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Facebook Posts Blamed for Battery at LaPorte High School

By:Mary Perren
Published:July 24, 2014

Facebook LogoLaPorte Police say comments made on Facebook are to blame for a fight between two 14-year-old girls Tuesday night at LaPorte High School. Police responded just after 9 p.m.  A news release indicates the girls met at the school to fight and says bullying had been occurring. Officers spoke to both girls and their parents. They say the issue was resolved when both parents agreed to delete Facebook, as it seemed to be the initial source of the conflict. Police told both girls they still have time to file charges if problems continue.

Argos Woman Faces Criminal Charge for Abandoning Dog

By:Mary Perren
Published:

Marshall County Humane SocietyAn Argos woman authorities in Marshall County say dumped a terrier mix dog in front of a house on 19th Road last week faces an animal cruelty charge. Police say Kim Paul brought the female dog to the Marshall County Humane Society on Wednesday, July 16 and said she no longer wanted the animal. Employees there told her the shelter was full.

A short time later a man brought the same dog to the shelter and said he saw it get dumped in his yard on 19th Road near Maple. He gave shelter employees a description of the vehicle. The shelter director called the Marshall County Police Department, and an officer went to Paul’s home on Marshall Street in Argos. According to a news release, she admitted dumping the dog on the side of the road. She told the officer the dog is destructive, will not mind, and she no longer wants it. The report indicates her daughter gave her the dog in February. In Indiana recklessly, knowingly or intentionally abandoning an animal is a Class A misdemeanor.

Traffic Stop Lands Argos Man in Jail

By:Mary Perren
Published:
Victor Rundberg

Victor Rundberg

An Argos man faces drunk driving and drug possession charges after an early morning traffic stop in Lapaz. A Marshall County Police Officer pulled a vehicle driven by Victor Rundberg, 51, over at on Michigan Street near Vandalia Street around 1:20 a.m. A police department news release indicates he failed a certified test and was in possession of a substance believed to be cocaine. Rundberg was booked into the Marshall County Jail on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, operating a vehicle while intoxicated controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

The Crossing Set to Open Next Week in Knox

By:Mary Perren
Published:

The CrossingStarke County’s newest school is set to open on Friday, Aug. 1. The Crossing has leased the old Sears retail location south of Knox on U.S. 35 for it’s alternative school. The mission statement on the Goshen-based nonprofit organization’s website says The Crossing believes in “empowering struggling students to become contributing members of their communities through academics, job training and faith-based mentoring.”

Earlier this year, The Crossing contracted with Knox, North Judson-San Pierre and Oregon-Davis Schools to serve students who have been expelled, dropped out of school or have otherwise fallen through the educational cracks. The schools identified youngsters who might be good fits for the program. So far eight have enrolled in the program, which offers a mix of classroom and vocational training. Mark Bailey is the local board president. He says students can enroll year-round in the school, but those who sign up by Sept. 12 will count toward their host corporation’s enrollment number for the sake of state funding. The Crossing will get a share of that money to defray tuition expenses. Bailey adds The Crossing will not turn any students away who enroll after that date and says scholarships are available. Open houses at the local site are scheduled Wednesday, July. 30 and Thursday, July. 31 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Find more information online at http://crossingeducation.com/.

Starke County Commissioners Crack Down on Bass Lake Campground

By:Mary Perren
Published:

The year-round campsite leases at the Bass Lake Beach and Campground run afoul of the guidelines under which the state turned the property over to the county. The Land and Water Conservation Fund does not allow for permanent enclosed structures like campers to be placed on public campsites. President of the Commissioners Jennifer Davis advised Bass Lake Beach and Campground manager Richard Callahan and his attorney, David Wallsmith, that the practice will no longer be allowed.

She told them Monday night that campers and other items need to be removed from the property on the last day of seasonal operations this year. Davis added allowing access to the beach and campground during the winter months raises a host of liability concerns should an accident occur.

When the campground reopens next year, camping will be limited to 15 days, after which time the tenants will have to leave. Davis says this is consistent with the state’s land use restrictions at other public campsites. The Starke County Council on Monday approved the establishment of a county parks and recreation board to provide greater oversight to the beach and campground, Starke County Forest and other county-owned recreational properties.

Firearms Policy Discussed by Oregon-Davis School Board

By:Anita Goodan
Published:

The Oregon-Davis School Board members approved the first reading of a firearms policy during their meeting this week.

Superintendent Greg Briles said the school’s policy will reflect the state’s policy. As per state law, firearms may be in a school employee’s locked car out of the sight of the public.

Briles said the school board will be following the NEOLA policy.

“It’s a very generic one,” said Briles. “It’s a basic understanding of what it would be in the school. As of right now, the only person or persons who would be allowed to have firearms in the buildings would be our school resource officers or police officers.”

The final approval of the policy will be discussed at the next school board’s meeting on Monday, Aug. 18.

Marshall County Commissioners Table Approval of Updated Emergency Plan

By:Anita Goodan
Published:

The Marshall County Commissioners received an amended county emergency plan from EMA Director Clyde Avery for approval.

Avery said the changes came from events during winter season when an emergency declaration was activated during blizzards.

“Some of the department heads felt that it wasn’t necessary to physically come to the emergency operations center. They felt that they could do pretty much the same job by virtual means. The other important component that was changed in the plan was where it basically puts the responsibility of implementing the emergency plan back on the commissioners instead of the emergency management agency director,” said Avery.

The participation of department heads in an emergency situation in a virtual manner may not be the best solution, according to Avery.

“During the tornadoes and the severe weather a couple of weeks ago, we had a power outage and lost internet capability which means that we can’t communicate by virtual means through the internet. When I’ve got four or five phones ringing at the same time it’s difficult to try and communicate with those folks on the phone and relay information to those folks that need to take some sort of action.”

He added that extra help in the emergency operations center could speed up efforts to relay information and to coordinate recovery efforts, if necessary.

The amended plan spells out what the roles and responsibilities of each department would be in the case of an emergency including communication, coordination and cooperation. Avery would like to have a plan where everyone knows what to do when a disaster strikes. He said the county has been lucky so far, but everyone needs to be prepared when that luck runs out.

The commissioners tabled the approval of the plan until the next meeting to further analyze the changes and decide what direction to take.

Pulaski County Commissioners Discuss Attorney’s Contract

By:Anita Goodan
Published:

Pulaski County CourthousePulaski County attorney Kevin Tankersley presented his 2015 contract to the commissioners for review.

He explained that his rate is $150 an hour and is paid a quarterly retainer of $1,500. He said the legal issues of the county are not easy to undertake and requires time to devote to make sure the law is followed. He also acts as a human resources director to some department heads who need employee-based questions answered.

Additional money had to be transferred within funds by the county commissioners in order to pay the attorney his wages. He said it’s difficult when the county council only appropriated $20,000 for legal counsel which isn’t enough to cover the year.

The commissioners tabled the contract to see how budget hearings go with the county council next week.

Knox City Council Discusses 2015 Salary Ordinance

By:Anita Goodan
Published:
Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council held more discussion on the 2015 salary ordinance during their meeting this week.

Councilman Don Kring had concerns about the budget and making cuts to the budget. He expressed that he wants to see a raise for the employees but he would hate to see things in the budget that would have to be cut because of the raise.

Councilman Jeff Berg said the employees backbone of the city and it’s a small amount to show appreciation for their loyalty for working hard for the city of Knox. With insurance going up 6.5 percent, the pay increase may help with that cost.

Mayor Rick Chambers commented that potential, qualified employees are turning down the jobs available at Knox because of the low pay.

The ordinance was approved on the third and final reading on a vote of 3 to 1 with Don Kring opposed. One council member was not present to offer a vote on the ordinance.

North Judson Town-Wide Yard Sales Scheduled

By:Mary Perren
Published:

North Judson residents taking part in the upcoming town-wide yard sales have until Tuesday, Aug. 5 to get their sale on the map that will be distributed throughout the community. The sales are Saturday, Aug. 9 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., rain or shine.

Yard sale permits for that day are $5 instead of the usual $10 and are available at the clerk-treasurer’s office. Map listings can include up to five items available at your sale location. Those maps will be available for pickup at several North Judson businesses prior to the sale. Contact the North Judson Clerk-Treasurer’s Office at 574-896-3340 for more information.