Today's News

Park Board Approves Bass Lake Seasonal Camping

Bass Lake CampgroundCampsite patrons at the Bass Lake Campground can breathe easier after action by the recently-appointed Starke County Park Board. They voted unanimously last night to allow seasonal campsite leases to continue. Camping season starts over Memorial Day weekend and concludes around Halloween. Overnight camping is not allowed during the winter months since the campground does not have running water or sewers after the lines are cleared and winterized. Continue reading

Starke County Park Board to Consider Camping at Bass Lake

Bass Lake CampgroundThe recently-formed Starke County Park Board will consider whether to allow seasonal camping at Bass Lake Campground when they meet this evening. The five-member board has been tasked with oversight of the beach and campground, Starke County Forest and other non-municipal recreational areas in the county. Continue reading

Starke County Sheriff’s Department Looks into Hacker Shack Fire

Firefighters extinguished a fire at the location of the old Hacker Shack building.

Firefighters extinguished a fire at the location of the old Hacker Shack building.

Officials from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department went to the scene of a Monday night fire at the former Hacker Shack building located on the grounds of the Bass Lake Golf Course.

The building had been torn down and it appeared that the rubble was set on fire like a controlled burn, according to officials.

Bass Lake firefighters were called to the location on 500 South on Monday at 5:30 p.m. and they remained there for a few hours. No injuries were reported.

Fire at Former Hacker Shack Building under Investigation

Firefighters extinguished a fire at the location of the old Hacker Shack building.

Firefighters extinguished a fire at the location of the old Hacker Shack building.

The Bass Lake Fire Department was called to a fire Monday night where the debris of the old Hacker Shack building on the Bass Lake Golf Course was located.

Fire Chief Les Jensen told WKVI News said that the building was previously demolished. The remaining rubble was on fire when they got there. The firefighters arrived at the scene on 500 S. shortly after they were notified which was around 5:30 p.m.

Jensen said the sheriff’s department was notified of the incident and it remains under investigation.

Bass Lake Fire Deemed Accidental

A fire that started in a garage at Bass Lake that spread to a home Wednesday night was deemed accidental.

Bass Lake firefighters, with the assistance of the Washington Township Fire Department, put out the blaze at the scene on the south side of Bass Lake. Bass Lake Fire Chief Les Jensen told WKVI News that they were on the scene for about four hours. The Indiana State Fire Marshal was at the scene Friday to assess the damage and cause of the fire.

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DNR Official Corrects Statements About Camping at Bass Lake

Bass Lake CampgroundA telephone call from WKVI News to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has brought more clarity to the question of whether seasonal campsite leases are allowed at Bass Lake Beach and Campground. Bob Bronson is the section chief for the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation. He originally told us camping is limited to two weeks at a time at properties like Bass Lake, which get funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Act. Bronson has since spoken to officials with the National Park Service and learned otherwise.

“There is no policy on the length of how long you can camp. The state has policies and recommendations, but the funding source and Land and Water Conservation Act does not direct how long somebody can stay at a campground,” Bronson told WKVI News late Thursday. Continue reading

Fire Destroys Garage, Damages Home at Bass Lake

Members of the Bass Lake Fire Department battled a garage fire and a house fire Wednesday night.

Bass Lake Fire Chief Les Jensen said they were called to the scene on the southside of the lake at 10:30 p.m. CT and the fire had spread to a neighboring home. Jensen said the garage was a total loss and the house suffered some damage.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal will visit the scene today (Friday) help investigate the cause of the fire.

No injuries were reported. Crews from the Washington Township Fire Department assisted.

Bass Lake Fire Department Hosts Charity Polar Bear Swim

Polar Bear PlungeMembers of the community are invited to take a final dip in Bass Lake Saturday and help a community agency in the process. Bass Lake Fire Chief Les Jensen says the department is hosting a polar bear swim at noon at Bass Lake Marina. Continue reading

O-D School Board Accepts $5,000 Donation

Oregon-Davis-Jr_Sr-BuildingThe Oregon-Davis School Board members accepted a $5,000 donation from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation.

Superintendent Greg Briles said the money will be used toward the school’s engineering component in Project Lead the Way.

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Starke County Council Staggers Park Board Terms

Starke County Courthouse

Starke County Courthouse

The two Starke County Park Board members appointed by the county council will serve two and four years respectively. State law requires the terms for the inaugural board to be staggered to ensure continuity. The council members decided Democrat Rosemary Rose will serve for two years. Republican Debbie Mix will be on the board for four years. They are two of the five members of the panel charged with oversight of Bass Lake Beach and Campground, the Starke County Forest and other county-owned recreational areas. The first park board meeting has not yet been set, as members are still trying to coordinate their schedules.

Season Wrapping Up at Bass Lake Beach and Campground

Bass Lake Beach and Campground will soon close for the season. Manager Richard Callahan and his attorney Dave Wallsmith advised the Starke County Commissioners last night the group piers have been removed from the beach area and all but a few boats are out of the water. Wallsmith also told the commissioners he has not gotten any complaints about the amenities of late and has received complements about how nice and well maintained the facilities are. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Seeking Health Board Nominee

The Starke County Commissioners are looking to fill a health board vacancy. Nurse Taylor Davis resigned. By law, her replacement must be a health care professional and a Democrat. Prospective nominees can contact the Starke County Auditor’s Office at 574-772-9101 for more information.

Commissioners Prepare Packets for Park Board Members

The five members of the Starke County Park Board will have plenty of reading material prior to their first meeting. The Starke County Commissioners are sending them welcome packets, which will include copies of the state statute under which the board was formed and the state law pertaining to camping on public properties. One of their first challenges will be to decide whether to allow year-round camping at Bass Lake Beach and Campground. The park board members will also get a copy of the management lease between the county and Richard Callahan. The board is charged with oversight and management of the Starke County Forest and other county-owned public lands.

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Starke County Highway Department Sets Road Improvement Record

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen "Rik" Ritzler

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen “Rik” Ritzler

The Starke County Highway Department is wrapping up road improvements for the year. Superintendent Rik Ritzler says they’ve improved more than 120 miles of roads through a combination of chip and fog sealing, asphalt paving and wedging and crack sealing. That’s the most road miles improved in a single year by the Starke County Highway Department. Continue reading

Additional Stop Signs Added at Sporty’z Intersection

4-way_stop_signThe intersection of Starke County Roads 210 and 675 East at Bass Lake is now a four-way stop. The Starke County Commissioners approved that change in July. Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler opted to wait until exterior renovations at Sporty’z were finished before putting the signage up. Continue reading

Voter Registration Ends Monday

The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 4 and in order to cast your important vote you need to be properly registered.

Voter registration is open this week at all county clerk’s offices. The last day to register to vote is Monday, Oct. 6. You must be registered by the end of the business day on Oct. 6 in order to vote in the November election.

If you need to register to vote or have questions about your current registration, call the Starke County clerk’s office at (574) 772-9160, the Pulaski County clerk’s office at (574) 946-3313 or the Marshall County Clerk’s office at (574) 936-8922. Election and registration information can also be found on the state’s website.

Absentee voting in all three counties begins Tuesday, Oct. 7.

Three Starke County Schools to Take Part in Manufacturer’s Day

The Knox Middle School is hosting Manufacturer’s Day tomorrow. A total of 15 local companies will have booths set up for 7th graders from Knox, Oregon-Davis and North Judson-San Pierre to visit and learn about what they do. Students will also learn what qualifications are necessary to work there. Knox Middle School Principal Joshua Pugh says hands-on learning like this really helps students think about their futures.

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One Driver Dies in Two Vehicle Accident in North Judson

Range Road wreckA semi vs. passenger car accident at the intersection of State Road 10 and Range Road just east of North Judson Monday morning resulted in fatal injuries.

Officers arrived at the scene shortly after 11 a.m. and found a semi tanker on its side engulfed in flames. The passenger car involved in the accident was located on the side of the roadway, according to the accident report. The driver was airlifted from the scene to South Bend Memorial Hospital where she later died of her injuries. The passenger and the semi driver were taken to IU Health Starke Hospital and later transferred to South Bend Memorial Hospital. Their medical conditions are unknown.

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Schricker Award Nominations Due Today

Henry Schricker

Henry Schricker

Today is the deadline to submit your nominations for the Henry F. Schricker award.

The award is given to a Starke County resident who has shown that he or she has put “service before self”. That was the motto of former governor Henry F. Schricker who exemplified that action while he served in office and as a resident of Starke County.

The Starke County Chamber of Commerce will review all submissions and a committee of former award winners will select this year’s recipient. A nomination form is available on the Starke County Chamber’s website at www.starkecountychamber.com. Include the qualities and deeds of your nominee. The entry should include the person’s voluntary contributions and benefits to Starke County.

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City of Knox Receives Thanks from WoodStarke Representatives

woodstarkeThe Knox City Council members received praise from the WoodStarke representatives this week for their support of the first festival of its kind on Sept. 13.

The city was presented a thank you note for their efforts. The festival featured local artists, local music, HealthLinc’s mobile dental unit, a cornhole tournament, dance and exercise classes, a Moving Starke County Forward One Mile at a Time walk and a county-wide scavenger hunt.

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