Drunk Driver Sentenced to Department of Corrections

 A North Judson man who admitted to driving drunk and critically injuring four people when he hit their vehicle was sentenced to five years in prison. Dennis Lee Bair Sr., 64, pleaded guilty to a merged count of operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury. The charge stems from a Sept. 20, 2014 wreck on State Road 10. Continue reading

Starke County Council Approves Salary Ordinance Amendments

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Council last night approved two amendments to the salary ordinance to reflect changing job duties. The county highway bookkeeper/clerk will work eight hours per day instead of seven. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says the first and last hours of the work day are the busiest, and this will ensure efficient work flow. He adds the department administrator has taken on more responsibilities due to internal restructuring and needs the additional hour to get everything done. Continue reading

Hamlet Postpones Tax Hearing

Hamlet Town HallThe hearing to re-establish the Town of Hamlet’s Cumulative Capital Development Fund, originally scheduled for last night’s regular Board meeting, was postponed to a special meeting Monday, June 15th. The postponement was necessary due to an error in the published notice of the hearing.

The fund has been an ongoing levy, but needs to be  re-established every three years by the Town Board. Continue reading

Knox Water Grant Application Hits Snag

City_of_Knox_LogoDocuments dating back as far as 1880 are being dug up and thoroughly searched as officials attempt to find required information for a potential grant. The Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) offers a water grant that the city of Knox wants to receive. The deadline to apply for the grant is Friday, May 29.

Officials are having issues identifying the right of way on the Mound and Water street areas. If they do not have a legal description of the right of way, they can not proceed with the grant.

Water Department Superintendent Todd Gardner claims documents from the late 1800s, through the 1900s into the twenty-first century have been searched, but to no avail.

The investigation continues but if the necessary information is not obtained prior to Friday, the city officials will have no choice but to wait another 6 months for the grant to be offered again. Although they would prefer to receive the grant as soon as possible, it is not incredibly pertinent that it is obtained at this time and no problems will arise if the grant is not received now.

Culver Turns to Water Project Funding

Bids have been awarded, but now the Town of Culver is focusing on just how to fund upgrades to their water treatment facility.

The Culver Town Council has set a special meeting for June 2nd to adopt an ordinance allowing bonds to be issued to fund the $1.7-million. A separate ordinance specifying new rates for water consumption will also be introduced at the June 2nd meeting. The water rate ordinance will likely be adopted in mid-June.
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Animal Abuse Investigation Ongoing

Horses 2The Starke County Prosecutor’s Office is still investigating a case involving several animals. The incident occurred earlier this month in the area of 200 South and 550 North in Starke County. According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Department, officers were called to investigate a report that horses had escaped from their enclosure. Continue reading

SCILL Center to Honor Graduating Students

SCILLThe Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning is hosting an award ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of their 2015 class. The program takes place tonight at 1300 Kloeckner Drive in the Knox Industrial Park and will commence at 6 pm (CST) .

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American Red Cross May Close Marshall County Office

The American Red Cross office in Plymouth is slated to close on June 30. Northern Indiana Regional Executive Director Sue Gulley says services and programs will still be offered. She adds shutting the office down will allow the nonprofit organization to combine valuable resources while still providing programs like CPR training, disaster response and blood drives. Marshall County Red Cross volunteer Carol Arnett works closely with emergency management and other local officials when disasters like gas leaks, fires and floods occur. She says local volunteers can respond within minutes versus the hours it takes for South Bend to mobilize.
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Knox City Council Defers Action on Yard Sale

Knox officials have not decided yet whether to schedule a second city-wide yard sale during the upcoming Harvest Festival in September. They are considering having a sale Sept. 17-21. During last night’s meeting, city council members said they need more time to research the availability of clothing recycling centers and dumpster rentals before making a decision.

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Starke Republicans Meeting to Assess Candidates for Office

Republican Party Elephant

Republican Party Elephant

Following May’s Primary Municipal Election, the Starke County Republicans now have a few decisions to make.

The contested races during May’s primary in Knox were limited to Democrats seeking seats on the City Council. Members of the Starke County Republicans, however, still have several weeks to find nominees.
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Starke County Council to Consider Salary Ordinance Changes Tonight

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Council will take up the agenda from their rescheduled May 18 meeting during a special-called 5:30 p.m. session tonight. It includes a request to create a new position and proposed amendments to the county’s salary ordinance. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler is also on the agenda to request a transfer and an amendment to the salary ordinance to create an administrative assistant position. The meeting will take place in the first floor meeting room at the county annex building.

Culver Town Council Meeting New Legislative Challenge in Annexation Pursuit

The Culver Town Council is working its way through new guidelines for the annexation of property.

Culver is currently considering annexing land to its Northwest to increase the Town’s assessed valuation and potentially offer the land up for development. Surveys have been sent to the landowners affected by any future decisions. 22 have been returned.
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Starke County Sheriff’s Office Hosts Successful Relay for Life Lockup

Relay for Life FundraiserThe first “inmates” to be locked up at the new Starke County Jail successfully bonded out for a good cause. Last week the sheriff’s office partnered with Starke County Relay for Life to raise money. Volunteers either “surrendered” to a jail staff member or had an “arrest warrant” issued. Continue reading

Nominations Sought for Bicentennial Torch Relay Torchbearers

Indiana BicentennialThe Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay is accepting nominations from the public for torchbearers in each of the state’s 92 counties. Nominations recognize Hoosiers who demonstrate exceptional public service, excellence in their profession, acts of heroism or volunteer service to their neighborhood, community, region or state, according to a news release from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. Continue reading