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.
Boater 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Walkerton man is hospitalized in Indianapolis following an accident involving a grenade launcher at a private shooting range in Marshall County yesterday. Kevin Patterson, 41, of Walkerton, was firing a starburst grenade round from an AR-15 platform rifle when it detonated in the launch tube under the rifle barrel, according to officials with the DNR. Conservation Officer Corporal Ashlee Jackson describes the round as similar to an aerial firework. Patterson was taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for treatment of injuries to his arm. Officers from the DNR, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police responded.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has announced that hunters can apply for reserved hunts online, including the Put-and-take Pheasant Hunts taking place at numerous properties throughout the state. The pheasant hunts opened for applications beginning Sept. 1 and are first-come, first-served, but the hunts will actually take place between Nov. 23 and Dec. 1.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has announced they will recognize current and former military members, encourage volunteerism and offer nature activities as part of this year’s National Public Lands Day, celebrated on Sept. 28. Active-duty military personnel and veterans can enter Indiana state park and reservoir properties as well as Deam and Starve Hollow state recreation areas for free on that day only. The free admission extends to anyone in the same vehicle.
A program offered through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources aims to connect hunters who have opportunities to harvest additional deer with others who could use venison to feed their families. According to the DNR website, the GiveIN Game Program allows participants to contact each other through the program and arrange for the transfer of meat on their own.
More than a quarter of a million dollars in new grants have been awarded through the Lake and River Enhancement program as part of the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife. The LARE program looks to fund biological, engineering, construction and watershed land treatment projects throughout the state, and to that end, they have awarded $768,500 in grants for the care of Indiana’s water bodies.
Neither drugs nor alcohol were factors in the July 14 drowning death of a 22-year-old Plymouth man, according to toxicology results released by the Marshall County Coroner’s office. Valentin Sirghi, 22, was swimming with a friend near the public beach at Lake Maxinkuckee when he went under water. Rescue teams searched the area for about an hour before they found his body. Sirghi was pronounced dead at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in Plymouth. Final autopsy results are pending, but preliminary indications are that Sirghi died as a result of asphyxiation due to drowning.