Starke County Officials Approve Hospital Lease Extension


The Starke County Commissioners last night approved another extension of the lease deadline with Starke Hospital. The county owns the land and building at the corner of Culver Road and South Heaton Street in Knox. Starke Hospital wants to build a new facility there. Once it’s finished they plan to tear down the current building and use that spot for parking and green space. Continue reading

Starke County Officials Struggle With Jail Budget

Starke County Justice CenterStarke County officials are looking at short and long-term ways to shore up operating expenses at the new jail. It has been open for about a year, and budgeted operating costs were based on an actuarial study done for the county. Information shared during last night’s joint meeting of the council and commissioners indicates those recommendations may have been based on flawed information. Continue reading

Starke Hospital CEO Discusses New Facility Plans


Negotiations between the county and the new owners of Starke Hospital regarding the construction of a new facility on the existing site are ongoing. The county owns the current building at the corner of Heaton Street and Culver Road in Knox and the land on which is sits, but the hospital is operated by Community Health Systems. Starke Hospital CEO Craig Felty says they’re making progress in negotiations with the county for a new lease. Continue reading

Starke County Officials to Discuss Jail Operating Costs

Starke County Justice CenterThe Starke County Council and Commissioners will meet in special session this evening to discuss the sheriff department budget. Last month the council deferred Sheriff Bill Dulin’s request for an additional appropriation until they can get a handle on expenses at the justice center. The new jail has been open for about a year, and budgeted operating costs were based on an actuarial study done for the county. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Discuss Options for Coroner Space

Glove factory
Part of the former Pariso Industrial Glove Manufacturing Company building in Knox could soon be converted into morgue space for the Starke County Coroner’s office.

The Starke County Commissioners are still trying to find permanent space for the coroner’s office. It’s presently located at the old jail across from the courthouse. However, that space is due to be renovated later this year into offices for Starke County Community Corrections, the probation department and Purdue Extension. Continue reading

Starke Commissioners Amend Unsafe Building Ordinance

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Commissioners adopted amendments to the county’s unsafe building ordinance last night amid enthusiastic support from members of the public. Koontz Lake residents in particular attended the meeting and expressed frustration with the prevalence of visible junk vehicles, trash and other debris they say are driving down property values and affecting quality of life. Concerns were also raised about trash that’s not properly disposed of attracting rodents and potentially spreading diseases. Continue reading

Council to Discuss Additional Transportation Funds

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Council will consider a proposal from the highway superintendent with regard to additional state transportation funds when they meet this evening. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler assembled a road funding committee to discuss options for the one-time appropriation from the state. He also hopes to come up with the required local match to draw down additional funds in order to free up $1 million for additional uses throughout the county over the next five years. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Approve Overtime Policy for Sheriff’s Employees

Starke County Sheriff's Department BadgeThe Starke County Sheriff’s Office can keep a better budgetary handle on overtime for sheriff’s deputies, investigators and correctional officers thanks to action this week by the county commissioners. They adopted an ordinance to modify their pay periods for the purpose of overtime to 48 hours instead of 40. County attorney Marty Lucas says federal law provides a partial overtime exemption for uniformed, plainclothes and corrections officers because of the way their hours are typically structured. Continue reading

Starke Commissioners to Continue Courthouse Renovation Talks

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Commissioners will continue their discussion of renovation plans for the old jail and courthouse when they meet this evening. Last week officials met with representatives from the Starke County Historical Society to review the plans and get their blessing, since the courthouse is the oldest building in the county. Work is scheduled to start in July and wrap up by the end of the year, according to a previously announced timeline. Continue reading