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

Commissioners Outline Timeline for Facility Renovations

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 Commissioners Approve Use of Force Policy for Community Corrections


Starke County Community Corrections officers who choose to undergo initial and continuing education training can carry firearms on duty after action Monday by the Starke County Commissioners. Program Coordinator Shawn Mattraw says the community corrections board approved a use of force policy, which was also reviewed by county attorney Marty Lucas.

Continue reading

Furlong Sentenced to Five Years on Home Detention

 A Knox man received a sentence of five years on home detention after pleading guilty to charges in two different cases in Starke Circuit Court.

Nathaniel Furlong admitted to a probation violation and was sentenced to four years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended. He was permitted to serve his sentence on home detention with electronic monitoring with Starke County Community Corrections.

Continue reading

Curtis DeVries Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

  Curtis DeVries was sentenced Monday afternoon in Starke Circuit Court.

A 12-member jury found Curtis DeVries not guilty on a charge of burglary, but he was found guilty on a lesser included offense of residential entry, a Class D felony. The jury also found DeVries guilty on a charge of criminal mischief as a Class A misdemeanor. The verdicts came in on Friday, Oct. 24.

Judge Kim Hall told DeVries Monday that he has a large drinking problem that he needs to get under control. Judge Hall stated that if he hadn’t have consumed such a large amount of alcohol on the night of this event, he wouldn’t be in court facing a sentence.

Continue reading

Building Corporation, Commissioners Discuss Courthouse Renovations

starke-county-courthouseMoney to renovate the second floor of the Starke County Courthouse could come from the county economic development income tax funds used to pay for the new jail. At that time the existing jail across from the courthouse will be renovated to accommodate Starke County Community Corrections and the probation department. Plans call for the prosecutor’s office to move from the basement of the current jail into the courthouse and the current clerk’s office to be renovated. Continue reading

Two Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 A man was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Wednesday on two charges after a battery incident in North Judson on March 15.

Michael Hanley, Jr., 30, of North Judson pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state in September to a charge of criminal confinement as a Class C felony and residential entry as a Class D felony. He admitted in open court to entering the home of a North Judson man without consent and blocking the door so he couldn’t leave while a co-defendant allegedly battered the victim. The co-defendant’s case is still pending a resolution as he participates in drug rehab.

Continue reading

Several Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

 Several defendants were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Thursday morning.

Devin Trusty pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the State to a charge of operating a vehicle with a lifetime suspension. Magistrate Jeanene Calabrese accepted the plea agreement which called for a sentence of three years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended. While incarcerated, trusty will participate in a therapeutic community. If he successfully completes the CLIFF or GRIP program, he may petition the court for a modification of his sentence.

Continue reading

County Officials Considering Uses for Existing Jail Building

starke-county-jail-outsideThe current Starke County Jail in downtown Knox will still be owned by the county and used for correctional programs once the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center east of Knox on State Road 8 opens next year. Commissioner Kathy Norem says the building is part of the collateral for the loan to build the new structure, so it cannot be sold or torn down and must be used in the justice arena. She says the county set aside money to renovate the building. Continue reading

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

Mark Carrington Sentenced in Forgery Case

  Mark Carrington was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Thursday.

Carrington pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the State to charges of forgery as a Class C felony and theft as a Class D felony. Judge Kim Hall accepted the terms of that agreement and sentenced Carrington to four years in the Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended on the charge of forgery. On the theft charge, Carrington was sentenced to 24 months in the Department of Corrections with no part of the sentence suspended.

Continue reading

Starke Commissioners Sign New Hope Proclamation

Robert Hinojosa
Robert Hinojosa
The Starke County Commissioners this week proclaimed each Tuesday in February “New Hope for Families Days,” urging all citizens of the community to participate in all efforts to make Starke County a model of a healthy community.

Bob Hinojosa, director of Starke County Community Corrections, approached the commissioners and introduced case manager Jordan MacKentire, who has been spearheading the effort. The proclamation came about as a result of the high level of drug abuse and addiction that is devastating the well-being of the Starke County community. Continue reading

Starke County Community Corrections Discusses House Bill

The Starke County Community Corrections Board met this week, and according to Chief Probation Officer John Thorstad, the meeting was essentially a culmination of ideas and thoughts on how a bill passed in the Indiana House of Representatives will affect Starke County. Thorstad said the meeting was held in two sessions, one with the judge, prosecutor and public defenders, and the second with probation, community corrections and some service providers.

Continue reading