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Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Searching for Stolen Truck

By:Mary Perren
Published:April 23, 2014

Pulaski County SheriffThe Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft of a truck from a property west of Winamac. A bronze 1994 three-quarter ton Chevrolet truck was stolen from the area of State Road 14 and 400 West sometime between 3 and 4 a.m. Monday, according to a news release. The truck has tube step sides, a sticker on the tailgate that reads “Get Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs” and a Bass Master sticker in the window. The truck’s license plate number is TK181MCC. If you see the truck, call the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office at 574-946-3341 or contact the closest law enforcement agency.

Train Hits Car, Driver Arrested

By:Mary Perren
Published:

A North Liberty woman faces drunk driving charges after her abandoned car was struck by a train Monday night in Marshall County.

The 2001 Honda registered to Malory K. Schmucker, 30, crashed into the tracks on southbound Redwood Road north of 1st Road just after 10 p.m., according to a report from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office.

Schmucker told the investigating officer a friend got the car stuck then fled the scene. Schmucker got in the car and tried to move it, but didn’t have time to do so before an eastbound train approached.

She got out of the car before the train hit it and was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Marshall County Deputies Arrest Knox Residents on Drug Charges

By:Mary Perren
Published:
Crystal Singleton

Crystal Singleton

Earl Beem Jr.

Earl Beem Jr.

 A man and woman from Knox face felony drug charges in Marshall County after being pulled over for speeding Tuesday.

A sheriff’s deputy stopped their SUV near the intersection of Harrison Street and Oak Road. The police report indicates Marshall County K9 Jax indicated the presence of narcotics inside the vehicle. Officers reportedly found Crystal Singleton of Knox to be in possession of heroin and found drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. The officers reportedly found heroin on passenger Earl Beem as well. He also had two outstanding arrest warrants, including one for a felony parole violation.

Singleton and Beem both face numerous charges in Marshall County.

Robert Corbin’s Case to be Heard by Indiana Supreme Court

By:Anita Goodan
Published:

  The Attorney General will be representing Starke County in an oral argument to be heard in the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday at 9:45 a.m. ET.

This hearing surrounds the case of Robert Corbin.

Corbin was arrested in April 2012 on two charges of Attempted Child Seduction, as Class D felonies. It was alleged that a then-sixteen-year-old student had been receiving inappropriate Facebook messages from Corbin who at the time was a teacher at the Knox Community School Corporation.

After the charges were filed in Starke Circuit Court, Corbin’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss charges as it was the claim that Corbin did not take a substantial step to constitute the crime of Attempted Child Seduction. In a later hearing, Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall denied a motion to dismiss which was later appealed. The Indiana Court of Appeals accepted jurisdiction and heard oral arguments by the Indiana Attorney General’s office who represented the State at that hearing. The Court of Appeals reversed Judge Hall’s ruling.

Now, the case is in the Indiana Supreme Court.

According to Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff, the argument will be 40 minutes in length with equal time on both sides.

Economic Development Director Says Starke County Still on SYSCO’s Radar

By:Mary Perren
Published:

 Houston-based SYSCO Corporation still plans to build a regional hub in Hamlet, according to Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver. He told the county council he talks to SYSCO officials every two months.

“They say this is still part of their plan, as is the facility in Texas, but the people I talk to don’t have any idea when.”

In February of 2006, SYSCO announced plans to build a redistribution center near the intersection of U.S. 35 and 30 as part of the company’s Supply Chain Initiative project. At the time the company said the expansion would create 500 local jobs.

Weaver says some work will be done on the site later this year to address drainage problems. He says the company plans to use local contractors for tile work. Weaver says SYSCO also has to clear debris left over from the removal of trees from the ditches. He says he’s spoken to SYSCO officials about the need to come back and finish that work. Weaver suspects they will apply for permits from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to do burning on site.

SYSCO purchased 320 acres of land near Hamlet in July of 2007 and decided in 2009 to proceed with construction. The project has been in limbo since due to the weak national economy. Last summer’s replacement of the bridge on U.S. 35 south of U.S. 30 was done in part to accommodate rail cars for the SYSCO site.

Pulaski County Commissioners Offer Support for Skate Park

By:Mary Perren
Published:
Hunger Skateparks produced this rendering of the proposed Winamac Skatepark.

Hunger Skateparks produced this rendering of the proposed Winamac Skatepark.

A young man from Winamac has the blessing of the Pulaski County Commissioners to make his ambitious Eagle Scout project a reality. Clark Gudas wants to turn Rhinehart Park next to the Pulaski County Family YMCA into a skate park. He says it will give area youth a safe place to participate in activities like skateboarding, rollerblading and BMX biking.

“I’ve already made progress by securing more than $30,000 in donations, grants and corporate matching funds. I’ve chosen a designer and builder, and I’ve also secured in-kind donations such as lumber, round steel tubing, steel fabrication, soil and reduced cost lumber, rebar, concrete and stone,” Gudas told the commissioners.

The skate park will be 5,000 square feet of concrete. Gudas says such parks typically cost between $22 and $50 per square foot. Hunger Skateparks has agreed to build the park for $23 per square foot. That discount takes into consideration all of the in-kind donations and reduced-cost supplies. Gudas notes any unforeseen costs could raise that price. His timeline calls for work to start by the end of June, with one-third of the  proposed skate park to be done before July 20th to satisfy the requirements of the Eagle Scout project.

That’s Gudas’ 18th birthday, which is the deadline for completion of his community service project. Gudas must then go through an Eagle Scout board of review in order to achieve the prestigious rank. He plans to expand the skate park as funds permit. The entire project carries an estimated price tag of $115,000. Gudas has already secured the land and received approval from the Winamac Town Council to proceed with the project. He also has volunteers lined up to help with the actual work. Gudas says a skate park will be an asset to the community by providing a space for young people to engage in physical activity.

“It promotes a healthy and active lifestyle. It promotes a sense of community. It has a professional designer at a discounted rate. It will increase tourism for the town. It’s safer than riding and skating on public streets and sidewalks. It will reduce the damage to public and private property, such as the courthouse steps and railings and church steps and railings. The Town of Winamac will take care of long-term maintenance,” Gudas told the commissioners.

He is still applying for grants to fund the project. The Pulaski County Commissioners voted unanimously to write him a letter of support to submit with those applications. Arrowhead Country RC&D has agreed to act as a pass-through for donations, which means they are tax deductible. More information about the project can be found on the Winamac Skatepark Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Winamac-Skatepark/277219425663491

LaPorte Police Arrest Hamlet Man on Drug Charges

By:Mary Perren
Published:
Adam T. Jones

Adam T. Jones

A Hamlet man faces multiple drug charges in LaPorte after his arrest following a Monday morning traffic stop.

Officers from the LaPorte Police Department got a tip that a man in a white car in the 400 block of G Street was possibly using drugs. They responded at 8:41 a.m. and saw a white Pontiac Grand Am leaving the area. The car pulled across 4th Street in front of a vehicle that was northbound on I Street and nearly caused an accident, according to the police report.

An officer stopped the car, driven by Adam T. Jones, 22, of Hamlet. He was arrested for possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana and cited for failure to yield the right-of-way.

 

 

Knox City Council Discusses Proposed Burn Permit, Tables Action

By:Anita Goodan
Published:

The Knox City Council tabled burn permit request from IDEM and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF).

SCEDF Director Charlie Weaver explained that several trees need to be felled in three sites covering 32.8 acres in the industrial park and in order to economically rid the area of the timber debris it would be burned. The area left would be seeded with a portion left for greenspace and the other for economic development. Plans to expand industry and to create jobs is in the future thinking of the development foundation.

The permit suggests that the burning would take place over the course of 30 days.

IDEM has strict restrictions for the burn including the time of day and how to properly extinguish the fire for the day. The council members had questions about how big the burn piles would be and the overall effect smoke would have on the residents living near the area and in the city limits.

Weaver said he just received the permit information on Tuesday. Knox-Center Township Fire Chief Kenny Pfost learned about the permit during the council meeting and didn’t have a chance to review it.

After a lengthy discussion, the council decided to table the request until they receive more information from the contractor on the specific details of the burning process. Weaver said he will attempt to get a representative from Thomas Excavating to attend the May 13 meeting and a project engineer to give the council more information in order to move forward. The council members also want to wait to see what residents have to say about the proposed project before coming to a decision.

Oregon-Davis School Board Approves Bus Purchase

By:Anita Goodan
Published:

The Oregon-Davis School Board approved the purchase of buses through the Central Indiana Service Center during their meeting Monday night.

Superintendent Greg Briles said the board approved the purchase of two buses.

“We will be purchasing a new bus and then we are also going to be looking at the possibility of purchasing a one year off-lease bus in order to stay within our funding formula that the state has given us for bus replacement,” said Briles.

The new bus will be a 78-passenger bus and the off-lease will be a 72-passenger bus.

Briles added that a few buses will be taken out of the fleet as a result of the purchase.

“We currently have four buses on our fleet that we will be removing. “We are going to put those up for sale to the public to see if anybody would be interested in them. I realize that sometimes there are people in our community that could use them for other things such as detasseling and some of those activities. So, we’ll give our community an opportunity to look at those.”

Information on bus mileage and recent work activities will be released out of the office in the near future. The sale will be advertised.

Jury Trial Scheduled in Starke Circuit Court

By:Anita Goodan
Published:

 A jury trial is set for today in Starke Circuit Court.

Donald Frazier will be on trial on charges of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (OVWI) and Possession of Paraphernalia. The OVWI charge is broken up as two counts: OVWI and OVWI with a prior conviction in the past five years to elevate it to a Class D felony.

Frazier allegedly operated a vehicle while he was under the influence in the town of Hamlet on Halloween during trick or treat hours. He reportedly had a BAC of .08 when tested at the time of the traffic stop.

The jury trial will begin at 9 a.m. with jury selection.