Arson Trial Ends With Hung Jury

After nearly 12 hours of deliberation the jury in the arson trial of a Knox businessman was unable to reach a verdict. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall declared a mistrial in State v. James Campbell at 12:14 a.m. due to the jury being an impasse and deadlocked. They began deliberations at 12:30 p.m. Continue reading

LaPorte Pursuit Ends in Michigan With Rollover Wreck, Arrest

A high-speed pursuit that started in LaPorte County just after 9 last night ended near New Buffalo, Mich. when the suspect rolled his SUV. A LaPorte City Police Officer tried to stop a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by a suspected traffic violator on the downtown overpass. A LaPorte County Sheriff’s Deputy joined the pursuit as the motorist fled north on Pine Lake Avenue and eventually north onto State Road 39 past the city limits. Continue reading

Judge to Determine Additional Court Proceedings in Grand Jury Case

 A judge in a Grand Jury case involving former Marshall County Highway Superintendent Neal Haeck will determine a timeline today on whether a plea agreement hearing or trial will be scheduled. A Grand Jury returned an indictment against Haeck in September of 2014 alleging theft of scrap metal from the county while in his capacity as highway superintendent in 2012 and 2013.

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Knox Man Charged after Two Month Investigation

Luther Nies

Luther Nies

A Knox man was arrested on a bench warrant yesterday after a two-month investigation by the Knox City Police Department.

Luther J. Nies, 25, was arrested on charges of attempted child molestation as a Class C felony and child solicitation is a Class D felony. The alleged acts involved a small child in 2013. No other details are available at this time.

Nies is in the Starke County Jail on a $35,000 bond.

Hamlet-Davis Township Fire Station Nearing Completion

The new fire station will be built between the Starke County Fairgrounds and the Wayne Apartments in Hamlet.

The new fire station will be built between the Starke County Fairgrounds and the Wayne Apartments in Hamlet.

Davis Township Trustee Robin Latimer met with the Hamlet Town Board last night
to discuss details of the new firehouse, currently under construction east of the County Fairgrounds. A completion date of the end of May is expected, with focus on electrical and gas connections next week.  Continue reading

Knox City Council Members Discuss Seed Money for Harvest Festival

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council members held a lengthy discussion Tuesday night concerning seed money for the 2015 Harvest Festival.

A request for $2,500 was made by Mayor Rick Chambers to front the organization money just to cover initial expenses. The money will be returned once revenue is received.

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Culver Town Council Reviews Questions About Business Rezoning

The Culver Town Council held a Public Hearing for two businesses looking to have a change in zoning.

During Tuesday night’s meeting the Town, and members of the public, were able to ask questions about the changes. Earlier this year, the Culver Plan Commission recommended a zoning change to the Town Council to allow Papa’s Pizza to expand its kitchen and some of its seating.
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Knox Board of Works Approves New Towing Agreement

The Knox Board of Public Works reviewed a new towing agreement for four companies currently being utilized for service in the case of a car accident. Those companies include Buzz’s Towing, Howard and Sons Towing, Hauser’s Towing and Wagner’s Towing.

The agreement states that if the service is needed within the City of Knox contractors will be called on a rotating basis. The Knox City Police Department or the Starke County Sheriff’s Department would be working directly with the companies to request service. If the contractor does not answer the phone, the next company on the list will be called. It will be considered a rotational call and will not be made up.

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Beware of State Tax Scam

State officials warn of a national telephone scam targeting Hoosiers. Callers claim to represent the Indiana Department of Revenue and say there is an outstanding tax warrant in the taxpayer’s name. They claim local law enforcement is on the way to arrest the taxpayer unless the debt is paid over the telephone. The scam artist sounds convincing and professional. They often have personal information about the taxpayer and can alter the caller ID to appear more legitimate.

Department of Revenue officials stress they do not call taxpayers without first corresponding through the mail and does not threaten to use local law enforcement. Commissioner Mike Alley says taxpayers should not be afraid to hang up the telephone if they suspect they are being targeted by a scam artist. Continue reading

Ancilla College Announces Summer CNA Course

Ancilla College NEWAncilla College is offering a Certified Nursing Assistant course this summer. Graduates who pass the Indiana State Department of Health CNA test are state-certified to work as nurse’s aides in long-term care facilities, home health and hospice groups and assisted living facilities.

Prospective enrollees must pass a physical, drug screen and background check. The program consists of 32 hours of classroom instruction and 75 hours of clinicals. Courses will meet Monday and Wednesday nights from 6 until 10 p.m. starting June 8th. Clinicals will take place on Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. Students will take the state certification exam after they complete the course requirements. Continue reading

Grand Opening Set for New LaPorte Licence Branch Location

The LaPorte License Branch has a new place to call home.

BMV Commissioner Kent Abernathy, State Senator Jim Arnold, and State Representative Tom Dermody will be part of tomorrow’s grand opening of the new LaPorte License Branch building at 1301 Pine Lake Road.

The facility where the license branch was previously located caught fire in October. The employees conducted transactions in a mobile unit at the site for only a few days until repairs could be made to the building.

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Marshall County Habitat for Humanity Taking Applications for Minor Home Repairs

The Marshall County Habitat for Humanity organization is offering help to low-income homeowners who may need to have minor or critical repairs done to their home.

Executive Director Dean Byers said there are two different options available for a homeowner to apply within a program called “A Brush with Kindness.” If a homeowner is chosen to participate, they will repay the organization based on their income.

Byers said one program allows for help in minor repairs and routine home maintenance.

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Testimony Concludes in Salvage Yard Arson Trial

The fate of a Knox man accused of setting his businesses on fire will soon be in the hands of a jury. The defense in James Campbell’s arson trial rested at 4:16 p.m. Tuesday after calling three witnesses. The first, a former ATF agent turned fire investigation consultant, questioned whether the fire that destroyed Campbell’s Tire Barn, Starke County Recycling and C&C Salvage on U.S. 35 south of Toto Road last March was deliberately set. Mike Vergon has operated a private fire investigation practice in Indianapolis for the past two-and-a-half years. He visited the burned out business on June 23 and Oct. 2 of last year. Vergon testified burn patterns don’t help with origin and cause determinations with damage as extensive as what he saw and said it’s his opinion the cause cannot be determined without good witness corroboration. Continue reading

LaPorte Police Investigate Criminal Mischief in Kingsbury Industrial Park

Detectives with the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department are investigating an incident of criminal mischief that occurred at the Kingsbury Industrial Park.

Police say that a fire hydrant was opened sometime between 11:30 p.m. and midnight on Friday, March 20 and water ran out of the hydrant for several hours. Officials from the Kingsbury Utility Corporation estimate that more than 300,000 gallons of water flooded the area around the Bye-Mo’r business on Fourth Line Road. The business did not suffer any damage. Deliveries could not be made to or from the business due to a flooded loading dock, according to the news release.

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Starke County Government Offices to Close for Jail Dedication

starke-county-courthouseStarke County government offices will close so employees can attend the dedication ceremony for the new jail. It’s scheduled Friday, May 22. Last week the county commissioners agreed to close the courthouse, annex and other county offices from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Continue reading

Mayor Gives Update on Monday Power Outage

IMG_3651The power issue in downtown Knox on Monday morning affected 700 homes and businesses.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers informed the council members last night that City Hall was shut down for the day until repairs were made, and MPI had to close production for the day due to lack of power.

The driver of a garbage hauler dropped off the large recycling bins at City Hall and failed to lower the rack on the truck. That rack caught the telephone lines as he was pulling away from the parking lot and snapped the pole in half. The lines were attached to City Hall.

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Culver Town Council Needs More Time for Flouridation Considerations

The Culver Town Council has a decision to make regarding public health, but decided to postpone providing direction until more council members were present.

The Town is in the process of designing a new water treatment facility. At this point in the design, engineers are requesting council input on whether the Town will use fluoride in the water treatment process.
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Charbonneau Sponsored Right to Try Bill Signed Into Law

State Senator Ed Charbonneau

State Senator Ed Charbonneau

A new law in Indiana is considered the right step by an area state Senator.

Ed Charbonneau sponsored the “Right to Try” bill that allows terminally ill medical patients to bypass the FDA’s compassionate use application process. It was signed into law on Tuesday by Governor Mike Pence after convincing approval in the General Assembly.

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Volunteers Needed for Knox Harvest Festival, Meeting Set for Wednesday

Volunteers are being sought for this year’s Harvest Festival in Knox.

Several committees have been formed to take care of certain aspects of the festival and those leaders are looking for community volunteers.

A fundraiser is planned and help is being sought for the event. An entertainment committee will also need help along with other groups to help put together a successful event.

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