Domestic Violence Suspect Arrested Following Manhunt

Benny Giselbach

Benny Giselbach

A Knox man faces several new felony charges following a Wednesday manhunt in the Bass Lake area. It started around 12:20 p.m. when the Starke County 911 center got a call from the Bass Lake Pub. The caller told the dispatcher a woman showed up there in handcuffs and shackles saying she had been held hostage and “water boarded.” The victim told deputies she lived across the street and had fled her home on foot. Continue reading

Starke County Polling Site to be Upgraded

The Starke County Election Board Monday morning discussed improvements planned at the North Bend Township polling site at Bass Lake. A $24,000 grant was obtained last year to upgrade the facility to standards outlined in the Help America Vote Act.

The grant will improve the voting center on Prairie Avenue to make it more handicapped accessible. According to Starke County Election Board President Dan Bridegroom, one door will be replaced, and one installed to make two exits in the building. Those with walkers or another type of mobility assistance will be able to have a smoother walkway with improvements planned for the site. Parking will be expanded and improved so voters of all abilities can better access the site to vote.

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Smoke Detectors Available from Community Services of Starke County

Smoke DetectorA local nonprofit agency has smoke detectors available for families in need of the potentially life-saving devices. Community Services of Starke County Executive Director Joan Haugh says a couple of recent fire fatalities got her to thinking.

“I just felt we could save a life or two if we made sure every home had a smoke alarm – a working smoke alarm or sometimes two. So we applied to State Farm because they had a safety grant, and they awarded me some funds to purchase smoke detectors,” Haugh said. Continue reading

One-Time Energy Assistance Available to Struggling Citizens

$Applications for the Energy Assistance Program can still be submitted for a one-time benefit on electric and heating bills. North Central Community Action Agencies, Pulaski County Human Services, and Community Services of Starke County began taking applications for LaPorte, Pulaski and Starke residents in November. Applications will continue to be accepted until all funds are obligated.

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Starke County Park Board to Discuss Bass Lake Camper Storage

Bass Lake CampgroundThe Starke County Park Board will discuss a process for removal of campers from the Bass Lake Campground at the end of the season when they meet tonight. Board President Marcia Bedrock sought clarification from the county commissioners as to their stance on the practice and was told all campers and other equipment need to be removed from the campground when it closes for the year due to zoning restrictions. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Clarify Campground Storage Policy

Bass Lake CampgroundSeasonal camping is allowed at Bass Lake, but year-round storage of campers and other equipment is not. That’s the clarification Starke County Park Board President Marcia Bedrock got from the county commissioners during their meeting yesterday. Continue reading

Pay it Forward on Giving Tuesday

Get into the spirit of the holiday season tomorrow with Giving Tuesday. Starke County Youth Club Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says the local nonprofit has joined the movement.

“It really does inspire people to take action for their local community to give, whether it’s giving a gift of money, of time, of making a donation of another sort,”Szarconyi  said. “We really want to encourage and join what is now actually a global movement to give on Giving Tuesday, which is Dec. 2nd.” Continue reading

Park Board Approves Bass Lake Seasonal Camping

Bass Lake CampgroundCampsite patrons at the Bass Lake Campground can breathe easier after action by the recently-appointed Starke County Park Board. They voted unanimously last night to allow seasonal campsite leases to continue. Camping season starts over Memorial Day weekend and concludes around Halloween. Overnight camping is not allowed during the winter months since the campground does not have running water or sewers after the lines are cleared and winterized. Continue reading

Starke County Park Board to Consider Camping at Bass Lake

Bass Lake CampgroundThe recently-formed Starke County Park Board will consider whether to allow seasonal camping at Bass Lake Campground when they meet this evening. The five-member board has been tasked with oversight of the beach and campground, Starke County Forest and other non-municipal recreational areas in the county. Continue reading

Starke County Sheriff’s Department Looks into Hacker Shack Fire

Firefighters extinguished a fire at the location of the old Hacker Shack building.

Firefighters extinguished a fire at the location of the old Hacker Shack building.

Officials from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department went to the scene of a Monday night fire at the former Hacker Shack building located on the grounds of the Bass Lake Golf Course.

The building had been torn down and it appeared that the rubble was set on fire like a controlled burn, according to officials.

Bass Lake firefighters were called to the location on 500 South on Monday at 5:30 p.m. and they remained there for a few hours. No injuries were reported.

Fire at Former Hacker Shack Building under Investigation

Firefighters extinguished a fire at the location of the old Hacker Shack building.

Firefighters extinguished a fire at the location of the old Hacker Shack building.

The Bass Lake Fire Department was called to a fire Monday night where the debris of the old Hacker Shack building on the Bass Lake Golf Course was located.

Fire Chief Les Jensen told WKVI News said that the building was previously demolished. The remaining rubble was on fire when they got there. The firefighters arrived at the scene on 500 S. shortly after they were notified which was around 5:30 p.m.

Jensen said the sheriff’s department was notified of the incident and it remains under investigation.

Bass Lake Fire Deemed Accidental

A fire that started in a garage at Bass Lake that spread to a home Wednesday night was deemed accidental.

Bass Lake firefighters, with the assistance of the Washington Township Fire Department, put out the blaze at the scene on the south side of Bass Lake. Bass Lake Fire Chief Les Jensen told WKVI News that they were on the scene for about four hours. The Indiana State Fire Marshal was at the scene Friday to assess the damage and cause of the fire.

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DNR Official Corrects Statements About Camping at Bass Lake

Bass Lake CampgroundA telephone call from WKVI News to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has brought more clarity to the question of whether seasonal campsite leases are allowed at Bass Lake Beach and Campground. Bob Bronson is the section chief for the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation. He originally told us camping is limited to two weeks at a time at properties like Bass Lake, which get funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Act. Bronson has since spoken to officials with the National Park Service and learned otherwise.

“There is no policy on the length of how long you can camp. The state has policies and recommendations, but the funding source and Land and Water Conservation Act does not direct how long somebody can stay at a campground,” Bronson told WKVI News late Thursday. Continue reading

Fire Destroys Garage, Damages Home at Bass Lake

Members of the Bass Lake Fire Department battled a garage fire and a house fire Wednesday night.

Bass Lake Fire Chief Les Jensen said they were called to the scene on the southside of the lake at 10:30 p.m. CT and the fire had spread to a neighboring home. Jensen said the garage was a total loss and the house suffered some damage.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal will visit the scene today (Friday) help investigate the cause of the fire.

No injuries were reported. Crews from the Washington Township Fire Department assisted.

Bass Lake Fire Department Hosts Charity Polar Bear Swim

Polar Bear PlungeMembers of the community are invited to take a final dip in Bass Lake Saturday and help a community agency in the process. Bass Lake Fire Chief Les Jensen says the department is hosting a polar bear swim at noon at Bass Lake Marina. Continue reading

O-D School Board Accepts $5,000 Donation

Oregon-Davis-Jr_Sr-BuildingThe Oregon-Davis School Board members accepted a $5,000 donation from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation.

Superintendent Greg Briles said the money will be used toward the school’s engineering component in Project Lead the Way.

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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.

Season Wrapping Up at Bass Lake Beach and Campground

Bass Lake Beach and Campground will soon close for the season. Manager Richard Callahan and his attorney Dave Wallsmith advised the Starke County Commissioners last night the group piers have been removed from the beach area and all but a few boats are out of the water. Wallsmith also told the commissioners he has not gotten any complaints about the amenities of late and has received complements about how nice and well maintained the facilities are. Continue reading