Top 10 Stories of 2010; Story #4

The number four story of 2010 is the Republican resurgence in Starke County.

Long a bastion of Democrat government, the Republicans rode the wave of national sentiment to local success. The major impact will be felt on the Starke County Council where the Republicans won three of four seats up for election. Tony Radkiewicz defeated longtime council member Chuck Estok, Mitchell Semans defeated Becky Ferch in a seat that had been held by Dan Awald, and Dave Pearman defeated E.J. Rogers in the seat held by Bill Dulin.
Judge Kim Hall beat back a challenge by former Judge David Matsey by a wide margin.

The state races went Republican, as did the U.S. Senate Race that saw Dan Coats return to the senate by a wide margin. Democrat Representative Joe Donnelly was returned to his seat with a narrow victory over Jackie Walorski, and Democrat Nancy Dembowski got by Frances Ellert for the 17th District House seat. Both candidates, though, blamed the votes that went to the Libertarian candidates for their defeats.

The Republicans gave notice in Starke County that the GOP Party is back, and to be reckoned with in the future.

New Lighting in Parts of the Starke County Courthouse Deemed Unsatisfactory

Judge Hall discusses the lighting in the Courtroom with Greg Scarpone from M&I Engineering in Indianapolis

A meeting was held in the Starke County Courthouse, Thursday, between the engineer, contractor, two Commissioners and Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall to assess the new lighting in various rooms, including the Starke Circuit Courtroom.

Some of the installation of lighting in the rooms controlled by the Judge was deemed to be unfinished, or unsatisfactory, by Judge Hall.

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John Brooke Fails to Attain Plea Agreement; Trial Set for February

John Brooke

John Brooke, a suspect in events surrounding a shootout at Bass Lake in February, and his attorney, Dale Allen, told Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall Monday afternoon that they have failed to come to a satisfactory plea agreement with the court so they will move forward to trial.

The trial will begin on Monday, February 21st, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. CT and will last the week. Allen said there could be up to 50 witnesses called to take the stand. A final status hearing will be held on January 26th to ensure all paperwork is prepared for trial.

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Starke County Jury Finds Loftus, Jr. Guilty on Four out of Five Counts

John Loftus, Jr.

A jury found John Loftus, Jr. Guilty on four out of five charges against him in a trial this week in Starke Circuit Court. The jury deliberated nearly an hour-an-a-half. The trial lasted nearly two days.

Loftus, Jr. was found Guilty on the following charges: Domestic Battery with a Child Present, a Class D Felony; Resisting Law Enforcement, a Class A Misdemeanor; Battery, a Class A Misdemeanor; and Battery, a Class B Misdemeanor. He was found Not Guilty on a charge of Attempted Robbery, a Class C Felony.

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Week in Review for December 6th-10th, 2010

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.

Northwest Indiana Forum, Inc.

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.

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Starke Circuit Court Judge Sentences Shawn Centers, Dana Boyd

Starke Circuit Court Judge, Kim Hall, recently sentenced two offenders to the Indiana Department of Corrections.

Shawn Centers

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.

Dana Boyd

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WKVI’s Tom Berg Bowls 224 Game

Tom Berg is now the owner of the WKVI high game patch

WKVI’s “Airwaves Rollers” took 2 out of three this week during Tuesday night action at Bowlaway Lanes. With Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall subbing, Lenny Dessauer absent, and Pat Dunn in a two week slump, Tom Berg came to the rescue.  Taking the “Rollers” high game patch away from Dunn with a 224 game, Berg paced the victors in game two. The WKVI Morning Man attributed his sterling performance to a wrist brace given to him by Dessauer and a pep talk from his mother Judy Collins of Indianapolis.

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