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 County Officials Celebrate Justice Center Completion

Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall and Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin prepare to cut the ribbon to officially open the Starke County Sheriff's Office and Detention Center

Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall and Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin prepare to cut the ribbon to officially open the Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center

Starke County’s new jail is ready for occupancy. Officials celebrated the completion of the 144 bed, state-of-the-art facility yesterday with a public dedication and ribbon cutting, attended by more than 300 people. The $15.4 million project came in on time and under budget and gives Starke County the distinction of going from the oldest jail in the state to the newest. The old facility across from the courthouse opened in 1977. It will be renovated into office space for Starke County Community Corrections and the probation department. Continue reading

Marshall County Officials Honor Retiring Merit Board Members

merit officers presentationTwo retiring merit board officers were honored this week for their dedicated years of service to Marshall County.

Marshall County Sheriff’s Captain Dan Butts presented plaques to Dr. Jim Bottorff and Orion “Bud” Treat who served on the Marshall County Merit Board for 44 years apiece. The recognition ceremony was held during the Marshall County Commissioners meeting on Monday.

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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

Pulaski County Sheriff Seeking Quotes for Radio Equipment

The Pulaski County Sheriff plans to upgrade radios for the dispatchers and emergency personnel in the next few years.

Sheriff Jeff Richwine told the commissioners this week that the radios in the dispatch center haven’t been replaced since 1998.. He said he’s beginning to gather quotes to replace that aged equipment.

The Sheriff is also looking to replace 200, 800 MHz Motorola radios for the police, EMS, EMA, and fire departments. The company will cease making parts for the current models used by the county and town emergency services in the next four years. Sheriff Richwine is working with EMA Director Larry Hoover to put together a plan to replace all of the radios in the next four years.

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Marshall County Assessment Software Upgrade Approved

 The Marshall County Assessor’s office will be spending $173,000 to change assessment software.

Pam Davis from the Assessor’s office explained that the staff has been operating on outdated software. Customer support is also lacking which delays operations in the office.

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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

Pulaski County Emergency Personnel Collaborate in Tabletop Exercise

A tabletop exercise was held yesterday in Pulaski County to gather emergency personnel together to determine how to handle a mass disaster.

Pulaski County Preparedness Coordinator Sherry Fagner said the scenario put together information from entities from the hospital, health department, schools, police, EMS, EMA, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana State Department of Health, and media.

“We did a lot of collaboration on if it was a true event that a public health emergency was declared,” said Fagner.

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Commissioners Approve Company to Handle Revolving Loan Applications

 Approval has been given to the Pulaski County Community Development Commission (CDC) to contract with Valparaiso-based Regional Development Company (RDC) to handle the financial administration aspect of the revolving loan fund.

Pulaski County CDC Executive Director Nathan Origer told the Pulaski County Commissioners this week that the RDC will receive the application and run a credit report plus gather personal or business tax forms. The county will then receive a credit memo as part of the process in applying for a revolving loan. The RDC will give a ranking to a committee set up by the Pulaski County CDC. Other aspects will be considered in an overall ranking which will be presented to the Commissioners for approval or denial of a loan.

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Commissioners Approve Letter of Intent for Planning Grant

Tippecanoe Township officials in Marshall County will move forward with a planning grant to make improvements to the structure that houses the fire department and upgrade equipment.

The Marshall County Commissioners Monday morning approved a letter of intent as part of the process in obtaining a $40,000 planning grant through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). A planning grant would help the officials work with a planner and architect to put together a comprehensive study.

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Auction Date Set for Sale of County Home Contents

Pleasant View Rest Home

Pleasant View Rest Home

An auction date has been set for the contents of the Pleasant View Rest Home in Winamac. The county home was recently closed due to the Pulaski County Council’s decision to no longer fund the operations at the facility.

Pulaski County Commissioner Terry Young announced Monday night that the auction is Saturday, June 20 at 10 a.m. ET at the facility located on 60 S. in Winamac. Several items will be featured including chairs, beds, mattresses, kitchen items and antiques.  Jeremiah Kopka from Kopka Auctions is conducting the sale.

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Park Board Wants Plan for Bass Lake Beach and Campground Improvements

The Bass Lake Beach is scheduled to open for the season this weekend.

The Bass Lake Beach is scheduled to open for the season this weekend.

The Starke County Park Board last night voted to draft a letter to the current lessee of the Beach and Campground at Bass Lake setting forth certain repairs and maintenance to safety and health hazards that must be completed within 30 days. The letter will also set forth that a plan of repair and replacement be developed and established for other equipment and buildings. 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

Property Rezoning Allows Church to Expand

Grace Outreach Fellowship propertyA Marshall County church can now expand thanks to the approval of a rezoning ordinance request.

Marshall County Plan Director Ralph Booker presented the information to the county commissioners this week on behalf of Grace Outreach Fellowship Church. The church congregation has outgrown the current facility and officials there are interested in the rezoning of purchased property to accommodate the change. Church officials are seeking the rezoning of 2900 Center Street in Tippecanoe to better serve their patrons. The two parcels on the affected property are zoned heavy industrial. The property needs to be rezoned to town residential for the church to occupy the building.

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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

Marshall County Council on Aging to Complete Transportation Funding Paperwork

Marshall County will act as a funding pass-through point to deliver transportation funding from the Indiana Department of Transportation to the Marshall County Council on Aging.

Executive Director Jackie Wright explained to the Marshall County Commissioners Monday morning that she is submitting grant paperwork to INDOT for the annual request for transportation funding. She requested that the County be the pass-through point for the funds. She anticipates the reception of $277,000 this year.

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Courthouse Repairs on Starke County Commissioners Agenda

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Commissioners should have a better idea how much repairs to the courthouse will cost after their meeting tonight. They’ve asked for quotes on tuckpointing the brick in order to set a budget for the work. Fixing the masonry is one of several repairs that need to be made to the historic structure. Wiring needs to be upgraded, and the roof needs to be fixed as well. Continue reading

Marshall County Commissioners to Discuss Several Items in Today’s Meeting

The Marshall County Commissioners will consider a change order request from USI Consultants’ Bart Trester when they meet today. Trester oversees the 7th Road project and the roundabout project on North Michigan Road in Plymouth. Trester indicated earlier this month that crews are waiting for word from the state to move ahead, barring any more issues with the HMX mix design. The mix of aggregate and asphalt binder is causing buckling pavement in other locations across the state. Crews are awaiting final approval of the combination to install the mix.

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Additional Appropriation for Trial Expenses Approved for Advertisement

  Court hearings and procedures leading up to a potential a murder trial in Pulaski County has forced the judge to ask for more resources to fund the proceedings prior to the trial date.

Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn asked the Pulaski County Council this week for an additional appropriation for $25,000 for examination of prisoners.

Paul Katschke is accused of murdering his live-in girlfriend, 34-year-old Amber Rene Taylor, in their Denham home in August of last year. Katschke has undergone court-ordered mental competency evaluations. Judge Shurn said there were $12,000 to $13,000 in outstanding bills that need to be paid.

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Grand Opening Celebration Planned for New Starke County Jail

Starke County Sheriff's Department BadgeMembers of the public are invited to the grand opening and building dedication of the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center on State Road 8 at 550 East, east of Knox. Festivities will take place Friday, May 22. After the formal program and memorial garden ceremony at noon, tours of the state-of-the-art facility will be offered. Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin and his command staff will be on hand to answer questions, and food will be served until 4 p.m. Continue reading