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Today's News

Reyes Sentenced to 17 Years in DOC

 A Grovertown man was sentenced to serve 17 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections during a hearing in Starke Circuit Court yesterday.

Ryan Reyes, 19, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to two counts of child molesting as a Class B felony in two separate cases and criminal mischief as a Class D felony in a separate case.

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Woman Sentenced for Her Part in Battery Incident

  A woman accused of assisting a suspect in a battery incident at Wythogan Park in Knox in July was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Thursday.

Samantha Smith, 19, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of assisting a criminal as a Level 6 felony. She drove a car with the battery suspect as a passenger from the scene of the crime. That suspect had struck another teenager in the head. The force of the impact caused the teenager to fall to the ground where his head hit a cement walkway and caused serious injury.

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Many Activities Going on in Knox this Weekend

Downtown Knox will be bustling today with a veteran’s parade and the free WoodStarke Festival at Wythogan Park. The parade organized by the Blue Star Mothers will begin at 10 a.m. CT at Five Star and concludes at the Starke County Courthouse. U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, Representative Jackie Walorski and veterans will speak on the courthouse steps after the parade concludes. Veterans, service members and their families are invited afterward to lunch at Knox United Methodist Church. Continue reading

Ideas Offered to Combat Wythogan Park Vandalism

City of Knox logoKnox City officials have several options to consider when it comes to curbing vandalism at Wythogan Park. Mayor Rick Chambers hosted a community discussion last night to gather thoughts on the issue. He says several good suggestions were offered.

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Knox Park Department Completing Projects

Knox Park Superintendent George Byer gave an update to the Knox City Council members last night on the state of the city’s parks.

Byer said since the vandalism has tapered off a bit, the park crews have been able to work in Heritage Park. They’ve installed a bench, a swing set, teeter-totter, and rehabilitated the monkey bars. Water Superintendent Todd Gardner will be helping the park department with running a line for a water fountain at the park. The board has plans to build a shelter at the park next year.

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Public Input Sought on Problems at Knox Park

City and county officials want the public’s input on how to make Wythogan Park safer. Mayor Rick Chambers and others are hosting a community meeting this evening at 6:30 at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in downtown Knox to discuss incidents of vandalism at the park. The Knox City Police Department has stepped up patrols through the park, but Mayor Chambers is seeking other suggestions as well. Continue reading

Community Meeting Set to Curb Park Vandalism

The number of vandalism reports in Wythogan Park has slowed, but it continues.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers is attempting to gather information to help curb the ongoing damage reported in Knox’s most popular park.

A meeting is set for Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox where opinions will be noted about ways to improve security. Any other suggestions will be welcome during this information session.

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Meeting Scheduled to Gather Ideas on Curbing Vandalism

The mayor of Knox is attempting to gather as many groups as possible to talk about the solutions to curb the ongoing vandalism issue in Wythogan Park.

Mayor Rick Chambers has organized a meeting for Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 6:30 p.m. CT at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center to gather opinions from several groups to look at the problem from all angles.

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Another Suspect Arrested in Battery Incident

Samantha Smith

Samantha Smith

Another arrest has been made in the Monday night battery incident at Wythogan Park in Knox.

Samantha Smith, 19, was arrested Tuesday night for her alleged involvement in the incident. She was reportedly in a car during the altercation.

The battery occurred Monday night inside Wythogan Park. A juvenile boy was struck in the head by another juvenile. The force resulted in the victim falling to the ground where his head hit the cement walkway. Emergency personnel arrived at the scene and transported the boy to IU Health Starke Hospital. The victim was then airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital.

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Suspect Detained in Battery Incident in Knox Park

The Knox City Police Department is investigating the battery of a 14-year-old boy in Wythogan park on Monday night.

According to witness statements given to a Knox officer, a male juvenile had approached the victim in the park and struck him on the head. The victim fell and struck his head on the concrete walkway. The suspect, later identified as a Knox resident, was in a gold-colored passenger car with four other people that left the scene.

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Knox City Council Concerned over Vandalism at Wythogan Park

Wythogan Park

Wythogan Park

The Knox City Council learned this week of ongoing vandalism at Wythogan Park.

Park Superintendent George Byer has informed authorities that there is some form of vandalism at the park on a constant basis. Recently a picnic table was thrown into the river, a toilet was blown up by a firecracker, two fountains were destroyed and the cannon in the park has also suffered damage from vandals.

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Meeting Set to Discuss a Dog Recreation Park

dog picA meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 19 to see what the interest is in creating a dog recreation park in Knox.

Those spearheading the idea ask that all dog owners/lovers attend the 10 a.m. meeting at the Henry F. Schricker Public Library in Knox to learn about information needed to get a dog park approved in the city limits.

Chuck Richardson previously told WKVI that he presented a list of names on a petition to start a dog park at the Knox Park Board meeting last month, but the board members reportedly told him that they would like to see people attend their next meeting who are in favor of the incident.

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Knox Park Board Gives OK for $5 Fee

Wythogan Park

Wythogan Park

The Knox Park Board has given the go-ahead for park officials to begin charging $5 per child to use the park’s fields for scheduled games or practices, once per season. The Knox City Council had previously discussed options to increase revenue for the park department, and Ray Stephenson with the park board told the council that they are considering charging a fee for children to use the fields for practices or games, and said a $5 charge per child would go a long way in funding some of the park’s maintenance.

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Knox Park Board Discusses Concession Use Fee

Wythogan Park

Wythogan Park

Continuing in their effort to generate more revenue for parks in the city of Knox, the park board this week discussed further the possibility of a “concession use fee,” which would be charged to those who wish to rent the concession area and its attached storage. Currently, the park charges a 15 percent commission fee based on the user’s gross income, and while that had been doing well for some time offsetting the increased electrical cost associated with baseball leagues in the park, the income from that fee has been dropping.

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IU Health Starke Hospital Participates in Day of Community Service

It was a Day of Community Service for employees from IU Health Starke Hospital Friday at Wythogan Park in Knox.

Approximately 50 volunteers from the hospital took four hours to install exercise equipment at the park as a way to help residents get moving and improve wellness.

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Vandals Strike Wythogan Park in Knox

Vandals have struck at Wythogan Park already this spring.

Park Superintendent George Byer told Knox City Police officers that on Monday, April 1 he found that some unknown person(s) spray painted graffiti on the new curly slide. The suspects also spray painted graffiti on a brick building inside the park.

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Knox Park Equipment Damaged in Shipment; Replacement En Route

The installation of the new playground equipment for Wythogan Park has hit a bit of a snag. Park Superintendent George Byer told the city council at their meeting last week that the equipment was delivered, but it had been damaged during shipment. As a result, the installation of the equipment is on hold until the replacement equipment has been received from American Playground. The company has agreed to deliver new equipment themselves to the park.

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Improvements Coming to Wythogan Park in Knox

The park crew was out yesterday morning preparing for the new equipment.

Wythogan Park in Knox is closed for the season, but repairs and improvements are still ongoing. Park Superintendent George Byer told the city council this week that they are currently waiting for the delivery of 30 trees to be planted in the park, and crews are also working on installing a new piece of playground equipment.

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