Today's News

Nancy Dembowski Will Not Seek Re-Election

State Representative Nancy Dembowski

Democrat State Representative Nancy Dembowski has decided to end her 26 year political career. In her time, Dembowski served as a county councilman, mayor, state senator, and state representative.

Dembowski talks about her proudest moments as the Mayor of Knox.

“Everything from the Community Center and I’m especially proud of the police force that we were able to have for 11 years,” said Dembowski. “There are so many things. I think the accomplishments that we made and the improvements that we made in our community are some of the things I am most proud of.”

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State Representative Nancy Dembowski Discusses Right to Work

Indiana Statehouse

The right to work bill passed the Indiana House Wednesday and the debate on the bill lasted five hours. Democrat State Representative Nancy Dembowski said it was grueling.

“It was one of the worst things I’ve ever been through,” she said. “They’ve got all of the people demonstrating in the hallways and they shut off the speakers so the people out there can’t hear what’s being said. We insisted that they have a right to hear and we demanded they open the doors because the Constitution says that you have to have the doors open unless you want to do something in secrecy. Our people were trying to open the doors and they instructed the police to stop us. People have no idea what it was like. Person after person after person just pleaded with them that it was going to hurt the common working man and stop and they stuck together and they got it accomplished.”

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House Democrats Fined $1,000

Indiana Statehouse

The right to work squabble at the Statehouse kicked into high gear Wednesday with House Democrats again staying away from the chamber. For the second day, the Democrats held an open caucus in the rotunda. With that, Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma fined the 33 of the 40 lawmakers $1,000 for not coming back to the chamber.

17th District State Representative Nancy Dembowski was one of the Democrats who stayed away.

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Democrats Want Right to Work on a Referendum

Indiana Statehouse

Facing long odds, House Democrats are trying to slow down approval of Governor Mitch Daniels’ right to work legislation, House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer is asking that the measure go to a referendum.

Representative Nancy Dembowski agrees with Bauer.

“The problem is that people just don’t understand what the right to work bill does,” stated Dembowski. “We’re trying to get it off the fast track and trying to hold it back a little bit so that people can begin to understand it. Ideally, the best way to handle this situation would be to put it on a referendum. I doubt very seriously if we’ll be able to get that done.”

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Spc. Robert Tauteris, Jr. Laid to Rest

Two children hold up signs to thank Spc. Robert Tauteris, Jr. for his service

Spc. Robert Joseph Tauteris, Jr. was laid to rest yesterday near his mother in a LaCrosse cemetery. Tauteris was killed in action in Afghanistan on January 5th, along with three other members of his platoon.

Hundreds of people attended the services at the Braman and Bailey Funeral Home in North Judson. Included was Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Congressman Joe Donnelly and State Representative Nancy Dembowski.

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Starke County Jail Committee to Meet Today

Starke County Jail

The Starke County Community Jail Committee will meet this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. in the County Annex building.

One agenda item is the scheduling of public meetings to inform the public of the options to solve the jail problems. Commissioner Kathy Norem, who is chairing the committee, conceded that specific plans have not been formulated, but the public will be brought up to date on where the committee is at this point in time.

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State Finds $320 Million in Corporate Tax Revenue

Mitch Daniels’ administration recently announced that $320 million dollars had been found in corporate tax revenue. Daniels blamed a computer error for the reason why the money was just recently found. The money had been accumulating for about four years.

At the time of the announcement, the governor said it may signal a refund for taxpayers.

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Year in Review – Part Four

We’re down to the final three top 10 stories of 2011.

One of the top stories of the year involved State Representative Nancy Dembowski, who with 43 Democrat legislators, fled to Illinois to avoid voting on anticipated right to work legislation. After staying out for weeks, the legislators finally returned to the cheers of union workers and jeers from their Republican colleagues. The issue is coming back to the legislators in the 2012 General Assembly. The Republican majority party imposed fines on those who left.

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Starke County Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner Held Saturday

Starke County Democrats gathered at the Knox Community Center Saturday night for the annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner.

Those present heard from Congressman Joe Donnelly, Senator Jim Arnold and State Representative Nancy Dembowski. They also heard from Brendon Mullen for the first time who is the party’s 2nd District Congressional candidate scheduled to take on Republican Jackie Walorski in the 2012 election.

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State Democrats to Pay Fine

State Representative Nancy Dembowski

They went to Urbana, Illinois and now they are paying the price. In the most recent legislative session, Democrat Minority Leader, B. Patrick Bauer, of South Bend, led his fellow Democrats out of the state to, as he said, work on legislative bills that mattered to working people. The Republicans viewed it as a stall tactic to defeat bills offered by Governor Daniels and the Republican majority.

House Speaker, Brian Bosma, finally resorted to imposing a fine for every day the Democrats failed to appear in their house seats. 17th District State Representative Nancy Dembowski (D-Knox) was one of the members that followed the Democrat delegation to Urbana.

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Legislators Looking at Funding for Transportation

Indiana Statehouse

The state’s legislators are taking a close look at transportation in the state, and it isn’t just about roads. 17th District State Representative Nancy Dembowski (D-Knox) is part of the Transportation Committee, and that group is holding three meetings this summer to discuss the transportation issue.

Dembowski said that the committee is engaged in long range planning for a three year time period.

In the first year the committee is identifying needs, or what should we have that we don’t have. The second year will be devoted to where do we go from here, and how do we attain what we don’t have now.

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Discussion on Gasoline Prices Set for Tomorrow in Knox

What’s happening with gasoline prices? Yesterday at 4:00 p.m., prices were everywhere from $3.18 to $3.79 in northern Indiana.

Want to find out how prices are structured at individual stations or why some stations are pricing below cost? What about who’s making money off you at the pump?

Tomorrow night, Scott Imus will join State Senator Ed Charbonneau, State Representative Nancy Dembowski, and Mayor Rick Chambers in trying to explain what’s happening at Indiana service stations.

Imus is the Executive Director of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association.

If you want to hear it straight “from the horse’s mouth,” be at the Knox Community Center tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. CT.

Texting While Driving Law Takes Effect Today

Indiana’s texting while driving ban goes into effect today, and it carries with it a $500 fine if convicted. State Representative Nancy Dembowski (D-Knox) said it’s about time.

“Texting while driving is a very dangerous activity,” said Dembowski. “Last year, or a couple of years ago, we prohibited young people under 18 from doing that and I suppose they are the most frequent who misuse it, but it made no sense to me and the legislature that we should prohibit it for young people but not for all of us so it takes effect for all of us.”

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24-Hour Vigil at Knox VFW Post

Nancy Dembowski

Memorial Day Services in the Kankakee Valley began Sunday at the Knox VFW Post 748. The posting of the guard ceremonies began at 12:00 noon. Speakers included Tim Shepherd of the VFW, Dewayne Arndt, representing Congressman Joe Donnelly, State Representative Nancy Dembowski, and Knox Mayor Rick Chambers.

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Indiana Lawmakers Discuss Lowering the State’s Corporate Income Tax

Indiana Statehouse

State lawmakers are trying to decide whether to make Indiana more attractive to industry by lowering the state’s corporate income tax rate from 8.5% to 6.5%. The proposal has already passed the Senate and is awaiting committee hearings in the House.

All agree it would make the state more appealing to companies wanting to expand or relocate to Indiana, but it would also mean $76.3 million dollars less coming into the state from corporate taxes.

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Representative Dembowski Talks about Return to the Statehouse after Standoff

State Representative Nancy Dembowski

The Indiana Democrats are back in their seats this week after a walkout that began on February 21st. Both sides are claiming victory in the standoff. Republicans said the Democrats returned after hearing from Hoosiers that they were unhappy with their walkout.  Democrats said the Republicans were forced to make changes to bills because the public hadn’t understood Governor Daniels’ radical agenda until the slowdown.

17th District State Representative Nancy Dembowski was asked if she was happy the standoff was over.

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Indiana Democrats Remain in Illnois

State Representative Nancy Dembowski

Saying they’re not being “spoiled sports” the Indiana House Democrats are still in Urbana, Illinois asking their Republican counterparts to negotiate on some of the bills they feel strongly about. 17th District State Representative Nancy Dembowski (D-Knox) said yesterday that by staying away, the Democrats hope to slow the process down and to give the public a chance to look into some of these bills. Dembowski said she didn’t think the Republicans ran on some of the agenda items they are trying to pass.

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State Representative Nancy Dembowski Gives Update from Illinois

State Representative Nancy Dembowski

WKVI radio checked in yesterday with Representative Nancy Dembowski, who has been holed up in the Comfort Inn in Urbana, Illinois.

The Representative, along with others in the Democrat House, have been in Urbana since last Tuesday, February 22nd. Their action has closed down work at the House on bills the Democrats oppose.

Dembowski was quick to refute an off-the-cuff comment attributed to Governor Mitch Daniels that while the Republicans were working, the Democrats were enjoying sessions in a “hot tub.”

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State Representative Nancy Dembowkski Discusses Democrat Walk-out

State Representative Nancy Dembowski

Indiana House Speaker, Brian Bosma, said Thursday that he would not call Republicans back until Monday after the Democrats make clear they will not return from an Illinois hotel before then.

17th District State Representative, Nancy Dembowski (D-Knox) talked with WKVI news about the party members walk-out that has caused many in the district to question the maneuver.

“It’s not easy,” said Dembowski. “We’re all sick about it too and it’s pretty stressful, let me tell you. I guess maybe it’s because I’m getting to be a certain age, but if I don’t stand up for what I believe, I can’t live with myself. At some point in time, you have to stand up for what’s right and I think we’re standing up for the people and to be a voice is what’s right.”

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Indiana House Republicans Reject Effort to Protect Funds for Lakes

State Representative Nancy Dembowski

The Indiana House Republicans Thursday rejected an effort by State Representative Nancy Dembowski to protect funds earmarked for lakes around the state. Dembowski has 27 lakes in her district and tried to make $2.4 million in funds paid for by boaters to remain dedicated to that purpose.

The Representative objected to the Daniels administration taking the money to shore up the State budget. Following the defeat, Dembowski talked to reporters.

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