IU Health LaPorte and Starke Hospitals may partner with Community Health Systems, Inc. to strengthen the health care needs of the area. The IU Health LaPorte Hospital Board has entered into exclusive negotiations with a CHS subsidiary and IU Health, according to a news release sent late Monday afternoon. Final details will be worked out during a due diligence period. The proposed limited liability company will include IU Health LaPorte and Starke Hospitals and all related entities, including physician practices. Continue reading
The contractor that widened 300 East through the Knox Industrial Park last summer is ready to put the finishing touches on that project. Work will begin today to repair driveways, install topsoil, seed and sod and clean existing pavement. Once that is done, a final surface coat will be applied and the pavement will be marked. No road closures are planned. Lane restrictions and flagging operations will be used to restrict traffic until the project is complete in May.
The Knox Water Department had a mild winter this year compared to last season.
Superintendent Todd Gardner informed the Knox Board of Public Works members this week that there weren’t too many calls about frozen water pipes. There was one call, but Gardner said the line from the resident’s home to the city hookup is the issue. If the issue were to be repaired, it would be the homeowner’s responsibility to take care of the problem.
Knox Building Administrator Bruce Williams has sent letters to businesses in the city to alert them to follow regulations set forth in the outdoor storage ordinance.
The ordinance was approved by the Knox Cty Council members last year after a two-year discussion on the issue. The ordinance allows outdoor sales and displays, but the items need to be placed in an area not greater than 15 percent of the gross floor area of the building, except outdoor garden displays. Outdoor sales and displays must be located 25 feet from the property and meet all other setbacks.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
A teacher turned writer will be hosting a book signing Thursday at the Starke County Public Library.
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
Power was lost to a section of the city after a garbage truck was pulling out of a city parking lot. The truck caught a power line and snapped the pole in two, causing the outage.
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.