Driving Force Behind Creation of Starke County Economic Development Foundation Dies

Robert E. Hamilton

A driving force behind the creation of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation has died at his retirement home in Colorado. Bob Hamilton came to Knox as the President of the Farmer’s Bank and Trust Company which is now Key Bank.

Upon his arrival in the early 1980’s, Hamilton realized Starke County needed a way to attract industry. He once said, “How can the bank make loans if people don’t have jobs to pay the loan off?”

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Knox School Board Approves the Purchase of One New School Bus

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 purchase of one new school bus at its meeting Monday night.

Transportation Director, Mark Jensen, asked the Board to approve the purchase of two new buses and trade in a bus. Superintendent, A.J. Gappa, encouraged the Board to purchase one new bus and no trade-in. The bus that would have been traded could be used a spare. The Board approved the Superintendent’s recommendation. A 2011 International CE will be purchased with a camera system, storage compartments and additional warranty for $85,498. The Board could purchase another bus later in the year if they so choose.

Knox City Police Department Report for February

Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem
Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem

Knox City Police Chief, Clint Norem, reports that in the month of February, the Department had 316 calls, responded to 11 accidents and completed 21 incident reports.

13 people were arrested on 20 traffic charges, 23 people were arrested on 31 criminal charges and 2 juveniles were arrested. Of those arrests, 2 included Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated charges, 1 Public Intoxication charge, 3 were Battery charges, 5 were active arrest warrants and 7 involved drug charges. No ordinance violations were reported in the month of February.

North Judson Farmer Wins $2,500 in America’s Farmers Grow Communities Program

A North Judson farmer was selected as a winner in the America’s Farmers Grow program. The America’s Farmers Grow Communities Program is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund that supports farming communities by offering farmers the opportunity to register to win $2,500 for their favorite community charity. Recipients could include FFA, 4-H, school or other civic organization. The program covers 1,204 counties across 38 states and winners are selected at random.

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Six Arrested in Cock Fighting Ring are Illegal Immigrants

Six prisoners in the Starke County jail who were arrested for their involvement in a cock fighting ring in Starke County are illegal immigrants are being held for immigration officials.  The six, along with five others, have been charged with Animal Fighting Contest, a Class D Felony. Four of those prisoners have bonded out of jail. Bonds were set at $10-15,000 surety in Starke Circuit Court Monday afternoon.

Starke County Prosecutor, Nicholas Bourff, said the Animal Fighting Contest charge was bumped up to a Felony charge because those eleven individuals brought in the birds to fight. More charges could be filed against those involved if the Prosecutor and the Sheriff’s Department can find that the same individuals were involved in a similar cock fighting incident in 2006 where 50 people were arrested. Prosecutor Bourff said that could be a challenge as many of these individuals change the spelling of their names and use many aliases.

Bourff said he hopes that he can get money through a citation or fine from those arrested to help pay the Starke County Humane Society for euthanization costs and the Starke County Sheriff’s Department for overtime pay. Bourff said that the Humane Society is requesting that a $75.00 fine be attached to every citation which numbers 65. Starke County Sheriff Oscar Cowen is to give Bourff a list of all of the Department’s expenditures for reimbursement.

Initial hearings for the eleven defendants charged with felonies will be held Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. CT in Starke Circuit Court.

Plymouth Residents Evacuated due to Gas Leak; Plymouth Schools on Two Hour Delay

The Plymouth Police Department evacuated residents this morning in a three block radius of Pennsylvania and Liberty Streets in Plymouth due to a gas leak.

The Plymouth Fire Department, along with NIPSCO and the Plymouth and Argos Police Departments investigated and secured the scene.  The gas leak has been contained.  Plymouth Fire Chief, Andy Metsker, told WKVI that the gas leak occurred after a roof collapsed on an old storage building at the corner of Pennsylvania and Liberty Streets.  About 70 residents in a three block radius were evacuated as a precaution and taken to a nearby church.

The leak was discovered around 2:00 a.m. ET this morning.

Due to the gas leak, Plymouth and St. Michaels Schools will operate on  a two hour delay.

Plymouth Police Department Investigates Drowning

On Sunday, February 20th, just before 8:00 p.m. ET, Plymouth Police officers were called to the 2500 block of North Michigan Street after a call came in concerning a drowning at the residence.

According to police, a family member was giving 15-month-old Landen Sarabia a bath. The family member went to get a towel and was gone for approximately 15 seconds. When the person returned, the child was face down in the tub. CPR was administered at the scene. The child was taken to the hospital. The child died in Memorial Hospital in South Bend on Friday, February 25th.

The case will be presented to the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

The Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home in Plymouth is handling arrangements.

City of Knox Garbage Rates to Increase

Last week, Knox Mayor Rick Chambers reminded the City Council members that the cost of garbage pickup in the City would increase on August 1st. The total cost will go up just over $5,000.

“In 2010, it was $206,967.60,” the Mayor told the Council. “On July 31st, it will go up to 212,076.”

The increase per customers is only pennies.

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Starke County Annex Re-Dedicated on This Date in 1999 after a June 1998 Fire

Starke County Annex

March 1st, 1999 was a happy day for workers in the Starke County Government Building. In June of 1998, a fire gutted the Annex building. On March 1st of 1999, a re-dedication ceremony was held. That re-dedication acknowledged the formal opening of the building.

Then-County Commissioner, Dan Bau, presided over the ceremony in which firefighters, County employees and the design team that oversaw the renovation of the Annex was honored.

Other Commissioners at the re-dedication ceremony were Kevin Kroft and Michaelene Houston.

Everybody involved lived through a trying time before the building was brought back to life on this date in 1999.

Bonds Set for 11 In Rooster Animal Fighting Case

The Starke County Prosecutors Office appeared Monday afternoon in Starke Circuit Court and presented evidence to Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall attempting to show that probable cause exists for charging the eleven individuals with crimes pertaining to a raid Saturday morning in rural Starke County.

The Starke County, City of Knox, North Judson , Conservation Officers and Indiana State Police raided an illegal fighting rooster contest in which resulted in  over seventy people being arrested, cars, fire arms, drug paraphernalia and over forty thousand dollars were confiscated and one hundred and forty five birds having to be destroyed by the Starke County Humane Society.  Continue reading

Culver’s Season Comes To An End

The Culver Lady Cavaliers (25-2) gave a great effort in their Semi-State game against Fort Wayne Bishop Luers (23-4). Ali Zehner hit three big 3-pointers, as she has all post-season long, to keep the Cavs in the game early on. Patrice McBee and Gwen Zehner provided a great post presence, despite foul trouble to help Culver to a halftime lead. Nicole Carnegie and Whitney Sanders were solid in their ball handling, while Kayla Shaffer gave quality minutes off the bench.

In the end, free throw shooting and foul issues were the final factor as the Cavs were defeated by Luers 47-43. Patrice had a game-high 17 rebounds, and Ali knocked down multiple 3-pointers to keep the Cavaliers in the game. No tears were shed until head coach Tony Scheub let them fly in his post-game locker room speech, where he let the girls know exactly where his emotions were. One thing is for sure, the Culver Lady Cavaliers will be remembered forever, not only in school history, but in the eyes of the Kankakee Valley for years to come.

Holiday Tourney Champs, Bi-County Champs, Conference Champs, Sectional Champs, and Regional Champs, no other basketball team at Culver can boast of such a record. The 2011 Culver Lady Cavaliers will forever be set in our minds as a great championship team, and have set a new standard for ALL future Cavaliers in every sport. Congratulations to the Culver Lady Cavalier basketball team on their historic season!

83 Year Old Shoots Masked Pulaski County Female Burglar In Head

On 2-28-11 at approximately 2:00A.M. Carl Williams age 83 called
911. He reported that he had just shot someone in his home who had
just broken in. The Pulaski County Sherffi’s Office and Winamac
Police responded. It was determined later that a suspect had been
shot but was able to flee the scene in a car.

Pulaski County Detectives were called out to the scene also. It was
determined that force was used to enter the locked rear door.
Williams heard the suspects breaking in. He grabbed his handgun and
went to investigate. When he turned on the light he was confronted
by an intruder dressed in dark clothing wearing a ski mask. Continue reading

Police Nab 21 In Drug Raid

Early Monday morning dozens of officer’s from area police agencies in Marshall County worked in collaboration to roundup 21 individuals that were wanted on drug related arrest warrants. The Indiana State Police, in cooperation with the Plymouth Police Department, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and the Bremen Police Department, spent the better part of the early morning hours going door to door in search of the wanted individuals.

The arrest warrants stemmed from numerous drug investigations that were recently conducted by the Indiana State Police Drug Enforcement Section and the Meth Suppression Unit. This proactive drug enforcement effort sends a clear message to the community that the scourge of drugs that has polluted many larger cities and has been migrating to smaller towns, will not be tolerated, commented Drug Enforcement Section First Sergeant Thomas Ferguson.

All of the individuals arrested were taken to the Marshall County Jail unless it was otherwise noted. Continue reading

Boil Water Order Continues for Town of Hamlet

The boil water order continues for the Town of Hamlet.  The order is in effect until Wednesday, March 2nd.

The advisory was initially put into effect on Friday, February 25th after Hamlet Water Superintendent, John Goble, notified WKVI that some unknown suspect(s) opened two fire hydrants on 500 East and left them open.  The act, that occurred between 9:00-9:30 p.m. CT, drained the water tower for the Town of Hamlet.  A third hydrant was partially opened.  In two-and-a-half hours, 300,000 gallons of water was drained from the water tower.  The fire hydrants are located out by the Sysco property on 500 East.

Hamlet Police Chief, Jeremiah Patrick, told WKVI that there are no suspects at this time, but his Department is continuing to investigate the incident.

Police Arrest 76 Involved in Cock Fighting

Two of the 145 fighting cocks are rounded up to be euthanized

It was a scene reminiscent of an old time western movie. Police from throughout the County and State rounded up 76 individuals involved in “cock fighting”. The arrests were made on Saturday morning at 0480 North 100 West in Starke County.

Law enforcement officers were responding to an anonymous tip.

“The Sheriff’s Department received an anonymous tip of animal fighting contests out at a residence on 100 West,” stated Starke County Chief Deputy, Bill Dulin. “Along with the Sheriff’s Department, we responded with the Indiana Conservation Units, State Police, Knox City Police, and North Judson units. When we got there, we noticed 10 or 15 vehicles and when we approached, 50 to 60 people took off running toward a river in an open field.”

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