Thursday, April 26, 2018

4/30/2018 Little Lights Preschool Registration

4/26, 27, 28/2018 Rummage Sale & Ss Cyril & Methodius Church

KHS Life Skills Class is Hosting Their 2nd Annual Color Run Fund Raiser This Saturday (4/28)

Posted on April 25, 2018 
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The Knox High School Life Skills Class is hosting their 2nd annual Color Run this Saturday and there’s still time to sign-up!

The Color Run is an untimed 3-mile fun run for all ages and fitness abilities. Along the route, runners pass through vibrant “color zones” where powered-dye if playfully thrown at the participants. The course will end with a “finish fest” that will feature a DJ, door prizes and a cook-out hosted by the National Guard.

Event organizer Tiffany Hoar, said they’re already expecting two times more participants than last year! As the teacher for the Life Skills class at Knox High school, she works with students who have mild and moderate cognitive disabilities.

Tiffany said she came across the My School Color Run program as she was brainstorming about some creative ways to raise funds for the resources the class requires.

“These kiddos can stay until their 22 and once they’re 22, they exit high school and go into the independent living world,” the instructor explained, “so my whole goal is I work on life skills with them such as cooking, cleaning, hygiene and work skills, like filling out job applications and interviewing for a job.”

She added that they also take trips to the grocery store to gather the ingredients for the meals they prepare and attend community events such as plays in order to implement some of the social skills they learn in class.

Individuals can register the day of the race or sign-up online. If you can’t make it to the event but still want to provide funds for the class, donations can be submitted through the KHS Life Skills Color Run event page.

Check-in and same day registration will begin at 8 a.m. CT in the KHS parking lot near the tennis courts. The fun run will kick off around 8:30 a.m. on the cross country track. On-site registration will cost $30 and will include a t-shirt until they run out. Once the shirts run out, registration will be $20.

Participants are encouraged to wear white clothing during the run and should bring a spare pair of clothes or towels and blankets to protect your vehicle from the residual powder-dye on the trip home. Those with lighter hair who want to avoid walking away with a new multi-colored hairdo that could last a day or two should bring something to guard their heads.

If you have any questions contact Tiffany Hoar at 574-772-1670 ext 1951.

Date and Fee Established for Annual Town Wide Garage Sale in North Judson

Posted on April 25, 2018 
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Requests pertaining to the date and permit fee for the North Judson town-wide yard sale were brought before the town council during their meeting last Monday.

Billing Clerk Jennifer Vanek asked council members if the annual sale could be held on the first Saturday in August, which will be the 4th. She also requested that the yard sale permit fee, which typically costs $10, be reduced to $5 for the event.

Both requests received unanimous council approval. Town Council President Wendy Hoppe commented that Vanek does a great job with the event every year.

If you would like to obtain a permit for the event, visit Town Hall at 310 Lane Street or call 574-896-3340.

Starke County EMA Director Holds First Community Organization Active in Disaster Meeting

Posted on April 25, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director J. Nier hosted a meeting with community members who interested in participating in a group focused on local disaster preparation and response efforts.

Church representatives, members of the medical community and concerned citizens were among the individuals who attended the first Community Organizations Active in Disaster or COAD meeting on Tuesday night.

Director Nier explained that Starke County COAD was actually established a while ago. However, she said when she took the position in October of last year, the group had been inactive for some time. During the flooding event in February, she realized that there were certain needs that were being unmet so she’s attempting to revive the organization.

While the community had no shortage of generous donations, Nier said her office is still full of clean-up and comfort kits as well as clothing donations, the response to the event was lacking proper organization.

She said the three main things that COAD will focus on will be getting more local volunteers, establishing a donation manager and community outreach.

Volunteers will assist with various aspects of disaster response from damage assessment to working with the Red Cross. Some of the volunteer work would require additional training such as National Incident Management System (NIMS) training through FEMA and protocol classes with the Red Cross. Individuals would have to be willing to take the extra time to complete the necessary certifications.

The EMA Director said that the donation process is something that definitely needs to be addressed and potentially managed by one of the volunteers. She also mentioned the possibility of obtaining a 501-C3 non-profit classification so the group could set up a donations fund to use for future resource and housing needs.

Now that the unmet needs have been acknowledged, the next step is to set up a new Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). Nier said the most recent EOP she found was from 2009.

IU Health Starke Hospital representative Josephine Klisek noted that Director Nier could use the hospital’s plan as a template for the county and church leaders talked about providing potential shelter sites and bringing in more members of their congregation to assist with future planning.

During the remainder of April and throughout the month of May, the pioneer members will reach out to others in order to add more individuals to the network. Starke County COAD will meet again on Tuesday, June 5th at 5:30 p.m. in the meeting room of Starke County Annex Building #1.

If you have any questions about how to get involved, contact Director Nier at 574-772-9182.

North Judson Brush Pick-Up Begins Today, Fire Hydrant Flushing to Occur in May

Posted on April 26, 2018 
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann addressed a few important dates that residents should keep in mind in the coming weeks at last Monday’s town council meeting.

In response to a citizen question, he stated that the town utility department will start brush pick-up on Thursday, April 26th. Horstmann said they won’t be able to accomplish it all in one sweep, so additional brush pick-up will need to take place after today.

He also mentioned that crews will be flushing fire hydrants in May. During his report, Horstmann told council members, “We’re planning on flushing the fire hydrants the nights of May 6th and the 7th. It will be done between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.”

If you have any questions you can contact the utility department at 574-896-3340.

Poll Worker’s Needlepoint Hobby Leads to Debate during Starke County Election Board Meeting

Posted on April 26, 2018 
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

A poll worker’s needlepoint hobby led to a lengthy debate among Starke County Election Board members Wednesday. Board President Harrison Fields said he’s gotten complaints about a poll worker who’s apparently been doing needlepoint while waiting for potential voters, during in-person absentee voting hours. “I’ve had two phone calls on it, and me personally, I don’t like the looks of it, personally,” he said. “I don’t like the looks of it.”

Starke County Clerk Vicki Cooley said that during early voting, there’s sometimes a wait of several hours between voters. While the election board has decided not to allow poll workers to use laptops during voting hours, Cooley said she had no problem with them bringing along a quiet activity to work on. Fields disagreed. “I think if you go out down here in private business, I don’t think any private business is going to let you do such things,” he said.

Fields said he was okay with poll workers bringing newspapers or magazines to look at. Others warned that could lead to problems if they happen to contain pictures of candidates.

With less than two weeks until the May Primary, board member Peg Brettin asked Fields to drop the issue. “We’re picking on menial things,” she said. “We’ve got an election coming up that we need to be worrying about.”

Fields wanted to settle the matter with a vote, but Cooley and Brettin didn’t think it was worth it. “Do you really want to put a vote into the minutes that it’s okay that the ladies can take care of handiwork down there?” Brettin asked.

“Sure, why not?” Fields replied.

The issue never came to a vote, but after more than 15 minutes of discussion, board members agreed that poll workers should be asked to keep any needlepoint or other outside materials out of the sight of voters.

Starke County COAD Addresses Inconsistencies with Communication Systems Utilized by Emergency Personnel

Posted on April 26, 2018 
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

When Starke County COAD met for the first time Tuesday night, a question from one of the county’s amateur radio operators prompted a discussion about the communication systems utilized by the county’s emergency personnel.

Hamlet Fire Chief and Starke County Council President Brad Hazelton explained that some emergency personnel, such as the Sherriff’s Department, use radios that run on the 800 megahertz spectrum while others, like the fire departments, utilize very high frequency, or VHF technology. Hazelton said, “We can talk to EMS, because they’re VHF and 800 but the police are only 800 and we’re only VHF.”

The Pastor of the Knox Church of the Nazarene, Rick Martin, inquired about how the inconsistencies impact communication between agencies, “If they had to get a hold of you, or if you had to get a hold of them, are you saying that’s not possible?”

Hazelton replied, “If police need to get a hold of us, they have to call back to dispatch and then dispatch will have to relay to us.”

Chief Hazelton mentioned that assistance from the Hamlet Fire Department wasn’t needed much during the recent flooding event since response efforts were primarily concentrated in Knox so he couldn’t comment on whether or not the convoluted line of communication caused any problems.

Hazelton mentioned, while this is something they would like to address, the radios would cost approximately $5,000 a piece and each of the county’s 7 fire departments would require 6 to 7 radios. In order to get all the county’s fire departments equipped with 800 megahertz radios, it would cost around $30-$35,000 per department, resulting in a total cost of over $300,000.

Hazelton noted that right now, fixing this problem is not financially feasible as there isn’t currently enough money in the county’s budget to address it. He added that there were issues in the past with utilizing grant funds to obtain 800 MHz radios that turned out to be faulty.

The topics of improving the county’s emergency communication system and establishing a chain of command consisting of volunteers will be discussed more when the Starke County Community Organizations Active in Disasters group meets in the future.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

CLOSURE - U.S. 231 Bridge, North of Rensselaer

Indiana Department of Transportation: Northwest

CLOSURE - U.S. 231 Bridge, North of Rensselaer:

The U.S. 231 bridge over the Iroquois River, just north of Rensselaer, will be closed beginning tomorrow and through mid-August. The closure limits are between CR 100S and Division Road, about one mile south of SR 14.

After mid-August, when one side of the bridge is complete, the bridge will be down to one lane with a traffic signal directing traffic until the entire project is complete in October.

This work is for a bridge replacement.

Downtown Additions Discussed During North Judson Town Council Meeting

Posted on April 24, 2018 
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson Town Council members considered the purchase of 30 new banners from OTES Signs and Graphics when they met last Monday.

Councilman James Young explained that the town already has the mounting brackets and hardware needed to hang them, so they would just need to buy the banners themselves. He said the price for all 30 banners came to $960, which breaks down to $32 per banner.

He added that the look of the new banners would be consistent with existing signage, “With a design that would look similar to what we have coming into town, it just says ‘Welcome to North Judson’, something bright and colorful.”

Councilman Josh Brown stated that he thought the banners looked great and other council members were in agreement. The motion to purchase all 30 banners passed with unanimous approval.

Young also informed members about a few potential projects that he’s been looking into with North Judson-San Pierre art teacher Clayton Howard, “I also talked to the high school art teacher about painting fire hydrants and some possible murals on some of the buildings downtown.”

Young explained, “He’s supposed give us a report about coordinating with the art class to be doing that in the near future.”

No official actions were taken on those proposed ideas. However, Young said he will continue speaking with Mr. Howard about the painting projects.