Community News

State snack - popcorn?

Should Indiana have a state snack? One state senator says yes -- and he knows exactly what it should be.


A bill by State Sen. Ron Grooms (R-Jeffersonville) would designate Indiana-grown popcorn as the state's official snack.


Grooms' bill says Indiana is second in the nation in popcorn production, behind only Nebraska. Hoosier farmers grow more than 500 million pounds of the crunchy stuff each year.


If the bill passes, popcorn would join other state symbols including the state bird, state flower, and state insect.

Conservation Reserve Program general signup began January 4 and ends February 12

Agricultural producers and private landowners interested in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) can sign up for the popular program Jan. 4, 2021, until Feb. 12, 2021. The competitive program, administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provides annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes.


“This signup for the Conservation Reserve Program gives producers and landowners an opportunity to enroll for the first time or continue their participation for another term,” Steven Brown said. “This program encourages conservation on sensitive lands or low-yielding acres, which provides tremendous benefits for stewardship of our natural resources and wildlife.”


Through CRP, farmers and ranchers establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland. Farmers and ranchers who participate in CRP help provide numerous benefits to their local region and the nation’s environment and economy. CRP general signup is held annuallyand is competitive; general signup includes increased opportunities for wildlife habitat enrollment through the State Acres For Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) initiative.


New cropland offeredin the program must have been planted for four out of six crop years from 2012 to 2017. Additionally, producers with land already enrolled but expiring on Sept. 30, 2021, can re-enroll this year. The acreage offered by producers and landowners is evaluated competitively;accepted offers will begin Oct. 1, 2021.


Signed into law in 1985, CRP is one of the largest private-lands conservation programs in the United States. The program marked its 35-year anniversaryin December 2020. Program successes include:


  • Preventing more than 9 billion tons of soil from eroding, which is enough soil to fill 600 million dump trucks.
  • Reducing nitrogen and phosphorous runoff relative to annually tilled cropland by 95% and 85%, respectively.
  • Sequestering an annual average of 49 million tons of greenhouse gases, equal to taking 9 million cars off the road.
  • Creating more than 3 million acres of restored wetlands while protecting more than 175,000 stream miles with riparian forest and grass buffers, which is enough to go around the world seven times.
  • Benefiting bees and other pollinators and increasing populations of ducks, pheasants, turkey, bobwhite quail, prairie chickens, grasshopper sparrows, and many other birds.


All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including those that restrict in-person visits or require appointments. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our program delivery staff will continue to work with our producers by phone, email, and using online tools. More information can be found at

Another Boilermaker to make mark on moon

Purdue University graduates Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan were the first and last humans to set foot on the moon. Now a Boilermaker will be on the team tasked with returning to there. Astronaut Scott Tingle is one of the 18 members who will make up the Artemis Team, NASA announced this week.


Tingle, has spent 168 days in space and performed one spacewalk. While aboard the International Space Station in May 2018, he famously hooded fellow Purdue graduate Drew Feustel with an honorary doctorate degree, a moment streamed live to Purdue commencement ceremonies in West Lafayette.


Pictured:  Purdue alumni astronauts Andrew Feustel (left) and Scott Tingle, play guitars in 2019 aboard the International Space Station, some 250-plus miles above Earth.


Purdue, known as the Cradle of Astronauts, counts 25 alumni as astronauts. Loral O’Hara, a 2009 Purdue graduate, is the newest, moving from candidate to astronaut last January.


Tingle earned a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue in 1988, with a specialty in fluid mechanics and propulsion. He was one of nine astronaut candidates originally selected by NASA in 2009 from among more than 3,500 applicants.


He has accumulated more than 4,000 flight hours in 48 types of aircraft, including combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. His decorations include a Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, six Navy Commendation Medals to include a Combat V, four Navy Achievement Medals and various unit commendations.


Tingle and his wife, Raynette, have three children, Amy, Sean and Eric.

Happy Birthday Indiana

Today is Indiana's 204th birthday.


On December 11, 1816, President James Madison made Indiana the 19th state.


Corydon was the first state capital for nearly the first decade of Indiana's existence, until Indianapolis became the capital in 1825.

Santa Claus is coming to Kewanna Public Library on December 12

Santa will make a special appearance at the Kewanna Public Library on Saturday, December 12 from 10:00-11:00. 


Due to social distancing restrictions, Santa will be outside the library.   Families will be able to drive up to see him.  He will have his Christmas mailbox available so that the children can add their letter of Christmas wishes.  Santa will be passing out a prepackaged treat. 


The library is located 210 E. Main St., Kewanna.


Children of all ages are welcome to attend this holiday event


For more information call Kewanna Public Library at 574-653-2011, visit our website or check out our Facebook page.


Join us to see Santa, and don't forget your Christmas list!


Psychologist Dr. Frank Choate's new therapy, woodworking.

Living in the old Sandhill Church off Old Us 31, Dr. Frank Choate, a retired psychologist, has switched his therapy sessions from the office to the woodshop. 


A hobby-turned-career that started 20 years ago, Choate is careful to not get burnt out from his passion. 


Chaote says he can make almost anything. All he needs is a photo and estimates are free. 


He not only makes furniture and furniture repairs, he also does custom gifts. 


The amount of time he takes on each piece varies, as he takes his time personalizing and perfecting until it's complete. 



You can find some of Choate's work at several stores around Rochester. 


For the most part, everything is made after an order has been placed. 


Flirt Boutique: New owners, same vibes

Flirt Boutique's hands have changed but the vibes have not after mother-to-be and dentist Dr,Caitlin Rich and husband Michael Rich bought the Rochester establishment from former owner Treva Mattingly Mulligan over the summer. 


Rich wants to keep the same vision for the store as the original store owner had. 


The nostalgia and bringing people together is an important part of what Rich wants to keep. 



Giving Tuesday - Blood donations requested

December 1 is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving that celebrates generosity and community impact. Instead of monetary donations, Versiti Blood Centers is asking community members to commit to giving a donation of blood.


One donation of blood takes less than an hour and can help save up to three lives. Although blood is typically used by a patient within 24 to 48 hours of being donated, it can be safely stored for 42 days until it’s needed.


Due to COVID-19, safety precautions will be in place, including social distancing and mandatory masks. COVID-19 antibody tests are being performed on all donations as part of Versiti’s standard testing. The test will inform the donor if they have antibodies reflective of a prior COVID-19 infection.


On December 1, Giving Tuesday, the public is asked to visit to commit to making a blood donation during this holiday season.

#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


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

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

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: 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


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


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

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 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

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

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.

Community News