A longtime Starke County firefighter and emergency management official will be laid to rest today. Ted Bombagetti passed away Sunday at the age of 63.Continue reading
Some fire departments are still reporting radio issues in Starke County.
Area firefighters spent about four hours battling a fire at Selected Furniture in Knox Monday. Firefighters were called to the facility around 11:40 a.m. When they got there, they found a sawdust collector, a semi-trailer full of sawdust, and areas of the roof on fire, according to Knox-Center Township Assistant Fire Chief Ted Bombagetti.
The Starke County Commissioners are looking to hire a couple of department heads. They voted last night to terminate Emergency Management Agency Director Jacob Lippner, after being advised by the EMA Advisory Board that they have the authority to do so. Continue reading
Concerns with a recycling transfer station planned for the North Judson area have led to a response from the company, as well as local economic development officials. Metro Recycling is currently moving ahead with a permitting process with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The company plans to add a recycling transfer station on Oakwood Street in the North Judson Industrial Park. Continue reading
A Knox High School graduate is the new Starke County Emergency Management Agency director. The county commissioners last night hired Jacob Lippner to fill the vacancy created by Ted Bombagetti’s recent resignation to take a state position. Lippner wants to raise the profile of the office and ensure good communication between local, state and federal agencies. Continue reading
Starke County officials are keeping a close eye on the weather and may issue travel restrictions if necessary. Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti says the county commissioners have the final say and consider several factors, including the safety of snow plow drivers, first responders and the public in general.
He adds the county highway and EMA have been rehearsing their response to a winter weather emergency since late summer.
“We’re kind of like the fashion stores where in the winter time they’ve got the swimsuits out. We’re always preparing a season ahead. The drivers have been out practicing their areas.” Continue reading
The Marshall County Emergency Management Agency is on high alert as they predict higher flooding risks as rain arrives today. Temperatures are expected to rise over the next two days, allowing for the continued melting of snow – potentially releasing between 1.5 and four inches of water.
On top of that, the forecast predicts between three-fourths and one inch of rain, causing an increase in water levels in ditches, creeks, retention ponds, as well as ponding on road surfaces. Anyone who lives near areas that are prone to flooding are advised to take preventative action now and form a plan in case of flooding.
With recent announcements from county highway departments indicating that plow trucks were taken off the roads at a certain time, many people were left wondering why the road clearing operations are sometimes stopped in their tracks during a snowstorm, when they are most in need. According to Starke County EMA Director Ted Bombagetti, there is a reason for that, and state law plays a part.
As if this extremely cold winter hasn’t caused enough problems, Starke County EMA Director Ted Bombagetti said it could also cause some problems with flooding when the ice finally begins to thaw. Bombagetti said in order for water to be absorbed into the ground, it must thaw beforehand, but this year’s extremely cold winter has caused the ground to freeze with a deep frost-line.
The Starke County Commissioners at their meeting this week declared a local communication emergency in response to the radio communication issues caused by the crippled Starke County Sheriff’s Department radio tower. EMA Director Ted Bombagetti approached the commissioners and explained that before any radio system can be modified, the county must have it approved by the FCC.
To that end, Bombagetti explained to them the process to declare a local communication emergency, which would give the county the authority to do what needs to be done to restore full radio communications while getting the FCC licensing caught up at a later time. County Attorney Martin Lucas reviewed the information and gave it his approval.
Despite being behind schedule due to the late start, EMA Director and ADA Compliance Coordinator Ted Bombagetti said he’s confident they’ll still make the ADA compliance deadline. Bombagetti was appointed as ADA compliance coordinator on Dec. 3, and with the end-of-the-year deadline for drafting a plan quickly approaching, time is running out.
Bombagetti said he’s currently working on the county’s self-assessment as well as the inventory of buildings, crosswalks, and other items that need to be upgraded for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. He said he has also been studying what other municipalities and counties in surrounding areas have done in complying with ADA requirements, and said he will bring information to the commissioners at their next meeting to see which avenue they would like to take.
Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti will soon be taking on several new responsibilities for the county, as the Starke County Commissioners this week passed a motion appointing Bombagetti as the county’s ADA coordinator.
Commissioner Jennifer Davis told WKVI that the highway garage had received a letter from the Indiana Department of Transportation detailing several deadlines for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Highway Superintendent Steve Siddall forwarded the letter to the commissioners by email in October.
Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti has about 20 all-hazards alert radios that are available to residents facing economic hardships, including residents in mobile homes, to help receive severe weather updates.
The radios were distributed by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to local emergency management agencies throughout the state thanks to a federal grant.
Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti gave the commissioners some good news this week. The EMA has for the third year in a row exceeded their assessment goal, earning a wage reimbursement for the county. On top of that, Bombagetti says he and Mary Lynn Ritchie brought back $4050 to the county by performing so well on the assessment.
The wage reimbursement totaled $30,000, which covers half of the department’s wages for the year. Bombagetti says that money goes to the county, but the bonus he and Ritchie earned will be returned to the department to be spent on necessary equipment.
Starke County EMA Director Ted Bombagetti has announced that the District Two Task Force has been placed on “Alert” status for possible deployment in support of southern Indiana. Bombagetti says southern Indiana is expecting five to nine inches of rain over the weekend from Hurricane Isaac, and he says they are ready to deploy should flooding occur.
The task force has a swift water rescue and tactical rescue team within the unit, and Bombagetti says these teams are ready to be mobile when called. He says the teams can be on the road in a matter of hours, and they’ve been preparing for events such as this for several months.
The burn ban in Starke County has once again been extended for two weeks, this time to be reevaluated on Aug. 6 at the commissioners’ regular meeting at 9 a.m.
Campfires, other recreational fires unless enclosed in a fire ring at least 23 inches across and ten inches high, open burning of any kind except grills, and the burning of debris are prohibited. Burning is, however, allowed in burn barrels with a one-quarter inch mesh top from dawn to dusk.
The commissioners and EMA Director Ted Bombagetti will review the conditions and decide whether or not to continue the burn ban at their next regular meeting.
Effective as of noon yesterday, the Starke County Commissioners have reinstated the burn ban due to an increase in fire activity and increasing drought conditions. Campfires, other recreational fires unless enclosed in a fire ring at least 23 inches across and ten inches high, open burning of any kind except grills, and the burning of debris are prohibited. Burning is, however, allowed in burn barrels with a one-quarter inch mesh top from dawn to dusk.
This will be in effect until July 16, when the commissioners and EMA Director Ted Bombagetti will review the conditions and decide whether or not to continue the burn ban.
Starke and Pulaski counties had previously lifted their burn bans on July 2, joining four counties in the state at the time that reported their bans as lifted. While Starke County has reinstated the ban, the Pulaski County Commissioners have not yet made the decision to do so. Their next meeting will take place on Monday, July 16, when they will review the current conditions and decide what course of action to take regarding their burning policy.
Starke County has been recognized as showing the greatest improvement in the EMA Office in the state. EMA Director, Ted Bombagetti, received the award in Indianapolis recently.
“All of the Directors of the EMAs throughout the state work off the state’s rating system where we do specific projects for our county, classroom participation and a host of other items,” said Bombagetti. “We get a report card on it at the end of the year and fortunately, my department was able to score enough points and we received an award from the state for the most improved county.”
The Starke County Emergency Management Agency is hosting a Weather Observer/Storm Spotter Training class on Monday, March 21st. Two different training sessions will be held. One session will be offered at 2:30 p.m. CT and the other at 6:00 p.m. CT at the Knox South Side Fire Station on US 35.