Indiana State Fair ticket discounts end today

The 165th Indiana State Fair opens Friday, July 29, and will continue through Sunday, August 21 (Fair is closed Mondays and Tuesdays). The Fair opens daily at 9 a.m.


The 2022 Indiana State Fair will feature fan favorites and new attractions for all ages. The 2022 Indiana State Fair is celebrating its automotive focused theme, Fun at the Speed of Summer - Celebrating Indiana's Automotive Excellence, presented by Tom Wood Automotive Group. 


Fairgoers are encouraged to act fast and buy tickets today to save up to 40%. Tickets are currently available to purchase online at IndianaStateFair.com. Discounts end today, July 28 at 11:59pm.

Winamac's Memorial Bridge to be illuminated with help from community and matching IHCDA grant

A 60 day challenge to raise funds for Winamac's Memorial Bridge was achieved in just a matter of days.


Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) launched a crowdfunding campaign to illuminate the Memorial Bridge, a 100-year old suspension bridge in Winamac, dedicated to local veterans.


The goal of the crowdfunding campaign was set at $30,000, to be raised by Sept. 15. Assuming a successful campaign, the project would receive a matching grant as part of IHCDA’s CreatINg Places program.


The Project is pleased to announce that with the support of the community, the $30,000 matching gift challenge was met in just days.


“We were confident our community would help us raise our goal of $30,000. You have done so!” said Fund Development Chair Kathi Thompson. “When our campaign ends on Sept. 15, we will receive a matching grant from IHCDA for $30,000!”


For the duration of the campaign, through Sept. 15, the community can continue to make contributions to fully fund the project. The bridge-lighting project is now within 10 percent of the final goal of nearly $300,000, and committee members will continue efforts to “bring the project home” by the end of the year. A centennial celebration for the Memorial Swinging Bridge is planned for July 4, 2023.


Contributions can be made at https://memorialswingingbridge.com/donate/, or checks may be sent, made out to Memorial Swinging Bridge Project, to P.O. Box 14, Winamac IN 46996.

Beacon Credit Union Manager Janet West retires after 36 years

After 36 years with Beacon Credit Union, Member Center Manager Janet West is retiring. As her last day on August 1 quickly approaches, the change is bittersweet to West.


Starting out at their Wabash location as a loan clerk and teller in 1987, West helped start their branch in North Manchester before coming to the 'new' Rochester location, when Beacon had merged with the Fulton County Farm Bureau. The bank's name was officially changed in 2002. 


The constant changes with the bank's expansions and advancements in technology fed West's passion for learning during the past three decades. It also taught her the importance of community. 




One of the biggest things West will miss is the daily interaction with her customers. 


West says she has no solid plans yet of what she is doing next, but that the sky is the limit. 



West's retirement party is this Friday during normal business hours at Beacon Credit Union's southside location in Rochester at 430 Rouch Place Dr. Everyone is welcome.


Newly approved NIPSCO natural gas rates to take effect beginning September

Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO) received a
decision from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to adjust its natural gas rates, effective Sept. 1, 2022.


The utility, which has been Indiana’s lowest cost natural gas provider on
average over the last ten years, will phase in the newly approved rates over a two-step process expected in Sept. 2022 and March 2023 – with the majority of the increase occurring in Sept.*


“Customers expect service that is dependable and rates at the lowest cost possible,” said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “This balanced outcome demonstrates a positive path toward continued investments in essential resources that will support safe operations, upgrading aging infrastructure and enhancing our customers’ experience.”


The IURC decision follows a nearly year-long, extensive review process including public input and collaborative agreement reached with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and the NIPSCO Industrial Group (IG).


An average residential customer will see an expected overall increase of approximately $6 per month, or 10 percent following the two-step change – which is lower than the previously proposed increase request of 17 percent. This change also revises the customer charge to approximately $16.33, which is a reduction from the $24.50 proposed.


Actual projected bill impacts for commercial and industrial customers may differ as it will depend on usage, rate type and class. NIPSCO’s natural gas base rates were most recently approved in 2018. Since that time, NIPSCO investments include approximately $885 million in system upgrades, technology improvements,
and pipeline safety and reliability initiatives to be completed through the end of 2022, with plans for future, continued investments.


Bill payment assistance programs, including support for vulnerable customers, as well as energy savings programs, continue to be available. Learn more at NIPSCO.com/save and NIPSCO.com/assistance.


The total overall expected change represents an increase of $71.8 million annually.


Learn more about NIPSCO’s rates at NIPSCO.com/2022gasrates.

Michigan man thrown from motorcycle in Miami County crash

A two-car crash injured a Michigan man in Miami County.


Officers from the Indiana State Police, the Peru Police Department, and the Miami County Sheriff’s Department responded to the crash on U.S. 31 at Business 31. A Niles, MI, man was injured. 


The preliminary crash investigation by Senior Troopers Jeremy Perez and A.J. Coffee revealed that Jorge Gomez, 25, of Peru, was driving a 2015 Dodge Durango westbound on Business U.S. 31, attempting to turn south on U.S. 31. The Durango had a green light and the right of way.


John Frasure, 27, of Niles, MI, was driving a 1985 Honda CB650 motorcycle northbound on U.S. 31, approaching a red light at Business U.S. 31. Indiana State Police say Frasure did not stop for the red light and continued through the intersection and hit the Dodge in the passenger side. Frasure was ejected from the motorcycle.


Frasure was flown from the crash scene by a Lutheran medical helicopter to an Indianapolis hospital. At last check, he had numerous broken bones but was in stable condition.


Gomez was not injured.


Fulton County Emergency Management Agency seeks volunteers

It feels like a long road ahead, but after being appointed by Fulton County Commissioners in June, Gail Karas, the 911 Director for Fulton County Communications, is whipping things back into shape at the Fulton County Emergency Management Agency. 

The Fulton County EMA is part of a national network of CERT communities, in a program designed to help neighborhoods prepare for and respond to catastrophic events like tornadoes, floods and other major emergencies. 


Working side-by-side with the newly appointed Deputy Director of Fulton County EMA, Kraig Smith, the two are doing their best to change things for the better. To run its facility to its full potential, Karas says Fulton County EMA needs more hands on deck.  They are searching for local volunteers to join their team. 



Last Saturday's storm tested the waters for Karas and Smith, who did their best to cover the county's damage assessment by themselves. Karas was surprised by how many community members did not recognize the EMA vehicle, due to the previous years of not having properly trained volunteers. Many stopped to ask, questioning the flashing redlights.


They hope to change that and become more familiar with the public, especially during emergencies. Karas hopes they can make locals more aware of their services. 



Previously, running the Rochester Fire Department's volunteer program, Smith said you'd be surprised by the amount of untrained community members that show up to help during an emergency. 



They are currently looking for at least 20 more volunteers from all types of backgrounds to participate. Volunteers will get certified training on things like basic search and rescue, basic firefighting, damage assessment and more. Anyone 16 years or older, with a valid driver's license and no felonies is qualified. Applicants must be suject to a background check.



Applications can be picked up at the Fulton County EMA building at 1728 East State Road 14 in Rochester. Building hours are Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 8 am-4 pm, although, as time goes on, they're hoping to be around more. Anyone with questions can call 574-230-6611

Minor injuries reported in truck - tractor collision

State Road 17 was shut down Monday evening in Kewanna by a truck - tractor collision.


Few details are available.  It is known that Harry Baker, 79, of Culver was driving a GMC truck.  Doran Collins, 68, of Kewanna, was the operator of the tractor.


Initial Fulton County Sheriff's reports indicate that Collins sustained some minor bleeding.  Injuries in the collision were not considered to be life threatening.



Duke Energy awards emergency management grants to Fulton, Cass and Wabash counties

The Duke Energy Foundation is awarding more than $175,000 in microgrants to support 47 local emergency management agencies across the company’s Indiana service territory.


The funding is designed to help public safety agencies increase their resiliency to severe weather events and other emergencies through advanced preparation, planning, equipment and training. Each organization will receive up to $10,000 in funding.


Fulton and Cass counties each received $2,500.  $5,000 was awarded to Wabash County.


“At Duke Energy, we put safety first in everything we do – and we’re committed to helping our local emergency management agencies prepare to respond in any type of emergency situation,” said Stan Pinegar, president of Duke Energy Indiana. “We know that successful emergency preparedness and recovery begins and ends at the local level. We appreciate our collaborative relationships with these key organizations in the communities we serve, particularly when storms bring power lines down or an emergency occurs.”


The grants will help fund search and rescue K-9s, the installation of tornado sirens, search and rescue programs for “at-risk” individuals, volunteer training, and various emergency preparedness and response programs.


During major emergencies and natural disasters, local emergency management agencies play a critical role in providing information, resources and support that Duke Energy relies on to speed power restoration for its customers.



§  Cass County – $2,500

§  Wabash County – $5,000

§  Fulton County – $2,500

Silver Lake woman to serve 288 months in federal prison for role drug trafficking organization

A Kosciusko County woman is among members of an Indiana methamphetamine and heroin trafficking organization sentenced to federal prison.


According to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Jovan Stewart, 33, and Dwyatt Harris, 45, both of Indianapolis, were sentenced to 250 and 120 months, respectively, in federal prison, after both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.


According to court documents, Stewart and Harris were members of a methamphetamine and heroin trafficking organization that operated in the Indianapolis area from the summer of 2019 through March 19, 2020. The organization was led by Christopher Tate, also a resident of Indianapolis, who coordinated the receipt of methamphetamine and heroin from different sources and organized the distribution of the controlled substances in Indianapolis. Tate was previously sentenced to 400 months in prison following his conviction at a jury trial.


Stewart served as Tate’s top lieutenant, driving Tate to distribute controlled substances, delivering controlled substances to Tate’s customers at Tate’s direction, and sometimes coordinating with Tate’s sources of supply to obtain the controlled substances. Harris was a lower-level member of the conspiracy.


Harris transported controlled substances from Indianapolis to Silver Lake, for Sandra Kellogg, 41, who served as one of Tate’s methamphetamine distributors. The investigation resulted in the indictment and conviction of thirteen defendants for their roles in the organization’s drug trafficking activity.


Kellogg was sentenced to 288 months in federal prison on charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute

Silver Alert: Rachael Deboard, 50, of Warsaw

A Silver Alert has been issued.


The Warsaw Police Department is investigating the disappearance of Rachael Deboard, a 50 year old white female, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 190 pounds, brown hair with brown eyes, last seen wearing a white/green tie dye shirt, grey sweatpants and black slides.


Rachael is missing from Warsaw, Indiana and was last seen on Monday, July 25, 2022, at 1:00 pm. She is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance. 


If you have any information on Rachael Deboard, contact the Warsaw Police Department at 574-372-9511 or 911.

Four County to become 4C

Four County, a comprehensive behavioral health provider in North Central Indiana, announced  that the company’s name will be changing to 4C Health.


The rebranding reflects the goals of the company for the future and the changing terrain of behavioral health toward integration.


Four County was named to reflect the four Indiana counties it is designated to serve as a community mental health center: Cass, Miami, Fulton, and Pulaski.


Dr. Carrie Cadwell.



CADWELL says the name change isn’t just about the present but includes the look to the future.


Cadwell breaks down the new name…4C.



The agency’s board unanimously approved the name change.




Bridges in Logansport to be renamed in honor of Corporal Humberto "Bert" Sanchez

The Indiana Department of Transportation will join with state and local officials to rename the two State Road 25 bridges over the Wabash River in Logansport in honor of Marine Corps Corporal Humberto “Bert” Sanchez. 


Senate Concurrent Resolution 12, which passed during the legislative session earlier this year, urges INDOT to name each bridge crossing the Wabash River on State Road 25 near Biddle’s Island in Logansport, Indiana, in honor of Corporal Sanchez. Signs will be unveiled dedicating the two bridges as the “Corporal Humberto Abiel Sanchez USMC” Memorial Bridges. 


The renaming ceremony will be held in the Mike Anderson Chrysler parking lot on the northeast corner of the State Road 25 / 3rd St and Melbourne Ave intersection – 428 S 3rd Street in Logansport.


A Logansport native, Corporal Sanchez was killed in action during his third military deployment while conducting non-combatant evacuation operations from the Kabul International Airport in August 2021. Corporal Sanchez’s awards include the Congressional Gold Medal, Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Lane closures coming for State Road 16 in Cass County

State Road 16 will be reduced to one lane over the West Branch Twelve Mile Creek between State Road 25 and C.R. 500 E, and a temporary traffic signal will be installed to direct traffic.


Work will be ongoing in this location on or after July 25 through mid-August for an arch reconstruction bridge preventative maintenance project.


State Road 16 will also be reduced to one lane on or after Monday, August 8 over the Small Branch of Twelve Mile Creek between C.R. 600 E and C.R. 700 E. A temporary traffic signal will direct traffic in this location through late August for a bridge deck overlay preventative maintenance project.

Full Tilt Arts downtown Rochester murals featured as destination in Visit Indiana's Arts & Culture Passport

The local nonprofit organization Full Tilt Arts has brought state-wide attention to Rochester recently, as they currently wrap up the final touches to the second Potawatomi mural on West Eighth Street, behind Webb's Family Pharmacy.



Founder and President of Full Tilt Arts, Christine Walsh and artist / board member Erica Coffing have put in most of the elbow grease behind the art, but did invite the public to participate in some of the finishing touches.



Prior to starting the Potawatomi murals, Walsh worked with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Oklahoma to make everything as accurate as possible, in turn getting their blessing to honor the history of the Potawatomi's in Fulton County.


Nearly 850 Potawatomi tribe members were lined up single file down Rochester's Main Street on September 5, 1838, before being forced to walk to Kansas. The mural representing the 3, 320,000 steps taken by each person was completed last summer, in the east alley of Main Street's 700 block. The current mural being behind the pharmacy helped shape the second theme. 



Full Tilt Arts recently announced the murals were being featured as one of the destinations in Visit Indiana’s Arts & Culture Passport. 


The organization credited the community for helping Rochester get 'on the map' as an up and coming arts destination, by embracing their beautification project started three years ago.


You can find more information about the digital passport by visiting their website at www.visitindiana.com, where Full Tilt Arts is listed under the public arts tab or click on the direct link at https://bit.ly/3ndF0a4


Law enforcement cracking down on speeding in 6-state operation

Law enforcement agencies in Indiana are taking part in a multi-state effort to address the troubling rise in speeding and aggressive driving. Across the Midwest, officers will be out in full force showing zero tolerance for drivers traveling above the posted speed limit.

The Speed Awareness Day enforcement campaign will take place on July 27 and is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Great Lakes, High Stakes” initiative. The overtime patrols are funded with federal grants administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).

Participating states include Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“We have a growing crisis on our roadways and driving too fast and aggressively is at the center of it,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “This isn’t a game. There are no second chances. If you die in a crash or end up killing someone, that’s it. We can and we must break this cycle.”

Mirroring national trends, Indiana has seen a drastic increase in deadly crashes and speeding-related fatalities since the start of the pandemic.

In 2020, a total of 897 people lost their lives on Indiana roads, a 10% increase from 2019. Of those fatalities, 238 or approximately one-fourth involved speeding. That’s the highest number in the past decade and an 18% increase from the previous year, despite having fewer drivers on the road.

Even more concerning, early projections from ICJI show that overall traffic deaths rose last year to 931 fatalities, and Indiana is once again on track to surpass that in 2022. Speeding, along with other dangerous driver behaviors, such as impaired driving and not wearing a seat belt, are some of the leading causes.

“People who travel at excessive speeds are more likely to engage in other forms of reckless driving,” said Robert Duckworth, ICJI Traffic Safety Director. “Speeding, by itself, puts people at risk, but when you combine that with other unsafe choices like drinking or texting while driving, you’ve got a recipe for disaster.”

Statistics show that young people, especially male drivers, are particularly susceptible to high speeds and represent the largest demographic involved in speeding-related crashes. Parents are encouraged to talk to their teens about the dangers of speeding and ignoring the rules of the road.

“Parents are critical to making a difference on this issue,” McDonald said. “Teens will often adopt driving habits based on those around them, whether good or bad, which is why we need every driver, parents especially, to set a good example.”

Throughout the campaign, law enforcement officers will be issuing citations for those driving above the posted speed limit, as well as working to raise awareness about the deadly consequences of speeding and aggressive driving.

Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object or an unexpected curve. As speed increases, so does the likelihood of a crash and the degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries for the driver, passengers, pedestrians and other road users.

Speeding also increases the potential for loss of vehicle control, especially in inclement weather, and reduces the effectiveness of occupant protection equipment.

Drivers who encounter someone speeding or following too closely should allow them to pass by safely steering out of the way. Since speeding is tied to aggressive driving, it’s important to give them plenty of space, as they may lose control of their vehicle more easily.

Motorists are encouraged to call the police if they believe a driver is following or harassing them.

Indiana Conservation Officers believe alcohol factor in Bass Lake incident that injured Chicago man

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a personal watercraft (PWC) accident that occurred on Bass Lake in Starke County.


At approximately 4:15 p.m., Conservation Officers patrolling Bass Lake responded a report of a serious PWC accident with injuries.  


Michael O’Malley, 30, of Chicago, was operating a PWC when he collided with the side of another PWC being operated at a high rate of speed. The impact caused O’Malley to be ejected from the PWC and lose consciousness. O’Malley was immediately removed from the water and brought to shore.


O’Malley was transported to South Bend Memorial Hospital by Memorial Medflight helicopter in serious condition.


Alcohol is believed to be a factor. The investigation is ongoing and additional information will be released as it becomes available.


Indiana Conservation Officers were assisted by the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, Bass Lake Fire Department, Starke County EMS, and Memorial Medflight.


Old Camcar building could be future home of business, investment

Plans to bring a Fulton County vacant building back to life were brought before county government this week in the form of a tax abatement request.


The Fulton County Council heard the request by Jason Grube with Old 31 Properties LLC and Gracelanding LLC, owned by parent company Rochester Iron and Metal.  The property, the old Camcar building, has been vacant for over a year and has IDEM issues. 


Fulton County Commissioners also heard the request.  Commissioner Brian Lewis.



The Fulton County Council had a lengthy discussion on the tax abatement request.  During the discussion, it was noted that the plan for the property is to move the current fabrication business and steel sales to the new location, which would allow for more room for current work and for future expansion.  Grube plans on hiring an additional 7-15 employees with wages of $15-$20/hour, with benefits.  He also plans to add $350,000 worth of new equipment. 


Grube has plans of being into the new building by the end of the year but will need to do about $100,000 in renovation work to the current building for new access so he can get equipment in and out. 


Phase 2 of his plan includes $1.5-2 million investment in 2023. 


The Fulton County Council read the resolution for the tax abatement after the discussion and will have another reading and public comment during their August meeting. 

Fulton and surrounding counties can save $2 with Circus City Festival show Tuesday

The midway and food vendors opened Monday as the 62nd annual Circus City Festival in downtown Peru continues all this week.


John Kirk says there’s a lot of effort and time to put together the week’s run of shows and events.



The circus talent you see during the shows isn’t shipped in.  That’s local talent.



He also notes there are more participants now than in recent years.



Area counties will see some savings if they come to the Circus City Festival Tuesday.




Knox man arrested while stealing building materials

A Starke County man was arrested while in the process of stealing building materials.


The Starke County Sheriff’s Office reports deputies responded to 340 E US Highway 30, at the Knoll Bros truck stop, Hamlet, for a burglary. A male subject was located outside near a Honda.


Deputies discovered a fence gate that was forcibly entered. A ladder was positioned onto the roof of the gas station. Several building materials including siding had been removed from the attic vent area. A pair of adult sandals, sunglasses and a wallet with the suspect’s identification were located atop of the building.


Deputies also noticed that an outer structure had been forcibly entered. Several contents from the shed were removed and placed into the subject’s vehicle. Near the shed a cell phone and syringe were located on the ground.


Donald Doyle II, 38, of Knox,  was taken into custody and transported to the Starke County Justice Center for processing. The subject was found to be in possession of methamphetamine.


Doyle is preliminarily charged with: Burglary - Felony Level 5, Possession of Methamphetamine - Felony Level 6, Trafficking with an Inmate - A Misdemeanor, Criminal Mischief - B Misdemeanor, Possession of Paraphernalia - C Misdemeanor.

Leesburg woman killed in one-car crash

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center received several calls reporting a single vehicle collision southwest of Warsaw early Sunday morning.


According to the preliminary results of the of the ongoing investigation, conducted by the KCSO Fatal Team, Cassandra Doerr, 29, of Leesburg, was operating a Jeep Grand Cherokee southbound on State Road 25, south of Ferguson Road. The Cherokee left the east side of State Road 25 and rolled over several times; coming to rest a significant distance from the roadway.


Doerr, the sole occupant of the vehicle, was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office.



Two vehicle accident Saturday in Fulton County

On July 16, 2022, at approximately 6:00 pm, the Fulton County Sheriffs' Office received multiple 911 calls reporting a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of US 31 and Old US Hwy 31. It was being reported that one vehicle rolled over and the other had caught fire.


During the investigation at the scene, it was learned that a 2005 GMC driven by Walter Emery (43) of Chicago, IL was traveling southbound. This vehicle rear-ended a 2016 Chevrolet driven by Kevin Burns (35) of McCordsville, IN. The impact made both vehicles lose control and both left the road on the southwest side of the intersection. Several people at the scene stated that they observed the GMC pass
by them at a high rate of speed prior to the accident.


The GMC left the road and collided head-on into a utility pole. After the impact, the vehicle caught fire. Four people who saw the vehicle start to catch fire stopped and pulled Mr. Walter from the vehicle to safety. Mr. Walter was later flown from the scene to Lutheran Hospital in Ft Wayne, IN for treatment of his injuries.


The Chevrolet left the roadway and down an embankment. The vehicle then rolled over at least once before coming to rest on its top. All five occupants of this vehicle were taken to Woodlawn Hospital in Rochester, IN for treatment. There were no serious injuries to any of the occupants of this vehicle.


The accident is still under investigation. It is believed that high speed was a contributing factor to the cause of the accident.


Assisting agencies at the scene were Fulton County Sheriff's Office, Rochester Fire Department, Lutheran EMS, Lutheran Air, and Argos EMS.


A special thank you to the four brave people who assisted in pulling Mr. Walter from the vehicle when it caught fire. Aaron Nelson (Rochester, IN), Brandon Arven (Macy, IN), Donovan Moistner (Sheridan, IN), and Brandon Kinser (Fulton, IN).

Fulton County Pack A Back Pack continues annual tradition, despite inflation

Started by Jacki Johnson in 2006, Fulton County Pack A Back Pack has become a routine back-to-school tradition in the Rochester community.


Providing school supplies and backpacks to local students in need, Johnson says out of the 700 backpacks ready to be distributed, more than 300 have already been called for.



Those wanting to participate in the program must register before pick-up day, Tuesday, July 26, from 9am to 4pm at Tidewater Executive Tax Service, 806 Main St in Rochester. Registration can be done on their website and can be found at Fulton County Pack A Back Pack's Facebook page. 


Free haircuts will also be provided that day for students at Karma Hair & Beauty Lounge, 2054 Peace Tree Village. 



Inflation has made things tight financially for the non-profit organization. Johnson said this year cost them $24,000 for all the supplies, the highest it's ever been. 



Monetary donation are always accepted to help Fulton County Pack A Back Pack. Johnson says she is thankful for the support the organization continues to receive throughout the years. From the quarterly payments given by United Way, Mill Creek Missionary Church's annual drive, Fulton County REMC and First Federal Bank's assistance, along with the many other local businesses and organizations coming together to help, Johnson said it's the community that makes it all possible.


Ivy Tech to offer ServSafe Food Manager Class in Kokomo; 1-day course prepares students to take certification exam

Ivy Tech Community College is offering a one-day instructor-led training course to prepare students to take the ServSafe Food Manager Certification exam.


The class will be offered Wednesday, July 27, at Ivy Tech’s Kokomo campus at 1815 E. Morgan St.


Indiana Code 410-IAC7-22 requires mandatory certification of at least one person who oversees the food safety operation within each food establishment. The ServSafe program is developed by the National Restaurant Association with the help of foodservice industry experts. Years of experience and inside knowledge of the foodservice industry are at the core of the ServSafe courses, exams and materials that prepare students to handle food sanitation risks.


ServSafe certification is valid for five years. The course fee is $155 and includes the manual, all study materials and the certification exam. The class will start with check-in between 8 and 8:30 a.m. and will run until 3:30 p.m. The exam will start at the conclusion of the class and last about two hours.


The fee to take the exam without attending the class is $60. The book can be purchased separately for $65.


To register for the ServSafe Food Manager class and examination or for more information, please contact Bonnie Devers at bdevers3@ivytech.edu or 765-252-5497. You can register online for the class at: https://www.inrla.org/events/kokomo-servsafe-food-manager-class-and-examination-july27

OrthoPediatrics Corp. announces distribution agreement with 3D-Side

OrthoPediatrics Corp., a company focused exclusively on advancing the field of pediatric orthopedics, today announced an exclusive distribution agreement with 3D-Side S.A., a Belgium based software developer and manufacturer of patient specific 3D printed cutting guides.


This commercial agreement grants OrthoPediatrics exclusive distribution rights of the 3D-CUT-OSTEO osteotomy guide in the United States’ leading pediatric hospitals in addition to certain international markets in the future.


3D-CUT patient specific guides, designed from CT or MRI images, assist surgeons performing corrective and bone tumor resection osteotomies. The single use guide technology enables accurate deformity or tumor corrective procedures.


OrthoPediatrics’ President and CEO David Bailey commented, “the 3D-Side technology complements the OrthoPediatrics’ pediatric limb deformity implant and biologic offering, and increases exposure in the pediatric oncology market, where many of the most challenging orthopedic cases involving tumor resection require a full complement of solutions including implants, biologics, and patient specific devices. We are excited to enter this relationship with 3D-Side to provide our pediatric orthopedic customers access to the 3D-CUT products.”


3D-Side Co-CEO, Laurent Paul stated, "Our partnership with OrthoPediatrics is based on a shared mission and commitment to limit the risks involved in surgery on medically challenged young patients. Because each patient is unique, we imagine dedicated solutions to fit their surgical needs. Thanks to the OrthoPediatrics partnership, we are thrilled to expand these well-established products in Europe to the USA and bring our expertise to pediatric orthopedic surgeons in the United States," said Laurent Paul, 3D-Side's Co-CEO.


About OrthoPediatrics Corp.
Founded in 2006, OrthoPediatrics is an orthopedic company focused exclusively on advancing the field of pediatric orthopedics. As such it has developed the most comprehensive product offering to the pediatric orthopedic market to improve the lives of children with orthopedic conditions. OrthoPediatrics currently markets 37 surgical systems that serve three of the largest categories within the pediatric orthopedic market. This product offering spans trauma and deformity, scoliosis, and sports medicine/other procedures. OrthoPediatrics’ global sales organization is focused exclusively on pediatric orthopedics and distributes its products in the United States and 45 countries outside the United States. For more information, please visit www.orthopediatrics.com.


About 3D-Side, S.A.
3D-Side is a Belgian company having developed first class products in cranioplasty, bone tumor surgery and deformity correction for more than 10 years. Its mission is to offer patient specific medical devices to allow planning of complex surgeries with incomparable quality. Based on this internal know-how, 3D-Side has developed a very specific vision on integrated surgical software and technologies. Through this vision, an innovative platform named Customize developed, connecting surgeons, patients, and medical device companies to optimize and streamline communication, creation and production of patient-specific medical devices. Personalization is in our DNA. We believe a tailor-made solution for each unique patient is key to, together with the surgeons, make surgeries a moment of confidence and persevere against risks. Ensuring that life wins in the end is at the heart of what we do. We are believers of 'together we are stronger’.

Health department launches back-to-school immunization campaign

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) has partnered with local health departments and other healthcare entities across the state to host back-to-school immunization clinics this summer as part of a statewide public awareness campaign to help families easily access required and recommended school immunizations prior to the start of the 2022-23 school year.


The Start Smart campaign includes a map showing dates, times and locations of community immunization clinics. The map can be found at https://startsmart.health.in.gov/. The clinics are open to children ages 5 and older. Families will not be charged at the site of the clinic but should provide insurance information if available.


“Over the last two years, immunization rates for diseases like measles, mumps and chicken pox have fallen 10 percent across Indiana, which puts children at greater risk of highly contagious, yet highly preventable, diseases,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “While many parents already have appointments scheduled with their child’s pediatrician, we know that some may be having difficulty with access. These community clinics bring the services to areas with the greatest need to help ensure every child is protected before they walk into the classroom.”


IDOH is also mailing letters to parents of children whose state immunization records show they are behind on a required immunization. A list of immunizations required for school can be found here.


“Immunizations are an essential part of keeping students healthy, and we encourage every family to take advantage of these local opportunities to get their children caught up and take one important task off their back-to-school checklist,” Dr. Box said.

Kimberly Batten crowned 2022 Fulton County Fair Queen; Miss Teen, Jr. Miss and Little Miss also crowned

2022 is one of many fairs for Kimberly Batten. But this one will be unique.


Batten, 19, is the daughter of Greg and Kris Batten and graduate of Rochester High School.  She has seen plenty of county fairs in her years in 4H.  But this year will be different.  In 2022, she’s the Fulton County Fair Queen after securing the honor during the annual pageant Saturday night.



With an added category this year called Miss Teen there were over 30 girls competing for honors at Saturday’s pageant at Rochester High School.  Batten says that shows how important queen pageants still are.



Batten had an added difficulty at the pageant that will continue this week at the fair.  She’s still wearing a walking boot recovering from a recent surgery.  Try negotiating the stage in formal wear.



Batten is attending studying political science at IUPUI to become an attorney.

Batten was also voted Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants.


On the queen's court:

1st Runner-Up:  Madison Heinzman, 17, daughter of Staci and Stephen Heinzmann


2nd Runner-Up:  Erika Yard, 18, daughter of Staci Yard



Also from Saturday's pageant:



Miss Teen was held for the first time.  Aubrey Wilson, daughter of Stacey and Seth Wilson was crowned.



Junior Miss:  Ella Frounfelter, daughter of Ashley and Bill Frounfelter



Little Miss:  Kenzi Rensberger, daughter of Chantal and Kyle Rensberger



Fulton County Commissioners talk emergency services; budget hearings next week

Varying emergency services were on the agenda for the Fulton County Commissioners this week.


Commissioner Rick Ranstead says emergency services coverage in Akron is going to remain a discussion point.



The commissioner also noted that 911 services now have a new tower at the site of the new Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.  But there’s still work to do.



That particular area is also the focus of improved infrastructure.  Most notably, sidewalks.



Looking ahead, Ranstead says the county budget will become the focus next week.



The Fulton County Commissioner says they are still debating on the future of the old county jail though tearing it down seems to top the list at this point.

Four County announces rebrand

Four County, a comprehensive behavioral health provider in North Central Indiana, announced  that the company’s name will be changing to 4C Health. Accompanying this name change is associated change in logo and tagline. The rebranding reflects the goals of the company for the future and the changing terrain of behavioral health toward integration.


Four County was named to reflect the four Indiana counties it is designated to serve as a community mental health center: Cass, Miami, Fulton, and Pulaski. Carrie Cadwell, CEO/President, stated “Since 2015, we have grown to serving 14 rural Indiana counties, it was time to start looking at developing a bridge from our history to our current state and ultimately to our future.The change to 4C Health is reflective of the next evolution to ensure we continue to be here for all of our rural communities and move with the changing federal and state landscape for behavioral health.”


Keith Kolb, Four County Board President, had this to say, “Four County has a long history of providing mental health services to our rural area. The evolution of mental health has evolved rapidly over the last 5 years and your provider has evolved with it. Our new name and logo are meant to recognize our history and focus on our future as your community mental health provider. The 4CHealth organization looks forward to providing high quality and readily available services and responding to the changing needs of our community.”


“We have referred to Four County as 4C for a very long time, now when we talk about ‘4C’ we will bring to mind the promise of Care that is Compassionate, Collaborative, and Competent,” said Cadwell, “The name and tagline will reflect appreciation for our history, who we are today, and where we are headed in whole person health for those impacted by mental health concerns. I knew we got it right when our board unanimously approved the change.”

Indiana State Police investigating homicide at the Miami Correctional Facility

Indiana State Police initiated an investigation, at the request of the Miami Correctional Facility, into the death of an inmate.


At 4:00 p.m. Monday, correction officers found Greer, 23, suffering from a stab wound in the day room of the L Housing Unit. Prison staff started medical treatment. Greer was transported to a local hospital.  Greer died from his injury.


A forensic pathologist conducted an autopsy which officially determined that Greer’s death was a homicide caused by a stab wound to the chest.


Preliminary evidence revealed that another inmate had stabbed Greer with a homemade knife. The suspect is known to investigators and has been separated from other inmates.

Indiana State Police helicopter locates missing child In Elkhart County

An air patrol became anything but routine for Indiana State Police on the 4th of July.


A routine air patrol took a serious turn for Indiana State Police pilot, Sgt. Eric Streeval and Tactical Flight Officer, John Riggers, a corporal with the Capitol Police assigned to the Indiana State Police Special Operations Section.


While flying air patrol in Indianapolis they received a call around 9:15 p.m. that the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office needed assistance locating a missing child in rural Elkhart County. Streeval and Riggers immediately flew to northern Indiana to help search from the air.


They arrived in the search area just after 11:00 p.m. after stopping to refuel in South Bend.  They began to search a corn field that was identified as an area of interest.  After searching for about 45 minutes Streeval and Riggers decided to expand the search area and shortly thereafter identified what they believed to be the missing child east of the search parties.  They stayed in the area of the missing child, giving directions to the search parties on the ground.  After about a half hour the search parties reached the child.  The child was found to be in good health even though it was missing for several hours in high heat.  The child was returned home.


Riggers said, “I felt like there was an angel looking after that child that directed us to the right location.”


Riggers has been a Tactical Flight Officer for approximately one year.  Streeval has been a pilot for the Indiana State Police for 19 years.


The Indiana State Police Aviation Section has two Bell 407 helicopters, a Bell 206L helicopter and two Cessna airplanes housed at the Greenwood Airport.  The fleet is equipped with specialized equipment for search and rescue, traffic enforcement, criminal surveillance, and disaster assessment and can be anywhere in Indiana in about an hour to assist first responders on the ground.

Indiana lowers threshold for blood lead levels in children

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) has adopted an emergency rule that lowers the level at which it determines a child has elevated blood lead levels. The move, the initial step toward a permanent change, is part of continued statewide efforts to increase lead testing and reduce the risk of lead exposure, which can lead to lifelong health effects in children.

Effective today, Indiana’s blood lead reference value stands at 3.5 micrograms per deciliter, in alignment with values set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This level is used to identify children with blood lead levels that are higher than those of most children under age 6.

“Reducing the blood lead threshold in Indiana has been a years-long process that has required partnerships with healthcare providers, local health departments and lawmakers to identify the resources and funding needed to ensure that more Indiana children not only were tested for lead, but that those with elevated levels could receive appropriate services,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “The CDC states clearly that no level of lead is safe in a child, and we are grateful to state lawmakers for providing funding through House Enrolled Act 1007 to support our efforts to increase testing and case management to protect our most vulnerable Hoosiers.”

Under the new guidance, families of children who have a blood lead level between 3.5 and 4.9 micrograms per deciliter will receive education about lead risks and be advised to test siblings in the same household. Children with a confirmed level of 5 or above will be enrolled in case management, in which families are offered a home visit by trained case support personnel and a home risk assessment by a licensed assessor. Families are encouraged to participate in the home visit, in which staff from the local health department will talk about the child’s environment, discuss what potentially leaded objects or surfaces they may be around and identify support services (nutritional, developmental, educational) that may be available to the child. The home assessment will test surfaces inside and outside of the home to determine where lead hazards may exist and help the family determine how to best address those.

The lower thresholds are expected to increase lead caseloads across the state from roughly 600 children per year to nearly 2,000 in the first year of the program.

The new thresholds follow legislation signed into law earlier this year that requires healthcare providers to offer universal screening for lead for all children under age 6. Previously, only Indiana children covered by Medicaid were required to be tested for lead at 12 and 24 months. House Enrolled Act 1313 takes effect Jan. 1, 2023.

Lead exposure can damage the brain and nervous system, lead to learning and behavior problems, slow growth and development, cause nausea and hearing loss and have other debilitating effects. Young children are especially vulnerable because their bodies are still developing and growing rapidly. Although plastics, toys, jewelry and other consumer products can be sources of lead, the primary source in Indiana is lead-based paint and lead dust from painted surfaces in homes built before 1978.

“Every Indiana child deserves to be protected from the hazards of lead exposure,” Dr. Box said. “Unfortunately, before this funding became available, some counties were able to offer case management to children whose lead levels were between 5 and 9.9 micrograms per deciliter, and others were not. These changes help ensure that every child has access to the same level of case management and puts Indiana among the states leading the nation by providing case management services at a level of 5.0 or higher.”

Fulton County Fair coming up

The Fulton County Fair is approaching.


Nicole Ranstead is the president of the Fulton County Fair Board.  She says lawn mowers and the queen pageant will serve as the kick start on July 9.



As for the pageant, another category allows for more competition.



Ranstead runs through some of the fair’s entertainment and activities.



The demolition derby will cap the fair’s week-long run of activities on July 16.

Governor Eric Holcomb directs flags to be flown at half-staff

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags in the State of Indiana to be flown at half-staff to honor and remember the victims of the horrific tragedy in Highland Park, IL.


Per President Biden's order, flags should be flown at half-staff immediately until sunset, Saturday, July 9.


Gov. Holcomb is asking businesses and residents in Indiana to lower their flags.

U.S. 35 to be reduced to one lane north of Walton

Indiana Department of Transportation contractor Milestone Contractors LP will reduce U.S. 35 to one lane for bridge work between C.R. 600 S and C.R. 650 S on or after Tuesday, July 11.


U.S. 35 will be reduced to one lane over Rock Creek, and a temporary traffic signal will be installed to direct traffic. Work will be ongoing through mid-September for wingwall repairs. 

Short term ramp closures planned at U.S. 30 and U.S. 31

Indiana Department of Transportation contractor Rieth-Riley Construction Co. will have short term ramp closures at the U.S. 30 and U.S. 31 interchange beginning on or after Thursday, July 7. 

The ramp from U.S. 31 southbound to U.S. 30 eastbound and the ramp from U.S. 31 northbound to U.S. 30 eastbound will be closed for approximately two days. Motorists should seek an alternate route.

These closures are part of the U.S. 30 resurfacing project between State Road 17/Michigan Rd and State Road 19, which will be ongoing through late October. Traffic shifts and alternating lane closures will be needed to facilitate this work. Traffic on U.S. 30 will be maintained with at least one lane in each direction at all times. There will also 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. 

13 departments battled downtown Knox fire Thursday; no injuries


No injuries were reported in a Thursday morning fire that destroyed a business in downtown Knox and resulted in smoke and water damage to two others.


Knox-Center Township Fire Chief Kenny Pfost said by the time firefighters arrived at the scene, Vorpal Gaming, 18 South Main, was already in flames. The crew did everything they could to ensure the other buildings on the block did not go down with it. Thankfully, at the time of the fire, everyone was out of the building and there were no injuries. 



Firefighters from 13 departments responded. Vorpal Gaming may have been the only building completely destroyed by the fire, but the two buildings next to it also have smoke, water, and heat damage. Phyllis Foust, owner to 'Birdie's', one of the businesses impacted by the fire, says the cafe will be closed for a while as they repair the damages. 




First West Nile virus case of 2022 reported in Lake County resident

State health officials are urging Indiana residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites following the detection of the first West Nile virus case of 2022 in a Lake County resident. Due to privacy concerns, no additional information will be released about the patient.

West Nile virus has also been detected in a sample of mosquitoes collected from Steuben County.

“All Hoosiers should take precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites at their 4th of July celebrations and for the rest of the summer,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Jennifer Brown, D.V.M., M.P.H. “We are at risk for mosquito-borne disease through the first hard freeze.”

The Indiana Department of Health expects to continue to see additional West Nile virus activity as the mosquito season progresses. Residents across the state should take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure.

Even a container as small as a bottle cap can become a mosquito breeding site, so residents should take the following steps:

  • Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold stagnant water;
  • Repair failed septic systems;
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors;
  • Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains;
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed;
  • Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically;
  • Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish.
  • Frequently replace the water in pet bowls; and
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.


State health officials recommend the following measures to prevent mosquito-borne diseases when venturing outside:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning);
  • Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol to clothes and exposed skin; and
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas.


Most people who are infected with West Nile virus will not develop symptoms, but those who do may experience a mild form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some people will develop a more severe form of the disease affecting the nervous system, including inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis, or even death. People older than 60 years and those with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of developing severe disease. Individuals who think they may have West Nile virus should see their healthcare providers. 

To see the latest results of the state’s mosquito surveillance, go to https://gis.in.gov/apps/ISDH/Arbo/.

To learn more about West Nile virus, click here.