Michigan City Police Officer Found Dead by Investigators

user29390-1438191577-media1_3e5e85_192_240_PrsMe_A Michigan City Police Officer who was arrested on misconduct charges was found dead by the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department on Saturday afternoon.

A search was conducted after authorities received calls that 37-year-old Robert Grant was not answering phone calls or returning text messages.

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Jury Returns Guilty Verdicts Against Chavez

 A jury of eight women and four men deliberated for about 90 minutes Friday night before returning guilty verdicts against Gary Chavez. He’s the Knox man accused of murdering his estranged wife, Kimberly Chavez of Portage, at his rural California Township home last June 6th, kidnapping an employee from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center and carjacking a couple in English Lake. Continue reading

Iconic Starke County Native American Sculpture Damaged

damaged statue 2An area general merchandise and surplus store says one of its iconic business draws has been vandalized.

Richard’s of Toto says that on the night of July 29th, video evidence seems to indicate that two individuals climbed the pedestal of its “Muffler Man” sculpture – a Native American fiberglass statue standing about 30 feet tall – and broke the arm. The sculpture is placed in front of the business.
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Immediate Area Included in Gov. Pence Disaster Declaration Request

Indiana Governor Mike Pence

Indiana Governor Mike Pence

Indiana must now wait following a formal request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking for a Disaster Declaration.

Governor Mike Pence sent the letter – which states 53 of Indiana’s 92 counties are in need of assistance due to rains and flooding that damaged crops across the Hoosier State. Indiana experienced record rainfall in June of this year, with the first half of July showing strong precipitation in the immediate area.
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Starke County Posts Lowest Unemployment Rate Since 2007

Starke County’s June unemployment rate is the lowest its been since November of 2007. Back then it bottomed out at 5.5 percent, according to officials with the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. June’s jobless rate hit 5.7 percent, which is down slightly from May’s 5.9 percent number. Continue reading

Starke County Youth Club Receives Generous Donation from 1st Source Bank

1stSourceBank

1st Source Banking Manger Judy Caudill assisting SCYC members

The 1st Source Corporation, the parent company of 1st Source Bank is the largest locally controlled financial institution headquartered in the northern Indiana-southwestern Michigan area and has assets of $5.01 billion. For more than a century, 1st Source has been committed to the success of the communities it serves. Continue reading

Author Susan Lewis Scheduled to Re-Visit her Place of Inspiration

b00kBest-selling British novelist Susan Lewis is set to return to Culver. It has been about a year since her initial visit to the area to gather information and inspiration for her novel “No Place to Hide”. She plans to celebrate the release of the book with the community which inspired its backdrop. Continue reading

Record Amount of Rainfall Leads to Boating Restrictions

b0atThe Department of Natural Resources had to restrict motorboat traffic from certain public freshwater lakes in Northern Indian due to the abundance of summer storms. The DNR created a web page with boating advisories to keep boating public and lakefront property owners informed of current restrictions or closures. Continue reading

Looking for S’More Summer Fun?

smoresIf you’re not already following the DNR Division of State Parks on Twitter or Facebook, you may want to as soon as possible. By doing so you can participate in the sweet ‘S’mores in the Outdoors Adventure’ that will be taking place throughout the entire month of August. Continue reading

Murder Defendant Testifies, Closing Arguments Anticipated This Afternoon

 The fate of a Knox man accused of killing his estranged wife, kidnapping an employee from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center and stealing another vehicle in English Lake will soon be in the hands of a jury. Closing arguments are anticipated later today in the trial of Gary Chavez.

He was the lone witness for the defense and offered an often emotional account of his relationship with victim Kimberly Chavez. He said he felt “totally different” from the first time he went out with her and described their marriage as happy, affectionate and loving. Chavez admitted they argued about her son and some about money toward the end of their relationship. According to him they separated for 35 days about a decade into their marriage but reconciled and all was forgiven. Continue reading

Pulaski County Officials Increase Fine Against Sportsman’s Owner

sportsmans chain link fenceThe Pulaski County Commissioners have agreed to apply more pressure to the owner of a building that collapsed earlier this year in Monterey. A special meeting on Thursday allowed the commissioners to discuss potential solutions for the site of the former Sportsman’s Bar and Grill. The building collapsed in April, leaving debris and asbestos behind. Continue reading

Warm Weather Dries Fields, Presents Drought Stress

The warm streak in July has been somewhat welcome in area farm fields.

That’s according to Purdue Extension Agricultural Educator Phil Woolery. He says warming temperatures and a lack of precipitation in the area the second half of July has allowed time for soil to dry. That follows what is considered a record breaking year for moisture in June.
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Brownfield Assessment Funds Available for Starke County Sites

Money will soon be available to study blighted sites in Starke County. Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Edwin Buswell  says the multi-county governmental service agency recently got a $500,000 Brownfield Assessment Program grant. Continue reading

Injuries Reported in Morning Crash Near Star City

 At least one person was flown to the hospital following a Thursday morning crash in Pulaski County.

Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area of Base Road at 900 South around 5:04 a.m. to the reported crash with injuries. The Star City Fire Department was called to the scene for the use of extrication equipment.

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State Rests in Murder Trial, Chavez Testimony Expected Tomorrow

 The state has rested its case in the trial of a Knox man accused of killing his estranged wife. Defendant Gary Chavez is expected to take the stand tomorrow morning as a witness for the defense. He’s also charged with kidnapping and carjacking in connection with the events that occurred on June 6, 2014. The Starke County Sheriff’s Office got a 911 call at 3:37 that afternoon from a man in English Lake reporting a carjacking. Earlier testimony indicates that’s where Chavez left kidnapping victim Bryant Wagner when his car ran out of gas. Det. Rob Olejniczak from the Starke County Sheriff’s Office testified that based on information from Wagner he went to Mark Bailey’s Discount Center and found the pickup truck Chavez left in the parking lot. Continue reading

State Could Rest in Murder Trial Today

 The state could wrap up its case this afternoon against a Knox man charged with murder, kidnapping and carjacking. They’ve called 12 witnesses so far to testify against Gary Chavez. He’s accused of killing his estranged wife, Kimberly Chavez, at his rural Knox home last June 6th, driving his pickup truck to Mark Bailey’s Discount Center, kidnapping an employee at gunpoint, driving his car to English Lake and stealing a Jeep Grand Cherokee from a couple there. Continue reading

Election Board Places N.J.-S.P. Tax Referendum on November Ballot

North Judson-San Pierre Admin buildingThe Starke County Election Board considered placing the North Judson-San Pierre tax referendum on the ballot, this week.

N.J.-S.P.’s School Board adopted the resolution to take the property tax levy increase to the public. Under the plan, an increase of 47-cents per $100 of assessed valuation would be seen in year one. The rate would drop to 27-cents per $100 of assessed valuation in subsequent years.

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