Community News

Bremen trooper reaches career milestone

The career of an Indiana State Trooper is a journey that can span decades serving the citizens of Indiana. Master Trooper Brooks Shirk has hit a career milestone of serving for twenty-five years. 


Shirk is a graduate of the 52nd Indiana State Police Recruit Academy that graduated June 4, 1995.


Master Trooper Brooks Shirk has spent his entire career serving at the Indiana State Bremen Post.  Shirk has also spent his entire career serving the citizens in Kosciusko County.  He has served on the Tactical Intervention Platoon (TIP) and sent time in investigations as well as assisting the Bremen District in Marijuana Eradication efforts.

USDA reminds Indiana producers to complete crop acreage reports

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds Indiana producers to complete crop acreage reports by the applicable deadline for their county. Acreage reporting dates vary by crop and by county. Contact your FSA county office for a list of acreage reporting deadlines by crop.


“To make sure you’re eligible for many USDA programs, you need to file an accurate crop acreage report by the applicable deadline,” said Steven Brown, State Executive Director in Indiana. “Our FSA staff is standing by to help you with your acreage reports, including providing maps.”


The following acreage reporting dates are applicable in Indiana:


July 15, 2020     

All other crops, Perennial Forage and Cucumbers (Planted 5/10 to 6/15 in all Indiana counties)                     


August 15, 2020                    

Cucumbers (Planted 6/16 to 8/5 in Fulton, LaPorte, Porter and St Joseph counties)


September 15, 2020               

Cucumbers (Planted 6/16 to 8/15) in Knox County)


Due to the pandemic, FSA has implemented acreage reporting flexibilities. FSA can work with producers to file timely acreage reports by phone, email, online tools and virtual meetings. Some FSA offices are open for in-person appointments, but you must call first to make an appointment. [BC-FST1] 


FSA county offices in Indiana provided maps to producers along with instructions for completing and returning the maps through either mail, email or through commercially available free and secure online tools such as Box for file sharing and OneSpan for eSignature solutions. After planting is complete, producers must return the signed form certifying their acreage report to the FSA office through mail, email or the Box and OneSpan tools bythe applicable acreage reporting date.


After completed maps and all acreage reporting information is received, FSA will make software updates andsend producers the completed Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) to sign. Producers must return the signed form certifying their acreage report to the FSA office through mail, email, or Box by the applicable acreage reporting date.


The following exceptions apply to acreage reporting dates:


  • If the crop has not been planted by the acreage reporting date, the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.


  • If a producer has not timely filed an acreage report, the producer may file the acreage report within 30 days of the acreage reporting date. Because of the pandemic, late fees will be waived if filed within the 30 days.


FSA is also providing additional flexibilities for producers to file on acres with failed crops or crops that were prevented from planting because of extreme weather events. For insured crops, producers who timely filed a prevented planted claim with the reinsurance company but filed a Notice of Loss (CCC-576) form after the deadline will be considered timely filed for FSA purposes. For uninsured crops, producers may start a Notice of Loss by calling their FSA county office.


Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP-covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.


When producers are working with FSA staff – either in-person or virtually – they can also take care of applications for other FSA programs, including the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. A CFAP Call Center is available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the CFAP application process. Please call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. The CFAP Call Center can provide service to non-English speaking customers. Customers will select 1 for English and 2 to speak with a Spanish speaking employee. For other languages, customers select 1 and indicate their language to the Call Center staff.


Applications can also be submitted for the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus for 2018 and 2019 as well as other disaster assistance programs that may be able to assist producers at this time.


For questions, please callyour FSA county office. To locate your local FSA office visit


All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. 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 may also be required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in office, by phone and using online tools. More information can be found at



Fulton County Relief Radiothon raised $13,500

The Fulton County Community Foundation (FCCF) hosted its first ever Radiothon with WROI Giant FM. The Fulton County Relief Radiothon was a 12-hour event that raised funds to help those affected by COVID-19.


The radio program partnered with local agencies within the community to talk about the services they are providing during this unprecedented time. 100% of these donations will address the community needs related to the Coronavirus pandemic.


Generous donors raised $8,500 for the Fulton County Emergency Relief Fund. $5,000 in matching funds were provided by the Community Foundation bringing the event total to $13,500. Thank you to all who donated their time and efforts.


There is still time to donate to the Emergency Relief Fund, individuals can contribute by going online to the Northern Indiana Community Foundation Website at and selecting to donate to the Fulton County Emergency Relief Fund to or mail a check to NICF P.O. Box 807 227 East 9th St. Rochester, IN 46975. Just add “FC Relief Fund” to the subject line.


For more information, contact Brian Johnson at the Fulton County Community Foundation at 574-224-3223.

Fireworks to be displayed at state parks

The public can watch fireworks at several Indiana State Park properties in recognition of Independence Day. Standard gate fees of $7 for in-state vehicles and $9 for out-of-state vehicles will apply for admission throughout the day at each site.


Social distancing is expected when visiting state park properties, and masks are recommended. Please enjoy your visit responsibly for the safety of other guests and DNR staff. Personal fireworks are prohibited at Indiana State Parks.


In the days before each event, watch individual state park Facebook pages for any updates or changes based on weather.


Sites currently scheduled to host fireworks shows and viewing are:


Clifty Falls State Park

The City of Madison’s fireworks, scheduled for July 4 at 10 p.m., can be viewed from Clifty Falls State Park. Additionally, Clifty Inn will host a viewing area for inn guests.


Patoka Lake

Enjoy the 15th annual “Thunder Over Patoka” fireworks display at Patoka Lake Beach on July 4. Fireworks will start around 10 p.m. Bring family and friends, lawn chairs, and blankets. The beach will be the primary viewing area.

Expect increased traffic. Anyone planning to attend the fireworks should plan to arrive early to the property and beach area. The staff recommends spending the entire day at Patoka Lake to ensure getting in for the show. While there, visit the Nature Center, have a family picnic, play a round of disc golf and enjoy the beach. Parking spots will be limited, and staff expects to meet parking capacity. Once that happens, vehicles will be let into Newtown-Stewart State Recreation Area, one by one, only as another vehicle leaves.

Campers who leave through the entrance gate anytime on July 4 should expect that they may not be able to re-enter the property very quickly. A special viewing section has been set up for fireworks viewing in the modern campground’s section C. If viewing fireworks from the beach, campers should follow the path past the camp store to the beach instead of driving. This will allow vehicle traffic at the beach for those entering the property on the day of the fireworks.


Pokagon State Park

The July 4 fireworks display presented on Lake James by the Lake James Association is currently continuing as planned; however, the traditional guest shuttle service will not be offered this year due to social distancing requirements. Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Guests may park in designated paved lots throughout the park. Pokagon will provide a drop off only lane at the inn, but vehicles cannot be left at that location, and shuttles will not run to the parking lots. Guests are asked to please plan accordingly.


Raccoon SRA (Cecil M. Harden Lake)

Raccoon SRA’s fireworks show is scheduled for July 4 at 10 p.m., sponsored and provided by the Raccoon Lake Homeowners Association. The Bellmore Fire Department contracts the pyrotechnics company, and they will be collecting free-will donations in lieu of gate entrance fees from 4 to 10 p.m. The beach will serve as the primary viewing venue.


Postponed and canceled events

  • Versailles State Park’s fireworks show is scheduled for July 11 at 9:30 p.m
  • Monroe Lake’s will host its fireworks on Sept. 6, the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.
  • Fireworks at Indiana Dunes State Park and Mississinewa Lake have been canceled for this year.

Adding light to the darkness during the pandemic

Rochester's North Main St is adding art to the community with help from local artists, volunteers and donations. 


Located between the Record Farm and former Thread Shed, the brightly painted platform is already turning heads. Started spontaneously by Christine Walsh and self-funded during the Covid-19 shutdown, Walsh approached property owner Ruth Gunter about cleaning up the platform and giving it some color. The idea expanded into creating a tropical mural on the south side of the building, expanding horizons for Gunter's love of the arts. 



The mural will feature flowers, vines, endangered animals that they can be used for interactive photos and more. Local painter Erica Coffing is among the many other volunteers helping. 


Although the art piece is an independent project, Walsh is also the Rochester Downtown Partnership's Director of Promotions and is very passionate about bringing more art to Rochester. 


She says adding more public art to the community will not only beautify the town but also help with economic vitality. 


Anyone interested in getting involved in volunteering, ideas, donations or support can contact Christine at  




State Road 14 to be closed east of Winamac starting July 6

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces a road closure for State Road 14 between C.R. 150 E and C.R. 200 E beginning Monday, July 6. 


Crews will be replacing a box culvert on the bridge over Thompson Ditch. The project is expected to be completed by the beginning of September, 2020. 



Drivers should seek an alternate route. The official detour will follow U.S. 35, State Road 10 and State Road 17. 

TVHS graduation information; prom cancelled

Tippecanoe Valley High School released the following information related to the upcoming graduation scheduled for July 19.


Dear Valley Community:


Tippecanoe Valley High School would like to communicate a fully developed, and detailed, plan that is necessary in order for TVHS to have a safe graduation ceremony. This plan has been made in coordination with the local health department and local officials. Please read the details of this plan carefully and adhere to all requirements, while also considering following recommendations made.


Event Details


  • TVHS graduation date is Sunday, July 19, 2020.
  • Baccalaureate ceremony will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m., with the graduation ceremony beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m.
  • Location- Smith-Bibler Memorial Football Field
  • An alternate date is set for Sunday, July 29th at 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • The graduation ceremony will be recorded live on RTCtv4.
  • Wearing of masks, or any other type of PPE, is recommended and social distancing is required.
  • Any person with any flu-like symptoms prior to event, should not attend.
  • Any person whom fits the descriptions of the “most vulnerable population” or a “compromised individual” is recommended to participate virtually.




  • Each TVHS student is eligible to receive 4 tickets to the graduation ceremony. Please take only as many tickets as needed, up to four.
  • These tickets must be picked up at the TVHS main office starting Wednesday July 8th until Friday July 17th from 8:00 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday July 16th, the office will be open from 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. for pick-up.
  • No person shall attend the ceremony without a ticket.
  • All ticketholders in a party must enter together.
  • Gates will open at 6:15 p.m. for entrance, ushers will seat attendees.


Directions for Class of 2020


  • Senior class of 2020 should arrive on graduation day promptly at 6:15 p.m. for a quick rehearsal/ run-down. Please enter the main gate, find your assigned chair, then meet your senior class sponsors on the east side of the track.
  • Senior class of 2020, should bring a mask to be worn at times where social distancing measures are not in place (i.e. before ceremony). Masks are not required during the graduation ceremony, but are encouraged.
  • Any person who has not picked up their graduation gown, must do so during ticket pick-up, July 8th through July 17th. Payment may be required at time of pick-up. 


Conclusion of Ceremony

  • Please help by safely exiting the premises of Smith-Bibler Memorial Football Field at the conclusion of the ceremony.


2020 Prom Cancelled


  • Unfortunately, the final determination to cancel the 2020 Tippecanoe Valley High School prom has been made. We feel for all students who will lose out on an opportunity to go to a school-sponsored prom. A Kosciusko community-wide prom is being held at East Lake Skate Center on July 12th from 6-11 p.m. For more information, or online tickets please visit


Thank you for the continued community support, and flexibility, as we continue to navigate unchartered waters and work to make decisions to continue our programs, yet keep our students, staff, families, and community members safe.


Congratulations Class of 2020,



Brandon S. Kresca

TVHS Principal


Indiana Department of Workforce Development says some people paid too much unemployment

More than 400,000 Hoosiers are unemployed, but now some of them are being told they have to pay back some of their unemployment benefits.


The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says some people got too much money in one or more of their recent unemployment payments, so the state wants that money back.

The Department of Workforce Development is offering anyone who’s gotten a bill for an overpayment the option to either make a payment plan, or take less money going forward. DWD is not saying how many people in Indiana were overpaid.


If this is a problem for you, you can call the Department of Workforce Development Benefit Call Center at (800) 891-6499 or 317-232-7560 (TDD). The call center hours are from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays.


The Department of Workforce Development website says to talk to someone about a repayment agreement, you can call 317-233-4838 or 317-233-4839.

David Harlow's 2020 theme is Lake Manitou Boat Parade winner

The Rochester Moose Lodge 1107 hosted the 40th annual opening of Lake Manitou Boat Parade Saturday.  David Harlow was the captain of the winning boat called 2020 complete with the COVID-19, murder hornets theme and dragon created by Jim Penell that they say will be attacking in the future.


This wasn’t David’s first time winning.



It was the biggest turnout for the boat parade in the last few years, David credits his wife and local business for the increase.


USDA Service Centers resuming office visits in some locations while taking precautionary measures

USDA is beginning a phased approach to reopening offices to in-person visitors, including its USDA Service Centers that deliver important programs to farmers and ranchers. These reopening procedures have been developed to maximize the safety of USDA employees and the agricultural producers who rely on USDA programs and services.


Some USDA Service Centers in Indiana will begin allowing in-person office visits by appointment only. The reopening status of USDA Service Centers across Indiana is different depending on local conditions. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business should call ahead to confirm the office’s status and make an appointment before visiting. Visitors will be pre-screened based on health concerns or recent travel and must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors may also be required to wear a face covering during their appointment.  Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. Our program delivery staff will be in the office and work with our producers in person, by phone, by email, or by using other online tools.


Online services are still available to customers, including our new Box and OneSpan functionality that enable customers to sign and share FSA and NRCS documents with USDA Service Center staff in just a few clicks. Producers can get started with a simple username and password for Box or, for OneSpan, a quick identity verification. Additional services are available to customers with an eAuth account, which provides access to the portal where producers can view USDA farm loan information and payments and view and track certain USDA program applications and payments. Through the FSA website, customers can access certain FSA programs and view FSA data, including maps, on FSAfarm+. Customers who do not already have an eAuth account can enroll at


For the most current updates on available services and flexibilities due to COVID-19, or to find contact information for your local Service Center

Walorski announces district offices in Mishawaka, Rochester resume normal hours

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) announced her offices in Mishawaka and Rochester have resumed normal hours and encouraged 2nd District Hoosiers to request an appointment if they wish to visit one of the offices. 


“Hoosiers have pulled together to slow the spread of coronavirus, and as a result our economy is safely reopening, businesses are rebuilding, and Hoosiers are getting back to work,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “My staff and I have continued working for 2nd District Hoosiers each and every day, especially to provide reliable constituent services during these challenging times. With our offices in Mishawaka and Rochester resuming normal hours, we will have an even better opportunity to keep fighting for Hoosier families, workers, farmers, small businesses, and veterans.”



Walorski’s offices in Mishawaka and Rochester will be open to visitors by appointment only, except for urgent matters. To request an appointment, please call the Mishawaka office at (574) 204-2645 or the Rochester office at (574) 223-4373, or send an email at


Mishawaka District Office

202 Lincolnway East, Suite #101
Mishawaka, IN 46544
(574) 204-2645
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET


Rochester District Office

709 Main Street
Rochester, IN 46975
Phone: (574) 223-4373 | Fax: (574) 217-8735
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Face masks and hand sanitizer will be made available to visitors. Wearing a mask is required in St. Joseph County – and recommended for all Hoosiers – when social distance of at least six feet is difficult to maintain.

Lane closures scheduled for U.S. 6 resurfacing project

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces lane closures for U.S. 6 from U.S. 31 to State Road 106 beginning on or after Monday, June 15. 


The road will be reduced to one lane during daylight hours with flaggers directing traffic for a resurfacing project.



The restriction is expected to last through the beginning of July, 2020.

Road closure scheduled for State Road 25 near Rochester

The Indiana Department of Transportation will begin a road closure near Rochester this week for State Road 25 from State Road 14 to E 300 N.


The closure starts Friday and will be in place for approximately three weeks for excavation and removal of casing from the gas transmission line that runs under State Road 25.



The official detour will follow State Road 110, State Road 19 and State Road 14.

FDA issues recall for Metformin

A popular diabetes medication is being recalled over an impurity that could cause cancer.


Metformin Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets made by Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Marksans Pharma Limited, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Apotex Corp. are all under recall, according to the FDA, due to the presence of NDMA, an environmental contaminant that the FDA calls a "probable carcinogen", in a number of tested lots.


Metformin is typically prescribed for those with Type-2 Diabetes; if your medicine falls under this recall, contact your doctor or pharmacy for advice on what to do next.

Marshall Co. Far cancelled

Another fair is officially off the calendar.  The Marshall County Fair announced Friday it is cancelled its July 18-24 event.


The announcement stated that while the fair could be held within the state’s re-opening plan the restrictions made it too difficult.


Efforts are being made to create a virtual fair.

Free Fishing Weekend, June 6-7

This weekend, June 6-7, is Free Fishing Weekend for Indiana residents, who will not need a license to fish public Hoosier waters on those days.

The weekend kicks off National Fishing and Boating Week, which is June 6-14.

DNR properties are open and have abundant fishing opportunities. For public fishing areas and access sites, see

Homeland Foundation Scholarships open

Indiana college students who volunteer with a public safety organization can now apply for the FY 2021 round of the Indiana Homeland Security Foundation scholarship.


The Indiana Homeland Security Foundation scholarship offers higher education financial assistance for Indiana students who wish to pursue a degree.


A full-time student with at least 12 credit hours per semester is eligible for a $2,000 scholarship and a part-time student with at least six hours per semester is eligible for a $1,000 scholarship.  The scholarship must be used during the awarded school year, and the funds are intended solely to reimburse eligible student educational expenses.


Eligible applicants include Indiana residents who are an incoming or continuing student who:

  • Attends or will be attending an accredited Indiana college.
  • Must have a grade point average of 2.8 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Volunteers at a public safety organization such as fire, law enforcement, emergency management or emergency medical services (validated by chief executive). The Indiana Homeland Security Foundation board will determine compliance eligibility. For more information on the compliance of an organization contact

Applications are due by June 15, 2020, at 5 p.m. Eastern. For more information, or to sign up for email updates about the Indiana Homeland Security Foundation scholarship, visit the IDHS website at

USDA announces details of direct assistance to farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to this direct support to farmers and ranchers, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need.


 “America’s farming community is facing an unprecedented situation as our nation tackles the coronavirus. President Trump has authorized USDA to ensure our patriotic farmers, ranchers, and producers are supported and we are moving quickly to open applications to get payments out the door and into the pockets of farmers,” said Secretary Perdue. “These payments will help keep farmers afloat while market demand returns as our nation reopens and recovers. America’s farmers are resilient and will get through this challenge just like they always do with faith, hard work, and determination.”


Beginning May 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), will be accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses.



CFAP provides vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.


Farmers and ranchers will receive direct support, drawn from two possible funding sources. The first source of funding is $9.5 billion in appropriated funding provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act to compensate farmers for losses due to price declines that occurred between mid-January 2020, and mid-April 2020 and provides support for specialty crops for product that had been shipped from the farm between the same time period but subsequently spoiled due to loss of marketing channels. The second funding source uses the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to compensate producers for $6.5 billion in losses due to on-going market disruptions.


Non-Specialty Crops and Wool

Non-specialty crops eligible for CFAP payments include malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, durum wheat, and hard red spring wheat. Wool is also eligible. Producers will be paid based on inventory subject to price risk held as of January 15, 2020. A payment will be made based 50 percent of a producer’s 2019 total production or the 2019 inventory as of January 15, 2020, whichever is smaller, multiplied by the commodity’s applicable payment rates.



Livestock eligible for CFAP include cattle, lambs, yearlings and hogs. The total payment will be calculated using the sum of the producer’s number of livestock sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020, multiplied by the payment rates per head, and the highest inventory number of livestock between April 16 and May 14, 2020, multiplied by the payment rate per head.



For dairy, the total payment will be calculated based on a producer’s certification of milk production for the first quarter of calendar year 2020 multiplied by a national price decline during the same quarter. The second part of the payment is based a national adjustment to each producer’s production in the first quarter.


Specialty Crops

For eligible specialty crops, the total payment will be based on the volume of production sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020; the volume of production shipped, but unpaid; and the number of acres for which harvested production did not leave the farm or mature product destroyed or not harvested during that same time period, and which have not and will not be sold. Specialty crops include, but are not limited to, almonds, beans, broccoli, sweet corn, lemons, iceberg lettuce, spinach, squash, strawberries and tomatoes. A full list of eligible crops can be found on Additional crops may be deemed eligible at a later date.



There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies or limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits where members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. Producers will also have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75 percent or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities. Producers must also be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions.


Applying for Assistance

Producers can apply for assistance beginning on May 26, 2020. Additional information and application forms can be found at Producers of all eligible commodities will apply through their local FSA office. Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested. FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed. Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020.


Payment Structure

To ensure the availability of funding throughout the application period, producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date as funds remain available.


USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at


BBB reports yet another coronavirus-related scam

We're all online more these days, and many people, adults and children alike, have sought solace in the virtual worlds of online video games during this time of social isolation. Video games, such as the recently released “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” are giving area consumers a way to interact with friends, family, and strangers without the danger of contracting the coronavirus. Yet while players can stay healthy in virtual worlds, there are other risks users must consider.? 


Animal Crossing?is a social simulation video game series, developed and published by?Nintendo?(Nintendo of America is a?BBB Accredited Business). In Animal Crossing, players enhance their homes by decorating and expanding their residences. Players also help to develop a town filled with human-like animals, representing villagers and visitors. The Animal Crossing series is known for its open-ended gameplay, which consists of the main character carrying out various activities, such as fishing, bug catching, and fossil hunting, and then selling those collected items for in-game money called “bells.” 


The newest rendition of the game continues and expands upon the previous versions’ ability to support multiplayer activities. In a little over a month since its initial release, Animal Crossing has become a hit with many players, and there are many Facebook groups dedicated to the game. With so many strangers coming together to arrange virtual town visits, reports of scams have surged online. While most players may be respectful and kind, a few bad eggs have ruined the online gaming experience for others. 


The Better Business Bureau investigated some of these problems and found that, while most players may be respectful and kind, a few bad eggs have ruined the online gaming experience for others. 


BBB advises consumers to be vigilant and to watch out for scams during online gameplay. Recent Animal Crossing related scams that have emerged are centered around individuals trading real world money for in-game funds, particular characters, or other perks.  


BBB has the following tips for safe gameplay: 

  • Beware of “Real Life” Transactions?- Scammers can and have created listings on eBay or in Facebook groups, advertising wanted characters or items for sale. Once you pay with your own money, not in-game currency, the scammer disappears, and you’re left without your purchased items. 

  • Know Your Friends?- Set boundaries with players you interact with online. Only provide travel codes (called DODO codes) or send “best friend” requests to people you know and trust in real life. The “best friend” designation gives players a greater ability to make potentially unwanted changes to your town. 

  • Create a Safe Space?- If you must invite a stranger to your island, fence off areas that you don’t want a visitor to interact with - such as flowers, fruits, and other objects you don’t want stolen. 

For more information:??If you’ve spotted a scam (whether or not you’ve lost money), report it to? You can also report unethical advertising at? Your reports can help others avoid falling victim to scams. You can also visit Scam Tracker to view the latest reported scams in your neighborhood or across North America. 


More on coronavirus-related scams at?

TVHS details students and community requirements for Senior Parade

Tippecanoe Valley High School Principal Brandon Kresca issued the following information related to Friday's Senior Parade:


Dear Valley Family,


Last week we announced that on May 22nd, there would be a senior parade through the towns of Mentone and Akron. In order to properly thank our seniors for the impact they have had on Tippecanoe Valley Schools, we not only need you to assist in celebrating our seniors properly, but we need your help following all directions/requirements detailed in this plan- especially maintaining proper social distancing measures. We will celebrate our seniors, but only in a way that is safe for both student, staff and our community.


Student Expectations/Requirements

Community Expectations/Requirements

  • Report to the entrance to the TVHS campus off of W. 800 S. no sooner than 6:50 p.m. on May 22nd. Departure will be 7:00 p.m.
  • All community members are expected to follow social distancing measures: maintaining 6 feet distance, not congregating in groups.
  • Report in the car you will be driving/riding in. Any students choosing to ride with one another is a parental decision.
  • You are encouraged to wear protective facemasks out in public, per recommendations from the health departments.
  • Students are encouraged to come wearing their TVHS graduation gowns. If a student does not have their gown, it can be picked up from 8:00-3:00 p.m. on 5/22.
  • Please look for more information from both the towns of Mentone and Akron webpages regarding this event.
  • Students are to drive responsibly and behave in a manner reflective of a TVHS student.
  • Parking may be available in both towns of Akron and Mentone, with social distancing in place.
  • Students will follow all traffic rules, including seatbelt laws while on county/state roads. 
  • Please review the Senior Parade Path and refrain from interrupting said path.
  • No student will exit the vehicle for any reason.
  • Once the parade has concluded, please safely exit your location.



Senior Parade Path: (All times are approximates)


7:00 p.m.- Starting between TVMS and TVHS Tennis Courts, through TVHS Student Parking lot to HWY 19.


7:05 p.m. exiting TVHS on to SR 19 heading North to Mentone.


7:15 p.m.- Entering Mentone off of SR 19 heading East on Main St.


7:20 p.m. – Turn right on to S. 1000 W. Head South on S. 1000 W. eventually turning in to SR 14 into Akron.


7:30 p.m.- Arrive in Akron to Community Center on SR 14.


7:35 p.m.- Turn right on to E. Rochester St. heading West through town of Akron.


7:40 p.m. – Turn right on to N. Mishawaka St. heading North towards Akron Elementary School.


7:50 p.m. – Arrive at the intersection (Three-way stop) of SR 19 and E. 100 N (SR 114) This is the end of the parade and cars will safely head towards home.


We thank our Tippecanoe Valley High School seniors and congratulate them for accomplishing this great feat. Sunday July 19th is the date set for the graduation ceremony of the class of 2020, with a back-up date of July 26th. A decision has been made to change the graduation time to better accommodate any plans that may involve social distancing and weather. The baccalaureate ceremony will now begin at 7:00 p.m. with the graduation ceremony beginning promptly at 7:30 p.m.

Governor Eric Holcomb directs flags to be flown at half-staff

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags statewide to be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day.


Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, May 15.


Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents across the state to lower their flags to half-staff on Friday to commemorate Peace Officers Memorial Day.

DNR gives advice on managing private ponds

Owners of private ponds and lakes can now find more resources for managing those areas and adding aquatic structures to them on DNR’s updated website at

Pond owners will now find information and links to content about pond construction, where to purchase fish to stock, nuisance wildlife concerns, fish kills and other common issues.

There are more than 40,000 private ponds and lakes in Indiana, many of which are stocked with fish by landowners and used for recreation. With spring weather, many are starting to think about their ponds and potential maintenance and improvements.

“The majority of questions we receive from private pond owners pertain to fish kills, advice on fish stocking, or aquatic plant management including nuisance algae,” said Corey DeBoom, DNR fisheries biologist for central Indiana. “The answers to most of the common questions can now be found on our updated pond management webpage.”

Information about constructing artificial habitat for ponds or lakes has also been added. Artificial structures can provide places for fish to hide, eat, or spawn and may help reduce impacts of fish-eating predators. Structures can be as simple as cutting and felling shoreline trees, but a variety of structure options are highlighted for pond owners to consider. 

Questions from the public regarding private ponds or lakes can be answered by district fisheries biologists. Media questions regarding private pond management in specific regions can also be answered by district fisheries biologists. Contact information for your area’s biologist is at

Tippecanoe Valley High School plans Class of 2020 graduation

Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation administration, and key stakeholders, have been in continuous conversation regarding plans for the graduating ceremonies of the class of 2020.  At the forefront of this discussion, has been doing whatever it takes to plan a quality, yet safe, graduation for the seniors.


Tippecanoe Valley High School is announcing a physical graduation date of Sunday July 19, 2020.  A rescheduled date in the event of inclement weather is set for Sunday, July 26. The baccalaureate ceremony will begin at the normally scheduled time of 2:00 p.m. The graduation ceremony will begin promptly at 2:45 p.m. The TVHS Prom, or similar event, is yet to be determined.


TVSC stakeholders have prepared plans to accommodate any required social distancing measures. Restrictions may be necessary limiting the number of guests in attendance, the location of the event, seating procedures, and other general procedures. TVSC will monitor the reopening status based on the governor’s “Back on Track Indiana Plan”, and will consultwith the local health departments during the time leading up to July 19. Expect more information regarding specific event details to be communicated to both seniors, and to parents/guardians prior to the event.


In addition, Tippecanoe Valley High School is excited to announce another celebration for the seniors. TVHS will organize a senior parade the evening of May 22nd. Seniors will wear their caps and gowns, and ride in their cars starting on the TVMS/TVHS campus then parading through the towns of Mentone and Akron. Specific details/requirements for the event, as well as the parade path and parking locations will be announced.

DNR properties resume entrance fees, reopen riding trails and restrooms

Turkey Run, Shades and Indiana Dunes state parks, and Deam Lake and Starve Hollow state recreation areas will resume collecting entrance fees tomorrow. All other DNR properties will resume charging entrance fees no later than May 15.

A full breakdown of entrance and other fees is at

Regarding other imminent changes:

  • Equestrian and mountain bike trails will open, for day use only, on Monday, May 11.
  • Day-use restrooms and vault toilets will open at DNR properties by May 15. Until then, guests should come prepared for restroom use to be restricted.
  • Nature Centers and historic facilities in state parks properties will open the week of May 11; however, hours may be reduced, and social distancing may limit the number of guests allowed in the respective facility at one time.
  • Marinas will open the week of May 11, with limited operations.
  • The Fort Golf Course is open, and the golf pro shop at Fort Harrison State Park reopens the week of May 11, with self-service cart rental available with a limit of one person per cart.

A complete status list for facilities and services at DNR properties is at

Guests at DNR properties should remember the following when visiting:

  • Practice social distancing at all times, particularly, as you hike, picnic or use boat ramps. Keep a minimum of 6 feet from other individuals you encounter, for your safety and theirs.
  • Keep your group size small – fewer than 25 individuals is ideal.
  • Bring your own drinking water and hand sanitizer.
  • If you picnic, bring and use a covering for your picnic table and take it with you when you leave.
  • If a parking lot is full, move to another location.
  • If you feel sick or are running a temperature, plan a visit for a different day for the safety of other guests.

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