Statement Of Benefits for Hoosier Custom Plastics Tabled

Back Row: Greg Matt, Mayor Rick Chambers, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Donald Kring, City Attorney David Matsey. Front Row: Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg and Ron Parker

A request to approve a statement of benefits for Hoosier Custom Plastics was tabled by the Knox City Council last week because no one from the company was on hand to answer questions.

The document the council was being asked to sign would confirm the company is in compliance with what was promised when the tax abatement was approved.

According to the figures submitted by Hoosier Custom Plastics, the company has between 31 and 33 full-time employees, with a total yearly salary of $707,000. At the time the tax abatement was approved, the owners promised 20 employees and $595,000 in salary. Both figures would prove the company is in compliance, but the council members wanted someone representing the plastics firm to appear to answer questions.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston said when he spoke to a representative of the company on the phone it was stated that they’re “busting at the seams,” and “running out of room,” which would indicate business is booming.

A request for a company representative to be in attendance is being made by Houston.

Indiana To Evaluate Individual Needs of Probation Offenders

With 375 adult criminal offenders reporting to the Starke County probation office for services, Chief Probation Officer John Thorstad said recently that the state has come up with new methods to identify what each offender needs to be successful in the probation program.

“Indiana has come up with a new risk assessment that determines what type of programs or what type of involvement an offender needs with probation,” Thorstad said.

But a lot of the success depends on attitude.

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Tony Stewart Visits Lakeville to Promote Little Hoosier 100 Midwest Thunder Series

Tony Stewart

Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart was in Lakeville last night to help promote Newton Park and the Little Hoosier 100 Midwest Thunder Series, an event that will be held August 11 and 12 that features kids ages 5 to 16 racing quarter midget cars. Stewart talks about the race.

“Oh it’s cool,” said Stewart. “I never got to run quarter midgets growing up because I ran go-karts, but for Bob and Joyce to put on an event like that and let these kids run an event with the quarter midgets is a lot of fun. You never know which kid that’s going to race here is going to be the next up-and-coming Jeff Gordon or Helio Castroneves. There’s a lot of good kids that will be up here racing from all over the country.”

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Indiana Conservation Officers Had Hands Full Over Memorial Day Weekend

Indiana Conservation Officers have been out patrolling on waterways and State properties and the Memorial Day weekend proved to be a busy one for officers.

55 citations and 67 boating related warnings were issued to boaters during the course of the holiday weekend.  Three boaters were arrested on Lake Michigan and area lakes for Operating a Motorboat While Intoxicated.

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Indiana School Corporations Attend Cincinnati Teaching Conference

More than 400 national, state, and local education leaders – including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan – met in Cincinnati last week for a two-day conference on transforming the teaching profession.

More than 100 school districts from 41 states sent teams to the event, and one of the two Indiana school corporations to send representatives was Oregon-Davis. Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney, Teacher Association President April Max, and School Board President Chris Lawrence attended along with a team from Ft. Wayne.

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Starke County Youth Club Knox Declares Checkmates

This student is really thinking hard about her next move!

For the past few months, select students at the Starke County Youth Club Knox site have been working to put together an event that would honor many area residents. Named Checkmates, this group started with a grant from Indiana Service Learning After School.

Checkmates decided to invite Starke County veterans and retired citizens to a game of chess. Once invitations were designed, professional prints were sent out to all of the potential Checkmates guests.

The Checkmates event was held on May 16, when food was served, tables were set, and the boards were prepared. What followed was 90 minutes of community involvement and fun.

At the end of the day, the entire youth club came together and provided a great service to its community. Each child involved showed great respect, cooperation, and effort in creating a memorable event that should be commended by all.

Cruise-In For A Cure To Take Place Friday, June 8

A Cruise-In For A Cure event is planned for Friday, June 8. Rhonda Noah of Key Bank says this is the first time they’ve hosted a show like this, and they’re proud to welcome cars, trucks, motorcycles, and all other types of vehicles to compete in the cruise-in. A $15 donation is required per vehicle, and all proceeds from the event will go directly to the Starke County Relay For Life.

Cancer survivors will judge the cars and pick a top three, and Noah says they’re hopeful this event brings in some new faces.

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WKVI Tour To Washington Is Two Weeks Away

Ed Hasnerl
Ed Hasnerl

Two weeks from today the giant motor bus will head out from the WKVI studios to Washington, D.C.

The WKVI trip’s tour guide, Ed Hasnerl, always makes the trip special and he says this year is no different.

“Our group has been selected to put a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery and several of the veterans on the trip will take part in that presentation,” Hasnerl said.

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Reckless Homicide Trial to Be Held For Dale Hite Today

Dale Hite

A trial is scheduled for a man who has pleaded not guilty to eight charges stemming from an incident in Starke County on Oct. 16, 2009.

Dale Hite was present for his pretrial motions and instructions hearing Tuesday, where he faces charges of Resisting Law Enforcement Resulting in Death, two counts of Reckless Homicide, and counts of Resisting Law Enforcement, Possession of Methamphetamine, Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign and Failure to Use Headlights from Sunset to Sunrise.

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Three Arrested In Plymouth on Battery Charges

The Plymouth Police Department made three battery-related arrests over the weekend. Jeremy S. Morrison, 21, of Plymouth was arrested the morning of May 27 on preliminary charges of Domestic Battery and Criminal Mischief after an incident at 914 S. Michigan St. He is currently being held in the Marshall County Jail.

Police also arrested 18-year-old Renan A. Hernandez of Plymouth following an incident at 800 Sycamore St. on May 27. He faces a preliminary charge of Battery and is being held in the Marshall County Jail.

Manuel Baca, 29, of Plymouth was also arrested and faces preliminary charges of Domestic Battery and Reporting a Crime. Police were called to 400 South Fifth Street in Plymouth at 11:35 p.m. on May 25, and, following an investigation, arrested Baca and transported him to the Marshall County Jail.

Knox Lift Station Project Begins; Contract Signed

The estimated $200,000 lift station project at the corner of Claybaugh and U.S. 35 has begun with the letting of an engineering contract. The City of Knox has signed a contract with Territorial Engineering for $21,000 to design a new modern submersible pump. The current lift station has been deemed difficult and unsafe to maintain.

Van Janovic of Territorial Engineers said the design should be complete by August and ready for bid. The construction of the new lift station could cause some inconvenience for personnel at the South Side Fire Station, but Janovic said they should be able to work around it.

Memorial Service for Fallen Pulaski County Officers Held Yesterday

Sheriff Michael Gayer talks of the fallen officers

A memorial service for the fallen officers from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department was held yesterday at noon ET in front of the Pulaski County Justice Center. The service was held to commemorate the lives of Sheriff Charles Oglesby, Sheriff Milo “Mike” Lewis and Deputy Shad Bassett who were killed in the line of duty. Sheriff Michael Gayer said it’s important to hold this service once a year. Continue reading

Knox City Streets Paving Contract Awarded To E&B Paving

Back Row: Greg Matt, Mayor Rick Chambers, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Donald Kring, City Attorney David Matsey. Front Row: Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg and Ron Parker

E&B Paving has been awarded the Knox City Streets paving contract, pending review of the city attorney and street superintendent. The bid came in at $74,855.

Streets to be paved include Division Street from 300 East to the railroad tracks, Chicago Street from U.S. 35 to Prettyman Street, the alley behind Lady Bug Cleaners, St. Louis Street from U.S. 35 to Pearl Street, and South Portland Street from Culver Road to Delaware Street. Lafayette Street from Bower Street to Roosevelt Road will also be paved, along with Pearl Street from the railroad tracks to John Street.

Also, Covenant Concrete won the sidewalk construction bid for $15,323. Sidewalks will be installed on John, Prettyman, Shield, and Lafayette streets, near U.S.A Cafe and the Pearl Street Clinic.

Annual Health and Resource Fair Planned For Today

Pulaski County Human Services, Inc., Northwest Indiana Community Action Agency, and Pulaski Memorial Hospital are sponsoring the Annual Health and Resource Fair today from 9 a.m. to noon ET. Following the fair, a senior citizen picnic in the park is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m.

During the Health and Resource Fair at the Winamac Town Park Community Building, participants can receive free health screenings, information on housing, nutrition, services, finances, volunteering, health education, and employment, as well as in-home and long-term care options. Those are just a few of the topics that will be covered. Over 25 entities have reserved booth space to help address quality of life issues and door prizes will be given.

Betty, Allen Chesak Named As Mint Festival Parade Grand Marshals

The Boy Scouts led last year's Mint Festival Parade.

Betty and Allen Chesak will serve as Grand Marshals for the 2012 Mint Festival Parade. The North Judson Mint Festival Committee named the two at their recent meeting.

Betty has been involved with the Mint Festival since its beginning 35 years ago. Many of those years she was the Mint Festival President before retiring from the committee in 2010.

Allen is a Starke County farmer. Working with his father Charles, he was involved with mint farming in the early years. The mint farming blended in well with the corn and soybeans also grown on the property.

The Chesaks will ride in the parade on Sunday, June 17.

SCYC Hamlet Students Learn About Health Value of Vegetables

Cecilia Torres-Bowman and Rev. Kyle Wright and two students show the vegetables they grew in the garden

Remember when you were a kid and mom scolded you for not eating your vegetables? The Starke County Youth Club Hamlet site students have just completed a project that focused on the health effects of eating vegetables.

Last week, the students took visitors on a trip through their garden, showing off the healthy vegetables they had raised. There was everything from radishes to leafy greens in specially-built growing boxes.

The highlight of the program was the presentation of baskets full of fresh vegetables to the St. Mathew’s church and Community Services food pantries.

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From the WKVI Archives

It was the biggest graduating class yet from Knox High School. Twenty-six boys and girls received their diplomas on this date back in 1928 donning green and yellow. William Wheeler, one of the graduates, entertained with a violin solo.

Ever wonder the meaning of Maxinkuckee? One account is that it means moccasin, which refers to its shape. If anyone can confirm this, call (574) 772-6241.

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Fugitive Joshua Hunnicutt Surrenders at Starke County Jail

Joshua Hunnicutt

After almost five days on the run, Joshua Hunnicutt turned himself in to the Starke County Jail on yesterday afternoon. Hunnicutt had been on the run since he climbed a wall and razor-wire in the recreation area of the jail to escape on May 23. Hunnicutt told police he surrendered because he realized he would eventually be caught.

Hunnicutt reportedly told the police that he had made a very poor decision to escape, and said he does not even remember what took place prior to escaping.

He is currently being held in the Starke County Jail on his previous charge of possession of methamphetamine and a new charge of Escape as a Class C Felony with no bond set at this time.

Police say they will interview Hunnicutt and a report will be forwarded to the Starke County Prosecutor’s Office for review of any additional charges.

Starke County Jail Population Nears Boiling Point

Starke County Jail

Fifteen Starke County prisoners are being housed in the Pulaski County Jail after it was decided by county officials and Sheriff Oscar Cowen that the extreme overcrowding was just too dangerous to allow it to continue.

Commissioner Kathy Norem said yesterday that she feared the overcrowding might trigger an outbreak of violence against other prisoners or jail staff. The overcrowding puts extreme pressure on the staff, which may have contributed partially to the recent escape.

Recently, the population ran over 80 prisoners, and it’s hoped that the measure will keep the prison population at 62 or below.

The housing of prisoners in Pulaski County is being accomplished under a temporary agreement.