All posts by Anita Goodan

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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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.

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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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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Grand Opening Set for New LaPorte Licence Branch Location

The LaPorte License Branch has a new place to call home.

BMV Commissioner Kent Abernathy, State Senator Jim Arnold, and State Representative Tom Dermody will be part of tomorrow’s grand opening of the new LaPorte License Branch building at 1301 Pine Lake Road.

The facility where the license branch was previously located caught fire in October. The employees conducted transactions in a mobile unit at the site for only a few days until repairs could be made to the building.

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Marshall County Habitat for Humanity Taking Applications for Minor Home Repairs

The Marshall County Habitat for Humanity organization is offering help to low-income homeowners who may need to have minor or critical repairs done to their home.

Executive Director Dean Byers said there are two different options available for a homeowner to apply within a program called “A Brush with Kindness.” If a homeowner is chosen to participate, they will repay the organization based on their income.

Byers said one program allows for help in minor repairs and routine home maintenance.

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LaPorte Police Investigate Criminal Mischief in Kingsbury Industrial Park

Detectives with the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department are investigating an incident of criminal mischief that occurred at the Kingsbury Industrial Park.

Police say that a fire hydrant was opened sometime between 11:30 p.m. and midnight on Friday, March 20 and water ran out of the hydrant for several hours. Officials from the Kingsbury Utility Corporation estimate that more than 300,000 gallons of water flooded the area around the Bye-Mo’r business on Fourth Line Road. The business did not suffer any damage. Deliveries could not be made to or from the business due to a flooded loading dock, according to the news release.

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Mayor Gives Update on Monday Power Outage

IMG_3651The power issue in downtown Knox on Monday morning affected 700 homes and businesses.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers informed the council members last night that City Hall was shut down for the day until repairs were made, and MPI had to close production for the day due to lack of power.

The driver of a garbage hauler dropped off the large recycling bins at City Hall and failed to lower the rack on the truck. That rack caught the telephone lines as he was pulling away from the parking lot and snapped the pole in half. The lines were attached to City Hall.

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