WROI News

Water line break prompts Eastern Pulaski Community Schools to release early Tuesday

Due to an issue with the town water supply in Winamac earlier, Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation will be releasing early today.

 

According to Winamac's town manager Bradley Zellers, a main water line was hit by a contractor from a local business.  It drained the town's water supply quickly.

 

The damage was repaired without further complications, however, it was too late to call off the school's early release that was announced slightly before 11:00 am. 

 

Eastern Pulaski Elementary School will be released at 1:00 pm and Winamac Community Middle School / Winamac Community High School will be released at 1:10 pm.

FBI, ISP SWAT involved in Pulaski Co. warrant, stand-off

A warrant arrest involved a number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI at a residence in Pulaski County.

 

Pulaski County deputies were requested to assist in a felony arrest warrant for Darren Amick, a subject known to be a danger to law enforcement.  After receiving a tip from the White County Sheriff’s Department a search warrant was executed at a rural Winamac residence. Pulaski County Sheriff Deputies, assisted by FBI, Indiana State Police SWAT, Winamac Police, White County Sheriff’s Department, Porter County Sheriff’s Department, and Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, executed the search warrant at the residence in an attempt to locate Amick who had active arrest warrants out of White County for Level 2 Felony Planting An Explosive Device With Intent To Use It, and felony warrants for Dealing Methamphetamine.

 

After several hours with Amick refusing to exit the residence the decision was made to enter the trailer. The Indiana State Police SWAT team deployed chemical irritants and canine units. The suspect continued to forcibly resist arrest, but was ultimately taken into custody.

 

The suspect was transported to Pulaski Memorial Hospital by Pulaski County EMS where he was treated for exposure to chemical irritants and injuries received while fighting the law enforcement animal. Amick was released to White County Sheriff’s Department for transport back to White County.

State Health Dept to pause use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Indiana Department of Health is proactively notifying all vaccination clinics using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to pause its use following news reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has called for additional review of its safety. The state has not received official notification of a directive to pause but is doing so out of an abundance of caution.

 

The health department will be sending the two-dose Moderna vaccine to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is conducting mass vaccination clinics today, so that Hoosiers can continue to get vaccinated without interruption.

 

The department is also working with other clinics that were scheduled to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the immediate future.

Etna Green man died in Sunday mobile home fire

A mobile home fire in Etna Green resulted in a death.

 

Emergency personnel were called to the scene in the Etna Green Mobile Home Park - Lot 34 just after 11:00 pm Sunday.  Neighbors reportedly observed the fire and attempted to make contact with any potential occupants. Once firefighters were able to extinguish the flames and perform an interior search of the residence, they located the deceased body of Arthur J. Peterson, 42.

 

Etna Green Fire Department, Atwood Fire Department, Etna Green First Responders, Lutheran EMS, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office, Indiana State Fire Marshal all responded to the scene.

 

This incident remains under investigation by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office and the Indiana State Fire Marshal.

Cow still loose as Pulaski County authorities try to find owner

The following entry was posted by the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office on the department's Facebook page early Monday afternoon.  The public's assistance is requested for a wandering cow.

 

Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, Indiana

On April 11, 2021 at 7:15 PM the Pulaski County Sheriff Office was advised of a cow in the roadway in the area of 1225 W / 500 N, Medaryville. While Dispatch attempted to locate the owner of the animal, Sheriff’s deputies attempted to catch it. Unfortunately, neither entity was successful, and at approximately 8:00 PM the animal was last seen running south bound on 1300 W.

 

The cow is a younger black cow with a white face, 300-400 pounds.

Religious services deemed essential by Indiana Senate bill

Religious activities are deemed essential services in a bill approved by the Indiana Senate on Thursday.

 

The bill prohibits state and local orders from preventing anyone from attending religious servies during a disaster emergency.  It would also prevent such orders from being more restrictive on churches than on other places, like businesses, that are considered essential.

 

Services could be held without restrictions on capacity size, social distancing or mask mandates.  Those restrictions could still apply, however, to their schools or daycares.

 

The bill now goes to the governor.

 

Vaccine clinic Saturday in Rochester; Warsaw April 20-24

A shot clinic is set for Saturday in Rochester as extra doses of coronavirus vaccine have become available in Fulton County.

 

Rochester Mayor Ted Denton.

 

 

The mayor says encourages those above 18 to check for availability, and call if you have difficulty navigating the ourshot.gov website.

 

 

The Fulton County Health Dept can be reached at (574) 223-2881.

 

The Indiana Department of Health will be holding a vaccination clinic at Center Lake Pavilion in Warsaw. The city released information that the clinic will be held from April 20-24 from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day.

 

The clinic will be providing hundreds of vaccines per day, and the times offer some flexibility for evening and Saturday appointments. The Pfizer vaccine will be used during this clinic, which is currently the only vaccine approved for those ages 16 and 17. Registration is open and available at ourshot.in.gov.

 

 

 

U.S. 30 to have lane closures between S.R. 39 and U.S. 35

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces lane closures for U.S. 30 over the Kankakee River starting Thursday, April 8.

 

U.S. 30 will be reduced to one lane in each direction through late-June, 2021 for a bridge deck overlay project.

Rochester schools to restructure ahead of next school year

The Rochester School Board has announced plans to restructure for the 2021-22 school year.

 

The plans were unveiled in a press release from the school board and include the 8th grade class moving from the middle school to the high school; preschool through first grade at Columbia Elementary; second through fourth at Riddle Elementary; and fifth through seventh at Rochester Middle.

 

Fulton Co. Commissioners give go ahead to remove beavers, dams

Bugs, rodents, pests, even deer on area roadways are all fairly common animal world problems that people deal with often.  Fulton County has a different kind of animal issue - beavers.

 

Highway Superintendent John Geier explained the current issue to Fulton County Commissioners.

 

 

Geier says his department has never paid for trapping before.   At one time, the lake association had split costs on trapping with maintenance on the county ditch at that location.  Commissioners noted that the lake association doesn’t want to pay for the issue. 

 

Geier was approved by commissioners to seek help in fixing the issue.  Commissioners said it would be cheaper now than to wait for more beavers adding to the population at the site.

 

Greg Compton's 260 mile Walk for Riley underway, ending May 1 In Louisville

This week, in honor of the 'Robert 'Bob' Compton Memorial Fundraiser to Benefit Riley Children's Hospital', Plymouth native Greg Compton, 67, began his 260 mile walk through Indiana.

 

Starting from the Michigan State line on Monday, April 5, Greg is walking to the Clark Memorial Bridge in Louisville, Kentucky.  He hopes to be there by May 1. 

 

 

Compton drove the route ahead of time with a friend so he could plan accordingly. Multiple friends and family have volunteered to help him along the way.

 

 

Since January 2021, in preparation for the event, Greg has been training with long distance walking. 

 

 

Despite being healthy, Greg has had his share of health concerns, recently recovering from Covid before the holidays. It's something that won't stop him, but it also wasn't easy. 

 

 

His mission and main objective - raising donations. By Greg's first day walking on Monday April 5, he'd already raised $16,442, with a goal of $260,000 by the time he reaches Louisville. 

 

Those interested in donating can do so online at https://give.rileykids.org/campaign/robert-compton-memorial-fundraiser-greg-compton/c320809. 

The Compass! Navigating Through Life and Sobriety, a new Tuesday tradition In Rochester

New to Rochester -- The Compass! Navigating Through Life and Sobriety had its first day Tuesday at The Cross, located at 100 W Third Street in Rochester.

 

Facillitator Debbie Fernandez says the program will be every Tuesday from 11:00 am-12:30 pm. It will provide interactive life skill lessons and will also have free groceries to those in need. 

 

 

State Road 114 to be closed just west of U.S. 421 in Pulaski Co.

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces a road closure for State Road 114 between C.R. S 1600 W and U.S. 421 beginning Monday, April 12. 

 

The State Road 114 bridge over Hill Ditch will be closed for approximately two weeks for bridge deck patching and to repair the joints in the bridge deck and approaches.

Fulton County law enforcement watching to keep school buses safe

Many school districts are now in the stretch run following spring break.  And with school buses busily carrying kids to and from schools area law enforcement is stepping up efforts to make sure traffic abides by the rules as they pertain to buses.

 

Fulton County Sheriff Chris Sailors.

 

 

On a Covid note, Sheriff Sailors says the monthly numbers in the Fulton County Jail include those housed elsewhere as Covid concerns remain.

 

 

Sailors also notes the process continues on construction of the new jail.  He says the timeline and budget are still on track.

Fulton Co. Commissioners expect to follow Gov. Holcomb's order as mask mandate ends Tuesday

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb recently announced the mask-wearing mandate will be lifted Tuesday.

 

Masks will still be required in all state buildings and at vaccination and COVID-19 testing sites, but nowhere else unless counties and local governments require them for entrance.

 

Fulton County Commissioners stated during their Monday meeting the intent to follow the governor’s order with nothing stricter enacted locally.  They will, however, leave it open to department heads to monitor as to whether or not masks are needed under certain situations.

 

Fulton County is marked as under Yellow on the state’s most recent advisory map.  Kosciusko, Starke and Wabash are also marked as Yellow.  Miami, Pulaski, Cass and Marshall have Blue status/.

 

School systems in the state will stick with mask wearing during school hours and at school events until the end of the school year.

 

Payments for Hoosiers harmed by Equifax data breach are coming

Attorney General Todd Rokita announced that his Office is preparing to distribute payments to 236,616 current and former Indiana residents who filed eligible claims for restitution following the massive 2017 Equifax data breach.

 

Each person who filed an eligible claim for restitution at IndianaEquifaxClaims.com will receive approximately $79. The Office will begin distributing digital and check payments on March 31. Claimants will receive their money in the manner they requested at the time of their claim.

 

“This office’s years-long efforts to put money into the pockets of Hoosiers harmed by the Equifax data breach are finally coming to fruition,” Attorney General Rokita said. “I am very proud of the attorneys in my Office who worked tirelessly to achieve a positive outcome in this case. We will always fight tooth and nail for Indiana consumers.” 

 

The Office of the Attorney General sued Equifax – one of the world’s largest credit-reporting bureaus – in May 2019, two years after the company suffered a data breach that impacted approximately 147 million Americans, including roughly 3.9 million Hoosiers. Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, driver’s license numbers and credit card information were compromised in the data breach, which an investigation by the United States House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform concluded was “entirely preventable.”

 

Last year, the Office announced that Indiana would receive $19.5 million under a settlement with Equifax. Indiana was one of two states that opted not to participate in a multistate settlement in July 2019, choosing instead to file its own lawsuit and ultimately negotiate its own settlement.

 

Indiana’s $19.5 million settlement exceeds the amount received by any of the 48 states that participated in the multistate settlement, which distributed $175 million to participating states.

Driver escapes violent crash on US 30 With non-life-threatening injuries

An Indiana State Police trooper was in the right place at the right time to render immediate aid when he witnessed a crash between a semi and a passenger car.

 

Just before 3:30 pm Friday Trooper Jon Price was in his marked police car on the south side of the intersection of US 30 and King Road when he saw a 2003 Freightliner traveling westbound on US 30.  The Freightliner failed to stop at a red light and ran into the rear of a 2001 Toyota that was stopped at the intersection.  Both vehicles continued through the intersection stuck together following the collision, coming to rest west of King Road.

 

Price immediately responded and saw that the driver of the Toyota, Alexis Owens, 19 of Ft. Wayne, was bleeding heavily from her face but was alert and conscious. Owens was transported to Memorial Hospital in South Bend with injuries that are not believed to be life threatening.

 

 

The driver of the semi, Pavel Galiant, 67 of Kent, WA, was not injured in the crash. Galiant was issued a citation for disregarding a traffic light.

 

Price commented that Owens was wearing a seatbelt and that made a difference in the severity of her injuries.

 

Alcohol and drugs are not suspected in the crash.

 

Gene Miles retires as CEO of First Farmers Bank & Trust; remains CEO, President of First Farmers Financial Corporation

Gene Miles retired from his daily responsibilities as Chief Executive Officer of First Farmers Bank & Trust on March 31.

 

A press release from the company states that Miles' impact on the bank is immeasurable and the growth during his tenure is unparalleled throughout company history. Gene will continue in his role going forward as President and Chief Executive Officer of First Farmers Financial Corporation ( FFMR ). Bank President Mark “Doc” Holt will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the bank going forward.

 

Gene Miles served First Farmers for over 41 years and his career has touched on nearly every capacity within the institution, including branch manager, commercial loan officer, compliance officer, investment officer, marketing officer and accounting officer. Starting as a branch manager in 1979 at a time when the bank had 3 locations, less than 30 employees, and a total asset size of $44 million, Gene was mentored by many former bank officers and worked closely with prior president Robert Larrison. He assumed the role of executive vice president in 1984 and president in 1997 and president & CEO in 1999.

 

In 2016, Gene was awarded the Bruning Award, the American Bankers Association’s premiere award for agricultural Banking. In 2020, Gene was honored with a Leaders in Banking Excellence award through the Indiana Bankers Association.

 

First Farmers Financial Corp is a $2.2 billion financial holding company headquartered in Converse, Indiana. First Farmers Bank & Trust has offices throughout Carroll, Cass, Clay, Grant, Hamilton, Howard, Huntington, Madison, Marshall, Miami, Starke, Sullivan, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vigo and Wabash counties in Indiana and offices in Coles, Edgar and Vermilion counties in Illinois.

Fulton County Community Foundation grants to Intrepid Phoenix

The Fulton County Community Foundation awarded Intrepid Phoenixa community support grant of $7,250 to help bring their fitness recovery program to Fulton County.

 

Pictured: Teresa Houser (FCCF Board Member) Larry Smith (Intrepid Phoenix Founder) Brian Johnson (Fulton County Director of Development)

 

They are partnering with Ace Fitness, located in the Peace Tree Village, along with other substance abuse recovery organizations in Fulton County to help individuals who struggle with substance abuse.

 

The fitness recovery program serves residents of Fulton County that are in the recovery process regardless of age, gender, race, or length of sobriety. The organization designs a program that will meet the needs and goals of the individual regarding both fitness and health through the help of a Certified Personal Trainer and nutritionist. They also provide a Certified Peer Recovery Coach.

 

Intrepid Phoenix’s mission is to provide a wholistic approach to fitness in recovery from substance abuse. The organization focuses on improving the mental, emotional, and physical health of individuals to give them the best chance to avoid a relapse and live happy and productive lives.

 

For more information about this program, visit their Facebook Page at

https://www.facebook.com/theintrepidphoenixor feel free to call 630-606-1882.

Fatality reported in car-utility pole crash

A Tippecanoe woman was killed in a one-vehicle accident.

 

Emergency crews were called to the scene in Kosciusko County on County Road 700 South just east of 600 West.  According to the preliminary results of the ongoing investigation conducted by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Fatal Crash Team, the vehicle was traveling eastbound, left the north side of the roadway and struck a NIPSCO utility pole.

 

Amber L. Meyer, 30, was pronounced deceased due to blunt force trauma.

 

There is no further word on what may have caused Meyer to drive off the road.

Hoosiers ages 16 and older are now eligible to sign up for a free COVID-19 vaccine

Hoosiers ages 16 and older are now eligible to sign up for a free COVID-19 vaccine, the Indiana Department of Health announced today. The expansion makes more than 1.3 million additional individuals eligible for vaccine.

 

“With this expansion in age group, more than 5.4 million Hoosiers are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “I encourage everyone who is eligible to sign up for an appointment so that we can take the next step toward putting this pandemic behind us.”

 

With today’s expansion, the state has now made COVID-19 vaccines available to every Hoosier for whom the vaccine is currently authorized. The state’s focus will remain on providing equitable access to vaccine and providing current and accurate information so that Hoosiers can be informed about their options.

 

Hoosiers scheduling appointments may experience waits during periods of high volume. Vaccine appointments will extend over the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state. Individuals seeking an earlier appointment are encouraged to look at openings in surrounding counties.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 530 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

Individuals age 16 and 17 are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine and should search for a site that lists PVAX or ask 211 for a site offering the Pfizer vaccine.

 

Vaccination clinics that are part of the federal vaccine program, including those at Meijer and Kroger, appear on the clinic map at https://ourshot.in.gov but are scheduled through those retailers’ platforms, not through the state centralized system.

 

Appointments for the mass vaccination clinic being planned in Gary for April 7-June 2 will be opened later this week.

Caston School Corporation scheduling meetings in strategic planning process

Over the course of the next several months, Caston School Corporation will be going through a strategic planning process. Strategic planning is an opportunity to gather input from all school and community stakeholders. Input will be collected through small group meetings for staff, students, parents and community members. This input will be used to revise the corporation mission, set goals and establish common beliefs.

 

Caston will use this data to set a 3 - 5 year strategic plan that will allow the school corporation to be more responsive to student and family needs.

 

Student and staff focus groups will be scheduled through the school. If you are a parent, family member or a community member and would like to participate in one of the focus groups held on April 12, complete the Google form link. Please select all times that you are available.

 

You will be contacted to confirm your focus group time before the April 12 meeting date.

 

Complete the form at this link: https://forms.gle/aQt3VJzwMgtQpuQM8

Starke Co. Sheriff's Office drone program already providing benefits

The Starke County Sheriff’s Office recently received a grant for a start up for a drone program.

 

Deputy Skip Tomasco is the commander for the program.  He says the Starke County Community Foundation played a key part in funding the effort.

 

 

Deputy Tomasco says accident reconstruction will be the drone’s primary role.

 

 

He notes officer safety during a recent hostage situation also showed the drone’s value.

 

 

The drone also offers thermal and heat searching capability.

 

 

 

State Road 25 to be closed for bridge replacement

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces a closure for State Road 25 between C.R. E 775 N and State Road 331 beginning Monday, April 5.

 

The road will be closed through early-July, 2021 to replace the bridge over Yellow Creek.

 

Motorists should seek an alternate route. The official detour will follow State Road 110, U.S. 31 and State Road 25.

 

Gov. Holcomb announces judicial appointment for Kosciusko County Superior Court vacancy

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb today announced Karin McGrath as his appointment to the Kosciusko County Superior Court.

 

McGrath will succeed Judge David Cates who passed away in December.

 

McGrath is currently in private practice with a focus on children in need and family law. She also serves as a judge for Teen Court, a problem-solving court within the juvenile system where teens charged with certain types of offenses can be sentenced by a jury of their peers. From 2011-2018, she served as a deputy prosecutor for Kosciusko County.

 

McGrath earned an undergraduate degree from Greenville College and a law degree from Valparaiso University Law School.

 

McGrath will be sworn in as the judge of the Kosciusko County Superior Court on a date to be determined.

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