Here is a look at some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week.
David Hyatt will become the President of IU Health Starke Hospital after the current President, Linda Satkoski, moves to the LaPorte health system to assume the role of Chief Operating Officer. Thor Thordarson said that the announcement of an Interim President at IU Health Starke Hospital will not affect the plans of the hospital to the IU Health LaPorte Hospital. Thordarson said that the commitment has stayed strong and there are a number of things that have been implemented at the Starke facility that have been implemented at the LaPorte facility. He says the faith is there and IU Health Starke Hospital is on good financial footing.
School corporations across Indiana will receive a total of $6 million to recognize and award their best teachers. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett announced that 28 recipients will receive Indiana’s “Excellence in Performance for Teachers” award. As a result, the Oregon-Davis School Corporation will receive $27,192 for incentives.
Plea agreements have been filed for Jonathan Hummel and Nathan Hummel in Starke Circuit Court. They are accused of robbing the Knox CVS Pharmacy on December 20th. Jonathan Hummel pleaded guilty to charges of Dealing a Narcotic Drug, Robbery, Robbery (aiding, inducing or causing), and Criminal Mischief while Nathan Hummel pleaded guilty to charges of Dealing a Narcotic Drug, Robbery, Robbery (aiding, inducing or causing) and Criminal Mischief. Both would be required to pay restitution in the amount of $2,946.13 for damage to a Knox City Police Department squad car and an additional amount for medication stolen from the CVS Pharmacy. A sentencing hearing will be held at a later date.
The staff from the Knox High School Band Department and other willing staff members from the Knox Schools and WKVI’s Tom Berg participated in a fun-spirited basketball game with the Harlem Wizards Monday night. There was a good turnout for the event and it was successful fundraiser for the band.
A new business will be locating in the old Rockwell Windows plant on Culver Road in Knox. Selected Furniture is locating into the building and Managing Director, Tommy Shelef, said the company manufactures commercial-grade furniture for bars, hotels and restaurants. The company is moving to Knox from China. After the equipment is moved into the Knox location from overseas and the Chicago area, the company will initially employ 25 people. The first furniture to come out of the plant could be in 90 days.
Three people were injured in a two vehicle accident around 8:30 p.m. last night on U.S. 30 just east of the Grovertown Truck Stop. Starke County police say that a passenger car was northbound on 1100 East, crossed the median, hesitated in the median, and began to proceed into the path of an oncoming semi and they collided. Two passengers in the car were transported to the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth with unknown injuries and a third passenger was extricated from the vehicle and flown by MedFlight to Memorial Hospital in South Bend. The semi driver was not injured.
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the 22-year sentence that Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall gave to John Brooke in May of last year. Brooke was convicted of harboring a fugitive, Michael Drogosz, and developing a plan to kill police officers and rob banks in Starke County. Brooke argued that the State of Indiana and Special Prosecutor did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that evidence submitted during his trial was sufficient to convict him of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. He also thought the sentence was inappropriate. The Indiana Court of Appeals found that his reckless and violent nature clearly justified his lengthy sentence.
Bart Shank, of Monterey, was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly stole scrap metal from a scrap pile owned by a Monterey resident. Shank told officers from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department that he and his friend, Pete Rowe, scrap old farm parts, fencing and other items from the Monterey area, but didn’t have anything to do with the theft of the scrap metal in question – despite the fact that the items reported stolen were in his truck. When the officers went to an address in Monterey to talk to Pete Rowe, police learned that Rowe didn’t live at the address and the residents there hadn’t heard of Pete Rowe. Bart Shank was arrested on a preliminary charge of Possession of Stolen Property.
A $503,000 grant has been awarded to Starke County to help fund the State Road 8 and County Road 300 East intersection project in the Knox Industrial Park. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development grant will help fund half of the $1 million project. The other half will be paid for by the Starke County Commissioners Fund and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. Work has already begun on the project that includes environmental issues involving permits. The project will include moving the ditch back south at that intersection and widening the the road to improve truck and delivery access to the area. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Director, Charles Weaver, says the improvement will attract new industry to the Starke County Rail Park.
James Ritenour III was found not guilty on charges of Battery with a Deadly Weapon and Criminal Recklessness after a one-day trial in Starke Circuit Court on Wednesday. He was found guilty on two counts of Intimidation and one count of Interference with Reporting a Crime. The jury took just one hour to render their verdicts. Ritenour III was on trial on allegations that he held a knife to his mother’s throat and threatened her. His sentencing hearing is set for May 24th at 10:30 a.m. CT.
And that is just some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week.