Commissioners to Discuss Memorial Day Flags

The Starke County Commissioners hope to settle what has become a contentious issue when they meet this evening. Historically the county has purchased flags to place on the graves of veterans each Memorial Day. They coordinate the project with the local veterans service organizations. This year questions arose about how funds would be distributed. The commissioners have stressed their commitment to the tradition in prior meetings and have vowed to ensure every veteran in the county has a grave marker during the upcoming holiday. Continue reading

Pulaski County Election Board to Research E-Poll Books

The Pulaski County Election Board now has the full support of the county commissioners and the county council to research the feasibility of implementing e-poll books.

Election board member Laura Bailey requested permission from the county council last week to seek more information about e-poll books for the county’s polling sites. Voters would digitally sign in on an iPad when they arrive at one of the seven polling sites in the county to vote. The e-poll books would replace the printed registration books. A receipt would be issued to the voter and taken to an election official to bring up a ballot.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Receive Road Update

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners will have an update on roads when they discuss items with Highway Administrator Laurie Baker and Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters.

The highway department crews are doing what they can to rehabilitate areas that were damaged due to the frost line. Potholes have surfaced, and edges of roads have deteriorated as winter turned to spring. It has been noted that some summer road projects will suffer due to lack of funding. The highway crews will do what they can with the funding they have to make the road as passable as possible.

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Pulaski County Government to Consider Obtaining Additional Road Funding

 The Pulaski County Council and Commissioners will be looking into gathering more funds for county roads.

Commission President Larry Brady said the roads severely deteriorated this past winter. Brady told the county council members this week that he chatted with the employees at the highway department who say they’re dipping into this summer’s funding to repair frost line-damaged roads.

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Pulaski County Officials to Discuss Courthouse Needs, County Home Future

Pulaski County CourthouseThe Pulaski County Council and Commissioners will meet in a special joint session meeting on Monday, May 4 to discuss two items.

Pulaski County Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston has prepared a presentation on structural issues that need to be addressed at the Pulaski County Courthouse. Johnston informed the commissioners last week that the presentation includes several pages of notes.

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Pulaski County Receives Grant For Drug Disposal

 A new container to collect unwanted, expired and unused prescription medications will be installed at the Pulaski County Justice Center.

Sheriff Jeff Richwine recently applied for a $600 grant through CVS and the company approved grant recipients this week. Sheriff Richwine’s request was approved.

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Video Conferencing Approved for Courts, Jail

The video conferencing equipment in the Marshall County Superior Court 1 and Superior Court 2 courtrooms and the Marshall County Jail will soon be upgraded to include high definition quality.

Judge Dean Colvin told the county council members this week that the county can conduct court hearings via video conferencing to reduce the cost of transporting inmates from the jail to the courthouse for hearings.

The video conference systems are currently inoperable at this time, so the staff is looking to replace the equipment.

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Town of Monterey Requests Loan from Pulaski County Council

A loan was approved by the Pulaski County Council to help the Town of Monterey with a wastewater system upgrade.

Pulaski County Community Development Commission (CDC) Executive Director Nathan Origer and Monterey Town Council President Jim Fleury were before the county council members on Monday night to request a $20,000 loan for matching grant funds for the project.

The money would be advertised as an additional appropriation from the CDC fund to make a loan available to the town. The money will be only be spent if the town’s grant request is approved.

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Pulaski County Council Approves Loan Resolution for Budget Purposes

 The Pulaski County Council took action to create a temporary loan to cover expenses in the General Fund.

Auditor Shelia Garling explained to the county council that the financial report shows that the General Fund is $175,156.66 short. Garling asked that a loan be authorized from the County Adjusted Gross Income Tax (CAGIT) County Certified Shares line item to support the General Fund. The CAGIT fund has a balance of $1.8 million.

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Additional Appropriation for E-Poll Books to be Advertised

E-poll books are being considered for Marshall County.

Steve Shamo from KnowInk demonstrated how the digital process would work to the Marshall County Council members Monday morning. A driver’s license or a legal state I.D. card is scanned, and the voter’s information comes up on the screen. The voter then provides a signature on the screen. Once the signatures are compared, a receipt is printed, and the voter takes that receipt to a poll worker who then sets up a ballot for voting purposes.

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Man Accused of Aiding Runaway Makes Initial Court Appearance

 An initial hearing for Rigoberto Calix Reyes, 21, was held in Marshall County Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon.

Reyes is accused of aiding a 14-year-old Plymouth girl in running away from home and having sexual relations with the girl in March. Formal felony charges in the case include sexual misconduct with a minor, forgery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

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Pulaski County Council Makes a Move to Help EMS Staffing Issues

The Pulaski County Council members took a giant step last night to help keep paramedics and EMS staff members in the county.

EMS Director Nikki Lowry previously pleaded with the county council to help retain her staff as they are leaving for higher pay in surrounding counties. The turnover rate is very high. She asked that a committee get together and aid her in restructuring pay in the EMS budget.

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Marshall County Council and Commissioners to Evaluate Options for Road Funding

It is the hope of the Marshall County Council and the Marshall County Commissioners to come together soon to address funding for county roads.

Commission President Kevin Overmyer told the county council Monday morning that the state appropriated money for INDOT but nothing for local roads for the next two years. He said representatives from the Build Indiana Council, Association of County Commissioners, and Indiana Association of Cities asked for those funds, but the request was not approved.

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Starke County Clerk’s Office Collects Several Absentee Ballots in First Week

Knox residents who plan to vote at the polling site in the Primary Municipal Election are invited to test the voting machines on Wednesday, April 15 at 10 a.m. CT in the second-floor meeting room in the Starke County Courthouse.

Clerk Vicki Cooley reminds City of Knox voters that registered voters in District 1, District 2, District 3 and District 4 may cast a ballot in the Primary Municipal Election. Voters will be at the polls on Tuesday, May 5. This year’s polling site for all districts is the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox.

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Pulaski County Commissioners, Council to Discuss Highway Superintendent Position

The Pulaski County Commissioners approved the action of interviewing candidates for the position of highway superintendent, but the position is not yet open.

The commissioners were notified that Superintendent Mark Fox may submit his letter of resignation last week, but that letter has not been filed with the Pulaski County Auditor’s office, according to Auditor Shelia Garling.

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Pulaski County Department Heads, Employees to Partake in Training

Personnel policy handbook training sessions for department heads and employees in Pulaski County are scheduled for this month.

County Attorney Kevin Tankersley explained to the commissioners last week that a revision is complete which provides more detail and required forms. Workers compensation, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) information, overtime, and more is included in the 98-page document. Tankersley said the new manual is more user-friendly. A policy has been in place in Pulaski County since 2012.

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Marshall County Council to Continue E-Poll Book Discussion

Marshall County Council

Marshall County Council

The Marshall County Council members will continue a discussion into the purchase of e-poll books when they meet this morning.

During the council’s last meeting in March, Clerk Deb Vandemark explained that 15 iPads would be purchased for placement at all of the voting sites for the purpose of signing in voters at the polls. There are 14 poll sites for the county’s 29 precincts. One extra iPad would be on hand as a backup. The purchase price is $32,225 which is not included in the clerk’s budget for this year.

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Starke County Property Tax Bills Due May 11

Starke County Annex

Starke County Annex

Starke County property tax bills will be in the mail today, according to Treasurer Kasey Clark.

Property tax payments may be dropped off at the First National Bank of Monterey branches in Monterey and North Judson, 1st Source Bank in Knox, 1st Farmers Bank and Trust branches in Knox and North Judson, and Demotte State Bank in Knox. Clark asks that you include a self-addressed stamped envelope so a receipt can be mailed.

Payments are welcome Monday through Friday at the Starke County Treasurer’s office in the Starke County Annex building in Knox. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT. A drop box is also available outside the office doors.

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Pulaski County Sheriff Requests Vehicle Purchase

Pulaski County Sheriff's Department

Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department will be getting a new vehicle.

Sheriff Jeff Richwine approached the commissioners this week to seek approval to purchase a Chevrolet Tahoe. He said an SUV would better suit the department.

“In a rural area like this, I think a four wheel drive would be great,” said Richwine. With the last two winters we’ve had, it would be a plus for the officers to be able to stay in their own police car rather than get into one of the Humvees or some of the other vehicles that we have.”

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