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Today's News

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.

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.

Hamlet Man Charged in Accidental Shooting

A Hamlet man was booked into the Marshall County Jail on Sunday after an accidental shooting incident in Marshall County at the end of January.

According to court documents, David J. Paulson, 35, and a four-year-old child were in a vehicle traveling west on U.S. 30 and Beech Road in Bourbon on Jan. 31 when the child allegedly picked up a loaded .40 caliber handgun from a pocket Paulson’s coveralls in the backseat of the vehicle. The handgun discharged, and Paulson suffered a wound to the back of his right upper arm.

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Oregon-Davis School Board to Consider Calendar for Next School Year

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 members will take action on several agenda items when they meet tonight.

The Board will consider the adoption of a calendar for the 2015-2016 school year. The board held previous discussion on a balanced calendar to be in line with other area schools considering the move from a traditional school calendar. The board will also decide make-up days for students for school missed due to snow. Feb. 13, April 3, May 1 and May 29 will be considered as make-up days.

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Hamlet Police Department Deploys Military Vehicle to Assist Stranded Motorists

 Officers from the Hamlet Police Department responded to several calls of slide-offs and stranded motorists. Due to the conditions, deputies put the department-issued Humvee to work.

Extreme winds, snow and cold, made roads impassable in Starke County. Motorists were stranded and desperate for help. The hummer was deployed around noon on Saturday and officers were able to rescue 18 people from stranded cars along U.S. 30 and U.S. 35 along with others stuck on many county roads, according to a news release.

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K9 Assisted Drug Investigation Leads to Two Arrests

Rob Olejniczak and "Terror"

Rob Olejniczak and “Terror”

A man and a woman face numerous drug charges after officers from the Hamlet Police Department and Starke County Sheriff’s Department reportedly found a one-pot meth lab and more inside their residence Wednesday afternoon. They were investigating a report of drug activity at the Hamlet Apartments at 205 South Main Street, according to officials with the Hamlet P.D. They say the residents agreed to a search of the apartment, and Starke County Sheriff’s Department K9 Terror indicated narcotics were present. The officers reportedly found a one-pot meth lab, methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin, drug precursors and paraphernalia. Continue reading

Hamlet Town Board Opts to Let County Handle Election

Hamlet Town HallThe Hamlet Town Board determined at its recent meeting to continue to have the County Election Board conduct its November Town election. The town pays a fee for the service.

The continuing snow fall is keeping Street Department busy. Street Superintendent Fred Rowe reported that as of February 11th it had plowed the town’s streets 8 times, racking up a total of 92 miles. There was also discussion of relieving standing water and ice build up on several streets. Continue reading

Hamlet Police Department Initiates House Watch Program

Hamlet Town HallThe Hamlet Police Department is taking proactive steps in order to protect unattended homes and businesses in the winter or while families are on vacation.

The House Watch Program allows homeowners to complete an application for extra patrol around their homes when out of town. While most people have someone available to watch homes, some aren’t able to find a sense of security.

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Today is Final Day to File for Knox Election

Today is the last day to file for the City of Knox Municipal Election.

Knox City Council Districts 1-4 are up for election including an at-large seat. Knox voters will also select a city clerk-treasurer and the judge of the city court. The primary election will be held on May 5.

There is no primary election for the seats for the North Judson or Hamlet Town Council in Starke County as the towns have a population under 3,500. Town conventions will be held if there are opposing party candidates in the seats up for election. Otherwise, the candidates will be featured on the ballot in the General Election in November. The same goes for the towns of Winamac, Francesville, Medaryville and Monterey in Pulaski County.

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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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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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Disturbance Call Leads to Meth Lab Raid, Arrests

Crystal Singleton

Crystal Singleton

Alexis Houston

Alexis Houston

A disturbance call to the Stay 4 Less Motel on U.S. 30 in Hamlet last night led to the arrests of two Knox women. According to a news release, deputies from the Starke County Sheriff’s and Knox Police Departments found items reported stolen from a Knox residence on Monday. Continue reading

Oregon-Davis School Board Votes Against School Lunch Increase

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 members discussed lunch prices, but Superintendent Greg Briles explained the item to increase prices didn’t need to be on the evening’s agenda.

Briles said he was initially looking at funds in the food service department, and he thought that the board may need to raise the price by five cents and maybe even ten cents. If the board were to consider a five cent increase, it would amount to an additional $876 per year at the elementary level.

Briles said he would be looking deeper internally with commodities and into the corporation’s work with the Northern Indiana Educational Services Center (NIESC) before increasing prices. He noted that there could be more funds to take care of what is needed in the school’s budget.

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Oregon-Davis School Board Reorganizes, Discusses Board Compensation

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 member Christopher Lawrence took the oath of office at the beginning of last night’s school board meeting as he was elected for another term to the board in the November election. After that was complete, the board reorganized. Lawrence respectfully stated that he thought it was time for someone else to lead the board and took his name out of consideration for board president. Kurt Hayes was elected president of the board with a unanimous vote. Andrea McIntosh was elected vice president while Shirley Budka will serve as board secretary. Those board positions were also approved by a unanimous vote.

The school board voted to retain their regular meeting schedule on the third Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. CT. They may call special meetings or work sessions as necessary. The measure passed by majority vote of 4 to 1. Lee Nagai abstained from the vote.

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Oregon-Davis School Board Reorganize, Consider Lunch Price Hike Tonight

Oregon-Davis-Jr_Sr-BuildingThe Oregon-Davis School Board members will reorganize when they meet tonight. That will come after board members Christopher Lawrence, Andrea McIntosh, Kurt Hayes, Shirley Budka and Lee Nagai are sworn into office by the corporation attorney. Along with the reorganization, the board will set their meeting dates and set salaries for the school board members as well as the corporation attorney.

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Hamlet Town Board Reorganizes, Sells Vacant Lots

Hamlet Town HallDavid Kesvormas was re-elected president of the Hamlet Town Board, when it met Wednesday night. The other members of the board are Brian Earnest and Frank Lonigro.

The board accepted a bid of $12,000 for two vacant lots on West Davis Street, east of Rannells Funeral Home from Kris Rannells of the mortuary. In the offer, Rannells said he plans to develop the properties into a gravel parking lot with ADA compliant sidewalks. Continue reading

One-Time Energy Assistance Available to Struggling Citizens

$Applications for the Energy Assistance Program can still be submitted for a one-time benefit on electric and heating bills. North Central Community Action Agencies, Pulaski County Human Services, and Community Services of Starke County began taking applications for LaPorte, Pulaski and Starke residents in November. Applications will continue to be accepted until all funds are obligated.

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Starke County Election Board Looking Toward 2015 Municipal Election

The Starke County Election Board looked ahead to the 2015 Municipal Election when they met for the last time this year.

Since the population is below 3,500 residents, North Judson voters will participate in a town convention and will elect a clerk-treasurer and town board members in Ward 1, Ward 2 and Ward 3. Hamlet residents will also participate in a town convention and will elect a clerk-treasurer and town board members. Hamlet has only one Ward.

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