Today's News

All posts by Mary Perren

Racing for Recovery Founder and President to Speak at LifePlex

Todd Crandell

Todd Crandell

Addict turned triathlete Todd Crandall will share his story of overcoming a 13-year addiction to drugs and alcohol with the community during a program tonight at LifePlex in Plymouth. Crandall is the founder and president of Racing for Recovery. It’s a nonprofit organization that strives to save lives and improve the quality of life for addicts and their friends and family by promoting a lifestyle of health, fitness and sobriety. Crandall first tried alcohol at age 13 to cope with the depression and confusion of his mother’s suicide 10 years earlier due to her struggles with addiction. For the next 13 years Crandall says he tried every type of drug he could get his hands on before making the decision to quit.

“By the grace of God – that sounds so cliché, but it’s true – and I wasn’t raised in a religious upbringing, but I do believe that God, and I’m going to say my Mom, had something in there that told me on April 15th of 1993, after getting my third drunk driving charge, that’s it. I wanted something better, and that was all it took was that notion in my head that I wanted something better. Then I put the work into rebuilding my life,” Crandall said. Continue reading

Accused Killer Due in Court Next Week

Darren D. Vann

Darren D. Vann

The Gary man police say confessed to killing seven women, including a former Knox resident, is due in court next week for an initial hearing. Darren Vann, 43, of Gary, faces murder charges in two of the seven murders. He’s due in court Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. in Lake County. Formal charges have been filed against Vann in connection with the deaths of a woman found strangled in a Hammond motel room last week and Merrillville woman discovered in an abandoned house in Gary. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre Board Approves Updated Test Security Protocol

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

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

The standardized tests given to North Judson-San Pierre students are locked in a room that cannot be accessed by anyone else during the school day. That is one of the 17 state-mandated safety protocols the corporation is required to follow to ensure the integrity of the tests they administer. The school board this week approved an amended test security policy. Continue reading

North Judson School Photos Find New Home

North Judson Water TowerThe class composite and group photos of North Judson and North Judson-San Pierre High School graduates will soon have a new home. They were recently displaced from Grand Central Station in downtown North Judson after a church took over that space. North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Lynn Johnson told the school board this week those photos will be on display at the new North Judson Town Hall when it opens later this year. Continue reading

Knox Residents Injured in Head-On Collision

A Knox woman was flown to a South Bend hospital Thursday night after a head-on collision in Marshall County. It happened on 9th Road west of Sycamore Road just before 10 p.m. EDT. Police say a vehicle driven by Brittany Roxey, 26, of Knox was eastbound behind a car driven by Brittany Orr, 26, of Grovertown, pulled out to pass and hit a sport-utility vehicle driven by David Holdread, 51, of Knox, head-on. Continue reading

Isadore “Izzy” Podell Jr.

Funeral arrangements for Isadore “Izzy” Podell Jr., 87, of Roanoke, VA, formerly of Winamac, IN, are Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. ET at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Denham.  Visitation is Saturday, Nov. 1 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET at the Frain Mortuary in Winamac and Sunday one hour prior to services at the church.

Robert E. Fisher

Funeral Mass for Robert E. Fisher, 74, of Winamac, is Monday, Oct. 27, 2014 at 2 p.m. ET at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Winamac. Visitation is Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET at the Frain Mortuary in Winamac with rosary at 5:30 p.m. ET. Memorial contributions may be given to the American Heart Association.

Charges Still Pending In Murder of Knox Woman

Darren D. Vann

Darren D. Vann

The Lake County Prosecutor’s Office has yet to file charges in the death of a former Knox resident believed to be the victim of a serial killer. Gary Police found the body of Kristine Williams, 36, in an abandoned house there Sunday night. She’s one of seven women police say Darren Vann, 43, of Gary, has confessed to killing. So far charges have been filed in connection with two of those deaths. Continue reading

Women Anchored in Hope Hosts Inspirational County Entertainer of the Year

Women Anchored in HopeAn award-winning country music artist will perform Sunday in Starke County. Kali Rose is the 2013 Inspirational Country Entertainer of the Year. She will give a free performance at Hamlet United Methodist Church at 10 a.m. CDT to kick off the new Women Anchored in Hope ministry. Founder and President Kathleen Davidson says addiction is complex and can go deep. Members of the group are all living in long-term recovery and want to offer hope and help others. Continue reading

Knox Native Among Gary Homicide Suspect’s Alleged Victims

Darren D. Vann

Darren D. Vann

A Knox native is among the six murder victims tied to an alleged serial killer arrested over the weekend in Gary. Police say Darren Vann, 43, of Gary, confessed to killing the women and led them to abandoned buildings throughout the city where he had dumped their bodies. He was arrested Saturday after Hammond Police linked him to the death of Afrika Hardy, 16, who was found strangled to death in a room at the Hammond Motel 6. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre Schools Brace for More Budget Cuts

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

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

North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation officials are bracing for more budget cuts. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says enrollment is down 40 students from last year.

“We have made a lot of cuts already, but obviously we need to make more and look at future plans,” Johnson told the school board Tuesday night. “One of the major expenditures we have is special education, which keeps growing and growing and growing. I would say we probably spend $1 million a year on special education.” Continue reading

Recovering Addict Shares Story With Local Students

Todd Crandell

Todd Crandell

With sobriety, anything is possible. That’s the message addict turned triathlete Todd Crandell is sharing with students in Starke and Marshall Counties during Red Ribbon Week. He first tried alcohol when he was 13. Crandall says his life was” normal on the outside” but he was pretty emotionally distraught due to his Mom’s suicide 10 years earlier due to her struggles with addiction.

“I had a giant void that I was looking for something to fill it with, and unfortunately trying alcohol at age 13 was the catalyst for the next 13 years of destruction,” Crandall said.

He says he used “anything I could get my hands on” to try to numb the pain. Continue reading

Starke County Council Staggers Park Board Terms

Starke County Courthouse

Starke County Courthouse

The two Starke County Park Board members appointed by the county council will serve two and four years respectively. State law requires the terms for the inaugural board to be staggered to ensure continuity. The council members decided Democrat Rosemary Rose will serve for two years. Republican Debbie Mix will be on the board for four years. They are two of the five members of the panel charged with oversight of Bass Lake Beach and Campground, the Starke County Forest and other county-owned recreational areas. The first park board meeting has not yet been set, as members are still trying to coordinate their schedules.

North Judson-San Pierre Board Questions Balanced Calendar Alignment

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

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

North Judson-San Pierre School Board members raised a question about the balanced calendar during their meeting last night. The proposed calendar moves the start of school to the first of August, adds longer breaks in the fall and spring that can be used for remediation if necessary and ends the school year the first of June. The first semester would still end in December before the two week Christmas break as it presently does.

Board members wondered what the earlier start to the school year would do to high school students who work for Pioneer detassling corn during their summer vacations. Continue reading