The cause of a Tuesday night barn fire southeast of Knox remains under investigation. Bass Lake Fire Chief Less Jensen says the structure at 200 East and 350 South was fully engulfed when firefighters from his department arrived. Dispatchers notified them of the blaze around 6:40 p.m. Jensen requested water support from the Knox-Center Township and North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Departments. Firefighters spent 2.5 hours bringing the blaze under control. Nobody was injured. Jensen says the barn belongs to Sharon Murphy.
This year, however, will be a little smaller than years past. White said five teenagers will vie for the title of Miss Bass Lake, while three girls and two boys will compete for the Little Miss and Little Mister titles. Last year, White said seven teenagers competed, with 11 girls and six boys as well.
A holiday weekend joyride around Bass Lake in two stolen boats ended with a trip to the Starke County Jail for at least two Indianapolis teenagers. ABC 57 reports two homeowners at the lake woke up Sunday morning to find their boats were missing from a public dock. They later learned three teenagers had stolen the watercraft the previous night and taken the boats for a ride around the lake and that witnesses to their late night sail had called the police. The teens reportedly ditched the boats and took off into a nearby campground. They were spotted the following day by officers from the Chicago Police Department who had seen them the previous evening. The off-duty cops tried holding them until the Starke County Sheriff’s Department arrived, but one of the boys ran away. It’s unclear whether he was captured, but the other two were arrested.
Fierce storms whipped through the Kankakee Valley area Friday night causing damage.
The storm caused flooding in Pulaski County where over three inches of rain fell in a half-hour period. A Pulaski County officer noted to dispatch that the water was up over the hood of his squad car while in the town of Winamac. The drains couldn’t keep up with the amount of water that fell in that short amount of time. Several cars were stranded in the road during the storm, several trees fell, a power outage was reported, and several roads washed out as a result of the rushing water.
The Pulaski County Highway Department was out Saturday patching up the roads and cutting up the many trees that fell in the road.
Luckily, no injuries were reported.
The Melody Drive-In theater at Bass Lake suffered damage as well with the demolition of Screen One. The Starke County Sheriff’s Department received a couple of other notices of trees down but no other damage.
Marshall County Emergency Management Agency Director Clyde Avery said there is ponding in fields in the Marshall County area and he’s monitoring river levels after the storms. Trees were reported down in the area, but no injuries were reported.
Photos by Denice Daggett and William Boldt
An overgrown, unmaintained alleyway near the Bass Lake Property Owner’s Association building was a topic of discussion at the Starke County Commissioners meeting this week, as James Mol of Bass Lake approached them with a simple request: let him purchase the dilapidated alleyway which he currently maintains. However, nothing in government is that easy, and Mol learned that he would have to file a petition with the county, who would then be required to send notices of the petition via certified mail to all owners of property abutting the alleyway, hold a public hearing, and await a decision from the county as to whether or not they would vacate the property. To his dismay, Mol would be responsible for all related expenses.
Starke County detectives are continuing in their investigation of the arson committed at the Sandbar at Bass Lake.
Police and fire officials have not released the cause of the fire due to the ongoing investigation.
Five fire departments battled the early morning fire on Dec. 2. It took three hours to extinguish. Investigators from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office returned with an arson ruling several weeks after the incident.
Detectives are asking for your help in gathering information about this incident. There is a reward of up to $5,000 if you can relay information that leads to the arrest of any person(s) involved in this arson. Your anonymous tip can be reported by calling 1-800-382-4628.
A local attraction will not reopen for the season. The co-owner of Bass Lake Golf Course confirms the course, pro shop and restaurant are closed for good. Rudy and Cindy DeSabatine have owned the course since 2006. It is one of the oldest in the Kankakee Valley. Bass Lake Golf Course originally opened in 1921.
The Bass Lake Festival Association met in January when the new officers were appointed and determined that the festival will continue in 2013.