Today's News

Joseph R. Pacilio, Jr.

Joseph R. Pacilio, Jr., of North Judson passed away at the age of 77 on Thursday, March 29. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 2 at the SS Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in North Judson with visitation from 2 – 6 p.m. on Sunday at the O’Donnell Funeral Home in North Judson.

17-Year-Old Culver Girl Shot in Neck

A 17-year-old Culver girl was airlifted to South Bend Memorial Hospital after she reportedly suffered a gunshot wound to her neck from what was possibly a live round of ammunition that had ignited from a nearby fire at her residence on Tamarack Road in Culver.

According to a release from Marshall County Dispatch, a 911 call was received reporting Andrea Bottomley had been shot in the neck and was still conscious and breathing- though she felt numbness in her body. After being treated at the scene, Bottomley was transported by MedFlight to South Bend where she was treated for her injuries and later discharged. The incident is still under investigation.

Knox Resident Arrested on Methamphetamine-Related Charges

A Knox man was arrested on Wednesday after Knox City Police and a Starke County Sheriff’s Department officer found drug-related items in his possession.

Police were called to the Super Value Inn in reference to a wanted person. Police saw the suspect, Matthew Hamilton, peeking out of a window at them from a room at the motel and asked him to open the door. He did and police ordered him to the ground. Police swept the room and found a bag of pills, a burnt spoon and hypodermic needles. Officers also found items reportedly used in the use of methamphetamine.

Hamilton, 22, was arrested on four active arrest warrants through Marshalll County and additional preliminary charges of Possession of Methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a Family Housing Complex and Reckless Possession of Paraphernalia.

Spring Brings Increase in Rabies Infections

With Spring on its way, the Indiana State Department of Health’s Rabies Lab has been receiving an increased number of animal specimens to test for rabies. Four bats have been found to carry rabies within the last two weeks– two in Allen County, one in LaPorte, and one in Monroe. The ISDH is pushing for more rabies awareness to ensure that people know that bats very often carry rabies and the dangers involved in being bitten or scratched.

An Indiana University student was recently bit by a rabid bat on his hand while he slept, and after shaking the bat off in the hallway, it was found alive by a residence hall employee. A pest control officer was called to take the animal, and the student, his roommate, and the pest control officer will have to undergo a 14-day regiment for rabies shots. The animal was sent to the ISDH for testing and was found positive for rabies.

Rabies is a viral disease affecting the brain that can affect any mammal. The only way to know for sure if an animal has rabies is to have it sent to the state for testing– so don’t expect to see a rabies-infected animal foaming at the mouth. To avoid getting rabies, do not approach a wild animal, and be careful of pets or other animals you don’t know. Call your local control officer if you see an animal behaving oddly.

It can take up to two months after being bitten or scratched before any symptoms of rabies appear. When the disease reaches the brain, it is often too late for doctors to cure. If bitten by an animal that may be infected, wash the wound immediately with soap and water for at least five minutes and see a doctor as soon as possible. In the United States, more raccoons carry rabies than any other animal, but bat bites are the most common.

Knox Man Arrested for Alleged Sandal Theft

A Knox man was arrested after allegedly stealing sandals from Dollar General in Knox.

A Knox City Police officer was dispatched to Dollar General where an employee reported that a man, later identified as Lolus Johnson, had stolen a pair of shoes. He had left his old shoes in the store.

When police were enroute to the store, Johnson was spotted in the alley between Heaton Street and Pearl Street. The officer approached Johnson and Johnson reportedly stepped out of his sandals he was wearing and started walking barefoot. The officer asked about the shoes and Johnson allegedly admitted to police that he did take the shoes because he didn’t have any money.

Lolus Johnson, 51, was detained and while police conducted a routine pat-down they allegedly found a marijuana cigarette and controlled substances. He was arrested on preliminary charges of Theft, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Doctor’s Day Highlights Hospitalist Dr. Alfran

Yesterday was Doctor’s Day throughout the country, and Dr. Almuhammad Alfran, a Hospitalist at IU Health Starke Hospital, explained a bit about the gratification he gets from being a physician.

“I appreciate Doctor’s Day because I get the impression that people really appreciate what we do. I tell you the biggest reward for a doctor though is when they see the patient improve, or you see a look of satisfaction in the eyes of a patient. I think this is the greatest reward we can get as physicians,” Alfran said.

Alfran explained what the duties of a hospitalist are.

“A hospitalist is a specialist of hospital medicine. A physician who specializes in treating patients in the hospital, as compared to an outpatient physician who spends most of the time in the clinic. When they have free time they can stop by the hospital and check on their patients. For the hospitalist this is a physician who dedicates the entire day to working in the hospital. So when the patient is in the hospital the hospitalist is there, and the primary care physician is there when the patient needs him or her,” Alfran said.

Indiana Enjoys Warmest March Since 1895

The state’s top climate expert says warm weather should cintinue for the next three months– but with the warm weather comes a higher risk or tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

But Dev Niyogi says we can expect cold weather to pop up every now and then, too, and could threaten flowers and trees that are in bloom.

As of March 27, Indiana’s average temperatures for the month were 15 degrees above normal, making it the warmest March since 1895.

Week in Review for March 26th-30th, 2012

Nathan VanDerAa

Nathan VanDerAa, of Star City, was sentenced to 33 months in the Bureau of Prisons, with two years of supervised release following his plea of guilty to charges of Unlawful User of a Controlled Substance in Possession of a Firearm.

Ione Moore, who was known to some as Mrs. Republican, passed away Friday, March 23rd, at the age of 92.  Continue reading

Carol Jo Hickle

Carol Jo Hickle, 76, of Kewanna, Indiana, passed away Monday, March 26th, 2012.  Funeral services will be Saturday, April 7th, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. ET at the Kewanna United Methodist Church.  Visitation is Friday from 5:00-7:00 p.m. ET at the Harrison-Metzger and Rans Funeral Home, Kewanna Chapel and one hour prior to services, Saturday, at the church.  Memorials may be made to the church.

Jennie Carter Appears in Starke Circuit Court for Initial Hearing

Jennie Carter

Jennie Carter appeared for her initial hearing in Starke Circuit Court this morning. Charged with a felony count of theft, Carter pleaded not guilty to Judge Kim Hall. She is currently out on $5,000 cash bond.

Carter requested a court appointed lawyer, but under questioning by the judge, she said that she was gainfully employed, and paid $2,600 a month. When asked if she had anything of value that could be sold to pay a lawyer, she said she had a four-year-old television and a 2007 Ford Taurus that she was making payments on. Her on-hand cash was listed as $200.00, and she said her $5,000 bond money was borrowed.

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Clayton Reiss Sentenced

Clayton Reiss

Clayton Reiss was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court this week.

Reiss pleaded guilty in a plea agreement to charges of Dealing in Schedule I, II, or III Controlled Substance as a Class B Felony and Dealing in Schedule IV Controlled Substance as a Class C Felony in one cause heard before Judge Kim Hall. He pleaded guilty in a plea agreement in a separate cause to Theft as a Class D Felony.

Judge Hall sentenced Reiss to six years each on both Dealing in Controlled Substance charges. Those sentences will run concurrently and shall run consecutively to a sentence of 12 months on the Theft charge. No part of the sentences were suspended. Reiss will serve those sentences in the Indiana Department of Corrections.

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Vandalism Reported at Star City West Cemetery

Vandalism reported at the Star City West Cemetery

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a vandalism incident at the Star City West Cemetery.

On Wednesday, police met with former Cemetery Trustee, Paul Abbott, who helped the officer locate the affected area. Damage was found to headstones in the south east corner of the cemetery and on the east side of the roadway. Four headstones and bases were knocked over. One of the headstones was broken into many pieces. Police noted that headstone appeared to have been struck with something.

The estimate of damage was not immediately known. Current Cemetery Trustee, Ron Heater, said that he would contact the family members about the damage.

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E-Books Now Available at all Libraries in Starke County Library System

E-Books and E-Audio Books have come to the Starke County Library system. Library Director, Sheila Urwiler, talks about the service.

“You get to check them out for one to two weeks, and at the end of the period the title just expires. So there are no late fees, you can’t be charged for anything. It’s a free service. We think people will really enjoy it.” Urwiler said.

We asked Sheila how many books are available.

“Oh, several thousand, and its growing rapidly. We’re part of a consortium, with other Northern Indiana libraries. Because of that, we are able to offer a lot more titles than we could if we just had to build the collection on our own. It’s both E-Books and E-Audio Books where you can download a book and listen to it.”

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Pulaski County Sheriff Discusses Police Entry Law

police badge

Governor Mitch Daniels recently signed into law Senate Enrolled Act 1 which specifies that a person may use reasonable force against any other person in certain circumstances, including police officers.

You may prevent or terminate an officer’s unlawful entry into your home or the officer’s criminal interference with property lawfully in the person’s possession. Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer says there are a few instances were police entry is justified.

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Jacobs Receives Sentence for Methamphetamine Charges

Traci Jacobs

Traci Jacobs received her sentence in the Starke Circuit Court yesterday. Jacobs pleaded guilty to Operating an Illegal Drug Lab as a Class D felony, and was sentenced to 12 months in the Department of Corrections with none of that sentence suspended. In a separate case, Jacobs pleaded guilty to Dealing in Methamphetamine as a Class B felony and received a ten-year sentence in the Department of Corrections, with two of those years suspended. Two years of her executed sentence will be allowed to be served on home detention.

Those sentences will run consecutively. Upon her sentencing, one cause was dismissed in which she was charged with Theft as a Class D felony, and Trespassing as a Class A misdemeanor, and another case in Knox City Court was dismissed as well.

Jacobs was arrested on active arrest warrants and on preliminary charges of Manufacturing Methamphetamine with Intent to Deal, Possession of Precursors, Illegal Drug Lab, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Possession of Paraphernalia on Thursday, November 17th.

Celebrate and Support Our Troops Event Scheduled for April 19th

The Memories Reception Hall at 401 East Jefferson Street in Plymouth will be the site of a Celebrate and Support Our Troops event Thursday, April 19th.

Jan Houin, from Operation Quiet Comfort, tells us about the organization and the event.

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Today is Doctor’s Day!

This is Doctor’s Day – a day set aside to honor all doctors in the United States.

At IU Health Starke Hospital, there are 125 doctors on staff, providing care in 26 specialties.

Dr. Phillip Hassan is the President of the Medical Staff and is also an Emergency Room Doctor. We asked Dr. Hassan about the duties of the President of the Medical Staff.

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From the WKVI Archives

It was 11 years this week that the Starke County Sesquicentennial Kick-Off Dinner was held in North Judson at the Lutheran Education Center. Chief White Eagle and wife Bobbie Bear provided the program. Chief White Eagle had appeared in a number of movies and such television shows as “Bonanza” and “The Lone Ranger.” Also performing was the WKVI Musical Ensemble. WKVI’s Ed Hasnerl was the Master of Ceremonies.

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Jennie Carter Charged with Theft

Jennie Carter

The woman who was at the center of a controversy that ultimately involved the Starke County Tourism Office and Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County was arrested yesterday on a State Police warrant and charged with Theft. Jennie Carter was booked into the Starke County Jail and eventually bonded out on a $5,000 cash bond.

Carter was accused of mishandling $7,140 in 2011. She eventually admitted to the misappropriation of the funds and agreed to pay it back by March 15th of this year.

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