Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

A passenger in a vehicle that was stopped because it did not have a windshield ended up taking a ride in a police car. Starke County Sheriff’s Office Chief Detective Rob Olejniczak pulled over a vehicle driven by 34-year-old Shannon Watts of North Judson on 500 North at 750 East in Hamlet on Wednesday, May 26, according to a news release. Continue reading

Knox High School Special Needs Students Help Prepare Computers for Sale to the Community

Finding a working computer in good condition can be quite a daunting task. Knox High School wants to make that process easier on you. During the first week of June, students, parents and community members have the chance to come down to the high school and purchase a MacBook Laptop for $120. The laptops have been returned to factory settings and have undergone thorough checks by a helpful group of students. Continue reading

Busy Memorial Day Weekend for the Redskin Brigade

06-07-14 Music Recycled picThe Knox High School marching band had quite a busy Memorial Day weekend. After completing and submitting the nomination form sent by Purdue University, the Knox marching band was selected to march in the Indy 500 parade. Saturday evening head band director Craige Phipps hosted a “lock-in” at the high school, where students had a chance to swim and play basket ball, but most importantly rest up for their endeavor the following day. Band members left the high school around 2 am on Sunday in order to make the trek.

Phipps shared the excitement of the experience once they arrived on the scene. The band received a police escort into the track, got everything ready to go and then we marched a parade on the two and half mile surface that the cars race on. The students marched across the yard of bricks, had their names announced their picture put up on the big screen TVs that are stationed around the track. After that they were given a box lunch and got to go into the stands and watch the race

Phipps explained the intensity didn’t end there,  “What made it even crazier, was the very next day we had to come all the way back here to do the Knox Memorial Day parade. So it was a pretty long weekend.”

This was the third time the Knox marching band shared the track with the NASCAR drivers. It first happened in 2002 and then again in 2009. Phipps says he leaves it up to the band members to decide whether or not to march in the event but based on the positive responses from students he expects to return next year for the 100th Indy 500 race.

Hamlet Park Board Prepares for Summer

Hamlet Town HallThe Hamlet Park is being prepared for the summer season. When the Park Board met recently, members took action to replace the old water fountain and to provide a proper drain for the excess water. A number of new trees may be planted after the Board reviews prices. Park security will be updated with new and improved cameras, and consideration will be given to providing a cold drink machine in the shelter. The Board also approved a $1000 donation to support this summer’s Yellowstone Trail Fest.

Trail Events Statewide During National Trails Day

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is encouraging hiking, riding, and other activities next weekend.

Saturday June 6th is National Trails Day and the DNR is celebrating by offering clean-ups, hikes, and other events at several state parks. The state is largely using the event to open several trails at a park in Indianapolis, but events are still being offered around Indiana.

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April Unemployment Rates Tumble

Indiana Workforce DevelopmentStarke County’s April unemployment rate hits a seven-year low. The local jobless rate tumbled from 7-point-6 percent in March to 5-point-8 percent in April. That’s the lowest it’s been since November of 2007. All 92 counties saw drops in unemployment, according to figures released by the state. Continue reading

Starke County Council Prepares For Budget Planning

 Starke County department heads will soon begin work on their annual budgets for the upcoming year. Auditor Kay Chaffins says preliminary budgets need to be submitted to the state Department of Local Government Finance by the end of June. This will be the first budget session for Sheriff Bill Dulin and Clerk Vicki Cooley, both of whom were elected last fall and took office in January. Continue reading

Starke County Makes Little Progress in 2015 County Health Report

Starke County continues to be ranked near the bottom when it comes to county health.

A report released earlier this year by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin details several aspects of public health and ranks every county in the nation based on those factors.

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Pulaski County Hometown Collaboration Initiative Team Picks Building Block

Pulaski County Economic DevelopmentThe Pulaski County Hometown Collaboration Initiative Team has chosen one of three “building blocks” as part of the ongoing partnership between the state, Purdue and Ball State Universities. The program seeks to help small communities expand their pipeline of local leaders, strengthen and expand jobs by building on existing economic assets and improve attractiveness and quality of life of their hometowns. Pulaski County is one of seven communities chosen by the state to participate. Continue reading

Marshall County Making Plans for Bicentennial Torch Relay

Indiana BicentennialMarshall County is accepting nominations for an honor that comes around once every 200 years.

A committee has been formed to help organize events surrounding the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay. The event won’t take place until 2016, but volunteers must be found to carry the torch through all 92 counties.
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Starke County Sheriff Still Raising Money for K9

Starke County Sheriff's Department BadgeStarke County Sheriff Bill Dulin is still collecting donations to add a second drug and search dog to the force. The dog and training for its handler will cost about $16,000. Dulin says the sheriff’s office is about $3,000 short of that goal. Fundraisers will be scheduled later this summer. Meanwhile, cash donations or money orders made out to “Starke County K9 Fund” can be dropped off at the jail. Personal checks will not be accepted. All contributions are tax deductible. Continue reading

Knox High School Class of 2015 Leaving a Legacy

Rather than a senior prank, the Knox High School 2015 graduating class opted for a senior project instead. The deliberation over what to do began back in October as senior project coordinator John Poindexter inquired about what the students would like to do.

Poindexter said, “The students decided to go for the beautification of that lot down there at Main and Lake street. Normally we just do the paper work stuff and figure out that in class but they wanted to do it hands on. So we went through all the permissions of the school board and city council. Then we started fund-raising.”

They received enough donations to purchase seven park benches and two picnic tables. The class succeeded in selling more than 200 personally engraved bricks for $30 each. Flowers and plants were donated by local businesses and various members of the community. The economic development committee paid for a brick gazebo to be installed.

Since construction is still ongoing, some graduating students have volunteered to continue working on the project into June. Poindexter urges other seniors to assist in finishing up. Future senior classes may take on responsibility for replanting flowers and foliage and potential new additions. Currently the city of Knox is responsible for the upkeep of the area which is located behind the Nancy J. Dembowski community center.

Town Prepares for Taste of Culver

Culver is preparing for an annual festival that brings food and music to the downtown.

Organizers of “Taste of Culver” – sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce in Culver – requested approval of several items by the Town Council on Tuesday night. The event closes Jefferson Street one day each June to allow vendors to set-up tents.
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Drunk Driver Sentenced to Department of Corrections

 A North Judson man who admitted to driving drunk and critically injuring four people when he hit their vehicle was sentenced to five years in prison. Dennis Lee Bair Sr., 64, pleaded guilty to a merged count of operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury. The charge stems from a Sept. 20, 2014 wreck on State Road 10. Continue reading