Today's News

Hamlet-Davis Township Fire Station Groundbreaking Scheduled

The new fire station will be built between the Starke County Fairgrounds and the Wayne Apartments in Hamlet.

The new fire station will be built between the Starke County Fairgrounds and the Wayne Apartments in Hamlet.

A ground breaking ceremony is set for Saturday in Hamlet for a new 9,300 square-foot fire house. While some ground has already been moved at the site, just east of the Starke County Fairgrounds on County Road 500-North, the “official” ceremony is set for 10 a.m. tomorrow morning. Construction is expected to start in the spring. Continue reading

Sysco Merger Could Put Starke County Site Back in Play

 Houston, Texas-based Sysco Corporation’s planned merger with Rosemont, Ill.-based U.S. Foods could bode well for Starke County. Sysco bought 320 acres of land south of U.S. 30 in 2007 after announcing plans to build a redistribution center near Hamlet. At the time the company said the expansion would create 500 local jobs. The project stalled in 2009 due to the weak national economy. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver told the county council this week Sysco still plans to develop the site but has not announced a timeline for doing so. Continue reading

Oregon-Davis FFA Members Advance to State Competition

Members of the Oregon-Davis Future Farmers of America chapter are heading to state next month. All eight students who took part in the Area X Crops Judging/Forestry/Entomology CDE at at Plymouth High School on Monday qualified to advance to the state-level competition at Purdue on Saturday, Dec. 13. Continue reading

Oregon-Davis Adopts Balanced Calendar Concept

Oregon-Davis-Jr_Sr-BuildingThe Oregon-Davis School Corporation is the first in the area to adopt the balanced calendar concept. The school board voted 5-to-1 in favor of the plan, with board member Lee Nagai casting the lone no vote. Continue reading

Starke County Schools Considering Balanced Calendar

CalendarThe Knox and Oregon-Davis School Boards could vote tonight to adopt a balanced school calendar for the 2015-2016 school year, and the North Judson-San Pierre School Board will consider one when they meet tomorrow. A balanced calendar still features the state-mandated 180 classroom days. The school year starts earlier in August and includes longer breaks in the fall and spring. They can be used for either remediation for students who are struggling or enrichment for higher-achieving pupils. Continue reading

Bids Accepted for Hamlet-Davis Township Fire Station

The new fire station will be built between the Starke County Fairgrounds and the Wayne Apartments in Hamlet.

The new fire station will be built between the Starke County Fairgrounds and the Wayne Apartments in Hamlet.

The plans for the new Hamlet-Davis Township Fire Department building moved forward last night at a joint meeting of the Davis Township Advisory Board and the Davis Township Building Corporation. Construction bids totaling $665,681.00 from seven contractors for the $870,000 project were accepted. There is no re-bidding required. Continue reading

Hamlet Officials Hope to Sell Vacant Lot

Hamlet Town HallThe Town of Hamlet is offering for sale a vacant downtown property at the corner of Davis and Main Streets, east of the Rannells Funeral Home. The Town clerk has details for those interested in purchasing the property.

At its Wednesday meeting, the Town Board adopted a 2015 operating budget of $488,211.

Five residents have financially completed their 50-50 sidewalk replacement agreements. Construction is expected to start early next week. The Board plans to replace some of the sidewalk at the Town Hall entrance.

When the 3-man board convened as the Park Board it approved a $4,500 purchase of new playground equipment for toddlers.

Three Injured in U.S. 30 Accident

Three people were injured in a traffic accident on U.S. 30 at Knoll Brothers in Starke County this morning.

Starke County deputies conducted an investigation and found that a semi truck pulled out of the truck stop headed west on U.S. 30 when a driver in an SUV traveling in the same direction rear-ended the semi, according to witness accounts released in a news release by the sheriff’s department. The SUV rolled on its side. The SUV was pulling a wood chipper at the time of the accident. The semi was stopped four-tenths of a mile west of the scene on U.S. 30.

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Oregon-Davis School Board Holds Discussion on Balanced Calendar

Oregon-Davis-Jr_Sr-BuildingThe Oregon-Davis School Board members discussed moving to a balanced calendar Monday night, but did not take action.

Superintendent Greg Briles said the board is considering several factors before they settle on a calendar.

Continue reading

Davis Township Officials Open Fire Station Bids

The new fire station will be built between the Starke County Fairgrounds and the Wayne Apartments in Hamlet.

The new fire station will be built between the Starke County Fairgrounds and the Wayne Apartments in Hamlet.

Bids submitted Monday for the construction of a new Hamlet-Davis Township fire department building were described by the Pyramid Architecture/Engineering and Construction representative as

“a lot better” than the previously submitted bids.

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Oregon-Davis School Board to Consider Balanced Calendar

Oregon-Davis-Jr_Sr-BuildingThe Oregon-Davis School Board will be considering a balanced calendar during their meeting tonight.

During their last meeting, Superintendent Greg Briles gave the board a couple of different calendars to study. Briles stated that the calenders are very similar in that they have 180 days of student instruction and 184 says for staff which is outlined in their contract. The calendars would include a break in the fall and an intersession to be coordinated with the Starke County Youth Club for remediation purposes. The first day of school would be Aug. 1 and last day would be June 1.

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Oregon-Davis Schools Considering Active Shooter App

O-D school resource officers Kyle Hinds and Frank Lonigro discuss the School Guard app and program with marketing consultant Tim Guy.

O-D school resource officers Kyle Hinds and Frank Lonigro discuss the School Guard app and program with marketing consultant Tim Guy.

The Oregon-Davis School Corporation is considering the addition of a smartphone app to quickly notify law enforcement of an active shooter or other emergency. School Guard creates a direct link between teachers, staff and nearby law enforcement officers. The app has a panic button that speed dials 911 and instantly sends an alert directly to nearby law enforcement officers with the companion free Hero 911 app on their phones. Continue reading

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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Hamlet Firefighters Teach O-D Students about Fire Safety

Fireman Kyle Hinds, Frank Lonigro, Dave Aquino and Brad Hazelton teach students a fire prevention class

Fireman Kyle Hinds, Frank Lonigro, Dave Aquino and Brad Hazelton teach students a fire prevention class

Firefighters have been educating students on fire safety during Fire Prevention Week.

Hamlet Fire Department members were at the Oregon-Davis Elementary School on Wednesday morning where the students were taught basic prevention skills. The students were also given a demonstration of the extrication tool.

The firefighters challenged the students to remind parents to change the batteries in smoke detectors and to discuss a meeting place outside of the home in the case of a fire. Fire drills should be practiced and a back up plan in place in case of emergency situations.

Continue reading

New Veterans Monument Almost Complete

The Fletcher Cemetery Association is raising money to restore this veterans monument.

The restoration of the veterans monument in Fletcher Cemetery is almost complete. This photo was taken prior to the start of the work.

The refurbished veterans monument at Fletcher Cemetery is almost finished. Members of the Fletcher Cemetery Association have been collecting donations to move the structure east of its original location, pour a new foundation and surround it with commemorative bricks. Continue reading

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

Hamlet Council Approves 50/50 Sidewalk Replacement Contract

The 50/50 sidewalk replacement program in the Town of Hamlet has moved forward with the approval of a bid from Covenant Concrete for a total of of six projects. The bid, at $19,761, was lower than one other bid received for the work. The town has set aside $10,000 for its portion of the sidewalk replacement program.  Continue reading

Voter Registration Ends Monday

The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 4 and in order to cast your important vote you need to be properly registered.

Voter registration is open this week at all county clerk’s offices. The last day to register to vote is Monday, Oct. 6. You must be registered by the end of the business day on Oct. 6 in order to vote in the November election.

If you need to register to vote or have questions about your current registration, call the Starke County clerk’s office at (574) 772-9160, the Pulaski County clerk’s office at (574) 946-3313 or the Marshall County Clerk’s office at (574) 936-8922. Election and registration information can also be found on the state’s website.

Absentee voting in all three counties begins Tuesday, Oct. 7.

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