Here is a look at some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week.
The Knox Community Elementary School was on lock-down Thursday after threats were made as a result of a domestic dispute. Knox City Police had been called to a residence Wednesday night in relation to a domestic incident and the male subject believed to have caused the issue left the home before police arrived at the scene. Thursday, the suspect had made additional threats to remove his children from the school. Police thought the man to be mentally unstable so with the work of the Knox City Police Department, Starke County Sheriff’s Department and the School Corporation, the school was placed on lock-down as a precaution. The suspect was later arrested in LaPorte and the lock-down was lifted.
The Starke County Jail Committee members have found a piece of property that they think might be proper for a new jail. Commissioner Kathy Norem said the Committee has not yet decided to purchase the property, but is interested in the property located on State Road 8 and 550 East which is owned by Mark Bailey. The parcel is about 80 acres, but Norem indicated that they would not purchase or use the entire 80 acres for the new 108-bed jail. Pricing and other deciding factors will be discussed at the next Starke County Commissioners meeting on November 19.
The Pulaski County Commissioners approved a request by Auditor Sheila Garling for a fourth full-time person in her office. She told the Commissioners that one full-time employee is on medical leave, another is transferring offices at the beginning of the year, and another full-time employee resigned on Friday. She is down to three part-time employees and all of the work can not be complete with an incomplete staff. She noted that the reason why she keeps losing employees is because the job inflicts a lot of stress. The Commissioners approved her request and the request was handed to the Pulaski County Council who denied it.
Algin Trent of North Judson was arrested on Tuesday after officers from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and the North Judson Police Department found that he was in possession of two methamphetamine labs. Police had received a tip that a meth lab was in a home at 5097 S A. Street in North Judson. Officers knocked on the door and when Trent answered, they noticed a strong chemical smell in the home. Trent allegedly admitted to having the meth labs in the home when he was questioned about the tip they received. Trent was arrested on preliminary charges of Dealing in Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursors, and Possession of 10 or more grams of pseudoephedrine.
Did you notice the jump in gas prices this week? GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan said this is due to the increasing cost of wholesale gasoline. Prices will likely begin to decrease, but not by much. Prices should remain relatively close to what they currently are. If there are any drastic changes in price, it’s likely to do with increases in the market price.
William M. Burgess of Culver was injured in a two vehicle accident Monday night. Burgess was traveling north on State Road 17 in Marshall County when he moved left of center and struck a vehicle driven by Michael E. Woods. Burgess was airlifted from the scene to South Bend Memorial Hospital where he remains in stable condition. The status of Woods is unknown, pending the official release from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department.
Knox City K9 officer, Chad Keen, is leaving the Knox City Police Department December 1 and will be leaving his K9, Marco, with the department. Police Chief Clint Norem told the Knox City Council Tuesday night that the K9 position may not be filled as no other officer with the department wants to take over the soon-to-be vacant position. Norem further stated that the K9 program is causing a problem with the department’s overtime budget as the handler gets paid a half-hour overtime everyday for the care of the dog. Norem will be researching way in which to utilize the dog, whether it be to send Marco to another department or return him from where the city originally acquired the dog.
After spending two weeks on the East Coast, the Indiana District 2 Task Force has returned home. The members of the Incident Management Team helped in recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. They were eventually deployed to the Long Beach area where they helped get food and water to those affected in that area. Crews were brought in to help remove tons of sand that had washed up into the residential areas in the 4 to 8 foot waves that crashed on land. Starke County EMA Director Ted Bombagetti said the sand had to be piled up and the excavators looked like little toys on top of the massive piles of sand as they piled it higher and higher. The sand has to be tested for contaminates before it goes back onto the beach. New York officials were so impressed with the work by Indiana emergency responders that they requested more teams from Indiana to be deployed to continue in recovery efforts.
A ten-year prison sentence was handed down to Paul Burke of Royal Center after he pleaded guilty in Pulaski Circuit Court to a charge of Attempted Aggravated Battery. He attempted to throw anhydrous ammonia at a Pulaski County deputy during a traffic stop in June. Burke will serve six years of that sentence on good time and then serve four years on probation. He will also need to submit to alcohol and drug testing and complete a substance abuse treatment program.
The Knox City Council unanimously passed a resolution this week changing the name of the Knox Community Center to the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center. The Council had previously talked about changing the name of Main Street between Clabaugh and 150 S. as Dembowski Drive, but decided that since she was so instrumental in getting the Community Center built, they would rename the Community Center in her honor. Dembowski served as the Mayor of Knox for three terms, was a State Senator and State Representative for many years and is still dedicated to serving on many community organizations in Starke County and in the City of Knox.