Seven Fire Departments Battle House Fire in Medaryville

The Medaryville Fire Department was called to a garage fire early Sunday morning at 6551 N. 1150 W. in Medaryville. Medaryville Fire Chief, Shaun Hauptli, said that when the firefighters arrived on scene, a massive garage was on fire and it was getting close to the back of the house.

The fire was so large Hauptli said he called for manpower and water assistance from the San Pierre and North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Departments. Water assistance was also requested from Bass Lake, Winamac, Francesville and LaCrosse Fire Departments.

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Advanced Life Service Upgrade Nearing Completion

Starke County EMS Director Paul Mathewson said the upgrade to Advanced Life Service, or ALS, is moving along. Crews have spent the last month getting equipment together.

“Our new truck came in so now we’re putting all of that together,” said Mathewson. “Really, we’re in the finalizing stages of finishing up this project so we can get the State down and clear it.”

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Winamac Fire Department Called to House Fire

The Winamac Fire Department was called to a house fire at Doug Sobczak’s residence at 626 N. Market Street on Tuesday, January 24th.

Winamac Fire Chief, Bill Weaver, said that the homeowner called and said there was a fire in the living room. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire. A representative from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office was called to the scene and could not determine the cause of the fire. Damage was contained to the living room area.

No injuries were reported at the scene.

Sentencing Hearing Continued for Nathan VanDerAa

Nathan VanDerAa

Nathan VanDerAa’s sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court has been continued to March. His sentencing hearing was scheduled for Friday, January 27th.

On June 3rd, 2011, 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.

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Jerrold Minix Appears for Initial Hearing

Jerrold Minix

Former Starke County resident, 31-year-old Jerrold L. Minix, was arrested on two active arrest warrants earlier this month in LaPorte County. One warrant was for incidents that occurred in Starke County in 2007.

Minix appeared in Starke Circuit Court last week and pleaded not guilty to charges of Burglary, two counts, two counts of Theft and two counts of Receiving Stolen Property. He is suspected of entering Carpenter’s Oil in North Judson on December 4th, 2007 and stealing tobacco products and convenience items from the store. He also reportedly broke into the Sporty’z Bar at Bass Lake and stole a computer. He also allegedly stole tools from the utility garage owned by the Town of North Judson and a black duffel bag from the North Judson Little League Concession Stand.

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LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office Opens Prescription Drop Site

If you have some unneeded or unwanted prescription medication and you’re not sure how to get rid of it, you’re in luck. LaPorte County Sheriff Michael Mollenhauer has announced that there is a new Prescription Pill Drop Site in the lobby of the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, located at 809 State Street in LaPorte. The box is provided to give citizens a place to dispose of their unused or out-of-date prescription medication and ensures proper disposal.

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Boys Career Scoring Leaders (Current Players)

Boys Career Scoring Leaders: (Minimum 300 points)

  1. John Eckert-Sr. (NJ): 1,340
  2. Kendall Hochstedler-Sr. (NJ): 835
  3. Winston Yergler-Sr. (NJ): 690
  4. Josh Anderson-Sr. (JG): 653
  5. Elliott Coad-Sr. (K): 596
  6. Bryan McKinney-Sr. (W): 521
  7. Zach Shidler-Jr. (W): 418
  8. Spencer Dobson-Sr. (WC): 389
  9. Craig McIntosh-Sr. (OD): 376
  10. Riley Charlesworth-Jr. (L): 373
  11. Collin Stevens-Jr. (C): 361
  12. Trent Elliott-So. (C): 360
  13. Marcus Kammrath-Sr. (SC): 336
  14. Micah Budzinski-Jr. (C): 324

Boys Basketball Leaders

Boys Scoring Leaders: (Through 1-28-12)

(Stats as reported to

  1. John Eckert (NJ): 19.2ppg-269 points (14 games)
  2. Winston Yergler (NJ): 18.2ppg-256 points (14 games)
  3. Riley Charlesworth (L): 18.0ppg-234 points (13 games)
  4. Elliott Coad (K): 17.7ppg-248 points (14 games)
  5. Josh Anderson (JG): 16.1ppg-226 points (14 games)
  6. Marcus Kammrath (SC): 15.4ppg-201 points (13 games)
  7. Trent Elliott (C): 14.5ppg-232 points (16 games)
  8. Kendall Hochstedler (NJ): 14.2ppg-200 points (14 games)
  9. Bryan McKinney (W): 13.1ppg-145 points (11 games)
  10. Allen Biggers (C): 11.6ppg-187 points (16 games)
  11. Adam Clindaniel (SC): 11.3ppg-147 points (13 games)
  12. Craig McIntosh (OD): 10.6ppg-138 points (13 games)
  13. Sam Culver (L): 10.3ppg-135 points (13 games)
  14. Jimmy Rippe (L): 10.0ppg-131 points (13 games)

Coaching Leaders: (Through 1-28-12)

  1. Dan Warkentien (SC): 256-106 .707 (16 years)
  2. Todd Boldry (K): 194-112 .634 (14 years)
  3. Travis Hannah (JG): 142-140 .504 (13 years)
  4. Bryan Heimlich (WC): 107-87 .552 (9 years)
  5. Kyle Elliott (C): 38-43 .469 (4 years)
  6. Kyle Johnson (W): 21-13 .617 (2 years)
  7. Phil Shabi (NJ): 12-2 .857 (1 year)
  8. Scot Spoljaric (L): 2-11 .153 (1 year)
  9. Matt Crawford (OD): 1-12 .076 (1 year)

Team Records: (Through 1-28-12)

  1. NJSP: 12-2
  2. Winamac: 9-2
  3. Culver: 9-7
  4. South Central: 6-7
  5. John Glenn: 6-8
  6. Knox: 4-10
  7. West Central: 4-12
  8. LaCrosse: 2-11
  9. Oregon-Davis: 1-12

Girls Career Scoring Leaders (Current Players)

Girls Career Scoring Leaders: (Minimum 300 points)

  1. Sarah Redweik-Sr. (W): 785
  2. Ashley Campbell-So. (OD): 712
  3. Jordann Frasure-Jr. (NJ): 654
  4. Elisabeth White-Sr. (NJ): 601
  5. Jesse Averone-So. (OD): 592
  6. Justine Kruger-Sr. (WC): 581
  7. Marissa Hamilton-Sr. (WC): 549
  8. Hope Wagner-Sr (K): 476
  9. Jill Rosenbaum-So. (SC): 473
  10. Alisha McIntosh-So. (OD): 414
  11. Kenley Sanchez-Sr. (NJ): 410
  12. Shelby Gilbert-Sr. (K): 402
  13. Stephanie Shorter-So. (W): 397
  14. Danna Timm-Sr. (NJ): 372
  15. Kayla Shaffer-So. (C): 369
  16. Katie Schwenk-Sr. (OD): 357
  17. Haley Frasure-Jr. (NJ): 308

Girls Basketball Leaders

Girls Scoring Leaders (through 1-28-12)

(Stats as reported to

  1. Ashley Campbell (OD): 18.5ppg-371 points (20 games)
  2. Jill Rosenbaum (SC): 15.8ppg-301 points (19 games)
  3. Sarah Redweik (W): 15.5ppg-279 points (18 games)
  4. Jesse Averone (OD): 13.3ppg-240 points (18 games)
  5. Marissa Hamilton (WC): 13.1ppg-236 points (18 games)
  6. Kayla Shaffer (C): 13.1ppg-262 points (20 games)
  7. Hope Wagner (K): 12.6ppg-241 points (19 games)
  8. Jordann Frasure (NJ):  12.3ppg-223 points (18 games)
  9. Kyler Columbia (JG): 11.1ppg-200 points (18 games)
  10. Justine Kruger (WC): 11.1ppg-201 points (18 games)
  11. Elisabeth White (NJ): 11.0ppg-199 points (18 games)
  12. Alisha McIntosh (OD): 10.9ppg-218 points (20 games)
  13. Stephanie Shorter (W): 10.1ppg-183 points (18 games)

Career Coaching Records: (through 1-28-12)

  1. Terry Minix (OD): 263-139 .654 (19 years)
  2. John Hampton (NJ): 117-77 .603 (9 years)
  3. Dan Huizenga (K): 117-103 .532 (10 years)
  4. Gina Hierlmeier (WC): 89-42 .679 (6 years)
  5. Tony Scheub (C): 34-13 .723 (2 years)
  6. Rick Budka (SC): 33-48 .407 (4 years)
  7. Jeff Wagner (W): 27-14 .658 (2 years)
  8. Brian McMahan (L): 6-32 .157 (3 years)
  9. Kyle Amor (JG): 3-15 .166 (1 year)

Team Records: (through 1-28-12)

  1. Oregon-Davis: 16-4
  2. Winamac: 14-4
  3. West Central: 13-5
  4. NJSP: 12-6
  5. Knox: 9-10
  6. Culver: 9-11
  7. South Central: 8-11
  8. LaCrosse: 4-14
  9. John Glenn: 3-15

Right to Work Bill Could be Law this Week

Indiana Statehouse

With the House’s recent approval of the right to work bill drumming up a lot of heat, State Senator Jim Arnold told WKVI that the bill is now on the fast track through the legislative system, and he expects it to land on the governor’s desk by Thursday but first, Arnold says, the bill will be heard today at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate during a Pensions and Labor Committee meeting. Following that, the bill will be voted on again on Tuesday with an opportunity for amendments to be heard on the floor of the Senate.

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Goals to Revitalize Downtown Knox Given to City Council

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

A list of goals to improve the look of downtown Knox was presented to the city council by Council President Jeff Berg at their recent work session. According to Berg, the list consists of several basic goals that can be easily attained and most of them can be performed by the city at little cost.

The list of community goals included items as simple as replacing old fire hydrants, bracketing Heaton Street light poles for future flag and banner use, and resurfacing the Wythogan Park basketball court, which Berg says is in dire need of repair. The estimated cost of this project has been projected to approximately $31,000, and no decision has been made as to where that money will come from.

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Starke County Jail Committee to Focus on Needs Assessment

Starke County Jail

The Starke County Jail Committee continues its quest in trying to decide what to do about the Starke County Jail. Starke County Commissioner, Kathy Norem, was asked where the Committee stands on their discussions.

“We have a needs assessment that has been sent out and we should receive the request for proposals from companies to do a needs assessment for us,” she replied. “Once those are completed and the study has been done, then I believe that we will need to bring that to the people and show them what the results of that study were that show us exactly what we should be doing for the jail; whether that be an addition, some sort of renovation, a new facility, and if so, what kind of new facility.”

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Tom Collins Dies at 100

Tom Collins

Tom Collins passed away last week at the age of 100. Leaving behind a wealth of survivors, Collins was born in Yazoo City, Miss., but passed away at Miller’s Merry Manor in Culver. He was a former resident of Chicago, working as a meat packer, but moved to Winamac in 1969. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lillian Williams, who passed away on February 14, 2002.

Collins played professional baseball on a team many people may not know: the Memphis Red Sox, a professional Negro League baseball team based in Memphis, Tenn., from the 1920s until the end of segregated baseball. Collins even played with one very notable player from the team: Satchel Paige, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971—the first player to be inducted from the Negro leagues.

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Knox City Council Discusses Risner Suit

The pending lawsuit from Edward Risner against the city of Knox was discussed further at the recent meeting of the Knox City Council. Risner claims in his suit that the city committed a breach of verbal contract, and requests $40,000 in reimbursement.

The suit was originally filed in federal court, but was dismissed and has been re-filed. Unfortunately, because the city’s liability carrier does not cover this kind of suit, the city will have to hire its own counsel out-of-pocket. Two firms expressed interest in handling the case: a firm out of LaPorte that quoted the city $150 per hour and estimated a total of nearly 130 hours for the case. The firm of City Attorney David Matsey quoted $120 an hour, and Matsey said that he hopes to get the case thrown out before it ever gets to trial.

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Pulaski County Health Department to work with VaxCare

The Pulaski County Health Department is working with VaxCare to administer a program that will allow the Department to continue vaccinating insured patients.

The Indiana State Department of Health announced last year that the Immunization Program would no longer support insured patients. This practice will be effective March 1st of this year for some health departments.

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$500 Raised for Drew Shearin Memorial Scholarship Fund

Drew Shearin

The Silver Creek High School Band Booster program in Sellersburg, Indiana recently hosted a benefit concert for the Drew Shearin Memorial Scholarship fund.

Hannah Gibson, who spearheaded the event, said two concerts were held on Sunday, January 22nd and Monday, January 23rd. The first concert, which featured Group 1 and Group 2 solos/trios that will be performed during the State Solo and Ensemble competition, raised $390. Group III raised $110 during the second night of performances.

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Starke United Now Accepting Grant Applications

Starke United

Starke United is now accepting applications from non-profit organizations in Starke County who wish to apply for undesignated funds from the 2011 fundraising campaign.

Applications are available in the Starke United office at 53 W. Lake Street in Knox. Applications may also be downloaded from this website. Your organization must be an IRS qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization or be able to prove your non-profit status. The following areas of concern are education, income and health.

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Shooting on I-80 Causes Crash

Indiana State Police Troopers Gary Runde and Marcus Gholson thought they were responding to a single vehicle roll-over crash on I-80, this morning, due to weather conditions. What they found was a crash that was a result of a gunshot wound.

Preliminary investigation revealed that at approximately 3:43 am, this morning, Saturday, January 28th, a 1985 Buick LaSabre was south on Cline Avenue near Michigan/5th Avenue when the thirty-one year old, male black, driver from East Chicago and his twenty-four year old, female passenger noticed a slow moving red or maroon Dodge Durango in the left lane. The passenger stated that they noticed both the front and passenger windows were down on the passenger side as they neared and thought that was unusual. She related that the Durango slowed down to where it was barely moving when the driver decided to pass it. They (LaSabre) exited off onto I-80 eastbound and were in the right lane when she noticed the Durango pull alongside them on the driver’s side. She stated she heard one gunshot and they lost control.

The LaSabre driver veered to the right, hit the concrete barrier wall off the outer shoulder, rolled the Buick onto its top, and hit the wall again. Both the driver and passenger were able to exit the vehicle and take refuge inside another vehicle that had stopped to see if they were alright (this person did not witness the shooting or crash).

The driver was taken to NorthLake Methodist Hospital in Gary where it was confirmed that he suffered a single gunshot wound to his left temple. He is unconscious at this time and is being transferred to another hospital. The passenger was also taken to NorthLake where she was treated and released. Name is being withheld as family has NOT been notified.

This is an on-going investigation and anyone with any information is asked to please call investigating Detective Jennifer Richmond at 219-696-6242 Lowell Post.