Fire Crews Respond to Grain Dryer Fire

Plymouth fire crews responded to a grain dryer fire last night on Juniper Road.

According to Assistant Fire Chief George Cook, the dryer on the silo became clogged with corn and caused the dryer to combust. Firefighters had to cut out the dryer and evacuate some corn in order to put out the fire.

The estimated damage was unknown.

Firefighters were on the scene for two hours with a tanker truck, rescue truck, an ambulance and an engine truck.

Ancilla College Offers Free Tuition to Valedictorians and Salutatorians

Ancilla College is rewarding high school students who finish at the top of their class. Beginning in 2015, Ancilla College will be offering full tuition scholarships to the top high school graduates from schools in 10 north-central Indiana counties. Ancilla’s Val-Sal Scholarship offers free full-time tuition, as much as $13,500 each year, to local graduates who attend Ancilla.

Local salutatorians, traditionally students who graduate second in their class, will be offered up to $10,000 in free tuition. Ancilla College Professor Kristin Korcha says starting your college career at Ancilla can be very beneficial.

“To stay local and to really start your education here with us is just fantastic. Having worked in this community for over ten years in teaching I see firsthand how important it is to really get to know your professors, small class sizes, you can commute and save money from having the tuition and then also being able to have the chance to save up so that when you get ready for your four year school you can just transfer there,” said Korcha.

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Last Week to Vote Absentee

This is the last full week to vote absentee in the General Election.

So far, Marshall County has reported 730 absentee votes.

Absentee voting in Marshall County will be available today through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. The clerk’s office will be open on Saturday, Nov. 1 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET.

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Racing for Recovery Founder to Speak Tonight at LifePlex

Todd Crandell
Todd Crandell

Addict turned triathlete Todd Crandall will share his story of overcoming a 13-year addiction to drugs and alcohol with the community during a program tonight at LifePlex in Plymouth. Crandall is the founder and president of Racing for Recovery. It’s a nonprofit organization that strives to save lives and improve the quality of life for addicts and their friends and family by promoting a lifestyle of health, fitness and sobriety. Crandall first tried alcohol at age 13 to cope with the depression and confusion of his mother’s suicide 10 years earlier due to her struggles with addiction. For the next 13 years Crandall says he tried every type of drug he could get his hands on before making the decision to quit. Continue reading

Building Inspector Reports High Permit Purchases in 2014

Marshall County Building Inspector Chuck DeWitt gave the Marshall County Commissioners a quarterly update where he announced the number of permits beginning in August and their permit values.

“We had 35 permits totaling approximately $1.6 million, giving us almost $30 million for the year,” explained DeWitt. “We had 183 inspections during August. In September, we had 52 new permits with a value of $2.4 million which gives us a total of $32 million for the year and 326 permits. We’re probably going to be on track to have about 425 to 440 total permits which is an exceptional year.”

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Two Arrested in Separate Domestic Battery Incidents

A man was arrested after allegedly battering a pregnant woman and a child.

On Wednesday night, Marshall County deputies were called to a home in the 13,000 block of State Road 17 where they found that the victim had fled the residence. The suspect, Jason Phillips, had also left the residence prior to the officer’s arrival. The victim was transported to the hospital for treatment for injuries sustained in the incident.

During the course of the investigation, police discovered that a young boy was also battered. Police were able to locate Phillips in Rochester and with the help of the Rochester Police Department he was taken into custody on Thursday.

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Knox Residents Injured in Marshall County Head-On Collision

accidentA Knox woman was flown to a South Bend hospital Thursday night after a head-on collision in Marshall County. It happened on 9th Road west of Sycamore Road just before 10 p.m. EDT. Police say a vehicle driven by Brittany Roxey, 26, of Knox was eastbound behind a car driven by Brittany Orr, 26, of Grovertown, pulled out to pass and hit a sport-utility vehicle driven by David Holdread, 51, of Knox, head-on. Continue reading

Plymouth Woman Arrested on Theft, Fraud Charges

A Plymouth woman was arrested this week after an investigation into an unauthorized use of a credit card.

The investigation started on Thursday, Oct. 9 when  Plymouth Police Department officers received a call from the victim who told police that transactions in excess of $1,000 were charged to the victim’s debit/credit card in a three month period.

Kristen Hayes, 42, was questioned about the alleged transactions on Oct. 22. She was subsequently arrested on preliminary charges of credit card fraud and theft.

She was booked into the Marshall County Jail with a $1,500 cash bond.

Metronet Project Nearly Finished, Jail Bond Paperwork Finalized

Marshall County Attorney Jim Clevenger told the commissioners this week that the paperwork for the Metronet project is complete.

There were some endorsements and fees that were added to the paperwork that couldn’t be avoided. The conduit installation is nearly finished.

The bonds for the jail project were closed on Wednesday, Oct. 15. The lease amendment was recorded and sent to the state.

Clevenger told the board members at the last meeting that the prospective sale of the jail bonds to refinance the previous bonds found lower rates. Umbaugh and Associates predicted a possible $500,000 in payments, but the bond refinancing helped save the county $639,000.

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Marshall County Highway Department Crews Busy this Summer

The Marshall County Highway Department was busy this summer with the road program.

Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters told the commissioners Monday morning that crews were able to chip and seal 38 to 40 miles of roads this year.

“We pugged right around five-and-a-half miles, we paved a little over two-and-a-half miles. We used about 2,000 tons of milling for paving. We used about 1,500 ton of that for miscellaneous patching here and there. Roughly 1,000 to 1,500 ton we used for patching which offsets a tremendous amount of money in years to come as far as buying cold mix,” said Peters.

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Culver Community Schools Applies for State Grant

The Culver Community School Corporation is seeking a $52,747 grant from the state for retention incentives for highly effective teachers. The purpose of the state grant is to increase the academic achievement of all students by helping schools and districts improve teacher and principal quality and effectiveness. Evaluations of the teachers determine who receives part of the grant as a bonus. Director of Operations Chuck Kitchell says if the grant is received, a portion of the grant will be set aside.

“About $6,000 of that money we would like to set aside to help with professional development activities for our teachers,” said Kitchell.

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Recovering Addict Shares Story With Local Students

Todd Crandell
Todd Crandell

With sobriety, anything is possible. That’s the message addict turned triathlete Todd Crandell is sharing with students in Starke and Marshall Counties during Red Ribbon Week. He first tried alcohol when he was 13. Crandall says his life was” normal on the outside” but he was pretty emotionally distraught due to his Mom’s suicide 10 years earlier due to her struggles with addiction.

“I had a giant void that I was looking for something to fill it with, and unfortunately trying alcohol at age 13 was the catalyst for the next 13 years of destruction,” Crandall said.

He says he used “anything I could get my hands on” to try to numb the pain. Continue reading

Marshall County Museum and Weidner School of Inquiry Honor Local Veterans

The Marshall County Museum and the Weidner School of Inquiry recently teamed up to digitally record stories of World War II veterans. The Museum staff contacted nearly 40 known veterans and high school students to schedule face to face interviews. The students generated questions from researching the era and videotaped the conversations. A composite DVD of the interviews was produced by the students to give to each interviewee and to also become part of the Museum’s military exhibit. Executive Director Linda Rippy says the students got into the project and bonded really well with the veterans.

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Suspicious Backpack Leads to Warrant Arrest

A man was arrested on a warrant for attempted manufacture of methamphetamine after a suspicious backpack was found in his car after an accident.

Brandon Adkins, 29, was injured in the accident on Michigan Road near 3rd Road on Sunday afternoon and was taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend for treatment.

Marshall County deputies conducted a routine search of his vehicle and they found a suspicious backpack, according to a news release. The Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Suppression Team was called to process the contents of the backpack. Marshall County Superior Court No. 1 Judge Robert O. Bowen reviewed a probable cause affidavit and a warrant was issued for Adkins’ arrest.

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Commissioners Approve and Adopt Road Vacation Ordinance

The Marshall County Commissioners held a public hearing Monday morning concerning the vacation of a portion of 3B Road between Quince and Olive Roads.

Plan Director Ralph Booker explained that the request went before the plan commission at their recent meeting. The members of the plan commission found findings of fact that the conditions have changed in order to defeat the original purpose of the road, there is a public interest to vacate the road and the value of the road will not be diminished with the vacation of the road.

The road is grass-covered, not paved, and is surrounded by farm land and timber. The road is maintained by the adjoining landowners.

Booker said the request was brought forth by the Daniel and Beth Cashen who own property along a portion of the road.

“The request was to vacate from Quince Road all the way to the east end of the Cashens’ property,” said Booker. “At the east end, the deal was that the Cashens’ would give a portion of ground for a 120 foot cul-de-sac in which 3rd Road would truncate. The Cashens are in the process and have received a building permit for a new home so we’ve given it an address of 14755 3B Road.”

There was one opposition to the road vacation and a letter was submitted to the plan commission by Pike Lumber that summarized their opinion. The company has access from Quince Road going east along 3B Road. The access road is used by employees to inspect forest land, harvest timber and to control the deer population with deer reduction events. Officials believe that access to this road would be restricted if the commissioners would approve the road vacation request.

The plan commission approved an ordinance that only allows the vacation of the road along the Cashens’ property. The commissioners also approved that ordinance. The rules were suspended and the ordinance was approved on all three readings to adopt the ordinance.

Balanced Calendar Public Forum Set for Culver Community Schools

Culver Community Schools will host a public forum on Nov. 3rd at 6 p.m. ET to discuss the pros and cons of a balanced calendar. Rochester School Corporation Superintendent Janna Vance, plus a principal and a teacher from the school will be at the Culver High School auditorium to talk about the balanced schedule.

The board will then meet afterward to decide whether or not to switch to balanced calendar.

A balanced calendar still provides the state-mandated 180 days of classroom instruction. School would start about a week or a week-and-a-half earlier than it does now and end at the beginning of June. The schedule would also feature two-week breaks for remediation and vacation in the fall and spring.

Check Addresses of Sex Offenders before Halloween

Parents should be aware of who is living in the area before taking children trick-or-treating.

Online tools are available to learn the location of sex offenders in a certain area.

There are currently 35 registered sex offenders in Starke County, 21 sex offenders listed in Pulaski County, 88 offenders in Marshall County and 183 sex offenders in LaPorte County.

Learn the addresses of these offenders before children go out to avoid these homes.

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