Here is a look at some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week:
Funeral services were held Tuesday at the Knox Community Center for Knox High School student Taylor Wagner. She died from injuries sustained in a single vehicle accident on U.S. 35 just south of 200 North last Saturday morning. Her vehicle left the roadway and she attempted to correct it, but the vehicle ended up flipping three times, ejecting her from the vehicle. She was taken to IU Health Starke Hospital where she died of her injuries. A Starke County Sheriff’s Department investigation found that she was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
26-year-old Brock Biddle of Plymouth was arrested Sunday after a 15-year-old told Plymouth police that she and Biddle engaged in sexual activity in March. An arrest warrant was issued and Biddle was arrested Sunday on a Class B Felony charge of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor. He remains in the Marshall County Jail on a $10,000 cash bond.
The radio tower at the Starke County Sheriff’s Department needs to be completely replaced after a July 24 storm damaged the structure. The tower currently stands at 80 feet, but a new tower could be taller than that which causes an issue with a city of Knox restriction on the maximum height of a tower in a residential area. The recommended height of a new tower could be over 100 feet which would mean the county would need to build the tower outside city limits and be remotely linked, or rezone city property. Starke County IT Director Joe Short and Starke County EMA Director Ted Bombagetti will be speaking with tower companies this week and report back to the Commissioners on September 17.
A rezoning request made by Tom Bonnell was approved by the Pulaski County Commissioners Tuesday night which will allow Bonnell to move his business, Anvil and Saw, from its current location to the facility on the property located at 4877 W. 200 S. in Winamac. The property was rezoned to an L-1 light industrial zone from an A-1 agricultural zone. Bonnell was able to borrow $132,000 from the county’s revolving loan fund for the rezoning process. This was the first rezoning decision that the Planning Commission has approved since the new zoning became effective in the spring.
Thomas L. James, of Ora, was arrested Saturday after a deputy from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department reportedly found drug paraphernalia, marijuana and prescription medication in his vehicle during a traffic stop. The officer pulled him over as he was driving at a high rate of speed on U.S. 35 near County Road 600 North. James was arrested on preliminary charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Paraphernalia.
Retired Knox City Police officer, Freg Hignite, passed away Sunday. He served 22 years on the Knox police force and also worked as a patrolman for the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and the North Judson Police Department. He also served his country in the U.S. Army. Funeral services will be held Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the M.C. Smith Funeral Home. The Knox City Police Department will be present to provide special honors.
Todd Doland, Jr. of Whiting appeared in Starke Circuit Court last week and pleaded not guilty to four counts of Forgery and one count of Theft. Doland is accused of forging at least four checks from his father’s checkbook totaling $2,000. He allegedly cashed the checks at First National Bank and is prohibited from entering that facility.
The Starke County Commissioners signed contracts with the Skillman Corporation and architectural firm, DLZ, regarding the proposed construction of a new Starke County Jail. A list of items that could be provided by local contractors will be formed and will be discussed by the Commissioners, Skillman Corporation and DLZ at the Commissioners’ next meeting on September 17. The Commissioners, Council and the Jail Committee have not yet secured a property for the new jail facility, but the officials are working to find a location that would best suit the needs of a new jail and factor in the possibility of expansion.
The North Judson Town Board will soon have a golf cart ordinance. Board member Tim Cummins gave a proposed draft of the ordinance to the Board and to the public during the Board’s Tuesday night meeting. The proposed ordinance will allow golf carts on municipal roads, and the drivers must be licensed and have insurance coverage on the cart. It must also be registered with the clerk-treasurer’s office. The first and second readings of the ordinance will likely be made at the Board’s next meeting on September 17.
Indiana Democrat State Representative Nancy Dembowski, of Knox, is at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina this week. While she won’t be speaking during the event, Dembowski said she’s enjoyed the many keynote speeches including First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech Tuesday night. Former President Bill Clinton spoke last night and President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to make their nomination acceptance speeches tonight. Dembowski said she’s excited to be there and has been inspired by the event.
Over $120,000 in marijuana plants were removed from a cornfield Wednesday on Small Road just east of County Road 500 West in LaPorte County. Surveillance of the area and tips from the public lead the LaPorte County Metro Operations Unit and the Indiana State Police Marijuana Eradication Team to the area where 40 large, mature marijuana plants were picked for destruction.
The Knox Community School Board took formal action on the Superintendent’s suspension of Todd Boldry’s Middle School teaching position. The Board approved his suspension with pay pending an investigation. Boldry was arrested August 24 at the Knox Middle School on charges of Child Seduction and Official Misconduct, both Class D felonies. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges in Starke Circuit Court.
And that is just some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week.