Semi Trailer Rolls onto Unoccupied Truck

A semi trailer containing grain rolled onto an unoccupied service truck Thursday afternoon.

According to the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, a semi driver pulled over to the side of the road with mechanical issues at the intersection of State Road 8 and State Road 39 around 4 p.m. CT. Police say the driver attempted to unhook the semi from the trailer to reconnect with a different semi when the trailer became unstable and rolled over. The trailer rolled onto a pickup truck parked near the rear of the trailer. The pickup truck was owned by the repair company that was at the scene to assist the semi driver with the mechanical issues. No one was inside the pickup truck at the time of the incident and no other injuries were reported.

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Culver Town Council to Address Semi Truck Parking

Culver Town Council members will soon tackle an issue surrounding semi truck parking in residential areas.

A citizen brought forth issues during the council’s regular meeting on Tuesday night stating that it’s difficult to maneuver around the semis parked in residential areas. He’s fearful for the safety of the residents and children, in addition to it being an eyesore. Some trucks are parking on narrow streets like Ohio Street and Mill Street. Continue reading

La Porte Emergency Responders Investigate Fatal Crash


A single vehicle crash claimed the life of a 20-year-old man Wednesday afternoon.

La Porte County police say a car driven by Cody Strauch was traveling west on U.S. 20 and went off the north side of the road and stuck a tree in the 7400 E. block of U.S. 20 near New Prairie High School. After the impact, the vehicle spun off into the yard for approximately 30 feet, according to the report. Continue reading

Relocation of Culver and Lake Maxinkuckee Visitor’s Center Discussed

The Culver Town Council members revisited a request this week from Becca Pazin with the Culver and Lake Maxinkuckee Visitor’s Center to move her office from the bank building downtown to the Culver Beach Lodge.

She explained that the change in location would create better visibility of the office for tourists. Her office would be located on the third floor of the beach lodge. The move also allows more space for her especially in terms of meeting space. She could have more private conversations with visitors to the visitor’s center or clients to discuss business. There would be more space to display brochures available to attractions in Culver and Marshall County. Continue reading

Culver Town Council to Meet Tonight

The Culver Town Council members will hold a public hearing tonight to gather comments on an amendment to the Culver Zoning Ordinance.

The proposed changes include lowering the number of parking spaces for general commercial businesses in the C2 district, changing the sign ordinance to allow lighted signs, changes to the height and visibility requirements for fences in the L1 district, also changes in the side yard setback area in the L1 district. Additionally, the ordinance creates permit requirements for solar power systems and building permits for roof and shingle replacement. Continue reading

Starke County Highway Department to Apply for Federal Grants


Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler will be applying for federal funds for three projects.

The deadline for the federal roll call for project applications is at the end of the month. Ritzler said the county will be applying for funds to complete an intersection improvement at County Road 210 and old State Road 10. That project also includes plans for a bike trail station that would be coordinated with a local trail organization. Continue reading

Second Opinion Sought on Possible Starke County Intersection Improvements

Three intersections have been studied for potential upgrades in Starke County, but the highway superintendent wants a second opinion.

Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners this week that he is enlisting the help of officials from Purdue University’s Local Technical Assistance Program to decide how to go about improving these intersections. Continue reading

Starke County Highway Department Continues Safety Measures

Starke County Highway Department crews are continuing efforts to make county roadways safer for drivers.

Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler said the installation of reflective post enhancers is ongoing.

“We’ve put the reflectors on the stop signs and they’ve worked very well,” said Ritzler. “We’re doing that throughout the county and we’re about a fifth of the way done. There is still a lot to go with that.” Continue reading

Starke County Highway Department Continues with Traffic Studies

The Starke County Highway Department is continuing an effort to conduct traffic studies in order to collect data for a proposed U.S. 30 freeway that will travel through northern Starke County.

A coalition is putting together suggestions to present to INDOT that would include benefits to Starke County in a U.S. 30 freeway proposal between Valparaiso and Fort Wayne. In that stretch, the only way to get across U.S. 30 would be with an overpass, and the only way to get on will be at an interchange. Continue reading

Veteran’s Day Flag to be Given to Collector after Observance

Matthew J. Foster shows the commissioners one flag he will give Sergeant Lardino for his flag collection

The Starke County Commissioners considered a request from Matthew J. Foster to fly an American Flag at the Starke County Courthouse at the war memorial on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, and retire that flag the next day to give to a Starke County soldier.

Foster plans to give it to E7 Sergeant First Class Ronald James Lardino II. Sergeant Lardino is a Knox native and has spent the past 17.5 years in the U.S. Army. His service includes two combat tours in Iraq and one tour in Kuwait. He is currently stationed in Georgia. Continue reading

Culver Officials Break Ground on Housing Project

Culver town officials, county representatives, Housing Developer Kevin Berger, and other dignitaries helped break ground on the Sand Hill Farm workforce housing development in Culver Wednesday afternoon.

The housing development includes 24 apartments that will feature affordable one, two and three bedroom units at 540 W. Jefferson Street with hopes of the project complete in 2018. Elkay, one of Culver’s largest employers, will provide the cabinetry for the units in an extensive project partnership. Continue reading

La Porte County Investigates Safe Haven Baby Box Alarm


A newborn baby was found in the Safe Haven Baby Box in La Porte County.

According to La Porte police, emergency responders responded to the baby box alarm at the Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department on Tuesday night. Police say Fire Chief Mick Pawlik was the first to arrive at the station and found the newborn baby. An ambulance was summoned and the infant was rushed to Franciscan St. Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Approve Proposal for Elevator Project

The Starke County Commissioners reviewed a proposal from the Skillman Corporation for plans for a new elevator at the courthouse.

The construction manager’s fee was set at $12,750 while another $32,250 was approved for other construction manager and general condition fees.

The construction of the elevator is expected to begin in spring 2018 and take three or four months to complete.

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Culver Stellarbration and Sand Hill Farm Groundbreaking Today

The Town of Culver’s Stellarbration event is set for today at the Culver Beach Lodge. The town was named a Stellar Community in the state’s Stellar Communities Designation Program on Oct. 18 after two years of hard work to achieve the status.

Prior to this event, officials will conduct a groundbreaking ceremony on the Sand Hill Farms workforce housing development which is a project detailed in the Stellar Communities application. Construction of this structure will provide housing for those seeking one, two or three bedroom apartments who want to make Culver their home. The project helps complete goals of increasing housing and population, plus an increase in enrollment and economy in Culver. Continue reading

Starke County Highway Department to Try Product in Cold Mix Asphalt


Starke County Highway Department crews will be working with a new product to include with the cold asphalt mix.

Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler explained to the county commissioners Monday night that they have been chosen by a vendor to use an additive to the cold mix asphalt that could help it cure quicker and provide a product that would last longer. Ritzler said the vendor has adapted a hot mix version of this additive to work with cold mix. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Consider First Reading on UTV Ordinance

Starke County Attorney Marty Lucas presented the commissioners with a proposed ordinance that would authorize and regulate the use of Recreational Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs or side-by-sides) and Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) on certain county roads and highways.

The Starke County highway superintendent has the authority to restrict the passage of these vehicles on certain roads at his discretion for safety purposes. Proper signage will be displayed. Continue reading