Fire Destroys Home in Northern Pulaski County

The North Judson Fire Department was called to a house fire at 5315 W. 500 N. in northern Pulaski County.

Residents were in the home when the storms went through Wednesday morning and it was around 9:00 a.m. when they heard a loud crack. Minutes later, the smoke alarms went off and as the residents were exiting the house, flames were already showing from the ceiling. All occupants made it out safely. When the fire department arrived, Fire Chief Joe Leszek said the home was completely engulfed and the house was a total loss. An investigator from State Fire Marshall’s office will be at the scene today to determine the cause of the fire.

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Starke County IT Director Submits Resignation

I.T. Director Bob Smith

Since December 2007, IT Director Bob Smith has been overseeing all computer-related projects, repairs, installations, and countless other activities in Starke County, and with about 120 county PCs to maintain, he has certainly had his hands full. And so, when Smith announced his resignation to the county commissioners, they were compelled to accept his resignation with a heavy heart. Smith’s last day as IT Director of Starke County will be July 29. Because of the vast number of responsibilities that comes with being a one-man department, Smith announced his resignation over a month in advance to not only finish out some of the current projects, but also to give the county time to find a replacement.

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Culver Elementary and Middle Schools to Become School-Wide Title I

Culver Community School Board
Culver Community School Board Members (from left, clockwise): Jack Jones, Ryan Seiber, Marilyn Swanson, Brad Schuldt, Eugene Baker, Jim Wentzel, Ed Behnke, Ken VanDePutte

At this week’s Culver Community School Board meeting, Principal Julie Berndt informed the board that the Title I application for Culver Elementary and Middle School is nearly complete. Berndt had been serving as the director of the long process of changing the schools to “School-wide Title I,” as opposed to their current status of “Targeted Title I.” This change would allow every student in need of assistance to get it, without the long process and less stipulations.

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Knox Middle School Principal to Retire June 30th

Steve Cronk

Knox Middle School Principal, Steve Cronk, was going over his last analysis of ISTEP results when Anita Goodan walked into his office for his last radio interview. The reigns are being handed to Assistant Principal, Dave Miller, who has been in that position for the past 17 years.

“Dave will do a marvelous job. He does a great job of things that a lot of people haven’t really seen because he’s had the Assistant Principal job. Dave is a real lover of kids. He has a very close relationship with kids which will get closer as he moves out of that discipline role into the Principal role.”

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Knox Neighborhood Watch Meeting to Focus on Gang Activity

The Knox Neighborhood Watch meeting is tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Knox City Court Room in Knox City Hall. Greg Matt, from the Neighborhood Watch Committee, says it will be an important meeting for residents to attend.

“We’re going to have a program on gangs,” said Matt. “If you’ve noticed in the past few months around Knox, we’ve had some gang taggings on buildings downtown, in the alleys and in other neighborhoods. There are other gang signs that have been going up like sneakers over power lines. Thom Morin will be coming in and discussing gangs and the telltale signs of whether your children are getting involved. It’s something that every citizen in the City of Knox should be aware of and hopefully concerned with.”

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Knox City Council Reviews New Park Board Ordinance

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

The Knox City Council reviewed a new Park Board Ordinance at its meeting this week.

“This was brought about when we were doing our five year plan,” said Mayor Chambers. “Our five year plan was sent to OCRA for approval and they found that our original park plan was outdated by state statute. It had to be newer than what ours was so Dave [Matsey, City Attorney] has put together this ordinance and it is almost identical to the old one. There’s very little difference. It’s right out of the state statute books.”

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Winamac Town Board Receives Update on Proposed Dog Park

Winamac Town Hall

The Winamac Town Board received an update on the proposed dog park this week.

The Pulaski County 4-H members have been trying to obtain funding for two years for a dog park that will be located on Logan and Pearl Streets in Winamac. The dog park will be available for residents to let their dogs out and enjoy the outdoors and the park will also eventually used for agility training.

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Starke County Commissioners to Discuss Funding for Class Action Lawsuit

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

The Starke County Board of Commissioners will be meeting Thursday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. to discuss funding for the class action lawsuit being brought against the County by Jack Haut, a prisoner in the Starke County Jail.

Haut has brought suit against the county alleging unconstitutional and unlawful conditions of confinement at the Starke County Jail. In his suit, Haut alleges that the conditions at the jail are consistently and dangerously overcrowded. Continue reading

Marshall County Council on Aging Looking to Expand Services in Culver

Culver Town Council Members Ed Pinder, Ralph Winters, Ginny Bess, Sally Ricciardi
Culver Town Board Members (from left to right) Ed Pinder, Ralph Winters, Ginny Bess, Sally Ricciardi

Jackie Wright from the Council on Aging in Marshall County appeared before the town council yesterday evening to discuss the possibility of expanding services in Culver.

“We were primarily looking at getting awareness out, and what type of services might be to enhance the transportation for people who don’t drive in the Culver area,” said Wright.

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600 INDOT Vans Converted to Run on Propane

Lt. Governor Becky Skillman this week joined Indiana Department of Transportation officials to announce that nearly 600 INDOT work trucks and cargo vans are being converted to run on cleaner burning domestic propane. To be fueled at 115 INDOT sites covering the state, the propane vehicles are projected to save taxpayers more than $1 million in fuel costs each year.

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Eastern Pulaski School Board Discusses Discipline Issues

Dr. Robert Klitzman
Dr. Robert Klitzman

Administrators and teachers in the Eastern Pulaski School system have been working on ways to more effectively handle discipline problems. The mission is now being mandated from the state, and the directive is clear. In school or out of school suspensions are to be eliminated.

Superintendent Dr. Robert Klitzman says the Corporation has put effort into this directive.

“Every school in Indiana had to use scientifically-based research to come up with ways to be proactive and keep the discipline as best they can from being administered where it’s outside the classroom,” said Dr. Klitzman.

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Sewer Separation Project Continues in Downtown Winamac

The engineers working on the sewer separation project in the downtown area appeared before the Winamac Town Board to give them an update on the project. The project is going along well and the workers were able to complete the work by the fire department in one day so the road could be open in the case of an emergency. Work is being done around the Cruisers area this week.

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Dorene Matzat Receives Patty Hunt Award

Choralaires Director, Kathy Allen, presents Dorene Matzat with the Patty Hunt Award

Dorene Matzat, a 25-year member of the Starke County Choralaires, was awarded the Patty Hunt Award.

The Patty Hunt Memorial Service Award is presented to well-rounded members active in their chorus and community. Since 2006, the recipient has been chosen by the Melody Makers of Indiana Board from nominations submitted by the state choir of 400 members.

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Taste of Culver this Saturday

The Taste of Culver will be held this Saturday, June 18th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET. The event will be on Jefferson Street between Main and Ohio Streets.

A diversity of food offerings will be available, including pizza, polish sausage, chicken wings, Cajun specialties, shaved ice, cookies, and hot dogs. Those are just a few of the items that will be offered. Kent Arnsbarger will be providing the smooth sounds of the Caribbean on his steel drum. The Farmer’s Market will be open for you to browse through homemade items.

The Taste of Culver is sponsored by the Culver Chamber of Commerce.

Pulaki County Clerk Receives New Election Filings

Pulaski County Clerk, Tasha Foerg, has received filings for the fall election in her office.

Two candidates will be vying for Winamac Town Clerk-Treasurer.  Republicans Melanie Parish-Berger and Christina Hoffa have both filed.  One candidate has filed for the Winamac Town Board and that is Republican John Richard Denney.

Democrat Linda McCune filed for Monterey Clerk-Treasurer and Democrat Christine M. Fox filed for a seat on the Monterey Town Board.

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West Central Moves Ahead With Wind Turbine Project

The West Central School Board has voted to move forward with a form of contract with Performance Services for the wind turbine project.  The Board also gave authority to Umbaugh and Associates to proceed with issuing the requests for proposals for the bonds for the wind turbine project from underwriter institutions and local banks.  That should be done by July 10th and the equipment should be ordered.

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Passed Out Motorists Arrested

Finas Conley
Tyson Matthews

Two Pulaski County residents were arrested after police found them reportedly passed out at the Marathon gas station in Medaryville on Sunday.

Police pulled up to the vehicle that was parked at the pumps.  Officers woke up the occupants, Finas Conley, 43, of Francesville and Tyson Matthews, 21, of Medaryville, and both were incoherent.  Police found a plate with a white powdery substance in Conley’s lap and a silver pill container.  Also found was a straw with a white powdery substance on it and inside it.   The pair were allegedly in illegal possession of prescription medication at the time of the incident and they were in the act of snorting it.  They were detained and taken to the Pulaski County Jail.

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