Today's News

Knox Police Seeking Public’s Help in Identifying Child Pornography Victims

Robert Wisilinski

Robert Wisilinski

Additional charges could be filed against a Knox man accused of molesting a young boy at his Heaton Street home. Robert M. Wisilinski, 67, is charged with child molesting as a level 1 felony, child solicitation as a level 5 felony and child pornography as a level 6 felony. Detective Dave Combs with the Knox Police Department says officers traced a young boy reported missing on over the weekend to Wisilinski’s home Sunday evening. Continue reading

Knox Man Arrested after Alleged Domestic, Intimidation Incident

Giselbach Booking ohoto

Benny Giselbach

A Knox man is in the Starke County Jail after allegedly threatening harm to himself, his wife, and law enforcement.

The 911 Dispatch Center received an open 911 call from a woman Wednesday afternoon stating that her husband had a loaded weapon and made threats toward her and himself. He also threatened to harm law enforcement officers if they arrived at the home.

Dispatchers were able to use GPS from the 911 call to determine the caller’s location according to a press release. At one point, the call was disconnected, but the dispatchers utilized the TEXT 911 service to gather more information to relay to responding Starke County Sheriff’s Department officers.  Continue reading

Starke County K9 Performs Routine Sweep at Local School

K9 handler Rob Olejniczak and Terror perform a search

K9 handler Rob Olejniczak and Terror perform a search

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department K9 did a routine sweep at the Oregon-Davis School Corporation on Thursday morning.

Handler Rob Olejniczak took K9 Terror around the corporation to search for possible drugs in lockers and the parking lot. No evidence of any illegal drugs was found.

Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin and the officers are appreciative of the school’s effort to keep Starke County a safe environment. Principal Tim Pletcher and School Resource Officer Frank Lonigro were also recognized for their efforts.

Photo provided.

Hansen Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 Jason Hansen was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Thursday morning.

Hansen was found guilty on a charge of Domestic Battery as a Class D felony in a trial held this week. He was sentenced to three years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended.

In April 2014, Hansen grabbed his wife by the hair and hit her head against the wall repeatedly in front of their juvenile children at the home they shared.

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Knox Water Superintendent Outlines Proposed Water Line Improvements

The City of Knox is looking to get a grant to fix water lines in areas of Knox that don’t get enough pressure.

Water Superintendent Todd Gardner told the Board of Public Works members that the project would include replacing outdated galvanized lines that go under homes. The project should also repair pressure issues to fire hydrants.

“We’ll add a section of line that actually goes down and around brown circle on Delamatyr and ties back in on Fisher and Adam. It would make a loop and add two fire hydrants down there where we don’t have any fire protection now. The other would be to extend down Mound to Myrtle Court and then back to Washington Street down to Allen Drive. We’re looking to cut across and tie in at the end of Lake Street,” explained Gardner.

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Hamlet Residents Encouraged to Apply for Sidewalk Program

The Hamlet Town Board members renewed the annual 50/50 sidewalk improvement program when they met for a regular session meeting this week. Residents may register for the program or get additional information at the Town Hall. The application deadline is April 8.

A town-wide yard sale has been approved in Hamlet for the first week in May.

The melting snow is aggravating sewers and drains. The board continues to discuss and examine those issues.

The Hamlet Park Board met prior to the Town Board meeting with no news to report.

Community Services of Starke County Seeking Volunteer of the Year Nominees

Community Services of Starke CountyNominations are now open for the 2015 Community Services of Starke County Volunteer of the Year. Nominees must be Starke County residents over the age of 60. They will be judged upon life achievements, volunteer work and civic contributions. The Community Services of Starke County board will review the nominations and decide the winner. The volunteer of the year will be named at the semi-annual volunteer luncheon on April 16. Continue reading

Starke Circuit Court Jury Trial Ends

 A verdict was returned late yesterday afternoon in a jury trial in Starke Circuit Court.

Jason Hansen was found guilty on a charge of domestic battery as a Class D felony and not guilty on a charge of criminal mischief.

Six jurors and an alternate heard testimony from seven witnesses provided by the State. The defense did not have any witnesses, and Hansen did not testify.

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Knox Street Department Ready for Next Winter Storm

 The salt shed is full, and the Knox City Street Department is ready for the next snow event.

Street Superintendent Jeff Borg told the Board of Public Works members on Wednesday that they had used 80 percent of their contract for salt. Since January, 32 inches of movable snow has been recorded by the street superintendent. He said the department should be good for the rest of the season, and all equipment has been maintained and updated.

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Railroad Crossing Complaints Discussed by Knox City Council

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers has been getting several complaints from motorists about the U.S 35 railroad crossing in the city.

A resident recently came into City Hall with an estimate to replace a hubcap lost as a result of the rough crossing. Mayor Chambers told the resident that the City does not maintain that crossing. The railroad crossing is under the jurisdiction of Norfolk Southern and the Indiana Department of Transportation. Those experiencing damage need to contact those two entities to submit a claim or report a complaint.

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Protect Against Identity Theft With a Credit Freeze

Credit FreezeHoosiers can protect themselves from identity thieves by activating a credit freeze. Also known as a security freeze, it keeps new creditors from accessing your credit report without your permission. This will prevent an identity thief from opening a credit card or other account in your name, even if he or she has your Social Security number or other personal information. Continue reading

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Violence AwarenessDating relationships should not hurt. February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, the goal of which is to raise awareness of unhealthy behavior patterns used to exert power and control over a partner. Abuse can be physical, verbal or emotional and may include checking your cell phone or email without your permission, constantly putting you down, extreme jealousy or insecurity, possessiveness, an explosive temper, mood swings and telling you what to do. Continue reading

Starke County Prosecutor’s Office, WorkOne Partnership Helps Parents

The Starke County Prosecutor’s Office has entered into a partnership with the local WorkOne office to help non-custodial parents find jobs. Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff says a new program offered through WorkOne helps unemployed parents build job skills, get their GED, build up their resumes, learn interviewing techniques and other skills necessary to compete in the job market. Continue reading

Knox Public Hearing Held for Proposed Grant Application for Water Line Upgrades

The Knox City Council held a public hearing Monday night to gather opinions on a proposed grant application for a water line project this summer.

K-IPRC Executive Director Edwin Buswell said the City of Knox will be applying for an Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) grant in the amount of $350,000 for the project. The local match will be 20 percent or $70,000.

Mayor Rick Chambers explained that Water Superintendent Todd Gardner and the engineers are looking to improve water flow in areas of the city.

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Ancilla College Board Adopts Flat, Fixed Tuition Rate

Ancilla College NEWThe Ancilla College board of Trustees has adopted a flat, fixed tuition rate for $14,100 per year rather than charge a per-credit hour fee. President Ken Zirkle says it encourages students to take a full course load each semester and graduate on time. Students who take more than 17 hours per semester will pay an additional $470 per credit hour. Continue reading

Area Students to Take Shortened ISTEP Exam Next Week

 This year’s shortened ISTEP exam will be taken at all of the local schools next week. The test window begins today.

Governor Mike Pence signed into law SEA 62, the bill that allows the Indiana Department of Education to shorten this year’s ISTEP test. The test would have been more than 12 hours for third grade students.

The test will begin on Monday at most schools and Tuesday at others. Students will be tested in the next two weeks. The window closes March 11.

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Daylight Saving Time Begins March 8

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 8 at 2 a.m. local time. Before you go to bed on March 7, make sure that you set your clock ahead one hour or move it ahead one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal encourages residents to change the batteries in smoke detectors when the time is changed. It serves as a reminder to make sure fresh batteries are installed as they should be changed twice a year.

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Missing Juvenile Calls Lead to Child Porn Discovery

Knox Police are conducting an investigation after they received a call of two missing juveniles on Sunday.

Officers were able to locate one of the individuals cited as missing without incident. It was learned that the second juvenile was at a residence on Heaton Street in Knox.
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Police Find Meth Lab in Camper

Stacy Tramaine

Stacy Tremaine

Michael Meeks

Michael Meeks

A verification of a registered sex offender’s address in Starke County turned into a meth lab bust.

An officer from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department went to 1833 E. 350 S. in Knox. As he approached the residence, he saw an HCL generator, which is an item commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, according to a press release. The homeowner gave consent to the search their residence which happened to be a camper. The officer reportedly found methamphetamine, methamphetamine precursors, syringes, and other paraphernalia used to manufacture the drug.

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Dumpster Ordinance Reaches Final Hurdle

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council members held further discussion on the proposed dumpster ordinance.

Councilman Don Kring commented that he would like to see the ordinance without the residential provision in it. The ordinance restricts a dumpster in areas zoned R-1. A dumpster could be allowed in an R-1 zone if a building permit is acquired. A dumpster is allowed in any 10-day period out of a month one time a year for cleaning projects or a roofing project. A dumpster may also be included in R-1 if a variance is granted by the Board of Public Works. Otherwise, a dumpster is not allowed.

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