Starke County Projects Ready for Community Crossings Application

Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler submitted projects to the commissioners for the county’s request for the state’s Community Crossings grant program.

The county is eligible for a 75/25 split for grant funding. Ritzler submitted five projects totaling just under $1.4 million. At a meeting hosted by INDOT addressing Community Crossing grant funds earlier this year, officials suggested that government entities include project plans in the $1.3 to $1.4 million range in order to capture that full $1 million.

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West Central School Board Begins Discussions on Renovation Project

The West Central School Board will meet in a work session yet this month to discuss school renovation plans.

The board members reviewed blueprints Thursday night presented by Adam Weesner from Barton-Coe-Vilamaa with plans to redesign the school’s entrances and rehabilitate the utilization of space. The project is planned for construction in the spring of 2018.

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Three People Injured in Car/Train Accident


Three people were injured in a car vs. train accident in Starke County just after 3 p.m. on Thursday.

According to Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin, the driver of a minivan reportedly failed to yield to the right of way of a westbound CF&E train on 1100 East just south of U.S. 30. When officers arrived at the scene they found the minivan on the north side of the railroad tracks in a deep ditch.

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Starke County EMA Director Position to be Part-Time

The Starke County Commissioners made a decision concerning the employment status of the Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director.

During their Wednesday night meeting, Commissioner Kathy Norem noted that when former EMA Director Ted Bombagetti was at full-time status, half of his salary and benefits were reimbursed by the state while 25 percent of Mary Lynn Ritchie’s salary and benefits was reimbursed as the director’s secretary. With a part-time position, only 50 percent of the director’s salary would be reimbursed. It would be a cost savings to the county, but Norem was unsure how much, if any, would be reimbursed when it comes to Ritchie’s salary.

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Hamlet Town Board Tables Community Crossings Grant Discussion

The Hamlet Town Board members tabled a discussion on a potential road project to submit for a Community Crossings grant.

The board members are interested in clearing up a drainage issue on Starke Street between old U.S. 30 and the new U.S. 30. Engineer Lee Nagai presented plans for milling the street and the installation of catch basins, storm water infrastructure and curbs and gutters. High and low points would also be incorporated into the road design to ensure better water drainage in that area.

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Blood Donations Desperately Needed

Blood supplies are at critical levels at the local hospitals and the American Red Cross is asking for your help to replenish the inventory.

Red Cross officials say that only three percent of the U.S. population gives blood, which means repeat donors are picking up the slack to help maintain the blood supply. New blood donors are needed at this time of the year when school is out during the summer break. Many blood drives occur during the school year and it is difficult to plan donation drives during the summer vacation.

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New Starke County EMS Director Appointed, EMT Interviews Start Today

The Starke County Commissioners appointed a new EMS Director during their meeting Wednesday night.

Interim Assistant Director Travis Clary was offered the position by the commissioners and he accepted the offer. Commissioner Kathy Norem noted that he will be placed on a probationary period for six months. He will be evaluated after three months and if his work is satisfactory Clary will receive a raise. If the commissioners continue to be satisfied with his work at the end of his probationary period, he will be bumped up to his intended salary of $59,000.

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Pulaski County CDC to Clarify Rezoning Procedures, As Commissioners Consider CAFO Proposal

Pulaski County Commissioners: Bud Krohn Jr., Jerry Locke, Kenny Becker

As the Pulaski County Commissioners continue mulling over plans for a confined animal feeding operation, the Community Development Commission wants to make sure they have enough information to make an informed decision. Four wean-to-finish pig production buildings would be built near county roads 300 South and 700 West, under the proposal.

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