Today's News

Power Restored Across Kankakee Valley, More Storms Possible

The lights are back on for NIPSCO and Kankakee Valley REMC customers after a strong thunderstorm rolled through the area yesterday afternoon. Neither utility is reporting outages at this time. Yesterday more than 1,000 NIPSCO and 230 Kankakee Valley REMC customers were without power. Continue reading

Chavez Appears in Starke Circuit Court for Initial Hearing

 The man accused of beating his estranged wife to death at a home in Knox, kidnapping an employee in a vehicle from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center, and carjacking a vehicle from a couple in English Lake appeared in Starke Circuit Court Monday afternoon for his initial hearing.

Gary Chavez pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping and carjacking. He told Judge Kim Hall that his family is working on getting an attorney for him. An attorney status hearing is set for Sept. 5 at 9 a.m. but will be vacated if a notice of an attorney has been filed with the court. His omnibus date was set for Oct. 9.

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Bridge Inspector Signs Off on 700 East Repair

A new pile and pier were added to the bridge on County Road 700 East over the Yellow River to replace the ones damaged last spring.

A new pile and pier were added to the bridge on County Road 700 East over the Yellow River to replace the ones damaged last spring.

A Starke County road that has been closed since April is once again open to traffic. The county’s bridge inspector signed off on the emergency repair on 700 East over the Yellow River. A log floating down the river struck the bridge supports, rendering the structure unstable and forcing the emergency closure. A field inspection performed Sunday recommended additional monitoring of the timber piles, as they are starting to deteriorate, but found the bridge is able to handle traffic again.

 

Starke County Commissioners Broaden EMS Director Search

The Starke County Commissioners have changed the job criteria for the EMS director in order to expand the potential pool of applicants. Previously the county was only considering paramedics for the position. That has now been expanded to allow EMT’s to also apply for the opening. The job will pay between $38,000 and $45,000 per year, depending on experience, and the EMS director will have use of a county vehicle. Continue reading

Pence and Walorski to Officially Open New U.S. 31

Gov. Mike Pence, U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski and other dignitaries will be on hand for tomorrow’s ribbon cutting and dedication of the new U.S. 31 between Plymouth and South Bend. The ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m. EDT on State Road 4 at the new U.S. 31 interchange. The road will be closed in that area from 12:30 until 3:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. During that time traffic will not be able to enter or exit the new section of highway. Continue reading

Heat is on the Rise This Week

Summer is finally here.  The hot days ahead remind us of some safety tips and guidelines to help you stay safe from the heat.  Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch says hydrating is a key element to staying cool.

“People need to stay hydrated, try and stay in the shade, try and stay in cool area,” said Lynch.

With this week’s heat getting up to the level it will, Lynch says anyone can be susceptible to the heat.

“Any type of diabetes, heart conditions, respiratory problems.  When the heat index starts getting up to where they are supposed to be this week, anybody’s susceptible.”

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Starke County Sheriff’s Department Set to Hire Deputies

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department is set to make offers of employment to two deputies. The county commissioners reviewed the merit board’s prioritized recommendations of the five applicants during an executive session meeting. Continue reading

Knox City Council to Meet Tonight

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council will discuss a 10 percent match from the city to go toward a $180,000 grant in the Blight Elimination Program.

A match and commitment letter will be considered by the council tonight.

The grant will assist the city with identifying unsafe or abandoned properties to be acquired by the city, estimating the costs of any project, and preparation of the application for funding and developing a strategy.

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Turn in Steps for Another Step Forward

The Moving Starke County Forward organization’s Another Step Forward walking challenge is drawing to a close.

If you are taking part in the challenge, officials ask that you turn in your steps so they can be added to the grand total. Walking, biking, running and swimming all count toward the total. Send in your statistics to anotherstepforward2014@gmail.com.

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High Temperatures, Heat Indexes Predicted Today

We’re in for another hot, humid day across the Kankakee Valley. Temperatures are expected to climb into the upper 80s to around 90 today. It will feel much warmer due to increasing humidity. By this afternoon the heat index is expected to be in the 95 to 100 degree range. Outdoor workers are urged to take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you have outdoor pets, make sure they have ample water and plenty of shade as well.

Medaryville Receives Grant for Wastewater Improvement Project

Medaryville Town HallThe town of Medaryville is the recipient of a $450,000 grant from the state Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) for a wastewater system improvement project. The money will be used to build a biodome structure into their current lagoons to meet Indiana Department of Environmental Management standards. Continue reading

Marshall County Building Security Procedure to Change

Deputies from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department will now be securing the Marshall County building.

Commissioner Deb Griewank explained that the maintenance department had been securing the building at the end of the day, but felt the sheriff’s department’s court security could take over that responsibility. She asked Sheriff Tom Chamberlin if a deputy could secure the building and he would agree to that as long as it is in writing.

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Spotlight Breakfast Scheduled at The Crossing

The CrossingCommunity members are invited to learn more about Starke County’s newest school during a spotlight breakfast. It’s scheduled at The Crossing campus on U.S. 35 next to Save A Lot on Thursday, Aug. 28 at 7:30 a.m. The faith-based alternative school opened recently and provides a combination of classroom and vocational training for students who have dropped out, been expelled or otherwise fallen through the cracks in the public school system. Continue reading

Knox School Board Receives Update on First Week of School

 The Knox Community School Board received an update on the first week of school when they met this week.

Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the principals gave building reports and said it was a smooth opening week of school.

“Other than some minor bus on the first day getting the elementary students on board and then getting to the middle school, which is now the last school dismissed this year and is a change from last year, everything else has gone very smoothly,” said Gappa.

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Plymouth City Council to Meet Tonight

The Plymouth City Council will meet tonight to discuss several items on a full agenda.

Two public hearings will be held for tax abatement requests from AK Industries, Inc. and for Composite Technology Assemblies, LLC. Reports will be given by the council members, Mayor Mark Senter and City Attorney Sean Surrisi on previous business and on new business.

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Free Mortgage Help is Available for Those Struggling

A free program is available if you are struggling to pay your mortgage.

The Hardest Hit Fund through the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network is a statewide program funded by the U.S. Department of Treasury to assist those who are at risk of mortgage delinquency and foreclosure.

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Murder Defendant Out of Hospital, Jailed Without Bond

Starke County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 6, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

Starke County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 6, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

The rural Knox man accused of beating his wife to death, kidnapping a man from a business parking lot, stealing a Jeep at gunpoint in English Lake and leading authorities on a high-speed chase through three counties before shooting himself is back in Starke County. Detective Rob Olejniczak from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and Jailer Joshua Kazee picked Gary Chavez up from the Cook County, Ill. jail today. Continue reading

Cause of Friday Fire Under Investigation

Volunteer firefighters from four local departments spent the better part of Friday battling a blaze at a Knox business. The Knox-Center Township Volunteer Fire Department was called to Standard Pallet on County Road 300 East around 2 a.m. Continue reading

One Arrested after Leaving the Scene of an Accident

John Vogt

John Vogt

A man was arrested in Marshall County Thursday night after leaving the scene of an accident.

Marshall County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene at U.S. 30 and King Road where a two-vehicle accident occurred. The driver of the car who reportedly caused the accident fled the scene.

Officers found the suspect’s vehicle traveling on the new U.S. 31 highway and attempted a traffic stop. The suspect didn’t not stop and a pursuit began. The vehicle came to a stop at the intersection of U.S. 6 and the driver, John Vogt, was arrested without incident.

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