Today's News

Enterovirus Cases Confirmed in Indiana

Four Lake County children have been diagnosed with enterovirus D68. The cases were confirmed by state health officials on Friday.

The Indiana State Department of Health is working with local health departments and hospitals to detect others with the illness.

State health officials have already reported a higher than expected level of respiratory illnesess statewide for this time of year.

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Starke County Sees Spike in Workers’ Compensation Premiums

starke-county-courthouseWorkers’ compensation insurance premiums for Starke County employees have spiked for the coming year. The annual increase of nearly $60,000 is blamed on the county’s prior claims history. Premiums are determined based on three years worth of data. Continue reading

Many Activities Going on in Knox this Weekend

Downtown Knox will be bustling today with a veteran’s parade and the free WoodStarke Festival at Wythogan Park. The parade organized by the Blue Star Mothers will begin at 10 a.m. CT at Five Star and concludes at the Starke County Courthouse. U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, Representative Jackie Walorski and veterans will speak on the courthouse steps after the parade concludes. Veterans, service members and their families are invited afterward to lunch at Knox United Methodist Church. Continue reading

Farmers Market Festival Scheduled Today in Winamac

 The Farmers Market Festival returns to downtown Winamac today.

Festivities begin with the Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast from 7 until 10 a.m. EDT in the AlightLife parking lot at the corner of Monticello and Pearl Streets. Live music gets under way at 11, followed by a puppet show at 1.

Local craftsmen and artisans will have their wares available, and food and treats will also be offered. Activities include face painting and games for the kids.

Knox Schools Awarded Field Trip Grant

Knox third grade students will get to go to Potato Creek State Park thanks to the Discovering the Outdoors Field Trip grant.

The grant program is administered through the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation and allows students to participate in field trips to parks and reservoirs to engage them in learning about Indiana’s fish, forest, wildlife, natural habitats and conservation. The grant money helps with transportation costs, program fees and classroom supplies for the field trips to local state parks. Indiana has 24 state parks and eight reservoirs eligible for field trip funding.

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Marshall County Democratic Party Opening Headquarters Today

Democratic Party DonkeyThe Marshall County Democratic Party is kicking off the fall campaign season today with the grand opening of their party headquarters. Joe Bock, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, will be on hand for this morning’s festivities. They get under way at 9 a.m. EDT in room one of the Walnut Center at 304 Walnut Street in Plymouth. Coffee and refreshments will be served.

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LaPorte Woman Indicted on Embezzlement, Tax Fraud Charges

 A former LaPorte County deputy auditor has been charged with embezzling more than $150,000 from the LaPorte County government and committing tax fraud.

The federal grand jury indictment against Mary Ray, 66, of LaPorte was returned on Wednesday which charges Ray with two counts each of theft of government monies and making false statements on a tax return.

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IU Health LaPorte and Starke Hospitals Searching for New Strategic Partner

IU HealthIU Health officials are looking for a new strategic partner to serve the health care needs of Starke and LaPorte Counties. Leadership  has decided that’s the best approach to create the strongest strategy going forward, according to a news release. IU Health LaPorte Hospital President and CEO G. Thor Thordarson said in a statement, “We have a strong plan for taking care of our community that includes investing in new facilities, best people, and leading-edge technology. We will work with an organization that is as dedicated as we are to this mission.”

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Fill the Food Pantries During Hunger Action Month

September is hunger action month. It’s a time to help fellow community members who are hungry.

One in five children go hungry everyday and more older adults are utilizing food pantries for their needs. Volunteers at area food pantries are doing what they can to assist families in times of need and the best way you can help is to donate.

Both food pantries in Starke County and in Pulaski County are in need of canned soups, canned fruits and vegetables, boxed cereals, pancake mixes, syrup, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, and pasta and sauces. Other items needed include toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, diapers, feminine products, dish soap, laundry soap, and body soap.

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Pulaski County Council Holds Budget Public Hearing

 The Pulaski County council members held a public hearing for comments on the 2015 budget.

The council members worked in budget sessions in July to cut over $2 million in the budget for next year. The county is asking for a 2.7 percent increase over last year.

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WoodStarke Festival Planned Tomorrow in Knox

woodstarkeThe inaugural WoodStarke Festival at Wythogan Park in Knox promises a day full of healthy, family fun. A group of volunteers has put together a slate of activities. They will be set to a background of music by local, original bands from genres ranging from bluegrass and bagpipes to hard rock. Performers include Commander, Culver Pipes and Drums, Jerry Nenycz, Damien Acoustics, Adam Combs, Josh Grace, 10 Gauge, Welder and Company, South of Sorrow and Seldom Told.  Continue reading

Nominate a Candidate for the Henry F. Schricker Award

Henry Schricker

Henry F. Schricker

Nominations for the coveted Henry F. Schricker award are being accepted until Tuesday, Sept. 30.

The award is given to a Starke County resident who has shown that he or she has put “service before self”. That was the motto of former governor Henry F. Schricker who exemplified that action while in office and as a upstanding resident of Starke County.

The Starke County Chamber of Commerce will review all submissions and a committee of former award winners will select this year’s recipient. A nomination form is available on the Starke County Chamber’s website at www.starkecountychamber.com. Include the qualities and deeds of your nominee. The entry should include the person’s voluntary contributions and benefits to Starke County.

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Non-Compliant Sex Offender Found Living Next to Day Care Facility

Michael Sofranko

Michael Sofranko

A Michigan City man was arrested on Tuesday for being a non-compliant sex offender.

In August, officers found that Michael Sofranko, 36, was no longer living at his registered address and did not complete his annual registration with the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department.

Sofranko was convicted of a felony child molesting charge in LaPorte Circuit Court in 1998. He was also identified as an offender against children. As a result, he is required to register as a sex offender with law enforcement until 2022.

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Road Closures Possible to Accommodate 300 East Project

Pacific Avenue west of 300 East in Knox may be closed for brief periods of time over the next few days. Road crews are installing a new storm sewer at that intersection as part of the improvement project in that area. The project engineer advises the intersection will be fully accessible for emergency responders at all times.

Chip Seal Project to Close U.S. 421 in Starke and Pulaski Counties

U.S. 421 between the west junctions of State Road 10 and State Road 14 in Starke and Pulaski Counties will be closed today through the end of the day on Friday for chip seal and fog seal operations

This project is weather dependent and could be delayed. Indiana Department of Transportation crews will escort traffic through the worksite, but drivers are asked to find another route of travel during this process.

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Pulaski County Council Members Briefly Discuss Airport Issues

 The Pulaski County Council has had several questions concerning the operations at the county’s airport, Arens Field, and manager Bud Widner was at the council’s Monday meeting to answer questions by the council members.

At the last meeting, the council members voiced concerns about the payment for fuel.  There was a dispute over how much money the county should be receiving for the fuel that has been used and how much was in the fuel tank when the full-time employment began. That part has been ironed out and accounted for but the method of payment for fuel by customers was discussed briefly.

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