Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Historical Society Buys Knox Family Practice Building

Published: December 23, 2014
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Dr. and Mrs. Walter Fritz transferred ownership of the former Knox Family Practice building and parking lot at 1520 South Heaton Street in Knox to the Starke County Historical Society  yesterday in a signing ceremony at the 1st Source Bank in Plymouth.

The property is to be developed as additional display and storage space for the Starke County Museum now located at 401 South Main Street in Knox. The Main Street building, the home of former Indiana Governor Henry F. Schricker, will continue to be a major area attraction.

Witnessing the transfer, in addition to president Ron Vendl, were James Shilling, vice president; Peg Brettin, treasurer; Debbie Mix, secretary; Ed Hasnerl, Starke County Historian; Judy Caudill, 1st Source Bank, Knox; and Melba Shilling, former society treasurer.

The Society will be engaging in a Capital Funds Campaign to finance the original cost of the Fritz building and for remodeling expenses, with plans to be using the facilities sometime next year.

INDOT Offers Holiday Travel Tips

Published: December 23, 2014
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Many people are traveling this time of year so the roads can be quite hectic. Be sure to buckle up before taking off for a drive. Also ensure that all passengers are secured in their safety belts or car seats.

Drive attentively by avoiding these three common distractions; cell phones, adjusting the radio and eating or drinking. To avoid falling asleep at the wheel, be well rested before a long drive. Be a conscientious driver and share the road. Be on the lookout for motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Never drive impaired! Even the slightest amount of alcohol can negatively affect a driver’s response time. Always establish a designated driver. If there are no sober motorists, don’t hesitate to call a cab or spend the night at the location. Don’t risk your life or the lives of others by driving under the influence.

Road conditions can be incredibly unpredictable during the winter months so slow down, pay attention and obey the speed limits posted.

Toys You Don’t Want to See Under the Christmas Tree

Published: December 22, 2014
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Each year the Public Interest Research Group releases a Trouble in Toyland report, disclosing which toys are unfit to be sold. This year more than 150 toys were either recalled or taken off of store shelves as a result of the report. The four main threats uncovered were toxic hazards in toys, choking hazards, magnetic toys and excessively noisy toys. The toxic chemicals found in the toys include lead, chromium and phthalates.

One item, a Dora the Explorer back pack was found to have 20 percent phthalates which is well over the legal limit of .1 percent. Other toxic toys included a police badge play-set that contained lead, a toy tambourine containing chromium levels exceeding 500 ppm above the legal limit and several toys that ran the risk of being choking hazards.

This report highlights the importance of parental awareness. Consumers need to be proactive and research a product before making a purchase.

Monday, December 22, 2014

N.J.-S.P. Academic Team Recognized

Published: December 20, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre Academic Team was given the Blue Jay Way award at the school board meeting this week for winning the annual spell bowl competition last month. The school hosted the elementary competition for 11 schools in five different classes competing against each other. North Judson-San Pierre emerged victorious from the field of five schools in the orange class receiving the highest score ever achieved in school history. A score of 47 placed them 23rd in the entire state.

Several students participated on the team including, Camden Lidgard, Jackson Falbo, Ashtyn Gaskey, Savanah Mendoza, Chloe White, Ana Rico, Emily Jackson, Hana Finch, Lauren Powers, Owen Frasure, Delaney McDonald, Liam Combs, Emily Gundlach, David Rossa, Elijah Minix and Kennedy Baxter.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Renovations on Track for New North Judson Town Offices

Published: December 18, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

The North Judson Town Council received an update on the new location of the town offices this week. The First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street was donated to the town back in August where it has been under reconstruction. The building will house the water department, clerk treasurer’s office and serve as meeting space for the town council. North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry says the interior work is almost complete which is phase 1 of what needs renovated. She says they will hopefully be moved in within the first quarter of 2015.

In the meantime, town council meetings will be moved from the community center to the basement of the North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library. Henry says the council will meet there until the new location is ready because heating is more adequate during this time of year. A special meeting for the council to finalize the year is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 8 a.m. CST.

The town also received the fall distribution of property taxes totaling $167,965.68. Henry says the money received is to help pay bills throughout the year.

Starke County Commissioners Award Bridge Design Bids

Published: December 18, 2014
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The Starke County Commissioners Monday chose a South Bend-based engineering firm for design work on two bridges slated for construction in the summer of 2015. Jones Petrie Rafinski submitted the lowest price of the four requests for proposals, coming in at $61,000. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says they’ve designed several bridges for the county and will be able to realize additional cost savings by continuing that work. The company is now tasked with drawing up plans for a new bridge on 700 North over the Robbins Ditch and on 100 East over the Smith Ditch.

The replacements are part of the county’s ongoing bridge replacement and maintenance plan. In 2001, 54 percent of Starke County’s bridges were deficient according to state standards. That number dropped to 32-percent in 2012 and is currently at the state average of 22.5 percent. Ritzler says it will drop to 14 percent once the bridges on the summer replacement schedule are completed. His goal by 2019 is to have all of the county’s bridges in compliance with state standards through a replacement and maintenance program.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SCEDF Looks to Improve Communication with Public

Published: December 17, 2014
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) Board of Directors met recently to discuss the past, present and future of the organization.

One concern that the board members felt that needed improvement was communication with the public. SCEDF Executive Director Charlie Weaver stated that what they are doing is not secretive and work done by the organization could be more transparent.

There is a lot of work to be done to bring a new business to Starke County. While preliminary planning and ongoing negotiations cannot be announced publicly, the final plans are typically announced.

Work continues at the Knox Industrial Park to make transporting product in and out of the area easier for truck drivers and to quicken the process. At a recent Knox City Council meeting, Weaver discussed construction of a new shell building in the industrial park to attract business owners who are simply looking for empty facilities to start manufacturing product. Weaver mentioned that new construction is a longer process where a shell building could provide a place to start rather quickly.

Visitation Restrictions in Place at Local Hospitals

Published: December 17, 2014
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

Visitor restrictions are now in place at IU Health Starke Hospital and at IU Health LaPorte Hospital to help prevent the spread of the flu.

An increasing number of flu cases have been reported in the entire state and the policy is in place at many IU-based hospitals statewide.

IU Health Starke and LaPorte hospitals are allowing healthy adults aged 18 and older to visit patients in the hospital. Only two people may visit with a patient at a time. Parents are urged to refrain from bringing children to the hospital as visitors this flu season.

If you are going into the hospital for treatment and have the flu or cold-like symptoms, it is encouraged that you wear a protective mask provided at hospital entrances.

This temporary policy went into place on Monday, Dec. 15 and remains in effect until further notice.

To prevent the flu, wash your hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and stay home if you are sick.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

12/16/2014 North Judson-San Pierre School Board Meets Tonight

Published: December 16, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board will vote on bids for the approval of tax anticipation warrants tonight. This is done every year to get the school through the end of December in terms of finances. The board will decide on the lowest interest loan bid acquired to help funds in capital projects and transportation.

Resolutions for authorization of the treasurer to pay claims and make transfers are also discussion items on the agenda this evening. Tonight’s meeting starts at 7 p.m. CST in the administration office.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Old Fire House in North Judson May Be Demolished

Published: December 15, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

The North Judson Town Council is considering options for the former fire station located at the corner of Main Street and Keller Avenue. The 1950s-era building is currently used as a community center. Town Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry tells WKVI News it needs numerous, costly repairs. A new roof alone carries an estimated price tag of $40,000. Henry says one of the options could be to demolish the building and turn the space into a green area. She adds grant funds may be available from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs to cover that cost. Henry stresses no final decisions have been made about what to do with the building. The North Judson Town Council meets there this evening at 7 p.m.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ancilla College Adding College Dorms

Ancilla College is adding college housing for students.  You can find out more by reading the article on their website - http://www.ancilla.edu/dorms-at-ancilla-college-to-open-fall-2015/.

Bridge Over Bogus Run Set to Reopen Monday

Published: December 12, 2014
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The new bridge over Bogus Run on Starke County 900 East will open again to traffic on Monday. The bridge just west of 100 West has been closed since August. LaPorte Construction is sealing the deck of that bridge. They also replaced the bridge over Eagle Creek on 800 East just north of 50 South. It reopened recently as well.

Work is ongoing on the bridge over Smith Ditch on 50 East just south of 500 South. Crews have taken advantage of the mild weather and have completed a significant portion of that project. It’s due to wrap up in the spring.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Starke County Historical Society Building Fund Gets a Boost

Published: December 11, 2014
By: Ed Hasnerl, WKVI

The Starke County Historical Society received a check for $5,000 from the Starke County Genealogical Society on Sunday at the annual museum open house on Sunday. The gift will be added to the museum’s building and acquisition fund. The museum is currently using only the Main Street home of former Gov. and Mrs. Henry F. Schricker.

The County’s Historical Society is remodeling the former office of Dr. Walter Fritz on U.S. 35 South, in Knox, for much needed additional display and storage space. Dr. Fritz continues his practice in facilities on Edgewood Drive.

To make a gift to assist the Museum in its expansion project, contact President Ron Vendl at 772-5393 or Vice President Jim Shilling at 772-4311.

Ron Vendl, president of the Starke County Historical Society, accepts a check for $5,000 from Blanche Richardson, President of the Starke County Genealogical Society, while other members of the Genealogical Society look on, Front Row: Ron Vendl, Alice Dolezal, Blanche Richardson, Ida Kennedy, Susie Szynalski, Back Row: Audrey Kinezian and Patty Williams.

The Starke County Historical Society has launched a three-year, $200,00 capital campaign to buy this building at 1520 S. Heaton St. in Knox.

Ancilla Announces Next CNA Class

Published: December 11, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI
Prospective Certified Nursing Assistant Students can register now for a spring semester course at Ancilla College. Applicants must pass a physical, a drug screen and a background check. A high school diploma is not required for this course.

The program consists of 32 hours of classroom instruction and 75 hours of clinics. Classes will meet Monday and Wednesday nights from 6 until 10 p.m. EST starting Monday, Feb. 2. Students must also complete clinical hours on Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. After completing the requirements, students will take the state certification exam. It costs an additional $75.

Licensed CNA’s can work in long-term care facilities, home health, hospice groups and assisted living facilities. Applications are due Monday, Jan. 26. The class costs $800 and payment arrangements can be made with the business office at Ancilla. Students looking for financial assistance can contact Deb at WorkOne in Plymouth at 574-936-8919.

If you are interested, contact Rhonda Arvesen in the Nursing & Health Sciences department, at 574-936-8898 Ext. 327.

ISP Recognizes Starke County Master Troopers

ISP Recognizes Starke County Master Troopers

Published: December 11, 2014
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

A pair of Indiana State Police Master Troopers from Starke County are among those from the Lowell Post recently recognized for their commitment to the agency. Master Troopers Jim Strong and Doug Parker were each awarded a longevity pin and certificate for 20 years of service. Indiana State Police troopers are recognized for service milestones every five years.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

12/16/2014 TAB Finals Study Session

The North Judson-Wayne Township Library TAB is hosting a Finals study session for North Judson High School Students on December 16, 2014.

The study session will be from 3 to 7:30 p.m.; drop in any time to study for the subjects of your choice.  A study session schedule is available at the North Judson-San Pierre High School or library.

Snacks will be provided and anyone attending the study session is welcome to join us on Friday 12/19 for a movie night at 3 p.m.

12/16/2014 Food Pantry @ Knox United Methodist Church

In partnership with the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, the Knox United Methodist Church (201 S. Shield Street, Knox, Indiana) is sponsoring a Food Pantry on December 16th from 9-11 a.m.

Please use the East door on Shield Street; doors will open at 8 a.m. for sign in.  You must bring a photo ID and your own bags.

12/17/2014 Free Family Movie Night @ Knox Community Center

Free Family Movie Night at the Knox Community Center on December 17th from 6 – 8 p.m.  Join in for the Frosted Party.  Watch “Frozen,” do crafts, eat popcorn, and have pictures taken with Princess Elsa and Santa.  Hats and Mittens will be given to the first children arriving.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

12/13/2014 Starke County Humane Society Donation Drive

Donation Drive for the Animal Shelter at Dollar General ( North Judson store ) Saturday, December 13th.

We need donations of:
Monetary Donations to pay bills
Fabuloso and Pine Sol
Unscented Bleach
Paper Towel
Copy Paper
Garbage Bags ( 33 gal. or larger )
Kitty Litter ( non-clumping preferred )
Dog food, Puppy food and & cat food

Monday, December 8, 2014

WKVI Tapped Into Santa's Phone Line!

We have tapped into the North Pole phone system! What that means is that now your kids can leave messages for Santa on his voice mail, telling him what they want for Christmas. The number is 772-6241, and the extension is 135. The line will be open 24/7. Select messages will be played back on my morning show. The line will be up and running until December 23rd. Merry Christmas!

-Tom Berg, WKVI

Starke County Officials Seeking 2015 Board Appointees

Published: December 8, 2014
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The Starke County Council and Commissioners are seeking qualified, community-minded individuals to serve on a variety of boards and commissions in 2015. Many of the seats require specific party affiliation under Indiana Code. It is determined by the prospective nominee’s vote in the most recent primary election or a letter of support from the party chairman. Currently seated board members may be given preference for a subsequent term.

Letters of interest for Commissioners appointments may be submitted to the Starke County Commissioners, c/o the Starke County Auditor, 53 East Mound St., Knox, IN, 46534. Submit letters of interest for Council appointments to the Starke County Council, c/o the Starke County Auditor, 53 East Mound St., Knox, IN, 46534. The submission deadline is the close of regular business hours on Tuesday, Dec. 23. Contact commissioners Kathy Norem, Jennifer Davis or Kent Danford for more information.

Appointments for 2015 are as follows:
1. Starke Regular Drain Board (36-9-27) 1 Commissioner appointments
2. Planning Commission (IC 36-7-4) 1 Commissioners appointments (1D) 1 Township Trustee
3. Kankakee Iroquois Regional Plan Commission “K.I.R.P.C.” (IC 36-7-7) 2 Commissioner appointments
4. Health Board (IC 16-20) 2 Commissioners Appointments (2D)
5. Library Board (IC36-12) 1 Council appointment
6. Aviation Board (IC 8-22) 1 Commissioner Appointment (D)
7. Hospital Community Board 2 Commissioner Appointments (1D & 1R)
8. Alcoholic Beverage Board (IC 7.1) 1 Commissioner Appointment (R) 1 Council Appointment (D)
9. Regional Workforce Board 1 Commissioner appointment as recommended by SCED Director, Charles Weaver
10. Wage Commission 2 Commissioner appointments and 1 Council appointment (political balance required)
11. P.T.A.B.O.A. Board (IC 6-1.1-13) 2 Commissioner appointments (Political Balance Required)
12. Innkeepers Tax/Visitors Association Board (IC 6-9-18) 4 Commissioner appointments
13. Community Corrections Board (IC 11-12-2) 2 Commissioner Appointments
        a. Layperson
        b. Ex-offender

A complete list of Boards, with the associated Indiana Code and/or eligibility requirements, can be found on the Starke County web site at http://co.starke.in.us/

N.J.-S.P. Middle School Collecting Pennies for Patients

Published: December 8, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre Middle School Student Council is sponsoring a Pennies for Patients drive through the Indiana chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Proceeds will help Indiana youngsters who suffer from blood diseases. Student council members hope to raise $4,000. Pennies for Patients started Dec. 1 and will end on Dec. 19. The class that collects the most money will receive a pizza and doughnut party to celebrate while the teacher who raises the most will win a free Christmas floral arrangement from Main Street Floral and Gifts in North Judson. If you are interested in donating, visit http://in.llsevent.org/ng/index.cfm/13811/regPages/pledge/NorthJudsonSanPierreMiddleSchool. You can donate to a certain class or teacher to help them win the competition.

12/14/2014 Christmas Cantata This Sunday

Published: December 8, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

The 17th annual Community Christmas Cantata will take place Sunday at the Knox United Methodist Church. The Community Cantata Choir will present “Born Is The King, It’s Christmas.” This musical event tells the story of Christ’s birth in an exciting and upbeat way. Performances will take place at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. CST. The choir is made up of 44 individuals under the direction of Nan Folkers and Brian Liechty. A free will offering will be taken. For more information contact the Knox United Methodist Church Secretary Kathy Abbey at 574-772-4228.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Starke County Youth Club Youth Basketball Registration

Starke County Youth Club Youth Basketball Registration

K-4 students may enroll.  Tentative schedules will be provided at registration.  Updates are available on the website (www.thescyc.org) and Facebook.  Starke County Youth Club, 772-1600, ext. 1851.

Registration is $25 for current Club members, $40 for non-members.  Multi-student discounts are available. 

Anyone interested in coaching should contact Kasey Clark at 574-806-5655 or email kasey.clark96@yahoo.com.

Thursday, 12/4/2014
Registration at Knox Elementary Cafeteria from 5-7 p.m.

Tuesday, 12/9/2014
Registration at OD Elementary Cafeteria from 5-7 p.m.

Wednesday, 12/10/2014

Registration at NJSP Elementary Cafeteria from 5-7 p.m.

12/13 & 14/2014 Christmas Story Walk-Through

12/4, 5, 6/2014 Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church 3rd Annual Christmas Bazaar

Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church 3rd Annual Christmas Bazaar will be held on December 4th (4 to 6 p.m), 5th (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) , and 6th (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) in the Church Parlor.  They will have vintage décor, new décor, antiques, gifts, baked goods, and door prizes.  Lunch will be available.  Proceeds will benefit Bella Vita.  For more information contact JoAnne at 219-395-6547.

12/7/2014 Starke County Museum Christmas Open House

Starke County Museum will have a Christmas Open House on December 7th from 1 to 3 p.m.  There will be a music program starting at 2 p.m. featuring the Starke County Choralaires and the Eagle Creek Church Music Team.

N.J.-S.P. Officials Looking to Legislature for Education Reform

Published: December 3, 2014
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

A combination of declining enrollment, cuts in state funding and unfunded service mandates has North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation officials facing some difficult choices. They’ve already had to cut $800,000 from their budget this school year. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says eight staff members have been notified they will not have jobs after the school year ends. She says the corporation is looking to the Indiana General Assembly for meaningful education reform when the legislature convenes in January.

“I would like for them to fully fund kindergarten, and a simple thing is to make kindergarten mandatory. It is not right now. Increase funding to special education. Those children deserve the services they get, but it is not cheap,” Johnson said during a public forum last night at the high school.

Johnson noted funding for special education has not increased in 12 years. She also said the legislature needs to devote more money toward technology upgrades in the public schools. N.J.-S.P. recently spent a significant amount of money on upgrades in order to accommodate the online standardized testing the state now mandates.

Johnson said state lawmakers also need to consider the important contributions teachers make. She said they are valuable, not to mention necessary.

Johnson and corporation business manager/treasurer Guy Richie spoke candidly about the challenges facing schools across the state during last night’s public forum. Johnson says additional, deep cuts to both curricular and extracurricular activities will be necessary unless the legislature acts.

Attendees were urged to sign a petition in support of the types of reforms Johnson mentioned and to contact state Sen. Ed Charbonneau Senator.Charbonneau@iga.in.gov and Rep. Doug Gutwein h16@iga.in.gov. More information, including the PowerPoint presentation from the presentation, will be shared on the corporation’s website http://www.njsp.k12.in.us/. Johnson encourages anyone with questions to contact her office. WKVI will also air the entire presentation on Sunday, Dec. 7 at noon CST on Kankakee Valley Viewpoints.

Move to New North Judson Town Office Delayed

Move to New North Judson Town Office Delayed

Published: December 3, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

The North Judson Town Council received an update on the new location of the town offices this week. The First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street was donated to the town back in August where it has been under reconstruction. The work on the building has created a delay in the move. The plan was to be moved in to the new town hall by the end of the year.

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry said the remodeling has taken a bit longer than expected. She says they will hopefully be moved in within the first quarter of 2015. The building will house the water department, clerk treasurer’s office and serve as meeting space for the town council.

BMV Reinstatement Program Available until Dec. 31

Published: December 3, 2014
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

Suspended drivers have until Dec. 31 to take advantage of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ Reinstatement Relief Program. The Reinstatement Relief Program allows suspended drivers to pay temporarily reduced reinstatement fees and earn reinstatement, as long as all other legal requirements are met.

Don Snemis, Commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, said the program offers a 50 percent discount on reinstatement fees before July 1, 2013 for operating without insurance. Customers may be responsible for providing proof of insurance, completing a driver safety program, paying court fees, or successfully passing a driver’s license written knowledge exam, driving skills exam or vision screening.

The program was initiated in July of this year and more than 10,800 customers have paid back over $2.2 million in reinstatement fees.

Reinstatement fees cannot be paid at license branches. Customers must create a myBMV.com account to check eligibility.

More information on the BMV’s Reinstatement Relief Program may be found at www.in.gov/bmv/3212.htm.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Check Out Our New Web Page

Here is a simple way to make reindeer cookies. Buy some ready made gingerbread men at the store, turn them upside down and then decorate them as reindeer.

Check out the new page on our website called Christmas Goodies, Games And Crafts for more simple ideas.

Quote of the month - December 2014

12/4/2014 Is Your Last Chance To Sign Up For Parent's Night Out.

A special event for the kids so mom and dad can do some Christmas shopping.  From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. there will be movies, crafts, games and snacks provided in the library activities room.  YOU MUST SIGN UP BY DECEMBER 4TH.

For more information or to sign up please contact Kelsie Purcell at 574-896-2841, email her at purcellkelsienjwt@gmail.com, or stop in at the library.

12/2/2014 Meeting Scheduled Tonight to Discuss N.J.-S.P Future

Published: December 2, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation is holding a public meeting tonight at the high school auditorium. The Fight for Public Education presentation headlines the evening with what the future at N.J.-S.P. could be. A combination of declining revenue and enrollment over the last several years have resulted in drastic budget cuts. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says this makes it very difficult to maintain the same services and personnel that the school has always had. She says while cuts have already been made, more will be necessary.

“It’s getting to the point where you can only cut so much. It’s a difficult time for us. We want the community to be aware of some of the situations we are facing right now with our revenue,” said Johnson.

Johnson says enrollment has been on a steady decline for the past 13 years, but in 2012 they really took a hit and lost the small schools and restoration grants.

“The restoration grant was a way for small schools that were experiencing declining enrollment to average out that decrease. This saved us money. When they were eliminated we immediately lost $1 million in revenue,” said Johnson.

Johnson says today’s 6:30 p.m. meeting is an informational session for the community to understand what the corporation is facing. She adds several options will be laid out and looked at to better the future. Johnson noted while this has been a big challenge to tackle, the students are making tremendous progress that make the fight for public education at North Judson-San Pierre a must.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Pay it Forward on Giving Tuesday

Published: December 1, 2014
By: Mary Perren, WKVI
Get into the spirit of the holiday season tomorrow with Giving Tuesday. Starke County Youth Club Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says the local nonprofit has joined the movement.

“It really does inspire people to take action for their local community to give, whether it’s giving a gift of money, of time, of making a donation of another sort,”Szarconyi  said. “We really want to encourage and join what is now actually a global movement to give on Giving Tuesday, which is Dec. 2nd.”

Donations to the Starke County Youth Club can be made by phone, through the website www.theSCYC.org or by dropping a check in the mail. SCYC provides after school and summer enrichment programs for youngsters across the county.

“Even if Club isn’t their charity of choice, we still want them to give. Whether they’re making a donation to Community Services of Starke County, or getting together nonperishable food products for the food pantry, whether they’re giving to Moving Starke County Forward or any of the other fine organizations in this community, we would really just want to have a groundswell of giving on that Tuesday,” Szakonyi said.

“This is a moment to really think about giving back, to making your community a better place, and in particular to making sure that kids in our community have a safe place to go with lots of adults who care about them and really help prepare them for their futures. We want to get on this Giving Tuesday bandwagon, and we want to encourage other people, too.”

As part of the global Giving Tuesday movement, people are urged to take “unselfies” of their gifts and post them to social media with #GivingTuesday.

Beware of Health Insurance Marketplace Scams

Published: December 1, 2014
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Applicants for health insurance coverage through the marketplace should be aware of scammers during this open enrollment period. Indiana Department of Insurance Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson says no one at Healthcare.gov needs credit card information in order to help you apply for insurance. This has happened to people who have called the toll-free number to sign up for coverage or ask questions about the plans offered in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. Robertson says scammers set up telephone numbers that are very similar to the Healthcare.gov number in hopes that someone will misdial.

Another variation of the scam offers you a $100 rebate voucher for a discount shopping program or a $100 Walmart gift card if you pay a nominal processing fee with a credit card. This is a scam designed to get your credit card information. No rebate vouchers or gift cards are offered in exchange for signing up for health insurance.

If you are applying for coverage on the Federal Marketplace, make sure you call 1-800-318-2596. If you prefer to apply online, visit www.healthcare.gov.

If you’ve been a victim of a scam, contact the Indiana Department of Insurance at 317-232-2385 or the Indiana Attorney General’s office at 317-232-6330.

Starke County is Part of New State Christmas Tradition

Published: December 1, 2014
By: Ed Hasnerl, WKVI

Starke County will be represented on the main Christmas tree on display in the Capitol Building in Indianapolis this holiday season. Each year First Lady Karen Pence hosts an event to light the large tree in the rotunda of the Capitol with hundreds of school children attending.

This year, the program has changed to provide multiple smaller trees, and one 12-foot tree provided by the Indiana Tree Growers Association. All the trees will be in the rotunda. The main tree will have a statewide theme.

All of the state’s 92 counties are expected to have an ornament displayed on the main tree. They will then be permanently used in future tree trim decorations. The Starke County Chamber of Commerce provided an ornament that recalls the county’s 150th birthday.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

11/24/2014 Walorski Staffer to Hold Local Office Hours

Walorski Staffer to Hold Local Office Hours

Published: November 22, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

A representative from U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski’s office will be in Starke and Pulaski Counties next week to help local constituents who need to access federal government services. A member of her staff will be at the Starke County Courthouse in the commissioner’s office on the first floor of the courthouse on Monday, Nov. 24 from 8 until 11 a.m. CST. The member will then be in Pulaski County at the Winamac Municipal Utilities Building across from Plymouth Tube in the council chambers from 1 until 4 p.m. EST. Find more information about available services and resources by visiting http://walorski.house.gov/services/additional-services-and-resources.

N.J.-S.P. Pool Activities Approved and Begin in January

Published: November 22, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board this week approved the proposed pool activities list for members of the community. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says they will offer swim lessons and have open swim times for kids and their families. Water aerobics has also been added to the list of activities. That will cost $16 for a four-week session. Classes will meet on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. starting Jan. 6th. Open swim will begin on Jan. 7th and run from 6:45 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday. The cost is $2. Swimming lessons will cost $30 per session and will begin on Apr. 13th at 6 p.m.

N.J.-S.P. Elementary Spell Bowl Wins State

Published: November 22, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

 North Judson-San Pierre hosted the annual elementary spell bowl competition Thursday night. A total of nine schools in five different classes competed against each other.  North Judson-San Pierre emerged victorious from the field of five schools in the orange class. A celebration was held in the elementary gym yesterday for the team’s accomplishment.

12/6/2014 Country Christmas Bazaar

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Great American Smoke Out Encourages Smokers to Quit

Published: November 20, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke Out is today. It challenges smokers to put down tobacco for one day and is held every year on the third Thursday in November. The number of adults in Indiana who smoke has decreased significantly since 2011, however Indiana’s smoking rate remains among the highest in the nation with over one million adult smokers. Tobacco Control Network Program Director Rachelle Back says today is a big step for those wanting to quit.

“Smokers take that first step on this day. Some have given it up all together. Others give it up for the day and then towards the beginning of the New Year they make a resolution to quit for good. So it’s made a huge impact,” said Back.

A report from the Surgeon General finds smoking rates have decreased significantly since 1964. The report indicates while today’s smokers smoke fewer cigarettes than those 50 years ago, they are at higher risk of developing lung cancer. Changes in the design and composition of cigarettes since the 1950s have increased the risk of adenocarcinoma of the lung, the most common type of lung cancer.

You can receive free help in quitting tobacco by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visiting www.QuitNowIndiana.com. To learn more about the Great American Smokeout, visit the American Cancer Society website at http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout/index.

11/20/2014 Studebaker to Be Featured at Annual Starke County Historical Society Meeting

Published: November 20, 2014
By: Ed Hasnerl, WKVI

The 40th annual meeting of the Starke County Historical Society, tonight, will feature as guest speaker, author Patrick J. Furlong, whose presentation will be “The rise and fall of the Studebaker Corporation.” Business includes the election of officers and 11 members to the board: one from each township in the county and two at-large members. The Knox schools also name representatives to the Society’s board.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. CST with a carry-in meal at the Knox High School Cafeteria. The business meeting and program are expected to start about 6:45 p.m.

Former Starke County Historian, Marvin Allen, and his wife Kathy, will be honored for their work at the Museum and their long association with the Historical Society.

North Judson and San Pierre Fire Departments Support Student Council and Community

Published: November 20, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI
The North Judson and San Pierre fire departments donated $100 each to the N.J.-S.P. Middle School Student Council for their community service project. Students raise money throughout the year to help families in the community in need of assistance. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says the fire departments are always generous to the school and support families in need each year. She adds it is a little different from a canned food drive.

“The middle school Student Council adopts families and it’s a shopping trip the kids go out and shop with their sponsors,” said Back.

Johnson says the families always appreciate the extra help, and the school looks forward to the project every year.