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Police and local briefs

Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 1:23 pm

Oxycontin robbery suspect held

A suspect in a pair of Oxycontin-motivated robberies is in custody.

Detectives from the Fort Wayne Police Department, with the aid of tips received from the public, were able to identify and arrest Sean David Syfert, 22, on Wednesday.

Syfert, who was apprehended in a motel room, was charged with two counts of Class C felony robbery and one count of Class D possession of a controlled substance, according to a news release from the FWPD. Syfert was also served with a warrant for probation violation.

The arrest was in response to two robberies, on March 22 and Monday, of two Walgreens pharmacies.

Creek body ID'd

The woman found Sunday in Cedar Creek has been identified.

According to a news release from the Auburn Police Department, Jennifer S. Mullins, 26, of Auburn, is the person who was discovered around 4:45 p.m. Sunday.

A fingerprint taken during the autopsy Tuesday provided the basis of the identification. Mullins, according to the release, was reported missing by an acquaintance in November.

Authorities investigated leads then; now investigating officers are attempting to piece together the chain of events and locations visited up to Mullins' disappearance, based on information gleaned from the autopsy and interviews.

Anyone with information can contact Lt. Mark A. Stump at 1-260-920-3200, Ext. 1917, or Detective Phil Snover at Ext. 1923.

Shooting justified

After reviewing case reports from nearly three dozen members of law enforcement agencies, the DeKalb County Prosecutor's Office has ruled that the shooting death of Wayne A. King by an officer during a hostage standoff was justified.

King was killed by a single shot from a police sniper March 26 after law enforcement officials determined that the life of his estranged wife, Dawn King, was in danger and that more than five hours of negotiation for her release had failed.

Dawn King had been shot in both legs by Wayne King, who also shot at police officers during the incident on U.S. 6 near Waterloo. The prosecutor's office ruled that Dawn King's deteriorating medical condition necessitated the action.

River levels to rise

The city will re-establish river levels to normal summer levels beginning today, according to a news release. The Tainter Gate on Hosey Dam – on the Maumee River at Anthony Boulevard – will be closed early today, and river levels will rise over the next two days as a result. This is a normal procedure established by the Board of Works, and it takes place every April 15.

FWCS off Monday

Fort Wayne Community Schools students will not have school Monday for middle and high school teacher professional development and to compensate elementary teachers for time spent on parent-teacher conferences.

Contract awarded for Fort to Port stretch

The Indiana Department of Transportation has announced that E&B Paving of Anderson will receive a $12.3 million Major Moves contract for Phase 2 of the Fort to Port project.

E&B Paving will build 2.2 miles of four-lane, divided highway, including a new diamond interchange at Webster Road. It is expected to complete the project by late 2011.

Indiana's Fort to Port corridor – U.S. 24 between Interstate 469 in New Haven and the Ohio state line – is divided into four main sections. The U.S. 24 alignment connecting Toledo with Indiana 101 near Woodburn opened last fall. Phase 3 is under way between Indiana 101 and Webster, and is expected to wrap up late this year. Indiana's Fort to Port corridor is expected to open to traffic in late 2012.

Food bank recognizes couple

Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana has awarded the Charles B. Fine Friend of the Food Bank Award to Deb and Doug Treesh of Corunna.

The annual award is given to those who “demonstrate the spirit of Mr. Fine, a man who truly embraced the mission of hunger relief at a personal and professional level and recruited others to join him,” said a food bank news release.

The Treeshes started the northeast Indiana Chapter of Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. The group encourages hunters to donate deer meat for processing to local meat packagers, who then produce 1-pound packages at a discount rate and donate it to food banks.

Hurshtown Reservoir opens

Hurshtown Reservoir, 16000 Roth Road near Grabill, is open for the season, according to a release.

The 240-acre lake is stocked with small-mouth bass, white crappie, catfish and walleye; fishing licenses are required and all state fishing regulations apply.

The reservoir also features a walking path, picnic areas, outdoor volleyball courts and rowboat rental.

Admission is $4 per car for a daily pass, $25 for an annual pass and $13 for a senior annual pass. Rowboats are available for $4 an hour. The fee is 50 cents for those walking or biking to the reservoir.

The reservoir is open Thursday-Monday until 8 p.m. through May. It will be open 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Monday June-August.

NIPSCO urges safe digging

April is National Safe Digging Month, and Northern Indiana Public Service Co. is reminding people to use the Indiana 811 call-before-you-dig number. April is a busy time for homeowners and contractors for digging as part of projects from planting trees to installing decks. To prevent hitting a utility line, call 811 or visit www.indiana811.org for more information

Open house at Montessori school

Three Rivers Montessori School will host an open house 9-11 a.m. Saturday. To learn more about Montessori education, stop by the school at 2315 Long Road. No appointment is necessary.

Register for EACS summer program

Registration for East Allen County Schools' Elementary Summer Enrichment Program will be 8 a.m.-noon Saturday. The program will run 8 a.m.-2 p.m. June 14-July 9 for children in kindergarten to third grade.

Children will have the opportunity to participate in activities relating to academics, creative expression, and health and wellness. Breakfast and lunch will be served daily. The program costs $10 (cash only) per child, and children entering kindergarten must have a birth certificate and immunization record when registering.

For more information, call Shirley Smith or Cassandra Thomas at 446-0260.

High-schoolers plan CANstruction

Students from 16 area high schools will be building structures at Glenbrook Square on Friday for the CANstruction Exhibition.

The students will build their creations with help from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne design and architecture students. The competition will be judged, and mall visitors are encouraged to come and cast their votes with cans of donated food. All collected food items will be donated to Community Harvest Food Bank.

Auburn, Avilla snag state grants

Auburn and Avilla each received about $350,000 from the Indiana Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant competition. The money will go to the YMCA of DeKalb County and LEAP of Noble County. The grants are awarded so communities can establish or expand community learning centers.

IPFW campus visit day set for April 25

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne will host its annual spring campus visit day 1-3 p.m. April 25 at Walb Student Union.

Prospective students and their parents are encouraged to come and learn more about what IPFW offers. Representatives from admissions, financial aid, athletics and student life will be on hand to answer questions. Tours will also be available. The day is free and open to the public. Those interested should preregister at www.ipfw.edu/admissions and click on the College Visit link.

3 GOP candidates late with disclosures

State Sen. Marlin Stutzman is the only candidate seeking the Republican nomination in Indiana for the U.S. Senate to meet a deadline for disclosing income and financial holdings.

The reports were due April 4 at the Public Records Office of the U.S. Senate.

The campaign secretary for former U.S. Sen. Dan Coats said he got faulty information about the deadline and will ask for an extension.

A campaign spokesman for former U.S. Rep. John Hostettler said he plans to file soon. The treasurer of Fishers businessman Richard Behney said that campaign will also file soon.

Spring planting forecast positive

WEST LAFAYETTE — An Indiana climate specialist says the state's spring planting forecast is looking good, with rain and temperatures expected to be close to normal.

Associate state climatologist Ken Scheeringa said Wednesday that many Indiana farmers are anxious to plant this month after the last year's slow, wet start to the planting season.

But he said the forecast for the rest of the spring looks much better than last year, when the state's weather was dominated by the La Nina weather cycle's cool, wet conditions.

But this year, Scheeringa said, Indiana is under the influence of an El Nino weather cycle that should bring drier and warmer conditions.

He said that neutral weather pattern should also hang around for the summer months.

Triple-slaying suspect back in state

MARION — A suspect in a triple slaying in Kokomo has been returned to Indiana from southeastern Kentucky.

Jeremy Blanchard was arrested Friday night in London, Ky., and was brought back to Indiana on Tuesday night. He appeared Wednesday morning in Grant County Circuit Court on probation violation charges.

The 30-year-old Blanchard also faces intimidation charges in his hometown of Gas City. But authorities haven't determined whether to charge him in the deaths of 62-year-old David McPike, 57-year-old Rebecca Berg and her 28-year-old daughter, Jessica Berg.

–From staff, wire reports