‘Hope Restored’ to Bring Sober Living Home into North Judson

photo source: English Lake Church Pamphlet

Some inspirational individuals impacted by drug addiction came before the North Judson Town Council this week to discuss the steps they’re taking to bring a sober living home into the community.

A building at the corner of Sycamore and Lane Streets in North Judson is currently being transformed into the ‘Hope Restored’ rehabilitation center and living facility.

Recovered addict Zach Howisen shared that while he was incarcerated on drug-related charges, he felt compelled to change his ways and wanted to do something to give back to the community. Continue reading

Starke County Court Services Director Reports Smooth Transition, Following Merger

The process of merging Starke County Community Corrections with the County Probation Department has been a smooth one, so far. That’s according to Shawn Mattraw. He’s the director of the new entity, known as Starke County Court Services. “Some of the concern some folks have shared is they felt maybe the Probation side might be swallowed up by Community Corrections, that we just want to take over everything, and that’s not the intent,” he says. “The intent is we want to make sure that we can provide our probation officers more resources to do their job more effectively.”

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Starke County Probation Department, Community Corrections Merge

The recent merger of Starke County Community Corrections with the County Probation Department will result in better services, as well as cost savings. That’s according to Shawn Mattraw. He’s the director of the new entity, known as Starke County Court Services. “Well, the big difference is that it’s going to [be] a cost savings,” he says, “The past structure, when we were separate entities, we had a director in Community Corrections and a chief probation officer. Those positions were funded pretty nicely. Now, those positions have been eliminated, and it’s just me.”

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Jason Cooke Sentenced in Starke Circuit Court

Jason Cooke was sentenced in Starke Circuit Court Monday afternoon.

Cooke pleaded guilty in an amended plea agreement to count of robbery as a Level 2 felony. Cooke admitted to robbing Sescoe Wireman of Knox of money, prescription medication, an Indiana ID card, and multiple credit cards. Cooke hit Wireman during the robbery causing severe injury. Wireman was hospitalized and later died. The incident happened on or about Oct. 6, 2015, at Wireman’s home in the 100 block of East 500 South in Knox.

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Starke County Community Corrections, Probation, Sheriff Asks for Letter of Support

The Starke County Community Corrections, in partnership with the Starke County Probation Department and the Starke County Sheriff’s Office, are working to submit a grant request for programs and funding.

Community Corrections Director Robert Hinojosa said this is the ninth year of requesting funding for community corrections and the second year for jail treatment programs and pretrial funding.

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Local Probation Officer Receives Order of Augustus Award

Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall, Starke County Chief Probation Officer John Thorstad and Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush
Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall, Starke County Chief Probation Officer John Thorstad and Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush

The Chief Probation Officer of the Starke County Probation Department recently received a prestigious state award.

John Thorstad is this year’s recipient of the Order of Augustus Award in the memory of John Augustus, who is known as the “Father of Probation.” Augustus started the rehabilitation movement in corrections.

Thorstad was nominated by his staff. His nomination was then voted on by the Probation Officers Advisory Board, which is a branch of the Indiana Supreme Court.
The award is given to one probation officer in the state each year.

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