Community News

#GivingTuesday with Fulton County Community Foundation

It’s Community Foundation Week, a nationwide celebration from November 12-18. Community Foundation Week coincides with National Philanthropy Day on November 15. This day was created to help raise community awareness of the philanthropic work being done to address needs in the community. 

 

“We are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to find solutions for challenging problems in our local communities. This year has been unique due to COVID-19, but we feel that we have stayed true to our mission statement. We at the Community Foundation try our best to improve the quality of life in our communities by assisting donors in fulfilling their charitable wishes. We are looking forward to helping those who wish to help others.” – Northern Indiana Community Foundation’s Executive Director Jay Albright.

 

The Community Foundation is hosting a #GivingTuesday event on December 1st. Practicing social distancing doesn’t have to ruin the fun of giving back. Stop by and donate to your favorite fund.

Drive by Tuesday, December 1st, anytime between 10:00am to 5:30pm to celebrate Giving Tuesday with the Community Foundation. Staff will be serving boxed lunches from 11:00am - 2:00pm. There will be a matching opportunity - $1 for $1 up to $10,000 for the Fulton County Promise Endowment! Help our youth prepare for secondary education.

 

For questions, you may contact Brian Johnson, Director of Development at574-223-3223 or email at fulton@nicf.org

 

One-on-one with Brittany Ingle

Last week marked two years since the death of her nine year old daughter Alivia Stahl and six year old twin boys Mason and Xzavier Ingle.  To Brittany Ingle, the tragedy still feels like last week. 

 

 

On October 30, 2018 the siblings were three of four children hit by Alyssa Shepherd after she illegally passed their school bus as they were getting ready to board on St Rd 25.

 

Life before the accident still replays in Brittany’s head to this day as she reminisced about the boys. 

 

 

Through therapy and wanting to find some sort of healing, Brittany wanted to turn her family's tragedy into purpose. MAXSTRONG, named for Mason, Alivia and Xzavier, have become the grieving mother’s light at the end of the tunnel. In 2019 the MAXSTRONG school bus safety laws were passed. Her next mission is for it to go nationally, giving her high hopes for the future. 

 

 

The journey has been far from easy for the Ingle's, but Brittany refuses to give up. She may never fully heal her family from the traumatizing events that unfolded that October morning, but is thankful for the ongoing support her loved ones and the community continue to give. 

 

2021 state park passes and permits now available

The 2021 Indiana state park passes, lake permits, off-road cycling permits, and horse tags are now available at property offices and front gates, and online at ShopINstateparks.com.

A resident annual entrance pass costs $50. A non-resident annual entrance pass for visitors who live outside the state costs $70. Annual entrance passes are not valid for entrance to the Indiana State Museum, State Historic Sites, or Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center. 

Golden Hoosier Passports cost $25 and are available to all Hoosier residents 65 and older. There’s also a Golden Hoosier Passport for disabled Hoosier veterans (DHV) who qualify to purchase a DHV license plate. To quality, the veteran must be 50% service-connected disabled as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Anyone who has been issued a Prisoner of War license plate may receive a passport for free. SSDI Golden Hoosier Passports may be used by an Indiana resident receiving or eligible to receive Social Security Disability Income under 42 U.S. code 423 as described by the Social Security Administration.

Lake permits are available for motorized watercraft for $25 and non-motorized watercraft for $5. These permits are required for all private watercraft using state park, reservoir, and state forest lakes, and all watercraft moored at marinas, private docks, or bank ties on those lakes. The 2020 lake permits also remain available for the rest of this year.

Off-road cycling permits are available for $20 and are required for each bicycle user for off-road bicycle access and use of DNR properties where off-road cycling is allowed. These permits are not an entrance permit and do not cover special user charges for services and facilities within the property. These permits are required only for trails identified as Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert. They are not required for trails identified as Beginner.

Horse tags cost $20 and are required for each horse brought to designated DNR properties where horse use is allowed. A horse tag is not an entrance permit and does not cover special user charges for services and facilities within the property. This year’s 2020 horse tags and lake permits remain available to purchase for use for the rest of 2020.

None of the 2021 permits will be valid until Jan. 1, 2021.

State park annual permits are also available as part of Holiday Gift Packs. Gift packs also include a one-year subscription to Outdoor Indiana and a gift card for state park inns or campgrounds. Holiday gift packs are available for $100, or $150 for a higher gift card amount, at shopINstateparks.com.

Sandhill cranes draw crowds during migration

The migration of the Sandhill cranes continues thru the area in Jasper and Pulaski counties.  The peak season is still expected to come in mid-November.

 

Indiana DNR’s Jim Bergens with the Jasper – Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area details the type of cranes known for traveling this area.

 

 

The best times to view the birds are at sunrise when flocks rise and fly out of roosting marshes to Goose Pasture. The cranes socialize in the pasture for awhile before flying out to feed in surrounding private fields.

 

Also beginning about one hour before sunset, when flocks of cranes kite into Goose Pasture from all directions. They gab and socialize again before returning to roosting marshes at dusk.

 

 

Bergens talks about the best way to view the cranes.

 

 

The crane spectacle is best seen at the Goose Pasture Viewing Area. Roosting marshes are closed to the public. During the day, cranes can be spotted feeding and dancing in nearby farm fields.

FCCF awards Times Theater $25,000 matching grant

Fulton County Community Foundation granted $25,000 to Times Theater to help with improvements required by local, state, and federal codes to get the facility up in running.

 

The grant was part of a matching opportunity that was presented to Times Theater earlier this summer. With Times Theater’s $25,000 raised and the $25,000 grant, the total $50,000 will help with their “Phase One” projects, such as repairing the handicap-accessible restroom, a support system for the performance stage, various plumbing, electrical, painting, construction repairs and upgrades.  

 

The Times’ Board of Directors were thrilled with the public response, said Renee Frenger, chairman of the Times’ Board. The nonprofit corporation has a seven-person board and was formed in 2016 to bring Rochester’s Main Street theater back to life. In addition to Frenger, Board Members include Christine Walsh, Phyllis Dausman, Julie Shambarger, Lizzz Honeycutt Melton, Adam Wilson, and Terry Lee. Brian Walsh, Nick Sayger, KovenantLiby and Ray Dausman are active committee members. 

 

Once the building is open to the public it will be available for live performances, live music, theatrical events, educational arts activities, and community events. To find out how you can participate, donate or volunteer, contact us at (574)835-0202, email: thetimestheaterinc@gmail.com and follow us on Facebook.   

 

Picture from left: Jessica Mikel (Community Foundation), Renee Frenger and Julie Shambarger (Theater), Austin Shepherd, (Community Foundation), Terry Lee, Adam Wilson, Ray Dausman, Nick Sayger, and Phyliss Dausman (Theater).

FCCF awards $20,000 grant to Fulton County Parks and Recreation

The Fulton County Community Foundation awarded the Friends of the Fulton County Parks and Recreation a grant of $20,000 to help with the construction of a new park. The new Richland Restoration Nature Park is located on county road 450 North between US 31 and Old US 31.

 

Future plans for the park include pavilions, gazebos, walking trails, a disc golf course, and dog park. This park is the first of its kind for Fulton County.

 

The Park Board has been working on the project with the County Commissioners and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) since 2003. The new park will be constructed on a 60-acre site that had previously served as a landfill.  After closing the landfill many years ago, a plan was created to reuse the land as a park. Testing the quality of land took many years before being approved by IDEM. Once IDEM approved, Fulton County Commissioners transferred ownership to the Fulton County Parks and Recreation’s Board, the concept of the park could then be put into motion.

 

The Fulton County Community Foundation’s $20,000 grant will help with the first phase of a three phase project. Phase one will include construction of driveways, a parking lot, paved ADA accessible parking spots, walkways, and gazebo construction. It will also include site preparation for a dog park being constructed by a project group from the Fulton County Leadership Academy. 

 

For more information about the Fulton County Community Foundation or the new park, feel free to contact Brian Johnson at 574-224-3223 or futlon@nicf.org.

 

Pictured from left: front row; Austin Shepherd and Jay Albright (Community Foundation), Bill Walsh and Mary Chesser (Park Board), Rosie Metzger and Caroline Jones (Community Foundation. Back row; Adrienne Thompson and Ashley Burrus (Bark Park), Laura Snipes and Mark Kepler (Park Board).

Indiana Landmarks targets Wabash neighborhood for revitalization

It’s a story line fit for an HGTV series. Indiana Landmarks has acquired six historic houses in one Wabash neighborhood with plans to rehab the exteriors and add curb appeal before putting the properties back on the market in early 2021.

 

“When 23 historic houses recently came up for auction in Wabash, we saw an opportunity to make a big impact,” said Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks. “We decided to focus on six of the most architecturally significant homes in a concentrated area.”

 

All of the houses are located in the East Wabash Historic District, a National Register-listed neighborhood roughly bounded by Walnut, East Market, North Wabash and South East streets. The properties recently served as rental housing, most divided into apartments.

 

“These homes today are detractors for that neighborhood,” said Parker Beauchamp, Wabash native, business owner, and past chairman of Indiana Landmarks’ board of directors. “Once Indiana Landmarks has fixed them up, I hope the biggest detractors will become the biggest attractors, the reason why people would move to that neighborhood.”

 

“By improving a cluster of homes in a two- to three-block area, there’s really an opportunity to transform the neighborhood,” said Dave Haist, an Indiana Landmarks board member who lives in the neighborhood.

 

Built from the 1870s to the 1910s, the houses illustrate the range of architectural styles in the historic district.

 

“There truly is something for everybody, from a modest, wood frame house to larger Victorians,” said Paul Hayden, director of Indiana Landmarks’ northeast office in Wabash, who will lead the exterior renovation and sales efforts. “It’s a mad mix of styles and sizes.”

 

“From our past experience with Indiana Landmarks, we know that these houses are going to be returned to a much better condition and standard once they are done with them,” said Wabash Mayor Scott Long. “Wabash is seeing a resurgence of people who want to take on historic homes and repair them to their former grandeur, but it’s been tough to buy in certain categories. We hope this fills a need.”

 

Wabash’s vibrant downtown includes a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as the Charley Creek Inn, and historic entertainment venues including the Honeywell Center and recently restored Eagles Theatre. But options for homebuyers have been limited, particularly for those seeking historic houses.

 

“As leaders of Wabash look for what is needed to attract people to live and work here, the number one issue is having housing that it affordable and livable. Our amenities are fantastic, but people can’t find a home,” said Haist. “When restored, these houses will be in high demand.”

 

Acquiring the houses and rehabbing the exteriors is expected to cost $770,000, funded by Indiana Landmarks, the City of Wabash, and donations from private individuals and organizations.

 

The six houses include:

143 E. Main Street

196 E. Main Street

218 E. Main Street

189 N. Wabash Street

106-108 E. Hill Street

58 N. Allen Street

 

Previously, Indiana Landmarks partnered with the City to acquire and repair the 1848 Alber House, Wabash’s oldest extant house, and with the Wabash County Commission on the 1880 Wabash Sheriff’s House and Jail, a former entry on Landmarks’ 10 Most Endangered list now on the market for $79,000.

 

Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit www.indianalandmarks.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS: 

Area organizations receive Indiana Historical Society support

The Indiana Historical Society recently announced its support of more than 30 local historical societies and organizations from around the Hoosier state.
 
The IHS issued more than $2.5 million during its most recent Heritage Support Grants program, an initiative launched in 2015 and made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment . The current iteration of the program will award $2.5 million to local historical organizations during the next five years.
 
Heritage Support Grants serve Indiana’s local, county and regional historical societies, museums and sites.
 
The most recent recipients include:


Heritage Support Grants 2.0 – Project Grant, Cycle A Award Summaries
 
International Circus Hall of Fame, Miami County
The Circus Hall of Fame has received $50,000 to repair the roof of its 1922 American Circus Corporation winter quarter barn. The National Historic Landmark houses a significant portion of the organization’s collections, and repairing the roof will help to protect the artifacts from damage.
 
Wabash County Historical Museum, Wabash County
The Wabash County Historical Museum has received $7,500 to install PastPerfect Online access panels in the museum. The panels will provide greater access to the museum’s image collection by allowing visitors to browse the collection online.


  
Heritage Support Grants 2.0 – Mini Grant, Cycle A Award Summaries
 
International Circus Hall of Fame, Miami County
The Circus Hall of Fame has received $4,950 to update their computer system and purchase collections management software and archival storage materials. The system updates will help the organization inventory and catalog its collections and provide better collections care.
 
Marshall County Historical Society, Inc., Marshall County
The Marshall County Historical Society has received $4,775.08 to conserve county government books and ledgers dating from the mid-19th century. Conserving the materials will ensure the important information continues to be available to researchers as well as the Marshall County community.
 
Starke County Historical Society, Inc., Starke County
The Starke County Historical Society has received $4,312.50 to purchase a computer system and collections management software. The technology upgrades will enable the organization to increase access to its collections through more comprehensive cataloging.
 

 

Midwest Horror Fest kicks off October in Logansport

For its fourth year, Midwest Horror Fest is coming to Logansport this Saturday, October 3, at Mary Max Cinemas from 11 am to 9 pm. 

 

Started by local independent filmmakers Tony Walters and Rebekah Erb in 2016, the two wanted to bring their passion for the art of film to the Midwest to inspire other actors, film makers and movie buffs like themselves. 

 

 

The festival for horror lovers by horror lovers will have movies, vendors, live Q&A and entertainment. Masks are mandatory and costumes are encouraged. 

 

Tickets are ten dollars and will include the all day event as well as the after party, which will be held at the State Theatre across town immediately following the festival and will feature two live bands.

Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program grants benefit Fulton, Marshall, Kosciusko

DNR grants totaling $1,090,800 will be used to improve Indiana’s water bodies. The projects include locations in Fulton and surrounding counties.

The grants were awarded through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program in the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. The grants will fund projects on three lakes and 19 rivers and streams in 18 counties. Projects will be completed within a two-year timeframe.

 

$8,800 goes to Lake Manitou for water quality monitoring

 

$36, 000 to Deeds Creek in Kosciusko County for feasibility study

 

$100, 000 to Walnut Creek in Kosciusko County for watershed land treatment

 

$32, 000 to Yellow Creek in Marshall County for stream design

The majority of the projects selected address sediment and nutrient inputs into lakes and streams to improve Indiana water quality. Reduction of non-point pollution into Indiana waters helps to ensure continued viability for fish and wildlife as well as recreation opportunities.

Local sponsors apply for LARE assistance and commit to sharing a portion of the total project cost. LARE grants are funded through the LARE fee paid by boat owners annually when they register their boats with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

 

Elton John to come to Indy - in 2022

Elton John's world tour is coming to Indianapolis.

 

John was supposed to perform his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in March, but it was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, it's been rescheduled for April 1, 2022.

 

The tour actually began in September 2018, and was supposed to last through 2021 before he retired from touring after more than 50 years on the road. Instead, retirement for the well-known artist will come a little later than normally planned.

 

Elton John is one of the top-selling solo artists of all time, with more than 50 Top 40 hits, including "Rocket Man," "Tiny Dancer," "Bennie and the Jets," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "I'm Still Standing," "Candle in the Wind," and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart." He's sold more than 300 million records worldwide.

 

For more info, or to purchase tickets, go to EltonJohn.com

Indiana Debate Commission asks Hoosier voters to submit questions in the race for Governor

The Indiana Debate Commission, the first independent debate commission of its kind in the United States, is now accepting questions from Hoosier voters who want to pose questions to Indiana’s three gubernatorial candidates who are on the November 3 ballot.

 

The governor’s race is a three-way contest this year between incumbent Republican Eric Holcomb, Democrat Woodrow “Woody” Myers, and Libertarian Donald G. Rainwater II.

 

In keeping with its mission of “Putting Voters First,” the commission invites Hoosier voters to submit questions via its website www.indianadebatecommission.com using the form on the “Ask a Question” tab at the top right of the home page.

 

Questions will be vetted by members of the commission and accepted for consideration through October 15. Hoosiers whose questions are selected also may be offered the opportunity to ask their questions on pretaped video during each of the hour-long debates.

 

“We look forward to giving citizens this platform to voice their concerns,” said Commission President Elizabeth Bennion, who is a political science professor at Indiana University South Bend. “The debates offer the best opportunity for Hoosier voters to hear extended comments on the issues of the day directly from the candidates.”

 

Candidates have agreed to debate on Tuesday, October 20 and Tuesday, October 27. The debates will be broadcast from 7-8 p.m. EDT from WFYI-TV in Indianapolis and will also be livestreamed on the commission’s website and YouTube channel. Hoosiers can also check with their local news organizations to find out other ways to watch or listen.

 

While the commission normally hosts three debates in gubernatorial elections and hosts some events in public arenas, caution is being exercised during the pandemic and has changed some of the commission’s past practices. One long-standing, standard practice holds – candidates do not receive the questions in advance from the commission.

 

Since its founding in 2007, the Indiana Debate Commission has produced 21 statewide debates in U.S. Senate and gubernatorial elections – many of which were also broadcast nationally via C-SPAN. The commission, a nonprofit organization which hosted its first debates in 2008, is the only independent organization in the state that provides free broadcast satellite feeds and web streams to all news media – including college and high school press associations.

 

Moderators will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

 

American Red Cross calling for volunteers

The American Red Cross needs volunteers, and is asking for more help from Indiana.

 

The approach of Hurricane Sally, as well as the effects of Hurricane Laura and the West Coast wildfires, have overwhelmed the organization. Red Cross Indiana Regional CEO Chad Priest told WISH-TV that the pandemic has only made things worse.

 

 

Red Cross volunteers that are deployed help provide food, shelter and support to those in need. In addition, they work with local officials to help first responders.

 

If you decide to sign up as a volunteer, Priest says, you will receive free, fast training to ensure quick deployment. There are virtual training options for those who feel uncomfortable gathering during the pandemic.

 

Volunteers must be at least 18 and have a valid driver’s license to volunteer. More information can be found at redcross.org.

Kewanna Auction House changes hands

Tom Mate has made a big impact on Kewanna since opening Luke’s Auction 21 years ago. 

 

His decision to retire from the auction business in 2019 presented Michelle and David Young  with a new business opportunity and in June of 2020,  the Young’s became the official business owners of the auction house at 413 N East Street. 

 

Now JuJu’s Gems and Rusty Gold, their flea market is open every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 7pm and does auctions every Friday night in either Michigan City or Elkhart. 

 

 

David is also a Kewanna Fall Festival volunteer and plans to be an active part of the community just as much as Mate and wants to support the community as much as they can in the future. 

 

 

Tom Mate still remains Chairman of the Kewanna Fall Festival. Mate and his family started the festival in 2003, breathing life into the small town community. 

 

The festival, which is held every year on the last weekend in September, attracts families from throughout the state with it’s free Circus, rides and a full on carnival atmosphere. 

 

Due to Covid restrictions, the Kewanna Fall Festival for 2020 has been cancelled. In a previous public statement Mate said he and the committee are planning for an even bigger and better return in 2021, with promises of next year featuring speciality shows never seen in Fulton County before. 

 

 

 

Grass Creek Lions Club to use grant for new roof

The Fulton County Community Foundation provided a grant of $16,325 to the Grass Creek Lions Club.

 

This grant will go to replace the roof on the Grass Creek Depot with a new metal roof, which typically has a lifespan of 40+ years. The historic depot was moved to its current location and restored in 1997 and serves as a community center and museum for Grass Creek.

 

For more information about Northern Indiana Community Foundation and the work that is being done on this project, call us at 574-224-3223 or email us at fulton@nicf.org.

Two INDOT road projects underway this week

State Road 17 will be closed between C.R. W 950 S and C.R. W 900 S beginning today.  This road closure is for a bridge rehabilitation project on the bridge over Grassy Creek.

 

The road is expected to reopen in early-November, 2020.

 

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces a road closure for SR 25 between East CR 575N and North CR 500E beginning today. 

 

The road will be closed through late October for a small pipe replacement.

Indiana State Police detectives warn public about online dog scams

Indiana State Police detectives are currently investigating a couple of fraud incidents involving individuals attempting to purchase dogs online.

 

One recent Warrick County resident purchased a dog through a website and paid $900. The dog was going to be shipped to the buyer and required insurance and vaccinations, which was an additional $2,800. After the resident paid the additional funds, the company informed the buyer that the insurance was expired and they needed additional payment. The resident became suspicious, refused to send any additional payment and contacted Indiana State Police. The victim paid a total of $3,700 and never received a dog.

 

According to the Better Business Bureau data, nearly 10,000 scam reports and complaints have been received during the last three years about businesses selling puppies and dogs. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that only about 10% of victims report these crimes, so this number could be much higher.

 

Tips if you are interested in purchasing a dog online:

  • Avoid classified sites.
  • Communicate with the seller.
  • Research prices.
  • Meet the seller and puppy/dog.
  • Get a contract and check references.
  • Be wary of shipping services.
  • Never wire money or use gift cards for payment.
  • If the price is too good to be true, it’s likely a scam!

Caston Board of School Trustees discuss final review of budget

The Caston Board of School Trustees held a public work session on Wednesday to discuss the final review of the Caston School Corporation’s 2021 proposed budget prior to the public hearing scheduled for September 16.

 

Caston School Corporation Superintendent Lucinda Douglass shared with the board the budget estimate for rainy day, debt service, education and operations funds.

 

The Capital Projects and bus replacement plans were also shared and discussed. 

 

Level Up Nutrition breaks in its first month in Rochester

It's been going on three weeks since Level Up Nutrition made its appearance in Rochester at the Peace tree Village Plaza next to Krogers, in the former ‘Healthies’ Location. 

 

Level Up Nutrition is a health program owned by Jeff and Cyndi Lamberson, who have three locations in Rochester, Culver and Plymouth. 

 

 

Cyndi says they’re excited to be apart of the Rochester community. 

 

Rochester reports changes related to Covid-19 from Indiana Dept of Health

Rochester schools Superintendent Jana Vance released the following letter regarding returning to school related to Covid-19:
 
 

Please note the following changes in guidance to when a student, faculty or staff member may return to school from the Indiana Department of Health:

 

  1. If a student, faculty or staff member has symptoms of COVID-19 and has not been tested- all household members should be advised to quarantine. If they receive an alternative diagnosis from a doctor OR do get tested and test negative, then household members no longer need to quarantine. 

 

  1. If a symptomatic person tests negative, they may return without an alternate diagnosis as long as they are fever free for 24 hours and show improvement of symptoms. 

 

  1. Household members of a person positive with COVID-19 need to quarantine 14 days after the last day of their isolation (which is day 10). This means household members will quarantine a total of 24 days unless they have symptoms. At that point, we refer to the symptomatic scenarios. 

 

Students who are absent but feel well enough to participate in elearning are encouraged to do so!  Please discuss with your student(s) principal or school counselor if this is needed.   

 

Thank you in advance for your support as we continue to adjust to changes as they relate to Covid. 

 

 

Jana K. Vance, Ed.S

Superintendent

Rochester Community School Corporation

BBB warns consumers of Facebook based auto parts seller

Better Business Bureau warns consumers to use caution when doing business with Indiana Super Duty, LLC, a business that sells used auto parts over Facebook. BBB has received multiple complaints, ScamTracker submissions, and customer reviews that allege that the company has collected payments but failed to deliver a final product. Since January, the company has received seven complaints involving nearly $7,500.00 in consumer funds. 

 

The company currently has an “F” rating, the lowest on the BBB scale. 

 

Phil, a consumer from Monticello, Indiana, encountered the company on behalf of his teenage son. Phil told the BBB that his son had saved nearly $2,000.00 to repair his first vehicle and wanted to purchase parts from Indiana Super Duty, LLC because of the relatively low cost of the parts. After reviewing the company’s Facebook page, which has more than 30,000 likes, and failing to see any negative reviews or comments, Phil decided it might be a good company.  

Phil and his son paid a deposit of just over $1,000. Chris Davis, the principal of Indiana Super Duty, LLC, provided them with a timeline and said he would be in contact. After several delays which Mr. Davis attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, Phil requested a refund. Several weeks passed and Phil had still not received a refund. The business stopped communicating. Phil eventually determined they were screening his calls when he realized Mr. Davis would answer if Phil called from a number that wasn’t known to be associated with him.  

 

Phil discovered that the company’s positive reputation on Facebook was largely the result of deleting negative feedback. Phil left negative reviews and several comments on the company’s Facebook page, only to have them deleted. Phil even went so far as to visit Mr. Davis’s home to insist on his refund. Eventually, he was forced to file a report with the Indiana State Police. When Phil notified Mr. Davis about the police report, Mr. Davis finally came through with his refund, although Phil told BBB that it was $50 short. “From reading reviews and comments online, it's obvious that a lot of people have had similar experiences with this business,” Phil told BBB. 

 

For the third consecutive year, online purchase scams remain in the top three riskiest forms of consumer fraud, according to the latest BBB report, New Risks and Emerging Technologies: 2019 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report (BBB.org/RiskReport). In 2019, online purchase scams made up 24.3 percent of all scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker (BBB.org/ScamTracker). BBB analyzed this information using its unique BBB Scam Risk Index to determine the riskiest scams based on exposure, susceptibility, and monetary loss. Automobile products were among the most common online purchase scams in 2019 along with clothing/jewelry, home/furniture, medical/nutrition, pets, and more.  

 

“It’s relatively easy for a business to position itself as a reputable business online these days,” said Tim Maniscalo, Central Indiana BBB President & CEO. “This is why it’s critical to check out a business through credible and objective source such as the Better Business Bureau. You can save yourself a lot of time, money and hassle by taking that quick extra step before making a purchase.” 

 

Dennis, a consumer from Union City, Indiana, purchased a truck bed and tailgate on behalf of his employer. Mr. Davis informed him that although the company had the tailgate in stock, he would have to locate a truck bed that met Dennis’ requirements. After waiting nearly twelve weeks, Dennis finally requested the tailgate be shipped alone and the funds for the truck bed be refunded. When tailgate arrived, it was damaged to the point of being useless. The refund never arrived. Dennis attempted to contact Mr. Davis for weeks, but similar to Phil’s experience, the business began screening his calls. He still has not received a refund. 

 

BBB offers the following tips for consumers shopping on Facebook marketplace: 

 

  • Always meet the seller and see the item for?sale?before purchasing. This will help you avoid most scams on Facebook Marketplace. This is also true for housing rentals. If you can't tour the house or apartment before renting it, it's likely not available. 

  • Report scams to Facebook. If you’ve encountered a scam on Facebook Marketplace, report them.  

  • Check BBB Tips. Many sales scams use similar techniques as referenced in our tips for online purchases

Report suspicious activities to?BBB Scam Tracker.? 

BZA passes special exception for proposed Pulaski County solar project

The Pulaski County Highway Garage was a full house Monday night, with dozens more waiting outside as the Pulaski County Board of Zoning Appeals met to vote whether or not the proposed Mammoth Solar project would be granted a special exception to move foward by meeting health, safety and enviromental requirements. 

 

 

The meeting that went for over four hours, came as a continued hearing from last month, with nearly 100 people speaking for and against the proposed project.

 

 

President and Co-Founder to Global Energy Generation Nick Cohen addressed the four questions before the BZA at its continued meeting Monday.

 

 

Emotions were on high as the public spoke their concerns, with emotions ranging from tailgaters to tears and ended with the BZA approving the special exception and plans to move foward with the project. 

 

 

The Mammoth Solar project intends to place solar panels on approximately 4500 total acres in Pulaski County

 

 

Mammoth Solar holds Sunday open house in Winamac

Citizens of Pulaski County were met with more than just free pizza and refreshments Sunday in the Winamac Knights of Columbus building, during the Mammoth Solar Project open house.

 

The event held a steady crowd of concerned or curious locals wanting to learn more. Information about the future proposed solar panel project was made available with in-person experts, including engineers and environmental scientists, who addressed all environmental impacts, residential and agricultural land values and what the panels materials consist of.   

 

Last year Pulaski County officials passed a solar ordinance that encouraged large solar farm investors to come to the county and invest as a way to boost the local economy. 

 

A public hearing will be held in Winamac on Monday, August 24, at the Puaski County Highway Garage where BZA members will be voting whether the project meets the intent of the zoning ordinance. 

 

The county caught the attention of Global Energy Generation's after new transmission wires running through the county opened an opportunity for the development of a utility scale solar plant to tap into those lines. The lines have a convergent two grid system that plans to serve 100 million people all over the country. 

 

Among the entire team of Mammoth Solar attending the open house, was President and Co-Founder to Global Energy Generation Nick Cohen, who filled the audience in on his thoughts of the pending changes that are casting their aim at Pulaski County.

 

"Pulaski County has its chance to step into the future and not be left behind," explained

Cohen. 

 

Cohen hopes Sunday's open house will bring more support from the community.

 

"It's hard to not like what we are wanting to do because the facts are so compelling," he explained.  "They wanted us here and we are following the exact rules the county has originally set for us." 

North Manchester farm receives highest agricultural honor

Garwood Orchards and MPS Egg Farms have been awarded the AgriVision Award, the highest agricultural honor from the State of Indiana. This award was presented at the Indiana Statehouse by Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler.

 

Now in it’s 14th year, the AgriVision Award is presented to businesses or organizations within the Hoosier agricultural community that are advancing the industry, whether that is by developing a new technology, working to address a worldwide issue or creating a better community.

 

Garwood Orchards is an agritourism destination in LaPorte, Indiana where there is fun to be had for the whole family, along with nutritious locally grown fruits and vegetables.

 

Garwood Orchards began in 1831 and is now a sixth-generation family owned and operated business by brothers Tom, Mike and Brian Garwood. Their farm produces roughly 500 acres of fresh fruits and vegetables such as sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers and apples for U-Pick, farm markets and wholesale. 

 

This orchard not only features U-pick orchards, wagon rides and live music, they also have a state-of-the-art packing house for fruits and vegetables and the Garwood’s cultivate crops using the latest technologies. During a typical school year, they host local schools and children on tours of their facility.

 

“We are so thankful to be chosen as an AgriVision Award recipient,” said Carey Garwood from Garwood Orchards. “This award means so much to our family and we were honored to be able to represent our industry and community at the Statehouse today.”  

 

The Garwoods are an exceptional family owned and operated business in Indiana and quite deserving of the AgriVision award for the business they have created and for the nutritious food provided to consumers nationwide.

 

“These two agricultural operations take technology and community involvement to the Next Level,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. “It was an honor to recognize the families and their agricultural businesses at the Statehouse today.”

 

MPS Egg Farms, one of the largest shell egg producers in the United States, is a sixth-generation family farm business based in North Manchester, Indiana.

 

The family business, run by Bob, Dan and Sam Krouse, has 630 employees who care for 11 million hens, which produce more than 9 million eggs daily at six farms in Indiana, Illinois and Texas. Each farm is equipped with top-of-the-line equipment and is certified by numerous third-party organizations for quality assurance, animal health and product safety standards.

MPS Egg Farms produces both conventional and cage-free eggs that are delivered to grocery stores and food distributors nationwide. MPS Egg Farms is a national poultry industry leader in the conversion to cage-free egg production, in response to client and consumer demand.

 

Sustainability and advancing the egg industry are top of mind for owners, Bob, Sam and Dan. Each serve on a number of industry boards such as the United Egg Producers, American Egg Board and Indiana State Poultry Association. 

 

The Krouse family serves as leaders in their trade organizations and the agricultural community by focusing on what is best for the employees, their consumers, their flock and the environment.

 

As part of their commitment to enhancing the environment, they have installed over 3,000 solar panels at their North Manchester egg production facility.

 

“MPS Egg Farms is pleased and humbled to be recognized with this prestigious award,” said Sam Krouse, Vice President of Business Development for MPS Egg Farms. “We are proud to be part of Indiana’s storied agricultural heritage and look forward to continuing to work with our industry partners to further our state’s reputation as a global leader in agriculture and food production.”

 

MPS Egg Farms and the Krouse family had a vision to take egg production in Indiana, and across the U.S., to the next level and they did just that by creating a safe, healthy work environment, keeping poultry welfare a top priority and advocating for the continual success of the poultry industry.

 

“Garwood Orchards and MPS Egg Farms are pillars in the agriculture industry,” said ISDA Director Bruce Kettler. “The passion they have not only for their own businesses, but their respective communities is exceptional. It was an honor to recognize them and their contributions today at the Statehouse.”

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