Today's News

Sen. Arnold Proposing Legislation To Enhance Law Enforcement Services

Senator Jim Arnold

Senator Jim Arnold

State Senator Jim Arnold is hoping several bills will assist in the efforts of the law enforcement community.

Among Arnold’s proposed bills this session is legislation that would better define a safety indicator on firearms. It would also increase penalties for those found to have modified a toy gun to resemble a real firearm.
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Purdue Extension Works To Correct Meth Report Error

Purdue Extension LogoThe numbers may change slightly, but the message is still the same according to Purdue Extension.

A recently issued report ranked Starke County first in the state of Indiana in meth lab seizures. A team of researchers used population data to determine Starke County’s population, but in writing the report transposed the first two numbers – making the county’s population 32, 197 instead of the more accurate 23,197.
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Local Official Attends Economic Development Course

City officials, Ball State students, chamber of commerce, and economic development representatives from across the state of Indiana recently attended the Indiana Economic Development course at Ball State University which focused on the theory and practice of economic development.

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Find the Right Plumber if You Experience Frozen Pipes

Before more cold weather sets in, the Better Business Bureau wants you to be sure you be careful in hiring a plumber to help you in any repairs you may need to make due to freezing pipes.

BBB officials say plumbers need to be licensed and display their license number on their website, vehicles and marketing pieces. Ask for three estimates from different companies to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Be sure to understand if a plumber charges by the hour or a flat rate for work to be completed and get that agreement in writing. Keep a copy of that contract. It’s also good to break up the payments and offer the last payment when the work is done to your satisfaction.

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Hoekman Sentenced on Burglary Count

 The 23-year-old Knox man accused of burglarizing USA Café in August of 2013 was sentenced yesterday by Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall.

Michael Hoekman pleaded guilty to a single Class B felony count of Burglary as part of a plea agreement in front of a Magistrate Judge on Wednesday. The state dismissed all other charges as part of the deal.
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Indiana Court of Appeals Upholds Starke Circuit Court Sentence

 The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a sentence imposed against Dennis Wireman in Starke Circuit Court.

Wireman was convicted in 2013 on three counts of illegal possession of a controlled substance as a Class D felony in two separate cases, plus a Class D felony charges of illegal possession of a syringe and operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction.

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IU Health Starke Hospital Seeks Community Health Needs Input

IU HealthOfficials at IU Health Starke Hospital want input from members of the community as to the health needs that need to be met. Members of the public are invited to complete a brief online survey, which can be found at This is a first step to developing new programming. Additional information will be gathered through targeted focus groups later this year. Examples of successful programs developed as a result of these sorts of initiatives are the regional Women’s Fair and numerous other free screenings and other events held throughout the year. A link to the survey is also posted on the hospital’s home page at

Starke County Ranks First In State for Meth Seizures

A new report says that while seizures of meth labs are up in Indiana, the number of labs is also up in the state.

The publication from Purdue Extension says Indiana saw nearly 1,800 meth lab seizures in 2013, the highest of any state in the country. Data supplied in the report describes the trends in illegal drug use in rural areas and proposes a few solutions to the problem.
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Indiana Failing To Make The Grade On Tobacco Control

The American Lung Association says the state of Indiana needs to do more to enact tobacco control policies.

The “State of Tobacco Control 2015” report evaluates tobacco control policies at the state and federal level. It says Indiana failed to enact any policies that the American Lung Association believes will save lives. That led the state to receive a failing grade in tobacco prevention, taxes, and access to tobacco cessation services.
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Oregon-Davis School Board Establishes Strategic Planning Committee

Oregon-Davis School Board members (seated) Andrea McIntosh, Shirley Budka.  (standing) Christopher Lawrence, Kurt Hayes, Lee Nagai

Oregon-Davis School Board members (seated) Andrea McIntosh, Shirley Budka. (standing) Christopher Lawrence, Kurt Hayes, Lee Nagai

The Oregon-Davis School Board established a strategic planning committee this week.

Superintendent Greg Briles gave testing statistics to the board members and all of the initiatives made to improve education at the corporation. He suggested putting together a committee to establish priorities, a vision, a mission, and goals for what they want the students to be able to do when they walk out of the doors. He stressed that the Oregon-Davis School Corporation is a community school.

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NIPSCO Receives Approval for Green Pilot Program

A pilot program started in 2012 has been granted long term approval according to NIPSCO.

The company’s Green Power Rate program is offered to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Currently there are 940 homes and businesses enrolled in the Green Power Program.
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K-9 Assisted Traffic Stop Leads to Two Arrests

A Wednesday traffic stop at the intersection of Lake and McGill Streets in downtown Knox ended with a trip to jail thanks to assistance from Starke County’s new K-9. A deputy pulled over a vehicle driven by David P. Howard, 31, because he was known not to have a valid driver’s license. The vehicle was registered to the passenger, Brandy Gayheart, 22, of Walkerton. Continue reading

Mary Young Sentenced to Probation

 Probation was given to a 25-year-old woman who pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state in Starke Circuit Court to a charge of neglect of a dependent, a Class D felony .

Mary Young of Auburn, Indiana told Starke County Magistrate Jeanene Calabrese that she did in fact lock her son in his bedroom and would not let him out of the room throughout the night. Her 10-year-old son, who has a form of autism called Asberger’s Syndrome, could not even leave the room to use the bathroom which caused further problems.

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Oregon-Davis School Board Receives Update on The Crossing Students

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.

Oregon-Davis Superintendent Greg Briles gave the school board an update on the students attending in The Crossing alternative school in Starke County.

There are six Oregon-Davis students that currently attend classes at The Crossing, and five more will be enrolling in two weeks. Briles stressed that when the next student count day happens in February, those students will be included toward the corporation’s Average Daily Membership, or ADM, count. The money the corporation receives for those students goes toward their enrollment at The Crossing. No additional money is spent.

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Rep. Walorski Looks For Key Goals in SOTU

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski had a few goals in mind prior to Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address.

Indiana’s 2nd District U.S. Representative has made a point of discussing what she considers an overreach of power through the President’s recent executive orders.
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Senator Participates in Talks To Combat Middle East Threats

Joe Donnelly

Senator Joe Donnelly

Indiana U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly says he wants to make sure all of the country’s foreign partners are standing together.

Senator Donnelly sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee that was part of a bi-partisan Senate delegation to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel. The trip was described as important due to ongoing instability in the Middle East.
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Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Contributes Matching Funds for North Judson Railroad Project

North Judson Water TowerThe Town of North Judson has more than half of the matching funds needed for an INDOT Transportation Enhancement Project Grant. They’ve applied for $512,066 from the state to replace railroad ties along the town’s rail line. A 20-percent local match of 102,413.20 is required.

During this week’s town council meeting, Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Secretary and Railroad Committee Advisory Member Mark Knebel presented a check to the town from HVRM for $51,015 toward the match and some supplemental work. The town of North Judson has also received $15,000 from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation towards the local match. Continue reading

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