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Today's News

Marshall County Sheriff’s Department Investigate Home Improvement Fraud

This is a person of interest in a home improvement fraud case

This is a person of interest in a home improvement fraud case

A person of interest is being sought in an incident of home improvement fraud.

Marshall County Sheriff’s deputies say a local resident was contacted about having a driveway sealed. The person of interest would not provide any type of estimate for the work other than a price per gallon. The resident was led to believe that only a few gallons would be used, according to a news release.

The person of interest completed the work, but allegedly overcharged the resident.

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Walkerton Woman Sentenced to Probation

 A Walkerton woman was sentenced on a reduced charge in Starke Circuit Court Thursday morning.

Tamara Esparza pleaded guilty to an amended charge of neglect of a dependent as a felony. However, due to her lack of a criminal record, her cooperation with a drug investigation and her ability to do what’s best for her situation and her daughter, the felony count was reduced to a misdemeanor as ordered by Judge Kim Hall. The order was also made so she could remain gainfully employed.

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Ed Clark Announces Retirement

The Pulaski County Commissioners learned from the director of the recycling and transfer station that he hopes to retire at the end of the year.

Ed Clark told the commissioners that he will be retiring Dec. 31 and asked them to advertise for the opening. He said he’d stay on as long as the new person would need to be trained. They approved the request.

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Braun Mansion For Sale

The 15,945 square foot Braun mansion south of Winamac is for sale. Image courtesy of Encore Sotheby's International Realty

The 15,945 square foot Braun mansion south of Winamac is for sale. Image courtesy of Encore Sotheby’s International Realty

Pulaski County’s largest and most expensive home is on the market. It was built in 1998 for Braun Corporation founder Ralph Braun, who died in February of 2013. The home sits on a 40 acre property just south of Winamac and features nearly 16,000 feet of living space. Indianapolis-based Encore Sotheby’s International is handling the listing. Continue reading

Two Arrested after Traffic Stop

Two people were arrested after a traffic stop in Marshall County on Wednesday.

A Marshall County patrolman stopped a vehicle in a business parking lot on Kingston Road. The officer found that Jason Joseph had an active felony warrant and was in possession of methamphetamine, pseudoephedrine and a schedule II controlled substance, according to a news release.

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Indiana Moves to Electronic Firearms Application Process

Handgun PermitApplicants for a firearms license in Indiana will need to complete the necessary paperwork online after Oct. 1. The paper application will be replaced with an electronic firearms application process. The Indiana State Police process all applications. A spokesman says the new application will streamline the process for both the applicant and law enforcement officials and is designed to be user friendly. Continue reading

John Glenn’s Falloween Fest Is Back

The Falloween Fest returns to Walkerton this weekend. The 6th annual festival will feature John Glenn High School’s organizations, clubs, community groups from surrounding towns, civic groups and churches for this major fund-raising event. Over $94,000 has been raised for student scholarships since the Falloween Fest’s inception in 2009. Continue reading

Starke County Coroner Releases Autopsy Results

Results of a forensic autopsy conducted in the case of 33-year-old Christopher Howard of Grovertown have been released by Starke County Coroner Kris Rannells.

He stated that Howard died instantly of multiple systems blunt force trauma, including massive head, chest and abdominal injuries.

An investigation by the Starke County Sheriff’s Department found that Howard was last seen leaving friend’s house at 2 a.m. on Tuesday in the area of 1025 E. and 50 N. in Starke County. He was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon. His vehicle was found in the area of 900 East and 500 North at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and it appeared to have been involved in a collision.

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Royce Sentenced to Six Years in DOC

  A Knox man with an extensive criminal history is headed back to prison for the sixth time in his life.

James Royce, 44, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to felony charges of residential entry and escape and a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief in two separate cases. The state and defense argued Royce’s sentence to Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall.

In one case, Royce admitted that he forced his way into his aunt’s home without an invitation. In the second case, he admitted to escaping the custody of a jailer who was escorting him from the courthouse to the Starke County Jail. Royce had appeared for a hearing in Starke Circuit Court and Judge Hall ordered him back to jail. Royce admitted that he “panicked” and ran. The jailer suffered an injury chasing after Royce. Royce was apprehended approximately 20 minutes after he escaped custody. He also admitted to tampering with the GPS ankle bracelet he was wearing as he had been on home detention through Starke County Community Corrections.

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Marshall County EMA Director to Meet with School Safety Committee

Marshall County Emergency Management Agency Director Clyde Avery gave the commissioners a quarterly report Monday morning and offered information about an informative safety meeting scheduled for next week.

The school safety committee will be meeting to discuss concerns with the winter season on the way. Avery told WKVI News that he will review the protocol in place when significant winter weather is forecast. Avery will make sure that the school emergency plans are up to date with current contact information plus critical components such as communications, command and management, emergency notification, public information, and other needs.

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Pulaski County EMS Director Seeks Help in Retaining Staff

Pulaski County EMS Director Nikki Lowry asked the commissioners Monday night for help in retaining staff in her department.

She stated that there is a short turnaround of staff and believes that Pulaski County EMS needs to be more competitive when it comes to pay and work available.

Lowry also suggested offering incentives such as continuing education.

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N.J.-S.P. Faces Additional Budget Cuts

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert
Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board will need to reduce their budget even further.

According to North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Lynn Johnson, a decrease in enrollment will cause deeper cuts.  She said the average daily membership has decreased by 40 students.

Earlier this year the board cut $1 million from the budget, and more cuts are forthcoming. Johnson did not elaborate on where those cuts will occur.

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Starke County Economic Development Foundation Hosting Manufacturers Day Event

Students from Starke County’s three school corporations will get a firsthand look at local job opportunities during the upcoming Manufacturers Day at Knox Middle School. The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is bringing together 7th grade students and representatives from local industries and SCILL on Thursday, Oct. 2. They will have displays of what their company manufacturers, the skills and training required for each job at the company and the kinds of jobs they have and will also be available to answer questions. Continue reading

Bella Vita Schedules 5th Annual Life Walk

The 5th annual Life Walk is this Saturday.

The event will help raise money for the Bella Vita Pregnancy Resource Center. The walk will begin around 10 a.m. at the center on Lake Street and conclude at Wythogan Park.
An open house is planned at the center along with face painting, a balloon artist, coffee and doughnuts.

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Grand Jury Indicts Former County Highway Superintendent

A former county highway superintendent faces a felony theft charge.

A grand jury in Marshall County returned a single-count indictment this week against Neal R. Haeck. He’s alleged to have stolen $12,351.41 from the county in 2012 and 2013. During that time Haeck was the Marshall County Highway Superintendent. The allegations surround the sale of scrap metal, according to a news release from the prosecutor’s office. Haeck is being summoned into court. However, his initial hearing date has not been set. Haeck retired from the county highway department on May 2nd.

LaPorte County Courthouse Evacuated after Bomb Threat

A Michigan City man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly sending a bomb threat notice by mail to the LaPorte County clerk’s office.

The employee received a letter addressed to the clerk’s office delivered by the United States Postal Service. When she opened the envelope, she found a powdery substance and a letter, according to a news release. She immediately took the envelope and the contents to the courthouse security office.

The letter stated that explosives were located in or near the courthouse, as noted in the press release. With that, the courthouse was evacuated and a request was made for the assistance of the Michigan City Police Department, LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, LaPorte County Hazardous Materials Team, Michigan City Fire Department and LaPorte County Emergency Management.

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