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Today's News

County Home to be Considered as a National Historic Landmark

Pleasant View Rest Home

Pleasant View Rest Home

In a meeting set for this afternoon, the Pleasant View Rest Home will be up for consideration to be placed on the list of historic landmarks.

Officials with the Division of State Historic Preservation and Archaeology will review written comments submitted by supporters and non-supporters of the county home for nomination for placement into the National Register of Historic Places.

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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.

Commissioners Approve and Adopt Road Vacation Ordinance

The Marshall County Commissioners held a public hearing Monday morning concerning the vacation of a portion of 3B Road between Quince and Olive Roads.

Plan Director Ralph Booker explained that the request went before the plan commission at their recent meeting. The members of the plan commission found findings of fact that the conditions have changed in order to defeat the original purpose of the road, there is a public interest to vacate the road and the value of the road will not be diminished with the vacation of the road.

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County Home Supporters Voice Concerns to Pulaski County Commissioners

Pleasant View Rest Home

Pleasant View Rest Home

Members of the Pleasant View Rest Home Board, employees of the facility and family members of the residents in the county home appeared before the Pulaski County Commissioners last night to ask for the commissioners’ support to keep the county home open.

The Pulaski County Council members voted last week by a majority vote to eliminate the funding for the county home in the 2015 budget.

Pleasant View Rest Home Board President Bob White read a letter to the commissioners submitted by the residents to keep the county home open. He asked that the county home board and the county work together to keep the facility operational. Employees made an impassioned plea to support the people in their effort.

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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

New Generator to be Installed Soon at Pulaski County Health Department

A generator will soon be installed for use by the Pulaski County Health Department.

The Pulaski County Council members approved an additional appropriation for the purchase in the amount of $3,500 in a prior meeting. It was advertised and approved again on Monday night.

Terri Hansen from the health department approached the council members on Monday where she reported that the generator still hasn’t been installed. The generator has been delivered but it’s in storage at the moment until it can be professionally installed. She expressed her frustration in the delay of the project.

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Grant Application Approved for Training Exercise

Marshall County EMA Director Clyde Avery will be receiving a $8,485.29 grant as the county council this week approved his request to apply for the grant.

The initial purpose of Indiana Department of Homeland Security reimbursable grant was to purchase recording equipment for the Emergency Operations Center, but Avery told WKVI News that the equipment is not on the approved list for the grant.

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Marshall County Council Approves Appropriation for Metronet Project

The Marshall County Council members discussed an additional appropriation for the Metronet project Monday morning.

The amount was for $250,000 out of the Rainy Day Fund which is the amount St. Joseph County is expected to pay for the project.

Auditor Penny Lukenbill explained that Trinity Health sent in $125,000 for their portion of the cost in August which was appropriated last month. The county is anticipating St. Joseph County’s portion of $250,000 this week. Lukenbill stated that she wants to be prepared for when that happens.

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County Home Eliminated from 2015 Pulaski County Budget

Pleasant View Rest Home

Pleasant View Rest Home

The residents at the Pleasant View Rest Home are going to have to find another place to live.

The Pulaski County Council last night approved a motion to remove funding for the county home from the 2015 budget.

The issue of bills not being collected and the high amount of money it will take to keep the building functional and up to code were the main reasons for the decision. County Council President Jay Sullivan said that he will notify county home board president Bob White of the status change and to set things in motion to get the residents a new place of residency.

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Starke County Economic Development Foundation Seeks Planning Grant

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is seeking a $15,000 grant to plan for future workforce needs through the SCILL Center. Executive Director Charlie Weaver says they are looking at the cost of implementing vocational and adult automation robotics equipment maintenance programs. He says there is a growing need for that skill set in manufacturing settings. Continue reading

Marshall County Council Approves Funds for Public Defenders

 The Marshall County Council approved an additional appropriation for Marshall County Superior Court No 2. for pauper counsel.

Judge Dean Colvin explained that the shortfall in the budget is due to a contract with the public defenders.

“In regards to the contract that we have with our current public defenders and the request we made in 2013 to cover 2014 expenses in the additional increase in pay that we provided when we reorganized in the public defenders fund, we have now come to a point where we are in a shortfall. It’s primarily due to that new contract.”

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Starke County Shreds Obsolete Records

starke-county-courthouseStarke County’s first attempt to shred obsolete files and records was successful in terms of both volume and cost, according to the county commissioners. A committee reviewed records and approved the ones to be shredded. County Maintenance Supervisor Jim Coad says they got rid of nine tons of paper for a cost of $2,222.76. Continue reading

Marshall County Commissioners Approve 2015 Schedules

The Marshall County Commissioners approved the 2015 pay schedule and the 2015 holiday schedule.

Auditor Penny Lukenbill explained that the year is unique in that there are 27 pays for the year and budgets had to be moved around to accommodate that extra expense. The pay schedule begins Jan. 2.

The holiday schedule was also approved in which the county offices will be closed on Jan. 1, Jan. 19, Apr. 3, May 5, May 25, July 3, Sept. 7, Nov. 3, Nov. 11, Nov 26, Nov. 27, Dec. 24, Dec. 25. Lukenbill stated that the county will follow the state’s holiday schedule.

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.

Starke County Voters Invited to Nonpartisan Candidate Forums

Starke County voters can learn where candidates for local office stand on issues during a series of weekend forums. Larry and Deb Wappel are sponsoring the events in Knox, North Judson and Hamlet. She says the candidates will be asked tough questions about things like their leadership philosophy, what sets them apart from others running for the same office and how they will pay for any sort of new program or service they are proposing. The candidates were given the prepared questions in advance. Audience members will also have a chance to submit written questions for the candidates. A bipartisan panel will screen them and make sure they are respectful. Continue reading

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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Pulaski County Commissioners to Consider Deed Sale

Holly Hoover talks with Pulaski County Commissioners

Holly Hoover talks with Pulaski County Commissioners

The Pulaski County property tax sale was recently held and 29 properties were sold. Deputy Auditor Holly Hoover told the commissioners this week that 150 properties were not sold and she would like to have a commissioners deed sale to sell these properties.

She noted that most of the properties have been up for sale for many years and it’s time to get these back on the tax rolls.

“The difference between the property tax sale and the commissioners deed sale is that instead of a one year redemption when a buyer buys a piece of property at the property tax sale the owner has one year to redeem the property. With a commissioners deed sale, there would be a 120 day redemption. We want to get these properties that have gone unpaid for years back on the tax roll,” explained Hoover.

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Pulaski County Home Considered for National Register of Historic Places

Pleasant View Rest Home

Pleasant View Rest Home

The county home in Pulaski County could be deemed a historic structure.

The commissioners received a letter from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources stating that the county home has been proposed for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

The review board members of the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation will consider the nomination during their meeting on Oct. 22 at 1:30 p.m. ET at the Indiana Government Conference Center in Indianapolis in conference rooms one and two. Pulaski County residents are welcome to attend this meeting and to deliver comments, either pro or con, regarding the application.

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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

Starke County Commissioners Award Bridge Replacement Bids

The Starke County Commissioners this week awarded bids to replace two bridges to a LaPorte-based contractor. LaPorte Construction Company was the low bidder for Bridge 70, which is located on 50 East south of 500 South across the Smith Ditch. Their price of $396,104.50 includes an additional 400 feet of pavement up to 500 South. They also submitted the low bid for Bridge 79 on 450 South over the Smith Ditch. JCI Bridge Group of LaPorte and Mishawaka-based Northern Indiana Construction Company also bid on both projects. Repairs to both bridges will be done in the spring.

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