This is a memorable day in the history of Starke County. On this date in 1965, three people were killed and 200 buildings were damaged during the Palm Sunday tornadoes. The hardest hit area was Koontz Lake where then-Sheriff Gordon Armstrong reported 156 houses severely damaged. 33 of the homes were completely destroyed. Killed at Koontz Lake was 50-year-old Everett James. The other two victims were rural Walkerton residents.
Starke Memorial Hospital reported treating 15 patients. 160 national guard troops also were sent to the lake to seal it off from looters.
Seven years ago, Jefferey Ake was seized by gunmen outside Baghdad. Ake, of LaPorte, was in the country helping to rebuild a water bottling plant. He was later seen on the Arab satellite network Al-Jazeera. To our knowledge, it is still not known what happened to Jefferey Ake, although the City of LaPorte has never forgotten him.