance says the most noticeable project is outdoors.

 

 

But that’s not all.  The superintendent says there are many projects that were slowed by Covid and now there’s some catch-up involved.

 

 

Tech Director Scott Kistler says they are also preparing for sales of I-PADS collected by the school with a fresh crop of that technology on the way for students this next school year.

 

 

As for the recently graduated class of 2022, Vance notes some of the accomplishments of that group.

 

 

 

Miami Co. pursuit ends with two arrests

On Wednesday night a vehicle pursuit led to the arrests of Donna Cassidy, 49, of Upland, and Brandon Dail, 49, of Marion. Both were incarcerated in the Miami County Jail. Cassidy faces a criminal charge for resisting law enforcement. She also had two active arrest warrants issued from Grant County, for theft and unlawful possession of a syringe. Dail faces criminal charges for possession of a stolen vehicle, two charges for resisting law enforcement, resisting law enforcement causing a risk of serious bodily injury to law enforcement, invasion of privacy, reckless driving, aggressive driving, possession of marijuana, three counts for criminal mischief, operating a vehicle without ever having received a driver’s license. He also had an active Grant County arrest warrant for failure to pay child support and multiple warrants from Huntington County, IN, for burglary, theft, and criminal mischief.  

 

About 8:45 pm, Indiana State Police Trooper Andrew Baldwin initiated a traffic stop on a 2000 Chevrolet pickup truck on North Broadway near U.S. 24 for having a false and fictitious license plate. The driver of the Chevrolet, later identified as Dail, failed to stop, and led Baldwin on a vehicle pursuit. The chase ended when the Chevrolet crashed into a road-closed sign-on Miami County Road 500 North near Meridian Road.

 

Cassidy and Dail emerged from the truck and fled on foot. Dail was captured immediately by Miami County Sheriff’s Deputies Adam Kirk and Creighton Howell. Baldwin then utilized his K-9 partner Mack to find Cassidy hiding in tall grass. She was taken into custody by Peru Police Lieutenant Josh Ulery. 

 

Further investigation revealed that the Chevrolet had been reported as stolen from Grant County. Also, Dail was allegedly driving without having ever received an operator’s license. He was also found to allegedly be in violation of an active protection order between him and Cassidy. When Dail was being booked into the Miami County Jail, officers purportedly found marijuana on his person. 

 

Baldwin was assisted by Peru Police Lt. Josh Ulery, ISP Sergeant Andrew Smith, Trooper Kegan Kern, Trooper Duke Lavache, Miami County Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Kirk, Miami County Sheriff’s Deputy Alex Wolfe, Miami County Sheriff’s Deputy Creighton Howell, Peru Police Officer Dillion Mongosa, and Miami County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy Jeremy Auginbaugh.

Resurfacing set for next week on U.S. 35 in Cass County

Indiana Department of Transportation contractor Rieth-Riley Construction Co. will begin a resurfacing project for U.S. 35 between State Road 218 and C.R. 700 E on or after Monday, June 13.

 

Road work will begin with shoulder closures for curb ramps and curb install. After that, the roadway will be reduced to one lane with flaggers directing traffic for resurfacing operations.

 

Work will be ongoing through late October.

Silver Alert: Elizabeth Walters, 16, of Syracuse

The Syracuse Police Department is investigating the disappearance of Elizabeth Walters, a 16 year old white female, 5 feet 2 inches tall, 115 pounds, brown hair with brown eyes. 

 

She was last seen wearing a red jacket, white t-shirt, gray sweatpants, and black Converse canvas high top tennis shoes with a peace symbol drawn on the tips.

 

Elizabeth is missing from Syracuse.  She was last seen on Sunday, June 5, 2022, at 9:52 pm.

 

She is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance. 

 

If you have any information on Elizabeth Walters, contact the Syracuse Police Department at 574-457-3366 or 911.

Two boaters rescued from Shock Lake in Kosciusko County

Conservation Officers are investigating an incident where two boats operators had to be rescued from Shock Lake.

 

Just after 2:00 pm Tuesday, Kosciusko County Dispatch received a call in reference to two sinking boats on Shock Lake. Dalton Stiver, 25, of Cromwell and Charles Stiver, 47, of Syracuse were water testing a boat when it began taking on water. While attempting to keep the vessel afloat, their second boat also began taking on water.

 

Both boats quickly sank leaving both operators in the water without personal flotation devices (PFDs). They were able to hold on to the submerged vessels until rescue personnel arrived.

 

Turkey Creek Fire rescue personnel were able to launch an air boat and safely retrieve both men from the water.

 

Both operators were cited for not having wearable PFDs on the watercraft as required by law. 

 

Conservation Officers remind all boaters that wearable PFDs are required for every person on a boat.  

 

Conservation Officers were assisted by Turkey Creek Fire, Turkey Creek EMS, North Webster Police, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police and DNR Public Access North.

Fulton Co. Commissioners advance recommended ARP raises for county employees to next step

ARP money from Fulton County to its employees is still running through the governmental procress.

 

Commissioner Rick Ranstead says they heard from employees about a former commissioner’s recommendation.

 

 

In other commissioner news, a planned bridge inspection led to repairs for a Fulton County brIdge.

 

 

The commissioners also appointed members to the Woodlawn Hospital Board as it expands from five to seven.  Travis Albright was chosen to fill the seat vacated by the death of Dick Belcher.  Terry Johnson and Greg Millinger will be the new board members.

 

 

Valedictorian of the Rochester Class of '22 Madilyn Calloway taking athletic, academic talents to Lewis College

Running.  It’s not only what Rochester’s Madilyn Calloway is good at but, to many, what she’s known for.  And it’s that ability she’ll add to her academic efforts at the next level following her recent graduation.

 

Calloway started her school career in the Northwestern school system.  She made the move to Rochester in 4th grade.  By 7th grade, she started running.  Little did she know what it would lead to.

 

 

Now after visits to state competition along with a strong academic career that led to her being named valedictorian of her class and an all-academic athlete, Calloway will soon be at Lewis College in Romeoville to continue both.

 

Calloway says the immediate impact of graduation may be tougher on her family.  Although the inevitable end may have helped to solidify her class in the final days.

 

 

As far as running, Calloway looks forward to the challenge of competing at the next level.

 

 

For the academics, the Rochester valedictorian took awhile to find her direction.

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. 30 to be resurfaced between S.R. 17 and S.R. 19

Indiana Department of Transportation contractor Rieth-Riley Construction Co. has begun a resurfacing project on U.S. 30 between State Road 17/Michigan Rd and State Road 19. 

U.S. 30 will be repaved in several phases, with the work scheduled to be completed at the end of October 2022. Traffic shifts and alternating lane closures will be needed to facilitate this work. Traffic will be maintained with at least one lane in each direction at all times.

There will be intermittent ramp closures at the interchange with U.S. 31 for work in that area, which will be limited to two days at a time. For approximately two days starting on or after Thursday, June 9, the ramps from eastbound U.S. 30 to northbound and southbound U.S. 31 and the ramp from northbound U.S. 31 to eastbound U.S. 30 will be closed.   

More than $225,000 still available in energy bill assistance for Duke Energy Indiana customers

More than $225,000 in financial assistance is still available to Duke Energy Indiana customers who may be struggling to pay their energy bills.

“Hoosiers are paying more at the grocery store and gas pump and may also be noticing higher energy bills, as rising fuel costs impact the price of electricity,” said Stan Pinegar, president of Duke Energy Indiana, in a media release. “We know that higher bills can be a hardship for many, and we want to connect our customers with financial assistance and resources to help. So far this year, we have been able to support approximately 450 households with more than $100,000 in assistance.”

The funding is made possible through Duke Energy’s Share the Light Fund, which brings together customers and communities to help individuals and families struggling to pay their energy bills. Duke Energy works in partnership with the Indiana Community Action Association to distribute the company’s assistance funds.

Qualifying Duke Energy customers who are struggling to pay their electricity bills can receive up to a $300 credit annually on their account. Customers should contact their local community action agency to take advantage of funds available locally.

Duke Energy offers a number of tools and resources to help customers take control of their energy use and save money. To learn more about these programs, visit duke-energy.com/HereToHelp.

Protests continue at Warsaw church after sexual abuse scandal

Protesters gathered outside of New Life Christian Church and World Outreach  near Warsaw Tuesday evening, as church members met for a meeting  /counseling session with Crosswinds Counseling.

 

 

Zoie Lamar, an activist with the nonprofit organization Voices Against Injustice, led Tuesday's small gathering. Group members from Voices Against Injustice and Bikers Against Predators also participated in a larger protest outside the church last Sunday, after former church members began coming forward with sexual abuse allegations against  the pastor and several other clergy members.

 

Prior to the scandal's leak, however, Lamar said Voices Against Injustice were ready to take action. 

 

 

A video of the pastor being confronted by a victim during the church's Sunday service on May 22 has since went viral, sparking a national story. During the recording that was shared widely on Facebook by an attendee, Pastor John Lowe II confessed to the congregation about what he referred to as an adulterous relationship. His confession was immediately corrected when his apparent victim came forward and said she was 16 years old when her abuse first began. More than a week later, the video now has more than 973,000 views.

 

 

Lowe has since stepped down, and the church issued a statement May 29, apologizing to that victim, the congregation and witnesses who saw the controversy unfold during the church service.

 

The church has had four more alleged victims come forward since last week. The case was handed over to the Indiana State Police now for investigation into the claims. Indiana Stae Police are asking anyone who has information as a victim or witness of abuse from the church, to contact them.

 

Lamar says the victims speaking out aren't the only ones, and believes there could be many more who are choosing to remain silent. 

 

 

The church recently announced it has suspended regular church service for the next three weeks. They will instead be hosting in-church membership meetings to help the congregation heal and move forward.

 

Lamar said Tuesday's protest wasn't the first and it won't be the last. Voices Against Injustice plan to gather for every event the church may have in the future, until every last victim has a chance for their voices to be heard.

 

 

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