Lawmakers to Review Senate Bill that would end the Sale, Manufacturing of Synthetic Drugs

Lawmakers are looking to end the manufacturing, distributing and use of synthetic drugs.

State Senator Jim Merritt has authored a proposal that would add more than 60 chemical compounds found in synthetic drugs like Spice and bath salts to the state’s list of illegal substances. He says his bill would also ban molecules similar in structure to those illegal compounds to prevent drug manfacturers from slightly changing ingredients and skirting laws in the future.

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Two Lives Lost on Toll Road

Two lives were lost in separate vehicular accidents on the Indiana Toll Road Saturday between midnight and 5 a.m.

According to Indiana State Police, the first accident occurred at 12:23 a.m., when an empty horse trailer broke loose from a Chevrolet Suburban heading west and left the roadway, crossing the median and into oncoming traffic. 50-year old Julio Zatina of Bridgeview, Ill., was driving a double-trailer semi in the eastbound lane when the trailer crossed the roadway. Zatina was not able to avoid the trailer and hit it, breaking a piece of the trailer off that flew through the semi’s windshield and struck him. He immediately lost control of the semi, which traveled across the median into the oncoming lane and through to the ditch on the other side.

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Week in Review for January 30th-February 3rd, 2012

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

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels

Governor Daniels signed the right to work bill into law Wednesday afternoon. Indiana is now the 23rd right to work state.

Tom Collins, a former Winamac resident and player for the Negro Baseball League team, Memphis Red Sox, died last week at the age of 100.

The Knox City Council discussed ideas surrounding the Knox downtown revitalization project. Continue reading

Shelby Thomas Pleads Guilty to Two Class C Felonies

Shelby Thomas

Shelby Thomas pleaded guilty to two counts of Intimidation as Class C felonies in the Starke Circuit Court Thursday. Thomas, 57, admitted to threatening to kill Officers James Upsall and Dave Combs while armed with a 10-inch knife.

The possible penalties for these charges are two to eight years in the Department of Corrections on each count, and Prosecutor Nick Bourff is hoping for a 16-year sentence for Thomas. No plea agreement has been filed, but Bourff has indicated he will dismiss the remaining charges against Thomas, including four counts of Attempted Murder, if victims in the case feel 16 years is a sufficient penalty.

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Alex Bradley Found Guilty in Trial this Week

Alex Bradley

Alex Bradley was found guilty in a jury trial on a charge of Receiving Stolen Property in Starke Circuit Court this week.

He was found guilty of being in possession of a stolen golf cart. Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall revoked his bond and he was taken back to the Starke County Jail. He will stay in the jail until his sentencing hearing on February 29th at 11:00 a.m.

Starke County Highway Saving Money this Winter

Steve Siddall

This winter has been a mild one and even though there hasn’t been much snow on the ground, Starke County Highway Superintendent Steve Siddall says he and the employees are keeping busy

“We’ve still got plenty of work to do out here,” said Siddall. “We’re cutting brush and patching potholes. With no snow, the holes are forming with the raining and the warming and thawing. We also have gravel roads that are taking a beating because of so much rain and moisture in the ground. It’s tearing them up and we’re having to fix them. I really wish we had the snow instead of this because it makes mud and causes more trouble for a lot of things.”

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Medaryville Man Arrested on OVWI Charge

Todd Fischer

Forty-four-year-old Todd Fischer of Medaryville was arrested on Saturday, Jan. 28 on preliminary charges of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated when police found him passed out in the driver’s seat of a still-running vehicle.

Police received a call concerning a possible drunk driver on County Road 700 South, and when police went to check it out, they were unable to locate the suspect vehicle—that is, until they received more information and soon found the vehicle traveling on State Road 39. The vehicle pulled into a driveway in the 2700 block of South State Road 39, and the police were able to identify the vehicle as the silver Ford Taurus they had been looking for.

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Three Arrested after Alleged Burglary Incident

James Keller
Stephen Wood
David Miller

Three North Judson residents were arrested on Wednesday, January 28th after an alleged Burglary incident.

Starke County police received a phone call about a truck parked at a house on 300 East that wasn’t supposed to be there. Police conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Stephen Wood. Wood and his passenger, David Miller, told police that they were on their way to Miller’s house and the police let them go. The officer visited the witness who said that while the officer was conducting the traffic stop, a man, later identified as James Keller, was running southbound on 300 East. The officer got back into his car and found the suspect in the woods by using his thermal imager. A K9 unit was used to find him in the woods and he was taken into custody without further incident. Evidence at the scene suggested that he had stolen some items from a residence nearby.

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USDA Focusing on Renewable Energy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is helping lead the way with a commitment to ushering in the new era for American energy– an economy fueled by locally-grown and alternative energy sources designed and produced by American workers. In President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address, he laid out a blueprint for such an economy, which requires the safe and responsible production of our oil and natural gas resources.

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Duane Longacre to Appear in Court Today for Initial Hearing

Duane Longacre

A Plymouth man who lead police on a pursuit in Mishawaka and South Bend Tuesday will be in court today to face several charges.

Duane Longacre, 27, has been charged with two counts of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting Law Enforcement, Possession of Precursors, Possession of Two or More Precursors, Motor Vehicle Theft and Carrying a Handgun without a Permit. He has two $5,000 bonds and he is in the St. Joseph County Jail.

He will appear in court this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. ET in South Bend to enter a plea on those charges.

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Governor Daniels Signs Right to Work Bill

House Speaker Brian Bosma signs right to work bill

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed the right to work bill into law yesterday afternoon at 1:45 p.m. ET.

The bill was passed after 40 hours of testimony, debate and discussion over House Bill 1001. The law prohibits a business and a union from agreeing to charge fees to nonunion employees for union-provided representation and grievance services. Governor Daniels said the bill will bring jobs and opportunity for the young citizens of the state and for all of those looking for a better life.

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Tax Levy Question to Appear on Starke County May Ballot

A tax levy referendum will appear on the May Primary ballot for voters in the Oregon and Davis Townships in Starke County.

The referendum is asking voters to approve a property tax rate increase to help create more funds to keep the school corporation operating the way it is now. The increase will not exceed $.19 on each $100 of assessed valuation and it will be in addition to all other property tax levies imposed by the School Corporation.

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Join the North Judson-San Pierre Drama Department in Spring Musical

The North Judson-San Pierre High School Drama Department is looking for you to participate in this month’s production of Les Miserables.

Choir Director, Donna Ness, is looking for singers of all ages to participate in the Les Miserable chorus. Sign-up will be on Thursday, February 16th at 5:00 p.m. You will be required to give information about yourself and pay $10 for a cast t-shirt. Rehearsal that night will be from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the High School Auditorium. You will need to attend additional rehearsals February 21st-23rd from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

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