Carbon monoxide preliminary cause of death of three teens in Kosciusko Co.

Indiana State Troopers responded Sunday to a call of three teenagers found unresponsive in a car on the property of 10852 West 900 North near Etna Green just after 3:00 pm.


Trooper Aaron Price arrived and found a blue 2008 Ford with an unresponsive male identified as Robert Bontrager 18, of Rome City, in the driver’s seat.  Karen Miller, 16 of Topeka, and Nathan Yoder, 16, of Topeka, were both in the back seat and unresponsive.  All three teenagers were pronounced deceased at the scene.


The Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office oversaw autopsies Monday that were performed at the Northeast Indiana Forensic Center in Ft. Wayne.  Preliminary indicators point towards carbon monoxide poisoning but toxicology results are pending.


This investigation is ongoing.  

Logansport's Mount Hope Cemetery houses legends from beyond the grave

Whether it's fact or fiction is still uncertain, but the historic Mount Hope Cemetery located at 1800 Grant Street in Logansport, is not only the third largest cemetery in Indiana, it's also rumored to be haunted. Mount Hope was first opened in 1854, later merging with the older Ninth Street Cemetery that was established in 1828. 



Those buried at Mount Hope come from all walks of life and include many notorious residents from the area, including local war heroes. Among its hilly landscapes, historic mausoleums and statues, including the Cass County Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Mount Hope Cemetery the cemetery is also famous for its spooky tales beyond the grave. Over the years, stories about the hauntings have been passed down and mentioned in  local media including the Pharos Tribune, but nothing solid can be confirmed. From eerie phantom sounds, like galloping horses, to a whistle that echoes your own, its even been rumored the cemetery is home to a mausoleum with the cryptic inscription, "knock three times and they shall come." The mausoleum was not found when WROI GIANT fm explored the grounds, however. 


Covering 200 acres Mount Hope Cemetery is owned by the City of Logansport and employs four full-time groundskeepers. The final resting place for over 81,000 people is as old as it is beautiful, making it not your typical 'old and spooky graveyard.' Whether or not you see ghosts while visiting is uncertain, but a walk through the centuries of history at Mount Hope Cemetery is something that you'll always remember. 


4C Health expanding psychiatric hospital and crisis services

4C Health (formerly Four County) has a goal of comprehensive crisis services for rural Hoosiers in North Cental Indiana.


Since the early 1980s, 4C Health has offered adult inpatient psychiatric care along with walk in crisis assessments and a 24 hour call line. The organization added mobile crisis to assist and respond with law enforcement in 2020 and openedits 1stcrisis stabilizaiton unit in 2021.


4C Health is pleased to announce the next phase of enhanced crisis services for North Central Indiana: adolescent inpatient, youth crisis stabilization, and psychiatric urgent care. All within a new state-of-the-art behavioral health hospital.


In 2021, after months of planning, 4C Health completed the purchase of what was formerly known as the Miami County Medical Centeralong with the surrounding acreage located at 1000 N Broadway in Peru, Indiana.This location was chosendue to its strategic geographic location which would allow more efficent access to all our surrounding counties. We are pleased to have been workingwith Integrated Architecture, Garmong Construction, Van Ausdall & Farrar, and EnvelopIQ since the acquisition on the revisioning, remodeling, and technology of the building to become a rural center for quality comprehensive behavioral health services.


The new facility will encompass more than 20,000 square feet and allow 4C Health to expand current crisis services, along with integrated care where behavioral health and primary care work together. Remodel began in the Summer of 2022 and full opening of all services is anticipated in the Fall of 2023.


Features of the new facility include:

  • Adult psychiatric inpatient unit services
  • Adolescent psychiatric inpatient unit services
  • Adult Crisis Stabilization Unit
  • Youth Crisis stabilization Unit
  • Psychiatric Urgent Care
  • Specialy law enforcement and mobile crisis drop-off entrance
  • Outpatient Behavioral Health & Addiction services
  • Integrated primary care services for behavioral health consumers


Carrie Cadwell, CEO of 4C Health, had this to say, “In support and alignment with state efforts to implement 9-8-8, the Crisis Now model, and the Certified Community Behavioral Health Center model, we are investing over $7 million dollars to develop the most comprehensive rural center for crisis care in the State of Indiana. Coupling this with theresults weare seeing on our 4 day work week investment of decreased turnover, decreased staff burnout, increased applicant pool, and no change to our access or visit counts, 4C Health is changing the terrain on what behavioral healthcare is capable of for rural communities and beyond. Indiana is the state to be to seen anddrive innovation in the behavioral health space.”


Medical Director for Inpatient, Crisis, & Primary Care Services, Dr. Mallery Neff added, “When we look at best practices for medical care, it has long been understood that the pairing of emergency assessments, triage, inpatient care, and outpatient referral improves patient outcomes and more effectively manages our health care resources. Fundamentally, mental health care practices should be no different.  By ensuring that the full continuum of crisis services is available to both adults and adolescents, we increase the quality of patient-centered crisis care by tailoring psychiatric interventions to best meet the needs of the person in crisis.  This is essential not only to successfully resolving the immediate crisis,but can positively impact the long term trajectory of an individual’s mental well-being, how they access care, lead to improved patient outcomes, and ultimately save lives.”


Simultaneously, 4C Health is in the midst of a $2.5 million dollar remodel of it’s Logansport location which began in the Summer of 2022, at 800 N Fulton St, to provide comprehensive outpatient behavioral health and substance use services, along with intergrated primary care, and Genoa Pharmacy services, completion is expected in the Spring of 2023.


The organization also recently completed a $250,000 remodel of a new Supervised Group Living facility for adults living with serious and persistent mental illness in Logansport.In 2023 4C Healthhas plans and budget for continued re-investments in Transitional Living Facilities which supports adults living with serious mental illness.

Arrest made for the murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German

The Indiana State Police released the following information the Delphi Double Homicide:


After an extensive investigation, the Delphi Double Homicide Task Force made an arrest for the murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German.


On February 13, 2017, Abigail Williams and Liberty German were tragically murdered while visiting the Monon High Bridge in Delphi. Shortly after, the Indiana State Police and Carroll County Sheriff’s office created the Delphi Double Homicide Task Force, which encompassed federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. This task force has worked diligently the last five and a half years to ensure this horrendous crime did not go unsolved.


On Wednesday, October 26, 2022, detectives with the Delphi Double Homicide Task Force took Richard Allen, 50, from Delphi Indiana into custody at the Indiana State Police Lafayette Post for the murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German. Allen was transported to Carroll County Jail, where he was being held.


On Friday, October 28, 2022, Allen was formally charged with two counts of murder and transported to the White County Jail, where he is currently being held without bond.


We would like to thank everyone who was involved throughout this investigation, which included the Indiana State Police, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Delphi Police Department, Carroll County Prosecutor’s office, United States Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and numerous other federal and local agencies. These agencies have invested countless hours and resources into this investigation.


This is an active and ongoing investigation. 

Area departments awarded Volunteer Fire Assistance grants

Eighty rural and volunteer fire departments from 50 counties have been awarded more than $351,000 in Volunteer Fire Assistance grants.

The awards, which were announced by DNR Director Dan Bortner, will be used for training, installation of dry hydrants, or to purchase necessary firefighting equipment and gear to combat wildland fires.


The grants are administered by the DNR  Division of Forestry and made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Recipients were selected based on population density, acres of public lands protected, and wildland fire reporting to DNR Fire Control Headquarters. As in past years, emphasis was given to projects that involved the fighting of wildfires.

The awarded grants range from $1,250 to $5,000.

Fire departments receiving the grants in 2022 include:


Aubbeenaubbee Twp. Fulton, $5,000, Safety

Bremen Volunteer Fire Department, Marshall, $2,400, Water Handling

Argos FPT, Marshall, $5,000, Safety

Roann Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., Wabash, $4,900, Safety
San Pierre Volunteer Fire Dept. Inc., Starke, $5,000, Wildland
Francesville Volunteer Fire Department, Pulaski, $2,500, Safety


Clorox® recalls Pine-Sol® Scented Cleaners due to risk of exposure to bacteria

Pine-Sol® Scented Multi-Surface Cleaners in Lavender Clean®, Sparkling Wave®, and Lemon Fresh scents, CloroxPro® Pine-Sol® All Purpose Cleaners, in Lavender Clean®, Sparkling Wave®, Lemon Fresh, and Orange Energy® scents, and Clorox® Professional™ Pine-Sol® Lemon Fresh Cleaners.


Original Pine-Sol® (Pine scent) is not included in this recall.


The recalled products may contain bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an environmental organism found widely in soil and water. People with weakened immune systems or external medical devices who are exposed to Pseudomonas aeruginosa face a risk of serious infection that may require medical treatment. The bacteria can enter the body if inhaled, through the eyes, or through a break in the skin. People with healthy immune systems are usually not affected by the bacteria. 


This recall involves Pine-Sol Scented Multi-Surface Cleaners in Lavender Clean, Sparkling Wave, and Lemon Fresh scents, CloroxPro Pine-Sol All Purpose Cleaners, in Lavender Clean, Sparkling Wave, Lemon Fresh, and Orange Energy scents, and Clorox Professional Pine-Sol Lemon Fresh Cleaners, with date codes beginning with the prefix “A4” and followed by a five-digit number less than 22249. The products are sold in bottles of 28, 48, 60, 100, 144, and 175 fluid ounces. In an abundance of caution, Clorox is recalling all of the above-described products manufactured at its Forest Park, Georgia facility through September 2022.


To date, testing has identified bacteria in certain recalled products, including those produced between January 2021 and September 2022. Clorox produced approximately 37 million recalled products in that period.


Consumers should immediately stop using Pine-Sol Scented Multi-Surface Cleaners in Lavender Clean, Sparkling Wave, and Lemon Fresh scents, CloroxPro Pine-Sol All Purpose Cleaners, in Lavender Clean, Sparkling Wave, Lemon Fresh, and Orange Energy scents, and Clorox Professional Pine-Sol Lemon Fresh Cleaners that have date codes printed on the bottle beginning with “A4” and followed by a five-digit number less than 22249, which represents products produced prior to September 2022. Consumers should take pictures of the 12 digit UPC code and the date code, dispose of the product in its container with household trash, and contact Pine-Sol for a full refund of the purchase price, with receipt, or of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, without receipt.  


Consumer Contact

Pine-Sol toll-free at (855) 378-4982, by email at PineSolRecalls@inmar.com, or online at pinesolrecall.com and Pinesol.com by clicking on “Recall Information.”


Sold At:

Online at Amazon.com and additional retailer websites and at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Dollar General, Target, Home Depot, BJ’s, Kroger, Dollar Tree, Lowe’s, Publix, and other major retailers nationwide, for between $2.50 and $12.50.

Caston receives federal grant for electric school bus

An area school district is one of five in the state to receive funding from a federal program to an electric school bus.


The Caston School Corporation was granted $395, 000 from the Clean School Bus Program which is directed to get low-emission buses to school districts across the nation.


The announcement was made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The EPA is directing the five-year, $5 billion program.  The money is intended to buy almost 2,500 buses total, including money for bus charging stations.





Joint criminal investigation leads to arrests of Cass County men

A bilateral criminal investigation by police officers from the Indiana State Police and the Cass County Sheriff’s Department led to the arrests of Justin Robinson, 33, and Dakota Beebout, 29, both from Logansport.


Both men were incarcerated in the Cass County Jail to face criminal charges for burglary, theft, criminal mischief, and conspiracy to commit burglary.


On August 2, officers initiated a criminal investigation after a pole barn in the 2400 block of East Wabash River Road, Logansport, was burglarized. During the investigation evidence revealed that Robinson and Beebout allegedly made forced entry into the barn and purportedly stole hunting equipment and various items. The approximate value of the stolen items and damage to the barn was $2,000.00.


Officers developed enough probable cause to be granted Cass Superior Court II arrest warrants for Beebout and Robinson. The warrants alleged criminal charges for burglary, theft, criminal mischief, and conspiracy to commit burglary.


Beebout, was served his warrant by correctional officers at the Cass County Jail, where he was held on unrelated criminal charges.


Officers from the Indiana State Police and the Cass County Sheriff’s Department took Robinson into custody when they served him with the warrant at his Logansport home. Robinson was incarcerated in the Cass County Jail.

Trick-or-Treat, driver safety tips for this Halloween season

From motorcyclists taking advantage of the final warm days of fall to farmers moving field to field to the upcoming Halloween, there’s a lot for drivers to be on the lookout for over the next several days.


Fulton County Sheriff's Office Detective Sergeant Travis Heishman says the kids will make roads and streets busier starting this week into Halloween.



Heishman offers some tips for safe trick-or-treating.



Fulton County Sheriff Chris Sailors says there is information readily available on the internet for places to avoid.



Trick-or-Treat hours for Monday, October 31, include:

Rochester, 5 - 7 pm

Kewanna, 5 - 7 pm

Akron, 6 - 8 pm


Boo Fest is in Rochester on Friday, October 28, 4:30 - 5:30 pm.


Mother-daughter duo opens Spooky Grandma's Halloween Shop near Logansport

Over the river and through the woods near France Park, Spooky Grandma's Halloween Shop at 6342 W County Rd 100 NM, outside of Logansport, is bringing in visitors from all walks of life.


Officially opened on  June 24, 2022 by owner Melissa Lytle, and her daughter, Alyssa Lytle, the store has grown in leaps and bounds over the past six months, manifesting into more than Melissa had expected. 




As Halloween season comes to a close, the little country horror shop plans on keeping things spooky all year long. Open this week on Thursday and Friday from 5 pm to 9 pm and Saturday from 1 pm to 9 pm, Sunday from 5pm to 9pm, and Halloween Day from 5pm-9pm, Spooky Grandma's Halloween Shop will be closed the first two weeks of November. Opening back up with a  holiday mashup theme for the Christmas shopping season, they have big plans up their sleeves, including a Black Friday special. 


Wanting to create a network as a way to build up the community, the majority of shop inventory is made by local artists and businesses. Alyssa said the collaberation has paid for itself, weaving the web of Spooky Grandma's network naturally. 




Branching out to pop-up locations throughout the community has also given them a chance to highlight their store. 



With her roots already planted this year Melissa plans on growing as time goes on, creating a spooky travel destination that's fun for the entire family. 



Plymouth Police ask for public's help identifying suspects

The Plymouth Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying the subject(s) in the photographs.



The pictured subject(s) is of interest to the Plymouth Police Department in a case of theft.


If you recognize the subject(s), please contact the Plymouth Police Department.  Do not post on the story.


Please send a private message to the Plymouth Police Facebook page, call the Plymouth Police Detective Ben McIntyre at 574-936-2126 Ext. 1208, or email bmcintyreppd@plymouthin.com.


You can also contact Officer John Weir with any information.

BMV extends hours for Election Day

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) announced that all BMV branches will extend hours of operation on Monday, Nov. 7 and Tuesday, Nov. 8 to issue ID cards and driver’s licenses to be used for identification at a polling place.


Branches will be open Monday, Nov. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. All locations will remain open through the lunch hour.


Branches will resume regular business hours on Wednesday, Nov. 9.


Branches will prioritize processing transactions that include new, amended, renewed, or replacement identification cards, learner permits, driver’s licenses, and CDLs that do not require testing.


Customers are required to provide all required documentation to complete a transaction. Customers will have the option to complete a knowledge exam if the branch has capacity to facilitate the exam and the customer arrives at the branch at least one hour prior to the posted closing time.


Customers who are required to take a driving skills exam to obtain or renew a license may choose to apply for a free ID card to use for voting purposes. The BMV provides these to any unlicensed Hoosier who is a U.S. citizen, who can provide proper documentation, and who will be at least 18 years of age on or before the next general or municipal election.


For documents required to obtain a new ID card or driver’s license please visit: https://www.in.gov/bmv/files/BMV_Documentation_List.pdf.


Individuals who hold a driver’s license or ID card that expired after the last general election (November 3, 2020) may use the expired card as proof of identification for voting purposes. The paper interim credential issued to customers at the branch at the time of the transaction or after a customer has completed an internet transaction is also acceptable proof of identification for voting purposes.

Multiple injuries in Tuesday Miami County crash

Students from Maconaquah schools were injured Tuesday morning in a car accident.


Officers from the Indiana State Police, the Converse Police Department, and the Miami County Sheriff’s Department responded to a two-vehicle crash just before 8:00 am at the intersection of Miami County Roads 850 South and 300 East, in which three people were injured.


The preliminary crash investigation revealed that David Gabrys, 18, of Peru, was driving a 2004 Cadillac SRX westbound on County Road 850 South approaching a stop sign at the intersection of County Road 300 East. Evidence indicates the Cadillac stopped at the stop sign, and then proceeded into the intersection striking a southbound 2007 Saturn Ion. The Saturn rolled at least once, ejecting front seat passenger Danelle Schwartz, 12, of Peru. Samuel Schwartz, 17, of Peru, was driving the Saturn.


The Saturn was not required to stop and had the right of way.


Tyler Gabrys, 14, of Peru, a passenger in the Cadillac, was transported, via ambulance, to a local hospital with neck pain. Danelle Schwartz and a back seat passenger in the Saturn, eight-year-old Micah Schwartz, of Peru, were airlifted via medical helicopter to an Indianapolis hospital. 


Samuel Schwartz and David Gabrys were not injured.


None of the occupants in the Saturn was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. 


Indiana State Police say this is an ongoing investigation. At this time, neither the consumption of alcoholic beverages nor narcotics is suspected of contributing to this crash. 


Assisting at the crash scene were the Amboy Fire Department, the Pipe Creek Fire Department, the Converse Police Department, Dukes Hospital EMS, Samaritan and Lutheran medical helicopters, the Miami County Sheriff’s Department, and ISP Lieutenant T.J. Zeiser.

Bob Evans Farms recalling Italian pork sausage

Bob Evans Farms Foods, Inc., a Xenia, Ohio establishment, is recalling approximately 7,560 pounds of Italian pork sausage products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically thin blue rubber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.


The raw, Italian pork sausage items were produced on September 8, 2022. The following products are subject to recall [view labels]:


  • 1-lb. chubs containing “Bob Evans Italian Sausage” with lot code XEN3663466 and a “USE/FRZ BY” date of 11/26/22, with a time stamp between 14:43 and 15:25.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 6785” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations nation-wide.       


The problem was discovered after the firm notified FSIS it had received consumer complaints reporting thin blue pieces of rubber in the product.


There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.  


FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ refrigerators or freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.


FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.


Consumers and members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Geo Money, Director of Communications, Bob Evans Foods, Inc. at 440-463-3264 or George.money@bobevansfoods.com.



Women's Giving Circle grants $9,000 to local organizations

The Fulton County Women’s Giving Circle hosted their annual event at Jarrety’s Arlington Public House on October 18.


Over 30 women attended the event, where the group granted $9,000 to local charitable organizations. 


“We are honored to have another year of this uplifting group of women coming together to positively impact Fulton County residents,” said the giving circle’s chairwomen Jennifer Smith.


The grant recipients include The Outlet Youth Center, who received $3,500 for outdoor play and sports equipment and Riddle Elementary that was awarded $2,500 for their One Book, One School Program.


Grantees also include United Ministries, who received $1,500 to support their food pantry, and the Fulton County 4-H Dog Club, which was granted $1,500 to upgrade their agility equipment.


“We are so incredibly thankful for this gift,” said Outlet Director Patience Hisey. “With these funds, we can purchase outdoor equipment for all ages to enjoy!”


Since 2010, the Women’s Giving Circle has granted nearly $80,000 to Fulton County charitable groups. Memberspay a $120 annual donation that goes towards that year’s grant dollars as well as the giving circle’s endowment fund. Women can get a jumpstart on their 2023 memberships by visiting The Fulton County Women’s Giving Circle page at nicf.org.


Greater Sandhill Cranes viewable at Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is inviting people to come to Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area (JP) in Medaryville to watch the eastern population of the Greater Sandhill Crane migrate south.


Photo by DNR


Thousands of these birds will pass through property from Michigan, Wisconsin and southern Canada. More than 3,800 sandhill cranes were seen dancing, socializing and flying this past week.


At their peak, almost 30,000 cranes can be seen on a weekly basis.


DNR staff at Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area make weekly crane counts during peak fall migration (October – December). The count is typically performed each Tuesday unless impeded by inclement weather. If unable to count on a Tuesday, the staff will try again on Thursday of that week.


The counts generally end the last week of December.


2022 2021
Oct. 4: 2,069 Oct. 5: 3,737
Oct. 11: 3,485 Oct. 12: 2,407
Oct. 18: 3,804 Oct. 19: 3,548

Akron man pleads guilty in hit-and-run that killed Brelynna Felix in November 2021

Not quite a year ago, an Akron man was charged in a hit-and-run accident that killed Tippecanoe Valley student Brelynna Felix, 12.  Now, a sentencing date is set for the man who has entered a guilty plea in the case.


Gage Rogers, 27, entered guilty pleas to a Level 4 Felony of failure to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in death, and a Level 6 Felony of leaving the scene of an accident with serious bodily injury for the incident that happened on November 5, 2021.


Rogers is scheduled to be sentenced on January 3 in Fulton Superior Court.


Fulton County Post story, November 7, 2021

One person was killed, another injured in a Fulton County car – pedestrian accident.

About 7:30 pm Friday the sheriff’s office received a call from a concerned citizen who saw kids walking along the road in dark clothing and was worried for their safety. While speaking to dispatchers, the caller said it appeared someone had been struck by a vehicle.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office responded to State Road 19, north of 50 North.  Several juveniles were at the scene.  One, a 15 year old male, was struck by what was believed to be the outside rearview mirror of a vehicle.  He was transported to a Fort Wayne hospital with head and face injuries.  At last report, he was in serious, but stable, condition.

A search was begun when it was realized that a girl with the group was missing.  Brelynna Felix, 12, of Akron, was found in a field nearby.  Felix died from injuries sustained in the incident.

The investigation led the sheriff’s office to the car involved that had left the scene.  It was found in Akron.  Gage Rogers, 26, was taken into custody and booked in the Fulton County Jail.  Rogers was charged with Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Accident and Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Bodily Injury.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call Det / Sgt Travis Heishman at 574-223-2819.

Akron Police, Henry Township Fire, Indiana State Police and the Fulton County Coroner assisted at the scene.




RHS student Jacob Freeman honored for outstanding bravery and action

Rochester City Pool life guard Jacob Freeman had no idea that when he first started his training for his job several years ago that he would one day be using it to save the life of his friend.


On August 5, Freeman did just that after fellow Rochester High School tennis teammate Drew Strasser collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest during an early morning practice. Instructed to get away from the scene with the other students while help arrived, Freeman took action instead. 


Freeman's outstanding bravery was honored Thursday during a Board of Works and Safety meeting at the Rochester Fire Department. Among the many in attendance at the meeting, Senator Stacey Danato surprised the teen by presenting him with the Sagamore of the Wabash, an honorary award bestowed by Governor Eric Holcomb. 



Rochester Mayor Ted Denton also acknowledged Freeman's heroic act by presenting him with the City of Rochester Commendation Award. 


Certified in both Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training and CPR, Jake's life-saving expertise was used to help apply shock to Strasser's heart, which was able to stop the arrhythimia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm. Not only aiding with the AED, Freeman had also started CPR on Strasser, continuing the process until EMT's arrived to take over. 



Ending with a speech that humbly thanked those who recognized his efforts, Freeman also shined a light on the teacher who played a big part in helping him save Strasser's life back in August - RHS teacher and tennis coach Jesse Atkinson. 



Sitting in the crowd with tears in her eyes, mother Amy Freeman said the only thing she was surprised about was that her son didn't follow directions. Considering the outcome, however, she is thankful he jumped into action. 




(Photographed below from left, Drew Strasser and Jake Freeman talk Thursday at the Rochester Fire Department.)

National School Bus Safety Week

What started as a letter-writing campaign to President Nixon in 1969 has evolved into an impactful national movement for school bus safety.


National School Bus Safety Week takes place the third week of October, touching the lives of many every year.


National School Bus Safety Week (NSBSW) is October 17-21, 2022. 


According to School bus Fleet, in the 2018-19 school year, an estimated 479,867 yellow school buses provided daily transportation to students in the United States.

    • More than 25 million children ride school buses daily throughout the United States.
    • That accounts for 47,000,000 trips daily – before you include an estimated 5,000,000 more for activity trips.
    • Roughly 54% of all K-12 students in the United States rely on school bus transportation.

National School Bus Safety Week reminds students, parents, teachers, and the community to keep school bus safety at the forefront. 

Dry weather conditions, winds keep fire hazard as concern

Continued dry conditions are prompting a hazardous weather reminder from the National Weather Service.

Dry afternoon relative humidity levels dipping into the 20 to 35 percent range will create a slight fire weather danger today, despite a recent wetting of the ground.

Peak afternoon wind gusts to 30 mph are expected.  Any field or grass fires could quickly spread out of control.

The next chance of rain according to the NWS forecast is Sunday evening into Monday.

Cass County among those awarded grants to combat violence against women

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) awarded nearly $3 million to 51 public and nonprofit organizations through the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program.


“STOP” stands for services, training, officers and prosecutors.


The program is designed to support communities in their efforts to develop and strengthen law enforcement and prosecution strategies to combat violence against women, as well as enhance victim services and safety.


Among the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program award recipients was the Cass County Prosecutor's Office - $16, 841.


“This funding is about making sure that more communities have access to the resources they need to prevent victimization and bring violent offenders to justice,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “It’s important that we do everything we can to help break the cycle of violence and shore up support for victims.”


Established by the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program promotes a coordinated effort to improve the criminal justice system's response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The funds are provided by the Office on Violence Against Women under the U.S. Department of Justice.


This year, the grants will be used to provide legal advocacy, counseling, training for law enforcement and court personnel, and victim support services. Funding will also help pay for special prosecutors and investigators who are dedicated to handling cases involving crimes against women.


“For most victims, obtaining a protective order or pursuing legal action is uncharted territory, but we don’t want that to be a barrier to seeking safety or justice,” said Kim Lambert, ICJI Victim Services Director. “There are resources and advocates who can help that will stand with and alongside victims throughout the process. This funding expands those efforts.”


The grants were approved by the ICJI Board of Trustees in September and made available to organizations starting this month. As a formula grant, funding was distributed based on a predetermined amount, with a majority (96%) going to law enforcement, prosecution and victim service programs. The remaining 4% was allocated for court programs.


Added security with scanner coming to Fulton County Courthouse

Fulton County Commissioners have approved the installation of added security with a new scanner at a courthouse entrance.


Commissioner Rick Ranstead explains.



There's no timetable yet for when the scanner will be up and running.

Rochester administration, board wrap up budget process as change comes with election

Rochester schools, administration and board, have gone through the budget process. 


And it appears to have been a relatively smooth one.


Board President Jennie Smith says the budget for Rochester schools does include raises.



Smith also notes that with early voting going on and the Election Day itself approaching, change is coming to the board although races are uncontested.



USDA provides payments of nearly $800 million in assistance to help keep farmers farming

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that distressed borrowers with qualifying USDA farm loans have already received nearly $800 million in assistance, as part of the $3.1 billion in assistance for distressed farm loan borrowers provided through Section 22006 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).


The IRA directed USDA to expedite assistance to distressed borrowers of direct or guaranteed loans administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) whose operations face financial risk.


Today’s announcement kicks off a process to provide assistance to distressed farm loan borrowers using several complementary approaches, with the goal of keeping them farming, removing obstacles that currently prevent many of these borrowers from returning to farming, and improving the way that USDA approaches borrowing and servicing. Through this assistance, USDA is focused on generating long-term stability and success for distressed borrowers.


“Through no fault of their own, our nation’s farmers and ranchers have faced incredibly tough circumstances over the last few years,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The funding included in today’s announcement helps keep our farmers farming and provides a fresh start for producers in challenging positions.”


Work has already started to bring some relief to distressed farmers. As of today, over 13,000 borrowers have already benefited from the resources provided under the Inflation Reduction Act as follows:


  • Approximately 11,000 delinquent direct and guaranteed borrowers had their accounts brought current. USDA also paid the next scheduled annual installment for these direct loan borrowers giving them peace of mind in the near term.
  • Approximately 2,100 borrowers who had their farms foreclosed on and still had remaining debt have had this debt resolved in order to cease debt collections and garnishment relieving that burden that has made getting a fresh start more difficult.

In addition to the automatic assistance already provided, USDA has also outlined steps to administer up to an additional $500 million in payments to benefit the following distressed borrowers:


  • USDA will administer $66 million in separate automatic payments, using COVID-19 pandemic relief funds, to support up to 7,000 direct loan borrowers who used FSA’s disaster-set-aside option during the pandemic to move their scheduled payments to the end of their loans.
  • USDA is also initiating two case-by-case processes to provide additional assistance to farm loan borrowers. Under the first new process, FSA will review and assist with delinquencies from 1,600 complex cases, including cases in which borrowers are facing bankruptcy or foreclosure. The second new process will add a new option using existing direct loan servicing criteria to intervene more quickly and help an estimated 14,000 financially distressed borrowers who request assistance to avoid even becoming delinquent.

More details on each of the categories of assistance, including a downloadable fact sheet, are available on the Inflation Reduction Act webpage on farmers.gov.


Similar to other USDA assistance, all of these payments will be reported as income and borrowers are encouraged to consult their tax advisors. USDA also has resources and partnerships with cooperators who can provide additional assistance and help borrowers navigate the process.


The announcement today is only the first step in USDA’s efforts to provide assistance to distressed farm loan borrowers and respond to farmers and to improve the loan servicing efforts at USDA by adding more tools and relaxing unnecessary restrictions. Additional announcements and investments in assistance will be made as USDA institutes these additional changes and improvements.


This effort will ultimately also include adding more tools and relaxing unnecessary restrictions through assistance made possible by Congress through the IRA. Further assistance and changes to the approach will be made in subsequent phases.




USDA provides access to credit to approximately 115,000 producers who cannot obtain sufficient commercial credit through direct and guaranteed farm loans, which do not include farm storage facility loans or marketing assistance loans.  With the funds and direction Congress provided in Section 22006 of IRA, USDA is taking action to immediately provide relief to qualifying distressed borrowers whose operations are at financial risk while working on making transformational changes to how USDA goes about loan servicing in the long run so that borrowers are provided the flexibility and opportunities needed to address the inherent risks and unpredictability associated with agricultural operations and remain in good financial standing.


In January 2021, USDA suspended foreclosures and other adverse actions on direct farm loans due to the pandemic and encouraged guaranteed lenders to follow suit. Last week, USDA reiterated this request to guaranteed lenders to provide time for the full set of IRA distressed borrower assistance to be made available before lenders take irreparable actions.


Producers can explore available loan options using the Farm Loan Discovery Tool on farmers.gov (also available in Spanish) or by contacting their local USDA Service Center. Producers can also call the FSA call center at 877-508-8364 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern. USDA has tax-related resources available at farmers.gov/taxes.


Holiday Pop Up Shop coming to town at Brooch Boutique and Rochester Greenhouse

After the recent expansion of Brooch Boutique in Rochester last summer, the extra space made room for some new ideas for owner Abby Warpenburg. Connected to the Rochester Greenhouse at 412 W 11th St, the stores are using the space to welcome in the holiday season with a Holiday Pop Up Shop opening November 4. 


Wanting to create a fun space that feels like Christmas, a Christmas playhouse will also be set up for the little ones to hang out while mom does her shopping. Providing a little something for every gender and age group, Warpenburg said the Pop Up Holiday Shop will include unique, classic toys with an age range from infant to adult, and even something for the family dog. 


Warpenburg said online shopping will also be an option for the Holiday Pop Up Shop. 


Two Fulton Co. bridges over Tippecanoe River discussed by county officials, bid accepted on Bridge 32

Bid opening for a pair of Fulton County bridge projects didn’t go quite the way government officials may have envisioned. 


Still, a timetable for both appears to be coming for 2023.


Fulton County Commissioner Rick Ranstead and Highway Department Superintendent John Geier explain Bridges 32 and 50.



Geier says he hopes to complete Bridge 32 and move right to Bridge 50 during 2023.





Health officials announce 1st flu death of season, urge Hoosiers to get vaccinated

Indiana health officials are encouraging Hoosiers to get vaccinated against influenza after confirming the first flu-related death of the 2022-23 flu season. No additional information about the patient will be released due to privacy laws.

Each year, hundreds of Hoosiers become sick from influenza, and some cases prove fatal. In the 2021-22 flu season, 82 Hoosiers died after contracting influenza.

“Every flu season is different, but we expect to see a return of respiratory illnesses such as flu as more individuals relax the mitigation measures they took during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Getting an annual flu shot now, before activity picks up, is the best protection against what can be a serious illness for many Hoosiers.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone age 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year. Because infants younger than 6 months can’t be vaccinated, it’s important that anyone in a household where a young baby lives or visits get a flu shot to protect the child. Healthcare workers are urged to get a flu vaccine to reduce their risk of transmitting illness to their patients. 

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies, which protect against flu, to develop in the body, so the CDC recommends early vaccination. However, the flu vaccine can be administered at any time during the season, which typically runs from October through May. This year’s flu vaccine appears to be a good match for the most common subtype circulating in Australia, and it can be administered at the same time as the new COVID-19 booster, which protects against two strains of COVID-19, Box said.

Influenza (flu) is a viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is spread by respiratory droplets released when infected people cough or sneeze nearby or when people touch surfaces or objects contaminated with those infectious respiratory droplets. People also can become infected by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with flu viruses and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose. 

Although anyone can get the flu, some people are at higher risk of flu-related complications, such as pneumonia, hospitalization, and death. Those most at risk for complications from flu include pregnant women, young children (especially those too young to get vaccinated), people with chronic illnesses, people who are immunocompromised, and the elderly. It is especially important for these individuals to be vaccinated each year.

Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:

  • fever of 100° Fahrenheit or greater
  • headache 
  • fatigue
  • cough
  • muscle aches
  • sore throat 
  • runny or stuffy nose

People can help prevent the spread of flu by washing their hands frequently and thoroughly, avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth with their hands, and staying home when sick. Hoosiers should practice the “Three Cs” to help prevent the spread of flu and other infectious diseases:

  • Clean: Properly wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water.
  • Cover: Cover your cough and sneeze with your arm or a disposable tissue.
  • Contain: Stay home from school or work when you are sick to keep your germs from spreading. 

To learn more about influenza or to view the IDOH weekly flu report, which is updated each Friday, click here. IDOH also has an influenza dashboard that is updated each Friday with the weekly flu report. The dashboard showcases Indiana’s flu surveillance activity on a weekly basis. Historical flu surveillance data, along with county- and regional-level data, are available, along with breakdowns by age group for the current week.

Rochester man dead of gunshot wound

A gunshot wound is listed as the cause of death in a case investigated by the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.


In a press release, the department stated  that emergency personnel were dispatched to a residence in the 2100 block of Sunset Lane involving an individual suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.  Grady Mahoney, 20, was found inside the residence.  He was declared deceased at the scene.


The Fulton County Sheriff's Office says occupants of the residence remained on scene and cooperated with their investigation.


This remains an open and active investigation.  The Fulton County Coroner's Office and Rochester Police assisted at the scene.


Anyone with any information is asked to contact Deputy Matt Utter with the Fulton County Sheriff's Office at 574-223-2819.

From Red Flag Warning today to freeze warnings next week from the National Weather Service

A RED FLAG WARNING is in effect for Central Indiana today. Critical fire weather conditions are expected Friday afternoon.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.  Outdoor burning is not recommended. Never throw cigarettes out of a vehicle.

Wind gusts to around 40 mph will be possible Friday afternoon. Secure any outdoor items that could be easily be blown about. Exercise caution when driving this afternoon particularly if you are driving a high profile vehicle as wind gusts may make driving more difficult.

Coming up Saturday through Thursday freezing temperatures are likely across central Indiana, with a hard freeze possible.



Manchester Univ. to establish garden spaces with Duke Energy grant

Manchester Unniversity has been named to receive a grant to establish garden spaces on campus.


The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded 20 grants totaling more than $250,000 to Indiana-based organizations undertaking a wide range of environmental initiatives across the state, including projects to enhance Indiana parks, protect vulnerable habitats, support clean water, and expand outdoor recreational and educational opportunities.


“We’re pleased to partner with local nonprofits and organizations across our service territory to enhance the quality of life of our customers and communities,” said Stan Pinegar, president of Duke Energy Indiana. “From planting trees to creating community gardens and nature trails, we hope to make a positive impact through meaningful and sustainable projects that make Indiana a desirable and vibrant place to live.”


Over the last five years, the Duke Energy Foundation has awarded more than 70 grants totaling nearly $1 million to organizations across Indiana for projects that support environmental stewardship.


Manchester University’s Environmental Studies Program and Center for Environmental Resilience and Social Engagement are currently implementing a campuswide conservation management strategy that focuses on actions and infrastructure that are resilient to climate change, support biodiversity conservation and provide accessible green space to northeast Indiana. Phase one of the project is focused on transforming the campus grounds into an agroecology teaching, research and community outreach space. This grant funding will be used to establish garden spaces on campus grounds that demonstrate best practices for climate-resilient food production and for combating issues of food insecurity.

Early voting underway in Fulton County

Early voting is underway in Indiana for the mid-term, county and school board elections. 


Fulton County Clerk Dawn Ziemek.



Ziemek explains some early confusion for some voters.



If you’re a voter who prefers going to the polls on election day, Ziemek highlights the vote centers that will be available on November 8.



Reminder, remember your ID.



Flirt Boutique trades hands

Flirt Boutique, 625 Main St in Rochester, is undergoing big changes before this Christmas season.


Trading hands, new owner Pam Romine took a big jump when deciding to not only take over, but also give the shop a facelift by completely remodeling. 



Being a business owner is something new for the retired dental hygenist, who worked in dentistry for 44 years. Now a grandma to four girls, Romine said the opportunity of owning her own boutique fit into her life like a puzzle piece. Wanting to branch out even more, Romine plans on providing an even larger selection of unique  home decor and gift items as well. 



Wanting to keep fashion and accessories unique, each item sold will be limited. 


Reopening November 4 for the annual Christmas openhouse, Romine plans on keeping the same class and sass Flirt Boutique has provided Rochester since 2005.



New store hours will be Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 6pm and Saturday's with 10am to 3pm. Holiday hours may vary, extending on Saturday from 10am to 5pm. 

Starke County Sheriff's Office K9 Cody to get donation of body armor

Starke County Sheriff’s Office K9 Cody will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.


K9 Cody’s vest will be embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.”. Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.


Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 4,789 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.


The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.


Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $960 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1,744-$2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty. For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978.


Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.

Future natural gas market prices projected to increase winter heating bills for NIPSCO gas customers

Due to current market price projections for natural gas and assuming normal winter weather, NIPSCO natural gas residential customers could expect their winter heating bills this season to be higher when compared to last year. This is in line with trends across much of the country.


Each year, NIPSCO and other Indiana energy companies provide a forecast for home heating bills during the upcoming winter months. Projections consider market forecasts, supply trends and storage levels, and they are based on normal weather projections. If temperatures are colder or warmer than normal, usage amounts and bills could differ.


NIPSCO has been among the lowest natural gas cost providers in Indiana on average over the last 10 years according to Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission comparisons (Source: IURC’s 2022 Residential Bill Survey).


Managing costs related to the delivery of natural gas to homes and businesses is essential, and NIPSCO is working to institute technologies and other system improvements to create long-term efficiencies for the benefit of customers.


There are two primary components of natural gas bills – the cost of the natural gas itself and the cost of delivering the natural gas to customers. For the cost of natural gas itself – which is largely dependent upon market prices – NIPSCO does not control these costs. The company passes them directly through to customers with no markup and does not profit on that portion of the bill. Before billing, natural gas commodity costs must be reviewed and approved by the IURC.


Over the course of the upcoming five-month winter heating season — Nov. 1 to Mar. 31 — NIPSCO’s average natural gas residential customers using 615 therms could expect to pay approximately $661 total. This compares to $559 during the same period last year, and it represents about a $102 difference (18 percent) or $20.40 per month on average from Nov. to Mar.


To help ensure customers receive the best price for natural gas, NIPSCO purchases gas in the market from a variety of supply sources throughout the year. Gas storage is also used to help offset market price volatility by purchasing gas throughout the summer months and putting that gas into storage for use during the winter months.


NIPSCO Winter Bill Projections

2022–2023                            2021–2022                  Usage (therms)


Nov.    $69.04                       $63.57                          60.3

Dec.    $121.33                     $102.51                        109.8

Jan.     $170.16                      $132.36                       156.3

Feb.     $169.90                     $136.39                       158.2

Mar.     $131.06                     $124.21                      129.9

Total    $661.49                     $559.04                       614.5


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


Future Natural Gas Market Prices Projected

By purchasing supplies over time, this smooths out the peaks and valleys of natural gas prices and provides more price stability for our customers. NIPSCO’s gas distribution system consists of two on-system storage facilities and connects to seven interstate pipelines providing access to major North American supply basins.


There are a multitude of factors contributing to the anticipated increase in costs this winter season, including natural gas market prices are 24 percent higher than last winter. Current market prices are higher than last year due to lower production volumes than previous years, greater global demand due to European energy supply concerns, and storage balances that are behind last year’s total and five-year average at this time of year.


Billing and Payment Options

Customers who are experiencing financial difficulties are encouraged to visit nipsco.com/assistance or call NIPSCO’s Customer Care Center as soon as possible to determine what options might be available to offer help.


Some of those solutions include:

• Payment Plans: Flexible payment plans are available for customers that need financial support, including a three-month or six-month option for all customers, and a 12-month option for eligible LIHEAP customers. Customers can learn more and enroll at NIPSCO.com/paymentplans.


NIPSCO's customer care team will also work with customers to set up a personalized payment plan.  Customers can call 1-800-4-NIPSCO (1-800-464-7726) to discuss options.


• Payment Assistance Programs: Based on income levels, customers may qualify to receive local, state and federal utility assistance dollars as well as support funds from separate NIPSCO programs.


Customers can visit NIPSCO.com/Assistance to find additional resources, or call their local community action agency, Energy Assistance Program (EAP) agency or Township Trustee's office.


• Budget Plan: A free service to all NIPSCO customers to help manage their monthly energy bills by spreading out gas costs over an entire year.


For more information on billing options and payment assistance, visit NIPSCO.com/assistance. Customers can review and manage their account via NIPSCO’s new mobile app available for download on iPhone or Android.


Those looking to quickly find information 24-hours a day, seven days a week can use NIPSCO’s new Chat feature located in the bottom right-hand corner of its website (NIPSCO.com) or via the mobile app. Customers may also contact the NIPSCO Customer Care Center at 1-800-4-NIPSCO Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT.


Energy- and Money-Saving Programs

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

Russiaville man killed in Cass County collision

One man was killed, another injured in a Cass County crash Monday night.


Cass County Central Dispatch received a call just before 8:30 pm of a two-vehicle injury crash on US 24 at the intersection of CR 150 South.  David Snyder, 66, of Russiaville, was driving a 2005 Ford F-250 northwest on 150 South when he crossed the eastbound lanes of US 24 and was struck by an eastbound 1995 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck driven by James Osburn, 56, of Peru.


A medical helicopter was called to the scene.  Fire personnel extricated Snyder from his vehicle.  He died while being flown to the hospital.


Osburn was transported to Logansport Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.


The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says impaired driving is not believed to be a factor.  The crash remains under investigation.


The New Waverly Fire Department, Walton Fire Department and Cass County Emergency Medical Services provided aid at the scene.

Two people arrested on drug offenses in Argos

Marshall County authorities arrested two people in Argos on drug charges.


The Marshall County Sheriff's Office and a K9 aided the Indiana Department Corrections at a home on Kenilworth Road.  Law enforcement says methamphetamine, narcotics and other drug related items were found at the home.


Two people were arrested on drug charges after Marshall County deputies and K-9 Diesel assisted the Indiana Department Corrections at a home on Kenilworth Road in Argos, according to the Marshall County Sheriff's Department.


Scott Lewis, 43, and Marlanna Howell, 43, were arrested and charged with several drug related offenses.


Deputies said suspected methamphetamine, narcotics, paraphernalia and other drug related items were found in the home.




Marshall County man pulled from Lake Michigan dies from cardiac arrest due to drowning

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a kite surfing incident on Lake Michigan that claimed the life of a Bremen man.

About 6:30 pm Saturday,  LaPorte County Dispatch Center received a 911 call about a man who nearly drowned while kite surfing near Washington Park Beach.

Initial investigation revealed that Douglas Tolle, 56, of Bremen, was participating in a kite surfing lesson when, for unknown reasons, he began struggling in the water. By the time other kite surfers reached Tolle, he was unconscious.

Tolle was taken to shore where CPR was started. He was transported to Franciscan Health Michigan City in critical condition.

On Monday, Tolle succumbed to his injuries and died. The preliminary cause of death is cardiac arrest due to drowning.

Indiana Conservation Officers were assisted on scene by Michigan City Police, LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, and Michigan City Fire Department.

Suicide ends Saturday kidnapping in Logansport, victim left uninjured

A Logansport woman was left traumatized early Saturday morning, after being kidnapped at gunpoint by an acquaintance from work that ended quickly, with the suspect killing himself before police could arrive. 


According to the Logansport Police Department Timothy Allen, 49, kidnapped a 31-year-old work acquaintance by gunpoint while the victim had been at her place of employment. After restraining the victim, Allen took the victim to a remote wooded area around Logansport's 1800 block of 18th Street, where police first arrived. 


Logansport Police Department officers arrived on scene to find Allen had already shot himself, taking his own life. It is still unclear why the kidnapping happened, but speculations are that Allen had been infatuated with the victim. The woman was left physically uninjured and was soon released to go home to recover. The victim requested privacy while recovering from the ordeal. 


According to records, the call came in around 6:00 am Saturday about a kidnapping that had resulted in a shooting. 

Reminder: City of Rochester to begin resurfacing several streets this week

City of Rochester Street Department has announced that the city street paving projects are scheduled to begin this week.


The city asks that residents in these areas move all vehicles off the street prior to Monday,  October 10, and refrain from parking on the street during the resurfacing in that respective area. 


The following streets are on the schedule: 

Gregory Farm Village

Schoolview Addition

Long Beach Drive

Rochester Blvd – Jackson to Lakeshore

Madison St – 13th to 14th St

W 12th St – Park Rd to Fulton

W 9th St Clay to Fulton

W 5th St - Clay to Fulton

W 4th St- Alley to Pontiac (South half lane)

W 6th St - Minnow Creek to Clay

E 16th St – Bancroft to Wallace

E 6th St – Indiana Ave to Pool parking lot

E 6th St – Main to Monroe


If you have any questions, please contact the Street Department at 574-223-4740.

Saturday's 30th annual Chili Cook-Off winners

The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce announced the following participants as winners in each of the following categories for the 2022 Chili Cook-Off:


Best Decorated Booth: Modern Materials


People’s Choice: “Morty Garcia + Friends” Manitou Moose Lodge 1107


2nd Place: “Pecos Prez” Community Presbyterian Church


1st Place: “Morty Garcia + Friends” Manitou Moose Lodge 1107


Each of these winners received a certificate, commemorative tumblers, and their prize money in cash on Saturday.

Chiro Coffee Company straightens up mornings, located in Winamac chiropractic office

Straightening out mornings and backs, Mark Heal and Mary Heal, owners of Renewed Health Chiropractic, had a vision when adding Chiro Coffee Company to their office at 1206 S Monticello St in Winamac. 

A Chiropractor for over 32 years, Mark said the absense of disease or symptoms is more than just physical. Wanting to take care of their patients in mind, body and soul, Chiro Coffee Company was created as a space where community members can go to relax. 

Still a work in progress, the building itself has been a work in progress for the practice. Recently switched offices, the practice spent nearly half a decade converting the current building from a restaurant to where it currently is now.


Recently changing the business name from Goble Heal Chiropractic to Renewed Health Chiropractic, they wanted to recognize and include not only their family, but also the 12 employees that work for their three chiropractic offices in Winamac, Rochester and Lafayette. 


A new name, building and now coffee shop felt like a fresh start for their Winamac location after they opened the doors to the chiropractic office on Easter of 2021. A year later Chiro Coffee Company made its debut in April of 2022.


Currently employing a full time manager, two part time baristas and one barista on call, and is looking to hire one more part time barista currently. With their drive-thru opening just last month and business continuing to pickup, Mary says they hope to grow the number of employees for both the chiropractic office and coffee shop as they go. 



Thankful for the support the community has given them, Mark says Chiro Coffee Company collaberate with local businesses as much as they can to give back. 


Chiro Coffee Co hours are Monday to Friday from 7am to 2pm and Saturday's from 8am to 1pm. 

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus found in LaGrange and Kosciusko counties

State public health and animal health officials are urging northern Indiana residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to monitor their horses for illness in response to the detection of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus activity in multiple northern Indiana counties.


As of October 4, two horses in LaGrange County and one horse in Kosciusko County have tested positive for EEE virus in 2022. No human EEE virus disease cases or infected mosquitoes have been reported in Indiana so far this year. Because suitable habitat for the vector mosquitoes is found throughout the area, humans and horses in all northern Indiana counties are potentially at risk. While the risk of EEE virus infection begins to decrease when evening and overnight temperatures drop to 60°F, the risk is not eliminated until the first overnight hard freeze (32°F).


State officials recommend the following preventive measures for those at risk:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn, and early morning)
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or 2-undecanone on clothes and exposed skin
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home
  • Vaccinate horses for EEE annually according to guidelines from the American Association of Equine Practitioners

You can eliminate mosquito breeding sites from your property by doing the following:

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

While rare, EEE virus can cause serious illness and has a fatality rate of around 33 percent or higher. Many people who recover may still experience long-term complications. Symptoms of EEE virus disease include chills, fever, body aches and joint pain. Some people develop a more severe form of the disease affecting the nervous system and causing encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). People who are younger than 15 years and older than 50 years are at the greatest risk of severe disease if infected with EEE virus. People who think they may have EEE virus should contact their healthcare provider.


EEE in horses is often called “sleeping sickness” because infected animals become comatose. Other clinical signs may include listlessness, high fever, head pressing and seizures. Horses that develop EEE rarely survive. Infected mosquitoes carry the virus; it does not spread from horse to horse or horse to human. Contact a veterinarian if any of these signs are noticed. Testing is available for EEE.

Evan Gottschalk on his 12 years as member of the Northern Indiana Community Foundation

The Northern Indiana Community Foundation board, like many boards, has term limits.


First Federal Savings Bank CEO and President Evan Gottschalk has reached his 12 year term limit.  He spoke on his time with the Community Foundation.



Gottschalk talked about how things have changed since he joined the board.



Anyone with interest in becoming a board member with the Northern Indiana Community Foundation can reach out to Brian Johnson at 574-224-3223, or email  fulton@nicf.org.

Caston Elementary receives national recognition for commitment to empowering students

Caston Elementary announced that it has been recognized as a 2021-22Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School.


Caston Elementary is one of just 282 schools across the U.S. to receive this honor for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Launch. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in schools across the U.S. 


“We are extremely proud of our teachers and students for earning this honor for the second year in a row!  Caston Elementary is just one example of how PLTW provides engaging STEM curriculum so that students can have authentic learning experiences!” said Angie Miller, Curriculum Director.


The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, Caston Elementary School had tohave at least 75 percent of the student body participating in at least one PLTW Launch module and had to offer at least one PLTW Launch module in each grade (K-5) during the 2020-21 school year. 


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

“We are honored to recognize Caston Elementary School for their unwavering commitment to provide students with an excellent educational experience despite the last two years having been some of the most challenging in recent history for students and educators across the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. David Dimmett, Interim President and CEO of PLTW. Caston should be very proud of their achievements in unlocking their students’ potential and equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in life beyond the classroom no matter what career path they choose.”

Fulton County Community Foundation match opportunity

Thanks to a generous donation from RapidView LLC, the Fulton County Community Foundation is kicking off their GivingTuesday campaign and can match up to $5,000 in gifts to the following funds:


The Camp-We-Can Endowment Fund, which benefits an annual camp for adults and children with special needs. Camp-We-Can focuses on inclusivity and has included activities such as swimming, horseback riding, crafts and more for their campers.  


The Fulton County 4-H Dog Club Fund that supports 4-Hers and their canine companions. 4-H focuses on encouraging community youth to reach their full potential through various clubs and projects such as the Fulton County 4-H Dog Club.


The Fulton County Park and Recreation Sustainability Fund that provides funding for various parks projects such as bridge upgrades, county parks maintenance, trail preservation, and many other park and recreational projects.


JEM Art Educators Fund that supports the fine arts within the Rochester School Cooperation and currently provides art supplies and support for the schools’ art programs.


The Olive Jane Hathaway Animal Center Supply Fund, which helps provide The Fulton County Animal Adoption & Education Center with supplies, food, and other similar expenses.



Additionally, the foundation can match up to $50,000 given to the Fulton County Community Fund. This fund allows the Fulton County Community Foundation Grants Committee to award money to charitable and deserving Fulton County organizations.


This matching opportunity is available from now through the Giving Tuesday event on November 29. Visit nicf.org or call 574-224-3223 to donate.



Deere Run Addition water project could impact Rochester water for some customers

The City of Rochester Water Department is extending the water main throughout the Deere Run Addition on the east side of the lake. 


Due to the nature of the project, city residents in the areas from the East State Road 14 / 25 intersection (near Shepherd's Chevrolet Buick GMc) and east around the lake may experience one or all of the following: water loss, low pressure, or cloudy / discolored water until the repairs have been completed. 


It's anticipated that these issues will be intermittent and may last up until October 28.  It's recommended that you avoid washing white clothes if you see discolored water.  You can try running the water for a few minutes to help clear it before using. 


The City of Rochester appreciates your cooperation and patience in this matter.

The Roots Yoga Project gets a room to bloom, upcoming studio next to The Times Theater

The Roots Yoga Project has come a long way spreading their passion for yoga in Fulton County since it's beginning last year.


Organized by The Ladybug Foundation, the group was formed by seven yoga instructors, who began offering free yoga in the Rochester City Park with Recovery Cafe Fulton County. As attendence numbers continued to grow, so did a need for more space and classes in the area. 


Collaberating with local businesses like Ruthless Bar and Patio, Jarrety's Place, and Lilly Pad Boutique opened even more doors for the nonprofit organization to  cultivate a local yoga community. What they still didn't have was a place of their own. After getting an offer about a small space above The Times Theater, yoga instructor Lindsay Barts, jumped on an investment that would give The Roots Yoga Project a room to bloom. 



Taking the renovation project head on, Barts has high hopes for the future. Also, in charge of building the programs The Root Yoga Project provides, Barts hopes to not only raise awareness around yoga, but also mental health with classes basing their framework around proven yoga therapy research. 



Still working on getting things ready at the studio, The Roots Yoga Project Yoga Room, 701 Main St in Rochester, is having a grand opening night with candlelight yoga to kick off the celebration on October 31 from 5:45 pm to 6:45 pm.


Planning to still continue collaberating in the community, The Roots Yoga Project hopes to awaken Rochester, one class at a time. 



SR 14 closure near Winamac runs next week into November

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces the closure of State Road 14 near Winamac.


Crews will replace two small structures between U.S. 35 and State Road 39. Work is scheduled to start on or after October 10 and is expected to wrap up by the end of November. All work is weather-dependent and schedules are subject to change.


During construction, drivers are encouraged to use the posted detour of S.R. 39, State Road 10 and U.S. 35, or seek an alternate route.

Two people killed in US 30 crash

A Fulton man was the driver of a semi involved in a fatal accident on US 30 Tuesday morning.



Just before 8:00 am, LaPorte County deputies responded to the 6300 west block of US 30 for a crash involving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and a passenger vehicle. Starke County EMS personnel arrived and confirmed that two occupants of the passenger vehicle were deceased.


The LaPorte Co. Sheriff's office says the initial crash investigation completed by Deputy Ken Etchison and assisting deputies determined that a 2019 Mack semi-tractor, driven by David E. Sutton, 47, of Fulton, was pulling a 2015 Hyundai trailer. The CMV had just exited the Plaza 30 Truck Stop and was beginning to travel eastbound on US 30. While doing so, the trailer separated from the semi-tractor in the eastbound driving lane, just east of the truck stop entrance / exit.


A 2022 Kia, driven by Angela J. Oehmen, 36, of Wanatah, was traveling eastbound on US 30. The Kia collided with the rear of the trailer in the eastbound US 30 driving lane.


Oehmen was pronounced dead at the scene. Her son, Joseph I. Oehmen, 14, a front seat passenger in the vehicle was also pronounced dead at the scene.


A second juvenile who was an occupant of the vehicle sustained an upper body injury. That juvenile was transported to an area hospital for treatment.


Sutton was not injured.


The eastbound lanes of US 30 were closed for several hours for the initial investigation. Toxicology test results are pending. The crash investigation is ongoing


Indiana State Fair advisory committee seeks public input at meeting next week

The State Fair Advisory Committee is seeking public input to discuss the needs and issues pertaining to the State Fair's continued success, said State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg), chair of the committee.

"The Indiana State Fairgrounds is a symbol of our state's heritage and continues to serve as a hub for residents to learn about and celebrate the Spirit of Indiana," Leising said. "It is important for the commission to strategically uphold this foundation, and receiving input from residents will provide insight on concerns regarding visitor experience at the fairgrounds."

The advisory committee serves as non-voting members of the Indiana State Fair Commission to provide legislative insight in ensuring successful representation of the state and partnership with the agricultural community.

The commission sets governing policy over the Indiana State Fair and provides strategic direction for the year-round operation of the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center.

The advisory committee will meet at the Indiana Statehouse in room 233 on Thursday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Public comments will be received following presentations.

Deadline approaching to register to vote in November election

Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan is reminding Hoosiers of two upcoming dates regarding voting:

Indiana’s voter registration deadline is October 11. Registering to vote and checking your status can be done online at http://IndianaVoters.com or by visiting your local county election administrator’s office. On October 11, online registration needs to be completed before midnight and registering in person at your local county election administrator’s office needs to be completed before the end of the business day.

In-person early voting begins on October 12 and is open until November 7. All registered Indiana voters are eligible to vote early in-person. Contact your county clerk’s office to find locations and hours for early voting. A valid photo ID is required to vote.

“Registering to vote, finding a polling location and reviewing your ballot is simply a click away at IndianaVoters.com,” Secretary Sullivan said. “It’s easier than ever for Hoosiers to make their voices heard and take part in our elections process.”

According to state statute, the Secretary of State shall request Indiana news media to include a copy of the voter’s bill of rights as part of election coverage. Access the Indiana Voter’s Bill of Rights here: https://www.in.gov/sos/elections/voter-information/voters-rights/indiana-voters-bill-of-rights/

9-year-old saved from farm accident

Quick action by first responders saved a child in a farm accident last week.


Pulaski County deputies Alec Berger and Aaron Zimmerman were dispatched to a report of a child entrapped by grain in a grain wagon. Deputy Berger arrived first on scene and was able to utilize past grain bin rescue training to stabilize the child using metal sheets preventing serious possible injuries.


Medaryville Fire arrived shortly after, working together with Deputies Berger and Zimmerman, were able to use a grain cage to remove the settled corn from around the child before extricating the child.


The child was then checked by Pulaski County EMS.