Invasive species spotted lanternfly now in northern Indiana

The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) has been confirmed in the northern Indiana counties of Elkhart, Porter, and St. Joseph next to railroad lines through Chesterton, Elkhart, and Mishawaka.
This is the third region of the state in which this invasive pest has been found, joining the 2021 find in Switzerland County (southeast) and the 2022 find in Huntington County (northeast). The DNR continues to survey to determine the extent of the currently infested areas.
A planthopper that originated in Asia, spotted lanternfly is of concern across most of the United States because of its adverse effect on fruit orchards, nurseries, and the logging and wine industries. It was first discovered in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 2014 and is often unknowingly spread by humans. It’s now found in many Eastern states as well as along the rail lines in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo in Ohio, and in Chicago.
The adult insects have piercing, sucking mouthparts and weaken plants by feeding on them, making it difficult for the plant to survive the winter. Congregating spotted lanternfly insects produce large quantities of honeydew that over time become infested with sooty mold that attracts other pests in the area, further threatening native plants.
More information is at on.IN.gov/spotted-lanternfly.
Anyone who spots this insect or signs of it should contact DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology by calling 866-NO EXOTIC (866-663-9684) or emailing DEPP@dnr.IN.gov.




The Seven Pillars of the Mississinewa's mysterious history and legends that date back centuries

A place of legend, located just four miles southeast of Peru, the Seven Pillars of the Mississinewa is a site that holds both historical significance, majestic beauty, and folklore that dates back centuries.

The tall, natural pillars along the river's edge once served as an extremely sacred space for the Miami tribe, the Native Americans who once lived in the Peru area, along the Mississinewa River.

The Miami believed that the pillars stood as a 'gateway to the other world,' allowing spirits to travel back and forth between the realm of the living and the dead. Elder Miami were known to tell stories of 'little people,' or 'fairy-like spirits,' who lived in the grotto-like alcoves and nearby areas of the Seven Pillars. 

The stone ledge above the pillar was also used by the Miami as a sacred gathering place for the tribe. Spirits of ancestors were supposedly able to offer wisdom to the living there during council meetings and gatherings that would instruct the tribe's young men on spiritual matters. Annual ceremonies, victory feasts and even executions were also known to have taken place on the high bluff.

More than just the Native Americans, but the French Catholics were known to have also been spooked when at the pillars during the times of French traders. While the banks of the river near the area was said to be occasionally used as a camping ground for travelers, the shallow caves behind the pillars also became a place to trade furs for French goods. French Catholic traders were said to sometimes carry religious icons into the caves to ward off spirits of the dead they claimed to see at the site. 

According to the Miami Nations of Indians websites, descendants of the Miami tribe still continue to honor the Seven Pillars as a place for great spiritual inspiration. The Miami Nation of Indians of the State of Indiana is an official nonprofit group organization from Peru that consists of tribe members who identify as having Miami blood. 

In modern times, the Miami Nation of Indians owns land on the south bank of the Mississinewa River, directly across from the 7 Pillars. Each year the tribe still uses the nearby location for sacred Long House ceremonies, as well as a place for their 'Miami Heritage Days at the Pillars,' an annual event each summer that teaches tourists about the history and culture of the Miami tribe. 

4th Annual Fall Festival and Market at the Lake this Saturday

Since 2020, the first Saturday of November has brought a community gathering with the 'Fall Festival and Market at the Lake' to the open field behind the Lake Bruce Music Barn in rural Kewanna.

Located at 1878 N Madison St. and organized by Tina Hirsch, the event was started as a way to get people out of their houses during the pandemic, while having a wide enough space for the safety of vendors and shoppers.

It has since became an annual tradition. With its fourth year fast approaching on November 4, Hirsch said the event continues to grow each year with new vendors.


Starting out with around 20 vendors in 2020, Hirsch said this years event now has around 53 unique vendors planning to attend for this Saturday's event. Hirsch feels the event is not only good for the vendors attending, but that it's good for the local community, as well. 


Saturday's event will be happening rain or shine from 10am to 4pm. A list of some vendors and this year's set up for the 2023 Fall Festival at the Lake is pictured below this story. 


Yellow River Farms cultivating a fall family tradition in the Knox area for over three decades

Yellow River Farm has become a staple for fall in the local community for over three decades.

The farm is located at 8535 State Road 8, four miles east of Knox. From their homemade strawmaze, 80 foot tube slide, pumpkin cannon, petting zoo and more, the business has came a long way from its small start in 1990. Owned by Bill Scherf, his wife, Gina, and mother-in-law Rose Ann Eichelberg, Yellow River Farms began as a roadside produce stand.

When Scherf began dating his wife and working with his father-in-law, the late Wayne Eichelberg, the idea of a produce market grew from a table on the side of the road to what it is today.

The farm itself has been family tradition from the start, being in the Eichelberg family for several generations. After the years added on and the business blossomed, the Scherf's were able to buy even more land next to the family farm, adding on to the property. Now farming 160 acres around the property, 120 acres is used to farm their sweet corn, green beans, zucchini pumpkin, squashes and gourds. 



By the mid 1990's, the pumpkin patch was bringing in hundreds of visitors. Scherf said thousands come nearly every weekend in September and October. 




The family tradition has since grown in generations at Yellow River Farm, with Scherf's son and daughter-in-law now working at the farm. On the weekends his wife runs the concession trailer, while his mother-in-law is still in charge of the market barn.



Scherf says one of the best parts about it is being able to watch the families in the community grow along with it as well. Over the years, Scherf says it has been rewarding to be able to see the kids who would come to the pumpkin patches decades before, now bringing their own kids every autumn. 



Scherf said the last day for the season at Yellow River Farms is October 31. They will reopen the doors for their market again in July to sell produce. 


Motorcycle rider caught after pursuit into Winamac

A law enforcement pursuit into Winamac ended with the arrest of a motorcycle rider.

On Friday, Winamac Police were notified by the White County Sheriff’s Department of their high-speed pursuit of a motorcycle. The pursuit was northbound on State Road 39 and turned east toward Winamac. Winamac Police set up a road block but it was evaded. The suspect wrecked his motorcycle on 11th Street just west of Monticello Street.

The suspect fled on foot through the neighborhood. The White County Sheriff’s Office used a K-9 to track the suspect while other law enforcement units performed a search of the area. A Pulaski County deputy apprehended the suspect.

Officers from the White County Sheriff’s Office, Winamac Police, Pulaski County, Francesville Police, Monon Police and the Monticello Police departments were involved.

New policies enacted for Cass County Courthouse

Cass County has unveiled new policies rregarding security, cell phones and parking at the county courthouse.





























































Warsaw man arrested on child pornography and drug charges

Detectives with the Indiana State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) arrested a Kosciusko County man on alleged charges of possession of child pornography.

This investigation by the Indiana State Police ICAC Task Force began when a tip was received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The tip ultimately led to a search warrant being served on a residence located at 3762 West Old Road 30 Lot 702 in Warsaw, by the Indiana State Police.

While serving this search warrant troopers also located suspected methamphetamine, THC oil, synthetic marijuana, syringes, numerous pills, a shotgun, a handgun, drug paraphernalia, and suspected drug packaging materials.

As a result of the investigation, Aaron Burchett, 35, was arrested for one count of Possession of Child Pornography, Level 5 Felony, one count of Possession of Child Pornography, Level 6 Felony, Dealing in a Controlled Substance, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Legend Drug, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Firearm by a Serious Violent Felon, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe, Possession of Paraphernalia, and Maintaining a Common Nuisance.  Burchett was transported to the Kosciusko County Jail.

The Indiana State Police oversees the ICAC Task Force, a multiagency task force that investigates allegations of using the internet to sexually exploit or entice children.

The ICAC Task Force encourages Hoosiers to report online exploitation, solicitation, and enticement-type crimes against children to the National center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The NCMEC website can be accessed through the ICAC Task Force website:  https://www.in.gov/isp/icactf/ .

The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, Lagrange County Sheriff’s Office, Warsaw Police Department, United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and the United States Customs and Border Patrol.


NIPSCO seeks natural gas rate adjustment to support upgrades driven by federal safety and compliance requirements

Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO), a subsidiary of NiSource Inc., has made a request with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to adjust its natural gas base rates.

The request is largely driven by federal safety and compliance regulations, system upgrades to support economic development and job creation, and infrastructure modernization and improvements that directly benefit customers and communities – including an estimated $1.1 billion in investments through the end of 2024.

“Natural gas is a vital and critical resource to many – ranging from the manufacturing industry to home heating,” said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO president. “Required investments such as these align with our focus to continually improve customer service, enhance the availability and reliability of our natural gas system, and provide an infrastructure to support new jobs and economic growth.”

The proposed increase, filed with the IURC today, will undergo a thorough and nearly yearlong regulatory review process that will allow for public input in order to strike the right balance of cost and service for NIPSCO customers. 

“As a regulated energy provider, we have a responsibility to replace older parts of our system, reduce potential risks, meet a host of federal compliance requirements, and improve the robustness and safety of our system for our approximately 859,000 natural gas customers and the communities we serve across 32 counties,” added Hooper.

How will residential customer bills change?

NIPSCO cannot change any rates or charges to its customers without the approval of the IURC. NIPSCO’s electric rates are not affected by this request.

The request to increase gas base rates is related to the costs associated with delivering natural gas to customers and comprises a smaller portion of the bill. NIPSCO does not mark up the price it pays for the natural gas used by homes and businesses, and customers pay the same dollar-for-dollar cost NIPSCO pays. The cost of natural gas is one of the largest determining factors of gas customers’ bills. 

Balancing the need for necessary system improvements while limiting the bill impact on customers is important. Based on NIPSCO’s proposal, an average natural gas residential customer, as a result of this case, would see an estimated overall increase of approximately $8 per month, or 10.6 percent above projected bills at the time of implementation. Newly approved rates would be spread over two steps, with the second step occurring no later than March 2025. Actual projected bill impacts for commercial and industrial customers may differ as it will depend on usage, rate type and class. 

Learn more about NIPSCO’s proposal at NIPSCO.com/2024gasrates


Improved service to customers

Service to customers has continued to improve, and NIPSCO has furthered its commitment to customers in several ways in recent years, including:

  • Safety enhancements:
    • Introducing smart technologies that allows for better detection of potential leaks that need to be addressed and the inspection of pipes to detect abnormal pipe conditions 
    • Being among the industry leaders for emergency response times
  • Natural gas infrastructure upgrades and modernization, including:
    • Natural gas expansion projects that included the installation of 26 miles of new 24” natural gas steel pipeline and 7.75 miles of new 30” natural gas steel pipeline
    • Natural gas upgrade to provide critical gas service to support industrial customers 
  • Projects that support state and local economic retention, growth and job creation, including:
    • Modernization and upgrade of natural gas lines and regulator stations in order to continue to meet the needs of large employers across northern Indiana
    • Build out of natural gas pipelines to support new business investment in our service territory, creating new assessed value and jobs in local communities, for example:
      • Approximately 18.5 miles of 24” steel pipeline to support StarPlus Energy JV in Kokomo, Ind., a $3.1 billion investment creating 1,300 jobs in Phase 1. Phase 2 announced in Oct 2023, to invest an additional $3.2 billion and create 1,400 additional jobs. 
  • Refining and expanding customer service, energy efficiency and energy assistance programs, including: 
    • Expanded bill payment assistance programs for low-income customers, including seasonal SILVER (seniors) and SERV (active-duty military and veterans)
    • Live chat and Chatbot functions to assist customers seeking information
    • Enhanced NIPSCO Mobile App features 

Help is available  

Customers who are experiencing financial difficulties, regardless of their situation, are always encouraged to visit nipsco.com/assistance or call NIPSCO’s Customer Care Center at 1-800-464-7726 as soon as possible to determine what options might be available. Some of those solutions include:

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): LIHEAP support is available to households that are at or below 60 percent of the State Median Income (SMI). Customers can learn more and find out if they qualify by visiting eap.ihcda.in.gov or calling 2-1-1. Applications are taken through May 20, 2024, at 5p.m. EST. 
  • Customer Assistance for Residential Energy (CARE) Discount Program: In addition to the assistance available through LIHEAP, the NIPSCO CARE program is designed to provide further bill reductions to LIHEAP-approved customers. Once enrolled in LIHEAP, customers are automatically enrolled in the program, and reductions range from 11 to 26 percent, depending on the same criteria used by the state in determining the level of assistance.
  • Flexible Payment Plans: NIPSCO has expanded its payment plan agreements to offer its most flexible payment plans to customers that need financial support, including three-, six- and 12-month plans. Customers can learn more and enroll at NIPSCO.com/PaymentPlans.?
  • Indiana Emergency Rental Assistance (IERA) Program: IERA provides financial assistance for rent and utility payments for Indiana residents whose income has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Customers can learn more and find out if they qualify by calling 2-1-1.
  • Township Trustees: A limited amount of energy assistance funds are available through local Township Trustee offices. NIPSCO customers are encouraged to contact their local Township Trustee to see what help may be available.
  • Budget Plan: The budget plan is a free service to all NIPSCO customers to help manage their monthly energy bills by spreading out gas costs over an entire year. Learn more at NIPSCO.com/budget

For more information on billing options and payment assistance, visit NIPSCO.com/assistance. Customers looking to quickly find information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, can use NIPSCO’s chat feature located in the bottom right-hand corner of its website (NIPSCO.com) or via the mobile app. Customers may also contact the NIPSCO Customer Care Center at 1-800-4-NIPSCO Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT. 

In addition to offering a variety of payment assistance options, NIPSCO offers a number of energy-efficiency programs to help lower energy usage and bills. Visit NIPSCO.com/Save for more information on available programs and other ways to save.? 

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Final weekend for the 18th Annual Haunted Woods Trail at the Fulton County Historical Society Grounds

The 18th Annual Haunted Woods Trail at the Fulton County Historical Society Grounds is having its final days for the season this Friday and Saturday from 7:30pm to 11pm. Last weekend the museum reported around 591 people touring the 'haunted' woods. 

Melinda Clinger, Fulton County Historical Society museum director says the event is the second biggest of the year for the museum. 



Clinger says this year around 50 volunteers have came together to help with the event. 


Cost for the event is $10 for adults 12 years and older, and $5 for children ages 6 to 11, while children ages 5 years and under are free. The spooky tour includes a partially guided tram ride and walk in the woods, and takes around an hour to complete.



Gov. Holcomb directs flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims of violence in Lewiston, Maine

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags to be flown at half-staff in honor and remembrance of the victims of the horrific tragedy in Lewiston, Maine per President Biden. 

Flags statewide should be flown at half-staff from now until sunset on Monday, Oct. 30.

Gov. Holcomb is requesting residents and businesses to lower their flags.

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City of Rochester with emergency water main repair today

The City of Rochester Water Department will be performing emergency repairs to the water main affecting Jackson Boulevard and Lakeshore Drive between Ewing Road and Rochester Boulevard. 

Water will be shut off today, October 26, from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. 

Due to the nature of the repairs city residents in the area may experience one or all of the following: water loss, low pressure, or discolored water until the repairs have been completed. 

If water is discolored, turn on the cold water and let run for a couple minutes to clear. 

The city appreciates your cooperation and patience in this matter.

If you have any questions, please contact the Water Department at 574-223-3412.

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One dead in Starke County two-car crash

A two-car crash in Starke County resulted in the death of a Koontz Lake woman.

About 6:30 CT Tuesday, law enforcement and medical personnel responded to the intersection of U.S. 30 and 600 E. in Starke County. According to witness information and the initial investigation a vehicle traveling south on 600 East continued into the path of traffic eastbound on U.S. 30.

Lexia Griffin, 25, was a passenger. She was declared dead at the scene.

The male driver was not identified as of this report. He was taken to an area hospital.

Indiana State Police are aiding in the investigation.

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Convicted child molester arrested after suspicious activity at Fulton County Public Library

A convicted child molester is once again facing charges in Fulton County.

Joshua Caudill, 25, of Logansport, was found having inappropriate conversations with two children. The allegations involve and incident on October 13. An employee from the Fulton County Public Library requested that a Rochester police officer escort two children home due to a man acting suspiciously. 

When the officer arrived at the library, the employee further reported that they became concerned after discovering that Caudill had been privately messaging one of the children. Court documents stated that upon looking through the child's phone, the parents of the child discovered Caudill had also sent an inappropriate photo in the messages. Reports detailed that Caudill had met the children at the library on promises of offering them cigarettes, and that the conversation in the messages were occasionally sexual in nature. 

Caudill had been previously convicted of child molesting in 2018 and was sentenced to nine years in prison, with seven years executed, and two years suspended on probation.

Attending a meeting at the Fulton County probation office on October 16, Caudill's probation was soon revoked. It was reported that Caudill did admit to the inappropriate messages he sent to the children, and that he was aware that they were underage.

Caudill told officers he blamed the children's parents for not watching their children, and said he believed that many other people often act inappropriately around minors.

Caudill was booked at the Fulton County Jail on October 16 and charged with two counts of child solicitation, Level 5 felonies; and two counts of inappropriate communication with a child, Level 6 felonies. 

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Indiana FFA Students competing on the national stage

Indiana has 100 students from across the state competing at the National FFA Convention next week in a variety of Career Development Events and Leadership Development Events.

“I am incredibly proud of these hardworking students,” said Lt. Gov. Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “Being able to showcase their talents and skills at the 96th National FFA Convention right here in their home state is extraordinary and I know they will make our Hoosier hearts proud.”

Students will be competing in career leadership events such as Environment and Natural Resources, Forestry, Veterinary Science and Floriculture. Others will be competing in leadership development events such as Extemporaneous Public Speaking, Agricultural Issues Forum and Creed Speaking.

“I know how stressful these events can be and how much preparation goes into making it to the national level- I am so proud of each of these students,” said Don Lamb, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director. “I also want to highlight each FFA advisor, mentor and parent that helped these students along the way; I also know how hard you work as well and how much you deeply care for these students, thank you.”

Among the students competing at the 96th National FFA Convention:

Argos FFA Chapter
Ellie Bollenbacher, Milk Quality & Products
Zayne Ruby, Milk Quality & Products
Hunter Davis, Milk Quality & Products
Whitlee Singleton, Milk Quality & Products


Whitko FFA
Carle Sroufe, Meats Evaluation & Technology
Amy Brown, Meats Evaluation & Technology
Hannah Thomas, Meats Evaluation & Technology
Jordyn Leininger, Meats Evaluation & Technology


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OrthoPediatrics joins Alliance for Pediatric Device Innovation to develop children's medical devices

OrthoPediatrics Corp.,  a company focused exclusively on advancing the field of pediatric orthopedics, has announced a strategic partnership with Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC under the “Alliance for Pediatric Device Innovation” (APDI), to aid in the development and commercialization of medical devices designed for children.

Along with Children’s National, APDI consortium members include Johns Hopkins University, CIMIT at Mass General Brigham, Tufts Medical Center and Medstar Health Research Institute. OrthoPediatrics Corp will serve as APDI’s strategic advisor and role model for device innovators whose primary focus is children. Children’s National and APDI are also partnering with MedTech Color, a collaborative community that is part of FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, to host competitions and accelerator wraparound services exclusively for medical technology entrepreneurs of African American and Hispanic backgrounds.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has awarded a nearly $7.5 million grant to the APDI. The nonprofit group, which is one of five in the FDA’s Pediatric Device Consortia (PDC) program, will utilize the five-year grant to provide a platform of services, expertise and funding that supports pediatric innovators in bringing medical devices to the market that specifically address the needs of children. New in this cycle, APDI will provide expertise on evidence generation, including the use of real-world evidence (RWE), for pediatric device development.

Pediatric medical device development continues to lag significantly behind that of adults because of a variety of challenges, including complexities in designing devices for growing children, small market size and lack of financial incentives. To address this health inequity, the FDA provides support through the consortia grant program to advance the development of medical devices for children.

APDI is led by program director and principal investigator Kolaleh Eskandanian, Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president and chief innovation officer at Children’s National, and principal investigator Julia Finkel, M.D., pediatric anesthesiologist and director of Pain Medicine Research and Development in the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. “Children are our future, and they deserve to benefit from the best advancements that medical technology can offer,” Eskandanian says. “Children’s National looks forward to continuing our work as a champion for medical device innovation for children. Working with our distinguished consortium partners, we will build upon our collective strengths to bring more pediatric devices to patient care while minimizing the barriers to device innovation.”

OrthoPediatrics President and CEO, David Bailey commented “We are excited to join the APDI with our partners at Children’s National Hospital and John’s Hopkins University. This coalition of thought-leaders will help us advance all aspects of pediatric medicine for years to come. Since the inception of the company, OP has been focused exclusively on improving healthcare for KIDS, and this will further enable us to reach more patients with devices and treatment options that are designed specifically for them.”

Indiana joins dozens of other states in suing Meta

Attorney General Todd Rokita and 41 other attorneys general sued Meta in federal and state courts alleging that the company knowingly designed and deployed harmful features on Instagram and its other social media platforms that purposefully addict children and teens. At the same time, according to the lawsuit Meta falsely assured the public that these features are safe and suitable for young users.  

“Our children are our most precious God-given gift, as they are our future generation,” Attorney General Rokita said. “This is just the next step in our endless fight to protect our youth from harmful, toxic platforms.” 

The attorneys general assert that Meta’s business practices violate state consumer protection laws and the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  

The suit states that hese practices have harmed and continue to harm the physical and mental health of children and teens and have fueled what the U.S. Surgeon General has deemed a “youth mental health crisis” which has ended lives, devastated families, and damaged the potential of a generation of young people. 

The federal complaint alleges that Meta knew of the harmful impact of its platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, on young people. Instead of taking steps to mitigate these harms, it misled the public about the harms associated with use of its platform, concealing the extent of the psychological and health harms suffered by young users addicted to use of its platforms. 

The complaint further alleges that Meta knew that young users, including those under 13, were active on the platforms, and knowingly collected data from these users without parental consent. It targeted these young users noting, as reported in a 2021 Wall Street Journal article, that such a user base was “valuable, but untapped.”  

While much of the complaint relies on confidential material that is not yet available to the public, publicly available sources including those previously released by former Meta employees detail that Meta profited by purposely making its platforms addictive to children and teens. Its platform algorithms push users into descending “rabbit holes” in an effort to maximize engagement.  

The suit further claims Meta knew these addictive features harmed young people’s physical and mental health, including undermining their ability to get adequate sleep, but did not disclose the harm nor did they make meaningful changes to minimize the harm. Instead, they claimed their platforms were safe for young users.  

These choices, the complaint alleges, violate state consumer protection laws and COPPA. The federal complaint seeks injunctive and monetary relief to rectify the harms caused by these platforms. 

Multiple states also sued TikTok for similar conduct, following Indiana’s lead.  

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Rochester PD looking for two males involved in incidents with shots fired, robbery

Rochester Police are asking for the public’s help to find two teenagers connected to an incident involving shots fired on October 16.

On that date, Rochester Police responded to the initial complaint in the area of the 1600 block of Madison Street. The investigation revealed that two shots were fired at a vehicle after an attempted robbery. Later that evening, officers responded to another robbery of an individual in the same area.

Rochester Police have announced they are looking for Tyler Marquee Cox, 19.  The department is also looking for another male, a 17-year old juvenile, of Rochester.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Rochester Police Department at 574-223-3313 or Fulton County Crime Stoppers at 574-223-7867.






Beef quality assurance trainings and certification program to teach daily management practices, proper caretaking skills

The Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training and certification program will be offered in 17 Indiana counties this November.

In partnership with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Purdue Extension will host events to provide producers with key industry insights and the option to complete their voluntary BQA certification.

The trainings and certification opportunities will take placefrom 6:30-9 p.m. ET Nov. 2 and 7 in the following locations:


Thursday, Nov. 2

Shipshewana Livestock Auction, Shipshewana          

Kosciusko County Extension Office, Warsaw


Tuesday, Nov. 7

Milan Center Feed & Grain, New Haven                       

Pulaski County Highway Garage, Winamac

Marshall County Building, Plymouth                                              

Miami County Community Building — 4-H Fairgrounds, Peru


Presented by a team of Purdue Extension educators, the trainings will cover various topics, including minimizing carcass defects; improving animal health and well-being; and meeting standards set by the FDA, USDA and the EPA.

Ronald Lemenager, professor of animal sciences, Extension beef specialist and event co-host, said, “BQA certification is a way to provide our customers with the confidence that we are producing high-quality, safe and wholesome beef in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.”

Nicholas Minton, Extension beef systems specialist and event co-host, added, “Being BQA certified is an example of producers committing to properly care for their cattle through continued education.”

Lemenager and Minton will deliver the BQA training and certification via Zoom livestream. County educators will facilitate the meetings.

Preregistration is highly encouraged to secure necessary accommodations. To RSVP, contact the designated county educator on the flyer for more information.

Producers also have the option to complete their BQA certification online at their convenience. Certification completed at the events or online is valid for three years.

Bunker Hill woman killed in two-car crash

A Miami County woman was killed in a two-car crash Monday.

Just before 5 p.m., officers from the Indiana State Police, the Miami County Sheriff's Office, and the Bunker Hill Police Department responded to an injury-involved crash at the intersection of US 31 and State Road 218 in which a Bunker Hill, woman died.

The preliminary crash investigation revealed that Travis Witt, 51, of Kokomo, was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu northbound on US 31, approaching State Road 218. Evidence indicates the Malibu continued northbound into the intersection of State Road 218, striking a 2014 Chevrolet Sonic turning southbound from State Road 218 onto US 31.

The driver of the Sonic was identified as Audrey N. Boyer, 84, of Bunker Hill. Boyer was pronounced deceased at the crash scene by the Miami County Coroner's Office.

Witt was transported via medical helicopter to a Fort Wayne hospital.

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

Showley is new executive director of Outlet Youth Center

The Outlet Youth Center board is pleased to announce as of October 23, Taylor Showley is the center's new Executive Director. 

Showley began at The Outlet as a volunteer in 2020 and was brought on as a part-time staff member in August of 2021. In 2023, she increased her hours at The Outlet and became the Director of Operations, where she took care of the day-to-day operations and events.

Now as Executive Director, Showley will be responsible for overseeing strategic planning and programming of The Outlet Youth Center in support of organizational mission and goals. 

“Taylor has been a great asset since she started working at The Outlet. We are so excited to now have Taylor as our Executive Director. She is great with the youth and the youth love her," said Board President Jason See. 

Showley has had a passion for her community since she moved back to Fulton County after college in 2016.

“I didn’t expect the joy that came with digging my roots back into the place that raised me. Giving back to my community has been rewarding in more ways than I could have dreamed. Working with the youth of Fulton County has been a blessing to me as much as I hope The Outlet is a blessing to them," Showley commented. 

Democrat candidate for Indiana Governor Jennifer McCormick makes appearance in Rochester Saturday

The Fulton County Democrats hosted a 2023 Election Rally at the Elks Lodge in Rochester on Saturday.

Among those attending the event was featured speaker, candidate for governor Jennifer McCormick.

McCormick is not only a politician, she also has a background as an educator. McCormick has formerly served as the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction.

During Saturday's rally, McCormick stressed the importance of small communities standing strong in their politics at a local level to help make important changes in the state. 


Hacking scams continue to grow statewide

Indiana's Attorney General Todd Rokita has warned Hoosiers of a rise in hacking scams in the state.

The scams are called "phantom hacking" - scammers pose as tech support, financial institutions or government officials to gain access to the victim's money.

Officials say the scammers often target older people.

The FBI says it has received 19,000 complaints of tech support scams from the start of this year through June, with an estimated $542 million in total stolen from victims.

To protect yourself from falling victim to these scammers, officials say to follow these tips:

Don't click on pop-ups, links sent in a text message, email or attachment

Don't call any phone numbers on a pop-up, text message or email

Don't download software from an unknown person

If an unknown person calls you, do not let them get control of your computer

Officials want to remind people the government will never request money be sent to them via wire transfer, cryptocurrency or gift cards.

Culver public hearing on increased golf cart registration fees

A public hearing will be held Tuesday in Culver to talk about increased golf cart registration fees.

The 6:30 p.m. meeting is open to anyone who wishes to speak on the matter. 

A proposed ordinance would increase golf cart registration fees to $100 from the current $60.

The meeting will be held at the Culver Town Hall.


Multiple arrests on drug charges following Starke County search warrant

Four arrests followed a search warrant in Starke County.

About 3 p.m. Thursday, deputies with the Starke County Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant for a residence in the 1600 East block of 400 South. During the subsequent search, suspected methamphetamine/fentanyl, a scale, syringes including a loaded syringe, and numerous paraphernalia items were located in the residence.

Angela Hayes, 43, of Knox; Christine Blough, 27, of North Judson; Aaron Keefover, 25, of Francesville; Morris Fowler, 56, of Knox; and Jeffrey Jacobs, 23, of North Judson, were taken into custody and preliminarily charged with:

possession of methamphetamine - Level 6 felony

possession of a narcotic drug - Level 6 felony

visiting a common nuisance -  Class B misdemeanor

Gov. Holcomb, Indiana National Guard break ground on Readiness Center

 Governor Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana National Guard hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its newest readiness center in Atlanta.

The new facility will include approximately 66,000 square feet of space on an existing, state-owned 55-acre plot of land in Hamilton County.

"In May, I proudly signed a budget including $8 million in funding for the Indiana National Guard’s new Hamilton County Readiness Center,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Indiana will continue to invest in supporting the men and women who answer a call to serve at home and abroad, respond to state emergencies and secure our peace and freedoms."

The center will house the 38th Sustainment Brigade headquarters company, its detachment and special troops battalion, and the 338th Signal Company and approximately 300 Hoosier Guardsmen. The new facility will meet current code, American Disabilities Act and Anti-terrorism Force Protection requirements.

"The three units that will be supported here work together to support approximately 10,000 soldiers in support of large-scale combat operations and state active duty," said Gen. Lyles. "Ensuring we’re always ready means ensuring our training and our facilities are modern and that we attract talent to the thrilling and fulfilling multitude of part-time careers we offer."

In addition to the Hamilton County readiness center, which will to be a home for Indiana National Guard units in the decades ahead, the State of Indiana has invested more than $9 million since 2019 to modernize the Bluffton, Danville and Martinsville readiness centers.

The new facility is set to open in 2026.

Lodge to be first built in Indiana State Parks since 1939

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb joined the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today to break ground on the Lodge at Potato Creek, the first state park lodge in Indiana built since 1939.
“There’s a reason why Indiana’s state park inns have the highest occupancy rate in the nation and continue to earn such high national rankings,” said Gov. Holcomb. “People come here from across the country and around the world because of the unparalleled experience and hospitality extended at our state park inns. Whether you’re out hiking a trail or sitting by the fire, our state parks offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature’s finest surroundings.” 
The lodge, which will be the eighth to join the Indiana State Parks Inns system, will sit on the scenic south shore of Worster Lake at Potato Creek State Park, which is near North Liberty in St. Joseph County.

The preliminary plan for the lodge includes 120 guest rooms, a full-service dining room that seats 150, a conference center with three break-out rooms and capacity for 350 guests, an indoor aquatic center, a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces for small gatherings, a mini-nature room for programs and exhibits, a café, a gift shop, and access to the lake and other park features.

The lodge will provide a base for four seasons of outdoor recreation for guests, with activities ranging from bike riding and boating in summer to ice fishing and hiking in winter, along with the viewing of spring wildflowers, migratory birds, and fall colors in the woods and prairies.

To support the lodge’s construction, $100 million was appropriated earlier this year in the state budget. The lodge will be operated through the Indiana Inns Authority, a legislatively established, quasi-governmental entity that is a functional part of the DNR Division of State Parks.

“By building our second overnight lodging facility for Hoosiers in the northern part of the state, we’re both making history and making way for new opportunities to get out and explore our great outdoor Indiana,” said DNR Director Dan Bortner. “Our park guests love making year-round memories at Potawatomi Inn at Pokagon State Park, and we know this new lodge at Potato Creek is going to be a great place for more memories to be made.”

City of Rochester receives $1 million in READI funding for Apache Dr extension

The Apache Drive project in Rochester moving forward on plans of improving road connectivity by connecting the area to SR 25 and SR 14. 

The North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council (NCIRPC) broke ground Wednesday at Apache Drive, meeting with local officials to present The City of Rochester with $1 million in READI funding for the project. It's intended to  help create safe pedestrian and motor travel from residential areas to retail districts.

The project also has hopes of improving Rochester's economic development, with multiple new businesses already expressing in locations along Apache Drive. 

Rochester Mayor Ted Denton said the project has been a long time coming. 



Mayor Denton said the READI grant was the final push to get the ball rolling on the estimated $3.2 million extension project. 



Shown in the photo during the presentation, from left: Brett Curnutt, Rochester Redevelopment Commission President; Steven Ray, NCIRPC executive director; Jana Vance, Rochester Community School Corporation Superintendent, Michael Ladd FEDCO Executive Director; Bryan Lewis, Fulton County Commissioner's President; Rochester Mayor Ted Denton; and Paul Wyman, NCIRPC Board President. 

'Freedom in the Streets' brings free Christian concert to the Rochester City Park Oct. 22

Christian artist Joe Nester will be performing a free concert on Sunday at the Rochester City Park for 'Freedom in the Streets.'

The modern Christian revival is free and open to the public, starting at 2 p.m. and ending around 6 p.m. It was started by Erin Owens as a way to bring those who may be struggling and in need of light back into worship. 



Sunday's event is open to all people looking for a unique way to worship as a community, no matter the denomination.

After struggling with her own time of darkness, Owens said the event was inspired by this, and how Nester's music put her back on track with her faith.

It felt like divine intervention to Owens when Nester agreed to perform in Rochester.



Bids for Fulton County's future ambulance service under scruutiny

The choice for a new ambulance contract in Fulton County is gaining traction this week following the opening of bids.

Fulton County Commissioners opened three bids for the ambulance service to assume a new contract.  Now, to make a decision, a board is working to break down the numbers and information.

Fulton County Commissioner Bryan Lewis.

Lewis notes further that it's not as simple as just looking at what's on the bids that were opened. That's the board's responsiblity to go deeper.

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Great Central U.S. Shakeout set for Thursday

The 2023 “Great Central U.S. Shakeout” drill to practice earthquake safety will take place on Thursday, at 10:19 a.m.

Millions of Americans will participate in earthquake drills at work, school, and at home. You, your family, and your organization can all join the 2.4 million registered participants in the central United States.

When the time comes, take a minute to DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON! Take refuge under a desk, table, or other available structure, and hold on tight. This simple procedure can prevent injury and death from falling debris.

While earthquakes are not a common occurrence in Marshall County, a major earthquake along the nearby New Madrid Fault could cause extensive damage all the way into northern Indiana. Minor to moderate earthquakes with epicenters located in Indiana are also possible. It’s important to prepare for even this rare scenario.

For more information on the Great Central U.S. Shakeout, visit shakeout.org/centralus.

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Bear's Den & Grill in Argos goes smoke-free

James Poblete is the new owner of the Bear's Den Bar & Grill in Argos. He's announced on Facebook that he is going to make the bar smoke-free.

The move came last weekend.

The post on the Bear's Den Facebook page says, “After 5 months of internal debate and many frank discussions with patrons, I've decided to make the interior of the Bear's Den a non-smoking venue effective Saturday, October 14.” Poblete further wrote, “This location has housed a smoking bar for nearly all of its 140-year history.  So, for the sake of loyal patrons, the neighborhood in general, and also for the sake of history, I wasn't casual about making this decision.”

He went on to say that he’s not averse to smoking bars and that his three absolute favorite neighborhood bars are all smoking venues.  In the post, he said, “I am not against smoking and I'm not one for excessive restrictions.”

Explaining the process of making the establishment smoke-free, Pobelete said, “With respect to the Bear's Den, there are just so many factors that came into play with this decision: 

1) the long-term viability of the Bear's Den

2) smoking patrons telling me that even they won't eat in a smoking venue

3) employee health

4) ability to more easily recruit employees as we grow

5) direct and indirect feedback from the local community

6) Marshall County's decision last month to prohibit smoking in parks.  What that signaled to me regarding the overall opinion of county residents towards smoking in public.”

The new owner of the Bear's Den in Argos closed his comments saying, “I appreciate all of our patrons, smokers and non-smokers alike.  I do believe that those who hold the Bear's Den as near-and-dear to their hearts will understand that it's best for the future and longevity of the bar.”

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Woodlawn Health underway with Occupational Health Program

Woodlawn Health launched their Occupational Health Program this week.

This program, housed in the Shafer Building on Woodlawn Health’s campus in Rochester, offers a nurse practitioner to evaluate work-related injuries and do employee physicals. They will also offer same-day appointments, drug screenings, and CDL physical evaluations.

“We are thrilled to offer this to the business community and our wellness services. We know a healthy workforce makes Fulton and surrounding counties thriving areas,” Brad Rogers, COO of Woodlawn Health, stated.

The benefits of the program for employers will have a broad impact, as stated by Jillian Smith, Executive Director at the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce, “We are thrilled that Woodlawn Health’s new Occupational Health Program will offer Fulton County and surrounding area businesses the opportunity to conduct employee drug screenings and physicals locally. Employers can reduce response and travel time by keeping employees in the county for treatment, ultimately decreasing costs and increasing productivity."

"The Chamber recognizes that Woodlawn Health continually evaluates the local community’s needs and invests in programs to fulfill those needs, such as this new occupational health facility. The Chamber appreciates Woodlawn’s continued commitment to Fulton County.”

The clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. Employers interested in utilizing services should call 574-223-9525. 

Rochester man injured in Friday car crash into a tree

A Rochester man was seriously injured in a car - tree crash on Friday.

Just before 9 p.m., the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an accident involving a single vehicle into a tree in the area of the 5000 block of N. SR 25.

Emergency personnel discovered a 1999 Toyota 4Runner, driven by Bailey Small, 21, of Rochester, left the roadway for an unknown reason on the southeast side and collided with a tree.

Small sustained several injuries and was immediately taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital by ambulance. The seriousness of the injuries and condition were unknown as of this report.

The accident remains under investigation but speed and weather conditions are believed to be contributing factors. It's unknown if Small was wearing a seatbelt.

Assisting the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office with this incident were the Akron Police Department, Rochester Fire Department, Mentone Fire Department, and Mentone EMS.

Starke County Sheriff's Office "quoted" in scam report about Israeli military in the area

The Starke County Sheriff's Office has been used as the subject of a scam in the wake of the conflict involving Israel.

The Starke County Sheriff's Office used its own Facebook page to show that the attached Facebook post is a false report. Sheriff Rosa did not have a press conference nor does the department have any knowledge of Israeli forces in or around Starke County.

The Starke County Sheriff's office further stated that it should be noted that the WKVI logo on the fake information does not match the official WKVI Facebook page. The message did not originate from WKVI or Kankakee Valley Broadcasting.

It has been noted that it's not uncommon to see service members in military vehicles on public roadways as there are various national guard and military reservists who have various military obligations during the week and on weekends, within the area.

The photo below is the false report.




Indiana awards community grants to accelerate statewide entrepreneurship resources, support

the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced $500,000 in grant awards to accelerate entrepreneurial activity and resources statewide through a pilot of its new Community Collaboration Fund (CCF).

Groups impacting Kosciusko and Marshall counties were among those selected.

This investment will help power 16 community-led projects focused on entrepreneurial education, connection and acceleration across Indiana, with a particular focus on underrepresented founders and underserved markets.  
This is the first round of grants awarded through CCF, which is designed to support the growth of Indiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by inspiring new programming and new collaborations between entrepreneur support organizations. The IEDC launched an initial pilot program of CCF this summer, inviting entrepreneur support organizations to submit small business-focused services and programming for funding awards between $5,000-40,000 (requiring at least a 25% match from the project).  
From the submissions, 16 projects were selected based on their abilities to fill gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, work across community boundaries, and support non-traditional markets, such as rural, women, minority and veteran entrepreneurs. These 16 projects will increase resources and direct support for entrepreneurs across Indiana through a variety of programming, such as startup accelerators and pitch competitions, one-on-one coaching and group education, mentorship and entrepreneurial ecosystem navigation, and student entrepreneurial education.  
“The ability to leverage the Community Collaboration Fund, along with the investment of our community partner organizations, will greatly accelerate our work to support and empower local entrepreneurs and big thinkers,” said Dan Robison, director of the Jackson County Chamber. “The launch of this program by the IEDC demonstrates the state’s commitment to connect and support all current and aspiring entrepreneurs as well as our local ecosystems throughout Indiana.”   

The 16 entrepreneurial programs awarded funding include:  

KESO Collab Entrepreneur Navigator

Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation ($32,400 award) 
The Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation will launch the KESO (Kosciusko Economic Support Organization) Collab Entrepreneur Navigator to kickstart its community’s eager and emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem. The navigator will align local entrepreneuriaL support organizations, identify gaps in its services, offer entrepreneur meet-ups, and provide mentorship for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Kosciusko County.  

Capital Coaching in North Central Indiana

CDFI Friendly South Bend ($40,000 award)  
CDFI Friendly South Bend will work with the North Central Indiana Small Business Development Center to create one-on-one capital coaching and training to help underserved businesses access capital. With support from CCF, capital coaching will be available to entrepreneurs in St. Joseph, Marshall and Elkhart counties.  


CCF is one of many new entrepreneurship-focused initiatives the state has rolled out in recent months in an effort to further grow Indiana’s entrepreneurial activity and support the growth and success of startups and small businesses. Last year, the IEDC launched Entrepreneurship Indiana, an annual publication celebrating the entrepreneurial journey; this year, it expanded its staff and support programming through the Indiana Small Business Development Center; and in June, the organization launched ConnectIND, a digital portal available in 11 languages that is designed to increase support for entrepreneurs and founders.  


Delphi murder trail has key, unplanned Thursday court date

Could leaked evidence further delay the trial for a man accused of the Delphi murders of two girls?

There will be an unplanned court hearing on Thursday in the Delphi double murder case for the judge to decide if an alleged evidence leak will prevent the case from going to trial against Richard Allen in January.

A podcaster from the popular "Murder Sheet's Investigation" claims an associate of Allen's attorney, Andrew Baldwin, leaked sensitive crime scene photos they received from the prosecution. The podcaster informed Indiana State Police who are holding their own investigation into the matter.

The judge could remove Allen's attorneys if its decided a leak occurred.

Indiana Spine Group grabs top honors at 31st annual Chili Cook Off

The weather forecast didn't prove favorable for the 31st annual Chili Cook Off in Rochester.

But it still tasted good.

The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce offered congratulations to all participants as each team did an excellent job this year creating a wonderful event and a contagious team spirit. 

The winners in each of the named categories for our 2023 Chili Cook Off are:

Best Decorated Booth: Indiana Spine Group

People’s Choice: Rochester Metal Products

2nd Place: New World Order

2nd Place: Rochester Metal Products

1st Place: Indiana Spine Group


The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce would like to extend a warm “Thank You!” to the following for their great support of our 31st Annual Chili Cook-Off:

All Chili Team Participants

Adam Packer & Chili Judges

Blacktop Cruisers Car Club

Chamber Board Members and Ambassadors

Rochester Metal Products

Beacon Credit Union

First National Bank of Monterey

Woodlawn Health

The City of Rochester

Craig Welding & Manufacturing

First Federal Radio Show

Fulton County Community Corrections

Fulton County Historical Society

Fulton County Maintenance

Fulton County Tourism Commission

Good Oil Company

LAP Waste

Mike Anderson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

Newby Services

Rochester Boat Company

Rochester Community Schools

Rochester Optimist Club

Smith Farm Stores

State Farm Insurance


The Winning Edge



Express concerns about INDOT's Propel efforts at Culver Fall Fest

ProPEL U.S. 30 continues to seek area residents input as it continues planning studies along the U.S. 30 corridor in northern Indiana.

The study seeks to propel the communities along the highway forward by using a collaborative approach to address the transportation issues and desired outcomes that have been identified for each study area.

The study team continues collecting public comments on the plans to make U.S. 30 and the remaining portion of U.S. 31 in Marshall County a limited-access highway.  The U.S. 30 study extends from State Road 49 in Porter County on the west to the Indiana-Ohio line in Allen County on the east.  The project in Marshall County on U.S. 30 is from the Kosciusko County line to the Starke County line east and west and from U.S. 30 south on U.S. 31 to 700 North in Fulton County.

Team members want to hear about the transportation issues and desired outcomes that have been identified for each study area as they continue to examine the safety, mobility, and community and economic development goals along the corridor.

Those interested in speaking to a study team member can do so this Friday, October 13, at the Culver Fall Fest from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.   Team members will be at the intersection of Main and Jefferson Street in Culver with maps and details on the proposed project being considered. 

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Federal lawsuit filed two years after the murder of 4-year-old Judah Morgan, DCS workers named in suit

A small gathering assembled Wednesday evening at Wythogan Park in Knox, for a candlelighting vigil that marked the second anniversary of the death of 4-year-old Judah Morgan. 

The boy was tortured before being found murdered at the home of his biological parents on October 11, 2021 in rural Hamlet, during what was supposed to have been a six-month home trial under the supervision of Indiana DCS. 


Earlier this week a federal lawsuit connected to the boy's murder was filed, seeking damages for the actions of the DCS workers associated in Judah's supervision. 



During the candlelighting, Judah was remembered as a happy little boy, who brought light to the Hullett home for more than three years. This past June, in honor of what would have been Judah's sixth birthday, his foster parents, Jenna and Phil Hullett, and siblings, buried Judah's ashes at Wythogan Park during a tree burial ceremony. The park had been one of the boy's favorite places to go. The location for his official burial site in the tree at Wythogan Park also brings meaning of hope to the Hullett family, symbolizing life after death, with the still thriving tree.



Last November Judah's biological father, Alan Morgan, was sentenced to 70 years in prison for the murder. His biological mother, Mary Yoder, is scheduled to be sentenced in November, after pleading guilty in August for charges of neglect of a dependent and domestic battery. 



Since Judah's 2021 death, the Hullett's have never stopped fighting for justice. The Hullett's continue to claim Judah's death was preventable, and that Indiana DCS had ignored the many red flags given prior to placing the toddler back into the hands of his biological parents. 


A lawsuit was filed on Monday, October 9, in the US District Court Northern District of Indiana, seeking damages for the actions of three Indiana Department of Child Services employees. The suit focuses on the DCS workers having been 'reckless' with 'deliberate indifference and intentional disregard of their duties.' 


The three case workers in the suit, Michele Stowers, Michelle Goebel and Jean Dressen, were workers who were assigned to, or had some type of direct responsibility in Judah's case prior to his death. Leading up to Judah's placement, his biological parents already had a lengthy history in the court system, including substantial claims of both child and drug abuse. 


The suit states that Jean Dressen had been Judah's family case manager with Indiana DCS, and lived less than 1,500 feet from the home that Judah had been tortured and murdered in. Michele Stowers had been a family case manager supervisor in 2021, while Michelle Goebel was the director of LaPorte County DCS who supervised Dressen and Stowers.


The suit argues the three workers did not give Judah his 'rights and protections afforded to all people.' It further explains that the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution states 'no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.' The suit claims the DCS workers should have been held up to those standards as an employee under the state.  


The lawsuit is taking specific aim at Dressen's negligent conduct, arguing that Dressen also had direction under the knowledge, or at least consent, of her supervisors Goebel and Stowers. It also accuses Goebel and Stowers of turning a blind eye to Judah's case, knowing about Dressen's misconduct and neglect that contributed to the boy's death. The suit stated, 'their actions emboldened and encouraged Alan Morgan and Mary Yoder to neglect, torture, and abuse Judah Morgan before his death in 2021.'


Judah had been a 'Child in Need of Services' since his birth on June 17, 2017, when he became a ward of DCS directly, and was put under their care immediately leaving the hospital instead of going home with his biological parents. DCS was also aware that Alan Morgan had previous charges with domestic violence.


In an interview with Jenna Hullett in 2021, Hullett told WROI GIANT fm news about previous violence in the home that had been admitted by the parents, happening against Judah's oldest brother prior to Judah's birth. 



Despite this, DCS never sought or obtained a psychological assessment on Morgan. The DCS workers are accused of turning a blind eye to the ongoing abuse, that was reported and ignored, as well as setting a below average living stardards for how the biological parents kept their children and home. 


The dozens of accusations on the trio included failing to perform court ordered drug tests on the parents, not informing court appointed special advocates (CASA) in advance of the home trial with Judah's biological parents, and allegedly failing to do a court ordered assessment bond. 


During her interview with us in 2021, Hullett also had claimed her family had been wanting to adopt Judah in the years prior to Judah's tragedy, but was strung along with lies by DCS. 




Jenna Hullett requested that DCS pay general damages to her family as well. This includes the emotional distress the Hullett's had endured since losing Judah. An amount will be decided at a later time. The three DCS workers are also requested to pay special damages to the plantiff. 




Logansport Financial Corp. reports net earnings for the quarter ended September 30

Logansport Financial Corp., (OTCQB, LOGN), parent company of Logansport Savings Bank, reported net earnings for the quarter ended September 30, 2023 of $371,000 or $0.61 per diluted share, compared to earnings in 2022 of $820,000 or $1.34 per diluted share. Year to date the company reported net earnings of $1,501,000 for 2023 compared to $2,428,000 for 2022. Diluted earnings per share for the nine months ended September 30, 2023 were $2.46 compared to $3.98 for the nine months ended September 30, 2022. Total assets at September 30, 2023 were $244.3 million compared to total assets at September 30, 2022 of $241 million. Total Deposits at September 30, 2023 were $200.9 million compared to total deposits of $220.3 million at September 30, 2022. The company paid a total of $3.85 per share in dividends in the first nine months of 2023 compared to $1.20 in 2022. This included a special dividend of $2.50 per share in 2023.

“The current economic environment has presented all banks across the country with challenges, specifically maintaining margin and liquidity through the rapid rise in interest rates” commented Chad Higgins, President and CEO at Logansport Savings Bank. “Continued loan demand has positioned us to be profitable during this unprecedented period of time”. 

Social Security announces 3.2 percent benefit increase for 2024

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 71 million Americans will increase 3.2 percent in 2024, the Social Security Administration announced today.

On average, Social Security retirement benefits will increase by more than $50 per month starting in January.

More than 66 million Social Security beneficiaries will see the 3.2 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) beginning in January 2024. Increased payments to approximately 7.5 million people receiving SSI will begin on December 29, 2023. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits).

“Social Security and SSI benefits will increase in 2024, and this will help millions of people keep up with expenses,” said Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $168,600 from $160,200.

Social Security begins notifying people about their new benefit amount by mail starting in early December. Individuals who have a personal my Social Security account can view their COLA notice online, which is secure, easy, and faster than receiving a letter in the mail. People can set up text or email alerts when there is a new message--such as their COLA notice--waiting for them in my Social Security.

People will need to have a my Social Security account by November 14 to see their COLA notice online. To get started, visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

Information about Medicare changes for 2024 will be available at www.medicare.gov. For Social Security beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, their new 2024 benefit amount will be available in December through the mailed COLA notice and my Social Security's Message Center.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sandhill cranes making pit stop on migration

It’s sandhill crane migration time again.

Thousands of sandhill cranes pass through Indiana on their way south at Jasper-Pulaski (JP) and Goose Pond fish & wildlife areas. More than 2,000 were seen stopping during the last week.

The best time to view the cranes is at sunrise and sunset.

  • Sunrise: Gigantic flocks rise and fly from their roosting marshes to feed in surrounding private agricultural fields. On their way to feed some birds stop in the open grassland areas of the refuge.
  • Sunset: Beginning about one hour before sunset, flocks of cranes kite into the refuge near the observation area from all directions. 

The best location to view the crane spectacle is best seen from the observation platform at the Sandhill Crane Observation Area (view map). During the day, cranes can be spotted feeding and dancing in nearby harvested farm fields. Roosting marshes in the Waterfowl Resting Area are closed to the public so that migrating birds can rest without human disturbance.

While cranes may gather close to the observation platform, they are usually several hundred yards away. A few stationary viewing scopes are available but bringing your own spotting scope or binoculars is recommended. If you are photographing cranes, your most powerful zoom lens will be handy, as trying to get too close to these birds will easily spook them.

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Countryside Orchard brings farm raised produce and cider, pesticide free

Owning Countryside Orchard for nearly 18 years, Stanley Musgrave and his wife, Judy, took their retirement from life as teachers living in Rochester to the Musgrave's six acres of paradise.

The orchard is located outside of Rochester at 370 N 500 W. Originally growing up on a farm and orchard near Martinsville, Musgrave moved to Rochester for his first teaching job at Rochester High School. That would turn into his full-time career for the next 43 years. Despite working in a classroom and living in the Manitou Heights subdivision, Musgrave never lost his green thumb. 




Musgrave's retirement from teaching and moving to the orchard felt more like he was getting back to his roots. Although loving the farm life growing up, one thing Musgrave remembered from his childhood while helping with the thirtysome acres of orchard his father used to co-own, was the chemicals his father would use on the trees to keep away pests. 

Making the observation that it could have been the pesticides that caused illnesses in some of his family members, Musgrave wanted to run his orchard a little differently than his father by not using dangerous chemicals on any of his plants. 


Changing the tradition by making his orchard chemical-free for all of the apples, pears, strawberries, and vegetables is something the Musgraves take pride in. Countryside Orchard had formerly been a certified organic farm. This year, however, Musgrave determined that renewing the certifications to be labelled as organic was no longer economically feasible for the business. 



Having 200 apple trees with 29 varieties of apples, their you-pick-farm is open by appointment by calling 574-223-3213 from late July through October. Their products are also sold pre-picked at the orchard and at the Rochester and Culver Community Farmers Markets.

Another popular product the orchard carries is their homemade, unpasteurized apple cider. The cider making process at Countryside Orchard, is pure, clean and simple, and they only use their farm raised apples. You can get yours for just $7 a half gallon from the orchard. 


1400 jobs announced with Stellantis, Samsung SDI EV battery manufacturing facility, $3.2B investment

Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced that Stellantis (NYSE: STLA) and Samsung SDI will significantly expand electric vehicle battery manufacturing operations in Indiana, investing more than $3.2 billion. The facility will be the joint venture’s second StarPlus Energy gigafactory in Kokomo. To support this growth, the companies plan to create 1,400 new, high-wage jobs in north central Indiana, growing its total planned workforce to 2,800 jobs.

“Indiana’s economy is on a roll,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Today’s commitment from Stellantis and Samsung SDI will double the capital investment, the new jobs created, and the impact this joint venture will have on Kokomo and the state of Indiana for decades to come. This decision puts Hoosiers squarely at the center of innovating and developing the future of mobility, catalyzing Indiana’s leadership position in tomorrow’s global economy.”

This will be the second StarPlus Energy gigafactory in Kokomo, growing the joint venture company’s total investment to more than $6.3 billion. The second next-generation electric vehicle manufacturing facility will be built adjacent to the first gigafactory in Kokomo first announced in May 2022, which is currently under construction and targeted to launch in the first quarter of 2025 with an annual production of 33 gigawatt hours (GWh). This second battery manufacturing facility is expected to start production in early 2027 and aims to have an initial annual production of 34 GWh, significantly increasing the joint venture’s U.S. capacity and accelerating Stellantis’ transition to electric vehicles.

“Our battery ecosystem is the foundation of our electrification strategy and our great partners Samsung SDI, the state of Indiana, and the city of Kokomo have created a compelling case for locating our sixth gigafactory in Kokomo,” said Mark Stewart, Stellantis COO North America. “The BEVs coming to our North America brands play an important role in our drive to offer clean, safe and affordable mobility for all and achieve the bold goal of carbon net zero by 2038.”

This investment is intended to be the sixth battery facility to support Stellantis’ bold electrification plan outlined in Dare Forward 2030 and is part of the company’s long-term electrification strategy to invest $35 billion USD through 2025 in electrification and software globally. Stellantis plans to reach a 100% passenger car battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales mix in Europe and 50% passenger car and light-duty truck BEV sales mix in the U.S. by 2030. To achieve these sales targets, the company is securing approximately 400 GWh of battery capacity. This investment marks that Stellantis is on track to become a carbon net zero corporation by 2038, all scopes included, with single-digit percentage compensation of remaining emissions.

“Through construction of the second battery plant of StarPlus Energy, Samsung SDI will be establishing its largest production base for electric vehicle batteries in North America,” said Yoon-ho Choi, president and CEO of Samsung SDI. “We expect Stellantis brand vehicles powered by Samsung SDI batteries featuring unrivalled technologies to contribute to fastening the U.S. transition to an era of electric vehicles.”

Stellantis employs more than 85,000 people across North America, including more than 7,000 throughout its Indiana operations. Since 2020, the company and its JV partners have committed to investing nearly $6.5 billion in Indiana to support its transition to electrification. In February, the company announced plans to invest $155 million in three Indiana facilities to add and localize production of its new electric drive module (EDM) to provide an all-in-one solution for electric vehicle powertrains.  

Pending approval from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) Board of Directors, the IEDC committed an investment in StarPlus Energy of up to $37.5 million in the form of conditional tax credits and up to $2 million in conditional training grants based on the joint venture’s investment and job creation plans. The IEDC also committed an investment of up to $22 million in conditional redevelopment tax credits based on the company’s investment plans and up to $115 million in conditional structured performance payments. These incentives are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim state benefits once investments are made and employees are hired and trained. The city of Kokomo, Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance Inc., Howard County, Duke Energy Indiana and Northern Indiana Public Service Company offered additional incentives.  

The news comes on the heels of Gov. Holcomb’s economic development trip to South Korea in August 2022 focused on advancing the state’s electric vehicle ecosystem. There, the governor and the delegation visited Samsung SDI to tour its main electric vehicle battery production line and meet with top executives of the company and with Stellantis to celebrate their growth plans in Indiana.


The curse of the Cripe House, an early 20th century tragedy in Fulton County once forgotten

Whether it was a curse or coincidence, when a double murder happened in 1904 at the Cripe homestead, just three miles south of Rochester, the house was soon deemed as cursed by the community. Just one month after the tragedy, the home was quickly demolished, ending the 50 year reign of bad luck and tragedy that was said to be cast on the property. 

On December 6, 1904, it was reported that jealousy and alcohol abuse led to the murder of 35-year-old bachelor Joe Cripe, and 28-year-old Lucinda Sprowl Burns. The Rochester Sentinel reported that prior to the crime, Mrs. Burns had recently left her husband Gilly Burns, and had been working at the Cripe home as a way to earn a living. The wife and mother of four had clearly been struggling financially since the separation. At the time, Mrs. Burns had recently sent two of her children to the Work Orphans Home in Plymouth, while the youngest two remained with her at home. 

It was reported that Mrs. Burns, her eighteen month old baby, Cripe, and his aged mother, 75-year-old Martha Braman, had been sitting at the dinner table just before 6 p.m. when the attack began. Shooting through the kitchen window, Mr. Burns aimed his first shot at his wife, before taking out Cripe. Both victims had been shot in the head and died immediately. 

Neighbors reported that Mr. Burns had been known for his fine marksmanship, being a champion wing shot since boyhood, and seldom missed anything that was within range of his gun. 

Although not a direct target, a stray bullet had also hit the elderly Braman over her eye, causing a non-fatal wound. Several of Braman's teeth were also reported to have been knocked out. By the time the elderly woman ran for help, the perpetrator was gone. 

Mr. Burns immediately ran to the home of his sister, Mrs. Sarah Werner, three miles west of the crime scene, and committed suicide in her front yard. It was reported that when Mr. Burns was found by his family, who went outside after hearing the bang of the shotgun,

he was lying straightened out, the murderous gun laying across his chest where it had fallen with him.

All three of the bodies were soon taken to Rochester in the 'Zimmerman dead wagon,' where they were prepared for proper burial. 

Leading up to the murders, it had been reported that Burns had threatened to kill his wife. The suicide was accepted as conclusive evidence of his guilt for the crime. At that time, the public opinion had been that there was no reason for Burns to murder Cripe, and it was widely believed that Mrs. Burns and Cripe did not hold any intimate relations. Mrs. Burns had been merely working at the Cripe home as a 'hired girl' to support herself and her two small children. It was believed that Burns had become desperate after failing to reclaim his wife. It was said that wild, drunken accusations had led to the murders. 

The Cripe homestead had formerly been given to Miss Braman for, what was supposed to be, the rest of her life. By 1904, Braman was reported to have been quite feeble, however, and the murder of her son, her sole caretaker, resulted in her being sent to the County Poor Farm.

Soon after the Burns rampage, rumors of the Cripe homestead being hoodooed for more than fifty years prior to the murders began to spread. Settlers from the Rochester area vowed that the Cripe property had even been known for having goblins and witches during the last half of the 19th century.

The story became so popular that it even spread outside of the Fulton County community. The Indianapolis Sunday Sentinel had featured a page write-up of the Cripe home south of Rochester, which elaborately told readers of the 'cursed farm' and tragic incidents that occured on the property. 

According to the stories of the old settlers of Rochester, there had been, previous to the Burns tragedy, a suicide, several cases of insanity, and a suspicious death which was never officially proven to be a murder. 

The suicide was by Mrs. Abraham CRIPE, the grandmother of Joe Cripe, which occured sometime in the late 1850's. It was told that Mrs.Cripe had saturated her bed coverings with coal oil, before cutting her throat with a butcher knife and getting on the bed as it was on fire. At the time of the rash act, her twelve year old son had been home and dragged his mother outside to extinguish the flames. Mrs. Cripe, however, had been intent on suicide. She then went into the barn, where she stood in the doorway to see if anyone was coming, as she set the structure on fire and burned to death. Her bones were later found in the ashes. 

Disturbed over the death of his mother, the twelve year old son was rumored to have gone insane. His mental illness was reported to have caused mania for tobacco. At 26-years-old he would end up dying at the Cripe property by choking on a large wad of tobacco down his throat. 

In the mid 1880's, Elias Cripe, the father of Joe Cripe, had also been found in a suspicious manner, unconscious and injured in the barn at the Cripe homestead. Many locals believed that the death was found to be under foul play. Additionally, Clark Cripe, brother of Joe Cripe, had been an insane patient at Longcliff Hospital in Logansport. 

The rumors were taken seriously after the Burns tragedy at the Cripe homestead, and within weeks the old house was torn down. The 'old Cripe house of many tragedies,' so often referred to by the Rochester community, was made into a cornfield by the spring of 1905. 

More on the crime can be found in shocking detail thanks to the book published by the late Wendell C. Tombaugh's 1905-1907 obit collection, which consists of stories and obits published in the Rochester Sentinel. 

It can also be found online at http://genealogy.fulco.lib.in.us/Tombaugh/Obits-Biogs_1905-1907.htm

Longtime Pulaski County EMT David Broad lost battle with brain tumor

Brain cancer has claimed the life of a longtime Pulaski County EMT. But while the life of David Broad has ended there is no doubt his memory will go on.

Pulaski County EMS announced via its Facebook page the passing of David Broad:

Pulaski County EMS Advanced EMT, David Broad lost his battle to brain cancer. Dave served with Pulaski County for over 30 years, his smile and jokes will be greatly missed! RIP Dave. Prayers for your family through this time!


The following story appeared in the Fulton County Post when Broad was recognized fo his lifetime achievements......


Community members, friends and family of David Broad gathered at Hickory Creek in Winamac to honor his 40 years of service and dedication in EMS. Known as being a helper to the end, the time to accept help has been bittersweet for Broad and his family during his journey with terminal brain cancer. 

Along with his certificate of appreciation given by the Emergency Medical Services of Indiana, Broad was flooded with stories of those he's helped, hugged, inspired, or loved over the past four decades. 

His son, Timmy Broad, said his father's legacy of helping is one that won't be forgotten in Winamac anytime soon.



The illness has been a whirlwind for the Broad family. Neurologists confirmed a small tumor in May. Scheduling the tumor to be removed in July, things took a turn for the worst when additional scans discovered significant growth, and that new tumors had also developed in other regions of Broad's brain.

Broad was soon diagnosed with a Stage four astrocytoma brain tumor, commonly known as glioblastoma. No medical options now remain for Broad. Due to the tumors rapid growth, Broad was given, at most, a few weeks to live. 

A man of helping, but never taking, it felt foreign for Broad to accept help from others. With accumulating medical bills and having to arrange last minute hospice care, however, the Broad's were left without a choice.

Last week, the need for financial assistance was at an all-time high when the family needed to provide nearly $4,000 within a 48 hour period to continue Broad's hospice care. With some help from the community that he poured his heart into, the Broad family was quickly able to raise $9,000.

Thankful and touched by community members Broad's main concern still continues to be about his family and taking care of his wife, Tammy. Dealing with mobility issues of her own, Broad had been his wife's main caretaker leading up to his illness. As daunting medical bills continue to stack up while inevitable changes are being made, those wanting to donate to the family can do so by visiting givesendgo.com/davebroad

Wanting to keep positive and stay strong like his father wants, Timmy says the lessons and life lived by Dave Broad in the past 70 years will be passed down and continued for many generations to come. 



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Medicare open enrollment period begins October 15

Medicare's Open Enrollment Period (OEP) begins October 15 and ends December 7.

This is the one time each year when ALL people with Medicare have an open enrollment period to make changes to their Medicare Advantage health and Part D prescription drug plans for the next year.

During the Open Enrollment Period, you can make changes to various aspects of your coverage.

  • You can switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa.
  • You can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, or from one Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan to another.
  • If you didn’t enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan when you were first eligible, you can do so during the Open Enrollment Period, although a late enrollment penalty may apply.

It is important for Medicare beneficiaries to pay close attention to the mail they receive this Fall. You may receive several important letters from your current insurance company, Social Security, and Medicare.

If your health insurance or prescription plan has made changes to your co-pays or your premiums, you should receive a letter from the company in October stating the changes. You may also receive letters concerning actions you need to take about your eligibility for State and Federal assistance programs relating to your health or prescription drug plans or coverage.

Medicare offers an online plan comparison tool that can help you compare Advantage and Part D plans side-by-side at www.medicare.gov. If you purchase a new Medicare Advantage and/or Part D plan or switch plans during the Open Enrollment Period, the changes will begin January 1, 2024.

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period then begins January 1 and ends March 31 every year. The changes you can make during this period are limited.These changes will begin the first day of the following month.


  • You can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan
  • You can drop your Medicare Advantage plan
  • You canreturn to Original Medicare.
  • You can add a standalone Part D plan, but only if you dropped your Medicare Advantage plan and returned to Original Medicare.

SHIP has more than 75 sites throughout Indiana. Look for a SHIP site near you at www.in.gov/ship/find-an-indiana-ship-location/. Our counselors can assist you in person, by phone, or virtually. SHIP participates in educational events throughout Indiana. SHIP coordinates assistance and educational events throughout Indiana. Check out our list of state-wide events at ww.in.gov/ship/ship-presentations-and-events/.

Follow SHIP on social media for informative Medicare related videos, updates, and announcements. Find us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and YouTube.

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With holiday shopping approaching Hoosier warned of shipping, delivering scams

Attorney General Todd Rokita is advising Hoosiers to watch for texts and emails informing them of shipping-and-delivery issues with items they supposedly have ordered.

Scammers are flooding inboxes with these false claims in an effort to steal personal information and/or lure victims into unknowingly downloading malware onto their computers or phones. The fraudulent emails and texts often contain links purported to help the consumer track a package — when in reality those links connect to malicious websites.

These scam messages typically appear to come from such sources as Amazon, FedEx, the U.S. Postal Service, UPS and others.

If you receive an email or text of this nature, DO NOT click on any links or reply in any manner.

Instead, if you believe there is any possibility such a message could be valid, simply contact the delivery carrier yourself by navigating to the appropriate website — without using any contact information provided in the suspicious text or email.

Anytime you believe you are the target of a scam attempt, you may file a complaint at in.gov/attorneygeneral/ or call 1-800-382-5516.

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Newly released documents reveal Indiana DCS director was made aware of Judah Morgan months prior to the toddler's murder, DCS held in contempt of court

Information given at the end of last week throws Indiana Department of Child Services Director Eric Miller in the spotlight. New documents allege Miller had recieved emails on Judah Morgan, before and after the 4-year-old's murder. 

Contradicting Miller's recent court testimony just days earlier, the newest allegations filed from a cilvil suit from the child's death state that multiple emails were sent to Miller nine months prior to Judah's violent murder. The emails detailed the boy's situation, as well as concerns about his soon-to-be placement with his biological parents, Alan Morgan and Mary Yoder.

Concerns from Judah's kinship placement foster parent Jenna Hullett were also among the emails. At the time these emails were sent, Miller had been serving as chief of staff for DCS. 

Judah was killed after being tortured and beaten at his home in rural LaPorte County on October 11, 2021. Last November, his biological father, Alan Morgan, plead guilty for murder charges on the boy. 

Miller took the stand last week in a civil case filed by Hullett against Alan Morgan. In court Miller stated he was unclear on when exactly he became aware of Judah's case. 

Court filings from the suit also state that multiple emails were sent to then-DCS Director Terry Stigdon regarding the death of Judah and prior involvement with the child welfare agency. Stigdon had stepped down from her position this past May. A court filing stated that additional reviews of these emails show Stigdon had been involved in damage control efforts relating to Judah's death. 

Last week, DCS attorneys claimed that the agency has now turned over 130,316 total pages of records, after reviewing more than a million documents. According to Hullett’s attorney, these newly produced documents reveal Eric Miller also received emails about Judah Morgan after his death.

Indiana DCS defended itself against allegations of contempt in the release information for the civil suit, claiming that Director Miller’s testimony last week was “accurate and consistent" with DCS’s production of records. The agency stated allegations against Stigdon being involved with "damage control efforts" was "a mischaracterization for a false narrative in the public square."

The underlying civil suit filed by Hullett, the personal representative for Judah's estate, accuses DCS of placing Judah in the hands of his biological parents, who had a history of known abuse, and closing the case on the child, who had been in the agency's care since birth.

The suit states Judah was placed in the care of the state on June 17, 2017, just three days after his birth due to drugs being in Judah's system. At the age of four months, Judah was placed with Jenna Hullett under a kinship placement. Judah remained in Hullett's care until April 7, 2021, six months before his murder. 


The suit claims that the LaPorte County prosecutor's office has since determined that from the moment Judah was placed in the home of his biological parents by Indiana DCS he was neglected and endangered. Despite the danger, in June of 2021, DCS closed its case involving Judah. 

The complaint stated that as a result of the reckless, careless, negligent and wrongful acts and omissions of other persons and the intentional acts of Alan Morgan, Judah Morgan was beaten, tortured and eventually murdered on October 11, 2021. The suit further states that DCS is the state agency responsible for the safety and well being of Hoosier children who come into contact with the state's child welfare system. 


The judge ended the first week of October by deciding the Indiana Department of Child Services is in civil contempt of court for failing to produce documents related to Judah's murder. 

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Stocking explains herself after being called out about expired CPA license

Republican candidate for Rochester clerk-treasurer Beth Stocking says although her certified public accountant license had expired in 2021, her qualifications for the clerk-treasurer position still stand. 

Stocking was called out over allegations of misleading the public, when it was discovered that her CPA license that was under her former married name, Beth Washburn, had expired. 


Fulton County Democratic Party Chair Josh Zehner said, "The Fulton County Democrats were questioned by a person in the community if Beth's CPA license was valid. After a quick search, we were able to see that her license is expired as of June 30, 2021. In my limited understanding of the situation, I don't believe she can represent herself as a CPA and must represent herself as a former CPA. This is a problem especially when you look at her signs around town that specifically state "Elect a CPA". A CPA license is not required for this position, but for her to campaign on these credentials and act as if she is currently a CPA seems unethical. We just ask that Beth correct this so we can know who we are voting on."


Stocking feels these discoveries are irrelevant. 



Stocking elaborated more on her career history. She says she plans on renewing her CPA license soon. 



Feeling attacked, Stocking said she feels she is being villified by Fulton County Democrats as a political move. 



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October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and Attorney General Todd Rokita wants Hoosiers to be prepared for cyber criminals. 

“The world we live in relies more and more on technology every day,” Attorney General Rokita said. “This is making our businesses and even our schools vulnerable to these types of attacks. The best thing Hoosiers can do is educate themselves and stay on high alert.”  

Making sure your business has the appropriate cybersecurity controls has become a necessary step in today’s economy. The average cost incurred by a business from a data breach is now more than $4 million, and the average cost of a healthcare data breach has skyrocketed to over $10 million. 

Cyber-attacks do not only affect schools and businesses, but they also affect individuals and can potentially destroy people's lives by taking their hard-earned money. 

To keep you and your family protected, Attorney General Rokita is sharing the following tips: 

Monitor your credit. Credit monitoring services track your credit report and alert you whenever a change is made, such as a new account or a large purchase. Most services will notify you within 24 hours of any change to your credit report. Most major credit cards now offer these monitoring services at no cost to the consumer. 

Place a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert tells lenders and creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing credit. You can place a fraud alert by contacting any one of the three major credit bureaus. 

Consider placing a free credit freeze on your credit report. Identity thieves will not be able to open a new credit account in your name while the freeze is in place. You can place a credit freeze by contacting each of the three major credit bureaus: 

Equifax: 1-888-766-0008 

Experian: 1-888-397-3742 

TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 


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Sexual acts with a child result in an Akron man's arrest

Charges of sexual misconduct with a child and child solicitation have resulted in the arrest of an Akron man.

Michael Waller, 42, was booked into the Fulton County Jail over the weekend on the Level 5 and Level 4 felony charges.

According to court records, Waller was accused by an adult who told police that a child said Waller had inappropriately touched him/her. Interviews with the Fulton County Sheriff’s office and the Department of Child Services yielded information that sexual activity had happened for several months. The acts included sexual intercourse.

According to law enforcement reports Waller admitted to the incidents after denying them earlier in the interview.

Waller was initially held on $40,000 surety.

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Women's Giving Circle grants $10,000 to local organizations

The Fulton County Women’s Giving Circle hosted their annual event at the Times Theater.

Over 30 women attended the event, where the group granted $10,000 to local charitable organizations. 

Receiving the most member votes, Recovery Café was awarded a $3,500 grant to help fund an on-site clinical therapist.


A $2,500 grant awarded to the Imagination Library project headed up by the Fulton County Public Library and the Ladybug Foundation.

  Caston Robotics -  Jessica Taylor and Jamie Taylor

Caston Robotics was awarded a $2,000 grant for program upgrades, and $1,000 grants were awarded to both the Fulton County Animal Center and Liberty Lions Club.


  FCAC - Janet Showley


  Lynne Frye, Lori Gibson, Linda Wade, Phillip Frye


“The Café is here to care for people, and members can be seen in the Café by our clinical therapist – most of the time – on the day they ask for an appointment,” said Recovery Café Executive Director Pat Brown. “This is how we’re going to impact the lives of real people who need help, [by] giving them effective help when and where they need it.”

Since 2010, the Women’s Giving Circle has granted nearly $90,000 to Fulton County charitable groups. Members pay a $120 annual donation that goes towards that year’s grant dollars as well as the giving circle’s endowment fund.

Women can get a jumpstart on their 2024 memberships by visiting The Fulton County Women’s Giving Circle page at nicf.org.

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Woodlawn's Maternity Oasis receives national award

Woodlawn Health’s Maternity Oasis was awarded the Community Stars Award by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH).

This national award is given to one recipient in each state that demonstrates the most significant impact on rural health. Joyce Fillenwarth, the State Office Rural Health Manager, presented the award to the OB medical providers and staff.

Many maternity services in rural communities are closing, causing deserts of care. Woodlawn has committed to the community to continue services. On Tuesday, during the award ceremony, Dr. Chris Ricketts described the challenge that Woodlawn and other rural healthcare organizations face.

“It was not that long ago that we, as a hospital, were at a crossroads. It was a crossroad that all too many rural hospitals face. Our decision was whether to keep our OB department open or close it,” Dr. Ricketts stated. 

Woodlawn’s OB services were losing approximately two million dollars a year at the time.

“The board, the administration, and the full support of the medical staff chose not only to continue providing maternity and newborn care but chose the harder and more uncertain path. They chose to make Woodlawn Health stand out in a desert of OB options,” he explained. 

Alan Fisher, CEO of Woodlawn Health, gratefully accepted the award and praised the team who made it possible, “This award could not be possible without the leadership and directives by our Board and the dedicated staff of our Ob/maternity Department staff members and physicians who deliver excellent care to our community.”

Then, he expressed concern about other maternity services in rural areas in the state of Indiana, “I would submit, however, that these maternity oases around our State can close at any time without financial support from our State and Federal legislators. I would implore our legislators to look at other States such as Michigan, which provides 7.9 million dollars to rural and sole community hospitals based on OB services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries.”

Woodlawn is honored to be chosen for this award that highlights the excellent healthcare services by highly skilled staff delivered daily by a local team of professionals.     

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Strange stories from the past: Kewanna woman's funeral canceled due to lack of death in 1942

A real-life mishap of the misidentification of a body from the Logansport State Hospital in 1942 was shared by Kewanna Historian and retired teacher Terry Engle earlier this year.

The story had been first posted in the Logansport Pharos Reporter. Eight decades later, the odd occurance still stands out to WROI Giant fm news reporter Shelby Lopez. 


It was October 3, 1942, a Saturday, when James Wilson asked his neighbor to call and report the death of his wife to the Harrison Funeral Home in Kewanna. It was reported that Emma Wilson had passed away at the Logansport State Hospital, then known as Longcliff. 


Paul Harrison, employee of Harrion Funeral Home, along with another Harrison Funeral Home staff member, drove to Longcliff in Logansport to collect the body. Once there, the pair first obtained Wilson's death certificate. As the two men from Harrison Funeral Home were preparing to remove the body, they had noticed that it was the body of a man, instead of Emma Wilson.


A hospital attendant soon 'corrected' the mistake, locating the body of a woman, which had an identification envelope and tags for Emma Wilson. The body was quickly removed to Kewanna, where preparations for burial were started. 

The bereaved husband, James Wilson, called Harrison Funeral home, requesting to see the body. Wilson was asked to wait until the following day, since preparation of his wife's body had not yet been complete. 


When Emma's sister had arrived at the funeral parlor the following day to view the body, she was surprised to find a stranger instead of Emma. 

"That's not my sister," the woman exclaimed, "my sister has brown hair and is plump!" 


Moments later, her husband James arrived and confirmed that a mistake had indeed been made when identifying his wife's body. Wilson and staff from the funeral parlor soon began the task of telephoning friends, relatives, and local newspaper offices to report the error that had been made. It was reported that apparently all the necessary calls had been made, as no one had showed for the funeral, despite notices being posted in Rochester and Logansport newspapers. 


It was later learned that three different Emma Wilson's had been patients at the mental hospital at that time. The body in the Kewanna funeral parol had actually been that of eighty-year-old Emma Wilson of South Whitley, who had been a patient at Longcliff for fifty years prior. 


It was reported officials at Longcliff had been embarrassed by the error, but assumed full responsibility for any and all resulting obligations. Soon after, new attendants had been employed at the hospital, most likely due to the serious errors made that day. 

(Photo above obtained by findagrave.com.)


Emma Wilson would later pass away January 8, 1961, at the age of 68, still a resident at the Logansport State Hospital. 

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Public Pollinator Party highlights the importance of native plants and protecting pollinators

Community members were invited to learn about pollinators and native plants last week with a Pollinator Party by Fulton County Farm Bureau.

The 'Pollinator Party' included a nature-focused story walk at the Woodlawn Hospital Trail with yoga instructor Lindsay Barts, a guided walk through Rochester's butterfly garden with plant guru Kimberlie Landis, and Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District Executive Director Megan Malott. 



The intention of the Pollinator Party was to educate locals on mindfulness, the importance of pollinators such as bees, butterflies and bats, and teach about native plants that can help these pollinators thrive. 



As the pollinator population continues to decline, Landis said it's urgent that people be mindful of the insecticides and herbicides they use in their yards and gardens. Many sprays are acutely toxic to pollinators and people alike. 



While in the butterfly garden, Malott stressed the importance of planting native plants to help the pollinators. 



Malott said more information on future events will be on the Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District Facebook page. Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District is also currently having their first ever annual native plant sale.

All orders and money are due by November 1. Plants will be available to those who ordered in May of 2024.

The plants are 'plugs' that come in a kit of 13, costing about $3.50 a plug. Order forms are available at their office located at 1252 E 100 S outside of Rochester.

For any questions, you can contact them by calling 574-223-3220. 


Local EMT Tim Grosvenor honored for four decades of service amid battle with pancreatic cancer

Longtime EMS Timothy Grosvenor was honored with the Paramedic Emeritus Award Saturday at Paddock Springs in Warsaw, where he is temporarily staying amid his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Starting his first EMT class in Rochester, that first day of classes in 1974 happened to be the day of the Super Outbreak when a tornado destroyed Rochester and other parts of Fulton County. Helping rescue three people from the disaster, he would go on to help countless more in the next four decades. 

Serving in Fulton, Pulaski and Cass County, Grosvenor also served for a short time in Palm Beach, Florida. 

Having a passion for teaching, over the years Grosvenor has taught first responders and helpcare workers. Adding to his vast career, Grosvenor not only served as a paramedic, he was also a firefighter for 36 years. 

In the past, Grosvenor had previously been honored by the State of Indiana with the Advanced EMT of the Year award. 

Natasha Daughertyis with Fulton County EMS. She says Grosvenor's influence is one that won't be forgotten. 



The support given during Grosvenor's cancer journey by his loving family and supportive community has meant a lot for him.

Those unable to attend Saturday's event, but want to reach out or send cards can do so sending them to 1545 Liberty Lane, Rochester, IN 46975 or email them to timlynn@rtcol.com. 


2024 Hometown Heroes Banner forms deadline Oct 31

The Hometown Heroes banners displayed last year in downtown Rochester was the first of a new tradition for downtown and is being continued in 2024. 

Celebrating the active, retired and late service members of the community, Rochester Downtown Partnership member Chad Hisey said their photos and names will be hung on display throughout downtown Rochester starting in January. 



All banners are printed at Kewanna Screen Printing, and cost $150 each, or $50 for re-used banners. 

Forms can be found on the Rochester Downtown Partnership website at www.rochester-downtown.com/post/hometown-heroes and are due with payment by October 31.

Banners will be hung sometime in early January. 

FEMA and FCC plan nationwide emergency alert test for Wednesday

FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on Wednesday.

The national test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities. Both tests are scheduled to begin at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 4.

The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones. This will be the third nationwide test, but the second test to all cellular devices. The test message will display in either English or in Spanish, depending on the language settings of the wireless handset.

The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions. This will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.

FEMA and the FCC are coordinating with EAS participants, wireless providers, emergency managers and other stakeholders in preparation for this national test to minimize confusion and to maximize the public safety value of the test.

The purpose of the Oct. 4 test is to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level. In case the Oct. 4 test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the back-up testing date is Oct. 11. 

The WEA portion of the test will be initiated using FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), a centralized internet-based system administered by FEMA that enables authorities to send authenticated emergency messages to the public through multiple communications networks. The WEA test will be administered via a code sent to cell phones. 

This year the EAS message will be disseminated as a Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) message via the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System-Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN).

All wireless phones should receive the message only once. The following can be expected from the nationwide WEA test:

  • Beginning at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET, cell towers will broadcast the test for approximately 30 minutes. During this time, WEA-compatible wireless phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA, should be capable of receiving the test message. 
  • For consumers, the message that appears on their phones will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
  • Phones with the main menu set to Spanish will display: “ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”

WEA alerts are created and sent by authorized federal, state, local, tribal and territorial government agencies through IPAWS to participating wireless providers, which deliver the alerts to compatible handsets in geo-targeted areas. To help ensure that these alerts are accessible to the entire public, including people with disabilities, the alerts are accompanied by a unique tone and vibration. 

Important information about the EAS test:

  • The EAS portion of the test is scheduled to last approximately one minute and will be conducted with the participation of radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers and wireline video providers.
  • The test message will be similar to the regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. It will state: “This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 14:20 to 14:50 hours ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.


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