State Rests in Murder Trial, Chavez Testimony Expected Tomorrow

 The state has rested its case in the trial of a Knox man accused of killing his estranged wife. Defendant Gary Chavez is expected to take the stand tomorrow morning as a witness for the defense. He’s also charged with kidnapping and carjacking in connection with the events that occurred on June 6, 2014. The Starke County Sheriff’s Office got a 911 call at 3:37 that afternoon from a man in English Lake reporting a carjacking. Earlier testimony indicates that’s where Chavez left kidnapping victim Bryant Wagner when his car ran out of gas. Det. Rob Olejniczak from the Starke County Sheriff’s Office testified that based on information from Wagner he went to Mark Bailey’s Discount Center and found the pickup truck Chavez left in the parking lot. Continue reading

State Could Rest in Murder Trial Today

 The state could wrap up its case this afternoon against a Knox man charged with murder, kidnapping and carjacking. They’ve called 12 witnesses so far to testify against Gary Chavez. He’s accused of killing his estranged wife, Kimberly Chavez, at his rural Knox home last June 6th, driving his pickup truck to Mark Bailey’s Discount Center, kidnapping an employee at gunpoint, driving his car to English Lake and stealing a Jeep Grand Cherokee from a couple there. Continue reading

Knox City Council Discusses Community Center Modifications

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

During the Tuesday evening Knox City Council meeting revisions to the Community Center were considered. New thermostats will be put in place to help reduce heating and cooling costs. There was also some discussion about replacing the current roof with a metal one. Continue reading

KHS Laptop Pick-Up Dates Provided

macbookStudents attending Knox Community Schools will have their first official day on Tuesday, August 4th. Prior to that first day back, high school students must obtain their laptops from the school. This can be done during Freshman orientation on July 31st from 8 until 11 am or during back-to-school night on August 3rd from 4 until 6 pm. Orientation pick-up is limited to Freshman students only. Continue reading

WoodStarke Fundraiser Concert Scheduled Saturday

woodstarkeWoodStarke is less than a month away and as event planners prepare for the family-friendly festival in the park, money is still needed in order to rent a center stage for performers to use. In an effort to raise funds, this weekend individuals can get a sneak peak of a few of the bands that will be playing during WoodStarke. Continue reading

Murder Defendant Intends to Testify During Trial

  Murder defendant Gary Chavez plans to testify in during his jury trial in Starke Circuit Court. Defense attorney David Welter told Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall this morning that is his client’s intention. Chavez does have the right to change his mind at any time. Continue reading

Doctor to Testify in Chavez Murder Trial

 The doctor who did the autopsy on a Portage woman who was found dead at a rural Knox home last June is scheduled to testify today in the murder trial of her accused killer. Gary Chavez is charged with murder in connection with his estranged wife, Kimberly Chavez’, death. He is also charged with kidnapping and carjacking in connection with other incidents that occurred on June 6, 2014. Several police officers and evidence technicians are also on today’s witness list. Continue reading

Knox Street Department to Inspect Alleyway

City_of_Knox_LogoDuring their meeting yesterday evening the Knox City Council acted on a request from a citizen that was initially brought to their attention during a meeting earlier this month. At the July 15th meeting, local resident Steven Dodge presented a petition to establish a street on an existing city right-of-way to divert people away from the unofficial alley currently being used on his property at 801 S Bower St. At that meeting Dodge also showed the council research dating back to 1895 that showed a 33-ft-wide street was dedicated there between Portland and Bower streets. Continue reading

Kidnapping Victim Testifies in Chavez Trial

 The Knox man who claims he was kidnapped from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center last June by a murder suspect was the first witness to testify in his trial. Gary Chavez is also on trial for kidnapping and carjacking stemming from a June 6, 2014 incident. He’s accused of stabbing his estranged wife, Kimberly Chavez, to death at his rural California Township home, driving to Mark Bailey’s and kidnapping employee Bryant Wagner at gunpoint as he sat in his 2005 Monte Carlo in the store parking lot. Continue reading

Opening Arguments Scheduled Today in Starke County Murder Trial

 The state will begin presenting its case today against the Knox man who is accused of killing his estranged wife, kidnapping an employee from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center and stealing a car from a couple in English Lake. Gary Chavez is on trial for murder, kidnapping and carjacking in connection with the June 6, 2014 incidents. His trial started yesterday with jury selection, which took the entire day. Continue reading

Kids Closet Ministry’s Pack-A-Backpack Event is Back!

pack a backpackStarke County students who receive either free or reduced lunch during the school year have a chance to receive a backpack full of free supplies tonight or tomorrow at the North Judson United Methodist Church fellowship hall. Continue reading

Yellowstone Trail Pageant Deadline Approaching

pageant

Time is running out to sign-up for the 6th annual Yellowstone Pageant. The deadline to submit your entry form and fee is tomorrow. To qualify for the pageant you must live or attend school in Starke County. The event will be held outdoors, rain or shine, at 1 pm on August 15th in the Starke County Fairgrounds. Continue reading

Kids Closet Receives a Plethora of Supplies for Upcoming Back-to-School Event

pack a backpackKids Closet Ministry annually provides school supplies to underprivileged children in Starke County with their Pack-a-Backpack event. Community members get the chance to contribute during their school supply drives. This year while Kids Closet was posted outside the Dollar General stores in North Judson and Knox they received an ample amount of supplies from weekend shoppers. However it was the donations from two other local foundations that helped provide the new backpacks for all the donated supplies. Continue reading

Knox Sewer System Requires Expensive Upgrades

City_of_Knox_LogoThe City of Knox wastewater treatment system needs some costly upgrades to address aging infrastructure. Superintendent Kelly Clemons told the board of works this week a sewer main that broke near the White House Motel a few weeks ago is 80 years old. Crews patched it together, but that’s not considered a long-term fix. Continue reading

Historical Marker Commemorates Knox Drugstore Site

Koffel buildingA historical marker now stands on the site of one of downtown Knox’s first commercial structures. The Koffel Building at the corner of Main and Lake Streets was completed in 1891, a year before the city’s streets were paved with brick, four years before municipal electrical service was offered and 17 years before city water was available. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver says drug stores were a vital part of a booming business district.

“Always in the drugstore the fountain was a big thing. From the very beginning there were tables where it was appropriate for the ladies to come in to have coffee, tea or a soft drink or whatever from the fountain. That became quite a social center in the day.” Continue reading

Back-To-School Fair Showcases New HealthLinc Location

HealthLincThe month of July is coming to a close and we all know what that means, the start of school season is upon us. Some students are returning to school as early as the first week of August. The start of the school year can be just as stressful for parents as it is for kids. There are so many things to attend to, registration, breaking summer sleeping habits, obtaining supplies and then of course, there are the required inoculations and physicals. Luckily, HealthLinc is offering an easy way to check some of those things off your to-do-list while simultaneously having a fun time with the whole family. Continue reading