|Sturgis Commission approves new auditorium sound system|
Thursday, December 12, 2013 3:54:29 PM
by Mike Stiles
STURGIS – A new sound system for the Sturges-Young Auditorium is another step closer to reality.
During Wednesday's meeting the Sturgis City Commission approved a recommendation to purchase a new sound system for just over $87 thousand dollars.
Auditorium Director Brad Donmyer shared with the commission some of the events that helped raise funds for the project, which took two years to accomplish.
Commissioner Rob Sisson asked what the system would be used for. Donmyer said it would be for the theater for school and smaller programs. He said professional performers' requirements often will require rented sound equipment.
Stage Lighting and Sound LLC was awarded the bid to purchase and install the equipment. Donmyer says if the purchase can be made before the end of this year, then the equipment should be installed sometime in early 2014.
|Angola woman facing drug charges in Ft. Wayne|
Thursday, December 12, 2013 3:52:35 PM
FORT WAYNE - An Angola woman was arrested on Monday in Fort Wayne when Allen County Warrant Officers found an alleged methamphetamine lab in the 1600 block of Cass Street.
30-year-old Korin Forrest was taken into custody by Allen County Police. While serving a warrant, officers say they found alleged chemical precursors to manufacture meth.
The charges include manufacturing and possession of meth as well as possession of paraphernalia and two chemical reagents. Bond for Forrest was set at $55,000. The Allen County Drug Task Force and the Fort Wayne Methamphetamine Suppression Unit were called to assist in the investigation.
|Pence to give keynote at LaGrange County Chamber luncheon|
Thursday, December 12, 2013 3:50:24 PM
LAGRANGE - Indiana Governor Mike Pence will be the featured speaker at the LaGrange County Chamber of Commerce's Annual Meeting & 5th Annual Member's Showcase on January 9th.
The event is sponsored by Parkview LaGrange Hospital and will be held at the Shipshewana Event Center. Doors open at 10:30 for the Member's showcase and the luncheon begins at 12:00 p.m. The meeting will consist of the 2013 Chamber's Year in Review, remarks by outgoing President Rob Myers awards, and the address by Governor Pence.
Reservations can be made now through January 6th by calling the Chamber office at 260-463-2443 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning January 2. Tickets will be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Luncheon for Chamber Members is $15.00, nonmembers $20.00. Showcase Table reservations are also being accepted and can be made by Chamber members only for $50.00.
|Indiana prepared to end extended unemployment benefits|
Thursday, December 12, 2013 3:49:07 PM
INDIANAPOLIS – Federally extended unemployment insurance benefits (EEUC) end Saturday, December 28th.
The last day to file eligible vouchers for that week will be Saturday, January 4. Approximately 19,000 Hoosiers are currently receiving federally funded extended benefits.
Beginning Sunday, January 5th no new vouchers for federally extended benefits will appear in Uplink, Indiana’s online filing system. More information can be found on the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s (DWD) website, www.in.gov/dwd.
It is important for unemployed Hoosiers currently receiving federally extended benefits to visit their local WorkOne as soon as possible to get help with their job search. WorkOne staff can help unemployed individuals update their resumes, recharge their job search and interview skills and strengthen their computer knowledge. Hoosiers can also get their Indiana High School Equivalency Diploma, become certified in a high-demand industry and match skills with new career opportunities to find a new job.
|Steuben murder trial delayed|
Thursday, December 12, 2013 8:52:13 AM
ANGOLA - There will be no trial in Steuben Circuit Court next week in connection with a Jimmerson Lake murder last summer.
A motion filed by Steuben County Prosecutors on Tuesday seeking a continuance in the case of 18-year-old Tyler Lee Biggs was granted by Judge Allen Wheat. Biggs is facing murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges in the death of Ruben Sanchez Junior of Muncie.
The four day trial is now scheduled to start on June 3rd.
A court spokesperson said the prosecution sought the delay because they are still doing discovery in the case. According to on line court records, Biggs and his defense team did not object to the trial being postponed.
Plea negotiations have been re-opened and are now scheduled to terminate during a final pre-trial conference on May 13th.
|Officials discuss fire territory in Steuben County|
Thursday, December 12, 2013 8:49:18 AM
by Jim Measel
ANGOLA - There is talk once again in Steuben County of a Fire Territory being formed.
A power point presentation was made to representatives of the City of Angola and Pleasant Township on Wednesday afternoon which detailed how such a territory would work and be funded.
Paige Sansone from Umbaugh and Associates of Indianapolis pointed out fire territories and fire districts are not the same as they are governed by different statutes. At least two taxing units have to establish a fire territory while a fire district has to be established by county commissioners or by property owners through a petition process.
She said one reason why fire territories are established is to reduce response times.
Under a two year plan, the funding sources would total $2.1 million in the first year and just over $2 million in the second year. The bulk of the funding would come through property taxes.
Sansone added nothing really has to change when a fire territory is established and that the same services can be provided by the same departments. She pointed out there is a time crunch since two public hearings have to be held and the required documents have to be submitted to the Department of Local Government Finance by March 31st.
Angola Mayor Dick Hickman said if they do it, they want to start small and build from there unlike what happened a few years ago. Pleasant Township Trustee Craig Rice said they did not want to make a decision while a board member was down in Florida and he also wanted to talk with their accountant.
There was talk in 2010 of the city of Angola getting into a fire territory with nearby townships but nothing got finalized.
|Hospitals, others urge Hoosiers to sign up now|
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 4:26:26 PM
INDIANAPOLIS - Uninsured Hoosiers have less than two weeks to meet an important deadline with the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.
The Indiana Hospital Association, the Indiana Primary Health Care Association and Covering Kids and Families of Indiana are encouraging those in need of coverage starting on Jan. 1 to apply through the program operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) before Dec. 23RD.
Since launching in October, the Health Insurance Marketplace has allowed eligible Hoosiers to compare health insurance options and enroll in a plan that meets both their needs and their budget. The six-month open enrollment period for the first year of this program runs through March 31, 2014. However, in order for an individual to be covered on Jan. 1, they must sign up and make the first payment to a qualified health plan by Dec. 23RD.
Hoosiers will still be able to enroll through the end of March, but many health care organizations across the state are encouraging Hoosiers not to wait.
David Roos, Executive Director of Covering Kids and Families of Indiana says “Much improvement has been made to the website and there are many community events scheduled by providers and community organizations across the state to help people through the process.”
|Pence outlines education agenda|
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 4:25:22 PM
UNDATED - Indiana Governor Mike Pence wants to boost charter schools in the state by helping them boost teacher pay and making it easier to acquire unused public school facilities.
The Republican outlined his legislative agenda for education on Tuesday during an appearance in Corydon.
One of Pence’s suggestions is to pay a stipend to teachers who leave a public school for a charter or another public school that serves low-income students. The governor said teachers at charter schools earn on average about $12,000 less than their public school counterparts.
Pence also wants lawmakers to create a council that would design a statewide entity to re-purpose vacant or underutilized public school facilities. He said there are more than 65-hundred students on charter school waiting lists. And he wants to create a voluntary pre-kindergarten voucher program for low income families.
Indiana State Teachers Association President Teresa Meredith called the governor’s ideas “the same old, warmed up proposals from the Daniels-Bennett corporate education reform plans.”
|LaGrange County police take kids Christmas shopping|
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 3:05:54 PM
LAGRANGE - 20 LaGrange County kids got to shop with police officers on Monday.
Members of the Lagrange County Sheriff’s Department along with Lagrange Police Department, Wolcottville Police Department, Conservation Officers, and the Indiana State Police participated in the Shop with a Cop program.
The officer’s picked up the children and took them shopping at Wal-Mart in Sturgis before meeting at The Howe School to wrap gifts and eat pizza.
5 children were chosen from each school district and 5 were chosen by the Lagrange County Department of Child Services.
It’s the thirteenth year for the Shop with a Cop program in Lagrange County funded completely by donations.
|Thieves break into 7 Royer Lake homes|
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 3:04:50 PM
ROYER LAKE - A call from one homeowner led to the discovery of seven residential burglaries in the Royer Lake area on Sunday.
LaGrange County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a complaint at 2310 South County Road 455 East. Investigation led to the discovery of at least six additional break-ins on County Road 460 East.
Police did not know exactly how many items were taken, but some of the homes were damaged in the process.
Detective Stephanie Mickem says the burglaries occurred sometime Saturday or Sunday. Anyone with information should call Mickem at 463-0238.
|Steuben County shifts almost $300,000 to rainy day fund|
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 3:03:18 PM
by Jim Measel
ANGOLA - The Steuben County Council adopted a resolution Tuesday transferring a nearly $300,000 surplus into a Rainy Day fund.
Auditor Pam Coleman said they were able to move the money into the County General Fund budget thanks to work by County Treasurer Laurie Stoy.
Meanwhile, the council approved the appointment of Barb Yoder to the Carnegie Library Board of Trustees but they held off on making an appointment to the Steuben County Board of Zoning Appeals.
Plan Director Frank Charlton had a concern the B-Z-A was starting to be made up completely of lake residents. He said three members currently live on lake property.
The Council decided to give Charlton time to find someone who lives in the county. He is scheduled to make a recommendation in time for the Council's February meeting.
|Sturgis School Board chooses Gorsuch to fill opening|
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:40:57 AM
by Mike Stiles
STURGIS – A familiar face has joined the Sturgis Board of Education.
The board opening was created by the resignation of Tom Robertson, who accepted a job with St. Joseph County Courts.
Paul Gorsuch is a former teacher at Sturgis High School and also served as the Boys Varsity Basketball coach from 1981 to 1995. He was also athletic director before retiring after 38 years in public education.
The board unanimously approved the recommendation to appoint Gorsuch, who term runs until November 2014.
In a related matter, the board also unanimously approved a new slate of officers. Ann Bird will serve as president, Ray Sterling as vice president, Frank Kalasky as board secretary and Kerri Millet as treasurer.
The board unanimously approved a recommendation to keep the transportation in house and not hire an outside company to transport students.
Business Manager Vicki Watson says a mandatory pre-bid meeting was held November 4 and the bids were opened on November 25. The District received one outside bid from MV Transportation, Inc., and a proposal from the SPS Transportation Department employees.
A District committee reviewed the bid specifications and proposals as well as participated in presentations from each group.
Watson says it's estimated that by using the in house transportation instead of MV Transportation, the District will save approximately $10,000.
Following the board's approval of this recommendation, Watson recommended the district continue ongoing discussion with the transportation employees on total compensation issued including health insurance options in an effort to contain costs.
|Prosecutors get more time to file charge against Garrett man|
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:39:20 AM
ALBION - No formal charges yet against a Garrett man arrested Friday evening on a preliminary count of rape.
On line court records show Noble Superior Court Judge Michael Kramer gave prosecutors until Wednesday to file formal charges in the case.
21-year-old Brandon Shirk remains in the Noble County Jail without bail pending those formal charges and an initial hearing.
|Avilla man injured in fall from tree stand|
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:37:41 AM
WATERLOO - An Avilla man was seriously injured when he fell from a tree stand on Sunday in DeKalb County.
50-year-old Victor Hernandez fell from the stand approximately 17 feet to the ground as he was hunting along County Road 27 early Sunday morning.
Hernandez was transported to DeKalb Health by private vehicle and later transferred to Parkview Regional Medical Center after suffering back and internal injuries.
Indiana Conservation Officer’s remind all hunters to always wear a properly fastened and secured safety harness when climbing into, hunting from, and climbing down from an elevated tree stand and always use a haul rope or line to haul equipment into and down from a tree stand.
|Four from LaGrange County busted at drinking party|
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:36:28 AM
GOSHEN - Police in Elkhart County arrested fifteen minors at an underage drinking party Sunday near Goshen.
At least four charged were from Topeka and Shipshewana in LaGrange County.
The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Teenage Alcohol Reduction (STAR) team is comprised of officers from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department. Their main focus is to target and reduce underage drinking and smoking.
|IMAGE 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.