Wednesday, September 18, 2013

LaCrosse Native Embarks on Tractor Trip for Cancer

By: Mary Perren, WKVI
Published: September 18th, 2013
Darren Hayes
Darren Hayes
A LaCrosse native who relocated to St. Petersburg, Fla. a few years ago is back home as part of a fundraiser for a good cause. Darren Hayes left the Florida sunshine on Aug. 29 bound for New Buffalo, Mich. driving a 1951 John Deere tractor and pulling a 10-foot trailer with a banner attached.
Tractor 3

“My good friend Matt has two inoperable brain tumors, and his daughter died a year ago from a brain tumor as well. When we offered to do a benefit for him, he requested that we take anything that’s donated and give it to Riley Children’s Hospital as well as Ronald McDonald House because they took care of him and his family while his daughter was going through her tough times,” said Hayes.
Tractor 2Hayes says the social media response on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has been tremendous and adds he’s met some really wonderful, generous people along the way.
“One day I had a little issue, and I needed a ride to town. It was noting imperative, but I was stuck and 30 miles from the nearest town. No sooner did I pull to the side of the road and a guy stopped and asked ‘Do you need something?’ It’s been like that all the way up. I could talk all day about the willingness of people to help,” said Hayes.
Hayes has collected some donations along the way, but most of the fundraising so far has taken place through his website, He hopes to raise $25,000.
Tractor 1“Even if it’s just a dollar, people have apologized to me handing me $2 and saying ‘that’s all I have.’ You don’t understand, that $2 helps tremendously. That $2 paired with 1,000 other one dollar bills, it adds up, and it adds up quick. I encourage people not to be bashful. You may think that it’s just a dollar, but eventually compiled with a bunch of others, it’s changing lives, and we need it,” said Hayes.
Hayes will conclude his journey tomorrow in New Buffalo, but he and the tractor will return to Wanatah on Saturday for a benefit fundraiser at the American Legion. Find more information about that event on his website,, as well as links to his social media sites.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

10/5 & 6/2013 Two Day Indiana Hunter Education Course

Indiana Conservation Officers are offering at Hunter Education Class on Saturday October 5 & Sunday October 6, 2013. The course will be held from 9am to 3pm CDT at the Kankakee FWA Headquarters at 4320 W. Toto Rd., North Judson. Attendance both days is mandatory and children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring a sack lunch. Information only at 219-879-5710.

There is no fee for this course.  Indiana Hunter Education Courses will provide instruction in the areas of safe firearm use and handling while hunting, as well as in the home, hunter ethics and responsibility, game identification, and conservation management.  Upon successful completion of the course participants will receive their Indiana Hunter Education Certification which is required for any hunters born after Dec. 31, 1986.  Students are required to preregister for the course by visiting

About the Class
Hunter Education classes are offered by knowledgeable and dedicated volunteer instructors and Indiana Conservation Officers.

The Classroom Course must include a minimum of 10 hours of instruction. Most classes offered are 1 to 3 sessions. In order to be certified, students must attend the entire class including all sessions.

Age-Related Information
We do not prevent attendance based on age; however:

  • Any child under 11 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian every session.
  • At the first session, everyone under 18 years of age must give the instructor a signed, completed Liability Release Form (download, print, and sign). This form must have the parent or guardian's signature.

DNR Offers GiveIN Game Program; Began Sept. 1

By: Ben Haut, WKVI
Published: September 17th, 2013

A program offered through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources aims to connect hunters who have opportunities to harvest additional deer with others who could use venison to feed their families. According to the DNR website, the GiveIN Game Program allows participants to contact each other through the program and arrange for the transfer of meat on their own.

The program began Sept. 1, offering opportunities for hunters to donate venison during the hunting season and exchange frozen packages of venison or deer taken on special permits outside of the hunting season. Participants must sign up each year beginning Sept. 1, but participation is free.

However, there are a few things to remember regarding the program. First, a person cannot sell, trade or barter venison per Indiana code, though venison can be gifted. The DNR is not responsible for the quantity, quality, freshness, processing, or packaging of the venison or the failure of the donor or recipient to follow through with the transfer. All hunter-harvested deer must be taken to an official deer check station within 48 hours of the harvest for registration. This can be done by the hunter who harvested the deer or someone he or she designates, as long as the designee has the temporary transportation tag that the hunter completed.

Participants will contact each other and arrange for the transfer of meat on their own. Participants may join or withdraw from the program at any time. To withdraw or edit your submission, email the Department of Fish and Wildlife with the necessary information.

Participants will have their first name, county, and preferred contact information available online to search for potential matches. Other personal information will remain confidential.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Moving Starke County Forward Reaches Goal

For those of you who weren't able to attend the end of program ceremony on Saturday September 14th, here are the results.

By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
Published: September 16th, 2013

It was a secret until now. How many miles did the participants log in the Moving Starke County Forward walking challenge? Organization member Nancy Dembowski gives us the answer.
“We made 27,426 miles which is around the world to San Francisco overseas to the west and all the way back to Starke County – and a little further,” said Dembowski. “We are just so proud of the people of Starke County. 269 people participated. We truly believe that this initiative has made 269 people healthier today than they were when they started and that’s what it’s all about.” 
Sarah Hoshaw with Healthlinc was instrumental in getting this initiative off the ground as Healthlinc provided grant funding to get Moving Starke County Forward going. She told of some interesting statistics that occurred as a result of this walking challenge. 
“About 67 percent of the participants who are diabetic logged miles, 65 percent of the participants with high blood pressure logged miles and 70 percent of those who said they wanted to lose weight logged miles. We just think that’s amazing. If we can mobilize anybody who needs to improve their health in some way with those rates, we know that we could make a pretty big difference,” said Hoshaw. 
Congratulations to the following award winners:
  • Most Miles: Linda Bachert 1,133 miles
  • Most Group Miles: Jay Walkers 4,128 miles and 42 members
  • Best Group Mile Average: “The Group with No Name” with members Heather Skelly, Kathy Kukula, Jerry Girone, and Crystal Sanders 377.26 avg. mile per participant
  • Best in Ages Under 18: Tony Matt 500 miles
  • Best in Ages 18-39: Kim Frazier 1,023 miles
  • Best in Ages 40-64: Julie Butus 924 miles
  • Best in ages 65 and older: Arlene Noble 846 miles
  • Most Inspiring: Logan Dorman received the Most Inspiring award, having been diagnosed with a serious cholesterol issue and through this program, he was able to get it under control. Michelle Bachtel and WKVI’s Anita Goodan were also considered as candidates for this award. 
Now that the walking challenge is over, the Moving Starke County Forward organization will be focusing on other aspects in getting the county healthy, including tackling the county’s drug issues.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

NJSP Pop Warner Junior Midget Cheer Squad Toilet Paper & Paper Towel Fundraiser

The NJSP Pop Warner Junior Midget Cheer Squad is raising money through an alternative fundraiser selling discounted name brand toilet paper and paper towels. They will be selling to friends, families, local businesses and others in the community to raise money to help them get to the national cheer competitions in Orlando, Florida.

All products are sold by the case and pricing starts at about 29 cents per roll for toilet paper and $1 per roll for paper towels.  You can see samples of the products and place an order by coming by one of their home games on Sundays at NJSP High School. You can also see samples and place an order by contacting any of the Jr. Midget Cheerleaders or by contacting Misty Ratzlaff by phone (815-575-3397) or email (

The Paper Drive will run from Sept. 2nd to Sept. 30th and the products will be delivered Oct. 25th.

Rose-Hulman Homework Hotline Open for Business

 Wish this had been available when I was in school. Mom tried her best, but sometimes it was beyond both of us.

By: Ben Haut, WKVI
Published: September 10th, 2013

If you need help in middle school or high school science and math, the tutors at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Homework Hotline are ready to help tackle your questions.
The Homework Hotline is a free math and science tutoring service that helps students from sixth grade through high school. You may call, email or chat online with tutors from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET Sunday through Thursday. The hotline will be available through May.
The tutors are ready to help you with any questions concerning algebra, chemistry, calculus, trigonometry and more.
Call 1-877-ASK-ROSE for assistance or submit questions to
During the 2013-2013 school year, Homework Hotline tutors answered 37,000 calls, conducted 3,767 online sessions and helped students in every Indiana county.

Monday, September 9, 2013

9/30/2013 Walorski Staff Member to Hold Office Hours in Starke County

By: Ben Haut, WKVI
Published: September 9th, 2013

A member of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski’s staff will be holding office hours in the Starke County Courthouse later this month to assist constituents with casework and official business. Walorski announced that a member of her staff will be in the office on the first floor of the courthouse on Sept. 30 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. CT, and urged anyone unable to attend the listed hours to contact Brian Spaulding at (574) 780-1330 to schedule an appointment.

For more information on Congresswoman Walorski and available Congressional services and resources, visit

The Starke County Courthouse is located at 53 E. Washington St. in Knox.

Heading south from LaPorte anytime soon? Highways 39, 35 and 6 all have closures

The following is from the What's New LaPorte? community homepage.
That old saying “You can’t get there from here” might pop into the minds of motorists trying to head south from LaPorte in the next few weeks. Grab your GPS or your atlas, or be prepared to follow your nose, if you plan to use 35, 39 or 6. According to the Indiana Department of Transportation:
– Starting Monday, Sept. 9, all lanes of Ind. 39 will be blocked about 10 miles south of LaPorte, between County Road 800 South and U.S. 6, for two weeks. Two railroad crossings are being repaired.
– The U.S. 6 bridge near Kingsford Heights remains closed for reconstruction until at least late September.
– And a bridge on U.S. 35 just north of Knox has the highway closed in that area until around Nov. 29.
So if you’re heading south, maybe you want to go to Westville and take U.S. 421. Just an option.

9/21/2013 Bella Vita Walk For Life

Community Christmas Cantata Rehearsals to Begin Sept. 22

If you love to sing, and your local church doesn't do a Christmas Cantata, you might consider joining the Community Cantata this year.  Heck, you might even want to do both if there is no conflict as to performance dates.

By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
Published: September 9th, 2013
The Community Choir will be preparing for the annual Christmas Cantata on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. CT at the Knox United Methodist Church.
Any interested vocalists are encouraged to attend this call-out for this year’s performances. The choir grows more and more every year and the music blend keeps getting better and better.
This year’s Cantata will perform on Sunday, Dec. 8. 
For more information, call the Knox United Methodist Church at (574) 772-4228 or (574) 772-3609.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

9/13/2013 St. Joe Valley Blue Star Mothers Chicken & Noodle DInner

St. Joe Valley Blue Star Mothers Chicken & Noodle Dinner Fundraiser at the Knox VFW on Friday, September 13th from 4:30 to 7 p.m.  Proceeds are for Operation Care Package 2013 (5th Annual Christmas Care Packages for Deployed Troops).

Tickets are Adults - $7, Children ages 3-12 - $5, ages 2 and under free.  Carry outs will be available.

For tickets or more information, contact Laura Undem at 867-5638.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Notes From Nubi - Sad News for Me

Mom broke some sad news to me today.  :(

Because the library is “migrating” from one automation system to another, and mom is the one who takes care of the technical/computer stuff as well as doing Tale Time, she has had to cancel my Tale Time sessions until further notice.  :(  :(

She said that every “migration” has some hiccups, usually minor in nature, but she will be the one making sure that they stay minor.   As an example, because of the new system every patron will have to surrender their card for a new barcode; and there are just under 3,000 library patrons!  And mom isn’t sure if they will have to put new barcodes on all the books too and there are about 28,000 of them!

Then we might have to close down for at least one training day for the staff to learn the new system.

But mom hopes things will go smoothly – she does tend to be a worry wart – and maybe we will be able to start back up again in late November or December.  So cross your fingers and toes, wish us luck and I hope to be back in the library soon.

Take care until I see you again. - Nubi

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bridge Replacement to Close Starke County Road

By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
Published: September 3rd, 2013

A road in Starke County will be closed for approximately three months for bridge replacement.

The Starke County Highway Department will be closing 1000 E. just north of 800 N. for bridge replacement.

Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler said the road will be closed from Sept. 4 through Nov. 30. Travelers are urged to seek an alternate route during this closure. State Road 23 will be utilized as a detour route.

Starke County Veterans Service Officer Urges Vets to Seek Earned Benefits

By: Ben Haut, WKVI
Published: September 3rd, 2013

Starke County Veterans Service Officer Terry Turner is urging veterans to take advantage of disability benefits, because now, he said, they are easier than ever to obtain and veterans are eligible for up to 12 months of back-pay.

Turner said there have been a lot of changes in how disability benefits are being handled by the VA.

“Right now, if you’re able to turn in a fully developed claim, you can get as much as 12 months of back-pay, and it’s really a good time to seek benefits; if you’re a veteran and you have some medical problems that relate to service because it seems they’ve done a lot of work on the process of exploring whether your claims are good or not, and I really think that even though there’s still a tremendous backlog, it’s a lot easier to get your claims through,” said Turner.

Turner said every day you miss filing a claim, you’re missing out on money that you deserve. In particular, he said, if you’re an Iraq or Afghanistan veteran, you have five years of medical care owed to you from the day you leave the service.

“So it’s a good thing to just stop in the Veterans Service Office, it’s in the annex building, which is just north of the courthouse. Easy to find, you just walk straight in, the Veterans Service Office is to the right, just past the canteen. And right now, I am the one working in there because Gordon Richie, the regular veterans service officer, is out on surgery,” said Turner.

He said the best thing to do if you’re a veteran is to stop in the office and get information on what you have earned as a veteran – everything from education benefits to medical benefits, Turner explained.

The office is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.