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Today's News

Walkerton Woman Sentenced to Probation

 A Walkerton woman was sentenced on a reduced charge in Starke Circuit Court Thursday morning.

Tamara Esparza pleaded guilty to an amended charge of neglect of a dependent as a felony. However, due to her lack of a criminal record, her cooperation with a drug investigation and her ability to do what’s best for her situation and her daughter, the felony count was reduced to a misdemeanor as ordered by Judge Kim Hall. The order was also made so she could remain gainfully employed.

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John Glenn’s Falloween Fest Is Back

The Falloween Fest returns to Walkerton this weekend. The 6th annual festival will feature John Glenn High School’s organizations, clubs, community groups from surrounding towns, civic groups and churches for this major fund-raising event. Over $94,000 has been raised for student scholarships since the Falloween Fest’s inception in 2009. Continue reading

Starke County Coroner Releases Autopsy Results

Results of a forensic autopsy conducted in the case of 33-year-old Christopher Howard of Grovertown have been released by Starke County Coroner Kris Rannells.

He stated that Howard died instantly of multiple systems blunt force trauma, including massive head, chest and abdominal injuries.

An investigation by the Starke County Sheriff’s Department found that Howard was last seen leaving friend’s house at 2 a.m. on Tuesday in the area of 1025 E. and 50 N. in Starke County. He was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon. His vehicle was found in the area of 900 East and 500 North at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and it appeared to have been involved in a collision.

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Royce Sentenced to Six Years in DOC

  A Knox man with an extensive criminal history is headed back to prison for the sixth time in his life.

James Royce, 44, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to felony charges of residential entry and escape and a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief in two separate cases. The state and defense argued Royce’s sentence to Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall.

In one case, Royce admitted that he forced his way into his aunt’s home without an invitation. In the second case, he admitted to escaping the custody of a jailer who was escorting him from the courthouse to the Starke County Jail. Royce had appeared for a hearing in Starke Circuit Court and Judge Hall ordered him back to jail. Royce admitted that he “panicked” and ran. The jailer suffered an injury chasing after Royce. Royce was apprehended approximately 20 minutes after he escaped custody. He also admitted to tampering with the GPS ankle bracelet he was wearing as he had been on home detention through Starke County Community Corrections.

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N.J.-S.P. Faces Additional Budget Cuts

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert
Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board will need to reduce their budget even further.

According to North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Lynn Johnson, a decrease in enrollment will cause deeper cuts.  She said the average daily membership has decreased by 40 students.

Earlier this year the board cut $1 million from the budget, and more cuts are forthcoming. Johnson did not elaborate on where those cuts will occur.

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Starke County Economic Development Foundation Hosting Manufacturers Day Event

Students from Starke County’s three school corporations will get a firsthand look at local job opportunities during the upcoming Manufacturers Day at Knox Middle School. The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is bringing together 7th grade students and representatives from local industries and SCILL on Thursday, Oct. 2. They will have displays of what their company manufacturers, the skills and training required for each job at the company and the kinds of jobs they have and will also be available to answer questions. Continue reading

Bella Vita Schedules 5th Annual Life Walk

The 5th annual Life Walk is this Saturday.

The event will help raise money for the Bella Vita Pregnancy Resource Center. The walk will begin around 10 a.m. at the center on Lake Street and conclude at Wythogan Park.
An open house is planned at the center along with face painting, a balloon artist, coffee and doughnuts.

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Starke County Sheriff’s Department Investigating Fatal Hit and Run

Detectives with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department are investigating an apparent hit and run crash that claimed the life of a white man in his 30s. Dispatchers advise WKVI news the wreck occurred early yesterday morning on U.S. 30 near State Road 23. Continue reading

Obomsawin Sentenced to Six Years in DOC

 A South Bend man was sentenced Tuesday morning in Starke Circuit Court after pleading guilty to an amended count of child molesting as a Class C felony.

A plea recommendation was offered in the case of Adam Obomsawin which Judge Kim Hall accepted. Judge Hall sentenced Obomsawin, 36, to six years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with two years suspended to be served on probation. In addition, Obomsawin was ordered to undergo sex offender treatment. Upon the successful completion of that course, he may petition the court for a modification of the sentence. He is to have no contact with the victim during the execution of his sentence.

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North Judson Town Council Moves Forward with New Office Building

The former First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street in North Judson will soon be the town hall.

The former First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street in North Judson will soon be the town hall.

The North Judson Town offices will soon be in a new location. The town council has finalized paperwork on the former First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street that was donated to the town back in August. The plan is to be moved in to the new town hall by the end of the year. It will house the water department and clerk treasurer’s offices and serve as meeting space for the town council. It will provide more space for the employees and for meeting purposes. Continue reading

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Announces Prospectus and Achievements

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation will celebrate Manufacturers Day with its fourth annual “Prospectus and Achievements” on Thursday, Oct. 2 at Knox Middle School. Hoosier Custom Plastics and EcoGolf Co-Owner Gordon Schenk will be the featured speaker for the 11:10 a.m. program. The Knox-based business is involved in the Folds of Honor Foundation. It provides scholarships and assistance to the spouses and children of those killed or disabled in service to America. Schenk will explain how the businesses became involved with the organization. Continue reading

BMV to Issue Refund in Excise Tax

Officials with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Indiana Department of Revenue will be working together to issue excise tax refunds to affected customers.

Indiana BMV Commissioner Don Snemis stated that some vehicles were classified in error for excise tax purposes. These misclassifications stretch back to 2004 when the BMV’s System Tracking and Record Support system was implemented on a limited basis.

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Starke County Council, Commissioners Make Park Board Appointments

starke-county-courthouseThe recently formed Starke County Park Board is two members away from being populated. The county council appointed Democrat Rosemary Rose and Republican Debbie Mix to the five-member panel. The commissioners named Marsha Bedrock as their appointee. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall has the remaining two appointments to the board. State law requires him to appoint one Democrat and one Republican. All five initial terms will be staggered. The council appointees will serve for two and four years, the commissioners appointee for two and the judge’s appointees for one and three years. Continue reading

Endowment Gift Lessens Burden on Davis Township Taxpayers

The new fire station will be built between the Starke County Fairgrounds and the Wayne Apartments in Hamlet.

The new fire station will be built between the Starke County Fairgrounds and the Wayne Apartments in Hamlet.

When the Davis Township Building Corporation met last night it was advised by the Starke County Community Foundation that the James Hardesty Endowment Fund would be providing $25,000 a year, for eight years, for the construction of the new firehouse and community building.

The Davis Township Advisory Board and Trustee, which met concurrently, were advised by Umbaugh Associates that the Hardesty eight-year annual gift will reduce the total amount of interest the corporation will have to pay for the bonding. Continue reading

Starke County Sheriff’s Department Warns of Scam

If you get a call from a relative requesting bail money, make sure the person is really in jail before you rush to their aid. Officials with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department say scammers are preying on local residents in an attempt to swindle money from them. The caller tells the potential victim they need money to get out of jail and will pay them back when they go to court. Continue reading

Harvest Season Means Heavier Traffic

Purdue Extension LogoHarvest season is almost here. This is Farm Safety Week, which is a good time to plan for the coming weeks. Soon you will be sharing the highways and roadways with farm equipment, and your attention to traffic will need to be up. Purdue Extension Agriculture Educator Chad Rushing says there will be a lot to watch out for this season. Continue reading

Ancilla Offers Two Year Online Degree

A new program at Ancilla College allows students to earn a degree without setting foot on campus. Behavioral science is the first two year degree offered online by Ancilla. They have had course offerings over the Internet before but have never offered a full degree solely online. Executive Director of Admissions Eric Wignall says instruction and assessment will be online with help from professors and other students to aid individuals in keeping up. Continue reading

Starke County Park Board Appointments Expected Tonight

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Council and Commissioners are expected to make their appointments to the county park and recreation board at their respective meetings this evening. The council gets two appointments, one Democrat and one Republican. The commissioners get one appointment, and it is not restricted by political party affiliation. Continue reading