WROI News

Possible human remains found in Kosciusko Co.

Shortly after 3:00 pm Thursday, the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communication Center received a call regarding potential human remains located on a property west of State Road 13, south of Old RD 30. Arriving deputies were directed to the edge of a field, several hundred yards off of the roadway, near a swamp.

 

Witnesses reported that they were walking in the area and happened upon the unidentified remains. The Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office and crime scene investigators were requested to respond to the location. Utilizing state of the art technology, the scene was thoroughly processed and the surrounding area was searched for potential evidence.

 

According to Kosciusko County Coroner Anthony Ciriello, the unidentified human remains will be transported to the Northeast Indiana Forensic Center for further examination. This incident remains under investigation by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s and Coroner’s Offices.

 

Officers from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Pierceton Police Department assisted with the investigation.

 

 

Indiana schools to remain closed the rest of the academic year

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick said that schools will remain closed through the rest of the school year. Schools must switch to remote learning.

 

High School seniors who have their credits, including those for classes they're currently enrolled in, will get their diplomas. For every other student, requirements to move on to the next grade are unchanged.

McCormick working to get students educated and moved on to the next grade.

 

 

McCormick says there’s no clear answer as to the impact on things like summer school and the next school year.

 

 

Gov. Holcomb also ordered all non-public schools to close.

Rochester Community School press release

First and foremost, a sincere thank you for your patience and support as we all continue to adjust and build new plans around COVID-19.

 

Governor Holcomb announced today schools will be closed for the remainder of this academic year.

 

On behalf of the entire school corporation our hearts are sinking with the knowledge that we won’t be seeing students the remainder of this academic year.

 

We will continue with E-Learning next week and we ask you to engage with your students and support them educationally as best you can.

 

After receiving further guidance and instruction from the State Department of Education, we will be sending out a comprehensive plan around our seniors and plans for graduation, meeting our educational obligations for this year and the best form of deploying instruction moving forward.

 

Again, thank you for your patience and support.

 

Please abide by the Governor’s statement to stay at home and only leave for necessary appointments and needs.

 

If you have anything that RCSC can help you with, please contact your student’s principal and we will do all we can to support your student, their family and our community at large.

Health department announces 13 new COVID-19 deaths, updates statewide case count

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) today announced that 474 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. That brings to 3,039 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s total.

 

Seventy-eight Hoosiers have died to date. Deaths are reported based on when data are received by ISDH and occurred over multiple days.

 

To date, 16,285 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 14,375 on Wednesday.

 

Marion County had the most new cases, at 192. Other counties with more than 10 new cases were Decatur (10), Clark (11), Floyd (13), Hamilton (21), Hendricks (24) and Lake (28). The complete list of counties with cases is included in the ISDH COVID-19 dashboard at coronavirus.in.gov/, which will be updated daily at 10 a.m. Cases are listed by county of residence. Private lab reporting may be delayed and will be reflected in the map and count when results are received at ISDH.

 

The dashboard also has been updated to make corrections based on updated information provided to ISDH.

Additional updates on the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak may be provided later today. 

Fulton County COVID-19 April 1 daily brief

 

Fulton County COVID-19 Daily Brief by the Authority of Fulton County Health Officer Dr. Kevin Reyburn and Fulton County Health Nurse Rhonda Barnett RN

 

**All information is subject to change**

 

General Guidelines:

          SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

  • FEVER
  • COUGH
  • SHORTNESS OF BREATH OR DIFFICULTY BREATHING
  • TIREDNESS
  • ACHES
  • RUNNY NOSE
  • SORE THROAT
  • NAUSEA
  • DIARRHEA
  • RED BURNING WATERY EYES
  • LOSS OF SMELL AND TASTE

 

IF YOU ARE HAVING SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 YOU MUST SELF ISOLATE AND CONTACT YOUR PHYSICIAN.  ISOLATION MUST BE AT LEAST 7 DAYS AND 72 HOURS FREE OF FEVER WITHOUT FEVER REDUCER.

 

TYLENOL (ACETAMINOPHEN) SHOULD BE USED IF YOU HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS.  IBUPROFIN USAGE IS NOT RECOMMENDED.

 

          WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY, MINIMUM 20 SECONDS

 

AVOID TOUCHING YOUR EYES, NOSE, AND MOUTH WITH UNWASHED HANDS

 

CLEAN AND DISINFECT FREQUENTLY TOUCHED SURFACES AMD OBJECTS.

 

NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES SHALL BE CLOSED / FOOD SERVICES PICK-UP ONLY

 

          ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY IS RECOMMENDED

 

Hospital:

          Total Positive Tests – 3

          Fulton County Residents Positive – 1

          Out of County Residents Positive – 2

 

**REMINDER**

 

IF YOU HAVE BEEN TESTED FOR COVID-19 YOU MUST GO HOME AND SELF-ISOLATE IMMEDIATELY TILL RESULTS ARE CONFIRMED.  CONTACT A FRIEND OR LOVED ONE TO DO ANY ESSENTIAL ERRANDS YOU MAY NEED DURING THIS PERIOD.  FOLLOW THE RECOMMED SELF-DISTANCING PROCEDURES.

 

 

ER Open for Emergency’s

          Surgeries - Case by Case decided by your Doctor

          Visitation - No visitation with limited exceptions

 

IF YOU ARE RETURNING FROM A HOT SPOT COUNTY THAT HAS MULTIPLE POSITIVE CASES OF COVID-19. YOU MUST SELF-IOLATE FOR (14) FOURTEEN DAYS.  DO NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE AND IF YOU DEVELOP SYMPTOMS CALL ONE OF ABOVE NUMBER IMMEDIATELY.

 

Reminder that Essential Travel only. Essential Businesses must have 10 persons or less with the exception of Agriculture (food production) that remains 50 persons or less with social distancing.

 

 

 

Medication (Pharmacy):

Kroger                                    (574) 223-6347

Drive-through & Walk up window Open

Monday - Friday                                           9AM – 9PM

          Saturday                                                      9AM – 6PM

          Sunday                                                        11AM – 6PM

 

CVS                                        (574) 224-4304

          Drive-through

          Monday – Friday                                         9AM – 8PM

          Saturday & Sunday                                     10AM – 5PM

 

Walgreens                               (574) 223-3249

Drive-through & Some shopping if needed

Seniors                                                       

Tuesday Morning Only                             8AM – 9AM

Monday – Friday                                         9AM – 7PM

Saturday                                                      9AM – 6PM

Sunday                                                       10AM – 6PM

 

Walmart                                  (574) 223-9482

          Drive-through only “side by hotels”

          Monday – Friday                                         9AM – 8:30PM

          Saturday                                                     9AM – 3PM

          Sunday                                                       Closed

 

Webb’s (Akron)                      (574) 893-4413

Curbside pick-up only/ Deliveries on extreme cases

Monday – Friday                                         9AM – 6PM

Saturday                                                      9AM – 1PM

Closed Sunday

 

Webb’s (Rochester)                 (574) 223-2216

Curbside pick-up & delivery / Drive through / Front Door is locked

Monday – Friday                                         9AM – 7PM

Saturday                                                     9AM – 3PM

Closed Sunday

         

 

 

 

 

 

Grocery Store Hours:

Kroger                                     (574) 223-3881                                 

Seniors and at-risk shoppers                      7AM – 8AM

Daily                                                           8AM – 9PM

Save-A-Lot                               (574) 224-3434                               

Daily                                                           9AM – 6PM

                                                                  

Dollar General (Akron)          (574) 353-0168

Seniors and at-risk shoppers                      8AM – 9AM

Daily                                                           9AM – 9PM

 

Dollar General (Rochester)     (765) 319-8775    

Seniors and at-risk shoppers                      8AM – 9AM

Daily                                                          9AM – 9PM

Viking Foods                           (574) 893-4563    

Monday – Saturday                                     7AM – 6PM

Sunday                                                       11AM – 4PM

 

Walmart                                  (574) 223-9481

Seniors and at-risk shoppers

Tuesday Morning Only                              6AM – 7AM

Daily                                                           7AM - 8:30PM   

 

Food:

          School Meals

PDF files of Rochester, Akron & Caston School Lunch

On County and School Websites.

 

Church Meals / Food Banks

Grace United Methodist Church Cancelled Free Meals on Wednesday

 

The Cross                                 (574) 223-3107

“Matthew’s Market” 100 West 3rd Street, Rochester

Monday, Friday                                           11:30AM – 1:30PM

Thursday                                                     4PM – 6PM

*Gatherings will be kept to a limit due to social distancing*

 

Kewanna Food Pantry            (574) 653-9052

114 South Toner St, Kewanna

Serving Aubbeenaubbee, Union, and Wayne Townships

Thursday                                                     8:30AM – 10:30AM

 

 

UWS Ministries of Akron       (574) 893-4121

301 S West St, Akron

Serving Henry and Newcastle Townships by Appointment Only

Thursday Pickup                                          2PM – 4PM

 

 

Area Special Announcements:

  • For Information Regarding Federal Aid Contact Terry Lee at Fulton County Economic Development.  Phone:  574-223-3326
  • Daily Meetings are being held with Community Leaders. 
  • All County Buildings are still officially closed to the public
  • Rochester City building is closed to the public/drive-through only
  • Limited Travel advisory per Governor Holcomb (limitations stated at https://www.in.gov/gov/) Information Websites listed above
  • All non-essential businesses are closed (example: gym, salons, barbershops, nail, tattoo, country clubs, service clubs, bowling alley)

Pulaski Co. Health Dept confirms first case of COVID-19 but then learns patient a Starke Co. resident

The Pulaski County Health Department reported the first positive COVID-19 case in Pulaski County on Wednesday afternoon.

 

The department then reported on its Facebook page that after due diligence during the Covid-19 investigation, it was discovered that the patient is actually a resident of Starke County. Pulaski County Health Department is still involved with the investigation and all contacts have been notified. This should show up on the Indiana Heat Map as a Starke County positive case.

 

The patient is hospitalized.  No other information about the patient will be released due to privacy laws. 

 

Officials with the Health Department are working with local and state officials to ensure that contacts of the patient are identified and monitored and all infection control protocols are being followed. 

 

Pulaski County Public Health Nurse Andrea Keller reminds residents that COVID-19 is commonly spread from an infected person by respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact such as shaking hands, touching an object or surface with a virus on it then touching the face, and rarely fecal contamination. 

 

Keller urges residents to keep washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer.  Stay home if ill, and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 

Single car crash injures Rochester woman

Fulton County law enforcement and fire and medical personnel responded to a one vehicle crash Monday evening.

 

At approximately 8:35 pm, Monday, Fulton County 911 received a call of a one vehicle crash with entrapment near the residence of 4266 Ft. Wayne Rd., Rochester.

 

When Fulton County Sheriff's deputies arrived they found a 2017 Maroon Kia passenger car in a field on its top with the driver entrapped in the vehicle.  The driver, Brandy Bilby, 38, of rural Rochester was extricated from the vehicle by Rochester Fire and transported to the Fulton County Airport by Lutheran EMS then flown by Samaritan to Lutheran Hospital in Ft. Wayne for unknown injuries sustained due to the crash.  She has been listed in stable condition as of the latest report.

 

Based upon crash investigation, the 2017 Kia was eastbound on Ft. Wayne near CR. 400 E and for an unknown reason left the south side of the roadway and struck a utility pole.  The vehicle then continued and rolled several times before times before coming to rest in a field.

 

The crash continues to be under investigation at this time and speed may be a contributing factor. 

 

Assisting the Fulton County Sheriff Office with the crash is the Rochester Fire Department, Lutheran EMS and Samaritan.

BBB warns of coronavirus scams

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis is forcing people to distance themselves from others, work remotely, and spend time indoors and online. While social distancing is a good health practice to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, it may be helping scammers.

 

Research from the Better Business Bureau, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, and the Stanford Center on Longevity found that people are more likely to lose money to a scam when they are socially or physically isolated from others, if they are actively engaging online, and if they are financially vulnerable (BBB.org/ExposedtoScams). ? 

 

“According to our research, social isolation is a key risk factor for susceptibility to scams, as is financial vulnerability,” said Melissa Lanning Trumpower, executive director of the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, BBB’s foundation that conducted the research. “

 

Add increased time spent online and coronavirus creates the ‘perfect storm’ for scammers, because all three of these factors have increased dramatically.” 

 

As bricks-and-mortar businesses close or curtail services and the financial markets experience a high level of volatility, many consumers are left to wonder if they will have a job or an immediate way to provide for their loved ones. As people turn to the Internet seeking new or temporary employment, they are also at increased risk of employment scams. BBB research deemed employment scams the riskiest scams of 2019, making up 9.3 percent of all scams reported and a median dollar loss of $1,500. 

 

Despite these factors, there are steps everyone can take to protect themselves and their family from losing money and compromising personal information. 

 

  • Don’t be afraid to contact a friend, or a company or organization you trust for advice. Isolation is a risk factor for scams.?Feelings of loneliness were associated with being more likely to engage with and lose money to scammers. This was especially true when the individual felt he or she lacked companionship and was isolated from loved ones, according?to?Exposed to Scams: What Separates Victims from Non-victimsFact: Scammers will try to isolate their victims. 

  • Before clicking a link or sharing personal information online, stop, pause, and research the company or person.?People are more likely to lose money to scams perpetrated online. According to the?2019 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report,?consumers who are approached online (email, website, social media, internet messaging, and online classifieds) are significantly more likely to report losing money. Fact: A staggering 81.2 percent of consumers lost money to online purchase scams in 2019. 

  • Beware of job offers that sound too good to be true. Employment scams were the No. 1 riskiest two years in a row, according to the?2019 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report.?As traditional jobs are cut and workers begin to seek new roles or remote opportunities to fill the void, they must be wary of job offers that sound too good to be true.?Read BBB’s tips for avoiding employment scams
    Fact: Scammers prey on jobseekers, particularly those seeking remote jobs. 

  • Learn about scammer tactics to help avoid falling prey to scams and be wary of any offer to “get ahead” that seem too good to be true.?Those who are financially vulnerable are more susceptible to scams. Individuals under financial strain and those with lower levels of financial literacy may be more susceptible to scammers, according to the?Exposed to Scams?report. Specific risk-factors include: 

    • Household income of $50,000 per year and below. 
    • Spending more per month than one’s earnings, not saving money, and having significant amounts of debt. 
    • Feeling compelled to “catch up” or “get ahead” financially. 
    • Fact: According to the?Exposed to Scams?report,?those who heard about the scam before they were targeted were significantly less likely to lose money (9 percent vs 34 percent). 

For more consumer information:?BBB.org/coronavirus

For more business information:?BBB.org/smallbusiness

To report a scam:?BBB.org/scamtracker

To report price gauging:?BBB.org/adtruth

Health department announces 16 new COVID-19 deaths, updates statewide case count

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) today announced that 409 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. That brings to 2,565 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s total.

                                                                                                                                             

Sixty-five Hoosiers have died to date. Deaths have occurred over multiple days and are reported based on when data are received by ISDH.

 

To date, 14,375 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 13,373 on Tuesday.

 

Marion County had the most new cases, at 159. Other counties with more than 10 new cases were Hamilton (49), Hendricks (21), Johnson (17) and Lake (25). The complete list of counties with cases is included in the ISDH COVID-19 dashboard at coronavirus.in.gov, which will be updated daily at 10 a.m. Cases are listed by county of residence. Private lab reporting may be delayed and will be reflected in the map and count when results are received at ISDH.

 

The dashboard also has been updated to make corrections based on updated information provided to ISDH.

 

Additional updates on the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak may be provided later today. 

Gov. Holcomb extends restaurant, bar restrictions

Governor Eric J. Holcomb today signed two executive orders to aid in the fight against COVID-19. To see copies of the executive orders, click here: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm

 

Executive order 20-14 extends the requirements for bars, nightclubs and restaurants to stay closed to dine-in patrons until April 6 at 11:59 p.m. They may continue to provide take-out and delivery services.

 

The Governor expects bars, nightclubs and restaurants to comply with the directive for the safety of Hoosiers in their communities without the need to call for enforcement measures. However, the state and local boards of health and the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) have been directed by the Governor to take all available administrative and enforcement actions against establishments that continue to offer in-house dining services, in violation of the governor’s order.

 

Executive order 20-15 eases government operations including permitting electronic notary services to remotely review and approve documents.

 

Additional steps taken by the state today include:

 

  • The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will hold a virtual job fair for more than 1,000 construction and related positions at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, April 16.
  • The Indiana Commission for Higher Education will offer free virtual FAFSA filing help for students and families from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 4.
    • Help will be available through the Commission’s Learn More Indiana social media platforms: Facebook (facebook.com/LearnMoreIN), Instagram (@LearnMoreIndiana) and Twitter (@LearnMoreIN)

Click here to download public service announcements (PSAs) recorded by the state for your use: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/egf210ognxxyx4h/AADYd7E-tBn7P6gtiLSZUiVBa?dl=0

 

More information may be found at the ISDH website at coronavirus.in.gov and the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Kentucky man now charged with Disobeying a Declaration of Disaster Emergency

A Kentucky man was arrested by Indiana State Police on a number of charges.  He now faces one more - Disobeying a Declaration of Disaster Emergency - Class B Misdemeanor.

 

The Hamilton County Prosecutor filed formal charges on Zachary Peters. Those charges include I.C. 10-14-3-12/MB Disobeying a Declaration of Disaster Emergency.

 

This is a circumstance where the stay at home order issued by the Governor was enforced as an additional charge to a crime. The official charges filed were:

 

  • Possession of Cocaine - Level 4 Felony
  • Carrying a Handgun without a License - Class A Misdemeanor
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance - Class A Misdemeanor
  • Possession of Marijuana - Class B Misdemeanor
  • Possession of Paraphernalia - Class C Misdemeanor
  • Disobeying a Declaration of Disaster Emergency - Class B Misdemeanor

Original press release

A Kentucky man was arrested by the Indiana State Police after a traffic stop led to the discovery of a stolen gun and several drugs.

 

Zachary Peters, 24, of Crestwood, Kentucky was allegedly driving 96 miles per hour in a 70 miles per hour zone on I-69 near the Hamilton and Madison County Line. Trooper Josh Thayer made the stop just after 10:30 pm.  During Thayer's interaction with Peters, marijuana, cocaine, and controlled substance (pills), a stolen gun and drug paraphernalia was located in the vehicle. 

 

Peters was arrested and transported to the Hamilton County Jail.

Rochester Iron and Metal reopens

Rochester Iron and Metal has reopened to the public with modified procedures effective March 31st. Patrons will be asked to remain in their vehicles until time of payment and practice social distancing otherwise. We will also not be buying aluminum cans for the time being. Thank you.

Walmart announces additional steps for the health and safety of Associates

As our company and country continue to deal with the spread of COVID-19, we remain focused on the health and safety of our associates.

 

We continue to follow and communicate the CDC’s recommended guidance on behaviors like washing hands, social distancing and the cleaning of surfaces. And we have made significant operational changes in our stores, clubs, DCs and FCs this month – such as closing overnight for cleaning, starting to install sneeze guards at checkout and pharmacies, using wipes and sprayers for carts, putting in signing for social distancing and implementing a COVID-19 emergency leave policy.

 

Today we’re sharing additional steps we’re taking to promote a safe and healthy workplace.

 

Temperature Checks

As the COVID-19 situation has evolved, we’ve decided to begin taking the temperatures of our associates as they report to work in stores, clubs and facilities, as well as asking them some basic health screening questions. We are in the process of sending infrared thermometers to all locations, which could take up to three weeks.

 

Any associate with a temperature of 100.0 degrees will be paid for reporting to work and asked to return home and seek medical treatment if necessary. The associate will not be able to return to work until they are fever-free for at least three days.

 

Many associates have already been taking their own temperatures at home, and we’re asking them to continue that practice as we start doing it on-site. And we’ll continue to ask associates to look out for other symptoms of the virus (coughing, feeling achy, difficulty breathing) and never come to work when they don’t feel well.

 

Our COVID-19 emergency leave policy allows associates to stay home if they have any COVID-19 related symptoms, concerns, illness or are quarantined – knowing that their jobs will be protected.

 

Masks and Gloves

Today we are also sharing more guidance with our associates regarding masks and gloves.

While the CDC and other health officials do not recommend masks or gloves for healthy people who don't ordinarily use them for their jobs, we will make them available — as supplies permit — for associates who want to wear them.

 

The masks will arrive in 1-2 weeks. They will be high-quality masks, but not N95 respirators – which should be reserved for at-risk healthcare workers.

 

We encourage anyone who would like to wear a mask or gloves at work to ask their supervisor for them, while keeping in mind that it is still possible to spread germs while wearing them.

 

6-20-100 Guidance

This week we are also sharing a new framework with associates regarding healthy behaviors at work. We’re asking them to remember three numbers: 6, 20 and 100.

 

6 feet is the amount of space people should keep from others, when possible, to maintain social distancing.

 

20 seconds is the amount of time people should take to wash their hands with soap and water.

And 100 is the temperature that someone should stay home with.

 

We will continue to consult with health officials and experts inside and outside Walmart as this situation evolves. We greatly appreciate the work our associates are doing for customers, members, and their communities, and we will continue to prioritize their health and well-being.

Health department announces 14 new COVID-19 deaths, updates statewide case count

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) today announced that 374 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. That brings to 2,159 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s total. Forty-nine Hoosiers have died.

                                                           

To date, 13,373 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 11,658 on Monday.

 

Marion County had the most new cases, at 170, while Lake County had 50, Johnson County had 20, Hamilton County had 16, St. Joseph County had 13 and Hendricks County had 11. The complete list of counties with cases is included in the ISDH COVID-19 dashboard at coronavirus.in.gov, which will be updated daily at 10 a.m. Cases are listed by county of residence. Private lab reporting may be delayed and will be reflected in the map and count when results are received at ISDH.

 

The dashboard also has been updated to include demographics on individuals who have died and make other corrections based on updated information provided to ISDH.

 

Additional updates on the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak may be provided later today. 

Kosciusko County COVID-19 update

Kosciusko County is now reporting four positive cases of COVID-19 according to the newest data released by the Kosciusko County Health Department.

 

Officials say they have performed 111 total tests.

 

Experts want to remind everyone that once they are notified of a positive lab, they begin a case investigation. The department has been able to start investigations within the first hour, meaning they have contacted the case and have identified close contacts, as well as work/facility environments.

 

Across the state, there were 272 new positive cases on Monday, bringing the total to 1,786.

Gov. Holcomb details COVID-19 surge plan; Governor also signs executive order

Governor Eric J. Holcomb signed an executive order and detailed Indiana’s plan for the anticipated spike in COVID-19 cases.

 

To see a copy of the executive order, click here: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm

 

“We see a surge coming and we’re calling in the reinforcements, bolstering Indiana’s capacity to provide additional health care services during this emergency,” said Gov. Eric J. Holcomb. “By eliminating licensing barriers and tapping in to the available talent pool of healthcare workers, Hoosiers are staffing up and stepping up to meet this challenge head-on.”

 

The executive order allows the following professionals who do not currently hold an active license to practice:

  • medical professionals who retired or became inactive in the last five years
  • medical professionals who hold licenses in other states
  • medical professionals who held licenses in other states and retired or became inactive in the last five years
  • certain medical students and graduates

 

These professionals must register with the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency via their website at www.in.gov/pla. These professionals will be able to assist in screenings, telemedicine and other basic procedures to allow regularly licensed medical professionals to be on the frontline.

 

In Indiana, the baseline number of critical care hospital beds is 1,432. As of Monday, hospitals have already taken steps to increase the number of critical care hospital beds to 1,940. Overall, the state’s plan is to double the number, if needed, by taking existing noncritical care hospital beds, recovery rooms, operating rooms and outpatient facilities, turning them into critical care hospital beds.

 

In Indiana, the baseline number of ventilators is 1,177 ventilators. As of Monday, hospitals have identified another 750 ventilators that can be used for critical care patients. Overall, the state’s plan is to double the number, if needed, by repurposing ventilators from operating rooms, ambulatory care centers, EMS and the Indiana National Guard.

 

Additionally, the surge plan calls for moving less critical patients to alternate facilities including neighborhood hospitals, medical clinics and state-owned hospitals, such as unopened floors at the NeuroDiagnostic Institute hospital in Indianapolis and the Richmond State Hospital.

 

If needed, after all of these steps are exhausted, Indiana will be prepared to put patients in alternative facilities. The Indiana National Guard and Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with FEMA, are in charge of these plans.

 

The state of Indiana has been working on plans related to COVID-19 since January, and each hospital has a disaster plan in place. Planning has become more specific for state health and hospital officials as models of the projected impact of coronavirus became available. Based on those models, Indiana’s patient surge is expected to begin soon and the peak is expected to be mid-April to mid-May.

Fulton Co. sheriff says you won't get pulled over for essential travel

The Fulton County sheriff says there has been some confusion and questions about the executive order about essential travel.

 

Sheriff Chris Sailors details items that fall under the definition of "essential" and what law enforcement's intent is toward enforcing the order.

 

 

Visit the Fulton County Health Department website for local COVID-19 updates.

Lane restrictions scheduled for U.S. 31 in Argos

The Indiana Department of Transportation has scheduled lane restrictions for installation of a Weigh-in-Motion system on U.S. 31 in Argos between mile marker 216 and mile marker 218. This will impact travel Monday, April 6 to Wednesday, April 8.  

 

Starting at 7 a.m. on April 6, northbound and southbound traffic will have access to the outside lanes only of U.S. 31 in this stretch. Drivers will have a 10 ft. travel lane and 11 ft. shoulder, and the inside lanes will be closed. 

 

 

Starting at 7 a.m. on April 7, northbound and southbound traffic will then be shifted to the inside lanes where they will have a 10 ft. travel lane and a 4 ft. shoulder. The outside lanes will be closed.

This project is expected to be completed on Wednesday, April 8. All work is weather dependent. This project is both temperature and moisture sensitive and therefore is susceptible to delays. 

 

INDOT encourages drivers to allow extra time when driving through this area. Drivers should slow down, exercise caution and drive distraction-free through all work zones. 

Miami Correctional Facility producing masks, sanitizer, more

Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced offenders at the Miami Correctional Facility are producing face masks, personal protection gowns, face shields and hand sanitizer to be used in the fight against COVID-19.

 

“I’m pleased to have the Department of Correction joining the ranks of Hoosier businesses, large and small, stepping forward in the fight against COVID-19.  Production of these items will lessen the strain on the supply chain, leaving more of these products available for Hoosiers,” Gov. Holcomb said.

 

After the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the State of Indiana, the Department of Correction changed the mission of Indiana Correctional Industry’s (ICI) production lines at Miami Correctional Facility from offender uniforms to the production of protective equipment. This week, ICI stood up two production lines that are producing 200 protection gowns and 200 masks per day. Additionally, the shop is currently in production of 650 12-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer.

 

The Department of Correction plans to repurpose another production line at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility to expand the production of protective equipment.

 

The personal protective equipment (PPE) being made by offenders will be used by first responders and in Department of Correction facilities to allow traditional PPE to remain available for health care workers.

Marshall County business modifies equipment to produce a critical medical supply to protect first responders

Joining the ranks of Hoosiers helping Hoosiers, Nishikawa Cooper LLC. (NISCO), a full-service supplier of automotive OEM dynamic sealing systems in Marshall County, Indiana, has allocated resources and started producing and distributing a polyethylene isolation gown to help first responders stay safe in COVID-19 situations.

 

At their manufacturing facility in Marshall County, NISCO owns five multi-function laser cutters that are also commonly used in the garment industry. In the company's normal day-to-day operations the cutters are part of the process of producing their vehicle door sound dampening products.

 

Marshall County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) reported that it only took NISCO less than a week to design and begin production. Gowns are continuing to be manufactured and distributed to Indiana first responders daily. NISCO has already produced enough new gowns to distribute to every fire department in Marshall County.

 

"This is tremendous," commented Scott Ford, Associate Vice President for Economic Development at the University of Notre Dame. "The example offers a ray of hope in these trying times. NISCO's leadership provides a 'proof-of-concept' that will be so helpful in recruiting additional manufacturers to consider a similar path."

 

"The re-engineering that NISCO's pulled off is more than just genius... it's a terrific example of who we are in Marshall County, Indiana" added Jerry Chavez, President & CEO of the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation.

Click here to see how NISCO modified their manufacturing equipment to quickly produce a protective polyethylene isolation gown.

GM plant in Kokomo to make ventilators

Some much-needed medical equipment will be made right here in Indiana.

 

General Motors will manufacture ventilators at its Kokomo plant for Ventec Life Systems, the automaker announced Friday.

 

Efforts to prepare the factory to make ventilators are underway now, according to GM.

GM said it will be ready to deliver the first ventilators next month and can ramp up production to 10,000 ventilators a month, with the ability to expand production even further.

 

GM will also produce surgical masks at its plant in Warren, Michigan.

 

“We are proud to stand with other American companies and our skilled employees to meet the needs of this global pandemic,” said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO. “This partnership has rallied the GM enterprise and our global supply base to support Ventec, and the teams are working together with incredible passion and commitment. I am proud of this partnership as we work together to address urgent and life-saving needs.”

Winamac Coil Spring changes workers schedule

A Winamac company has announced a change to its schedule for workers.

 

VP – Operations Manager Chad Huber told WROI News that starting on Monday, March 30, Winamac Coil Spring will be going to a single shift. This shift will be from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM. 

 

All day and night shift employees need to report to work at 7:30 AM. 

 

Please contact the factory at 574-653-2186 if you have questions.

Rain, wind, the possibility of severe weather this weekend

You could be seeing multiple weather hazards this weekend, says the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.

 

First, rain will continue off and on Friday.

 

"There will be rain and isolated thunderstorms in the area. We can't rule out a severe thunderstorm, but for the most part, we're looking at a rainy day," says National Weather Service in Indianapolis Meteorologist Jason Puma.

 

Puma says most areas will not see severe weather Friday, but Saturday is likely a different story.

 

"On Saturday, our threats could be large hail, damaging winds, and even an isolated tornado can't be ruled out. It's going to be a progression across the entire state," says Puma.

He says the severe weather has the best chance for starting Saturday afternoon.

 

"Then it will go into the evening on Saturday. That's when we'll have the warmest air in place across the area," says Puma.

 

Warmer temperatures then make the weather conditions more likely to have heavy rain and thunderstorms. Nearly the entire state is under a slight risk for severe weather.

 

"That's except for places in the far northwest like Lafayette. They are in an enhanced risk," says Puma.

 

Enhanced risk is the third highest designation for severe weather. The next highest is moderate followed by high.

 

Sunday's forecast calls for highs in the mid to high 50s with wind gusts as high as 35 miles per hour in much of the state.

NTSB cancels April hearing; to use electronic process in Alyssa Shepherd case

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidance set by the Office of Management and Budget, the National Transportation Safety Board announced  the cancellation of the April 7 board meeting for the investigation of the fatal Oct. 30, 2018, Rochester, Indiana, crash involving four students who were crossing a high-speed road to board a school bus.

 

In lieu of the previously scheduled meeting, the board members of the NTSB will use an electronic process as detailed in existing agency policy to vote on the staff’s investigative report, which contain the probable cause, findings, and safety recommendations.

 

“NTSB puts safety first, and we believe that, during this stage of the pandemic, this approach to social distancing protects our staff and the public,” said NTSB Managing Director Sharon Bryson.

 

“Handling the investigation through this vote process is one of several ways the NTSB conducts business while maintaining its commitment to transparency in a digital process.”

 

Alyssa Shepherd, 25, was the driver in the crash that killed 6-year-old twin brothers Xzavier and Mason Ingle, and their 9-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl.

 

A jury convicted Shepherd Oct. 18 of three counts of reckless homicide, criminal recklessness and passing a school bus, causing injury. The judge sentenced her to four years in prison, three years of house arrest and three years of probation, and suspended her driver’s license for 10 years.

 

The children were struck while they crossed two-lane State Road 25 in Rochester to board the bus. A fourth child, Maverik Lowe, 11, suffered critical injuries and has had more than 20 surgeries.

 

An abstract of the final report, which will include the report’s probable cause, findings, and safety recommendations, will be available on the NTSB website when the report is approved by the Board.

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