North Judson Police Department Statistics for January

North Judson Town Marshal, Doug Vessely, reports that in the month of January, the Department received 17 citizen assist calls, conducted 35 traffic stops, responded to 6 theft-conversion calls, 3 accidents, 11 juvenile-family disturbance calls and 2 assault calls.

Officers completed 3 battery reports, 4 theft-conversion reports, and 1 alcohol-drug report. In addition, the officers gave 13 ordinance tickets, 11 traffic warnings and made 6 adult arrests.

Charles Hasnerl Officially Files for Knox City Court Judge in 2011 Municipal Election

Charles Hasnerl

After announcing his reelection last week, Republican Knox City Court Judge Charles Hasnerl made it official this week when he filed his candidacy in the Starke County Clerk’s office.

Hasnerl has been the Judge of the City Court since 1996 and said in a prepared release that he looks forward to facing the challenge of handling 3,000-4,000 cases a year with new technology. He also praised the establishment of the Starke County Community Corrections organization for giving him sentencing alternatives that he did not have in the past.

Pregnancy Resource Center to Open in Knox on March 15th

Susanne Lange

A pregnancy resource center will be opening in a few weeks. Susanne Lange, a registered nurse, will be the administrator of the crisis center that has been named Bella Vita, which means beautiful life.

“What we’re going to have what we call crisis counseling,” Lange explained. “When a woman or girl comes in and she’s trying to make a decision, we’ll have trained counselors that she can sit with and talk about her options and make a decision. Our ultimate goal is to save the life of the unborn child”

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Harold Weinberg to be Featured on Friday’s ‘Ted Hayes Remembers’ Program

Harold Weinberg and Alice Kay at the WKVI Night at the Starke County Fair

WKVI Radio began broadcasting in 1969. It’s unusual for a station this size to have two of the original members of the announcing staff still broadcasting. Ted Hayes and Harold Welter were the first voices ever heard on the air in July of 1969. Between them, they have a lot of memories.

How many remember the tag line, “All Roads Lead to Weinberg’s in Toto?”

Weinberg’s was known as one of the first of the great discount stores. Harold Weinberg and his sister Rose could be seen on a daily basis running the store every day except Tuesday, when Harold went to Chicago to shop for merchandise.

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Pulaski County Prosecutor Hands Down Official Charges Against Glen Sommers

Glen Sommers

The Pulaski County Prosecutor’s Office has amended charges against Glen Sommers of Winamac who allegedly wielded a knife to his victim at the victim’s home in Pulaski County on February 4th. Sommers also allegedly stole a guitar from the victim.

Prosecutor Stacey Mrak told WKVI that Sommers is being charged with Robbery Resulting in Bodily Injury and Battery with a Deadly Weapon, both felony charges. He is in the Pulaski County jail with a $50,000 bond. Sommers had preliminary charges of Attempted Murder and Armed Robbery.

Sommers’ initial hearing was Monday in Pulaski Circuit Court where a plea of not guilty was given. A pretrial hearing will be held March 31st.

Knox Man Travels Wrong Way on I-65 and Causes Multi-Car Crashes

Indiana State Police officials closed southbound Interstate 65 near the Winamac exit Tuesday afternoon in order to investigate a series of crashes that involved seven cars, semitrailers and SUVs.

George G. Kallis, 88, of Knox, caused several accidents on the interstate by driving the wrong way about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Kallis met several vehicles on the interstate and they all swerved to miss Kallis as he traveled northbound in the southbound lanes in I-65. James Denton of Oak Lawn, Illinois was the only injured driver and he was taken to Jasper County Hospital in Rensselaer with neck and back pains. His car was totaled. He had driven his Jeep between two semis and hit one semi’s drive tandems and diesel fuel tanks. This action caused another semi to rear end his vehicle.

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Sysco Project to Continue in Hamlet When Economy Recovers

The question of when Sysco is breaking ground at the Hamlet site was brought up at the Starke County Commissioners meeting this week. Commission President, Dan Bridegroom, said to Starke County Development Director, Charles Weaver, in a lighthearted way, “I don’t know what to tell people who ask me.”

Bridegroom said he read in last week’s Leader that groundbreaking for the distribution center could be this summer.

Weaver said that he has “no” word that the summer is a consideration for groundbreaking. The last conversation he had with Baugh Midwest Cooperative Inc. is that the project is still viable, but that nothing is going to be done until the economy returns. He said that this added distribution center will cover 12 to 13 states and at the moment with the economy down those states can be serviced through existing centers.

Pulaski County Commissioners Discuss County Employee Policies at Recent Meeting

Pulaski County Commissioners Tracey Shorter, Kenneth Boswell, Michael Tiede

Settling disputes regarding county employee policies in Pulaski County is going to become a lot simpler, thanks to the development of a new personnel policy manual for the county. Paula Reimers of Wagner, Irwin & Sheely appeared before the commissioners to discuss revising the county’s policy handbook. The current handbook, which has not been modified since 1997, may contain current policies that are not compliant with federal standards. The commissioners signed a contract to begin the construction of a new county handbook and policies.

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Hamlet Police Arrest Resident on Meth Charges

Brandon White

Officers from the Hamlet Police Department arrested Brandon White, of Hamlet, on methamphetamine charges, Friday, February 4th, after conducting a search warrant in the Hamlet Trailer Court.

According to Police Chief Jeremiah Patrick, Hamlet police received a tip concerning drug activity at the Hamlet Trailer Park at lot #15. Officers went to the residence and spoke with the homeowner concerning the tip. Based on information received, officers were granted a search warrant. The search warrant was executed and officers discovered illegal drugs as well as items used to manufacture illegal drugs in the home.

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Steve Cronk Assembling Group to Preserve the Jackson Township School

Steve Cronk

A group is being assembled under the direction of Knox Middle School Principal, Steve Cronk, to preserve the old Jackson Township School. If the school is actually preserved, it would possibly be placed on a slab behind the WKVI building on property owned by the Knox Community School Corporation.

Later this month, Todd Ziker from the Indiana Landmarks Organization will come to Knox to meet with the group Mr. Cronk is organizing to explore the feasibility of moving and remodeling the building, which would turn into a one-room school museum. Jerry Jernas, whose property the building is on, has the old bell that called the students to come in for the start of school and from the playground.

Mr. Cronk, who is retiring at the end of the school year, said this is something he has wanted to do for some time.

News from the Knox Community School Board Meeting

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

The Knox Community School Board received bids on January 11th to purchase buses. The Board received two bids – one from International and one from Thomas. The Board members took the bids under consideration and will approve a bid at their next meeting.

Knox Middle School teacher, Amie Flora, was approved to be the school’s representative on the Starke County Library Board.

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Legislation Establishing Interstate Mutual Aid Agreements Passes Senate

State Senator Ed Charbonneau

Senate lawmakers voted 48-0 Tuesday in support of a bill co-authored by State Senator Ed Charbonneau allowing Indiana to call upon and assist emergency response teams in neighboring states.

For example, response teams may need backup when dealing with emergencies like fires or collisions on highways close to state lines. This proposal enables first responders from Indiana to call on or help other responders from neighboring states while clarifying liability and certification issues that may arise when firefighters and police officers begin crossing jurisdictions.

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Winamac Man Arrested on Charges of Attempted Murder and Armed Robbery

Glen Sommers

A Winamac man was arrested, Thursday, February 3rd, on preliminary charges of Attempted Murder and Armed Robbery.

According to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department log, an unidentified male complainant called police to report that Glen Sommers was at his home and allegedly tried to stab him. The victim defended himself and was cut on the underside of his thumb. Sommers left the residence and it took the victim 20 minutes to call police because his phone lines were reportedly cut and he could not call out. Sommers also allegedly stole the complainant’s guitar.

Sommers is currently in the Pulaski County Jail.

Starke County Highway Department Receives Damage Complaints after Recent Snow Storm

Steve Siddall

Starke County Highway Superintendent, Steve Siddall, appeared before the County Commissioners Monday. One item on Siddall’s agenda was the number of mailbox complaints he has received. He said well over 100 people have complained about mailbox damage. Siddall said it could not be helped during the snowstorms. Most of the damage was from the heavy snow hitting the boxes. Siddall told the Commissioners that he checked with Marshall County and they do not respond to such calls. It’s basically the homeowner’s responsibility to repair the post and box. INDOT also does not repair or replace mailboxes.

On another topic, Siddall said that there is probably going to be a problem with fences at Bass and Koontz Lakes when they start rolling the snow back. The right of way is 40 to 60 feet, and Siddall said there are a number of fences that will probably be damaged because they’re too close.

“In our right-of-ways, yes we are encroaching on people’s yards, but we still own that right-of-way,” explained Siddall. “Where we’re having the biggest trouble or concern is at Bass Lake and Koontz Lake where we can’t stack it any higher and I informed the Commissioners that we might be coming through there with a grader. What we do is what we call benching. If there’s two feet of snow, we may roll a foot of that back so when the snow plow truck comes back through in another big snow event, we have room to put it. Otherwise, it just keeps piling up and we have nowhere to go with it. Another concern was fences or trinkets left in people’s yards that we can’t see. I told the Commissioners that we weren’t going in with a bulldozer and trying to clear property, we were trying not to damage anything.”

Newsman Ted Hayes complimented Siddall on the performance of the highway crew over the winter storm, and he also praised his staff.

“I feel the guys did an excellent job,” replied Siddall. “We have an excellent crew out at the County Highway and I want to give them thanks. I know Scott and Sue and everybody that works out there that are in the offices that weren’t out there battling the elements did a great job. The guys did a wonderful job.”

Mark Smith Talks about Candidacy for Mayor of Knox

Mark Smith

Mark Smith for Knox Mayor. That was news a couple of weeks ago when Mark Smith, local funeral home operator, signed to run in the Democrat Primary against Rick Chambers.

Yesterday WKVI got a chance to talk with Smith about why he was running.

“I’ve had an interest in the Mayor’s office in Knox for the past two or three elections,” stated Smith. “Two elections ago I had committed to the Democrat Central Committee that if Oscar Cowen were elected as Sheriff, that would vacate two years worth of his seat on the County Council and I committed to that seat and I did not want to go back on my word.”

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