Visitors to the Starke County Courthouse will notice some major changes thanks to recent building renovations. Public access is now limited to the west entrance, which faces the Knox Moose Lodge. It is fully handicap accessible. All visitors will be greeted by a uniformed security officer and asked to pass through a metal detector. Anyone in possession of a weapon will be asked to return it to their vehicle before entering the building.
The first floor of the courthouse now features restrooms that comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The basement restrooms are no longer in use. The Starke County Prosecutor’s Office now occupies the first floor. Prior to the building renovations they were housed in the basement of the former jail.
That building has been turned into office space for the health and probation departments, Starke County Community Corrections and Purdue Extension. All of their telephone numbers are the same.
The probation department and Starke County Community Corrections both have conference rooms available for meetings and other programs. Access to the offices and non-public spaces is only gained via swipe card, and cameras are installed throughout the space to monitor and record interaction between staff and program participants. The county’s IT staff spent considerable time installing the technology infrastructure in both buildings.
Starke County officials formally dedicated both buildings yesterday. The renovations were made possible with funds from the special income tax levied to pay for construction of the new jail east of Knox. The former jail was put up as security for the bond financing. As a result, the building had to be used for corrections programs.
WKVI News Director Mary Perren is glad to be back home in northern Indiana and on the radio. She’s a North Judson native with more than 20 years of news experience. She’s worked in print and radio news in Indianapolis, Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn. and most recently in Winamac before taking over as news director for Kankakee Valley Broadcasting in February of 2013. Her work has been honored by the Associated Press, StateNets News Association, Curb Foundation, Hoosier State Press Association and IBA. When she’s not sitting in the anchor chair or chasing down news, Mary enjoys shopping for antiques, attending concerts and taking long walks and rides in her vintage Saab convertible, weather permitting. She’s also a hopelessly devoted Chicago Cubs fanatic who still cringes at the mention of Steve Garvey and Josh Beckett and maintains it wasn’t Steve Bartman’s fault.