Week in Review for Nov. 19-23, 2012

David Hollinger of Walkerton died Thursday, November 15 after his car was struck by a train in the Walkerton area. A police investigation found that Hollinger had went around the “road closed” barricades on the tracks that are under construction. He attempted to pass, but got stuck between the rails and was struck by an oncoming train. He was killed upon impact but no other injuries were reported at the scene. 

MaryBeth Lebo will be headed to trial after the Indiana Court of Appeals found that she failed to report a relationship between a 15-year-old player and a LaPorte High School volleyball coach. She faces two misdemeanor charges of Failing to Report Child Abuse or Neglect. A trial will determine whether Lebo knowingly and intentionally failed to report that Robert Ashcroft was having a relationship with the student. Ashcroft was sentenced last year to 21 years in prison on charges of sexual misconduct and child seduction.

Nancy Dembowski

An open house for Nancy Dembowski was held Sunday in the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center. She was honored for her many years of community service and for her service in government. She was a Starke County Councilwoman, Mayor of Knox for three terms, State Representative and State Senator. Several government leaders spoke during the event and a resolution renaming the Community Center in her honor was given to her along with a picture of the facility. Dembowski will continue to support community organizations in the community as she will participate in the Patient and Family Advisory Committee at IU Health Starke Hospital in attempting to better health in Starke County.

Discussion on the proposed location for a new Starke County Jail facility was held Monday night by the Starke County Commissioners and County Council. Many concerned citizens filled the meeting room with plenty of concerns with the proposed site at the intersection of State Road 8 and 550 East. Residents are concerned with increased traffic if the jail is built at that location along with safety and property value issues. The Commissioners and the Jail Committee have considered many locations and feel this is the best location that suits the needs of the county. The property in question already has a building on site and would be remodeled and added upon to accommodate the needs for the new jail. A final decision will be made at a meeting of the commissioners on November 27 at 9:00 a.m.

The Knox Community School Board approved a motion for a project hearing and a preliminary determination hearing to be held during the next regular meeting of the school board which will entail a proposed referendum for the elementary school project. Superintendent A.J. Gappa said Dr. Mike Trego, an expert on referendums from Indiana Wesleyan University, was in Knox last week to discuss the process in successfully passing a referendum. It was at that time that a Political Action Committee was formed which will oversee the local referendum process. The Committee is called “Whatever it Takes” and a website will be developed to keep the district informed of the progress made by the committee.

Paul Mathewson

The Starke County EMS Department has brought in over $600,000 which is 7.41 percent more than projected this year. EMS Director Paul Mathewson said it’s hard to pinpoint what has contributed to the increase in revenue but their ability to provide Advanced Life Services has had an impact. EMS will go forward in their work with IU Health Starke Hospital in providing assistance and the benefit of that partnership will continue to grow.

Henry F. Schricker Library

Construction is underway to build onto the children and young adult departments at the Henry F. Schricker Public Library in Knox. Director Sheila Urwiler said 6,000 square feet will be added to the building to allow for a bigger program space for the children’s department and to increase room in the children’s and young adult areas so students can have room for computers and better access to the wifi. Construction will be complete in mid-July. The total cost of the project is $1.5 million.

Jeffrey Jacobs of North Judson was arrested Sunday after his wife called police to report an alleged battery incident. The woman told police that he had battered her in front of a child. After an initial investigation by the North Judson Police Department, Knox City Police Department and the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, Jacobs was arrested on preliminary charges of Domestic Battery, Resisting Law Enforcement and Interfering with the Reporting of a Crime. Formal charges are pending through the Starke County Prosecutor’s office.

North Judson Town Board and Department Heads

The North Judson Town Board approved the first two readings of a redistricting ordinance for boundaries of election wards. The ordinance is required by the State Election Board to either confirm that there will or will not be changes in the boundaries of wards depending on population change. The board will retain the districts. This ordinance is required after each 10-year census. The Board also approved the first and second readings of an ordinance expanding the number of town members from three to five. This ordinance reflects the change voters approved in the General Election.