Knox Community School Board Approves Bid for Softball Building Project

Gary Dulin, Jerry Fletcher, Harold Welter, Mary Lynn Ritchie, Kirk Bennett, Nathan Marcum, Mike Yankauskas, Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The Knox Community School Board approved the bid from Hamstra Builders in Wheatfield to work on the softball building project. The bid was approved with a 5-1 vote with Board member Nathan Marcum opposed to the project. $271,900 will be transferred from the Rainy Day Fund to be used for this project.

The softball building project will include the construction of a public restroom and dressing room facility for the softball players. Water and sewer lines will be run and will be extended for a possible baseball building project and the infrastructure will allow for other projects in the future.

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Knox Soldier Honored in Wall of Honor Ceremony

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The shadowbox honoring Sgt. Joseph A. Ford was flanked by Sgt Raymond Pendleton, left, and E4 Specialist Arjan Manwani. (By Jenna Esarey, Special to the Courier-Journal)

With numerous family members and friends on hand, an Indiana National Guard soldier who died in Iraq was honored Saturday at a Wall of Honor ceremony at the New Albany National Guard Armory.

Sgt. Joseph A. Ford was 23 years old when he was killed on May 10, 2008 in a non-combat vehicle accident.

Ford’s sacrifice was recognized with the dedication of a shadowbox containing a folded American flag, Ford’s picture, biography and all of his ribbons, awards and medals from his military career. Approximately 75 people turned out for the dedication, including many members of the HQ & HQ Troop of the 1st Squadron, 152nd Cavalry Regiment based at the armory.

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School News

On Saturday March 5th, the Winamac Community High School Robotics Team won the Jay County Vex Robotics Tournament. The team finished the qualifying rounds 9-0 then won the elimination rounds. Members of the team are Eric Sass, Alex Gudas, Natasha Daugherty, Eric Newman, Brett Beach, Kohl Hoover, and Greg Zellers.

(L to R) David Elliott, Drew Shearin and Craige Pihpps. Photo provided.

Lafayette Jefferson World Premiere of “Uncertainty”, composed by Knox High School Student Andrew “Drew” Shearin, occurred on March 2nd, 2011. The Lafayette Jefferson High School Annual Concerto Concert was the forum for this special performance. Drew was represented with his plaque signifying winning the IMEA (Indiana Music Educators Association) Young Composers Competition Concert Band Class which he received at the IMEA State Convention. Drew was asked to introduce the piece that was performed by Lafayette Jefferson’s top Wind Ensemble with a short speech. “Uncertainty” was wonderfully performed and both the piece and Drew received a 2 minute standing ovation. After the concert was concluded, Drew was greeted and congratulated by many of the concert goers and the various attending directors as well as the Knox School Corporation instrumental music staff.

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North Judson Wins 20th Sectional Championship

2011 Sectional Champions

The North Judson Blue Jays are Sectional Champions once again! On Tuesday the Jays defeated Hebron (13-8) in the first round 82-63, then on Friday they were victorious once again defeating Culver (14-8) 42-35, before defeating Winamac (12-11) in the championship game 64-53. Winston Yergler led the Jays in the championship with a season high 23 points as North Judson won their 20th Sectional Championship in boys basketball.

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Forensic Fluids Laboratories to Begin Conducting Drug Tests on Starke County Employees

Starke County Commissioners ( L to R ) Kathy Norem, Dan Bridegroom, Jennifer Davis

The Starke County Commissioners contracted with a Kalamazoo, Michigan firm to provide drug testing of County employees. Forensic Fluids Laboratories will test all new employees and 10% of randomly selected current employees. The testing will be done with a swab of oral fluids instead of urine specimens.

Deidre Cunningham, a representative of the company, said the testing is 100% accurate.

“An oral sample equates to a blood sample and a lot of people are surprised to hear that,” said Cunningham. “Your mouth resalivates all day long through the oral glands in your oral cavity and they way it resalivates is by the blood stream mixing with the oral fluids; saliva and other fluids. By testing either blood or oral fluid, you’re getting the same information. Isn’t it wonderful to think that you can get the same information from a blood test without the needle poke or the higher price point?”

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Oprah Winfrey Network to Feature Lisa Owens in ‘Breaking Down the Bars’ Program Tonight

Lisa Owens

The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) will feature former Knox resident, Lisa Owens, tonight on the “Breaking Down the Bars”. The program features eight inmates incarcerated at the Rockville Correctional Center.

Owens, who is eligible for release this year because of a modification of her 40 year sentence, was convicted of shooting her husband, Jeff, while he was in the shower. The crime took place on May 18th, 2001. The case was heard before then- Starke Circuit Court Judge, David Matsey and was prosecuted by then-Starke County Prosecutor, Kim Hall. She plead guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter. The modification order was signed by Judge Richard Kickbush.

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Starke County Jail in Need of New Roof and Furnace Unit

Starke County Jail

There are more problems at the Starke County Jail. Sheriff Oscar Cowen told the Starke County Commissioners yesterday that he has been advised that the furnace and air conditioning unit could go out at any time. If that would happen, all prisoners would have to be moved to another facility.

On top of that, the roof needs a new rubber roof to protect the building from leaks. A water pipe leak was reported last week that did damage on the lower floor of the Jail where the Prosecutor’s Office is located.

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Knox School Board President Discusses School Vouchers; Tenure

Harold Welter

Knox Community School Board President, Harold Welter, is in today to talk about education and the changes in the proposed Education Reform package.

He was asked about vouchers.

“You’re competing for dollars,” said Welter. “Dick Wagner pointed that out in an earlier interview that we’re competing for dollars and a lot of parents are saying, ‘Hey, we want to have the choice.’ Again, I don’t have a problem with that. It’s a competitive world out there and we are going to compete. We’re going to make sure that Knox Community Schools are the best they can be and that is going to draw students to us, not just because we’re Knox, but because we have programs that are going to be very, very beneficial to the students.”

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Plymouth Police Arrest Two at Wal-Mart in Separate Incidents

Donielle Good
Tammy Overmyer

Two individuals were arrested last week at Wal-Mart in Plymouth.

On Friday, March 4th, Plymouth Police officers were called to Wal-Mart to remove a trespasser. Wal-Mart workers reported that 27-year-old Donielle Good of Plymouth had a no trespass order. Police confirmed this order and Donielle was arrested and taken to the Marshall County Jail on a preliminary charge of Trespassing.

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Pulaski County Drug Free Council Awards Grants

Pulaski County Drug Free Council (L to R) Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer, Arlene Metzger, Monica Gainor, Theresa Blankenship and Kathryn Sytsma (not pictured: President Mark Hamilton and Blair Todd)

The Pulaski County Drug Free Council has awarded its annual grants for the reduction of drug and alcohol abuse in Pulaski County. The grants are funded from the collection of statutory countermeasure fees assess of criminal defendants for convictions in certain drug and alcohol offenses. The grants are awarded for programs designed to provide treatment, prevention or the criminal enforcement of drug and alcohol abuse. $5,150 was distributed in this grant cycle.

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North Judson Police; Fire Reports for February

Doug Vessely
North Judson Town Marshal Doug Vessely

North Judson Town Marshal, Doug Vessely, reports that in the month of February, the Department received 234 calls. The Department responded to 12 lockout calls, 6 animal control calls, 16 thefts-conversion calls, 3 accidents, 13 juvenile-family disturbance calls, and 2 assault, battery or fighting calls, and conducted 48 traffic stops.

Officers completed 1 battery report, 2 Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated reports, 2 Burglary-Robbery reports, 3 theft-conversion reports, 4 traffic reports, 2 alcohol-drug reports, and 1 death investigation. 15 ordinance tickets were written, 29 traffic warnings given and North Judson officers made 14 adult arrests.

North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Chief, Joe Leszek, reports that his department had 2 structure fires, 2 medical assist calls, 1 vehicle accident call, 2 carbon monoxide investigations. 3 calls were in North Judson town limits, and 4 were in Wayne Township.

Sectional Champion Blue Jays

Jays preparing for Regional practice.
Andrew Frasure
Cliff Dolezal
John Eckert
Mitch Fingerhut
Kendall Hochstedler
Winston Yergler
Dustin Knapp
Evan Howard
Caston Sanchez
Wes Derflinger, Dalton Bailey, Jerred Surma
Coach Ryan Bales

The North Judson Blue Jays won the school’s 20th Sectional Championship in boys’ basketball. The Jays defeated Hebron, Culver, and Winamac to move on to Regional competition.

Gas Prices Continue to Rise

The second greatest jump in regular gasoline at the pump has occurred the last two weeks. The jump has been 33 cents a gallon.

“The oil companies are not the culprit, they are the beneficiary,” said Don Good of the Good Oil company in Winamac. “They benefit from all this and I don’t think that you’ll find the oil executives sitting around the table crying over $100, $130 crude because they will just make a lot of money off of it. They aren’t the ones driving that market, but they’re more than happy to ride along.”

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Knox School Board President Weighs in on Education Reform

Harold Welter

Last week we heard from the President of the Knox Federation of Teachers, Dick Wagner, on proposed changes in the State education reform package. This week we’re going to hear from the President of the Knox Community School Board, Harold Welter. He’ll give his views on similar parts of the proposed changes, especially those being advocated by Governor Mitch Daniels and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Bennett.

First on everyone’s radar is the growing number of charter schools.

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Knox Community School Board Approves Funding for Pool Liner, New High School Lockers

Gary Dulin, Jerry Fletcher, Harold Welter, Mary Lynn Ritchie, Kirk Bennett, Nathan Marcum, Mike Yankauskas, Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The Knox Community School Board approved alternate bids as part of the High School renovation project. The Knox Community School Corporation was recently approved for a Qualified School Construction bond through the state which is backed by federal funds. The Board is using that money to renovate the High School; specifically the lighting, ceiling and HVAC unit in the pool area and water piping throughout the building.

The Board has some leftover funds after the Board refused roofing bids that came in over budget. This leaves money available for projects listed in alternative bids within the scope of the renovation project.

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Daylight Saving Time Begins Sunday, March 13th

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 13th, which means everyone will move their clocks ahead one hour. Clocks may be moved at bedtime Saturday night or at 2:00 a.m. prevailing time Sunday morning.

The purpose of Daylight Saving Time is to extend daylight by an hour in the afternoons during spring, summer and much of the fall. While Indiana observes Daylight Saving Time, the state remains divided in telling time. 80 of the 92 counties use Eastern Time while the other 12 use Central Time. Arizona and Hawaii use Standard Time year round.

WKVI Website Reaches One Million Hit Milestone

Since putting our website up in August of 2009, we have received over one million hits. As of March 3rd, the number was actually 1,111,383.

We started with 25,000-41,000 hits a month until July of 2010 when we went over the 50,000 monthly count. In February 2010, we had 160,037 hits for our largest monthly total. This could be contributed to inclement weather and visits to our closings and delays page.

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