Today's News

Week in Review for April 25th-29th, 2011

Here is a look at some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week:

Patrick Sobieck

Richard Selva

The Starke County and Knox City Police arrested Patrick Sobieck and Richard Selva, Saturday, on preliminary charges of Burglary and Theft after they allegedly stole six steel tie plates from the rail yard in Knox. Continue reading

Starke County Jail Upgrades Security Equipment, Video Arraignment System Installed

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

Several upgrades are in the works for the Starke County Jail. The Commissioners approved a bid this week for the tear off and installation of a new roof on the Jail and the Board members will also be reviewing bids to replace the HVAC system at the Jail during their meeting on Monday.

One recent upgrade has helped the operation of the jail and the courts. Here is Sheriff Oscar Cowen:

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Absentee Voting Available for Three More Days; BMV to be Open for Voter Identification Cards

Voters in precincts 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Center Township have a chance to vote absentee today and tomorrow from 8:00 a.m. to Noon and from 1:00-4:00 p.m. CT in the Starke County Courthouse. The final time to vote absentee will be Monday, May 2nd, from 8:00 a.m. to Noon only. Election Day is Tuesday, May 3rd. The polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and voting will be conducted in the Knox Community Center.

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Greg Matt and Jeff Berg Run Unopposed in Primary Election for Seats on Knox City Council

Greg Matt

Jeff Berg

There are two other candidates running for a seat on the Knox City Council and they are unopposed in the Knox Primary Election.

Greg Matt has served for eight-and-a-half years on the Council and he says that his focus is the economy and jobs.

“In the next four years, I hope we can continue our partnership with the Starke County Economic Development Foundation and bring in more industry and more jobs,” said Matt. “Charlie’s been a great asset to us and we’ve been quite successful. A lot of that is because he had a great opportunity to bring in the rail into our Industrial Park. I’m very pro industry because that gives us a lot of employment and that’s what we would all like to see.”

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Knox Fifth Grade Students Give Lesson in Technology to School Board

Mrs. Barnes and 5th grade presenters: Mrs. Barnes, Victoria Bulick, Colin Kulpa, Libby McEntee, Payton McIntyre, Mariah McKee, Allison Minix, and Cassie Waletzko

The Knox Community School Board got a lesson in technology at their recent school Board meeting and the teachers were 5th grade students.

“We just showed the Board what we’ve been doing this year in technology,” said Laura Barnes, Computer Applications Teacher at the Knox Elementary School. “We’ve started all of the grade levels on various new technologies IPads, some web tools such as Glogster and My Big Campus so we showed the Board some of those things. Glogster is a web tool which is basically a cross between a blog and a virtual poster. The kids can use them for presentations with projects, they can use them as a creative journal – there are a lot of educational tools for it.”

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Winamac Town Park Experiences Flooding

Entrance to the Winamac Town Park

The Winamac Town Park is under water. Winamac Park Superintendent, Don Thompson, said the back end of the park is under water and the walking paths are also under water. The water has reached the 4-H buildings in the Town Park as well.

Thompson said the Tippecanoe River is expected to crest near 11 feet Friday afternoon and the flood stage is at 10.0. According to the National Weather Service, at 11.5 feet, houses and lots could flood in the eastern parts of Winamac near the State Road 14 bridge.

Monterey Youngster Passes First Round of ‘X Factor’ Auditions

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith, of Monterey, has made it through the first round of auditions for the new Simon Cowell program, “X Factor”. The auditions were held in Chicago. The next round of auditions were held Thursday morning. The results of that round are being kept secret until “X Factor” airs.

“X Factor” will air on Fox 28 and the premiere of the program will be in September.

Captain Stubby to be Featured on Today’s ‘Ted Hayes Remembers’ Program

Ted Hayes

Ted Hayes

Ted Hayes remembers 4-29

After a week off for a vacation, Ted Hayes is back today on “Ted Hayes Remembers”. This week at 12:20 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. you’ll hear an interview done 20 years ago with the late Captain Stubby.

For years, listeners in the Kankakee Valley awakened to Captain Stubby and Charles Home Bill on “Is Anybody Home.”

Captain Stubby was the perfect way to start the day.

Join Ted Hayes and the late Captain Stubby today on “Ted Hayes Remembers”.

Robbins Ditch Overflows

The Robbins Ditch broke out - looking North just east of Range Road on the south side of Robbins Ditch

Starke County Highway Superintendent Steve Siddall reports that the Robbins Ditch at 400 North and Range Road in Starke County has overflowed its banks and has flooded the road and surrounding fields. The road is closed until further notice.

Photos provided by Becky Pulver of Brems. Continue reading

Evelyn Marsh

Evelyn Marsh, 88, of Leesburg, Florida, formerly of Knox, Indiana, passed away Sunday, April 24th.  Funeral services will be Monday, May 2nd, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. CT at the Rannells Funeral Home, Hamlet Chapel.  Visitation is Monday from 11:00 a.m. CT until the time of services at the Funeral Home.  Memorials may be given to the hospice of choice.

Starke County Commissioners Award Jail Roofing Bid

Starke County Jail

The Starke County Commissioners opened roof repair bids Wednesday for the Starke County Jail. Three bids were received and Commissioners Kathy Norem and Dan Bridegroom awarded the bid to Northern Indiana Roofing and Sheet Metal Corporation out of South Bend. Commissioner Jennifer Davis was absent from the meeting.

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Officials Meet to Discuss IU Health Starke Hospital Facility

IU Health Starke Hospital

Members of the Starke County Board Commissioners and County Council met Tuesday evening in a special session with representatives of IU Health Starke Hospital to discuss options available for operation of the healthcare facility. The County leases the aging building at the corner of U.S. 35 and Culver Road to IU Health, which operates the hospital.

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Ordinance Tabled Regarding Stolen Items Purchased by Pawn Shop

Knox City Council #2

Back Row: Mayor Rick Chambers, Ed Blue, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Greg Matt and Attorney David Matsey. Front Row: Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg and Ron Parker

A city ordinance regarding pawn shops in Knox purchasing stolen merchandise was brought before the council this week. The ordinance, which would primarily affect First Choice Pawn, was tabled for further consideration after a discussion between the Council and the operators of First Choice Pawn, Hank Minix and Chris Firebaugh.

City Attorney Dave Matsey modeled the ordinance after Indianapolis and Bloomington, who currently have an ordinance regarding licensing for pawn shops. The ordinance would require pawn shops to hold an item for ten days before selling it to give law enforcement time to receive theft reports and intercept stolen merchandise before the pawn shop is able to sell it. The ordinance also prohibits pawn shops from selling merchandise to intoxicated persons and establishes a fee of $25 for pawn shops to operate with a license, and establishes a procedure to follow in the event of stolen property being purchased by the pawn shop.

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Starke County Sheriff’s Department, Knox City Police Keeping Eye on Gas Prices

The national average of a gallon of regular gasoline is over the $4.00 mark and that hurts the pocketbook of all consumers in the United States. It also affects the fuel line item in County, City and Town budgets.

Starke County Sheriff, Oscar Cowen, told WKVI that the Sheriff’s Department staff is keeping an eye on the prices, but services to the citizens will not diminish because gas prices are high. He said that when we saw a spike in prices in 2008, the Sheriff’s Department made it through and hopes to come within the fuel budget this time around.

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Another Flooding Incident at the Knox Wastewater Treatment Plant is Not Likely

Kelly Clemons

Flood watches remain for several area rivers, including the Yellow River in Knox that flows through Wythogan Park and by the Wastewater Treatment Plant. When the river reached a flood stage of 12 feet one year, the Treatment Plant had flooding issues. Wastewater Superintendent, Kelly Clemons, explained the situation that occurred at the plant at that time:

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