Moving Starke County Forward Hosts Overdose Awareness Service

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Aaron Kochar from Porter-Starke Services lights a candle in memory of a life lost to a drug overdose. A total of 61 candles were lit during last evening’s ceremony.

Community members paused last night at Wythogan Park to celebrate the 61 Starke County lives lost to drug overdoses over the past seven years as well as those who are in long-term recovery. Aaron Kochar is the director of prevention and education at Porter-Starke Services. He says people are now more likely to die from a fatal overdose than from a car accident.

“Up until last year, if you died in an accident it was some sort of motor vehicle accident. Now it’s overdose. Another statistic that is concerning is the fact that while a number of people will die in overdose from heroin, in fact we’ve got about three times the number who will die from a prescription opioid overdose.” Continue reading

Sunday Vigil to Mark International Overdose Awareness Day

Overdose awareness
The ribbons on the lawn at IU Health Starke Hospital represent local victims of overdoses over the past seven years.

Moving Starke County Forward is trying to take the stigma out of drug overdoses with a Sunday evening event at Wythogan Park in Knox. Advocates and community members will remember the 61 lives lost in Starke County with a candlelight vigil and share information about the perils and pitfalls of drug use. Jordan Morris from Starke County Community Corrections says people who use drugs are less likely to be aware of the potential consequences of their actions. She  says common rationalizations include “I know my limit” or “I always test what I get first, so I know the strength of it.” She adds mixing different types of drugs can often prove fatal. Continue reading

Overdose Awareness Day Event Planned in Starke County

Overdose awareness
The ribbons on the lawn at IU Health Starke Hospital represent local victims of overdoses over the past seven years.

Starke County holds the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of average accidental poisoning by exposure to drugs, medications and biological substances in 2009 and 2010. That’s according to mortality data from the Indiana State Department of Health. Local leaders are working to raise awareness of the problem. They’ve placed 61 ribbons on the lawn at IU Health Starke Hospital – one for each of the lives lost to drug overdose over the past seven years. Continue reading

Would You Walk 500 Miles?

movingstarkeforwardIf you could lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity by implementing exercise into your daily regiment, why wouldn’t you? What if I told you aside from improving your health, you could also potentially win prizes, feeling more motivated? Moving Starke County forward is a local initiative that lasts all summer long, aimed at getting members of the county up and moving. Continue reading

Sign up for This Summer’s Moving Starke County Forward Challenge


Members of the Moving Starke County Forward organization are still accepting registration for this year’s Healthy Challenge Series. It’s the summer campaign to get Starke County residents up and active to help curb the county’s poor health status.

Residents are encouraged to walk, bike or run. Record steps taken in the next two weeks to reach a goal of 250 miles by the end of May. Since the series follows a NASCAR theme, the first “race” to 250 miles is the Daytona 250 and ends May 23. A new goal will be announced following this “race”.

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Moving Starke County Forward Healthy Challenge Series Begins Saturday


This year’s Moving Starke County Forward summer challenge is about ready to begin.

The kick-off event for the NASCAR-themed Healthy Challenge Series is set for this Saturday, May 2 at Wythogan Park at 10 a.m. Participants will start the Healthy Challenge Series by walking the pace lap around the park after the sign-up process.

Residents are urged to log steps that could include walking, biking, running, swimming, or hiking for a chance to win some NASCAR prizes. Steps or miles will be recorded every two weeks to reach a certain goal during that time. The first goal will be the Daytona 250. Participants are encouraged to log activity totaling 250 miles by May 16. Details on how to report those steps will be released this week. A different goal will be released shortly before the first deadline.

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Moving Starke County Forward Announces Summer Challenge


The Moving Starke County Forward organization is ready to “race” into the summer with this year’s walking challenge.

The theme this year is patterned after NASCAR races to see if all participants can reach the lap goal every two weeks with the number of miles walked, ran, biked, or swam. The Healthy Challenge Series, a healthy reference to NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, will begin on May 2 with the kick-off event at 10 a.m. in Wythogan Park. An inaugural pace lap will officially start the event that will continue through Aug. 29.

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Enroll Now for Freedom from Smoking Classes


If you made a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking, you will soon have a program to help you stay smoke-free, presented by IU Health Starke Hospital, Moving Starke County Forward and Porter-Starke Services.

Cindy Reister, who is an American Lung Association-trained facilitator, will lead eight small group sessions to help participants get personalized attention to quit smoking. Evaluation studies show that individuals, who participate in small group sessions like this Freedom from Smoking Clinic, are more likely to stay smoke-free one year later than those who try to quit on their own.

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Many Activities Going on in Knox this Weekend


Downtown Knox will be bustling today with a veteran’s parade and the free WoodStarke Festival at Wythogan Park. The parade organized by the Blue Star Mothers will begin at 10 a.m. CT at Five Star and concludes at the Starke County Courthouse. U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, Representative Jackie Walorski and veterans will speak on the courthouse steps after the parade concludes. Veterans, service members and their families are invited afterward to lunch at Knox United Methodist Church. Continue reading

WoodStarke Festival Planned Tomorrow in Knox

woodstarkeThe inaugural WoodStarke Festival at Wythogan Park in Knox promises a day full of healthy, family fun. A group of volunteers has put together a slate of activities. They will be set to a background of music by local, original bands from genres ranging from bluegrass and bagpipes to hard rock. Performers include Commander, Culver Pipes and Drums, Jerry Nenycz, Damien Acoustics, Adam Combs, Josh Grace, 10 Gauge, Welder and Company, South of Sorrow and Seldom Told.  Continue reading

Artists and Farmers Wanted for WoodStarke Festival

woodstarkeOrganizers of next weekend’s WoodStarke Festival at Wythogan Park in Knox are looking for vendors for the farmer’s market and artists who would like to display their wares. The Art in the Park area will be along the walkway near the Yellow River. Participants must bring their own easels or other displays. Sales are not allowed during the event, but arrangements may be made for later purchase. Continue reading

Turn in Steps for Another Step Forward


The Moving Starke County Forward organization’s Another Step Forward walking challenge is drawing to a close.

If you are taking part in the challenge, officials ask that you turn in your steps so they can be added to the grand total. Walking, biking, running and swimming all count toward the total. Send in your statistics to

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Another Step Forward Campaign Moving Forward


The Moving Starke County Forward organization’s Another Step Forward campaign is rolling right along.

The organization signed up several walkers, runners, bikers and swimmers in May to take part in making Starke County a healthier place to live. So far, 6,000 miles have been recorded. Officials ask that you turn in your steps as often as possible so miles can be added to the total.

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Moving Starke County Forward Schedules Community Addiction Discussion


The Moving Starke County Forward Coalition wants input from the entire community about how to best address addiction issues. They are hosting a community discussion on addiction and recovery tomorrow evening at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in downtown Knox. Board member Jordan Morris from Starke County Community Corrections hopes people from all walks of life will come be part of the dialogue and not worry about being profiled or judged. She says although people who have struggled with addiction will speak, the event is not limited to that population. Morris adds the entire community has been touched by the issue as taxpayers, business owners, health care providers, farmers and teachers. Continue reading