Todd Boldry will appear in Starke Circuit Court this morning for his initial hearing.
Boldry was arrested Friday, Aug. 24 at the Knox Middle School on charges of Child Seduction and Official Misconduct as Class D Felonies. He was arrested amidst allegations of sexual misconduct with a student that occurred as early as 2007.
Knox Community School Superintendent A.J. Gappa confirmed that he has suspended Boldry with pay from his teaching position at the Knox Middle School pending further investigation. The suspension was initiated after police took him into custody last week. The school board will approve that action during the board’s next meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 6:30 p.m.
The criminal case against former North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Connie Miller will now be heard by the Judge of the St. Joseph Superior Court, Jerome Frese.
This announcement comes after attorney Todd E. Wallsmith has taken the defendant’s case and will appear as her counsel, which presents a problem as he is within the third degree of relationship to Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall’s wife. According to Indiana law, a judge must disqualify himself in any proceeding in which a person within the third degree of relationship to the judge’s spouse is acting as a lawyer in the proceeding.
Step by step, the demolition of two buildings on North Main Street in Knox is becoming a reality. Two buildings, 2 N. Main St. and 4 N. Main St., are dilapidated and many feel they pose maintenance and safety concerns for the city.
According to Mayor Rick Chambers, the Starke County Economic Development Foundation has been looking to have the buildings torn down. The foundation was previously located at 4 N. Main St., but later moved to 1915 S. Heaton St. in Knox. The building at 2 N. Main St. has been abandoned for nearly 15 years.
The SCILL Center auto tech class is in full swing, with more than 50 kids taking the class split between morning and afternoon sessions. SCILL Center Director Jerry Gurrado says their enrollment is up this year from roughly 40 kids last year, but that’s not the only good news coming from the center.
Gurrado says they’ve also begun their welding vocational classes with a full enrollment. He says the class started on Aug. 14, and boasts a total of 16 students for its first year. On Sept. 10, the welding lab will host adult welding classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, which Gurrado says will ultimately end with a certification test for the students. Gurrado says this is a very important class, as there is an acute need for welders in this area, the immediate surrounding area, and nationally.
The Blueberry Festival in Plymouth and the Monterey Days Festival begin today!
In Monterey, the craft and food booths open at 6 p.m. ET, the pageant for Mister and Miss Monterey Days is set for 6 p.m. ET and the Jhonny and Sallie Show is at 8 p.m. ET.
The Plymouth Blueberry Festival starts up with the opening ceremony at 5 p.m. ET and the carnival opens at that time. The Little Miss and Mr. Blueberry Contest will be at 5:30 p.m. ET on the Michigan Street stage, softball games begin at 6:30 p.m. and the Blueberry Idol Karaoke competition is at 7 p.m.
Both festivals continue through Monday, Sept. 3. We’ll have more event details in tomorrow’s news.
The Department of Natural Resources is offering a new deer license bundle so hunters can have the right license for the right deer season.
This bundling option includes one license that can be used in multiple seasons. It can be used in youth, archery, firearms, muzzle-loader, and special antlerless seasons and for the harvest of one antlered and two antlerless deer total.
The Starke County Food Pantry and the Pulaski County Human Services Food Pantry have seen a steady increase in clients in recent years, and donations are always needed to help keep the pantries stocked.
Thursday, Sept. 6 is Wear Orange Day in support of food pantries all over the state and to speak out against hunger.
For information on how you can help the local food pantries, call Joan Haugh at Community Services of Starke County at (574) 772-7070 or Pulaski County Human Services at (574) 946-6500.
Wythogan Park in Knox is still closed as work remains underway to clear the debris and remove precariously-balanced branches dangerously dangling overhead. Park Superintendent George Byer told the city council this week that the contractor who has been hired to do a lot of the clearing will begin on Monday.
Despite Monday, Sept. 3 being a holiday, Byer says the contractor is anxious to get started on the cleanup. The walkway has been cleared and a very large amount of branches, limbs, logs, and other wood has already been hauled out, but they’ve got a long way to go.
The Knox City Council discussed the controlled burn to dispose of the collected brush and debris from the June and July storms.
Knox Mayor Rick Chambers told the council that the burn was supposed to take place earlier this week but the community has voiced its concern, so Chambers says he wanted to bring it to the council for further discussion. Chambers says the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has given the city its approval for the burn.
Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall rejected a plea agreement for Robert Reed in a hearing yesterday.
Robert Reed and the state had come up with an agreement where Reed would plead guilty to charges of Receiving Stolen Property and Resisting Law Enforcement and would serve 36 months with no part of that sentence suspended. He would also enter into work release once his time was served.
Two Hamlet residents were arrested Tuesday after an altercation in a parking lot by Walmart in Plymouth.
Plymouth police officers responded to the area after dispatchers learned that Jeffrey Gibson had pulled an alleged stolen item out of his pants. The woman with him, Kayla Thompson, reportedly returned the item.
The pair were taken to the Marshall County Jail for a preliminary charge of Theft and Gibson has an additional charge of Disorderly Conduct.
BP has released a searchable database containing a list of the gasoline retail sites that sold off-specification gasoline. BP says this gasoline has been associated with problems related to the alkylation unit at their refinery in Whiting.
BP officials say that once these locations were identified, each retail site was instructed to immediately stop selling the tainted fuel and to properly clean out their tanks and dispose of the material. They say the problem at the Whiting refinery has been fixed, and they are now only supplying terminals with gasoline that meet their “rigorous quality standards.”
Kristen Webb and Joshua Givens were in Starke Circuit Court yesterday for sentencing hearings.
The pair were arrested on November 23, 2011 after officers from the Knox City Police Department executed a search warrant at 605 South Portland Street after learning of possible drug activity at the residence. Police reportedly found methamphetamine, marijuana, controlled substances and paraphernalia at the residence. Five people were arrested as a result of the search warrant.
The District 2 Task Force in Northern Indiana has not yet been deployed to help with emergency services in Louisiana due to Hurricane Isaac, but Starke County EMA Director Ted Bombagetti said all members are packed and ready to go if they are called to duty.
The District 2 Task Force has a swift water rescue and tactical rescue team within the unit and are ready to be mobile when called. Bombagetti commented that the teams can be on the road in a matter of hours. An exercise to prepare for events such as Hurricane Issac was recently held in Pulaski County.
The District 2 Task Force includes emergency personnel from Starke, Pulaski, Fulton, Marshall, and St. Joseph Counties.
The federally extended unemployment insurance benefits will be reduced by 10 weeks beginning Sunday, Sept. 2.
This is a result of federal legislation which reauthorized the extended benefits earlier this year. Those who begin the federal extension after Sunday may be eligible to receive a maximum of 63 weeks of benefits instead of 73.
Department of Worforce Development offices and WorkOne Centers will be closed on Monday due to the Labor Day holiday. Eligible unemployment vouchers will be paid starting Tuesday, Sept. 4.