Two Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

Two people were sentenced Wednesday morning in Starke Circuit Court.

Dallas Sheets, 19, of Knox pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a charge of residential entry as a Level 6 felony. He admitted to entering his father and step mother’s house without permission and took a futon. The incident occurred on Sept. 19, 2017. Sheets was sentenced to 12 months in the Starke County Justice Center. That sentence was suspended to be served on probation. Sheets will have to complete all programs recommended by the Starke County Probation officers. If he violates his terms of probation, he will have to serve the remainder of his term in the Starke County Justice Center.

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Nine Inmates Complete Chemical Dependency and Addictions Program

Nine Starke County Justice Center inmates recently graduated from a Chemical Dependency and Addictions Program.

The program focuses on addiction thought processes and criminal behavior. The inmates learn how to overcome their addiction while restructuring thoughts and behavior.

Porter-Starke Services therapists dedicate time to help the inmates conquer the program. Inmates focus on self awareness and self improvement in treatment sessions over a period of 14 weeks. Inmates develop skills to manage stress, anger, cravings and appropriate ways to respond to triggers. Critical reasoning and decision making skills are also taught in these courses. Continue reading

Two Sentenced on Battery Charges

Two offenders were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday morning on battery charges in two separate cases.

Scott Tharpe, 35, of Plymouth, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a felony charge of battery of a person less than the age of 14. Tharpe admitted to Judge Kim Hall that on July 12, 2016, at a residence in Knox he threw his nephew on the ground and pushed his face in the dirt. He also pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a misdemeanor charge of resisting law enforcement. Tharpe admitted to resisting arrest from Officer Clint Norem in the same incident. Continue reading

Two Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court on Drug Charges

Two people were sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday morning on drug charges in two separate incidents.

Joshua Muzik, 20, of Monon, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state to a felony charge of possession of methamphetamine and was sentenced on that charge to 13 months in the Starke County Justice Center with seven months suspended to be served on probation. He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving while suspended and was sentenced to six months in the Starke County Justice Center. Those two sentences will be served concurrently, or at the same time. Continue reading

Starke County Officials Struggle With Jail Budget

Starke County Justice CenterStarke County officials are looking at short and long-term ways to shore up operating expenses at the new jail. It has been open for about a year, and budgeted operating costs were based on an actuarial study done for the county. Information shared during last night’s joint meeting of the council and commissioners indicates those recommendations may have been based on flawed information. Continue reading

Starke County Officials to Discuss Jail Operating Costs

Starke County Justice CenterThe Starke County Council and Commissioners will meet in special session this evening to discuss the sheriff department budget. Last month the council deferred Sheriff Bill Dulin’s request for an additional appropriation until they can get a handle on expenses at the justice center. The new jail has been open for about a year, and budgeted operating costs were based on an actuarial study done for the county. Continue reading

Council Wrestles With Jail Expenses

Starke County Justice CenterThe Starke County Council has scheduled a special meeting to try to get a handle on expenses related to jail operations. They deferred Sheriff Bill Dulin’s request for an additional appropriation until they can take a closer look at things like utility costs for the building. It’s been open for a year, and extensive studies were done beforehand to project costs. The council should have findings from an energy audit in time for their scheduled June 13th meeting. It will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the annex building. Continue reading

Council Questions Proposed Jail Addition

Starke County Justice CenterNearly six months after the first inmates moved into the new Starke County Jail east of Knox the architect and builder are recommending a $525,000 addition to the facility. Architect and project manager Scott Carnegie with DLZ told the council and commissioners an automatic auger would catch small items like cellophane and plastic wrappers inmates flush down the toilets and keep them out of the city’s sanitary sewer system. Continue reading