Knox Street Department Following New Law to Track MVH Spending

The state is requiring the Knox Street Department and other municipal street departments to provide written reports of how the Motor Vehicle Highway (MVH) money is being spent within the department.

Street Superintendent Jeff Borg told the Knox Board of Public Works that there are six forms. Employee time allocation is required so each employee is including all tasks for this report whether it’s allocated toward streets or other tasks such as brush pickup days. A report on material and supplies will also be submitted. That report includes the limestone for alleys, road shoulders, asphalt patch, crack sealing material, and more. Equipment operating expenses such as fuel, oils, filters, batteries and tires will also be recorded.

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North Judson Town Council to Meet in Special Morning Session

North Judson Council President Wendy Hoppe; Police Officer Frank Thomas; Council Members Josh Brown, John Rowe, Jane Ellen Felchuk, James Young; Town Attorney Justin Schramm, Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins

The North Judson Town Council will meet in special session this morning.

An executive session is set for 7 a.m. with a special meeting at 7:30 a.m. to sign a contract for asbestos removal to proceed with the demolition of 205 and 207 Lane Street. The council members are also expected to amend the salary ordinance.

The North Judson Town Council will meet in the town hall building.

Knox Board of Public Works Receives Update on Property

The members of the Knox Board of Public Works received an update on the rehabilitation of the property at 6 N. Pearl Street.

Knox Director of Building, Planning and Code Compliance Kenny Pfost said the owner, Lucia Valladares, was in a car accident and has not been able to complete any work. Pfost reported that she is looking for a vehicle capable of towing a trailer in order to aid her work on the dilapidated structure.

Renovation plans were previously approved by the board. Pfost said an engineer’s report on the foundation found that only a few repairs need to be made in order to move forward with work. Continue reading

Culver Town Council Holds Public Hearing on Additional Appropriation

The Culver Town Council held a public hearing Tuesday night to hear comments on the appropriation of funds for a new ambulance.

Clerk-Treasurer Karen Heim explained that the new ambulance is arriving soon but the money wasn’t earmarked in the budget for the replacement of an older truck. Heim said the older ambulance was overdue for replacement. It will be sold with the proceeds to be split between the town and Union Township.

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Knox Board of Public Works to Meet Today

The Knox Board of Public Works will receive an update on the progress of 6 N. Pearl Street when they meet this morning.

The property was set for demolition, but Lucia Valladares purchased it in a tax sale and provided the board of works with plans for extensive renovations at a previous meeting. The members approved her plans, pending a positive report from the structural engineer concerning the building’s foundation.

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Grovertown Man Arrested after Reports of Drug Activity

Hunter McCoy

A Grovertown man was arrested on Monday after deputies from the Starke County Sheriff’s Office investigated a report of drug activity.

Deputies arrived at the Grovertown Truck Stop and deployed K9 Zardoz around the suspect’s vehicle in the parking lot. The K9 reportedly indicated to the presence of narcotics inside the vehicle. A subsequent search by officers revealed 46 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and firearms, according to police.

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Trial Set for Augusta Hadden

Augusta Hadden

The woman who is connected to the murder of a Knox man in March is headed to trial on Oct. 11.

Augusta Hadden, 39, is charged with assisting a criminal. Court documents indicate she disposed of a cell phone out of a truck driven by Edward Blackburn after he allegedly shot and killed Cord Colgrove in North Judson on March 3rd. She remains in custody, but she is currently being held in the Pulaski County Jail.

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Culver Town Council to Meet Tonight

The Culver Town Council will meet tonight where discussions will continue surrounding the Stellar Communities Designation Program.

A public hearing is scheduled to gather comments on several additional appropriations. An ordinance to approve those additional appropriations will be discussed on first reading. Town Manager Jonathan Leist will have a report along with other department heads. Representatives from various boards and commissions will provide updates for the town council.

The Culver Town Council will meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET at the Culver Town Hall.

Kid’s Closet Ministry Pack-a-Backpack Event a Success

The volunteers behind the Pack-a-Backpack event call Saturday’s school supply drive a success. School supplies were purchased from members of the community to help students in need through the Kid’s Closet Ministry at the North Judson United Methodist Church at 210 Central Ave.

Any Starke County student in kindergarten through 12th grade who qualifies for free or reduced lunch is welcome to attend the 5th annual Kid’s Closet Pack-a-Backpack on Monday, July 31 and Tuesday, Aug. 1. School supplies may be chosen at that time. The child must be present and the parent must have proper identification.

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La Porte Man Named EMS of the Year

Members of the American Legion, Department of Indiana’s 3rd District has named the 2017 EMS of the Year.

Jeffrey Koon, of La Porte, is the recipient of this year’s award. According to 3rd District Commander Chuck Wotring, Koon was chosen for his outstanding service to his community in the medical field. Koon has worked as an EMT and paramedic for La Porte County EMS since 1993. He currently serves as captain there.

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Knox Schools to Implement eLearning Days

The Knox Community School Corporation will implement the use of eLearning Days during the 2017-2018 school year.

According to Director of Curriculum and Instruction Peggy Shidaker, when inclement weather creates a school cancellation all students K-12 will log into the district Learning Management System, Canvas, to access learning targets and assignments for the day.

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Starke County Council to Review Part Time Employee Status

The Starke County Council will revisit its salary ordinance pertaining to classifications of employees as part-time or skilled part-time.

There are different pay scales for those employees who work part-time and those part-time workers who have developed skills that can be interchangeable between departments. It is up to the department head to determine which level of pay that employee receives.

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Starke County Council to Review Officer Pay

Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin asked the county council members to review the pay scale for the sheriff’s department.

Sheriff Dulin said he’s losing officers to other departments and the salary offered is not competitive with other departments. In fact, he told the council that he’s lost four officers. He said it’s hard to attract applicants with what he’s able to offer. Dulin mentioned that his department is the lowest paid department in the county and the eighth lowest in terms of competitive salaries in the state.

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Two Starke County Organizations Receive Operation Round up Grants

Two Starke County organizations have been awarded grant funds from the Kankakee Valley REMC Operation Round Up program.

Community Services of Starke County received $3,300 grant to help purchase a computer system that will better serve the organization’s needs and the needs of clients. The organization helps low-income, elderly and disabled citizens in Starke County. Community Services hosts a food pantry, senior activities, meal assistance, and transportation assistance.

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Starke County Commissioners Discuss Document Pertaining to Contaminated Property


Starke County Attorney Marty Lucas presented the Starke County Commissioners this week with a document that clarifies disclosure of properties sold in a tax sale.

Lucas said there’s a fine line of tax sale properties being sold at a “buyer beware” condition, but there should be disclosure of known issues. He’s working with Frank Lynch in the health department on this subject as the commissioners recently refunded money in a tax sale as the property was deemed contaminated. The refund was given as a case the commissioners felt warranted the action. Refunds are not common in tax sales.

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