Knox Mayor Reports that Community Center Renovations Should be Wrapping Up Soon

When the Knox City Council convened on Tuesday, Mayor Dennis Estok alerted members that the community center renovation project is nearing completion.With the roof portion finished and the new HVAC system installed there’s one remaining renovation to that will be addressed in the near future.

Estok told members that next week, contractors will start working on the floors. He added,  “So hopefully, we can get that project wrapped up.” In a past meeting, it was stated that the proposed floor work is estimated to cost around $42,425. Continue reading

Questions Raised Over Particular Appointment at Winamac Town Council Meeting

During Monday Night’s Winamac Town Council meeting, while on the topic of appointments, the position of “Pulaski County Family Y Representative” was brought up. Councilwoman Judy Heater was previously appointed to this position. However, she said she had no absolutely no interest in serving on that board again.

Council President Tom Murray asked what they would need to do with this position since the organization now operates as the Community Wellness Center of Winamac and is no longer a Family YMCA. Continue reading

Two-Vehicle Accident on Indiana Toll Road Results in Fatality, Crash Remains Under Investigation

A crash between a semi and a passenger car on the Indiana Toll Road resulted in some life-threatening injuries and one fatality, according to an Indiana State Police report.

ISP Dispatch received a call of a collision between a semi and a passenger car around 7:13 a.m. on Friday,  January 12th. The accident occurred near the 50-mile marker in the westbound lanes of the Indiana Toll Road, approximately one mile east of the LaPorte exit. Continue reading

Recent Narcan Training is Already Paying off in North Judson

North Judson Police Chief Kelly Fisher reported that merely two days after completing Narcan training, one officer with the North Judson Police department has already used the life-saving skills that he acquired.

Fisher said that earlier this week, the department received some Narcan kits and the training required to use them from Starke County Public Health Nurse Frank Lynch. They completed the training on Tuesday. Around 6 p.m. Thursday night, Officer Rico Simpson was dispatched on a call about non-responsive overdose victim. He utilized Narcan, also known as Naloxone, and the individual was resuscitated.  Continue reading

Tri-County Winter Weather Advisory in Effect Until This Afternoon

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the counties of Pulaski, Starke and Marshall. It will be in effect until 1 p.m. ET/ noon CT.

Officials are anticipating mixed precipitation of sleet, freezing rain and snow to transition to all snow this morning. Snow and sleet accumulations of 1 to 3 inches and ice accumulations up to one tenth of an inch are expected.

Local spots such as Knox, North Judson, Bass Lake, Winamac, Francesville, Medaryville, Plymouth, Bremen and Culver are listed as areas that will be impacted by these conditions. Continue reading

Winamac Deputy Marshal Tyler Campbell Recognized for Heroic Act

At this week’s Winamac Town Council meeting, Deputy Marshal Tyler Campbell was recognized for a call that he responded to on Christmas day.

Town Marshal Mike Buchanan explained that Officer Campbell was dispatched around 2:30 a.m. on December 25th for a call about an unresponsive infant. Campbell performed CPR at the residence and continued providing assistance while in the ambulance. Buchanan said by the time they reached the hospital, the infant was breathing and then the doctors and emergency staff took over.

The mother of the child was at the meeting and presented Campbell with a token of her gratitude. Continue reading

Knox City Council Members Approve Pay Raise for Dedicated Crossing Guard

Knox City Council members approved a resolution to amend the salary ordinance when they met Tuesday night.

The proposed amendment specifically addressed the pay of Crossing Guard Cody Williams. Mayor Dennis Estok explained that Williams works 180 days out of the year. The salary ordinance initially lists his pay as $24.62 day or about $ 9.25 per hour. A raise of $5 was proposed and Estok said the funds would come from the police department budget. Continue reading

Knox Man Found Guilty of Child Molesting

A Starke Circuit Court trial that began Monday morning has concluded with Starke County Prosecutor, Nicholas A. Bourff successfully prosecuting Jerry Leonard of child molesting.

According to a press release from the Starke County Prosecutor’s office, on Thursday, January 11th, a 12-person jury deliberated about one hour before returning guilty verdicts on two counts of child molesting as Class A Felonies and two counts of performing a sexual act in front of a child as Class D Felonies. Continue reading

Knox City Council Members Elect New President Pro Temp and Address Additional Appointments

Knox City Council members re-organized and addressed appointments when they met for the first time this year.

On Tuesday night, Councilwoman Bertha Blue nominated Ron Parker for the position of President Pro Temp and former council president. Parker’s nomination was unanimously approved. A “president pro tempore” serves as the representative for the council members and they would run the meeting if the mayor is ever absent. Continue reading

Town of Winamac Continues Contract with Umbaugh for Budget Assistance

Winamac town council members permitted Clerk-Treasurer Melanie Berger to move forward with a contract with Umbaugh and Associates for financial assistance with the 2019 budget.

Berger explained that the contract remained the same and the fee is still around $7,000. Last year, the majority of their efforts went toward helping them figure out issues with the Local Income Tax. Continue reading

Knox City Council Holds Final Reading over Ordinance Eliminating Obstructions

The Knox City Council members held the final reading over the amended ordinance to eliminate obstructions on sidewalks, city streets and railroad right-of-ways when they met Tuesday night.

The ordinance up for approval last night states that individuals can face fines for obstructing sidewalks, streets or railroad right-of-ways with any structures or vehicles. It also includes a section that requires unobstructed passage of vehicles and clear view of any stopped vehicles.

According to that section, a person who stops, parks or leaves a vehicle has to leave a sufficient unobstructed width of the roadway opposite the vehicle free for the passage of oncoming traffic and a clear view of the stopped vehicle from a distance of 200 feet in each direction upon the highway. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Approves Backflow Testing Fees

Winamac Water Department Superintendent Jeremy Beckner presented town council members with different fees to consider for the town’s backflow testing services during Monday night’s meeting.

When the town adjusted their water rates, they also offered to perform backflow testing for a flat $35 rate. However, Proscapes Owner Jason Potthoff came before the council and expressed a concern that the low rate for all systems, regardless of size, may prevent other licensed businesses from fairly competing with the town for backflow testing services.

Before approving the amended water rates, the town removed the section about backflow testing fees so Superintendent Beckner could do some research and provide some other potential prices. Continue reading

Open Seats in Starke County for 2018 Elections

According to Starke County Election Deputy Clerk Crystal McCarty-Taylor, people can file for a declaration of candidacy starting today anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and they have until February 9th at noon to file.

Interested individuals must come into the Starke County Clerk’s Office to file. She added that no exceptions will be made if the February deadline is missed.

Officials up for election in Starke County include the County Sheriff, Assessor, Coroner, Recorder and Auditor as well as the Prosecuting Attorney and Circuit Court Clerk. Elections will also be held for the County Commissioners in District 2 which includes California, Center and Davis Townships. Continue reading

Red Cross Blood Mobile will be at Culver Middle/High School Thursday + Additional January Opportunities

The Red Cross Blood Mobile will be stationed at Culver Middle/High School from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 11th.

If you’re unable to attend Thursday’s blood drive, or if you wish to make multiple donations in January, there are a few other local opportunities available this month.

The Red Cross has a blood drive scheduled at the Community Wellness Center of Winamac, formerly the Pulaski County YMCA, from 12:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. ET on Friday, January 12th. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Holds Public Hearing Over Application for $700,000 OCRA Grant

Winamac Town Council members held a public hearing over their OCRA grant application Monday night.

OCRA Certified Grant Administrator Mike Kleinpeter began the hearing by stating that the town is applying for $700,000 with a $550,000 match for proposed wastewater treatment facility upgrades. Kleinpeter said town’s project is competing with 17 other proposals. The application must be submitted by February in order to be eligible for funding.

Midwestern Engineers CEO Mark Sullivan explained that the proposed upgrades are not optional.When the town renewed their NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Permit last year, they were given 3 years to adapt plant procedures to the new Environmental Protection Agency compliance regulating ammonia levels. Continue reading

Knox City Council Meets Tonight

The Knox City Council will meet tonight where the election of the 2018 Council President Pro Temp will be addressed.

Council members will consider appointments for the BZA, the Starke County Solid Waste Board, the Starke County Economic Development Foundation as well as the Plan Commission and Redevelopment Commission. Mayor Dennis Estok will also present his mayoral appointments.

An amendment to the Salary Ordinance will be considered on first reading and the second reading over the Ordinance to Eliminate Obstructions will be held. Continue reading

Open Seats in Pulaski County for 2018 Elections

Wednesday marks the first day a declaration of candidacy may be filed and several Pulaski County positions will be up for election this year.

Seats are open for Circuit Court and Superior Court Judges who each serve 6-year terms. Elections will also be held for the 4-year terms of Prosecuting Attorney, Clerk of Courts, the Sheriff, Assessor, Surveyor, Coroner and Commissioner for District #3. All registered voters can vote for these positions and may also cast a vote for the delegate to State Conventions. Continue reading

Town of North Judson Takes Over for Hoosier Valley With Omega Railway Management Correspondence

All communications with the railway management company Omega will now go through the town of North Judson rather than Hoosier Valley Railroad, according to Town Council President Wendy Hoppe.

Hoppe explained that Omega is the company responsible for the billing and collection services for residents who utilize anything that runs under the town’s railroad, “Anything that runs underneath, be it an irrigation line, be it a power line, be it a drainage tile.” Hoppe said, “Omega was billing them and taking care of all that.”

At the last few North Judson town council meetings, President Hoppe mentioned that she was contacted by a couple of different local farmers in the North part of town who reported very steep increases in their rates. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council to Hold Public Hearing Over OCRA Grant Tonight, Regular Meeting Scheduled for Afterwards

The Winamac Town Council will hold a public hearing to discuss the OCRA Grant Application for the Wastewater project. It will be held at 6 p.m. with their regular meeting rescheduled to take place immediately after the hearing adjourns.

The OCRA Grant that is up for discussion is a competitive grant worth $700,000 that will help cover costs of the proposed upgrades to the Wastewater treatment plant. In order to be eligible for the funding, the application will need to be submitted by February 9th. Continue reading