Today's News

Traffic Stop Ends With Drug Bust

State Police reportedly recovered 136 baggies of heroin from Kelly A. Koranda, 36 of Logansport, at IU Health Starke Hospital.

State Police reportedly recovered 136 baggies of heroin from Kelly A. Koranda, 36, of Logansport, at IU Health Starke Hospital.

A Logansport woman faces numerous drug charges in Starke County following a traffic stop late last week by a LaPorte County Deputy and Indiana State Trooper on U.S. 35 near Hamlet. The deputy pulled Kelly A. Koranda, 36, of Logansport, over just south of Starke County Road 500 North on Thursday, April 24 for an unspecified traffic infraction. According to a news release sent this afternoon by the Indiana State Police, Koranda appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was taken to IU Health Starke Hospital for blood and urine tests.A nurse there reportedly found several packets of heroin in Koranda’s underwear. Officers say she admitted eating 10 packets of the drug before being pulled over and hiding more in her underwear. They recovered 172 baggies of heroin weighing about 36 grams from Koranda. She was admitted to the hospital for observation. Officers arrested her there Sunday when she was released. She’s charged with felony dealing a narcotic drug, felony possession of a narcotic drug over 3 grams, felony maintaining a common nuisance and misdemeanor operating while intoxicated on a controlled substance. Koranda was taken to the Starke County Jail.

DNR Arrests Knox Woman on Drug Trafficking Charge at State Park

DNR law enforcementA Knox woman is jailed in Porter County after reportedly trying to slip drugs to a work release inmate at Indiana Dunes State Park. Indiana Department of Corrections Police noticed a suspicious vehicle yesterday near where their crew from the Westville Correctional Facility was working. They detained Christy Chavez, 38, of Knox, who was arrested by Indiana Conservation Officers. She was booked into the Porter County Jail on charges of trafficking a controlled substance to a prisoner. Chavez was trying to drop off synthetic marijuana and cigarettes, according to a news release from the DNR Division of Law Enforcement.

 

 

 

 

Medaryville Biodome Project Clears Procedural Hoops

Medaryville Town HallThe Town of Medaryville is a few steps closer to applying for a grant to offset the cost of a major project. They are looking to build a biodome structure into their current lagoons to meet Indiana Department of Environmental Management standards. Town Council President Derrick Stalbaum tells WKVI news the project will cost around $800,000. The town is applying for a $450,000 grant and hopes to fund the remaining $400,000 by selling bonds. As part of the grant process, an outside agency is completing an income survey of Medaryville residents. Stalbaum says they have already been contacting residents and asking the following questions:

  1. How many members are in your household?
  2. Do you have a total income of $38,000 or less?

Stalbaum stresses this information is necessary, as the town is applying for a need-based grant and needs to prove it qualifies. He encourages all Medaryville residents to cooperate and answer the questions honestly. Stalbaum adds door-to-door surveys will be conducted in a few weeks. Continue reading

Be Prepared for Possible Severe Weather

The tornadoes that have ravaged the the plains and southeastern states this week serve as a grim reminder of Mother Nature’s wrath. Marshall County Emergency Management Agency Director Clyde Avery reminds families to develop an emergency plan. He says it should include contact numbers for work, school and a relative outside the area for everyone to check in. Also establish a designated meeting location. Avery says you should also review and practice your plan to make sure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.

He also recommends putting together an emergency preparedness kit. It should include flashlights, batteries, water, a first-aid kit, canned or dried food, prescription and over-the-counter medications, personal hygiene items, an extra pair of glasses, clothes and any items you may need for your pets.

Monitor the forecast, and be prepared to take shelter in a basement or interior room if a tornado watch is issued. Avery suggests residents of mobile or modular homes find a more sturdy structure. A watch means conditions are favorable for a tornado. A warning means one has been sited, and you should take shelter immediately. Take a portable radio along so you can monitor conditions.  Continue reading

Share the Road With Farm Machinery

Slow Moving VehiclePlanting season means it’s time for motorists and farm machinery to share the road. Motorists are reminded to be alert for slow moving farm implements that can turn unexpectedly from a field or driveway onto a public road. Tractors and other farm machinery travels slower than other traffic, often at speeds of 25 miles-per-hour or less. These vehicles are required to display a slow-moving vehicle emblem on the back and make sure all lights are in working order. Whenever possible, slow moving vehicles are required to pull off to the right when three or more vehicles are blocked and can’t pass on the left. Some farm machinery may take up more than half of the road in order to avoid road signs and other obstacles. Continue reading

Starke County Youth Club Stresses Health and Wellness

The Starke County Youth Club provides more than homework help for the 600 students it serves at four after-school sites. Executive Director Irene Szakonyi  says health and wellness is a critical component of the Starke County Youth Club’s mission.

“When we survey our kids about how much time they would be watching television or how much time they’d be playing on their game systems or video gaming, we know that’s significant, and it’s way more time than is healthy for them,” Szakonyi  says.

She adds the Starke County Youth Club is constantly looking for ways to help the students they serve be more active. Instructors try to balance technology-based learning with physical activity, nutrition classes and life skills that help them to be healthier in all aspects. Continue reading

LaPorte County Officials Report Successful Pill Take Back Day

 

These are some of the medications collected by the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office.

These are some of the medications collected by the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office.

Nearly 29 pounds of unused and unwanted medications were collected in LaPorte County on Saturday as part of National Pill Take Back Day. Medications were received personally by officials from the sheriff’s office and placed in the pill drop box in the lobby. This includes 7.2 pounds of liquid medicine and 21.6 pounds of pills. The liquids will be disposed of in cat litter and taken by a licensed waste hauler. The pills will be incinerated at a licensed facility. Department officials are pleased with the results of Saturday’s effort and the public’s willingness to safely dispose of unwanted and expired medications. This keeps them from falling into the hands of children or others who may wish to abuse them. The pill drop program also prevents medications from contaminating groundwater and is an environmentally safe and responsible way to get rid of them.

Get Your Yard Sale on The Map

Attention bargain hunters, the annual City of Knox yard sale is next week. Organizers have expanded the popular event from one to four days. They are Thursday, May 8 through Sunday, May 11 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Residents can host sales on any or all of those days without paying for a permit. Sale signs are limited to the ones available for purchase at city hall for 50-cents each. Maps will be available each morning of the sale at 7 a.m. at the Knox Moose Lodge. If you are hosting a sale and would like to have your information included on the map, the deadline to do so is Tuesday, May 6. Call Danna at 574-772-5712 for more information. Spaces are also available for residents outside the city limits who would like to participate. Environmental Days will once again be held in conjunction with the sales. This is done so unsold and unwanted items can easily be thrown away.

 

North Judson-San Pierre Drama Department to Present Familiar Musical

 The North Judson-San Pierre drama department will present Grease: The Musical on May 8, 9, 10 and 11.

Director Erin Sprouse said the musical will mirror the movie.

“The movie was actually based off the play,” said Sprouse. “It’s a lot of fun. We’re doing a lot of the costuming from the movie and trying to keep it as true to form so that everybody is really excited about it.”

Continue reading

Pulaski County Commissioners Set to Interview Job Applicants

The Pulaski County Commissioners will meet tomorrow in executive session to interview five candidates for the assistant EMS director job. The meeting will take place at 3 p.m. EDT at the courthouse. EMS Director Nikki Lowry asked the commissioners to conduct the interviews so she can avoid the appearance of favoritism, since she knows each of the five applicants personally. If the commissioners do the hiring, they must do so during a public meeting.

Two NASCAR Drivers Penalized after Altercation

2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Marcos Ambrose

Casey Mears

Casey Mears

Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears have been penalized after NASCAR officials have found them to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4.9 (Behavioral Penalty; involved in an altercation in the garage area after the race) as outline in the 2014 NASCAR rule book. These rules were violated after an altercation after the Toyota Care 400 at Richmond International Raceway Saturday night.

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Charles “Charlie” Johns Jr.

Funeral services for Charles “Charlie” Johns Jr. 78, of South Bend, formerly of Francesville, are Sunday, May 4 at 3 p.m. EDT at the Frain Mortuary Querry-Ulbricht Chapel in Francesville, with visitation there from noon until the time of the service. Memorial contributions may be given to the First Baptist Church of Francesville or to the American Cancer Society.

Services Scheduled for Winamac Soldier Killed In Germany

Spc. Ryan P. Grandstaff

Spc. Ryan P. Grandstaff

Funeral services for a local soldier killed last week in Germany are this weekend in his home town. Army Spc. Ryan P. Grandstaff of Winamac, died in a single-vehicle accident in Ansbach, Germany last Wednesday morning at 4:45 a.m. He was 24. Grandstaff graduated from Winamac Community High School in 2009, where he ran track and was a co-record holder on the four by 100 relay team. He loved playing football and continued his career at Anderson University. Grandstaff then attended Vincennes University and studied aviation technology. He worked for Plymouth Tube and the Braun Corporation before joining the Army on Oct. 2, 2012. Grandstaff became a crew chief on a Blackhawk Medivac Helicopter. He was stationed to Ansbach, Germany on April 27, 2013. Continue reading

Knox Park Board Faces Significant Budget Cuts

The circuit breaker, which caps the percentage of property taxes local governments can collect, has resulted in a significant cut to the Knox Park Board’s budget. President Ray Stevenson says the state slashed it by $12,473.18, which is a cut of 10 to 12 percent. Sevenson says the park board cannot cut money from maintenance to make up the difference. He says they will need to look closely at the equipment budget and possibly reduce the amount of playground equipment they were planning to purchase this year.

Preschool Helps Children Develop Social Skills

Starke County Preschool Project logoThe Starke County Early Education Advisory Council invites families with young children to a preschool fair this evening from 5 until 7 at the community center in downtown Knox. More than 25 preschools and community organizations will have booths, and several will offer activities for children. Porter-Starke Director of Children’s Services Todd Willis says preschool is a good opportunity for children and parents to get used to being away from one another. He says one of the main causes of stress for young children is separating from their family, so getting them into an environment where they can learn to take turns and make peer relationships outside the family is extremely important.

“When I don’t learn as a young child how to resolve conflict with my peer, and I need to resort to throwing a temper tantrum or aggression, if those basic skills are not learned early, they follow the kid into adulthood. Really, the opportunity for a child in that 3 to 4 age learning that early is crucial,” Willis says. Continue reading

Starke United Fund Grant Applications Due Friday

Nonprofit organizations interested in applying for Starke United Fund grants have just a few more days to finish their applications. They are due Friday, May 2. The Starke United Fund Committee will review applications and award the grants to the chosen organizations. Last year 12 grants totaling $11,000 were given to Starke County organizations including: The Caring Place, Community Services of Starke County, HealthLinc, Junior Achievement, Marshall-Starke Development Center, Moving Starke County Forward, Love INC., North Judson-San Pierre School JumpStart, Psi Iota Xi, A.B.A.T.E. Toys 4 Tots, Starke County WIC Program and the Starke County Youth Club. Continue reading

Starke County Youth Club Helps Schools Help Students

The Starke County Youth Club aims to be a support system for children, families and the three county school corporations.

“We know that schools are under tremendous pressure to have kids succeed academically, and that a lot of funding for schools is tied to how kids perform on standardized tests. That’s really a lot to ask of a school community. It is part of our job to ensure we are supporting what the schools need to accomplish.”

Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says the Starke County Youth Club does that by providing after school enrichment programs for 600 youngsters at four sites across the county. All of the programs are based in local schools, so Szakonyi says the staff is in constant contact with teachers, administrators and others to make sure students are getting what they need. She says children who succeed academically have a greater likelihood of being successful adults.  Continue reading

Volunteers Needed to Spruce Up Tippecanoe River State Park

If the brutal winter has you itching to get outdoors, head to Tippecanoe River State Park this weekend for the third annual volunteer day. Assistant manager Jason Hickman says gate fees will be waived for anyone who comes out to lend a hand. Volunteer activities will start at 10 a.m. EDT at the Nature Center. The big goal is to build a second scenic overlook. The Friends of Tippecanoe River State Park nonprofit organization replaced one last year after securing donations and volunteers to do so. Hickman says they’ve secured money for the other one. Weather permitting he says the goal is to get it framed and decked out. That’s the main project for the weekend, but Hickman says it’s not the only one. Volunteers are also needed to clean and spruce up the Nature Center and remove invasive plants and some small trees from the waterfowl dam. Bird feeders also need to be hung up. Volunteers are asked to bring gloves and cordless drills, if possible, and wear long pants and sturdy shoes.

 

 

 

LaPorte Man Faces Multiple Charges After Early Morning Break-In

Wade FletcherA LaPorte man who reportedly entered an apartment behind a liquor store after banging on the doors of several nearby businesses early Friday morning faces two felony charges. Officers responded to the Bottle Shop Too at 1212 Lincolnway around 12:30 Friday morning to investigate a report of a drunk man knocking on the door of the closed store. They found a rear door leading to an upstairs apartment standing open. When they stepped inside the door, a 15-year-old boy ran down the stairs yelling that there was a man in his apartment. The officers reportedly found Wade A. Fletcher, 21, wandering around in the kitchen. The boy told the police he was home alone asleep and was awakened by the sound of somebody talking. He turned and saw Fletcher walking toward him. According to the arrest report, Fletcher grabbed him by his shirt and threatened to knock him out then let go of him and walked toward the kitchen. Police say Fletcher was seen causing problems at Lucky’s Bar earlier and was also banging on the doors of the nearby Wendy’s. He faces residential entry and possession of a schedule II controlled substance charges.