Local News

Sex with Student Charges Against Teacher

(Valparaiso, IN) - A now-former English teacher at Chesterton High School has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a former student.


Dakota McCoy, 31, of Valparaiso has been charged with Child Seduction and Obstruction of Justice and has also reportedly been fired from his position in the Duneland School Corporation.


According to authorities, the female victim alleges she was 16 or 17 when she began having sex with McCoy, whom she accused of providing alcohol and cigarettes to students while hanging out with them. The former student claimed she and McCoy had sex as many as 50 times in his car or at his mother's house until the end of her senior year.


She also told police she began getting confused over right from wrong when he started giving her rides home and messaging her.

La Porte Makes Hiring History

(La Porte, IN) - History has been made today in the City of La Porte as Mayor Tom Dermody and the Board of Public Works & Safety announced the hiring of the city’s first-ever IT Director: Roscoe Hoffman.


According to the Mayor’s Office, Hoffman has 12 years of IT experience, mostly recently with La Porte County E-911 and the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office. Previously, he had worked at Dunebrook as both a Family Support Manager and IT Manager.


Mayor Tom Dermody said Hoffman’s focus will be to improve efficiencies among departments and bolster the city’s cybersecurity against potential hazards.


“Roscoe will be a fantastic addition to our City of La Porte leadership team. In this ever-changing world, it is critical that we do all we can to protect our employees' and residents’ information against bad actors. We are thrilled to add this staff position and ecstatic to have Roscoe be the one to fill it,” he said.


Hoffman earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Purdue Northwest. He also has additional training and certifications in Fortigate and Cisco hardware, in addition to Caliber CAD and RM training for First Responder software.


He and his wife Adele reside in La Porte County with their four children.

Motorcyclist Wipes Out Avoiding Deer

(La Porte County, IN) - A motorcycle driver was injured after wiping out to avoid a deer between La Porte and Michigan City on Sunday afternoon.


Anthony Ritchie, 18, was on 400 West and accelerating when a deer ran out in front of him. Swerving and missing the deer, he and his 2003 Kawasaki motorcycle wound up sliding on the pavement.


Police said Ritchie wound up with a hole in his forearm and stitches in his right leg, in addition to gouging and long scrape marks left on the pavement from the motorcycle.


Damage to Ritchie's bike included scraped paint, a cracked exhaust, and a broken front shock. The damage was estimated at $3,000.

Officers in Daring Suicide Rescue Recognized

(La Porte, IN) - Two La Porte Police Officers have been recognized for saving the life of a young woman who tried jumping from the U.S. 35 overpass.


Ryan Helmecy and Taylor Atkinson were given awards for their life-saving efforts during last night’s La Porte City Council meeting. Likewise, Adam Jaskowiak and Justin Dyer were commended for assisting with the situation.


On August 28th, a bystander on the bridge roughly 30 feet above the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks was close to the woman, begging her not to jump. The woman was at the top of a chain link security fence erected along the edge of a sidewalk on the overpass a few years ago.


She was beginning to make her way down the other side of the fence when Helmecy, the first emergency responder to arrive, rushed over, jumped on top of the fence, and grabbed the crying woman by the arm until she let go.


With nothing but the ground below her feet, Police Chief Paul Brettin said Helmecy held on to her until Officer Atkinson climbed to the other side of the fence and grabbed the woman by the arm.


Atkinson kept a tight grip on her for several minutes, until being rescued via the bucket on a fire truck below the overpass. Atkinson then climbed back over the fence to the pavement.  


Jaskowiak called the actions of the two officers “probably one of the most heroic” in his 12 years of public service.


“They completely put their well-being aside to go over that fence and hang on,” he said.


“She was begging them to let go. They would not do that,” Brettin said.


The woman was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation to begin the process of recovery.


Brettin said he’s since nicknamed Atkinson “Spider-Man," after the comic book superhero's ability to stick to and climb walls.


Historically, Brettin said, people have occasionally jumped or threatened to jump from the overpass, but not since the security fence was installed.


“I was quite surprised when they called me and told me that this occurred,” he said.

Wife Charged in Hit and Run Death

(Michigan City, IN) - A Michigan City man is dead after being struck by a car driven by his wife.


At about 3 p.m. yesterday, emergency responders were called to the Tall Timbers apartment complex near State Road 212 on the city’s far east side.


Kyle Suarez, 24, was found unresponsive and later died after being taken to a hospital for medical attention.


The investigation shows Suarez was involved in an altercation in the parking lot of the housing complex, where his spouse, 34-year-old Miranda Eggleston Suarez, wanted to leave and while doing so drove into her husband before hitting a pick-up truck and fleeing the scene. She later returned, only to be taken into custody.


Right now, she’s charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident Causing Death, a Level 4 felony that carries a potential two-to-12-year sentence.


Additional charges are possible, dependent on the findings of the still-ongoing investigation.

Emergency Test Set for Wednesday

(Washington D.C.) - FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts this fall.


The national event, consisting of testing WEA and EAS capabilities, is scheduled to begin at about 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday.


The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones, making this the third nationwide test, but only the second test for all cellular devices. The test message will display in either English or Spanish, depending on one's language settings.


The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radio and television stations and will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.


FEMA and the FCC are coordinating with EAS participants, wireless providers, emergency managers, and other stakeholders in preparation for this national test to minimize confusion and maximize the public safety value of the test.


According to FEMA officials, the purpose of the Wednesday test is to ensure that their systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on a national level.


For consumers, the message that appears on their phones will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”


That’s similar to the regular monthly EAS test messages that state “This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This is only a test.  No action is required by the public.”

Water Line Flushing Coming Up

(La Porte, IN) - Water Department workers in La Porte will begin flushing the system in two weeks.


Beginning October 15th, crews will be flushing out fire hydrants throughout the community every Sunday through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.


Water Department Superintendent Tim Werner said the flushing, which happens twice annually, will run for three to four weeks. He said the process is a critical part of maintaining the city’s water quality and infrastructure. 


“Twice a year, our crews spend several weeks working through the night to help ensure the integrity of our water system for decades to come,” he said.


Flushing can produce discolored or rusty water in some areas but the water is safe to drink.  However, Werner noted, discolored water in washing machines may stain clothing.


Residents should check their water before doing laundry and not dry materials if there’s staining.  Instead, they should contact the Water Department for free rust-removing solutions.


“While we know that this process can be an inconvenience, it’s a very necessary part of our system maintenance.  We appreciate everyone’s patience,” he said.


Anyone with questions is urged to contact the Water Department at 219-326-9540.

La Porte Area Chase Ends in Porter County

(La Porte, IN) - A seat belt violation led to a high speed chase from near Springville into Porter County.


La Porte County Police said it was about 10 a.m. Sunday when the officer stopped the vehicle for a seat belt violation.


A computer check revealed the driver had a suspended license.


At one point, police said the driver put the vehicle back into gear and stepped on the gas pedal westbound on Interstate 94.


The SUV was chased into Porter County where it ended when stop sticks flattened the tires on the vehicle near Burns Harbor, police said.


Mareon Williams, 32, of Chicago was arrested for resisting law enforcement and allegedly having about a quarter ounce of marijuana in the vehicle.


Police said he was also cited for allegedly not wearing a seat belt and driving on a suspended license.

LPHS Marching Band Advances to State Finals

(La Porte, IN) - The La Porte High School Marching Band has made it to the state finals, having qualified during the Indiana State School Music Association scholastic class preliminary competition this past Saturday in Plymouth.


Mayor Tom Dermody greeted members of the band Saturday afternoon after they returned. stepping off the bus in the high school parking lot.


“The city is proud of you. Go LP,” he said.


The mayor’s brief pep talk drew loud applause from the marching band members.


According to school officials, the band achieved a gold rating during the preliminary competition.


The ISSMA marching band finals will be October 28th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Man Taken by Helicopter from Golf Cart Accident

(La Porte County, IN) - A man driving a golf cart was taken by helicopter with injuries sustained in a La Porte County accident.


At 6 p.m. on Saturday, emergency responders were called to the 3200 block of East County Road 875 South in Union Township.


The investigation shows that 59-year-old Tony Lovins was westbound on 875 South when he ran off the roadway before returning to the pavement and rolling. The bucket seats in the golf cart were lying next to the machine after it came to rest in the opposite lane.


According to police, Lovins could not recall what happened.  However, a nearby resident heard a loud acceleration before stepping out of his garage to see the golf cart roll.


Lovins was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in South Bend with a bloody bandage on his head and blood on his clothing. It only appears Lovins had been drinking coffee at the time of the incident.

New Prairie Breaks Records and Riley's Winning Streak

(New Carlisle, IN) - New Prairie quarterback Marshall Kmiecik couldn’t have scripted a better Friday night. The senior led his team over undefeated South Bend Riley, broke a school passing record, and was named Homecoming King.


But the opening seconds were dicey. It took Riley less than a minute to jump out to a lead. A 72-yard bomb on their first play from scrimmage was followed by a 2-yard plunge into the end zone.


New Prairie fired back with a 56-yard touchdown throw from Kmiecik to senior wideout Reece Lapczynski on a 3rd-and-27 play.


Two holding penalties killed the next Riley drive, and the Wildcats’ offense sputtered from there. Near the end of the first quarter, Kmiecik found junior tight end Isaac Fronk for a 23-yard score. The two teams traded possessions, until a 67-yard Lapczynski touchdown reception put the Cougars up 20-6. A promising Riley drive at the end of the first half was thwarted by an interception by junior defensive back Hayden Scott.


Riley nearly rekindled their mojo in the second half, with a long pass play followed by a short touchdown run. But New Prairie’s backfield, which has been work in progress this season, rose to the challenge. “They’ve come a long way,” said head coach Casey McKim afer the game. “I really felt good about the way our DBs played, especially on the outside. There was a lot of deep balls thrown up, and we were in dominant position multiple times.”


On the first play of the fourth quarter, Kmiecik found Fronk again for a 55-yard touchdown. Senior two-way player Brock Sinka picked off a pass, and a Kmiecik rushing touchdown from the one with 3:34 remaining put the game on ice. The Cougars handed Riley their first loss, 35-12.


New Prairie’s passing game seems to have found its stride, and Friday night it ripped Riley’s vaunted defense for one big play after another. “I have a lot of respect for that defense,” McKim said. “They took away our strength; that’s what good defenses do. They took away the run game, which is really hard to do against us. We took advantage of it with some explosive plays in the passing game.”


Kmiecik’s 306 passing yards on 9 of 17 attempts set a school record. Lapczynski hauled in 155 of those yards, also a school record. Fronk accounted for 140 yards on three catches. Kmiecik also led the team in rushing, with 60 yards on the ground. (And don’t forget the Homecoming crown.)


According to McKim, Kmiecik has taken his game to another level. “Just unbelievable,” McKim said of his signal-caller. “He has multiple ways to beat you-- his calm under pressure, his skill set is unmatched at this level. He can beat you with his legs, he was some of our best running tonight. His ability to extend the plays, to get the ball out quickly, to get through his reads and to find that open guy, and then extend plays and get guys open that weren’t initially open is unrivaled.”


New Prairie’s defense registered two interceptions. Senior Aidan Zeiglar led the Cougars with eight tackles. Senior Trenton Klute had a sack.


The Cougars now brace themselves to face giants Penn and Elkhart in back-to-back games. Their final home game of the season is next Friday.

Jail Visits Halted Due to Construction

(La Porte, IN) - Construction at the La Porte County Complex will be hindering jail visits temporarily.


Extensive work is still underway to rehab office damage done by a flood last December. According to the Sheriff’s Department, workers are erecting a tunnel from the building’s south entrance down the hallway to the main lobby, while rehab efforts continue in that area of the building. This will allow for public access to the front desk of the Sheriff’s Department. Normal operations will continue during regular business hours, and people can still post inmate bond 24/7.


However, on-site inmate visitation will be suspended during this brief phase of construction. The Sheriff’s Department expects the halt to in-person visits to last about a week.

New BMV Hours Going Into Effect

(Indianapolis IN) - The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has announced a change to their hours of operation for many branches across the state.


In La Porte the license branch will open half an hour later, opening at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday through Saturday. It will close at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays.


The BMV says the new hours will take effect on Monday, October 2.


Below are the new hours of operation for local license branches:


  • LaPorte - Tue - Sat (Tue: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Wed/Thu/Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sat: 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)
  • Valparaiso - M/Tue/Thu/Fri (8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.)
  • South Bend - M/Tue/Thu/Fri (8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.)
  • Knox - Mon/Wed/Fri (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
  • Winamac - Tue/Thu (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
  • Plymouth - Tue - Sat (Tue: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Wed/Thu/Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sat: 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)

Michigan City Woman Seriously Injured in Interstate Crash

(Merrillville, IN) - A Michigan City woman was seriously injured in a five-car collision on I-65.


It happened Monday afternoon around 3:45 p.m. just north of Merrillville. According to State Police, a distracted driver did not notice backed-up traffic in front of him and plowed into the traffic jam. A Chevy Malibu driven by an unidentified 40-year-old Michigan City woman took the brunt of the impact. Three other cars were struck in the chain reaction.


The woman was extricated by firefighters and airlifted to a Chicago Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.


Other drivers involved were taken by ambulance to local hospitals. Alllanes of I-65 were briefly closed for the landing of the medical helicopter. Southbound lanes remained closed for several hours for cleanup. Neither drugs nor alcohol are suspected to be factors in this crash.

Wife Sentenced for Murdering Husband

(La Porte, IN) - A 63-year prison sentence was handed to a La Porte woman on Friday in connection with the fatal shooting of her husband and dismemberment of his body.


Thessalonica Allen, 36, formerly of South Bend, was convicted by a jury on July 27th of Murder, Abuse of a Corpse and Altering a Crime Scene, (the latter two both Level 6 Felonies), along with two Level 5 Felony counts of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor and two Level 6 Felony counts of Neglect of a Dependent.


57 years of the sentence accounts for the 2021 killing of Randy Allen inside of his and Thessalonica's home at Maple Tree Apartments at 1405 West 18th Street.


Prior to sentencing, relatives of the victim told the court that Allen loved his wife and four stepchildren, and, if there were problems, Mrs. Allen should have just left instead of destroying the family.


Their two teenagers heard the gunshot before watching their stepfather bleed to death after being told by their mother not to call for help.


The victim’s uncle, Larry Allen of South Bend told her “you are strictly the devil.”


“So was he,” Allen said.


LaPorte Circuit Court Judge Tom Alevizos, with his outstretched arm and index finger, pointed to Allen and warned her not to speak again until given permission or he would hold her in contempt.


Testimony presented at trial indicated the couple was arguing over a social media post seen by Mr. Allen that led him to believe she was interested in another man.


At one point, Mr. Allen told her he was leaving.


According to the testimony, she told him he wasn't, before pulling out a gun and shooting him in the arm.  The bullet ricocheted toward his rib cage before ultimately coming to rest in his spinal cord.


According to prosecutors, Mrs. Allen manipulated her children into helping her clean up the bloody crime scene, as well as attempting to drag the body outside. Despite their efforts, it was too heavy for them to lift into her vehicle, and lead to it being dragged back inside their apartment. Mrs. Allen went out the next day and purchased an axe she used soon to dismember the late Mr. Allen's legs. Still, the body was still too heavy.


Her plan in response was to drive to South Bend and set the car on fire to destroy the body.


In a letter read out loud in the courtroom, the victim’s brother, Robert Allen, asked his sister in-law how she could do such a thing.


“It shows to me in this world monsters truly exist,” he said.


Mrs. Allen, claiming to be a battered wife, argued self-defense and that her husband lunged at her before she fired the gun.


After sentencing, LaPorte County Deputy Prosecutor Julianne Havens said there were no bruises or other injuries discovered on Mrs. Allen following her arrest, nor any other evidence of him striking her physically.


However, she said there were handwritten notes from Mrs. Allen recovered from the home that outlined different methods of murder, in addition to names of people she felt would help her carry out the plot.


“From the evidence that came out, there was no self-defense. I don’t think it held any water,” she said.


Alevizos said Mrs. Allen will be over 80-years-old before eligible for parole.

Man Facing Child Sex-Related Charges

(La Porte, IN) - A La Porte man is facing sex-related allegations involving two boys.


Ronald Garrett, 28, has been charged in La Porte Circuit Court with Child Molestation and two counts of Child Seduction.


La Porte Police started investigating on September 1st, when contacted by the mother of the children, ages 8 & 9. One of the boys had told her he was being inappropriately touched by Garrett, the last time being at the end of August.


About a week later, the lead detective in the case was informed by an Indiana Department of Child Services employee that she had spoken with the other boy about inappropriate contact in the past from Garrett.


The other boy told investigators the activity started when he was 7. Then, after turning 8, it happened “once or twice a weekend,” per court documents.


Garrett denied the allegations but when offered a lie detector test responded “he wanted his attorney,” police said. There were similar allegations against Garrett in 2017 and 2020 that authorities were not able to substantiate.


Garrett could face anywhere from a 20-to-40 year sentence on the child molesting count. The other charges could each bring an additional three-to-six year sentence.

He is currently being held on $100,000 bond.

Arson Ruled in Auto Graveyard Fire

(Michigan City, IN) - Arson has been ruled as the cause of a fire on Monday at what looked like a huge auto graveyard in Michigan City. This determination was made with help from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office and the use of certified K9 dogs scouring the property at 8188 North Meer Road.


“Fire Marshal Jeff Bruder utilized several resources over the past three days to assist in determining the cause and origin,” per Michigan City Fire Department officials.


A large pole barn and garage containing various cars and vehicles were engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at roughly 6p.m. to the heavily-wooded area.


Michigan City Fire Department spokesperson Tia Free said the owner told investigators he bought the property 25 years ago and kept bringing in vehicles over the years.


Hundreds of old and newer model vehicles, some with trees and vegetation growing through them, were also on the grounds, along with a couple of vintage fire engines. 


So far, no suspects have been reported.

Groundbreaking for New Prison

(Westville, IN) - There was a groundbreaking on Thursday for the new Westville Correctional Facility, costing an estimated $1.2 billion.


The building, expected to take four years to construct, will also become home to Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.


The WCF was originally a mental health facility when it opened in 1951, before later being converted into a penal institution.


Indiana Department of Correction officials say that the new prison will more secure and offer more services designed to keep inmates from reoffending.


Governor Eric Holcomb noted that the new prison will be the most expensive state building project in history, but one that will be a cost-saver in the long run because of the money saved from no longer needing to maintain the Indiana State Prison.


ISP prison was built in 1860.


“We are at that point right now where you can start to plan long term for a different use of a primo piece of property in Michigan City and not continue to pour money into a facility that was built before Lincoln was sworn in as president,” he said.


Right now, one vision is to demolish the state prison after it moves into the new WCF in five years and redevelop the 100-acre parcel for another purpose, like workforce housing.


The new prison will house up to 4,200 inmates. The population at both prisons combined is closer to 5,000, but other prisons in the state with vacancies will absorb the overflow.

La Porte Group to Celebrate 100th Concert Season

(La Porte, IN) - A local group bringing musicians in to perform is celebrating its 100th anniversary.


The La Porte Community Concert Association’s first sponsored performance of the season is scheduled October 22nd, set to begin at 2 p.m. at the Kesling Intermediate School Auditorium.


The featured performer will be Jason Lyle Black, an award-winning piano entertainer whose clever arrangements, fun stories and on-stage charm has won countless fans throughout the world, according to the LCCA.


Black takes audiences on a journey through numerous musical styles, playing nearly 100 songs in his fast-paced show interwoven with his comedic stories like “Songs Not to Play at People’s Weddings and Funerals," and the uncanny ability to play as easily sitting backward as forwards.


Program highlights during his performance will include:  Musicals – Les Miserables; The Sound of Music; West Side Story.  Movies – Beauty and the Beast; Star Wars; Indiana Jones.  Famous Classical hits – William Tell Overture; Toccata and Fuge (Bach); Flight of the Bumblebee; and Blue Danube Waltz.


The idea of Community Concerts began in 1923 when Ward French of New York came up with a plan to take live, professional talent to the small towns in America with the assurance the sponsoring organization would not lose money. His idea was to raise money first, then select the programs to fit the budget.


LaPorte was the second city, with Battle Creek Michigan being first, to try this new idea. 


Originally, the concerts were held at the LaPorte Theater, the old LaPorte High School and the Civic Opera House.  After 1930, most concerts were held at the Civic Auditorium, but today they are at Kesling Intermediate School Auditorium at 306 East 18th Street.


In 1948 the name was changed to LaPorte Community Concert Association and Walter Burger was elected president, a position he held for many years. 


For ten decades, the association has brought hundreds of renowned artists to LaPorte including the Indiana Symphony Orchestra, the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, Al Hurt, Marian Anderson, Mario Lanza, the Swedish Symphony, the Moscow Balalikas, the London Piano duo and the Shanghai Acrobats from China. This is in addition to dance companies, choral groups, comics and big bands that have performed in LaPorte at the Civic Auditorium.  


The LaPorte Community Concert Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization staffed entirely by volunteers.  All the money raised through ticket sales and contributions is used for artists’ fees and production expenses.


LaPorte has four concerts per year and has a reciprocity agreement with the associations in Portage (4 concerts) and Munster (6 concerts), allowing LaPorte members to attend any of their concerts. 


So, a $60 adult membership ticket will admit a member into 14 concerts a year.  Tickets are $20 at the door for a single performance. 


For more information, contact Bill Burger at 219-362-5292 or Beth LeRoy at 219-362-8262.

Another New Industrial Building for La Porte

(La Porte, IN) - Another spec building is going up at the Thomas Rose Industrial Park in La Porte.


The developer behind the first 150,000 square foot structure, Bob Qualls of Quincy Development, is behind the second spec building of equal size that just started construction next to it.


The first 150,000 square foot spec building opened about a year ago and has become fully occupied by two firms.


Bert Cook, Executive Director of the Greater La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership, said there’s demand for such ready-to-occupy facilities locally. The hope on his end is to have tenants already lined up before the second spec building is finished sometime next year.


“We’re really excited to be able to have more product, more space that will be ready and we can pitch to companies who are interested in locating here,” he said.


American Renolit Corporation is using about 90,000 square feet in the first spec building for warehouse and distribution purposes.  The remainder of the space is occupied by Patrick Industries, a maker of components for the recreational vehicle and marine industries.


“To have one building built spec and then be very, very successful then on the heels of that have a second building, I think that’s a really nice story for La Porte and it really speaks to the demand that’s out there for our market,” he said.

Mayoral Candidate Questions Annexation

(La Porte, IN) - A candidate for mayor in LaPorte is expressing concerns about annexing the 39 North Conservancy District.


Democrat Ron Zimmer said he would do it only if the city has enough money to serve that area, as well as take care of current residents' needs.


Right now, Zimmer said he’s not sure if that can be done, considering the amount of money needed for upgrading the water system in the conservancy district. He feels the estimated $10 million cost might leave the city with inadequate resources to take care of civic matters like street repairs.


“We’re going to borrow money somewhere down the road to get a water tower and then a couple of years later borrow some more money to get something else.  It’s like a never ending the process and the citizens of La Porte drive around on streets with potholes.  That’s what I’m concerned about,” he said.


Recently, the city has obtained signatures from 57% of the property owners requesting to be annexed.


The city also reached an agreement with the 39 North Conservancy District to annex in exchange for items of note, like purchasing the existing infrastructure for two million dollars and giving the money to district property owners in the form of credits and utility bills.


Currently, there’s a 90 day period for the public to remonstrate against the annexation plans set to close in early December.


Zimmer, who has previously ran for mayor on two occasions, is facing Republican incumbent Tom Dermody.

DNR Advice for Upcoming Deer Season

(Indianapolis, IN) - With the deer reduction zone season underway and the statewide archery deer season starting Oct. 1st, Indiana Conservation Officers remind hunters to stay safe.


According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, more than 300,000 people are expected to participate in some form of deer hunting in Indiana during the various deer hunting seasons that run through Jan. 31st, 2024, and the overwhelming majority typically do so safely.


When injuries occur, the most common are from accidents involving hunting from tree stands and elevated platforms. To avoid such injuries, hunters should follow the safety tips listed below when hunting from an elevated position.

Before the hunt:

  • Read and understand the tree stand manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Check tree stands and equipment for wear; fatigue; and cracks or loose nuts and bolts, paying particularly close attention to parts made of material other than metal.
  • Pack and plan to use equipment specifically designed for hunting.
  • Practice tree stand use and setup at ground level.
  • Learn how to properly wear your full-body safety harness.

During the hunt:

  • Wear your full-body safety harness.
  • Use a tree stand safety rope.
  • Make certain to attach your harness to the tree before leaving the ground, and that it remains attached to the tree until you return to the ground.
  • Maintain three points of contact during ascent and descent.
  • Use boots with nonslip soles.
  • Use a haul line to raise and lower firearms, bows and other hunting gear.
  • Make sure firearms are unloaded, action is open, and safety is on before attaching them to the haul line.

When doing any kind of hunting, remember to do the following to stay safe:

  • Carry a cellphone and flashlight.
  • Make a plan before you hunt.
  • Tell someone your plan, including where you will be hunting and when you plan to return.
  • Stick to your plan.
  • Identify game before pointing a firearm.
  • Know your target and what is beyond it.

For more information, see hunting.IN.gov.  

Drug Bust During Search of Bicyclist

(La Porte, IN) - A man stopped by La Porte City Police on a bicycle was allegedly found with narcotics.


David Eskridge, 52, has been charged in La Porte Circuit Court with Posession of Methamphetamine, in addition to a smoking pipe.


According to court documents, an officer stopped him for not having rear lights and reflectors on his bicycle while out traveling late at night on Monroe Street. near Maple Avenue on September 21st.


He was previously found with meth and a gun earlier in the year, and  for that reason, he was searched. The officer then allegedly found a cigarette pack containing over three grams of methamphetamine in the pocket of his hooded sweatshirt.


A glass smoking device with burn marks and traces of meth was also seized.

Public Meetings Over Change in Utility Plans

(Berrien County, MI) - Indiana Michigan Power Company is adjusting its plans to rebuild a high voltage line from New Buffalo to Bridgman, and as a result, the utility company has scheduled meetings to collect feedback from the public.


According to I&M officials, the 75 foot tall steel or wooden poles to potentially comprise the structure would be about 10 feet shorter than originally planned.


The width of easements obtained for the work would also be reduced from 60 feet to 40 feet.  Reimbursement would also be offered for removal of trees on private property within the proposed easement.


According to the utility company, the upgrades would provide a stronger transmission grid to four local substations, as well as reduce outages. 


A majority of the existing wooden poles on the route date back to the 1960’s.


Public meetings to go over the change in plans are scheduled for October 9th at the Chikaming Township Center in Harbert and October 10th in the gymnasium at Three Oaks Elementary School.


Each session will begin at 6:30 p.m. (EST)

Medical Building Under Construction

(La Porte, IN) - A medical office building is being constructed on La Porte’s west side, going up beside the Walgreens pharmacy along Indiana 2 to house a new urgent care facility.


Executive Director of the La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership Bert Cook said that construction is about halfway finished and that the services provided will meet a need on that side of the community, especially for people lacking transportation.


“One of the things we heard from residents on the west side is the need to be able to walk to things in close proximity there with health care being one of them,” he said.


Urgent care facilities give people the opportunity to receive the medical attention they would need without going immediately to hospital emergency rooms.


So far, Cook said the medical provider that will operate the facility is not currently being disclosed, but will be revealed once construction is closer to completion. 

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