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Today's News

Karen Lancashire

Karen Lancashire, 51, of Nashville, Tennessee passed away Thursday, November 29, 2012.  Graveside services will be Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. ET at the Roseland Cemetery in Francesville, Indiana.  Memorials may be made to the family in care of Robert Lancashire.  The Frain Mortuary in Winamac is charge of arrangements.

Shooting Investigation Continues in Culver

Stephen Suthard

The investigation continues into two shooting deaths in Culver Wednesday night. Police were called to 419 W. Madison St. around 10:41 p.m. in regards to two male subjects found deceased, and when officers arrived, they found 44-year-old Michael Price and 16-year-old Stephen Suthard dead in the home from apparent gunshot wounds.

Culver police and Marshall County Sheriff’s deputies secured the interior and exterior of the residence, and the Indiana State Police assisted with crime scene processing while Culver police and Marshall County deputies continue interviews and investigate all leads. Police have not released details as to what led up to the shootings. Autopsies will be conducted on Monday.

Suthard was a sophomore at Culver Community High School.

The Culver community gathered last night at the Wesley United Methodist Church to support friends and family of the victims.

The Culver Police Department was assisted by the Culver EMS, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, and the Marshall County Coroner.

Balchunas Found Not Guilty On All Charges By Jury

Starke County Courthouse

After 20 minutes of deliberation, the jury in the Starke Circuit Court trial against Alan Balchunas of Monterey reached a verdict of not guilty of Domestic Battery and Strangulation. Balchunas was accused of choking and beating his ex-wife, Pamela Balchunas, following an argument that led to a physical altercation.

During the course of the trial, Pamela testified that Balchunas had put her into a headlock and beat the left side of her face and head. She said he then put his hands around her throat and started to choke her, so she reached for a baseball bat to fend him off. After hitting him twice in the head, Balchunas stumbled back and she said she then left the home.

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Pulaski County Inmate Death Ruled Natural Causes

The preliminary autopsy results are in for a Pulaski County jail inmate who had been found dead in his bunk. Pulaski County Coroner Steve VanDerAa said the report revealed a pulmonary embolism, or blood clot, in his lungs and heart. The coroner is attributing the death to natural causes after William Olson’s body was taken to Lafayette for the autopsy Thursday afternoon.

Pulaski County jailers stumbled upon the body on Nov. 26, when they found Olson unresponsive in his bunk. Pulaski County EMTs were called to the jail, but they were unable to revive him.

Olson, 53, had been incarcerated in the jail since Sept. 2, 2010, having been convicted of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated and a probation violation. He had only four months left of his sentence. Olson was a work-release inmate and worked at Vanquard Trailer Company in Monon.

MPI Corporation Sold to Monomoy Capital Partners

The MPI Corporation has been sold. Headquartered in Michigan, and with a factory in Knox and three others in the country, MPI is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of automatic transmission products, supplying automotive original equipment manufacturers with clutch plates, separator plates, and backing plates.

A New York private equity fund focused on value investing and business improvement has acquired the assets of MPI from Revstone Industries, LLC. Mark Mitchell, the CEO of MPI, stated in a press release that Monomoy Capital Partners will provide MPI with the necessary resources and capital to expand and improve operations.

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Juveniles Arrested For Killing Cows in LaPorte

Two juveniles were taken into custody by LaPorte County Sheriff’s deputies Wednesday after they allegedly shot and killed three cows at a rural LaPorte County farm.

Deputies were called to a farm in the 5100 S. block of County Road 425 West after shots were reportedly fired. Deputies met with a farmer who discovered that three of his cows were killed. He told police that he heard five gunshots and got into his vehicle and found the suspect’s vehicle and wrote down the numbers on the license plate. That information was relayed to police and the vehicle was later located by police.

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Two Soldiers Return Home to Starke County

Ryan Risner (left) and Jonathan Lynch (right) returned home to Starke County yesterday.

After spending a year overseas, two young Starke County men were escorted home by police and members of the fire department, American Legion, and VFW. Ryan Risner and Jonathan Lynch returned to a hero’s welcome as family, friends, and veterans lined up and down U.S. 35 and Main Street in Knox to show their support.

A reception was held at the Knox VFW for the returning soldiers, and friends and family packed into the building to shake hands, hug, and congratulate the pair.

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Three Plead Not Guilty to Charges in Starke Circuit Court

Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall

Several offenders appeared for initial hearings before Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall Wednesday afternoon.

William Lamphier pleaded not guilty to charges of Burglary as a Class C Felony and Receiving Stolen Property as a Class D Felony. Lamphier, of Walkerton, was arrested on Nov. 27 after he allegedly broke into a home in North Liberty and stole tools, a gas can, a weedeater and other items.

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Gerald Briney

Gerald Briney, 83, of Rochester, Indiana passed away Wednesday, November 28, 2012.  A Celebration of Life service is scheduled for Monday, December 3, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. ET at the Good Family Funeral Home in Rochester.  Visitation is Monday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at the funeral home.  Military graveside rites willl be conducted.  Memorials may be made to the Northern Indiana Community Foundation for Fulton County Animal Education.

Shooting Incident Kills Two in Culver

The investigation continues into two shooting deaths in Culver Wednesday night. Police were called to 419 W. Madison St. around 10:41 p.m. in regards to two male subjects found deceased, and when officers arrived, they found 44-year-old Michael Price and 16-year-old Stephen Suthard dead in the home from apparent gunshot wounds.

Culver police and Marshall County Sheriff’s deputies secured the interior and exterior of the residence, and the Indiana State Police assisted with crime scene processing while Culver police and Marshall County deputies continue interviews and investigate all leads. Further details of the incident will be released following additional investigations and autopsies.

The Culver Police Department was assisted by the Culver EMS, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, and the Marshall County Coroner.

Balchunas Trial Continues Today in Starke Circuit Court

Alan Balchunas of Monterey is on trial this week facing charges of Domestic Battery and Strangulation. He allegedly battered and strangled his ex-wife Pamela Balchunas at her home in Monterey.

Pamela Balchunas testified yesterday that she and Alan Balchunas had an argument about rounding up extension cords to run from the house to her sister’s home that had electricity. The area had been suffering from a power outage after a severe storm and while her sister had power, she did not. She stated that she had asked Balchunas for help and he refused. An argument ensued and he reportedly barged into the home, put her into a headlock and beat the left side of her face and head. The struggle started in the kitchen and continued into the living room. She testified that he then put his hands around her throat and started to choke her. She said she couldn’t breathe and her eyesight was failing, but she knew the baseball bat was by the front door she reached for the bat and hit him in the head with it. His grip reportedly got tighter and she hit him again. The second blow caused him to stumble back into a chair and started bleeding. She then left the residence and went to her mother’s house.

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SCILL Center Open House Highlights Success Through Cooperation

Several members of organizations vital to the success of the welding program were awarded welded plaques.

The SCILL Center in cooperation with Vincennes University hosted an open house yesterday evening at the Knox Middle School for their welding program. Director Jerry Gurrado was quick to decline any credit for the program; rather, Gurrado said it was an unbelievable cooperative effort that made the welding program a possibility.

Gurrado explained that an overwhelming number of organizations and businesses came together to bring the welding program to life. The Starke County Economic Development Foundation, the welding subcommittee, the superintendents of area schools, the Vocational Co-Op, SCILL board members, the Center for Workforce Innovation – the list goes on and on. Even Vincennes University helped to make the program a success, as the provided not only a day instructor, but also a night instructor and textbooks for the course. The Starke County Commissioners played a role; KVREMC, NIPSCO, and factories like Sabre, Kruze, Galbreath, Braun, and countless others helped shape the welding program.

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Money Down the Drain – Knox Loses $1000 Per Month For Water Disconnect Notices

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council this week realized they will need to make some changes to their water services policy, as it was brought to the attention of the council that the city sends, on average, 200 water disconnect notices per month. Tack on a cost of more than $5 for each certified letter, and that adds up to an expense of more than $1000 per month to remind customers to pay their bills.

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DHS, FEMA Award Starke County With Emergency Food and Shelter Funds

The Department of Homeland Security and FEMA have awarded Starke County with $11,412 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

The Starke County Emergency Food and Shelter Board will determine how the funds will be distributed among the programs within the county that are run by local service agencies in the area.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact Joan Haugh at Community Services of Starke County at (574) 772-7070 for an application. Completed applications must be received by Dec. 17 at 4 p.m.

Two Soldiers Return Home to Starke County Today

Two Starke County soldiers will be returning home today after a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Ryan Risner and Johnathan Lynch will be escorted to town by police and members of the American Legion and VFW from Indianapolis. They will arrive in Knox around 3:30–4 p.m. today. You are encouraged to stand along U.S. 35 or Main Street in Knox and welcome them home!

A reception for Ryan Risner and Johnathan Lynch will be held at the Knox VFW following the caravan through Knox.

They both served a one-year tour in Afghanistan.