For the second time in a week, authorities have located explosive devices in a vehicle. The Logansport Police Department’s patrol division conducted a traffic stop around 3:30 Friday afternoon near the intersection of 21st and Otto Streets. During the stop, a police K-9 allegedly alerted to the presence of narcotics inside the vehicle. Officers conducted a probable cause search and allegedly located marijuana inside the vehicle, along with four improvised explosive devices. The driver, 41 year old Aaron Woods of Logansport, was charged with Class C felony charges of possession, manufacture and transportation of a destructive device, along with possession, manufacture and transportation by a convicted felon. He also faces a class a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana. As of Saturday, he was housed in the Cass County Jail. The Indiana State Police Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team (EOD) was contacted to render the devices safe.
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Last night marked the end of Chairman John Davis’ second term of service on the the Utility Service Board. Davis as a mayoral appointment for the last 8 years; he previously served on the board as a council appointment from 1995 through 1999.

“Public service is not for everyone but I have enjoyed every minute of the opportunity I’ve had to serve the citizens of Logansport, and in this particular job, the citizens of the utilities,” Davis said. “The feeling of public service is so fulfilling that you can’t measure it in dollars. It’s one of those things people do because they enjoy serving the public. I’ve had a great opportunity and a great run. People have been good to me and I’ve tried to always live up to the trust they’ve given me.”

Davis, who received a standing ovation from the audience in attendance at the meeting, says there are still challenges ahead for Logansport Municipal Utilities.

“There are always challenges in public service,” Davis said. “Undoubtedly from a national level and from a local level there are many challenges facing the utilities. We have always been an independent and a unique beast. Logansport has always kind of done it’s own thing and we’ve been able to pull that off. We’ll see what the future holds. The state of IN right now is relying on 82 percent of its power from coal. The national average is 37 percent. Climate control legislation is geared obviously to improve our environment but clearly will hurt industries and states that are reliant on coal, and that’s us. We’ll have to deal with that. We’ve had to do that dance with the water department, and our water department needs to be commended because basically that’s why the water plant’s closing. Federal regs changed to a level that we no longer could provide the water and meet the requirements. We reacted to that and they’ve done a great job, and we’re well ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline. I’ve got confidence that we’ll do the same with the electric situation in one manner or another. I’m not sure how that will play out. I’m going to be watching as a citizen.”

Mayor Ted Franklin he will announce a new appointment to the Utility Service Board by July 31.
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School shooter response training in Miami County 

Yesterday, troopers working from the Indiana State Police Peru Post conducted a Safe School/Active Shooter training session at Maconaquah High School in Miami County. Administrators from the various school corporations in Miami County, along with first responders from public safety organizations, attended the training.

The goal was to provide training for school administrators on ways to respond to an active shooter situation and provide information on the response school personnel should expect from law enforcement. It also served as a starting point to gather ideas from various organizations in an effort to put best practices in place to keep Indiana’s children and communities safe.

The Indiana State Police has been tasked as the lead agency in coordinating active shooter training with school corporations throughout the Indiana; the Indiana State Police Superintendent has initiated the program for school administrators with the support of Governor Mike Pence.

The coordinated effort was launched with the Indiana Department of Education to create and implement a statewide training program that would involve all parties responsible for the care and safety of our children. This program, which was already in the developmental stages before the school shootings in Connecticut, has come to be known as the “Safe Schools/Active Shooter” program.

The training consisted of a power point presentation by troopers assigned to the Indiana State Police Peru Post. It was preceded by an active shooter scenario, with troopers acting as role players and utilizing blank ammunition. The scenario was designed to give school administrators a life like feel of what might occur during an actual active shooter situation, and provided visual proof of a law enforcement response to an active shooter.

School corporations interested in receiving the presentation should contact the public information officer at their local Indiana State Police post.

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Four city meetings scheduled tonight 

It’ll be a busy evening tonight in the Logansport City Council Chambers, with four meetings scheduled in the span of 45 minutes. The council’s finance committee will meet at 4:45 to discuss the fiscal plan for annexation that they postponed voting on last week. The council has already approved the annexation; now, they’ll discuss reductions to the projected revenue the city will receive from taking in two large areas of land south of the city. The draft fiscal plan that the council originally approved would need to be amended to take into account the areas that were removed from the originally proposed annexation area. Another item they’ll discuss is a proposal by Councilman Bob Bishop to pay back $570,000 in bond money remaining from the Ivy Tech road project. The council approved a $4 million bond in 2007, and when the project came in 1.1 million dollars under budget, the council voted in 2010 to expand the scope of the Ivy Tech project and use the remaining funds for the 18th Street project. Prior to taking office, Bishop questioned the decision; now, he’s asking that remaining $570,000 surplus be paid back. The council will also discuss additional appropriations for the city’s legal fees related to the lawsuit filed by Logansport resident Julie Kitchell. Mayor Ted Franklin announced on Facebook earlier this week that the Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case; he expects the city’s legal fees related to the lawsuit to reach $75,000. Kitchell had filed an appeal after the judge dismissed the case, which put the city’s request that she be required to reimburse the city for it’s attorney fees on hold. Immediately following the finance committee meeting, the council’s planning and economic development committee will meet to discuss modifications to planning resolutions. Then, the mayor has called an executive session of the city council to discuss the current status of the Kitchell lawsuit. The Logansport Redevelopment Commission, or TIF board, of which four city councilmen are members, is scheduled to hold its monthly meeting at 5:30. Items on agenda include painting The Depot, a report on using downtown TIF money for demolition of downtown buildings and a report on the repayment of a $25,000 administration fee loan for the new multiplex theater under construction on Lexington Road.
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Carroll County man arrested after stabbing 

A Carroll County man was arrested on preliminary felony charges of battery, intimidation and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon Thursday night after he allegedly stabbed a woman who refused to get out of his bed. The Indiana State Police say 63 year old Elmer Guinn allegedly stabbed 20 year old Jessica Boyd in the leg at his residence just south of Monticello on US 421 around 11 o’clock Thursday night. Guinn was taken to the Carroll County Jail and bond was set at $50,000. Boyd was taken to IU White Memorial Hospital in Monticello with non-life threatening injuries, and was treated and released. Investigation into the case continues.
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New culinary program at Ivy Tech Peru 

Students at Ivy Tech’s Peru instructional site now have the option of obtaining a 16 credit hour academic certificate in hospitality administration, beginning this fall. Sanitation and first aid, basic food theory and skills, nutrition, soups stocks and sauces, intro to baking and human relations management are will be offered for credit at the Peru site. The certificate and one year of subsequent work experience prepares students to sit for the national credentialing exam of the American Culinary Federation. The certificate transfers to several Ivy Tech regions that offer the Associate of Applied Science. Non-credit courses will also begin this fall. The college’s ability to create this new opportunity was made possible by a generous gift to the Ivy Tech Foundation by Vohne Liche Kennels. The fall semester at Ivy Tech begins August 19.
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Five arrested on Fulton County drug charges 

Five people were arrested late last week following a traffic stop in Rochester that led to a search warrant where a meth lab, drugs and a large amount of firearms were allegedly discovered. 51 year old Randy Overmyer, 41 year old James W. Fagan, 29 year old Trista E. Odell and 23 year old Amanda Tuttle of Rochester, and 68 year old Marshal W. Wilson of Winamac were taken to the Fulton County Jail where they face felony drug charges. Sixteen guns, including one handgun and fifteen long rifles were also seized at the residence on North Fulton County Road 750 W. A six-year-old child who was at the residence was turned over to the Fulton County Department of Child Services.

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Miami County man injured in crash 

An Amboy man was airlifted to Fort Wayne Lutheran Hospital around 1:30 Sunday morning after his all-terrain vehicle struck a tree head-on. The Miami County Sheriff’s Department says Jason Hunt’s vehicle failed to negotiate a ninety-degree turn to the North onto County Road 650 E from Country Road 800 S. and traveled about 15 feet off the roadway before striking a tree head-on. According to a news release from the Miami County Sheriff, Hunt was listed in critical condition at Fort Wayne Lutheran Hospital. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the Miami County Sheriff’s department at 765-472-1322.

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Storms that tore through our listening area yesterday afternoon uprooted trees, heavily damaged buildings and reportedly overturned cars, in addition to dumping heavy rain. Some Peru residents believe a tornado touched down on the city’s west side, but the National Weather Service says there are no confirmed reports of tornadoes at this time.

A severe thunderstorm warning for Cass County was issued just before 1:30 afternoon; just before 2 o’clock the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning. Logansport Police Chief Mike Clark and the Logansport Street Department dealt with extremely high water on Logansport’s east end, at Market and West Roselawn and the intersections of 24th and North and Broadway.

By about 2:15, people were sharing photos of storm damage on the west side of Peru -- an awning blown off the B&K rootbeer stand, damage to the facade of the Aldi store and cars reportedly overturned by the strong winds that accompanied the storm, but in a Facebook post around 4 o’clock, the National Weather Service maintained that while the Cass County Emergency Management agency had reported damage from straight line winds from a downburst, there had been no confirmed tornadoes. Cass County EMA director Alvin Beckman said there were numerous downed powerlines, limbs and trees in the area.

The weather caused officials at the Cass County 4-H Fair to postpone the Little Cowboy and Cowgirl contest until tonight, but the Dustin Lynch and Thomas Rhett concert went on as planned, with organizers urging fairgoers to arrive early. There was standing water in some areas of the fairgrounds, but attendees enjoyed a sunny, cooler and less humid evening than the previous two.

The National Weather Service will be dispatching damage survey teams to portions of the area today to survey wind damage from yesterday’s severe weather.

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A scenario that emergency personnel train for became a real-life situation yesterday morning on Logansport’s south side, when a construction crew hit a gas line on Cicott Street, sending natural gas rushing from a 6-inch steel main.

It took about six hours to stabilize the leak that left residents as far away as 6th Street downtown commenting about the smell of natural gas yesterday morning. Cass County EMA director Alvin Beckman said residents were evacuated from a one block area of Cicott, Shultz and Bartlett Streets when the pipe was cut. Both rail access and highway access via SR 25 were closed to prevent sparks from igniting as crews worked to stabilize the situation.

The incident happened around 7:45 a.m. on the first day of a planned closure of Cicott Street to install underground pipes. Deichman Excavating is one of the subcontractors for the project; Joe Deichman is the superintendent — his company was digging for the sewer main when they hit a gas line that he says wasn’t marked. He says his crews followed procedure, calling NIPSCO, then calling the 811 emergency line. NIPSCO public affairs spokeswoman Stephanie VanDiver said the company did call for a locate before digging.

Van Diver said the gas was shut off around 12:30; SR 25 reopened around 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon. The incident left six NIPSCO customers without gas according to VanDiver, who said they hoped to have service restored for those customers last night.

Deichman says they lost a day’s work, but will start back up again today as planned.

LMU Superintendent Paul Hartman explains the goals of the project.

Cicott Street at Barlett and Shultz, south of the railroad overpass, is scheduled to be closed through Tuesday, July 16.

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