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Today's News

Knox City Council Reschedules Budget Public Hearing

 The Knox City Council will have the public hearing on the 2015 budget on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston told the council members this week that the date was modified from its original calendar date due to an error in the publication. Houston said he notified the Department of Local Government Finance and they are aware of the change and approved it. The budget needed to be re-advertised for two weeks which has caused the delay in the public hearing.

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Knox Board of Public Works Affirms Demolition Orders on Two Properties

The Knox Board of Public Works heard from Building Administrator Bruce Williams on several properties that are under notice of condemnation.

One property is the old pool business on 10 S. Heaton Street that is just north of the railroad tracks. That building was ravaged by a fire several years ago and poses as a safety hazard. The roof and structure are damaged and it is recommended for demolition. Williams stated that he has not gotten a reply back from the owners concerning a certified letter that was sent. The board members approved a motion to affirm the condemnation order to demolish the building.

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Students Thriving at The Crossing

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 29 students enrolled at Starke County’s newest school are thriving in the non-traditional learning environment. The Crossing alternative school opened recently and offers a second chance to students who have been expelled from or dropped out of public schools. Principal Quentin Bishop says the school is an extension of the students’ sending schools.

“This is like a classroom just down the road from their sending school. We have that type of relationship, that type of partnership to say we’re not only just The Crossing Education Center working as an independent school. We’re actually in partnership with our public schools,” Bishop said. Continue reading

Knox City Council to Move Forward with Refinancing Water Bonds

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council will be considering refinancing the water bonds to save money over the life of the bonds.

Mayor Rick Chambers explained how much the city could save each year of the life of the bonds.

“We’re currently paying on two water bonds. The first one will be paid off in 2025 and we owe about $650,000 on that one. The second one will be paid off three years later in 2028 and we owe about $950,000 on that one – so, about $1.6 million. Right now we’re paying 4.75 percent interest on one and almost five on the other. Umbaugh believes we re-bond in the low threes. Over the life of 14 years, we could save about $150,000,” explained Chambers.

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New App Could Assist Schools in an Emergency

The Knox City Police Department is working with Hamlet Police Chief Frank Lonigro in introducing a new app to school corporations for emergency purposes.

Chief Clint Norem told the Knox Board of Public Works members Wednesday morning that Chief Lonigro learned about this app in training and both of them are finding out more information on how to provide the app to the schools that will allow teachers to hit a panic button on their smart phone if there happens to be an emergency.

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Knox City Council Tables Community Center Use Request

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

The Knox City Council members held discussion on the use of the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center by area church groups.

The request was to use the facility free of charge once a week to provide enough space to serve meals to community members in need. The great room or executive room would be used along with the kitchen in order to prepare the meals for service. A different church group would use the facility once a week to host the meals and four hours would be set aside for preparation, service and clean-up.

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Knox Board of Public Works Discusses Drug Testing Policy

The Knox Board of Public Works approved a change in the drug testing policy for employees.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers explained that the policy is outdated. The current policy requires all employees to be drug tested when the state only requires employees with a CDL to be tested. The requirement for all employees to be tested takes time away from their daily duties and the mayor suggested that it’s “overkill”.

Mayor Chambers suggested to the board that an ordinance be drawn up by City Attorney David Matsey that requires prospective employees be drug tested and those with a CDL to be randomly drug tested throughout the year.

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Knox Park Board to Consider Safety Suggestions

City of Knox logoThe Knox Park Board will consider suggestions offered recently to curb vandalism at Wythogan Park when they meet this evening. Mayor Rick Chambers recently hosted a community discussion to gather thoughts on the issue. Afterward he said several good suggestions were offered, including a stronger police presence and writing more curfew tickets to juveniles who are in the park after hours. Continue reading

Fire Marshal to Investigate Factory Fire, City Council Praise Efforts of Firefighters

An investigator from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office will be in Knox tomorrow to determine the cause of the fire at Standard Pallet on 300 East on Friday. Firefighters from four different fire departments were on the scene for nine hours to ensure that the fire was extinguished.

On Tuesday night, the Knox City Council members expressed their gratitude to the firefighters for their dedication to the safety of the citizens of Knox. It was noted that the firefighters are volunteers and it’s their life and time they put on the line to respond to a fire and to assist the needs of residents. Some firefighters made sure to notify employers of the situation last week and stayed on the scene to make sure that the area was secure before leaving.

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SCILL Offers Adult Welding Classes

SCILLAdults who want to learn to weld or enhance their skills can take advantage of opportunities offered through the Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning. Classes offered through the SCILL Center’s Adult Welding Technology program meet two evenings per week for four hours at a time for 12 weeks. Continue reading

Knox Business Fire Investigation Delayed Until Friday

The investigation into the origin of a recent fire at a Knox business has been delayed. Knox-Center Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Kenny Pfost says they will look into the cause of the Aug. 22 blaze at Standard Pallet on County Road 300 East on Friday. Continue reading

Rain Blamed For Culvert Collapse, Repair Delays

Rain is hampering efforts to repair a culvert that collapsed Monday, forcing the closure of a Starke County Road. County highway superintendent Rik Ritzler tells WKVI News the culvert on 125 West just north of 250 North collapsed Monday. A county highway crew is making repairs but was unable to finish the work yesterday due to the rain. Ritzler hopes they can wrap up the work today so the road can reopen. Until then 125 West is closed between 250 and 300 North. Continue reading

Knox City Council Approves Grant Match for Blight Elimination Program Grant

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council approved a 10 percent match to attempt to get a grant to rid the city of some unsafe homes.

It’s part of the Blight Elimination Program which would assist the city in purchasing homes that are listed as unsafe and blighted and demolish them. The majority of the homes that would be considered for this grant are in the Parkview Heights area.

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Knox Board of Works to Meet Today

The Knox Board of Public Works will meet today with a light agenda.

The board members will discuss bids for tree cutting and discuss a drug screening policy for employees.

Water Superintendent Todd Gardner, Street Superintendent Jeff Borg, Wastewater Superintendent Kelly Clemons, and Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem will have updates from activities in their departments.

The meeting is open to the public and begins at 9:30 a.m. CT in Knox City Hall.

Bridge Inspector Signs Off on 700 East Repair

A new pile and pier were added to the bridge on County Road 700 East over the Yellow River to replace the ones damaged last spring.

A new pile and pier were added to the bridge on County Road 700 East over the Yellow River to replace the ones damaged last spring.

A Starke County road that has been closed since April is once again open to traffic. The county’s bridge inspector signed off on the emergency repair on 700 East over the Yellow River. A log floating down the river struck the bridge supports, rendering the structure unstable and forcing the emergency closure. A field inspection performed Sunday recommended additional monitoring of the timber piles, as they are starting to deteriorate, but found the bridge is able to handle traffic again.

 

Starke County Commissioners Broaden EMS Director Search

The Starke County Commissioners have changed the job criteria for the EMS director in order to expand the potential pool of applicants. Previously the county was only considering paramedics for the position. That has now been expanded to allow EMT’s to also apply for the opening. The job will pay between $38,000 and $45,000 per year, depending on experience, and the EMS director will have use of a county vehicle. Continue reading

Starke County Sheriff’s Department Set to Hire Deputies

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department is set to make offers of employment to two deputies. The county commissioners reviewed the merit board’s prioritized recommendations of the five applicants during an executive session meeting. Continue reading

Knox City Council to Meet Tonight

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council will discuss a 10 percent match from the city to go toward a $180,000 grant in the Blight Elimination Program.

A match and commitment letter will be considered by the council tonight.

The grant will assist the city with identifying unsafe or abandoned properties to be acquired by the city, estimating the costs of any project, and preparation of the application for funding and developing a strategy.

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Turn in Steps for Another Step Forward

The Moving Starke County Forward organization’s Another Step Forward walking challenge is drawing to a close.

If you are taking part in the challenge, officials ask that you turn in your steps so they can be added to the grand total. Walking, biking, running and swimming all count toward the total. Send in your statistics to anotherstepforward2014@gmail.com.

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