Thursday, April 30, 2015

5/13/2015 4th Annual Starke County Community Health Fair

Quote of the Month - May 2015

Happy Birthday, J.M. Barrie!
May 9, 1860.

5/4/2015 National Teacher Appreciation Week Begins

National Teacher Appreciation Week begins Monday, May 4 and ISTA (Indiana State Teachers Association) is partnering with some friends to celebrate. To add some fun to the week, we are asking you to publicly thank a teacher who has made a difference in your life or the life of your child. You can do one of the following:
Take a picture of your child with his or her teacher.
Take a picture of yourself with your favorite teacher, past or present.
Take a picture of yourself holding our Teacher Day sign with a simple message saying “Thank You” to a teacher and why you’re thanking him or her.
Whoever you’d like to recognize, tweet us @ISTAmembers using the hashtag #ThankATeacher. Who knows, you might even win some money for your lucky teacher’s classroom. The NEA will select 10 random winners to receive a $100 VISA gift card.

5/5/2015 Happy Birthday, Richard Wampler!

5/7, 8, 9/2015 Community Services of Starke County Garage Sale

Community Services of Starke County Garage Sale will be held at 311 E. Culver Road, Knox, Indiana.

May 7th and 8th from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; May 9th from 8 a.m. to noon.

For more information call 574-772-7070.

5/30/2015 North Judson-San Pierre Officials to Discuss Budget Cuts, Funding Challenges Tonight

Published: April 30, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre Fight for Public Education meeting will take place tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium.

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board is looking at painful budget cuts to close the books on the current year and make ends meet next year. Superintendent Lynn Johnson and other officials will explain those in detail during a “fight for public education” forum tonight at the high school auditorium. Johnson says declining enrollment means N.J.-S.P. will not benefit from additional money in the new state budget.

She will share the numbers as well as details about proposed reductions this evening. The state’s school funding formula leaves corporations very few options with regard to raising money. One is a local option tax increase, which would need to be approved by voters who live within the district. Johnson will talk about that process as well. Members of the public are encouraged to attend. Johnson told the school board last week it will be a time for questions and answers and said she wants members of the community to have a chance to speak freely. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Know Local Requirements before Scheduling Yard Sales

Published: April 29, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

Many residents will be shopping at their neighbor’s homes for deals when the yard sale season gets underway this summer.

The City of Knox requires residents to apply for a permit before hosting a sale. According to the ordinance, which can be found on the city’s website, a fee of $5 will be assessed for a one or two-day permit and $10 for a three or four-day permit. Four city-issued signs will be given with the permit. Any items not sold in the sale will need to be removed from the property. The only time the permit requirement and fee are waived is in the case of the city-wide yard sale. It is scheduled for the third weekend in May.

The Town of North Judson also has a permit requirement. Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry tells WKVI a one or two-day sale will require a $10 permit and sales lasting three or four days will need a $17 permit. One sale may be held per quarter of the year at a residence. Four signs come with the permit, and any items remaining from the sale need to be removed following the sale. Any signs advertising the sale must also be taken down immediately following the sale.

The Town of Hamlet does not have a permit process for yard sales. The town-wide yard sale event in Hamlet begins this Thursday, April 30 and runs through Saturday, May 2.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

5/29/2015 Elements of Chess Postponed

The “Elements of Chess” program which was to take place on April 29th has been postponed until later in the year.  We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Starke County Youth Club Executive Director Elaborates on After-School Offerings

Published: April 28, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI
The Starke County Youth Club provides a strong mix of academic and enrichment activities to youngsters who take part in after-school programs at sites across the county. Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says the day begins with a little bit of decompression time and a healthy snack.

From there she says the focus shifts to homework.

“It’s a chance for kids to have a quiet, structured environment in order to complete their assignments, to get help with their homework from an adult who cares, and really to learn good study habits, responsibility and accountability,” Szakonyi said.

After homework time, some youngsters get additional help with assignments from one-on-one tutors while others take part in enrichment activities.

After homework time, Szakonyi says some youngsters get additional help with assignments from one-on-one tutors while others take part in enrichment activities.

“That’s everything from a math challenge to a drama center,” Szakonyi said. “Maybe they’re learning about other cultures in our culture and action center, or maybe they’re doing a science experiment in our STEM camps, which is science, technology, engineering and math. It’s a wide variety of things for kids to do every day.”

The Starke County Youth Club’s after-school programs are open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade and meet at Knox, North Judson-San Pierre and Oregon-Davis Schools. You’ll hear more about them this week on the news leading up to Friday’s Starke County Youth Club/WKVI Radiothon.  Szakonyi says they hope to raise $50,000 in donations and pledges this year. Visit their website, to learn more.

4/30/2015 The Crossing Hosts Spring Celebration

Published: April 28, 2015 
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

An alternative school with a location in Starke County is hoping to showcase what they’ve accomplished this year.

The Crossing Educational Center will be hosting their spring celebration on Thursday. Students will have the opportunity during the event to talk about what they’ve learned with parents, board members, and community members in attendance.

Site Administrator Courtney Gant says students have been performing well.

“We’ve got a lot of students that have never earned a high school credit that are getting A’s and B’s in their classes and are earning credits like crazy,” says Gant.

The alternative school – which is in its first year – has tripled its enrollment numbers since August to a total of 50 students.

During the spring celebration, several students will be addressing those in attendance on topics of student mentoring. Several other students will be discussing the school’s job training program.

Other students will be discussing struggles with drug addiction. Gant says the celebration is more than just promoting the school.

“It’s good for them to share because it solidifies in their mind what has really happened and it makes it really liberating for them to share their personal experiences and stories in a setting like that,” says Gant.

The celebration is considered a once a year gathering. Students at The Crossing will have a graduation ceremony a couple of months from now.

The spring celebration will take place April 30th at 6:30 at the Nancy J Dembowski Community Center.

5/2/2015 Moving Starke County Forward Healthy Challenge Series Begins Saturday

Published: April 28, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

This year’s Moving Starke County Forward summer challenge is about ready to begin.

The kick-off event for the NASCAR-themed Healthy Challenge Series is set for this Saturday, May 2 at Wythogan Park at 10 a.m. Participants will start the Healthy Challenge Series by walking the pace lap around the park after the sign-up process.

Residents are urged to log steps that could include walking, biking, running, swimming, or hiking for a chance to win some NASCAR prizes. Steps or miles will be recorded every two weeks to reach a certain goal during that time. The first goal will be the Daytona 250. Participants are encouraged to log activity totaling 250 miles by May 16. Details on how to report those steps will be released this week. A different goal will be released shortly before the first deadline.

Since this year’s theme is NASCAR, the winner of the individual event and the team event will get some NASCAR prizes. NEMCO Motorsports will give the individual winner the chance to have a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series experience. Go behind the scenes of the action at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, Sept. 18 and see how teams prepare for race day. A specific pass is given to the winner and another person aged 18 or older courtesy of NEMCO Motorsports which will allow access to the garage area and pit road for a certain amount of time prior to the race. The attendees will also get to meet driver John Hunter Nemechek, tour the semi trailer that carries the truck he drives and receive merchandise. A separate ticket will need to be purchased to watch the race.

The winners in the team event will enjoy a subscription to NASCAR Illustrated and a prize package from Team Penske. Merchandise featuring Team Penske drivers Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney is included in the team prize.

More prizes could be offered, but you have to participate to win. Sign-up sheets are available at each library in Starke County and on Saturday at the kick-off event. For more information, email

Monday, April 27, 2015

Town of North Judson Appoints New School Board Member

Published: April 27, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board will soon have a new member. Board members are appointed, and the North Judson Town Council recently interviewed three candidates for their seat. It is currently held by Marsha Reimbold.

“After considerable discussion relevant to individual strengths, leadership skills and results of the interview process, Michael Sharkozy has accepted the appointment and will begin his term at the completion of the 2014-2015 school year,” town officials said in a statement.

North Judson-San Pierre Students Ready to Rock the ISTEP

Published: April 27, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Students at North Judson-San Pierre Elementary are ready to rock the ISTEP. Exams begin this week. On Friday teachers took a break from instruction for fun activities like movies, healthy snacks and class parties. The day was capped off by a rock concert on the high school football field from the ISTEP Crüe. The band consisted of principal Mike McBride, aka James Michaels, on guitar and lead vocals, drummer Tommy Lee Wilbanks, better known to many students as computer teacher Bob Wilbanks, and guidance counselor Chuck Rebeck, moonlighting as Crüe bassist Chucky Sixx. They jammed out to tunes like “Born to Take ISTEP,” “Keep on Testing Me Baby,” “Rock ‘n Roll All Nite (and ISTEP Every Day) and the always popular “Takin’ Care of ISTEP Business.”

McBride says it’s important to show elementary school students the faculty and staff care about and love them and want them to be successful. He says they also ask them to represent the school well in whatever they do. That includes everything from going on field trips to doing their best on the ISTEP.

He adds the entire school community has worked hard to get ready for the upcoming exam. The teachers have mapped the curriculum to make sure materials on the test are covered in the classroom. McBride says the kids’ job is to learn it and then try their hardest. He stresses they should never give up on the test, even though it’s very easy to just start marking anything on the computer.

He adds events like Friday’s concert help set a good tone for the testing period.

McBride adds events like Friday’s concert help set a good tone for the testing period.

“I think just by doing special things like this it keeps the focus that we’re asking them to do the best they can do. Nothing more, nothing less. Just the best they can do. I think that’s good practice for life,” McBride said.

Photos from Friday’s ISTEP Crüe concert are posted on the WKVI Facebook page

5/16/2015 Starke County Fireworks Fundraiser Set

Published: April 27, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

In just a few short months, America will be celebrating another birthday. The City of Knox is hoping to offset costs of a local celebration with several fundraisers.

A port-a-pit chicken sale is set during the city-wide yard sale in May. This fundraiser will be May 16 at the Knox South Side Fire Station. Volunteers will sell half chicken orders for $7.00 plus pit-tatoes for $3.00 from 10 a.m. until sold out. All proceeds will benefit the county-wide fireworks celebration on Friday, July 3.

Tickets for this event can be purchased at Knox City Hall.

Mad Bomber will be putting on this year’s annual fireworks celebration at the Starke County Airport. The company has been hosting the show for the past several years. The celebration will begin shortly after dusk.

With less money coming into the city’s budget, fundraising efforts are underway in order to gather funds for the popular holiday event.

Friday, April 24, 2015

"Hello Dolly!" Chosen By Maxinkuckee Players

Ask my family and they’ll tell you that I’ve always been a “ham.” And there are days when I wish I could really sing or act, like when I heard that the Maxinkuckee Players have chosen “Hello Dolly!” for their production this summer.  If you would like to try out for this year’s production, here’s the information you need to know.

Interested in joining the Maxinkuckee Players?

Auditions for the 2015 production "Hello Dolly!" will be held at the Culver High School Auditorium as follows:

Saturday May 2nd from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm.
Sunday May 3rd from 2pm to 6pm
All times are Eastern Standard Time.

Be prepared to read from a script and bring a song of your choice. A pianist and CD player will be available.

Questions? Contact Becky Liechty
Phone:  574-952-5117

North Judson-San Pierre High School Graduation Rate Soars

Published: April 24, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre High School principal attributes the uptick in the graduation rate at the corporation to the efforts of determined students, staff, and counselors.

The rate has only gone up slightly each year for the past few years, but Annette Zupin told the school board this week that it means a lot to see students improve. Zupin believes an 11 percent increase in the graduation rate between 2013 and 2014 is due to the determination of students to graduate. The graduation rate was at 84.7 percent in 2013 and 95.8 percent in 2014. The school board members are hoping for the same or better results this year.

Zupin also credited the counselors for creating an avenue to direct students in the right direction, so they get the help they need to pass End of Course Assessment tests. She believes the A+ credit recovery program at the school helps students who are failing in English/Language Arts. Students who may not have strong English/Language Arts skills can utilize the program to strengthen those skills and it’s available online. The online course is offered in addition to a classroom course for help. A separate English remediation class is also available.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

And The Winners Are...

Thank you to everyone who shared their talents in the 1st Carol Grubbs Poetry/Prose Contest and congratulations to this year’s winners.

Poetry Contest:
1st Place - Kathleen Sallee
2nd Place – Robert Waitches

Prose Contest:
1st Place – Diantha Upham
2nd Place – Patty O’Keefe 

Student Division are:
1st Place – Anna Mullens 
2nd Place – Justin Stamper

Student Division Short Stories is:
1st Place – Ryan Haack 

North Judson Town Board Approves Mowing Contract, Issues Sewage Reminder

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

The lone contractor to submit a timely cemetery mowing bid to the town of North Judson will do the work this year. Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry says the town council awarded the bid to Shef’s Lawn Care Services. Their $15,000 bid includes mowing of Highland and Pioneer Cemeteries and other miscellaneous lawn care around town.

Henry says the town will also have to replace two sewer grinder pumps on James and 3rd Streets that burned out recently. Crews discovered a rag mop tangled up in one and a sweatshirt sleeve in the other. Henry says the only way the items would have gotten into the sewer line was by being flushed down the toilet. She reminds residents to only flush toilet paper. Other items could clog the system, even if they are labeled as safe for flushing.

Summer School Classes Approved for North Judson-San Pierre Students

Published: April 23, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

North Judson-San Pierre students can attend summer school classes that have been offered in the past, or they can take new classes.

Superintendent Lynn Johnson said summer school classes will be meet Monday through Thursday starting June 8th and continuing through June 25th.

Jumpstart to first and second grade classes will be offered, along with a bridge to middle school course. These grant-funded courses will help students in those grades ease into the start of the new school year.

IREAD will be available for students who did not pass the standardized test this school year. Eligible students are undergoing additional remediation during the school year. Students can retake exam this summer.

Students in the second through fifth grades can participate in a two-week Summer Enrichment Program, and the Starke County Youth Club will also have enrichment programs for students.

A new program, Supervised Agricultural Experience, will be offered in a five-week setting for high school students.

The USDA Summer Food Program will return. Any resident ages 18 and younger may eat a grab-and-go breakfast and a nutritional lunch at the North Judson-San Pierre Schools for free. Dates and times will be released at a later date.

Johnson stresses most of the programs are grant funded. More information is available to students at any time.

The school board members approved the listing of summer school programs presented to them Tuesday night.

5/2/2015 Abraham Lincoln's Funeral Train Stopped in San Pierre


The President has been shot!

150 years ago, on April 15, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.  The President’s funeral train traveled through many cities on its way to Springfield, Illinois, the President’s home.  It stopped in San Pierre, Indiana on May 1, 1865 at 6:15 in the morning.  The Starke County Historical Society will commemorate the historic event of 150 years ago Saturday, May 2 at 2:00 PM CDT on the grounds of the Little Company of Mary Hospital just south of San Pierre in Starke County.

  Ed Hasnerl, Peg Brettin and Alice Dolezal have arranged for the following participants:

  • The Living History Club from Culver Military Academy will appear in Civil War dress and the The Culver "Pipes & Drums" from the Culver Military Academy will perform.
  • A North Judson high school student, Jacob Dessauer will recite the Gettysburg Address.
  • A story of the young man who “hitched” a ride from San Pierre to Springfield on the train will be read.
  • Alan Selge will appear in Civil War civilian attire.
  • State Representative Douglas Gutwein, serving the people of District 16, and Senator Ed Charbonneau, District 2, and Tom Dermody, District 20 have been invited, as well as the Starke County Officials.
  • Light refreshments will be available at the nearby pavilion.
  • Ed will serve as the Master of Ceremonies and be attired appropriately.

Come, be part of Starke County History.

Teachers may find more on the events of 150 years ago at the following site:

A little history of what happened that night at the Ford Theater.
President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination is one of the saddest events in American history. Yet on the morning of April 14, 1865, the President awoke in an uncommonly good mood. One day less than a week before, on Palm Sunday, April 9, Robert E. Lee, the commander of what remained of the Confederate States’ Army, surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant, the commanding General of the Union. The truce reached at the Appomattox, Virginia, Court House signaled the end of the nation’s most destructive chapter, the Civil War.
To celebrate, Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln decided to attend the hit farce comedy “Our American Cousin,” which was playing at Ford’s Theatre. The Lincolns invited Gen. Grant and his wife to attend the play with them. At a cabinet meeting later that morning, however, Gen. Grant informed President Lincoln that they would not be able to join the first couple and, instead, would be visiting their children in New Jersey.

Lithograph of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. From left to right: Henry Rathbone, Clara Harris, Mary Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln, and John Wilkes Booth. Rathbone is depicted as spotting Booth before he shot Lincoln and trying to stop him as Booth fired his weapon. Rathbone actually was unaware of Booth’s approach, and reacted after the shot was fired. While Lincoln is depicted clutching the flag after being shot, it is also possible that he just simply pushed the flag aside to watch the performance. From the Library of Congress

Even more ominous, the ornery Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, pleaded with the President not to go out that evening for fear of a potential assassination. Stanton was hardly the only presidential advisor against the outing. Mrs. Lincoln almost begged off, complaining of one of her all too frequent headaches. And even President Lincoln moaned about feeling exhausted as a result of his heavy presidential duties. Nevertheless, he insisted that an evening of comedy was just the tonic he and his wife required. Mr. Lincoln, confident that his bodyguards would protect him from any potential harm, shrugged off the warnings and invited Maj. Henry Rathbone and his fiancée, Clara Harris, to join them for a night at the theater.

Lithograph of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. From left to right: Henry Rathbone, Clara Harris, Mary Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth. Rathbone is depicted as spotting Booth before he shot Lincoln and trying to stop him as Booth fired his weapon. From the Library of Congress

Jim Shilling
Starke County Historical Society

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

4/23 to 25/2015 Ss. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church Rummage Sale

Ss. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church will have a rummage sale from April 23rd to April 25th in the church basement (Adair Street entrance).

Hours:  April 23rd from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; April 24th from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and April 25th from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

4/30 to 5/2/2015 North Judson United Methodist Church Rummage Sale

North Judson United Methodist Church (210 Central Ave., North Judson, Indiana) will have a rummage sale from April 30th through May 2nd.  All proceeds will go to Outreach Ministries Starke County.

Hours:  April 30 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; May 1st from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; May 2nd from 8 a.m. to noon.

4/28/2015 Pinwheels for Prevention of Child Abuse

Pinwheels for Prevention of Child Abuse will gather at Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox at 6:30 p.m. on April 28th.

There will be special music, the donation of a tree to the North Judson Park, the release of several balloons and comments on how to help Prevent Child Abuse.

Show your support for Children in Your Community!  Recognize the role of the community in protecting Indiana’s most vulnerable youth.

4/30/2015 Knox Crossing Banquet 2015

The Crossing Educational Center is an accredited, faith-based alternative school in the state of Indiana servicing high school students who haven’t been successful in a traditional school setting facing issues of poor grades, attendance, social conflicts or behavior. Students come from public schools, private schools, home schools and even the streets.

Please join us for an evening of celebrating how the lives of our students have been transformed and to learn more about our growing movement of continuing to empower struggling students in Starke County to become contributing members of their community through academics, job training and faith-based mentoring.

WHEN: Thursday, April 30th - 6:30PM-8:30PM
WHERE: Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center - 55 E Lake St., Knox, IN 46534
WHAT: Coffee, Dessert & Crossing Program

There is no cost to attend.  Coffee and dessert will be provided.  RSVP at  For questions please call 574-249-5552.

4/25/2015 Faith Outreach Mission Fundraiser

Faith Outreach will be selling Nelson’s Port-A-Pit Chicken & Pork Chops at Smith Farm Store (1002 S. Heaton St., Knox) as a missions fundraiser on April 25th from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. or until sold out.

Tickets are $6.75 for 1 pork chop or ½ chicken.  Port-A-Pit potatoes will be available.

5/3/2015 Knox Center Township Fire Department Pancake Breakfast

Knox Center Township Fire Department Pancake Breakfast will be held on May 3, 2015 from 7:30 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m. at the South Station, Hwy 35 across from 5 Star.

Tickets: Adults = $6, Children 8 and under = $3.  Meal includes pancakes, sausage, coffee, orange juice and milk.

Please come out and support your local Fire Department.

4/26/2015 Hamlet American Legion All You Can Eat Breakfast

Hamlet American Legion All You Can Eat Breakfast will be held at Post #356, 504 Railroad Street, Hamlet, Indiana on April 26th from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

Tickets:  Adults = $5; Children under 12 = $3.50; under 2 = Free.  Meal includes sausage, pancakes, scrambled eggs, biscuits & gravy.

5/3/2015 St. Peter Lutheran School Pancake Breakfast

St. Peter Lutheran School Pancake Breakfast will be held on May 3rd from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tickets:  Adult = $6; 10 and Under = $4.50.  Carry outs available.

All proceeds go toward the Creation Museum trip and Kings Island trip.   

5/1/2015 13th Annual Father/Daughter Banquet

13th Annual Father/Daughter Banquet will be held Friday, May 1st at the Knox Community Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets are $10 each and include dinner, beverages, dessert, pictures and entertainment.  For tickets call 896-5451.

4/26/2015 All Saints Catholic Church Pork Chop Dinner

All Saints Catholic Church Pork Chop Dinner will be held on April 26th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Tickets are $8 = 1 pork chop; $12 = 2 pork chops.  Meal includes a baked potato, green beans, applesauce, and dessert.  Carry outs are available. 

4/30/2015 Fight for Public Education

North Judson Town Council Sets Up Revolving Loan Fund

Published: April 22, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

North Judson will still have a grocery store thanks to quick action by the town council. Heartland Markets has signed a letter of intent to buy Ray’s Super Foods on Lane Street. Company officials also asked the town if they could offer any incentives. North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry recently spoke with representatives from the State Board of Accounts, who suggested they could set up a revolving loan fund for economic development projects.

The council on Monday passed an emergency resolution to formally establish such a fund in accordance with state law with proceeds from the County Economic Development Income Tax Fund. The town council previously agreed to loan Heartland Markets up to $50,000 for electrical upgrades to the building. The town’s attorney is drafting the promissory note for that loan, which the council will review before it is executed. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver is also working with NIPSCO to see what sorts of incentive programs are available to pay for upgrades to the heating and cooling systems, refrigerators and other items powered by electricity.

Visit to read the state statute that allows the establishment of such a fund.

North Judson-San Pierre School Board Bracing for More Funding Cuts

Published: April 22, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

The state legislature hopes to give more funding for schools, but according to North Judson-San Pierre Schools Superintendent Lynn Johnson her corporation will still see a cut in funding.

She says the schools that are growing, or increasing in enrollment, will see an increase in funding. She explained to the North Judson-San Pierre School Board last night that the corporation’s enrollment is declining which means a cut in funding.

The House and Senate are still attempting to finalize a budget. The House has its school funding plan while the Senate plan differs in numbers. Either way, Johnson said, the school corporation will not see an increase in its budget.

“In the House plan, 177 school corporations will receive more money, 58 will receive less and that includes us,” said Johnson. “This cut with the House plan is less than the Senate plan, but it’s still a reduction. It’s just less of a reduction. In the Senate plan, 88 schools receive gains and 40 receive cuts including us. We would receive less money.”

Johnson indicated that North Judson-San Pierre is listed as one of the top 10 districts to receive cuts.

The board still needs to cut more money in this year’s budget. In August, it was recommended that the board will need to cut $483,973 for 2015. In 2016, it is recommended that the board cut and $805,504. The board reluctantly approved the reductions as presented.

Johnson has called for a public meeting to discuss the proposed school funding, budget reductions, revenue and expenditures, plus revenue and referendum is scheduled for Thursday, April 30 at 6:30 p.m. CT in the high school auditorium.

“There will be an opportunity for questions and answers. I don’t know if we’ll have every answer, but if we don’t we will find out. I want the community to have an opportunity to speak freely. It’s a hard time. We will all make the commitment to do what we need to do for our school. We’re going strong, and we need to stay strong.”

ISTEP Round Two Begins Next Week

Published: April 22, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

The second round of the ISTEP test will be administered starting next week in area schools.

Students took the first portion of the test in March of this year – which covers English, Math, and for some students: Science and Social Studies. ISTEP is used to help measure student performance in a handful of subject areas.

Knox Community School Corporation will begin round two of ISTEP testing on Monday, April 27th according to their school calendar. North Judson-San Pierre and Oregon-Davis Schools will also be starting the second round of the test on the 27th. Exactly how the tests are administered, however, is left up to the local school corporation.

Eastern Pulaski Schools in Pulaski County and Plymouth and Culver Schools in Marshall County will also give the test to students in 3rd through 8th grade beginning on April 27th.

INDOT Encourages Safety with Farm Equipment on Roadways

Published: April 22, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

Area motorists may have noticed farm implements on the roadways.

That’s because planting season is in full swing. Farmers often use local roads to navigate between fields. According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, this means car drivers should be more alert.

Farm implements typically move slowly while utilizing roads to access fields and farms. INDOT Spokesperson Matt Deitchley says motorists can pass the farm implements, but safe speeds are encouraged.

“We understand people can get frustrated just as they do sometimes behind our snowplows in the winter months,” says Deitchley. “Just understand that they’re out there doing their job as best as possible. They’re not there to block your way. So you want to make sure you do this in a safe pattern to go around them.”

If a vehicle is stuck behind farm equipment moving 20 miles per hour for two miles, a total of six minutes is lost.

Farm vehicles are expected to have proper signage, including orange triangular signs on the rear of the vehicles. INDOT says farmers often move to the right as a courtesy to other motorists on the roads.

Deitchley says despite encouraging safety, there are hundreds of accidents each year involving farm equipment.

“On average, in Indiana, the last couple of years: per year, there have been about 300 accidents across the state between agricultural equipment and vehicles so it’s a real issue that you want to be aware of,” says Deitchley

INDOT says slowing down once farm implements are spotted on the roads can also help prevent potentially dangerous situations.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

4/23/2015 Carol Grubbs Poetry/Prose Winners Announced

I’m sure those of you with an entry in the Carol Grubbs Poetry/Prose contests have been anxiously waiting to find out how you did.  So bring all your friends and family and join us as the winners are announced on Thursday, April 23rd, at 6 p.m. at the North Judson-Wayne Township Library.

Habo Runkle Named Senior Volunteer of the Year

Published: April 21, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Community Services of Starke County Board of Directors recently named the Senior Volunteer of the Year for 2015.

Habo Runkle of Knox was honored for her lifetime of service to help improve the quality of life in her community and her country.

Runkle recently retired from working as a nurse at the Golden Living Center in Knox. She helped residents at the facility for 18 years. Prior to that, Runkle served as a babysitter for many community families and drove a school bus for the Knox Community School Corporation for 16 years.

Habo Runkle is also an active member of the Knox United Methodist Church where she serves on many committees. She has volunteered her time at Community Services of Starke County where she delivers meals to those participating in the Meals on Wheels program. Runkle offers her time to transport Community Services of Starke County clients to doctor appointments and other locations.

In addition to this honor, Runkle is also a past recipient of the Henry F. Schricker Award that is given to a Starke County resident who embodies the former governor’s motto of “service before self.”

IRS Scammers Strike Again

Published: April 21, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI
Scammers claiming to be IRS agents are once again making the rounds through Indiana. State police representatives say they call, tell victims they owe taxes and threaten them with jail unless immediate payment is made. That’s a tip off the call is a fake, as the IRS will not employ such a tactic to collect tax payments.

Police say you should never give personal information like bank account or Social Security numbers, birth dates or credit card numbers to an unverified caller. The most recent scam involves the telephone number 347-389-0029, according to the Indiana State Police. They advise telephone numbers change frequently and recommend typing the number into an Internet search engine to see if it has been associated with scam activity.

As a general rule, calls claiming legal action is pending or any threatening or demanding scenario trying to get you to part with large sums of money are fraudulent. Authorities say scams like those usually trace back to foreign countries, which makes prosecution of those responsible virtually impossible. Authorities say the best thing to do is just hang up.

Visit for more information.

Election Board Continues HAVA Grant Work, Prepares for Election

Published: April 21, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

The Starke County Election Board has received approval for the first phase of grant work.

During their meeting Monday morning, board members recommended accepting the grant funds to the Starke County Commissioners. The renovations come courtesy of a Help America Vote Act grant with the funds are being used to upgrade a door, parking lot, and wheel chair ramp at the North Bend Township Community Center and polling site.

Board member Peg Brettin says the Election Board may need to review work to the second phase.

“The second phase that we will need is the parking lot that they’re going to be doing,” says Brettin. “Then that parking lot will connect with the back side of the North Bend community building for accessibility for handicapped individuals.”

Board members noticed a potential problem the work could face in the upcoming weeks involving the ability to connect the ramp with the parking lot.

The Election Board is also finalizing preparations for the municipal primary elections. Reviewing documents for training election workers and volunteers still needs to be completed.

Brettin says training will take two courses.

“You just kind of have to hope that nothing goes wrong,” says Brettin. “Most of the people who are working for the election on Election Day are experienced individuals. I don’t think we’ll have many questions, hopefully.”

Election site workers will be training on April 30th and May 2nd.

This is Starke County Clerk Vicky Cooley’s first election. Board members spent time reviewing necessary documents and possible decision making that may be involved on Election Day.

Monday, April 20, 2015

4/24/2015 St. Peter Lutheran School Hog Roast

St. Peter Lutheran School is having a Hog Roast on April 24, 2015 from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.  You have your choice of dining in or carry out.

Tickets:  Adults = $8
                K-8 = $4
                Preschool Free

Proceeds go for the support of the technology program at St. Peter.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

DNR Seeks Lifeguards At State Park Facilities

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

Those looking to qualify for a summer job, and who may want to get bronzed in the process, can now retrieve a bit of information through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR says it’s taking applications for summer lifeguard positions. Tests are required for first-year lifeguards at State Park facilities. Applicants who have already been lifeguards at more than 10 locations around the state are exempt from taking the test.

According to the DNR, all of the lifeguards at their State Park facilities are certified in CPR, swimming, and other lifeguarding techniques. The test that’s required to be considered for the positions runs about 50 questions long; and applicants must score at least a 70-percent.

Swim season typically runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Links to the test and application information is available online at

Friday, April 17, 2015

4/20/2015 Adam Miller in Concert

Bella Vita Pregnancy Resource Center Celebrates Five Years

Published: April 17, 2015
By: Ed Hasnerl, WKVI

The featured speaker at the 5th annual Bella Vita Resource Center’s annual banquet was Peggy Rumer, who shared in words and music inspirational and “life changing” events in her life. She told of dealing with the birth of an unexpected baby and her new Christian life style.

The program and dinner was held at the Nancy J. Dembowski Center in downtown Knox. Speakers reported that Starke County holds the 3rd highest rate of teen pregnancies in the State of Indiana. Last year, more than 230 females and 90 males attended parenting classes at the center. Thirteen abortions were recorded by the agency in 2014 –compared to 27 in 2013.

The local pregnancy resource center is headquartered at 52 West Lake Street in Knox; the old post office building. It is a non-profit organization designed to assist those in an unplanned pregnancy situation. It is supported by donations.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Child Abuse Prevention Requires Education

Published: April 16, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and a local advocacy group is hoping to bring attention to the issue in Starke County.

Members of the local group Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) say they’re hosting a candlelight vigil at the end of April to help provide information to community members about the issue.

Child abuse can include physical, emotional, sexual mistreatment, and even neglect.

CADA Executive Director Wendy Elam says it’s important to report child abuse if you suspect it.

“They could be withdrawn, they could also start doing terribly in school, there are so many signs,” says Elam.

Criminal activity could also be a sign of child abuse, according to Elam.

CADA members will be attending a preschool fair to help provide information to parents on child abuse. Joblessness and other financial stress in parents is considered a major contributor in child abuse cases.

The first Child Abuse Prevention Month was celebrated in 1983. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recognizing the issue in April helps promote the social well being of families.

Elam says there are numbers community members and educators can call to help report the problem.

“If you do suspect child abuse, you know, you really want to give that child every chance,” says Elam.

CADA will host its third annual candlelight vigil at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center on April 28th.

North Judson Council Approves Loan for Grocery Store Buyer

Published: April 16, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The North Judson Town Council has taken a first step toward helping a grocery store chain buy Ray’s Super Foods. The Heartland Markets and R&M Wholesale team boasts more than 75 years worth of retail grocery experience, according to their corporate websites. The company recently acquired Curt’s IGA in Francesville and has signed a letter of intent to buy the store in North Judson.

Officials sought a financial boost from the town to help with the cost of equipment upgrades. During a special-called Wednesday morning meeting the North Judson Town Council authorized a revolving loan of up to $50,000 to offset the cost of equipment upgrades for the store. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver is working with NIPSCO to leverage the funds through their incentive programs. As part of that process he says they will evaluate all of the lighting, air compressors, heating and cooling equipment and other items powered by electricity. Weaver says slashing utility costs will help keep the business viable.

Funds for the loan will come from the town’s share of county economic development income taxes. The council will pass the necessary ordinance to create the revolving loan fund during their regularly-scheduled meeting Monday evening. Once that is done they will finalize the promissory note with the buyer. Ray’s is the only grocery store in North Judson.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

4/25/2015 Kersting's Bike Blessing

Live Music by the ”Acousticats” 1 pm, Biker Fest & Bike Blessing Ceremony 2-3 pm, more live music 3-4 pm. (All times eastern). Sponsored by Heartland Christian Center. United Methodist Church's Rev. Adam Speicher- Blessing of the Bikes.

4/18/2015 Port-A-Pit Chicken at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church (1600 S. Heaton St., Knox, Indiana) is selling Port-A-Pit Chicken on April 18th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Tickets are $6.50 for ½ chicken and there will also be Port-A-Pit Potatoes available for purchase.

Proceeds will benefit Little Lambs Preschool. 

5/7/2015 National Day of Prayer Breakfast

National Day of Prayer Breakfast will be held on May 7, 2015 from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at the Nancy Dembowski Community Center, 55 E Lake Street, Knox, Indiana.

A full breakfast is $8 per person or you can purchase a table of 8 for $64.  Tickets are available at the Knox Mayor’s Office or you can call 772-4553 for more details. 

The deadline to purchase tickets is April 20th.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

DNR Hunting and Fishing Licenses Available Online

Published: April 2, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Indiana hunters and fishermen can purchase their annual licenses from retailers or through the DNR website. Annual licenses are valid from April 1 through March 31 of the next year and are available for residents and non-residents. Seasonal fishing, hunting, trapping and combination licenses are also available. Find more information online at

Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1986 must successfully complete a DNR-offered hunter education class to purchase an Indiana hunting license. Classes can be completed online by visiting

Avoid Giving Live Animals as Easter Gifts

Published: April 2, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

If you insist on giving baby bunnies, chicks and ducks as Easter gifts, stick to stuffed animals. Starke County Humane Society Director Shanna Lloyd says while live pets are cute, they are also a lot of work.

“These are farm animals, and the chances of them doing well and thriving outside of a farm environment are not good. Most chicks and ducklings and bunnies that are purchased, for example at pet stores or at farm stores and given as gifts, do not survive to see their first birthday.”

Lloyd adds animals purchased as Easter pets are not equipped to survive in the wild if they are turned out after the cute factor wears off.

“The reality is they are domesticated farm animals and are not equipped to survive on their own, so unfortunately they probably would not survive in that situation,” Lloyd says.

She encourages anyone who is considering any pet purchase to do their research beforehand by either looking up credible information online or checking out books from the library.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer & Water Department Have Moved!

4/3/2015 Rainbows of Hope Fish Fry (Relay For Life Event)

Rainbows of Hope Fish Fry at the Knox Moose Family Center on Good Friday (April 3rd) from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

The meal is $9.00 and includes fish, potato salad and cole slaw.  If you eat in, they also provide a soup and coffee. Carry Outs will be available.   There will also be an Easter Bake Sale and Crafts Sale.

Special Appearance by The Easter Bunny!

4/11/2015 San Pierre Fire Department Fish Fry

San Pierre Fire Department Fish Fry on Saturday, April 11, 2015, from 4 p.m. to ??? at the San Pierre Firehouse.

Tickets are Adult = $10, Children = $5.  Carry outs are available.