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Today's News

Sen. Arnold Attempts To Remedy Firefighter Nepotism Situation

Senator Jim Arnold

Senator Jim Arnold

A bill preventing firefighters from serving on Township Boards was approved in Indiana about two years ago, but State Senator Jim Arnold is trying to exempt firefighters under new legislation.

Senator Arnold has filed a bill that would allow an individual to serve as both a member of a Township Board and a volunteer firefighter. The move comes after many rural areas have been experiencing problems finding individuals to serve in government.
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New Filings for Municipal Election

The clerk’s offices in Starke County and Marshall County were busy tending to more candidates who wish to file for office for this year’s Municipal Election.

In Starke County, Anthony Radkiewiez filed for Knox City Council District 4 while Tim Manns filed for Knox City Council District 4. Wendy Hoppe filed for another term on the North Judson Town Council in Ward 2, and Tamara Brantley is seeking a seat on the Hamlet Town Council. Charles Hasnerl is seeking another term as Knox City Court Judge.

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Pulaski County Commissioners, Sheriff Discuss Military Vehicles

Pulaski County Justice Center

Pulaski County Justice Center

Pulaski County Sheriff Jeff Richwine has been busy since taking office. He’s been before the county council straitening out budgeting issues, and he appeared before the commissioners last week where he answered questions about his department.

The commissioners brought up the idea of ridding the county of some of the acquired military vehicles.

“I’m not going to sit and wholesale vehicles,” stated Richwine. “If we have a specific need in the county – if the county highway department wants a truck, I’m more than willing to go on there and look for that and get them that truck. It’s the same way with volunteer fire departments. That all makes sense to me. We’ve already returned some tactical equipment.”

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Marshall County Commissioners Approve Tax Sale Paperwork

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners last week approved an action to sign paperwork in order to move forward with a tax certificate sale.

In a previous meeting, Joe Edwards from SRI, Inc. told the commissioners that there were about 30 properties that were not sold in the 2014 property tax sale. These particular properties have been on the tax sale for years without interest by potential buyers.

A tax certificate sale could lower the price of the properties to heighten interest and to get the severely tax delinquent properties back on the tax rolls. The redemption period is a little quicker in a certificate sale. The average time period is 120 days.

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IU Health Respiratory Therapist Discusses COPD Symptoms, Treatment

IU HealthChronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is one of the leading health conditions in Starke County. IU Health Starke Hospital Respiratory Therapist Brittany Ward says smoking is the biggest contributing factor, but environmental and occupational triggers can also cause COPD. It has two components — chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Patients can have one or both. Ward says emphysema is more common in smokers.  Continue reading

Prescription Drop-offs Continue Hazard Prevention Efforts

Starke County Sheriff's Department BadgeThe Starke County Sheriff’s Department says their prescription drug drop-off program continues to bode well.

A box sits in the lobby of the Starke County Jail that’s intended to act as a receptacle for the prescriptions. Drop-off programs are designed to protect water supplies, prevent taking expired medication, and reduce the spread of medications used as an illegal narcotic.
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American Red Cross Overcomes Weather Conditions for Donors

The American Red Cross says it’s always in need of donations, but says winter can be especially tough to get volunteers.

The cold weather often prevents volunteers from leaving their homes or places of work to give blood according to Donor Recruitment Representative Dianna Weiss. She works out of the offices in Plymouth and says the need for blood is constant.
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Sen. Arnold Proposing Legislation To Enhance Law Enforcement Services

Senator Jim Arnold

Senator Jim Arnold

State Senator Jim Arnold is hoping several bills will assist in the efforts of the law enforcement community.

Among Arnold’s proposed bills this session is legislation that would better define a safety indicator on firearms. It would also increase penalties for those found to have modified a toy gun to resemble a real firearm.
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Purdue Extension Works To Correct Meth Report Error

Purdue Extension LogoThe numbers may change slightly, but the message is still the same according to Purdue Extension.

A recently issued report ranked Starke County first in the state of Indiana in meth lab seizures. A team of researchers used population data to determine Starke County’s population, but in writing the report transposed the first two numbers – making the county’s population 32, 197 instead of the more accurate 23,197.
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Marshall County Commissioners Approve Prepayment Limit

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners this week discussed a prepayment limit for department heads.

Commissioner Deb Griewank suggested the change to the purchase ordinance so department heads can make county equipment purchases with a personal credit card that does not exceed $750. She said that it was brought to her attention that sometimes different departments need to purchase something online but don’t have the time to wait for commissioner approval. Buildings and maintenance directors can find items on eBay for cheaper but then they have to wait to purchase the items pending approval. Time could cost them.

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Pulaski County Commissioners Ponder Change in Sheriff’s Sales

Pulaski County Commissioners (L to R) Bud Krohn, Jr., Terry Young and Larry Brady

Pulaski County Commissioners (L to R) Bud Krohn, Jr., Terry Young and Larry Brady

Pulaski County Sheriff Jeff Richwine discussed foreclosure/sheriff sales with the commissioners this week.

The sheriff suggested hiring a company to help with the sales which, he said, would save the county money. The county is allowed to charge up to $200 per sale, but the county has only charged $113 for the sale. Sheriff Richwine said the company will take care of most of the sale details.

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Local Official Attends Economic Development Course

City officials, Ball State students, chamber of commerce, and economic development representatives from across the state of Indiana recently attended the Indiana Economic Development course at Ball State University which focused on the theory and practice of economic development.

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Find the Right Plumber if You Experience Frozen Pipes

Before more cold weather sets in, the Better Business Bureau wants you to be sure you be careful in hiring a plumber to help you in any repairs you may need to make due to freezing pipes.

BBB officials say plumbers need to be licensed and display their license number on their website, vehicles and marketing pieces. Ask for three estimates from different companies to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Be sure to understand if a plumber charges by the hour or a flat rate for work to be completed and get that agreement in writing. Keep a copy of that contract. It’s also good to break up the payments and offer the last payment when the work is done to your satisfaction.

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Recruitment Fair Date Set in Winamac

Residents may now apply for the Experience Works Senior Community Service Employment Program.

The program is a chance for older aged Hoosiers to be a part of paid community service assignments at local organizations and also training to go back into the workforce.

Pulaski County applicants must be 55 years of age and older, unemployed, and meet income guidelines. An income for one member in a household must be $14,588 or less or $19,633 for a family of two.

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LaPorte Police Arrest Armed Robbery Suspect

Jacob Borders

Jacob Borders

Authorities in LaPorte have arrested a man accused of robbing the Family Express on Pine Lake Road Thursday afternoon. Jacob Borders, 35, came into the store around 2:30 p.m., demanded money from the clerk and threatened to shoot her if she didn’t comply, according to a police department news release. She gave him money, and he fled in a tan Ford Explorer. Occupants of that vehicle flagged down officers en route to the call and told them they gave the suspect a ride to Family Express so he could use the ATM. They say Borders got back into the truck, told them he had just robbed the store and they needed to hurry. They told the police they ordered him out of the vehicle and said they believed he went into a home in the 400 block of Pine Lake Avenue. Continue reading

Pleasant View Rest Home Nominated for National Register of Historic Places

Pleasant View Rest Home

Pleasant View Rest Home

The Pleasant View Rest Home in Pulaski County has received the nomination to be in the National Register of Historic Places.

Letters of support were sought by the Division of State Historic Preservation and Archaeology in October to place the structure on the register. In a public meeting held at the Pulaski County Courthouse in November, Paul Diebold, a member of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Historical Preservation and Archaeology Committee, said he had never seen so much support for a effort such as this.

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Hoekman Sentenced on Burglary Count

 The 23-year-old Knox man accused of burglarizing USA Café in August of 2013 was sentenced yesterday by Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall.

Michael Hoekman pleaded guilty to a single Class B felony count of Burglary as part of a plea agreement in front of a Magistrate Judge on Wednesday. The state dismissed all other charges as part of the deal.
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Indiana Court of Appeals Upholds Starke Circuit Court Sentence

 The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a sentence imposed against Dennis Wireman in Starke Circuit Court.

Wireman was convicted in 2013 on three counts of illegal possession of a controlled substance as a Class D felony in two separate cases, plus a Class D felony charges of illegal possession of a syringe and operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction.

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