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Purdue trustees endorse 12th consecutive tuition freeze

The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday endorsed President Mung Chiang’s request for a 12th consecutive tuition freeze, meaning students will see no increase in tuition through at least the 2024-25 academic year.


To be formally approved by the trustees in late spring per state statute, after the legislative budget setting, base undergraduate tuition at Purdue will remain at $9,992 per year for Indiana residents and $28,794 for out-of-state students through 2024-25.


The total cost of attending Purdue continues to be less today than in 2012, with tuition held flat and lower room and board rates. The tuition freeze saves students over $150 million per year for a cumulative total of over a billion dollars, compared to if Purdue had instituted annual increases at the Big Ten average, and debt per undergraduate student has declined 36% since 2012. By 2024-25, 10 graduating classes will have never experienced a tuition increase during their time at Purdue.


At the same time, more students than ever are seeking a Purdue degree – more than 71,000 applied for admission for Fall 2023 – and more employers than ever are seeking out Purdue graduates. Last fall, total enrollment reached a record 50,884 students and marked the university’s eighth straight record high. That total includes 37,949 undergrads – also a record.


“Purdue remains committed to the vision of higher education with the highest proven value,” Chiang said. “This proposal of another year of tuition freeze, and the endorsement by the Board of Trustees, continues Purdue’s national leadership in student access and success.”


In addition to the growing number of applicants for enrollment from across the country, evidence of Purdue’s enhanced national profile include being the only university named a “Brand That Matters” by Fast Company magazine in both 2021 and 2022, a No. 4 ranking as the most trusted public university in the country and a top 3 ranking as a university that protects free speech and open inquiry. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Purdue as one of the most innovative schools in the country each of the last five years in addition to ranking numerous academic programs highly.


President Emeritus Mitch Daniels first announced that Purdue would not increase tuition in Spring 2013, shortly after he became the university’s 12th president. Before that, Purdue tuition had increased every year since 1976, and it rose an average of nearly 6% annually from 2002-12.


Indiana State Police report scams targeting local restaurants

Detectives with the Indiana State Police have recently received complaints about a potential scam targeting local restaurants.


According to the Indiana State Police the restaurant receives a phone call. The caller tells the answering employee they are from a local law enforcement agency and conducting a counterfeit money investigation. The caller tells the employee that the restaurant possibly has counterfeit money. The employee is then instructed to gather all the restaurant’s money and meet the caller at a location away from the restaurant, purportedly to check for counterfeit money. This is an attempt to steal the restaurant’s money. 


Scammers are constantly coming up with new tricks and have recently been impersonating members of law enforcement. Sometimes they will use software that shows the incoming call is from a police department. Their sole purpose is to attempt to steal from individuals and businesses. 


Law enforcement officers will not call you and request you bring them money.


If you happen to receive unsolicited phone calls similar in nature:


Don’t give in to the pressure to act.

Don’t engage in conversation with suspected scammers.

Don’t send or take money to a caller. Also, don’t wire money or pay a scammer with a prepaid debit card or gift card.

Don’t travel to any location the caller asks you to go.

Hang up and call the police.


Dixie Chopper acquires former Coatesville facility

Dixie Chopper has finalized its purchase of the former manufacturing facility located in Coatesville, Indiana. The original family farm where Dixie Chopper was born is now the new (old) home for the assembly of mowers.


“I can remember where we drew the frame design on the barn floor with chalk for the first production Dixie Chopper” says Wes Evans, Business Unit Manager of Dixie Chopper. “My team and I are very excited to move back to the Coatesville facility and continue building the World’s Fastest Lawn Mower®.”


Dixie Chopper currently utilizes a building on the east side of Greencastle (Fillmore) where they assemble zero-turn mowers and warehouse the parts department. The transition to the new facility is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2023.


“We have absolutely outgrown the Fillmore facility,” said Lisa Tubbs, President of RhinoAg and Dixie Chopper. “In order to continue growing the Dixie Chopper business, it was imperative that we located a bigger building to facilitate this growth. The Coatesville building has such a sentimental value to the employees and we are ready to get moved in.”

Fire, law enforcement explorers to be offered free weeklong academies at Sheriffs' Youth Ranch

Indiana will face severe shortages of first responders if career development is not addressed, research shows


High schoolers interested in public safety careers will be offered free, weeklong leadership academies at the Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch beginning with a pilot program this summer. 


Fire and EMS, sheriff and police leadership youth academies will be offered at ISYR’s nonprofit 62-acre training retreat in Clay County under an agreement jointly announced today by leaders of ISYR and Crossroads of America Council, BSA-Exploring. 


Law Enforcement, Fire Recruitment Challenges 


“Indiana figures show nearly 14,000 law enforcement recruits will be needed from among our state’s current K-12 student population,” said Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse, ISYR board president. “Figures for the fire service are being calculated, but all indications are a similarly staggering need for motivated, qualified applicants – among urban, suburban, rural and volunteer departments.” 


Plasse said ISYR is working with sheriffs, police and fire chiefs to develop and host “fascinating, hands-on career camps to maintain teens’ interest in public service during high schoolers’ crucial decision-making years about education, friends, work and habits.”


Student Interests, Hometown Needs 


ISYR is partnering statewide with Learning For Life, a national not-for-profit workforce development and career exploration program delivered by BSA’s Exploring Program. 


“Our mission for Exploring is to deliver character-building experiences and mentorships that allow youth to achieve their full potential in both life and work,” said Joseph E. Wiltrout, president and CEO of Crossroads of America Council, BSA. 


Wiltrout said public safety officials and youth advocates hope Indiana’s proposed leadership academies will promote even safer, smarter communities statewide. 


“Advisory groups and instructors are being sought from various departments and state agencies, so Indiana’s proposed Sheriff & Police Explorer Academy and Fire & EMS Explorer Academy effectively address both the interests of students and the needs of Hoosier hometowns,” Wiltrout said.


Serious Training, Fun Recreation


Law Enforcement Explorers will receive distinctly different training from Fire and EMS Explorers,” said Elizabeth Hernandez, Exploring Executive with Crossroads of America Council, BSA. “However, Wednesdays will be designed as turnabout day when students will learn the roles and responsibilities of other careers in public safety.” 


Hernandez said Law Enforcement Explorers will learn about cybercrimes, drone use, horse patrols, investigations, K-9 handling and traffic stops. Fire and EMS Explorers will focus on arson investigations, CPR and first aid, ambulance and apparatus procedures, Hernandez said. 


“ISYR’s nonprofit training facilities are being developed specifically for these statewide academies,” said Utica Township Fire Chief and former Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel. “Our indoor and outdoor classrooms will lend themselves to both training and recreation during the Explorer Academies.” 


Noel, who serves as the Youth Ranch vice president and chairs both Explorer Academy projects, said ISYR’s property offers both open and wooded acreage, as well as three lakes. “Some topics can be casually but effectively discussed among trainers and teens while fishing, cooking out, hiking or riding horseback.”


Free Application, Participation


Cass County Sheriff Ed Schroder, board secretary for ISYR, said a pilot program planned for July of 2023 will include students from Clay, Greene, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties. 


Teens from these counties who have successfully completed grade 8 will be eligible to register and participate free-of-charge, Schroder said. “Other basic requirements will include excellent physical and mental health, good academic and disciplinary standing, a genuine desire to learn about public safety and a recommendation by a local school administrator, sheriff, police or fire chief.” 


Printed applications will be available in April through high school guidance offices in the pilot counties, Schroder said. Other participating counties will be included in 2024, as facilities continue to be funded and built at ISYR.


Private Donations, Possible State Support 


“Our Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch and Crossroads of America Council, BSA both rely on private donations for our impactful operations helping kids,” said Southern Indiana auto dealer and ISYR treasurer John Jones. “Because of the career development and public safety potential of our new academies, leaders in Indiana government have taken an appropriate interest in helping. Legislators understand the most common question we get when seeking private donations is, ‘Why aren’t my tax dollars doing this?’ Now, with the state coffers in uniquely well-funded shape, many Indiana lawmakers think help is not only possible, but prudent.” 

Jones said to request more information, to volunteer or donate, write to Indiana’s Sheriff & Police Explorer Academy or Indiana’s Fire & EMS Explorer Academy, 5325 N. State Road 59, Brazil IN 47834 or go to


Eckert files for re-election to Greencastle's Fourth Ward City Council seat 

After an eventful term representing the city's south-side residents, Cody Eckert filed for re-election Wednesday morning to the Greencastle City Council.


Appointed to the Republican ticket in 2019, Eckert stepped into public service at the local level when called upon. Now, Eckert seeks to bring his experience to bear for the citizens of Greencastle by entering May's primary. 


The 34-year-old Republican dedicated his first term to identifying ways to make an impact on behalf of his neighbors, and promises to use the knowledge gained to deliver efficient services to everyone who lives, works, and goes to school in Greencastle. 


"I spent my first term learning, joining the budget committee from the very start to put in the work, pinpoint problems, and establish priorities. I'm especially proud of the fact that we made sure the city employees devoted to our public safety benefitted from a salary ordinance meant to increase officer retention," Eckert stated. 


"Never one to shy away from taking a stand, I also voted to shrink government and save taxpayer dollars," Eckert noted, having introduced a motion to cut the number of councilmembers down to its statutory minimum. "If we can't make cuts when it's easy, how do we expect to make cuts when it's hard?" 


Eckert is the Executive Director of Public Policy and Legislation at the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. He enjoys being in the thick of things during the legislative session, but truly appreciates the opportunity to represent his friends and neighbors here at home. 


"There's so much more to do, and I've learned that it takes folks who care to put in the time and effort to really make a difference. I'm ready to do that, and it's exciting to know that the groundwork we lay now will pay dividends in the future. It's important to do things right." 


Indiana State Police warn of phone scam

The Indiana State Police Indianapolis Post recently received several complaints from of a phone scam. 


In this case, scammers have called with the Caller ID showing “Indiana State Police Post 52.” The phone number displayed is 317-899-8577, which is the phone number to the post. The scammers identify themselves as police officers and indicate to the caller there is a warrant for their arrest. The scammer then tries to obtain personal information and request financial restitution to take care of the warrant. 


Scams like this with “spoofed” Indiana State Police phone numbers have happened across Indiana with scams ranging from telling the victim their identity has been stolen, selling insurance or attempts to raise money for false charities.


The Indiana State Police would remind all Hoosiers that these types of phone scammers are pervasive and technically savvy. Scammers will often play on your emotions and fears to get to your money. 


The easiest way to protect yourself from being scammed over the phone is either to ignore unsolicited calls from unknown callers or just hang up when something doesn’t seem right.


You should never provide any information over the phone to an unknown caller regarding your personal identity, social security number, bank account(s), or credit card number(s).


If in doubt, or if you feel you may have fallen victim to a phone scammer, just hang up and immediately report the incident to your local law enforcement agency.

Animal cruelty arrest in Parke County

A Parke County man has been charged with two counts of animal cruelty.


The Parke County Sheriff's office was called to aid two dogs dumped on County Road 750 West.  The Sheriff's Office reports both dogs were in need of medical attention. 



The dogs are recovering at the Parke-Vermillion County Humane Shelter.


Greggory Fransted, 28, Of Mecca, was arrested. He was initially held on $5000 bond.


Baird leads bipartisan bill to address costly catalytic converter thefts

Congressman Jim Baird (IN-04) re-introduced the Preventing Auto Recycling Thefts (PART) Act, which aims to reduce catalytic converter thefts by marking identifying information on catalytic converters, addressing how the parts are purchased, and strengthening enforceability of catalytic converter theft for local law enforcement.


“Across the country, millions of Americans are faced with costly repairs to their vehicles thanks to skyrocketing rates of catalytic converter thefts,” said Congressman Baird. “Last Congress, I was proud to introduce the PART Act because I recognized the impactful financial consequences these all-too-common thefts have had on Americans and business owners, and I want to empower our law enforcement to hold these thieves accountable. It’s time to close loopholes in our legal system that allow thieves to easily steal this required car part, and I’m excited to work with Congresswoman McCollum, Congresswoman Craig, and Senator Klobuchar to re-introduce this bill to deliver a common-sense solution to this very serious problem.”


“Theft of catalytic converters continues to be a growing and costly problem, leaving victims on the hook to pay to replace them,” said Congresswoman McCollum. “I’m pleased to join my colleague Rep. Baird in reintroducing the PART Act in the 118th Congress.  By working collaboratively with our auto dealers and law enforcement, we can help prevent this crime by closing loopholes to make it a criminal offense and providing tools for investigators to link stolen catalytic converters to the vehicles from which they were stolen. I look forward to working with them and my colleagues in the House to pass the PART Act.” 


“Catalytic converter and auto thefts are on the rise in Minnesota and our local law enforcement need more support to get this under control,” said Congresswoman Craig. “That’s why I’m working to pass the bipartisan Preventing Auto Recycling Theft Act, so Minnesota law enforcement can more effectively combat these crimes and help keep our communities safe. I’ll keep reaching across the aisle to get this important bill across the finish line and improve public safety in the Second District.”


“Throughout the country, we’ve seen an alarming increase in catalytic converter thefts. These converters can be easily taken from unattended cars but are difficult and expensive for car owners to replace,” said Senator Klobuchar. “By making catalytic converter theft a criminal offense and ensuring each converter can be easily tracked, our bipartisan legislation would provide law enforcement officers with the tools and resources they need to crack down on these crimes.”


Catalytic converters are car parts used to reduce the potency of toxic emissions from an internal combustion engine and is a component required in compliance with the Clean Air Act.  These parts are constructed using precious metals such as rhodium, platinum, and palladium, and, depending on the price point for these metals, can be sold to scrap dealers for hundreds of dollars. Replacement of these parts can be very costly for vehicle owners, with many replacements ranging from $500 to $2,300. In some cases, the cost of a catalytic converter theft may even be enough for a total loss to a vehicle.


The theft of catalytic converters has become increasingly prevalent in the past two years, plaguing vehicle owners, scrap yards, and law enforcement officials in communities across the United States. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the number of reported catalytic converter thefts rose from 3,389 in 2019 to 14,433 in 2020 – an increase of over 325%. Faced with this sharp increase, law enforcement officers have limited tools to curb thefts as current policy leaves many advantageous loopholes for criminals to exploit. A lack of criminal code in regard to the trafficking of these stolen parts means that law enforcement must catch a criminal in the act of removing the part in order to prosecute a case.


The PART Act seeks to reduce catalytic converter thefts by allowing law enforcement officers to link stolen parts to the vehicle from which they originate by requiring new vehicles to have a VIN number stamped onto the converter, creating a grant program through which entities can stamp VIN numbers onto catalytic converters of existing vehicles, improving record keeping standards for purchasers of used catalytic converters, and establishing enforceability of laws around catalytic converter theft by codifying these crimes as a criminal offense. 

Brazil joins several Ascension St. Vincent's health care offices scheduled to close

Ascension St. Vincent’s primary care office in Brazil is closing along with several other sites in the state.


The Brazil office is located at 1214 E. National Avenue, Suite 100.  Other area Ascension St. Vincent’s offices scheduled to close include Avon, Plainfield and Crawfordsville.


Others on the list are in Greenwood, Frankfort (2), Lafayette and Carmel.


A prepared statement on the closings blamed the Covid-era impact on health care.


Cloverdale and North Putnam students perform at the JAG Regional Career Development Conference

Western Indiana high schools were well represented recently at the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Regional Career Development Conference, as more than 200 students showcased the skills they have learned through the JAG program at their schools. 


Jobs for America’s Graduates is a national workforce skills readiness program for high school students. It focuses on the importance of earning a high school diploma and acquiring the soft skills employers require. Skills which are developed include problem solving, leadership, job seeking, team building, and academic skills; all necessary to complete post-secondary training and success in today’s job market. 


Currently, more than 135 JAG programs operate in Indiana. In the Wabash Valley, thanks to the support and cooperation of local school administrations and the Western Indiana Workforce Development Board, JAG programs operate at Northview High School, Riverton Parke Junior/Senior High School, West Vigo High School, North Putnam High School, Sullivan High School, Terre Haute North Vigo High School, Terre Haute South Vigo High School, Cloverdale High School and Parke Heritage High School. 


Fifteen teens and three programs earned a first place spot, which qualifies them to compete at the JAG State Career Development Conference this spring in Indianapolis.


“We are proud of the JAG programs in our region for developing young leaders and positioning them to compete against some of the best minds in our state,” said Greg Lee, who oversees nine JAG programs in western Indiana. “The JAG experience not only sets young people up for success after high school, it also teaches valuable personal and career skills they will carry with them throughout their lives.” 


A full listing of students and schools are listed below.


Chapter Marketing Brochure

1st - North Putnam High School

2nd - Sullivan High School

3rd - Terre Haute North High School



Chapter Social Media Campaign 

1st - Cloverdale High School

2nd - Sullivan High School

3rd - Terre Haute North High School


Chapter Marketing Commercial

1st - Cloverdale High School 

2nd - Terre Haute North High School



Project Based Learning

1st Place - Keelie Pierce, Kaydence Sharp, Kiersten Wade - Cloverdale



Entrepreneurship Plan 

1st Place - Matthew Brooks, Eli Pine, Kaleb Westerkamm - Terre Haute North 

2nd Place - McGuire Lee, Andrea Nees - Cloverdale

3rd Place - Jaycee Farris, Bryce Johnson - North Putnam


Digital Invitation/Save the Date

1st Place - Kaylee Tingley - Terre Haute North

2nd Place - Gavin Williams - Sullivan

3rd Place - Haley Hired - Terre Haute North


Career Presentation

1st - Aeris Rogers - Northview

2nd - Rilya Archer - Northview

3rd - Brooklyn Deck - Terre Haute North


Creative Solutions 

1st - Lee May - Sullivan

2nd - Abagayle Welton - Cloverdale

3rd - Dakota Rilenge - Northview


Critical Thinking

1st - Dakota Parks - North Putnam

2nd - Aubrey Klutey - North Putnam

3rd - Dylan Frey - Terre Haute South


Employability Skills 

1st - Lane Gilbert - Sullivan

2nd - Alyssa Franklin - Terre Haute South

3rd - Carson Shober - Terre Haute South


Financial Literacy 

1st - Carson Hall - Cloverdale

2nd - Hayden Tipton - Terre Haute North 

3rd - Drew Nesbitt - North Putnam


Public Speaking

1st - Jaydah Holmes - West Vigo

2nd - Jaxon Carie - Sullivan

3rd - Sam Lynch - Northview


Writing Skills 

1st - Nevaeh Gordon - Sullivan

2nd - Mackinley Lawson - North Putnam

3rd - Camaren Nees - Northview


Outstanding Senior

1st - Nathaniel Reedy - Northview

2nd - Candace Poff- Pittman - Terre Haute South

3rd - Wen Monce - Terre Haute North

Crawfordsville man arrested walking through traffic in Marshall County

An arrest in Marshall County involved a man wanted on a warrant in Montgomery County.


The Marshall County Sheriff's Office was called at 3:30 p.m. to the area of U.S. 31 and U.S. 6 on reports of a man walking in and out of traffic and running in front of moving vehicles.


Deputies determined that the man, Thomas Witt, 31, of Crawfordsville, was under the influence of drugs.  Witt also had an active felony arrest warrant for his arrest through Montgomery County.


Witt was arrested on a public intoxication charge in Marshall County.





DePauw has new VP for Communications and Strategy

A familiar face at DePauw University has a new title. 


Sarah Steinkamp, who currently serves as chief of staff for university president Lori White, was recently appointed as the university's Vice President for Communications and Strategy. She had held a similar position as interim dating back to last July.


"In her interim role, Sarah demonstrated her capacity to successfully lead an integrated communication strategy for the university and the president's office, and I am delighted to appoint her to this new position," White said in a release.


With a bachelor's from Wells College, Steinkamp earned a Master's in health education from Ithaca College and a doctorate in education from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. Before arriving at DePauw, she served in various roles at Washington University in St. Louis and Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. 


"I deeply believe in the transformation that occurs when students are poured into by faculty, staff, students and mentors. My own journey was shaped by mentors and faculty who pushed me to be and do more," Steinkamp said. 


Steinkamp said she looks forward to telling the stories of DePauw and its students.


"There are immense opportunities to demonstrate the impact DePauw makes on student's lives. I find great meaning in mentoring, leading, learning and growing with others who are excited and curious. For that very reason, DePauw is an awe-inspiring community to be a part of," she said. 



Brazil woman investigated for theft of money from youth sports team

A Brazil woman turned herself in to local authorities on a warrant for felony theft.


The Brazil Police Department says officers attempted to serve a warrant at the home of Sara Albright on Tuesday but no one answered the door.  Brazil Police say they are investigating an alleged report of more than $2000 from a Clay County youth All-Star team that raised the money through donations.


Albright turned herself in at the Clay County Jail on Thursday.


An initial hearing is scheduled for February 8.



Haltom setting in on Cloverdale School Board

With her first meeting under her belt, Emily Haltom is getting acclimated with her new role representing Taylor Township on the Cloverdale School Board. 


"It is an honor to represent Cloverdale schools. I love our community and school system, and I am eager to serve to the best of my ability. My daughter is currently a first grader. My middle child is in preschool at Cloverdale and my son will be old enough for school soon. I want to be involved in helping our school grow and succeed for my children and their classmates," Haltom told The Putnam County Post.


Haltom earned 536 votes, defeating Carol Ann Pennington last November for the seat.


"To those that went out and voted, thank you. I am honored to have been chosen to serve, and I look forward to all I will learn and help our schools accomplish," Haltom said. 


Haltom said it is "extremely important" to her to have a say not only in her children's education, but pave the way for the entire school district. 


"Cloverdale is a wonderful school with great teachers, staff and administrators. I am active in our parent teacher organization as well. I love being able to serve and see joy on the student's faces and I am so excited to expand my service to the middle school and high school by serving on the school board," she admitted. 


With her first year on the school board already kicked off, Haltom said she is taking it all and is looking forward to learning. 


"My goal for the first year is to be a sponge and take in all of this new information and to use it to serve our community the best way possible," Haltom said. 

Indy man arrested on Putnam Co. warrant sentenced to nearly 20 years in federal prison

A man arrested on a Putnam County warrant has been sentenced on meth and gun charges in federal court.


Jared Mashburn, 40, of Indianapolis, Indiana was sentenced to 235 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.


According to court documents, on December 14, 2020, Mashburn was arrested in Indianapolis by Indiana State Police Troopers on an outstanding Putnam County warrant. Mashburn was wanted for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, resisting law enforcement, and possessing methamphetamine. At the time of his arrest, troopers searched Mashburn’s person and located two loaded handguns, approximately 22 grams of methamphetamine packaged in bags for resale, and approximately $12,000 in cash.


Later that same day, troopers executed a warrant to search Mashburn’s residence. Investigators located and seized 38 firearms, approximately 2.8 kilograms of methamphetamine, digital scales, a vacuum sealer, and a drug ledger. Investigators also seized items associated with the Aryan Brotherhood, of which Mashburn was a known member, including a jersey with Aryan Brotherhood insignia and a Nazi flag, uniform, and other Nazi paraphernalia. The Aryan Brotherhood is a notorious white supremacist group with affiliated gangs in many prisons.


At the time of this arrest, Mashburn had been previously convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine and having an illegal drug lab. Mashburn was prohibited from owning firearms under federal law due to his previous felony convictions.


“This heavily armed meth dealer and gang member is exactly the sort of dangerous criminal we must prioritize for federal prosecution,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “Repeat felons who menace the public with illegal guns and poison our families with deadly drugs will face the sorts of serious consequences imposed by the court today. I commend the efforts of the FBI and Indiana State Police to protect the public by ensuring that the defendant will spend years in federal prison and off our streets.”


“The sentence imposed today clearly demonstrates that those who use firearms in furtherance of their illegal activities will be held accountable and removed from our communities so they can no longer pose a risk,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to stop the flow of drugs into our neighborhoods and keep firearms out of the hands of those prohibited from being able to possess them.”


The Indiana State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigations investigated the case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus Stinson. Judge Stinson also ordered that Mashburn be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 5 years following his release from federal prison.


U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney, Pamela S. Domash, who prosecuted this case.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch testifies on Senate Bill 1

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch testified in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday in support of Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), legislation which will strengthen the direction Indiana takes in assisting Hoosiers suffering with behavioral health issues, including mental illness and addiction.


Authored by Sen. Michael Crider, R-Greenfield, SB 1 will transform the current 988 Crisis Hotline into 988 Response Centers and direct Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration to apply for support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to expand the network of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) in Indiana.


It is unusual for a sitting Indiana governor or lieutenant governor to testify in front of a committee on behalf of a specific piece of legislation.


"As co-chair of the Indiana Roundtable on Mental Health, I could have justified speaking on behalf of this bill. But for personal reasons, I was compelled to testify," said Lt. Gov. Crouch, who also is Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “One in five Hoosiers suffers from mental illness or addiction, and my family is no exception. My mother suffered from depression throughout her life, and my younger sister died by suicide in her 20s.”


If enacted, SB 1 will create 988 Crisis Response Centers, allowing mobile crisis teams to be dispatched to assist in a severe mental health crisis. SB 1 also addresses funding and sustainability for CCBHCs, which are designed to ensure access to coordinated comprehensive behavioral health care. There are currently 19 pilot CCBHC sites in Indiana.


“The cost of untreated mental illness and addiction cases to the state of Indiana exceeds $4 billion annually,” said Crouch, who has been an outspoken supporter of behavioral and mental health initiatives throughout her career. “In addition to the cost of life, can Indiana afford not to do more for Hoosiers suffering from mental illness and addiction?”


The Senate Appropriations committee is expected to vote on SB 1 at its next meeting.


Local firefighters remember fallen former chief

John McPherson remembers the first time he met Bill Newgent and how caring he was.


"He was caring to everyone. From his employees to the citizens of Greencastle and to all responders in Putnam County, he was always there for anyone that needed a helping hand or a listening ear," McPherson told The Putnam County Post of Newgent. 


Newgent, the former fire chief of the Greencastle Fire Department, passed away earlier this month. 


He retired in 2016 after 23 years with the department, where he spent 16 years as the chief. 


McPherson said Newgent hired him as the department's first fire inspector/safety officer.


"He created that position because he saw a need for it. I worked for Bill and the Greencastle Fire Department and the city for 10 years," McPherson said. 


Rob Frank, assistant fire chief for the Greencastle Fire Department, admitted he has fond memories of his former leader. 


"He was a leader and set the example for others to follow. He ensured the department had the training and equipment they needed to get the job done. By being heavily involved around the state with the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association, I feel like he put our small department on the map," Frank told The Putnam County Post. 


Much like McPherson, Frank got to know Newgent both personally and professionally. 


"There is a quote that is credited to Sir Isaac Newton, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." That is how I would describe Bill when it came to what he did for the Greencastle Fire Department, the firefighters that worked here and everyone that came into contact with him. He had a huge impact on the fire service and was respected everywhere he went," Frank said. 


Frank said Newgent was the chief when he came to the department as a reserve firefighter in 2008. 


"He later hired me as a full time firefighter in 2012 and promoted me to Lieutenant before he retired," Frank said.


Putnam Co. Sheriff's Deputy accepting applications for Merit Deputy

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department is accepting applications for the position of Merit Deputy.


Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, possess a high school diploma or GED equivalent and a valid driver’s license.


Applicants who have completed the Tier 1 Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Certification will be exempt from the written exam however they will need to complete the physical agility portion of the test.


Application deadline is February 8 at 4:00 p.m. Applications are available on our website, located at:, by emailing a request to or by picking one up in person at: 13 Keightly Road, Greencastle, IN 46135. Inquiries regarding this position should be made to Chief Deputy Tom Sutherlin at (765) 653-3211.


The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a written and physical agility test on Saturday, February 11 at 9:00 am or Tuesday, February 13 at 6:00 p.m. at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the Putnam County 911 Dispatch Center.


The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department offers a wide array of benefits to include:


Probationary salary: $49,537.00/ After first year $52,716.00

12 hours shifts (every other weekend off)                                  

Clothing Allowance

Insurance benefits for health, visions, dental and life                  

Take home vehicle



Putnam County with no substantial impact by winter storm

For the second time in a month, a potential severe winter storm failed to live up to its billing in Putnam County, according to local emergency responders. 


Sgt. Matt Ames, of the Indiana State Police Department, told The Putnam County Post on Wednesday evening, the Putnamville Post had responded to three property damage accidents and four slide offs. 


"Overall, it was very quiet for us," Ames said. 


Rob Frank, assistant fire chief at the Greencastle Fire Department, echoed those sentiments. 


"There is a lot of wet, slushy snow. The main roads are fairly clear with wet surfaces, but the side streets need some work," Frank told The Putnam County Post Wednesday afternoon. 

Owen Co. man arrested by ISP for driving under the influence while pulling an industrial woodchipper

A recent traffic stop by Indiana State Police led to the arrest of an Indiana man for posession and operating while under the influence of a controlled substance.


Todd Mills, 58, of Spencer, was incarcerated in the Miami County Jail to face criminal charges for allegedly operating a straight truck while under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Indiana State Police initiated a traffic stop on a 2021 Freightliner straight truck, pulling an industrial woodchipper, on U.S. 31 near Miami County Road 1150 South. The driver was allegedly not wearing a seat belt. While speaking to Mills, the trooper determined Mills was possibly intoxicated.


Further investigation revealed that Mills was allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine. During a search of the Freightliner, officers purportedly found methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.


Mills was working for Wright Tree Service Inc based in Des Moines, Iowa.

School and Business Closings, Cancellations, and Delays

School and Business Closings, Cancellations, and Delays


Wednesday, January 25, 2023


Cloverdale Community Schools

Closed/E-learning day

Greencastle Community Schools

Closed/E-learning day

South Putnam Community Schools


North Putnam Community Schools

Closed/E-learning day

Greencastle Church of the Nazerene Cancelled

*South Putnam Community Schools: There will be NO eLearning; this will be an old-fashioned snow day! Schools in the South Putnam district will make up this day on February 20th, Presidents' Day.

INDOT preparing for winter storm, difficult commutes expected Wednesday

The Indiana Department of Transportation is preparing for a winter storm expected to impact the state starting overnight Tuesday and early Wednesday.


The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories for all of Indiana. NWS is calling for rain transitioning to snow south of I-70, with higher snow totals along and north of I-70. Snowfall rates of up to one inch per hour are possible at times.




Clay City man shot and killed by Terre Haute homeowner

A man shot and killed in an attempted home intrusion in Terre Haute has been identified as being from Clay City.


Terre Haute Police say Michael Bell, 30, died in the incident.  A person with Bell during the incident was not charged and released.


No charges are being filed against the homeowner who fired the gun.


The Terre Haute Police Department is still investigating.



Man wanted on warrants from several area counties arrested after barricading himself into home

On Sunday morning, the Clay County Sheriff’s Department joined Owen County at a home in Clay in Cass Township.  Authorities say Michael Ramirez, 26, of Poland, ran from law enforcement and was then tracked from a car accident scene in Owen County.


Ramirez barricaded himself inside of a home and eventually a deputy with the assistance of a K-9 entered the home and brought out Ramirez and another man, Steven Samora, 38, also of Poland.


Both men were charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia.


Ramirez is also wanted on several warrants from Clay, Putnam and Owen counties.

Winter Storm Warning begins in early morning hours Wednesday

Heavy snow, both in weight and volume, is expected with a Winter Storm Warning.


The National Weather Service has issued the Winter Storm Warning to start at 1 a.m. Wednesday and extended through 7 p.m. Wednesday.


Total snow accumulations of 4 - 8 inches is possible with this system.  The snow is also expected to be wet and heavy.


Winds could gust as high as 35 mph.