Today's News

Starke County Sheriff’s Department Warns of Scam

If you get a call from a relative requesting bail money, make sure the person is really in jail before you rush to their aid. Officials with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department say scammers are preying on local residents in an attempt to swindle money from them. The caller tells the potential victim they need money to get out of jail and will pay them back when they go to court. 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

IU Health LaPorte and Starke Hospitals Searching for New Strategic Partner

IU HealthIU Health officials are looking for a new strategic partner to serve the health care needs of Starke and LaPorte Counties. Leadership  has decided that’s the best approach to create the strongest strategy going forward, according to a news release. IU Health LaPorte Hospital President and CEO G. Thor Thordarson said in a statement, “We have a strong plan for taking care of our community that includes investing in new facilities, best people, and leading-edge technology. We will work with an organization that is as dedicated as we are to this mission.”

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Nominate a Candidate for the Henry F. Schricker Award

Henry Schricker

Henry F. Schricker

Nominations for the coveted Henry F. Schricker award are being accepted until Tuesday, Sept. 30.

The award is given to a Starke County resident who has shown that he or she has put “service before self”. That was the motto of former governor Henry F. Schricker who exemplified that action while in office and as a upstanding resident of Starke County.

The Starke County Chamber of Commerce will review all submissions and a committee of former award winners will select this year’s recipient. A nomination form is available on the Starke County Chamber’s website at Include the qualities and deeds of your nominee. The entry should include the person’s voluntary contributions and benefits to Starke County.

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Blue Star Mothers Honoring Veterans in Weekend Event

Senator Joe Donnelly and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski will be honoring area veterans along with Blue Star Mothers this coming weekend.

A parade will be organized for veterans and their families to assemble behind Five Star at 8 a.m CDT. The start time for the parade is 10 a.m. and will run from Five Star to the courthouse.

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Prepare for Possible Severe Weather

Strong storms packing high winds are possible across the Kankakee Valley today. Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti says the full oliage on the trees will cause them to act like kites and blow in the wind. As a result, the potential for lost power will be high. Continue reading

Starke County Highway Department Finishes Bridge Maintenance

Starke County Highway Department workers add rip rap to bridges.

Starke County Highway Department workers add rip rap to bridges.

Starke County’s annual bridge maintenance program is almost complete. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says the county is awaiting the final inspection on each of the 58 bridges. Crews cleaned the deck and drains on each bridge, sealed all of the concrete decks, made minor repairs and added rip rap to about half of the structures to help prevent erosion. Once the inspections are complete a full report will be posted on the county’s website.




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

Endowment Fund Established for Starke County Youth Club

The Starke County Youth Club is the recipient of a $5,000 Sustainability Fund grant from the Northern Indiana Community Foundation. SCYC Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says the money will be used to establish an endowment to support the youth club’s work and mission. Funds in the endowment are invested, and a portion of the interest comes back to the organization each year to help offset operating expenses. 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

Planning Commission Working to Rid County of Unsafe Structures

The Starke County Planning Commission is busy ridding the county of blighted and vacant homes. In the past four months, 18 enforcement letters have been sent out for unsafe structures, and 15 property owners have taken care of the problems themselves. The county will demolish three unsafe structures. Of those, two are already down. Dirtworks Excavating, J.D. Excavating and Pioneer Excavating have each volunteered to demolish one structure at no cost to the county. Planning Commission President Dennis Estok is pleased with the process.

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Walorski Tours SCILL Center Welding Lab

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski toured the SCILL Center welding lab and met with students, instructors, Knox Community School Corporation officials and industry leaders.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski toured the SCILL Center welding lab and met with students, instructors, Knox Community School Corporation officials and industry leaders.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski is impressed with the workforce training that’s taking place at the SCILL Center welding lab. She stopped there yesterday as part of her district-wide education tour. 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

Another Step Forward Walking Challenge Ends

Moving Starke County Forward’s Another Step Forward walking challenge has ended for 2014.

Those who have participated in the effort since Memorial Day will need to send in their total steps to The deadline to send in steps will be Friday, Sept. 5.

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Students Thriving at The Crossing

Starke County's Crossing campus is located next to Save a Lot on U.S. 35 south of Knox.

Starke County’s Crossing campus is located next to Save a Lot on U.S. 35 south of Knox.

The 29 students enrolled at Starke County’s newest school are thriving in the non-traditional learning environment. The Crossing alternative school opened recently and offers a second chance to students who have been expelled from or dropped out of public schools. Principal Quentin Bishop says the school is an extension of the students’ sending schools.

“This is like a classroom just down the road from their sending school. We have that type of relationship, that type of partnership to say we’re not only just The Crossing Education Center working as an independent school. We’re actually in partnership with our public schools,” Bishop said. Continue reading

SCILL Offers Adult Welding Classes

SCILLAdults who want to learn to weld or enhance their skills can take advantage of opportunities offered through the Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning. Classes offered through the SCILL Center’s Adult Welding Technology program meet two evenings per week for four hours at a time for 12 weeks. 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