Add Saving a Life to Your Summer To-Do List

welikeyourtypeAccording to a survey recently conducted by the American Red Cross, more than 40 percent of regular donors will be traveling during the weeks prior to and following Independence Day. This is an indicator that these people will be less likely to donate. The American Red Cross is urging all eligible individuals to step up and help out to avoid a summer shortage. Continue reading

Faulty Asphalt Delays Klockner Drive Completion

An asphalt problem has forced paving contractors to hit the brakes on finishing the road through the Knox Industrial Park. Last summer 300 East/Klockner Drive was widened to accommodate truck traffic. Contractors have been working for the past few months to restore driveways and lawns and finish paving. Continue reading

La Porte County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse Fundraiser

La Porte County Mounted Posse

This weekend at the La Porte County fairgrounds Mark Waller,the Director of Horsemanship at Culver Military Academy, is instructing an equestrian course hosted by the La Porte County Sheriff’s Posse. Waller served as a member of the London Metropolitan Police Department Mounted Unit in England and will be covering various skills such as maintaining control under stressful circumstances, over coming obstacles,equitation and formations. The clinic runs Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28. Continue reading

North Judson Mint Festival Starts Today!

mint_festivalThe North Judson Mint Festival kicks off today with the opening ceremony commencing at 5 pm in Norwayne Field. Immediately following the opening ceremony, the winners of father and grandfather of the year will be announced. Tonight’s entertainment includes music by High Noon and Elwood Splinter Band from 5:30 until 11:00 pm.

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Knox Board of Works Approves Paving Contractor Switch

City_of_Knox_LogoThe Knox Board of Works revisited the bids for street paving and changed contractors during a special-called Monday morning meeting. City officials say the initial low bid from E&B Paving does not include enough asphalt to take care of the required 2 inch overlay on Lake Street to handle drainage issues. Continue reading

LaPorte County Investigators Seeking Help After Mysterious Phone Call

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department is investigating after receiving a mysterious phone call on Friday afternoon.

The call came in a few minutes after 4:00 p.m. from a Trac phone with no return number. According to a recording of the call, a female said she was at the Harley Davidson store in the area of County Road 300 North and US 421 and was in distress.

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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

Hamlet Town Board to Consider Tax Tonight

Hamlet Town HallThe Hamlet Town Board is expected to consider the re-establishment of a Cumulative Capital Development Fund when it meets tonight. The tax will be levied on all taxable real and personal property in the taxing district and will not exceed $0.05 per $100 of assessed valuation payable in 2016 through 2018. Continue reading

More Oregon-Davis Students Choosing Career Path

 Oregon-Davis students have stepped up efforts to join vocational programs for the next school year.

Superintendent Greg Briles said there were two or three students involved in vocational programs last year. Eighteen students will be participating in Auto Tech, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Graphic Imaging, Health Science, Precision Machining, and Welding in the 2015-2016 school year.

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O-D Principal Encourages Prom Goers to Be Responsible

First responders from the Hamlet and Koontz Lake Fire Departments assisted with the mock crash at Oregon-Davis.

First responders from the Hamlet and Koontz Lake Fire Departments assisted with Thursday’s mock crash at Oregon-Davis High School. The Hamlet Police Department and Starke County EMS also took part in the simulation.

Oregon-Davis High School students are off to prom this evening. High school principal Tim Pletcher wants them all to return to school safely Monday morning.

“The last thing I want to do is come in Monday morning and deal with almost 300 grieving kids because something tragic happened,” Pletcher told the students during a Thursday afternoon program. “You can’t control what other people do. You cannot do that, but if you’ve ever been in my office or in Mr. Estok’s office we talk about there’s one thing you can control, and that’s what you do and what you say.” Continue reading

Circuit Breaker Law Means Less Money for City of Knox Budget

 The Knox City Council was faced with a tough decision last night to approve budget reductions made by departments due to the circuit breaker law.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained the reductions made to the budget to the council members.

“The circuit breaker credits equal $261,249.27,” said Houston. “That is 16.39 percent of the certified levy. The certified levy is the maximum amount of money that you can collect from property taxes. You’ll see the General Fund was cut 18.36 percent, and each one of them was cut about 18.36 percent other than our two debt funds, and they were cut .06 percent.”

Circuit breaker credits amount to less money coming into the city’s budget from the tax distribution. More money is required to be cut this year than last year.

Houston said that he went to each department head to ask them to reduce their budget by a certain percentage.

Now that the process is complete, a resolution to transfer funds was drafted. Houston said he checked with the Department of Local Government Finance, and the process he’s recommending includes putting money into a circuit breaker line item within a department’s budget.

“We still want to be able to get our maximum levy. We don’t want to do a budget reduction. We just want to move these appropriations down into an unappropriated area or circuit breaker area so that we don’t spend more money than we have coming in.”

Houston said about $261,000 is the circuit breaker, and that means the city council will need to watch all spending.

“It’s cutting it right to the bone. There’s no doubt about it. We’ll have to be very frugal. We have to do what we have to do.”

In addition to tax caps, the reduction of the assessed valuation of property can be attributed to some of the loss of tax money coming into the city.

The council members agreed that they have no other choice but to approve the resolution presented to them by Houston. The council approved the resolution for the transfer of funds with a unanimous vote.

Preschool Fair Highlights Necessity of Early Learning

 An event designed to enhance early educational opportunities in Starke County will be taking place on Tuesday.

The second annual Starke County Preschool Fair will be offering youth and their parents chances to explore the various pre-K outlets in Starke County, as well as a few of the enrichment activities for children.
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Bella Vita Pregnancy Resource Center Celebrates Five Years

Bella VitaThe featured speaker at the 5th annual Bella Vita Resource Center’s annual banquet was Peggy Rumer, who shared in words and music inspirational and “life changing” events in her life. She told of dealing with the birth of an unexpected baby and her new Christian life style.

The program and dinner was held at the Nancy J. Dembowski Center in downtown Knox. Speakers reported that Starke County holds the 3rd highest rate of teen pregnancies in the State of Indiana. Last year, more than 230 females and 90 males attended parenting classes at the center. Thirteen abortions were recorded by the agency in 2014 –compared to 27 in 2013.

The local pregnancy resource center is headquartered a 52 West Lake Street in Knox; the old post office building. It is a non-profit organization designed to assist those in an unplanned pregnancy situation. It is supported by donations.

Marshall County Law Enforcement Agencies Release Operation Pull Over Results

Plymouth Police and Marshall County Sheriff’s Department officers worked extra shifts last month as part of a crackdown on impaired driving. During the Operation Pull Over blitz, county officers made five criminal arrests for offenses like operating while intoxicated – controlled substance, possession of marijuana, driving while suspended and driver never licensed. They also issued 132 traffic citations and warnings. Continue reading

Starke County Officials Making Bicentennial Plans

Indiana BicentennialStarke County will be participating in Indiana’s Bicentennial celebration with a number of activities. A volunteer group met again last night to continue local planning.

Discussion was held about local celebrations and events throughout 2016, as well as participation in the 2,3000 mile, 32-day Bicentennial “torch relay” when it passes through Starke County in October of 2016. The torch, similar to the Olympic torch, is being designed by students at Purdue Univertsity. Starke County residents are expected to be recruited to participate in the relay. Continue reading