Today's News

Knox City Council Tables Community Center Use Request

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

The Knox City Council members held discussion on the use of the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center by area church groups.

The request was to use the facility free of charge once a week to provide enough space to serve meals to community members in need. The great room or executive room would be used along with the kitchen in order to prepare the meals for service. A different church group would use the facility once a week to host the meals and four hours would be set aside for preparation, service and clean-up.

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Knox Board of Public Works Discusses Drug Testing Policy

The Knox Board of Public Works approved a change in the drug testing policy for employees.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers explained that the policy is outdated. The current policy requires all employees to be drug tested when the state only requires employees with a CDL to be tested. The requirement for all employees to be tested takes time away from their daily duties and the mayor suggested that it’s “overkill”.

Mayor Chambers suggested to the board that an ordinance be drawn up by City Attorney David Matsey that requires prospective employees be drug tested and those with a CDL to be randomly drug tested throughout the year.

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Knox Park Board to Consider Safety Suggestions

City of Knox logoThe Knox Park Board will consider suggestions offered recently to curb vandalism at Wythogan Park when they meet this evening. Mayor Rick Chambers recently hosted a community discussion to gather thoughts on the issue. Afterward he said several good suggestions were offered, including a stronger police presence and writing more curfew tickets to juveniles who are in the park after hours. Continue reading

Fire Marshal to Investigate Factory Fire, City Council Praise Efforts of Firefighters

An investigator from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office will be in Knox tomorrow to determine the cause of the fire at Standard Pallet on 300 East on Friday. Firefighters from four different fire departments were on the scene for nine hours to ensure that the fire was extinguished.

On Tuesday night, the Knox City Council members expressed their gratitude to the firefighters for their dedication to the safety of the citizens of Knox. It was noted that the firefighters are volunteers and it’s their life and time they put on the line to respond to a fire and to assist the needs of residents. Some firefighters made sure to notify employers of the situation last week and stayed on the scene to make sure that the area was secure before leaving.

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SCILL Offers Adult Welding Classes

SCILLAdults who want to learn to weld or enhance their skills can take advantage of opportunities offered through the Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning. Classes offered through the SCILL Center’s Adult Welding Technology program meet two evenings per week for four hours at a time for 12 weeks. Continue reading

Knox Business Fire Investigation Delayed Until Friday

The investigation into the origin of a recent fire at a Knox business has been delayed. Knox-Center Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Kenny Pfost says they will look into the cause of the Aug. 22 blaze at Standard Pallet on County Road 300 East on Friday. Continue reading

Rain Blamed For Culvert Collapse, Repair Delays

Rain is hampering efforts to repair a culvert that collapsed Monday, forcing the closure of a Starke County Road. County highway superintendent Rik Ritzler tells WKVI News the culvert on 125 West just north of 250 North collapsed Monday. A county highway crew is making repairs but was unable to finish the work yesterday due to the rain. Ritzler hopes they can wrap up the work today so the road can reopen. Until then 125 West is closed between 250 and 300 North. Continue reading

Knox City Council Approves Grant Match for Blight Elimination Program Grant

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council approved a 10 percent match to attempt to get a grant to rid the city of some unsafe homes.

It’s part of the Blight Elimination Program which would assist the city in purchasing homes that are listed as unsafe and blighted and demolish them. The majority of the homes that would be considered for this grant are in the Parkview Heights area.

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Knox Board of Works to Meet Today

The Knox Board of Public Works will meet today with a light agenda.

The board members will discuss bids for tree cutting and discuss a drug screening policy for employees.

Water Superintendent Todd Gardner, Street Superintendent Jeff Borg, Wastewater Superintendent Kelly Clemons, and Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem will have updates from activities in their departments.

The meeting is open to the public and begins at 9:30 a.m. CT in Knox City Hall.

Bridge Inspector Signs Off on 700 East Repair

A new pile and pier were added to the bridge on County Road 700 East over the Yellow River to replace the ones damaged last spring.

A new pile and pier were added to the bridge on County Road 700 East over the Yellow River to replace the ones damaged last spring.

A Starke County road that has been closed since April is once again open to traffic. The county’s bridge inspector signed off on the emergency repair on 700 East over the Yellow River. A log floating down the river struck the bridge supports, rendering the structure unstable and forcing the emergency closure. A field inspection performed Sunday recommended additional monitoring of the timber piles, as they are starting to deteriorate, but found the bridge is able to handle traffic again.

 

Starke County Commissioners Broaden EMS Director Search

The Starke County Commissioners have changed the job criteria for the EMS director in order to expand the potential pool of applicants. Previously the county was only considering paramedics for the position. That has now been expanded to allow EMT’s to also apply for the opening. The job will pay between $38,000 and $45,000 per year, depending on experience, and the EMS director will have use of a county vehicle. Continue reading

Starke County Sheriff’s Department Set to Hire Deputies

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department is set to make offers of employment to two deputies. The county commissioners reviewed the merit board’s prioritized recommendations of the five applicants during an executive session meeting. Continue reading

Knox City Council to Meet Tonight

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council will discuss a 10 percent match from the city to go toward a $180,000 grant in the Blight Elimination Program.

A match and commitment letter will be considered by the council tonight.

The grant will assist the city with identifying unsafe or abandoned properties to be acquired by the city, estimating the costs of any project, and preparation of the application for funding and developing a strategy.

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Turn in Steps for Another Step Forward

The Moving Starke County Forward organization’s Another Step Forward walking challenge is drawing to a close.

If you are taking part in the challenge, officials ask that you turn in your steps so they can be added to the grand total. Walking, biking, running and swimming all count toward the total. Send in your statistics to anotherstepforward2014@gmail.com.

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Spotlight Breakfast Scheduled at The Crossing

The CrossingCommunity members are invited to learn more about Starke County’s newest school during a spotlight breakfast. It’s scheduled at The Crossing campus on U.S. 35 next to Save A Lot on Thursday, Aug. 28 at 7:30 a.m. The faith-based alternative school opened recently and provides a combination of classroom and vocational training for students who have dropped out, been expelled or otherwise fallen through the cracks in the public school system. Continue reading

Knox School Board Receives Update on First Week of School

 The Knox Community School Board received an update on the first week of school when they met this week.

Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the principals gave building reports and said it was a smooth opening week of school.

“Other than some minor bus on the first day getting the elementary students on board and then getting to the middle school, which is now the last school dismissed this year and is a change from last year, everything else has gone very smoothly,” said Gappa.

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Murder Defendant Out of Hospital, Jailed Without Bond

Starke County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 6, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

Starke County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 6, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

The rural Knox man accused of beating his wife to death, kidnapping a man from a business parking lot, stealing a Jeep at gunpoint in English Lake and leading authorities on a high-speed chase through three counties before shooting himself is back in Starke County. Detective Rob Olejniczak from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and Jailer Joshua Kazee picked Gary Chavez up from the Cook County, Ill. jail today. Continue reading

Cause of Friday Fire Under Investigation

Volunteer firefighters from four local departments spent the better part of Friday battling a blaze at a Knox business. The Knox-Center Township Volunteer Fire Department was called to Standard Pallet on County Road 300 East around 2 a.m. Continue reading

Starke County Council Approves Transfers

starke-county-courthouseStarke County officials have funds available to shred government documents a committee has decided no longer need to be stored after action this week by the county council. They approved a transfer of up to $10,000 from the commissioners budget for that purpose. They stress that entire amount of money may not need to be spent for document disposal. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners to Repair Vehicle for EMS Director

Interim Starke County EMS Director Keith Emigh will continue to drive a county-issued four-wheel-drive until a recently retired patrol car is road ready. The vehicle Emigh is currently using to travel between the EMS bases in North Judson, Knox and Grovertown will be transferred to plan commission director Terry Stephenson. Continue reading

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