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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Week in Review for January 31st-February 4th, 2011

Here is just some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week:

Paul Begley, Pastor at the Community Gospel Baptist Church in Knox, is in the internet spotlight over his YouTube video concerning the discovery of the dead cows, birds and fish worldwide.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers notified the Knox City Council that the TIF Fund has grown to just over $151,000. The money can be used within the TIF District for redevelopment, public improvement projects, training, or making bond payments.

Center Township precincts in Starke County will consolidate for the 2011 Primary Election. Voters in the four precincts will vote at the Knox Community Center.

The Knox City Council will be working on a contract between the Knox-Center Township Fire Department to give Knox the authority to grant protection for Jackson Township.

Judge Charles Hasnerl has announced his campaign for re-election to the Knox City Court in the 2011 Municipal Election. Hasnerl has served as Knox City Court Judge since 1996.

The Maxinkuckee Players have announced that plans for the 2011 summer production will be changed due to construction at the Culver High School Auditorium, the usual venue. The Players 30th Anniversary show has also been canceled.

The new name of the Starke County hospital is getting a positive response from the public. Starke Memorial Hospital’s new name is Indiana University Health-Starke Hospital.

Residents in the Kankakee Valley dug out after 12+ inches of snow fell in a blizzard that swept through a big portion of the United States. States of emergency were declared in 17 counties in Indiana. Starke and Pulaski County Highway Departments struggled to keep roads open. The General Assembly canceled Tuesday’s session and Committees did not meet on Wednesday due to the weather.

Starke United

Starke United Executive Director, Edie Hall, has tendered her resignation. Her last day at the helm will be March 20th.

And that is just some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week.

North Judson-San Pierre Academic Decathlon Team Headed to State Finals

NJ-SP Decathlon Team Front Row: Hope Harlamert, Rhiannon Millard, Melissa Spears and Jennifer Atkinson. Back Row: Jacob Kieskowski, Steven Miller, Lucus Howard, and Sarah Green

For the sixth time in seven years, the North Judson-San Pierre Academic Decathlon team has qualified for the State Finals in the Small School Division. The NJ-SP competitors scored 25,314.9 points, earning the Blue Jays a 10th place finish in State rankings and the last qualifying spot. The team will compete in the State Finals on Friday and Saturday, February 11th and 12th, at Purdue University in West Lafayette.

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Area Music Students do Well at Recent ISSMA District Solo and Ensemble Competition

(L to R) Brendan Owens, Brittany Shannon, Allie Bulick, Katelyn Peters, Hannah Janson, and Drew Shearin

Congratulations to the Knox MS and Knox HS participants in the Indiana State School Music Association District Solo and Ensemble Competition. The Middle School and High School had nearly a hundred students perform in competition at Valparaiso HS in Valparaiso, Indiana on Saturday, January 29th. They combined for a total of 41 Gold Division Ratings with 8 State qualifiers. Brendan Owens, Brittany Shannon, Allie Bulick, Katelyn Peters, Hannah Janson, and Drew Shearin will compete on February 26th, 2011 at North Central HS for State Gold. Congratulations to all participants and Good Luck State Qualifiers!

The North Judson-San Pierre Bands participated in the annual Indiana State School Music Association District Solo/Ensemble Contest on Saturday, January 29th at Twin Lakes High School. The following ratings were given:

Silver Rating Performances: Connor McBride, Chase Collins, Sarah Green, Paige Madsen, Rachel Brent – woodwind quintet; Matthew Godsey – baritone solo; Sarah Green – clarinet solo; AJ Garay, Katie Farler, Matt Godsey, Austin Stacy – low brass quartet

Gold Rating Performances: Caitlyn Barnes – clarinet solo; Nathan Japkowski, Bohen Strayrook, Corbyn Minix – percussion trio

Gold Rating Performances qualifying for the ISSMA State Solo/Ensemble Contest for February 26th in Indianapolis: Austin Stacy – tuba solo; Rachel Brent-clarinet solo; Carter Tucker – Flugel Horn solo; Rachel Brent, Sarah Green, Paige Madsen – clarinet trio; Matt Godsey, Carter Tucker, AJ Garay, Katie Farler, Austin Stacy – low brass quintet.

Photo provided by Knox High School Principal, Dr. Elizabeth Ratliff.

Latest Filings for 2011 Municipal Election

Thirteen people have filed for candidacy for the 2011 Municipal election in the Starke County Clerk’s office. The two latest candidate filings include Donald Kring for Knox City Council and Bob Yung for Hamlet Town Board.

Clerk Evelyn Skronski explained that candidates filing for positions in the North Judson and Hamlet town elections have until August 1st to file while candidates for the City of Knox election have until February 18th to file. In general, Primary Elections are not held for the candidates of major parties, the Democratic and Republican parties, in towns under a population of 3,500 unless the town has adopted an ordinance to nominate candidates at a primary election. This applies for candidates running for positions in Hamlet and North Judson. If there is a party opposition on any of the seats open for candidacy in North Judson or Hamlet, a Town Convention will be held to determine the candidate for the General Election. Those are typically held in August.

The same rules apply for candidates in Pulaski County in the towns of Winamac, Medaryville and Francesville. One candidate has filed for candidacy for the 2011 Municipal Election. Christina Hoffa has filed for Winamac Town Clerk-Treasurer.