Guilty Verdict Returned For Ryan Taylor

Starke County Courthouse

The jury came back with its verdict in the case against Ryan Taylor, a man charged with Arson after setting his mother’s car on fire with a flare in an attempt to destroy the vehicle.

The final arguments were heard yesterday morning, first from the state, then from the defense. The defense claimed Taylor was the rightful owner of the vehicle, having both possession and control of the vehicle after he said his mother gave it to him because she was moving to Florida; the state refutes that, saying his mother was still the legal owner to whom the vehicle was registered, and consequently, Taylor had no right to destroy it.

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Knox City Council Approves 2013 Budget

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council this week adopted their budget for 2013, but Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston pointed out that they did hit a big of a snag. The state originally denied their intent to reestablish the Cumulative Capital Fund because the city did not publish the notice of adoption before Aug. 1 as required, but Houston said that was due to the fact that they did not have enough time to do so.

Houston said that they were behind schedule because they did not learn of the time requirement until June, and since governmental entities are required to publish the notice eight days ahead time, then hold a hearing and go through other time-consuming processes, they simply were unable to meet that deadline. He said a number of other towns and cities are in the same boat, and as a result, the Department of Local Government Finance reconsidered and accepted the city’s reestablishment of the Cumulative Capital Fund.

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Andrew Williams Bowls Perfect Game At Bowlaway Lanes

The name of Andrew Williams will soon adorn the 300 Club plaque; the 12th name, to celebrate his 12-strike streak.

A new name will be added to the 300 Club at Bowlaway Lanes this week, after Andrew Williams bowled a perfect game amidst a crowd of cheers. Williams’ streak of 12 perfect frames makes him the 12th member of the prestigious club.

Williams said he was particularly surprised at the outcome of his game because he was at a disadvantage; not only was he not planning on bowling that day, but he was suffering from a knee injury as well.

“I was asked Tuesday night if I could bowl with the team Wednesday, but I had a hurt knee, so I figured I’d sit it out,” Williams said. “Then I got a call from Estill Shepard around 1 o’clock asking if I could fill in since one of their guys called off, I figured I might as well since we got off work early, so I was feeling pretty good.”

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Alliance EMS Shows Customer Appreciation Today

Alliance EMS will be hosting their first ever Community Appreciation Day at Broken Arrow Campground from noon to 3 p.m. CT on Sunday, Sept. 30.

There will be activities for all ages, including face painting, balloon animals, minute-to-win-it games, and a moon bounce! There will also be free food such as chips, hamburgers, hot dogs, water, and sodas.

WKVI will also be at the celebration with a live broadcast at the event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT. If you miss the exciting event, you’re missing out!

Lt. Gov. Stops By Knox To Visit J.W. Hicks

Lt. Governor Becky Skillman made an appearance in Knox recently to meeting with the leaders of J.W. Hicks, a manufacturer of refractory products and services for the metals industry. Skillman said J.W. Hicks is one-of-a-kind in the United States, and there are only four other companies in the world that produce similar products.

Established in 1985, J.W. Hicks continues to thrive in Indiana, and Skillman said she was pleased to see their latest expansion: a second facility for refractory recycling production. She said there are few things more rewarding than seeing a company expand and grow at a time when Indiana is most in need of jobs.

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Hunting Season Approaching; DNR Urges Caution While On The Hunt

With hunting season just around the corner, Indiana Conservation Officers want to remind hunters to put safety first as they take to the woods or waters this hunting season. Thousands of hunters will be participating in the sport this season, and the Department of Natural Resources would like to ensure that all hunters understand these basic tips.

First, always point the muzzle of the gun in a safe direction, and never assume that a gun isn’t loaded. Most accidental shootings happen this way and most of them occur in the home. Before shooting, make sure that you know that your target is a game animal. Make sure that you don’t shoot at flashes of color as those flashes could be another person.

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Week in Review for Sept. 24-28, 2012

Here is a look at some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week:

No one was hurt in a Saturday morning train crash in Knox. U.S. 35, East Division Street and North 300 East were closed so crews could clear the wreckage. A Norfolk Southern employee was performing maintenance on the tracks when a train collided with the service truck. It had been parked on a set of parallel tracks at the time of the accident. The employee was not in the truck at the time of the crash. It took crews nearly four hours to clear the wreckage and open the roads. Continue reading

Area Football Coaching Leaders

Football Coaching Leaders: Through 9/28/12

Tim Roth-Winamac (32 years): 198-130 .604

Justin Bogunia-John Glenn (15 years): 99-65 .604

Andy Thomas-Culver (13 years): 85-58 .594

Kevin Cox-NJSP (11 years): 74-47 .612

Dan Klimczak-South Central (7 years): 64-13 .831

Darren Rodriguez (5 years): 21-27 .437

Chris McGowen-Knox (1 year): 1-6 .142

North Judson Man Arrested After Shooting At Neighbor’s Home

A North Judson man was arrested Thursday after a bullet fired from his gun allegedly went through a young girl’s bedroom window and grazed her in the back.

At 12:30 a.m., Donnie Greer told Starke County police that he was awoken to the sound of a crash in his daughter’s bedroom. He thought at first that it may have been a shelf that fell, but then he heard his daughter crying. When he entered her room, he saw a bullet hole in the window and found that a bullet had grazed his daughter in the back. After canvassing the area, police found that the shot could have originated from a neighbor’s house.

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Trial Against Ryan Taylor Expected To Go To Jury Today

Starke County Courthouse

The jury trial for Ryan Taylor is well underway in Starke Circuit Court, and the final arguments are expected to be heard this morning at 11 a.m. The case will then go to the jury for a verdict. The state rested its case yesterday after a recess, and arguments on directed verdict were heard. The jury also heard the case from the defense.

Taylor is charged with Arson after he allegedly lit a car on fire, destroying it. The state claims the car rightfully belonged to Taylor’s mother and he had no right to destroy the vehicle, but the defense says Taylor was the actual owner, having both possession and control of the vehicle, so it was his right to do with the vehicle what he pleased.

The trial is expected to come to a close today.

Five Arrested After Search Of Knox Residence

Five people were arrested Wednesday after a search warrant was executed at a Starke County residence.

Officers from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, Knox City Police Department and the Probation Department went to 11240 E. State Road 8 and announced their presence at the residence. Officers knocked a few times and attempted to kick in the door. At that time, Austin Owens opened the door for the police. An officer read the contents of the search warrant and police conducted a search.

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Woman Arrested For Trafficking With Starke County Inmate

A Knox woman was arrested after allegedly trafficking with an inmate at the Starke County Jail.

Ashley Cooke arrived at the jail and gave the jailer some items for an inmate. The jailer was suspicious of the items so he inspected them. The jailer reportedly found a plastic baggie containing tobacco and two foil packs containing a white powdery substance inside a deodorant container. The powdery substance field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

Officers took her into custody and Ashley Cooke has preliminary charges of Dealing in Methamphetamine and Trafficking with Inmates. She is held on a $30,000 surety bond.

Knox City Council Approves List of Employees Exempt From Nepotism Policy

Knox City Council

In an effort to adhere to new state policies, the Knox City Council this week entered a list of city employees into the official record. City Attorney David Matsey noted that this is in reference to the newly-required nepotism policies, which requires a list of current employees that are grandfathered in to employment and thus exempt from the new policy.

Mayor Rick Chambers said they had to revise the list nearly a dozen times to keep it up to date and accurate. The list consists of every employee currently employed by the city since before July 1 of this year.

The council in June passed a motion adopting a policy regarding conflicts of interest and nepotism of office, which Matsey said was the first step required to conform to Indiana’s new guidelines. The council adopted the minimum provisions required by state statutes for nepotism, prohibiting a person from supervising a direct relative. Matsey pointed out that the law does not prevent grandparents from supervising grandchildren in office, and it only affects direct supervisors.

Legacy of Women to Hold “Head to Toe” Event in October

Starke County Legacy of Women Committee members

The Legacy of Women have scheduled their fall event for Sunday, Oct. 14 from 1–4 p.m. CT at the Knox Middle School. Member Sheri Bartoli says this year’s event is entitled, “Head to Toe,” and several volunteers will have their hair, makeup, and wardrobe made over by professionals.

“We’re actually doing makeovers on Starke County women and they include Kris Arvello, June Binkley, May Crider, Carol Bombagetti and Joan Haugh,” said Bartoli. “We are selling tickets for $8 in advance and they will be available at 1st Source Bank, Demotte State Bank, First National Bank of Monterey and the Starke County Public Library in Knox.”

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State Senator Arnold to Visit 30 Local Businesses

Senator Jim Arnold

Democratic State Senator Jim Arnold will be visiting 30 businesses in 30 days in the next month. Arnold says he wants to meet with local business owners and tour company sites to gain a perspective on current economic conditions.

Business owners in LaPorte County and northern Starke County are encouraged to contact the Senator to set a visit in October by calling (317) 232-9532.

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Donnelly Attends Groundbreaking Ceremony for INland Logistics Port In Kingsbury

Congressman Donnelly (fourth from left) breaks ground on the initial phase of construction for INland Logistics Port-Kingsbury.

Congressman Joe Donnelly yesterday attended the groundbreaking ceremony for INland Logistics Port–Kingsbury. This LaPorte County project aims to develop 800 acres of land and increase accessibility to the industrial park via truck and rail. Donnelly has worked with the Army Corps of Engineers, Kingsbury Utilities, the 624th Quartermaster Company, and Halfwassen Group, LLC, to come to an agreement to begin developing the intermodal port.

Donnelly said he was pleased to help break ground on such an important project, and said the improvements in rail access to help to give area businesses easier access to more markets. He said it will provide them with additional opportunities to grow their business and ultimately create more jobs in Indiana.

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Week 7 Football Predictions

Harold’s Picks: 24-10 (overall) 20-9 (with blind picks)

West Central-52  Frontier-12

Jimtown-48  Culver-7

New Prairie-36  John Glenn-14

Bremen-25  Knox-21

South Central-23  North Newton-21

Winamac-27  NJSP-21

Nathan’s Picks: 23-11 (overall) 20-9 (with blind picks)

West Central-52  Frontier-0

Jimtown-42  Culver-0

New Prairie-35  John Glenn-7

Bremen-28  Knox-14

South Central-28  North Newton-20

NJSP-28  Winamac-24

Sean’s Picks: 9-3

West Central-68  Frontier-3

Jimtown-42  Culver-0

New Prairie-44  John Glenn-28

Bremen-31  Knox-13

South Central-27  North Newton-24

Winamac-31  NJSP-27

Tom’s Blind Picks: 12-18

Frontier over West Central

Culver over Jimtown

John Glenn over New Prairie

Knox over Bremen

South Central over North Newton

NJSP over Winamac

Pierceton Man Dies in Accident in Starke County

A Pierceton man died yesterday morning in a two vehicle accident in front of the Grovertown Truck Stop in Starke County.

Steve Mort was driving westbound on U.S. 30 and did not see a semi pulling out of the truck stop. The semi was turning eastbound on U.S. 30 when Mort drove into the semi’s trailer that was carrying a large wind turbine propeller. Mort’s vehicle went underneath the trailer trapping he and his passenger, his brother, in the vehicle. Mort and his brother, Tim Mort, were extricated from the vehicle. Steve Mort was transported to the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth where he later died of his injuries. Tim Mort was taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend and was listed in stable condition.

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Jury Trial Against Ryan Taylor Continues Today

Starke County Courthouse

The jury trial for Ryan Taylor began yesterday morning in the Starke Circuit Court with opening statements from both the state and the defense. Taylor has pleaded not guilty to a charge of Arson after he allegedly lit a car on fire, destroying it. The state claims the car rightfully belonged to Taylor’s mother and he had no right to destroy the vehicle, but the defense says Taylor was the actual owner, having both possession and control of the vehicle, so it was his right to do with the vehicle what he pleased.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ryan said Taylor was seen driving a white pickup truck in rural Starke County by a witness who had driven past him on the road. The witness then stumbled upon a burning vehicle and reported it to police, but by the time emergency crews could arrive, the fire had entirely destroyed the vehicle. When police went to the home of the woman to whom the vehicle was registered, they found Taylor at the home with a package of three flares in his pickup truck.

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