Home improvement scams growing concern with good weather

With warmer weather upon us, there tends to be an increase in home improvement fraud scams. Scams involving driveway improvements seem to be the most common. This includes white rocking, paving, sealing and chip and sealing.


The common method of operation in these scams involves the workers going door to door, soliciting business. The workers may offer a great deal to make improvements to your driveway, many times with leftover materials from a previous job. As with anything else if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. They will either confuse the victim on the agreed price or not mention it until the work is completed.


The work is commonly overpriced and poorly done. The common denominator with many of these suspects is that the vehicles are not marked with their business names and contact information.


Indiana has “HICA”, which is Indiana Home Improvement Contract Act (IC 24-5-11-10). This requires the following:

The home improvement supplier shall provide a completed home improvement contract to the consumer before it is signed by the consumer.


The contract must contain at a minimum the following:


The name of the consumer and the address of the residential property that is the subject of the home improvement.


The name and address of the home improvement supplier and each of the telephone numbers and names of any agent to whom consumer problems and inquiries can be directed.


The date the home improvement contract was submitted to the consumer and any time limitation on the consumer's acceptance of the home improvement contract.


A reasonably detailed description of the proposed home improvements.


If the description required by subdivision does not include the specifications for the home improvement, a statement that the specifications will be provided to the consumer before commencing any work and that the home improvement contract is subject to the consumer's separate written and dated approval of the specifications.


The approximate starting and completion dates of the home improvements.


A statement of any contingencies that would materially change the approximate completion date.


The home improvement contract price.


The home improvement contract must be in a form that each consumer who is a party to it can reasonably read and understand.

Cass County road closure on SR 218

State Road 218 will be closed between C.R. 50 E and C.R. 200 E on or after Thursday, June 1 through late September for a bridge replacement over Rock Creek.


The official detour will follow State Road 29 and U.S. 35.

Millions granted from federal program to aid area Brownfield cleanup sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced more than $8 million from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to expedite the assessment and cleanup of Brownfield sites in Indiana.

EPA selected eight communities in Indiana to receive eight grants totaling $5,066,000 in competitive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grant programs. Thanks to the historic boost from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this is the largest ever funding awarded in the history of the EPA’s Brownfields MARC Grant programs. In addition, the agency is announcing $3 million in non-competitive supplemental funding to one successful existing Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grant program in Indiana to help expedite its continued work by extending the program’s capacity to provide more funding for additional cleanups.

“Given the Midwest’s rich industrial history, it’s no surprise that Indiana has a significant portion of EPA’s funded Brownfields sites,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “Thanks to the historic Brownfields investment announced today, more communities will get the financial help they need to transform abandoned, blighted properties into assets that attract business and community development.”


EPA has selected the North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council for a $500,000 community-wide grant funds to conduct 12 Phase I and 10 to 12 Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to prepare five to 10 cleanup plans and for community engagement activities including public meetings. The six-county region in north-central Indiana is the target area with a focus on the Grissom Aeroplex near Bunker Hill and the Rochester Wabash Corridor. Priority sites include a 10-acre former heating plant, the 10-acre former Randolph School, the 124-acre former Alert Billets Air Force Base, a 3.7-acre former clothing factory, and the 4-acre former Rochester Heat Treating facility.


Many communities that are under economic stress, particularly those located in areas that have experienced long periods of disinvestment, lack the resources needed to initiate brownfield cleanup and redevelopment projects. As brownfield sites are transformed into community assets, they attract jobs, promote economic revitalization and transform communities into sustainable and environmentally just places.

EPA has selected the City of Logansport for a $400,000 community-wide grant to conduct 11 Phase I and eight to ten Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to prepare five to ten cleanup plans and support community engagement activities including public meetings. Priority sites in western and eastern Logansport target area include a former battery plant, a former tire factory, a former industrial warehouse, a former Sears Auto, and a former retail site.

“Our focus is on meeting the needs of our local communities by creating regional strategies to address common issues,” said North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council Executive Director Steven Ray. “The EPA assessment grant will allow us to conduct environmental assessments and redevelopment planning to enhance the quality of place and spur private investment across the North Central Indiana region.”  

Logansport man arrested after fleeing police

A traffic stop turned into a pursuit for law enforcement in Cass County.

Just after midnight on Saturday morning, a Cass County deputy attempted a stop on a driver in a speeding pickup in Logansport.

The driver, later identified as Jeffrey Wolfe, 32. of Logansport, sped away at a high rate of speed.He struck mailboxes and a Logansport Utilities water meter structure on High Street when he drove off the road in his escape attempt.

Wolfe also drove off the road and through a farm field and residential yard before hitting police stop sticks.  With deflated tire, Wolfe drove off the road and struck a ravine embankment.

An ambulance was called to help Wolfe with his injuries.

Wolfe was charged with resisting law enforcement with a motor vehicle, criminal mischief, operating while intoxicated endangering, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving and other related charges.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department says they also found out that Wolfe was supposed to be storing the truck for a friend and not driving it.

The pursuit lasted 16 minutes and reached speeds of nearly 80 mph. Two Logansport Police cars were damaged.

Bremen man killed in crash

The Marshall County Coroner John Grolich that a Bremen man died in a single-vehicle accident Friday night.

Miles A. Blackburn, 38, was fatally injured about 11 p.m.after this vehicle hit a tree at the intersection of East South and Foltz Streets in Bremen.

Emergency responders found two occupants in the vehicle.  Ryan M. Zellme,  of Breme,  was extricated from the vehicle and transported to the Community Hospitals of Bremen and then airlifted to a trauma center.    

The Marshall County Coroner said seatbelts were not in use at the time of the accident and speed and alcohol are believed to be a factor in the crash.    

This accident remains under investigation by Bremen Police and the Marshall County Coroner’s Office. 

Two arrests after man stabbed by knife

A man attacked by a knife resulted in two arrests in Pulaski County.


On Saturday evening, Pulaski County Dispatch received a 911 emergency call of a man assaulted with a kife in Medaryville. Emergency personnel arrived at the scene and determined that Travis Owens and Stacie Fiscus had an altercation with the victim. The man was stabbed. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment.


Owens and Fiscus were later found in Monticello. They were taken into custody by the White County Sheriff’s Department and were held in Pulaski County pending a review of charges by the prosecutor.


The incident remains under investigation.

Redefined name of Woodlawn Health announced

The Board of Trustees recently approved to add the name Woodlawn Health as part of redefining the Woodlawn organization and describe all that Woodlawn encompasses. 

The new name better defines what the Woodlawn family provides to the community as they are not only a hospital, but several clinics located throughout the county.

“Woodlawn Health allows us to be inclusive of our clinics and the wonderful work our team does each day in Akron, Fulton, Argos, and Rochester,” Alan Fisher, CEO of Woodlawn stated.  

He added, “Although our brand name has transformed as part of modernizing our health system, the care and commitment to the community remains. Woodlawn Health will continue to be an independent organization.”              

Felony arrest in Miami County vehicle crash

A felony OVWI arrest was made following a vehicle crash in Miami County.

Just after 11 p.m.., Thursday an Indiana State Police troopert responded to a vehicle crash near N. Broadway St. and Shields Ave. in Peru. The driver was identified as Timothy See, 52, of Peru.

See displayed signs of impairment and failed field sobriety tests. Further investigation revealed he did not possess a valid driver's license and had a blood alcohol content of .202%.

See was arrested for Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated- Prior Conviction, Level 6 Felony and taken to the Miami County Jail.


Summer lunch program begins at Fulton County Public Library on June 5

The Fulton County Public Library will be offering a summer lunch program starting Monday, June 5.


The program will run through July 21.


Between 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., children ages 18 and younger can eat a lunch for free at the library's Rochester branch. Food must be consumed on the premises.


Adults can eat for $2.

Woodlawn details 2023 financial info

The past month, financially, didn’t show out as strong for Woodlawn Hospital in Rochester as the total year has, to this point.


COO Brad Rogers.



Rogers says, however, the calendar year through four months has been a good one.



Rogers further notes that doctor visits and items like wellness checks continue to increase in the post-COVID era.




Cross country bike trip to raise money for Shriners Hospitals to make stop in Rochester

A cross-country team of bicycle riders that will stop in Rochester next month is pedaling its way across the USA in support of Shriners Hospitals for Children.


The team will be in Rochester, on Sunday, June 11.


Cycling enthusiasts are riding along with the team for parts of the 45-day trek from the Pacific Ocean in southern California to the Statue of Liberty. Masonic Lodges and Shriners are hosting receptions along the path, as well.


Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research, and outstanding medical education. Our healthcare system provides advanced care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. All care and services are provided regardless of the families' ability to pay.


Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.



If you would like to ride along with the team or host any sort of a reception, please contact your local Masonic Lodge or a local Shriner. You can also write directly to the team leader, Dave Romero at USACyclingDave@Gmail.com. Additionally, you can follow the team's journey at https://www.youtube.com/@Dave_Cycling_Across_Americaand the donation link is https://donate.lovetotherescue.org/fundraiser/4530613

Indiana State Police Peru Post holds annual memorial service

An inscription on the memorial stone in front of the Indiana State Police Peru Post reads, “We Will Remember Them”.


That promise was kept when local law enforcement officers, retired state police employees, local government officials, and family members of the fallen joined employees from the Indiana State Police Peru Post as they paid tribute to the 48 Indiana State Police employees who have died in the line of duty since the department’s inception in 1933.


Since the early days of the Indiana State Police, memorial services have been held at all Indiana State Police Post during the month of May The memorial services are a way of paying tribute and remembering the ultimate sacrifice paid by state police employees who died while serving and protecting the citizens and visitors of Indiana. The services are also for the family members of the fallen heroes. The memorial services let the families of the fallen know that the sacrifice made by them, and their departed loved ones will never be forgotten.


Today’s service started with troopers standing at attention as Captain Jeremy Kelly, Area I commander for the Indiana State Police, read a roll call of the fallen employees. Lieutenant T.J. Zeiser, commander of the Indiana State Police Peru Post, provided a brief description of what lead to the fallen employees’ final call. The solemn ceremony ended with the playing of Amazing Grace by a bagpipe and Taps by a bugler.


Four troopers from the Indiana State Police Peru Post have died in the line of duty:


Sergeant Glen R. Hosier died April 26, 1971, of a gunshot wound he received while leading officers up the staircase of a Miami County home. He was attempting to arrest a murder suspect.


Trooper Robert J. Lather II died July 6, 1982, in an automobile crash on U.S. 31 in Miami County. He was assisting the Howard County Sheriff’s Department in pursuit of a traffic violator.


Master Trooper Detective David E. Rich died July 5, 2007, of a gunshot wound he received when a motorist he stopped to assist opened fired on him as he approached a disabled vehicle on U.S. 24 in Wabash County.


Trooper Daniel R. Barrett died January 27, 2008, while attempting to catch a speeding vehicle on U.S. 31 in northern Fulton County. His police car left the roadway and struck a tree, killing the trooper instantly.


For a complete listing of Indiana State Police employees who died in the line of duty, visit the Indiana State Police website at www.in.gov/isp..

Fulton County Foundation scholarships available

Applications are nowavailable for summer scholarships through the Fulton County Community Foundation. 


Fulton County residents pursuing higher education can apply for the following; 


•    The Ginger Miller Higher Education Scholarship provides scholarships for qualified college graduates pursuing graduate or professional school degrees.


•    The Phillips-Braman Scholarship provides scholarships for Rochester High School graduates who have completed one year of coursework at Purdue University. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and academic achievement.


•    The Back Home Again in Indiana Scholarship supports non-traditional students who wish to pursue higher education and/or training to enhance their skills for employment. Non-traditional students include those who have graduated from high school or obtained a GED and have delayed entrance into college, rather than earning a degree immediately after high school.


•    The Baxter Family Pharmaceutical Scholarship provides scholarships for Caston, Rochester, or Valley graduates, or a resident of Fulton County that has been accepted into a pharmaceutical program at a college or university in Indiana.


•    The Frederick Rakestraw Law Scholarshipprovides scholarships for qualified college graduates pursuing a degree in law. Applicants must have been residents of Fulton County for at least three years during high school and must be accepted into a graduate school program and enrolled in any school of law in the United States.


The following scholarships are for 2023 Rochester graduates planning to

study agriculture or a related field of study:


  1. Dale Eizinger and Robert Tobey Agricultural Scholarship
  2. George M. and Liale W. Schwenk Memorial Scholarship
  3. Simon Deeb Scholarship


Applications and information are available at www.nicf.org/fulton-county/scholarships. The deadline to apply is July 12, 2023.For more information, contact the Northern Indiana Community Foundation Scholarship Coordinator, Shannon Berger, at 574-223-2202 or scholarships@nicf.org.

Driver charged with OVWI after being clocked at over 100 mph on US 31

A Lake County man was arrested on OVWI - related charges after being clocked at over 100 mph.

Just before 3 a.m., Monday an Indiana State Police trooper was patrolling US 31 south of Rochester. The trooper stopped the driver of a 2019 Ford for driving 102 mph. The driver was identified as Michael John Rogers, 29, of Dyer.


Rogers displayed signs of impairment and failed field sobriety tests. Further investigation revealed the driver had a preliminary BrAC of .177%.


Rogers was arrested and taken to the Fulton County Jail on several charges:


-Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated- Prior, Level 6 Felony

-Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated- Endangerment, A Misdemeanor

-Reckless Driving, A Misdemeanor

-Driving While Suspended- Prior Conviction, A Misdemeanor


The Fulton County Sheriff's Office assisted.


Rochester City Park splash pad and Rochester City Pool opening Saturday

Rochester Street Department Superintendent Duane Border spent Tuesday afternoon installing the spray nozzles on the splash pad at the Rochester City Park.


Border's work was in preparation for the opening of the splash pad on Saturday. Water at the splash pad will be turned on daily, 10 a.m. -  8 p.m.



Border says the Rochester City Pool will also be opening this Saturday.


Due to short staff, the pool will be open from 1p.m. -  7 p.m.  this Saturday until next Thursday, June 1. The pool will be closed Friday,  June 2, and Saturday, June 3, for graduation.


The following week, however, pool hours will resume as normal.


Rochester City Pool's normal hours are Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. - 7 p.m. 

Fulton and surrounding counties have significant drops in unemployment in April report

Indiana’s unemployment rate in April stands at 3.0%, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.


By comparison, the national unemployment rate for April stands at 3.4%.


In addition, Indiana’s labor force participation rate increased to 63.6% for April, remaining above the national rate of 62.6%. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3,423,506 - an increase of 7,080 from the previous month.


Fulton County saw a huge improvement in April with a 2.6% unemployment rate, down 1.4% from the March report at 4.0%.  Kosciusko County was down o.7% to 2,5% in April.


Marshall County sets in the 23rd position of the 92 counties in Indiana with an unemployment rate of 2.8%.  The March unemployment rate for Marshall County was 3.6%.


Pulaski County is the best county in the area with an unemployment rate of 2.3%. That's down 1.2% from the previous month. 


Starke County is down a point-and-a-half with an unemployment rate of 3.3%, a major improvement from the March rate of 4.8%.  


Private sector employment in Indiana increased by 14,200 jobs over the last month, translating to a gain of 76,500 jobs from this time last year. Indiana's April private employment stands at 2,845,100. This is a new private employment peak for the state. Industries that experienced job increases in April included:


·       Private Educational and Health Services (+4,100);

·       Leisure and Hospitality (+3,800);

·       Professional and Business Services (+3,500);

·       Financial Activities (+1,500);

·       Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+1,300); and

·       Manufacturing (+300).


As of May 17, 2023, there were 126,185 open job postings throughout the state. In April, 14,211 unemployment insurance claims were filed in Indiana.

Throwing stars regulated by Senate Enrolled Act 77

Indiana will lift its ban on throwing stars this summer.


Effective July 1, Senate Enrolled Act 77 will regulate throwing stars the same way as other knife-like weapons.  A ban from school property is included.


At first, legislation was to limit throwing stars to recreational businesses until Indiana House lawmakers broadened the bill.


Under Senate Enrolled Act 77, Indiana will regulate throwing stars the same way as any other knife-like weapon, which includes a ban on school property.


State Senator Linda Rogers (R-Granger), pushed for the legislation, and approved of the final version.

Upcoming road construction in Fulton and Pulaski counties

Due to road construction in Fulton County, State Road 114 between County Road 200 W. and County Road 300 W. will be closed from May 23 through June 16.

A detour will be in place.


Also, there are two upcoming US 35 closures in Pualski County. Indiana Department of Transportation contractor Rieth-Riley Construction Co will close US 35 between SR 119 and SR 16 for two culvert replacements on or after Tuesday, May 30.


The first closure for US 35 will be between CR E. 600 S. and CR E. 675 S. at Mud Creek. Once that culvert replacement is complete, the closure will be between CR E. 900 S. and CR S. 400 E. at Wilson Wiseley Ditch.


All work will be completed by mid-July.


The official detour will follow SR 119 and SR 16.

Flash drought and Canadian wildfire smoke in the forecast

Fair weather with high temperatures warming into the 80s into mid-week is leading to the possibility of a flash drought.


A strong area of high pressure is building over the upper Midwest is amplifying the dry conditions and low humidity. A flash drought is simply the rapid onset or intensification of drought. It is set in motion by lower-than-normal rates of precipitation, accompanied by abnormally high temperatures, winds, and radiation. Together, these changes in weather can rapidly alter the local climate.


Another feature of the week’s weather is smoke from wildfires in Canada.  It’s been impacting parts of the west and now is moving into parts of the central U.S. In some areas, it’s prompted air quality alerts or special weather statements about air quality.


Today’s forecast calls for sunny, but hazy skies due to western Canada wildfire smoke. Smoke is not expected to reach the surface, but it is expected to lead to a milky tint in the sky.

Monterey semi fire ends in total loss but no injuries

The Monterey and Tippecanoe Fire Department and Kewanna Union Township Fire Department ended their Saturday evening putting out the blaze of a semi fire parked in the yard at 6250 E 250 N, outside of Monterey.



The owner of the semi, Brian Lewis, said they are still unsure what exactly caused the fire and it is still under investigation. Watching television with his wife, Lewis noticed the flames on the parked semi through his living room window before he called authorities.


There were no injuries.  Lewis said the damage resulted in a total loss. 

Hoosiers urged to protect themselves against tick bites

Indiana health officials are urging Hoosiers to protect themselves from tick bites during and after spending time outdoors to protect themselves from tick-borne diseases.

“Even though we’ve had a cool, wet spring, ticks are already out and looking for their next meal,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Jen Brown, D.V.M., M.P.H. “The risk for tick-borne disease is at its highest for the next few months, so we want Hoosiers to protect themselves by taking precautions against tick bites.”

While Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in Indiana, Hoosiers are also at risk for other tick-borne diseases, including ehrlichiosis and spotted fever group rickettsiosis (a group of diseases that includes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever). While the risk for Lyme disease is highest in northwest Indiana and the risk for ehrlichiosis is highest in southern Indiana, ticks that carry these diseases have been found throughout the state. All Hoosiers should take precautions to prevent tick bites from early spring through late fall, when ticks are most active.

Preventing tick bites is the best way to prevent tick-borne diseases. Hoosiers can take the following precautions to prevent tick bites:

  • Know where ticks are likely to be present (close to the ground in grassy, brushy or wooded areas);
  • Treat boots, clothing and outdoor gear with 0.5% permethrin (NOTE: permethrin should NOT be used on bare skin);
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents with active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD) or 2-undecanone;
  • Treat your pets for ticks in consultation with a veterinarian.

Once indoors, people should thoroughly check for ticks on clothing, gear, pets and skin. Tumbling clothes in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes will kill ticks, and showering can help remove any unattached ticks.

“Tick checks are an essential part of preventing tick-borne diseases. Promptly removing an attached tick can prevent you from becoming sick in some cases,” Brown said.

Ticks may be safely removed by using tweezers to grasp the tick close to the skin and then pulling outward with steady and even pressure. After the tick is removed, the area should be washed thoroughly. Ticks should never be crushed with the fingernails.

If desired, an attached tick that has been removed may be saved in a sealed bag or container of alcohol for later inspection in case the person or pet becomes ill. Alternatively, ticks may be flushed down the toilet or wrapped tightly in tape and thrown in the trash. Testing ticks to see if they are carrying diseases is not generally recommended, as the information cannot reliably be used to predict whether disease transmission occurred.

Anyone who becomes ill after finding an attached tick should see a healthcare provider immediately and alert the provider to the exposure. Most tick-borne diseases can be treated with antibiotics, and prompt diagnosis can help prevent complications.

For more information about ticks and how to prevent the diseases they carry, see the IDOH website at http://www.in.gov/isdh/20491.htm

One killed in motorcycle - car crash

A motorcyclist was killed near State Road 15 and Anchorage Road Thursday afternoon.


About 3 p.m., Warsaw Police say that the motorcycle was headed north on SR 15.  It collided with a car making a left turn.


The operator of the motorcycle, age 30, was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.


The driver of the car was injured and transported to the hospital.


No name has been released as of this report.

Lake Bruce Creamery and Greenery opens roadside stand

Lake Bruce Creamery and Greenery has opened their farm up a little more this year with a roadside stand at their goat farm at 655 North 1100 West, Kewanna, outside of Lake Bruce.


Providing everything from flowers, folliage, and a wide variety of herbs and veggies, all produce is hand raised by owner Justin Williams. 



Since the stands soft opening April 14, Williams said he has had nothing but good feedback from the community. With no set hours, the farm stand is always open and goes by an honor system for payment. 




With more than 18 varieties of peppers, both hot and sweet, and many different herbs including five different varieties of basil, the small stand also has small prices. All veggies and herbs are only $2 each or 10 for $18.


Among the other vegetables, Williams also has stems for red and green cabbage, brussel sprouts, asparagus, celery, cucamelons and a few climbing spinach. 



US 24 project with lane closures in Cass County starts next week

U.S. 24 will have alternating lane closures over State Road 25 / Burlington Avenue for a bridge deck overlay project beginning on or after Tuesday, May 23.


One lane will remain open in each direction through the duration of the project, which will be ongoing through late June.

Kosciusko County Sheriff's Office looking for owner of lost pig

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office is looking to return a lost pig to its rightful owner.


In a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon, police say they found a pig in the area of 450 East and 200 South. They say the pig is “currently making new friends” at the Animal Welfare League of Kosciusko County.


If this pig belongs to you, or if you know who it belongs to, please reach out to the Animal Welfare League at 574-267-3008 or email infor@awlwarsaw.com.

The new Fulton County Jail looking into housing federal prisoners

With only 61 inmates at the last count submitted to Fulton County Commissioners Sheriff Travis Heishman has room for more.  


That could mean housing federal prisoners.  It's a move that could also help to pay for the recently opened facility.


Fulton County Commissioner Bryan Lewis.



Lewis says the money received from housing such prisoners will be key to paying down the bond. The jail's design allows for housing more prisoners without having to increase staff.




Rochester woman sentenced with plea agreement in bathtub drowning of daughter

A Rochester woman has been sentenced after entering a guilty plea in the bathtub drowning of her daughter.


Shawna Glosser, 27, will serve six years in prison with three years suspended.  The plea too child neglect resulting in serious bodily injury involves the incident in August of last year when first responders were called to Glosser’s Rochester apartment where her eight-month-old daughter was reported to not be breathing.


Glosser said she left the child alone in a baby seat and came back to find the child face down in the water.

Pulaski County man sentenced to 72 months in prison

A Pulaski County man was sentenced to time in federal prison on gun and drug charges.


Michael Snyder, 35, of Francesville, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr. after pleading guilty in two cases, one for  distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and one for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.


Snyder was sentenced to 72 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.


According to documents in these cases, in November 2021, Snyder, who was driving a stolen vehicle in Mishawaka, was stopped by law enforcement officers.  A loaded, stolen handgun was recovered from under his seat.  Snyder had a prior felony conviction, and as such, was prohibited from possessing the firearm.  In April 2022, an investigation revealed that Snyder was the source of a pound of methamphetamine that was sold in Winamac.


These cases were investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Porter County Multi-Enforcement Group, and the Mishawaka Police Department. 

Kristina Box to retire from Indiana Department of Health as Dr. Lindsay Weaver named new commissioner

Dr. Kristina Box has notified Governor Eric J. Holcomb that she will retire as state health commissioner of the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) effective May 31.


Gov. Holcomb has appointed IDOH’s chief medical officer, Dr. Lindsay Weaver, as the state health commissioner.


“Dr. Box and I began discussing this inevitability nearly a year ago, and I’m so grateful she agreed to stay on to shepherd the state Department of Health’s most ambitious legislative agenda yet. I respect no one more and am so pleased she’ll get to enjoy her next chapter, which is focusing on her family.  I could not have had a better partner in this role, especially in this time. She genuinely cares about the health and well-being of every single Hoosier, and because of her dedication to the betterment of our overall public health system, the state is at the forefront of transformational change that will result in a healthier Indiana,” Gov. Holcomb said.


"I also appreciate how she’s been working on a succession plan with Dr. Weaver, another national all-star, to ensure the successful implementation of our new public health plan. Dr. Box’s dedication to seeing the public health commission plan from ideas to action is a remarkable feat in and of itself. Her competitive refusal to lose is a key reason why our state will win for years to come,” Gov. Holcomb said.


Dr. Box, M.D., FACOG, was appointed state health commissioner by Gov. Holcomb in October 2017. Under her leadership, IDOH has:


  • Launched the Governor’s Public Health Commission, charged with taking a critical look at Indiana’s public health system and making recommendations for improvements.
  • Advocated for a modernized public health system in Indiana through a sustainable funding mechanism that will have a generational impact on Hoosiers.
  • Implemented My Healthy Baby statewide to build a network of services and support to create healthier outcomes for mothers and babies.
  • Conducted the state’s initiative in preventing lead poisoning in children six-years-old and younger through accessible screenings.
  • Led the state’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the most significant public health event in a century, and through coordination efforts with local, state and federal agencies and health partners, countless lives were saved.

“It has been the greatest honor of my professional life to serve this administration, the Indiana Department of Health and Hoosiers across the state,” Dr. Box said. “The past five and a half years have been filled with challenges and opportunities unlike any that public health has ever encountered, and the public health workforce across the state has met those challenges with a heart and determination that have inspired me every day. I am incredibly proud of the work being done and will forever be grateful to those who continue to make improving the health and wellbeing of Hoosiers a priority.”


Dr. Lindsay Weaver, M.D., FACEP, serves as the chief medical officer for IDOH and has led planning efforts to implement the legislation approved by the General Assembly.


Dr. Weaver spearheaded the development of the statewide lab testing network and the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and ensured that testing and vaccines were accessible to all Hoosiers.


“Having worked closely with Dr. Weaver over the years, I know she too is committed to continuing our important work of assuring Hoosiers have awareness and access to public health services,” Gov. Holcomb said. “As the chief medical officer, she has shown the prerequisite character, patience and leadership skills needed as she helped manage our state through the COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, collaborate with local health partners, community leaders and legislators to begin the implementation phase of our massively upgraded public health plan. This transfer of authority will truly be a seamless transition.”  


Dr. Weaver is an assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and she continues to practice medicine at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. She chairs the Indiana Commission for Women.


Dr. Weaver earned her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Kentucky and graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine. She received her residency training in emergency medicine and fellowship training in hospice and palliative medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.


“Taking over the position of state health commissioner from Dr. Box is an enormous responsibility, and it is an honor to follow in her footsteps,” Dr. Weaver said. “Dr. Box has provided exceptional leadership during the past six years and her commitment to public health has been an inspiration to many. I look forward to building on her legacy, implementing the recommendations of the Governor’s Public Health Commission, and continuing to work toward a healthier Indiana.


She will begin her role as commissioner June 1.

Man reported missing from Wabash found driving in Marshall County

A man who was the focus of a Silver Alert has been found.


John Day, 89, was initially reported missing from Wabash.  Authorities were told that Day was driving a pickup with tree limbs in the bed. At the time, his truck had been last seen by a traffic camera in Warsaw.


Day was found by law enforcement in Marshall County.  As the Silver Alert was canceled, it was noted that officers and medics were aiding Day.



Garage at La Paz salvage yard a total loss

Several fire departments responded to a  junkyard in Marshall County on Saturday.


Just after 4 p.m., some eployees were working on a vehicle when it caught at Hundt’s Auto Salvage in the 13000 block of 5C Road. When they arrived, a garage was fully engulfed.


The garage was a complete loss.


Plymouth, Bremen, Koontz Lake and Polk Township Fire Departments responded to the scene.


Rochester man arrested on multiple child molest charges

Detectives with the Indiana State Police Peru Post were contacted by the Fulton County Department of Child Services on Friday concerning allegations of child molestation involving Christopher S. Steinert, 32, of Rochester.


Detectives investigated and arrested Steinert on five charges relating to crimes against children.


Steinert was taken to the Fulton County Jail.


Seven children neglected and two women arrested

Law enforcement in Marshall and Starke counties worked together on a case involving multiple children and neglect charges.


The Marshall County Sheriff's Department recently obtained several complaints from various sources of seven children, between the ages of 4 and 12 not being supervised, not being cared for, and some of the children not attending school.


Following an investigation over several weeks, a report was forwarded to the Marshall County Prosecutor's Office and Department of Child Services of the allegations, attendance records, and statements. The Marshall County Prosecutor's Office then filed for and was issued an arrest warrant for Heather Havens and Kayla Hiler.



On Thursday, May 11, Detectives from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and the Marshall County Sheriff's Department went to a residence in Koontz Lake and arrested  Havens, 46.


A Detective and staff with the Department of Child Services went to a residence located in the 2,000 block of Plymouth-LaPorte Trail and arrested  Hiler, 29.


Both Havens and  Hiler were transported and booked into the Marshall County Jail.

The children were removed for their safety and well-being by the Department of Child Services.


Criminal charges for Havens include three counts of Neglect of a Dependent, Deprives Dependent of education as required by law as a Level 6 Felony.


Criminal charges for Hiler include four counts of Neglect of a Dependent, Placing the Dependent in a Situation that Endangers them as a Level 6 Felony, two counts of Neglect of a Dependent, and Depriving the Dependent of education as required by law as a Level 6 Felony.


Rochester ballet class grows by leaps and bounds

Things just 'kinda fell into place' for local ballet teacher Ashley Taylor, who came out of her seven year hiatus since becoming a stay-at-home mom.


Jumping back into teaching felt like a huge leap for Taylor, who brought her love and passion for dance to Roots Yoga and Dance Studio at 618 Main St Studio A in Rochester. 





Taylor started out this past December with adult ballet classes on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. More doors opened for Taylor once community members caught wind. Taylor eventually started children's classes by February. Classes soon increased rapidly to a handful of classes for Taylor now every week for a twelve week schedule.



Teaching an age range of 15-months to 80-years old, Taylor said being able to build confidence in her students is one of the most rewarding parts of her job. Watching toddlers blossom after being raised through the isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor said this experience has been unique in its own way. 



Recently having gone through a divorce and huge life changes, Taylor said her students and Roots Yoga and Dance Studio have been a savior in more ways than one. Taylor said she continues to grow as a teacher alongside her students. 



As the first scheduled 12 week classes come to an end this week, summer classes are already filling up fast. Pictured below are some available classes starting next week. For more information, visit their Roots Yoga FC Facebook page. 


Attorney General Todd Rokita with listing of recalled items

Attorney General Todd Rokita is alerting Hoosiers of important consumer protection concerns for products recalled in April. 


This is the time to take advantage of opportunities available for those who purchased the recalled items.

“The weather is heating up, and that means more time for fun outdoor activities,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Make sure your kids’ toys are working correctly and safely. Hoosier parents shouldn’t have to deal with faulty items. If you have one of the recalled products, stop using it immediately and pursue resolution from the manufacturer.”  


According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the following consumer products were recalled in April:  


Basket with Balls Toys from Monti Kids
Lelinta Multi-Purpose Kids Helmets from Lucky Global 
Youth In-Line Skates from Rollerblade USA 
BLAVINGAD Fishing Games from IKEA 
Children's Fishing Rods from Lil Anglers 
Children’s Robes from Goumi   
Children’s Nightgowns from Arshiner 
Children’s Bathrobes from FunnyPaja 
Children’s Robes from Bagno Milano 
NewCosplay Children’s Sleepwear from Taizhou Jiawang Trading 
NewCosplay Children’s Sleepwear from Changshu Lingshang Trading 
Alugator Ride 3.0 Hoe and Alugator Ride SE Avalanche Shovels from Mammut Sports Group   
Cordless Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuums from BISSELL 
Audiovisual Carts from Luxor Workspaces 
Flo Battery Back-Ups for Flo Smart Water Monitors from Moen   
DynaDrive Fresh Water Well Pumps from Davey Water Products 
DeWALT, Stanley and Craftsman Fiberglass Sledgehammers from Stanley Black & Decker 


If you believe you recently purchased a recalled product, stop using it, and check its recall notice.


Then, follow the notice’s instructions, including where to return the product or what steps must be taken to receive a replacement product.  


To view recalls issued prior to April, visit the Consumer Protection Safety Commission website.  

Starke County Sheriff Jack Rosa recovering from sepsis

Starke County Sheriff Jack Rosa is recovering after his recent hospitilization.


Rosa was on a ventilator when he quickly became ill a couple of weeks ago.


A social media message from Sheriff Rosa looks to be good news as he recovers:


“Hello, I would like to thank you all for the outpouring support. It truly warms my heart to see the amount of prayers and positivity my wife and I have received during this difficult time.


I am on the road to recovery. Thanks to God and the steadfast medical attention I received from Starke County and La Porte Hospital. I had sepsis from an infection that I was unaware of, but I am improving every day.


I ask for continued prayer and understanding while I recover. I look forward to returning to serve the citizens of our wonderful county.”

Drivers and children injured in a two-car Cass County crash

A medical helicopter was called to the scene of a Cass County crash Tuesday.


Cass County Central Dispatch received numerous calls just before 8:30 p.m. of a two-vehicle crash at County Road 400 South and State Road 29. Several deputies from the Cass County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene. Units from the Walton Fire Department, Logansport Fire Department, Cass County Fire District #1, Indiana State Police and Cass County Emergency Medical Service also responded. Two passenger cars collided and came to rest southeast of the intersection.


The preliminary investigation found that Lily Kochell, 24, of Logansport, was driving a 2015 Dodge Dart eastbound on County Road 400 South at State Road 29 when she failed to yield the right of way to a southbound 2004 Saturn Ion. The Saturn was driven by Amanda Janeway, 37, of Logansport.


A medical helicopter was requested for Kochell. She was flown to a trauma center in Fort Wayne with serious injuries. A 3-year-old juvenile passenger restrained in a child seat in the Dodge Dart was transported by ambulance to Logansport Memorial Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.


The driver of the Saturn, Janeway, was taken by ambulance to IU Arnett Hospital in Lafayette with serious injuries. A 3-year-old juvenile passenger restrained in a car seat in the Saturn was also transported with for non-life-threatening injuries to the Lafayette hospital.


Both vehicles were towed from the scene with substantial damage. The roadway was closed for approximately one and a half hours for crash investigation by crash reconstructionists and crash clean up.


The crash is still under investigation by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the office at 574-753-7800.

Caston putting emphasis on reading as students head out for summer break

The end of the school year often means eremonies involving awards and recognitions.


At Caston, that’s no different.  Including the recent return of the robotics team from competition.


Superintendent Angie Miller.



Curriculum Coordinator Shelly Sarver says students just last week wrapped up ILearn testing.


Sarver also notes the continued emphasis on reading with a push from state government.


Sarver notes that even with school almost out for the summer they hope to keep the students interested in reading to keep their skills up.



COVID-19 tests recalled

More than 500,000 COVID-19 SD Biosensor, INc. Pilot COVID-19 At-Home tests are being recalled due to safety concerns.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that the liquid solution in the test kits may be contaminated with bacteria.


The recall does not include tests distributed through COVID.gov/tests - Free at home COVID-19 tests or through other federal testing programs. The affected kits were distributed by CVS Health, Amazon and other nationwide retailers.


The warning says that direct contact with the contaminated solution could impact the test’s accuracy and pose a safety hazard to the person taking the test.


A full list of lot numbers affected by the recall is available here.

Woodlawn Hospital receives Rural Health Clinic Exemplary Provider® Accreditation

Woodlawn Hospital, of Rochester, Indiana, recently received Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Exemplary Provider® Accreditation from The Compliance Team (TCT), a

CMS-approved, national healthcare accreditation organization.


TCT’s Exemplary Provider accreditation process is a three-year, comprehensive, quality improvement program where rural health clinics need to demonstrate 100% compliance with TCT’s Safety-Honesty-Caring® quality standards and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) rigorous Conditions for Certification.


“Woodlawn Hospital is keenly focused on creating and maintaining an environment that promotes excellent patient care and outcomes to our community. The Compliance Team’s Exemplary Provider Accreditation Program ensures we will continue to provide the highest quality care while highlighting the amazing work of our staff and medical providers,” said Bradley Rogers, Woodlawn’s Chief Operating Officer.

USDA warns of scams related to Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act provides $2.2 billion in financial assistance for farmers and forest landowners who experienced discrimination in USDA’s farm lending programs prior to January 1, 2021.


USDA has become aware of some lawyers and groups spreading misleading information about this process, pressuring people to sign retainer agreements, and asking people to fill out forms with private and sensitive information. 


More information is available in this report from USDA.




Former Starke County detective pleaded guilty to official misconduct

One of the former Starke County Sheriff's Office detectives indicted for numerous charges including official misconduct has pleaded guilty.


Adam Gray, 51, of Knox, was indicted following an Indiana State Police investigation. The investigation dealth with evidence that turned up missing from the sheriff's department.


Gray was also initially charged with related drug and theft offenses.


Gray will have his jail sentence suspended f the plea agreement is approved by the judge and will serve probation.  His sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 9.


Meanwhile, Don Ferguson, 54, is charged with multiple counts of official misconduct and other charges.  He's scheduled to be in court in July.






New law mandates meetings to be streamed or recorded

With a lot of talk about transparency surrounding government and residents using their own phones to livestream government meetings, Indiana's General Assembly and Gov. Eric Holcomb have acted for constituents. 


Holcomb signed HEA 1167 earlier this month, and while the new law is a requirement for government meetings to be live streamed or recorded there is a drawback. 

While signed into law, it will not go into effect until July 1, 2025. 

Furthermore, the new legislation applies strictly to school boards, state agencies, township, county, city and town government bodies, as well as any governing body that conducts regular meetings in the same meeting room. 


The legislation, which was authored by Republican Rep. Ben Smaltz, forces those conducting the meeting to live stream the meeting and archive a copy of the meeting. 


Should there not be internet for livestreaming, the agency conducting the meeting must record it and make it available for constituents for at least 90 days. The public will be able to access, copy and download the meeting for free, according to the law.


Should a government body refuse or not adhere to the law, it could be subject to an Open Door Law complaint with the Indiana Public Access Counselor. 

Starke County road closure starts Friday

State Road 39 will close between State Road 8 and C.R. 50 S on or after Friday, May 12, for approximately 10 days for a small structure replacement at Prettyman Ditch.


Official detour will follow State Road 8, U.S. 35 and State Road 10.

Woodlawn Hospital extends a congratulations to Dr. Selio and Dr. Bugno

Woodlawn Hospital has announced congratulations to two of their medical staff members on achievements in their career.


Dr. Selio

Dr. Brigitte Selio has been accepted into a Maternal Newborn Health Fellowship in Wayne, Michigan.


“My greatest passions in medicine are women’s and children’s health, especially obstetrics. My hope is that the fellowship will further develop my skills as a reproductive healthcare physician for families living in this community with a focus on obstetrics, fertility, and family planning,” Dr. Selio said.


During Dr. Selio’s fellowship, she will learn to perform surgical OB procedures including cesarean sections. In order to complete the training program, she will be taking a one-year educational leave starting late this summer.


“We are so excited and proud of Dr. Selio being accepted into this fellowship. We believe the skills she will learn will help women in Fulton and surrounding counties as we continue to build a maternity oasis,” Alan Fisher, CEO of Woodlawn Hospital stated.


Woodlawn Hospital Administration is fully supporting Dr. Selio on her next steps forward.


Brad Rogers, COO of Woodlawn Hospital stated, “We are honored to support Dr. Selio during this time. The skills and expertise she will bring back to our area are priceless and will help us continue to earn the right to care for women and babies in our community.”


While Dr. Selio is away, her patients’ care will be overseen by other Woodlawn Medical Staff. Her office will be reaching out to patients to let them know their provider options for the year of her leave.


If you have any questions, feel free to contact the office at (574) 223-2020.


Dr. Bugno

Craig Bugno, M.D. announced that he will retire from Woodlawn Hospital effective July 31. He has served Woodlawn Hospital and the residents of Fulton County for 37 years.


"We want to congratulate Dr. Bugno on his retirement and thank him for the many years he has served Woodlawn and our community," said Alan Fisher, CEO of Woodlawn Hospital.


Brad Rogers, COO of Woodlawn Hospital, echoed the organization's congratulations and appreciation for Dr. Bugno, "It is extraordinary that Dr. Bugno has dedicated 37 years to serving Woodlawn Hospital and the residents of Fulton County. As an organization, we are grateful for everything he has done and wish him the best in retirement."


In the future, Dr. Bugno's patients will be cared for by other Woodlawn Hospital Medical Staff. The office will contact patients to let them know their options.


If patients have any questions or concerns, please call 574-223-4337.

Armed North Carolina kidnapping suspect arrested in Pulaski County

A man considered armed and dangerous from incident in North Carolina was arrested in Pulaski County.


On the evening of Wednesday, May 3, at around 6 p.m., the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office notified the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina received  that Douglas Alan Scholz, of Martinsville, Virginia, had been taken into custody.


Scholz was held awaiting extradition proceedings to be returned to Rockingham County.


On Thursday, April 27, Rockingham County Sheriff’s deputies responded to 411 Vintage Road in Eden, North Carolina. in reference to a domestic disturbance. The suspect, Scholz, fled the scene before deputies arrived.  Law enforcement reported Scholz was armed with a handgun of unknown make or model at the time of the disturbance.


Warrants were obtained on Scholz for Felony First Degree Kidnapping and Felony Domestic Violence Protective Order Violation. 


Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page offered a thank you to several agencies from North Carolina, Virginia and Indiana for assisting in the search and apprehension of Scholz including the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, Starke County Sheriff's Office and Jasper County Sheriff's Office.

Tire Collection Day this weekend hosted by Fulton County Solid Waste District

The Fulton County Solid Waste District is hosting a tire collection day this Saturday.
Executive Director Stacy Hart.


Hart says people with more than four tires should leave contact information and they will try to work with them.


This event is for Fulton County residents only.
On a side note, Hart says they continue to have issues with some drop-off recycling locations.



ISP Peru Post Trooper promoted to Sergeant

Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas G. Carter has announced the promotion of Trooper Steven Glass to the rank of Sergeant within the Peru District.


Sergeant Glass will serve as the public information officer (PIO) for the Indiana State Police Peru Post which encompasses Cass, Fulton, Grant, Howard, Miami, Tipton, and Wabash Counties. Glass received his promotion through written testing, job performance evaluations, and a competitive selection process.


Glass is a native of Wabash, and a 2003 graduate of Southwood High School. After graduation, Glass went on to attend Indiana University (IU) where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology. Glass furthered his education at IU by obtaining certificates in Public Safety and Correctional Counseling/Administration.


Prior to employment with the Indiana State Police, Glass volunteered as a reserve deputy for the Wabash County Sheriff’s Office.


Sergeant Glass is a 9-year veteran of the Indiana State Police. In May 2014, Glass graduated from the 73rd Indiana State Police Recruit Academy and was appointed as a trooper assigned to the Peru District where he primarily worked in Miami County. Glass has pursued additional responsibilities as an instructor in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). Glass is currently a member of the ISP Tactical Intervention Platoon and ISP Marijuana Eradication Team. Glass additionally serves as a Field Training Officer and as a co-director of two Indiana Youth Law Enforcement Summer Camps put on by the Indiana State Police.


Glass has received two ISP Life Awards and five District DUI awards for his commitment to removing impaired drivers from Indiana roadways. In 2019, he graduated from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Leadership Academy. Also in 2019, Glass was awarded Trooper of the District for the Indiana State Police Peru Post.


Glass currently resides in Miami County.

US 35 closures coming in Cass and Pualski counties

U.S. 35 will close in two locations between U.S. 24 and State Road 14 for approximately two weeks beginning on or after Monday, May 8.


U.S. 35 will be closed between C.R. 400 N and C.R. 300 N in Cass County for a bridge deck overlay project over Crooked Creek.


U.S. 35 will also be closed between C.R. E 900 S and C.R. S 400 E in Pulaski County for a bridge deck overlay over Indian Creek.


Motorists who utilize U.S. 35 for long distance travel through this corridor should plan an alternate route.


The signed detour will follow State Road 14, State Road 17 and State Road 25. Local traffic can utilize State Road 16 to access locations between the two closures.

Two killed in Wednesday Fulton County car - tree crash

A Plymouth woman and North Manchester man were killed in a car crash in Fulton County on Wednesday.


Just after 6 p.m., the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office was called to 6492 West Olson Road.  A 2013 Nissan Altima had the left the road for an unknown reason and struck a tree.


The driver, Spencer Bach, 25, of North Manchester, died at the scene despite life saving measures by emergency personnel.


The passenger, Tiffanie Marley, 27, of Plymouth, was deceased upon arrival of crews to the scene.


Neither person was wearing a seat belt.  The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office says speed is believed to be a factor in the accident.


Aubbeenaubbee Fire, Rochester Fire, Lutheran EMS, Samaritan and the Fulton County Coroner assisted at the scene.


Ace Hardware in Winamac continues to blossom after 20 years in business

It's been 20 years since Tim Wiegand, and wife, Lisa, made their dream into a reality after buying the Ace Hardware in Winamac. Two decades later, the couple still continues to water their dreams, as the business continues to grow.



Prior to purchasing the store, Wiegand had previously worked in the hardware store service industry for nearly three decades. When things fell apart at his former employer's store in Monticello and Wiegand lost his job, things fell into place with the empty store at the Winamac Plaza, thanks to business partners Brad and Sherry Moore.



After seven years of hardwork, the Wiegand's were able to pay off the partnership with Moore, finally becoming independent owners. Keeping a personal small-town feel for customer service and being involved in the community has pushed for success at Ace Hardware. Continuing to expand and grow, throughout the years Wiegand has experimented with his business, remaining flexible for the needs of his customers. 



More than just a hardware store, Wiegand's need for changing and adding to business has added to his reputation over the years. Originally housing the Winamac Radioshack for many years, the closed radio business left room for some creativity and expansion of their gift department, 'Keepsakes Gifts.' 



When Wiegand added a laser engraver by their key hub in 2017, the idea ended up bringing in even more business.



Just last March, Wiegand jumped further into change, adding a second location by opening the Ace Hardware / Keepsakes Gifts in North Judson. Having enough to play with  for now, Wiegand's main goal he's currently focusing on is to provide for the loyal community he loves, that has always been able to provide for him. 





Rochester's Jacob Brubaker one of nation's top students chosen for Young Leaders Summit

Jacob Brubaker, RHS junior and son of Mark and Shelly Brubaker of Rochester, has been named one of 220 top students from around the nation chosen to participate in the Young Leaders Summit. 


The Young Leaders Summit is a free college empowerment summer program for high-achieving high school juniors selected through a competitive application process. It will provide the tools they need to apply to top universities successfully, have full access to scholarship and financial aid opportunities, and set a course for academic and career success.


Attendees will enhance their leadership abilities and expand their professional networks by participating in college and career workshops and interacting with college students and professionals who serve as their mentors. The all-expense paid trip will take place in August in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California. 


Zeta Whitmer, RHS senior and the daughter of Philip and Crista Whitmer, was chosen last year for this elite program.  Because a mentee of hers has been chosen for this summer, she is now invited back to serve as a student mentor to the program and will remain so for the next five years.


Odell defeats Denton for Republican nomination for Rochester mayor

Election Results for contested races in the Spring Primary

May 2, 2023


Republican – Mayor of Rochester

Trent Odell, 718

Ted Denton, 221


Republican – Common Council At-Large (vote for 2)

Robert (Bob) Cannedy, Jr., 602

Brian Goodman, 582

Marvin Davis, 328


Republican – Common Council District 2

Amy Roe, 77

Todd Wilson, 40

Evergreen Eatery hopes ABR feature brings in not only customers but also employees

Restaurant owner Ruth Gunter is putting Rochester on the map this month, after her business, Evergreen Eatery, was chosen to be featured by America's Best Restaurants Roadshow May 11.


The national media and marketing company focuses on independently-owned restaurants in small towns throughout the US, and will be filming that Thursday on location at 530 Main St in Rochester from 9am to 12pm. 


Gunter encourages anyone who wants to check out the event and show support while being filmed by camera crew to come that morning. Staff will be serving some of their famous breakfast items, as well as other notorious dishes that make their restaurant stick out in the community. Fresh fish, prime steak, and several other Mother's Day specials will also be featured. 


Despite the popularity of the Evergreen Eatery, being in the restaurant industry post pandemic has been anything but easy. Thanks to social distancing, research conducted by the National Restaurant Association found that in 2020 nearly 90% of customers ate off-premise, causing the industry to take a huge hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study showed around this time the industry was down by $240 billion. 


Trying to still pick up the pieces from the pandemic in 2023, Gunter, like many other small businesses owners recovering from the time period, are still struggling to bring people in to sit down and dine again. 


The ABR Roadshow feature is something Gunter is hoping will be the first of many features for her unique, casual, fine dining establishment, where she believes is a place where conversation and community begin. 


Hoping the coverage will bring in those from outside of the community as well, Gunter is not only looking for customers, she's looking for staff. 


Gunter says the employee crisis and finding good staff has also been hard to find after the pandemic. Between running the Evergreen Eatery, and sister business Ruthless Bar & Patio, 604 Main St in Rochester, Gunter is currently making up for the lack of staff by having to roll up her sleeves and do the work herself in the kitchen on some days. 


Gunter hopes to fill that gap with staff members who soon find that working at her establishments mean more just making money, it also comes with support that feels like family.Giving her employees freedom to help run the show, Gunter hopes others with a passion for the restaurant industry will take notice of the freedom and creative opportunites she gives her kitchen employees, who are able to feature their own unique menu items at the Evergreen Eatery. To Gunter, giving loyalty means getting loyalty. 


WROI GIANT fm news reporter Shelby Lopez caught up with the busy business owner at Ruthless Bar & Patio recently. 



"If you take care of us, we will take care of you," Gunter explained about the personal relationship she creates with her staff.


Mark Kepler has touched more Fulton County lives than most

Mark Kepler is closing in on his announced retirement date. 


But he’s going out in style.


Kepler can boast over 40 years connected to Purdue Extension.



Kepler has worked at Purdue Extension for the past 37 years and served as Fulton County Office Director the last 26, while mentoring new educators in a multi-county area.


He also helped to re-establish the Fulton County Leadership Academy. And that prompted the Youth Leadership Academy, as well.



Kepler says preparations are underway for his retirement in June.



On Saturday, Kepler received the Business Professional of the Year Award at the Fulton County Chamber Gala.


He is a founding member of the Fulton County Plan Commission, a founding member of the Fulton County Park Board, and a 26-year member and past president of the Rochester Kiwanis Club.


In 2022, he received the Indiana Outstanding Extension Educator award that recognizes one educator that has demonstrated excellence in extension programming.

Fulton County celebrated with the Chamber of Commerce at Community Gala and Awards Ceremony

The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce would like to extend a “Thank You!” to event sponsor Rochester Metal Products for supporting our annual meeting as well as our entertainment sponsor Duke Energy, red carpet sponsor Beacon Credit Union, and cocktail hour sponsor Flirt Boutique.


Thank you to our community award sponsors that help make this event possible: 4C Health, Renew Health Chiropractic, and Woodlawn Hospital.


Thank you to Ted Waggoner and his selection team for presenting the Community Service Award.


Thank you to the following for your contributions in making the gala a successful event for all: The Jackson Estates, Caston High School volunteers, the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Gala Events Committee. Thank you to the Rochester Sentinel, Shopping Guide News, and WROI GiantFM for covering this event.


After enjoying live music by Louis Pettinelli Entertainment, Chamber Board Vice President Taylor Showley welcomed guests and invited them to enjoy a wonderful dinner prepared by The Jackson Estates. Chamber Board President Andy Perkins invited Rochester Metal Products President Brad Hinkle to the stage to deliver opening remarks before delivering his 2022 Year in Review.


Chamber Executive Director Jillian Smith recognized that the chamber received several deserving nominations for the community awards this year.


The Organization of the Year Award is presented to an organization or business in the Fulton County area with proven growth and stability, that provides innovative products or services, and demonstrates economic support of the Fulton County area business community. The nominees for 2022 Organization of the Year include: Compassionate Health Center, Kewanna-Union Township Public Library, RTC Communications, and The Times Theater.


Dr. Mark Heal, Renew Health Chiropractic, presented this year’s award to RTC Communications.




The Emerging Business Award is presented to an organization or businessestablished in the last 0-5 years in the Fulton County area that demonstrates growing success in the community, and exhibits commitment to good business practices, community relations, and employee relations. The nominees for the 2022 Emerging Business Award include: Lilly Pad Boutique, Newby Services, Rochester Realty, and The Roots Yoga and Dance Project.


Alan Fisher, Woodlawn Hospital, presented this year’s award to Newby Services.




The Business Professional of the Year Award is presented to an individual who demonstrates growing excellence, creativity, and initiative in their profession, is engaged in the community, and shows a strong commitment to good business practices. This person serves as a role model for other professionals both personally and professionally, and possesses vision and passion to lead and mentor others. The nominees for 2022 Business Professional of the Year include: Mark Kepler with Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, Julie Shambarger with The Times Theater, and Dr. Jennifer Sult, Sult Family Medicine.


Alyssa Blackburn, 4C Health, presented this year’s award to Mark Kepler, Purdue Cooperative Extension.




The 2023 Community Service Award, was presented by Ted Waggoner to Rex and Kris Robison.





Rex Robison then addressed the large crowd on hand.




Officials warn caution during planting season

With planting season ramping up, state and law enforcement officials are urging motorists to exercise caution as farm equipment will be hitting Indiana roads. 


Officials from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Indiana State Police, among others, are asking motorists to slow down, be alert and be patient this spring. 


In a press release, Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, who is also the secretary of agriculture and rural development, reminded Hoosiers that Indiana is the eighth largest farming state in the country and a national leader for corn and soybeans. 


"Whether you live in rural, urban or suburban Indiana, remain alert on the road this spring as you may encounter large farm equipment moving between fields," Crouch said. 


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were three accidents between passenger vehicles and farm equipment in 2020, and two resulted in deaths. 


Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said during the spring Indiana tends to see an increase of large farm equipment on rural roads and highways. 


"It is important for Hoosiers to know how to safely navigate around them. Patience, courtesy and understanding, along with the undivided attention of motorists and farmers will help ensure a safe 2023 planting season," Carter said. 


Motorists are urged to use the following safety tips:


Be patient. 


Be careful when passing and do not pass in a designated "No Passing Zone" or within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevation structure or tunnel. 


Do not pass on the left without ensuring the farm equipment is not planning a left hand turn. 


Do not tailgate farm equipment.