Today's News

Fulton County Drug Raids Lead to Six Arrests

Meth BustA two-week long Indiana State Police investigation into drug activity in Fulton County ended with six arrests last night after officers served search warrants at three Rochester homes. A state police news release indicates the officers found methamphetamine, a meth lab, drug precursors and paraphernalia. They searched homes at 1124 Bancroft Street, 317 West 11th Street and 4729 Camp Shahola Drive in Rochester. Continue reading

Town Marshall Accused of Ghost Employment

An area police officer is on the other side of the law. Fulton Town Marshall Jason R. Coleman, 37, of Rochester is accused of submitting hours for compensation that were not actually worked. He collected in excess of $6,700 over the last five years, according to a news release from the Indiana State Police. Continue reading

Fire Destroys Fulton County Fireworks Store

A Fulton County fireworks store went up in flames last night. Firefighters were called to Windy City Fireworks just east of Rochester on State Road 14 at U.S. 31 around 10 last night and found the building fully engulfed when they arrived. Every fire department in Fulton County was called out to battle the blaze, according to WSBT-TV. Pulaski County dispatchers tell WKVI news that no requests for mutual aid from departments there were received. The fire created quite the spectacle as fireworks ignited and exploded overhead. We have not received word of any injuries, and the cause remains under investigation.

 

Shooting Victim Faces Criminal Charges in Fulton County

ShootingAuthorities in Fulton County say the armed man shot by a Kewanna homeowner when he broke into a Toner Street residence early Monday will face criminal charges when he’s released from the hospital. Michael Righter, 41, was reportedly there to shoot his soon-to-be ex-wife, Rebecca. Instead, her boyfriend, Camron Vawter, shot Righter before he could get to the bedroom where she was sleeping. Righter remains in critical condition at South Bend Memorial Hospital. Authorities say this is the latest in a series of incidents involving Righter and his soon-to-be-ex-wife.

 

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Suspect Shot During Police Standoff

police investigation 2A Fulton County man is in serious condition at a Fort Wayne hospital after being shot during a standoff with police. Nicholas S. Westerhoff, 46, was airlifted to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne after the incident in the town of Fulton. It started around 8:15 last night with a report of a domestic situation with shots fired at a Brown Street home. Officers found Westerhoff holed up in the residence refusing to come out. The Indiana State Police North Emergency Response Team was called in to secure the area. Several attempts to negotiate with with Westerhoff were unsuccessful. He came to the door of the home around 11:40 p.m. and started firing his weapon, according to police. Officers returned fire, and Westerhoff was injured during the exchange. It’s unclear if his injury was self-inflicted or if he was shot by officers returning fire. No police officers were injured. The incident remains under investigation. Officers from the Indiana State Police, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Rochester, Kewanna and Fulton Police Departments responded to the incident, along with the Liberty Township Fire Department and Fulton County EMS.

 

Rochester man jailed for using fake ID to buy meth precursors

James L. Foster

James L. Foster

A Rochester man police say used a dead man’s driver’s license to buy pseudoephedrine faces identity deception charges. James L. Foster, 56, used a driver’s license issued to Paul Bennett to obtain pseudoephedrine, according to authorities. Bennett died in 2010, and somehow Foster got obtained his driver’s license. The two men have similar attributes. Pseudoephedrine is one of the main ingredients in the manufacture of methamphetamine. State law limits sales of cold medications containing pseudoephedrine in an attempt to curb meth production. Court records indicate Foster displayed Bennett’s license while signing for pseudoephedrine on four separate occasions between June 15 and Dec. 29, 2012, at a Fulton County pharmacy.

Citizens are encouraged to report suspected methamphetamine activity by calling the anonymous Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Tip Line at 1-800-453-4756.

Burglary victim arrested for growing marijuana

Damon Morris

Damon Morris

William Dorris

William Dorris

Edward Carter

Edward Carter

A Fulton County man whose rural Rochester home was recently burglarized is jailed on drug charges. Edward Carter, 53, faces three felony charges of cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana over 30 grams and maintaining a common nuisance. Authorities reportedly learned of Carter’s pot growing operation last month when a state trooper stopped to aid a disabled vehicle on U.S. 31 in Fulton County. The trooper arrested the vehicle’s occupants, William Dorris, 36, and Damon Morris, 34, after he spotted five marijuana plants and electronic equipment in the vehicle’s backseat. Court records indicate the pair had stolen the items from Carter’s home. They’re charged with felony drug and burglary charges. Police say they knew Carter through his adult daughters.
Officers then went to Carter’s home to discuss the unreported burglary and discovered a hidden room with a marijuana plant stem and hydroponic growing equipment inside, according to police records. They also reportedly found a small amount of processed marijuana.

Jim Carr Found Guilty of Murder in New Trial

James “Jim” Carr, former Pulaski County Journal reporter, has been found guilty of Murder after a four day trial in Fulton Superior Court. A jury found him guilty in the death of Roy A. Shaffer in November 2006.

Shaffer was renting a home from Carr in Monterey when Carr shot Shaffer in the face with a shotgun. He then told a woman about the incident when she drove him home from a tavern.

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While the Weather Remains Calm, INDOT Prepares for More Winter Weather

We’ve enjoyed a few snow free days in this new year, but don’t get too excited. As we all know, Indiana weather can change quickly from one day to the next which means we could see another big snow event at any time.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is ready for the next event as their top priority is snow and ice removal. INDOT uses all available resources to keep roads open, maximize the mobility of the traveling public and help minimize accidents due to winter traveling conditions.

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Minor Earthquake Hits Central Indiana

An earthquake about five miles below the ground hit north central Indiana shortly before sunrise Thursday morning.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 3.8 magnitude earthquake centered five miles southeast of Greentown, Indiana. According to published reports, the Indiana Geological Survey had no records of an earthquake this size in Central Indiana ever.

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Knox and North Judson to Receive Grants for Storm Water Infrastructure Projects

Christmas came early for Knox and North Judson officials. Lieutenant Governor, Becky Skillman, announced that 13 Hoosier communities will receive grants totaling almost $11 million dollars for storm water infrastructure projects. These grants are funded by an appropriation for disaster recovery efforts from the federal Community Development Block Grant program.

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Unemployment Report Shows Improvement

The unemployment report is out for October.  Starke County went down in percentage, but went up in the state ranking.  Starke County went from 11.3% in September to an even 11% in October.  But the County moved from the ninth highest unemployment rate in the state to seventh in October.

Pulaski County and Porter County had the lowest rates in our area. Pulaski came in at 8.0% and Porter was 7.9%.  Marshall was an even 10.0%; La Porte 10.6%; Fulton 9.2%; St. Joseph 10.6% and Jasper was 8.5%.  Since the January report, Starke has dropped from 13.6% for the 11.0%; Pulaski dropped from 10.1% to 8.0% and Marshall dropped from 12.4% to 10.0%.

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