Today's News

Flooding Possible This Morning Across Kankakee Valley

Flash flood warnings are in effect this morning for parts of the WKVI listening area. The National Weather Service has issued warnings for Starke, Pulaski, Fulton and LaPorte Counties. Additional rain is expected until about 8 a.m. Central and could cause problems in low-lying areas. Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall may also lead to flooding of small creeks, streams, highways and overpasses. Should water start to rise, move to higher ground immediately.

United Steelworkers to Represent MPI Employees

United Steelworkers LogoEmployees at MPI in Knox are now represented by the United Steelworkers of America. Michael O’Brien is the District 7 Subdistrict 4 director for the union. He tells WKVI News the National Labor Relations Board ratified the recent vote by MPI employees and notified both the union and the company. Continue reading

Starke County Highway Department Waiting on Bridge Inspector

Starke County Highway Department employees paved the new bridge earlier this week.

Starke County Highway Department employees paved the new bridge earlier this week.

Repairs to the bridge over the Yellow River on Starke County Road 700 East are finished, but it’s not open to traffic yet. County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler tells WKVI News the bridge needs to be inspected first. Continue reading

Ten Year Prison Sentence Handed to Donaldson Man

Charlie Carlisle

Charlie Carlisle, Sr.

A Donaldson man will spend several years in prison after pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of possession of a handgun by a serious violent felon.

According to a press release from Prosecutor David Holmes, Charlie Carlisle, Sr. admitted in Marshall County Superior Court No. 1 on Wednesday that he was in possession of a stolen handgun and sold it to another person after he was previously convicted of burglary as a Class B felony.

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Taylor to be Tried Again in Starke Circuit Court

Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor will be on trial again to face the four counts in which resulted in a hung jury.

Eric Taylor was on trial for two days in Starke Circuit Court which ended with not guilty verdicts on charges of dealing in methamphetamine and possession of chemical reagents or precursors with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine. The jury was deadlocked on counts of possession of methamphetamine, possession of a syringe, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of paraphernalia. The jury deliberated for five hours.

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Unemployment Numbers Drop in Starke County

The unemployment numbers for Starke County continue to decrease.

Ron Gifford from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation said the numbers have been quite encouraging.

“Since January of this year, we’ve seen our labor force grow by almost three hundred more people out there actively seeking a position,” said Gifford. “There’s almost five hundred more people employed than there were in January and the ranks of our unemployed have depleted down by about 180. They’re actually finding jobs and the people that had been out of the job market for some period of time apparently are coming back to it.”

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Road Salt Jumps in Price

Last year’s blizzards will cost highway and street departments a little bit more in road salt this year.

Marshall County Highway Administrator Laurie Baker informed the Marshall County Commissioners this week to prepare for a rather large payment for road salt.

Last year’s bid amount through the state for road salt was $48.84 a ton and it jumped to $73.32 a ton this year. Contracts limited road salt companies to how much they could charge for a ton of salt and they are hitting departments hard this year to make up for the shortfall.

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Knox School Board Updates Firearms Policy


Knox Community School Board

School board members in the area have been implementing a new policy that pertains to firearms on school property.

The Knox Community School Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the school board on Monday night approved a policy that reflects state law.

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Richie Sentenced to Home Detention

 Steven Richie was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Thursday morning.

Judge Kim Hall accepted a plea agreement between Richie and the State of Indiana in which Richie pleaded guilty to a possession of marijuana charge plus a charge of possession of marijuana with a previous conviction to merge into one Class D felony charge. Richie was sentenced to serve 20 months with no part of the sentence suspended.

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Tippecanoe River State Park River Overlook Dedication Scheduled


The second of two new overlooks at Tippecanoe River State Park will be formally dedicated during a brief ceremony tomorrow. Jenise Barnhouse donated money to the project in memory of her father, Floyd.

Several businesses contributed too, including DeSabatine Brothers Excavating, Good Oil Company, Galfab Inc., Two Guys Mechanical, Plymouth Tube, Gabe Wheeler and Wheeler Construction and Jason Keller and Keller Construction. State park employees and friends of Tippecanoe River State Park volunteers also assisted. Last year volunteers tore out the old overlooks to build the new structures. The first overlook was dedicated earlier this year. Through the generosity of many groups of individuals the overhaul of two river overlooks is complete and ready for visitors to enjoy nature at the park. Tomorrow’s dedication begins at 11 a.m. EDT behind the park’s nature center.

Probation Revoked for Wabash Man


Curt Bolin

After violating probation on several occasions, a Wabash man will be spending some time in prison.

Curt Bolin, 25, admitted in Marshall Superior Court No. 1 that he had violated probation several times, according to a press release from Marshall County Prosecutor David Holmes. He admitted to testing positive for methamphetamine, morphine, codeine and hydromorphone in a drug screen within six months of his release from prison. He also failed to report to his probation officer as ordered.

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High School Football Season Kicks Off Tonight

FootballHigh school football season starts tonight. Rivalries are renewed and a clean slate means anyone can make the impossible happen. WKVI and will be broadcasting a combined 20 regular season football games. Entering his 50th sports broadcasting season, Harold Welter will be ready to go tonight along with sports director Nathan Welter. They will have the call from Winamac, where the Warriors are taking on the Knox Redskins. Their broadcast starts at 6 p.m. CDT on WKVI FM. Continue reading

Fire Cause Undetermined in New Carlisle Business Fire

The cause of the fire at K-Fex in New Carlisle that claimed the life of Assistant Fire Chief Jamie Middlebrook can not be determined.

State Fire Marshall Jim Greeson said the facility sustained too much damage so a definitive cause of the fire could not be established. He noted that reasonable accidental ignition sources could not be ruled out, but also could not be proven as the cause of the fire.

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Starke County Council Working on 2015 Budget

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Council is in the process of crafting the 2015 budget. Once it’s finished, it will be published for taxpayer review. Council President Dave Pearman says that process is changing after this year. Continue reading

Expanded Alcohol Monitoring Approved for Court Services

Officials with court services in Marshall County are moving forward to hold offenders accountable for actions while under home detention.

Ward Byers approached the county commissioners on Monday morning with a request to enter into a contract with the BI Corporation to expand alcohol monitoring.

“Currently, we can provide in-home alcohol monitoring through our 3M contract. This will allow us to have what’s called a SCRAM, or a trans-dermal ankle bracelet, which provides continuous alcohol monitoring of those more high risk alcohol offenders,” said Byers.

The contract will allow the use of a more sophisticated breath test.

“I can set up a schedule in the computer, it notifies the offender when it’s time to provide a sample. When it does that, it takes a photograph of the offender, registers the blood alcohol content and then sends up a GPS signal so we know where that offender is at that time. Should they fail to provide that sample or if they fail their breath sample, I immediately receive a text message so then I can address whatever matter is going on with that person.”

Byers noted that this contract just gives the court and court services more sentencing options.

The BI Corporation is headquartered out of Boulder, Colorado but an office is located in Anderson, Indiana.

As with the contract with the 3M corporation, there will be no costs to the county. When the equipment is activated and assigned to an offender, all user fees will be handed down to the offender. No costs will be incurred by the county. The offender will pay $12 a day.

The commissioners approved the contract pending attorney review.

Pulaski County County Commissioners Receive Update on Zoning Ordinances

The executive director of the Pulaski County Community Development Commission updated the county commissioners this week on plans to revamp the zoning ordinances.

Nathan Origer explained that the county council approved the transfer of funds from the CDC land acquisition account for the project and plans are progressing.

“Once I have the CDC’s formal approval and the plan commission’s formal recommendation to the commissioners, I will bring it to you. I will get a copy to you in advance as soon as we tweak any details. I sent a list of minor concerns to the company that has submitted the proposal. They don’t anticipate starting the project until mid-November and finishing in early spring. We are still negotiating with Francesville and Winamac to see if either of them want to adopt that same ordinance so that even though they’ll retain their same jurisdictions the rules will be the same across the county,” said Origer.

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Nominations Sought for Starke County Park Board

The Bass Lake Beach and Campground are among the amenities the Starke County Park Board will oversee.

The Bass Lake Beach and Campground are among the amenities the Starke County Park Board will oversee.

Starke County officials are seeking nominations for volunteers to serve on the county park board. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall and the Starke County Council each have two nominations – one Democrat and one Republican. The Starke County Commissioners will select the fifth member. Political affiliation is not a consideration for the commissioners nominee. Continue reading

Expert Says Proposed Coal Regulations Don’t Consider “Big Picture”

The proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations of coal-fired power plants could hit Hoosier energy consumers hard in the pocketbook. That’s the contention of organizations like Kankakee Valley REMC, NIPSCO and even Gov. Mike Pence, who are all opposed to what they say is an overreaching proposal by EPA to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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