The American Red Cross is helping people affected by the wildfires in Washington State.

Red Cross volunteer and Flora resident Pat Rinehart left for Washington Monday afternoon from Indianapolis International Airport to join with fellow Red Cross disaster workers on scene. Rinehart will serve as a Sheltering Supervisor, ensuring that people have a safe place to stay. This marks the 11th national Red Cross operation for Reinhart.

Four active fires have already burned a total of 356,000 acres in Washington State. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered and four emergency shelters are currently opened. Red Cross mental health and health services volunteers are helping with the emotional and healthcare needs of shelter residents. Over the weekend, caseworkers began assisting families with their basic needs and distribution volunteers gave out clean-up items and other supplies. Red Cross also has provided meals for first responders and those affected, and disseminated preparedness information on evacuation procedures, Red Cross safety apps and what to do if your property is threatened by fire.
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A 26-year-old Logansport man was killed yesterday in a one-vehicle accident on Division Road, just east of Broad Ripple Road. The Cass County SHeriff’s Department says a Ford Ranger pickup truck driven by 20-year-old Griffin Garrett of Logansport was traveling east on Division Road when it left the roadway and struck and embankment and a tree. A passenger, 26-year-old James Weese of Logansport, was pronounced dead at the scene. Garrett was taken to Logansport Memorial Hospital with injuries and later transferred by helicopter to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne. The accident happened around 3:45 Monday afternoon. Investigators say they believe speed and alcohol may have contributed to the crash.
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Due to a recent request by State Sen. Randy Head, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is conducting a formal review of the Logansport interchanges on the Hoosier Heartland Highway.

Head said the new intersection may have safety issues, as many motorists run through stop signs or unintentionally drive into the paths of other vehicles. There have been multiple accidents reported at the site since it was opened to the public in the fall of 2013.

Head requested that INDOT review the site prior to this week’s accident and said the recent crash has amply illustrated the need for a change.

INDOT is currently collecting data on speed limits and crash history involving all roads that are part of the Logansport interchanges with the Hoosier Heartland.

Head said he hopes that INDOT’s review will result in some form of traffic control to allow safe and smooth navigation for all drivers.
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Two Illinois couples were seriously injured in a crash involving two motorcycles Sunday afternoon in Cass County. The Cass County Sheriff’s Department says a Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by 50 year old James H. Fuchs of Metamora, IL was stopped on the ramp from US 35 north at US 24 when, for an unknown reason, it was rear-ended at a high rate of speed by a 2013 Harley it was traveling with, driven by 78 year old David D. Gorey of Kewanee, Illinois. Both drivers and their passengers were ejected from their motorcycles. Authorities say Gorey may have had a medical problem before the crash -- toxicology tests are pending but alcohol is not believed to have been a factor in the crash. Fuchs and Gorey, along with their wives, 61 year old Luanna Fuchs and 79 year old Alice Klenworth, were taken to Logansport Memorial Hospital by Rural Metro Ambulance and later transferred by helicopter to Fort Wayne with head injuries.
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The Indiana State Police are warning the public of a scam that has moved to Indiana. The latest scam that is circulating involves individuals claiming to be from the IRS.

Officials are investigating a phone scam involving callers who impersonate Internal Revenue Service representatives and demand immediate payments with pre-paid debit cards and wire transfers. The caller often claims the victim owes thousands of dollars in overdue taxes. According to the IRS, the agency would always make contact with the taxpayer first by mail or with a personal visit.

The scam continues when the caller tells the victim he cannot use standard forms of payment, specifically a credit card to pay the taxes. The caller tries to justify why the money has to be wired to a PayPal account or paid using a prepaid debit card. If the caller is unsuccessful talking to the victim the scammer will then threaten the victim with an arrest warrant. State Police say the IRS doesn’t have the authority to issue warrants.

Authorities say the calls are originating from cell phones or over the internet from all over the U.S. and tracking them down is not an easy task. The state police feel that a well informed public is the best defense in combating scammers and remind everyone that these phone scams and cyber crimes are becoming commonplace.

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A 17 year old girl was killed this morning in a two-vehicle accident on Old US 24 and Cass County CR 700 East. Sheriff Randy Pryor said a silver 2005 van driven by 17 year old Lauren N. Bashore of Peru was traveling east on Logansport Road near Old US 224. The other vehicle, a 2011 straight truck driven by 60 year old Kevin P. Thompson of Marion was traveling west on Logansport Road. As the vehicles approached one another, the van, driven by Bashore, went left of center, striking the left side of the truck driven by Thompson. Pryor said Bashore was pronounced dead at the scene. Thompson was taken to Logansport Memorial Hospital by a Cass County deputy sergeant for alcohol and drug tests. Bashore was a student at Lewis Cass. A post on the Lewis Cass FFA page on Facebook says a special vesper service in her memory will be conducted tonight at 10 p.m. at the fairgrounds.
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Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region is planning its first “Wild Indiana Outdoors” expo for Jan. 17-18, 2015. The planning committee is now seeking sponsors and accepting exhibitor reservations for the two-day event that is designed to highlight Hoosier outdoor opportunities ranging from hunting to biking to tourism.

The committee is working to secure nationally known guest speakers for workshops and seminars during the event. All proceeds from the event will go to the Ivy Tech Foundation to support scholarships for Ivy Tech Kokomo Region students.

Various levels of sponsorship are available, with a portion of each qualifying as charitable contributions. A full list of funding opportunities is available on Ivy Tech’s website or by contacting Craig Carter at 765-438-1193.

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Logan’s Landing has once again been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center®, which is a part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by Indiana Main Street, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

Logan's Landing is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to making Cass County's downtown between-the-rivers district a viable place to operate a business, a rewarding place to live, and a fun place to visit.
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One of the items approved by the Logansport City Council Monday night was the five year capital improvement program. Mayor Ted Franklin joined us yesterday on Talk of the Town and spent some time talking about changes to this year’s plan.

“It’s to try to identify and outline major expenses that are going to be expected - capital purchases - and that usually involves anything over $5,000.

We like to identify that so we can plan for the financing for it. In the past we have usually just went ahead and approved or adopted the CIP on a resolution and everybody acknowledged that it was only a plan and it was really more of a wish list than a true plan and that most of the expenses contained in the CIP were not realistic and could never be funded. So, this year we said let’s reel that back and let’s identify what is realistic and we’ll show the funding source, and let’s also identify what’s on the wish list but not included in the capital improvement program.

So this year’s capital improvement is fully funded. WE’ve identified the funding source, where the money comes from if it already exists and if it doesn’t already exist, how much money will we take in in the next say, three years, name your expense, in the CEDIT fund or the Eastgate Property fund or one of those other funds and what are we going to commit that money to.”

The Capital Improvement Plan includes items from each of the city departments and also includes a big expense in 2015 -- 1.25 million dollars from CEDIT funds for land acquisition and a spec building.

“We’re thinking long term about our economic development goals and although land acquisition is spelled out in here, and it’s one of those things we hope to be able to do," Franklin said. "We’re still working on a spec building, and so that’s one of the things that’s funded as well. We hope to have some developments with that coming up fairly quickly.”

The plan also addresses adding trash collection as a service that’s provided by the city, rather than contracted through an independent vendor, and alludes to the new power plant as a free place for the city to dispose of its trash.

“Yes. There’s still that hope,” Franklin said. “And actually that wasn’t, that portion of the power plant discussions took about a minute and a half. We said what we wanted and they agreed. So, that’s, really, that’s not even an issue. We will definitely have a place to dispose of our municipal solid waste."

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The body of a 28-year-old Logansport man was recovered from Lake Maxinkuckee, about 15 feet outside the swim area at Culver Public Beach in Marshall County Friday night. According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Jose Cruz Lizcano-Fernandez was missing for four to five hours. When friends searched for him, they located his shoes at the water's edge and notified police just before 9 p.m. Indiana Conservation Officers and other emergency personnel responded with divers and sonar and found him about 30 minutes later.
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