Today's News

Final Park Board Appointments Pending

The Starke County Park Board is two members away from being populated. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall is responsible for appointing a Democrat and a Republican to the five-member board. He advised WKVI News he is still reviewing the qualifications of potential members and expects to make a decision soon. Continue reading

Starke County Council, Commissioners Make Park Board Appointments

starke-county-courthouseThe recently formed Starke County Park Board is two members away from being populated. The county council appointed Democrat Rosemary Rose and Republican Debbie Mix to the five-member panel. The commissioners named Marsha Bedrock as their appointee. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall has the remaining two appointments to the board. State law requires him to appoint one Democrat and one Republican. All five initial terms will be staggered. The council appointees will serve for two and four years, the commissioners appointee for two and the judge’s appointees for one and three years. Continue reading

Starke County Park Board Appointments Expected Tonight

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Council and Commissioners are expected to make their appointments to the county park and recreation board at their respective meetings this evening. The council gets two appointments, one Democrat and one Republican. The commissioners get one appointment, and it is not restricted by political party affiliation. Continue reading

Starke County Sees Spike in Workers’ Compensation Premiums

starke-county-courthouseWorkers’ compensation insurance premiums for Starke County employees have spiked for the coming year. The annual increase of nearly $60,000 is blamed on the county’s prior claims history. Premiums are determined based on three years worth of data. Continue reading

Road Maintenance Continuing in Starke County

Starke County Highway Department crews are busy this week re-stoning gravel roads.

Starke County Highway Department crews are busy this week re-stoning gravel roads.

The Starke County Highway Department is on pace to meet and possibly exceed its road improvement goals for the year. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says they paved 10 miles of roadway in August at a cost of slightly more than $21,000 per mile. He says they may add to that total by the end of September. Continue reading

Starke County Highway Department Preparing for Winter Weather

 Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler is shopping for less expensive road salt to use this winter. He told the county commissioners he’s already got one contract in place through the state bid process but is attempting to negotiate better prices with other suppliers who lost out on the state bid. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Set EMS Interview Date

The Starke County Commissioners plan to interview six applicants for the EMS director position on Tuesday, Sept. 23. All six either live in Starke County or work for Starke County EMS. Other applicants will be considered as part of a secondary list. Continue reading

New Starke County Jail Still On Schedule and On Budget

This building on SR 8 at CR 550 E is part of the new Starke County Sheriff's Office and Detention Center.

This building on SR 8 at CR 550 E is part of the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center.

Construction of the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center is still on schedule to wrap up next spring. Information shared with the Starke County Building Corporation indicates the metal addition to the rear of the existing building on State Road 8 east of Knox is 80-percent finished. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners to Revisit Employee Work Restrictions

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Commissioners have asked the county attorney to look into work restrictions for county employees who have been cleared to return to work by their physicians but are still under restrictions. Interim EMS Director Keith Emigh asked about the county’s policy during the most recent regular commissioners meeting and was told employees cannot return to work unless they can perform all of their required job duties. The commissioners last week asked county attorney Marty Lucas to further research the issue and placed the matter on the agenda for their meeting this morning. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Broaden EMS Director Search

The Starke County Commissioners have changed the job criteria for the EMS director in order to expand the potential pool of applicants. Previously the county was only considering paramedics for the position. That has now been expanded to allow EMT’s to also apply for the opening. The job will pay between $38,000 and $45,000 per year, depending on experience, and the EMS director will have use of a county vehicle. Continue reading

Starke County Sheriff’s Department Set to Hire Deputies

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department is set to make offers of employment to two deputies. The county commissioners reviewed the merit board’s prioritized recommendations of the five applicants during an executive session meeting. Continue reading

Starke County Council Approves Transfers

starke-county-courthouseStarke County officials have funds available to shred government documents a committee has decided no longer need to be stored after action this week by the county council. They approved a transfer of up to $10,000 from the commissioners budget for that purpose. They stress that entire amount of money may not need to be spent for document disposal. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners to Repair Vehicle for EMS Director

Interim Starke County EMS Director Keith Emigh will continue to drive a county-issued four-wheel-drive until a recently retired patrol car is road ready. The vehicle Emigh is currently using to travel between the EMS bases in North Judson, Knox and Grovertown will be transferred to plan commission director Terry Stephenson. Continue reading

Starke County Council Working on 2015 Budget

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Council is in the process of crafting the 2015 budget. Once it’s finished, it will be published for taxpayer review. Council President Dave Pearman says that process is changing after this year. Continue reading

Nominations Sought for Starke County Park Board

The Bass Lake Beach and Campground are among the amenities the Starke County Park Board will oversee.

The Bass Lake Beach and Campground are among the amenities the Starke County Park Board will oversee.

Starke County officials are seeking nominations for volunteers to serve on the county park board. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall and the Starke County Council each have two nominations – one Democrat and one Republican. The Starke County Commissioners will select the fifth member. Political affiliation is not a consideration for the commissioners nominee. Continue reading

Starke County Tax Rates Unchanged for Upcoming Year

starke-county-courthouseStarke County’s local option income tax rates are not going up. The county council Monday set the rates for the County Adjusted Gross Income Tax (CAGIT) and County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) Funds and the Starke County Jail CEDIT. Continue reading

Fate of Bass Lake Seasonal Camping in Park Board’s Hands

Bass Lake Beach

The Starke County Park Board will oversee Bass Lake Beach and Campground

The future of seasonal camping at the Bass Lake Beach and Campground is in the hands of the five yet-to-be-named Starke County Park Board members. The county commissioners previously announced plans to limit camping to 15 days at a time after this season concludes but have not yet sent a formal notice to manager Richard Callahan and his attorney David Wallsmith. They contend those statements have caused damage to the business, as many campers are uncertain whether they will be able to return next year. Continue reading

Monthly Bass Lake Beach Report on Commissioners Agenda

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Commissioners will get their monthly management report for the Bass Lake Beach and Campground when they meet this evening. Manager Richard Callahan and his attorney Dave Wallsmith are first on the agenda for tonight’s 7 p.m. meeting at the Starke County Annex Building. The commissioners voted recently to limit camping to 15 days instead of allowing season-long leasing of campsites. Continue reading

County Officials Considering Uses for Existing Jail Building

starke-county-jail-outsideThe current Starke County Jail in downtown Knox will still be owned by the county and used for correctional programs once the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center east of Knox on State Road 8 opens next year. Commissioner Kathy Norem says the building is part of the collateral for the loan to build the new structure, so it cannot be sold or torn down and must be used in the justice arena. She says the county set aside money to renovate the building. Continue reading