President of the Starke County Commissioners Jennifer Davis and Starke County Sheriff Oscar Cowen
Jennifer Davis has presided over her final meeting as president of the Starke County Commissioners. Instead of seeking reelection to that body, Davis opted instead to run for a seat on the Starke County Council.
“It’s been an honor and a pleasure to serve,” Davis said at the conclusion of Monday’s county commissioners meeting. Democrat Don Binkley is taking her place.
Davis attended yesterday’s reception at the Starke County Sheriff’s Department in honor of Sheriff Oscar Cowen. He’s held that office for eight years and is stepping down due to term limits. Democrat Bill Dulin will take over as sheriff in January.
Tracey Shorter and Larry Brady
Pulaski County Commissioner Tracey Shorter was recognized by Commission President Larry Brady for her years of service to the residents of Pulaski County.
Brady presented Shorter with a plaque. Shorter did not run for re-election in this year’s election for her seat on the county commission. Bud Krohn, Jr. will begin his four-year term on Jan. 1. The first meeting of the Pulaski County Commissioners in 2015 is Jan. 5.
Ed Clark gives his last report as director of the Pulaski County Recycling Center.
Penny Lukenbill and Ben Falkowski
Marshall County Auditor Penny Lukenbill was recognized for her efforts as a county auditor and as a county employee during the Marshall County Commissioners meeting Monday morning.
David Bottorff, the executive director of the Association of Indiana Counties, said Lukenbill served as president of the association and talked to legislators about county issues. To recognize her efforts, Congresswoman Jackie Walorski mentioned Lukenbill’s accomplishments into the congressional record. Ben Falkowski presented Lukenbill with a plaque. Continue reading
1st Row: Starke County Clerk Vicki Cooley, Center Twp. Advisory Board Member Bertha Blue, Washington Twp. Trustee Cathy Benko, Jackson Twp. Advisory Board Prosecuting Attorney Nicholas Bourff, County Council District 4 Pam Stalbaum, Assessor Rhonda Milner. 2nd Row: Jackson Twp. Trustee Robert Schmidt, Jackson Twp. Advisory Board Member Marilyn Lockridge, Wayne Twp. Advisory Board Member Marilynn Pacilio, Wayne Twp. Advisory Board Member Marvin Peters,Wayne Twp. Trustee Clara Schacht, Davis Twp. Advisory Board Member Cheryle Ferch, Auditor Katherine Chaffins. 3rd Row: Jackson Twp. Advisory Board Member Michelle Hounshell, County Council District 2 Jennifer Davis, County Council District 1 Brad Hazelton, Sheriff Bill Dulin, Commissioner Don Binkley, Davis Twp. Trustee Robin Latimer, Recorder Lisa Minix, Oregon Twp. Advisory Board Member Carole Noble, Davis Twp. Advisory Board Member Robert Ferch
Several newly elected Starke County officials took their oaths of office on Thursday, Dec. 18 at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in downtown Knox. Their terms of office will begin on Jan. 1, 2015.
Last week’s resignation of a Starke County Park Board member has created a vacancy on that recently-populated board. Mike Meadows was named to the panel by Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall, who is now looking to appoint his replacement. Continue reading
Pulaski County Highway Superintendent Mark Fox informed the commissioners this week that there are three bridges on the 12-month inspection cycle. Work will be done soon to remove them from that list.
“We’re going to place wrap underneath these bridges to correct a substructure undercutting issue and those three will be able to be removed from that 12 month inspection cycle once we complete that,” stated Fox.
Bass Lake Campground patrons with seasonal site leases in good standing can leave their recreational vehicles there year-round. That’s the policy as adopted by the Starke County Park Board last night. Continue reading
Marshall County Attorney Jim Clevenger and Marshall County Recorder Marlene Mahler discussed with the commissioners this week the theft of 2,700 documents totaling 39,000 pages out of the county’s computer system.
Clevenger noted that several other counties are facing the same issue with the same company and have been asked to join a multi-county action against the company. Representatives of LPS Real Estate Data Solutions reportedly went in and took data out of the recorder’s office without going through the proper channels to pay for the data wanted. A civil action will be filed against LPS to recover damages for the stolen data and punitive damages.
Pulaski County Justice Center
The water heater installation at the Pulaski County Justice Center has been delayed, according to Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston.
“One of the delays was with a vendor where they ordered parts for their machinery. That kind of set us back a little bit. They now have the parts that they need. They have most of the water lines in place. This week they’re going to start up the one unit and take the old one off line. We’re going to run it for a while to make sure that we have confidence that it’s going to do the job. Then they’ll remove the old one altogether and start installing the second one,” said Johnston.
Pleasant View Rest Home
A meeting is set for today to move forward with the closure of the Pleasant View Rest Home in Pulaski County.
Pulaski County Attorney Kevin Tankersley will be meeting with an attorney in Plymouth to discuss the matter and to see if the attorney would be willing to take over legal issues in the closure of the county home. Tankersley will not be taking over the legal issues in this matter as it was thought an outside agency would be a better choice in the process. If the attorney agrees to work with the county, the commissioners would need to approve a retainer for the attorney’s services.
Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler
Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler has an employment contract through March of 2017 after action last night by the county commissioners. They agreed to offer him a two-year, three-month contract to allow for a transition to the next administration. Continue reading
The Starke County Park Board will discuss a process for removal of campers from the Bass Lake Campground at the end of the season when they meet tonight. Board President Marcia Bedrock sought clarification from the county commissioners as to their stance on the practice and was told all campers and other equipment need to be removed from the campground when it closes for the year due to zoning restrictions. Continue reading
There’s a big difference between a morgue and a coroner’s office with cold storage available for bodies. That’s why Starke County Coroner-elect Adam Gray has opted to wait on construction of space for his department. He told the county council last night he wants to take his time and make sure the county’s needs are met. Per the state, a morgue has space available for a pathologist to work and must adhere to strict guidelines. An office space with storage is less restrictive. Continue reading
The emergency plan formatted by the Local Emergency Planning Committee, or LEPC, was presented to the Marshall County Commissioners for approval Monday morning.
LEPC President Gene Gray told the commissioners that the plan is in line with the county emergency plan so it will not confuse emergency responders. There are maps and site plans within the emergency plan for 85 county facilities.
Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler
The Starke County Commissioners could vote tonight to offer highway superintendent Rik Ritzler a long-term contract. President of the Commissioners Jennifer Davis is spearheading the effort to ensure the long-term road repair and bridge maintenance plans for the county are carried out. However, she does not plan to vote on the measure since she is stepping down as commissioner to take a seat on the county council. Continue reading
Starke County Coroner-Elect Adam Gray will talk to the Starke County Council about funds for body storage when they meet this evening. Gray is the first non-funeral director to be elected coroner in several years. In the past, the funeral directors have used their facilities to store bodies until they are claimed. Continue reading
The Marshall County Commissioners will meet this morning with several business items up for discussion.
Joe Edwards with SRI, Inc. will appear to explain the process of a certificate sale. Treasurer Deb Vandemark told the commissioners previously that several properties have not sold in the county’s tax sale that have been up for sale for many years. The certificate sale would be a way to get the properties back on the tax rolls.
The Pulaski County Council this week approved a request from Circuit Judge Michael Shurn to buy a new high-volume shredder for his office. Shurn told the council he found a self-feeding 28-gallon model for $1,883.31. Continue reading
The Pulaski County Community Development Commission may apply for a state grant to provide job skills training to high school students. County economic development director Nathan P. Origer says funds are available through the Career and Technical Education Innovative Curriculum Grant program to set up industrial repair and maintenance training programs at Winamac Community and West Central High Schools. Origer says it is a really high-demand occupation in the manufacturing sector locally and regionally. Continue reading
Pulaski County Sheriff’s Dept. Cpl. Paul Grandstaff
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department is fully staffed again, with one notable exception. Cpl. Paul Grandstaff has tendered his retirement after 26 years with the department. Sheriff Mike Gayer says he’s on leave through the end of the year using up accumulated vacation and comp days. Continue reading