Today's News

Two Suspects Arrested on Arson Charges

Ryan Taylor

Kenneth K. Wallace

Two men were arrested Tuesday after they were found to have set a vehicle on fire on the Gurley residence in Monterey.

Police were called after a witness saw a vehicle leaving the scene of a vehicle fire. Police approached the suspect vehicle and found Knox residents 35-year-old Ryan Taylor and 34-year-old Kenneth K. Wallace inside. The officer said that he was investigating a vehicle fire and told Taylor that it was his mother’s 2002 Pontiac Grand Am that was on fire. He said that the vehicle was in town at his grandmother’s house and it had been there for some time and it needed transmission work.

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Nearby Court to Host Case Involving Former Starke County Treasurer

Linda Belork

A court appearance by attorneys who represent Starke County and Linda Belork was vacated yesterday. Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall will sign an order today establishing the procedure for selecting a nearby court to hear Belork’s case in which she disputes being dismissed from conducting her duties as the County Treasurer. Belork’s attorney had asked for a change of venue from Starke County.

The suit was brought against the County to determine if officials had the legal right to relieve her of the Treasurer’s duties.

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300 Sign Petition to Deannex Tippecanoe Township from Culver Schools

Monterey Elementary School

Over 300 signatures have been collected to deannex Tippecanoe Township from the Culver Community School District. The effort was made in response to the closing of the Monterey Elementary School.

At the time of the announcement of the closing, many in the township expressed their extreme displeasure, claiming it was promised that Monterey Elementary would stay open permanently. School officials in Culver said it was necessary to close the school as a cost cutting measure.

Monterey Elementary went through an extensive remodeling project 10 years ago.

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Knox School Board Meets with Constituents to Discuss Palmer Wing

This spring, the Knox Community School Board met with a committee to discuss issues with the east end of the Elementary School, known as the Palmer Wing. The committee has found that there are some issues that need to be fixed with the 60-year-old infrastructure and building. The infrastructure is not built for today’s technology needs in terms of electric capacity and space. and water lines need to be replaced.

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SCILL Center Auto Tech Classes Begin

SCILL Center

The SCILL Center Auto Tech classes have begun in the Industrial Park. Instructor Mark Anderson said yesterday that next week, three higher institution schools will be out attracting students.

One of the schools, Universal Technology Institute in Chicago, will be bringing a “hot rod” for the students to look over and inspect.

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Oregon-Davis Senior Class Joins Pop Tab Collection Effort

The Oregon-Davis Senior Class of 2012 has joined the Ronald McDonald House “Collect-A-Million Pop Tabs” Club in honor of their former classmate Christina Rotering who lost her battle with cancer in April.

The Ronald McDonald House serves families whose children require care at an Indianapolis area hospital by offering them a home-like atmosphere where they can get the rest and renewal they need to be most supportive of their sick or injured child.

The goal is one million pop tabs collected by May 1st, 2012. Pop tabs are being collected at the Jr/Sr High Office from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. CT daily. For information on how the tabs collected will help the Ronald McDonald House, click here.

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INDOT to Stripe Highways

The Indiana Department of Transportation urges drivers to be extremely cautious around wet paint on the road as LaPorte District crews apply pavement markings. About 5,600 lane miles will be re-striped in the LaPorte District now through October.

When encountering a road striping crew, use a generous following distance, avoid driving over the newly painted markings and never recklessly pull in front of or pass a striping operation. If drivers do get paint on their vehicles, they should attempt to wash the paint off as quickly as possible. Fresh paint will often come off easily with soap and water. However, after it dries only a specialist can remove it.

Jessica Johnson

Jessica Johnson, 19, of Michigan City, Indiana, passed away Monday, August 29th, 2011.  A Graveside service will be held on Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. CT at the Reed Cemetery in Winamac.  A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 10th, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. CT at the Springville Free Methodist Church in LaPorte, Indiana.  Memorial contributions may be made to the church.  The Frain Mortuary in Winamac, Indiana is in charge of arrangements.

Starke County Officials Attend Corrections Convention in Colorado

Sheriff Oscar Cowen, Councilman Dave Pearman, Chief Deputy Bill Dulin, Starke County Commissioner Kathy Norem, Jail Commander Greg Hewitt

Starke County officials recently had the opportunity to travel to Denver, Colorado to attend a conference for the planning of new institutions. The conference was conducted by the National Institute of Corrections and most expenses were paid for by the Institute. Attending were Commissioner Kathy Norem, Sheriff Oscar Cowen, Chief Deputy Bill Dulin, Councilman Dave Pearman, and Jail Commander Greg Hewitt.

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Knox Woman Arrested after Using False Identification to Purchase Pseudoephedrine

Shayna Howard

Knox City Police Department officers arrested a Knox woman, Thursday, after trying to purchase a pseudoephedrine product under a false name.

Police were called to Walgreens after Shayna Howard, 20, reportedly tried to buy a pseudoephedrine product after producing a false identification card. Pseudoephedrine is an ingredient found in the manufacture of methamphetamine. After she was arrested on a charge of Identity Deception, officers learned that drug activity may be occurring at Howard’s home on St. Louis Street. A search warrant was obtained and executed at the home where police reportedly found methamphetamine and a clear liquid in a prescription bottle. The liquid was sent to the Indiana State Police Lab for identification.

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Names Released from Friday Accident Near Hamlet

The names of those involved in an accident at 600 East and 700 North have been released. The moped driver, Divvad Nieburrt of Grovertown, was hit by a pickup truck on Friday. His condition has been upgraded from critical to stable. Nieburrt was hit by a pickup truck driven by Brandon Ferch. Nieburrt apparently failed to stop at the intersection, pulling into the path of Ferch.

Ferch was not injured in the accident.

Knox Woman Arrested on Probation Revocation

Ann Bradley

Knox City Police officers arrested a Knox woman Friday night on an active arrest warrant for probation revocation.

Officers were called to Dollar General in Knox where an employee reported a possible shoplifter.  When the suspect was identified by officers arrived, they found Ann Bradley, 33, of Knox, had an active arrest warrant and she was taken into custody.  She was in possession of store items, but proof was shown that she had paid for the items.  She was taken into custody for the warrant, which was issued earlier this month for a probation revocation.  She was originally charged with Dealing in Methamphetamine, a Class A Felony.  She is also being held for LaPorte County on a probation revocation warrant.

West Central School Board Concerned about Enrollment Numbers

The West Central School Board discussed enrollment at their meeting last week.

The Average Daily Membership (ADM) taken at the beginning of this year was 824 students compared to 865 last year. This translates to a $250,100 loss in state support as tuition money follows the student. The actual ADM count will be in September when all students are encouraged to be in class that day so the School Corporation can receive all the money it can for every student that is enrolled.

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North Judson-San Pierre School Board Hires Teacher for Math, Science Classes

North Judson-San Pierre High School

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board met in regular session last week.

“We have increased numbers at the high school in our Math and Science classes so we did hire a teacher who is going to do part-time Math and part-time Science at the secondary level,” said Superintendent Lynn Johnson of some of the highlights of the meeting. “The boys basketball team are going to have their annual Golf Outing on October 15th. That’s their fundraiser for the year. We also had the adoption of the 2012 budget.”

Culver Community Schools Welcome New Employees

Culver Community School Board

Culver Community School Board Members (from left, clockwise): Jack Jones, Ryan Seiber, Marilyn Swanson, Brad Schuldt, Eugene Baker, Jim Wentzel, Ed Behnke, Ken VanDePutte

With the new school year in full swing, two newly hired teachers and one new board member are settling into the routine at Culver Community Schools.

David Cooper will be replacing Gene Baker on the Culver School Board. Cooper is a Culver local, having grown up and graduated in Culver. Cooper is currently employed as maintenance supervisor for Plymouth’s Park and Recreations Department, and has been serving as a member of the Culver Fire Department for several years.

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Indiana State Police to Participate in Operation Pull Over Blitz

Indiana State Police will join more than 260 Indiana law enforcement agencies to crackdown on impaired drivers. The campaign continues through September 5th.

Troopers from the Lowell Post will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint sometime this weekend in Porter County. Troopers will also be conducting saturation patrols targeting impaired drivers through September 5th.

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Henry F. Schricker Born on This Date in 1883

Henry Schricker

Starke County’s most well known citizen was born on this date in 1883. Henry F. Schricker was born in North Judson to parents Magdelena and Frederick Schricker.

During his lifetime, he was a two time Governor of the State of Indiana, Lt. Governor and a State Senator. He was also the Publisher and editor of the Starke County Democrat, a lawyer, bank cashier, fireman and organized Starke County’s first boy scout troop.

His Main Street home in Knox is now the Starke County Museum and the the library in Knox is named after him. A service award is given each year to a deserving individual who has given “service before self.”

Police Reports

Police Reports are simply a record that an arrest has been made and are not an indication of guilt or innocence.

Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer

From the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department:

Incidents:
08/27/11 A semi driver in Medaryville told police that another semi driver drove his semi too close to him and clipped off one of his side mirrors.

08/27/11 A caller advised that a woman holding a yard sale in Star City is causing traffic problems.

08/27/11 A Winamac resident notified the Sheriff’s Department that a younger looking male has been driving around looking around and looking into dumpsters. He will get into his vehicle and sit and then will get out and look into another dumpster.

08/27/11 Police were called in reference to two women in a fight where one woman slapped another in the face at the Town Park.

08/26/11 A Medaryville resident called to report a break-in.

08/26/11 A resident in Northwestern Pulaski County reported a break-in at her sister’s residence. The caller told police she caught the suspects “red-handed”.

08/26/11 Police are investigating an incident where a Winamac resident complained that his neighbor came onto his property, allegedly pulled a gun, shot it into the air and then pointed it at him. He told police that he hit the weapon with a stick and knocked it out of his hand, but the guy picked it up and pointed it at him again. The incident reportedly happened three weeks ago and the complaintant is now reporting the incident.

08/26/11 A caller in Winamac reported that the kids leaving the high school parking lot are driving very recklessly.

08/26/11 A Winamac business requested an officer. A subject drove off with a gas nozzle in their car.

08/24/11 A Francesville resident reported the theft of two gold wedding bands out of the glove compartment in her car sometime in July or the beginning of August.

Arrests:
08/28/11 Roberto F. Sebastian, 44, 6551 N. 1500 W., North Judson, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Operator Never Licensed. Discharged 08/28/11

08/28/11 Chad M. Furnivali, 20, 329 E. 13th St., Rochester, IN, arrested on preliminary charges of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated and Minor Consuming.

08/25/11 Ronald Lee Magers, 26, 515 W. Main St., Medaryville, IN, arrested on site. Charges are pending.

08/25/11 Joshua Lee Attinger, 28, 902 S. Burson, Winamac, IN, arrested on sit. Charges are pending. Discharged 08/26/11

08/24/11 Rachel A. Carr, 40, 2024 Vessmore Pk Apt. 1, Rochester, IN, arrested on an active bench warrant.

08/24/11 Ramon Santana, 43, 1530 Maple St., Niles, MI, arrested on an active arrest warrant.

Doug Vessely

North Judson Town Marshal Doug Vessely

From the North Judson Police Department:

Incidents:
08/27/11 North Judson Police Chief Deputy Joe Budner is investigating a battery that occurred on Friday, August 26th at the North Judson Town park on Weninger Street. A 18-year-old male advised that he was battered by a 22-year-old male subject.

08/27/11 A resident in the 300 Block of Franklin Street reported to North Judson Police Officer Bill Scheiderer that his mail box was vandalized. After viewing the mail box, Officer Scheiderer observed black smoke residue in the mail box and no damage to the outside of the box. Officer Scheiderer located a clear plastic bottle that was burnt and burnt aluminum foil on the ground near the mail box. The investigation is ongoing at this time.

08/26/11 A property damage accident occurred at State Road 10 and Walnut Street. North Judson Police Chief, Doug Vessely, investigated and set the damages at under $2,500. A white Ford Econoline van driven by Jeffery K. Houk, of Rolling Prairie backed into a Saturn sedan driven by Samantha L. Myer, of North Judson. Houk stated he was going to back up to take a side road to avoid traffic being backed up due to construction at the intersection of State Road 10 and State Road 39 South.

08/26/11 A property damage accident occurred at State Road10 and Lane Street. North Judson Police Chief Doug Vessely, investigated and set the damages at over $1,000. A silver Toyota Corolla driven by Carolyn Haskins was eastbound on State Road 10 and was slowing to turn left onto Lane Street. She saw a Chevy S-10, driven by Carolyn E. Adam, stopped waiting to turn left onto State Road 10. After traffic cleared, Haskins started to turn left and Adam started to turn left. Adam’s vehicle struck Haskin’s vehicle.

08/25/11 North Judson Police Officer Ken Tomasko was on patrol near the rest area on State Road 10 and observed a male subject laying by a tree and picnic table. Officer Tomasko checked to see if the male needed any assistance. The male subject, Robert G. Kozecar, 40, was arrested on two Starke County warrants for Failure to Appear and a Pulaski County warrant.

08/24/11 North Judson Police Chief Doug Vessely was driving by the Town Park on Weninger street and observed a male subject matching the description of a wanted male for Escape from Lawful Detention. Chief Vessely arrested 38-year-old Darwin Eugene Barnett for the warrant and transported him to the Starke County Jail.

08/24/11 A resident in the 300 block of Main Street reported damage to his vehicle. North Judson Police Chief Doug Vessely reported that an unknown subject(s) used an unknown item caused a small dent and scratch in the area by the rear passenger window.

08/22/11 Rays Super Foods requested an officer for two females trying to purchase $300 worth of groceries. The manager stated to North Judson Police Chief Doug Vessely that both have written bad checks before. Both females admitted to writing the checks and did not know they were NSF. Charges were filed with the Starke County Prosecutors Office for check deception.

08/22/11 A resident in the 300 block of Main Street reported that an unknown subject(s) smeared cheese on her passenger side window of her vehicle at night over the weekend. North Judson Police Officer Bill Scheiderer reported that there was no visible damage to the vehicle.

Arrests:
08/25/11 Robert G. Kozecar, 40, arrested for two Starke County Warrants for Failure to Appear and a Pulaski County Warrant.

08/24/11 Darwin Eugene Barnett, 38, Knox, IN, arrested for a Starke County Warrant for Escape from Lawful Detention.

08/22/11 Diane Clemons, 47, Culver, IN arrested on a preliminary charge of Check Deception.

08/22/11 Leslie D. Carr, 35, Culver, IN arrested on a preliminary charge of Check Deception.

Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem

From the Knox City Police Department:

Incidents:
08/29/11 Jim Olson reported the theft of a chainsaw from a shed on his property.

08/28/11 David and Erica Shepherd reported a break-in at their apartment on Ruthie Drive. The door was found to be kicked in when they arrived home. An unknown suspect(s) removed a Fender amp, a DVD player and approximately 30 DVDs.

08/24/11 The owner of Clean Tech on Main Street in Knox reported an attempted break-in.

08/22/11 A NIPSCO worker reported the theft of his cell phone.

08/22/11 Eric Amore reported the theft of an Ipod Nano.

Arrests:
08/29/11 James Toney, 42, 515 E, Monroe St., South Bend, IN, arrested on preliminary charges of Disorderly Conduct and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

08/28/11 Anthony Tolson, 27, 726 Lovechio Dr. Mishawaka, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Disorderly Conduct.
Jonathan Nenycz, 28, 10 ½ Main St., Knox, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Disorderly Conduct.

08/27/11 Fred Didden, 36, 1003 E. Culver Road, Knox, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Disorderly Conduct,

08/26/11 Ann Bradley, 33, 1600 E. 400 S., Knox, IN, arrested on an active arrest warrant.

08/25/11 Shayna D. Howard, 20, 504 E. St. Louis St., Knox, IN, arrested on preliminary charges of Identity Deception, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Cocaine or Narcotic Drug.

08/23/11 Cheyenne Allen, 34, 6077 N. 575 W. Winamac, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Auto Theft.

08/23/11 Chad Osborne, 21, 304 E. St. Louis St., Knox, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Battery.
Kelly Robinson, 21, 701 E. Danker St. #18, Knox, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Battery.

08/23/11 Ryan Alan Furlano, 19, 319 W. LaPorte St., Plymouth, IN, arrested on preliminary charges of Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Paraphernalia.

08/22/11 Jerry Sons, 50, 308 S. Main St., #1 Knox, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Battery.

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

From the Starke County Sheriff’s Department:

Incidents:
08/28/11 A resident on Toto Road in Knox reported that the lock was broken off her storage unit and she is unsure if anything is taken.

08/28/11 A resident in the 7200 block of E. 150 S. in Knox called police to report that some unknown person(s) keep dropping off meth bottles at the edge of his property.

08/28/11 An officer told dispatch that he was off Shewski Road at Bass Lake and a suspect got off a golf cart and ran when he saw him approach the golf cart.

08/27/11 A resident called police to report that there is an open door at Sibo’s Grill on US 35 and it appeared that the door may have been kicked in.

08/27/11 Police were notified of two subjects riding four-wheelers recklessly up and down South U Road in North Judson.

08/27/11 A resident in the 4800 block of S. 750 E. in Knox told police that a contractor was paid to do a job and he never showed up to do the job.

08/27/11 Jim Coad with the Starke County Courthouse advised that there has been some property damage to the north side of the Courthouse lawn. It appeared as if someone drove a vehicle through the grass.

08/26/11 A resident in the 7800 block of E. 300 N. in Grovertown requested to speak with an officer in reference to a missing person and a stolen vehicle.

08/24/11 A resident in the 8800 block of Poplar St. in Monterey reported the theft of a gas tank from the property.

08/24/11 A resident in the 8100 block of S. 50 W. in North Judson reported that her husband’s unemployment card and other items have been stolen.

08/23/11 A resident in the 6500 block of E. 100 N. in Knox reported that someone blew up his mailbox.

Arrests:
08/29/11 Ryan Taylor, 35, 3320 E. 200 S., Knox, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Arson.
Kenneth K. Wallace, 34, 2060 S. 350 E., Knox, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Arson.

08/29/11 Joseph F. Dillard, 44, 4680 E. 150 N., Knox, IN, arrested on preliminary charges of Possession of a Syringe, Possession of Paraphernalia. He was also arrested on an active arrest warrant.
Melissa Ann Dillard, 32, 4680 E. 150 N., Knox, IN arrested on preliminary charges of Possession of a Syringe and Possession of Paraphernalia. She was also arrested on an active arrest warrant.

08/25/11 Michael Fagin, 36, of Knox, arrested on preliminary charges of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated and Possession of Marijuana.

08/23/11 Austin Owens, 23, of Knox, arrested on an active arrest warrant.

Accidents:
08/27/11 Lisa Dommer, 31, of Winamac, IN, backed up her vehicle on Main Street in Knox and hit a Knox City Police car. She told police that she did not see the car when he started backing up her vehicle. She struck the car with the passenger side front bumper causing damage to her vehicle as well as the driver’s side front bumper and headlight assembly on the squad car. There were no injuries reported at the scene. Both vehicles were able to be driven from the scene. $2,501 to $5,000 in damage was caused by the accident.