Today's News

Work Continues to Find Placement of County Home Residents

Pleasant View Rest Home

Pleasant View Rest Home

Three residents remain at the Pleasant View Rest Home.

Attorney Jere Humphrey told WKVI News that one resident will be moving out of the facility next week while two others should be placed by the end of March. March 31 is forecast as the last day of operations at the county home.

Humphrey was hired by the commissioners to take care of finalizing plans and paperwork in order to close the county home. The Pulaski County Council voted last year by a majority to exclude funds for the Pleasant View Rest Home in this year’s budget. In December, the commissioners had no choice but to approve the closure of the facility due to lack of funding. It was learned that the county had to keep the county home open until the residents could find alternate housing. That deadline is March 31.

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Improvements are Being Made at Pulaski County Highway Department

Pulaski County Commissioners (L to R) Bud Krohn, Jr., Terry Young and Larry Brady

Pulaski County Commissioners (L to R) Bud Krohn, Jr., Terry Young and Larry Brady

The Pulaski County Commissioners said communication is getting better between the board members and the highway department.

It was announced in January that things needed to be changed at the highway department. The commissioners last week said the main issues were communication, and how to deal with problems and the policy book. That was according to Commissioner Terry Young, who spoke on behalf of the commissioners when the question was posed.

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Pulaski County Health Department Receives Grant

The Pulaski County Health Department received a reimbursable grant for supplies in the office.

Sherry Fagner told the commissioners this week that the State Department of Health Public Preparedness Base Grant is worth $13,460.

“We’re doing some updated packet printing for our partners. As far as supplies, we kind of have a lot of different things on there to update our Go Kits for our partners and to support a POD or any other event that we have to do,” explained Fagner.

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Starke County Conducts Certificate Sale

Starke County Courthouse

Starke County Courthouse

Nearly 75-percent of the properties offered as part of the recent Starke County Certificate Sale sold. A final report from the vendor that conducted the sale for the county indicates 36 of 47 properties sold Tuesday. All had previously been offered at tax sales and had not been sold. Both tax and certificate sales are designed to get properties back onto the county’s tax rolls. Continue reading

Repairs Almost Done at Justice Center, Focus Turns to Courthouse

Pulaski County CourthouseThe long-awaited repairs at the Pulaski County Justice Center are nearly complete.

Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston told the commissioners this week that the water softeners and the water heaters are installed, and all of the old units have been hauled away. Johnston said the HVAC systems should arrive this week or next week. He will coordinate with offices in the justice center for that equipment to be properly installed. The new control system will be added after that, but Johnston said that could be a while yet.

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Marshall County Commissioners Approve Funding for Fairgrounds Feasibility Study

There have been discussions on how to improve the property for the Marshall County 4-H program, and now a professional firm will step up and help.

While long-range plans have been discussed individually with the Marshall County Fair Board, there needs to be a focus of the board. Principal Architect Stephen Kromkowski from the DLZ Corporation in South Bend explained what would be in the feasibility study.

“We would meet with the primary users and understand your current operation and the site,” said Kromkowski. “There have been some discussions about some improvements on the fairgrounds itself. We’ll gather all of the information, so we understand what your needs are. We will document what you have now. We also do a site analysis to make sure that you don’t place a new building on an area that will cause some other difficulties down the road.”

A report will be produced to decide what the improvements can be and dollar amounts for those improvements. A priority list will be provided as Kromkowski said the improvements will most likely cost more than what funds are available.

Fair Board President Tammy Dickson said the board and others are excited to have a professional direction of how to improve the grounds for the successful program.

“The Marshall County program is a hugely successful program,” commented Dickson. “I know at the fair itself the judges come from all over and comment on the quality and level that Marshall County and it is very commendable. We want to continue to grow that program.”

Sponsors have donated money toward improvements, but an agreement couldn’t be reached on projects, but that is about to change.

Kromkowski commented that the report would take about 14 weeks to complete.

County Attorney Jim Clevenger suggested an inter-local agreement between DLZ and the county on behalf of the fair board be signed. The Commissioners approved funding for the study with the understanding that the fair board will need to follow through with the plan.

Starke County Council Hits Pause on Highway Department Pay Scale Request

starke-county-courthouseStarke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler’s request to reorganize the wage scale for truck drivers is on hold for right now. He presented the concept to the county council Monday evening as a way to level the playing field between new hires and experienced employees who have worked for the county for several years. Continue reading

Pulaski County Sheriff Updates Commissioners on Random Drug Tests, Military Equipment

Pulaski County Justice Center

Pulaski County Justice Center

A random drug test recently done on work release inmates at the Pulaski County Jail found positive results on five out of the six tested, according to Sheriff Jeff Richwine, who reported that to the commissioners this week.

“The stuff that’s getting in the back of that jail is getting there two ways: work release or employees. This time it was work release. None of it got back, but these guys, when they were at work, were taking drugs,” said Sheriff Richwine.

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Marshall County Commissioners Review Airport Comprehensive Plan

Plymouth Airport Manager Dave Lattimer presented the Marshall County Commissioners with the board’s comprehensive plan this week.

One of the projects that the board is anticipating is the widening of the runway, which Lattimer says is set to begin in the next several months.

“That involves widening our runway from 60 feet to 75 feet and rebuilding 4,400 feet of pavement,” Lattimer explained. “The next phase is to lengthen the runway. The magic number for an airport our size is 75 feet wide and 5,000 feet long.”

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Mick Tiede Relinquishes County Council Seat

A Republican caucus will be held next week to fill a vacancy on the Pulaski County Council.

Pulaski County Republican Chairman Blair Todd told WKVI News that the three precinct committeeman in Cass, White Post and Salem Townships will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. ET at the Pulaski County Public Library in Winamac to select a candidate in District 4.

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Grant Will Help Students with Industrial Maintenance Skills

Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer told the county commissioners last night that the county is the recipient of an $82,355 Region 1 Works Council for a Career and Technical Education (CTE) innovative-curriculum grant.

Origer said the grant will fund a Pulaski County Repair and Maintenance Technology (RAM-Tech) program at West Central High School to give students the skills they need to be successful in an industrial setting.

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Marshall County Commissioners Approve Move to E-Poll Books

Marshall County voters will soon have a new way to sign-in to vote at the polls.

Steve Shamo from KnowInk gave the commissioners a demonstration of how e-poll books can save a lot of hassle at voting sites. The voter’s Driver’s License is swiped into a reader that confirms the voter’s identity on an iPad screen. The voter then signs with a finger or iPad writing device. The poll worker can confirm that the Driver’s License signature matches the handwritten signature. The voter can also be manually input into the system. A receipt will print to show that the voter did sign in at the polls. Once that process is done, a legal ballot may be filled out and submitted.

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Marshall County Highway Department Commended for Efforts

 The Marshall County Commissioners commended the highway department on their efforts during the weekend to keep roads clear for travelers.

Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters said the crews went out Sunday morning as opposed to Saturday night as visibility was low and cars were stranded in the roadways.

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Starke County Officials to Discuss Staffing at New Jail

starke-county-courthouseStarke County Sheriff Bill Dulin will present the amended staffing report for the new jail to the county council and commissioners this evening. The facility east of Knox is scheduled to open in June and will require additional staff to handle the increased inmate capacity. Dulin will present the report to the council during their 5:30 p.m. meeting and to the commissioners when they meet at 6. Both sessions will take place at the county annex building. Continue reading

Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Today

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 meet today with a full agenda.

Plymouth Airport Director Dave Lattimer will present the airport board’s capital improvement plan while Superior Court II Judge Dean Colvin will appear with a video arraignment discussion. Clerk Deb Vandemark will discuss the KnoxInk E-pollbook with the commissioners.

County Attorney Jim Clevenger will present an ordinance and a resolution for approval. The final reading of the pre-pay ordinance will be considered. A tax certificate sale is expected to be signed. The tax certificate sale is scheduled for this spring.

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Starke County Tax Certificate Sale Planned

A live certificate tax sale is planned for Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. in the commissioners room in the Starke County Annex building. The sale will include delinquent properties that did not sell in the previous Starke County tax sale.

The county commissioners are authorized to offer a tax lien for sale of delinquent properties from a prior year’s county tax sale. In Tuesday’s sale, 47 previously unsold tax sale certificates will be featured and opening bids that equal less than the total amount due in delinquent taxes, costs and penalties.

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Presidents’ Day May Affect Government Operations

Today is Presidents’ Day. Presidents’ Day is set aside to honor George Washington. The holiday was celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday on Feb. 22, but the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February on Jan. 1, 1971 by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

The United States Postal Service will not be processing or delivering mail today. The Pulaski County Courthouse and government offices will be closed to observe the federal holiday. Starke County and Marshall County government offices will be open.

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Pulaski County Council Approves Advertisement for Surveyor Budget Appropriation

 The Pulaski County Council added a line item in the surveyor’s budget in order to finance attorney services and engineering costs.

In a joint session with the commissioners, it was explained that the attorney is doing extra litigation work that would need additional compensation to complete. Tim Murray is the attorney for the surveyor’s office.

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Marshall County Council Approves Chief Deputy Coroner Job Description

The Marshall County Council approved a recommendation from the personnel committee to include a job description for the chief deputy coroner in the handbook, a task that has been pending for a long time.

The position description submitted includes duties, job requirements, responsibilities, and physical effort. The chief deputy coroner is a part-time position and is appointed by the coroner. The appointee is responsible for assisting in investigating and certifying cause and manner of death in any suspicious, unusual or unnatural human death.

The duties include investigations, witness interviews and responses to family inquiries, determines the need for an autopsy and specimen draws as well as necessary documents. The chief deputy coroner is also responsible for the chain of custody of evidence and personal effects. He or she may also need to testify in legal proceedings if required.

A high school diploma or GED is required along with the ability to obtain and maintain required certifications, such as an Indiana Coroner’s Training Board Certification, within one year of appointment.

Coroner Bill Cleavenger and a representative of the personnel committee presented the document to the handbook that was unanimously passed. Cleavenger has appointed Bridget Hite as the chief deputy coroner.

Miscalculated Funds in Contract Results in Additional Appropriation

 Pulaski County Attorney Kevin Tankersley explained a unique contract situation to the county council this week and requested an additional appropriation to cover the contract.

Four County Counseling informed the commissioners in the last part of 2014 that the county owes the company for ten years of miscalculated funds. The contract is mandated by the state. Even though Tankersley pointed out to their attorney the fact that the county signed an agreement with Four County Counseling for a specific annual amount for the past ten years, the company claims that the county owes them $16,117.38.

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