WROI News Archives for 2020-09

Warsaw teacher charged with battery

A teacher in northern Indiana is accused of causing an 8-year-old student to fall down repeatedly fall down while disciplining them.

 

Debra Wiley was arrested at Harrison Elementary School on Friday.

 

Wiley was caught on camera trying to force a child to sit down as the child stood against a wall, said WSBT.

 

She's accused of grabbing the child's ankles and causing them to fall. She also apparently dragged the student and used her weight to hold them down.

 

She's been charged with battery.

Warsaw teacher charged with battery on a student

A Warsaw grade school teacher faces charges for the way she treated a student.

 

Debra Wiley, a teacher at Harrison Elementary School, is charged with battery.

 

The Warsaw Times Union says Wiley was caught on video telling a child to sit down. She then grabbed the child's ankle, causing the child to fall. She is also accused of dragging the student several feet and using her weight to force the student to sit.

 

A no-contact order has been issued.

Individual income tax rate change in Pulaski County

Effective Oct. 1, 2020, two Indiana county income tax rates will decrease, according to the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR).

 

Local income tax rates are determined by county officials and reported to DOR. Once reported, they are then reviewed for compliance with Indiana law. Below are the two counties impacted along with the new tax rates:

 

  • Pulaski County: 0.0285, decreased from 0.0338
  • Wayne County: 0.0125, decreased from 0.015

These tax rates affect businesses with employees who live or work in any of these counties and have income tax withholdings. For individuals who are Indiana residents on Jan. 1, 2020, county tax rates are based on the individual's Indiana county of residence on that date. For individuals who are not Indiana residents on Jan. 1, 2020, county tax rates are based on the individual’s county of principal business or employment on January 1.

 

A complete list of current rates for all Indiana counties is available on DOR’s website in Departmental Notice #1 at www.dor.in.gov by clicking on the “Legal Resources” icon, then choosing “Tax Library” and selecting the “Departmental Notices” tab.

 

Employers with questions about these county income tax rates are encouraged to contact DOR directly at (317) 232-2240, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.

Chainsaw carvers in action this weekend

The Kewanna Fall Festival might be cancelled but one event that occurred during the festival is still happening, just at a different location. 

 

Sherri Corn one of the many chainsaw carvers from the festival is helping put on the event this weekend.

 

 

 

They will have a couple other things on site this weekend, too.

 

 

Governor sends Indiana to Stage 5

Governor Holcomb is lifting most of Indiana's remaining coronavirus restrictions, but a few limits remain in place.

 

Starting Saturday, there will no longer be capacity limits on bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, though they'll still need to enforce social distancing. There's no limit on mass gatherings either, but anything over 500 people will require approval from the local health department.

 

And Indiana's mask requirement, which is part of a different order, remains in effect.

 

 

State health commissioner Kristina Box notes Indiana's positivity rate has dropped by one-third since Holcomb issued the mask requirement June 23, while Elkhart County, which imposed its own mask order before the state did, has seen an even steeper drop. She says while there's still much that's unknown about the virus, it's now clear that even people without symptoms can spread it, and that masks are a key component in reducing that spread.

 

Holcomb says he understands Hoosiers' discontent about masks, and says it's not his preference.

 

 

Indiana's rolling average of positive tests has dropped below four-percent for the first time in three months. Every county is below 10-percent, with 58 of the 92 counties now listed at "minimal risk" for the virus basaed on a combination of positivity rates and the number of cases.

 

Holcomb says there's a particularly heightened risk as the weather turns cold.

 

 

While some conservatives have broken with Holcomb over the mask order to support the Libertarian candidate for governor, Westfield software engineer Donald Rainwater, Holcomb's Democratic opponent is attacking the governor's announcement from the other side. Former state health commissioner Woody Myers calls the lifting of restrictions "simply wrong," and says the pandemic requires "more vigilance, not less."

Three injuries in Pierceton crash

Emergency personnel responded to a three-vehicle collision in the westbound lanes of US 30 at State Road 13 Tuesday night in Pierceton.

 

The Kosciusko County Sheriff's office says preliminary results of the investigation indicate that Emerson C. Butts, 31, of Warsaw was traveling westbound on US 30, approaching State Road 13, in a 2008 Kia Sorento just before 8:00 pm Tuesday. Butts struck the rear of a 2019 Ford Ranger, driven by Mason Metzinger, 22, of Warsaw; which was stopped at State Road 13 in the left-hand travel lane of US 30.

 

A 2017 Chevrolet Express, driven by Maranda Taylor, 42, of Monterey, was struck while stopped in the left-hand turn lane.

 

Butts was removed from his burning vehicle by a passersby.

 

Metzinger and Taylor were transported to Warsaw for the treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Butts was in serious condition at the time he was transported to a Fort Wayne hospital.

 

This crash remains under investigation by investigators with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Fatal Team.

 

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, Winona Lake Police Department, Warsaw Police Department, Pierceton Fire Department, Lutheran EMS, North Webster/Tippecanoe Township Fire Department responded to Tuesday's accident.

Fulton Co. unemployment rate falls under 6%; Starke with highest rate but largest decrease

Unemployment continues to fall in Indiana, as well as Fulton and surrounding counties.

 

Fulton County’s unemployment rate for the month of August is 5.7%.  That’s down 1.4% from July’s 7.1%.

 

Cass County was down 1.7% to 5.4% in August.  Kosciusko dropped 1.3 to 5.4%.  Marshall County unemployment was down 1.6 to 5.3% in August.

 

Miami dropped just over a point to 6.8%.  Pulaski unemployment fell 1.2% to 5.4.  Wabash was down a full point to 5.3%.

 

At 6.7%, Starke County had the area’s highest unemployment rate in August.  However, Starke also experienced the largest decrease, down 2.3% from July’s nine percent unemployment rate.

Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.4% in August, down from the July reading of 7.8%, as the state continues to recover from COVID-19-related layoffs.

 

The state's unemployment is lower than the national rate which sits at 8.4%.

Two Rochester people injured in motorcycle - truck accident

A motorcycle driver and passenger were injured in a collision with a pickup Monday in Rochester.

 

At approximately 4:42 pm Monday, Rochester Police, Rochester Fire and Medics were dispatched to 9th Street and Race Street for an accident involving a motorcycle and pickup truck.  

 

The initial investigation revealed that Grady Mahoney, 18, was driving a 2006 F-150 eastbound on Race Street.  Michael Woods, 47, of Rochester, was driving a Harley Davidson motorcycle westbound on 9th Street, with Lisa Woods, 43, also of Rochester, as a passenger.  The F-150 pulled out onto 9th Street, striking the motorcycle.  

 

Both the driver and passenger of the motorcycle sustained injuries.  Lisa Woods was airlifted to Lutheran Hospital, and Michael Woods was transported to Lutheran by ambulance.  

 

This crash is still under investigation.

 

Standoff with ISP and Miami Co. ends with arrest of man wanted on Fulton Co. warrant

A man wanted on a Fulton County warrant was arrested in Miami County after a standoff with police.

 

Just before 6:00 am Tuesday, officers from the Indiana State Police and the Miami County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence at 2629 Capehart Ave, Peru, on a reported battery of a 32-year old woman who lives at the home.

 

When officers arrived, they met with the purported victim and observed an injury that indicated she had allegedly been battered by her boyfriend, Michael Pettingill, 36. Pettingill was inside the home that he shared with the alleged victim. Further investigation revealed that Pettingill was wanted on a Fulton Superior Court arrest warrant alleging a single charge for theft - receiving stolen property.

 

Officers made numerous requests for Pettingill to come out of the home. He refused to exit the residence. Officers also used various techniques to coax Pettingill into surrendering, but he failed to do so.

 

At approximately 9:14 am, as officers from the Indiana State Police Special Weapons and Tactics Team were about to enter the home, Pettingill climbed out of a rear window. He was immediately taken into custody by waiting officers.

 

Pettingill was incarcerated in the Miami County Jail to face criminal charges for domestic battery, resisting law enforcement, strangulation, and the Fulton County arrest warrant for theft - receiving stolen property.

 

This is an ongoing investigation. No officers nor Pettingill were injured during the incident.

Bremen company, employees still impacted by Covid-19

A Bremen company has informed the state that it’s unsure how long employees furloughed or laid off in the spring will remain that way.

 

Vice-President  - Finance and Administration for Universal Bearings stated in a WARN Notice that because of the unforeseeable COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic impact to theindustry and  businesses, UB unfortunately implemented temporary furloughs/layoffs at its facilities located at 226 N. Birkey Drive and 431 N. Birkey Drive in Bremen. These temporary furloughs/layoffs began on April 13.

 

The notice goes on to state that UB expects the temporary furloughs/layoffs to extend beyond six months due to these unforeseen, historic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, UB does not know if any of these furloughs/layoffs will be permanent, but it is possible that presently unforeseeable circumstances may cause UB to make changes in the future.

 

UB anticipates 61 of its employees from 16 departments will be affected by these extended furloughs/layoffs. UB implemented three separate layoffs, two in April and one in June which reduced its headcount from 360, preCOVID-19 to 201 at the end of June.  Since the end of June, UB has recalled 73 employees. Those employees who were laid off but have not yet been recalled will likely not be recalled before the six month period noted in the WARN Act.

 

Bremen company, employees still impacted by Covid-19

A Bremen company has informed the state that it’s unsure how long employees furloughed or laid off in the spring will remain that way.

 

Vice-President  - Finance and Administration for Universal Bearings stated in a WARN Notice that because of the unforeseeable COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic impact to theindustry and  businesses, UB unfortunately implemented temporary furloughs/layoffs at its facilities located at 226 N. Birkey Drive and 431 N. Birkey Drive in Bremen. These temporary furloughs/layoffs began on April 13.

 

The notice goes on to state that UB expects the temporary furloughs/layoffs to extend beyond six months due to these unforeseen, historic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, UB does not know if any of these furloughs/layoffs will be permanent, but it is possible that presently unforeseeable circumstances may cause UB to make changes in the future.

 

UB anticipates 61 of its employees from 16 departments will be affected by these extended furloughs/layoffs. UB implemented three separate layoffs, two in April and one in June which reduced its headcount from 360, preCOVID-19 to 201 at the end of June.  Since the end of June, UB has recalled 73 employees. Those employees who were laid off but have not yet been recalled will likely not be recalled before the six month period noted in the WARN Act.

 

Bomb squad disposes of hand grenade

On Monday afternoon a surprising discovery led to the activation of the Elkhart Police Department Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit.

 

A man was sifting through old family boxes in an outbuilding in the 200 block of N CR 175 E in Wayne Township in Kosciusko County.  He located what he believed to be a “pineapple” hand grenade. KCSO deputies secured the scene and contacted Elkhart PD for assistance. Bomb technicians performed an X-ray of the object and made the determination that it did contain live ordinance.

 

The hand grenade was placed into a containment unit and transported from the scene for disposal.

 

Three arrested in police chase through Warsaw, Kosciusko Co.

An Indiana State Police pursuit ended Sunday in Kosciusko County with three arrests.

 

At approximately 7:00 am Sunday morning, several troopers from the Fort Wayne Post became involved in a high speed vehicle pursuit.  The pursuit began after Master Trooper Todd Reed had attempted to stop a 2019 Nissan Sentra passenger car traveling at over 90 mph westbound on US 30, just west of Columbia City, Whitley County.  The driver, later identified as Devonte Devon Perkins, 37, of Michigan City, chose to speed off rather than pullover for M/Tpr Reed, and then attempted to evade officers from multiple agencies for nearly 30 miles into Kosciusko County, at times with speeds well over 115 mph. 

 

After the pursuit entered into Kosciusko County on US 30, pursuit de-escalation tactics were attempted with stop sticks deployed by troopers at the intersection of CR 650E, near Pierceton.  One tire was successfully struck, but Perkin’s vehicle was not completely disabled, and he continued to flee.  The damaged tire eventually came off rim.  At one point along US 30, passengers in Perkin’s vehicle were observed allegedly throwing items from the vehicle, which when recovered, turned out to be two handguns.

 

As the pursuit entered into the city of Warsaw, officers from the Warsaw Police, the Kosciusko Sheriff Department, along with more troopers from the ISP Bremen Post, became involved as well.  The Warsaw Police Department did a great job blocking intersections ahead of the pursuit to protect other vehicular traffic, and then continuing de-escalation attempts with multiple stop stick deployments.

 

The de-escalation efforts proved successful, and the pursuit ended just west of Warsaw on CR 200S at Zimmer Road at approximately 7:40 am.  All three occupants were taken into custody without further incident. 

 

All three occupants were placed under arrest on various felony and misdemeanor charges, transported back to Whitley County, and booked into custody at the Whitley County jail pending arraignment. Both Perkins and Morrow were found to have active arrest warrants.

 

 

Devante Devon Perkins, 37, Michigan City, IN

  • Serious Violent Felon in Possession of Firearm, Level 4 Felony
  • Resisting Law Enforcement, Level 6 Felony
  • Identity Theft, Level 6 Felony
  • Dealing Marijuana, Level 6 Felony
  • Reckless Driving, Misd
  • Possession Paraphernalia, Misd
  • Operator Never Licensed, Misd
  • Felony warrants out of Allen, LaPorte , St.               Joseph Counties, and the US Marshal’s Office
   

Jahnesha Annette Thompson, 37, South Bend, IN

  • Possession of Handgun W/O Permit, Misd
  • Possession of Marijuana, Misd
  • Possession Paraphernalia, Misd
   

Terrell Yusef Morrow Jr., 32, South Bend, IN

  • Possession Marjiuana, Misd
  • Possession Paraphernalia, Misd
  • Arrest Warrant- (St. Joe County) Possession             Marijuana

CMS adjusting nursing home visitations

Steps are being taken to allow visitors again at nursing homes across the country. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued new guidance for visitation.

 

Outdoor visits are encouraged. Indoor visitation is allowed if there are no new cases in the previous two weeks and if certain core principals — like screening, resident and staff testing, hygiene, social distancing, and cleansing — are put into effect.

 

A memo sent out to state survey directors makes clear that visitations can be made for more than pure end-of-life reasons, and can even include physical touching in some instances. Communal dining and activities may take place as long as six-foot distancing and other precautions are observed.

 

According to the memo, examples of other types of compassionate care situations include, but are not limited to:

 

• A resident, who was living with their family before recently being admitted to a nursing home, is struggling with the change in environment and lack of physical family support.

• A resident who is grieving after a friend or family member recently passed away.

• A resident who needs cueing and encouragement with eating or drinking, previously provided by family and/or caregiver(s), is experiencing weight loss or dehydration.

• A resident, who used to talk and interact with others, is experiencing emotional distress, seldom speaking, or crying more frequently (when the resident had rarely cried in the past).

 

Home facilities will continue to use that COVID-19 county positivity rate to determine the degree to which indoor visitation can take place.

 

Virtually in every nursing home in America, there is a Point of Care test.  Point-of-care testing allows physicians and medical staff to accurately achieve real-time, lab-quality diagnostic results within minutes rather than hours. Medical experts say this type of testing enables staff to make timely and important treatment decisions when diagnosing a patient’s condition.

 

The memo says some of the “Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention” are:

 

-Screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks, questions or observations about signs or symptoms), and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms

-Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred)

-Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose)

-Social distancing at least six feet between persons

 

Facilities that have not had any positive COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and are in a county with a low or medium positivity rate may not restrict visitations “without a reasonable clinical or safety cause” consistent with regulations, CMS noted. Doing so could subject a provider to the threat of citation and penalties.

 

Kosciusko among area counties reporting cases of Eastern equine encephalitis

State health officials are urging Indiana residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites following reports of a probable case of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in a LaPorte County resident and the detection of the virus in horses in northern Indiana.

 

As of Sept. 14, two horses in LaGrange County and one horse in Kosciusko County have tested positive for EEE virus. Because there is suitable habitat for mosquitoes throughout the area, residents of all northern Indiana counties should take precautions.

 

In 2019, northern Indiana experienced a significant outbreak of EEE virus activity, resulting in 14 horse cases, one fatal human case and one positive mosquito sample.

 

State Health Commissioner Kris Box says Eastern equine encephalitis virus disease is rare in humans but can cause permanent complications and even death.

 

State health officials recommend that all Hoosiers take the following steps to prevent mosquito bites:

  • 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 2-undecanone 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

Special welcome home planned for Thursday in Rochester

A hometown hero is coming home to a proper welcome this week. Donald J. Johns is returning from time with the 13th Engineers.

 

His father, Donald Johns.

 

 

Johns owns his own business, John’s Family Handyman.  He’s also a volunteer fireman for Rochester.  His father says that role has impacted his life.

 

 

Serving in the military is a part of the Johns family history.

 

 

A welcome home event with the Rochester Fire Department picking him up, and Johns driving the fire truck in with sirens and lights and the VFW Post 1343 hosting a welcome home event has been delayed just a bit.  Originally planned for Wednesday, Johns’ flight times have changed.  Now, they’re shooting for Thursday, sometime between 4:00 – 6:00 pm.

Alyssa Shepherd denied new trial by Indiana Court of Appeals

The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the verdict found against Alyssa Shepherd.  Her request for a new trial has been denied.

 

Shepherd was convicted of three counts of reckless homicide, Level 5 felonies, reckless driving, a Class A misdemeanor, and criminal recklessness while armed with a deadly weapon, a Level 6 felony in the Fulton County bus stop crash that killed Alivia Stahl, 9, and 6-year-old twins Mason and Xzavier Ingle.

 

Another child, Maverik Lowe, was also severely injured.

 

Shepherd was sentenced to four years in prison and three years house arrest followed by three years probation.

 

The following conclusion by the Court of Appeals did include one conviction being vacated and calls for a clarified sentencing on another point.  It reads, in part:

 

We conclude that sufficient evidence supported the jury’s verdicts and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in rejecting Shepherd’s proposed instruction. However, Shepherd’s Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness conviction violated common law double jeopardy principles, and we vacate that conviction.

 

We also conclude that it cannot be discerned from the record before us whether the trial court impermissibly imposed consecutive suspensions of Shepherd’s driving privileges, and we remand exclusively for the issuing of a clarified sentencing order that indicates that Shepherd’s license suspensions are to be served concurrently.

 

The entire document from the Iindiana Court of Appeals can be seen by copying the following link into your browser:  https://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/09142001par.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

LaGrange Co. man fought off imaginary thieves; faces meth charge

 A northern Indiana man is in jail after trying to defend his house over the weekend.

 

The LaGrange County Sheriff's Department says Mark King of Wolcottville grabbed his gun and started shooting when thieves tried to break into his home. The thieves shot back.

 

Or so King thought.

 

It turned out, there were no thieves. King was shooting at imaginary people. Police say he hallucinated the entire thing after eating meth.

 

King was found outside his neighbor's garage, yelling and swinging a broom handle. He was taken to a hospital to be checked on, then released to police. He let officers search his house, where they found the interior of the home with multiple bullet holes.

 

King was arrested and charged with possession of meth and paraphernalia.

Want to live in a jail? Indiana Landmarks has one in Wabash

Looking for a new place to live? You can buy an old jail in Wabash County.  Indiana Landmarks is selling the Wabash Sheriff's House and Jail in Wabash.

 

The building was built in 1880 and includes four bedrooms for the sheriff and his family, as well as cells in the back for the inmates.

 

The building was used as a jail until 1979 and then housed the probation department until 2004. It was then used for storage before being saved from demolition by Indiana Landmarks.

 

The property is a fixer-upper in need of new electrical, plumbing, and heating systems and extensive interior remodeling.

 

The asking price is $79,000.

Michigan man killed in Thursday car accident

A Michigan man was killed in a car accident Thursday.  Emergency personnel were dispatched to a single vehicle collision on State Road 15 Thursday night.  

 

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office says the preliminary results of the investigation indicate that Isaac David Wyatt, 25, of Colon, Michigan, was traveling southbound on State Road 15 in a Buick Regal, prior to the collision. For reasons unknown, the Buick crossed into the northbound travel lane, overcorrected and exited the west side of the roadway. The Buick struck a utility pole and came to rest upside down.

 

Wyatt was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office.

 

Several vehicles at the Lucky 7 Car Store were damaged as a result of the collision. Wyatt was the sole occupant of his vehicle.

 

This crash remains under investigation by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Fatal Team.

Kewanna Fall Festival looking ahead to 2021

It’s another victim of the pandemic.  The Kewanna Fall Festival cancelled for 2020.

 

Chairman Tom Mate stated in a letter that the governor’s current directive prohibiting gatherings of more than 250 people left the Fulton County Health Department unwilling to endorse the festival this year.

 

Mate further stated that he disagreed with the department’s position but respected their responsibility to uphold the health and safety of citizens in Fulton County.

 

Mate says preparation is already underway on 2021.  He noted vendors are already signing up to return next year with the circus and carnival rides.  He also hinted that 2021 will being specialty shows never seen before in Fulton County.

 

 

Covid-19 continues to play havoc with events

The Fulton County Health Department announced that plans provided by the Fulton County Historical Society’s Trail of Courage were disapproved September 4, per Executive Order 20-36.

 

 

 

In another release, the Fulton County Health Department further explained what goes into decisions on holding events at this time:

 

After careful consideration, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Fulton County Health Department has NOT APPROVED ANY EVENTS that do not strictly comply with EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-36. This decision is based on our current conditions, the difficulty of maintaining social distancing, and the Governor’s EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-36 §2(b) (iii)9g) requiring compliance with the approved plan, and other recommended CDC guidelines for large events. The safety of the public was the factor considered foremost in the making of the decision.

 

The Fulton County Health Department is announcing that no special or seasonal events will be approved unless the plan gives adequate assurance of compliance with the Executive Orders, or until Governor Holcomb rescinds Executive Order 20-02 and the extensions, and releases event restrictions.

 

No food permits will be issued for non-approved events. 

Flags to half-staff for Patriot Day

Governor Eric Holcomb is directing flags statewide to be flown at half-staff in honor of Patriot Day.

 

Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset today until sunset.

 

Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents across the state to lower their flags to half-staff in remembrance of the victims of the terror attacks on 9/11.

Rain chances, cooler weather coming

The first day of fall is not until September 22, but the National Weather Service in Indianapolis says it will start to feel more like fall in the coming days.

 

“We are going to have a cold front move through the area on Saturday and that will bring some rain chances with it,” says Jason Puma, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis. “We’ll have temperatures on Monday that will have highs in the upper 70s and we’ll have lows in the 50s on Monday and Tuesday night.”

 

Puma says it appears there could be some scattered storms at times during the weekend, but they don’t appear to be severe.

 

“That can always change though, but we’ll be monitoring that as we get closer. It doesn’t look like a ‘soaker’ by any means,” says Puma.

 

If you are someone who has allergies and is affected by pollen in the atmosphere, Puma says most of the pollen doesn’t go away until we have our “first freeze.”

 

“A cold front moving through and some rain would help rinse out the atmosphere. That would help allergy conditions a little bit, but we really need temperatures to fall into the 30s. That’s probably not going to happen for several more weeks,” says Puma.

 

Grass pollen season, which starts in the middle of spring, typically ends in September.

 

After some slight rain chances over the weekend, Puma expects much of the state to see a lot of sunshine with high temperatures ranging from the high 70s to the mid-80s throughout next week.

Doctor talks about dangers of Benadryl challenge

You may have heard about the Tide pod challenge and the cinnamon challenge. Now some kids and teenagers are trying the Benadryl challenge.

 

A Hoosier doctor says drinking too much Benadryl is dangerous and wants parents and their children to know about the effects.  Dr. Blake Froberg, a physician at Riley Children's Health, and director of the Indiana Poison Center at IU Health.

 

 

Froberg said that taking just above a normal dose can, at least, make someone sleepy.

 

 

Froberg said at least one person has died.

 

He said he doesn't know of anyone in Indiana who has been put in the hospital because of the challenge.

 

Froberg said thye Indiana Poison Center is a good resource if anyone does take the challenge.

He said anytime a parent or someone is worried that somebody has gotten into too much Bendaryl or really any substance, you can call the Indiana Poison Center right away.

Area schools corporations receive funds for school safety investments

The Indiana Secured School Board has approved more than $19 million in matching state grant funds, marking a second consecutive year of record-breaking school safety investments.

 

The $19.4 million in awards allows the Board to fully fund all eligible, top-priority projects identified over 400 schools in their applications to the Secured School Safety Grant program (SSSG). In addition, the Board fully funded all school threat assessment projects, as well as eligible projects geared toward implementing health and wellness support services for parents and students.

 

The SSSG fund is administered by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. Including the funds committed this year, the SSSG program will have distributed more than $91 million in state matching grants to schools since the program became law in 2013.

 

The SSSG issues matching grants for eligible items and then schools match those funds at a certain level, either  25 percent, 50 percent or 100 percent. The match requirement is based on average daily membership of the school district, the total amount of the project or what the request covers.

 

Eligible items in the grant include funding for school resource officers (SROs) and law enforcement officers in schools; equipment and technology; active event warning systems; firearms training for teachers and staff that choose to allow guns on school property; threat assessments and to implement a student and parent support services program.

 

Among area school corporations receiving funds:

 

In Fulton County:

Caston School Corporation, $40,000

Rochester Community School Corp, $30,000

 

In Marshall County

Argos Community Schools, $40,000

Bremen Public Schools, $26,435

Culver Community Schools Corp, $100,000

Plymouth Community School Corp, $22,388

 

In Pulaski County

West Central School Corp, $40,000

 

In Starke County:

Knox Community School Corp, $19,800

North Judson-San Pierre Sch Corp, $32,716

Oregon-Davis School Corp, $14,994

 

In Kosciusko County:

Tippecanoe Valley School Corp, $100,000

Warsaw Community Schools, $100,000

Wawasee Community School Corp, $75,000

 

In Miami County:

Maconaquah School Corp, $46,000

North Miami Community Schools, $18,000

Peru Community Schools, $70,852

 

In Cass County:

Lewis Cass Schools, $32,000

Logansport Community Sch Corp, $100,000

Pioneer Regional School Corp,  $43,000

 

In Wabash County:

M S D Wabash County Schools, $45,000

Manchester Community Schools,  $23,280

Wabash City Schools, $20,000

 

Fulton Co. Sheriff talks body cams, K9 with commissioners

The Fulton County Commissioners met Tuesday morning. Fulton County Sherriff Chris Sailors was there to discuss body cams and canines for the sheriff’s department. 

 

Sailors says they are close on outfitting the department with body cams.

 

 

The sheriff also noted progress on adding a K-9 to the department.

 

 

During the hour long meeting, Commissioners agreed to opt out in participating in the Covid relief payroll tax deferment for county employees.

 

 

The deferral was something Commissioner Bryan Lewis said could be a "can of worms we don't want to get into," and noted that nobody working for the county had been laid off during the pandemic.

Fulton County Jail construction moving forward

Progress continues on the construction of the Fulton County Jail.

 

Sheriff Chris Sailors says one particular section is showing significant progress.

 

 

The sheriff talks about the offices and 911 section of the building.

 

 

Like so much else, Covid-19 has been a factor.  The effect here on one particular aspect the jail, the cells.

 

 

Target date for completion now is approximately mid-July 2021.

 

Be safe on the roads this Labor Day weekend

In an attempt to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities during this upcoming holiday weekend, the Indiana State Police will be participating in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign. Now through Labor Day, Indiana State Police will be conducting overtime patrols seeking out dangerous and impaired drivers.

 

These patrols are supported with funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and distributed by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

 

“Last year, one person died every 50 minutes in a drunk-driving crash in the U.S.,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “Every one of those fatalities could’ve been prevented. Help us save lives by putting an end to this reckless behavior.”

 

For over 20 years, law enforcement agencies across Indiana have been participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. This year, more than 200 state and local law enforcement agencies will be taking part, joining thousands more across the country.

 

If you plan to consume alcohol, please ensure you have a safe plan to get you home safely.

 

Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving. Motorists that encounter an impaired driver on the roadway are encouraged to call 911. 

State disputes claims of fewer Covid-19 deaths

Indiana has had more than 3, 000 coronavirus deaths, and the country has had more than 180, 000. The state health commissioner says claims that it's a lot less are "absolutely incorrect."

 

There's been online speculation for weeks that the death toll has been inflated with people who died of something else. That speculation got a burst of wider attention this week when President Trump retweeted a blog post claiming the true national death toll is closer to 9, 000. That prompted both the Centers for Disease Control and Indiana health commissioner Kristina Box to explain that's wrong.

 

Box says the claim stems from a misunderstanding of CDC data, which show 94% of coronavirus death certificates show other contributing causes of death. But that's just a reaffirmation of what Box and other health officials have warned for months: people with underlying health conditions are at greater risk from coronavirus. Box says a death certificate will list those contributing causes, but says conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes don't mean it's not a death due to coronavirus.

 

In one high-profile illustration this week, the announcement of Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver's passing listed not only COVID-19 as his cause of death, but complications from Lyme disease, which he'd had for nearly 30 years, and dementia, from which he'd suffered for seven.

 

Box says Indiana has been even more rigorous than other states in reviewing death certificates and lab reports before adding to its tally of coronavirus deaths. She notes the state has separately reported more than 220 deaths which local doctors are confident are COVID-19 deaths based on symptoms and scans, but where there's no lab test to confirm it.

Project to close State Road 25 over Mud Creek

  The Indiana Department of Transportation announces a road closure for State Road 25 between C.R. 500 S and C.R. 400 S starting Monday, September 14.

 

This was previously scheduled to begin Tuesday, September 8 but has been pushed back. 

 

State Road 25 will be closed to rehabilitate the bridge over Mud Creek. The road will be closed through early October, 2020.

 

Drivers should seek an alternate route. The official detour will follow State Road 114, State Road 17 and State Road 14.

Covid vaccine by Nov 1?....maybe

Governor Holcomb and governors in states and territories all across the U.S. have been notified by the Centers for Disease Control to prepare for coronavirus vaccinations by Nov. 1.

 

It’s being reported the director of the CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield, has requested governors speed up their permit applications for distribution sites.

 

The letter describes two unnamed vaccine candidates, each of which would require two doses spaced a few weeks apart. Several vaccines are currently in Phase 3 trials, testing on volunteers.

 

If any are successful, the U.S. has contracts in place to buy hundreds of millions of doses.

 

“Right now I will say we’re preparing earnestly for what I anticipate will be reality … that there’ll be one or more vaccines available for us in November, December — and we have to figure out how to make sure they’re distributed in a fair and equitable way across the country,” Redfield said during an interview with Yahoo Finance.

 

Three vaccines are currently in Phase 3 trials in the United States: those developed by Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Pfizer and BioNTech; and AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

 

No injuries in car-train accident

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in a Cass County car-train accident.

 

Just before 9:00 Monday night Cass County Central Dispatch received a call of a single vehicle crash with a train in New Waverly.  A vehicle had been struck at that location by an eastbound train.

 

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department says preliminary investigation found that David Diaz, 39, of Logansport, was driving a 2014 Toyota.  He drove off the road and onto the tracks.  Diaz got out to go find help when the truck got stuck on the tracks.

 

The crash is still under investigation.

One person injured in SR 13 crash

Emergency personnel were dispatched to a two-vehicle collision on State Road 13 Tuesday afternoon.

 

According to investigating deputies, a 2008 Chrysler Town and Country was slowed or stopped in road construction traffic, in the northbound lane of State Road 13. The traffic was under the direction of a flag crew.

 

Roni Newsome, 18, of Warsaw, was also traveling northbound on State Road 13, failed to properly stop her vehicle before striking the rear of the Chrysler, driven by Charles Hess, 56, of Warsaw.

 

A passenger, Joyce Light, 56, of Warsaw, was transported to the Kosciusko Community Hospital for the treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

NWS says storms possible Wednesday - Thursday; cooler temps follow

Damaging winds, heavy rain, and hail are all possible for much of Indiana today, according to the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.

 

‘We’re looking at mid to late afternoon and this evening,” says Sam Lashley, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis. “It’s not a sure thing. It’s between about a 40-70% chance across the area.”

 

Lashley says the main thing to watch out for is damaging winds.

 

“There could be enough instability in the atmosphere that a storm could produce a downburst or a strong wind gust of 50 to 60 mph, but it would be very isolated. There is a very small chance for an isolated tornado, but more than likely, most people won’t see any severe storms,” says Lashley.

 

Much of the state is under a marginal risk for severe weather. A marginal risk indicates storms of only limited organization, longevity, coverage, and/or intensity, typically isolated severe or near-severe storms with limited wind damage, large hail, and perhaps a tornado.

 

“Primarily that marginal risk is in effect for central, southern, and southeast Indiana, but not for places in the northeast part of the state,” says Lashley.

 

Lashley says there is a chance for storms through Thursday.

 

“The severe threat would end by Tuesday evening. For Wednesday, chances for showers and a few storms remain possible across the area. That will continue into about late Thursday. Then we dry out for the first part of the weekend, but there are chances for showers and storms in the (Labor Day) holiday weekend,” says Lashley.

 

A cold front will move through, which means cooler temperatures.

 

“Many places will get back into the low 70s for Friday and maybe into the low 80s by Saturday and Sunday. Looking farther out, we could see a real significant cooldown as we get into the middle part of next week,” says Lashley.

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