WROI News Archives for 2020-02

Narcotics investigation leads to the arrest of six people

Recently, a two week long criminal investigation by Indiana State Police Troopers Steven Glass and Dustin Rutledge resulted in the arrests of six Peru, IN residents. Jennifer Brown, 39, Allen O’Malley, 39, Frank Stambaugh, 36, David Jones, 35, Whitney Stambaugh, 33, and Roger Edmondson Jr, 30, were incarcerated in the Miami County Jail to face criminal charges for possession of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a hypodermic needle, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Whitney Stambaugh faces an additional charge for trafficking methamphetamine. Allegedly while she was being booked into the Miami County Jail methamphetamine was found hidden on her person. Frank Stambugh has an additional charge for possession of methamphetamine, while Jones has an additional count for dealing methamphetamine.

Troopers Rutledge and Glass started an investigation after receiving a citizen’s tip about possible illegal drug activity occurring at a home on 4621 South 50 West, rural Peru.  During the course of the investigation, officers developed enough probable cause to be issued a Miami Superior Court II search warrant for the residence.

During a subsequent search, officer allegedly found approximately 20 grams of methamphetamine, marijuana, prescription medication, syringes, and drug paraphernalia. Officers also served Whitney Stambaugh with two arrest warrants. The warrants were for failure to appear from Wabash and Miami Counties.

Brown, O'Malley, Frank Stambuagh, Jones, and Edmondosn Jr were at the residence when the warrant was executed. 

This is an ongoing investigation.

Anyone who has information about illegal drug activity is encouraged to call the Indiana State Police Marijuana Tip Line at 1-888-873-1694.

All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Missing child found deceased

Emergency personnel returned Friday morning to the area of Ayden Adee’s residence to resume the search that was initiated Thursday.   Adee was the subject of a statewide Silver Alert.

 

A thorough search grid was established and teams were assigned to designated areas. At approximately 12:15 pm the deceased body of Ayden Adee was discovered in a heavily wooded area near the intersection of CR 350 E and CR 500 S.

 

At this time, there is no indication that foul play is involved. The Kosciusko County Coroner was dispatched to the scene and will be the point of contact for the cause and manner of death.

 

Earlier Friday, the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s office said deputies, along with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers, searched the Sellers Lake area throughout the day on Thursday. Officers and deputies used drone technology, search dogs and ATV's to aid with the search.

 

It is possible that Ayden had in his possession a .40 caliber handgun.

 

Assisting in the investigation and search were the following: representatives from fire Departments throughout Kosciusko County, Lutheran EMS, Nappanee Police Department and Indiana Conservation Officers.

 

The American Red Cross supplied refreshments and food, donated by McDonald’s, at the scene.

 

 

Round Barn Lab working into Rochester

Round Barn Lab has been is working at getting its feet under themselves in hopes of starting a safe workplace for Fulton County for all to enjoy.
 
President Josh Zehner says the board has working for a year to get capital together to get a location in the Rochester area.
 

 

While Round Barn Lab may still be a little ways down the road from officially opening the board is still brainstorming how to make this work as best as possible. In the beginning it appears it will be an open workspace for residents with classes eventually coming.
 

 

A fundraising goal has been set at $25,000 which can be sent to the website at www.roundbarnlab.com.

Silver Alert: Ayden Elijah Adee, Warsaw

A Statewide Silver Alert has been declared.

 

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the disappearance of Ayden Elijah Adee, a 12 year old white male, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 108 pounds, red hair with brown eyes, last seen wearing a black ball cap, black and blue coat, black vest, and blue jeans.

 

Ayden is missing from Warsaw, Indiana and was last seen on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 9:30 pm. He is believed to be in danger and may require medical assistance.

 

Personnel from the Kosciusko County Sherrif's Office along with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers have searched the Sellers Lake area throughout the day. Officers and deputies have used drone technology, search dogs and ATVs to aid with the search. It is possible that Ayden is in possession of a handgun.

 

If you have any information on Ayden Elijah Adee, contact the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office at 574-267-5667 or 911.

Fulton County Chamber of Commerce hosting communication workshop

A lack of communication can be a killer in the workplace for this reason the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce has the help you need to get everyone on the same page. 
 
Executive Director Jillian Kreamer wants to invite everyone out for a workshop a week from today to help everyone communicate effectively.
 

 

Kreamer says all the brides to be need to be in Akron for the Bridal Expo on the 29th to help find

their dream dress.

 

 

Rochester Mayor gives Acument update

A busy morning Saturday for the Legislative Breakfast informed the public of the FEDCO Board shrinking and a new salt depot coming to Fulton County to help in the harsh winters.
 
Rochester Mayor Ted Denton also had the chance to speak; when he did he wanted to give an update on the Acument building situation and a conversation he had with the CEO.
 

 

Mayor Denton says he is still hopeful for the future in Rochester as well as with the Acument building but says that selling that building can be difficult with the equipment still there.

 

 

Fulton County Commissioners approve new building code ordinance

A meeting for the Commissioners of Fulton County lasting nearly three hours as the public voiced their concern.


The big debate of the night came from the building code ordinance proposed by the area plan commission. Commissioner Steve Metzger says the time of the meeting is understandable as they wanted to make sure they answered any questions the public might have.

 

 

Metzger wants to clear up some confusion from earlier with the example of working to replace toilets in the home.

 

 

The ordinance will now head to the state level for approval.

 

Indiana Beach closed after nearly a century

Indiana Beach has officially closed for good.  White County Economic Development Director Randy Mitchell confirmed that Apex Parks Group decided to close Indiana Beach after a search for buyers ended unsuccessfully.  Apex Parks Senior Vice President Gregg Borman told Mitchell the closure was strictly for financial reasons.  The lakeside resort was originally opened in 1926 by the Spackman family, on September 1, 2015 it was announced that the park had been sold to Apex Parks Group.

 

Indiana Beach still has 27 employees, 15 in maintenance and 12 in administrative roles.  The future of their employment is uncertain at this time according to Mitchell.  Mitchell also stated that Apex Parks had closed three other amusement parks.  Apex Parks currently operates 11 parks, 9 in California and three in Florida.

FEDCO Board shrinking and new salt depot in the works for Rochester

The second installment of the Legislative Breakfast put on by the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce took place at Rochester Meat and Deli on Saturday.

 

The crowd of roughly 40 was on hand to hear from the Fulton County Commissioners and the Mayor of Rochester Ted Denton. President of the Commissioners Bryan Lewis says there are changes coming to the Fedco Board.

 

 

Steve Metzger has been working on developing a plan for salting the roads when bad weather is on the horizon. Rochester has struggled in recent memory as they have had to call ahead for salt from the surrounding area; this will no longer be the case soon as Rochester is working on getting its own salt storage depot.

 

 

Padgett family shares love of Ivy Tech

Their daughter, Elizabeth, and Ivy Tech Community College are both deeply woven into the lives of Melissa and Stephen Padgett of Kokomo. To honor both, the Padgetts are proud contributors to the #THETIMEISNOW campaign to support the transformation of the College’s Kokomo Campus.

 

Thanks to their contribution, faculty, students, and staff will be able to meet, converse, and learn in the Elizabeth Padgett Huddle Room that is part of the faculty offices in Ivy Tech Kokomo’s new Health Professions Center.

 

The family’s connection to Ivy Tech goes back nearly 29 years, when Melissa was hired to serve as regional bookstore manager. After 17 years in the bookstore, she moved through grant project accountant to director of the business office to her current position as executive director of finance. Stephen, a registered nurse since 1997 with ER experience at both local hospitals, started out as an adjunct faculty member in Nursing, Surgical Technology, and Medical Assisting. Since 2010, he has been a fulltime faculty member, teaching everything from pharmacology to medical law and ethics, along with clinical procedures for Medical Assisting students.

 

Why the investment in Ivy Tech?

 

For Melissa and Stephen, the theme is “pay it forward.” “We’ve been blessed to have been employed as part of the Ivy Tech family,” Melissa said. “We believe in Ivy Tech’s mission. When we’re out in public, students rush up to Stephen to thank him and let him know that the experiences he shared in class have really helped them in their professional careers. We’ve seen so many instances where the opportunities Ivy Tech provides has turned lives around.”

 

And the opportunity to acknowledge the gift of Elizabeth was also an important consideration to the couple.

 

Elizabeth was born 27 years ago with cerebral palsy and profound brain injury. Stephen said they were told she might not live to leave the hospital and, if she did, she would be “a vegetable.” “And so she got the nickname ‘Spud,” he said with a chuckle. So began the Padgetts’ journey in parenthood. Once they got her home, Stephen said, they began to see her develop and they ran with every improvement.

 

“We said when we knew we were having a child, we knew we’d always do whatever we could to help them have a good life,” Melissa said. “This is just a different journey than what we expected. Maybe by sharing our stories, we can help other families on their journey.”

 

While nonverbal, Elizabeth is able to communicate through looks and sounds, showing she understands and interacting with those around her. “She’s complete care, but she provides us complete joy and love as well,” Melissa said. “She has been a light in so many people’s lives.” With therapy and support, Elizabeth graduated from Kokomo High School in 2010 with a certificate of completion.

 

“Elizabeth loves to learn, to be read to,” Stephen said. “One Ivy Tech student, when she served as a caregiver, would study by reading her physiology books to her.”

 

“Our gift to the campaign is also a way to say ‘thank you’ to the entire Kokomo community,” Melissa said. “From the time we brought Elizabeth home, we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received to give her the best life she can have. The transformed Kokomo Campus will help others on their way.”

 

Kelly Karickhoff, executive director of resource development for Ivy Tech Kokomo, said, “Melissa and Stephen are such great examples of how the Ivy Tech family feels about our mission. We are incredibly grateful for the support our campus project has received from so many members of the Ivy Tech Kokomo faculty and staff.”

 

So far, Ivy Tech faculty and staff have contributed or pledged $283,451 to the capital campaign to finish the $43 million transformation project currently under way on the Kokomo campus. To find out more about this opportunity to improve education in north central Indiana, contact Karickhoff at kkarickhoff@ivytech.edu or 765-252-5501.

Two men denied hotel room in Plymouth; told coronavirus concern

Two Asian men were denied a hotel room at a Super 8 Inn as well as a Days Inn in Plymouth this week over fears of the coronavirus.

 

Kaopra Lor and his friend were looking to a place to stay for the night, according to his Facebook page. When they walked into a Days Inn, the man working the front desk told them they could not give them a room. That's when he started recording the conversation on his phone.

 

"Are you from China," the Super 8 desk worker asked.

 

"Why is that," Lor replied.

 

"You haven't heard of the coronavirus," the worker said. "It's a major problem at hotels right now. We're trying to keep the stuff from spreading.

 

The worker went on to say it was a company policy that they no give rooms to people they believe might be carrying the coronavirus. The same thing happened at the Days Inn across the street, but the owner said Lor was turned away because he was recording the conversation on his phone, reports ABC 57.

 

Lor said in his Facebook post they ended up sleep in their car for the night.

 

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, who owns both brands, but licenses the hotels out to independent owners, said it is not a policy to turn away people suspected of carrying the coronavirus and offer "sincere apologies" to Lor.

Rochester Schools in session on Presidents Day

With the weather last week coming through northern Indiana last week some changes are coming to the Rochester School schedule.

 

Riddle Elementary School Principal Luke Biernacki wants to remind parents and students that this Monday school will be in session as a snow make up day.

 

 

Riddle Elementary is working to help peak their students interest in reading and are doing so by starting a one book one school program that will wrap up towards the end of this month.

 

 

Delays and Closings for February 14, 2020

We are experiencing some delays for Friday February 14, 2020:

 

Eastern Pulaski Community Schools - 2 hour delay

 

Rochester Community Schools - 2 hour delay

 

Tippecanoe Valley High School - 2 hour delay

 

Culver Community Schools - 2 hour delay

 

Stay tuned to this post and WROI GIANT fm for more updates

Man sentenced for murder during drug deal

Sentencing for a Kosciusko County man who admitted to running a man over during a drug deal.

 

Daniel Duenas, 21, admitted to killing Derek Davidson in Warsaw in 2017, reports WSBT.

 

Duenas told police he was trying to sell marijuana when Davidson took the drugs without paying, according to WSBT. Duenas got in his car and backed over Davidson multiple times.

 

Duenas faces up to 22 years in prison.

Fulton County Commissioners to speak at Legislative Breakfast

Last month Fulton County residents gathered at Kewanna Public Library to hear from legislators this Saturday is time for the second installment of the Legislative Breakfast Series.

 

Executive Director with the Chamber Jillian Kreamer wants to see you at Rochester Meat and Deli this time around for the Legislative Breakfast this weekend.

 

 

After hearing from the Fulton County Commissioners and the Mayor of Rochester at the Legislative Breakfast, Kreamer says it is time to kick back and relax at the next business after hours.

 

 

Women in Business meet at Jarrety's

To partner, inspire, and empower. That is the goal of Women in Business with the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce.
 
Executive Director with the Chamber Jillian Kreamer says these events are usually well attended and Friday afternoon was no different, and the feedback received from this event was great.
 

 

This was not just a lecture for the women in attendance, Kreamer says when the group decided to work through a list it was an eye opening experience.
 

 

The next Women in Business event is expected to be some time in May. 

JCAP graduation in Kosciusko County

On Friday, the newest group of men in the Jail Chemical Addiction Program (JCAP) graduated after four months of classes and services. The men completed numerous courses including: MRT, parenting, Celebrate Recovery, fitness, spiritual and job readiness classes. They also received their food handlers safety certificates from ServSafe and seven of the nine men received the managers certificate as well. Four men took an additional challenge and participated in four hours of tutoring each week from Warsaw Adult Education and three passed their High School Equivalency test.

  

Nearly 70 people were in attendance for the graduation, including community leaders, Mayor Joe Thallemer, representatives from probation, community corrections and even the jail cook came; all to show their support. Class instructors shared their experiences working with the men and encouraged them to continue to work hard and reach out to them once they’re released from jail. Sheriff Dukes announced that the next women’s program will start at the end of the month and that we will be starting another men’s program in March. Running two programs at once has been a goal, and funding opportunities have finally made it possible. We would like to thank Michelle

 

Wiedenbenner for her generous donation of the men’s graduation T-shirts.

Fuel Group takes part in Adulting 101 class

Fulton County Fuel Group working to be better adults.


Fulton County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jillian Kreamer says the Adulting 101 class was a roaring success and if you were not there you certainly missed out.

 

 

This was the first course in the Adulting 101 series designed to help educate those who need it on real world living. 

 

 

For more information you can call the Chamber at 224-2666

 

 

 

Winamac Middle School principal on paid administrative leave

In a prepared statement sent to WROI GIANT fm news, Eastern Pulaski School Corpartion has announced as of February 7, 2020, the principal of Winamac Middle School is on paid administrative leave due to allegations of misconduct. The district has launched a thorough internal investigation and is cooperating with law enforcement.  Any additional comments at this time would compromise the investigation, so we ask for the public's patience.  This situation is completely unrelated to the High School investigation.  Eastern Pulaski School Corporation will release information it can as it becomes available.

Solid Waste District wants more recyclables

Fulton County Solid Waste District cleaning up the county.

 

Executive Director with Fulton County Solid Waste District Stacy Hart says there are plenty of places in the area that you can drop off your recycled goods.

 

 

Hart wants the public to be aware of the pay as you go program they offer saying it is something that can be taken advantage of 24 hours a day, just simple drop your items off. 

 

 

Zimmerman Brothers wins Member of the Month for Chamber

Fulton County Member of the Month honored by the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Director of Zimmerman Brothers Funeral Home Darin Beeker accepted the award on behalf of his staff. He says the history of Zimmerman Brothers is a rich one that goes back over 150 years. 

 

 

Roughly 15 years ago Zimmerman Brothers last received a member of the month from the chamber. Beeker says it’s good to know that all this time later the funeral home is still on the right track and still in good standing by staying positive with the community.

 

 

Zimmerman Brothers is open 8-5:30 every day but can be reached anytime by phone at 223-3712

Adoptable pets at Fulton County Animal Center

The Fulton County Animal Center has plenty of options for you to choose from for the next family pet.

 

With a total of about 5 dogs up for adoption and also plenty of cats looking for homes as well, there are multiple ways the animals end up in the center. Executive Director Janet Showley says everyone is welcome to come in and apply to adopt a furry friend. 

 

 

The holidays are always a popular time at the center for adoptions, Staff Member with the Fulton County Animal Center Jaci McCallen says there is a special event coming up for Valentine’s Day as well.

 

 

The event will be February 13-15 at the Fulton County Animal Center located at 1540 Wentzel Street in Rochester. 

Building ordinance code stirs up Commissioner meeting

Building code ordinance heated topic at Commissioners Meeting.


The new building code ordinance would drop the price from $5,000 to $1,500 for you to need to get a permit for the work being done on your property. A Fulton County resident who wishes to remain anonymous expressed his concern.
 


Joyce Zartman shares a story of friends who needed to replace a toilet in their home, and for replacing just the one toilet it took a big bite out of their funds.
 


The discussion was eventually tabled and will be readdressed at the next commissioners meeting.

 

Livestock struggles with changing temps

While we look forward to the warmer temps it can have a negative effect on livestock.


Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow on Groundhogs Day meaning an early spring is on the way, and for the first time in 2020 Monday we saw temperatures rise above 60 in Fulton County. Mark Kepler with the Purdue Extension Office says while we look forward to the warmer temperatures for the live stock it can mean bad news.

 

 

While these temperatures may not be ideal for live stock it is prime weather for maple syrup harvesters in Fulton County.

 

 

Gary Clevenger Jr. resigns

Phyllis Biddinger, Fulton County Democratic Chair, received Gary Clevenger Jr.'s resignations from Precinct 1 City Councilman and Precinct 1 Committeeman effective 2/1/2020.  The Democrats are actively looking for a replacement.  The Chair has 30 days to appoint a candidate, who must reside in Precinct 1.

Warsaw Police, community, mourning loss of Jason Dobbins

The Warsaw Police Department has lost one of its own.  Jason Dobbins, 50, an officer who has been with the department since 2012, passed away following complications from surgery.

 

He had been suffering from a critical heart condition while on duty on January 24th, a release from the department said Dobbins was an officer for 16 years, beginning with the Plymouth Police Department and worked for them from 2004 to 2012 before joining the department in Warsaw.

 

He was also part of the Warsaw Dive Team and served as one of the members always on call for any situation on or under water.

 

Memorial and funeral services are currently pending.

Drug Court on its way to Fulton County

Rochester Courts are looking at starting up drug court for those ready to get life back on the right track.


Judge Greg Heller in Rochester is surprised that it has taken Fulton County this long to start up a drug court. He says they have been around for a while now around the state of Indiana including in the surrounding counties.

 

 

With counties around Fulton County already having drug courts up and running Heller says it was extremely helpful to visit the surrounding drug courts to see what works and what doesn’t.

 

 

Drug court is intended to help those who want help, for this reason it is a voluntary course to take to get back on track with this 12 month program. An individual must have pending felony charges, as well as have some department of corrections time on the line to apply.

 

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