Week in Review for Oct. 15-19, 2012

Here is a look at some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week:

Tony Clemons and Melissa McCarty were arrested Wednesday after Knox City police found them to be in a vacant home at 250 W. Locust Drive and in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine. Clemons and McCarty were taken to the Starke County Jail and face preliminary charges of Illegal Drug Lab, Dealing in Methamphetamine and drug possession charges. The Indiana State Police Clandestine Lab Team was called to the scene to remove the hazardous chemicals. 

Starke County emergency personnel found an unconscious and unresponsive man laying in a driveway at 4515 1150 E. in Grovertown last Saturday. Officials don’t know how long he was in the driveway before emergency personnel arrived on scene. He was taken to IU Health Starke Hospital. Police have not released any more information on this incident.

Daniel Rannells

Hamlet residents and others in the surrounding communities are mourning the loss of Rannells Funeral Home operator Dan Rannells. He was revered and respected by most and continues to have a lasting impact on the community he served. Dan and his wife, JoAnn, became owners of the former Black Funeral Home in Hamlet in 1952 and established the Rannells Funeral Home. The family later established the Koontz Lake Chapel in 1978. Rannells was the operator of the ambulance service in Starke County and when the ambulance service became affiliated with the county in the 1970s, Rannells continued to transport those who needed the service until 1986. He was a member of many community organizations and even served as vice president of the Starke County Republican Central Committee, a Hamlet Town Board member and Starke County Coroner. Funeral services were held Tuesday at the Hamlet United Methodist Church.

The price of stamps is going up January 27. Most stamps are now Forever stamps and if you have purchased Forever stamps, they will still be good after the change in pricing. The price of stamps is going up one cent to 46 cents and the price of postcards will go up to 33 cents. More shipping changes are also being made.

Starke County Sheriff's Department

A visitor at the Starke County Jail was reportedly injured after a piece of concrete fell through the ceiling in the lobby of the jail. The incident happened Sunday night during visitation at the jail. Starke County Sheriff Oscar Cowen said he and the detectives are reviewing video to see exactly what occurred and how the concrete became dislodged. The damage has been repaired.

Starke County Commissioners

Jay Dollahan, who owned a dog that was killed by a Starke County officer, appeared before the Starke County Commissioners last night. He explained to the Commissioners that his dog would not have bitten the officer and the officer did not properly identify himself as he approached his home. He said the officer also ignored all other signs that a dog was present at the residence. Starke County Commissioner Kathy Norem said that the commissioners have no authority over police protocol and said this would serve as a learning experience. The Commissioners plan to discuss other methods of dealing with aggressive dogs with Sheriff Oscar Cowen.

Darell Keiper, of Walkerton, was recently arrested after he battered a Knox woman. Police responded to the battery call at 650 North in Starke County and they found Keiper who had an active arrest warrant through Knox City Court. After further investigation, police learned that he and a woman were involved in a verbal argument which later turned physical when Keiper reportedly wrapped his hands around her throat and held her down on a bed. Keiper was booked into the Starke County Jail on preliminary charges of Battery and Strangulation.

Two West Central juveniles were questioned by Pulaski County police on Friday after one student became sick on controlled substances she ingested. The student allegedly got the pills from another student while on school grounds. The information from the case has been forwarded to the Pulaski County Prosecutor’s Office and the Probation Department for further review.

The Eastern Pulaski School Corporation and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department are investigating two bomb threat hoaxes made last week at the Winamac High School. Superintendent Dr. Robert Klitzman said the first alleged written bomb threat was found in the girls bathroom and school officials locked down the high school and middle school. When law enforcement did not find a credible threat, students resumed normal activities at the school. Another threat was found later that evening and a sweep by a bomb-sniffing dog found nothing. Dr. Klitzman said that these threats are not being taken lightly and the student responsible for these alleged threats will be prosecuted.

Kit Matthes

Kit Matthes was arrested by Pulaski County police on Thursday after he allegedly threatened the lives of Andrew Frasure and Nathan Gamblin. Matthes threatened them after he reportedly looked at his bank account and found a large sum of money missing and blamed them for the discrepancy. Police noted that Mattes appeared to be impaired. Gamblin and Frasure allegedly admitted to police that they had ingested methamphetamine earlier in the day and that could be the cause of Matthes’ behavior. Matthes was arrested on preliminary charges of Intimidation, Possession of Methamphetamine, Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Criminal Recklessness and Pointing a Firearm. He is also being held in the Pulaski County Jail on an active arrest warrant.

A sentence was recently handed down to Samuel Bradley in Starke Circuit Court. Bradley was found guilty of charge of Attempted Criminal Deviate Conduct, a Class B Felony by a jury in September. He was involved in an assault incident in the Starke County Jail with two other inmates. Bradley was sentenced to serve 14 years in the Department of Corrections with none of that sentence suspended. He may petition the court to allow him to serve the last two years of his sentence on home detention if he is accepted.

Officers from the Knox City Police Department arrested four people late last night after they were found to be involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Officers were called to 406 E. John Street where they found Eric Wireman of Medaryville and Michael Wireman of Knox who were wanted on active arrest warrants. They were transported to the Starke County Jail and when police returned to the scene, an active methamphetamine lab was found. Along with Eric and Michael Wireman, Heather Rowe of Medaryville and Sadie Wireman of North Judson were booked on preliminary charges of Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Illegal Drug Lab and Possession of Methamphetamine.

A $10,000 check from the Monsanto company was presented to officials at the Oregon-Davis School Corporation today. Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney said that Agriculture teacher, Jacob Riley, and Biology teacher, Debbie Awald, applied for the grant money which will be used in the bio-agriculture classes at the school. Agriculture plays a big part in our everyday lives and this gives the students a chance to be prepared as they head out to seek higher education in this field.

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department
La Porte County Sheriff's Office

40-year-old Brian L. Strauss was arrested at his home in Michigan City yesterday afternoon on two counts of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor, Child Solicitation and Vicarious Sexual Gratification. These charges stem from an investigation by the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department that alleges Strauss had an inappropriate relationship with a former student while he was an educator at the South Central School Corporation. He is being held in the LaPorte County Jail on $35,000 bond.