WROI News Archives for 2019-09

Silver Alert involves Plymouth couple

A Statewide Silver Alert has been declared.

 

The Plymouth Police Department is investigating the disappearance of William Wallace, an 80 year old white male, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 170 pounds, gray hair with blue eyes and driving a gray 2014 Ford Focus with Indiana license plate number TF644.

 

Wallace is in the company of Jane Wallace, an 80 year old white female, 5 feet 1 inch tall, 100 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes.

 

 

William Wallace is missing from Plymouth.  He was last seen on Sunday, at 9:00 am. He is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance.

 

Anyone with information should call the Plymouth Police Department at 574-936-3187 or 911.

ISP Trooper able to save Georgia boy, 5, from choking

An Indiana State Police trooper was able to utilize his training to save the life of a five-year-old Georgia boy.

 

Indiana State Police Trooper Ben Reason was driving to his Fulton County home, from a day of police K-9 training in Indianapolis, when the Miami County Central Dispatch Center broadcasted an unconscious and unresponsive five-year-old boy. The child was inside a minivan that stopped on U.S. 31 near Miami County Road 900 North. Trooper Reason responded to the call for help, arriving approximately 30 seconds after the dispatch.

 

Trooper Reason approached the minivan and found Maddox Gates, 5, of Marietta, GA being held by his mother. Maddox’s eyes were rolled back in his head and his jaw was clenched shut and could not be opened. He was also turning blue. Trooper Reason did a quick assessment on the child and preliminarily determined Maddox had an airway obstruction. Reason then performed the Heimlich maneuver on the child, causing the child to throw up whatever was lodged in his throat. Reason continued to clear the child’s mouth and Maddox slowly became more responsive.  Reason continued to monitor the child until firefighters from the Denver Volunteer Fire Department arrived and provided oxygen and further care. The boy was transported by ambulance to Dukes Memorial Hospital in Peru.

 

Maddox’s family was traveling through Indiana, returning home, from a family vacation in Michigan.

 

According to Maddox’s dad, Maddox has been released from the hospital and is doing well. They are continuing their trip home today.

 

Trooper Reason has served seven years with the Indiana State Police. He is assigned to the Indiana State Police Special Operations Section as K-9 handler for the Special Weapons and Tactics Teams (SWAT).

 

Troopers receive first aid training every two years, which includes cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the Heimlich maneuver.

Car - bicycle fatality investigated in Pulaski Co.

A car – bicycle crash that resulted in the death of the rider remains under investigation in Pulaski County.

 

Just before 8:00 am Tuesday, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office responded to a crash on County Road 500 South, west of U.S. Highway 421, that resulted in the death of a bicyclist who was struck by a motor vehicle.

The initial investigation determined that a 2008 Lincoln MKX driven by a 17-year old female was traveling eastbound on County Road 500 South, west of U.S. Highway 421, near Francesville. The vehicle struck Agustin Roman Fabian, 37, of Francesville who was riding a bicycle eastbound on the southside of the roadway.

Fabian was assisted at the scene by Francesville EMS, Francesville First Responders and Samaritan Medical Transport before being transported to Rensselaer. Fabian sustained fatal injuries in the collision and was pronounced deceased at Franciscan Health Rensselaer by the emergency room doctor.

The driver of the vehicle stopped at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation.

This is an ongoing investigation by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Pulaski County Prosecutor’s Office and Jasper County Coroner’s Office.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office at (800) 283-3341.

RV industry slowdown; big show in Indy this weekend

The RV industry is facing a slowdown, but Kevin Renfro, who's business puts on the Boat & RV Show in Indianapolis, says RV dealers aren't worried. 

 

Renfro compared it to how the boat industry took a hit back in 2008.

 

 

However, the RV slowdown could mean good news for you.  Renfro says RV dealers have lots of units right now so they’re anxious to make room for the new units.

 

Eight out of ten RVs are made in Elkhart, making the city the RV Capital of the World.

 

He says if you are looking to buy new or trade in, the Boat & RV Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds this weekend may be the place to do it. He says a lot of the RV dealers are looking to make deals to make room on their lots.

 

The 32nd Annual Boat & RV Show is Sept. 27 through Sept. 29. Early bird tickets go on sale this Thursday.

Series of North Judson fires connected to federal mail fraud

A Kouts man was sentenced for mail fraud.

 

Michael Thomas, 42, of Kouts, was sentenced before a United States District Court Judge for three counts of mail fraud.

 

Thomas was sentenced to 90 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release. 

Thomas was charged in 2018 with four counts of mail fraud for his role in a scheme to defraud insurance companies by arson fires.  On September 28, 2018, a jury found him guilty of all counts. 

 

The court also ordered him to pay restitution to State Farm Insurance Company of more than $400, 000 and to Foremost Insurance Company of over $115, 000.

 

According to documents in this case, from 2004 through 2013, Thomas and others executed a scheme to defraud insurance companies by setting fires to mobile homes in a mobile home park located in North Judson.  Thomas and associates submitted insurance claims immediately after the fires resulting in insurance payouts totaling over $600, 000 .

 

The first fire occurred on September 17, 2004, at a mobile home owned and occupied by Thomas.  In November 2010, several more fires occurred: a home and garage owned by Thomas and his wife; another home; and two unoccupied mobile homes not owned by Thomas.

 

In the early part of 2013, still another mobile home owned by Thomas caught fire.

 

Finally, on April 16, 2013, firefighters extinguished a fire at Thomas’ 2691 Julia Drive property, but firefighters needed to return several hours later to extinguish another fire at the home. 

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service with the assistance of the Indiana State Fire Marshal and the Indiana State Police.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silver Alert: James Runkle, Starke County

A statewide Silver Alert was issued Saturday.

 

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the disappearance of James Runkle, a 56 year old white male, 6 feet 2 inches tall, 210 pounds, bald head with brown eyes.

 

He was last seen wearing a green shirt and camo pants, and driving a black 2004 Chevy Silverado pickup truck with an orange kayak in the back and Indiana license plate BLT662.

 

 

Runkle is missing from North Judson and was last seen on Friday, at 7:00 am.

 

If you have any information on James Runkle, contact the Starke County Sheriff’s Department at 574-772-3771, option 1 or 911.

Donato sworn in as state senator for District 18

It’s now official.  State Senator - elect Stacey Donato (R-Logansport) became the state senator for Indiana Senate District 18 after taking the oath of office.

 

Donato fills the position previously held by State Sen. Randy Head, who resigned last month to become Chief Prosecutor for Pulaski County. She will finish the remainder of Head’s term, serving Cass, Fulton and Miami counties, as well as portions of Carroll, Kosciusko, and Marshall counties.

 

Outside of public service, Donato has more than 30 years of professional experience in automotive dealership accounting and is an independent accountant for several local businesses.

 

She is also active in her community, serving multiple organizations.

 

She and her husband live in Logansport, and have two adult children and two grandchildren. 

 

You can contact Donato by phone at 317-232-9400, by email at Senator.Donato@iga.in.gov or by mail at 200 W. Washington, St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.

 

Her virtual office may be found online at www.IndianaSenateRepublicans.com/Donato.

Security increases at Fulton County Courthouse

Getting into the Fulton County Courthouse may be a little more restrictive than it once was but it’s in the interest of public safety.

 

County Commissioner Steve Metzger says new security measures are in effect.

 

 

The move comes with the wrap-up of the recent concrete and limestone project around the courthouse.

 

It also comes as Fulton County prepares to host the Alyssa Shepherd trial next month.

 

 

Security measures recently also include a weapons ban at the courthouse.  Guns, knives, etc. will be confiscated if they are found on anyone trying to make courthouse entry.

Fulton County Council looks to adopt higher local tax rate

Planning for the future of a new jail the Fulton County Council is looking to increase the local income tax rate.

 

Fulton County Councilman Barry Hazel explains the ordinance that passed two readings this week.

 

 

Hazel says the per bed costs of operating the jail are expected to go down.  However, bigger jail means more beds and more inmates.

 

 

The Fulton County Council will hold a third reading at the October meeting.

 

 

That meeting of the county council will be on October 15.

Silver Alert for Rochester woman cancelled overnight

A Silver Alert issued Tuesday for Logan Renee Hatfield, 20, of Rochester, was cancelled at 12:45 am.  

 

92.1 WROI GIANT fm News is seeking more information at this time.

 

Tuesday's original release

 

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the disappearance of Logann Renee Hatfield, a 20 year old white female, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 110 pounds, brown hair with brown eyes, with “Brianna” and a rose tattoo on her left ankle and "an alien" on her right shoulder, and driving a red 2003 Ford Focus with a broken rear windshield covered with plexi glass and duct tape with Indiana license plate number 787YGH.

 

Logann is missing from Rochester, Indiana and was last seen on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 10:30 pm. She is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance.

Rochester woman focus of Silver Alert

A Statewide Silver Alert has been declared.

 

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the disappearance of Logann Renee Hatfield, a 20 year old white female, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 110 pounds, brown hair with brown eyes, with “Brianna” and a rose tattoo on her left ankle and "an alien" on her right shoulder, and driving a red 2003 Ford Focus with a broken rear windshield covered with plexi glass and duct tape with Indiana license plate number 787YGH.

 

Logann is missing from Rochester, Indiana and was last seen on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 10:30 pm. She is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance.

 

If you have any information on Logann Renee Hatfield, contact the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-419-2819 or 911.

Nutella, diesel spill, shut down I-94 in LaPorte County Monday night

Westbound lanes of I-94 in LaPorte County were shut down for a couple of hours Monday night due to a "sugary" semi crash.

 

Indiana State Police say around 9:30 p.m., a semi carrying 44,000 pounds of Nutella rolled over, blocking the interstate. The driver, who was not injured, said a car in front of him "slammed on his brakes" which caused him to brake hard, and lose control of the semi.

 

Not only was Nutella spilled over the interstate, but police say 150 gallons of diesel leaked on to the road as well.

Cass County Judge Richard Maughmer killed in accident

A Cass County judge was killed Monday when the car he was working on fell on top of him.

 

Judge Richard Maughmer, 65, was trapped under a vehicle in a barn in the 8000 block of Cass County Road 500 East.  He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

 

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Public Information Officer Kathryn Dolan released the following statement:

 

Long-time Cass County Judge Richard Maughmer died at his home Monday in a tragic accident.

 

Judge Maughmer was a dedicated public servant who was elected to office in 2001.

 

Chief Justice Loretta Rush has known Judge Maughmer for over 30 years. She said, “Judge Maughmer was one of the finest judges that I have ever known. He was a wonderful person, and he served his state and his country well. As Chair of the Judicial Administration Committee, he led the entire judicial branch in a time and efficiency study. He worked with professionalism and enthusiasm to help us consider how to improve the administration of justice. The judicial branch shares in the grief of Judge Maughmer’s family, including his wife, Vicki, and their children.” 

 

Judge Maughmer was featured in 2012 in the Indiana Court Times magazine. The profile shows his dedication on the bench, military service, and his personal side.  A few other important biographical details include:

  • Completed Judicial College 2008
  • Attended Graduate Program for Indiana Judges 2011/12
  • Committee Service:
  • Board of Directors of the Judicial Conference of Indiana (at large member 2016-2018)
  • Judicial Administration Committee (appointed 2010, chair since 2013)
  • Member of the Ethics & Professionalism Committee (2001-2007)
  • Member of the Indiana Judges Association Board of Managers
  • Recently appointed to the Indiana Judges Association Civil Instructions Committee

 

The Office of Judicial Administration is working with Cass County judges to ensure a pro tem appointment is made so court business continues.

 

One dead, one injured in two-vehicle crash Monday

A Silver Lake man was killed in a two-vehicle crash Monday.

 

Just after 5:00 pm Monday officers from the Indiana State Police, the Akron Town Marshal’s Office, and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department responded to a two-vehicle crash on State Road 19 at Division Road.

 

The preliminary crash investigation revealed that Joseph Frances Cosgrove, 65, of Silver Lake, was driving a 2006 Chrysler mini-van westbound on Division Road, approaching State Road 19. Cosgrove allegedly failed to stop for a stop sign at State Road 19, and pulled into the path of a northbound 2002 Chevrolet Silverado. The Chevrolet, which was driven by Matthew B. Haussmann, 39, of Rochester, struck the mini-van in the driver’s side door.

 

Cosgrove was pronounced dead at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash. Haussmann was flown from the crash scene, via medical helicopter, to a Ft Wayne hospital. He suffered head trauma and a leg injury.

 

This crash is still under investigation.  Neither the use of alcohol nor narcotics is suspected as having contributed to the crash.

Possible E-coli contamination prompts flour recall

General Mills has issued a voluntary recall for certain five-pound bags of its Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour because of possible E. coli contamination.

 

The flour has a best-by date of Sept. 6, 2020.

 

General Mills said the presence of E. Coli was detected during random sampling of the product.

 

If you own any of the recalled flour, you should throw it away or return it to the store for a refund.

 

This is the second recall of unbleached Gold Medal flour in the last eight months. In January, General Mills took the product off of store shelves due to possible salmonella contamination.

 

Visit www.generalmills.com/flour for more information.

Governor Eric Holcomb directs flags to be flown at half-staff to honor Cass County's Sabatini

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags in Cass County to be flown at half-staff to honor the life of former state Rep. Robert N. “Bob” Sabatini.

 

Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Tuesday, September 17.

 

Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents in Cass County to lower their flags to half-staff to honor Rep. Sabatini.

 

ISP investigating Wabash County fatal accident

A Wabash County fatal accident remains under investigation. 

 

Indiana State Police and North Manchester Police responded to the two vehicle crash on Wabash County Road 1050 North east of State Road 15 Thursday afternoon.

 

Zachary Smith, 29, of Claypool, was driving a 2017 Harley Davidson motorcycle eastbound on County Road 1050 North.  For an undetermined reason, the motorcycle crossed the center line, entered the westbound lane and continued into the north side ditch.

 

Peter Iseton, 50, of Silver Lake, was driving a Ford Ranger westbound when the motorcycle crossed into his path. He attempted to avoid hitting the motorcycle by turning into the north side ditch, but he could not avoid the motorcycle. After impact, Smith was ejected from the motorcycle.

 

Smith died at the scene. Iseton was not injured.

 

Indiana State Police say this is an ongoing investigation, but neither alcohol nor drugs is suspected.

 

Health officials urge precautions against mosquitoes as rare virus is detected in northern Indiana

State health officials are urging Indiana residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites in response to the detection of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus activity in northern Indiana.

 

Since mid-August of this year, three horses and one group of mosquitoes from Elkhart County have tested positive for EEE virus. No human cases of EEE virus disease have been reported in Indiana in 2019; however, three human cases have been reported in southwest Michigan this year, one of which was fatal.

 

“EEE, or triple-E, virus is rare but extremely serious. It can cause long-term complications and even death,” said Jennifer Brown, D.V.M., M.P.H., state public health veterinarian at the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). “You can protect yourself from EEE virus and other viruses by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites whenever you spend time outdoors. You can also reduce the risk for yourself and your neighbors by eliminating mosquito breeding sites from your property.”

 

State health officials recommend the following preventive measures:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning)
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on clothes and exposed skin
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home

 

You can eliminate mosquito breeding sites from your property by doing the following:

  • Discard old tires, tin/aluminum cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water
  • Repair failed septic systems
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed
  • Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains
  • Frequently replace the water in pet bowls
  • Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with predatory fish

 

While rare, EEE virus can cause serious illness and has a fatality rate of about 33 percent in people. Many people who recover may still experience long-term complications. Symptoms of EEE virus disease include chills, fever, body aches and joint pain. Some people develop a more severe form of the disease that affects the nervous system and causes encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). People who are younger than 15 years and older than 50 years are at the greatest risk of severe disease if infected with EEE virus. People who think they may have EEE virus disease should see a healthcare provider.

 

To see the latest results of ISDH’s mosquito surveillance program, go to https://gis.in.gov/apps/ISDH/Arbo/. To learn more about EEE virus, visit the ISDH website at https://www.in.gov/isdh/28258.htm.

Rochester's American Grill closed by health department

A Rochester restaurant was closed by the Fulton County Health Department.

 

Dawn Risten, Food Service Inspector / Emergency Preparedness Coordinator,  stated in a prepared statement that the American Grill, 835 N. State Road 25, was closed September 11, due to operating without a Food Service Permit. To open a new restaurant in Fulton County, the Indiana State Department of Health rules and Fulton County Food Ordinance have to be followed. In order for American Grill to open they need to correct all violations from previous inspection, have a pre-operational inspection and obtain an annual Food Service Permit from the Fulton County Health Department.

 

Risten's release goes on to say that there is no time frame from the Fulton County Health Department to have this done nor have they been given a time frame from the owner of the American Grill that it will be ready for the pre-operational inspection to obtain a Food Service Permit at this time.

 

 

Flags to half-staff on September 11

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags at state facilities across Indiana to be flown at half-staff in honor of Patriot Day.

 

Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, September 11, 2019.

 

Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents statewide to lower their flags to half-staff in remembrance of the victims of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

Alyssa Shepherd trial remains on schedule for October 15

The trial for a woman charged with striking four children and killing three  in Fulton County remains on target for October.

 

Fulton County Prosecutor Michael Marrs sent word to the media a few more motions will be filed and that the October 15 trial date remains on schedule.  Marrs says that he is under a gag order involving the case and couldn't offer further comment on Tuesday's pre-trial conference at the Fulton County Courthouse.  

 

Shepherd allegedly struck and killed Alivia Stahl, 9, and her twin half brothers, Xzavier and Mason Ingle, age 6. Another boy, Maverik Lowe, 11, was also hit, but survived.

 

Shepherd faces over 20 years in prison if convicted.

 

 

 

Kroger recall of yellowfin tuna steaks due to scombroid poisoning

If you recently bought yellowfin tuna steaks at a Kroger store in Indiana, you might need to throw them away.

 

Yellowfin tuna steaks from the seafood counter or seasoned yellowfin tuna steaks in store-prepped styrofoam trays may cause scombroid poisoning, according to the FDA.

 

The tuna steaks have sell-by dates between Aug. 29 and Sept. 14.

 

Scombroid poisoning is caused by eating fish that has not been properly refrigerated or preserved. Improper storage causes bacteria to grow and produce Scombroid toxin, which can cause symptoms similar to an allergic reaction.

 

Symptoms usually develop within an hour of eating contaminated fish and can include:

 

- Flushing of the face

- Headache

- Itching

- Blurred Vision

- Abdominal Cramps

- Nausea

- Diarrhea

 

If you develop symptoms of scombroid poisoning, call your doctor. Most people recover within several hours, but symptoms can linger for several days.

 

Kroger has agreed to remove all yellowfin tuna steaks from their stores in Indiana, according to the FDA. If you bought the tuna steaks in question, you should throw them away immediately.

Pulaski Co. Courthouse back open Monday following suspicious device Friday

The Pulaski County Courthouse opened normally Monday following a Friday that was anything but normal.

 

A suspicious device was located inside the courthouse Friday morning by the county’s maintenance department.  It was found concealed in a public restroom in the courthouse basement.

 

The Indiana State Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) responded.  No explosives were found.

 

The rest of the courthouse was searched with nothing suspicious found.

 

During the investigation, Pulaski County offices at the courthouse and annex were closed for employee safety.

 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Winamac Police Department at (574) 946-4800 or the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office at (574) 946-6655.

Donato chosen to fill District 18 Senate seat

The choice of the man who left Indiana’s District 18 Senate seat was named Monday to succeed him.

 

The Indiana Republican Party caucus at the Miami County Community Building was held Monday to fill the District 18 seat left empty by Randy Head. Head stepped down to become Chief Deputy Prosecutor of Pulaski County.

 

Cass County Councilwoman Stacey Donato received the 42nd vote needed in a fifth and final vote of precinct committeemen.  The evening started with 82 precinct committeemen signed in so candidates had to receive 50%, plus one vote, to win. If no candidate received a majority vote on the first ballot, the person with the lowest number of votes dropped out, and voting continued until a winner was declared.

 

 

She appreciates the support and endorsement from the 11-year state senator, Head.

 

 

Donato will now fill the remainder of the term and says State Representative Ethan Manning from Peru will be there to help her get up and running.  Then, she can run decide to run for the office in the next election cycle.

 

District 18 serves Miami, Cass and Fulton counties, and portions of Carroll, Kosciusko and Marshall counties.

Senate District 18 caucus candidates set

The final roster of candidates vying to fill the remainder of former State Senator Randy Head's term has been set.

 

The caucus will be held on Monday, September 9, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. at the Miami County 4-H Community Building located at 1029 W. 200 N., Peru, IN 46970.

 

The candidates are:
 

Jacob Adams
Stacey Donato
Brian Fitzwater
Timothy Miller
Amy Roe
Jeff Staker


Doors open at 6 p.m. with the caucus beginning at 6:30 p.m. A Facebook Live Stream will be available at www.facebook.com/indgop for members of the public who wish to watch the caucus live.

Caucus Process
The caucus will be presided over by Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Kyle Hupfer. Each candidate will be recognized in alphabetical order and given two minutes for someone to speak on their behalf as a way of introduction and three minutes to speak on their own behalf.

 

Votes cast will be done by secret ballot and tallied by two tellers designated by the State Chairman. Each candidate may designate one person to serve as a watcher on the candidate’s behalf during the tabulation of votes.

 

If a majority of 50 percent plus 1 of eligible voters present and voting is reached on the first ballot, a winner will be declared. If no candidate receives a majority vote on the first ballot, the person (or persons in the case of a tie) with the lowest number of votes will be dropped and a second ballot conducted. This process will continue until a candidate receives the required majority vote.

On Monday night a candidate will be chosen at a Republican caucus to replace State Senator Randy Head in District 18.  Rochester resident Amy Roe will be one of those candidates to be considered at the caucus in Peru.

 

Head stepped down to become Chief Deputy Prosecutor in Pulaski County. 

 

Roe says public service has been her goal and this opportunity altered her plans somewhat.

 

 

Born and raised in Fulton County, Roe graduated from Rochester HS in 1998.

 

Locally, Roe has worked as Executive Director of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce and  President of Fulton County H.O.P.E. (Healing through Opportunity, Positivity and Empowerment).

 

Roe says running for the District 18 seat when election time comes may be something she considers whether chosen in this caucus or not.

 

 

The caucus will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday,  at the Miami County 4-H Community Building.
The individual selected at the September 9 caucus will fill the remainder of Sen. Randy Head's term. 

Indiana health officials report first vaping-related death

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has confirmed the first death of an Indiana resident due to severe lung injury linked to a history of e-cigarette use or “vaping.”

 

The death, which occurred in an individual older than age 18, was confirmed Sept. 5 as part of an investigation involving health officials at the local and federal levels and in surrounding states. No additional details about the patient will be provided due to privacy laws.

 

Indiana is investigating 30 cases of severe lung injury linked to vaping. Eight of those have been confirmed. The majority of the Indiana cases have occurred among individuals ages 16-29. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says more than 215 cases have been reported, with more under investigation.

 

“The tragic loss of a Hoosier and rising number of vaping-related injuries are warnings that we cannot ignore,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “We know that these products typically contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, and many cases report inhaling THC and other substances not available in commercial products. While it is unclear what substances are causing injury, when you use these products with other chemicals, you may not know everything that you’re inhaling and the harm it can cause.”

 

Dr. Box said many patients across the U.S. have developed severe symptoms that required emergency intervention and urged anyone who has vaped within the last 90 days and develops respiratory symptoms to stop using these products and see a healthcare professional immediately.

 

Symptoms can include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea

 

ISDH is working with affected individuals and their families to obtain products used by the patients and send them to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing. At this time, no common substance has been identified in the Indiana cases.

 

The use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, among young people is a rising public health crisis across the U.S. The 2018 Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey (IYTS) found that vaping has increased 387 percent among high school students and 358 percent among middle school students since 2012 and that between 2016 and 2018, nearly 35,000 more Indiana students began using e-cigarettes.

 

In response, Dr. Box and Governor Eric J. Holcomb last week announced a $2 million plan to combat youth vaping that focuses on training and education for schools, parents and students, a youth-focused text-to-quit program and a statewide vaping awareness campaign.

 

Parents and educators who want to learn more about ways to protect Indiana youth from the dangers of vaping are urged to visit vapefreeindiana.isdh.in.gov.

 

For the latest on vaping-related injuries nationwide, visit the CDC website.

State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell formally launches campaign for the 5th Congressional District

Cass County’s first female county commissioner is ready to run for Congress.

 

Indiana State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell has announced her intent to seek the Republican nomination for Congress in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District.

 

The 5th District takes the north side of Indianapolis as well as its eastern and northern suburbs, including Marion, Carmel, Anderson, Noblesville, Fishers, and parts of Kokomo.  It’s currently represented by Susan Brooks.

 

Kelly was elected as the first female County Commissioner in Cass County and the youngest county commissioner in the state.  She served two terms.

 

She was elected Indiana State Treasurer in 2014 and re-elected in 2018 with nearly 59 percent of the vote.

Fulton County investigation yields rape charge against North Judson man

A North Judson man has been charged with rape in Fulton County.

 

Brandon Conner, 29, is charged with raping a woman in a bathroom at a home in the northeastern part of the county.  The probable cause affidavit states the woman told Conner to stop.  The woman says Conner made another attempt later she was able to fend off.  The report of the incident was made in March.

 

Back in the spring of 2011 Indiana State Police reported Conner, then 20 years old, was arrested on charges of rape and sexual misconduct with a minor.  The report stated that Conner invited a 14-year-old girl to his home and wouldn’t let her leave while committing sexual acts.

 

The plea agreement in that case convicted Conner of sexual misconduct while dropping a felony count of rape.

Gas City girl found deceased

Indiana State Police issued the following information related to the search for a missing Gas City girl:

 

About 3:00 am Wednesday the four day search for missing 10-year-old Skylea Carmack came to a tragic end. Skylea’s body was located in a shed behind her Gas City home. She was hidden inside a plastic trash bag.

 

Amanda Carmack, 34, was arrested for the murder of Skylea Carmack, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, domestic battery resulting in death, and strangulation. She is currently incarcerated at the Grant County Jail. Amanda Carmack was Skylea’s step mother.

 

Preliminary evidence indicates Skylea was killed approximately between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., on Saturday, August 31. Preliminary evidence indicates she was strangled. An autopsy will be conducted to verify her cause of death. 

 

The Indiana State Police was assisted by multiple law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and community volunteers during the search for Skylea. The various agencies provided equipment, manpower, intelligence gathering, and a host of other needed resources in an effort to find her. The agencies are too many to list in a press release, but their assistance was greatly appreciated.  

 

 

ORIGINAL RELEASE - September 1, 2019

 

A Statewide Silver Alert has been declared.

 

The Indiana State Police is investigating the disappearance of Skylea Rayn Carmack, a 10 year old white female, 5 feet tall, 100 pounds, blonde hair with blue eyes, last seen wearing a black shirt with Mario and Luigi, black pants with red design or cherries, teal high top tennis shoes and may be carrying a pink backpack, blanket with puzzle pieces on it and a pillow.  Skylea may answer to Sky or Boog.

 

Skylea is missing from Gas City, Indiana which is 78 miles northeast of Indianapolis and was last seen on Saturday, August 31, 2019 at 4:00 pm. She is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance.

 

If you have any information on Skylea Rayn Carmack, contact the Indiana State Police at 765-473-6666, Gas City Police Department at 765-674-2278 or 911.

Dozens of people arrested at on-the-river party

More than two dozen people were arrested on the Tippecanoe River by law enforcement in Pulaski County.

 

Indiana Conservation Officers did a patrol along the river, after receiving numerous complaints about a large group of people littering and doing other criminal activity.  Officers found the large group of people, all under the age of 21, floating on tubes and drinking alcohol.

 

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Department and the Winamac Police Department were called in to help, and they arrested 27 people, all charged with minor consumption of alcohol.

 

ne person was also charged with possession of marijuana.

 

They were all taken to the Pulaski County Jail.

Public's help requested in McKenna Road death investigation

A dead man found on the road has the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department looking for answers and requesting the public’s help.

 

Just before 5:00 am Monday the Kosciusko County 911 Communications Center received a call regarding an unresponsive man lying on McKenna Road near EMS B32 Lane. 

 

 

 

The location is near JT’s Lakeside Campground.

 

The victim has been identified as Ty Sawyer Lee Brown, 20, of Indianapolis.   The manner and cause of Brown’s death are currently pending the results of an autopsy conducted at the Northeast Indiana Forensic Center. 

 

It’s been determined that the Brown left Barbee Landing on foot about 2:30 am.

 

Brown is described as 6 feet tall, 140 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes.

 

Anyone with information or who lives in the area with home security footage is asked to call Detective Sergeant Josh Spangle or Detective Neil Likens at 574-267-5667.

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