Investigators Confirm Body Found Near Culver is Missing South Bend Woman

Authorities confirm a body found Wednesday near Culver is that of a South Bend woman who disappeared last month. Alma Del Real, 22, was last seen around 3:30 a.m. on April 12th when a friend dropped her off at home after leaving Studio Rumba 305 in South Bend. The cause and manner of her death have not yet been determined. Continue reading

Starke County Offices Closed for Jail Grand Opening

starke-county-courthouseStarke County government offices will be closed for awhile today so employees can attend the grand opening ceremony for the new jail. The program gets under way at noon at the site east of Knox on State Road 8 and 550 East. The Starke County Courthouse, annex and highway garage will be closed from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The public is invited to the building dedication gala and memorial garden ceremony. Tours will be offered until at least 6 p.m. after the formal program concludes, and Sheriff Bill Dulin and his command staff will be on hand to answer questions. Food will also be served. Continue reading

Suly Hayman Found Not Guilty

 A not guilty verdict was delivered following a one-day trial in Starke Circuit Court.

The defendant, Suly Hayman, 29, of Knox was accused of felony battery in an incident stemming from November 2013. The state called four witnesses while the defense called three witnesses, including the defendant. The trial took place on Wednesday.

Six jurors heard testimony in the case.

Sen. Donnelly: Partners Necessary in Fight Against ISIS

Joe Donnelly

Senator Joe Donnelly

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly is providing insight into a few issues facing congress.

Indiana’s Democratic Senator spoke with reporters on Wednesday afternoon during a conference call to address expanded mental healthcare for former and active military service members.
Continue reading

Bistro 35 opens at IU Health Starke Hospital

IU HealthStarke County’s newest restaurant is in a rather unlikely location. Bistro 35 is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner at IU Health Starke Hospital. The first floor eatery is run by the food and nutrition department at the facility.

Food and nutrition services manager Laura Boyd says it’s a great place to get a quick grab-and-go lunch or sneak away from the office for a break. Wi-fi is available. Continue reading

More Oregon-Davis Students Choosing Career Path

 Oregon-Davis students have stepped up efforts to join vocational programs for the next school year.

Superintendent Greg Briles said there were two or three students involved in vocational programs last year. Eighteen students will be participating in Auto Tech, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Graphic Imaging, Health Science, Precision Machining, and Welding in the 2015-2016 school year.

Continue reading

Pulaski County Sheriff Seeking Quotes for Radio Equipment

The Pulaski County Sheriff plans to upgrade radios for the dispatchers and emergency personnel in the next few years.

Sheriff Jeff Richwine told the commissioners this week that the radios in the dispatch center haven’t been replaced since 1998.. He said he’s beginning to gather quotes to replace that aged equipment.

The Sheriff is also looking to replace 200, 800 MHz Motorola radios for the police, EMS, EMA, and fire departments. The company will cease making parts for the current models used by the county and town emergency services in the next four years. Sheriff Richwine is working with EMA Director Larry Hoover to put together a plan to replace all of the radios in the next four years.

Continue reading

Marshall County Assessment Software Upgrade Approved

 The Marshall County Assessor’s office will be spending $173,000 to change assessment software.

Pam Davis from the Assessor’s office explained that the staff has been operating on outdated software. Customer support is also lacking which delays operations in the office.

Continue reading

Memorial Day Celebrations Bring Office Closings

Memorial Day is being recognized on Monday, meaning several services normally in operation will be closed.

Government services, absent law enforcement will cease operations in honor of the celebration. The City of Knox’s Town Hall will be closed during Memorial Day, as will the Starke County Courthouse.

Continue reading

Murder Suspect Jailed Without Bond in Pulaski County

Michael Kasten Sr.

Michael Kasten Sr.

The Winamac man accused of fatally stabbing his wife Sunday night at their home is jailed without bond in Pulaski County. Michael Kasten Sr., 59, was released from a hospital in Fort Wayne Wednesday afternoon, where he was being treated for an apparent self-inflicted stab wound. He made an initial appearance this morning in Pulaski Circuit Court, where he’s charged with murder in connection with the death of Tina Kasten, 54. Continue reading

Suspect Arrested After Body Found Near Culver

Authorities believe a body found yesterday near Culver is that of a South Bend woman who disappeared last month. Alberto Cruz, 24,  was booked into the St. Joseph County Jail last night on a preliminary murder charge in connection with the disappearance of 22-year-old Alma Del Real, according to our reporting partners at WNDU-TV. Continue reading

County Officials Extend Hours for Jail Tours

Starke County Sheriff's Department BadgeTours of the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center will be offered until at least 6 tomorrow evening. The public is invited to the grand opening and building dedication of the state-of-the-art facility on State Road 8 at 550 East. Tours will be offered after the noon formal program and memorial garden ceremony. They were originally scheduled until 4 p.m., but the county commissioners and Sheriff Bill Dulin have agreed to extend them so people can stop by after work. Tours will be offered as long as people are in line waiting to see the inside of the building. Dulin and his command staff will also be on hand to answer questions. Food will also be served. Continue reading

Pulaski County Emergency Personnel Collaborate in Tabletop Exercise

A tabletop exercise was held yesterday in Pulaski County to gather emergency personnel together to determine how to handle a mass disaster.

Pulaski County Preparedness Coordinator Sherry Fagner said the scenario put together information from entities from the hospital, health department, schools, police, EMS, EMA, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana State Department of Health, and media.

“We did a lot of collaboration on if it was a true event that a public health emergency was declared,” said Fagner.

Continue reading

Commissioners Approve Company to Handle Revolving Loan Applications

 Approval has been given to the Pulaski County Community Development Commission (CDC) to contract with Valparaiso-based Regional Development Company (RDC) to handle the financial administration aspect of the revolving loan fund.

Pulaski County CDC Executive Director Nathan Origer told the Pulaski County Commissioners this week that the RDC will receive the application and run a credit report plus gather personal or business tax forms. The county will then receive a credit memo as part of the process in applying for a revolving loan. The RDC will give a ranking to a committee set up by the Pulaski County CDC. Other aspects will be considered in an overall ranking which will be presented to the Commissioners for approval or denial of a loan.

Continue reading

Sen. Donnelly Care Package Looks to Increase Mental Health Services

Joe Donnelly

Senator Joe Donnelly

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly is looking to provide additional mental healthcare to members of the armed services.

During a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Donnelly said the “Care Package” legislation – which is part of the broader National Defense Authorization Act – aims to increase access to healthcare services provided through the Department of Defense and community healthcare providers.
Continue reading