Local Grower Places Hopes in Hops

HopsStarke County is generally known for growing three crops: corn. soybeans and peppermint. A local man plans to join a dozen or so other Hoosier farmers that are now planting hops – a main ingredient in beer that could become a major local crop.

Typically grown in the Pacific Northwest, there are half-a-dozen varieties adapting to Hoosier weather.  Hops are essentially flowers that grow on a vine. The crop requires a tall trellis system about 20 feet tall and then every year you have to tie strings to the top of the trellis and anchor them down. Continue reading

Hamlet Town Council Accepts Sidewalk Bid

Hamlet Town HallA bid of $13,100 was accepted by the Hamlet Town Board last night to complete six improvements in Hamlet’s 2015 50-50 sidewalk replacement project. There was also discussion with engineer Lee Nagai about installing new street lights and sidewalks in a possible downtown revitalization project.

Another improvement under consideration includes solving the standing water problem at a street intersection near the Lutheran Church.  Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Reiterate Support for Veteran Grave Flags, Markers

The Starke County Commissioners want to make sure every veteran who is buried in the county has an American flag and grave marker for Memorial Day. They’ve agreed pay for both if the American Legion posts in Knox, North Judson and Hamlet will take care of placing the orders and putting them on graves. Commissioner Don Binkley has tried without success to reach the commander of the Knox American Legion to discuss the process and find out how many flags and markers need to be ordered. Auditor Kay Chaffins says she’s spoken with officials in North Judson, and their order has been placed. Hamlet officials have yet to place theirs. Continue reading

Indiana State Fire Marshal Determines Fire Cause in Hamlet

The Indiana State Fire Marshal has determined that the fire at a Hamlet business early Monday morning was accidental.

The Hamlet Fire Department arrived at the building on the northeast corner of Plymouth and Starke Streets around 3 a.m. Monday and called for assistance from the Koontz Lake Fire Department and the Knox-Center Township Fire Department. The firefighters remained at the scene for about three hours.

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Hamlet-Davis Township Fire Station Nearing Completion

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.

Davis Township Trustee Robin Latimer met with the Hamlet Town Board last night
to discuss details of the new firehouse, currently under construction east of the County Fairgrounds. A completion date of the end of May is expected, with focus on electrical and gas connections next week.  Continue reading

Candidates for Town Offices May File until August

Candidates may continue to file for office in the municipal election.

The filing deadline for the Knox City Council, mayor, judge and clerk-treasurer candidate positions has expired with the primary election set for Tuesday, May 5.

Candidates seeking office in towns with a population less than 3,500 can file until Monday, Aug. 3. If there is more than one party candidate running for a seat, a town convention will be held to determine the party candidate on the General Election ballot in November.

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Town of Hamlet Discusses Sidewalk Program

The Town of Hamlet is still accepting applications for its summer 50/50 sidewalk replacement program. Residents should contact Town Hall representatives for details and an application.

The board gave attention to an annual spring-time problem, potholes. Focus was on repair of the intersection of Indiana and Jefferson streets.

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Smoke Detectors Available from Community Services of Starke County

Smoke DetectorA local nonprofit agency has smoke detectors available for families in need of the potentially life-saving devices. Community Services of Starke County Executive Director Joan Haugh says a couple of recent fire fatalities got her to thinking.

“I just felt we could save a life or two if we made sure every home had a smoke alarm – a working smoke alarm or sometimes two. So we applied to State Farm because they had a safety grant, and they awarded me some funds to purchase smoke detectors,” Haugh said. 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.

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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