Today's News

Knox Park Board Approves Gator Tire Purchase

City of Knox logoThe tires on the John Deere Gator used by the Knox Park Department need to be replaced. The park board recently approved the purchase of a new set of all-terrain tires for $480. Employees use the utility vehicle year-round to transport items between the city’s three parks, maintain the grounds and plow snow. Park board members decided all-terrain tires would be the best, most durable option.

Crossing Students Helping at Knox Parks

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.

Students from Starke County’s newest school are doing their part to give back to the community. Knox Park Superintendent George Byer says pupils from The Crossing alternative school are working each Friday at the parks. Continue reading

Artists and Farmers Wanted for WoodStarke Festival

woodstarkeOrganizers of next weekend’s WoodStarke Festival at Wythogan Park in Knox are looking for vendors for the farmer’s market and artists who would like to display their wares. The Art in the Park area will be along the walkway near the Yellow River. Participants must bring their own easels or other displays. Sales are not allowed during the event, but arrangements may be made for later purchase. Continue reading

Cause Found in Fire Investigation at Local Business

Evidence in an analysis of the remains of a fire at Standard Pallet in Knox found that a lightning strike caused the fire at the business on 300 East, according to fire officials.

An investigator from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office was at the scene this week to help determine the cause of the inferno. Four fire departments battled the blaze at the factory for about nine hours on Friday, Aug. 22.

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Gary Chavez to Appear in Court for Hearing

  Gary Chavez will appear in Starke Circuit Court this morning for an attorney status hearing.

Chavez last appeared in court for an initial hearing on Aug. 25 where he pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping and carjacking. He appeared without an attorney but stated that his family was working on getting an attorney to represent him. Today’s hearing will determine where that process stands.

Chavez, 57, is accused of beating his estranged wife, Kimberly Chavez, to death at his home in Knox, kidnapping an employee at gunpoint and fleeing in a vehicle from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center in North Judson and carjacking a vehicle from a residence in English Lake at gunpoint on June 6.

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Road Maintenance Continuing in Starke County

Starke County Highway Department crews are busy this week re-stoning gravel roads.

Starke County Highway Department crews are busy this week re-stoning gravel roads.

The Starke County Highway Department is on pace to meet and possibly exceed its road improvement goals for the year. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says they paved 10 miles of roadway in August at a cost of slightly more than $21,000 per mile. He says they may add to that total by the end of September. Continue reading

Endowment Fund Established for Starke County Youth Club

The Starke County Youth Club is the recipient of a $5,000 Sustainability Fund grant from the Northern Indiana Community Foundation. SCYC Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says the money will be used to establish an endowment to support the youth club’s work and mission. Funds in the endowment are invested, and a portion of the interest comes back to the organization each year to help offset operating expenses. Continue reading

Sheriff’s Department Releases More Information About High-Speed Pursuit

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department has released more information about a high-speed pursuit that started near Grovertown and ended in Marshall County. A sheriff’s deputy tried to stop a vehicle on U.S. 30 west of 1200 East, but the driver kept going. He finally stopped at 1100 East but put his car into reverse when the officer got out of his patrol vehicle. The suspect backed into the police car, causing the vehicle to strike the deputy. Continue reading

Starke County Highway Department Preparing for Winter Weather

 Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler is shopping for less expensive road salt to use this winter. He told the county commissioners he’s already got one contract in place through the state bid process but is attempting to negotiate better prices with other suppliers who lost out on the state bid. Continue reading

Planning Commission Working to Rid County of Unsafe Structures

The Starke County Planning Commission is busy ridding the county of blighted and vacant homes. In the past four months, 18 enforcement letters have been sent out for unsafe structures, and 15 property owners have taken care of the problems themselves. The county will demolish three unsafe structures. Of those, two are already down. Dirtworks Excavating, J.D. Excavating and Pioneer Excavating have each volunteered to demolish one structure at no cost to the county. Planning Commission President Dennis Estok is pleased with the process.

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Walorski Tours SCILL Center Welding Lab

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski toured the SCILL Center welding lab and met with students, instructors, Knox Community School Corporation officials and industry leaders.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski toured the SCILL Center welding lab and met with students, instructors, Knox Community School Corporation officials and industry leaders.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski is impressed with the workforce training that’s taking place at the SCILL Center welding lab. She stopped there yesterday as part of her district-wide education tour. Continue reading

Knox Homework ICU Curing School Blues

 A newly developed “intensive care unit,” for helping Knox Middle School students complete unfinished homework, received unanimous accolades from Knox School Board members when they met Monday evening.

Principal Josh Pugh reported that some 583 pieces of once incomplete homework have been fully completed by students so far this year.

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Enrollment Down at Knox Schools

Knox-School-Board-2014The first tally of the fall 2014 student enrollment at the Knox schools shows a drop of some 50 students from the previous year at the same time. Superintendent A.J. Gappa reported to last night’s meeting of the school board the loss of student attendance was across all grade levels. An officiall tally is scheduled later this month which will determine the state’s financial reimbursement to the schools.

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Starke County Commissioners Set EMS Interview Date

The Starke County Commissioners plan to interview six applicants for the EMS director position on Tuesday, Sept. 23. All six either live in Starke County or work for Starke County EMS. Other applicants will be considered as part of a secondary list. Continue reading

New Starke County Jail Still On Schedule and On Budget

This building on SR 8 at CR 550 E is part of the new Starke County Sheriff's Office and Detention Center.

This building on SR 8 at CR 550 E is part of the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center.

Construction of the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center is still on schedule to wrap up next spring. Information shared with the Starke County Building Corporation indicates the metal addition to the rear of the existing building on State Road 8 east of Knox is 80-percent finished. Continue reading

Walorski Schedules Local Stops on Education Tour

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski’s education tour will make several stops in the area today and tomorrow. She wants to hear from education officials, community leaders and students about ways to improve opportunities and prepare students for a globally competitive workforce. Continue reading

Road Salt Prices are Saltier this Year

 Knox Street Department Superintendent Jeff Borg told the Board of Public Works members recently that the price of road salt went up about 50 percent this year.

Borg said the city gets 150 ton of salt and it will cost the city $73.32 a ton in an annual agreement with the state co-op. Last year, the price of road salt was $48.84 and the cost was $7,300. This year the city will be paying $11,000.

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Walk-In Flu Shots Available at Hamlet Clinic

IU HealthIndiana University Health LaPorte VNA is offering flu and pneumonia shots at a walk-in clinic in Hamlet. Starting today the vaccines are available to people ages 65 and older at IU Health VNA, located at 5595 County Road 600 North in Hamlet. Medicare Part B covers the shots, or participants may pay with cash or check. Continue reading

Contractors Needed for Home Repairs for City Grant Project

The City of Knox is looking for contractors to bid on repairs on homes through the Area 5 program.

Five roofing jobs were awarded to companies in LaPorte and Logansport and now local contractors are urged to bid on homes that need electrical repairs, plumbing repairs and general contracting repairs. The city has secured grant money and are waiting for companies to bid on the projects.

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City Officials to Start Comprehensive Plan Talks

The Knox City Council will be meeting tomorrow at 5 p.m. CT to discuss items for a comprehensive plan.

The two hour meeting will gather ideas for the downtown area and for the TIF District. The council members discussed the need for a new plan for the TIF District last week as the current plan is really outdated. The two plans may come together to move forward plans for the downtown area.

The meeting will be held at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox.