Police arrest Knox woman on murder charge

Kathleen Holt
Kathleen Holt

A Knox woman is jailed on a murder charge after reportedly shooting her boyfriend. Kathleen Holt, 51, shot the victim, Ron Worker, 46, also of Knox at a residence on CR 550 E. Near CR 200 S. in Knox around 3:30 p.m. Hold called 911 and told Starke County dispatchers she had just shot her boyfriend, according to police. Worker was was pronounced dead at IU Health Starke Hospital. An autopsy is scheduled later today. Holt’s bond hearing is set for 9 a.m. Friday. Police have recovered the weapon they believe was used in the shooting.

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.

Charges filed against Karma robbery suspect

 The 17-year-old Grovertown man police say robbed a Plymouth store at knifepoint will be charged as an adult. Corey Michael Sobieck is charged with armed robbery and intimidation. Both are class B felonies, and each carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. Police say Sobieck walked into the Karma Records store about 5:20 Monday evening, brandished a knife at the clerk, threatened to murder her and grabbed cash from the register. Plymouth Police apprehended him a short time later and recovered the knife in some nearby weeds. Sobieck is also on juvenile probation in Starke Circuit Court for conversion.

Pulaski County Sheriff warns of possible scams

Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer
Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer

If you get a phone call stating you’ve won $1 million, you may not want to quit your job just yet. Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Gayer says an area resident recently got such a call and was told he needed to send $1,500 to collect his winnings. Gayer says these scams are common and callers or written correspondence will actually use the name of a legitimate lottery or sweepstakes to further convince a potential victim.
Warning signs include a letter, email or text message announcing you won a prize in a lottery or sweepstakes you didn’t enter. Scammers also ask “winners” to send a fee or bank account details to collect a prize. Legitimate lotteries do not require you to pay a fee to collect winnings.

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LaPorte Police Department offers free medication disposal

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department
La Porte County Sheriff’s Office
Area residents with unwanted or expired pills can drop them off for safe disposal in LaPorte County. Safely disposing of pills keeps them out of landfills and local water supplies and also keeps youth from getting their hands on potentially harmful medications. Surveys find teens abuse prescription drugs more than any illicit street drug except marijuana. Youngsters frequently get pills from friends and family members.

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Winamac Police make four methamphetamine arrests

Sara Cox, Douglas Whiteman, Jayson Shaffer, Kelcie Miller
Sara Cox, Douglas Whiteman, Jayson Shaffer, Kelcie Miller

Formal charges are pending against four people arrested for possession of methamphetamine and syringes at a home in downtown Winamac Tuesday night. Jayson David Shaffer, 27, of Leiters Ford; Douglas Lane Whiteman, Jr., 27, of Winamac; Kelcie Miller, 21, of Winamac; and Sara Cox, 21, of Culver were all arrested by Winamac Police Officer Brian Gaillard. He received an anonymous tip of drug use at a residence on South Market Street residence and checked it out. The occupants gave him permission to search the house, and Gaillard said he found baggies of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Winamac Municipal Utility rates to increase

Winamac Town Hall
Winamac Town Hall
Winamac Municipal Utility customers will soon notice a slight bump in their water and sewer bills. The town council approved a rate increase following a Monday public hearing. Town Council President John Plowman says rates will go up by about $1 per month on each side of the bill this year and again next year, for a total rate increase of about $4 for an average customer over the next two years. The rate increase was prompted by an Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission ruling.

Winamac woman pays it forward with a haircut

Mary Perren
A Winamac hairstylist is sporting a new hairdo for a good cause. Emily Larkin agreed to shave her head once she raised $3,000 for Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. That’s where her sister, Christina, also a hairstylist, was treated as a teenager when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Larkin said her bold new haircut was inspired by the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders who shaved their head in support of Coach Chuck Pagano’s leukemia diagnosis inspired Larkin to “take it off.” She nearly doubled her fundraising goal, thanks to generous support from the community. Her sister Christina did the honors during the halftime show of last night’s Winamac Community High School basketball game. Larkin said she “kind of likes” her new short locks, which she will be sporting for Christina’s wedding next month.

Plymouth airport may add hangars

Mary Perren

Marshall County pilots may soon have a new place to park their planes. The Plymouth City Council recently approved an ordinance that clears the way for the Aviation Board of Commissioners (ABC) to lease ground and allow private individuals to build hangars at Plymouth Municipal Airport. There’s currently a lengthy waiting list for hangar space. The aviation board is looking at a spot on the south side of the airport. It will require an easement from the neighboring storage units for access to the property. The roadway that was placed in the Greenlee administration was in the airport clear zone and has never been used to access.The ABC’s engineering consultants will assist in determining the correct location for building. Approval from the Federal Aviation Administration is also required.

Marshall County meth suspects jailed without bond

Mary Perren

A Marshall County man and woman are jailed without bond after police found multiple meth labs in their Argos home. Officers with the Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team, Indiana State Police and Marshall County Sheriff’s Office arrested 43-year-old David Howe and 35-year-old Kristi Messick-Eswick, also known as Kristi Miller following a Monday search of their residence on Hickory Road. Their initial hearing in Marshall Superior Court is set for March 12. Anyone with information about illegal drug activity in Marshall County is urged to call the anonymous tip line at1-800-899-0842.

Winamac woman pays it forward with a haircut

Mary Perren
A Winamac hairstylist is sporting a new hairdo for a good cause. Emily Larkin agreed to shave her head once she raised $3,000 for Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. That’s where her sister, Christina, also a hairstylist, was treated as a teenager when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Larkin said her bold new haircut was inspired by the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders who shaved their head in support of Coach Chuck Pagano’s leukemia diagnosis inspired Larkin to “take it off.” She nearly doubled her fundraising goal, thanks to generous support from the community. Her sister Christina did the honors during the halftime show of last night’s Winamac Community High School basketball game. Larkin said she “kind of likes” her new short locks, which she will be sporting for Christina’s wedding next month.

LaPorte Police foil shoplifting attempt

Mary Perren

A 17-year-old faces theft and false informing charges after he reportedly stole a piece of aluminum foil from a LaPorte grocery store last night. Store employees at Al’s Supermarket on SR 2 W. saw the male suspect take a box of aluminum foil off the shelf and put it down in a different location. They checked the box and found it opened with a section of foil missing. When the employees approached the youngster, police say he admitted taking some of the foil to use as a television antenna. He then gave them his name and asked if he could be released to his parents. Attempts to contact his parents were unsuccessful, and police discovered he gave them a false identity. He also smelled of burnt marijuana, according to police. The teen was arrested and taken to the juvenile services center.

Attorney anticipates filing in Pulaski County Highway saga

Pulaski County Commissioners Larry Brady, Terry Young, and Tracey Shorter
Pulaski County Commissioners Larry Brady, Terry Young, and Tracey Shorter

The attorney for two Pulaski County Highway employees who were suspended last month by the commissioners pending an investigation into unspecified complaints anticipates taking legal action against the county within days.

Former highway superintendent Kenny Becker and administrative assistant Lin Morrison have both retained Valparaiso attorney Steven Bush. He’s preparing a tort claim notice to be filed against the commissioners, county attorney and auditor for defamation of character, among other things. County officials have yet to provide any specifics about the nature of the investigation or give Becker or Morrison a copy of their findings. Bush says their stonewalling is “offensive” to his clients and to the dozens of people who packed the commissioners room and spilled over into the hallway prior to the Feb. 4 commissioners meeting.

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Marshall County makes veterans service officer full time

Marshall County now has a full-time veterans services officer. The county council approved the recommendation of the commissioners to make Pam Schweizer-Betz a full-time employee with benefits. The benefit package will cost well over $10,000, including health, life and dental insurance, long-term disability and retirement. Council President Matt Hassell noted that demand has been up for the past year, and hours have been increased to reflect it. He expects that demand to continue with two recent wars.

Plymouth Police nab armed robbery suspect

A juvenile Plymouth Police believe robbed a local store at knifepoint before fleeing on foot is jailed in Marshall County. An employee at Karma Records in the Pine Creek Plaza at U.S. 30 called 911 at 5:23 a.m. to report a knife-wielding male entered the store, demanded money and fled on foot toward Beef O’Bradys. Officers fanned out over the area and arrested the suspect about 15 minutes later. They reportedly found the note believed to have been used in the robbery in his pocket. The weapon officers say was used in the robbery was located a short time later. The subject’s name and additional details will be released later this morning.

LaPorte Police investigating break-in

 

The LaPorte County Police Department is seeking the public’s help in solving a break-in. Someone broke into Stan’s Service Center at 212 Lincolnway sometime Thursday night. An entry door, door handle and lock lever were damaged, according to police. Officers say the west entry door appeared to have been kicked in. A handle to a north overhead door was also damaged from prying force. Police say nothing was determined missing at the time of the report. Anyone with information regarding this crime or any other criminal or suspicious activity is urged to contact the La Porte Police Department at 219-362-9446, or at www.lpcitypd.com to submit a crime tip. You can remain anonymous while providing important information to help make your community safer. Please be as specific as you can about the activity you are reporting.

Funeral arrangments set for Braun Corporation founder and CEO

Ralph William Braun, founder and CEO of The Braun Corporation, passed away Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 in Winamac. He was 72.

Born on Dec. 18, 1940 in Winamac, he was the son of Joseph J. and Olive M. Braun. He was a pioneer in the mobility industry, after struggling with SMA from a young age. Out of a need to improve his own mobility, Braun built his first three-wheel scooter in 1962. Realizing that there were many others like him, he started his own company, Save-A-Step Manufacturing, in 1963. It eventually grew into The Braun Corporation, which was incorporated in 1972. What began as a solution to his own mobility needs grew to a company that would eventually change thousands of lives. In 2006, The Braun Corporation adopted the brand name, BraunAbility for its products. Today his company has grown into a world-wide corporation, with its headquarters still based in Winamac.

Braun Corporation founder Ralph Braun
Braun Corporation founder Ralph Braun

In 2010, Ralph Braun released his autobiography, Rise Above. He then started The Ralph Braun Foundation as a way to assist the disabled population with purchasing mobility equipment. As a recipient of many awards and honors, Braun’s recognition began in 1979 when he received the Employer of the Year Award from the Commission for the Handicapped and the Indiana State Board of Health. Since that time, he has been featured on television and in many newspaper and magazine articles for his success and drive to improve the lives of others with disabilities. In 2012 he was recognized as a “Champion of Change” by President Barack Obama. Braun was also honored with the Support of the Guard and Reserves Patriot Award for his dedicated support and flexibility offered to employees serving in the military. Braun’s most recent award was a bronze plaque from the Adaptive Driving Alliance for being the leader and pioneer for mobility products. Continue reading

West Central School Board welcomes new member

 The West Central School Board is back to full strength after a new member was sworn in last week. Jeff Lowry was appointed to the seat his father, Dean, held since 1986.The seat has been vacant since Lowry’s death on Dec. 21. Jeff Lowry will serve the remainder of his father’s term and will be eligible to run for reelection in 2014 if he chooses. He attended Thursday’s meeting with his wife, Kasey, and their children, Kaitlynn and Sarabeth.

IRS Accepting Tax Returns with Depreciation Credits

  Taxpayers who claim depreciation credits can now file their federal income taxes. Laws passed by Congress in January required the Internal Revenue Service to reprogram and test its systems, leaving some filers in hiatus. Affected filers file Form 4562 for depreciation and amortization. Most of the people using the depreciation form tend to file later in the tax season or obtain a six-month extension, according to the IRS. Non-1040 business filers using Form 4562 can also file starting Sunday.