Today's News

Starke County Commissioners Award Jail Courtroom Bids

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.

Work on the courtroom at the new Starke County Jail east of Knox should start the first week of February and be done by the end of April. The county commissioners awarded bids for the project during their meeting last night. Continue reading

Flu Season Affecting Starke County

The seasonal flu virus is circulating nationwide and the Starke County Health Department says there are a few things you can do to keep your family healthy.

Influenza is a respiratory virus that can lead to various symptoms such as a stuffy nose, coughing, and body aches according to the Centers for Disease Control. This year, a stronger strain of the Influenza A virus is spreading in the U.S.
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College Financial Aid Workshop Scheduled at Knox High School

College financial aidGet answers to all of your questions about applying for financial aid during an upcoming workshop at Knox High School. Ancilla College Executive Director of Admissions Eric Wignall says filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA makes you eligible for need-based assistance, including student loans and state and federal grants. Continue reading

Tax Professionals Prepare for Filing Season

Individuals can begin filing their taxes today, and area tax professionals say a bit of assistance can help reduce tax liability.

Changes in the tax code take effect each year. According to H&R Block Tax Professional Michelle Bachtel, individuals will need to ensure that this year they don’t overlook steps when it comes to reconciling their healthcare situation.
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Knox Residents to Help Decide Fireworks Date

 Knox Mayor Rick Chambers and the Knox City Council members want the citizens of Knox decide when to hold the fireworks celebration in July.

The council members held discussion last week on a date to hold the fireworks. The Fourth of July is on a Saturday this year which would be the ideal date to hold the celebration, but the council doesn’t want to interfere with family plans residents may have for the day. However, it is the official holiday and the council members thought it would be appropriate to hold the display on the Fourth of July.

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Starke County Commissioners, Building Corporation to Award Jail Courtroom Bids

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.

The Starke County Commissioners are expected to award bids this evening for the interior build-out of the Starke County Jail Courtroom. The commissioners received eight bids for general services and four each for mechanical and electrical work. Representatives from Skillman Corporation took them under advisement at the Jan. 8 bid opening and have reviewed them to make sure they meet the specifications outlined in the project documents. Base bids range from a low of $167,500 to a high of $227,250, with five alternates each. Continue reading

Knox City Council Approves Lease to Purchase Truck

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council members entered into a lease to purchase a truck for the street department.

The Board of Works approved quotes for the truck $118,808.75 in December but papers could not be signed until after the first of the year. It will be financed through Republic First National Bank at 3.11 percent interest. The quotes for the truck and for the interest rate came in lower than originally thought.

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Indiana House Makes Another Attempt To Dissolve Township Government

Indiana Statehouse

Indiana Statehouse

Starke County Townships could be affected if another attempt to transfer their duties to the county level is successful.

House Bill 1309 was recently filed and looks to dissolve township governments. The transition would take place by 2019. Starke County has nine townships with hundreds more in the state of Indiana.

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Knox City Council Reorganizes, Makes Appointments

City_of_Knox_LogoThe Knox City Council council members voted to retain Don Kring as the president of the city council when they reorganized this week.

David Matsey was retained as the city attorney along with Jeff Borg as street superintendent, Todd Gardner as water superintendent, Kelly Clemons as wastewater superintendent, Bruce Williams as planning commission administrator, Clint Norem as police chief and Kenny Pfost as fire chief. Cliff Shelhart was appointed as the animal control officer.

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Grant Leads to Lower Pet Services Cost

Pulaski Animal CenterThe Pulaski Animal Center will be reducing the cost of spaying and neutering your pets.

Millions of animals are entered into shelters around the country each year due to overpopulation and a general inability to care for the animals. This can lead to overcrowding in facilities and eventually euthanizing the animals that can’t find homes.
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Radon Testing More Accurate In Winter

January is considered an optimal time to conduct radon tests in your home or business.

The Environmental Protection Agency has decided to designate January as national Radon Action Month. Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that can lead to numerous health problems.
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Knox City Council Member Not Seeking Re-election

Linda Berndt

Linda Berndt

Knox City Councilwoman Linda Berndt announced to her fellow council members Tuesday night that she will not seek another term on the Knox City Council in this year’s Municipal Election.

This is her 20th year in serving as a councilwoman on the Knox City Council. She stated that it was a difficult decision to make, but this would give another citizen the chance to be a part of Knox government. She made it a point to encourage the council to work together for the rest of this year and in the future in preserving the resources that Knox has. Those resources include water, sanitation, police coverage, and fire protection. Work on economic growth and the retention of businesses and industries will also continue throughout the year.

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College Success Coalition Looks to Improve Educational Access

 Starke County organizations are being asked to help provide more students and adults access to higher education

The College Success Coalition is newly formed and is sending a steering committee to attend workshops in Plymouth. Starke County will join about 20 other Indiana counties for the sessions as they develop the coalition.
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Agriculture Property Taxes Come Under Scrutiny

Property tax bills are planned to go up for area farmers, but efforts are in the works to temporarily halt the increase once again.

According to Starke County Assessor Rhonda Milner, the Department of Local Government Finance uses a formula each year to determine the agricultural base rate. This is combined with other factors, including the soil productivity factor to determine the taxable value.
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Knox City Council Tables Second Reading of Dumpster Ordinance

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

Knox City Attorney David Matsey will narrow the focus of the proposed dumpster ordinance before the city council approves the second reading.

The city council members last night reviewed the plan commission’s recommendations for the proposed ordinance. The commission members had issues with the definition of a dumpster and how the document would apply to the business sector of the city. They also felt that the time limits in the ordinance conflict with one another.

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Knox Holds Second Hearing For Block Grant Program

City of Knox logoThe second of two public hearings was held yesterday afternoon by the Town of Knox for a Housing and Urban Development Block Grant.

The grant is designed to assist those who meet certain income and living requirements to help repair portions of their homes. Yesterday’s hearing updated those receiving assistance on the progress of the grant program.
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Area Schools Could Benefit From Community College Proposal

 Ivy Tech Community College says they may become more accessible if one of President Barack Obama’s proposals makes it through Congress.

The President announced last week his intent to significantly reduce the cost of attending community college. The multi-billion dollar program intends to largely pay for the cost of the first two years of tuition for students maintaining a certain grade point average. This could have implications locally.
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Knox City Council to Discuss Dumpster Ordinance

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council will tackle the dumpster ordinance when they meet to work toward the second reading of the document tonight.

The council members wanted the opinion of the members of the plan commission before they approved the second reading of the ordinance. When the plan commission members met last week, they came up with several issues. Among the comments included the definition of dumpsters which they felt is too broad. They also thought the original purpose of the ordinance may have been for roll-off containers on public property and not all dumpsters. Location restrictions and time limits were additional concerns. The council will go through the plan commission’s comments when that agenda item comes up for discussion.

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Indiana AARP Hoping to Influence Retirement Savings, Caregivers

Indiana Statehouse

Indiana Statehouse

Two bills are being pushed by the AARP in Indiana during this session of the General Assembly and they look to help two different issues.

About half of Americans aged 50-years and older have less than 25-thousand dollars in retirement savings. To help solve this problem, the AARP is proposing the Hoosier Employee Retirement Option, otherwise known as the “HERO Plan.”
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