Monthly Unemployment Data Released

Indiana Workforce Development

Starke County’s unemployment rate stayed unchanged in December. The figures were released Tuesday and Starke County has moved from 7th to 5th place of the top unemployment counties. The Starke County rate is still 11.3% and is only eclipsed by Elkhart, Fayette, Vermillion, and Noble counties.

Davies county has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 5.3%

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Starke County Police Arrest Two on Meth Charges after Traffic Stop

Starke County Sheriff’s Department officers arrested two citizens on meth related charges after a traffic stop, Monday.

Randall Appleton

Police saw a car slide through a red light and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, driven by Randall Appleton, of North Judson. While investigating the incident, police found methamphetamine and items allegedly used to make methamphetamine. Appleton was arrested and has preliminary charges of Possession of Methamphetamine, Visiting a Common Nuisance, Possession of Precursors, and Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver. Continue reading

Newly Elected Starke County Councilmen Attend Seminar

(L to R) Tony Radkiewicz, Dave Pearman and Mitch Semans at the AIC seminar

Newly elected Starke County Council members, Dave Pearman, Tony Radkiewicz and Mitch Semans, attended the Association of Indiana Counties Newly Elected Officials Seminar. The all day event was held January 22nd at the Crowne Plaza, Indianapolis Airport.

The conference was attended by more than 200 county elected officials from all over Indiana. Seminar training included such topics as: Open Door Law & Access to Public Records, Overview of the Department of Local Government Finance, Tax and Assessment Issues, main Revenue Sources & Debt Financing, Purchasing and Public bidding, Employee/Employer Issues, State Board of Accounts Overview and the Basics of County Budgeting.

The various functions of the AIC include lobbying the Indiana General Assembly on behalf of counties, serving as liaison among counties, state and federal agencies as well as providing technical assistance and training to county officials and employees.

Committee Looking to Upgrade Ambulance Services in Starke County

Does Starke County need to upgrade it’s ambulance service by adding Advanced Life Service? This is the second in a series we have been running this week on this topic.

As we told you yesterday, Starke County is one of only two counties in the state that does not offer Advanced Life Service to its citizens.  Even though officials have heard that the service can be paid for by charging higher rates with the Advanced Life Service, it is probably going to cost approximately $250,000 to secure the services of licensed paramedics.

Kris Rannells has worked as a paramedic in the past before returning home to join the family funeral home business in Hamlet. He says the Basic Ambulance Service in Starke County is doing a good job.

“They’re doing the most with what they have, but you’re going to have a better chance of saving more lives and keeping medical situations from expanding into a much more problematic situation with a paramedic than you are with an EMT,” said Rannells. “They are able to give all kinds of different medications and do different things to keep those medical problems from exasperating themselves.”

Kris Rannells was a paramedic in Indianapolis. Ted Hayes asked him about life saving with this upgraded service.

“In the amount of years that I was a paramedic, I can’t necessarily tell you how many lives saved alone, let alone how many lives I saved as a paramedic that would not have been saved as an EMT. I guarantee you, I made a difference as a paramedic. I don’t know about daily, but definitely weekly that would not have been made if I was just an EMT.”

A committee looking into upgrading to Advanced Life Service will meet next with paramedics from other small counties that already have it in place.

Remembering the Blizzard of 1967

At least some enjoyed the snow of the 1967 blizzard

People in South Bend would say the recent one day snowfall that we experienced equals the amount of snow received on this date in 1967. That, though, was from lake effect snow. The snowfall of 1967 paralyzed the entire midwest which included Starke County.

It was a Thursday and four inches of the white stuff was predicted which was no cause for alarm. But before it was over, 23 inches of snow blanketed a huge portion of northern Illinois and Indiana.

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Sunday Morning Mixed League 01/23/11

Sunday Morning Mixed League 01/23/11
Team Standings:
1. The Unknown 92.0-34.0
2. The Quest 74.0-59.0
3. Split Heads 74.0-59.0
4. WRJN 72.0-61.0
5. The Smelly Cats 68.0-65.0
6. Lucky #7
7. Strange Brew 58.0-75.0
8. S*** Happens 57.0-76.0
9. Odd Balls 56.0-77.0
10. Snowdon’s Lawncare 52.0-81.0
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Tuesday Night Men’s League 01/18/11

Tuesday Night Men’s League 01/18/11
Team Standings:
1. Quarter’s 104.0-29.0
2. 1st Choice Pawn 78.0-55.0
3. Konrad Cabinets 77.0-56.0
4. Hensleys 76.0-57.0
5. Marks Body Shop 71.0-62.0
6. WKVI 67.0-66.0
7. Bowlaway Lanes 66.0-67.0
8. Sandbar 62.0-71.0
9. Time Out 57.0-76.0
10. Half Track 51.0-82.0
11. Fishers 45.0-88.0
12. Simonis 44.0-89.0
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Consideration Given to Add Advanced Life Service to Starke County Ambulance Service

A meeting was held last week to consider adding Advanced Life Service to Starke County’s ambulance system. Currently, Starke County is one of only two in the state that does not offer Advanced Life Service to its citizens.

Held at the IU Health-Starke Hospital, the meeting was presided over by former hospital CEO, and current Commissioner Kathy Norem. Kris Rannells is Advanced Life Service certified, and today and tomorrow he will help provide information about this potentially life saving service, and what it will mean to our citizens.

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Congressman Donnelly Assesses the United States’ Position in Afghanistan, Pakistan

Joe Donnelly
Congressman Joe Donnelly

Cracks are beginning to form in President Obama’s formerly solid support among Republicans for the war in Afghanistan. Senator Richard Lugar, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said last week that Congress is coming to a critical juncture.

Republicans, who in the past have been strong on defense, now find themselves looking at the huge expenditure of keeping forces fighting in Afghanistan. Only 25% of Tea Party supporters said the U.S. should maintain current troop levels, and another 27% said the U.S. should pull out completely.

Congressman Joe Donnelly gives his assessment of where we are in Afghanistan.

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Ted Hayes Remembers Stu Gast

Stuart Gast

One of Winamac’s most prominent citizens passed away Sunday in Pulaski Memorial Hospital. Ted Hayes remembers Stuart Gast.

“I met Stuart Gast at the Winamac Kiwanis Club. He was a lawyer and was at one time the youngest Circuit Court Judge in the state. He was Circuit Court Judge in Pulaski County in the 1940’s. He was interested in the Pulaski County Historical Society, and was instrumental in starting boys baseball in the Winamac community.”

“Stu was a Cubs and Bears fan, and even tried his hand at farming (he owned several farms during his lifetime). Needless to say, he was involved with many charitable efforts in his lifetime.”

“He was instrumental in the career of this year’s Halleck Award winner, Judge Michael Shurn, having brought him into his law firm.”

“The Winamac community has lost one of its real gentlemen. Stuart Gast, dead at the age of 98.”

Key Lawmakers Talk about Making Tax Codes Easier

Nine out of ten Americans will find credits, deductions and exemptions on their tax forms so confusing and difficult they hire someone to fill out their forms.

Now, key lawmakers are talking about making the tax code simpler and fairer.

There is a lot of political support for simplifying the tax code, but in an era of divided government it is unclear whether President Obama has the ability to get it done.

The tax code is 3.8 million works long and growing. The tax codes is also 10 times the size of the Bible.

Two Knox Students Share Unique English Class Project with School Board

Chelsea Whitcraft, Julianna Richie and Mrs. Matysak present the Board with the Facebook project

The Knox Community School Board recognized two students who completed a unique class project over the Christmas holiday for Mrs. Matysak’s class.

“The class had read the Shakespeare story of Macbeth and to do a project to keep up with modern times and technology, two of our students, Chelsea Whitcraft and Julianna Richey had taken characters from Macbeth and placed them on Facebook,” explained Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre School Board News

North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Lynn Johnson

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board approved a field trip request from the North Judson-San Pierre Marching Band. The band will perform in the Kentucky Derby Pegasus Parade on May 5th. Superintendent Lynn Johnson said the students have worked hard and are excited to perform in this parade.

The Board approved the 2011-2012 school calendar. The beginning of school for the next school year will be Tuesday, August 16th.

The Board retreat is Thursday, January 27th. The Director of the Indiana School Board Association will facilitate the meeting and he will evaluate the Superintendent and her duties since being in office.

Music Students Do Well in Area Performances

Austin Stacy

Austin Stacy, a Junior from North Judson-San Pierre High School, successfully participated in the Indiana Music Educators Association High School Honor Band weekend. Austin was among approximately 100 band students from around the state that rehearsed and gave a performance at the Embassy Theater in Fort Wayne for the IMEA Convention this past Saturday. The guest conductor for the IMEA Honor Band was Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser.

In other music news:
Congratulations to the Knox High School Winterguard. The KHS Guard was in competition this past Saturday at DeKalb High School where they earned 4th place out of 11 competing units. The KHS Guard will be in competition again on February 5th at Anderson High School in Anderson, Indiana.

Photo provided

Mark Smith Announces His Candidacy for Mayor of Knox

Mark Smith

Knox resident and local businessman, Mark Smith, has announced his intention to seek the office of Knox Mayor. Smith is the owner of the M.C. Smith Funeral Home and the current President of the Starke County Council as well as a very active member of the community.

He says, “The fiscal condition of the City of Knox has traditionally been good, however, with the changes that we have been handed, close attention must be given to the finances of the City if we are to continue the level of service currently being provided to our residents.”

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