Week in Review for February 6th-10th, 2012

Here is a look at some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week.

Phillip Mullins
Angela McDougal

Phillip Mullins and Angela McDougal were arrested Friday, February 3rd, after police executed an arrest warrant for Mullins. They were charged with several drug charges.

The West Central School Board received the tax rate for next year’s budget. The Board reduced the Capital Projects Fund by $80,000 to keep the rate close to last year’s rate. Continue reading

Two LaPorte County Residents Arrested on Heroin Charges

Ryan Thomason
Jesse Brown

Two LaPorte residents were arrested Thursday, February 9th after an ongoing investigation by the LaPorte County Metro Operations Unit into the sale and distribution of heroin in the City of LaPorte.

Ryan Thomason, 26, and Jesse Brown, 24, were taken into custody without incident. Thomason has been charged with Dealing a Narcotic Drug in excess of three grams, a Class A Felony. Brown has been charged with Aiding, Inducing and Causing an Offense, a Class A Felony. Both are being held in the LaPorte County Jail pending appearances in LaPorte Circuit Court.

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Plymouth Man Arrested on Warrant

Stewart Hummel

A Plymouth man was arrested Friday on an arrest warrant for drugs.

On January 12th, Chief Jim Cox, Detective Sergeant Leo Mangus and Investigator Ted Brown from the Plymouth Police Department were at a residence in the 17000 block of Lincoln Highway in Plymouth in regards to a theft call. During the investigation, Stewart Hummel, 33, was observed attempting to hide a methamphetamine lab in the garage. He then ran from the residence and police could not locate Hummel.

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Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County Make No Decision Concerning Jennie Carter

Jennie Carter

The regular meeting of Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County was held Wednesday and produced no action on the status of Jennie Carter as Coalition Coordinator of Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County. The President of Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County, Judy Jelinek, said no action could have been taken as the lack of a quorum prohibited the Board to conduct business.

Another meeting has been scheduled for 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 15th at the Girl Scout Cabin in Knox. Carter is still the Coordinator, and Jelinek said that the executive session is scheduled to discuss personnel matters. A yet to be announced open meeting for the public and press will be held after the executive session. No time or location has been announced for that public meeting.

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Damage Forces Change in Student Pickup/Drop-off Locations at Knox Elementary

The Knox Community Elementary School is experiencing a change in its pickup and drop-off procedure for students.

“We had a structural problem in the doorway that has caused us to have to close that door for the time being and only use it for emergency exits if needed,” explained Superintendent A.J. Gappa. “Because of the problem at door #7, the pattern for drop-offs and walkers is going to change. Different door exits and entryways will have to be used for the parents who drop off kids and for the students that walk to school.”

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Knox Woman Injured in Accident

A Knox woman was injured in a single vehicle accident in the City of Knox.

19-year-old Rebecca Stacy told Knox City Police that she was driving on Pacific Avenue by Bender Street at 11:20 p.m. Wednesday night when the vehicle began to go off the road. She corrected and turned the wheel one way and the steering went the other way. She corrected again and the vehicle went sideways and left the roadway.

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New Vending Machines En Route to Pulaski County

The convenience of easily-purchased snacks and drinks is coming to more Pulaski County buildings, thanks to a pending contract with Canteen Vending. The courthouse, justice center, and county building will be outfitted with new glass-front Coke, Pepsi, and snack machines, and vending machines that already exist in other departments will be replaced by Canteen as well.

Deputy Auditor Carrie Wilson says that this agreement will bring a bit of money to the county through commission from the machines, and Canteen will provide maintenance for the machines weekly– a much better agreement than the county currently has, as the machines are rarely serviced which often proves problematic.

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Mike Pence to Speak at Pulaski County Lincoln Day Dinner

Mike Pence

Mike Pence, a Republican candidate for Indiana Governor, will speak at the Lincoln Day Dinner in Pulaski County.

The Pulaski County Lincoln Day Dinner will be held on Tuesday, February 21st, at 6:30 p.m. ET at the Star City Community Building.

On Monday, Pence filed ballot petition signatures to run for Indiana Governor on the Republican ticket. He filed with 100 volunteers from every county in the state accompanying him to the Government Center in Indianapolis.

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From the WKVI Archives

Jayne Cowen as Miss Starke County in 2001

It was 11 years ago that the first Starke County Pageant was held at the North Judson-San Pierre Socialatorium. One of the highlights of the evening was an appearance by the 2000 Miss Indiana Betsy Bobel.

The first Miss Starke County was Jayne Cowen, who said after being crowned that introducing crime prevention programs in schools would be her platform.

After competing in the Miss Indiana Pageant, June 14th, 2001, Jayne went back to Indiana State University where she finished her degree work.

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Knox Man Injured in Accident

A Knox man was injured in a single vehicle accident in LaPorte County.

LaPorte County Police officers responded to a call at 12:07 this morning of a car in the ditch at 1500 S. 100 W. in LaPorte County. Eugene Sinn, 57, told police that he didn’t remember how he got there or how long he was there. According to LaPorte County officials, the officer reportedly asked Sinn if he had been drinking prior to the accident and stated that he had been drinking. He was taken to the hospital for medical treatment for facial cuts and a laceration over his upper lip.

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Knox J.V. Completes 7-0 Conference Season

First Row L to R: Ashley Kreiger and Kazia Stacy. Second Row L to R: Brittany Fletcher, Miranda Shepherd, and Kindrick Joseph. Back Row L to R: Varsity Head Coach Dan Huizenga, Varsity Assistant Cameron Gilbert, Azure Conner, Kourtney Wagner, Torie Elliott, Sarah Hodge, Rachel Lenig, Manager Summer Shepherd, JV Assistant Larry Mullins, JV Head Coach Brian Earnest.

The Knox Lady Redskin J.V. team set a school record this year for wins with an overall record of 16-4. Their 16 wins included two championships in both the Hanover Central Tournament and the Northern State Conference where they were a perfect 7-0! The skins had a seven girl rotation and were lead in scoring by six different individuals throughout their 20-game season. Coach Brian Earnest stated “the key to our success this year was togetherness. I have never been prouder of any group of kids in 13 years of coaching. These girls proved what working hard and believing in one another can allow you to achieve”.

The future of Knox Lady Redskin basketball is in good hands with this group. Congratulations to the Lady Redskins on their record-setting, conference championship season!

Starke County Landfill Problems Reported to Commissioners

Starke County Commissioners: Kathy Norem, Dan Bridegroom and Jennifer Davis

More money needs to be poured into the site of the old Starke County Landfill. Brian Horvath, the Senior Project Manager of Weaver and Boos Consultants appeared before the Starke County Commissioners this week to report on conditions at the landfill.

Of the 12 probes placed on the property to detect methane gas, four showed up positive. The county now has 60 days to correct the situation.

Horvath said that trench 15 to 20 feet deep will need to be dug and then filled with gravel . The trench will provide a preferential pathway for any gas in the ground. The gas would then be vented into the atmosphere.

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Accidents Reported in the Kankakee Valley

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department responded to a single vehicle accident on 1500 South, one mile East of State Road 39 last night around 8:00 p.m. One occupant was taken to the hospital.

Knox City Police Department officers were called to a rollover accident on Bender Street near Pacific Avenue around 10:00 p.m. last night. This was also a single car accident and minor injuries were reported in this accident.

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department officers were called to a rollover accident early this morning at 1075 W. State Road 10. This was a one vehicle accident with one person injured.

All of these accidents are still being investigated and we hope to get more information on these cases once more information is available to us.

Mark Allen Not Challenging Kathy Norem for Commissioner Seat

Kathy Norem completes her candidacy paperwork

One of the more exciting local races in the 2008 Starke County General Election involved commissioner candidates Kathy Norem and Mark Allen. Both were attempting to fill a vacant seat on the board and 9,223 votes were cast in that specific race. At the end of the night, Norem, a Republican, edged Democrat Allen by 73 votes.

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Chesapeake Run Subdivision Offers Roads to County

Alan T. Hildebrand, a Certified Public Accountant with Cross Roads Business Advisors, appeared before the Starke County Commissioners this week. Hildebrand represents Teachers Credit Union, owners of the housing development at Chesapeake Run Golf Course in North Judson, and presented a petition the commissioners to accept the roads in the subdivision. If accepted, the county would be charged with maintenance of the streets on the property.

Commissioner Dan Bridegroom said he had observed the paving work done on the property and was impressed. He did express concern over the closeness of the street lamps to the roads, saying this could cause a problem in snowplowing.

The commissioners did not take possession of the roads at this meeting, pending presentation of a legal description of the streets.

New North Judson Park Caretaker Hired

North Judson Park Board President Bob Kolanowski told the Town Board this week that a new park caretaker has been hired. Jon Harrison was hired after six applicants were interviewed. Jon Harrison takes over the position from James Harrison, his father, who passed away last year. He worked with his father at the Park before and has the experience necessary to fulfill the caretaker’s duties.

The Board also held a discussion about increasing the Board to five members. The board, which numbers three, talked about what is required for that increase to take place. No decision was made during Monday night’s meeting.

The Board also approved a special event permit form.

Wife of Knox United Methodist Church Pastor Passes Away

Following a valiant battle against cancer, Diane Squibb, 63, passed away yesterday.
Diane is the wife of Knox United Methodist Church Pastor Ray Squibb who has hosted the “Sunday Morning Day by Day” program for several years. Diane often accompanied her husband to the studio and occasionally was part of the program.

She worked at the Henry F. Schricker Library in Knox, until becoming too ill to fulfill her duties.

The Rannells Funeral Home, Hamlet Chapel is in charge of the services.

Fred Baker files Candidacy for Starke County Council at-Large Seat

Retired Starke County Police officer Fred “Freddie” Baker is the latest candidate to sign up for the May primary. Baker has filed for a position on the Starke County Council. He will be running in the Democrat Primary as a council at large candidate.

Other candidates to file for Starke County Council at-large seats include Republican Bryan H. Cavender, Democrat Robert (Bob) Sims, Democrat Judy Benninghoff and Republican Talia Reed.