All posts by Mary Perren

Fredia E. (Fairweather) Healy-Hill

Funeral services for Fredia E. (Fairweather) Healy-Hill, 97, of North Judson, are Tuesday, May 26 at 7 p.m. at O’Donnell Funeral Home in North Judson, with visitation there from 4 p.m. until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family through her daughter, Gale Davis, or through the funeral home.

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

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

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

Starke County Commissioners Hire Courthouse Custodian

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Courthouse will soon have a new custodian. The county commissioners Monday hired Mike Gerhart to fill the opening created by the retirement of longtime caretaker Carl Goodrich. His last day with the county is June 4, which was previously proclaimed “Carl Goodrich Day” by the commissioners in honor of his more than 40 years of service. Continue reading

Authorities Say Stabbing Suspect Attempted to Kill Himself

Michael Kasten Sr.

Michael Kasten Sr.

A Winamac man who is charged with murder in Sunday’s stabbing death of his wife apparently tried to kill himself as well. Michael Kasten Sr., 59, is accused of stabbing his wife, Tina Kasten, 58, in the chest with a steak knife at their home on State Road 119. A friend who lived with the couple called 911, according to the police report. Officers found Tina Kasten on a loveseat in the living room of the home with a chest wound and her husband in the garage covered in blood with a steak knife nearby. He reportedly told officers he stabbed himself and said repeatedly he wanted to die. Continue reading

Starke County Murder Trial Still on Schedule for July

The murder trial for a Knox man accused of beating his estranged wife to death at their rural California Township home last June is still on schedule for late July. Gary Chavez was scheduled to stand trial last month, but the proceeding was canceled at the last minute due to what a jail physician deemed an urgent surgical procedure. Continue reading

Road Rage Possibly To Blame For Fatal LaPorte County Crash

Authorities in LaPorte County say road rage may have been a factor in a fatal two-vehicle Sunday night crash near Union Mills. Michael Edwards, 38, of LaPorte, died en route to a medical helicopter that had been summoned to the crash site in the 8500 block of County Road 600 West. The second driver, Bryan Baker, 21, of Hobart, was treated at IU Health LaPorte Hospital and released. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Want Formal Bid Process for Courthouse Repairs

starke-county-courthouseThe two quotes for tuckpointing at the Starke County courthouse are so widely varied in terms of price the commissioners have decided to go through a formal bid process for the work. They plan to ask the contractors who are completing the new jail to put together bid packets for the scope of the project. It includes masonry repair from the top of the clock tower to the basement, electrical and plumbing upgrades and the remodeling of space on the second floor to accommodate the prosecutor’s office. It’s currently in the basement of the existing jail across the street. That building will be remodeled after the inmates move out and will eventually be home to Starke County Community Corrections and the probation office. Continue reading