Here is just some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week.
Diana Jedynak, 67, died of fire related injuries after her home caught fire early Monday morning in Washington Township. Indiana State Fire Marshal, Fred Sumpter, said the investigation into the cause of the fire was postponed due to the weather conditions and the integrity of the structure.
The Northwest Indiana Forum’s Board of Directors have voted to acknowldge the organization’s service territory to extend beyond Lake, Porter, LaPorte and Starke Counties to include Newton, Jasper and Pulaski Counties.
Today, a gala will be held at the Knox Community Center to celebrate the formation of the Starke County Development Foundation. The program will begin at 12:30 p.m. CT and is open to the public.
Supporting the Development Foundation over the course of 25 years have been our U.S. Representatives who have represented Starke County. They include Republicans John Hiler, Chris Chocola, and Steve Buyer and Democrats Tim Roemer and Joe Donnelly.
The North Judson Town Board approved the first reading of an ordinance that prohibits the sale of synthetic marijuana within the incorporated town of North Judson. The ordinance mirrors the same guidelines as passed by the Starke County Commissioners. The Knox City Council has approved a similar ordinance on second reading and the final reading will be discussed at its meeting on Tuesday, December 14th.
A 1982 graduate of North Judson-San Pierre High School was killed in a traffic accident Wednesday morning. Leon Wera, of New Buffalo, Michigan, died when the SUV he was driving landed upside down in a creek in New Buffalo Township. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police surmise he hit an ice patch and lost control of the SUV.
Wera was off work from the Four Winds Casino running errands at the time of the accident. He was reportedly 5 minutes from his home when he lost control of his SUV. Locally, he is the brother of Mary Rowe of North Judson and his brother-in-law is Ken Rowe.
Second District Congressman Joe Donnelly said Thursday that he will be voting for the President’s tax cut compromise. Democrat opponents are poised to attempt to sink the measure that came after a compromise with Republicans.
The Obama plan, agreed to in principal by the Republican side, would prevent the December expiration of all the Bush tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003. Obama had originally balked at cutting taxes for the highest earners.
The Hamlet Town Board members approved next year’s salary ordinance at their meeting Tuesday night. The salary ordinance has not changed in three years. The employees have not been given a raise in three years.
The instructors and students at the SCILL Center in Knox recently held a coat drive for those in need this winter season. The coats were delivered Thursday to the Community Services of Starke County building where they will be distributed.
Members of the Knox Student Council, National Honor Society and dedicated volunteers assembled food baskets, Thursday, at the Community Services of Starke County building for the less fortunate families in Knox. Students and members of the Knox Kiwanis Club will distribute food to those families in Knox.
Knox Middle School and High School bands presented their holiday concert on Wednesday, December 8th. The bleachers were filled with parents, friends, and loved ones as the 6th, 7th and 8th graders students, along with the the Knox Tomahawk Jazz Band and the High School bands, played Christmas favorites. Mr. Craige Phipps and Mr. David Elliott directed the bands. The Band Boosters held a raffle for several items including a Wii game console. Santa Claus stopped at Weinberg Gymnasium to visit with children at the end of the concert.
The boil water order for the Town of Walkerton has been lifted. The order had been in effect since Tuesday after a water main broke in town. The water main was quickly repaired, but residents were ordered to boil water before consumption.
Starke Circuit Court Judge, Kim Hall, recently sentenced two offenders to the Indiana Department of Corrections.
Shawn Centers, 35, of Knox, plead guilty to a charge of Dealing in Methamphetamine, a Class B Felony. In August, police executed a search warrant on a shed at 508 S. Shield St. where they recovered several items used to manufacture methamphetamine. Judge Hall sentenced Centers to 12 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections. None of the sentence was suspended. The Judge recommended that Centers be placed into the DOC’s treatment program for methamphetamine.
The Knox School Board heard the Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, and the Public Law 221 results at its meeting Monday night. Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Peggy Shidaker, and the three building principals, Glenn Barnes, Steve Cronk and Dr. Elizabeth Ratliff, explained the results to the Board.
17th District State Representative, Nancy Dembowski (D-Knox), has received her committee assignments for the 2011 and 2012 sessions of the Indiana General Assembly. House Democratic Leader, B. Patrick Bauer (D-South Bend) recommended Dembowski for the following committees: Local Government, Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development, and Natural Resources. In addition, Dembowski will be the ranking Democrat on the Roads and Transportation Committee.
With Knox First Source Insurance Representative, Bridget Markin, and Miguel Salazar, Employee Benefits Manager for First Source Insurance, in attendance the Starke County Commissioners this week, they announced that First Source’s CIGNA plan has been selected as the County Employee Health Program.
Snow plow workers on the state and local level have been working around the clock to make sure highways and local streets are cleared for safe travel.
Knox Mayor, Rick Chambers, has this request for residents when a snow event is forecast, “It would be a big help if you parked your car in one of the parking lots in the downtown area until the crews are done with street.”
In an effort to further business recruitment efforts and opportunities for capital investment in Northwest Indiana, the Northwest Indiana Forum Board of Directors voted to explicitly acknowledge that the organization’s service territory extends beyond Lake, Porter, LaPorte and Starke Counties to include Newton, Jasper and Pulaski Counties.
Starke County Development Foundation Director, Charles Weaver, is extending an invitation to the public to attend the ceremony, Friday, December 10th, to acknowledge the organization’s 25th Anniversary. The program begins at 12:30 p.m. CT and is being held at the Knox Community Center.