KOKOMO- Howard County officials and residents are upset that the federal government has rejected their request for aid in rebuilding from tornado damage last month. The Federal Emergency Management Agency turned down the assistance request for the Kokomo area, where state officials say about 1,000 homes were destroyed or damaged. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has 30 days to submit an appeal.
LEESBURG- A driver was injured in a single-car accident in Leesburg this morning. Dispatchers say the car left the road near the railroad tracks and hit a building around 10am.
UNDATED- National Influenza Vaccination Week is wrapping up, with doctors hoping they got across the point that you need to get a flu shot. Flu season has already started, and we have already told you that Indiana lags behind the rest of the nation when it comes to the number of people who have gotten a flu shot. Now, the federal Centers For Disease Control is trying to get people in to get a shot by pointing out how effective the vaccine was during last year‘s virulent flu season. "Nearly 80,000 hospitalizations were prevented," said Dr. Michael Young, medical officer with the CDC‘s Influenza Division. "Nearly 3.2 million doctor visits were prevented, and more than six-and-a-half million cases of the flu were prevented because of the vaccine. Some people are afraid to get vaccinated against the flu, thinking the virus that‘s in the vaccine will make them sick. While it is still possible to get the flu even if you have had a flu shot, Young says that isn‘t the vaccine‘s fault.
UNDATED- A state commission looking for ways to improve the lives of Indiana's most vulnerable children wants to explore whether there's a link between meth arrests and child welfare cases. Members of the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana created an investigation task force Wednesday after hearing about child deaths in homes where adults were using illegal drugs. Department of Child Services director Mary Beth Bonaventura says drug use is a factor in the majority of the agency's child abuse and neglect cases. State Police data show that 372 Indiana children were found last year living in places with illegal meth labs.
UNDATED- The state Department of Natural Resources is warning ice skaters and fishermen to beware of thin ice on ponds and lakes despite recent cold temperatures. As ice begins to form on many waterways, Indiana conservation officers are reminding us to always put safety first. They suggest at least 4 inches of ice for safe fishing and 5 inches for snowmobiling. They say people should never go out on ice alone.
WARSAW -- One active case of tuberculosis is being treated in Kosciusko County and another suspected case is awaiting confirmation. The Kosciusko County Board of Health says there's no link between the two incidents. Treatment of the actice case is expected to be completed in the coming months. In 2005, there were ten positive cases of tuberculosis in the Syracuse and North Webster area.
FORT WAYNE -- Fort Wayne is home to one of the poorest neighborhoods in the state. According to U.S. Census data, the Hanna-Creighton neighborhood is the third most impoverished area in the state and the poorest in the city. The area is home to a little more than 1,000 people and the poverty rate is more than half the population. According to data, there are 68.9 percent of people living below the poverty level in that neighborhood. Unemployment is 18.2 percent, and the median household income is $9,615. Fort Wayne's general poverty rate is higher than the state's rate.
PLYMOUTH -- A Plymouth man is going to prison for making meth in his home and having guns. Glenn Gridley was sentenced Thursday to 10 years behind bars for manufacturing methamphetamine and 10 years on a separate charge of possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. In January, Plymouth police received a tip that led officers to Gridley's home where they found numerous meth lab-related items and a quantity of methamphetamine. Police also found 7 rifles, 3 handguns and several hundred rounds of ammunition, including armor piercing bullets.
FORT WAYNE -- Indiana State Police (ISP) are warning about a scam orchestrated by callers claiming to be law enforcement. Officials say there have been multiple reports of scammers calling and threatening to arrest a victim if a made-up crime or debt isn't paid for. These callers often have some kind of personal information on the person they are attempting to scam. Sergeant Trent Smith says the investigation will likely lead to a dead end because most of the calls are originating from cell phones all over the US and tracking down the 21st century con artist is no easy task. The state police feel that a well-informed public is the best defense in combating scammers and remind everyone that an influx in this type of crime is often seen during the holiday season.
LAGRANGE COUNTY -- A new report shows 44% of adults in LaGrange County never finished high school. Meanwhile, Whitley County proudly has less than 9% falling in that same category. Rick Farrant from Northeast Indiana Works says the the vast difference is likely because a large number of employers in LaGrange County utilize the skills of the Amish who haven't graduated high school.
Kosciusko County residents can sign up to receive free, real-time safety information from the sheriff's department by texting their zip code to 888777 or by visiting www.nixle.com. Once registered, users can customize the types of alerts they wish to receive via text, email, and online.