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Secret City

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posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 12:03 PM
I found this while trawling a few news sites. I personally have never heard of this place before, although it's hardly suprising. Im interested in what people think and to find out if anyone on ATS lives nearby.

STARKE, FL -- It's a small, country town where people know people and look out for one another. "I love the people. I really like the town," says one person who lives there.

56 hundred people call Starke home. It's a place so quiet, there hasn't been a murder in three years, but ask anyone here and they will tell you murder is their big business.

"The prisons. That's where everybody works when you talk to them," says Iris Johnson, who lives in Starke.

In the western shadows of Starke, down State Road 16, are some of Florida's most violent criminals. Here, the state runs half a dozen prison facilities.

In all, more than 5,100 inmates a population about as big as Starke.

Just outside of the razor sharp wires is a community within a community. When First Coast News tried to get pictures of this place from the sky, the prisons went on lockdown and our crews were ordered to the ground, even though we were not breaking any laws.


posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 03:42 PM
5600 is considered a town is it not? if this town exists in florida, is it a new town or has it been around for a while ? enquiring minds want to know.

posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 04:08 PM
As a Florida native, and the fact that I moved alot in the past, mostly in Florida itself, I've unwittingly driven through this "town" many times. From what I can remember of it from just passing through, there is nothing out of the ordinary. The town has a MLK BLVD just like most other towns (which on a diff subject, I dont understand the purpose of), and the "town" area you drive through on Hwy 301 looks no different than any other smaller town you would encounter on a drive through the "country" in Florida. They even have thier own Pizza Hut, McDonald's & familiar stores like anywhere else. If not for reading this thread I would have never known anything "odd" was going on amidst the "regular ol' town" front of this area. It's definately something I'll look into.

[edit on 27-11-2005 by DrussRob]

posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 04:18 PM
Even the description in the story doesn't make the city seem all that secret. It sounds like the state owns the property and the state workers can live on that property in state housing. That doesn't seem all that weird to me.

Google has the town listed, as does WeatherUnderground, even though Starke doesn't have it's own WU station and uses a Gainesville station.

WeatherUnderground-Starke, FL

Google Search

[edit on 2005/11/27 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 06:13 AM
I agree with Grady in that the description in the story didnt make it sound like anything out of the ordinary. But that was exactly what intrigued me. If it's nothing out of the ordinary, why the fuss? It will be interesting to see if anyone else has come across this before.

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 06:27 AM
Some more from the same investigation.

First Coast News has confirmed in the Raiford staff housing area, there are 82 correction workers waiting for a home, 32 waiting for mobile homes and 31 waiting for apartments.

First Coast News asked the Department of Corrections in Tallahassee to talk with us on camera about staff housing out at Raiford.

The Department declined saying it would not interview with us unless we provided them with a list of questions.

First Coast News policy is we do not provide questions in advance. We don't afford the privilege to the Governor, the State Attorney General or the First Lady.

First Coast News did tell the Department of Corrections in numerous emails and phone calls we needed to know the basics of staff housing.

We wanted to know everything from who can or cannot get a house to who is watching over the system. Once again, the Department of Corrections declined.

The Department's recent troubles may be one reason why. Corrections is reportedly the target of State and Federal investigations.

According to newspaper reports, nearly half a dozen correctional officers have been arrested in a steroid probe.

Reports also indicate, a former regional director is under investigation as well.

The associated press reports two prison workers were arrested for being involved in a fight.

Since Corrections refused to talk, First Coast News asked State Attorney General Charlie Crist. He turned us down too.

First Coast News then went to Governor Jeb Bush's office requesting an interview on Department of Corrections staff housing.

We talked with two different people in Bush's press office. That was a week and a half ago. Our numerous calls have never been returned.

And so, Sherri Starling continues to call this secret community home.

A home where only those who live behind the razor wires seem to know who can and can't live here.

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 08:36 AM
I've passed through Starke several times on the way to Lake City for airshows. I don't see what the problem is. This TV News crew is just trying to make something out of nothing. What they are trying to show is that the taxpayers of Florida are paying for housing for prison employees and that the public is somehow being ripped off. I think that it is a great idea. It would be a decent way to attract qualified employees to an area that really isn't that desireable. As far as the prisoners doing upkeep goes I am sure that the people living there know the situation and are probably safer than those of you who have lawn services, because they know these people are prisoners and are more alert compaired to you not knowing who is cutting your grass. If the costs of maintaining Starke are included as benefits for the employee's compensation I think it is a win-win situation. When I was leaving the Navy in Jacksonville in 1988 I was offered a job at Starke and turned it down because of what it was and where it was at, if I'd have known about the housing situation I may have reconsidered the offer.

posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 05:35 PM
i dont see how this is a secret if we are able to look it up and find enough information about it to post here. i think the title of this thread is a bit misleading.

Kind Regards,

posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 06:12 PM

Originally posted by DigitalGrl
i dont see how this is a secret if we are able to look it up and find enough information about it to post here. i think the title of this thread is a bit misleading.

Kind Regards,

What is being called a "secret" is that the State of Florida owns Starke. I still believe that this story is meant to stir people up by trying to say that the State is misusing funds to pay for Starke.

posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 06:59 PM
Well I have was sent to DOC (Lake Butler, near stark) to serve a term and just got out this year. Stark and Raiford which is where Florida State Prison is located are the most horrible prisons in florida, full murderers and rapists and other assorted really bad people. I can tell you that I don't think its a secret city but but it is like stepping off the face of the earth into a different dimension. And the only reason towns like stark and lake butler and others are there is the prisons. No prisons and those towns would dry up.

posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 07:32 PM
When I was in the 6th grade my family moved to Sanford Florida and my Dad worked on a Dairy farm.
Is Sanford close to Starke?

posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 03:00 AM
I've been to Starke & I still live in Florida, & it's not a secret, it's just small. My grandmother used to live there til she passed away of complications of old age in her trailer. I know of a town in Ohio that only has around 3,000 in it. Does this mean it's a secret? No. I think something got left out somewhere.

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