Incumbent Mayor Chambers Defeated in Primary

It took more forty minutes after polls closed for the ballots to arrive at the Starke County Courthouse on Tuesday evening.

The Knox Primary Municipal Election was taking place and saw a few races contested, largely among Democratic candidates. Eligible voters had ample opportunity to cast an early or absentee ballot leading up to the Primary Municipal Election, but the city’s four precincts all voted at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center on Tuesday.
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City of Knox to Celebrate National Day of Prayer Tomorrow

National Day of Prayer 2015Churches, business and civic leaders and Starke County residents will join in prayer and fellowship tomorrow to celebrate the National Day of Prayer. Chuck Bachelder from the First Christian Church of Knox will keynote the City of Knox National Day of Prayer Breakfast. It starts at 7 a.m. at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center. Bachelder is also the president of the Ministerial Alliance of Starke County. Continue reading

Today is Last Day to Vote Absentee

Today is the last chance to vote absentee in the City of Knox Primary Municipal Election.

An absentee ballot may be cast in the second-floor meeting room in the Starke County Courthouse from 8 a.m. to noon today. As of Friday, 332 in-office, mail-in and travel board absentee ballots have been cast.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT tomorrow at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox for all eligible voters.

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Absentee Voting Available Today

Voters in the City of Knox Primary Municipal Election have a chance to vote absentee today in the Starke County Clerk’s office.

The second-floor meeting room in the Starke County Courthouse is open to absentee voters today from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. CT. One more opportunity remains to vote absentee. The last chance to submit a ballot before Election Day is Monday, May 4 from 8 a.m. to noon.

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Knox City Council Receives Funding Request from Community Services of Starke County

Community Services of Starke CountyThe Knox City Council discussed a request for funding from Community Services of Starke County.

The city council anticipates this request each year and $500 was already included in the budget for this year. The organization helps residents with transportation and nutrition needs for the elderly. Residents who need assistance with food use the food pantry to feed their families.

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DNR Redesigns, Launches Mobile “App”

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources may be providing easier access to information.

A mobile “app” that the DNR oversees for mobile devices has been redesigned for both Apple and Android operating systems. The remake comes after the previous “app” was launched in 2011. According to the DNR, the previous application was downloaded almost 33-thousand times.

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Student Achievements Showcased at Spring Celebration

Starke County's Crossing campus is located next to Save a Lot on U.S. 35 south of Knox.

Starke County’s Crossing campus is located next to Save a Lot on U.S. 35 south of Knox.

The Crossing has only been operating for about one year, but according to their students, there have been some major accomplishments.

A spring celebration was held in Knox at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center on Thursday night. The gathering allows the alternative education school to showcase what students have been working to accomplish in their academic and personal lives.
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Starke County EMA Director to Plan Training

Local officials will soon receive training in case of a train accident.

Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti is gathering information to present to firefighters, police officers, and department heads. The material presented will help those officials identify what is in the cars and how to react.

Mayor Rick Chambers told the Knox City Council this week that he and Bombagetti were discussing the issue as a train rolled through the city. Many trains make their way through Knox on a daily basis, and it’s not always known what materials are contained in tankers.

A session will be scheduled soon to help prepare officials in the instance of an accident.

Inspections Conducted on Homes Set for Demolition

Inspections have been conducted on the Knox homes included in the grant from the Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program.

Mayor Rick Chambers said that the inspectors from the state checked for oil containers, paint, round fluorescent bulbs, and newer thermostats. Those items need to be removed from the homes before they are demolished.

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Circuit Breaker Law Means Less Money for City of Knox Budget

 The Knox City Council was faced with a tough decision last night to approve budget reductions made by departments due to the circuit breaker law.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained the reductions made to the budget to the council members.

“The circuit breaker credits equal $261,249.27,” said Houston. “That is 16.39 percent of the certified levy. The certified levy is the maximum amount of money that you can collect from property taxes. You’ll see the General Fund was cut 18.36 percent, and each one of them was cut about 18.36 percent other than our two debt funds, and they were cut .06 percent.”

Circuit breaker credits amount to less money coming into the city’s budget from the tax distribution. More money is required to be cut this year than last year.

Houston said that he went to each department head to ask them to reduce their budget by a certain percentage.

Now that the process is complete, a resolution to transfer funds was drafted. Houston said he checked with the Department of Local Government Finance, and the process he’s recommending includes putting money into a circuit breaker line item within a department’s budget.

“We still want to be able to get our maximum levy. We don’t want to do a budget reduction. We just want to move these appropriations down into an unappropriated area or circuit breaker area so that we don’t spend more money than we have coming in.”

Houston said about $261,000 is the circuit breaker, and that means the city council will need to watch all spending.

“It’s cutting it right to the bone. There’s no doubt about it. We’ll have to be very frugal. We have to do what we have to do.”

In addition to tax caps, the reduction of the assessed valuation of property can be attributed to some of the loss of tax money coming into the city.

The council members agreed that they have no other choice but to approve the resolution presented to them by Houston. The council approved the resolution for the transfer of funds with a unanimous vote.

Know Local Requirements before Scheduling Yard Sales

Many residents will be shopping at their neighbor’s homes for deals when the yard sale season gets underway this summer.

The City of Knox requires residents to apply for a permit before hosting a sale. According to the ordinance, which can be found on the city’s website, a fee of $5 will be assessed for a one or two-day permit and $10 for a three or four-day permit. Four city-issued signs will be given with the permit. Any items not sold in the sale will need to be removed from the property. The only time the permit requirement and fee are waived is in the case of the city-wide yard sale. It is scheduled for the third weekend in May.

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Knox City Council to Consider Budget Cuts

 The Knox City Council members are expected to act on a recommendation by the clerk-treasurer on cuts that are to be considered due to the circuit breaker law.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained that caps have been placed on the amount of property taxes residents are required to pay which means less money into the city’s budget. Houston said $261,000 needs to be cut, and every department has made those cuts. Those cuts will be presented in a resolution tonight for the council’s approval.

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Early Education Could Influence Public Health

 A pre-Kindergarten fair being held Tuesday in Knox may have some long-term health benefits.

The second annual event allows children and their parents to explore the various pre-school options available in Starke County. Booths will be available to distribute information to parents. Among those participating is IU Health Starke Hospital.
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The Crossing Hosts Spring Celebration

The CrossingAn alternative school with a location in Starke County is hoping to showcase what they’ve accomplished this year.

The Crossing Educational Center will be hosting their spring celebration on Thursday. Students will have the opportunity during the event to talk about what they’ve learned with parents, board members, and community members in attendance.
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