Joe Smrt Celebrates 95th Birthday

Ursala and Joe Smrt

Valentine’s Day has been a special day for 95 years for a prominent Starke County resident. Joe Smrt turned 95 yesterday, and his fellow VFW members surprised him with a party at the post.

“What better comradeship could you ask for than something like this? It was a complete surprise when Ben told me they were planning something for me ” said Smrt.

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IU Health-Starke Hospital Welcomes New Employee

Craig Felty

Indiana University Health-Starke Hospital announces the employment of Craig Felty as the Director of the Emergency Department and House Supervisor.

Felty has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and is pursuing a Masters Degree.

He is married to his wife, Tricia, and is the father of five children. The family resides in Hebron.

Two Area Wrestlers Advance To State

The Kankakee Valley will be well represented at this weekend’s state wrestling finals. John Glenn senior Cody Strange (39-8) and Culver senior Jeremiah Harvey (41-4) advanced out of the Merrillville semi-state last Saturday. Cody defeated Davon Alwine of South Bend Clay 4-2 in the consolation round to take 3rd place in the 160lb weight class. Meanwhile, Jeremiah continued his dominance of the 285lb weight class  by defeating Damon Howe of Plymouth 8-4 to take 1st place.

Cody will be taking on Heritage Hills senior Tyler Rickenbaugh (47-4) in the first round at state, while Jeremiah will take on Huntington North junior Andrew Mason (37-9).

Be sure to tune-in to Thursday Night Sports talk this week, as well as the Saturday Sportsline, to hear from both of these state finalists. Best of luck to Cody Strange and Jeremiah Harvey this weekend at STATE!!!

Moore Family to Move into Habitat for Humanity Home this Saturday

Steve Morrison (far L.) and some of the many volunteers who helped build the home for the Moore family

Tracy and Tim Moore will be moving into their new Habitat for Humanity home Saturday in Winamac. The 1,050 square foot home was built in six months by volunteers for the Moores who have two children and another on the way.

Steve Morrison is the President of the Starke/Pulaski Habitat for Humanity Organization and tells us about the the selection process.

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Vote Center Decision to Come by 2012 in Starke County

The General Assembly has passed a proposal to allow any Indiana county to use centralized vote centers instead of neighborhood polling precincts. We asked Starke County Clerk, Evelyn Skronski, what comes next.

“Now it is up to each County Election Board to resolute that we do indeed go ahead and establish these voting centers,” replied Skronski. “The Commissioners and the County Council would have to approve this. Throughout Starke County I think about five voting centers would be in the numbers for us to handle that many and to make it convenient for the voters. The biggest issue here is the reduction of the cost of the elections.”

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Fugitive Wanted for Robbery Found in Plymouth

Jody Olmstead

On Saturday, February 12th, troopers with the Indiana State Police Emergency Response Team (ERT) raided a Plymouth home in search of a man wanted out of Marion County, Indiana for robbery.

ERT units entered the home at 2002 Lake Ave. in Plymouth shortly before 5:00 p.m. ET and arrested Jody Olmstead, 41, on two outstanding warrants. Olmstead was wanted on a robbery charge out of Marion County, as well as a parole violation. State police investigators recently obtained information and worked off a tip to locate Olmstead.

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Knox City Council to Consider Written Contract for Water and Sewer Customers

Knox City Council #2
Back Row: Mayor Rick Chambers, Ed Blue, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Greg Matt and Attorney David Matsey. Front Row: Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg and Ron Parker

Knox municipal water and sewer customers might be asked to sign a written contract for services in the near future. That subject was discussed at last week’s Knox City Council meeting.

Attorney David Matsey said most small town utilities demand a signed contract. He said the information could be used in court in case a party doesn’t pay or “skips” without making payment for the services provided.

One ticklish part of the contract would be how to identify the homeowner or tenant. Asking for a drivers license number or social security number must include protection for identity theft.

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West Central Technical Review Committee Discusses Wind Turbine Project

The West Central Technical Review Committee met recently to discuss the wind turbine project.

“At our last meeting, we were actually going over the proposal from Performance Services, Inc.,” said Superintendent Charles Mellon, a Committee participant. “We talked about the identification of the site. It’s actually going to be on the AG plot. Of course there’s different studies including environmental studies that have taken place. We talked about the development plan and there’s still a lot of components yet to put in place. We’re still waiting on NIPSCO to finalize rates. The final meeting will take place February 25th. The earliest our Board would make a final decision would be on March 17th.”

If the project goes as planned, the turbine could be operational in November of this year.

SCILL Center Students to Attend Chicago Auto Show

Mark Anderson
Mark Anderson

SCILL Center instructors, students and several chaperones will be attending the Chicago Auto Show this Wednesday.

“The great thing about the Auto Show is that we get to see just about every car manufactured that there is,” said Instructor Mark Anderson. “These kids are going to be able to see cars that are $1 million Bentleys, Maybachs, and cars that you may not encounter any other time in your lifetime. We’re also going to see engine cutaways and what we’re pushing them for is green. We want them to see all of the electric cars. We really want them to key in on those because by the time they get out of our program and out of college, those are more likely the cars they’re going to be working on.”

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Knox Middle School Students, Staff Raise $600 for American Heart Association

Knox Middle School faculty and students recently participated in a fundraiser for the American Heart Association.

“We decided that the best way to raise money to help the American Heart Association was to sell Heart Association t-shirts and arrange a pie-in-the-face competition for Valentine’s Day,” explained Knox Middle School Principal, Steve Cronk. “By combining those two exercises, we have raised over $600.”

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Week in Review for February 7th-11th, 2011

Here is some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week:

The Lincoln Township Fire Department in Fish Lake received an Assistance to Firefighters Grant for $54,480 for Operations and Safety.

Starke County Highway Superintendent Steve Siddall told the Starke County Commissioners that the Department received complaints about mailbox damage after the winter storm. Siddall also reported that more damage could be reported in Bass Lake and Koontz Lake when they start to push big piles of snow back on the right-of-ways.

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