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Today's News

State Park Field Trip Request Deadline Approaching

Educators interested in taking students in grades K-12 on field trips to state parks or reservoirs can take advantage of the new field trip fund offered by the Indiana Natural Resource Foundation.

Monday June 30 is the deadline to submit applications for the Discovering the Outdoors Field Trip Grant Program. The grant application can be found here.

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Officers Continue to Search for a Former Knox High School Graduate

Crews are searching for Ron Wood, Jr.

Crews are searching for Ron Wood, Jr.

Indiana Conservation officers have not been able to locate Ron Wood, Jr. who went missing in Lake Michigan Saturday night.

Sgt. Shawn D. Brown from the DNR Law Enforcement Division said the United States Coast Guard and DNR officers responded to the an a mile off the shore of Mount Baldy in the Valparaiso area after a report came in of struggling swimmers. Knox High School graduate, Ron Wood, Jr., 29, jumped into Lake Michigan after some swimmers became separated from the boat and were struggling to stay afloat. A nearby boat came to help as well as members of the Coast Guard who were able to save all swimmers with the exception of Wood, Jr.

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DNR Waives Fishing License Requirement This Weekend

This weekend only, Hoosiers have the opportunity to fish without a fishing license. The Department of Natural Resources has declared all Indiana waters okay to fish in with no license on June 7 and 8. To celebrate free fishing weekend Tippecanoe River State Park in Winamac is hosting a plethora of special events. Continue reading

Ron Wood, Jr. Remains Missing

Crews are searching for Ron Wood, Jr.

Crews are searching for Ron Wood, Jr.

Indiana Conservation officers are continuing in their search for 29-year-old Ron Wood, Jr.

Wood, a Knox High School graduate, went missing after jumping into Lake Michigan Saturday night to attempt to rescue struggling swimmers who drifted from their boat a mile off shore. All swimmers were rescued by the US Coast Guard and nearby boaters except for Wood who remains missing.

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Boater Education Classes Offered in Starke County

DNR law enforcementBoater education courses are planned for June 14 and July 19 in Starke County. If you successfully complete the class, you will be given an Indiana ID which allows you to operate motorboats on state waters. These IDs can be obtained by anyone 15 years of age and older.

Indiana Conservation Officers offer the first class on Saturday, June 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT at the Bass Lake Property Owners Association (BLPOA) Community Center at 6996 S. State Road 10. The second class will be on Saturday, July 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT at the Koontz Lake Homeowners Association Clubhouse at 10896 Cherokee in Walkerton.

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Bass Lake Watercraft Accident Injures Two

A Memorial Day accident on Bass Lake sends two people to the hospital. A personal watercraft driven by Jeremy Hershman, 33, of Willets, Calif. hit a watercraft operated by Amanda Marsh, 26, of North Judson, at a right angle, according to a news release from the DNR. Both were thrown into the water. Marsh was able to right her craft and drive it back to the shore. A boater helped Hershman into a pontoon boat and took him to shore for treatment. Starke County EMS took both to IU Health Starke Hospital. Marsh was treated for minor injuries and released. Hershman suffered broken ribs, fractured vertebrae and fluid on the lungs. He was transferred to Memorial Hospital of South Bend for additional treatment. Both Marsh and Hershman were wearing life jackets when the crash occurred. It’s still under investigation.

DNR: Stay Safe on the Water This Summer

DNR law enforcementDNR officials remind boat owners and passengers to stay safe on the water this summer. Lt. Kenton Turner is Indiana’s boating law administrator. He says everybody on board should wear a life jacket. Often accidents can happen too fast to get to a jacket that is stowed away. Also, Turner says passengers should never sit on the sides of a motorboat while it is in motion. If you’re planning to tow a skier or tuber, make sure you have an observer. Always pay attention to marker buoys and idle zone restriction areas. Navigational lights and anchor lights should be used between sunset and sunrise. All inland lakes in Indiana have a nighttime speed limit of 10 miles-per-hour. Alcoholic beverages should be consumed in moderation. Turner says .08 is Indiana’s legal limit.

The Handbook of Indiana Boating Laws and Responsibilities is available online at http://www.boat-ed.com/indiana/handbook/. It can also be downloaded to an eReader.

Starke County Commissioners Discuss Lake Access Issue

The Starke County Commissioners ask that any lakefront residents with questions about access rights put their concerns in writing so they can be researched and addressed. Specifically they want to know the problem and proposed resolution so the county attorney can advise whether the options they are considering are viable.

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Grants Approved to Fight Aquatic Vegetation

The Department of Natural Resources has disbursed grants totaling nearly $520,000 to fight invasive aquatic vegetation in Indiana’s lakes.

Lake users will benefit from efforts to control or manage aggressive non-native species, including Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed, and starry stonewart that can take over and clog lakes.

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Hunter Education Course Set for April

A Hunter Education Class will be offered April 12 and April 13 at the Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area Headquarters at 4320 W. Toto Road in North Judson.

Indiana conservation officers will teach the free course which is open to all. Students are required to preregister online at www.indianahuntereducation.com.

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DNR Photo Contest Celebrates 10 Years

Help celebrate the 10th birthday of the DNR Division of Historic Preservation and Archaelogy’s photo contest by entering the competition! The division is hoping to break their record for photo submissions, currently at 187 photos.

The photo contest celebrates Historic Preservation Month in May. Photographers are encouraged to take pictures of their favorite historic resource — from buildings, to bridges, to cemeteries and landscapes. Subject matter must be at least 50 years old and in Indiana.

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DNR Announces Wild Turkey Hunting Workshops

New hunters who want to learn about turkey hunting are invited to sign up for a free workshop put on by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources at the Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area. “Hunt, Fish, Eat: Wild Turkey” is part of the ongoing “Hunt, Fish, Eat” program that is run by the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife and teaches self-reliance. The program is free.

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DNR Officer Has Tips for Ice Fishermen

Keith Wildeman

Keith Wildeman

The temperature has been below freezing pretty steadily over the past couple of weeks, leaving a nice layer of ice over many bodies of water in the Kankakee Valley. Conservation officer Keith Wildeman said the wintery conditions have given rise to ice fishing in the area, and he said it’s important that anyone venturing out on the ice be prepared and cautious.

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Hunter Education Course Offered Feb. 8

Aspiring hunters will soon have the opportunity to take a hunter education course to allow them to obtain their hunting license. Ray Rausch told WKVI that a hunter education class will begin on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Pulaski County Highway Garage. The 10–12 hour class must be completed for anyone born after Dec. 31, 1986 to obtain a hunting license.

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DNR Offers Late Hunting Season For Canada Geese

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is again offering a chance for hunters to participate in a late season for hunting Canada geese.

The season runs Feb. 1-15 in 30 counties: Steuben, LaGrange, Elkhart, St. Joseph, La Porte, Starke, Marshall, Kosciusko, Noble, DeKalb, Allen, Whitley, Huntington, Wells, Adams, Boone, Hamilton, Madison, Hendricks, Marion, Hancock, Morgan, Johnson, Shelby, Vermillion, Parke, Vigo, Clay, Sullivan and Greene.

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Kewanna Man Faces Charges Stemming from Fatal 2012 Hunting Trip

A Kewanna man accused of fatally shooting a friend in the head with a 12-gauge shotgun during a 2012 hunting trip in rural Fulton County faces multiple felony charges. Indiana Conservation Officers and Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Matthew Carlson, 25, at his residence Wednesday night. He’s charged with reckless homicide and criminal recklessness as C felonies as well as a D felony offense of criminal recklessness. The charges stem from the Sept. 30, 2012 shooting death of Kenneth Moore, 28, of Rochester. Investigators say the men were hunting together on private property north of Rochester with another adult male and a 12-year-old boy. Information released shortly after the incident occurred indicates the hunting party split into two groups, and Moore and the boy walked into an adjacent cornfield. Shortly afterward, Carlson picked up the gun and shot Moore in the head. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Woodlawn Hospital in Rochester.