Here is a look at some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week.
Data collection will begin now to get the paperwork ready for construction, or renovation, of the Starke County Jail. The Starke County Jail Committee is looking for estimates to give to the public and all the information gathered will be used to assemble a proposal for a jail project. The data will be collected over a period of 60-90 days and all will be given to the Committee for review.
Firefighters, EMS personnel, law enforcement personnel, and other emergency response professionals from Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, Marshall, Starke, and St. Joseph Counties will be headed to Muskcatatuck Urban Training Center in Butlerville, Indiana on April 25th to participate in an exercise in order to prepare for a disaster. Pulaski County officials will be deploying a Tactical Rescue Team and Service and Support Element to the training. Training will include search and rescue of victims of a collapsed structure after a disaster.
The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation was closed Monday after a power outage caused the back-up generator to come on and it caused a power issue with the boiler pumps.
Erik Draper of Knox was arrested Saturday after he reportedly stole a purse and medications from a residence on South Main Street. The homeowners reported a burglary in progress and while police were on their way to the home, Draper fled on foot. A search warrant was granted for Draper’s residence and Knox City Police reportedly found the items stolen from the residence. Draper is currently in the Starke County Jail on preliminary charges of Burglary, Robbery and Theft and a $100,000 bond.
The North Judson Town Board held a special meeting last week to discuss increasing the number of Board members from three to five. In order to achieve a larger board, the Town Board is required to hold a meeting to discuss the option, which was already done, and to approve a resolution that will be sent to Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski with a request for the resolution to be placed on the General Election ballot in November.
If you have unused or expired prescriptions that you would like to dispose of safely, take them to the Starke County Sheriff’s Department from now until April 27th from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each weekday.
The bridge reconstruction project on U.S. 35 over the Yellow River in Knox is expected to begin April 30th. INDOT officials say that work on the bridge will be restricted to one lane at a time, so the other lane would remain open for one-way traffic, with a traffic signal controlling the flow of traffic.
The Starke County Council discussed hiring a consulting firm to evaluate the value of IU Health Starke Hospital before Starke County officials decide on the sale of the facility to IU Health LaPorte Hospital. David Hyatt, Vice President of Operations at the Starke County facility, said that a consultant could cost anywhere from $50-70,000.
Oregon-Davis Elementary Principal William Bennett was happy to report that 97.5% of students passed the IREAD 3 test. The students who did not pass the test will receive extra instruction and will have one last chance to take the test this summer. If the students fail again, they will be required to retake third grade reading next school year.
Casan Bogan was arrested on April 9th after allegedly taking part in a theft incident. He and Michael Bundy, Jr. reportedly attempted to steal wire from Sabre Manufacturing. Bogan was arrested on preliminary charges of Theft, Public Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct. Michael Bundy, Jr. was hit by a passing vehicle on State Road 8 after leaving the scene. Derrick Bacewic told police that Bundy just appeared in front of his vehicle and he swerved to miss him, but hit the right side of his body. Bundy, Jr. was taken to IU Health Starke Hospital and flown to South Bend Memorial Hospital due to the nature of his injuries.
Congressman Joe Donnelly said a chill ran up his spine when he saw the space shuttle Discovery being flown over Washington, D.C. yesterday. The shuttle was atop a 747 airplane for its final flight before being placed into the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum annex. Discovery was first launched in 1984. The space shuttle has logged the most miles at 148 million.
Dustin Spencer appeared for his initial hearing in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday. He is charged with Criminal Recklessness as a Class C and a Class D felony after he allegedly fired a gun in Wythogan Park in Knox. The gun was fired with juveniles and bystanders in the park and it was fired toward an occupied home.
The North Judson-San Pierre School Board learned that 84% of third grade students passed the IREAD test. The School Board also recognized John Eckert for being named to the 2012 First Team Academic All-State.
Todd Gardner has been hired as the new Water Superintendent for the City of Knox. He previously held a maintenance position at the LaVille Schools and Ancilla College. He has all of the proper licenses for the job.
Stephan Buckingham of Knox was arrested Saturday, April 14th after allegedly forging a prescription for controlled substances. He reportedly stole a blank prescription form from a Knox doctor and tried to get a prescription filled at People’s Drug Store in Plymouth. Plymouth Police were alerted of the fraudulent act and Buckingham was arrested and booked into the Marshall County Jail on charges of Forgery and Prescription Fraud with $10,000 cash bond.
The Starke United Annual Dinner was held Thursday night where programs supported in 2011 were reviewed. Events coming up yet this year include the Mint Fest Ride, the Annual Golf Outing, the fall campaign drive and the Radio Auction. Starke United Vice Chair of Allocations, Sandy Kersting-Rudd, was named Volunteer of the Year and Jerry Jernas also received special recognition.
Members of the Oregon-Davis School Board approved a resolution Monday night to finalize the refinancing of corporation’s existing debt. The previous debt was financed at 5% in 2002 and with the refinancing action, the rate went down to 2.3%. Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney said the Board has been working to reduce the debt for nine years and this refinancing move will result in a four cent savings on the property tax rate in 2013.