Starke County Coroner Eyes Cost Savings

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 Commissioners Adopt Truck Route Ordinance

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

Starke County Truck Route Ordinance Set for Adoption Tonight

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 Highway Department Steps Up Culvert Replacement

The Starke County Highway Department culvert crew replaced this pipe on 900 South between 600 and 700 West in San Pierre in March.

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

Proposed Starke County Truck Route Ordinance Set for Second Reading Tonight

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

Starke Commissioners Reject Communications Invoice, Suggest Committee to Address Radio Woes

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