Starke County Jail Prepares for D.O.C. Inmates

Starke County Justice CenterOfficials at the Starke County Jail are preparing for an influx of inmates this week. They are Department of Correction prisoners who have been sentenced to an extensive drug treatment program. Starke County was approved late last year for the state’s first non-prison-based therapeutic community, thanks to the efforts of State Sen. Jim Arnold, Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall and others. Sheriff Bill Dulin says there’s plenty of room in the jail for up to 48 D.O.C. inmates without displacing any local prisoners. Continue reading

Economic Development Director to Outline Plans Tonight

starke-county-courthouseStarke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver will present his long-term vision for funds from the county economic development income tax to the county council when they meet this evening. In previous meetings Weaver has expressed a desire to invest in road improvements in the Knox Industrial Park to make it more attractive to businesses looking to relocate or expand. He’s also made mention of improvements in the Hamlet area. Continue reading

Starke County Receives Community Corrections Grants

starke-county-courthouseStarke County has gotten over $103,000 in grant funding from the Indiana Department of Correction. A grant for over $80,000 has been awarded to Starke County Community Corrections to increase case management services and surveillance of those taking part in its programs, while another grant for nearly $23,000 is going to the Starke County Circuit Court Probation Department. Continue reading

Sunday Vigil to Mark International Overdose Awareness Day

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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