Gas Prices Expected to Stay Within Current Range over the Summer

The price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline remains low. Prices have gone up slightly in the past few weeks. Gasbuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan says most stations raised prices to $2.45 a gallon.

“This is in line with what we would have expected. We’ve watched wholesale gasoline prices go up and in an account of some refinery kinks that occurred about a week-and-a-half ago that are still impacting the supply of gasoline and those prices. Prices, though, remain about $1.25 lower than last year. Over the coming week, I would expect some sort of minor decrease to emerge in gas prices,” said DeHaan.

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Income Tax Filing Deadline is Quickly Approaching

Just three weeks remain to file income taxes on time. The deadline to file is Wednesday, April 15.

Katie McLear Public Relations Specialist with the Indiana Department of Revenue says taxes can be filed for free with the Indiana Free File program. If eligibility requirements don’t allow that option, McLear says the best option is to file electronically.

“There are a number of benefits to filing electronically,” explained McLear. “First for foremost you’re going to get your refund much faster. You’ll get that refund in about 10 to 14 days. You could wait up to 12 weeks if you file by paper.”

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Knox Street Department Looking Toward Spring Activities

Knox Street Superintendent Jeff Borg said the road crews have attempted to work on spring projects, but the snow was a surprise on Monday.

Street department employees were filling potholes and working grading alleys when the storm hit. Luckily, Borg said, the equipment was still prepared for snow removal.

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Arson Trial Ends With Hung Jury

After nearly 12 hours of deliberation the jury in the arson trial of a Knox businessman was unable to reach a verdict. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall declared a mistrial in State v. James Campbell at 12:14 a.m. due to the jury being an impasse and deadlocked. They began deliberations at 12:30 p.m. Continue reading

Knox Man Charged after Two Month Investigation

Luther Nies

Luther Nies

A Knox man was arrested on a bench warrant yesterday after a two-month investigation by the Knox City Police Department.

Luther J. Nies, 25, was arrested on charges of attempted child molestation as a Class C felony and child solicitation is a Class D felony. The alleged acts involved a small child in 2013. No other details are available at this time.

Nies is in the Starke County Jail on a $35,000 bond.

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

Knox City Council Members Discuss Seed Money for Harvest Festival

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council members held a lengthy discussion Tuesday night concerning seed money for the 2015 Harvest Festival.

A request for $2,500 was made by Mayor Rick Chambers to front the organization money just to cover initial expenses. The money will be returned once revenue is received.

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Knox Board of Works Approves New Towing Agreement

The Knox Board of Public Works reviewed a new towing agreement for four companies currently being utilized for service in the case of a car accident. Those companies include Buzz’s Towing, Howard and Sons Towing, Hauser’s Towing and Wagner’s Towing.

The agreement states that if the service is needed within the City of Knox contractors will be called on a rotating basis. The Knox City Police Department or the Starke County Sheriff’s Department would be working directly with the companies to request service. If the contractor does not answer the phone, the next company on the list will be called. It will be considered a rotational call and will not be made up.

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Beware of State Tax Scam

State officials warn of a national telephone scam targeting Hoosiers. Callers claim to represent the Indiana Department of Revenue and say there is an outstanding tax warrant in the taxpayer’s name. They claim local law enforcement is on the way to arrest the taxpayer unless the debt is paid over the telephone. The scam artist sounds convincing and professional. They often have personal information about the taxpayer and can alter the caller ID to appear more legitimate.

Department of Revenue officials stress they do not call taxpayers without first corresponding through the mail and does not threaten to use local law enforcement. Commissioner Mike Alley says taxpayers should not be afraid to hang up the telephone if they suspect they are being targeted by a scam artist. Continue reading

Ancilla College Announces Summer CNA Course

Ancilla College NEWAncilla College is offering a Certified Nursing Assistant course this summer. Graduates who pass the Indiana State Department of Health CNA test are state-certified to work as nurse’s aides in long-term care facilities, home health and hospice groups and assisted living facilities.

Prospective enrollees must pass a physical, drug screen and background check. The program consists of 32 hours of classroom instruction and 75 hours of clinicals. Courses will meet Monday and Wednesday nights from 6 until 10 p.m. starting June 8th. Clinicals will take place on Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. Students will take the state certification exam after they complete the course requirements. Continue reading

Testimony Concludes in Salvage Yard Arson Trial

The fate of a Knox man accused of setting his businesses on fire will soon be in the hands of a jury. The defense in James Campbell’s arson trial rested at 4:16 p.m. Tuesday after calling three witnesses. The first, a former ATF agent turned fire investigation consultant, questioned whether the fire that destroyed Campbell’s Tire Barn, Starke County Recycling and C&C Salvage on U.S. 35 south of Toto Road last March was deliberately set. Mike Vergon has operated a private fire investigation practice in Indianapolis for the past two-and-a-half years. He visited the burned out business on June 23 and Oct. 2 of last year. Vergon testified burn patterns don’t help with origin and cause determinations with damage as extensive as what he saw and said it’s his opinion the cause cannot be determined without good witness corroboration. Continue reading

Starke County Government Offices to Close for Jail Dedication

starke-county-courthouseStarke County government offices will close so employees can attend the dedication ceremony for the new jail. It’s scheduled Friday, May 22. Last week the county commissioners agreed to close the courthouse, annex and other county offices from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Continue reading

Mayor Gives Update on Monday Power Outage

IMG_3651The power issue in downtown Knox on Monday morning affected 700 homes and businesses.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers informed the council members last night that City Hall was shut down for the day until repairs were made, and MPI had to close production for the day due to lack of power.

The driver of a garbage hauler dropped off the large recycling bins at City Hall and failed to lower the rack on the truck. That rack caught the telephone lines as he was pulling away from the parking lot and snapped the pole in half. The lines were attached to City Hall.

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Charbonneau Sponsored Right to Try Bill Signed Into Law

State Senator Ed Charbonneau

State Senator Ed Charbonneau

A new law in Indiana is considered the right step by an area state Senator.

Ed Charbonneau sponsored the “Right to Try” bill that allows terminally ill medical patients to bypass the FDA’s compassionate use application process. It was signed into law on Tuesday by Governor Mike Pence after convincing approval in the General Assembly.

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Volunteers Needed for Knox Harvest Festival, Meeting Set for Wednesday

Volunteers are being sought for this year’s Harvest Festival in Knox.

Several committees have been formed to take care of certain aspects of the festival and those leaders are looking for community volunteers.

A fundraiser is planned and help is being sought for the event. An entertainment committee will also need help along with other groups to help put together a successful event.

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Knox Board of Public Works to Meet Today

The Knox Board of Public Works will be discussing a towing agreement when they meet this morning.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers has been working with City Attorney David Matsey about putting together a new agreement for towing companies when police need to remove vehicles from an accident scene. Mayor Chambers noted that the agreement is outdated. Towing companies are usually dispatched to a scene on a rotation, and that will be determined in a document to be reviewed today.

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2015 Congressional Art Competition to Feature Local Talent

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

High School students with artistic talent are encouraged to take part in the 2015 Congressional Art Competition sponsored by the U.S. House of Representatives.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski invites students to submit artwork that could be chosen to hang in the U.S. Capitol. for a year. Entries will be judged by a panel of art professionals from the Second Congressional District. Teachers, fellow students, family members, and friends of the entrant can vote on their favorite piece when they are posted in an album on Walorski’s official Facebook page.

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Senator Dan Coats Will Not Seek Re-Election

U.S. Sen. Dan Coats

U.S. Sen. Dan Coats

Republican U.S. Senator Dan Coats announced today that he would not seek re-election in 2016.

He issued the following statement:

“Today I am announcing that I will not seek re-election to the United States Senate. This was not an easy decision. While I believe I am well-positioned to run a successful campaign for another six-year term, I have concluded that the time has come to pass this demanding job to the next generation of leaders.

“Until the end of my Senate term, I pledge to my constituents that I will continue to focus all of my time and energy on the major challenges that Hoosiers sent me to Washington to address.

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Testimony Puts Salvage Yard Owner at Business Minutes Before Fire

Video evidence introduced in the arson trial of a Knox businessman indicates he was the last person to leave the property and did so minutes before the first smoke was visible. James Campbell owns Starke County Recycling, Campbell’s Tire Barn and C&C Salvage on U.S. 35 south of Toto Road in Knox. The businesses caught fire just after 5 p.m. on March 20, 2014. Then-Chief Investigator Kenny Pfost from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department testified Campbell left the business at 4:59 p.m. and pulled into his driveway next door. He left his house at 5:02 p.m., and the first smoke was spotted on the video 40-seconds later. Video also indicates two employees left just before Campbell did. Continue reading