Friday, November 4, 2016

Mayor Announces Chicago Cubs World Series Celebration Weekend

At 1:08 PM today the city of Logansport officially started an observance it never has before. Mayor Dave Kitchell declared the start of Chicago Cubs World Series Celebration Weekend in the city. The unusual start time coincides with the 108 year-drought in championships for Chicago’s national league club, and the Cubs’ World Series Parade in Chicago. Kitchell said, “We have many reasons to celebrate this achievement. In recent years, Logansport’s Aaron Heilman pitched for the Cubs. In past years, another Logansport native Johnny “Red” Corriden. And of course, the first commissioner of baseball, Kennesaw Mountain Landis was from Logansport.”

Kokomo Woman Charged with Attempted Murder

A Kokomo woman has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting her husband multiple times. Shortly after 2am on November 3rd, sheriff deputies were dispatched to the Kokomo Regency Trailer Park after receiving several 911 calls. One of the callers was Erica Fortson, who stated that she was awakened by the sound of her father yelling for help.  51 year old Eric Fortson was slumped on the hood of his vehicle parked in front of the residence, and told his daughter to call 911 because he had been shot several times by her mother, 53 year-old Laura Fortson.  While responding to the scene a deputy observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed leaving the area.  He attempted to stop the vehicle at which time a high speed pursuit ensued.  The chase continued through Howard County and into northern Miami County until stop sticks were deployed.  Laura Fortson was taken into custody without further incident and transported back to Howard County. Fortson was charged with Attempted Murder, Resisting Law Enforcement, and Reckless Driving. Eric Fortson was initially taken to Community Howard-Kokomo then airlifted to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Utility Service Board Approves Agreeement with Next Era

The Logansport Utility Service Board approved a five-year, five-month purchased power agreement with Next Era, a Florida-based utility. The agreement will succeed the existing Duke Energy agreement. The agreement means electric rates will go down no later than Jan. 1, 2019. The vote to approve the contract was 4-1 with only Mike Laird voting against. Laird voiced a concern that a better agreement may be available if the process included a new request for proposals. Mayor Dave Kitchell said he agreed with Laird’s assessment that better power agreements that may be available if the board can renegotiate the existing Duke contract and that he will continue to ask the board for a renegotiated purchase agreement that will absorb the remaining two years of the Duke agreement.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mayor Poposes Annexation and to Rescind Previous Annexation

Mayor proposes two areas for annexation; Asks council to rescind previous annexation

Annexing areas southwest of Logansport, including Logansport State Hospital, and on the north side of the city near Huston Park and the River Bluff Trail would add population and assessed valuation while providing services and lower utility rates.

That is the synopsis of an annexation proposed by Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell today. The mayor said the state’s “circuit-breaker” law will protect annexed residents and businesses from spikes in their property tax bills, an opinion confirmed by the Umbaugh & Associates, the fiscal analyst for the city, Cass County and the Logansport Community School Corporation. Annexation also will allow residents in the proposed areas to see lower utility bills and benefit from city trash and recycling programs in addition to city police and fire protection. Residents outside the city limits pay utility rates 25 percent higher than Logansport residents.

The mayor also called for the city council to rescind a previous controversial annexation south of the city in Washington Township. Property owners and residents in that area recently appeared before the council to ask them to rescind the city annexation. That proposed annexation was challenged by Washington Township residents in a case that was eventually affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals. But Kitchell said there has been no economic development in that area since the case, and residents continue to oppose it. Given the scope of extending utilities and city services to that area, it is likely the cost of annexing it will outweigh the benefit.

“After months of deep drilling to determine what areas we should annex to benefit people affected and the city, this proposal provides more than three times the net assessed value for the city and allows us to use the utility presence we already have at the Logansport State Hospital to push southwest and serve the Cass County Industrial Park and the Clymers areas,” Kitchell said. “There will be some challenge involved with the Unger Addition, but something has to be done there to help residents who either are or will face failing septic systems in the coming years.”

The hospital already has its own utility system. The Logansport Municipal Utilities provides power to the hospital campus and manages water wells which provide service to the hospital and the entire city. The Street Department also operates its tub-grinding chipper on the campus.

“We have been in talks with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration which would be interested in release title of portions of its 199-acre campus to the city for future development. Its location next to a four-lane highway, water supply and rail access provide it with some attractive qualities.”
The mayor said he and Cass County Commissioners President Jim Sailors have discussed Logansport Municipal Utilities service to the county industrial park since city and county officials agreed to dismiss a costly legal action involving the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission earlier this year.

“I realize the area south of the city could be annexed, but we would be better off considering future annexation there on a case-by-case basis rather than throwing a blanket annexation over it and stepping back from any kind of commitment to services that are cost-effective.”


- Press Release from Mayor Dave Kitchell


"Thanks for Giving" Event to Award Community Charity Grants

The public is invited to the Cass County Community Foundation’s “Thanks for Giving" Donor & Volunteer Recognition Event. The event is Sunday November 13th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at Desserts First, 516 E. Broadway in Logansport.  The 2016 Richard Cassidy, Jr. “Thanks for Giving” Award will be presented to Judge Julian and Dr. Susanne Ridlen, in honor of their outstanding contributions to youth, education, history and community volunteerism. During the event CCCF will also be awarding 16 community charity grants of $1,000 each to Cass County charities entered in a drawing to celebrate the Ridlens. RSVP deadline is November 7th. To RSVP or for more information, call CCCF at 574-722-2200.

Energy Assistance Program Accepting Applications

Area Five Agency on Aging and Community Services reminds the community that they are now accepting applications for enrollment in the 2016-2017 Energy Assistance Program. Families will have the opportunity to receive a one-time assistance payment towards their winter heating bills. Contact Area Five at 722-4451 or visit areafive.com and click on “Families” for more details.

Logan's Landing Announces Winners of Scarecrow Row Competition

Logan’s Landing is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Scarecrow Row Competition. The secret panel of judges had a difficult decision to make, as all 44 entries displayed creativity and hard work, but only one scarecrow could be chosen as the winner. That winner is the “shop local” themed scarecrow created by the Nest. In addition, this year’s Scarecrow Row Competition also featured a People’s Choice Award, with votes being cast by “liking” scarecrows in the photo album on the Logan’s Landing facebook page.  The winner of the People’s Choice Award was the State Theatre & Record Farm scarecrow, with an amazing 576 votes! The scarecrows along Broadway and Market Street were enjoyed by passers-by, as well as hundreds of trick-or-treaters who participated in Downtown Spooktacular and the Elks Halloween parade. Logan’s Landing Executive Director Becki Harris said, “Once again, the scarecrows added a touch of seasonal fun to the downtown district – they were enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.”

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Former Logansport Resident Killed in Greensburg

A former Logansport resident was killed by her boyfriend allegedly after declining his marriage proposal. 44 year-old Wendy Sabatini of Greensburg was found in her home Tuesday evening by Greensburg authorities, after her boyfriend, 43 year old Jason Eric Eaton confessed to police that he had shot his girlfriend earlier in the evening and believed she was deceased. Police say the investigation of the shooting is ongoing. Eaton was scheduled to have his initial hearing this afternoon.

Street Department Brush and Leaf Pick-Up

The Street Department will be concluding this year’s bi-weekly brush pick up November 2nd.   Brush pick-up will be on rainy days as their work schedule permits or by call-in request after November 2nd.   The Street Department’s phone number is 753-4610.  The bi-weekly pick up will resume in the spring.

CURBSIDE LEAF PICK UP:
The Street Department expects to begin their annual curbside leaf vacuum program during the week of November 7th.   They will be running three vacuums.  Unfortunately, there is no set schedule when the vacuum will be in your area as weather, the amount of leaves in a particular area and breakdowns all affect the timing.    

Residents are asked to either place their leaves in biodegradable yard waste bags and place them at their normal trash pick-up site to be picked up on their regular trash day or to place loose leaves curbside as close to the street as possible but NOT IN THE STREET or over catch basins.    Limbs and trash should not be mixed with leaves as the vacuums could be damaged.   The Street Department does not pick up loose leaves in alleys or leaves in plastic bags.

The leaf vacuums will run until early December as weather permits.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Patacsil Named Bicentennial Citizen of the Week

For the first time, brothers have been named to the list of Logansport Bicentennial Citizen of the Week. Frank Patacsil, who followed in the footsteps of his brother, Ted, to wrestle at Logansport and Purdue University, is this week’s recipient. Patacsil is the only male athlete in LHS history to win more than one individual state championship. He captured the 138-pound title in 1978 and the 145-pound title in 1980, capping off his high school career with the IHSAA Mental Attitude Award in the state finals. Earlier this year, Frank’s older brother, Ted, a 1977 graduate, received the honor. Their older sister, Mandy, is a former LHS salutatorian. The award is presented throughout Indiana’s bicentennial year to recognize local natives or residents who have been recognized statewide or nationwide for their contributions. Frank will receive an Indiana state flag and a certificate from Mayor Kitchell.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Kokomo Has Lowest Unemployment Rate in 16 Years

The city of Kokomo’s unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent in September – its lowest rate since the year 2000. The rate is also lower than the state level (4.2) and the federal level (4.8). Kokomo mayor Greg Goodnight said, “Kokomo is in the midst of a strong and steady resurgence. We continue to focus on quality-of-life, and on building a better community.”

"Prescription Drug Take Back" Initiative Successful in Indiana

On Saturday, October 22 the Indiana State Police participated in the twelfth nationwide “Prescription Drug Take Back” initiative. Collection sites were set up nationwide for expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs to be turned in for destruction. Statewide a total of 1,470 pounds of unused or expired medication were collected.

Logansport Celebrates "Red Ribbon Week"

This week is Red Ribbon Week nationwide and Mayor Dave Kitchell asks the community to join him in wearing red clothing to raise awareness in fighting drug abuse. Kitchell states “We have been successful this year in our efforts to reactivate our city/county drug task force and crack down on drug abuse and we are prepared to take even greater steps.” The mayor is encouraging local schools, businesses, and churches to support the effort and local residents are being asked to display or wear red ribbons as well.

Indiana State Police Recover Kilo of Heroin During Traffic Stop

Friday morning an Indiana State Trooper stopped a vehicle on I-65 southbound near the SR 43 exit for following too close, and discovered a kilo of Heroin. Trooper Ben Rector pulled over a 2008 Dodge Magnum and as he made contact with the occupants of the vehicle, he observed indicators of criminal activity.  The passenger, Lamont E Outlay, 30 of Dolton, IL was removed from the vehicle and during an officer safety pat down, a suspected Kilo of Heroin was found.  Outlay was remanded to the Tippecanoe County Jail on preliminary charges of dealing a schedule 1 substance, possession of a schedule 1 substance, and visiting a common nuisance.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Candidate Forum to Air Thursday Oct. 20th at 6PM

Indiana’s Best Radio has teamed up with The Cass County League of Women Voters, The Logansport-Cass County Chamber of Commerce, and The Pharos-Tribune to broadcast a candidate forum tomorrow evening on 1230 WSAL AM. Candidates in all local contested races were invited to participate. Listeners will have the opportunity to text or call in their questions beginning at 5 PM tomorrow. The candidate forum will begin at 6 PM on 1230 WSAL.

Wabash Man Arrested on Charges of Possession of Child Pornopgraphy

A Wabash man has been arrested on charges of possession of child pornography. 67 year-old Dennis Case was arrested today following an investigation by officers from the Indiana State Police and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Officers served a Wabash Circuit Court search warrant on Case’s Wabash home and purportedly found evidence of child pornography inside the residence. Case was incarcerated in the Wabash County Jail. The investigation is ongoing.

Early Voting in Full Swing

With election day quickly approaching, early voting in Cass County is in full swing. Registered voters can vote at the Cass County Government Building Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM through November 4th. Saturday October 29th and Saturday November 5th from 6 AM to 1 PM. And then Monday November 7th from 9 AM to Noon. Voters only need to bring their ID’s to place their vote.

College Application Fees Waived for College Application Day

Hoosier high school students around the state will be participating in College Application Day on October 21. Seven Indiana colleges will waive college applications on Friday, October 21 and seven are waiving application fees for the month of October.

Colleges Waiving Application Fees for College Application Day include:

Goshen College
Indiana State University
Indiana University East
Indiana University Kokomo
Indiana University Southeast
Indiana University South Bend
Vincennes University

Colleges Waiving Application Fees for the entire Month of October include:

Grace College
Ivy Tech Community College
Marian University
Purdue University Northwest
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Saint Joseph's College
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

College Application day is sponsored in partnership with Learn More Indiana and the national American College Application Campaign to increase the number of first-generation and low-income students pursuing education beyond high school.

LMBC Receives Bids for Blight Elimination Properties

The Logansport Municipal Building Commission yesterday took bids and proposals for the sale of Blight Elimination Properties. Miller-Valentine Group, the same company who is currently developing plans for apartment homes in the Logan Square Building and also town homes on the East End, submitted bids totaling more than $38,000 for 11 different properties. The building corporation will announce whether or not it will accept the bids at a meeting Monday, October 24th at 2 PM in the city council chambers.

Sleep Education and Infant Survival Kits Available in Conjunction with National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month

October is National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month and the Cass County Health Department has partnered with the Indiana State Department of Health and the Indiana Department of Child Services to bring safe sleep environments to Indiana babies. ISDH and DCS have established partnerships with agencies in the State of Indiana to provide safe sleep education and Infant Survival Kits for parents and caregivers who do not have safe place for their infants to sleep. You can access free resources and education about safe sleep, as well receive assistance getting a crib on Wednesday October 26 at 5:30 PM at the Cass County Health Department. Space is limited and you must be registered to attend. Call 753-7760 to register.