‘Break the Silence with Bags of Hope’ Fun Fair to be Held During Child Abuse Prevention Month

In order to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect while simultaneously collecting resources to help those in need, an event entitled “Break the Silence with Bags of Hope” will be held at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center next month.  

According to the latest statistics available from the Indiana Department of Child Services’ child fatality report, nearly 60 Hoosier children died from some form of abuse or neglect in the 2016 State Fiscal Year.

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Investigation into the Death of Missing Knox Woman Continues

The six-month long investigation into the death of 37-year-old Knox resident Barbara McCurdy continues.

As previously reported, McCurdy was initially reported missing on January 20th. The report indicated she was last seen last in Knox on January 14th, driving her black 2006 Chevy Cobalt. A missing person investigation ensued and McCurdy was eventually found deceased in her vehicle at a Winamac car dealership on February 2nd.

The Pulaski County Coroner’s ruling for the cause of death will be kept confidential while the death investigation remains ongoing. 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 Prosecutor Issues Press Release about Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual violence is a serious public health issue that affects millions of men and women. According to the Center for Disease Control, in the United States alone, 1 in 6 men and 1 in 3 women reported experiencing sexual violence involving physical contact at some point in their life.

As startling as that statistic may sound, it doesn’t capture the true magnitude of the problem as many victims do not tell police, family or friends about the incident. Unfortunately, this is a crisis that individuals may face at any age. Children, adolescents, adults and the elderly can all fall prey to attackers.

In an effort to draw attention to the pervasive problem, April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff issued a press release about the topic providing some information and commenting on the seriousness of sexual assault. Continue reading

Knox Man Sentenced to Home Detention, Probation in Hearing

A Knox man was sentenced per the terms of a plea agreement in a hearing in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon.

Frank Matkovich admitted to Judge Kim Hall that he was driving under the influence of alcohol while his license was forfeited for life in the area of McGill and Washington Streets in Knox on July 18, 2017. He said a police officer recognized him behind the wheel of his vehicle knowing that he had a suspended driver’s license.

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Four Women Graduate Chemical Dependency and Addictions Program

The graduates stand with Addictions Therapist Leo Smith

Four women received their certificate of completion of the Chemical Dependency and Addictions Program at the Starke County Justice Center.

The inmates took part in the 14-week program provided by officials from Porter-Starke Services. The program focused on overcoming addictions while rethinking behaviors and life choices. Participants develop skills to manage stress, anger, cravings, triggers, critical thinking and decision making. The program was facilitated by Chemical Dependency and Addictions Therapist Leo Smith who has 27 years of experience in the field working in corrections, outpatient, residential and detoxification.

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Inmates Graduate from Chemical Dependency and Addictions Program

Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall (L) and Leo Smith (R) stand with the graduates of the Chemical Dependency and and Addiction Program

Eight inmates from the Starke County Justice Center are now graduates of the Chemical Dependency and Addictions Program.

The program allowed inmates the opportunity to obtain counseling services and substance abuse education while incarcerated in the Starke County Justice Center. It was a 14-week treatment program facilitated by Porter-Starke Services and led by Chemical Dependency and Addictions Therapist Leo Smith. Therapists assisted inmates in restructuring behaviors and thoughts in addiction remediation. Skills taught included the management of stress, anger, cravings, triggers, critical reasoning and decision making.

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