District 2 Incident Management Team Completes Mission; Awaits Redeployment

Starke County EMA Director Ted Bombagetti (L) and Sheri Gaillard assist other responders in the command center in Baltimore

The District 2 Incident Management Team’s mission in the City of Baltimore is complete. Starke County EMA Director Ted Bombagetti reported that the emergency responders will now report to a local National Guard Base where they might be redeployed to another area. Bombagetti indicated that they might go to New York to support efforts in flood ravaged areas, or to Western Maryland to help in emergency services due to blizzard conditions. Continue reading

PCEDF Discusses Business Endeavors in Pulaski County

The Pulaski County Economic Development Foundation Board earlier this month discussed a number of topics pertaining to business expansion in Pulaski County.

Executive Director Nathan Origer told the board that he had attended the K-IRPC executive commission 2013 budget meeting, and other than a significant decrease to the transportation funds, grant funding would not change much.

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Marshall County Auditor Elected President of AIC Board of Directors

Marshall County Auditor Penny Lukenbill is beefing up her resume, this time being elected to the position of President of the Association of Indiana Counties Board of Directors.

The AIC Board of Directors sets rules and regulations as well as legislative goals for the Association of Indiana Counties, a not-for-profit organization established more than 50 years ago to improve county government.

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New State Law Affects Hunting Blinds

Keith Wildeman

Several new changes have been put forward this year regarding hunting regulations. Conservation Officer Keith Wildeman says a new law has been enacted concerning hunting out of ground blinds.

“If you’re in a ground blind when hunter orange is required, you need to have a minimum of 144 square inches visible from all sides on a ground blind. That’s just one square foot visible from all sides and this is mainly during the firearms muzzleloader season when you’re required to wear hunter orange,” stated Wildeman.

If you are hunting out of an elevated blind, hunter orange is not required on your blind, but you must still wear hunter orange.

Indiana Schools to Receive Grade Cards Today

Hoosier schools will be receiving their grade cards today from the state – this after the release date was pushed back due to questions by school districts as to how the grades were calculated. Public Law 221 requires this grading system for public schools, and an accountability law requires the state to takeover schools that consistently score an “F” on their report card or if they are placed in a probation category for six years in a row.

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Woods Fire Burns 65 Acres in Marshall County

Several fire departments were called to the scene of a woods fire this morning west of U.S. 31 between Queen and Riley Roads.

Marshall County Sheriff’s Department officials said that the fire is now contained and fire crews are leaving the scene. The cause of the fire has not been released.

Fire crews from Lakeville, Lapaz, Polk Township, Walkerton and Southwest Center Township Fire Departments battled the blaze that burned 65 acres in the wooded area. No buildings were damaged and no firefighters were injured. The blaze was called in to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department around 5am ET.

Local Emergency Responders Providing Aide in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Several local emergency responders are in various parts of the East Coast to tend to situations due to Hurricane Sandy.

The District 2 Emergency Management Team left Winamac Sunday around midnight and arrived in Baltimore, Maryland at Noon. The responders, which include those from Starke, Pulaski, Marshall and St. Joseph Counties, participated in several briefings with local emergency staff, on-site FEMA representatives and the Mayor of Baltimore. Starke County Emergency Management Director Ted Bombagetti is one of those emergency responders in the City of Baltimore and he indicated that District 2 will be conducting emergency operation planning and providing the city with damage assessment and debris management support starting this morning.

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Woman Arrested on Warrant for Murder in LaPorte

A Crown Point woman was arrested yesterday morning for a murder that happened more than ten years ago. The warrant was issued out of Prescott, Ariz., for first-degree murder.

Indiana State Police Detective Chris Campione worked with the Prescott Police Department to track down Joan Leslie Carpenter, 61 of Crown Point, and located her in LaPorte County. The warrant stems from an investigation into the murder of Carpenter’s husband in June 2002 while the pair resided in Prescott. Shortly after her husband’s murder, Carpenter returned to Indiana, but additional information that had been received by Prescott Police this past year led to the warrant being issued for her arrest.

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Fiery Standoff Comes to Peaceful Close in Marshall County

A tense four-hour standoff in Marshall County came to a peaceful conclusion as a man threatened self-immolation in the driveway of his home.

Around 1 p.m. on Thursday, Marshall County police, fire department, and EMS were dispatched to a home on 11B Road just outside of Plymouth, where a man had soaked himself in gasoline before barricading himself in his driveway. He used old lawn mowers and mopeds to form a blockade around himself as he clutched a large lighter, threatening to burn himself alive.

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Knox City Council Approves Five-, Ten-Year Abatements for Reagent

Knox City Council

Reagent Chemical and Research in Knox will soon be expanding, thanks to a series of tax phase-ins for the company. The Knox City Council at a special meeting last night approved the phase-in for Reagent, allowing the business a five-year deduction for new manufacturing equipment and a ten-year deduction for two real property improvements.

Mayor Rick Chambers explained that this is a mutually-beneficial agreement for both Reagent and the city of Knox.

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Court Hearing For Starke Commissioners, Belork Continued Until Further Notice

Starke County Treasurer Linda Belork assists a customer over the phone

The Starke County Commissioners, Starke County Treasurer Linda Belork and their counsels were to appear in Jasper Circuit Court yesterday for a hearing, but it was continued without a date.

County Attorney Marty Lucas said that the Jasper County prosecuting attorney found that the Starke County Commissioners were in compliance with Judge John Potter’s order when they reopened the Starke County Treasurer’s office and gave Linda Belork full access to all records, computers and keys to the office. The commissioners had previously closed the office because Belork was not working under a surety bond and Judge Potter found that to nullify his order reinstating Belork to office.

Lucas indicated that since Judge Potter’s ruling has been followed, the special hearing was continued.

Three-Vehicle Accident Ends in Arrest of Plymouth Woman

Caitlin Masterson

A Plymouth woman was arrested after a three-vehicle accident in Marshall County Saturday afternoon.

Marshall County Sheriff’s officers responded to the scene in downtown Lapaz and found that Caitlin Masterson, 27, was traveling southbound on U.S. 31 and was going to turn left when she pulled into the path of a vehicle driven by 53-year-old Ibro Pucar of South Bend. His car then hit another vehicle exiting the parking lot. He received minor injuries in the accident.

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Starke Co. CADA Celebrates 20 Years of Service

The Starke County Coalition Against Domestic Abuse is celebrating its 20th year of service to the community this month. Started in 1992 as a grassroots volunteer organization called the Starke County Alliance Against Domestic Violence, CADA has retained its focus on awareness and education. The group began with staffing information booths at every Starke County fair and festival in an effort to get the word out to residents about the services offered to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

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Daylight Saving Time Ends In A Few Short Days

Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2 a.m. prevailing time. Hoosiers will need to set their clocks back one hour before going to bed Saturday night, or at 2 a.m. prevailing time Sunday morning.

We all change our clocks.

Daylight Saving Time officially begins on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

Jasper Circuit Court Hearing Continued

Starke County Treasurer Linda Belork assists a customer over the phone

The court hearing scheduled for today in Jasper Circuit Court has been continued.

The Starke County Commissioners, the county’s legal counsel, plus Linda Belork and her legal counsel were ordered to appear today in Jasper Circuit Court at 3:00 p.m., but the hearing was continued. A rescheduled date has not been determined.

Judge John Potter has ordered the court hearing to hear the reasoning why the Starke County Commissioners closed the Starke County Treasurer’s Office thus nullifying his order reinstating Treasurer Linda Belork back into the office.

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