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

Here is just some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week:

Gabriel French
Elizabeth Boyd
Joshua Givens

Gabriel French, Elizabeth Boyd and Joshua Givens were arrested Saturday after officers conducted a search warrant at a residence in Knox and found active methamphetamine labs.

Brian Ball of Bass Lake suffered a concussion after a tree fell on him while he was putting up a tent in his yard. Ball’s neighbor, Jim O’Hara, found him unconscious and performed CPR on Ball when he couldn’t find a pulse. Continue reading

Federal Charges Filed against Nathan VanDerAa

Nathan VanDerAa

Federal charges have been filed against Nathan VanDerAa of Star City.

On June 3rd, VanDerAa was arrested on a charge of Possession of Methamphetamine after a traffic stop and a few days later, Starke County officers arrived at his home in Star City and found that he was in the presence of a meth lab, firearms and ammunition. Pulaski County Prosecutor, Stacey Mrak, filed methamphetamine related charges against him and the ATF was expected to file a federal charge for a firearm possession. Mrak recently dismissed the County’s charges against VanDerAa and they were transferred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Bend. VanDerAa had his initial hearing in federal court in South Bend on July 6th.

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Candidate Filing Deadline Approaches for Municipal Election

Potential candidates wanting to file for a Clerk-Treasurer or Town Board position in the towns of North Judson, Hamlet, Winamac, Monterey, Francesville or Medaryville have until Monday, August 1st at Noon to file.

So far, the towns of Hamlet, Winamac, Francesville and Medaryville will be conducting Town Conventions. A Town Convention is held when there is competition between candidates in the same political party for any town office. In the Town of Hamlet, there is a race on the Republican ticket for Clerk-Treasurer and two Town Council seats are contested on the Democrat ticket. In Winamac, there is a race for Clerk-Treasurer on the Republican ticket. In Francesville, there are four people seeking a seat on the Town Council and only three seats are available so one candidate will be eliminated in that Town Convention. In Medaryville, four Democrats filed for a seat on the Town Council and a Town Convention will determine the candidate for that party for the General Election.

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Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall Rejects Plea Agreements in Hearings held Yesterday

Several plea agreements were rejected by the Starke Circuit Court as Judge Kim Hall turned down submitted agreements from Richard Wilbert, Allen Krock, and Richard Longacre.

A plea agreement was submitted for Krock, charged with Battery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury as a Class C Felony. The agreement would have sentenced Krock to four years in the Department of Corrections with one year suspended. One year of probation would follow his release, and he would be required to complete alcohol and substance abuse programs.

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James Campbell Charged with Possessing a Stolen Weapon

Starke County Police officers arrested James Campbell, 43, of Knox early Thursday morning after he failed to comply with police when officers ordered him to get out of his vehicle and away from loaded weapons.

Police were called to a church on Toto Road after a citizen reported a male subject acting suspiciously on the property. When police arrived, the reporting officer found James Campbell in his vehicle. The officer got out of his vehicle and approached Campbell’s vehicle and asked him to step out of the truck. Campbell ignored the officer. Campbell was asked several more times to exit the vehicle. The reporting officer noted in his report that he asked Campbell to show him his hands and Campbell reportedly started to fidget with something underneath his seat. The officer drew his weapon and told Campbell to show him his hands. He did show his hands and had nothing in them at the time.

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Culver Town Council Approves Application for Water Study

Culver Town Council Members Ed Pinder, Ralph Winters, Ginny Bess, Sally Ricciardi
Culver Town Council Members (from left to right) Ed Pinder, Ralph Winters, Ginny Bess, Sally Ricciardi

The Town of Culver will be applying for a grant for a water utility study to locate and resolve issues in their water system. A total of at least eight letters have been received by the town council regarding water issues, and a water utility study would allow the town to identify and fix any problems with the water.

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More Details about Memorial Services for Andy Howes

Andy Howes

WKVI has learned some of the details of the services for Chief Warrant Officer Andy Howes, a Knox native whose remains are being transported from Hawaii to Indianapolis on Monday. He was lost 41 years ago in a helicopter crash in Vietnam, and although his remains were sent to Hawaii in 1988, they were only recently identified through DNA analysis.

Services will be held in Knox on Tuesday, and then the body will be sent to its final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery on August 5th. Services are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night, with calling after 5:00 p.m. at the Knox Community Center.

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Miss Harvest Festival Pageant this Saturday

Kayla Bailey, Miss Harvest Fest 2010

The Miss Harvest Fest Pageant is tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. at the Knox Middle School. Last year’s Miss Harvest Fest Queen, Kayla Bailey, says there are three categories in this year’s pageant:

“We have Tiny Miss, which is for ages 5-8, Little Miss Harvest for girls ages 9-13, and the Miss candidates are for ages 14-19,” said Bailey. “The contestants will be judged on interviews, summer wear, on-stage question, and evening gowns. All contestants are girls that live, work or attend school in Starke County.”

The winner of the Miss Harvest Fest Pageant will have a free entry into the Miss Kankakee Valley Pageant this fall.

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Memorial Services for Andy Howes Scheduled for Tuesday, August 2nd

Andy Howes

Classmates from as far as Florida, New York and Delaware and throughout Indiana are coming to Knox for memorial services for Chief Warrant Officer, Andy Howes. Many of his Knox High School classmates have MIA bracelets that they wore for a number of years, or put away in a known chest awaiting his return. The family has invited all who have bracelets to put them in the casket with the remains.

Howes will be returning to Knox on Monday, with a Patriot Guard escort, and memorial services will be held at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening at the Knox Community Center.

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Knox Residents Arrested after Hit and Run Accident

John Rupert
Charlotte Rupert

Two Knox residents were arrested after a traffic accident in Winamac on Sunday.

The Winamac Police Department investigated the scene where driver, Mathew Hall of Indianapolis, stated that he was stopped at the traffic light at the bridge construction site on US 35 in Winamac when John Rupert, of Knox, rear-ended his vehicle. Both drivers exited the vehicle and Hall told police that he spoke to Rupert and his speech was slurred and he appeared to be “messed up”. Hall said that Rupert and his wife, Charlotte Rupert, who was a passenger in the vehicle, then ran toward an apartment complex south of the scene. The pair were later located inside an apartment hiding and were later arrested and taken to the Pulaski County Jail.

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Four Area Post Offices to be Reviewed for Closure or Consolidation

When was the last time you received a newsy letter in the mail from a friend or family member? If you’re like most, it’s probably been a long time.

Post offices across the country are on the chopping block. This fall could be the biggest consolidation in postal service history. Over the next 3 months, 3,200 post offices will be reviewed for closure or consolidation. Revenues have declined and mail volume continues to decline. Email and electronic bill paying are only two of the culprits. Another is the pullback in advertising mail because of the recession.

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Knox City Council Discusses 2012 Budget

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

“Even though money is tight, I still think we can grant a 2% salary increase.”

That was told to the Knox City Council this week by Knox City Clerk-Treasurer, Jeff Houston. The two percent increase recommended for all employees and officials was passed unanimously by the Council on the first reading of the salary ordinance.

The State Board of Accounts has completed its audit of the 2012 budget.

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Questions Raised Concerning Culver Golf Cart Ordinance

What’s the difference between a golf cart and a Utility Terrain Vehicle? There isn’t much of one, but enough of a difference for UTVs to be prohibited on town roads, says Grant Munroe, owner of Culver Lodging Realty and CGM Photography. Munroe appeared before the town council and requested a revision to the Golf Cart Ordinance to allow for the use of UTVs on Culver roads.

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Sewer Separation Project to Begin in North Judson Today

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer, Connie Miller, reported yesterday that the State Road 39 sewer separation project will begin today. Miller said she has been informed that the road through the construction area will remain open, but motorists can expect slight delays. If you have breathing problems, you may want to close your vehicle’s windows while traveling through the construction site.

Culver Community Schools Gearing up for Another School Year

Culver Community School Superintendent, Brad Schuldt

“We’re moving ahead getting ready for the 201-2012 school year.” That was what was said yesterday by Culver Community School Corporation Superintendent, Brad Schuldt.
Since the announcement of the closure of the Monterey Elementary School, there have been preliminary efforts by some in Tippecanoe Township in Pulaski County to lead an effort to break the township away from Culver Community Schools, and attach it to another district, possibly Eastern Pulaski Schools.

Schuldt would not speculate on whether Culver would fight such a move, saying only, “That would be a board decision.”

As far as a number of students leaving and going to Eastern Pulaski next school year, Schuldt would only say “we won’t know that figure until the first day of school.” Even though students could go without paying tuition, Tippecanoe’s taxes would still support the Culver Community School Corporation.

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Two Knox Residents Arrested on Burglary, Theft Charges

Rhonda Gayheart
Charles Barnett

Two Knox residents were arrested Friday on charges of Burglary and Theft.

Knox Police Department officers were called to the Woods Apartments for a report of burglary. Christopher Acevedo and Amanda Hamilton told police that when they returned home, a computer, an XBox system and games were missing from their residence. Police later went to the Pawn Shop and found that their XBox system was recently pawned. One suspect, Charles Barnett, allegedly pawned the XBox and tried to pawn the computer but didn’t know the password so the pawn shop would not accept that item. The other suspect, Rhonda Gayheart, then came into the store and stated that they were pawning the computer for a friend and didn’t know the password. After a while, Gayheart, who reportedly lives in the same apartment complex as the victims in the burglary incident, reported an attempted break-in at her apartment. She didn’t report anything stolen.

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