Pulaski County Council, Commissioners to Discuss Courthouse Issues in Special Joint Session Tonight

The future of the Pulaski County Courthouse will be discussed during a special joint county council and commissioners meeting tonight. The meeting notice says officials will discuss options to address needed repairs to the courthouse, potential renovations to the existing buildings, the relocation of county offices, and the various plans to address the concerns with the courthouse.

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Knox School Board Appoints Transportation Director, Maintenance Director, Deputy Treasurer

A longtime bus driver for Knox Community Schools has been chosen to take over as transportation director. Tara Pitts was officially appointed to the position by the school board last week, at the recommendation of Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart. “For those of you who haven’t met Tara, she’s been a bus driver with us for . . . 20 years,” he said. “And so she has lots of experience with us and now moving into the transportation director’s seat, and she’s up and running.”

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Oregon-Davis Increases Teacher Retirement Benefits under 2018-2019 Contract

Oregon-Davis teachers will see an increase in their retirement benefits and changes to the sick day policy, as part of the 2018-2019 Master Teacher Agreement approved by the school board Monday. The school corporation is increasing its annual contribution to qualifying teachers’ 401a plans from $400 to $500, according to Superintendent Dr. Don Harman.

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Pulaski County Council Gets Update on Sheriff’s Department Contracts

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department is looking to finalize a couple of contracts. An agreement with Motorola for new body cameras, portable radios, and other equipment was approved by the county commissioners earlier this month. Auditor Laura Wheeler told the county council last week that she needs to know where exactly the money is coming from, before the paperwork may be finalized.

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Proposed Changes to Pulaski County Sheriff’s Deputies’ Retirement Plan Presented to County Council

The Pulaski County Council got a closer look earlier this month at proposed changes to the sheriff’s deputies’ retirement plan. Actuary Stan Brown with OneAmerica explained that the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department is one of about a dozen in the state that still use a 20-year maximum service plan. “So what that means is only 20 years count for any deputy’s benefit,” he explained. “If you have someone work beyond 20 years, those years don’t count in determining the monthly retirement benefit.”

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Changes May Be Coming to Pulaski County Sheriff’s Deputies’ Retirement Plan

Pulaski County Sheriff Jeff Richwine is looking to overhaul deputies’ retirement plan. He told the county council last week the current system lets deputies retire after 20 years and offers little incentive for them to work beyond that. “Several of the last hires have all been under 25,” Richwine said, “so if we want to keep those folks, I guess, past 20 years – I just started looking at their retirement. It’s pretty poor. After 20 years, they keep paying into it, and it doesn’t go up for them.”

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Ellen Dodge Announces Retirement as Library Director

Henry F. Schricker Library

After five and a half years as director of the Starke County Public Library, Ellen Dodge has announced her resignation. Effective Aug. 31, Dodge’s retirement marks the end of a dedicated 17 years of service to the library.

“When I first came I selected fiction materials and helped people make choices for their recreational reading. I’ve been a reference librarian and was head of the reference department for several years,” said Dodge.

Originally born in Chicago, Dodge spent the majority of her life growing up in Laporte County. She later earned her Bachelor’s in Biology and a Master’s in Library Science, and worked in hospital laboratories and research labs before getting a job at the library.

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