Goshen News, Goshen, IN

June 5, 2013

NorthWood senior’s condition upgraded


— A NorthWood High School senior who suffered a head injury last week was listed in stable condition Tuesday at South Bend Memorial Hospital.

Tori Graff is out of the intensive care unit and in her own room, NorthWood Principal David Maugel said Tuesday afternoon.

“We’re hearing some really positive news,” the principal said of Graff’s condition.

Graff was injured around 9 p.m. Thursday in the school parking lot, at the conclusion of NorthWood’s “Senior Luau” event. She was riding on the back bumper of a pick-up truck when she fell from the vehicle and hit her head on the pavement.

The news Maugel is hearing is that Graff is alert and able to handle some conversation. Maugel also said several Graff’s classmates have been to the hospital to visit her.

“She’s had a lot of support, I believe, from her colleagues,” he said.

Crash reports

Two people were hurt Monday in separate motor vehicle crashes investigated by Goshen police:

• A motorcyclist was hurt in a one-vehicle crash Monday on U.S. 33 east of Rieth Boulevard.

The mishap occurred shortly before 8 p.m. Lamar R. Bontrager, 20, LaGrange, was traveling southeast on a 2006 Honda motorcycle. Bontrager told police he was riding with four other friends on motorcycles when he had to swerve to avoid an automobile that was merging toward him.

Bontrager lost control of the motorcycle and was ejected. Police said he suffered severe “road rash” and abrasions. He was transported to IU Health Goshen Hospital for treatment.

• A two-vehicle crash injured a passenger around 10:30 p.m. Monday at U.S. 33 and Rieth Boulevard.

Police said a 2000 Oldsmobile Alegro driven by Rebecca McCoy, 20, Goshen, collided with a 1996 Dodge Ram pick-up truck driven by Zachary Tharp, 20, Goshen.

The drivers were unhurt in the crash. A passenger in the Alegro, Samantha McMillian, 19, Bristol, suffered facial pain.

Police say pot operation busted

Kosciusko County police uncovered potentially the largest marijuana grow operation in Kosciusko County history Monday near the town of Burket.

Acting on an anonymous tip, members of the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department Drug Task Force went to the residence of Christopher Paul Cords, 48, 7895 W. C.R. 600 South, Claypool, after they obtained consent to search his barns and out-buildings.

Deputies found an elaborate indoor marijuana grow-operation that encompassed several rooms inside the main barn. Indiana State Police Marijuana Eradication Section was called to the scene to assist in dismantling the equipment that included fans, heating elements, grow lighting and a sophisticated irrigation system.

“The grow operation located this morning by Kosciusko County Drug Task Force deputies appears to be the largest in Kosciusko County history, said KCSD Captain Aaron Rovenstine. “KCSD deputies and troopers have estimated that the total street value seized today would well surpass $200,000. Approximately 646 plants were seized into evidence.

Cords is being held in the Kosciusko County Jail on a $5,000 bond for preliminary charges of felony dealing in marijuana with intent to deal and felony possession of marijuana, growing, cultivating over 30 grams.

Robbery reported

Elkhart County police are asking the public for help in identifying two robbers who made off with a cash and cigarettes after robbing a local gas station.

Two males entered the 7-11 store, 25960 C.R. 20, Elkhart, at 11:47 p.m. Sunday. One male displayed a small black semi-automatic pistol and demanded money from the cash register.

Police said the robbers were described as black males who were wearing dark green camouflage bandanas and gloves. The robbers left the store on foot headed east.

Anyone with information about this crime or people involved is asked to contact  Elkhart County police at 533-4151.

Child airlifted

A 6-year-old boy was flown to Parkview Memorial Hospital in Fort Wayne after being struck by a vehicle Saturday around 10:46 a.m. in Middlebury.

The collision occurred at 122 West U.S. 20. Police said Desiree Stauffer, 27, was backing her green 2001 Chevrolet minivan out of the driveway, not knowing 6-year-old Nicholas Stauffer had run behind the van trying to get into the vehicle.

The vehicle stuck Nicholas, causing injuries to the boy’s head, right hand and right knee. He was listed in good condition Tuesday in the hospital Tuesday.

Boy hit with rock

Jennifer Peeler of Goshen told Goshen police her 12-year-old child was struck in the head with a rock shot from a slingshot by another 12-year-old Sunday. The children were playing at the playground at Chandler Elementary School, 419 S. Eight St., Goshen, when the incident occurred

Gang activity

Elkhart County police said someone made a report of possible gang activity at Northridge High School, 56779 Northridge Drive, Middlebury, May 30.

Battery reports

• Elkhart County police were told a 14-year-old boy punched a 12-year-old boy repeatedly and accidentally hit  a 14-year-old female. The incident took place on a school bus en route to Northridge Middle School, Middlebury, around 7:30 a.m. May 7.

Police pursuit

Goshen police attempted to stop the rider of a black and orange motorcycle in the area of South Seventh and East Madison streets in Goshen around 6 p.m. Monday. The male riding the motorcycle refused to stop for police. Officers ended the pursuit at Ind. 15 and C.R. 20 after losing sight of motorcycle.