Wednesday, February 25, 2015

3/8/2015 Daylight Saving Time Begins

Published: February 25, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 8 at 2 a.m. local time. Before you go to bed on March 7, make sure that you set your clock ahead one hour or move it ahead one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal encourages residents to change the batteries in smoke detectors when the time is changed. It serves as a reminder to make sure fresh batteries are installed as they should be changed twice a year.

Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, and one should be inside each bedroom and outside of each sleeping area.

3/7/2015 Turkey Tracks Hunt/Eric Corey Foundation Banquet

Turkey Tracks Hunt, Eric Corey Foundation will hold their banquet on March 7, 2015 at the Washington Township Community Building (20 North State Road 23, Knox, Indiana) from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tickets are Adult = $20 (includes dinner & entertainment), Children 5 to 12 = $10, Carry-outs $10.  Dinner includes ½ Port-a-pit chicken, loaded mash potato, green beans, and coleslaw.

For more information contact Carol Corey at 574-772-5567.

3/6/2015 Country & Gospel Music Bluegrass Jam

Country & Gospel Music Bluegrass Jam on March 6th from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center, 53 East Lake Street, Knox, Indiana . 

There will be a dance floor, pop & coffee, and a 50/50 drawing.  You are asked to bring a covered dish to share.

Admission:  Non-perishable food donation for Starke County Food Pantry – REQUIRED.

Area Students to Take Shortened ISTEP Exam Next Week

Published: February 25, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

This year’s shortened ISTEP exam will be taken at all of the local schools next week. The test window begins today.

Governor Mike Pence signed into law SEA 62, the bill that allows the Indiana Department of Education to shorten this year’s ISTEP test. The test would have been more than 12 hours for third grade students.

The test will begin on Monday at most schools and Tuesday at others. Students will be tested in the next two weeks. The window closes March 11.

Schools already had been preparing for a shorter ISTEP since receiving guidance from the Department of Education after state Superintendent Glenda Ritz cut out portions of the exam with the help of two consultants hired by the governor.

Ancilla College Board Adopts Flat, Fixed Tuition Rate

Published: February 25, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The Ancilla College board of Trustees has adopted a flat, fixed tuition rate for $14,100 per year rather than charge a per-credit hour fee. President Ken Zirkle says it encourages students to take a full course load each semester and graduate on time. Students who take more than 17 hours per semester will pay an additional $470 per credit hour.

The board also locked in tuition for students during their time at Ancilla. Zirkle says students who enroll this fall will pay $14,100 per year, or $7,050 per semester, for each of the next two years. Room and board at Ancilla’s soon-to-be-constructed residence hall will include a meal plan for $8,500 per year. Groundbreaking for the 96-bed facility is scheduled Tuesday, March 10.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ancilla College Rolls Out Revamped Nursing Curriculum

Published: February 23, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Ancilla College nursing students can complete their degrees in less time, thanks to the recently revamped curriculum. Director of Nursing and Health Sciences Ann Fitzgerald says the required number of credit hours has decreased from 72 to 63. By cutting a semester from the curriculum, Fitzgerald says students will be able to finish sooner and save both time and money.

The nursing program also offers flexible scheduling. All of the nursing classes are now offered every semester, which makes it easier for students to stay on track. Prerequisites must still be taken first, but students don’t have to wait for a class to be offered again in order to move on.

Find more information online at

New Medical Practice Looks to Expand Access to Healthcare, Locally

Published: February 24, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

A new medical practice is opening its doors in the area and one physician is looking to use the opportunity to help improve access to healthcare.

For about 10 years, Dr. Amed Alhamwi has been developing his skills in internal medicine in New York, Illinois, and a few other areas. His practice is now operating in Knox with a focus on patients ages 18 and older.

He says he’s noticed patients are having difficulty seeing their doctors in a timely manner.

“I thought that, you know, there is a need, and I’m internal medicine Board Certified, so I was thinking, you know, let’s give it a shot and I’m hoping to get some support from the community to be able to continue providing those services,” says Alhamwi.

According to several sources, the immediate area is thought to have a shortage of medical professionals. One recent political candidate made note of the issues the healthcare industry is facing with its labor force on the campaign trail.

Dr. Alhamwi addressed concerns about a possible shortage in the area – saying that providing another practice will allow patients to be seen sooner, and will perhaps reduce unnecessary hospital visits.

“We tried to work with the medication that they can afford, and even if they don’t have insurance, we have a way where we can charge them relatively not too much for them to be seen at our office,” says Alhamwi.

A ribbon cutting for Dr. Alhamwi’s practice will take place on Wednesday.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Community Services of Starke County Accepts Timely Donation

Published: February 20, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The Community Services of Starke County Food Pantry will be able to assist even more families in need, thanks to a timely contribution. Ed and Deb Troike were selected as the Starke County winners in the Monsanto Foundation’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities program. As the winners, they chose the organization to receive a $2,500 donation from America’s Farmers Grow Communities and the Monsanto Fund.

“We do know the needs of Starke County and feel this is as worthy an organization as we could ask for. So when our name was drawn the first thing I thought of was sending money right here,” Ed Troike said during a brief check presentation ceremony Thursday morning.

Community Services of Starke County Executive Director Joan Haugh had originally planned to use the donation to buy items for the food pantry but says a more urgent need has arisen.

“In the recent week or so we realized we need another freezer. Those cost about $3,800 to buy big freezers. We’ve tried to find a couple used ones unsuccessfully. So I asked Ed and Deb if they would mind if we put that money toward getting a new freezer. I tried to get a grant through USDA, and they want us to revise our bylaws and all that. Anyway, he said we could use that money toward that.”

Haugh adds the freezer will provide a lasting benefit to the food pantry.

“It will enable us to receive more product and keep it on site rather than passing it up. If we don’t take it, we lose it. We served 274 families last month, and they can certainly use any food that we get our hands on.”

Officials from Monsanto and the Starke County Co-Op were also on hand for the check presentation.

Department of Education Issues New ISTEP Requirements

Published: February 20, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

Calls for reduced test times have prompted the Indiana Department of Education to issue guidance eliminating certain questions from the ISTEP test.

The reductions come shortly after new rules were adopted by the Indiana General Assembly. Those alterations, however, come close to the actual testing dates.

Plymouth Community Schools Superintendent Dan Tyree says if testing times can be reduced; it should’ve been done well in advance.

“I think the public should be irate that we have political volleyball being played with the ISTEP test and that’s exactly what’s happening,” says Tyree.

According to guidance released by the Department of Education, portions of the Math and Language Arts sections will be dropped. By eliminating those portions, it will save test takers about three hours and five minutes at all grade levels.

ISTEP is used to measure student progress, but is also used in teacher evaluations around the state. Multiple school corporations in the immediate area have criticized using ISTEP as an evaluation tool.

Tyree says it’s an unusual step to use one test as an evaluation.

“Their principal sees what they’re doing throughout that entire 180-day period and then you take a 7-hour period on a test and say ‘well, you didn’t do very well this year’ and so you’re going to get an F or you’re going to get a D,” says Tyree.

ISTEP tests will be administered in many area schools in March and April.

Private schools receiving choice vouchers may soon have the option to administer a test other than the ISTEP under a bill being considered in the Indiana Senate. Whether reducing ISTEP test times makes public education more competitive remains to be seen.

Tyree says he recommends residents ask how much ISTEP costs taxpayers, and ask educators if the test is effective at measuring student knowledge.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

3/5 to 3/7/2015 Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival: Romeo & Juliet

Join the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival for a special three-night-only run of our NDSF: ON TOUR production of ROMEO AND JULIET, March 5-7 at 7:00pm at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center's Philbin Studio Theatre on the campus of Notre Dame. The play has been abridged for touring and will run 75 minutes with no intermission.

See Verona burst to life with live acoustic music, stunning sword fights, Shakespeare’s brilliant and beautiful wordplay, and a tale all young people (and parents) must hear: when we love with too much passion, can any guidance prevent all from being lost?

Directed by NDSF's Ryan Producing Artistic Director Grant Mudge and featuring actors from Chicago Shakes, Montana Shakespeare in the Park, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Steppenwolf and more, don't miss this chance to catch "R&J" before it embarks on its statewide school tour.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!  $20 for adults, $15 for ND faculty/staff, and $10 for students.

Designed to provide intimate access to the words and wonder of Shakespeare’s plays, NDSF: ON TOUR productions are based on a small-cast touring model, with an intense focus on the playwright’s use of language, together with just a few simple props and added costume-pieces. When a character speaks of the forest of Arden or Verona’s walls while standing in a school gymnasium or auditorium, the audience’s imagination creates the setting. With heart and humor, the actors invite each audience to become invested in the proceedings.

N.J.-S.P. School Board Approves Budget Transfers

Published: February 19, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board transferred a few dollars in their fiscal year budget on Tuesday night.

According to the discussion, certain dollar figures were reallocated to help with the school corporation’s operating.

Superintendent Lynn Johnson says the Board considered the move which has been talked about in the past.

“We are going to move some funds from transportation into the general fund,” says Johnson.

Reasons for the transfer were not made clear during Tuesday night’s meeting. 20-percent will be allocated in the general fund for the high school principal to take over transportation duties from the transportation fund.

Other transfers include 10-percent for elementary, middle, high school assistant for transportation, discipline, and bus duties. 5-percent of funds for treasurer for food service director will be transferred into an accounts payable fund.

Johnson says the move needed additional review.

“Since that does require transferring from one account to another, I’ll need board approval for that,” says Johnson.

Totals figures transferred add up to about $65-thousand. The North Judson-San Pierre School Board approved the transfers unanimously.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

3/6/2015 Ballroom Dancing Class @ North Judson-San Pierre Middle School

Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, Richard Gere & Jennifer Lopez, Beauty & the Beast.  What do these couples have in common?  Ballroom Dancing.

If you've ever imagined waltzing around a ballroom or maybe doing the tango then here's your chance.  The North Judson-Wayne Township Library is sponsoring an evening of dance lessons on March 6th, 6 p.m., at the North Judson-San Pierre Middle School.

There are only a limited number of spaces available so you will need to reserve your spot by calling the library at 574-896-2841 or registering at

New Website Coming For North Judson-Wayne Township Library

If you’ve ever visited the library’s website you know that it is nice, but dull.  Well, we are in the process of creating a new website that will be much more interactive. 

To get a look and feel for the new site visit and check out the new features.  There is even a tab that lets you sign up for upcoming events (right now we have ballroom dancing scheduled for March 6th at 6 p.m. in the North Judson-San Pierre Middle School and Adam Miller in Concert on April 20th at 6 p.m. at the North Judson-San Pierre High School Auditorium). 

There is even an interlibrary loan request form under the About Our Library tab.

Not everything is totally finished and some of the items we have on the old site might not make it to the new one.  Have a favorite you would like to make sure goes from the old to the new site?  Let us know and we’ll see what can be arranged. 

North Judson Considers Revising Fee Schedule

Published: February 18, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

The North Judson Town Council has decided to review a few alterations to their fee schedule.

During Monday night’s meeting, Council members saw proposals to change or even remove certain fees on first reading. Changes can be made to gain revenue, or even remove items that are viewed as unnecessary.

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry says no decisions have been made yet.

“The council periodically reviews the ordinance to see if there’s anything that needs to be updated, or changed,” says Henry. “You know revised, or deleted maybe, or something like that so they’ve been redoing that for the past several weeks.”

The North Judson Town Council previously had a fee for snow and ice removal in the instance a resident was unable to remove it themselves. Council members have proposed removing the fee due to the difficulty of enforcing it.

A kennel fee was also proposed for removal due to a change in ordinance. Other fees were increased in the areas of base plates, emergency snow removal, and rental equipment.

The North Judson Town Council will review the matter on final reading at their next meeting.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Think We've Had Enough Snow?

2/22/2015 College Goal Sunday Event This Weekend

Published: February 17, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

Those needing assistance filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form can get assistance in this weekend’s College Goal Sunday event.

The form is due March 10 to be eligible for federal student aid. The FAFSA form is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships and student loans at most post-secondary schools. The FAFSA form can be perceived as time-consuming, but students can get the FAFSA form filed online during Sunday’s event.

College Goal Sunday has helped more than 90,000 Indiana students and families complete the FAFSA properly and on time. According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s Division of Student Financial Aid, more single parents have filed for financial aid proving that the program is reaching high-risk students and families.

Students should attend College Goal Sunday with their parents and bring with them 2014 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2014 income and benefits information. Students who held a job should also bring in that information. Apply for the U.S. Department of Education PIN number at before coming to the event.

A $1,000 scholarship will be given to 16 students nationwide just for attending College Goal Sunday. The scholarship will be sent to the post-secondary education institution selected by the winning students.

One site hosting College Goal Sunday is Plymouth High School. The event will begin at 2 p.m. ET.

Monday, February 16, 2015

2/16/2015 Presidents’ Day May Affect Government Operations

Published: February 16, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

Today is Presidents’ Day. Presidents’ Day is set aside to honor George Washington. The holiday was celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday on Feb. 22, but the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February on Jan. 1, 1971 by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

The United States Postal Service will not be processing or delivering mail today. The Pulaski County Courthouse and government offices will be closed to observe the federal holiday. Starke County and Marshall County government offices will be open.

Some schools are using this day as a make-up day for instruction missed due to inclement weather.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Starke County Emergency Management Issued WARNING TRAVEL LEVEL


The highest level of local travel advisory, means that travel may be restricted to emergency management workers only. During a "warning" local travel advisory, individuals are directed to:
(A) refrain from all travel;
(B) comply with necessary emergency measures;
(C) cooperate with public officials and disaster services forces in executing emergency operations plans; and
(D) obey and comply with the lawful directions of properly identified officers



Stay Home, Stay Safe

While the NJ-WT Library will be open until 3 p.m. we do not want to hear any tragic information about you on the news.  If you live out of town please stay off the roads; call us if you need to renew your materials; if you can stay home, stay warm, and stay safe.

Starke County is under a under a TRAVEL WATCH - Means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a "watch" local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended, and emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations.

Check for Closings and Delays Before You Go Out

Happy St. Valentine's Day! The North Judson-Wayne Township Library will be open our usual hours today (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) but other places may not. If you're not sure then call before you go or check out the closings and delays at

Ancilla College Anticipates Addition of Agriculture Degree Program

Published: February 14, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Ancilla College officials are finalizing plans to add an agriculture degree program. Vice President of Development Todd Zeltwanger says all of the credits from the associate degree offering would be fully transferable to Purdue. He says school officials are putting finishing touches on the offering now in anticipation of a fall launch.

Zeltwanger adds there’s a strong local demand for such a program.

“We’ve been out to several high school ag classes in the last several months and talked to the teachers and the students. The numbers in those high school ag classes are growing astronomically in this area. They can’t find enough teachers to meet the demand, the need. The students that we talked to said we want a local agriculture option.”

Zeltwanger says Purdue isn’t an option for everyone, at least not always right away.

“They want to be able to keep their horse on the farm and keep working while they’re going to school for a couple of years,” Zeltwanger said.  “If they can do well there they can transfer to Purdue or someplace else, or just get a job, whatever it is.”

Find more information online at

State Parks Seeking Volunteer Campground Hosts

Published: February 14, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Enjoy free camping at Indiana state parks and reservoir properties in exchange for doing volunteer work. Hosts work a minimum of 20 hours per week and do tasks like cleaning fire rings and restrooms, painting signs, picking up trash and welcoming and assisting campers. Volunteer periods vary at sites based on the number of applicants and amount and type of work needed.

A complete list of site availability and detailed information about hosting duties is at or by contacting the property where you would like to serve. Prospective volunteers must complete an application. It can be downloaded here

Friday, February 13, 2015

Various Assistance Options Available for NIPSCO Customers

Published: February 13, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

NIPSCO customers who are struggling to pay their utility bills are urged to contact the company’s 24-hour Customer Care Center to explore their options. They include state and federal payment assistance as well as resources available from local community action agencies. All three are based on income.

All NIPSCO customers can spread their gas bill payments over a 12-month period by signing up for the utility’s free budget plan. Payment arrangements also allow customers to make an initial payment within four days of the agreement and spread the remaining unpaid balance over three months, plus current bills as they are due.

NIPSCO’s DependaBill and Price Protection Service (PPS) provides a fixed monthly bill with no annual reconciliation and PPS allows customers to fix or cap their per-unit cost of natural gas. Another options is the NIPSCO Choice Program. It lets customers choose their natural gas supplier.

For more information on billing options and payment assistance, visit

Thursday, February 12, 2015

2/13 to 15/2015 Culver Winter Festival Set for This Weekend

Published: February 12, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

 The community of Culver is coming together this weekend for the Culver Winter Festival.

The event kicks off Friday with the lighting of the ice sculptures at 6 p.m. and the Cupid’s Crawl until 9 p.m. The Cupid’s Crawl is a chance for festival attendees to shop and dine at local establishments to win prizes. An artist class begins at 5:30 p.m.

The Lion’s Club will host a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., an ice carving demonstration is at noon and a free ice fishing camp for kids is at 1 p.m. A snow fort construction class begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The NAIFC Ice Fishing Tournament is planned for Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with weigh-in immediately following the contest. The Lion’s Club will have lunch available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the Culver Beard Club Polar Plunge is at 3 p.m. ET.

Sledding and ice skating is free all weekend long.

If you need more information, call 1-800-626-5353 or visit

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

4/11/2015 Big Band Dancing

Big Band Dancing returns to the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center, 55 E. Lake Street, Knox, Indiana, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 11, 2015.

Dance to the music of "Sentimental Journey's."  There will be refreshments and non-alcoholic beverages available.

Admission is $6 per person at the door.

2/14/2015 Paula Palooza @ Route 10 Bar & Grill

Paula Palooza will be held at Route 10 Bar & Grill starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 14, 2015.
There will be dinner specials and music by Jim Post.  Also a silent auction will be held with many items to bid on.  All proceeds will go to Starke County ABATE Toys for Kids.

2/25/2018 Knox Bands Annual Spaghetti Dinner & Jazz Bands

Knox Bands Annual Spaghetti Dinner & Jazz Bands will be held at the Knox Community Center on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There will be live music from the Middle School Jazz Band & High School Tomahawk Jazz Ensemble along with a silent auction.

Tickets (dine-in or carry-out) are Adults = $8, Children 12 & under = $5, Preschool = $3.

2/20/2015 St. Peter Lutheran School Fish Fry

St. Peter Lutheran School in North Judson will host a Fish Fry on Friday, February 20, 2015 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are Adults = $10, Children = $5, All Fish Carry Outs = $10.  There will be desserts available.

All proceeds go to the St. Peter Scholarship Fund.

3/6/2015 Community Foundation Offers Area Students Scholarship Opportunities

Published: February 11, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

A deadline is approaching for students interested in scholarships from the Starke County Community Foundation.

The organization says it has about 30 scholarships available for Starke County students to pursue post-secondary education. According to a press release, more than $55-thousand was distributed in 2014.

The Community Foundation says there is a new scholarship for this year. The Starke Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship is targeted toward students who are pursuing a degree in the medical field.

Applications for certain scholarships are available online according to the group.  (

A deadline of March 6th has been set for those interested in applying.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

No 1040 Instruction Books Available

According to IRS TOFP page of the IRS website, we should receive the 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ tax FORMS this year but we will NOT be receiving the instruction books.

"Unfortunately, we are unable to offer Instructions for Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ. Your patrons may obtain copies of Instructions through: - to view and download - to order tax products to be delivered by U.S. mail

1-800-829-3676 - to order tax products to be delivered by U.S. mail"

3/18/2015 Magic the Gathering

Bring your cards and match your wits against Magic players in a tournament at the North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library.

This program is in the Meeting Room on March 18, 2015 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

FREE to enter.  All players welcome (beginners and veterans) aged 14+.

There will be extra cards available for those who have never played but want to try.

"I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm"

“The snow is snowing, the wind is blowing,
But I can weather the storm.
What do I care how much it may storm,
I've got my love to keep me warm.”

Thankfully Saturday, February 7th, wasn’t a snowy day.  But if you attended The Great American Songbook program at the North Judson-Wayne Township Library you spent a toasty afternoon listening to an assortment of songs from the Golden Age of Music.

The library’s Activity Room was filled to capacity with people enjoying the musical presentation by our new director, Michael Booth, and his fiancĂ©e, Ashley Rodwell.  With the presentation of each golden standard, the audience was invited to participate in the singing.  At times the enthusiasm of the voices lifted in song managed to slip out of the Activity Room and drift into the main library, to the enjoyment of those upstairs.

After the performance everyone had a chance to meet Mr. Booth and Miss Rodwell, and to welcome him to our library.  The Friends of the Library provided coffee and punch as well as an assortment of cookies, fruits, cheese balls and veggies to snack on.  

The North Judson-Wayne Township Library will sponsor another musical program on April 20th at the Auditorium of the North Judson-San Pierre High School.  Adam Miller, American folksinger and natural-born storyteller, will present a program of lively finger-picking acoustic guitar and stunningly beautiful autoharp melodies.  You can preregister for this event by calling the library at 574-896-2841 or by going to, clicking the Upcoming Events Registration tab, and then choosing Adam Miller Registration.

Police Force Addition Gives North Judson Some Teeth

Published: February 9, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

The North Judson Police Department is adding another officer, only this one works on four legs.

It was announced Friday that a K-9 unit will be joining the North Judson Police force. This is the first K-9 that will work for the department. The 6-year-old Dutch Shepherd name Gunner has completed years of training with a certified American K-9 Association outlet.

North Judson Police Chief Doug Vessley says the Town of North Judson is quite lucky to have the animal.

“I think it’s a very useful tool, especially with drugs and drug interdictions, that when we conduct a traffic stop, we’re going to know something right off the bat here if there’s some narcotics involved,” says Vessley.

Approval to move ahead with the contract process was given by the North Judson Town Council last week.

The K-9 officer will focus its efforts on the area’s drug problem and be an assist in situations such as traffic stops. The K-9 can also help in missing persons cases.

Officer Scott Beishuizen will be handling the animal. He and the dog have trained with the Hobart Police Department.

“We’ve been at it for quite a while and we’ve been trying to get the K-9 unit together here with the Town of North Judson for several months, you know it all takes time,” says Beishuizen. “We’re looking forward to getting out and getting it done.”

The K-9 worked its first official shift on Saturday morning.

Starke County Commissioners Lower Speed Limit on State Road 8

Published: February 9, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The speed limit on State Road 8 east of Knox has been lowered from 55 to 45 miles per hour in anticipation of opening the new Starke County Jail in a few months. INDOT did a quick study based on a request from local officials and agreed to reduce the speed limit out to the railroad tracks due to the increased traffic count that the jail will create.

Tentative plans call for the facility to open in June, but new speed limit signs are already in place. Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners he believes the lower limit will make it safer for officers entering and leaving the facility.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Starke County Highway Department Wins National Award

Published: February 6, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The Starke County Highway Department is the recipient of a National Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting Award from the Salt Institute. They were honored for excellence in environmental consciousness and effective management in the storage of winter road salt. The county is one of 12 facilities in the United States and Canada to receive the honor this year and the first county in the nation to win the award since it was established in 2012. Starke County is also Indiana’s first non-INDOT honoree.

Last April public agencies that attended the American Public Works Association snow conference were given the opportunity to complete a 71 question checklist winter maintenance checklist about their facilities and snowfighting policies. The checklists were scored, and the agencies with the highest scores were nominated for the award. In December an inspector from Wisconsin came out to evaluate the facility and verify the checklist answers.

“Our drivers have made a real effort in the last two years to improve our winter operations. It is good to see that hard work recognized,” Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler said.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hoosiers Encouraged to Go Red for Women

Published: February 5, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Hoosiers are encouraged to wear red tomorrow to raise awareness of the number one killer of women in America. National Wear Red Day is part of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Movement, which is a month-long effort to raise awareness of heart disease.

The annual celebration began in 1963 and is marked each year with a presidential proclamation paying tribute to researchers, physicians, public health education professionals and volunteers for their tireless efforts in preventing, treating and researching heart disease.

The American Heart Association estimates one in three women die from heart disease, which is largely preventable. Find more information online at

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

North Judson Fills Vacancies, Makes Police Department Moves

Published: February 4, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

The former First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street in North Judson will soon be the town hall.

The North Judson Town Council has filled the vacant positions on each of their boards and commissions.

During a meeting last night, the Board said those positions include spots on the Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals. The Council asks for recommendations from current board members for individuals interested in serving on one of the boards.

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry says the commission positions are on a rotation.

“They are each five member boards, and each term is for two years, and they’re staggered, like you know, three of the members are for one two-year term and then the following year, you know, two members are for another term,” says Henry.

The Town also took a few steps forward for the Police Department as well.

A new police vehicle was agreed to be purchased as part of the Town’s vehicle replacement schedule. A police car was purchased just last year, but last night’s vote to purchase was a continuation of that schedule.

A new K-9 unit is also now allowed join the police department. The Town of North Judson has been working for some time to bring a K-9 unit on board.

Schools Making Decisions on Snow Day Make-ups

Published: February 4, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

Plenty of snow accumulation cancelled school yet again in the Kankakee Valley on Monday.

Due to the number of snow days taken, some school corporations now have some decisions to make on just how they plan to make up even more days of class days. In Indiana, no fewer than 180 instructional days can be held.

Knox Community Schools allot four snow days during each school year calendar. The weekend’s snow storm required Knox to cancel classes on Monday. They have now used all of their snow make-up days, and any additional days missed will need to be added at the end of the year.

Oregon-Davis has already discussed using President’s Day, Good Friday, and May 1st as part of their snow days. Superintendent Greg Briles says Monday’s snow day still needs to be discussed with faculty. He says a decision should be made during a meeting at the end of this month.

North Judson-San Pierre Schools also says they will be adding days onto the end of the school year calendar. That means student’s last day will be May 29th.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

3/6/2015 Deadline for Starke County Community Foundation Scholarships

The Starke County Community Foundation has 30 scholarship funds available from which we awarded more than $55,000 in 2014.

Our new online application is now available. The deadline for the application, all required attachments and recommendation forms is March 6, 2015 at 5:00 pm. Get the application at:

Fight for Public Transportation Funds Goes to Legislature

Published: February 3, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

Public transportation offered by Community Services of Starke County, Pulaski County Human Services and Marshall County Council on Aging is in high demand. Funding to keep up with the demand has caused legislators to get involved.

The Public Mass Transportation Fund has not received any additional money for seven years. The funding is distributed among 65 public and nonprofit agencies that offer transportation by reservation or on-demand. According to Joan Haugh, Executive Director of Community Services of Starke County, officials there have to turn down requests for trips due to lack of drivers, vehicles and available money. Last year, 757 different individuals were transported which shows a need for funding to provide a community service. About 50 passenger trips are provided each day.

The Indiana Citizens’ Alliance for Transit and partners are launching the INvest INtransit campaign to help meet the demand for public transportation.

ICAT supports a bi-partisan proposal by Indiana legislators, who agree that transit funds need to be increased in order to meet Hoosiers’ demand and need for public transportation.

House Bill 1215 has been introduced in the legislature that would boost the Public Mass Transportation Fund up to $60 million.

For more information about the initiative, visit

Better Business Bureau Warns of Questionnaire Scam

Published: February 3, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
If you received an email that claims to be a Better Business Bureau standard business questionnaire, BBB officials warn you not to open the attachment.

The email went out on Friday morning to businesses across the country. The email has a ZIP file attachment that links to a site that can download malware on the user’s computer. Ben Steinberg, Chief Information Officer for the Council of Better Business Bureaus, said security vendors were immediately notified, and the website will be taken offline.

The emails are originating from the domain “” that is not a domain name used by the Better Business Bureau.

The IRS, FBI and Fortune 500 companies have run into similar phishing scams that have victimized consumers and businesses.

Better Business Bureau officials urge you to not open any links or open attachments in unsolicited email. If you get an email like the one previously described, tag the email as spam and report it to your internet service provider.

For more information about known scams, visit

Starke County’s Most Wanted List Launches Successfully

Published: February 3, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The collaboration between the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and WKVI News to share the new Starke County’s Most Wanted Fugitives List has already resulted in one capture and five tips on the whereabouts of others.

Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin says the site has gotten more than 13,000 visits. It will be updated weekly to feature a dozen or so fugitives wanted for various offenses ranging from failure to appear and nonpayment of child support to more serious crimes. Dulin says the initiative is a collaboration between his office and the Starke County Prosecutor to clear the backlog of warrants. He adds most fugitives can come to the jail, complete the booking process and quickly bond out, although some offenses will require an initial hearing so bond can be set. Dulin stresses anyone with information about a person on the list should contact the Starke County Sheriff’s Department at 574-772-3771. Do not try to apprehend someone yourself.

Click on the Starke County’s Most Wanted list ad on the website to view the list or find it at