Today's News

Week in Review for December 26th-30th, 2011

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

Knox CVS

Knox police continue to look for Jonathan Hummel who is a suspect in the Knox CVS armed robbery that occurred on Tuesday, December 20th. Nathan Hummel, the other suspect in the incident, appeared in Starke Circuit Court for his initial hearing this week and pleaded not guilty in Starke Circuit Court yesterday to charges of Dealing in Narcotic Drugs; Aiding, Inducing or Causing a Robbery; Resisting Law Enforcement; Criminal Mischief; and Attempting to Disarm a Police Officer.

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Charges Pending in Starke County Armed Home Invasion

Two home invasion suspects are in custody after a chase that started in Starke County and ended with a wreck at 200 East and 950 South in southern LaPorte County. Police say they are accused of breaking into a man’s home and threatening to kill his family if he didn’t comply with their demands.

Police report that just before 11 a.m. Friday in the 3000 block of 400 North in Starke County. The homeowner told police the two suspects, who he knew, entered the home and battered him with a gun. They made him open his gun case and took several firearms and other electronic items from the home.

One of the suspects stayed in the house while the other forced the man to drive to a local bank in Knox, and withdraw $800. They told the man they would kill his family if he didn’t do what they said.

Police say the man was driven back to the home where the suspects again threatened to kill him and his family if police were called after they left and would resist police if they were located and were not afraid to fire upon the officers.

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department along with the Knox City Police, DNR Kingsford Heights Police Department, Lake County Helicopter and the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department found the suspects traveling on 950 South in LaPorte County. A pursuit ended when the suspects wrecked in the area of 200 East and 950 South.

The suspects took off on foot, say police. One was quickly caught while several departments searched for the second man. K-9s and a helicopter were used in the search, with a LaPorte County K-9 unit eventually locating the suspect.

The investigation is ongoing, say police. They have not released the names of the suspects. The suspects are being held in the Starke County Jail with charges pending.

Clyde H. Krug

Clyde H. Krug, 94, of North Judson, Indiana, passed away on Friday, December 30th, 2011.  Funeral services will be Monday, January 2nd, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. ET at the Frain Mortuary Querry-Ulbricht Chapel in Medaryville, Indiana.  Visitation is after 11:00 a.m. ET until the time of services at the Funeral Home.  Military graveside services will be conducted.  Memorials may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Theresa M. Olson

Theresa M. Olson, 71, of Knox, Indiana, passed away Tuesday, December 27th, 2011.  A Celebration of Life service will be held at her residence at 7675 E. 50 S. in Knox on Saturday, December 31st, 2011 at Noon CT.  Visitation is after 10:00 a.m. CT until the time of services at the residence.  Memorials may be made to the Eagle Creek Church in Knox or to the family.  The Frain Mortuary in Winamac, Indiana, is in charge of arrangements.

No Decision Yet in Linda Belork Court Case

Jasper County Circuit Court Judge John Potter has not yet made a decision in the matter between former Starke County Treasurer Linda Belork and the Starke County Commissioners.

The Commissioners removed Belork from the office of Treasurer on August 13th after a state audit found financial discrepancies. The money has been accounted for, but a Temporary Restraining Order placed against Belork by the Commissioners is still in effect and prohibits Belork from returning to office.

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Starke County Republican Candidates Sworn into Office

Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall, Tim Cummins, Donna Henry, Dave Kesvormas, Wendy Hoppe and Knox City Court Judge Charles Hasnerl

Five Starke County Republican candidates successful in the November Municipal Election were sworn into office last night. Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall swore in City Court Judge Charles Hasnerl and he said his office will be busy in 2012.

“One of the primary issues that we’re dealing with, along with the City in working with the Council and the Mayor, is the financial issue and trying to come up with resources to cover the costs,” said Hasnerl. “It’s a needed service and we handle a number of cases for the entire county so that’s going to be our primary focus – not just this year, but throughout this term.”

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Law Enforcement to Conduct DUI Patrols this Weekend

Indiana State Police and officers from local police departments will be out in full force this weekend to seek impaired drivers. Make sure you find a safe, sober driver to take you to your destination after your New Year’s Eve party.

Pulaski County Sheriff, Michael Gayer, said officers from his Department will be stepping up patrols this weekend.

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City of Knox Sells Scrap Metal

Knox City Council (L to R) Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg, Ron Parker, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Mayor Rick Chambers, Attorney David Matsey, Ed Blue and Greg Matt

The city of Knox brought in over $500 by selling scrap metal that had been laying around. Mayor Rick Chambers explained that sheets of corrugated metal had been purchased when the city was installing new sidewalks downtown because the engineers were under the impression that there were tunnels beneath the sidewalks, but after the sidewalks were dug up, they quickly realized that was not the case.

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Flu Shot Still Available at Starke County Health Department

With plenty of sniffles, sneezes, and coughs abound, Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch wants to remind everyone that the flu vaccine is still available for adults and kids. The peak of the flu season in February and March is still on its way, but so far, cases of the flu have been down since the last flu season. The H1N1 virus isn’t any worse than last season as well, but we’re not out of the woods yet.

Lynch explains that getting the flu vaccine isn’t the only step to avoiding getting sick this season– as always, keeping those hands clean is vital.

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Year in Review – Top Story

This week we have been reviewing the Top Stories of 2011. Today we reveal the top story of the Year.

It was a story that captivated all who heard it. Chief Warrant Officer Andy Howes returned home after being lost in the Vietnam War on January 10th, 1970. Although his remains had been in storage in Hawaii since the ’80’s, only improved testing allowed an Armed Forces Forensic Team to match DNA samples to those that had earlier been taken from relatives.

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Mabel Kathern Holman

Mabel Kathern Holman, 90, of Lafayette, Indiana, formerly of Winamac, Indiana, passed away Wednesday, December 28th, 2011.  Funeral services will be Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. ET at the Bethel Bible Church in Winamac.  Visitation is one hour prior to services at the church.  Memorials may be made to the church or to Riley Children’s Hospital Burn Unit.  Funeral arrangements are are being handled by the Frain Mortuary in Winamac.

Nathan Hummel has Initial Appearance in Starke Circuit Court

Nathan Hummel

Nathan Hummel made his initial appearance in Starke Circuit Court yesterday afternoon. Hummel is accused of robbing the Knox CVS with his brother, Jonathan Hummel, on December 20th.

Hummel is charged with Dealing in Narcotic Drugs as a Class A felony; Robbery as a Class B felony; Aiding, Inducing, or Causing a Robbery as a Class B felony; Resisting Law Enforcement as a Class D felony; Criminal Mischief as a Class D felony; and Attempting to Disarm a Police Officer as a Class C felony.

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Two Arrested on Battery Charges

Two people were arrested in Knox on Christmas Day on Battery charges.

Austin Pike told Knox City police officers that he and Walter Smith got into an argument and a fight ensued. The argument started as a verbal disagreement and it escalated to a fist fight. Pike told police that he hit Smith in the face. Smith became very angry and allegedly grabbed a knife and tried to stab Pike with it. Pike said Smith then left the residence.

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Knox City Council Declines Street Sign Replacement Grant

The Knox City Council this week agreed to decline a grant offered by the federal government for replacing street signs, and instead will proceed with replacing the signs on their own.

Mayor Rick Chambers told WKVI that the council agreed to decline the grant because the $50,000 grant required a $5,000 match from the city. That cost, combined with the fact that the grant only covered the engineering aspect of the project, convinced the council to proceed with the project at their own expense. New regulations from the federal government requires all signs to be replaced with newer, more reflective signs by 2018.

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Two Appear for Initial Hearings in Starke Circuit Court

Robert Reed

Robert Reed made his initial appearance in court yesterday, where he pleaded not guilty to Robbery as a Class B felony, Receiving Stolen Property as a Class D felony, Resisting Law Enforcement as both a Class D felony and a Class A misdemeanor, and Habitual Traffic Violator.

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Hope for Lower Gas Prices in 2012

Good news for the beginning of 2012—gas prices aren’t expected to spike come the New Year. Don Good of Good Oil in Winamac said that current oil prices are, as of now, driven heavily by the world economy, and with the possibility of an economic slowdown in China, Good expects prices to stabilize or even come down early 2012.

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