Saturday, May 30, 2015

6/5/2015 Trail Events Statewide During National Trails Day

Published: May 30, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is encouraging hiking, riding, and other activities next weekend.

Saturday June 6th is National Trails Day and the DNR is celebrating by offering clean-ups, hikes, and other events at several state parks. The state is largely using the event to open several trails at a park in Indianapolis, but events are still being offered around Indiana.

The DNR says trails improve the quality of life in the Hoosier State by encouraging health and alternative transportation. The state offers more than 3,500 miles of trails that are open to the public.

The nearest event will be at Tippecanoe State Park in Pulaski County – which will actually take place on Friday evening. Organizers have developed a bicycle ride that begins at 7:00 p.m.

Governor Mike Pence recently signed a proclamation dedicating the celebration.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Quote of the Month - June, 2015

Happy Birthday, Blaise Pascal
June 19, 1623

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Reminder: All Golf Carts Must Undergo Annual Inspection

Published: May 27, 2015
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Starke County citizens who plan to get the golf carts out this season need to have their vehicle inspected and approved by a member of the Sheriff’s department before their first cruise. Inspections are annually required. Carts can either be moved by trailer to the station or an inspection can be scheduled at your place of residence by contacting the Sheriff’s department at 574-772-3771. Alert the officer assigned to your inspection whether you will be driving at night to insure the correct sticker is acquired. Before the inspection be sure to have all required materials:  $25 for the permit fee, your driver’s license, plus proof of ownership and insurance on the vehicle. Check out the Golf Cart Ordinance to review Starke County’s policies.

6/6/2015 Seventh Annual TriAncillia Event Scheduled

Published: May 27, 2015
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Ancilla College’s annual triathlon is right around the corner and luckily, interested participants can still sign-up. The absolute final time to register online is Friday, June 5 by 12 pm EDT. The triathlon itself takes place the following day on Saturday, June 6 at 9 am EDT.

Individual registration cost is a $63.60 race and signup fee. Relay registration has a $137.80 race and signup fee. Proceeds collected from the event go to fund scholarships. However race chairperson, Todd Zeltwanger, feels it accomplishes more than that, “We are excited about the seventh annual TriAncilla sprint triathlon that not only raises much-needed financial aid for our students, but also showcases our scenic campus grounds here at The Center at Donaldson.” The race begins with a 3.1 mile run through natural Indiana prairie and beautifully restored wetlands. A 500-yard swim through scenic Lake Galbraith comes next, followed by an 11-mile bike ride around the 1200 rural acres of the grounds of The Center at Donaldson. Registration for individuals and relay teams and can be found on the Ancilla website. For more information contact Todd Zeltwanger at 574-936-8898 (ext. 345).

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

NJ-SP Elementary Students Learn Value of Charity in Cancer Education

Published: May 26, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

Students at North Judson-San Pierre Elementary School had the chance to learn about health and cancer prevention, last week.

Students in each grade level participated in the American Cancer Society’s “Relay Recess” program. The event takes cancer education to the classroom by recognizing those afflicted with the disease and teaching students about charitable causes.

NJ-SP Kindergarten Teacher Katrina Harper says the students were excited to participate in the fight against cancer.

“They’re able to help others learn about how to prevent cancer in their own lives, but they’re also understanding that they can help others by giving back to the American Cancer Society which will help educate other people, they can do the research and help people that are fighting cancer,” says Harper.

Relay Recess focuses its health education to simple cancer prevention techniques, including: using sun protection, exercise and diet habits, and staying tobacco free.

Students in each grade level had 30 minutes to walk laps around a track near the elementary school to earn wrist bands. The bands, provided by the P-T-O, were designed to get the students talking to others about cancer prevention.

Harper says the educational aspect is part of larger fundraising efforts.

“The students have been having Penny Wars, bringing in their change, and having a competition between the grades K through Five in the building. Each day the money is charted outside the cafeteria so they can see which grade level is winning,” says Harper.

If students reached their $1,000 goal, eight teachers at the school have volunteered to have pies smashed in their faces.

NJ-SP Elementary School reached that goal on Friday. The fourth grade class raised over $200. The pie contest will take place on Wednesday.

Healthcare Careers Camp Scheduled in June

Published: May 26, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

The second annual Healthcare Careers Camp is set for June. High school juniors and seniors interested in a career in healthcare are encouraged to attend the week-long event.

Students will be able to immerse themselves in real-life experiences of health professionals at Indiana University Health LaPorte Hospital. Topics include nursing, becoming a physician, professionalism in the workplace, diagnostic imaging, pharmacy, physical therapy, CPR certification, heart and vascular care, and sports medicine. Participants will have an opportunity to interact with physicians, healthcare providers and executives, and will have direct access to observing patient care.

Space is limited for the camp that is scheduled for June 22 through June 26 from 8 a.m. to noon CT each day. The fee for Healthcare Careers Camp is $25 and spaces are limited. To apply, download an application from Applications and two letters of reference are due by June 5, in-person to IU Health La Porte Hospital’s Main Entrance Guest Relations Desk; via fax to 219.326.2451; via email to; or by mail to: IU Health La Porte Hospital,  Attn: Volunteer Services,  PO Box 250,  La Porte, IN  46352

Students who are accepted into the program will be notified the week of June 8.

Friday, May 22, 2015

2015 Mint Festival Daily Schedule of Events

Mint Festival 2015 Grand Marshal - Ben Sakaguchi

Ben Sakaguchi was born in Aldine (Starke County, Indiana) in 1936 to the late Morizo and Namie Sakaguchi.  His father began farming peppermint, spearmint, and Asian vegetables in the North Judson area in 1933 and established Green Acres farm.  He was an early pioneer of processing mint in portable tubs.

Ben married Sandra Spoor in 1968 and, upon his father's retirement in 1969, purchased the entire 200 acre family farm.  He continued farming mint and vegetables for several more years, but eventually phased out mint production and grew only Asian produce for the Chicago markets.  Ben and Sandra are blessed with two children.  Their oldest, Beth (Brian Eccles), returned to North Judson in 1996 and operates a small organic vegetable farm.  Son Chad, an electrical engineer, and his family reside in Bothell, WA.

Ben retired from farming ten years ago and enjoys seeing his grand children and playing a lot of golf.  Ben said, " I am honored to be part of the Mint Festival this year and am thankful for the many friends that I have in the North Judson community."

Bistro 35 opens at IU Health Starke Hospital

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

Starke County’s newest restaurant is in a rather unlikely location. Bistro 35 is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner at IU Health Starke Hospital. The first floor eatery is run by the food and nutrition department at the facility.

Food and nutrition services manager Laura Boyd says it’s a great place to get a quick grab-and-go lunch or sneak away from the office for a break. Wi-fi is available.

Options include a salad bar with grains, fruit salads and pre-made salads, along with spicy black bean burgers, garden sandwiches and wraps. The new café also offers a full-service grill with other burgers and other options. Sauces like Kentucky bourbon, Asian ginger, balsamic onion glaze, parmesan garlic sauce and chipotle glaze can be added to any dish.

Bistro 35 is open for breakfast from 7:30 until 10:30 a.m. The café reopens at 11:30 a.m. for lunch and closes at 7 p.m.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2015 Mint Festival Events

Looking for information on the 2015 Mint Festival?  Check out the library's website for a listing of events:

NJ-SP Sees Reduced Revenue in New Funding Formula

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

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board took a hit on revenue.

Figures have been finalized by the state of Indiana. Funding was determined as part of a two-year budget deal struck near the end of the long-session of the General Assembly.

NJ-SP Superintendent Lynn Johnson says some funding categories saw an increase, especially special education.

“Even with the increase in categories of special education is still doesn’t meet the needs that we have,” says Johnson.

The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation was prepared to lose quite a bit in the next calendar year budget, but still managed to take a hit of $472-thousand in the next calendar year. That figure only holds if a projected 42 students leave the district. Administrators don’t believe the figure will be that high.

Among the changes affecting their revenue is a change to the Tier II Complexity Index, formerly known as free-and-reduced lunch. That is now partly known as area welfare recipients.

Johnson says certain segments of Tier II actually saw an increase, such as “English as a New Language.”

“We’re not really impacted by that,” says Johnson. “We’re starting to be a little bit, but not significantly like some other corporations that would get quite a bit of increased funding through that Tier II.”

Rural school corporations have generally seen reduced funding levels due to declining student enrollment and populations. Although the state of Indiana increased educational funding to the base, area schools have consistently said there are more schools seeking those funds.

North Judson-San Pierre says they plan to continue marketing efforts during the summer months in an effort to attract students to their schools.

No action was taken by the school board.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

5/23 to 5/25/2015 Starke County Freedom Ride

5/24 & 25/2015 Memorial Day Schedule

Memorial Day Services will be conducted by the North Judson Harry L. Keller American Legion Post #92, Unit #92, American Legion Auxiliary, and Sons of American Legion Squad #92

Sunday, May 24th
          11:30 a.m. at Round Lake Cemetery

Monday, May 25th
          8:45 a.m. - North Judson Parade (old North Judson Fire Station on Keller Avenue to Central Avenue, to Pioneer Cemetery)
          9:00 a.m. - Services at Pioneer Cemetery, North Judson
          10:00 a.m. - San Pierre Cemetery
          11:00 a.m. - Deposit Wreath in River (HWY 421)

          11:15 a.m. - Velmar Memorial Park, LaCrosse

6/8 to 6/25/2015 Summer Food Service Program

The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation will be participating in the Summer Food Service Program again this year.  Meals will be provided to all children - without charge – through age 18 and to persons over the age of 18 enrolled in a state approved education program for the mentally or physically disabled.  There will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Meals will be served at:
North Judson-San Pierre Elementary School Cafeteria
809 W. Talmer Avenue
North Judson, Indiana

Mondays through Thursdays from June 8, 2015 through June 25, 2015Breakfast:  7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.Lunch:  11:15 a.m. to 12 noon Adults may eat at the site for a charge of:
          Breakfast = $1
          Lunch = $2

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

6/6/2015 North Judson Firemen's Fish Fry

The North Judson Volunteer Fire Department will hold their Annual Fish Fry on June 6th starting at 4:30 p.m. at the North Judson Fire House (209 N. Luken Street) 

Tickets are:  Adults = $10, Kids = $5.

Fish fried by the San Pierre Fire Department.

NJ-SP School Board Updates Technology Use Policy

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

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board better defined some priorities when it comes to using their technology.

School corporations around the state are required to maintain an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) to protect schools, but also define how students and faculty can use the technology provided to them.

NJ-SP Superintendent Lynn Johnson says changing technology partially prompted revisiting the policy.

“The major revisions [are] that we took out some things that are no longer required, and now that we are wireless, things are a little bit different,” says Johnson.

North Judson-San Pierre last reviewed their Acceptable Use Policy in 2011. The policy recommendations come courtesy of NEOLA: an organization that works to identify gaps in government internal policy.

The AUP notifies employees their e-mails will be archived, and indemnifies the district against viruses and other potentially illegal activity that may occur on their networks and computers.

Johnson says the district doesn’t have to update the policy annually.

“It just depends on what changes,” says Johnson. “It really depends on NEOLA what they bring to us. If they have things that are required by the government then, of course, it has to be re-approved.”

Updates to the AUP were recommended by the school corporation’s Technology Committee. That group consists of chosen representatives of each school.

The policy will now be utilized by the technology department to execute what is thought to be more effective guidelines for the school corporation’s staff.

North Judson Town Council Makes Move to Protect Wastewater Equipment

Published: May 20, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

Efforts are being made to save wear and tear on waste water equipment as North Judson residents continue to flush unnecessary items into the sewer system.

Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry told WKVI News that the town council approved the purchase of five baskets totaling $1,700 that will capture large items in the sewer system. The waste water crews continue to find shirts, sleeves, underwear, and other items not suitable for flushing down the toilet in the sewer pumps. As a result, the pumps are damaged and it’s quite an expense to replace those pumps.

It also creates a hindrance on the daily duties of the waste water department to empty those baskets a few times weekly.

Henry urges residents to only flush toilet paper into the sanitary system.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

6/6/2015 North Judson Pop Warner 4th Annual Golf Outing

North Judson Pop Warner will have their 4th annual golf outing on Sat, June 6, 9am – 10am, at the Chesapeake Run Golf Club, 6430 South 250 West, North Judson, Indiana.

$50 each and $200 for a team of 4.  For more information call Crystal at 574-806-4318.

NJ-SP School Board Reviewing Revenue Figures, Improving Policies

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

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board will be setting the table for future budget discussions.

At their meeting tonight, Board members will learn more about how the latest decisions in the state legislature will affect their fiscal year budget. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says she hopes to explain the new revenue figures to the board.

Thoughts right now indicate North Judson-San Pierre schools will see reduced funding in the next fiscal year budget. The school corporation is considering a referendum to increase the area’s property tax levy to make up for the funding gap.

Rural school districts – which are generally losing population their population base – are considered likely to see reduced funding.

The Board will also take action to revise the school corporation’s acceptable use policy. The AUP, as it’s called, is designed to protect students and staff from viewing inappropriate content, as well as specify proper care for the equipment for school owned technology.

Exactly which revisions are being made will become clear during tonight’s meeting.

Board members will meet at 7:00 p.m. at the NJ-SP Administration Building.

5/21/2015 Fundraisers Become Inmates Through Relay For Life

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

The facility is not being fully used, presenting an opportunity to fundraise for a good cause.

Starke County Relay for Life will be hosting an event on May 21st that mimics being jailed. Individuals can surrender themselves at the new Starke County Jail on that date, or issue a “warrant” for someone’s “arrest.”

Starke County Relay for Life Event Chair Ericka Taylor-Joseph says participants would indeed be physically in a cell.

“They have to try and drum up some business and get people to come bail them out. They can either pay cash, check, or credit card to the bail bondsman that will be on site,” says Taylor-Joseph. “And hopefully they’ll raise enough money to get out of jail.”

Once that person has been placed inside the jail, funds have to be raised to bail that person out. The funds are used as fundraising dollars through Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.

Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin came up with the idea according to Taylor-Joseph. The event is designed to show the public the new jail, but also give back to the community.

The Relay for Life teams have a goal of $250 each during the event. Taylor-Joseph says those funds go straight into a Relay for Life account.

“Relay for Life is part of the American Cancer society and that is used for cancer research as well as services for some of our cancer patients in our area,” says Taylor-Joseph.

Inmates facing prosecution from the state are expected to be moved-in shortly after the jail opens to the public. That means the fundraiser is likely a one-time experience.

Those still interested in donating to cancer research can participate in the Relay for Life event taking place on June 12th at the Starke County Fairgrounds.

Monday, May 18, 2015

INSPIRE Basic Databases And Reference Centers

A list of individual databases where you will find:

Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center:  The first complete collection of information covering virtually every hobby and leisure activity, Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center offers helpful tips and innovative concepts to meet the interests of every hobby enthusiast.  Full text is provided from leading hobby and craft magazines like Bead & Button, Creative Knitting, FineScale Modeler, Quilter’s World and many more.


Home Improvement Reference Center:  A collection of comprehensive full-text content that provides detailed “how-to” information covering all aspects of home improvement/repair projects.  All of the content is organized in an intuitive, easy-to-use manner that enables instant access to the information you need.

6/12/2015 Free Ball Room Dancing Lesson

6/1/2015 USDA Filing Deadline

Filing Deadline

Published: May 18, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Specialty crop producers who applied for enhanced crop insurance this year have a deadline approaching to turn in necessary paperwork. Conservation compliance forms must be filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture by June 1. Farmers who do not complete the form will not be eligible for federal crop insurance payments. The 2014 farm bill gave specialty crop producers the option to apply for enhanced crop coverage through the federal Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, commonly known as NAP. In order to receive payments, farmers must certify they will not plant crops on erodible land unless previously approved by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Applicants must also agree not to drain, dredge, level or fill any wetlands on their property.

Producers who complete the form by June 1 will be eligible for federal crop insurance payments for the 2016 reinsurance year, which begins July 1, 2015.

The Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form is available at local USDA service centers or online at

Completed forms should be taken to the local USDA service center.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Purdue Extension Welcomes New Ag Educator

Published: May 14, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

Purdue Extension has a new Agricultural Educator in Starke and Pulaski County.

Phil Woolery started the job on May 1st of this year and has, so far, been working to assess exactly what residents in the two counties need out of his services. Purdue Extension offices work to provide educational opportunities in each of Indiana’s counties.

He says he took the job through a passion for helping others.

“I think this position will help me in catering, not just in helping people with agricultural production, but also people with their home and lawn and garden questions too,” says Woolery.

Prior to accepting the position in Starke and Pulaski County, Woolery attended Iowa State and Purdue University, receiving a degree in Forestry. He used that experience to work at a nursery in Minnesota.

Though his specialty is in forestry, Woolery says he has experience in agriculture, agronomy, and plant nutrition.

He says he has a few goals for the position in the near future.

“Maybe look into helping individuals in Starke County if they want to start a community garden,” says Woolery. “Helping with the information and helping coordinate that.”

Woolery is working to attain certification as a Master Gardener. His reasoning behind a push for local gardening involves eventually being able to provide locally sourced meals to the area’s residents.

He says he will continue to meet with farmers and active gardeners to better assess what the community needs.

5/16/2015 Free Fishing Day for Indiana Residents

This Saturday, May 16th, is Indiana's second (of four) free fishing day. Indiana residents do not need a fishing license or a trout stamp to fish public waters on this day.
Sounds like the perfect time to go fishin' with the family. You can find some free events throughout the state here:

6/7/2015 Fly In/Drive In Pancakes & Airplanes Breakfast

Fly In/Drive In Pancakes and Airplanes on June 6th from 7 am to 12 noon CST at the Starke County Airport (1795 N. 200 E., Knox, Indiana). This is an all you can eat pancake and sausage breakfast.

Tickets are $6 per person, 5 & under = Free.

Sponsored by the Northwest Indiana Experimental Aircraft Association, Chapter 104 (

For more information call 574-772-5001.

5/23/2015 Bass Lake Volunteer Fire Dept. Fish Fry

Bass Lake Volunteer Fire Department Fish Fry will be held on May 23rd from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bass Lake Fire House.

Tickets are:  Adults & all Carry outs = $8; Children 5 to 12 = $5.  All proceeds to benefit the BLFD Scholarship Fund.

There will also be a bake sale for the fire department Kids Christmas Party. 

NJ-SP 100 Meter Relay Team Break Records

5/23/2015 Chicken & Noodle Dinner

Fire & Faith Worship Center (301 Lane Street, North Judson) is having a Chicken and Noodle dinner on May 23rd from 4 – 7 p.m.  The meal will include mashed potatoes, banana pudding and a drink.

Tickets are $8 at the door and $7.50 pre-sale.

6/26/2015 Annual Starke United Golf Outing!

Annual Starke United Golf Outing!
Friday, June 26, 2015

Download the Registration Form

Support Starke United and all the great programs that they fund in Starke County.  All proceeds will be used to start the new Starke United Community Fund and will be matched dollar for dollar by a grant from the Lilly Endowment.

When: Friday June 26, 2015.

Where: Hamlet Golf Course, 100 E Short Street, Hamlet, IN 46532.

Event Highlights:
4 Person Scramble.
8:00 am CDT - Registration
9:00 am CDT -Shot Gun Start.
Lunch will be provided
The entry fee $70 Per Person or $250 Per Team.  Fee Includes:  Green fees and lunch.

Fabulous Prizes and Bragging Rights for:
Closest to the Pin,
Longest Putt,
Longest Drive. 
Need a little extra help? Team Games Package - $25 (will include Mulligans)

Questions? Contact Emily Waters at (574) 772-3665

5/22/2015 Grand Opening/Building Dedication Starke County Justice Center

The Starke County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce the Grand Opening and building dedication of the new Starke County Justice Center located at 5435 E St Rd 8 Knox, In 46534.
The building dedication and memorial garden ceremony will take place on Friday, May 22nd at 12pm(Noon) Central Time, with a public open house and free BBQ Pork to follow until 4pm(Central Time).
This event is open to the public! Everyone is encouraged to attend this special event!
There will be:
- Free BBQ Pork , Chips and Drink
- Guided tours of the new facility
- Question/Answer opportunities with Sheriff Bill Dulin and his Command Staff

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Monday, May 11, 2015

5/16/2015 Canvas for a Cure

Canvas for a Cure event

When:  Sat, May 16, 4pm – 7pm
Where:  Knox VFW, 1511 S Heaton St, Knox, IN 46534

$35 will get you all of your painting materials, instruction and refreshments. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Indiana Bicentennial: Starke County

Starke County is going to be a big part of Indiana's 2016 Bicentennial celebration that aims to honor our state’s 200 years of history!  Want to get involved in the Indiana Bicentennial next year?  Become a friend of the Indiana Bicentennial: Starke County page on Facebook.

Local Probation Officer Receives Order of Augustus Award

Published: May 9, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Chief Probation Officer of the Starke County Probation Department recently received a prestigious state award.

John Thorstad is this year’s recipient of the Order of Augustus Award in the memory of John Augustus, who is known as the “Father of Probation.” Augustus started the rehabilitation movement in corrections.

Thorstad was nominated by his staff. His nomination was then voted on by the Probation Officers Advisory Board, which is a branch of the Indiana Supreme Court.  The award is given to one probation officer in the state each year.

Thorstad has worked as a probation officer for 25 years, an achievement that was recognized earlier this year. He has been a probation officer in Starke County for just over six years.

Thorstad says about 400 Starke County residents are on probation through his department that is less than what he has seen in the last few years.

“We’ve seen a downward trend in felony filings and those coming on probation,” said Thorstad. “With the change in the criminal law last year from four levels of felonies to six, some of the lower level drug offenses were switched to misdemeanors. Theft cases were lowered as well, and there were several of those cases. We saw a big shift of some of those lower felony cases now going to city court.”

Thorstad notes that his recognition shows what kind of work he and his staff are doing and a positive accomplishment for the county.

Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall, Starke County Chief Probation Officer John Thorstad and Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush

Friday, May 8, 2015

Entrance Fees to Increase at Indiana State Parks and Forests

Published: May 8, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
It will cost you a little bit more to enter an Indiana state park or state forest this season.

Operating costs have increased which has caused the increase in gate fees. The entrance to most state parks and three state forest recreation areas will increase from $5.00 per in-state vehicle to $7.00. Many activities offered are free after paying the gate fee.

Out-of-state admission at most properties will increase from $7.00 to $9.00 per carload. Out-of-state admission at Indiana Dunes State Park will increase from $10 to $12. Most camping sites will increase by $4.00 and rooms at state park inns will increase by $2.00. Annual passes will increase from $40 to $50.

These changes are effective May 13. This is the first fee overhaul since 2006. Revenue generated from the increases will support staffing and the purchasing of supplies and equipment.

A list of all the fee changes for 2015 can be found at

5/11/2015 Spring Property Tax Installments Due Monday

Published: May 8, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

The deadline to pay the spring installment of property taxes is looming.

The Starke County Treasurer’s office will be open until 4 p.m. CT today to accommodate taxpayers in making that payment on time. The last day that tax bills can be paid without a penalty is Monday, May 11 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT. Fall installments may also be paid at the same time, if desired.

Payments may be left in the drop box outside the treasurer’s office in Starke County Annex Building in Knox. If the staff receives the payment in the drop box before 8 a.m. on Tuesday, no penalty will be assessed.

The Bank of Monterey branches in Monterey and North Judson will accept tax payments along with 1st Source Bank in Knox, First Farmers Bank in Knox and North Judson and Demotte State Bank in Knox. Treasurer Kasey Clark asks that a self-addressed stamped envelope be included so a receipt can be mailed.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

5/28/2015 TOPS Wellness Program - CPR & AED

A member of the American Red Cross will be demonstrating and teaching techniques for CPR and AED. Come and learn. You can be the difference between doing something and doing nothing to save a life.

Class will be held May 28th at 5:15 p.m. in the Activity Room of the North Judson-Wayne Township Library, 208 Keller Avenue, North Judson, Indiana  46366.

5/14/2015 TOPS Wellness Program - John Phelan, D.O.

John Phelan, D.O., will present a program on "Activity/Plans and Goals to Improve Health" sponsored by the North Judson TOPS Chapter on May 14th at 5:15 p.m. in the Activity Room of the North Judson-Wayne Township Library, 208 Keller Avenue, North Judson, Indiana  46366.

Area Academic Team Gathers State Championship

Published: May 7, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

North Judson-San Pierre Middle School students participating in the Social Studies Academic Team have a seventh state championship.

The eight-member team recently competed in the Indiana Academic Super Bowl Junior Competition at LaPorte High School on May 2 and answered 21 out of 25 questions correctly. The topic was “The Grandeur that was Rome” which included questions in the areas in Math, Science, Social Studies, and English.

Izzy Didonna, Grace Allender, Eli Craft, Ethan Hillers, Molly McDonald, George Thomason, Gerrit Knip, and Caedmon Bailey were able to lift their team to first place in Class 3. The team has had a championship in seven of the past 11 years.

Starke County Highway Department Begins Mowing Operations

Published: May 7, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI
Mowing season is under way for the Starke County Highway Department. Superintendent Rik Ritzler says a mower has been out since April 27, and the other four tractor mowers will being cutting tight-of-ways on Monday. Last year county highway crews mowed more than 8,000 lane miles of county roadways. This year Ritzler says they plan to complete at least five complete circuits of the county, for a total of 7,500 miles.

Mowing is done to clear sight distance on county roadways and at intersections in order to ensure public safety. Ritzler says crews will be mowing a five foot right-of-way on the roadways and at least 15 feet back at intersections. He adds the highway department will work with local farmers to limit the amount of crops they have to mow without compromising public safety.

Annual Starke County Community Health Fair Set for May 13th

Published: May 7, 2015
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

Screenings and highly interactive health events will be the focus of the 4th annual Starke County Community Health Fair on Wednesday, May 13 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox.

The health information presented by physicians will range from preventative care for men and women to the importance of a good night’s sleep.

Free screenings and tests will be offered including body fat percentage, blood sugar for diabetes, strength and balance assessments, blood pressure, and a heel bone density test for osteoporosis. Those attending the event can sign up for a Heart Cart screening for $25.

Gastroenterologist Dr. Seth Tatel will answer questions about colon cancer. He will distribute take-home colorectal cancer screening kits.

Thanks to IU Health Starke Hospital and Community Services of Starke County, healthy appetizers are available, and the first 300 guests will receive a free t-shirt.

For more information, visit IU Health Starke Hospital on Facebook or call (219) 326-2415.

Leadership Starke County Class Graduates

Published: May 7, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The Leadership Starke County class of 2014-2015 has graduated. The 15 participants spent the past nine months honing community leadership skills, building self-confidence and interacting with community leaders. The class included a student from each of the county’s three high schools. Members met one day per month at sites throughout the county and learned about local history, geography and culture, the local economy, government, education and social services. Strategic planning and service on boards were also covered.

To date 37 people have taken part in the community leadership training initiative. It is put on each year by the Starke County Chamber of Commerce, Community Services of Starke County and IU Health Starke Hospital. Courses are led by Jim Jessup, who has more than 30 years experience teaching community leadership initiatives, and Starke County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debbie Mix.

This year’s graduates include Erica Davis from the Starke County Legacy of Women, Knox High School sophomore Katelyn Stacy, Sue McCormack from First Farmers Bank & Trust, Margaret Dalphond from IU Health, Diana Fletcher from IU Health Starke Hospital, Geary Manuel with GB & Sons Transport, Ancilla College student Taylor Kemble, North Judson-San Pierre High School junior Sierria Hale, social worker and student Amye Gourley, community volunteer Jacob Lippner, Oregon-Davis High School senior Jack Minter, college student Davey Johnston, Brandon Collins from the First National Bank of Monterey and Aaron Kochar from Porter-Starke Services.

Enrollment is now open for the next Leadership Starke County class. It begins in September and continues through next May. The $300 cost includes training, food and materials. A partial tuition reduction is available. Contact the Starke County Chamber of Commerce at 574-772-5548 or Community Services of Starke County at 574-772-7070 for more information.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

5/10/2015 NJ-SP Knights of Columbus Mother’s Day Breakfast

North Judson-San Pierre Knights of Columbus Council #12486 is holding a Mother’s Day Pancake and Sausage Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Ss Cyril and Methodius Church Basement.

Tickets:  Adults = $5; Children 6-12 = $3, Preschool = Free.  Carry outs will be available.

Moms, Moms-in-law, Moms to be, GodMoms, all MOMS eat free.

5/16/2015 All You Can Eat Country Breakfast

Denham Freewill Baptist Church is having a Country Breakfast on May 16th from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Church Fellowship Hall. 

They will be serving biscuits, sausage gravy, bacon, eggs, and fried apples. 

Tickets:  Adults = $8, Ages 7 to 12 years = $5, 6 years and under = Free.  Carry outs will be available. 

5/17/2015 Color Me Green 4-H Run

Who:  4H members, families, volunteers, community members, and anyone who wants to have fun while running or walking.

When:  Sunday, May 17th at 2 p.m. ET

Where:  North Judson Erie Trail at the intersection of Highway 10 and 250 West

Cost:  $10 per person/$25 per family

Why:  To benefit the Community Services of Starke County Food Bank.

Would you like more information?  Contact the Purdue Extension Starke County Office at 574-772-9141.

5/15, 16, 17/2015 NJ-SP Presents: Little Shop Of Horrors

Golden Living Center Volunteers of the Year

5/12/2015 Pro Resources Staffing Services Job Fair

Looking to fill jobs within the areas of:  Plymouth, Walkerton, Knox, Rochester, Bremen and North Liberty.  1st, 2nd, and 3rd shift positions available.

Will be at Work One, 927 Main St. Rochester, Indiana, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Come see what Pro Resources has to offer you!

5/16/2015 Starke-Pulaski Master Gardeners Plant Sale

The Starke-Pulaski Master Gardeners Plant Sale is May 16th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (EST) at the Pulaski County Highway Garage in Winamac, Indiana.

Free admission.  Free gardening advice and design ideas.  Numerous vendors.  Lunch available.

Come on out and shop, get garden ideas and have lunch.  (Combined event with the Paw Prints 4H Club Fundraiser.  No animals in attendance.)

Starke County Commissioners Set Rate for Dedicated Ambulance Service

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

Organizers of events like this weekend’s high school rodeo in Grovertown can pay the county to have a dedicated ambulance at their event the entire time. The Starke County Commissioners Monday approved a $500 charge to cover the cost of the truck and personnel to staff it. That same option is available to any event or organization that would like to ensure medical personnel are on site at all times.

Should an injury occur that requires a patient be transported, an ambulance from the nearest EMS base can handle the call. The county will continue to provide ambulance service as a courtesy for events like the Starke County 4-H Fair and various local festivals if the organizers agree the crew can leave should they get an emergency call.

Starke County EMS was recently recertified by the state for another two years. That process involves the medical director of the service and officials from IU Health Starke Hospital and was completed two months ahead of schedule. Director Keith Emigh is still looking to hire a few additional paramedics to meet the goal of full-time EMS coverage at all three bases.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Starke County Not Considering Wheel Tax Yet

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

The Starke County Highway Department still has plenty of money to keep up with planned road maintenance this year. Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners last night that includes nearly 30 miles of paving this summer and crack sealing an additional 10 miles roads. Some chip sealing work will also be done.

Ritzler says the county has nearly reached peak efficiency when it comes to producing asphalt. They’ve slashed the cost of production by 50 percent over the past two years through a combination of training, experience and lower oil prices. However, the price of oil puts a limit on how many miles of roads can be paved. Additional savings have been realized through competitive bidding, reducing dust control costs and doing as much work as possible in-house.

Ritzler says the county can still maintain the current condition of its roads but will not be able to make significant improvements without more money. He adds state and federal road funding is becoming harder to get and told the commissioners the state may eventually require counties to adopt wheel taxes or charge heavy hauling fees in order to qualify for road funds. Ritzler stresses he is not a fan of such user fees and is not advocating their establishment.

New Jail Nearly Finished

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

The new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center will be finished in time for the May 22nd public dedication ceremony. Contractors are working through punch lists now for the new building east of Knox on State Road 8 and should have the final repairs done by the end of next week. Any lingering issues should be addressed before inmates move in on June 1st.

The Starke County Jail Building Corporation will shift focus to renovating the existing jail after the move is complete. Tentative plans call for the prosecutor’s office to move across the street to the courthouse and Starke County Community Corrections to occupy space at the downtown facility. The extent of those renovations will be determined by how much money is available once the jail project done. Commissioner and building corporation president Kathy Norem says some electrical and heating and cooling issues at the courthouse need to be addressed as well before a move can be orchestrated. Money from the jail bond cannot be used for that work. County officials are still getting estimates as to the scope of that work.

6/9 to 7/14/2015 Summer Reading Program: Every Hero Has A Story

Registration for the Summer Reading Program at the North Judson-Wayne Township Library will begin on May 26th. Sign up and earn prizes for reading and completing your reading log every week.

Then join us from June 9th through July 14th on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 12 noon for books, games, and crafts about your favorite Superheroes and local "super" heroes.

6/8 to 7/13/2015 Summer Story Hour: Every Hero Has A Story

Our Summer Story Hour for 3 to 5 year olds will be on Mondays from 1 p.m to 2 p.m. from June 8th to July 13th. Come enjoy books, games and crafts about your favorite Superheroes and local "super" heroes.

Registration begins May 26th. Come enjoy books, games and crafts about your favorite Superheroes and local "super" heroes. Earn prizes for reading and completing your reading log every week.

6/8 to 7/13 Summer Tot-Time: Every Hero Has A Story

Our Summer Tot-Time for ages 18 months to 3 years old will be on Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 12 noon from June 8th to July 13th. Come enjoy books, games and crafts about your favorite Superheroes and local "super" heroes.

Registration begins May 26th. Come enjoy books, games and crafts about your favorite Superheroes and local "super" heroes. Earn prizes for reading and completing your reading log every week.

Monday, May 4, 2015

North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Addresses School Funding Rumors

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

North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation officials are eyeing a local property tax hike to cover operating expenses. A combination of state funding cuts and declining enrollment have cost the corporation a significant amount of money. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says they are not planning to consolidate.

“This is North Judson-San Pierre. It needs to stay North Judson-San Pierre. We’re not going to be absorbed into Knox. That is not true,” Johnson said.

Corporations already do share services like special education and vocational programs in order to contain costs. Johnson told the audience at Thursday’s fight for public education forum school officials may look at other shared service options but stressed consolidation is not being considered. Neither is the closure of the elementary school.

“Come Aug. 5th, those kids will go to school in that building. You hear that people are saying it’s being closed. No, it’s not. Straight from the horse’s mouth,” Johnson said.

North Judson Truck Route Established

North Judson Truck Route Established

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

North Judson has solidified the route that commercial trucks can take in the community.

The ordinance specifies the path to enter the community and reach the industrial park through State Road 10 without traveling on residential streets. North Judson has undertaken the effort to help preserve road quality and prevent other traffic impediments.

Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry says commercial trucks would turn onto Luken Road off of State Road 10 to the intersection of Sycamore street.

“If they’re going to the industrial park, they’d take the same route as if they were going to American Oak, but they would continue on to Arlington Avenue and then take that over to the entrance to the industrial park,” says Henry.

The Town of North Judson initially considered reaching out to GPS manufacturers to specify to commercial trucks where they can travel. They now intend to join the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, the City of Knox, and Starke County to contact the companies.

Henry says there are still companies which need to be accessed commercially that aren’t in the industrial park.

“For instance, if they’re making a delivery to the elevator, or the grocery store, they are to take the truck route to the nearest intersection for the business that would get them to that destination,” says Henry.

Signs have been constructed in North Judson to alert commercial truck drivers where they are allowed to travel.

According to the ordinance’s legal notice, the Truck Route Ordinance will take effect at the end of this month.

Friday, May 1, 2015

CADA Receives Grant to Help Secure the Phoenix House

Published: May 1, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Women and children fleeing from domestic or family violence can rest a little easier at the Phoenix House, thanks to a grant from Kankakee Valley REMC. The electric cooperative recently gave the shelter $3,115 to assist with security at the transitional home for women and children. Counseling and other support services are also offered.

Funds were awarded through Operation Roundup, which allows utility customers to round their electric bill up to the next dollar. Members contribute an average of $6 per year, according to REMC officials. Those funds are then distributed to nonprofit organizations throughout the REMC service area. To date the fund has given $937,000 back to community organizations, according to REMC officials.

Starke County Youth Club Summer Enrichment Focuses on STEM

Published: May 1, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI
Youngsters who take part in this year’s Starke County Youth Club summer enrichment programs will get to put lessons in science, technology, engineering and math skills to use. Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says they provide critical thinking skills.

“They need to be able to problem solve in order to be successful, healthy adults. They need to be able to attack a problem, design a solution and not get intimidated if the solution doesn’t work. They need to have some grit to them that enables you to keep going. When at first you don’t succeed, they try and try again and finally succeed. That’s amazing,” Szakonyi said.

She added youngsters develop those skills in a hands-on setting by doing science experiments like designing roller coasters or making solar ovens. This year the SCYC is using curriculum developed by NASA for the summer enrichment programs.

Starke County Youth Club participants, instructors and board members will take to the WKVI airwaves today for the Eighth Annual 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.

Student Achievements Showcased at Spring Celebration

Published: May 1, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

The Crossing has only been operating for about one year, but according to their students, there have been some major accomplishments.

A spring celebration was held in Knox at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center on Thursday night. The gathering allows the alternative education school to showcase what students have been working to accomplish in their academic and personal lives.

Tristen Kajer attends The Crossing as a sophomore. He says bullying he experienced led him to the school – which he hopes to turn into a positive for the future.

“I want to travel around the world,” says Kajer. “I want to reach out to teens. I want to help them. Whoever’s oppressed, whoever’s getting bullied, whoever’s in darkness, I want to bring them back into light and show them that they’re not alone.”

Around 50 students attend The Crossing – which has tripled their enrollment numbers since first opening their doors. The school accepts students who are deemed to be struggling in a public school environment, but introduces a spiritual component.

Apart from earning credits to be put toward their high school graduation requirements, students have also begun working on a micro-business.

Refinishing, assembling, and selling furniture allows the students to learn job placement skills while raising funds for the school. Some of the furniture was available for auction on Thursday night.

The Crossing CEO Rob Staley says a focus on the student’s mind is only one component.

“We really believe that if you can’t get to the heart, you can’t change the behavior,” says Staley. “You can make somebody smarter, but they’re not necessarily wiser.”

Student speakers discussed their trouble with addiction and the law, but cited the teachers at the school as a prime driver of their recovery.

Graduation for The Crossing won’t take place for a couple of weeks.

North Judson-San Pierre School Officials Propose School Funding Referendum

Published: May 1, 2015 
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation officials will ask voters to approve a property tax referendum this fall to help fund day-to-day school operations. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says a combination of declining enrollment and state budget cuts have forced the corporation to cut $2.5 million since 2010. She stresses there are no plans to close schools or consolidate with another corporation, despite rumors to the contrary.

Johnson told the audience at last night’s fight for public education informational meeting she is still crunching numbers and hopes to have a dollar figure for the proposed increase by early June. She mentioned $800,000 a year for each of the next seven as a round number to boost the corporation’s general fund balance again, but stresses that figure is not yet firm. First the school board will need to pass a resolution to seek a tax increase, and then a political action committee will need to be formed to raise money for the endeavor. Johnson says neither board members nor teachers are allowed to serve on such a committee.

More information is available on the North Judson-San Pierre School corporation website at Johnson’s presentation as well as comments from school board president Pat Goin and treasurer Guy Richie will be featured on Sunday’s Kankakee Valley Viewpoints program at noon CDT on K99.3 WKVI-FM.