Tragic Accident Claims Life of Illinois Woman

A tragic auto accident occurred Sunday afternoon at the intersection of State Road 10 and State Road 35 in Starke County. Police found that Megan Smithson, 19, of Illinois, stopped at the intersection and pulled out onto US 35 and into the path of a vehicle driven by Tony Wagner, 37, of Winamac.  Smithson was pronounced dead at the scene by Starke County Coroner, Kris Rannells.

Wagner was transported to Starke Memorial Hospital and airlifted to South Bend Memorial for leg injuries sustained in the accident.  An 18-year-old passenger in Smithson’s vehicle was also airlifted to South Bend Memorial due to injuries suffered in the accident.  The Bass Lake Fire Department and Starke County EMS assisted the Starke County Sheriff’s Department at the scene.

North Judson Town Board Receives 2011 Budget Order

North Judson Town Board
North Judson Town Board: (L to R) Dan Anderson, Jane Ellen Felchuk, Wendy Hoppe, Connie Miller (Clerk-Treasurer)

The North Judson Town Board received its 2011 budget order from the State. The Board had to cut $5,242 out of the Town’s Cumulative Capital Improvement Fund. The Town requested $9,000 and the State approved $3,758. The Fund is used for street repair and maintenance. The Town’s approved budget total is $767,964 for 2011.

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James Strong Named Commander of the Indiana State Police Post in Bremen

Commander James Strong

Indiana State Police Superintendent, Paul Whitesell, recently announced the promotion of First Sergeant, James Strong, to the rank of Lieutenant to serve as the Commander of the Indiana State Police Post in Bremen. The Bremen Post covers Marshall, St. Joseph, Kosciusko, and Elkhart Counties. Strong earned this promotion through written testing and a competitive interview process.

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Knox City Police Department Receives New Cameras and Thermal Imagers

Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem
Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem

The Knox City Police Department recently received new cameras and thermal imagers for the squad cars. Three cameras were received and two have been installed. The third camera will be installed in the last squad car in the near future.

“The cameras are activated on traffic stops,” explained Knox City Chief, Clint Norem. “We have ours hooked into the light system so once an officer activates his overhead lights, the camera system will start recording. The interesting feature with this system is it actually records between 30 and 60 seconds prior to the lights being activated. You may be able to catch the actual incident that occurred that led up to the traffic stop. In accident situations, there is a setting the camera that should the vehicle be involved in an accident, it will actually record 60 seconds prior to the accident. It’s a great benefit for not only the officers, but also the public.”

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A Knox Man is Arrested on Charges of Residential Entry, Possession of Methamphetamine

Justin Miller

A Starke County police officer arrested a Knox resident on Wednesday, December 23rd, on charges of Residential Entry and Possession of Methamphetamine, both Class D Felonies.

Officers were called to a residence on 250 North after a call was made to the Sheriff’s Department about a possible break-in at the residence. Justin Miller was attempting to leave the residence and got stuck in the snow when police were called to the scene. After further investigation, police found that Miller had allegedly broken into the basement by breaking the basement window and gaining entry into the residence. When police searched Miller’s vehicle, they reportedly found methamphetamine and paraphernalia in his pickup truck. Justin Miller was taken to the Starke County Jail and currently has no bond.

Starke County Councilman, Chuck Estok, Attends his Last Council Meeting

Chuck Estok

Four County Councilmen are being replaced in January. Chuck Estok, Bruce Fingerhut, and Bill Dulin attended their final meeting last week. Dan Awald, who is the fourth Councilman being replaced, was not in attendance at his last meeting.

Following the meeting, Ted Hayes talked with the three who were in attendance, starting with Chuck Estok, who has served the longest at 16 years. Ted asked the veteran Democrat Councilman what he is most proud of during his long service to the citizens of the County.

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Disposed Natural Christmas Trees Will be Picked up in Knox Beginning January 6th

The City of Knox will be picking up disposed Christmas trees on the regular brush pick up day beginning Thursday, January 6th, 2011.

Anyone who wishes to dispose of their natural Christmas tree may do so by putting it at the curb. Make sure all ornaments and tinsel are removed. Residents may also dispose of trees in the City’s compost pile located behind City Hall. The garbage contractors will not pick up disposed natural Christmas trees.

Experience Works to Offer Paid Training for Senior Citizens

Experience Works is offering paid training and employment search opportunities for low-income seniors age 55 and older.

Participants with Experience Works earn minimum wage while they train, learning updated job skills at local non-profit and community organizations. They also get assistance creating resumes, coaching on interview skills, learn to fill out online applications and conduct job searches. If you think you might qualify for this program, attend an information session at the Knox WorkOne location on West Lake Street on Wednesday, December 29th from 9:00 a.m. to Noon CT. For more information, call (574) 595-6294 or visit their website.

Top 10 Stories of 2010; Story #5

Sheriff Oscar Cowen
Sheriff Oscar Cowen
Bill Dulin

It was the primary election of 2010 and the Starke County Sheriff’s race was one talked about by citizens around the County. Of course, Sheriff’s races always create interest, but this one was different. Deputy Bill Dulin came out early with signs, a sure sign that this was to be a serious effort. Even though Dulin worked hard during the campaign the political pundits game him little hope of upsetting incumbent Oscar Cowen. On Election Day itself, most predicted a sizable win by Cowen.

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Week in Review for December 20th-24th, 2010

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

Pulaski County Officers elected into office in the General Election were sworn into office Tuesday afternoon. Officers were sworn in by Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn and Superior Court Judge Patrick Blankenship.

Starke United

Starke United Executive Director, Edie Hall, told WKVI that the WKVI-Starke United Auction netted $7,669.

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New Lighting in Parts of the Starke County Courthouse Deemed Unsatisfactory

Judge Hall discusses the lighting in the Courtroom with Greg Scarpone from M&I Engineering in Indianapolis

A meeting was held in the Starke County Courthouse, Thursday, between the engineer, contractor, two Commissioners and Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall to assess the new lighting in various rooms, including the Starke Circuit Courtroom.

Some of the installation of lighting in the rooms controlled by the Judge was deemed to be unfinished, or unsatisfactory, by Judge Hall.

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DLGF Certifies Starke County’s Budget Order and Tax Rate

The Department of Local Government Finance certified Starke County’s 2011 budget order and tax rates on December 21st, paving the way for on-time property tax bills for the second year in a row. The budget certification put the county in a position to have taxes due on May 10th, 2011. Starke County was the 28th county in the State to receive its 2011 budget order and tax rates.

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Starke County Youth Photo Contest to Begin in January

Henry F. Schricker Public Library

The Starke County Public Library system is sponsoring a Youth Photo Contest. Children ages 5 to 18 are welcome to participate.

Photos need to be taken to the Children’s Department desk at the Henry F. Schricker branch from January 6th until January 22nd. Pick up a form to fill out to tape to the back of the photo and sign a release of liability to the Library. All entries must be a minimum measurement of 5×7. Two pictures may be submitted and they may be black and white, color, or one of each. Photos must be framed. The photos will be displayed February 1st through February 28th and judging will be done by patrons on February 15th and 16th. Winners will be posted on the library’s website and winners will be notified by email or by phone.

For more information, call (574) 772-7323.

Indiana Department of Transportation Ready for Snow this Christmas Holiday

Accumulated snow combined with below average temperatures will ensure that much of Indiana will remain blanketed in white this Christmas holiday. With a chance of winter weather forecast on Christmas Eve, the Indiana Department of Transportation stands ready to plow and treat highways ahead of the holiday traffic. Yellow plow trucks are deployed ahead of predicted winter weather to make state highways as safe as possible, but winter driving safety is a partnership where motorists play an equally important role.

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Tuesday Night Men’s League 12/21/10

Tuesday Night Men’s League 12/21/10
Team Standings
1. Quarter’s 79.0-26.0
2. Konrad Cabinets 65.0-40.0
3. 1st Choice Pawn 60.0-45.0
4. Hensleys 54.0-51.0
5. Sandbar 54.0-51.0
6. WKVI 53.0-52.0
7. Mark’s Body Shop 52.0-53.0
8. Half Track 46.0-59.0
9. Bowlaway Lanes 45.0-60.0
10. Fishers 45.0-60.0
11. Simonis 39.0-66.0
12. Time Out 38.0-67.0

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Sunday Morning Mixed League 12/19/10

Sunday Morning Mixed League 12/19/10
Standings:
1. The Unknown 76.0-29.0
2. WRJN 63.0-49.0
3. The Quest 62.0-50.0
4. The Smelly Cats 61.0-51.0
5. Split Heads 58.0-54.0
6. S*** Happens 53.0-59.0
7. Odd Balls 52.0-60.0
8. Lucky #7 47.0-65.0
9. Strange Brew 46.0-66.0
10. Snowdon’s Lawncare 42.0-70.0

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Friday Night Mixed League 12/17/10

Friday Night Mixed League 12/17/10
Standings:
1. Alley Aces 47.0-25.0
2. 4-Alarm Fire 44.0-28.0
3. Good Friends 41.0-31.0
4. Dolezal Family 40.5-31.5
5. Mariah’s Hill 40.0-32.0
6. Rollin’ Thunder 36.0-36.0
7. Hard Times 35.0-37.0
8. Raiders 32.0-40.0
9. Undecided 30.5-41.5
10. Baugh Construction 29.0-43.0
11. O’s Tap 29.0-43.0
12. Feel the Power 28.0-44.0

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