Knox Council Shifts Funds for K-9 Vehicle

 The Knox City Police Department has funds lined up to buy a patrol vehicle for their K-9 officer. Mayor Dennis Estok says the Chevrolet Tahoe to accommodate the dog and equipment carries a price tag of about $40,000. Last week the Knox Redevelopment Commission pledged $20,000 from the Tax Increment Financing account toward the purchase. The council’s share of the money will come from the city’s share of riverboat gambling proceeds and the Economic Development Income Tax fund. Continue reading

Prosecutor Reviewing Case of Wandering Child


The Starke County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing details in a case where an unsupervised child was found in the 300 block of West Riverside Drive in Knox.

Knox City Police Department officers received a call about a wandering child on Friday morning. The child was wearing pajamas when neighbors found the child. The youngster could not inform officers of her name or who her parents were. Several hours went by before the child’s parents were located.

The child remains in the custody of the Department of Child Services.

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Knox Man Arrested after Alleged Threats at Knox High School


A Knox man was arrested Tuesday morning after allegedly making threats to harm individuals within the Knox Community High School.

Officers from the Knox City Police Department were notified of the situation after Paul J. Esparza, 20, had entered Knox High School and was escorted from the building by school officials twice. The initial complaint suggested that Esparza was in possession of a handgun, according to a news release. Officers found Esparza in the area of the school shortly after notification and took him into custody. Police say he was not armed at the time.

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Nies to Appear for Initial Hearing

Luther Nies
Luther Nies

A Knox man accused of felony attempted child seduction and child solicitation is scheduled to appear in Starke Circuit Court today for an initial hearing.

Luther Nies, 25, was arrested on a warrant Wednesday morning on the charges that stem from alleged actions in Feb. 2013. According to court documents, Nies attempted to molest a five-year-old child. Knox City Police Department officers placed Nies into custody without incident and he remains in the Starke County Jail on a $35,000 surety bond.

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Knox Man Charged after Two Month Investigation

Luther Nies
Luther Nies

A Knox man was arrested on a bench warrant yesterday after a two-month investigation by the Knox City Police Department.

Luther J. Nies, 25, was arrested on charges of attempted child molestation as a Class C felony and child solicitation is a Class D felony. The alleged acts involved a small child in 2013. No other details are available at this time.

Nies is in the Starke County Jail on a $35,000 bond.

Knox City Council Meets New Officer, Approves Use of Community Center

Eric Vanderhoff
Eric Vanderhoff

The new officer at the Knox City Police Department introduced himself to the Knox City Council members Tuesday night. Eric Vanderhoff said he will be headed to the police academy on March 31 for 15 weeks of training. He’s been on the road for six months and getting to know the area. He will return to the Knox City Police Department when his training is complete. Vanderhoff was hired last spring.

The city council also approved the use of the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center on April 25 for an event hosted by Women Anchored in Hope. The council approved the use of half of the great room, but if there are more people than anticipated then they could use the entire room.

A contract was approved to have Anne Mannix complete all of the paperwork with the Blight Elimination Program grant. The contract is for $50 an hour, not to exceed $10,000. The city attorney will review the contract.

The city council members also recognized that George Byer was reappointed as the park superintendent. That action was completed this month.