|IAMGE Drug Task Force probe leads to 8 warrants|
Monday, December 09, 2013 11:51:11 AM
AUBURN - A year-long investigation by the IMAGE Drug Task Force resulted in warrants being issued for eight persons last week.
The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department says warrants were served on seven of the eight suspects.
They think 32-year-old Natasha Peters is living in the Fort Wayne area. She is wanted on two Class B felony counts of Dealing Methamphetamine. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department or your local law enforcement agency.
Two of the suspects face Class A felonies of dealing drugs within 1,000 feet of a school or park. Butler Police arrested 23-year-old Jesse Damron last Tuesday while 20-year-old Brandon Damron was arrested in Brown County on Sunday.
29-year-old Lance Krider is charged with a Class A felony of Dealing Methamphetamine. He is currently serving time in the Indiana Department of Corrections. 30-year-old Zhonn Bowser faces two Class B felony counts of Dealing in a Controlled Substance. Bowser is serving a sentence in the DeKalb County Jail on unrelated charges.
44-year-old Jody Lee and Andrew McCloskey were arrested last Tuesday for allegedly dealing a controlled substance and maintaining a common nuisance.
|Garrett man charged with rape|
Monday, December 09, 2013 11:47:43 AM
ALBION - A Garrett man is in the Noble County Jail charged with rape.
21-year-old Brandon Shirk was arrested just before 8 Friday evening and was held without bond.
On-line court records show only a probable cause filing under the heading miscellaneous criminal was filed Friday by the Noble County Prosecutor's Office in Noble Superior Court II.
We'll have more on the case when the information is available from the prosecutor.
|County Council approves Dallas Lake Park expansion|
Monday, December 09, 2013 10:35:58 AM
by Tim Murray
LAGRANGE - The LaGrange County Council appropriated $281,500 for the acquisition of land adjacent to Dallas Lake Park this (Monday) morning.
Major funding for the purchase of property known as “Pond Lil” is coming from grants from the state.
The council also appropriated $20,000 from sheriff's department funds in county general to pay for utilities at the county jail. Councilman Mike Strawser asked Sheriff Terry Martin if he could find more money within his budget.
"I've already gone through everything down there, Mike. I knew that was going to be an issue during our budget time when we sat here and cut a little bit. We were going to be right there," Martin said.
The sheriff transferred $27,509 from other line items in his budget to help cover the utilities.
Council tapped the Riverboat Gambling Fund for $15,000 and the Rainy Day Fund for $2,598 to pay for roof repairs to the Commercial Building at the LaGrange County 4-H Fairgrounds.
Among the transfers approved was $18,375 for the purchase of a pickup truck for the Parks and Recreation Department.
Council approved an amendment to the salary ordinance to allow for a part time building inspector for up to 24 hours per week at $9.27 per hour.
|Illegal hunting leads to drug charges near Howe|
12/9/2013 7:29:14 AM
HOWE - Two men who allegedly were spotlighting for deer near Howe were arrested on drug charges Saturday.
A LaGrange County sheriff's deputy came across the pickup truck on County Road 125 East north of County Road 700 North around 10:45 p-m. They stopped the truck near 1145 East County Road 700 North and found two firearms in plain view.
The driver - 19-year-old Roderick Barnell of Vicksburg - was found to possess a hypodermic needle and items used to make methamphetamine. A search of the vehicle then turned up two meth labs, about 8 grams of meth, and three firearms.
Police charged Barnell with five felony counts and a misdemeanor for use of artificial lights while possessing a firearm.
21-year-old David Shaffer of Howe was the passenger in the pickup and was charged with visiting a common nuisance and use of artificial lights while possessing a firearm.
Conservation Officer Kyle Buchanan assisted at the scene.
|Angola man accused in sexual assault|
12/9/2013 7:24:40 AM
ANGOLA - A rural Angola man faces six felony charges following an alleged sexual assault in Steuben County.
The sheriff's department says 27-year-old Kile Stockert was arrested on a Class B felony of Rape as well as three Class B felony counts of Criminal Deviate Conduct and Class D felonies of Strangulation and Criminal Confinement.
Deputies responded to Cameron Hospital around 5 o'clock Sunday morning where a 26-year-old female was being treated. She was then taken to the Fort Wayne Assault Treatment Center.
A news release did not indicate where the alleged crimes took place. Stockert is being held without bond pending an initial hearing.
|Ligonier woman gets prison time for federal drug charges|
Saturday, December 07, 2013 7:10:27 AM
FORT WAYNE - A Ligonier woman received a three year prison sentence for distributing methamphetamine.
U-S District Judge Theresa Springman sentenced 28-year-old Glenda Brickey of Ligonier to 37 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver meth.
Police stopped Brickey last December and noticed her acting suspiciously. A K-9 alerted on Brickey's vehicle for the presence of drugs and a search turned up a small amount of meth, a glass smoking pipe, and other evidence of drugs.
Brickey must serve two years of supervised probation following her release from prison.
|Area plolice announce blitz results|
Saturday, December 07, 2013 7:09:26 AM
UNDATED - The Tri-County Traffic Safety Partnership issued 131 seat belt tickets during the recent Operation Pull Over blitz which ended last Sunday.
Coordinator Matt Kling from the Angola Police Department says they issued one ticket for a child restraint violation and arrested one person for Operating While Intoxicated.
Police also issued five tickets for suspended licenses and made four criminal misdemeanor arrests. Motorists received 109 warnings and 56 other citations were also issued.
The focus of the blitz was combination of impaired driving and unrestrained occupants. It involved 20 officers from various departments in Steuben, DeKalb and LaGrange Counties who worked 28 shifts.
|Burglars take guns, ammo from home near Mongo|
Friday, December 06, 2013 3:42:22 PM
GREENFIELD TOWNSHIP - Burglars forced their way into a LaGrange County home before taking firearms and ammunition.
The LaGrange County Sheriff's Department says it happened on County Road 400 North just north of Mongo on or before Wednesday.
The thieves also took cash and some binoculars.
The sheriff's department and Indiana State Police are investigating.
|Three Rivers superintendent launches statehouse bid|
Friday, December 06, 2013 3:39:22 PM
THREE RIVERS – Another person has thrown their name into the mix for a run at the Michigan House of Representatives.
Long time Three Rivers Public Schools' Superintendent Roger Rathburn announced his candidacy for the 59th District Seat in the Michigan House, currently held by Matt Lori. Lori can not run again due to term limits.
Rathburn says the decision was not taken lightly, and after several months of encouragement from constituents, business leaders, educators and organizations, Rathburn recognized that his style of leadership, knowledge and work ethic are what communities need and deserve.
Rathburn, who is 51, will be retiring in June, ending 13 years as Superintendent of Schools for Three Rivers.
He is the second person to announce a run at Lori's seat. Earlier this year, John Bippus announced he was also seeking the 59th District House position.
|Trine gets $1 million to improve student job chances|
Friday, December 06, 2013 8:37:45 AM
INDIANAPOLIS - Trine University is getting a $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment as part of an effort to improve employment opportunities for Indiana college graduates.
Trine is one of 39 accredited colleges and universities in Indiana getting a share of $62.7 million. The Endowment awarded grants to Indiana colleges and universities to pursue activities that improve job prospects for college graduates in the state for over a decade.
Rhe Endowment says progress has been made but Indiana college graduates continue to have difficulty finding jobs within the state that are suitable to those who hold a bachelor's degree.
|GOP caucus picks Kim Koomler for Steuben auditor|
Friday, December 06, 2013 8:35:15 AM
ANGOLA - Kim Koomler is getting her old job back as of January 1st.
Steuben County Clerk-Treasurer Shelly Herbert says Koomler was the only candidate and was elected unanimously as Steuben County Auditor Thursday night during a caucus of Republican precinct chairs. Koomler will serve the balance of Pam Coleman's term which expires at the end of 2014.
The caucus was called after Coleman submitted her resignation on November 12th to pursue an opportunity to work as a government consultant for a company based in the Indianapolis area. Her resignation is effective on New Years Day.
Koomler was the Steuben County Auditor from 1999 until 2006.
|Four vehicle crash injures 3 near Garrett|
GARRETT - Three people were injured Wednesday afternoon in a four vehicle chain reaction crash near Garrett.
The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department says it happened at State Road 8 and County Road 7 at about 2:15 p-m. It all started when a 1998 Ford Explorer driven by 25-year-old Alyssa White of Garrett slowed to make a left turn and was struck by 1992 Ford Aerostar driven by 34-year-old Jeffrey Wolheter of Kendallville.
The Wolheter vehicle then struck a 2005 Chrysler Sebring driven by 51-year-old Steven Lemmon of Auburn. A Ford F-250 driven by 58-year-old Ronald Shoudel of Ashley tried to avoid the accident scene but went off the road and struck a highway sign.
Wolheter complained of ankle pain. Lemmon was taken to DeKalb Health by a family member for neck pain. A passenger in the Wolheter vehicle, 40-year-old David Sanders of Albion, was taken to DeKalb Health after complaining of rib pain.
|LCCF LIFE group awards grants|
Thursday, December 05, 2013 3:23:02 PM
LAGRANGE - Three organizations will receive grants from the LaGrange County Community Foundation’s LIFE Youth Philanthropy Group.
$2,500 goes to the American Red Cross for its Fourth Grade Safety Program. $2,107 goes to Topeka Elementary School for its Family and Community Engagement Event. LaGrange County Extension Homemakers get $500 for the First Book for Kids program.
Twenty student volunteers in grades 8 through 12 make up the LIFE Group and receive guidance from adult mentors in each of the four high schools in the county and assistance from the community foundation staff.
LIFE activities are supported by a grant from the Dekko Foundation.
|Boil water order extended|
Thursday, December 05, 2013 3:20:06 PM
LOCKPORT TOWNSHIP – A boil water advisory for Lockport Township has been extended until further notice.
Jennifer Ransbottom, President of Michiana Operations, the company that manages the township's water system, made that announcement Wednesday afternoon.
Ransbottom says that several samples taken Wednesday morning came back positive for total coliform, which has led to the continuation of the boil water advisory. Michiana Operations has increased the amount of chlorine they are putting into the system to bring it back up to quality standards set by the Michigan DEQ.
Ransbottom says fire hydrants have been opened along Moorepark Road and along U.S. 131 in Park Township, which will help draw chlorine through the system.
|St. Joseph EDC reports banner year|
Thursday, December 05, 2013 3:18:07 PM
by Mike Stiles
CENTREVILLE – 2013 turned out to be a positive year for St. Joseph County in terms of economic development.
That was the message delivered Tuesday to the County Commission as the St. Joseph County Economic Development Corporation presented their annual report.
EDC Board President Ken Jones shared with the Commission and the audience that in 2013, 1487 new jobs were announced in St. Joseph County. In addition, 1865 jobs were retained and $53.8 million in new investment was announced.
Jones says the investments were not only new businesses but also existing ones that were expanding. They include the new building project for Burr Oak Tool Inc., Summit Polymers, Banks Hardwoods, R&H Machine Products, Michiana Corrugated Products, Manchester Industries and American Metal Fab among several others.
Jones also told the Commission that there are 16 projects in various stages that could potentially be located in St. Joseph County. He says all of them are considered to be confidential and client information is classified until the project is officially announced.
The County EDC is in partnership with Southwest Michigan First to help with economic development projects.
|Steuben Economic Development Corp. holds annual dinner|
Thursday, December 05, 2013 3:14:40 PM
by Jim Measel
LAKE JAMES - If Steuben County is to realize its economic potential, then officials around the county have to work as a team.
That was the message Steuben County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Dave Koenig tried to get across Wednesday night during the E.D.C.'s 10th annual dinner at Pokagon State Park's Potawatomi Inn.
He said 2013 was a busy year with 19 expansion and location projects with the possibility of another one being finalized by the end of the month. It's the greatest number of companies investing in Steuben County in a single year since the E.D.C. was formed in 2003.
But the 210 new jobs created and the total investment of $33.5 million were short of the goals set for this year. The E.D.C. has a five year goal of 1,800 new jobs and a total investment of $500 million by the end of 2017.
Koenig said Steuben County has recovered from the deep recession of 2008 but it has not reversed the trends that began in 1995 when manufacturing jobs peaked at 8,000. Today, that number is just over 5,000.
|Gone too soon: Larry Forrest dead at 48|
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 10:58:30 AM
|Anxious moments before police arrest man near Eastside HS|
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 8:53:54 AM
BUTLER - Butler Police say a man with two loaded guns was arrested near Eastside High School on Tuesday.
Police were sent to the 600 block of East Green Street around 3:20 p-m when they got a report of a suspicious man. They found him armed with a rifle and dressed in full camouflage parked in a vehicle. He was also wearing sunglasses and a face mask.
34-year-old Chad Czaja of Butler refused several orders from police. He eventually got out of the vehicle and was arrested. Officers found a loaded handgun on him during a search but they don't think he meant to do any harm. They added he was involved in a property damage accident in front of the school.
Eastside High School was placed on lockdown during the incident which took place close to the end of the school day. The situation was called under control in less than 10 minutes and students were sent home moments later.
Czaja was charged with operating while intoxicated, criminal recklessness and leaving the scene of an accident.
|Man arrested following chase through Sturgis|
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 8:52:25 AM
STURGIS – A Sturgis man is in jail after leading police on a chase.
Michigan State Police from the White Pigeon Detachment attempted to stop a vehicle on Fawn River Road near South Nottawa for an equipment violation. The driver, a 36 year old Sturgis man, refused to stop and led police on a chase through the city before stopping on a dead end street.
The driver got out of the vehicle and tried to run away, but was apprehended by troopers.
In doing a background check, officers discovered the man had four outstanding warrants for his arrest and a suspended and expired driver's license.
The suspect is charged with fleeing and eluding, resisting and obstruction, a third offense of driving on a suspended license, along with the outstanding warrants which were for failure to appear and misdemeanor and felony larceny in both St. Joseph and Branch Counties.
He is being held in the St. Joseph County Jail.
|Public workshop planned for Wolcottville revitalization|
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 8:51:07 AM
WOLCOTTVILLE - A community workshop is scheduled for a week from Thursday to get public input on revitalizing downtown Wolcottville.
A grant is funding a study that leads to a downtown revitalization master plan that studies existing conditions and makes recommendations for improvements to Wolcottville’s downtown.
Once the study is complete, the town could become eligible for further grants to construct improvements such as sidewalks, street lights and planters.
The workshop will be Thursday, December 12th starting at 6 p-m at the Wolcottville Community Center, at 601 West County Line Road.
|Area wages improve, still lag behind most of Midwest|
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 8:49:08 AM
FORT WAYNE - The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership put a positive spin on statistics released Tuesday in a report comparing area wages to other parts of the Midwest.
While average wages went up over five percent in 2012, which was higher than the 3.4 percent national rate, the region's average income is still badly lagging behind other communities.
The average wage earner in northeast Indiana had a salary of just over $35,500 which put the region 13th out of 14 similar communities in this part of the country. That salary was about $10,000 less than the average earner brings home in Des Moines, Iowa which topped the list.
The Partnership said Northeast Indiana made significant progress over the last decade in creating a strong economic climate for growth. As for retaining talent, the report indicated that while there has been progress, there is still a ways to go in catching up with other regions. But Katy Silliman from the Partnership said Northeast Indiana is on the right track as it continues to recover from the last recession.
|SW Michigan jobless rates rise|
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 8:43:52 AM
JACKSON – Jobless rates have been up and down around Southwest Michigan this fall.
According to information released by the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives, St. Joseph County went from a 7.7 percent unemployment rate in August to 7.3 percent in September then up to 7.8 percent in October.
Information shows there were 27,550 people in the civilian labor force in St. Joseph County in October, down slightly from September where there were 27,700 people.
Branch County went from an August unemployment rate of 8.6 percent to 8.3 percent in September and then up to 8.5 percent in October.
Cass County saw a steady increase in unemployment, going from 7.2 percent in August to 7.4 percent in September and then 7.5 percent in October.
Statewide, the unemployment rates have dropped. In August, the statewide unemployment rate was 8.7 percent. That dropped to 8.3 percent in both September and October.
|Fire damages home at Snow Lake|
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 8:42:43 AM
SNOW LAKE - A Snow Lake home sustained $15,000 worth of damage when a fire broke out Tuesday afternoon.
Fremont Fire Chief Eric Hufnagle says the cause of the fire at the Steve and Joann Wright residence at 235 Lane 750 is still under investigation.
Fremont firefighters were dispatched to the home at 1:35pm. When they got there, crews saw heavy smoke coming from the roof and from the rear of the structure. They managed to get inside but were pushed out because of heavy smoke and fire in the basement.
Firefighters got into the back of the house and managed to contain the fire to one corner of the home.
It was called under control at 2:01pm which was 20 minutes after firefighters got to the scene. No injuries were reported.
Fremont firefighters were assisted by Fremont Police, the Steuben County Sheriffs Department, NIPSCO, Steuben County R-E-M-C, Steuben County E-M-S and Steuben County Communications.
|Injuries from cycle accident prove fatal|
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 8:41:32 AM
AUBURN - An Auburn woman died from the injuries she suffered in an October motorcycle accident in DeKalb County.
An obituary from the Feller and Clark Funeral Homes says 59-year-old Connie Cossairt passed away Saturday at DeKalb Health.
She was one of two persons injured when a motorcycle driven by 56-year-old Michael Powell of Spencerville collided with the crossing arms at the railroad tracks on County Road 59 near County Road 42. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department says the crossing arms were down and the red lights were activated and flashing at the time of the accident.
Powell told deputies he did not see the crossing arms because the sun was shining in his eyes. When Powell applied the brakes, the motorcycle slid through the intersection and struck the crossing arms.
Police say neither Powell or Cossairt were wearing helmets.