Starke County Officials Name Redevelopment Commission

starke-county-courthouseStarke County once again has a populated county redevelopment commission board. The volunteer body was established by the commissioners in 2006 and set up a tax increment financing, or TIF, district near the intersection of U.S. 30 and U.S. 35 in Hamlet. It allows property tax money generated in a specific area to be recaptured for infrastructure improvements in the area. By doing so, the land becomes more attractive to other potential business and industrial tenants. The five parcels of land in the Sysco TIF district have generated $15,427.71 for the county. That money is receipted by the auditor and parked in a special account. Continue reading

IU Health Starke Hospital President Updates Council, Commissioners

Felty, Craig

IU Health Starke Hospital President Craig Felty

IU Health Starke Hospital intends to renew its lease with the county for the current facility. President Craig Felty told the council and commissioners Monday a formal notice will be forthcoming in 30 to 60 days. Right now due diligence is continuing in the proposed acquisition of IU Health Starke and LaPorte Hospitals by Community Health Systems. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Reaffirm Support for EMS Policies

Pre-hospital emergency care remains the first priority for Starke County EMS, but it is not their only charge. The Starke County Commissioners reaffirmed that mission statement during their meeting Monday night. A recent Facebook posting about a lack of available county ambulance service due to transfers between facilities prompted the discussion. Continue reading

Starke County Council to Consider Salary Ordinance Ranges

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Council will consider salary ordinance ranges for county employees when they meet this evening. Their agenda indicates proposed 1, 2 and 3 percent increases will be discussed, along with an adjustment to the state’s mileage rate. Continue reading

Former Veterans Service Officer Seeks Hearing, Reinstatement

Former Starke County Veterans Service Officer Terry Turner contends the county commissioners denied him his due process and violated his constitutional right to free speech by not allowing him to speak during a recent meeting. Turner was fired during the June 15th commissioners meeting. He filed a grievance against the commissioners for wrongful termination, claiming President Kent Danford never gave him any oral or written warning about any improper actions. Turner also asked for a list of veterans who have complained about his job performance. The commissioners conducted an executive session grievance hearing with Turner and upheld their action during their July 6th meeting, citing his status as an at-will employee. Continue reading

Commissioners Outline Timeline for Facility Renovations

starke-county-jail-outside

The former Starke County Jail building will be turned into office space for the probation department, Starke County Community Corrections and Purdue Extension.

Proposed renovations to the Starke County Courthouse and old jail building across the street will start next spring and wrap up by the end of 2016 under a timeline adopted last night by the county commissioners. Plans call for the former jail building to be turned into office space for Starke County Community Corrections and the probation department. Purdue Extension will move from the courthouse into the basement, and space will be incorporated for a county morgue facility. Continue reading

Starke County EMS Still Hiring EMTs and Paramedics

Starke County EMS is still looking for EMTs and paramedics. Director Keith Emigh told the county commissioners this week his goal is to have all three bases adequately staffed in order to offer county-wide Advance Life Support Service around the clock, seven days a week. Continue reading

Senator Decries Legislature’s “Education Session”

Senator Jim Arnold

Senator Jim Arnold

A local lawmaker says the recently completed session of the Indiana General Assembly was the most trying and most contentious of his nine-year legislative career. Gov. Mike Pence touted it as the education session. Sen. Jim Arnold, D-LaPorte, agrees this year’s 2.2 percent increase in school funding and next year’s 2.5 percent hike are the largest increases in education funding in history.

“It sounds very good. The downside of that is that the vast majority of our increased money now is going to vouchers and going to charter schools, not going to public school systems,” Arnold recently told the Starke County Council and Commissioners. “The big winners of this are going to be the urban schools. The rural schools such as Knox are going to be the big losers.” Continue reading

Starke County Officials Seeking Redevelopment Commission Candidates

starke-county-courthouseStarke County officials are looking for members to serve on the long-dormant county redevelopment commission by appointing new members. It was established in 2006 to oversee a tax increment financing district set up by the county as part of the effort to bring Sysco to Hamlet. Continue reading

Turner Files Age Discrimination Claim Against County Commissioners

Former Starke County Veterans Service Officer Terry Turner has filed an age discrimination claim against the county commissioners over his recent termination. He was fired during the June 15th county commissioners meeting. Turner, 67, advises WKVI News he filed a claim on Friday, July 10th with the state civil rights commission office in South Bend, and it has been forwarded to Indianapolis for review. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Gathering Landfill Mowing Quotes

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Commissioners are gathering quotes for mowing at the old county landfill. Some trees also need to be cut at the site on 750 East north of State Road 10, and vegetation needs to be removed from the clay cap. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Reaffirm Support for Redevelopment Commission

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Commissioners hope to revive the long-dormant county redevelopment commission by appointing new members. It was established in 2006 to oversee a tax increment financing district set up by the county as part of the effort to bring Sysco to Hamlet. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Adopt Purchasing Policy

starke-county-courthouseStarke County government now has a purchasing policy in place aimed at supporting local businesses and ensuring greater oversight into expenditures. The policy adopted by the commissioners Monday night prohibits departments and officials from opening any retail accounts without authorization by the commissioners granted in a regular board meeting. If any accounts are approved, they will be in the name of Starke County Government. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners to Discuss Employee Grievance Tonight

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Commissioners will discuss a grievance filed by an employee they fired at their last meeting when they meet tonight. Terry Turner was relieved of his duties as county veterans service officer on June 15. After the meeting, president of the commissioners Kent Danford said he has received several complaints about Turner’s job performance. Continue reading

Government Offices Closed So Employees Can Pay Respects

starke-county-courthouseStarke County government office will be closed for a few hours today so employees can pay their respects to a colleague. The commissioners have authorized the closure from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. so staff members can attend county sanitarian Chris Dalton’s funeral. He died last Thursday of a sudden heart attack. Visitation for Dalton is this morning from 9 until 11 a.m. at Braman & Son Memorial Chapel in Knox, followed by the funeral at 11. The courthouse and annex will reopen at 1 p.m.

Embattled Veterans Service Officer Files Grievance Against County Commissioners

starke-county-courthouseA Starke County employee who was relieved of his duties during Monday’s commissioners meeting has filed a grievance seeking to be reinstated. The commissioners voted 2-0 to replace Veterans Service Officer Terry Turner with Mark Gourley. Commissioner Don Binkley made the motion to terminate Turner, and President of the Commissioners Kent Danford seconded it. Commissioner Kathy Norem did not vote.

After the meeting Danford said he has received several complaints about Turner. Continue reading