Accused Child Molester Remains Jailed on $35,000 Bond

  A 25-year-old Knox man who is accused of trying to molest a preschooler in February of 2013 remains jailed on a $35,000 surety bond. Magistrate Jeanene Calabrese denied a request to lower Luther Nies’ bond or release him on his own recognizance during his initial appearance in Starke Circuit Court this morning. 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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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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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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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

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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Testimony Concludes in Salvage Yard Arson Trial

The fate of a Knox man accused of setting his businesses on fire will soon be in the hands of a jury. The defense in James Campbell’s arson trial rested at 4:16 p.m. Tuesday after calling three witnesses. The first, a former ATF agent turned fire investigation consultant, questioned whether the fire that destroyed Campbell’s Tire Barn, Starke County Recycling and C&C Salvage on U.S. 35 south of Toto Road last March was deliberately set. Mike Vergon has operated a private fire investigation practice in Indianapolis for the past two-and-a-half years. He visited the burned out business on June 23 and Oct. 2 of last year. Vergon testified burn patterns don’t help with origin and cause determinations with damage as extensive as what he saw and said it’s his opinion the cause cannot be determined without good witness corroboration. Continue reading

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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Volunteers Needed for Knox Harvest Festival, Meeting Set for Wednesday

Volunteers are being sought for this year’s Harvest Festival in Knox.

Several committees have been formed to take care of certain aspects of the festival and those leaders are looking for community volunteers.

A fundraiser is planned and help is being sought for the event. An entertainment committee will also need help along with other groups to help put together a successful event.

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Knox Board of Public Works to Meet Today

The Knox Board of Public Works will be discussing a towing agreement when they meet this morning.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers has been working with City Attorney David Matsey about putting together a new agreement for towing companies when police need to remove vehicles from an accident scene. Mayor Chambers noted that the agreement is outdated. Towing companies are usually dispatched to a scene on a rotation, and that will be determined in a document to be reviewed today.

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Testimony Puts Salvage Yard Owner at Business Minutes Before Fire

Video evidence introduced in the arson trial of a Knox businessman indicates he was the last person to leave the property and did so minutes before the first smoke was visible. James Campbell owns Starke County Recycling, Campbell’s Tire Barn and C&C Salvage on U.S. 35 south of Toto Road in Knox. The businesses caught fire just after 5 p.m. on March 20, 2014. Then-Chief Investigator Kenny Pfost from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department testified Campbell left the business at 4:59 p.m. and pulled into his driveway next door. He left his house at 5:02 p.m., and the first smoke was spotted on the video 40-seconds later. Video also indicates two employees left just before Campbell did. Continue reading

Knox City Council to Meet Tonight

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council will be discussing a request from the Starke County Election Board to host the Municipal Primary Election at a location in downtown Knox.

Voters in the four districts in Knox typically vote at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center and the request is to continue in that agreement. The Municipal Primary Election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5. The city council will entertain the request when they meet tonight.

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Breakfast to Celebrate National Day of Prayer

The City of Knox will once again be hosting the National Day of Prayer Breakfast.

The annual gathering at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center will bring churches, organizations, and businesses together on May 7th. The breakfast and national celebration is typically used as a day to reflect on the direction of the United States. This will be the 64th year the National Day of Prayer will be celebrated.
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Garbage Truck Hits Pole, Causes Power Outage in Knox

IMG_3651A garbage truck caused a major power outage in the City of Knox this morning.

Mayor Rick Chambers said the garbage truck was pulling out of the city parking lot when it caught a power line and snapped the pole in two.

“I just talked with the NIPSCO guys and they’re pretty much going to be all day to get this repaired. It did a lot of damage,” said Mayor Chambers.

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Bass Lake Fire Volunteer Celebrates 50 Years of Service

A member of the Bass Lake Volunteer Fire Department remembers when training used to be the “on the job.”

A few years have passed for 75-year-old Roger Prybel – who has served for 50 years with the Bass Lake volunteers. He was recently honored for his longevity in service by the Indiana Volunteer Firefighter Association in Indianapolis.
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After School Organization Looking To Generate Funds for Youth Programs (Mon)

A local after school program is looking to raise a bit of money later this spring.

The Starke County Youth Club’s 8th Annual RadioThon will be held May 1st. The organization – which launched in 2001 – provides a range of activities, including healthy eating and possibly taking students on field trips.
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