Today's News

Gayheart Sentenced to 20 Years on Drug Charges

  A Starke County man was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Monday morning on several drug charges.

Corbin Gayheart pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to three charges in two separate cases. Judge Kim Hall accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Gayheart per the terms of that agreement.

Gayheart will serve 10 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with two years suspended on a charge of possession of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a public park as a Class B felony. He was given an 18-month sentence with no part of the sentence suspended on a charge of possession of precursors or chemical reagents with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine as a Class D felony. Those sentences will run concurrently, or at the same time.

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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

Winamac Electric Rates to Increase

The Winamac Town Council members held a public hearing recently to discuss an increase in electric rates.

Customers that reside in the city limits will have a new minimum payment of $122.09 based on 1000 kw of use. Those who reside outside the city limits will have a new minimum payment of $127.09 based on 1000 kw of use.  This is not average usage, but an example of how rates would increase.  The billing will be decided on  how many kilowatts are used in the household.  The increase is 11.2 percent.

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Building Repairs Needed at the Plymouth Police Department

The Plymouth police department is looking to get a much needed facelift.

Chief of Police David Bacon appeared before the Board of Works and Safety Monday night to explain some issues with the building. He said that there are some exterior problems as well as painting that needs done on the interior. New wallpaper is also needed as the current wallpaper is starting to look bad in some spots.

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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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Sobriety Checkpoints Planned in LaPorte County

To combat impaired driving, the LaPorte County DUI Task Force will be setting up sobriety checkpoints in the evening hours of Friday, Aug. 29.

These checkpoints will be conducted as part of the statewide Operation Pullover Blitz #80.

The location of these checkpoints are based upon the analysis of available accident data, impaired driving arrest data and officer safety. When you arrive at a checkpoint, you will be required to show the officer your driver’s license and vehicle registration. DUI Task Force members will evaluate drivers for signs of alcohol or drug impairment. If you do not exhibit signs of impairment or there is no other need to detain you further, your approximate delay will be two minutes or less.

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Marshall County Blueberry Festival Begins Friday

Blueberry-Logo-2012Labor Day weekend is almost here and that means it’s time for the 48th annual Marshall County Blueberry Festival.

Festivities get underway Friday with the Little Miss and Mister Blueberry Pageant, the fast pitch competitions and the headline concert by country duo Montgomery Gentry and Frankie Ballard.

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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.

Power Restored Across Kankakee Valley, More Storms Possible

The lights are back on for NIPSCO and Kankakee Valley REMC customers after a strong thunderstorm rolled through the area yesterday afternoon. Neither utility is reporting outages at this time. Yesterday more than 1,000 NIPSCO and 230 Kankakee Valley REMC customers were without power. Continue reading

Chavez Appears in Starke Circuit Court for Initial Hearing

 The man accused of beating his estranged wife to death at a home in Knox, kidnapping an employee in a vehicle from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center, and carjacking a vehicle from a couple in English Lake appeared in Starke Circuit Court Monday afternoon for his initial hearing.

Gary Chavez pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping and carjacking. He told Judge Kim Hall that his family is working on getting an attorney for him. An attorney status hearing is set for Sept. 5 at 9 a.m. but will be vacated if a notice of an attorney has been filed with the court. His omnibus date was set for Oct. 9.

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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

Pence and Walorski to Officially Open New U.S. 31

Gov. Mike Pence, U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski and other dignitaries will be on hand for tomorrow’s ribbon cutting and dedication of the new U.S. 31 between Plymouth and South Bend. The ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m. EDT on State Road 4 at the new U.S. 31 interchange. The road will be closed in that area from 12:30 until 3:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. During that time traffic will not be able to enter or exit the new section of highway. Continue reading

Heat is on the Rise This Week

Summer is finally here.  The hot days ahead remind us of some safety tips and guidelines to help you stay safe from the heat.  Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch says hydrating is a key element to staying cool.

“People need to stay hydrated, try and stay in the shade, try and stay in cool area,” said Lynch.

With this week’s heat getting up to the level it will, Lynch says anyone can be susceptible to the heat.

“Any type of diabetes, heart conditions, respiratory problems.  When the heat index starts getting up to where they are supposed to be this week, anybody’s susceptible.”

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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

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