Week in Review for Dec. 31, 2012-Jan. 4, 2013

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

Pat Dunn

WKVI’s General Manager, Pat Dunn, passed away Tuesday at his home in Knox. For over 25 years, Pat had been a member of the Kankakee Valley Broadcasting Board of Directors, and was most recently placed in the position of General Manager. He was at the forefront of positive changes here at the station and we will continue to move forward with his vision. Pat was also the former owner of the Knox Insurance Agency. Funeral services were held Friday at the M.C. Smith Funeral Home in Knox. 

Commissioner Kathy Norem recites the Oath of Office in the Starke Circuit Courtroom.

Republicans Kathy Norem and Kent Danford were sworn in as Starke County Commissioners in a ceremony Monday afternoon in Starke Circuit Court. Kent Danford is returning to the office after four years and is excited to work with the new county jail project and is determined to keep roads open in the county. Republican Bryan Cavender was also sworn into office as a Starke County Councilman. This is the first time he’s been elected to office and he’s ready to get to work. He will be focusing on controlling spending and he’s ready for the challenge.

This is the old Starke County Foundation location

The former home of the Knox theater and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation at the corner of Lake and Main Streets will be demolished soon, but a definite date has not been set. The City of Knox is applying for a grant for the demolition with the matching money to be paid for by the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. If the grant is received, a date for demolition will be set. An archiving company recently removed historical items from the building.

It has been confirmed that NIPSCO, in a joint venture with Kankakee Valley REMC, is constructing an electric substation north of Knox on U.S. 35. The project came into question as permits had not been given by the Knox Building Administrator for the project, but NIPSCO’s Director of External Communications, Nick Meyer, indicated that state highway permits were received as well as electric line permits. NIPSCO is normally exempt from any other permits as it’s a state-regulated utility provider. Meyer hopes to speak to city officials to clear any miscommunication.

Pulaski County Sheriff's Department

Gun permits have risen in Pulaski County since the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer said the staff is now processing five permits a day when they were processing five permits a week. Sheriff Gayer mailed letters to the school superintendents at the Eastern Pulaski and West Central School Corporations to see how security efforts can be improved. A meeting has been scheduled between Eastern Pulaski School Superintendent Dr. Robert Klitzman and Sheriff Gayer after the first of the year to discuss procedures and safety recommendations.

Josh Brown and Justin Davis will be sworn into their new seats on the North Judson Town Board just before their first meeting of the year. They will occupy the seats made available after the North Judson voters approved a public question on the November ballot to increase the number of board members from three to five. Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry said that the board members used a scientific grid formula to rate each candidate before deciding on the two qualified candidates.

47-year-old Earlana Jones of Plymouth and 28-year-old Henry M. Ruiz of North Judson were arrested Wednesday after they allegedly purchased several precursors for the manufacture of methamphetamine at a grocery store in Plymouth. When police arrived at the scene, they found the pair with an illegal drug lab. They were arrested on a preliminary charge of Illegal Drug Lab. They were taken to the Marshall County Jail where Ruiz was booked on two active arrest warrants out of Marshall County.

It was a quiet New Year’s holiday for local police agencies as there were no DUI arrests made in Starke and Pulaski Counties. Police did step up efforts to keep impaired drivers off the roads and made no arrests. Two DUI arrests were made in Marshall County. Elizabeth Trevino and Michael Benwell, both of Plymouth, were arrested for Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated during the holiday. Emily Dutcher of Bourbon was arrested by Marshall County police for Illegal Consumption.

The lawsuit between Starke County and Jack Haut will soon go into remediation. County Attorney Martin Lucas recently told the Commissioners that the county is complying with the terms of the lawsuit with the plan to build a new county jail so the two attorneys in the case are attempting remediation. The sides could come to an agreement after the first of the year.