Starke County Police responded to an accident call at 1:00 a.m. Monday morning that occurred at 4570 South and 100 East. Upon arrival, officers found a single vehicle and determined that the driver was 43-year-old Thomas Guy of Knox.
Guy had been ejected from the vehicle during the crash and was transported to I.U. Health-Starke Hospital where his condition was unknown yesterday.
It appeared to the responding officer that Guy was northbound on County Road 100 East when he came over a hill and lost control of his vehicle, leaving the roadway and striking a tree. Assisting the Sheriff’s Department were the Knox Police Department, Bass Lake-California Township Fire Department and Starke County EMS. Alcohol results are pending at this time.
Bridgett Markin of First Source Insurance and Sheriff Oscar Cowen came before the Starke County Commissioners yesterday to present an inmate catastrophic insurance proposal. By not having such a policy, the county was responsible for all catastrophic expenses incurred by inmates while incarcerated.
The policy selected came with $250,000 maximum coverage and $10,000 deductible. Sheriff Cowen said that many Indiana counties have this type of policy.
In the end, the commissioners voted unanimously to purchase the policy that costs $17,500 annually.
The land acquisition process is underway for the Monterey Bridge project. The project involves the construction of a new bridge to route traffic away from the Monterey Bridge, which is too small and unsafe for regular traffic but cannot be removed because of its historical nature.
Jeff Larrison of United Consulting told the commissioners this week that the purchase of six of the nine parcels of land to be acquired were ready to be signed by the commissioners. Another parcel of land in the size of 83 square feet was purchased for $400 and did not require a signature. There is a conflict with the purchase of the remaining two parcels, however, as counter-offers were returned by the landowners who requested more money than the county had offered.
One of the landowners was offered $43,000 for his property, but had an appraisal performed himself that valued the land at $63,000, but Larrison says that appraisal was very flawed in how it calculated that figure. A motion was passed to raise their offer to $48,000 for the property.
A counter-offer was also received from the landowners of the second parcel. The county originally offered $11,300 for the parcel, but the landowner countered with $15,900, which the commissioners ultimately agreed to.
If the properties are acquired in time for the bids to be let in spring, Larrison is hopeful that construction on the new bridge will be finished before winter.
Local emergency services organizations will be conducting a training exercise on December 10th. The exercise will take place at the Knox High School between the hours of 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.
The training will consist of various departments including the Knox Police Department, Starke County Sheriff’s Department, Hamlet Police Department, and the Knox Fire Department. Also participating in the training will be Starke County EMS, Starke County Emergency Management and IU Health Starke Hospital.
Again, when you see all of the emergency personnel at the high school Saturday, this is only a training session.
Because Starke County does not have a juvenile holding center, a contract is being signed with a Muncie facility to hold our young prisoners. Cedarbridge Youth Center normally charges $150.00 a day for holding such prisoners, but because Starke County officials paid in advance for 2011, they were given a reduced rate of $89.00 per day.
Of the 160 days contracted for, only 89 were used, leaving 71 days to be carried over to 2012.
The county commissioners voted last week to secure 89 days, and use the 71 day carry over to guarantee another 160 days for 2012. The discounted rate for 2012 has increased to $99.00 a day.
Juveniles cannot be co-mingled with adults, so Starke County has to “farm-out” youngsters who are being held for possible criminal causes.
A Knox woman was arrested on an active Starke Circuit Court warrant after a dog attack in October.
Candice Simmons was picked up on the warrant after a traffic stop in Cass County on Wednesday, November 30th, and faces two counts of Criminal Recklessness as a D Felony and as a Class B Misdemeanor and two counts of Harboring a Non-immunized Dog as a Class B Misdemeanor.
The charges stem from a incident on Oct. 6, when Marshall Garlach was attacked by Simmons’ dogs on her property. Garlach was reportedly walking Simmons’ child to her home after Garlach saw him in his front yard. He reportedly told police that when he got inside the gate to the property and walked the boy up to the door Simmons’ dog started attacking him. He said the male dog knocked him to the ground and then the female dog started to attack him too. Garlach told police that he was able to get away from the dogs and call 9-1-1.
Garlach’s left ear was bitten off in the attack and the bites on his arms went to the bone. While police were talking to the dog’s owner, Candace Simmons, the male dog charged at police and was halted by verbal commands. The final time the dog charged at police, it didn’t stop, even with commands, and the officer had to shoot the dog to stop his aggressive charge. The owner admitted to police that the dog had attempted to attack her at times also.
She was being held in the Starke County Jail on $500 cash bond and she is not to have contact with Garlach.
The beleaguered Starke County Jail has developed more problems recently: I.T. Director Joe Short said the equipment room temperature soared into the sauna range.
“Basically what happened is, the equipment room air conditioner quit working, and it was exceeding 100 degrees in the equipment room. We got McGrath’s out and put the unit in working condition but still its not maintaining anything below 76, 78 degrees. I’d personally like to see it below 70, preferably around 60-65,” said Short.
The problems began after another problem was corrected.
“The rooftop units quit working in the jail for heating, so there was no heat going into the equipment room. Well, now they have the new rooftop units in there and all the duct-work for heating that building goes through the ceiling above that equipment room. In conjunction with that, and air conditioning was running all summer, now that air conditioner is not able to keep up,” Short said.
So what problems are created when the room temperature goes into the stratosphere?
“When we started cracking that 100-degree mark, all the radio equipment for 911, servers, everything is in there. We’re down to 76, 78 but I’d like to see it get a little bit better than that,” said Short.
The plan now is to move another air conditioner to the room to give more capacity for lowering the temperature into the 60-65 degree range. But Short concedes if the main air conditioner dies “we’re in trouble.”
Commissioner Kathy Norem said, “If it dies that would be an emergency, and we would have to address it then.”
The bond sale has been completed for the $1,785,000 addition/remodeling program at the Henry F. Schricker Library.
Conducted by Ice Miller and Umbaugh and Associates, the bond sale attracted 5 bidders. Librarian Sheila Urwiler explained that the bond sale is only one of the first steps among many.
“The bond sales were complete on Nov. 8, and we’ve got our bond money now, we’re ready to start the next phase which is getting our cost estimates approved by our board and having the construction documents drawn up so we can start the bidding process in probably late January or sometime in February,” said Urwiler.
The bonds were sold to the De Motte State Bank for 3.65% interest. The issue is for 20 years, meaning the payoff will be in 2031, and the money will be put to good use in remodeling the library, Urwiler explained.
“You’ll see a new children’s area that is at what is now the back of the building, closest to the elementary school. The children and the Y/A area will be separate, there will be a little walkway under what is currently the mezzanine, and then those areas will have a little bit of separation which should help with some of the noise from the programs and just from kids running around and they just have a hard time being quiet,” Urwiler said.
Leedy Architectural of Elkhart who did the original work on the library will be the architecture firm doing design work for the project.
According to Urwiler, the groundbreaking ceremony is expected to take place in late March or early April.
There’s some exciting news from the SCILL Center in Starke County. SCILL Center Director Jerry Gurrado is announcing plans to help provide GED courses, and make the center a testing site.
Part of the mission of the SCILL Center is to provide training for Starke County’s work force, and many times if prospective workers don’t have a high school diploma or GED certificate they can’t qualify for employment. Gurrado explained that a nearby GED test site would greatly benefit Starke County residents.
“We’re working very closely with the two GED centers here in Starke County to expand that program. We’ll very definitely market it better so more people know when it is and where it is and help make it available, and then most importantly from the SCILL Center point of view, we’re going to be a test site. So it saves Starke County residents from having to go to Valparaiso to take their test or, in some cases, you may complete your GED training and it’s maybe three weeks before you can get a test time in order to be able to take it, so we’re going to be able to offer that service,” said Gurrado.
Starke United raised several thousand dollars at it’s annual radio auction Friday afternoon. Broadcast over WKVI Radio and aired online, the event auctioned hundreds of items to support its annual fundraising campaign.
Executive Director Julie Dessauer reminds those who bid that you may pay and pick up your items at the Starke United office at 52 West Lake Street after 10:00 a.m. today. Dessauer will release the final results of the auction later this week.
The Marshall County Fraternal Order of Police #195 will host the annual Shop with a Cop event on Saturday, December 10th at Wal-Mart in Plymouth.
Shop with a Cop is a Christmas tradition and dozens of officers from local departments will take kids in need on a Christmas shopping trip. The FOP raises funds to help 300 children in need during the holiday season.
Over the years, local businesses and organizations have joined the FOP and dozens of officers from local departments to host this event.
Congressman Joe Donnelly will be holding a town hall meeting by phone on Tuesday, December 6th at 7:30 p.m. ET.
If you would like to discuss issues with Congressman Donnelly, go online to donnelly.house.gov and sign up. Constituents who live within the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana will be able to sign in for the town hall meeting.
On the evening of December 6th, you will receive a call with a recorded message from Congressman Donnelly, and then you will be added to the telephone town hall. You’ll be able to listen to Donnelly give an update on what he’s working on in Congress, and then he’ll take questions from you.
The town hall meeting is expected to last one hour.
Here is just some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week.
Kasey Clark was named the Interim Starke County Treasurer in a Democratic Caucus held Thursday night. Linda Belork’s attorney had filed a motion in Starke Circuit Court to halt the caucus this week, but Judge Kim Hall ruled that the caucus could proceed.
IU Health Starke Hospital will wait later in 2012 to contract with an ALS ambulance service.
Counterfeit $20 bills were found in the Starke County area. If you find any of these bills, contact the Starke County Sheriff’s Department at 772-3771. Continue reading →
Kasey Clark was sworn in last night as the Interim Starke County Treasurer. Clark, who has been running the office since Linda Belork was removed in August, was selected by the Starke County Precinct Committeemen in a caucus last night at the Knox Community Center. Clark won the caucus over Connie Miller of North Judson.
Before the vote each of the women gave a speech listing their reasons for running for the office. Clark repeated part of her address following the vote.
IU Health Starke Hospital officials have agreed to wait at least until the second quarter of 2012 to sign a contract with a private ambulance service to provide emergency transfers from Starke to other acute care hospitals.
At issue was a plan that would have cost the local EMS $100,000 if it lost the Basic Life Support patients that it has been transferring in the past.