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Today's News

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

Heat is on the Rise This Week

Summer is finally here.  The hot days ahead remind us of some safety tips and guidelines to help you stay safe from the heat.  Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch says hydrating is a key element to staying cool.

“People need to stay hydrated, try and stay in the shade, try and stay in cool area,” said Lynch.

With this week’s heat getting up to the level it will, Lynch says anyone can be susceptible to the heat.

“Any type of diabetes, heart conditions, respiratory problems.  When the heat index starts getting up to where they are supposed to be this week, anybody’s susceptible.”

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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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High Temperatures, Heat Indexes Predicted Today

We’re in for another hot, humid day across the Kankakee Valley. Temperatures are expected to climb into the upper 80s to around 90 today. It will feel much warmer due to increasing humidity. By this afternoon the heat index is expected to be in the 95 to 100 degree range. Outdoor workers are urged to take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you have outdoor pets, make sure they have ample water and plenty of shade as well.

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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Free Mortgage Help is Available for Those Struggling

A free program is available if you are struggling to pay your mortgage.

The Hardest Hit Fund through the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network is a statewide program funded by the U.S. Department of Treasury to assist those who are at risk of mortgage delinquency and foreclosure.

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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

Flooding Possible This Morning Across Kankakee Valley

Flash flood warnings are in effect this morning for parts of the WKVI listening area. The National Weather Service has issued warnings for Starke, Pulaski, Fulton and LaPorte Counties. Additional rain is expected until about 8 a.m. Central and could cause problems in low-lying areas. Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall may also lead to flooding of small creeks, streams, highways and overpasses. Should water start to rise, move to higher ground immediately.

United Steelworkers to Represent MPI Employees

United Steelworkers LogoEmployees at MPI in Knox are now represented by the United Steelworkers of America. Michael O’Brien is the District 7 Subdistrict 4 director for the union. He tells WKVI News the National Labor Relations Board ratified the recent vote by MPI employees and notified both the union and the company. Continue reading

Starke County Highway Department Waiting on Bridge Inspector

Starke County Highway Department employees paved the new bridge earlier this week.

Starke County Highway Department employees paved the new bridge earlier this week.

Repairs to the bridge over the Yellow River on Starke County Road 700 East are finished, but it’s not open to traffic yet. County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler tells WKVI News the bridge needs to be inspected first. Continue reading

Taylor to be Tried Again in Starke Circuit Court

Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor will be on trial again to face the four counts in which resulted in a hung jury.

Eric Taylor was on trial for two days in Starke Circuit Court which ended with not guilty verdicts on charges of dealing in methamphetamine and possession of chemical reagents or precursors with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine. The jury was deadlocked on counts of possession of methamphetamine, possession of a syringe, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of paraphernalia. The jury deliberated for five hours.

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