Starke County Coroner Dannie Hoffer is looking for ways to save the county money and make his office more efficient. He told the county commissioners Monday his colleague in LaPorte County has an agreement with the hospital there to do a quick blood analysis on suspected overdose victims. He says if drugs are found in the bloodstream, a full autopsy is not needed to determine the cause of death. Continue reading
Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin can replace several aging patrol cars following Monday action by the county council. They agreed to appropriate money from the Jail CEDIT and Therapeutic Community funds to cover the cost. Continue reading
Starke County’s truck route ordinance will take effect June 1 following adoption Monday by the county commissioners. It applies to all vehicles with a gross combined vehicle weight of more than 38,000 pounds, which is the same standard the state uses. They are prohibited from using light vehicle routes unless a free permit is issued by the highway department or they qualify for an exemption. Registered farm vehicles, delivery trucks and school buses are exempt. Continue reading
The Starke County Commissioners are looking to hire a couple of department heads. They voted last night to terminate Emergency Management Agency Director Jacob Lippner, after being advised by the EMA Advisory Board that they have the authority to do so. Continue reading
The Starke County Commissioners will consider a proposed heavy truck route ordinance on third and final reading when they meet tonight.
It looks to maximize three-to-one matching money from the state to pave nearly 120 miles of county roads with hot mix asphalt over the next decade.
Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says the eventual goal is to have all locations in the county within a mile of a hot-mix asphalt road. Right now Starke County has 10 miles of locally maintained hot mix asphalt roads. Continue reading
Starke County EMS Director Keith Emigh is still looking to hire part-time EMTs and paramedics. He told the county commissioners last week he only received one application for part-time work last month. Continue reading
The Starke County Highway Department hopes to replace close to 60 culverts this year. That’s almost double the goal of 30 set by Superintendent Rik Ritzler for the year. He says the department has a good crew that is able to do the work quickly, and he’s looking to train more. Continue reading
Mowing crews from the Starke County Highway Department are making their first pass of the year. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners Monday six mowing tractors and two brush choppers are actively clearing rights of way. Continue reading
Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler wants to hear from local farmers and over-the-road truck drivers before presenting the final truck route ordinance to the county commissioners for approval.
During a public hearing Monday evening, he stressed farm vehicles will be exempt as long as they have a farm plate issued by the BMV. Continue reading
The number of structurally deficient bridges in Starke County could drop sooner than anticipated thanks to the road funding bill passed by the Indiana General Assembly. It includes money for Community Crossings projects and a three-to-one state match for counties with populations under 50,000. Continue reading
The Starke County Commissioners will consider a proposed truck route ordinance on second reading when they meet this evening.
Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler has been working with a committee comprised of county officials, farmers, Sheriff Bill Dulin and Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver on the policy.
The eventual goal is to have several local hot-mix asphalt roads to accommodate heavy truck traffic in addition to the highways that crisscross Starke County. Ritzler says eventually all locations in the county will be within a mile of such a road. Continue reading
The Starke County Emergency Management Agency wants to get stakeholders in the county’s radio communications system together in an attempt to solve problems with both VHF and 800 mHz systems. Continue reading
The Starke County Commissioners are seeking candidates to fill a vacancy on property tax assessment board of appeals. Republican member Ed Hasnerl resigned, so the appointee will fill his term through the end of the year. Continue reading
Government offices in Starke County will soon have an extra security measure in place. Continue reading
The Starke County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to reject an invoice for repairs to the county’s radio system. They agreed vendor J&K Communications did not adequately fix the system as promised and contend they used existing equipment without authorization. J&K has since told the commissioners they need to spend an additional $4,000 on a new VHF antenna to ensure adequate county-wide coverage. Continue reading
Starke County officials are still refining a proposed truck route ordinance before scheduling a public hearing on the measure.
The measure under consideration restricts routes for vehicles with a gross weight of more than 36,000 pounds to specified county-maintained roads or highways. Continue reading
Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director Jacob Lippner is still gathering information about what needs to be done to repair the county’s emergency radio communications system. Continue reading
The electronic billing process Starke County EMS is using to submit claims to BlueCross BlueShield is going well so far. Continue reading
Winter operations picked up for the Starke County Highway Department last month. Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners they had five snow events in March. The most significant occurred on March 15th, with up to 11 inches of snow recorded in a few areas of the county. Continue reading
The volunteer organization that’s responsible for promoting and maintaining the Erie Trail between North Judson and Bass Station has received approval to add more access points to the route. Continue reading