Steve Cronk Assembling Group to Preserve the Jackson Township School

Steve Cronk

A group is being assembled under the direction of Knox Middle School Principal, Steve Cronk, to preserve the old Jackson Township School. If the school is actually preserved, it would possibly be placed on a slab behind the WKVI building on property owned by the Knox Community School Corporation.

Later this month, Todd Ziker from the Indiana Landmarks Organization will come to Knox to meet with the group Mr. Cronk is organizing to explore the feasibility of moving and remodeling the building, which would turn into a one-room school museum. Jerry Jernas, whose property the building is on, has the old bell that called the students to come in for the start of school and from the playground.

Mr. Cronk, who is retiring at the end of the school year, said this is something he has wanted to do for some time.

News from the Knox Community School Board Meeting

Gary Dulin, Jerry Fletcher, Harold Welter, Mary Lynn Ritchie, Kirk Bennett, Nathan Marcum, Mike Yankauskas, Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The Knox Community School Board received bids on January 11th to purchase buses. The Board received two bids – one from International and one from Thomas. The Board members took the bids under consideration and will approve a bid at their next meeting.

Knox Middle School teacher, Amie Flora, was approved to be the school’s representative on the Starke County Library Board.

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Legislation Establishing Interstate Mutual Aid Agreements Passes Senate

State Senator Ed Charbonneau

Senate lawmakers voted 48-0 Tuesday in support of a bill co-authored by State Senator Ed Charbonneau allowing Indiana to call upon and assist emergency response teams in neighboring states.

For example, response teams may need backup when dealing with emergencies like fires or collisions on highways close to state lines. This proposal enables first responders from Indiana to call on or help other responders from neighboring states while clarifying liability and certification issues that may arise when firefighters and police officers begin crossing jurisdictions.

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Winamac Man Arrested on Charges of Attempted Murder and Armed Robbery

Glen Sommers

A Winamac man was arrested, Thursday, February 3rd, on preliminary charges of Attempted Murder and Armed Robbery.

According to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department log, an unidentified male complainant called police to report that Glen Sommers was at his home and allegedly tried to stab him. The victim defended himself and was cut on the underside of his thumb. Sommers left the residence and it took the victim 20 minutes to call police because his phone lines were reportedly cut and he could not call out. Sommers also allegedly stole the complainant’s guitar.

Sommers is currently in the Pulaski County Jail.

Starke County Highway Department Receives Damage Complaints after Recent Snow Storm

Steve Siddall

Starke County Highway Superintendent, Steve Siddall, appeared before the County Commissioners Monday. One item on Siddall’s agenda was the number of mailbox complaints he has received. He said well over 100 people have complained about mailbox damage. Siddall said it could not be helped during the snowstorms. Most of the damage was from the heavy snow hitting the boxes. Siddall told the Commissioners that he checked with Marshall County and they do not respond to such calls. It’s basically the homeowner’s responsibility to repair the post and box. INDOT also does not repair or replace mailboxes.

On another topic, Siddall said that there is probably going to be a problem with fences at Bass and Koontz Lakes when they start rolling the snow back. The right of way is 40 to 60 feet, and Siddall said there are a number of fences that will probably be damaged because they’re too close.

“In our right-of-ways, yes we are encroaching on people’s yards, but we still own that right-of-way,” explained Siddall. “Where we’re having the biggest trouble or concern is at Bass Lake and Koontz Lake where we can’t stack it any higher and I informed the Commissioners that we might be coming through there with a grader. What we do is what we call benching. If there’s two feet of snow, we may roll a foot of that back so when the snow plow truck comes back through in another big snow event, we have room to put it. Otherwise, it just keeps piling up and we have nowhere to go with it. Another concern was fences or trinkets left in people’s yards that we can’t see. I told the Commissioners that we weren’t going in with a bulldozer and trying to clear property, we were trying not to damage anything.”

Newsman Ted Hayes complimented Siddall on the performance of the highway crew over the winter storm, and he also praised his staff.

“I feel the guys did an excellent job,” replied Siddall. “We have an excellent crew out at the County Highway and I want to give them thanks. I know Scott and Sue and everybody that works out there that are in the offices that weren’t out there battling the elements did a great job. The guys did a wonderful job.”

Mark Smith Talks about Candidacy for Mayor of Knox

Mark Smith

Mark Smith for Knox Mayor. That was news a couple of weeks ago when Mark Smith, local funeral home operator, signed to run in the Democrat Primary against Rick Chambers.

Yesterday WKVI got a chance to talk with Smith about why he was running.

“I’ve had an interest in the Mayor’s office in Knox for the past two or three elections,” stated Smith. “Two elections ago I had committed to the Democrat Central Committee that if Oscar Cowen were elected as Sheriff, that would vacate two years worth of his seat on the County Council and I committed to that seat and I did not want to go back on my word.”

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West Central Continues to Move Forward with Wind Turbine Project

The West Central Technical Review Committee met prior to the School Board’s work session Thursday to review the wind turbine construction proposal, as well as the price proposal presented by Performance Services.

The West Central School Board is looking to erect one wind turbine on the FFA plot on the school grounds. One turbine will power the entire school and there would be some power left over to sell.

No commitment has been make at this time. Further information is needed from Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) before any contractual agreement can be reached. If an affirmative agreement can be reached in March, it is very possible that the wind turbine can be in operation in November of 2011.

Knox School Board Discusses Impact of Technology at the Corporation

Gary Dulin, Jerry Fletcher, Harold Welter, Mary Lynn Ritchie, Kirk Bennett, Nathan Marcum, Mike Yankauskas, Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The Knox Community School Board discussed technology at its meeting Monday night.

Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Peggy Shidaker, explained to the Board that the current generation of students is all about technology. Schools are turning into a digital learning environment. Students use electronic devices and computers on a daily basis and it is becoming apparent that all students need to have their own computer to use throughout their school career. In the future, it appears that students will be tested on technology knowledge in addition to English and Math on standardized testing.

The Board is looking toward the goal of furnishing each student grades 6-12 with their own computer to use at all times. A team will be assembled to attend a meeting in March with Apple technicians to gain more information on the process and cost of equipping the Middle and High Schools with 1,100 computers for student use. The Board realizes that this is the future of education.

Director of Technology, Jim Landrum, told the Board that the school has the infrastructure capable of supporting this transition. The High School is completely wireless and the Middle School will be wireless before the start of the new school year.

News from the Starke County Commissioners

Starke County Commissioners ( L to R ) Kathy Norem, Dan Bridegroom, Jennifer Davis

In actions before the Starke County Commissioners Monday, they approved the lease for office space for Community Corrections.

The Commissioners tabled a request by Ed Truty to have his medical leave extended from February 27th to April 30th. This request was based on his doctor’s recommendation. Truty fell at home and broke his leg. Since no one was at the meeting to comment and answer questions on the request it was tabled to the February 21st meeting.

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Toll Road Bust Lands California Man in Jail

100 pounds of marijuana worth $500,000 was found during a traffic stop on the Toll Road in Elkhart County

A routine traffic stop on the Indiana Toll Road Friday afternoon led an inquisitive trooper to approximately 100 pounds of marijuana. Indiana State Trooper Ted Bohner stopped a gray Chevrolet Tahoe for following too closely near the Elkhart East exit around 2:30 p.m. on February 4.

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Friday Night Mixed League 02/04/11

Friday Night Mixed League 02/04/11
Team Standings:
1. 4-Alarm Fire 59.0-33.0
2. Alley Aces 57.0-35.0
3. Dolezal Family 53.5-38.5
4. Rollin’ Thunder 51.0-41.0
5. Mariah’s Hill 48.5-43.5
6. Good Friends 48.0-44.0
7. Raiders 45.0-47.0
8. Undecided 42.5-49.5
9. Hard Times 42.0-50.0
10. Baugh Construction 38.5-53.5
11. Feel the Power 37.0-55.0
12. O’s Tap 30.0-62.0
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Lincoln Township Fire Department in Fish Lake Receives Assistance to Firefighters Grant

U.S. Senator Dick Lugar was notified that eight Indiana Fire Departments will receive grants totaling $1,029,612 for operations and safety and vehicle acquisition. The grants are through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

The Lincoln Township Fire Department in Fish Lake received $54,480 for Operations and Safety.

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