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Starke County Officials Celebrate Completion of Highway Intersection

Starke County officials cut the ribbon to officially open the intersection of State Road 8 and County Road 300 East.

Starke County officials cut the ribbon to officially open the intersection of State Road 8 and County Road 300 East.

The intersection of State Road 8 and Starke County Road 300 East now has turn lanes, guardrails, acceleration and deceleration lanes. Members of the Starke County Council, County Commissioners and Starke County Economic Development Foundation Board of Directors celebrated the completion of the project with a ceremonial ribbon cutting Monday morning.

“This was extremely dangerous before for trucks and motor vehicles to come to pass. They couldn’t make the turns. If a truck wanted to go toward 35 from 300, they crossed both travel lanes into the berm,” Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver said.  Continue reading

Starke County Officials Celebrate Completion of Road Project

A major Starke County road project is substantially complete. Members of the county council and commissioners and officials from the Starke County Economic Development Commission will celebrate the reconstruction of the intersection of State Road 8 and 300 East later today. The intersection has been rebuilt to accommodate traffic to and from the Knox Industrial Park. It now features a turn lane and acceleration and deceleration lanes to help trucks more easily navigate the corner. Continue reading

Season Wrapping Up at Bass Lake Beach and Campground

Bass Lake Beach and Campground will soon close for the season. Manager Richard Callahan and his attorney Dave Wallsmith advised the Starke County Commissioners last night the group piers have been removed from the beach area and all but a few boats are out of the water. Wallsmith also told the commissioners he has not gotten any complaints about the amenities of late and has received complements about how nice and well maintained the facilities are. Continue reading

Starke County Council Sets Budget Adoptions

Starke County Courthouse

Starke County Courthouse

The Starke County Council will adopt budgets for several taxing units when they meet this evening. Their advance meeting agenda includes adoption of the county budget for the upcoming year as well as those for the Starke County Airport, Starke County Solid Waste and North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation. Continue reading

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Seeks Planning Grant

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is seeking a $15,000 grant to plan for future workforce needs through the SCILL Center. Executive Director Charlie Weaver says they are looking at the cost of implementing vocational and adult automation robotics equipment maintenance programs. He says there is a growing need for that skill set in manufacturing settings. Continue reading

Starke County Shreds Obsolete Records

starke-county-courthouseStarke County’s first attempt to shred obsolete files and records was successful in terms of both volume and cost, according to the county commissioners. A committee reviewed records and approved the ones to be shredded. County Maintenance Supervisor Jim Coad says they got rid of nine tons of paper for a cost of $2,222.76. 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.

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.

Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Award Bridge Replacement Bids

The Starke County Commissioners this week awarded bids to replace two bridges to a LaPorte-based contractor. LaPorte Construction Company was the low bidder for Bridge 70, which is located on 50 East south of 500 South across the Smith Ditch. Their price of $396,104.50 includes an additional 400 feet of pavement up to 500 South. They also submitted the low bid for Bridge 79 on 450 South over the Smith Ditch. JCI Bridge Group of LaPorte and Mishawaka-based Northern Indiana Construction Company also bid on both projects. Repairs to both bridges will be done in the spring.

Starke County Officials Studying Morgue Options

The Starke County EMS base in Grovertown is one possible location for a county morgue.

The Starke County EMS base in Grovertown is one possible location for a county morgue.

The Starke County Commissioners have tasked coroner-elect Adam Gray with finding a suitable space for a morgue. He told the commissioners he needs a completely secure facility to house the county’s cooler and provide a viewing area for family members should an identification need to be made. Gray says the cooler needs 16 feet of clearance. He adds a 20-by-20 space with concrete floors and metal walls will be adequate to meet the county’s needs. The commissioners suggested adding on to the west side of the existing Starke County EMS building in Grovertown or possibly building on another parcel of county-owned land. EMS Director Keith Emigh notes the ambulance garage is a bare-bones facility and said pipes freeze in cold weather. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Name EMS Director

Keith Emigh can remove the “interim” from his title as Starke County EMS Director. He’s been serving in that capacity since Paul Matthewson stepped down in July. Yesterday the commissioners offered Emigh the job on a permanent basis. He accepted their offer of the position for $40,000 per year with a $1,000 raise after his 90-day review. Emigh asked if he will be expected to run the service and also work a truck and was told that is his call to make as director. He was one of eight applicants interviewed for the position.

Starke County Commissioners Set to Name EMS Director

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Commissioners are set to hire a new county EMS director. Keith Emigh has served in an interim capacity since Paul Matthewson resigned in July and was one of the applicants for the position. That hiring is one of the items on their agenda for today’s meeting. Continue reading

Final Members Named to Starke County Park Board

starke-county-courthouseStarke County’s Park Board is now fully populated. Judge Kim Hall named Mike Meadows and Skyler Ellinger to the five-member panel. They join Starke County Council appointees Debbie Mix and Rosemary Rose and Starke County Commissioners appointee Marsha Bedrock. Continue reading

Final Park Board Appointments Pending

The Starke County Park Board is two members away from being populated. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall is responsible for appointing a Democrat and a Republican to the five-member board. He advised WKVI News he is still reviewing the qualifications of potential members and expects to make a decision soon. Continue reading

Starke County Council, Commissioners Make Park Board Appointments

starke-county-courthouseThe recently formed Starke County Park Board is two members away from being populated. The county council appointed Democrat Rosemary Rose and Republican Debbie Mix to the five-member panel. The commissioners named Marsha Bedrock as their appointee. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall has the remaining two appointments to the board. State law requires him to appoint one Democrat and one Republican. All five initial terms will be staggered. The council appointees will serve for two and four years, the commissioners appointee for two and the judge’s appointees for one and three years. 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

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

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