Kewanna Post Office to temporarily close due to safety concerns

The Postal Service will temporarily close the Kewanna Post Office, located at 203 E Main St., effective immediately, due to safety concerns regarding the building conditions.


Street delivery to Kewanna customers will not be affected.

Kewanna customers can access retail services, PO Box mail, and package pickup at the Rochester Post Office, 601 E 9th St., 46975.

The Rochester Post Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Currently, there is no information on when repairs to the Kewanna Post Office will be complete.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Fulton County auditor receives statewide award

The Association of Indiana Counties (AIC) announced that Fulton County Auditor Christina Shriver received the 2023 Outstanding County Auditor Award.

The award recognized her contributions made to county government throughout her years of public service.

Shriver is in her seventh year as county auditor and has worked in the Fulton County auditor’s office for over nine years. She has her Level II Assessor-Appraiser certification.  Shriver serves on several committees and boards which include the personnel policy, insurance committee, job classification, redevelopment commission, destruction of public records board, and safety and liability committee.

Shriver was invited to join the leadership team of the Auditors Association and currently serves as President of the Auditors and Association and serves on the AIC Board of Directors.

The award was presented during the AIC’s 65th Annual Conference in Orange County. The AIC’s Annual Conference is the largest gathering of county officials in the state. Representatives from public agencies, private entities, and local elected officials addressed issues such as: Public Access Laws, Budgeting Best Practices, Technology, Human Resources Challenges, Road Funding, Public and Mental Health, Regional Tourism, and Natural Resource Matters.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.



Guardian Advocates Inc works to prevent abuse and neglect for seniors and more

Guardian Advocates development coordinator, Linda Johnson, was on a mission ahead of schedule Tuesday evening at Rochester City Hall during Rochester City Council meeting on a mission for continued help with funding.


Having a passion for helping others in the community, for the past seven years, Johnson and other local volunteers help Guardian Advocates by providing services that protect local seniors and the at-risk population of adults with mental health issues that may not have the voice that they need, preventing exploitation, abuse and neglect. Prior to the program, Johnson said those vulnerable and without support were left unheard, struggling to fend for themselves. 



In 2012, the Indiana Supreme Court started an adult guardianship program by voting it into law, creating the Indiana Guardianship State Office in 2014. The idea behind the concept was to have all 92 counties in Indiana covered by a program to help adults lacking support or protection.


As of 2023, 52 counties in Indiana are providing that protection to vulnerable adults in need of help, with more than 20 programs available that have helped 800 people in the state so far.  Now setting aside more than $1.3 million annually for the program, Johnson said funds are running out, but the need for the program remains higher than ever. 



Previously receiving $5,000 for the last last three years from the City of Rochester to help with the program, Johnson presented Guardian Advocates needs during to members of the Rochester City Council on Tuesday in hopes the much needed funding will continue, or even increase for 2024.  Johnson said during the past year the program had a 20 percent increase in clients. With the increase, means an increase of cost, rising their projected budget for next year over $260,000. 


As of July 1, Fulton County remains 8 percent of client referrals out of the five counties Guardian Advocates Inc represents. Although no official decision was made from council members at Tuesday's meeting, a final decision on funding for the Guardian Advocates Inc program will be discussed and finalized at a later date. Johnson is thankful for the help over the years in Fulton County from the Rochester City Council, Fulton County Commissioners, and Northern Indiana Community Foundation. 



Argos man killed in Sunday motorcycle accident

The Kosciusko County FACT team continues to investigate a fatal motorcycle crash that killed an Argos man.

Colton Brock, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash that happended Sunday evening on N. State Road 19 just north of W. State Road 10.

The 1995 Suzuki left the roadway for an unknown reason. It went into the ditch and struck the embankment of a driveway and Brock was thrown from the motorcycle.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.



Winamac Police Department investigates abuse allegations at Kingdom Kids Daycare and Preschool

An investigation involving an abuse allegations at a local daycare is underway in Winamac after a video emerged on social media last week, according to a press release from the Winamac Police Department.

A text was sent out to parents of students at the school announcing the closing of Kingdom Kids Daycare the following day of the video leak, on September 22. With further research on social media and by calling the school and speaking with several parents, GIANT fm WROI news reporter Shelby Lopez confirmed the school is in fact closed for good. 



The Winamac Police Department press release stated the completed case report had been sent to the Pulaski County Prosecutor's office as of Tuesday, September 26, to review for criminal charges. 

The report was officially made September 21, two weeks after the incident had taken place, when Officer Shelby Pickens had been made aware of the circulating video that now has almost 79,000 views. 

The video taken inside Kingdom Kids Daycare and Preschool located at Winamac Church of the Nazarene. The video showed a child grabbing on to a man's leg, while the man had another child on his shoulders.


After telling the child on his leg to let go multiple times and the child refusing, the man is seen kneeling on the child's chest until he let go. The child then laid on the floor by himself crying until the end of the video as the man walked away.

The child, as well as the child's mother, was later identified and told investigators that the child had not been treated for any injuries, but had cried on the floor for about 10 minutes afterwards. Although no serious injuries were made, the child was said to be emotionally traumatized from the event and 'scared to go back to daycare.' 



The man was later identified as the pastor of the Winamac Church of the Nazarene, and he interviewed with police voluntarily. The Winamac Police Department also said the Winamac Church of the Nazarene, as well as the owners, have been cooperative throughout the investigation. 



Indiana Department of Child Services has also been contacted and is doing their own independent inquiry, with the cooperation of the Winamac Police Department. 

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Judge puts Indiana DCS contempt decision on hold during Hendricks County hearing

A Hendricks County judge has decided to wait on making the decision to hold Indiana's Department of Child Services in contempt of court for failing to produce documents relating to the case of Judah Morgan, who was killed by his biological parents in 2021.

The boy, age 4, had been placed with his biological parents for the first time on April 7, 2021. Despite past abuse allegations, claims that he was being abused during the placement, and reported violations over the summer of 2021, Judah was found murdered in the family's rural Hamlet home on October 11, 2021. 

Still, Hendricks Superior Court Judge Robert W. Freese said during Monday's hearing in Danville that he will wait to decide if whether DCS will be held in contempt of court

Representing Judah's foster family, attorney Charles P. Rice, claims DCS continues to withhold records that would be essential to the case. Records include internal text messages, emails, photos, video recordings, mandated drug tests that should have been conducting and more from Judah's case are among the record the attorney claim they do not have, despite multiple requests.  

During Monday's court session, Indiana DCS Director Eric Miller, was called to prove the department was not in contempt of court for failing to provide those documents after the department had been named as a non-party in a suit filed by the family of Judah Morgan against his biological father, Alan Morgan.

Court documents revealed Miller took the stand, reiterated that he was not involved enough with the day-to-day machinations of the department to understand particulars of how court-ordered documents might have been provided. Miller claimed that he had been advised by the DCS counsel that all necessary documents required for the case had been handed over to the court. Miller also claimed his email, nor those of past DCS directors, were ever searched. 

Attorney Rice further questioned Miller on if the records even exsisted, since they hadn't been presented to the court. Miller claimed that that could very well be the case. 

Court documents stated representatives for Indiana DCS had argued Monday that the documents they provided to the court were what they had, and that additional documents shouldn't be required to produce more documents just because the plaintiff thinks they should. DCS attorneys William Young and E. Ryan Chouse claimed that the department had gone through over 130,000 records with a team of 20 attorneys to gather up documents that the court had ordered them to provide. 

It was reported that Indiana Department of Child Services Internal Affairs Officer Christine MacDonald also took the stand. She testified some of the information the court requested, like text messages, would have had to be provided by third-party providers like Verizon or the Indiana Office of Technology. MacDonald claimed that she did not look for text messages, specifically as part of the court order, because she believed she could not get access to them. 

Regardless, Jenna Hullett, Judah’s foster mother and second cousin who had raised the boy since he was an infant, said she will continue advocating for changes on DCS, and plans on moving forward with this lawsuit with hopes of making that change. 

Judge Freese agreed there were some issues with the the lack of documentation provided by DCS, but that he also wanted to give them time to get documents and not overburden an agency. Freese said he believed more subpoenas to third parties had been warranted following DCS claims of producing all documentation. The judge was also concerned about the emails of the current DCS director and former DCS director, Terry Stigdon, never being searched. 

Judge Freese said that the director had testified that the department had never destroyed or disposed of any documents since Judah's death, and that if they have produced everything there would not be anything else for DCS to give attorneys representing Judah's family regarding the death of the boy.

Judge Freese stated he wanted orders from both parties by Monday, October 2. 

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.





Cass County Agribusiness Park to upgrade road infrastructure with help of $1.8M grant

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.8 million grant to Cass County for road infrastructure upgrades at the Cass County Agribusiness Park.

This project will increase business operations and provide continued industrial growth in a region impacted by changes in the energy economy. This EDA investment will be matched with $1.4 million in local funds. It is expected to create or retain more than 200 jobs and generate $68.5 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is about empowering all communities with the resources they need to lift up working families. That’s precisely what this award will do by helping those impacted by shifts in the energy sector to grow and diversify their economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment in critical road infrastructure will strengthen Cass County Agribusiness Park’s role as an economic driver in the region for decades to come.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to partner with Cass County through this strategic, place-based grant as it seeks to bring new opportunities to the region,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “We look forward to helping increase capacity at the Cass County Agribusiness Park and provide a much-needed boost to the regional economy.”

This project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal. ACC projects support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Pulaski County Drug-Free Council introduces new, safe way to dispose of used needles

Pulaski County residents now have a safe way to dispose of used needles, thanks to a new initiative of the Pulaski County Drug-Free Council and community partners.

Ribbon cutting ceremonies are scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday evening at the Pulaski Memorial Hospital front entrance. Also, September 30, 11 a.m. at Monterey Family & Women's Health Services and on October 14, 12 p.m. atMedaryville / White Post Volunteer Fire Department.    

The "Prevent Pricks” program is designed to be inclusive of all syringe using residents, specifically those with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, and others who use sharps to treat various medical conditions, including people who utilize illicit drugs.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Winamac High School senior awarded McDonald's HACERĀ® National Scholarship

McDonald’s of Greater Indiana and Southwest Michigan is proud to announce that Ariana Gualajara, a talented and promising student from Winamac has been awarded the prestigious McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship, joining a select group of 31 Hispanic students from across the nation.

With this scholarship, Ariana will pursue her higher education at Ball State University where she plans to study Architecture. She was the only winner in the state of Indiana.

Gualajara is an exceptional student at Winamac Community High School, demonstrating excellence both academically and in extracurricular activities. She has been a dedicated member of the National Honor Society for two years and has actively participated in both track & field and cross country. Her passion for music is evident through her membership in both the concert and pep bands. Beyond her school commitments, Ariana volunteers her time at St. Peter's Church.

The McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship, established in 1985, remains committed to providing college scholarships and resources for Hispanic students, having awarded more than $33 million in scholarships to over 17,000 students nationwide. McDonald’s awards a total of $500,000 annually through this program. Scholarship recipients are selected based on their academic achievement, community involvement, and financial need.

"Everyone deserves a fair chance at chasing their dreams. We recognize the financial hurdles many students and their families face in pursuing a college education, and for this reason, McDonald’s and our Hispanic Owner/Operators remain committed to our investments and fostering educational opportunities,” said Richard Castro, a McDonald’s Owner/Operator and national HACER® scholarship chairperson. “We’re proud to celebrate our newest recipients and encourage aspiring college students to kickstart their journey toward a brighter future by applying for HACER®."

This scholarship program continues to bridge the gap for Hispanic college-bound students, aligning with McDonald’s longstanding commitment to nurturing the diverse communities it serves. Recent research reveals that the number of Hispanic students pursuing higher education is steadily increasing, with projections indicating significant growth by 2026. However, disparities persist, particularly at four-year institutions, where Hispanic graduation rates trail their White non-Hispanic peers.

Hispanic high school seniors aspiring to pursue higher education and their parents are encouraged can learn more about the resources offered in both English and Spanish and for details on how to apply online.

The next scholarship application period opens next month and runs through February 2024, continuing McDonald’s commitment to educating the next generation of youth.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

State Road 14 closure approaching in Fulton County

State Road 14 will close between State Road 25 and C.R. 400 E / Bessmore Park Rd on or after Monday, October 2 through mid-November to replace a small pipe structure.

Official detour will follow State Road 25 and State Road 19.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.



City of Rochester water customers asked to fill out survey

City of Rochester water customers should have received a letter in the mail along with a survey asking customers to identify the water service line material coming into the home.

Customers are asked to take a few minutes to answer the survey questions online or on the sheet included with the letter and return to the water office. This is a
federal requirement for the water department to begin preparing a plan using the survey results to replace any lead service lines that may be found in the water

This information will then allow the water department to apply for grants and other financial support to offset any costs associated with a lead service line replacement project in the future.

The city assures that the city water is safe and tested regularly to ensure quality water is provided to all customers.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Application portal for state's mortgage assistance to close in October

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority announced that the state’s mortgage assistance program, the Indiana Homeowner Assistance Fund, will close the application portal on Friday, October 20.

The Indiana Homeowner Assistance Fund was created with a grant from the American Rescue Plan under the direction of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The program began taking applications and distributing funds in February 2022. Since then, more than 9,100 Hoosier households have received an average of more than $13,000 in assistance in the form of mortgage reinstatement, ongoing mortgage payments and the payment of delinquent property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and homeowner association fees for the homeowner’s primary residence only.

With the amount of assistance that has already been disbursed, the funds that are currently obligated for upcoming payments and the number of applications that are being processed, the program is very near to distributing the total amount of funds available for homeowner assistance. On Oct. 20, the fund’s portal will close to active applications and begin maintaining a waiting list for those homeowners who would like to apply for new funds as they become available. All existing program eligibility requirements will remain in effect for future applicants and awards. The program is designed to assist Indiana homeowners with low to moderate incomes who have experienced a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Awards are limited to one per household and are provided in the form of a five-year forgivable, interest-free loan.

Visit 877GetHope.org for eligibility information or to register for the opportunity to apply for assistance.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

Wabash to host Rural Justice and Public Health Summit

Three hundred people are expected in Wabash on Friday, October 13 for a justice and health event at the Honeywell Center.

The Rural Justice and Public Health Professionals Summit is open to justice stakeholders and healthcare partners from across the state.

The summit will address the unique challenges of justice and healthcare professionals in rural communities—including scarce resources, red tape, and isolation. Participants will learn about opportunities for collaboration, resources, and strategies to meet the needs of rural professionals.

Session topics include:

  • Deinstitutionalization and the Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council
  • Shared Responsibilities, Understanding the Sequential Intercept Model
  • Public Safety and Wellbeing
  • Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health
  • Funding Resources

A resource area will allow representatives from service providers including recovery houses, peer coaches, and family support services to connect with participants through a session titled Breaking Down Silos & Building Bridges Statewide.

Attendees (lawyers, judges, social workers, healthcare providers) may earn certain professional continuing education credits. The Summit is a partnership between the Indiana Supreme Court, the Wabash County Bar Association, the Association of Indiana Counties, the Court of Appeals of Indiana, the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana (DTCI), Indiana University, Indiana Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council, the Indiana Department of Health, the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA), NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Indiana, and the Office of Governor Holcomb.

Funding support is provided by DTCI and ITLA and the State Justice Institute.

Justice, healthcare, government officials, and community leaders must register by September 29

Be aware and careful as harvest equipment starts moving on area roads

Harvest season is officially underway for Indiana’s 94,000 farmers, which means more slow-moving farm equipment will be on Indiana’s rural roads and highways. To keep Hoosiers safe this year, state agencies are asking motorists to be alert and patient, as they share the road with farm equipment this fall.

“At least once each fall as I am traveling through rural Indiana, I find myself behind or crossing paths with large agricultural equipment,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “It is important to remain alert this fall and keep an eye out for these slow-moving farm vehicles, and if the opportunity allows, to safely navigate around them.”

In 2020 three vehicles were involved in crashes with farm equipment in Indiana which resulted in two deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“The fall harvest season is certainly an exciting and busy time for farmers and motorists,” said Don Lamb, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. “By working together to practice alert driving, we can all make it home safely to our families each night.”

Farm equipment during harvest season could include tractors, combines, grain carts, grain wagons, and large trucks hauling agricultural products. These vehicles are wide, sometimes taking up most of the road, and often travel at speeds no greater than 25 mph.


Indiana DCS accused of failing to preserve records for case involving torture death of 4-year-old Judah Morgan

A Hendricks County judge is standing his ground reiterating that Indiana Department of Child Services director Eric Miller, not another representative as requested by Indiana DCS, is tasked with proving why his department should not be held in contempt of court for failing to obey a court order to produce documents related to the torture-death of a 4-year-old LaPorte County boy. 


Indiana DCS was recently accused of failing to provide documentation for the death of Judah Morgan. The 4-year-old, who was murdered in LaPorte County October 11, 2021, by his biological parents, had been in the care of DCS since his birth. Judah had been placed with his biological parents for the first time just six months prior to his murder. He was raised in a kinship placement arrangement with his second cousin, Jenna Hullett's family.

Not only were Judah's biological parents in the DCS system with Judah, they also had cases on his two other siblings, where known abuse was confirmed. In the years leading up to Judah's death, Hullett said she tried to alert DCS of ongoing abuse. After Judah was placed on what was supposed to be a six-month home trial with his biological parents, Alan Morgan and Mary Yoder, DCS was alerted about violations made, but Hullett claims all reports were ignored. 

The Hullett family was turned down for adoption and forced to give Judah to his biological parents on April 7, 2021, despite multiple claims of abuse. Judah was starved and beaten to death by his biological parents in what is now being described as 'a house of horrors'.


In January of this year, Indiana DCS was named as a non-party to a case seeking damages against Judah's biological father Alan Morgan. Morgan, 29, was sentenced to 70 years in prison last November for the beating death and torture of Judah. In August, Judah's biological mother, Mary Yoder, 27, pleaded guilty to her involvement with the murder.

On top of taking aim at Morgan, the civil lawsuit also is going after the Indiana Department of Child Services. The lawsuit is accusing DCS of dropping Judah's case file while he was under the care of Morgan and Yoder, despite him being considered 'an endangered child' and 'ward of the state since birth.' 

Represented by Attorney Charles P. Rice, documents were requested from Judah's DCS case file. The attorney claimed DCS failed to provide any. 

On August 30, Hendricks County Superior Court Judge Robert Freese filed an order requesting Miller prove that the Indiana Department of Child Services was not in contempt of court by failing to provide requested documents for court. A hearing had been scheduled for September 6, however, it was moved to September 25, after DCS asserted that internal affairs officer Christine McDonald ws more closely involved with the production of court-ordered documents from the department. 

Attorneys representing the case insisted that it should be Miller tasked with providing the lack of contempt on behalf of DCS before the judge, in a motion filed on Tuesday. 

On September 9, DCS made a file conceding that they were out of compliance. Attorneys argued in the filing that DCS allegedly had notified the court that '17,000 previously unproduced emails' had been found from Judah's case. Attorneys argued that within months following Judah's death, DCS was served a notice from Judah's estate that should have prompted a litigation or internal preservation hold, which was never made. 

Attorneys allege DCS admitted "it can't find" multiple filings beyond just missing records, including vital proof through text messages, voicemails, photos, the biological parents drug screenings and more. 

Judge Reese agreed that Miller should prove his department is not in contempt of court, and that Miller should appear before the court on September 25, at 1pm. 

On August 16, Miller was also named alongside Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, in another class-action lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. The lawsuit accuses Holcomb of violating the rights of abused and neglected children, after failing to address persistent and ongoing issues within the Indiana welfare system. The suit similarly accused Miller and his department for failing their consitutional duty to protect children in the care of the state. 

Miller was officially appointed as the director of DCS by Holcomb in May of 2023.

Indiana State Police-Peru District saturation patrol nets eight impaired drivers

The Indiana State Police Peru Post conducted targeted patrols across the district with a primary focus on impaired driving interdiction and overall traffic safety.

These patrols occurred on Friday, September 8, and Friday, September 15. Troopers worked overtime, changed their schedules, and worked areas they do not normally work to participate in the dedicated patrol.

The following numbers are a snapshot of the overall productivity of those patrols:

-422 traffic stops

-205 traffic tickets issued

-375 warnings were issued

-29 criminal cases drawn

-8 arrests for Operating While Intoxicated/ 4 felony violations

-3 warrant arrests

-28 arrests for Driving While Suspended Prior / Operator(s) Never Licensed

-23 drug-related charges

-14 arrests for Possession of Marijuana

-5 arrests for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

-1 arrest for Possession of a Legend Drug

-1 arrest for Possession of Cocaine

-2 arrests for Possession of a Controlled Substance

-1 arrest for Habitual Traffic Violator

-1 arrest for Neglect of a Dependent

-3 vehicle crashes investigated


On My Way Pre-K supporting more Hoosier children than ever, families still time to apply

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning announced that the On My Way Pre-K program for eligible 4-year-olds and their families has reached record enrollment – supporting more than 7,500 Hoosier children so far this year, up about 21% from last year.  

On My Way Pre-K allows 4-year-olds from low-income families to receive a free, high-quality, pre-kindergarten education through Indiana’s only state-sponsored pre-kindergarten program. Information about the program and the link to apply can be found at OnMyWayPreK.org.  

More children than ever before are eligible due to Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana General Assembly expanding eligibility this year. Starting in August, children were eligible if their families made as much as 150% of the federal poverty level, up from 127%. For example, a child from a family of four is eligible if household income is $45,000 per year or less.  

“We are celebrating supporting an additional 1,300 children this year, giving them an equal opportunity to learn and grow alongside their peers,” said Courtney Penn, director of the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. “I am proud of our team’s commitment to reach kids in every county, ensuring that as many young learners as possible are better prepared for elementary school and beyond.”  

Though school has started, families can still enroll. Staff and partners continue to work to recruit more On My Way Pre-K providers to support as many children as possible. An easy-to-use, online application called “Early Ed Connect” serves as the application for both On My Way Pre-K and child care assistance provided via the federal Child Care Development Fund, or CCDF.  

Eligible families may choose from any of the more than 1,100 approved On My Way Pre-K programs located across Indiana. These programs are operated in homes, centers, schools and religious settings, allowing families to choose the type of setting that works best for them. Families can search approved providers at www.ChildCareFinder.IN.gov.  

More than 28,000 Hoosier children have attended pre-K through the On My Way Pre-K program since it began in 2015. The program, which started as a five-county pilot and then expanded to 20 counties in 2017, became a statewide program in 2019. A long-term study released last year showed that children who attend On My Way Pre-K are better prepared for school and that the benefits continue well into elementary school. 

Families may call 800-299-1627 for assistance from an early learning referral specialist or for other questions about On My Way Pre-K. 

Arrest tied to March overdose death in Pulaski County

An arrest in Pulaski County is connected to an overdose death that took place in March.

Pulaski County Sheriff’s deputies investigated an overdose on March 16 in the area of 700 North and US 35. It was determined the victim was overcome by a high level of fentanyl and was unable to be revived. The victim was later pronounced deceased after several attempts to revive were unsuccessful.

Deputies continued to pursue a criminal investigation in attempt to hold the illicit drug dealer accountable for his involvement in this death.

After months of investigation with the assistance of the Starke County Prosecutor, formal charges were filed against Henry Ruiz, 38 of Knox.  Ruiz was arrested for Dealing in a schedule I, II, or III controlled substance resulting in death. He is being held on a $50,000 cash bond.



80-year-old Rochester woman continues her 147 lb weight loss journey with local non-profit TOPS, named 2022 Indiana Queen

A Rochester woman who lost 147 pounds thanks the local nonprofit weight-loss support organization TOPS Club Inc for her continued success.

Wilma Graves had been struggling with consistent eating habits for a long time before getting serious about her weight-loss.

When Graves reached her goal in 2019, she knew if she didn't continue to stay on track, her hard work would be for nothing. Graves joined the support group in February 2022, and says it's that support that helps her maintain the healthy weight she is at today.

Graves also hopes telling her story will also help inspire others to live a healthier, happier life. 



Currently, Indiana has an adult obesity rate of 36.3%. According to GlobalData’s report, 70% of Hoosiers are classified as overweight or obese. The revelation has been cited as a “significant public health challenge” in the Hoosier state, with only one-third of the population avoiding the added weight that negatively impacts one’s health and lifestyle.

TOPS provides an individual approach to weight loss for overall wellness. Their consistent group support, health education, and recognition are all key components to successful and consistent weight management. During 2022, TOPS members in Indiana lost a cumulative 6,827 pounds.

Meeting are every Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Fulton County Community Center, 625 Pontiac St, in Rochester. Graves says she believes it is the meetings that help her to be consistent in her day-to-day life. 



In 2022, TOPS Club unveiled its top “royalty” from 2022 for 2023, praising women and men recording their largest weight loss at the end of each year in the TOPS program, regardless of the time taken it had taken to reach their goal.

Last year, Graves was crowned 2022 Indiana Queen and honored at an Indiana state recognition event in French Lick.

It turned out that Graves had inspired more people than she ever imagined. 



Graves said it is commitment to change that has kept her going, as well as the support from here peers at meetings. Changing habits such as cutting out fried food and potatoes, eating very little bread, and focusing on protein, fruits and vegatables has been what has brought Graves to where she is today. 



Weekly meetings are the heart of TOPS support. Meetings can be held in-person or online. In-person meetings start with an optional weigh-in, and members sharing challenges, successes, or goals. A brief program is followed, covering a variety of health and wellness topics, and are sometimes concluded
with awards and recognition for the week.

Visitors can attend their first TOPS in-person meeting free, with no commitment. 

For online membership, meetings are conducted via Zoom and are offered at least five times during the week, helping with accountability. Membership starts at $49 per year, plus nominal monthly chapter fees. To join TOPS, visit www.tops.org, or call 800-932-8677 to learn more about TOPS. 

Indiana Department of Workforce Development releases state's August employment report

Indiana’s unemployment rate in August stands at 3.4%, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. By comparison, the national unemployment rate for August stands at 3.8%.

In addition, Indiana’s labor force participation rate moved to 63.5% for August, remaining above the national rate of 62.8%. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3,429,353 - a decrease of 714 from the previous month.

"The number of Hoosiers in the labor force remains near an all-time high, and the need for skilled workers has never been greater," said DWD Commissioner Richard Paulk. "Individuals looking for their next job are encouraged to visit a WorkOne office or utilize the online resources available through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to re-enter the workforce and fill one of the many open positions across the state. For many of Indiana's most in-demand jobs, there are resources available to obtain the necessary skills Indiana employers require. Qualifying workers may be eligible for free training to help them increase their earnings."

Private sector employment in Indiana decreased by 4,400 jobs over the last month, resulting in a gain of 45,800 jobs from this time last year. Indiana's August private employment stands at 2,843,100. 

Industries that experienced job increases in August included construction, which had 1,300 jobs added over the month, and manufacturing, which increased by 400 jobs.

As of Monday, there were 104,794 open job postings throughout the state. In August, 15,247 unemployment insurance claims were filed in Indiana.

Individuals looking for work, training or career information are encouraged to visit in.gov/dwd/job-seekers.



Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

Warsaw among Indiana cities to launch visions, strategic plans to fuel growth, prepare for state investment

Three Indiana cities unveiled ambitious economic development plans, outlining long-term strategies to better fuel economic growth, innovation and quality of life for current and future residents.

These new growth agendas for Michigan City, Seymour and Warsaw were developed in partnership with local residents and funded by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) in an effort to increase economic mobility and opportunity statewide, enabling these smaller communities to be better equipped to access new funding from the recently expanded Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). 
“As we think about increasing the vibrancy of our regions and advancing quality of life and quality of place across Indiana, we want to ensure that all communities – regardless of size or resources – have the opportunity to grow and better position themselves for long-term success,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce David Rosenberg. “These three plans directly address the challenges small cities face when working to build economic opportunity. The visions and strategies now in place in Michigan City, Seymour and Warsaw will enable these communities to better attract capital and fuel development and revitalization, positively impacting their residents and creating more opportunities for families for years to come.” 
These three plans were developed during year-long ‘learning labs’ that enabled local teams, including government, industry and nonprofit officials as well as current residents, to work together with national community development officials from the Brookings Institution and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to develop place-based strategies that bridge systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity. The bold, long-term plans will equip each community with the tools needed to better compete for community and economic investment, particularly through the state’s nationally recognized READI program, which received another $500 million allocation from state leadership this spring. 
“It is clear from both data and experience that equity-focused community investment plans can produce sustainable gains that have a positive ripple effect beyond any one project or neighborhood,” said William Taft, senior vice president of economic development with LISC. “For these three cities, these goals are achievable. They have committed local champions behind them, and they offer great opportunities for investors to empower real community-driven transformation.”
Michigan City, Seymour and Warsaw each tailored its strategy to its local assets, needs and opportunities. Their plans, which are highlighted below, share many common goals, such as expanding career pathways to high-quality jobs, building and preserving affordable housing, and transforming distressed or underutilized land into vibrant commercial facilities and public space for arts and recreation. The plans are based on the principles of community-centered economic inclusion (CCEI), which builds community wealth within underinvested places by directly engaging with residents; breaking down barriers related to race, income and geography; and connecting to broader economic growth in the region. 

  • Michigan City | Vibrant Michigan City: Economic Prosperity for All

    The Vibrant Michigan City playbook serves as a dynamic roadmap for progress, presenting a variety of projects, policies and programs to foster a vibrant and thriving community. The community’s strategies aim to leverage the unique opportunities and tackle the unique challenges of each of its three main areas – west side, east side and mid-town – such as increasing quality of life assets, such as banking, grocery stores and public parks, to improve livability; advancing revitalization to retain talent; and ensuring employment diversity to ensure opportunities for residents. 

    “By working through this process as a community, we have sparked a sense of collaboration that is vital to putting the Vibrant Michigan City agenda items into action,” said Clarence L. Hulse, executive director of the Economic Development Corporation Michigan City. “Our community is so appreciative of the opportunity to work with the initiative’s partners to create a more economic inclusive environment not only here in Michigan City, but also in cities and towns across the country that can mirror our playbook as a guide.”
  • Seymour | Burkart Opportunity Zone: An Inclusive Economic Development Agenda for Seymour
    Seymour’s strategic agenda provides actionable, achievable and measurable steps to help close persistent gaps in economic opportunity and enhance the quality of life for all its residents. This includes agenda items such as enhancing career pathways, building small businesses, welcoming and engaging new immigrants, expanding the trail system and development a new master plan for parks, expanding housing options and improving affordable living options, and creating new places for recreation and socialization. 
    “Being selected by the State of Indiana for this project has presented us a tremendous opportunity to not only bring many residents to the table to discuss the future of Seymour, but also to put plans together to work towards making those changes a reality,” said Seymour Mayor Matt Nicholson. “A tip of the hat to the leadership of Brookings and LISC  for helping us through this process.” 
  • Warsaw | Critical Corridor Connections: An Inclusive Economic Development Agenda for Warsaw
    Warsaw’s strategic plan is designed to grow strategic sectors and address economic stagnation and inequity by coordinating and concentrating workforce, small business, real estate development and placemaking efforts. The community outlines specific initiatives to advance its built environment, economic development, civic life and social life, including projects and programs such as reviving downtown, inspiring entrepreneurship, advancing access to living wage manufacturing jobs, increasing public access to lakes and recreation assets and reinvigorating industrial heritage sites. 
    “Our community is thrilled to be part of this extraordinary opportunity. We are appreciative of the efforts of LISC and Brookings who guided us through convening businesses, residents and community leaders in the Critical Corridors that link Warsaw and Winona Lake,” said Suzie Light, leadership partner at the Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation. “Our robust Agenda will lead to lasting inclusive partnerships and transformative projects. We are thankful for all the members of our team that worked together and shared their talents and vision for Warsaw.”

Indiana’s nationally recognized READI program is a statewide initiative that seeds community development projects and programs to catalyze economic and population growth. The IEDC initiated this pilot program after identifying gaps in the initial READI application process as smaller communities needed more specific, concentrated support. The organization started with these three unique communities with the intent that the strategies developed can be replicated across smaller, similar communities in Indiana. 
“The well-being of our cities and our nation depends on creating equitable landscapes of opportunity where more people, small businesses, and places can thrive,” said Hanna Love, senior research associate at Brookings. “CCEI provides local leaders with the tools to lay the groundwork for a strong and healthy future, and to do so in a way that is accountable to communities that have for too long been denied the chance to thrive.”
The IEDC has successfully obligated the initial $500 million investment, which was appropriated in 2021, to more than 360 projects and programs across 17 regions. The state’s investment is expected to yield more than $12 billion total invested in Indiana’s quality of life, quality of place and quality of opportunity.

To learn more, visit IndianaREADI.com

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

Rochester man arrested for fleeing law enforcmement

A Rochester man was arrested after trying to flee law enforcement.

The Fulton County Sheriff's office says Deputy Abbigayle Miller observed an SUV commit a traffic infraction in the area of CR 650 S. and Old US Hwy 31 located in Fulton County. She initiated a traffic stop using her emergency lights but the vehicle failed to yield.

The vehicle then entered into Miami County and turned north onto 400 S. from 1350 N. The vehicle then drove off the roadway into a bean field and then through a fence. When deputies caught up with the vehicle they found the driver door opened and the driver had fled.

Deputy James Dulin used his K-9 partner, Agi, and performed a track of the driver. A short time later they located a male lying in the field. Agi was sent to apprehend the male who surrendered without further incident.

The male driver was identified as Cary Guyer, 31, of Rochester. Guyer was transported to Woodlawn Hospital for medical clearance but did not suffer any injuries from the incident.

Guyer was booked at the Fulton County Jail for Resisting Law Enforcement with a Vehicle, Resisting Law Enforcement, Driving While Suspended-Prior, Operating a Vehicle Never Licensed, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Possession of Paraphernalia.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office and the Indiana State Police assisted Fulton County.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

INDOT hiring for winter season

The Indiana Department of Transportation is looking for individuals to fill jobs for this winter.

INDOT will host Winter Seasonal Hiring Events on Tuesday, September 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (local time) at 13 locations across the state.

Winter seasonal positions run from early November to early April. Pay starts at $21 per hour for full-time operations and $25 per hour for on-call snowplow-only operations. Job duties for full-time seasonal positions include performing general highway maintenance, traffic maintenance, snow and ice removal and other duties related to winter operations.

A valid CDL is required to be considered for full-time or on-call positions.

Registration is not required to attend the event. Interviews will be conducted on-site, and INDOT team members will be available to answer questions and provide more information about open positions and careers with the agency.

For a full list of hiring event locations and more information, visit bit.ly/INDOTSeasonal or text INDOT Winter to 468311.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


$449,020 winning CA$H 5 jackpot ticket sold in Peru for Friday's drawing

Hoosier Lottery CA$H 5 tickets should be checked carefully as one entry matched all five numbers in Friday night’s $449,020 CA$H 5 jackpot drawing. 

The $449,020 jackpot winning ticket was purchased at JJ’s #8 Travel Plaza located at 2964 W. 100 N. in Peru.

The winning CA$H 5 numbers for Friday, Sept. 15, are: 11-18-26-28-40. Players can check their tickets with the free Hoosier Lottery Mobile App by downloading here.

The ticket holder should ensure their ticket is in a secure place, consider meeting with a financial advisor and contact Hoosier Lottery customer service at 1-800-955-6886 for specific claim instructions.

CA$H 5 overall odds are 1 in 11.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Acoustic bat monitor to gather data in Fulton County

Fulton County Soil and Waste Associate Supervisor Valerie Gordon welcomed visitors last Wednesday to her rural home west of Rochester, as Indiana DNR representatives Tim Shier and David Wile installed two acoustic bat monitors.

Fulton County is now one of many counties throughout Indiana participating in the acoustic bat survey that will identify, track, and gather data regarding bat migration.

Shier said the monitors will be collected in October, where the data will be recorded in a statewide database. 



Around 10 bat species are said to be found in Indiana, with seven or eight being more commonly found. The most important job bats do for this area is pest control. Shier explained that it's been estimated bats save the agricultural industry in the US more than five billion dollars annually in pest control. Because of this, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepared a policy to protect the bats during mating season, stating tree clearing can only occur during inactive bat season. Currently, the inactive bat season is from October 1 to March 31. 


You can learn more about the importance of bats in next month when the Kewanna Union Township Public Library will be hosting two events on October 18 at 11 a.m. and October 19 at 5:30 p.m. with Tony Carroll, DNR Wildlife Biologist. Attendees will also be able to make and take their own bat homes. 

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.






FBI, Starke County investigation results in arrest for child exploitation

A Knox man was taken into custody by detectives with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department.

Patrick R. Jenkins, 41, was arrested on charges related to internet child exploitation. The investigation began in mid-July and was a collaborative effort between Starke County Detectives and agents with the FBI.

The FBI became aware of internet conversations between Jenkins and an underage female. During these conversations, Jenkins is alleged to have solicited the girl for sex. Agents with the FBI contacted local authorities and shared information with Starke County detectives. Upon completion of the investigation, contact was made with Jenkins at his residence and he was taken into custody.

A report was submitted to the Starke County Prosecutor’s office and formal charges were filed. Jenkins is charged with Child Solicitation, a Level 4 felony. He is currently being held at the Starke County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.



Tommy G Memorial Foundation presents $3,840 check to family of toddler mauled by dog

Tommy G Memorial Foundation founder Colleen Ksiazek met with the mother and siblings of 3-year-old Emry Sands Sunday afternoon at Poblanos in Winamac to present the family with two checks totaling $3,840. 

The money was raised from a spaghetti benefit supper at the Winamac Faternal Order of Eagles.

The toddler was mauled by a dog earlier this summer, setting the family back both financially and emotionally.



Thanks to Riley Children's Hospital, Emry's recovery has been successful, but isn't quite over yet. The toddler's mother, Shaelee Shepard, said she's thankful for the contributions give to aid their family during her daughter's recovery.

Between still having to take care of their other three children at home, countless trips to Riley in Indianapolis, and still having bills to pay, the journey hasn't been an easy one.

Shepard said although miracles have been made during her daughter's recovery, Emry will still need up to five more additional surgeries before all is said and done. 



Caston celebrates students awarded academic honors from College Board National Recognition Programs

Students at Caston High School earned academic honors from the College
Board National Recognition Programs.

These programs celebrate students' hard work in high school and showcase their strong academic performance. The academic honors for rural area, Black, Indigenous, and/or Latino students are an opportunity for students to share their strong academic achievements with colleges and scholarship programs that are seeking to recruit diverse talent.
At Caston High School, 4 students received the academic honor. Lucas Graham, Braden Rush, Haley Logan and Cole Boldry all earned NRSTA (National Rural and Small Town Award) recognition.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate our students and recognize them for the great work they’ve been doing. We’re proud of their strong academic performance in the classroom and on College Board assessments like the PSAT/NMSQT®, PSAT™ 10, and AP® exams,” said Angela Miller, Superintendent. “There’s so much that makes our students from a small rural setting unique, and receiving this honor reinforces our vision that Caston is big enough to do great things, and small enough to care!”
The criteria for eligible students include:
· GPA of 3.5 or higher.
· PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 assessment scores that are within the top 10% of
assessment takers in each state for each award program or earned a score of 3 or
higher on 2 or more AP Exams in 9th and 10th grade.
· Attend school in a rural area or small town, or identify as African American/Black,
Hispanic American/Latino, or Indigenous/Native.
Eligible students are invited to apply on BigFuture during their sophomore or junior year and are awarded at the start of the next school year in time to share their achievements in high school as they plan for the future. At the same time, colleges and organizations using College Board’s Student Search Service™ can connect directly with awardees during the recruitment process.
“It’s becoming increasingly hard for students to be ‘seen’ during the college recruitment process.
We’re exceptionally proud of the National Recognition Programs for celebrating students who are at times overlooked but have shown their outstanding academic abilities,” said Tarlin Ray, senior vice president of BigFuture® at College Board. “This is a benefit not only for students but also for colleges and universities committed to recruiting diverse and talented students.”

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Kosciusko County community awarded OCRA grant

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and 
Rural Affairs announced seven Indiana communities will receive $318,310 in Planning Grants through the Community Development Block Grant program. The communities will use the funds to develop plans for the implementation of community and economic development projects.

The Planning Grant program strives to encourage communities to plan for long-term community development with the aid of subject matter experts and community input. The applications being funded this quarter address utilities, public facilities and comprehensive planning efforts.

Comprehensive Planning Grants are designed to aid communities in evaluating assets and identifying opportunities to address current needs in the following areas: land use, government capacity, public services, placemaking, economic development, housing, transportation, agriculture, natural resources, broadband access and historic resources.

Public Facilities Planning Grants are designed to aid communities in assessing public facilities' existing conditions, needs, vision for future state and use of the facility to operationalize and implement options from the plan. Eligible facilities include fire stations, senior centers, libraries, childcare centers, community centers, facilities for special needs groups, youth centers, and museums and performance spaces that open doors to knowledge and ideas, culture and enjoyment.

Silver Lake was one of two communities was awarded a Public Facilities Feasibility Study Grant for $19,440.

Stark County bridge projects to close road into November

U.S. 421 in Stark County will be closed between C.R. W 400 S and C.R. W 2400 S on or after Monday, September 18 through mid-November for bridge deck overlay projects over the Kankakee River and Payne Ditch.


Macy Food Pantry sells fall decor to help fight local food insecurity

Falling back into routine, it's the seventh year Director of Macy Food Pantry, Amy Eckrote, has sold fall decor items to raise funds for food insecurity.

Eckrote said there's still one more week to go for the sale at 12806 N Old Route 31, outside of Macy. Those interested can text Eckrote at 574-930-0448 to set up an appointment, or contact her on her Facebook page.


Starting the sale as a school project for her son in 2016, Eckrote said she later saw it as a doorway to help the community with food insecurity.

The Macy Food Pantry is located at 2779 W 1350 N near Macy, and is open each month on the second and fourth Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 



Eckrote said funding for the Macy Food Pantry outside of the fall sale has been a continuous job for the past seven years. Eckrote says she is always looking for donations to the pantry, in hopes of helping those in the community that need assistance. 



Eckrote will also be doing the fall sale during the Brookston's Barn Market in Denver on September 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 



20th annual Kewanna Fall Festival brings big weekend to the 'little town with a big heart'

It's been 20 years since Tom Mate's dream of bringing a festival back to the small town of Kewanna became a reality.

Since its start in 2003, the Kewanna Fall Festival has continued to impress visitors from both within and outside the community with its carnival, vendors, food, festivities and free circus.

In charge of the festival since Mate's passing two years ago, Ashley VanLake says the Kewanna Fall Fest has done a lot for the place known as 'the little town with a big heart.' Despite Kewanna's population of 568 the festival brings in a big crowd each year that VanLake hopes to continue to grow. 



Trying to keep up Mate's legacy, VanLake said the inspiration behind the festival was all for the kids. With the bigger rides and circus, festival insurance can get expensive. Luckily, grants from REMC, NIPSCO, Northern Indiana Community Foundation and Fulton County Tourism help make it possible, alongside sponsors from local farmers and business owners. 



Expanding the festival a little more each year, VanLake says the festival goes from part of Kewanna's Main St, Logan St and Aurora St, where it also trickles down into the park. This year the circus big top will also be back, one thing Mate always loved. 



Listen for more about the festival when VanLake joins the First Federal Radio Program on GIANT fm WROI Friday at 7:30 a.m.


Logansport woman sentenced to 10 years for dealing methamphetamine

A Logansport woman was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for dealing in methamphetamine, according to a press release from Cass County Prosecutor Noah Schafer.

According to the release, the charges came after an incident with the Cass County Drug Task Force who had been conducting surveillance of a Logansport residence for a wanted person on November 3, 2022. When officers approached an open garage at the residence they found Heather Riley, 41, inside, along with the wanted person that was later determined to be Riley's brother. 

Officers reported that Riley refused to show her hands and kept turning away from the officers, hiding what she was doing with her hands. Riley was ultimately detained at gunpoint for the safety of the officers on scene. 

The release stated that baggies and vials of methamphetamine were found in plain view inside of the garage, along with baggies altered for packaging and scales for weighing drugs. When Riley was searched at the jail, more methamphetamine was reported to be found in her shoe. She later admitted to officers that she had recently made two methamphetamine deals prior to officers arriving. 

On March 23, Cass County Circuit Court by Judge Stephen Kitts II sentenced Riley following her guilty plea. According to the press release, Riley had a number of prior meth related convictions, including one conviction for dealing meth in 2004, where she had been sentenced to three years in prison followed by three years of probation. Riley was given the maximum sentence allowed under the terms of her plea agreement, with no time suspended for probation. Riley may petition the court for modification if she completes rehabilitative programming in prison.


A Pierceton woman seriously injured in U.S. 31 two-vehicle crash

One driver was flown from a two-vehicle crash scene Tuesday afternoon with serious injuries.

Just before 3 p.m., emergency personnel from Fulton and Marshall counties were dispatched to a two-vehicle personal injury accident at US 31 & SR 110. Preliminary investigation by Senior Deputy Matt Craig revealed a 2017 Toyota RAV4 driven by Darci Zolman, 67, of Pierceton, was traveling east on SR 110 crossing northbound US 31. Zolman pulled into the path of a northbound 2016 Ram 1500 driven by Stephen Bontrager, 67, of Shipshewaana, and was struck.

Zolman was seriously injured in the crash and was flown from the scene by Parkview Samaritan to a trauma center. Her condition as of this report is unknown.

Bontrager was transported to Woodlawn Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office says speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors and both drivers were wearing their seat belts which no doubt contributed to the survivability of the crash.

Northbound US 31 was closed at SR 110 for approximately 2 ½ hours.

The crash remains under investigation. Assisting the Fulton County Sheriff's Office at the scene were multiple emergency responders from both Fulton and Marshall County.

FSSA announces progress in making Indiana 988 go-to resource for Hoosiers in crisis

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has achieved a sustained in-state answer rate of more than 90% a year after the launch of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline in Indiana and is working to raise awareness of the resource among all Hoosiers.

“The successful launch of 988 in Indiana was crucial as the first step of building a statewide crisis response system that not only can respond to a crisis but that can prevent one,” FSSA Secretary Dan Rusyniak, M.D. said. “We are marching toward a time where individuals in crisis, regardless of day, time or location, have someone to call, someone who can respond, and a safe place to help.”

988 is a free, confidential resource available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing callers a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress – whether that is thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

The five call centers Indiana has partnered with are answering an average of 3,200 to 3,800 calls per month from Hoosiers who are experiencing crisis. The sustained in-state answer rate of more than 90% since November is nation-leading.

As part of National Suicide Prevention Month, FSSA is launching a public awareness campaign to educate and encourage those experiencing a crisis to call the lifeline. A resource toolkit, accessible in multiple languages at 988indiana.org, includes a collection of promotional tools to help spread awareness of the lifeline.

To kick-start the development of the state’s crisis system, Indiana received $133.6 million in one-time federal funds. This federal funding, along with $100 million ($50 million each year in state fiscal year 2024 and 2025) provided through Senate Enrolled Act 1 and the biennium budget will support the continued development of the statewide crisis system.

The need for a crisis support system is greater than ever. Twenty-six percent of Americans 18 and older suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder, and suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in Indiana.

If you or someone you know is currently experiencing thoughts of suicide, or a mental health or substance use crisis, please call or text 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to speak with a trained crisis specialist 24/7/365. For more information, please visit 988Indiana.org.

Elderly Kokomo couple killed in golf cart-car crash

Two people were killed in Howard County while riding in a golf cart in a collision with another vehicle.

Early Sunday evening, the Howard County 911 Dispatch Center received a report of a motor vehicle accident involving a passenger car and a golf cart occupied by two elderly subjects on Touby Pike near CR 325 N. Howard County Sheriff’s deputies along with paramedics from Ascension St. Vincent and members of the Galveston Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to the scene.

Preliminary Investigation reveals that a 2007 Chevrolet Impala driven by Cole R. Byrd, 20, of Kempton, was traveling northbound on Touby Pike when his car collided with a northbound golf cart driven in the same lane by Richard L. Calloway, 83,  and occupied by Elaine M. Calloway, 75, both of Kokomo.

Howard County Sheriff Accident Reconstructionist were called to process the scene and will provide a final outcome when the investigation is complete.

Medical personnel provided life-saving efforts to the Calloway's. Despite those efforts, Richard was later pronounced deceased on scene. Elaine was subsequently flown by medical helicopter to an area hospital for treatment. However, she later died from her injuries.

Cole Byrd was transported to an area hospital where he consented to a blood draw as required by Indiana law for all serious and fatal motor vehicle accidents.

An autopsy is scheduled Tuesday for Richard Calloway under the direction of the Howard County Coroner’s Office.

This case remains under investigation by the Howard County Sheriff’s Office and Howard County Coroner’s Office. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cpl. Brackett at 765-614-3488, by submitting a tip using our mobile app or at www.sheriff.howardcountyin.gov.

The Howard County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on scene by the aforementioned entities along with the Indiana State Police.

Rochester man sentenced after violating work release, returning to Kosciusko County Work Release with heroin

A Rochester man was sentenced last week to more than a year of additional jail time after he bought heroin and failed to return to the Kosciusko County work release last year. 

Sheldon Albright, 28, of Rochester, was charged with failure to return to a lawful detention center and possession of a narcotic drug. Both are Level 6 felonies. As part of Albright's plea agreement, conspiracy to commit trafficking with an inmate was dismissed. 

The Kosciusko County Work Release director was notified to check Albright’s location on September 15, 2022. At the time, Albright was an inmate at the work release center. Court documents revealed that it had been reported Albright had allegedly stolen a vehicle from another work release inmate.

Albright claimed, however, that he had asked permission to use the vehicle to visit his girlfriend in South Bend during work hours. When Albright returned to the work release center documents showed he had not notified work release staff about not working that day. It was also reported that while Albright was driving to South Bend, he stopped and picked up heroin at a gas station. The drugs were brought back with him to the work release center. 

Albright was sentenced September 7 in Kosciusko Superior Court one and received one year and three months that is to be served at the Kosciusko County Jail for failure to return to lawful detention. A two-year sentence was also given for the narcotic drug possession charge. Each count is to be served consecutively, and with good behavior Abright will be able to serve the last two-years on probation.

Albright also has 186 days of jail time credit added to that sentence. 

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Man captured in Peru wanted on warrant in Kosciusko County

A wanted man out of Kosciusko County was captured in Peru.

About 9 p.m. Sunday, Peru Police were dispatched to the area of U.S. 24 ad State Road 19 for a suspicious man walking and waving a flashlight at passing vehicles. John Drudge, 54, was not cooperative when approached by officers who would later determine he was wanted on a Kosciusko County active warrant.

Drudge fled from officers and into a field when confronted about the warrant. He then contacted Miami County Central Dispatch and told dispatchers that he was armed with a knife and would not surrender to officers.

Peru Police, the Miami County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police searched the area and located Drudge hiding in a yard on County Road 175 East. As officers approached Drudge placed a knife to his throat and refused to follow officers orders. Officers used their Tasers and were able to safely take Drudge into custody.

Drudge was taken to Dukes Memorial Hospital for treatment. Peru Police say that Drudge became combative with officers while at the hospital and injured an officer by kicking him in the face.  Drudge was then transported to the Miami County Jail where he was booked on charges of resisting law enforcement while drawing a deadly weapon, battery on a public safety official and intimidation. All are Level 6 felonies.  He’s also charged with disorderly conduct and a Kosciusko County warrant for invasion or privacy.


U.S. 35 Pulaski County closure begins Wednesday

U.S. 35 in Pulaski County will be closed between C.R. E 900 S and C.R. S 400 E on or after Wednesday, September 13 through late September for a culvert replacement at Wilson Wiseley Ditch.

Official detour will follow State Road 119 and State Road 16.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

Charity Musselman first full-time female firefighter for Cass Co Fire Dept

A piece of Logansport history was made September 1.

Charity Musselman was sworn in by the Cass County Fire District 1 Fire Chief Steve Fisher to become the first full-time female firefighter in Cass County.

With firefighting in the blood, Musselman said she was inspired by her father, who happens to be chief of the Harrison Township Fire Department in Lucerne. Musselman also has an uncle and sister who work for that department, as well.

Musselman started her career volunteering for six years for the Harrison Township Fire Department where she earned her EMT and Firefighter I and II certifications. 

Honored to make Cass County history, being the first full-time female fire-fighter in the area wasn't something Musselman thought about when she first accepted the job. 

Aside from firefighting, Musselman still stays near her roots, helping her father on their family farm. She also works as a part-time artist, cultivating her other passion by working part-time at Pear Tree Gallery in Logansport, where she helps make frames and will soon be teaching art classes. 

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

Cass County, Logansport adjust animal control agreement

Cass County and the city of Logansport have been working together for over two years to arrive at a viable solution for the housing of aggressive, lost or abandoned animals.

The county and city have had an agreement sharing resources for animal control for several years. Cass County provides all equipment and vehicle while Logansport provides the personnel for staffing.

The discussions for the last two years a result of the Cass County Humane Society doing business as Pets R Us being at capacity and unable to accept animals when needed. Cass County recently reached an agreement with Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver. Logansport is continuing to utilize Pets R Us.

As a result of the new agreement, all canines found or collected outside of the city by Cass County Animal Control will be taken to Vohne Liche unless the animal can be immediately returned to the identified owner. The animal will be held at Vohne Liche for 15 days. After that period, if the animal isn’t claimed it will become the property of Vohne Liche Kennels.

Residents who lose a canine are encouraged to post the animal on social media. They can also contact Cass County Central Dispatch at 574-722-6060 to be connected with the county’s animal control officer.  The animal control officer will work with the administrators of the lost animal / pets Facebook page to post located canines. A release will be provided for a canine to be retrieved from the contracted kennel, if appropriate.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Fly the US Flags at half-staff on Monday, September 11

Monday, September 11th, marks the 22 year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in suburban Pennsylvania. Patriot Day serves as a remembrance of the lives lost on that September morning.

By a joint resolution approved 12/18/2001, (Public Law 107-89) has designated September 11th of each year as "Patriot Day" which also directs the flags be lowered to half-staff for the entire day on September 11.


A section of the law is below: 


''§ 144. Patriot Day''(a) DESIGNATION.-September 11 is Patriot Day.''(b) PROCLAMATION.-The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation calling on-

''(1) State and local governments and the people of the United States to observe Patriot Day with appropriate programs and activities;

''(2) all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States and interested organizations and individuals to display the flag of the United States at halfstaff on Patriot Day in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks against the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001; and'

'(3) the people of the United States to observe a moment of silence on Patriot Day in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks against the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001.''…

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

Traffic stop turns into drug arrest in Peru

A traffic stop on S. Broadway Ave. in Peru resulted in the arrest of a local man after troopers discovered drugs.

About 11 p.m., an ISP Trooper conducted a traffic stop on a Hyundai due to the license plate on the vehicle being expired since 2022. While speaking with the driver, Jeffrey Azbell, 57, of Peru, the trooper reported that he noticed indicators that criminal activity might be afoot and requested assistance. An ISP K9 trooper and his K9 partner arrived on scene. The K9 conducted an open-air sniff, which indicated to the presence of narcotics inside the vehicle. A subsequent search of the vehicle discovered suspected methamphetamine, suspected narcotic drugs, and suspected legend drugs.

Azbell was arrested and taken to the Miami County Jail on initial charges of:

-Possession of Methamphetamine- Level 6 Felony

-Possession of a Legend Drug (2 counts)- Level 6 Felony

-Possession of a Narcotic Drug- Level 6 Felony

Indiana State Police were assisted by Peru Police and the Miami County Sheriff's Department.

Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

Corbett sentenced to 40 years in death of Wrensley Swihart

The sentence will be 40 years for a North Liberty man found guilty in the death of a baby in Akron in the summer of 2022.

Darren Corbett was found guilty in a trial in Fulton Circuit Court of aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent resulting in death. He was found not guilty on a murder charge.

The night of the incident, emergency personnel were dispatched to the 3000 South block of CR 1075 E, Akron, on a report of an infant not breathing.  Despite lifesaving efforts, Wrensley Swihart was declared dead at the scene.

An autopsy was performed by Dr. Scott Wagoner of the Northeast Indiana Forensic Center.  Findings were released that listed cause of death as blunt force trauma and manner of death as homicide.

The Fulton County Sheriff"s Office investigation was assisted by the Fulton County Coroner's Office and the Indiana Department of Child Services.

Judge Christopher Lee in presided over the case.


Indiana WIC infant formula change from Gerber to Enfamil

Beginning Oct. 1, the Indiana Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program contracted formula brand will transition from Gerber products to Enfamil products for infant formula issued to WIC participants.

Clients who are currently issued a Gerber formula will receive a similar Enfamil formula for benefits beginning on or after Oct. 1. More than 24,000 clients will be affected by the change.

Because WIC benefit periods are on different timeframes, some clients may still have Gerber benefits through the end of October. Any WIC client who has questions about their family’s benefits are advised to check the INWIC Mobile App or ask their local WIC clinic.

“Our WIC team is prepared to help all impacted families through this transition with support, guidance, and resources.  WIC Nutritionists in the clinics will ensure that all babies whose infant formula is transitioning will still receive the same level of benefits and nutrition,” said Laura Chavez, director of Indiana WIC, which is administered by the Indiana Department of Health.

State WIC staff will continue to partner directly with grocery and pharmacy vendors to ensure that stock levels support demand for benefits issued for both Gerber and Enfamil through the transition period from Oct. 1 through Oct. 30.

More information about this change is available at wic.in.gov. Click here for

WIC clinic locations:  https://bit.ly/3TQ0UyQ.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

John Tombaugh retires from museum donated to Fulton County Historical Society, a collection worth over $3 million

After five decades of collecting military memorablia, John Tombaugh is retiring. Having over $3 millions dollars worth invested, during the past decade Tombaugh, 81, shared his passion with the public by opening a museum outside of Rochester, at 5009 Beaman Lane. Inside are dozens of rooms displaying uniforms, equipment, weapons, flags, books and more, that come from a wide-range of eras, branches and countries. 


With no children, siblings, or close family, Tombaugh knew one thing - he didn't want his years of collecting to be in vain when he was no longer here to protect it. Two years ago Tombaugh took the first step of ensuring that would not happen by donating his personal museum to the Fulton County Historical Society. 

Before signing the paperwork, however, Tombaugh made the condition that his museum not be moved from its rural property even after he was gone. 



Continuing to maintain the property since its donation, with the help of a friend, Gerald Hibner, Tombaugh is finally taking another big step by retiring. Tombaugh said Hibner had been his go-to for helping build and organize his museum over the past few years. Handing the reigns to Hibner, Tombaugh feels doing so has ensured that his collection be around Fulton County for many generations to come. 

For anyone interested in checking out the museum out, you can contact Hibner at 574-201-7441 to schedule a private tour.  

Benefit fundraiser for owner of Georgieno's Italian BBQ this Saturday at Rochester VFW

This has been the first summer in 14 years that Georgieno Hennager, and his wife, Annie, have not served the community with their food business Georgieno's Italian BBQ. 

A fall last December left Georgieno with serious injuries, and the Hennager family with financial hardship. Georgieno, 51, started 2023 unable to work, walk or function by himself. Having to care for Georgieno as he recovers, Annie says the business was forced to temporarily close. 



The mounting medical bills have added up to nearly $200,000, so far. It's made things even more challenging than just the recovery for Georgieno. Wanting to get better so he can get back to barbeque, Annie says their business is more than just a money maker, it's the couple's passion. 

To help the Hennager family, a kayak poker run benefit for Georgieno will be this Saturday, September 9, at the VFW Auxiliary Post 1343, 1703 Federal Dr in Rochester. The kayak poker run event starts at 1p.m., with registration beginning at 11a.m. and also includes activities like a cornhole tournament that starts at 3p.m. Open to the public for anyone 21 years and older, live music will be provided from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m by One Way Out Band. 

The event also gives Annie a chance to get back into the kitchen this year, providing some of their famous dishes and sides that she'll begin serving at 1 p.m. until the food runs out. 



Moving to the Rochester area six-years-ago, Annie says she is grateful for the small community that's reached out to help the family since Georgieno's fall. The family still has hopes of reopening their business once Georgieno recovers. In the meantime, they are taking things day-by-day. 






Troopers discover methamphetamine while serving search warrant

Indiana State Police troopers served a search warrant on a residence in Leesburg after a drug investigation that spanned several weeks came to a conclusion.

The investigation began into suspected drug dealing after numerous tips alleging drug dealing at a residence located on 14 EMS Lane.  Just after 9 a.m. Tuesday when troopers served a search warrant that had been granted as a result of evidence gathered during this investigation.

Troopers discovered 123 grams of suspected methamphetamine, 75 grams of suspected marijuana, two firearms, pills, cocaine, and items of drug paraphernalia. 

John Heeter, 50, of Leesburg, was arrested on numerous charges to include Dealing Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Marijuana, Felon in Possession of a Handgun, and Maintaining a Common Nuisance. 

Heeter was taken to the Kosciusko County Jail.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Fulton County opts in to state's public health initiative

Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced 86 of Indiana’s 92 counties have opted-in to receive historic funding to improve the health of Hoosiers through local partnerships between public health, healthcare, nonprofits and other entities as a result of legislation passed in the 2023 legislative session.

Gov. Holcomb made public health a main priority during his 2023 Next Level agenda.

The overwhelming participation in the initiative known as Health First Indiana, which was made possible by passage of SEA 4 (2023) and HEA 1001 (2023), means that nearly 96 percent of Hoosiers will be guaranteed access to core public health services that will help address issues such as childhood lead poisoning, heart disease, tobacco cessation, obesity and maternal and infant mortality, and take additional steps to improve Indiana’s health outcomes.

“From the beginning of the public health commission, we were committed not just to identifying problems, but to solving Indiana’s pressing health problems in a way that meets the unique needs of Hoosiers, regardless of where they live,” Gov. Holcomb said. ”Communities across the state are recognizing this 1500% increased state investment as a game-changer for Hoosiers not just today, but for generations to come.”

Fulton County

OPTED IN FOR 2024: $231,190.00


$49,416.83 (Legacy amount from Local Health Maintenance fund/Trust)





County Match:

Average of county tax levy-related funds distributed to the LHD in the preceding three years (2021, 2022, 2023).


2025 (Opt In):

Minimum: $445,440.00

Maximum: $593,920.00

County Match:

Minimum: $99,840.00

Maximum: $133,120.00

- OR -

2025 (Opt Out):

$49,416.83 (Legacy amount from Local Health Maintenance fund/Trust)


Historically, Indiana’s 92 counties shared a pot of $6.9 million in public health funding annually from the state; under the new legislation, $75 million will be distributed to counties that opted-in beginning Jan. 1, 2024, and another $150 million will be allocated beginning in 2025. Counties that did not opt-in to the enhanced funding will have the opportunity to opt-in for 2025. Participating counties are working to finalize plans for the funding so they can formalize programming once the money is distributed.

Gov. Holcomb, who launched efforts to improve the delivery of public health services in August 2021 with the formation of the Governor’s Public Health Commission, said the state investment will be life-changing for many Hoosiers. Recognizing that counties are best positioned to address the health needs of their communities, the Health First Indiana funding allows counties to create innovative solutions aimed at improving local health outcomes.

State Health Commissioner Lindsay Weaver, M.D., FACEP, is actively traveling the state to discuss the implementation of Health First Indiana and believes counties are embracing the opportunity to focus on preventing diseases and working with partners to improve the well-being of their communities.

Johnson County is one of the six to not opt-in to the program.

BMV announces new branch hours

Beginning Monday, October 2, Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) branches will have new hours. This change enables the BMV to provide service six days a week in many areas across the state. The shift in operating hours is in response to increasing customer preference to use out of branch transaction options as well as to provide BMV team members opportunity to participate in critical on the job training to ensure efficient and accurate transaction processing.

Please visit BMV: New Branch Hours (in.gov) to plan your visits on or after October 2, 2023. This page provides a list by location with new operating hours.

As a reminder, customers can complete an online transaction or visit a BMV Connect kiosk 24/7. To login to myBMV or find the nearest kiosk, please visit IN.gov/BMV

Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

Saturation patrol targeting dangerous and impaired drivers nets 6 impaired drivers

Peru District Indiana State Police troopers conducted saturation patrols throughout Labor Day weekend, targeting aggressive, distracted, and impaired drivers.

During the patrol, troopers arrested several people on a total of 34 criminal charges. Five of those charges were felonies, and twenty-nine were misdemeanors. Troopers also issued 60 citations and 116 warnings. 


Criminal Charges


  • One count for operating a vehicle while intoxicated
  • One count for driving while a habitual traffic violator/life 
  • One count for possession of methamphetamine
  • One count for possession of a syringe
  • One count for obstruction of justice


  • Nine counts for possession of marijuana
  • Five counts for operating a vehicle while intoxicated
  • Three counts for possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Three counts for minor consuming
  • Three warrant arrests
  • Two counts for driving while suspended/Prior
  • Two counts for operator never licensed
  • Single count for reckless driving
  • Single count for possession of a controlled substance

By conducting saturation patrols, Indiana State Police officers hope to deter motorists from driving aggressively or while impaired. Hopefully, this will make traveling on Indiana roadways safer. 

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Injuries for suspects in a Tuesday pursuit and crash in Fulton County

An attempted traffic stop turned into a pursuit and crash early Tuesday morning.

Fulton County Sheriff's Deputy James Dulin observed a Chevrolet Silverado in the area of 1125 W. and 800 N. in Fulton County. The deputy initiated a traffic stop but the vehicle fled at a high rate of speed.
As the vehicle approached a curve in the road in the area of 1100 E. and 675 S. in Starke County, it left the road and crashed before catching fire. Two male occupants fled from the vehicle into a wooded area and a female rear passenger was detained.

Deputy Dulin deployed his K-9, Agi, and made verbal announcements. The two males that fled surrendered after the K-9 announcements were made.
The driver was identified as Peter Dancy, 49, of Rochester. The male passenger was identified as Tyler Kimbler, 27, from Newberry, MI. The female passenger was identified as Constancia Pena, 27, of Argos.
As a result of the accident, Dancy was flown from the scene by Lutheran Air to South Bend Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries. The extent of his injuries and current condition are unknown as of this report.

Kimbler was transported to Northwest Health-Starke Hospital for treatment.

Pena was released from the scene.

This incident is still under investigation and a report will be sent to the Fulton & Starke County
Prosecutor’s Office for review of potential charges.

Assisting with the incident was Indiana State Police, Starke County Sheriff’s Office, Starke County EMS, Bass Lake Fire Department, and Lutheran Air Helicopter.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.





FSSA announces managed care entity security breach affecting Indiana Medicaid members

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration today announced that software used by managed care entity CareSource experienced a security breach that exposed protected health information of some Indiana Medicaid members.

The names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, gender, medical conditions, diagnoses, medications, allergies, health conditions, member ID and plan name of 212,193 members of Indiana Medicaid who are part of a CareSource managed care plan may have been exposed in the breach.

The breach occurred in the MOVEit application used by CareSource. The MOVEit application breach affected companies and organizations worldwide and occurred in late May.

CareSource immediately remediated the breach. CareSource notified FSSA and is contacting all Medicaid members affected with information and options for credit monitoring.

For questions or additional information, contact CareSource at 1-866-764-7020 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

Rochester woman arrested for allegedly battering child

A report of a battered child at Triton Elementary School in Bourbon recently resulted in the arrest of a Rochester woman for battery.

The accusations led to the arrest of Stacy Joan Syndram, 31, 7835 N. 550E, Rochester, on charges of domestic battery resulting in bodily injury to a person under 14 years of age, a Level 5 felony; and neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 felony.

On August 28, Indiana State Police responded to Triton Elementary School about a child who may have been battered. The alleged battery was said to have occurred in Fulton County. Court documents stated that the child told two stories about the injuries, initially telling school staff they were injured after falling off a bicycle. When staff became suspicious of the injuries and began asking questions, the child's story changed, claiming that Syndram hit them multiple times. It was noted that the child had visible bruising on the right side of their cheek, ear, an abrasion above their right eye, and a gash below their lip. 

It was determined by police that the child's injuries were consistent with someone who had been in an altercation. During an interview with the child it was reported that the child claimed they were hit with a closed fist multiple times, thrown to the ground and kicked by Syndram. The child had also lifted their shirt during the interview, revealing a five-inch bruise along the left side of their ribcage. 

Syndram told the trooper she had no explanation for the child’s significant injuries, but had recently attempted to control the child by placing them in a bear hug. Syndram was arrested and was booked at the Fulton County Jail for her charges. 

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


North Judson man accused of firing gun during fight ends in arrest, no injuries

An altercation that ended with a gun being fired led to the arrest of a North Judson man last week.

According to reports, police were called to a North Judson home August 31, just after 10 p.m. Deputies were told by the occupants in the home that Jeffry Pera, 60, of North Judson, had fired a gun in the basement. Reports stated that all people inside the home were able to safely evacuate, and that nobody was hurt. 

An investigation revealed that Pera had been in a disagreement with a man that lived in the home. Pera pointed a handgun, and fired a single shot. 

Pera was arrested on preliminary felony charges of criminal recklessness and intimidation and take to the Starke County Jail. 

The case still remains under investigation.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.



Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation Awarded Indiana Department of Homeland Security Secured School Safety Grant

Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation (TVSC) has once again been awarded a grant from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Fiscal Year 2024 Secured School Safety Grant Program in the amount of $100,000.

The SSSGFY24 is a competitive and matching grant.  Of the 424 schools awarded, TVSC was awarded the maximum grant award this grant cycle. This is the sixth consecutive year TVSC has been a maximum grant awardee.

TVSC continues to be an honored recipient in this critical partnership to care for our schools, staff, students, families, and community.All TVSC administrators and lead teachers havebeen certified as a school safety specialist or advanced school safety specialist as designated through the Indiana Department of Education’s School Safety Academy.

Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Spaghetti dinner benefit Saturday in Winamac to help toddler recovering from dog mauling

It's been a rough summer for the family of Emry Sands. The three-year-old girl was mauled by a dog on June 2. Severely injured and disfigured, Emry has already undergone two different surgeries at Riley Children's hospital.


Wanting to help, family friend, Colleen Ksiazek, the founder of 'Tommy G Memorial Foundation,' is hosting a spaghetti supper for the Sand's family on Saturday, from 1p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Faternal Order of Eagles, 602 W 11th St, in Winamac. 



Ksiazek started the 'Tommy G Memorial Foundation' 13 years ago, after losing her son,Tommy, to spinal meningitis. Knowing all too well the expenses it takes to care for a sick child outside of the mounting medical bills, Ksiazek says Saturday's event will go 100% towards the Sand's family.



Mentone Town Marshal announces retirement

Mentone Town Marshal Jim Eads announced that he will be retiring from his position.

Eads has been with the Mentone Police Department for the past 29 years and Mentone Town Marshal since 1998. 

Eads is one of two full-time employees with the police department. The other full-time deputy is Jacob Bill. Eads’ last day will be on October 30.

Mentone is currently working to hire a replacement for Eads. 






Bunker Hill, Walton to improve wastewater issues with OCRA grants

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced 17 rural Indiana communities will receive $11.1 million in federal grant funding to create and expand community facilities, and improve water infrastructure.

The State of Indiana distributes Community Development Block Grant funds to rural communities, which assist units of local government with various community projects such as infrastructure improvement, downtown revitalization, public facilities and economic development. 

“Quality of life improvement projects such as these can be transformational for our rural towns and cities,” said OCRA Executive Director Denny Spinner. “I commend the leaders in each of these 17 communities for investing in critical infrastructure needs to improve their public facilities, stormwater management and wastewater or drinking water systems.”

The goals of the Wastewater/Drinking Water Program are to protect public health and the environment, reduce utility rates for low-to-moderate income communities, and improve rural infrastructure to enable long-term economic growth.  

Projects receiving Wastewater Drinking Water Program grant funding include:

The Town of Bunker Hill is awarded $600,000 to rehabilitate 100 manholes and eliminate 11 sewer cross connections. The project will line and seal the manholes, reducing inflow and infiltration by at least 72%. The proposed project will reduce or eliminate flooding and improve the quality of life for town residents.

The Town of Walton is awarded $700,000 to make improvements to its wastewater collection system and manholes in the northeast section of town to eliminate infiltration and inflow into the system. The goal of this project is to eliminate the surcharging from the sewers into the streets and homes, as well as to address problems at the treatment plant caused by fluid volumes more than the maximum design capacity of the facility.

Minor injuries reported in Cass County two-car crash

A two-car crash with minor injuries in Cass County Thursday.

Just after 12 p.m., Cass County law enforcement with fire and medics responded to several calls about the crash at 600 East and US 24. According to the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, Neita Green, 82, of Galveston, crossed US 24 in a 2019 Chevrolet Equinox and failed to yield to a westbound 2020 Chevrolet pickup driven by James McDonald, 58, of Brookston.

Green was taken by ambulance to a Kokomo hospital with minor injuries.  McDonald refused treatment at the scene.

The roadway was partially closed for about an hour for investigation and cleanup.