911 Call Leads to Arrest of Starke County Fugitive

Sadie Wireman

Sadie Wireman

A Starke County fugitive is in jail after Pulaski County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to an open-line 911 call in rural Medaryville last night. The call from a home in the 15000 block of West 160 North came in just before 9:30 p.m., according to a news release. Dispatchers called back and were told a child was playing with the telephone, and there was not an emergency. Continue reading

Nies to Appear for Initial Hearing

Luther Nies

Luther Nies

A Knox man accused of felony attempted child seduction and child solicitation is scheduled to appear in Starke Circuit Court today for an initial hearing.

Luther Nies, 25, was arrested on a warrant Wednesday morning on the charges that stem from alleged actions in Feb. 2013. According to court documents, Nies attempted to molest a five-year-old child. Knox City Police Department officers placed Nies into custody without incident and he remains in the Starke County Jail on a $35,000 surety bond.

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Plea Deadline Date Extended in Grand Jury Case

 A plea deadline date was continued to Thursday, April 23 at 9 a.m. in a case involving former Marshall County Highway Superintendent Neal Haeck. A judge granted the decision on behalf of the defense in a judgment released yesterday.

A Grand Jury returned an indictment against Haeck in September of 2014 alleging theft of scrap metal from the county in 2012 and 2013. He was employed at the highway department at the time the alleged acts occurred.

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Knox Official Explains Aspects of Blight Elimination Program Grant

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers is attempting to clear misinformation that residents have received concerning the homes that are part of the Blight Elimination Program Grant.

If a property owner is not interested in being a part of this program, that person can opt out of consideration. The city is not forcing anyone to sell or vacate a property, according to Mayor Chambers.

He explained that five homes were added to a list of proposed homes for demolition, but those have since been removed from the list.

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No New HIV Cases Reported in Immediate Area

drugsInjection drug use is pinpointed as a cause of a jump in HIV cases in Scott County.   No new cases of HIV  have been reported locally.

Governor Mike Pence declared a public health emergency in Scott County yesterday due to an outbreak of HIV cases. The Indiana State Department of Health has identified 79 cases of HIV originating in Scott County.

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Gas Prices Expected to Stay Within Current Range over the Summer

The price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline remains low. Prices have gone up slightly in the past few weeks. Gasbuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan says most stations raised prices to $2.45 a gallon.

“This is in line with what we would have expected. We’ve watched wholesale gasoline prices go up and in an account of some refinery kinks that occurred about a week-and-a-half ago that are still impacting the supply of gasoline and those prices. Prices, though, remain about $1.25 lower than last year. Over the coming week, I would expect some sort of minor decrease to emerge in gas prices,” said DeHaan.

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Income Tax Filing Deadline is Quickly Approaching

Just three weeks remain to file income taxes on time. The deadline to file is Wednesday, April 15.

Katie McLear Public Relations Specialist with the Indiana Department of Revenue says taxes can be filed for free with the Indiana Free File program. If eligibility requirements don’t allow that option, McLear says the best option is to file electronically.

“There are a number of benefits to filing electronically,” explained McLear. “First for foremost you’re going to get your refund much faster. You’ll get that refund in about 10 to 14 days. You could wait up to 12 weeks if you file by paper.”

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Knox Street Department Looking Toward Spring Activities

Knox Street Superintendent Jeff Borg said the road crews have attempted to work on spring projects, but the snow was a surprise on Monday.

Street department employees were filling potholes and working grading alleys when the storm hit. Luckily, Borg said, the equipment was still prepared for snow removal.

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LaPorte Police Ask Residents to Report Littering

072LaPorte County police are investigating an ongoing littering issue in Galena and Springfield Townships.

On Wednesday, workers in the Community Work Program picked up trash alongside County Road 125 E., County Road 800 N., County Road 900 N., Fail Road and County Road 1000 N. A truck bed quickly filled up with extra large trash bags full of garbage.

The Community Work Program involves low-risk inmates that perform various work projects around the county.

Some of the trash found poses a health hazard to the community.

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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