Rubble in Building Collapse to be Removed Monday

Sportsman bar second dayWork continues to secure an area in Monterey where a building collapsed this week.

The structure that once housed Sportsman’s Bar and Grill gave way around 5 p.m. ET on Thursday. The building was vacant at the time of the incident. No injuries were reported.

Pulaski County Building Administrator David Dare told WKVI news that work has been ongoing to move the rubble into a central location for removal next week. Efforts are being coordinated to remove the remaining debris beginning on Monday. Dare said fencing and caution tape surrounds the area to create a safer environment. Dare mentioned that several Monterey residents assisted officials in clean-up and securing the area.

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Absentee Voting Available Today

Only a few opportunities remain to vote absentee in the City of Knox Primary Municipal Election.

Voters can cast an absentee ballot today from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. CT in the Starke County Clerk’s Office in the courthouse. In-office absentee voting is also available Monday through Friday next week from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The courthouse will be open Thursday, April 30 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT in addition to regular voting hours in the day. The last two opportunities to vote absentee in-office are Saturday, May 2 from 8 a.m to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Monday, May 4 from 8 a.m. to noon. The Primary Municipal Election is Tuesday, May 5.

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Starke County Commissioners Approve CenturyLink Agreement for New Jail

starke-county-courthouseThe CenturyLink equipment used by the Starke County Sheriff’s Office will be upgraded when they move into the new jail east of town. The county commissioners Monday approved an agreement for $1,431 for one-time upgrades and a monthly fee of $5.75 for the next three years. IT Director Joe Short advised the communications company is recommending new equipment at the new facility. Continue reading

Fair Aims To Bring Inspiration To Women In Addiction Recovery

Women Anchored in HopeA local organization is looking to provide women in the community with a bit of inspiration.

This Saturday at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center, a women’s fair called “Makeover Your Life” is being presented by the group Women Anchored in Hope. The fair is designed to help women build self esteem, with an emphasis on addiction recovery.
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Kersting’s Hosts Biker Festival This Weekend

Motorcyclists gather for the ride

Motorcyclists gather for the ride

Area bikers will have a chance for some food, and some spirituality, this weekend.

Kersting’s Cycle Center in Winamac is hosting its annual Biker Festival. Part of that festival includes giving the motorcycles of those in attendance a proper blessing.
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Starke County Sheriff and Prosecutor Encourage Safe Celebrations

 Prom season is here, and graduation is right around the corner. Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff want local youth to celebrate both safely and soberly. Dulin notes it is illegal for anyone under 21 to possess or consume alcohol. In spite of that, he says young drivers make up a significant proportion of drunk drivers causing traffic crashes on Indiana’s roadways. Drivers under 21 who are caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in their systems will have their driving privileges suspended. Continue reading

North Judson Schedules Brush Pickup

North Judson Water TowerNorth Judson residents can put any brush they would like to have hauled off by the town alongside their alleys for pickup starting Monday. If the home doesn’t have an alley, brush can be placed along the curb. Either way, clerk-treasurer Donna Henry says it needs to be in place by 7 a.m. Monday to ensure pickup, as crews will only make one pass through town. She adds this pickup is for brush only, as leaves will be collected again this fall.

Starke County to Celebrate Lincoln Funeral Train Anniversary

Abraham LincolnThe western Starke County community of San Pierre will be the focus of area attention the afternoon of  Saturday, May 2nd. Starke County’s Historical Society has planned a program to commemorate the travel of President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train through the area on May 1, 1865. Continue reading

Downtown Monterey Building Collapses

Sportsman bar

Sportsmans BarThe building that housed a former Monterey business collapsed Thursday night.

Pulaski County Commission President Larry Brady told WKVI News that Sportsman’s Bar and Grill at the corner of Walnut and Main Streets in downtown Monterey fell at about 5 p.m. ET. The building was vacant at the time and there weren’t any injuries reported. A few bricks had fallen from the structure earlier in the day.

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New Trial Date Set in James Campbell Case

 An October trial date has been set for the owner of a Knox business destroyed by fire last March, but that may change.

A jury last month in Starke County Recycling owner James Campbell’s arson trial deadlocked after 12 hours of deliberations. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ryan and Campbell’s attorneys agreed to set aside two weeks for a new trial starting Oct. 19. However Campbell’s attorney says he has not been paid yet and may withdraw as counsel if payment isn’t made within 30 days. If that happens a new trial date will be set. Campbell was ordered to appear at the next status conference on May 27.

Dog Credited with Saving Homeowner from House Fire

A dog bite may have been the difference between life and death for a Bass Lake man. Fire Chief Les Jensen says his department was called to a house fire in Boa Shores around 3:30 Saturday morning. The homeowner was asleep when the fire started. Continue reading

Lack of Funding Delays Pulaski County Road Maintenance

 Pulaski County officials may receive the same information relayed to the Marshall County government bodies concerning funding for county roads.

Pulaski County Highway Department General Foreman Terry Ruff told the commissioners the county will have to scrap regular maintenance this year in order to fix roads damaged by the frost line. He says doing both would cost the county an additional $200,000. Ruff says 20 miles of roads will be worked on this year in the southern part of the county. Chip and seal work will be done, and severely damaged roads will be ground up and reconstructed.

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Drug Search Conducted at Knox Middle School

 Starke County K9 Terror with handler Rob Olejniczak, along with other K9 officers from Pulaski County, Marshall County and Plymouth, conducted a drug sweep of the Knox Middle School this week. Additional officers were asked to join the Starke County K9 unit due to the size of the middle school.

According to the Starke County Sheriff’s Office, the K9s swept lockers in addition to vehicles in the parking lots. No illegal substances were found on school grounds.

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North Judson-San Pierre High School Graduation Rate Soars

 The North Judson-San Pierre High School principal attributes the uptick in the graduation rate at the corporation to the efforts of determined students, staff, and counselors.

The rate has only gone up slightly each year for the past few years, but Annette Zupin told the school board this week that it means a lot to see students improve. Zupin believes an 11 percent increase in the graduation rate between 2013 and 2014 is due to the determination of students to graduate. The graduation rate was at 84.7 percent in 2013 and 95.8 percent in 2014. The school board members are hoping for the same or better results this year.  Continue reading

Starke County Council Authorizes Mailing of Inkeepers Tax Letters

starke-county-courthouseStarke County inkeepers taxes are now payable to the county treasurer’s office each month. The forms that need to be submitted with those payments are available on the county’s website, and any questions can be directed to the treasurer’s office. Payments were previously submitted to the state. Continue reading

Knox Fire Hydrant Replacement Plan Presented

HydrantSeveral fire hydrants will be replaced in Knox this spring.

Water Superintendent Todd Gardner said the hydrants on John Street in front of the apartment building will need to be changed out. He said they are over 100 years old and are not functioning. He’s concerned because there isn’t adequate fire protection in that area if a structure fire were to occur. Another hydrant on the corner of John and Prettyman Streets will be replaced, as it is broken off at the ground.

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Local Grower Places Hopes in Hops

HopsStarke County is generally known for growing three crops: corn. soybeans and peppermint. A local man plans to join a dozen or so other Hoosier farmers that are now planting hops – a main ingredient in beer that could become a major local crop.

Typically grown in the Pacific Northwest, there are half-a-dozen varieties adapting to Hoosier weather.  Hops are essentially flowers that grow on a vine. The crop requires a tall trellis system about 20 feet tall and then every year you have to tie strings to the top of the trellis and anchor them down. Continue reading

Plea Hearing Set in Attempted Murder Case

Benton Chrisopher Howard

Benton Christopher Howard

A plea hearing has been set in Starke Circuit Court for a man accused of stabbing a Knox resident in the early morning hours of Sunday, Nov. 30.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Benton Christopher Howard and Brandon Davidson got into an argument at a home in Knox which escalated to a physical confrontation. Howard allegedly unsheathed a knife and stabbed Davidson in the chest. Davidson was taken to the hospital with a collapsed lung and damage to his heart.

Howard is charged with attempted murder as a Level 1 felony and aggravated battery as a Level 3 felony.

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