Public Input Sought in Plans for Dollar General Driveway

The Starke County Commissioners are asking for public input concerning the development of a Dollar General Store, more specifically the driveway into the property.

Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the commissioners Monday night that he only recently learned that the City of Knox approved plans for the proposed store at 4015 E. 200 S. in Knox at the intersection of U.S. 35. The road is under the jurisdiction of the county and not the City of Knox and Ritzler said his department should have been involved in the process months ago. He mentioned that the original plans called for two driveways on 200 S. and the westernmost driveway was too close to U.S. 35. Ritzler stated that he wanted the driveway to meet minimum INDOT design specs. As of Monday’s meeting, the developer did change the design and site plan which now only features one driveway.

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Culver Town Council Opens Bids for Equipment, Ambulance

The Culver Town Council members opened bids for surplus equipment at the street department and the ambulance during their meeting last week.

The highest bids were approved which included $2,900 for a 1999 leaf vac machine, $2,500 for the 1964 grader, $150 for the 1993 Patchman trailer, $1,500 for the 2000 Ford F-150, and $1,500 a 2000 Leeboy 300 roller. Utility Superintendent Bob Porter was pleased with the bids as they came in higher than he expected.

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Starke County Council, Commissioners to Meet Tonight

The Starke County Council will be reviewing several transfers and budgets during their monthly meeting tonight.

Starke County EMS, IT Director Mark Gourley and Surveyor Bill Crase will discuss transfer requests, and Sheriff Bill Dulin will discuss his budget status and present transfer requests. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver will have his monthly report and initiate discussion on the appropriation of Fund 112.

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Culver-Union Township Fire Department to Upgrade Lighting

New lighting will be installed at the Culver-Union Township Fire Department.

Fire Chief Terry Wakefield told Culver Town Council members this week that he’s been working for a long time to update the lighting to include LED lights. He said the cost for the 51 lights needed for the project is $7,896.30. NIPSCO will review the work and reimburse the town $80 per light. He said it works with the lighting package they have through NIPSCO.

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House Fire Claims One Life

One person could not be saved after resuscitation efforts were attempted in the middle of a house fire in La Porte this morning.

Emergency responders and firefighters were called to 111 Maple Drive just after 7 a.m. CT after a neighbor reporting seeing smoke coming from the residence.

La Porte City firefighters arrived on the scene and found flames coming from the two-story home with heavy smoke, according to the report. The same report indicates that firefighters made their way into the home and discovered a man laying approximately 10 feet from the doorway. The firefighters attempted resuscitation efforts, but were not successful. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim’s identity has not been released pending family notification.

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Indiana Schools to Receive Less Tuition Support

In his report to the school board last week, West Central School Superintendent Don Street said the Indiana Department of Education notified school districts that tuition support monthly payments will be less.

“The Indiana State Budget for education is less than the total tuition support payments for the schools that have reported,” said Street. “So, we’ll see how that continues with our state legislature.”

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Culver Town Council Discusses Traffic Ordinance

The Culver Town Council members discussed a proposed traffic ordinance during their meeting Tuesday night.

The ordinance designates a congested motor vehicle traffic and pedestrian area on Lakeshore Drive and signage will be placed between 508 Lakeshore east to 824 Lakeshore Drive. The ordinance also creates a no parking zone for 50 feet from the intersection on both sides of the street on Batabano and South Plymouth Street.

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Culver Town Council to Meet Tonight

The Culver Town Council will discuss several ordinances when they meet tonight for their regular business meeting.

Two ordinances will be considered on second and third reading. One ordinance includes changes to the Code of Ordinances. The ordinance allows the current Code of Ordinances manual to be updated to current regulations. The second is a service weapon ordinance that allows a retiring police officer, who has served at last 20 years in law enforcement, the ability to retain his or her service weapon, badge and identification cards.

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West Central School Board Moving Forward with Security Project

The West Central School Board members took action Thursday night to move forward with the secure entrance and utilization of space construction project.

Superintendent Don Street said the board held a public hearing on a proposed lease agreement. No public comment was given concerning the lease agreement and if it is fair and reasonable for construction or improvements. An additional appropriation for the bond was approved following a hearing.

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Starke County Commissioners Discuss Relinquishment of County Road


The Starke County Commissioners discussed a proposal to relinquish County Road 450 West, north of Toto Road to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler said DNR representative Bryan Boggs made the request. Ritzler said the road is adjacent to the DNR property and believes the DNR could better maintain the road.

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Starke County Highway Department to Update Railroad Signs, Markings


Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler informed the county commissioners this week that he received a notice to proceed with the installation of new railroad signs and markings to assist with safety measures.

“I will be meeting with TCS to do that as they were awarded that contract,” explained Ritzler. “They’ll be doing the markings and we’ll be doing the signs. All of the crossings in the county will be upgraded. INDOT is paying 100 percent of that. The county doesn’t have to pay anything.”

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