Grand Opening Set for New LaPorte Licence Branch Location

The LaPorte License Branch has a new place to call home.

BMV Commissioner Kent Abernathy, State Senator Jim Arnold, and State Representative Tom Dermody will be part of tomorrow’s grand opening of the new LaPorte License Branch building at 1301 Pine Lake Road.

The facility where the license branch was previously located caught fire in October. The employees conducted transactions in a mobile unit at the site for only a few days until repairs could be made to the building.

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Marshall County Habitat for Humanity Taking Applications for Minor Home Repairs

The Marshall County Habitat for Humanity organization is offering help to low-income homeowners who may need to have minor or critical repairs done to their home.

Executive Director Dean Byers said there are two different options available for a homeowner to apply within a program called “A Brush with Kindness.” If a homeowner is chosen to participate, they will repay the organization based on their income.

Byers said one program allows for help in minor repairs and routine home maintenance.

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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

LaPorte Police Investigate Criminal Mischief in Kingsbury Industrial Park

Detectives with the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department are investigating an incident of criminal mischief that occurred at the Kingsbury Industrial Park.

Police say that a fire hydrant was opened sometime between 11:30 p.m. and midnight on Friday, March 20 and water ran out of the hydrant for several hours. Officials from the Kingsbury Utility Corporation estimate that more than 300,000 gallons of water flooded the area around the Bye-Mo’r business on Fourth Line Road. The business did not suffer any damage. Deliveries could not be made to or from the business due to a flooded loading dock, according to the news release.

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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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Culver Town Council Needs More Time for Flouridation Considerations

The Culver Town Council has a decision to make regarding public health, but decided to postpone providing direction until more council members were present.

The Town is in the process of designing a new water treatment facility. At this point in the design, engineers are requesting council input on whether the Town will use fluoride in the water treatment process.
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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

Loan Request Headed to Pulaski County Council

The Town of Monterey may take out a larger loan from Pulaski County.

Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer explained that the county agreed to loan the Town of Monterey $10,000 in order to provide matching funds for the proposed wastewater treatment facility project in Monterey. This was approved by Pulaski County government entities last year.

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Knox City Council to Meet Tonight

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council will be discussing a request from the Starke County Election Board to host the Municipal Primary Election at a location in downtown Knox.

Voters in the four districts in Knox typically vote at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center and the request is to continue in that agreement. The Municipal Primary Election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5. The city council will entertain the request when they meet tonight.

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Breakfast to Celebrate National Day of Prayer

The City of Knox will once again be hosting the National Day of Prayer Breakfast.

The annual gathering at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center will bring churches, organizations, and businesses together on May 7th. The breakfast and national celebration is typically used as a day to reflect on the direction of the United States. This will be the 64th year the National Day of Prayer will be celebrated.
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Starke County Council Approves Computer Purchases

 Starke County IT Director Joe Short can purchase a new server for the county and update several obsolete computers. The county council recently approved his request to appropriate funds from their county adjusted gross income tax certified shares. He’s replacing an antiquated server and six Windows XP computers he says pose a security risk to the county’s network. Continue reading