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Today's News

Starke County Commissioners Approve Purchase of Second Car for Sheriff’s Department

Starke County Sheriff Oscar Cowen asked the Starke County Commissioners for a second new police car this year. Cowen told the Commissioners that an insurance check for a wrecked vehicle has been received.

“I don’t know the exact number but it was over $8,000,” said Cowen. “I had asked once to buy a used car to replace but then I said just hang on to money and hopefully with that we have enough money to look toward our second new car this year.”

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Starke County Sheriff Donates Golf Outing Money to Charity

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

In past years, Starke County Sheriff Oscar Cowen has held a golf tournament to help finance his political campaigns. This year, Sheriff Cowen will donate the money to charity. The tournament raised $2,115.00, and Cowen has named a charity that will benefit from the fundraiser.

“Two Starke County girls that were well known, Christina Rotering and Ashley Derrickson, who succumbed to cancer, I thought that would be a good cause to donate the money to.”

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Data Collection of Starke County Jail to begin

Starke County Jail

The 32 hour National Institute of Corrections Conference in Denver, Colorado has given Starke County Deputy Bill Dulin a new perspective on how to plan for a new, remodeled or retrofitted jail.

As we heard earlier from Sheriff Oscar Cowen and Councilman David Pearman, now is the time for data collection. It begins with a request by Sheriff Cowen to have the National Institute of Corrections to come in and inspect the jail.

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Starke County Officials Attend Corrections Convention in Colorado

Sheriff Oscar Cowen, Councilman Dave Pearman, Chief Deputy Bill Dulin, Starke County Commissioner Kathy Norem, Jail Commander Greg Hewitt

Starke County officials recently had the opportunity to travel to Denver, Colorado to attend a conference for the planning of new institutions. The conference was conducted by the National Institute of Corrections and most expenses were paid for by the Institute. Attending were Commissioner Kathy Norem, Sheriff Oscar Cowen, Chief Deputy Bill Dulin, Councilman Dave Pearman, and Jail Commander Greg Hewitt.

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Starke County Officials Attend Jail Conference in Colorado

Sheriff Oscar Cowen, Councilman Dave Pearman, Chief Deputy Bill Dulin, Starke County Commissioner Kathy Norem, Jail Commander Greg Hewitt

Starke County Commissioner Kathy Norem has led a delegation from the County to the National Institute of Corrections Conference in Colorado. Joining Norem on the trip is Starke County Councilman David Pearman, Sheriff Oscar Cowen, Chief Deputy Bill Dulin, and Jail Commander Greg Hewitt. Continue reading

Jack Haut Files Suit Against Starke County Sheriff, Commissioners

Jack Haut

A litany of complaints have been filed by an attorney for Starke County Jail prisoner, Jack Haut. The Class Action allegations were made on behalf of Haut and those similarly situated pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Most of the complaints have to do with alleged overcrowding. Specifically, the Haut suit claims that because of overcrowding prisoners are forced to sleep on the floor in dayrooms for months at a time.

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Starke County Jail Upgrades Security Equipment, Video Arraignment System Installed

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

Several upgrades are in the works for the Starke County Jail. The Commissioners approved a bid this week for the tear off and installation of a new roof on the Jail and the Board members will also be reviewing bids to replace the HVAC system at the Jail during their meeting on Monday.

One recent upgrade has helped the operation of the jail and the courts. Here is Sheriff Oscar Cowen:

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Starke County Commissioners Award Jail Roofing Bid

Starke County Jail

The Starke County Commissioners opened roof repair bids Wednesday for the Starke County Jail. Three bids were received and Commissioners Kathy Norem and Dan Bridegroom awarded the bid to Northern Indiana Roofing and Sheet Metal Corporation out of South Bend. Commissioner Jennifer Davis was absent from the meeting.

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Starke County Jail in Need of New Roof and Furnace Unit

Starke County Jail

There are more problems at the Starke County Jail. Sheriff Oscar Cowen told the Starke County Commissioners yesterday that he has been advised that the furnace and air conditioning unit could go out at any time. If that would happen, all prisoners would have to be moved to another facility.

On top of that, the roof needs a new rubber roof to protect the building from leaks. A water pipe leak was reported last week that did damage on the lower floor of the Jail where the Prosecutor’s Office is located.

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December Statistics Released from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

Starke County Sheriff Oscar Cowen has released the December 2010 statistics for the Sheriff’s Department.

There were 20 theft reports, 4 burglary reports, 12 Possession of a Controlled Substance reports, 4 DUI reports, 1 arson report, 25 domestic complaints and 160 accident reports.