Friday, February 28, 2014

Quote of the Month - March 2014

Happy Birthday, Albert Einstein! 
March 14, 1879 - April 18, 1955

2/28/2014 Operation Pull Over Blitz Begins Today

By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
Published: February 28th, 2014

Today begins a three-week enforcement on impaired and dangerous driving by 250 law enforcement agencies across the state of Indiana.

Officers from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department and Starke County Sheriff’s Department, as well as all local police departments, will be involved in this “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” blitz through March 23.

March is a time for the rush and excitement of basketball season as well as the highly anticipation of the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. The increased rate of alcohol consumption during these events have found the need to conduct these saturation patrols.

You are urged to have a designated driver if you plan on meeting friends at a bar, attending a sporting event gathering, or a St. Patrick’s Day party.

Operation Pull Over is a federally funded enforcement initiative administered by the Traffic Safety Division of the Criminal Justice Institute.

Ray Rohzon Awarded the Nielsen Bluejay Award

By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
Published: February 28th, 2014

A North Judson-San Pierre employee was recently recognized as this year’s Richard and Kareen Nielsen Bluejay award.

The Nielsen award is given to acknowledge special individuals, past and present, who faithfully embody the Bluejay Spirit.

Ray Rohzon has worked at the North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation since 2008 and has made it his mission to take care of the high school gymnasium. He cares for the facility as if it was his own and takes special care of the floor for regular season basketball games and for sectional and regional tournaments.

Rohzon graduated from Kankakee Valley High School in 1973, but he’s not afraid to show his alliance to the Bluejays. School officials call him an “exceptional employee” and a huge Bluejay sports fan. He loves basketball, baseball and football and proud to call North Judson-San Pierre his team.

Ray Rohzon was presented with the Nielsen award this week during a Tuesday night basketball game in North Judson.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014 Relay for Life of Stake County Looking For Volunteers

The Relay for Life of Starke County is in the planning phase and looking for some volunteers who are interested in helping plan this year’s event. There are a variety of positions open; some with minimal time commitment and others with a little bit more. We are looking for volunteers to help with Silent Auction, Survivors, Entertainment and Activities, Mission and Advocacy, Fundraising, Team Retention, Publicity and Youth Engagement. If any of those areas sound interesting to you, we would love to have you join the committee.

Please contact the Event Chair, Ericka Taylor-Joseph at (574) 252-9489. All proceeds from the Relay for Life event go to the American Cancer Society to help fight back against this terrible disease that has taken so many in our community. Please consider volunteering to help make this year’s Relay for Life event a huge success!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Latest River Forecast Information & Flood Warnings

From the US National Weather Service Northern Indiana:
Ice jams and minor river flooding continue across portions of the area. Ice jams can and have happened without much notice, making for difficult flooding forecasts. Sometimes, these jams occur away from a river gauge which makes it hard for us to know what's actually occurring. Much like the situation along the Little River in Huntington that caused evacuations yesterday. You can see the latest river forecast info and flood warnings at
Reports or pictures of flooding and ice jams are always appreciated and can be posted here!

Flood Warning Issued for Area Rivers

By: Ben Haut, WKVI
Published: February 22nd, 2014

With the recent rain and melting snow, the National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Kankakee River and Tippecanoe River in certain areas. Anyone in the Tippecanoe River area near Ora is advised to be cautious when driving, avoid driving through standing water, and avoid flooded areas.

The NWS has also issued a flood warning for the Kankakee River at Davis Route 30 through Tuesday afternoon, stating that as of 10 a.m. Friday, the stage was 9.6 feet and rising. Minor flooding is forecast. The river is expected to rise above flood stage and crest near 10.5 feet around 6 p.m. today before it falls below flood stage around 12 p.m. on Monday.

At 10 feet, flooding of low-lying agricultural areas begins. Never drive vehicles through flooded areas. The water may be too deep to allow safe passage. Never allow children to play in or near flood waters. Stay tuned for further statements and updated forecasts.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Early Childhood Education Benefits Children

A quick note from Moving Starke County Forward:  

This is a great article about how early childhood education really benefits poor children. It gives some myths and truths about preschool's impact.

2/22/2014 Hawg Wild DJs Relay for Life Bake Sale

Hawg Wild DJs Relay for Life Bake Sale
When:  Saturday, February 22nd
Where: Bailey’s Discount Center in North Judson
What Time:  9am-1pm CST (or until we sell out)
Cookies, brownies, butterbraids, cakes, cupcakes, breads and so much more!  Come help us raise funds to finish the fight against cancer!

High Water Areas May Hinder Travel

By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
Published: February 21st, 2014

Water remains high in portions of the area today. INDOT and local crews have been scouting out high water areas on roadways and posting signs warning of high water areas. If you encounter high water, do not attempt to drive through it. Turn around and find a different route to your destination.

Starke County Highway Department officials are reporting high water at the intersection of 250 N. and 100 W., 50 S. between 700 E. and 800 E. and 300 E. between 50 S. and 100 S. Signs have been posted. Most roads including state roads have standing water at least in one lane.

What was once standing water could have frozen overnight which could cause extremely dangerous driving conditions.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

2/20/2014 TOPS Cancelled

TOPS has been cancelled tonight due to the dense fog.

NJ-SP Releases Snow Make-Up Day Information

By: Ben Haut, WKVI
Published: February 20th, 2014

The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation this week released information regarding weather-related school cancellations and the days that those cancellations will be made up. The release indicated that Monday, Jan. 6 was a scheduled teacher workday and was reported to the Department of Education in June as a non-instructional day, with no loss of a snow day but no waiver; and Wednesday, Jan. 8, school was closed with a teacher make-up day scheduled for that day. This day is not waived and must be used as a snow make-up day.

According to the release, Friday, March 21 will be the make-up day for Wednesday, Jan. 8; Friday, April 18 will be the make-up day for Friday, Jan. 24; Monday, April 21 will be the make-up day for Monday, Jan. 27; Monday, May 12 will be the make-up day for Tuesday, Jan. 28; Friday, May 30 will be the snow make-up day for Wednesday, Feb. 5; and Monday, June 2 will be the make-up day for Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Seniors will attend school on Saturday, May 31. Specific information on the agenda for the day will be mailed home to parents. Graduation will be held on Sunday, June 1 and seniors will not attend on Monday, June 2.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2/28/2014 St. Peter Lutheran School Fish Fry

St. Peter Lutheran School Fish Fry will be held on February 28th from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., desserts will be available.  Proceeds go the St. Peter Scholarship Fund.

Tickets: $8 for adults
$4 for children

Carry outs available; $10 for all fish carry outs.

3/1/2014 Crazy for a Cure Spaghetti Dinner

The American Cancer Society’s Relay for life team “Crazy for a Cure” would like to invite you to a Spaghetti Dinner with salad, garlic bread and desert.  We will sell until the last noodle is sold!

Date:  March 1st
Time:  2 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Place:  Hamlet American Legion

Tickets:   $8 for ages 13+
$5 for ages 3 – 12 years
2 and under FREE
Cancer survivors will receive a special discount

Advance tickets can be purchased by calling team captain Laura Hardin (574-806-4072).  Other items such as shirts, key chains & candy bars will be sold as well.

3/8/2014 Turkey Tracks Hunt Fish & Entertainment Banquet

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

North Judson Town Council Meeting Rescheduled

By: Ben Haut, WKVI
Published: February 18th, 2014

The North Judson Town Council has rescheduled their meeting previously planned for last night; it will now take place on Monday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. due to the weather. According to Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry, about 15 residents in the town are suffering from a lack of running water due to frozen water lines, and the town is offering to provide tap water for any affected residents.

Residents without water can bring water containers to the water department at 204 Keller Ave. during office hours Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The department is closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch.

Council President Wendy Hoppe is also offering to fill water containers at Hoppe Hardware Store during open hours Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

All residents are reminded to continue to leave the water running at least the diameter of a pencil in at least one faucet. The water should remain running until further notice from the town superintendent. Even though it is forecast for warmer temperatures this week, this will cause the freeze line to go deeper which could also cause even more water lines to freeze. The best remedy to avoid water lines or water meters from freezing is to leave the water running, according to Henry.

North Judson officials have also indicated that sewer portions of water bills will be adjusted for residents who leave their water run, if their bill is over their average usage.

EMA Director Explains Why Plows Are Taken Off Roads

By: Ben Haut, WKVI
Published: February 18th, 2014

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.

Bombagetti said plow trucks in the county are responsible for about 95 miles; each driver, he said, is basically driving the distance from Knox to Warsaw and back, taking about six hours to do a single pass of their route. Blowing and drifting snow can greatly hinder their ability to clear the roads, causing them to be out, clearing the snow, for hours on end.

For that reason, Bombagetti said the Indiana Department of Transportation has set guidelines preventing drivers from operating their plows for more than 12 consecutive hours. After that, the trucks must be taken off the roads to allow the drivers to get some rest.

Drivers are under INDOT guidelines; can only drive for 12 continuous hours. After that, their policy is to take the trucks off the road so the drivers can get rest.

“It’s not safe to be out on the roads at night, plowing, it’s hard enough to see what you’re doing during the daytime, but you’re putting a truck at night in snow in white-out conditions, its just a recipe for disaster,” Bombagetti said.

Bombagetti said the county lost a plow truck in a white-out storm two years ago, and it took the county a year to replace that truck. If one truck gets stuck in the snow, Bombagetti said another truck has to be assigned to pull that truck out, causing two routes to be neglected.ned to pull that truck out.

“The main reason we go to the warning is, first off, it’s for everybody’s safety. Second of all, we don’t have the resources should an individual run into a problem, we can’t exercise a safety for them, and really, if they make the choice to drive in it, and they do get stuck, now we have to not only jeopardize our plow drivers but there’s a chance we have to put our first responders out on the road. So we’ve just added potential for more injuries,” Bombagetti said.

However, that doesn’t mean the roads are a no-man’s-land, even for emergency vehicles. Bombagetti said drivers are still on call in case an emergency vehicle needs to travel and get to a location quickly

Monday, February 17, 2014

Snow - Starke County Tidbit #54

Tidbit No. 54

Snow - I suppose most of us have had enough of it by now, but the headline from the newspaper below tells of times past.


A snow blizzard created drifts up to 6 feet high closing roads and stopping trains in their tracks.

I remember as a kid, lots of snow - of course I was shorter then and it may have seemed like bigger drifts than they really were.  But in my youth, I had fun in it, like the children of today.  I suppose to my dad it wasn't as much fun, trying to get around to feeding the livestock on the farm.

I believe it was in 1978 that the northern part of Indiana got hit by some really big snow drifts.  The Army Corp of Engineers hired many of us excavators in the county to use our dozers to push snow drifts off of the county roads.  Jim Falk and Warren Bickel helped clear some of the roads in North Bend Township, southeast of Bass Lake.  Extreme caution had to be used, because it was hard to know if a 10 foot snow drift might be hiding a car inside of it.  

Attached are two photos of snow conditions in years past.  The first one shows train engines (I think there are four engines) pushing snow off of the tracks near Boone Grove in 1917.

The second photo shows the south side of Lake Street and the corner of Pearl Street in Knox with lots of snow in 1910.  All of that snow was piled up by hand.

Jim Shilling
Starke County Historical Society

Friday, February 14, 2014

[DNR] Hunt, Fish, Eat: Wild Turkey workshop, North Judson

The registration deadline for this event is 3/7/2014 11:59 PM
The cancellation deadline for this event is 3/7/2014 12:00:00 PM

Start Date: 3/15/2014 Start Time: 12:00 PM
End Date: 3/15/2014 End Time: 3:00 PM

Cost: Free

This course will provide you with the opportunity to learn in a hands-on safe environment the skills necessary to begin to hunt wild turkey in Indiana. This course will be a three part series. The sessions will focus on the following fundamentals: laws and regulations, firearms and safety, locating a hunting spot and knowing where to set, field dressing your harvest, handling and preparing your harvest for the table, and wrap-up with review of information covered. Each session will include an opportunity to sample wild turkey recipes from your instructors, as well as get your hands on the variety of gear and resources available to hunters today. Sessions will be held at different local sites. Participants are asked to participant in all sessions. 

Participants must be a new hunter. All equipment will be provided. 

  • Sat., March 15, 12-3 pm - Session 1: History of wild turkey hunting in Indiana and rules and regulations. 
  • Thurs., March 20, 6-9 pm - Session 2: At the shooting range: safety and sighting in your gun, shot placement and shoot, don’t shoot scenarios 
  • Thurs., March 27, 6-9 pm - Session 3: turkey sign, field set-up, introduction to equipment. 

Location of each session will be provided to registered participants. 

To register go to  Wild Turkey Workshop and click on the register icon next to Event Details at the top of the page. 

For more information, contact Amanda Wuestefeld at or (317) 234-8442.

Location Information:
Kankakee Fish & Wildlife Area
4320 W. Toto Road
P.O. Box 77
North Judson, IN 46366
Phone: (574) 896-3522

2/26/2014 Knox Bands Annual Spaghetti Dinner & Jazz Bands

Residents Report Bogus Calls from Microsoft

By: Ben Haut, WKVI
Published: February 14th, 2014

The latest round of telephone scams to hit the area involves a caller claiming to be from a reputable company. Several residents have gotten calls from someone claiming to be a Microsoft representative and asking for information. The caller is extremely persistent and claims the person’s computer is on the verge of crashing and can only be fixed if they provide information for him to access it remotely. Microsoft does not initiate such calls, and allowing someone this type of access to your computer can make you vulnerable to identity theft as they can steal passwords and other secure data. Do not give passwords, Social Security or bank account numbers or any other information to a caller you do not know. The best thing to do is to hang up on such callers, look up a number for the company they claim to represent and contact their customer service department yourself to make sure there is not any sort of problem that requires your attention.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Notes from Nubi 2/13/2014 Happy Day

Mom almost forgot that today was her younger sister's birthday (Happy Birthday, Auntie S).  She didn't mean to do it, but it's been a hectic week.  Heck, it's been a hectic year so far.  'Course mom did manage to remember that Friday is Valentine's Day and with Aunties birthday being the day before it really shouldn't be that hard to forget.

But mom does like to tell people that Auntie is one of those family members that you love dearly, but you would love them even better if they belonged to a different family.  You see Auntie is VERY talented, and while her birthday does occasionally fall on a Friday (making it a Friday the 13th) her original date of birth was a Wednesday.  Mom thinks having been born on the 13th is what makes Auntie so creative - she sews, cans, makes things with stained glass, does woodworking, makes jewelry (bracelets, necklaces, and who knows what else) and weaves beautiful baskets.  Heck, she can probably do just about anything that catches her interest.

And because Friday is Valentine's Day the Starke County Humane Society posted this on their Facebook page:
Please remember to keep your pets away from Valentine goodies. Many ingredients in candy can pose life-threatening issues for your pet, such as: Chocolate ( especially dark or baker's chocolate ), Chocolate covered raisins, Macadamia Nuts and Xylitol ( sugar substitute.) Also, be very cautious with your pets around flower arrangements that may contain Lillies. They are toxic to both cats and dogs.
Mom said she would buy me some treats that are good for my teeth and tummy. But no toys because I am a ninja dog and destroy them too fast.

So I hope you have a great birthday Auntie S and a great Valentine's Day, too.

Love Anubis

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Credits Offered For Running Water to Prevent Frozen Pipes

By: Ben Haut, WKVI
Published: February 12th, 2014

With the cold weather comes frozen pipes, and many area residents are suffering from the inconvenience and expense of having no running water. However, many municipalities have offered residents a credit for letting their water run to prevent pipes from freezing.

In Knox, residents will receive a discount on their sewer bill if their bill is found to be higher than average due to running water to stave off frozen pipes. However, because the State Board of Accounts prohibits crediting the water portion of the bill, the water bill will not be adjusted. The sewer portion will be adjusted, however, and Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston advises anyone whose bill is found to be higher than usual to contact the utility clerk.

The clerk-treasurer of North Judson told WKVI that they will also be adjusting the sewer portion of bills. Donna Henry said as long as the resident advises they have had their water running, the sewer bill will be adjusted toward the end of March on the bill due April 12. Henry explained they are going to wait until that bill to ensure all meters have been read.

The town of Winamac will also adjust bills for residents who have been running water, and in Hamlet, officials will be monitoring consumption but they have not expressed intent on adjusting bills.

For more information, contact your local utility clerk.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2/11/2014 Families and Addiction Seminar Scheduled Tonight in Knox

By: Mary Perren, WKVI
Published: February 11th, 2014

The second of four Families and Addiction Seminars is scheduled this evening at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in downtown Knox. They are an outgrowth of last spring’s Moving Starke County Forward Drug Symposium. Porter-Starke Substance Abuse and Addiction Counselor Todd Willis says the goal is to present information in a non-threatening, educational setting.

“You can’t find a family anymore that has not been touched in some way by addiction. Whether or not it’s a husband, a wife or a child, it could be even aunts and uncles and grandparents, so having an area where people can come and learn about it and just get some information about it. There will be opportunities for some folks to to share from personal experience, but for folks who don’t want to do that, they don’t have to. It’s really going to be about coming together and getting information on how to educate people about how to deal with this in their family,” Willis said.

Willis acknowledges this can be a scary topic to discuss in such a public setting. He encourages anyone who might feel ambivalent to come out and be part of the community-wide conversation in a neutral location.

“We’re not doing it at a mental health center. We’re not doing it at a substance abuse center. We’re doing it at the community center, because this is a community problem. There will be people there who are attending that don’t struggle with addiction themselves. They’re just going for information. We’re trying to pull all kinds of people together, do it in a safe environment, a low-key environment, and we’re really going to be tackling that stigma people still have about addiction,” said Willis.

Willis adds confidentiality will also be addressed during the sessions. He notes addiction is a growing national problem, especially among young people.

“Not the normal ones we’re used to, like cocaine and heroin. I think folks are learning that those are quite damaging. What we’re seeing is prescription drug use skyrocketing, and some of the synthetic drugs for kids. They have access to those, and they’re cheap,” said Willis.

The workshops are all free and open to the anyone who has a loved one that struggles with addiction. They will take place each Tuesday evening in February from 6 until 7:30 p.m. at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center. Call 574-772-2258 ext. 107 or 219-476-4655 for more information.

Friday, February 7, 2014

3/6/2014 Free Financial Aid Workshops @ Ancilla College

Financial aid staff from Ancilla College will be leading workshops for parents and students. College staff will be available to sit down with individuals fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The workshops are open to students, parents and anyone thinking about going to or returning to college - there is no age limit on financial aid.

Workshops at the College (9601 Union Rd near Plymouth)

March 6 10 am - Noon

Starke Commissioners Sign New Hope Proclamation

By: Ben Haut, WKVI
Published: February 7th, 2014

The Starke County Commissioners this week proclaimed each Tuesday in February “New Hope for Families Days,” urging all citizens of the community to participate in all efforts to make Starke County a model of a healthy community.

Bob Hinojosa, director of Starke County Community Corrections, approached the commissioners and introduced case manager Jordan MacKentire, who has been spearheading the effort. The proclamation came about as a result of the high level of drug abuse and addiction that is devastating the well-being of the Starke County community. However, a network of community organizations are making increased education and treatment a top priority, and Starke County Community Corrections is offering a new program called New Hope – Families and Addiction.

The new program covers education on the effects of addiction on the brain and body, how to find support, and where to find other adults with loved ones struggling with these issues to talk to. In addition, the program helps to find treatment, education on resources to pay for treatment, and teaches how to stay healthy through worry and stress.

SCCC is holding the New Hope program each Tuesday night in February from 6 to 7 p.m. CT at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox, free to the public.

The commissioners approved the proclamation unanimously.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

North Judson Area Baseball Sign Ups at North Judson Civic Center

Saturday, Feb. 15th 10am - 12pm
Sunday, Feb. 16th 3pm-5pm
Monday, Feb. 24th 5pm-8pm

If unable to sign up by Feb. 24, there will be a $20 late fee per child. No sign ups after March 15th.

COST: $45 per child (+ must sell 5 Raffle Tickets)
$20 each add’l (+ must sell 10 Raffle Tickets)


  • 4-5 T-BALL (must be 4 by May 1st)
  • 6-7 ROOKIE 
  • 8-9 MINORS
  • 10-12 MAJORS 
  • 13-15 JUNIORS

Please bring birth certificate to sign-ups.


Eric Materna   896-2317
Jamie Bales   896-0090
Craig Benson   896-2886
Mike Wilcox   249-8615
Michele Ginder   806-0331

2/1 - 3/1/2014 NJ-WT PL Drive for CADA (Coalition Against Domestic Abuse)

North Judson Public Library is conducting their semi-annual drive for donations of non-food Items for CADA (Coalition Against Domestic Abuse) in February.

Items can be dropped off at the library any time during February.

Suggestions include:

  • paper towels, 
  • plastic wrap,
  • foil, 
  • plastic bags, 
  • dish detergent, 
  • laundry soap,
  • dryer sheets, 
  • sponges, 
  • toothpaste, 
  • tooth brushes,
  • deodorant 
  • (no shampoo needed),
  • Any cash donations would be converted into store gift cards.

Thank you for your donations.

2/6/2014 TOPS Cancelled

The TOPS meeting has been cancelled for tonight, February 6, 2014.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2/5/2014 Library Closed - Again

Guess what. Yep, the North Judson-Wayne Township Library is CLOSED once again because of the weather. I think I'll have to burn my "Let It Snow" sweatshirt after this year. Hope to be back to work Thursday but we'll see.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Free Online Filing Offered for Hoosier Taxpayers

We haven't received much in the way of tax forms just yet, so you might want to check this out.

By: Ben Haut, WKVI
Published: February 4th, 2014

Close to 1 million Hoosiers will qualify to file their federal and state taxes online this tax season. Indiana Freefile offers free federal and state tax filing online to taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of $58,000 or less during 2013.
More than 119,000 taxpayers used Infreefile last year to file their taxes by visiting There, you can see if you qualify for INfreefile based on the vendors’ options. If they qualify, all taxpayers have to do is click the vendor of their choice and complete their tax returns online.
This year, six vendors provide an easy and secure way to file taxes online. The vendors participating in INfreefile include 1040Now, H&R Block, OLT OnLine Taxes, TaxAct, TaxSlayer and Turbo Tax.
There are many advantages to electronically filing, including faster refunds, typically less than two weeks; better security, with fewer people seeing your information; higher return or lower amount due; and better accuracy, with a 2 percent error rate versus 20 percent for paper returns.
If taxpayers have any questions specific to their return, the department encourages them to visit or call (317) 232-2240.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Library Closed February 1, 2014

The North Judson-Wayne Township Library is closed today, Saturday, February 1st.  We don't want to encourage anyone to go out today.