Today's News

Starke County Coroner Releases Autopsy Results

Results of a forensic autopsy conducted in the case of 33-year-old Christopher Howard of Grovertown have been released by Starke County Coroner Kris Rannells.

He stated that Howard died instantly of multiple systems blunt force trauma, including massive head, chest and abdominal injuries.

An investigation by the Starke County Sheriff’s Department found that Howard was last seen leaving friend’s house at 2 a.m. on Tuesday in the area of 1025 E. and 50 N. in Starke County. He was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon. His vehicle was found in the area of 900 East and 500 North at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and it appeared to have been involved in a collision.

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Royce Sentenced to Six Years in DOC

  A Knox man with an extensive criminal history is headed back to prison for the sixth time in his life.

James Royce, 44, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to felony charges of residential entry and escape and a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief in two separate cases. The state and defense argued Royce’s sentence to Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall.

In one case, Royce admitted that he forced his way into his aunt’s home without an invitation. In the second case, he admitted to escaping the custody of a jailer who was escorting him from the courthouse to the Starke County Jail. Royce had appeared for a hearing in Starke Circuit Court and Judge Hall ordered him back to jail. Royce admitted that he “panicked” and ran. The jailer suffered an injury chasing after Royce. Royce was apprehended approximately 20 minutes after he escaped custody. He also admitted to tampering with the GPS ankle bracelet he was wearing as he had been on home detention through Starke County Community Corrections.

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Marshall County EMA Director to Meet with School Safety Committee

Marshall County Emergency Management Agency Director Clyde Avery gave the commissioners a quarterly report Monday morning and offered information about an informative safety meeting scheduled for next week.

The school safety committee will be meeting to discuss concerns with the winter season on the way. Avery told WKVI News that he will review the protocol in place when significant winter weather is forecast. Avery will make sure that the school emergency plans are up to date with current contact information plus critical components such as communications, command and management, emergency notification, public information, and other needs.

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Pulaski County EMS Director Seeks Help in Retaining Staff

Pulaski County EMS Director Nikki Lowry asked the commissioners Monday night for help in retaining staff in her department.

She stated that there is a short turnaround of staff and believes that Pulaski County EMS needs to be more competitive when it comes to pay and work available.

Lowry also suggested offering incentives such as continuing education.

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N.J.-S.P. Faces Additional Budget Cuts

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert
Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board will need to reduce their budget even further.

According to North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Lynn Johnson, a decrease in enrollment will cause deeper cuts.  She said the average daily membership has decreased by 40 students.

Earlier this year the board cut $1 million from the budget, and more cuts are forthcoming. Johnson did not elaborate on where those cuts will occur.

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Starke County Economic Development Foundation Hosting Manufacturers Day Event

Students from Starke County’s three school corporations will get a firsthand look at local job opportunities during the upcoming Manufacturers Day at Knox Middle School. The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is bringing together 7th grade students and representatives from local industries and SCILL on Thursday, Oct. 2. They will have displays of what their company manufacturers, the skills and training required for each job at the company and the kinds of jobs they have and will also be available to answer questions. Continue reading

Bella Vita Schedules 5th Annual Life Walk

The 5th annual Life Walk is this Saturday.

The event will help raise money for the Bella Vita Pregnancy Resource Center. The walk will begin around 10 a.m. at the center on Lake Street and conclude at Wythogan Park.
An open house is planned at the center along with face painting, a balloon artist, coffee and doughnuts.

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Grand Jury Indicts Former County Highway Superintendent

A former county highway superintendent faces a felony theft charge.

A grand jury in Marshall County returned a single-count indictment this week against Neal R. Haeck. He’s alleged to have stolen $12,351.41 from the county in 2012 and 2013. During that time Haeck was the Marshall County Highway Superintendent. The allegations surround the sale of scrap metal, according to a news release from the prosecutor’s office. Haeck is being summoned into court. However, his initial hearing date has not been set. Haeck retired from the county highway department on May 2nd.

LaPorte County Courthouse Evacuated after Bomb Threat

A Michigan City man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly sending a bomb threat notice by mail to the LaPorte County clerk’s office.

The employee received a letter addressed to the clerk’s office delivered by the United States Postal Service. When she opened the envelope, she found a powdery substance and a letter, according to a news release. She immediately took the envelope and the contents to the courthouse security office.

The letter stated that explosives were located in or near the courthouse, as noted in the press release. With that, the courthouse was evacuated and a request was made for the assistance of the Michigan City Police Department, LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, LaPorte County Hazardous Materials Team, Michigan City Fire Department and LaPorte County Emergency Management.

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Starke County Sheriff’s Department Investigating Fatal Hit and Run

Detectives with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department are investigating an apparent hit and run crash that claimed the life of a white man in his 30s. Dispatchers advise WKVI news the wreck occurred early yesterday morning on U.S. 30 near State Road 23. Continue reading

Obomsawin Sentenced to Six Years in DOC

 A South Bend man was sentenced Tuesday morning in Starke Circuit Court after pleading guilty to an amended count of child molesting as a Class C felony.

A plea recommendation was offered in the case of Adam Obomsawin which Judge Kim Hall accepted. Judge Hall sentenced Obomsawin, 36, to six years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with two years suspended to be served on probation. In addition, Obomsawin was ordered to undergo sex offender treatment. Upon the successful completion of that course, he may petition the court for a modification of the sentence. He is to have no contact with the victim during the execution of his sentence.

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Final Park Board Appointments Pending

The Starke County Park Board is two members away from being populated. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall is responsible for appointing a Democrat and a Republican to the five-member board. He advised WKVI News he is still reviewing the qualifications of potential members and expects to make a decision soon. Continue reading

New Generator for Health Department to be Installed Soon

The new generator for the Pulaski County Health Department was to be delivered this week.

Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston told the commissioners Monday night that it will be stored until a company can properly install it. The Pulaski County council members approved the money for the generator at their meeting last week.

The commissioners previously approved the purchase of a similar self-starting generator for the county home in the amount of $3,500, but the council members did not bring the purchase request to a motion last week. Commissioner Terry Young expressed his frustration in that lack of action by the council.

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Speed Limit Ordinance Amendment Approved on First Reading

The Marshall County Commissioners have approved the first reading of an ordinance amending speed limits on two roads.

The speed limit on Lincolnway West will be reduced to 45 mph. It was suggested to the highway department that the area is congested and a lower speed limit would eliminate a potential traffic issue. The road did not have a posted speed limit so by law the limit was 55 mph.

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North Judson Town Council Moves Forward with New Office Building

The former First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street in North Judson will soon be the town hall.

The former First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street in North Judson will soon be the town hall.

The North Judson Town offices will soon be in a new location. The town council has finalized paperwork on the former First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street that was donated to the town back in August. The plan is to be moved in to the new town hall by the end of the year. It will house the water department and clerk treasurer’s offices and serve as meeting space for the town council. It will provide more space for the employees and for meeting purposes. Continue reading

High Water Plagues Pulaski County Roads

Three roads remain affected by the recent rains in Pulaski County.

Pulaski County Highway Superintendent Mark Fox reminded the commissioners Monday night that 700 South between 225 East and U.S. 35 is closed due to a flooded roadway.

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