WROI News Archives for 2020-08

Warsaw man killed in head-on crash Thursday

A Warsaw man died following a head-on crash on Old SR-15, near Milford, IN, in Kosciusko County Thursday.

 

Around 1:30 p.m., on August 27, troopers responded to a head-on crash that occurred on Old SR-15 just south of CR1300 North. Preliminary investigation indicates that a 2000 Maxima travelling southbound on Old SR-15 crossed the center line and collided head-on with a 2016 Jeep traveling northbound that was being driven by Lindsay Senders, 34 of Warsaw.

 

The driver of the Nissan, Aaron Ross, 49, died while being treated at the scene. Senders was transported to Lutheran Hospital in Ft. Wayne with serious injuries.

 

Toxicology results are pending. This is an ongoing investigation.

Hurricane Laura to bring some impact into Indiana; cooler temps this weekend

Hurricane Laura weakened as it made landfall in the Gulf Coast Wednesday night.

 

Then, it will track north, weakening as it moves over land, but still bringing wind, rain and flooding.

 

Meteorologist Marcus Bailey says Indiana could see some remnants this weekend, but don't expect anything too crazy.

 

 

He says the areas along the Ohio River could still see an inch or two of rain, but central Indiana will see scattered rain chances Friday and Saturday, and shouldn't total more than an inch.

 

Bailey adds that once the rain moves out, we'll see a break from the heat.

 

"Once we clear all that rain out, which we expect to happen at some point Saturday, you're going to get much more refreshing air," he said. "You're looking at highs in the mid-80s to end the work week with those rain chances. Then lower 80s on Saturday, and then, as of right now, Sunday looks wonderful. The sun comes back out, and temperatures may not even hit 80 degrees."

Lilly Scholarship deadline nears

The Fulton County Community Foundation has many scholarship opportunities available.

 

Brian Johnson reminds high school seniors there is still time for the Lilly application.

 

 

 

Johnson explains what the Lilly Scholarship winner gets and what the qualifications are.

 

 

 

Rochester school safety shifts from Covid-19 to possible release of defendants who posed threat

As school gets back in motion for Rochester coming off of a Covid-19 delay, the safety of the schools took a different turn this week.

 

Bond has been set for defendants charged with conspiracy to commit murder and intimidation after an investigation into their alleged involvement in a threat against a Rochester school in July.

 

Bail for defendant John Lawrence Schultz, 18, was set at $50,000 Surety.  Upon Schultz posting bail he would be placed on in-home detention with electronic monitoring via Fulton County Community Corrections.  Schultz IV, 18, and Donald Victor Robin Jr., 17, were arrested after they allegedly made threats to a school.

 

Schultz has been held at the Fulton County Jail. Robin has been held at a juvenile holding center. Robin was automatically waived into an adult court due to the severity of the charges against him.

 

Rochester Superintendent of Schools Jana Vance responded with the following e-mail:

 

The entire school staff, from teachers to administrators, from bus drivers to SRO work on school safety and make plans so that we are able to recognize threats that may come.  The safety of all is our top priority. 

 

I have been notified that bond has been set for those who had threatened the school.  Please note that setting bond and being released on bond are two separate issues.  Please know that law enforcement and the Prosecutor's Office continue to work with and support the school.

 

We have had and continue to have safety plans in place for incidents such as this.  Teachers and staff have been trained in safety protocols such as ALICE.   We do not release detailed plans in their entirety as that compromises what it is we do in and throughout the district.

 

We are thankful for the presence of the Sheriff's Department before school and after school at Riddle.  They were there to help with the flow and control of traffic for the safety of students as we are just beginning a new year. 

 

Should it come to a point that we feel we cannot safeguard all students, I would notify parents and the community and we would go to total virtual learning. 

 

We appreciate your continued support as we work diligently to provide every student a safe and supportive environment to be educated.

 

Jana K. Vance, Ed.S

Superintendent

Rochester Community School Corporation

 

A pretrial conference is scheduled for Monday, August 31.

Mammoth Solar granted special exception by Pulaski Co. BZA

A solar farm is to be built in Pulaski County.

 

The project brought forth by Mammoth Solar would see solar panels installed on 4500 acres in Pulaski County. The project had been tabled by the county's zoning appeals board because they felt more time was needed to study the impacts on the area.

 

Some against the project feel the land is much better suited to be used for agricultural purposes instead of solar energy. The zoning board gave its blessing for the project to move forward Monday night.

Fatal accident on US 30 Friday

Multiple emergency units were dispatched to a two-vehicle collision on US 30 at CR 325 E, Friday evening.

 

The preliminary results of the investigation, conducted by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Fatal Team, indicate that a 2007 Ford Fusion, driven by Richard Anderson, 85, of Warsaw, was traveling southbound on CR 325 E.  As the Fusion crossed the eastbound lanes of US 30, it was struck on the passenger side by the front end of a 2015 Toyota Tacoma, driven by James Lewis, 61, of Huntington.

 

Both vehicles left the southeast side of the intersection following the collision. Nancy Barrett, 77, of Warsaw, the front seat passenger in the Fusion, was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office.

 

 

Anderson was airlifted from the scene to a Fort Wayne hospital, where he remains in critical condition. Lewis and a front seat passenger in his vehicle were evaluated at the scene and released.

 

This crash remains under investigation.

Chicken noodle soup not what's inside the can; Progresso recall

More than 15,000 pounds of Progresso Organic Chicken Noodle Soup is being recalled because it isn’t chicken noodle soup.

 

According to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the cans labeled chicken noodle soup actually contain pasta and meatballs.

 

The recalled soup was sold in 14-ounce cans with a best-by date of May 26, 2022. The establishment number is EST18826A.

 

The soup was distributed to stores nationwide.

 

If you have any of the recalled soup, you should throw it away or return it to the store where it was purchased.

Rochester students head back to school Monday

After a Covid-19 forced delay the opening of Rochester schools is set for Monday.

 

Superintendent Jana Vance says there are policies in place with how to proceed should a particular classroom have to deal with a positive case and for the corporation as a whole.

 

 

Vance says it’s also time for preschoolers to head to school.  She notes they’re trying to make day one special.

 

 

While the situation is anything but normal Vance says they’re striving for as close as they can get.

 

 

Athletics will reboot starting on Monday.

Fulton County Jail remains under budget

The new Fulton County jail is progressing nicely. 

 

Commissioner Bryan Lewis says they are even under budget at this time.

 

 

E&B Paving LLC conducts roadwork in Rochester this week

E&B Paving LLC will be conducting road work throughout the city of Rochester this week to beat the start of in person classes at Rochester Community Schools.  They ask that all vehicles be off the roadways by 7 am and not parked back on the streets until after 7 pm as road crews will be working from 7 am to 7 pm.  For any questions contact Phil Bowers at E&B Paving LLC at 574-286-6803.

 

Wednesday 8/19

Milling:

Pontiac St. – 12th to 13th Street

Sunset Dr. – 15th to Jefferson Street

Oakwood Drive

Elm St. – 18th Street to the Dead end

14th St. – Brown to Jackson Street

Brown St. – Wabash to Washington Street

 

Paving:

4th St. – Fulton to Main Street

Jay St. – 2nd to 5th Street

6th St. – Fulton to Jefferson Street

8th St. – Fulton to Jefferson Street

 

Thursday 8/20

Paving:

Pontiac St. – 12th to 13th Street

Sunset Dr. – 15th to Jefferson Street

Oakwood Drive

Elm St. – 18th Street to the Dead end

 

Friday 8/21

Paving:

14th St. – Monroe to College Street

Brown St. – Wabash to Washington Street

Hill St. – Brown to Jackson Street

Colonial Dr. – Condos to Lake

 

 

 

 

Passenger killed in 2-car Fulton County crash

A Culver man was killed in a two-car crash Saturday.

 

In the 5:00 pm hour Saturday emergency personal were dispatched to US 31 and State Road 110 in Fulton County to a report of a vehicular accident involving two passenger cars.   This is the third crash at this intersection in the past week.   

 

Investigation into the crash revealed that a 2016 Honda Pilot driven by Barbara Winters, 83, of Culver, was traveling west on SR 110 when the vehicle crossed the median proceeding west across the southbound lane of traffic.  Winters pulled into the path of a 2018 Jeep Wrangler driven by Adrian Karns, 38, of Kewanna.   Unable to avoid a collision Winters vehicle struck the Karns' vehicle in the passenger side door area where Ralph Winters, 84, was a passenger.

 

Ralph Winters was flown from the scene by Samaritan to South Bend Memorial where he died from injuries from the crash.  Barbara Winters was transported to St. Joseph Hospital in Plymouth, There's not further word on her condition..  Karns was transported to Woodlawn Hospital and treated for her injuries as a result of the crash.

 

Assisting the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation were the Rochester Fire Department, Lutheran EMS, Argos EMS, Fulton County 911 and St. Joseph County Coroner. 

Walmart to be open later

Walmart says stores across the nation are extending hours to later in the evening.

 

The retail giant announced store hours will be until 10:00 pm.  Walmart had been closing down by 8:30 pm at most locations during the pandemic.

 

Walmart says its stores will also now host a “senior shopping hour” every Tuesday for customers 60 and older. Senior hour will be one hour before the store opens to all customers.

 

Child molestation arrest by ISP

A Cass County man has been charged with child molestation.

 

A criminal investigation by Indiana State Police resulted in the arrest of Quinton Andrew Pearson, 26, of Logansport, on a felony charge for child molestation.

 

On August 5, a state police detective started an investigation after receiving information that a 13-year-old boy had possibly been molested at a Cass County home. During the course of the investigation, evidence indicated that Pearson had allegedly, on multiple occasions, molested a then nine to 10 year-old boy. The crimes occurred at a Cass County home between September of 2017 and December of 2018. 

 

Pearson was incarcerated in the Cass County Jail.

How many spectators will be able to attend a Rochester athletic event

With Rochester, hopefully, returning to the classroom and to athletics next week, Ryan Johnson Athletic Director at RHS says they have submitted plans to the Fulton County Health Officer for having spectators at events. 

 

 

 

Spectator numbers for football will be different than other sports.

 

 

Fulton County Community Foundation's Ambassadors grant funds to local organizations

The Fulton County Community Foundation’s Ambassadors, a group created of former Fulton County Community Foundation Board Members, granted funds to the Fulton County Park Board, Fulton County Pack A Backpack, and the Outlet Youth Center to further their work in the community.

 

The Fulton County Park Board is working to develop a new county park on County Road 450 North.  The project will create a multi-use park at the site of an old county landfill. Planned amenities include a dog park, walking trails, disc golf, and picnic spaces. 

 

Fulton County Pack A Backpack is known for the many years of providing school supplies for Fulton County students. This year the organization has been able to provide supplies for over 680 students.

 

The Outlet Youth Center is working to create a safe space for Fulton County youth. Planned amenities for the location include washer and dryer, shower, study areas, and more.

 

For more information about the Community Foundation or how you can help these community projects, contact Brian Johnson at the Fulton County Community Foundation at 574-224-3223.

 

 

30 day burn permit to aid Rochester residents in storm clean-up

Rochester has requested and received a permit to aid residents with storm clean-up.

 

Monday’s severe storm came through the City of Rochester and brought down several trees and tree limbs. Because of that, Mayor Denton contacted the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to secure a 30 day burn permit.

 

The City of Rochester has successfully obtained the permit which allows the burning of woody material only. This will expire on September 12.

Plymouth PD says no organization is soliciting funds in the department's name

The Plymouth Police Department announced information to the public via its Facebook page of a letter that was received by a city resident. The letter indicates that the organization that is soliciting the funds supports the Plymouth Police Department by providing equipment. The information is false, as the department has never received any equipment from the United States Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

 

Police advise you be careful and do research before deciding to donate money to an organization you are not familiar with.

 

The Plymouth Police Department does not solicit funds from private citizens, nor do they have an outside organization do it on our behalf.

Two tornadoes confirmed by NWS

Two confirmed tornadoes touched down in Monday’s storms.

 

The National Weather Service has confirmed one just before 7:00 pm Monday about a mile north of North Webster.  It was an EF-1 that traveled about a mile-and-a-half and was about 100 yards wide.

 

Another EF-1 was reported a few miles southwest of Wakarusa just after 6:30 pm.

One serious injury, several minor in car - RV Fulton Co. accident

A Rochester woman was seriously injured in a Monday eveing two-car crash.

 

Just after 6:00 pm emergency personnel were dispatched to US 31 and State Road 110 in Fulton County to a report of a vehicular accident involving a passenger car and an RV.   

 

Investigation into the crash revealed that a 2004 Buick Le Sabre driven by Kasey Javier, 32, of Rochester, was traveling east on SR 110 when it crossed the median eastbound across the northbound lane of US 31.   Javier pulled into the path of a 2021 Sunseeker RV driven by Paul Rothwell, 49, of Zionsville.   Unable to avoid a collision Javier’s vehicle struck the Sunseeker causing it to overturn and it then collided with a traffic control pole in the NE part of the intersection. 

 

The Buick Le Sabre continued in a northeasterly direction and struck a utility pole before it came to rest in the ditch.

 

Of the other occupants of the Sunseeker besides the driver there were five children ranging in age from 9-14 and Tracy Rothwell, 49, of Zionsville.  All had minor injuries. 

 

The Fulton County Sheriff's Office reports that Javier was unconscious and was ground transported to South Bend Memorial with a possible head injury. Her condition is unknown at this time.  A five-year-old passenger in the Le Sabre had minor injuries.

 

Assisting the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation - Rochester Fire Department, Lutheran EMS, Indiana State Police, Indiana Conservation, Indiana Department of Transportation and Fulton County 911. 

Thunderstorms, wind tonight - northern Indiana bracing for high winds

After most of Indiana saw thunderstorms this morning, Round 2 is on the way later tonight.

 

WISH-TV Meteorologist Marcus Bailey says storms will arrive between 6-11 pm, and the biggest concern is damaging winds.  Northern Indiana will see the worst of it.

 

Wind gusts could reach 75 mph.

Hancock County man struck by boat, killed on Lake Wawasee

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a fatal boating accident that occurred Saturday evening on Lake Wawasee.

 

At approximately 6:00 p.m., responders were dispatched to the area of Johnson Bay on Lake Wawasee in reference to a person being struck by a boat.  Initial investigation has revealed the Nathaniel Mroz, 20, of Fortville, was one of three people being pulled on a tube behind a boat when they were thrown off into the water.  While the boat was maneuvering in attempt to retrieve the subjects, Mroz was struck by the boat.

 

Occupants on the boat were able to remove an unconscious Mroz from the water.  He was later pronounced dead at the scene by the Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office. 

 

Mroz was wearing a lifejacket at the time of the accident and all parties involved are cooperating with investigators. 

 

This incident is still under investigation.

 

Responding agencies included: Indiana Conservation Officers, Syracuse Police Department, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, Turkey Creek Fire Department and the Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office.

Man arrested at Warsaw laundromat after altercation, striking officer

Warsaw Police Detective Sergeant Brad Kellar said officers responded to the Quick Clean Laundry on East Winona Avenue after a threat to life call was made. The man, Miguel Enrique Delfin Cruz, 25, was found to be in possession of a handgun by an officer while inside of the laundromat.

 

During an attempt to arrest Cruz, police say he struggled with officers. It was at that time that Cruz got a hold of his handgun, pointed the gun at a female officer’s head, while also physically striking her in the head several times. Cruz was eventually taken into custody after struggling and resisting officers.

 

Police say Cruz was taken to the Kosciusko County jail, but he stated before that he should have killed the female officer. No charges were initially announced, but police say a “plethora” of changes is being sought.

County Annex building offices are accessible

Fulton County Commissioner Rick Ranstead says the county is business as usual even though the doors to the annex building are locked.  You can still take care of whatever needs you have.

 

 

Two vehicle accident US 31 and Monticello Rd

A Rochester man was airlifted from a two-car accident scene Wednesday.

 

Fulton County 911 dispatch received a call about 6:30 am of a two-vehicle accident on US 31 and Monticello Road. 

 

Two vehicles came to rest in the center crossover of Monticello Road.  Further investigation revealed that John W. Nichols, 80, of Rochester was eastbound attempting to cross US 31.  He made it across the northbound lanes but was struck by a southbound vehicle driven by Julius M. Robinson, 36, of Kalamazoo MI. 

 

Nichols was airlifted with unknown injuries. 

 

The incident remains under investigation. 

Witness says he reported conspiracy to Rochester Police because he believed it could happen

The probable cause affidavit detailing the investigation and subsequent arrests of John Lawrence Shultz and Donald Victor Robin for conspiracy to commit murder includes reference after reference to Columbine, shooting kids at Rochester and Caston schools, guns and narcotics.

 

Schultz, 18, and Robin, 17, were arrested Friday, July 31, after a nearly two week investigation.  Both are former students in the Rochester school system.  Rochester Police report and officer was approached by someone he knew that was friendly with both of the suspects.  The witness stated that the suspects have a bunch of guns and are waiting for school to open-to "kill a bunch of kids".  The witness told the officer that he would not have come to see him if they "did not believe he [Johnny] was capable of doing it". They stated, "I really think he's gonna do it.”

 

Schultz does not currently attend the Rochester Community School system but is a previous

student. His residence is about 500 feet from Riddle Elementary School.

 

Police investigated the Facebook pages of both suspects.  On Robin’s they reported that it appears that he is also using a a photo of Dylan Klebold (1999 Columbine reference) shooting a gun.  Klebold was involved in the Columbine shooting.

 

Other Facebook references in the investigation involve messaging about shooting up schools, what clothes to wear to do so, and who they would like to kill.

 

It can be seen as noted in this report that on July 15 Schultz and Robin changed their nicknames on Facebook messenger to "VoDKas REVENGE" and "REB's REVENGE". This appears to be a furtherance of the communications between them which directly refers to the Columbine incident of 1999.

 

Schultz remains at the Fulton County Jail.  Robin, waived to adult court due to the severity of the charges, is being held in a juvenile facility for offenders accused of severe crimes.

A pretrial conference is on the docket for August 31.  The jury trial in the case initially scheduled for January 26. 

Rochester man hurt in Wednesday crash

A Rochester man was airlifted from a two-car accident scene Wednesday.

 

Fulton County 911 dispatch received a call about 6:30 am of a two-vehicle accident on US 31 and Monticello Road. 

 

Two vehicles came to rest in the center crossover of Monticello Road.  Further investigation revealed that John W. Nichols, 80, of Rochester was eastbound attempting to cross US 31.  He made it across the northbound lanes but was struck by a southbound vehicle driven by Julius M. Robinson, 36, of Kalamazoo MI. 

 

Nichols was airlifted with unknown injuries. 

 

The incident remains under investigation. 

Trial date set during initial hearing in conspiracy to commit murder case

A jury trial in January has been scheduled for two teens who face conspiracy to commit murder charges in a planned shooting against Rochester and, possibly, Caston schools.

 

Initial hearings in Fulton Circuit Court were held Tuesday for John Lawrence Schultz, 18, and Donald Victor Robin, Jr., 17.  Both were arrested following an over two – week investigation into a threat to a Rochester school reported to Rochester Police.  The investigation began on July 13 and search and arrest warrants were issued on July 31.

 

Schultz remains at the Fulton County Jail.  Robin, waived to adult court due to the severity of the charges, is being held in a juvenile facility for offenders accused of severe crimes.

 

A pretrial conference is on the docket for August 31.  The jury trial in the case initially scheduled for January 26. 

 

Mysterious Chinese seeds result in call to change Amazon password

There's at least one answer coming from the mystery of the Chinese seeds.

 

Change your Amazon password. That's what officials from the USDA say you should do if you've received a package of those mysterious seeds from China. The USDA says that it seems people who recently bought something online are the ones receiving the packages, which officials believe are nothing more than a sales scam.

 

There are still no answers regarding the mysterious masks that at least two Hoosiers reported receiving last week.

7-Eleven to acquire thousands of Speedway stations

Speedway is being acquired by 7-Eleven. As far as how that acquisition will affect gas prices and the rest of the market, GasBuddy says "it's tough to know."

 

Japanese retail giant Seven & i Holdings — which owns 7-Eleven and other outlets, including supermarket chain Ito-Yokado and the Sogo and Seibu department stores — says it is the largest in the company's history. By acquiring Speedway, the Japanese retailer would pick up 4,000 stores and give its operations in North America "a boost."

 

Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy's Head of Petroleum Analysis, calls the move a "gamechanger." The effect on the market, however, remains to be seen.

Rochester Community Schools choose E-Learning

Due to the recent activities of students attending end-of-summer celebrations, and a number of exposures to persons testing positive for COVID 19 there and during travels, the Rochester Schools have decided, in cooperation with the Fulton County Health Department, to suspend in-class teaching and to use e-learning for all classes until at least August 24, 2020. All athletic practices and games are suspended for the same period. The weight facility is closed. 

 

The e-learning devices may be picked up for students by parents at the student's school building as follows:

 

Tuesday 8-4-20 from 12:00-4:00

Wednesday 8-5-20 from 7:00-4:00

 

Thursday 8-6-20 classes start on E-Learning.

If all goes well we expect to return to in-class learning on Aug. 24. If possible fall sports practices will begin that day. 

 

The school board, administrators, and staff have worked hard to make in-class learning possible, but the actions of a few have prevented that for the 85% of students who planned to have in-class instruction. 

 

The Fulton County Health Department has been very helpful through this process. We ask the community to carefully follow the guidelines of the Health Department and the CDC by wearing masks in public places, and by maintaining social distances.  Please allow us to educate your children, by cooperating. 

Two arrests in Rochester school threat investigation

Two arrests have been made in an investigation of threats made in mid-July against a Rochester school.

 

Rochester Police Chief Andy Shotts says John Lawrence Schultz, 18, and Donald Victor Robin, Jr., 17, were arrested Friday morning when search and arrest warrants were served at 630 W. 6th Street and 1629 North Meridian.  Both face charges of Conspiracy to Commit Murder (Level 2 felony) and Intimidation (Level 6 felony).

 

The investigation began July 13 when Rochester Police were informed about a threat against a school.  No further information on the type of threat has been released.

 

Schultz is being held in the Fulton County Jail.  Robin is 17 but due to the severity of the charges has been waived automatically into adult court.  He is being held at a location designed to house juveniles accused of crimes of this nature.

 

The investigation into the case is ongoing.

 

Public asked for help in homicide investigation

Anyone with information on a Starke County homicide investigation is asked to contact the sheriff's department.

 

911 dispatch received a call about 3:30 am Thursday from a homeowner who said a man knocked on his door and claimed to have been shot.  The man ran from the scene.  A second homeowner nearby called in with a similar report.  That caller was found by authorities holding towels on the man's neck.

 

The victim, identified as Nicholas Rudd of North judson, died at the scene.

 

Rudd's injuries are reported to not be from a shooting.  The case is being treated as a homicide.

 

Anyone with more information is asked to call the Starke County Sheriff's Office at 574-772-3771.

Silver Alert - Starke County

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the disappearance of Cameron Ludwig, a 15 year old white male, 5 feet 11 inches, 120 pounds, red hair with blue eyes and was last seen wearing a gray shirt with black lettering, blue jeans, and work boots.

 

Cameron is missing from Walkerton, Indiana, and was last seen on Friday, July 31, 2020 at 3:30 pm. Cameron is believed to be in danger and may require medical attention.

 

If you have any information on Cameron Ludwig, contact the Starke County Sheriff’s Department at 574-772-3771 or 911.

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