Starke County Youth Club Federal Funding in Jeopardy


The main source of funding for the Starke County Youth Club is in jeopardy as members of Congress continue to squabble over a federal budget for the next fiscal year. Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says the House budget proposal slashes money used to provide services for 600 youngsters in grades K-12 in Starke County.

“The threat is our largest source of funding, which is the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, will be eliminated, so we really are encouraging everyone to reach out to their legislators and talk to them about why children, youth in this country are important, why after school programs are important and to encourage them to keep funding for our kids and our communities,” said Szakonyi.

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North Judson-San Pierre Schools to Upgrade Network Infrastructure

Superintendent Lynn Johnson
Superintendent Lynn Johnson
A networking infrastructure upgrade is in the works for the North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation, and while it comes with a hefty price tag, Superintendent Lynn Johnson said it’s worth it to provide the best educational experience possible for students. With more and more technology being used by students, teachers, administrators and everyone else on a daily basis, the networking infrastructure in place throughout the corporation is no longer able to suit their needs, and the need to upgrade has become obvious.

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Starke Commissioners to Hold Three Meetings Thursday

The Starke County Commissioners have three meetings planned for Thursday, only one of which is open to the public. The first meeting, an executive session closed to the public, will take place at 9 a.m. to discuss a personnel matter pursuant to Indiana Code 5-14-1.5-6.1 part (b) (6) (B). The code allows the commissioners to call an executive session “to discuss, before a determination, the individual’s status as an employee, a student, or an independent contractor,” who is a physician or a school bus driver.

The second meeting will take place at 9:30 a.m., also closed to the public, to discuss strategy regarding the purchase or lease of real property, pursuant to Indiana Code 5-14-1.5-6.1 part (b) (2) (D).

The final meeting, scheduled for 10:30 a.m., will be a special meeting open to the public in the annex building meeting room at 53 E. Mound St. in Knox. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the 2014 employee health insurance.

Knox Board of Works Receive Update on Rental Inspections

Knox Board of Public Works
Knox Board of Public Works

The Knox Board of Public Works members received an update on three properties in town that are inhabitable.

Building Administrator Bruce Williams told the board that he inspected three rental properties and found them to be in complete disrepair and unsuitable for living. Two renters have agreed to move out immediately and the other is waiting to leave. In one case, the renter’s children were taken away as the dwelling in which they were living was not safe.

The property owners had 30 days to fix the extreme problems and Williams stated that deadline is soon approaching with no progress cited.

The board may meet in special session to take official action to address these issues.

Flu Shot Clinics Set for This Week at Pulaski County Health Department

Walk-in flu shot clinics have been set for this week at the Pulaski County Health Department.

You may get a seasonal flu shot from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1 and Thursday, Oct. 3. On Wednesday, Oct. 2, you may get a flu shot from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Flu vaccines will be $20 for adults and $20 for children.

Officials at the health department remind you that a claim with an insurance company will not be made. You may check with the health department to see if your child qualifies for publicly funded vaccines through the State.

Call the Pulaski County Health Department for more information at (574) 946-6080.

SCEDF to Present Robert E. Hamilton Award During Prospectus and Achievements Night


The third annual “Prospectus and Achievements Night” hosted by the Starke County Economic Development Foundation will be Thursday, Oct. 3 at Knox Middle School.

One of the highlights of the meeting will be the awarding of the Robert E. Hamilton award. This award is given to a person who has contributed a great amount of service in the field of economic development as well as the community as a whole.

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School Safety Study Committee Hears Testimony in Final Meeting

The School Safety Interim Study Committee held its final meeting last week to discuss the feasibility of funding the creation of a statewide option for school resource officer programs.

Testimony was heard from city and county officials as well as Vigo County police officers that have successfully implemented resource officer programs in schools around the country. The involvement of community stakeholders in getting programs up and running and the overwhelming participation of students in addressing potential dangers were key in the testimony given. Full-time resource officers have increased communication between officials and students. The officers recommended that school corporations be given he appropriate public resources to set up similar programs with as little financial burden as possible.

The School Safety Interim Study Committee will publish a final report with its official recommendations soon.

LaPorte Woman Faces Burglary Charge After Bizarre Break-In

Terrassa Fletcher
Terrassa Fletcher
A LaPorte woman faces felony burglary charges after she was reportedly found in the bedroom of a home there surrounded by clothing from the owner’s closet. Terrassa Fletcher, 27, was also wearing an outfit that belonged to the victim, according to the arrest report, which indicates she also had a jewelry box, camera and cash belonging to the victim stuffed inside her v-neck shirt. The homeowner told the police she got home around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night, found her front door standing open, her bedroom light on and a purse and plastic shopping bag on the front steps. When she looked down the hallway toward the bedroom she reportedly found a sandal on the floor. Neither the victim nor her boyfriend knew Fletcher, who denied any wrongdoing and told the police she was at the home of someone else she knew. Fletcher also faces misdemeanor charges of resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct.

Medaryville Dollar General Store Clears Council Hurdle

The Medaryville Town Council recently voted to vacate an alley to allow construction of a 9,100 square foot Dollar General store in the downtown area. That action came on the heels of the Pulaski County Advisory Plan Commission’s approval of a rezoning request for land at 103 W. West St. in downtown Medaryville. The property was previously zoned for residential development but was recommended for rezoning to commercial in order to allow the development. Sullivan, Ind.-based Foster Builders, Inc. sought the rezoning request. A call to their office Friday afternoon to discuss their plans and a possible construction timeline was not immediately returned.

Travis Chizum Found Guilty of Manufacturing Methamphetamine

A jury found Travis L. Chizum of Plymouth guilty on several methamphetamine counts during a trial in Marshall County Superior Court I this week.

Testimony took two days and the jury deliberated for one hour before they found Chizum guilty of Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursors with the Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine, and Maintaining a Common Nuisance.

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Knox Lift Station Update, Street Department Projects Move Forward

Knox Board of Public Works
Knox Board of Public Works
Knox Street Superintendent Jeff Borg gave an update on projects to the Board of Public Works members this week.

He said workers are doing roadside tree trimming and crack sealing while the weather is still good. Only 30 dump truck loads of brush were collected this month compared to 54 last month. He added that fall leaf pickup will be starting soon.

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Man Arrested after Disregarding Stop Arms and Lights on School Bus

A man was arrested Thursday after disregarding school bus arms in the Plymouth area.

A deputy with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department was conducting patrols on Michigan Road after receiving complaints of drivers disregarding a school bus’s flashing lights and stop signs.

The deputy was following a school bus and reportedly observed a person drive around the bus that had activated the stop signs and flashing red lights. The officer conducted a traffic stop and took the driver, Anthony Textor, into custody.

Textor was booked into the Marshall County Jail on preliminary charges of Driving While Suspended with a Prior Conviction and Reckless Driving, both misdemeanor charges.

Catholic Charities Builds Wheelchair Ramp for North Judson Resident

Bob Jachim, Bob Okeley, John Shebel, Larry Ferris, Wayne Lauer, Trish Gallas, J H Frazier, Don Westphal, Jack Litz, Tom Berg, Al Ladd
Bob Jachim, Bob Okeley, John Shebel, Larry Ferris, Wayne Lauer, Trish Gallas, J H Frazier, Don Westphal, Jack Litz, Tom Berg, Al Ladd
The Catholic Charities group recently completed a wheelchair ramp for a local resident.

Several Starke County volunteers in the Catholic Charities organization got together on Wednesday and constructed a wheelchair ramp for Ida Craft of North Judson.

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DTFSC Announces Annual Grant Awards

Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County, a substance abuse prevention coalition, has announced its annual grant awards to several agencies, made possible with funding received form the county’s drug free community fund. DTFSC has worked together as a coalition since 1988 under the direction of the Governor’s Commission for a Drug Free Indiana and the Criminal Justice Institute with the mission of reducing the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs among youth and adults in Starke County.

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Senate Passes Suicide Prevention Awareness Resolution

Joe Donnelly
Senator Joe Donnelly
The Senate Thursday night unanimously passed the resolution put forth by senators Joe Donnelly and Johnny Isakson in promotion of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, recognized in September of each year. Donnelly described the month as an opportunity for Americans to recognize and discuss suicide prevention and he is pleased that this bipartisan resolution passed the Senate.

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San Pierre Grain Elevator Fire Ruled Arson


Tuesday’s fire at the San Pierre Grain Elevator on U.S. 421 was deliberately set. That’s the determination of investigators from the state fire marshals office. They spent two days digging through the rubble with assistance from the San Pierre, North Judson, Bass Lake, Washington Township and Medaryville Volunteer Fire Departments. Dispatchers from the Starke County Sheriff’s Office got a call about the fire around 9 Tuesday night. Volunteers from the San Pierre Fire Department arrived a short time later and say the warehouse and silo were both fully engulfed when they showed up. The North Judson, Medaryville and Wheatfield Fire Departments also helped battle the blaze, which took about four hours to contain. A San Pierre Fire Department spokesman declined comment as to where the fire originated, as the incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to call the state’s arson hotline at 1-800-382-4628. A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest or conviction.

Week 6 Football Picks

Harold’s Picks (23-6)

Culver-19  Knox-14

Kankakee Valley-48  NJSP-7

South Central-34  Lake Station-7

CMA-14  John Glenn-7

Winamac-28  West Central-27

Nathan’s Picks (22-7)

Culver-21  Knox-13

Kankakee Valley-28  NJSP-14

South Central-28  Lake Station-7

John Glenn-28  CMA-20

Winamac-35  West Central-14

Tom’s Blind Picks (12-17)

Culver over Knox

Kankakee Valley over NJSP

South Central over Lake Station

CMA over John Glenn

West Central over Winamac

Cause of San Pierre Grain Elevator Fire Still Under Investigation


An investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office has spent the past two days in San Pierre trying to determine the origin of Tuesday night’s blaze that destroyed the grain elevator on U.S. 421. The San Pierre Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene just after 9 Tuesday night. Fire Chief Mike Korous tells WKVI news the warehouse and silo were both fully engulfed when they arrived. Additional firefighters from North Judson, Medaryville and Wheatfield were called in to help battle the blaze. Firefighters remained on the scene for about four hours. No injuries were reported.