Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Quote of the Month - July 2015

7/12/2015 St. Vincent de Paul Pork Chop Dinner

7/5/2015 Bass Lake Volunteer FD Pancake & Sausage Breakfast

7/11/2015 Kankakee Valley H.O.G. MDA Ride

Mark your calendars for July 11! The Kankakee Valley H.O.G. annual MDA Ride. Sign up at Kersting’s 2-4 p.m. (et). 60 mi. group ride leaves 4 p.m.(et) to final destination at North Judson’s Route 10 restaurant. Prizes awarded and all proceeds benefit MDA. See you there!

7/5/2015 Starke County Historicial Society Ice Cream Social

PTSD Triggers Present During Independence Day Celebrations

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

Fireworks detonated during holiday celebrations can have an effect on individuals afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to one Clinically Licensed Social Worker.

Richard Voorhees is affiliated with Pulaski Memorial Hospital. He says former and active military members who have been in combat situations are particularly susceptible to the noise on Independence Day.

“With something like the 4th of July, even though that’s a patriotic holiday, with all the noise associated with it, that can easily produce angry outbursts that they take out on their spouse, on their children, on those around them,” says Voorhees.

Although many veterans reside in the immediate area, Voorhees says few seek help managing their PTSD.

To avoid incidents, veterans can seclude themselves from family or community fireworks celebrations if they believe there’s an emotional tendency to escalate, according to Voorhees. Family and friends of those with PTSD can help with an emotional event by providing instructions on deep and steady breathing prior to seeking medical attention.

Voorhees says it’s important not to blame the individual suffering with the ailment.

“I think if somebody knows somebody that is struggling with it to encourage them to reach out to places that provide mental health services,” says Voorhees. “The more they get encouragement to do so, the more likely it is that they might take that step eventually.”

Fireworks can be set-off in the local area starting on Monday and continue several days after the July 4th holiday.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, around 8-million adults can report PTSD during any given year.

Fireworks Season Gets Under Way

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

 Independence Day is Saturday, but many Hoosiers are getting an early start on their celebrations. Consumer fireworks can legally be discharged June 29 – July 3 from 9 a.m. until two hours after sunset. That cutoff time is extended to midnight on the 4th. From July 5 – 9 they can again be set off until two hours after sunset. Local ordinances may be more restrictive, so check before lighting the fuse.

Fireworks can only be purchased by people who are 18 or older. Children may only possess or use fireworks when an adult is present. A person younger than 18 who possesses or uses fireworks without an adult present is committing a Class C infraction.

Additionally consumer fireworks cannot be used on any public street or park. They may only be discharged on your property, the property of someone who has given you permission to set them off or at special discharge locations. Violators are subject to fines of up to $500.

Recklessly, knowingly or intentionally using fireworks that harm someone else is a criminal offense that may result in six months to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally using fireworks that causes damage to someone else’s property is a criminal offense that may result in one year in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Contact local law enforcement to report someone who is violating fireworks laws. Find more information about fireworks safety and laws online GetPrepared.IN.gov.

Changes to Novice Driver Laws Take Effect July 1st

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

July 1st can often mark the implementation of new laws in the Hoosier State.

Changes were recently made to “novice driver laws.” According to information from AAA, teenagers who complete a driver’s education course can get their probationary license at age “16 and 90 days.”

Those without a driver’s education course, however, will be unable to receive a probationary license until they have reach “16 years and 270 days,” according to the changes.

 Because teens are expected to complete a 50-hour driving log, they can now only complete the log with the help of a licensed driver education instructor, a certified driver rehabilitation specialist, or a licensed driver aged 25 or older.

Other restrictions have now been placed on drivers under the age of 21, including disallowing the use of mobile phones, restrictions on nighttime driving, and restricting the number of passengers allowed in their vehicles.

Millions in Crop Value Lost to Indiana Flooding

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

Extension educators from around the state gathered in Indianapolis late last week to learn about the damage recent rains are causing to area fields.

It’s estimated that Indiana’s crops have lost $300-million in value due to the amount of rainfall in certain portions of the state. Northern sections of Indiana have been impacted more heavily than other areas.

Purdue Extension Agricultural Educator Phil Woolery says that to be eligible for federal disaster assistance, a 30-percent reduction in yields for a single crop would have to be reported.

“So it’d be 30% of corn, not corn and soybeans, but for a single crop, so the local people are evaluating the situation and investigating right now,” says Woolery.

Those local people include officials with the Farm Service Agency – who are currently investigating the situation prior to making the application for disaster assistance. A press release from Purdue Extension indicates that the full impact of the flooding isn’t yet clear.

In Starke and Pulaski counties, part of the problem is saturated soil – which has caused low root growth and reduced nitrogen levels.

Woolery says farmers will have to make their own assessments.

“If they think these crops can recover and if they would benefit from supplemental nitrogen application because corn responds very well to nitrogen and if we get some good weather,” says Woolery. “So there’s different options for applying nitrogen, even to taller corn.”

State climatologists are predicting rains through July, but whether they’ll reach June’s precipitation levels is unknown.

The window for replanting corn has already closed. July 3rd is considered late to replant soybean crops.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Storing Wet Hay Increases Barn Fire Risk

Published: June 29, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Farmers are reminded to make sure their hay is adequately dry before putting it into the barn for storage, as wet hay increases the risk of a fire. Purdue Extension forage specialist Keith Johnson says the moisture content of hay for storage should be no higher than 20 percent. That’s because heat-tolerant microorganisms can develop in hay bales and raise their temperature. If it gets higher than 150 degrees, farmers should take apart the bales or stacks and let air circulate. Johnson says fire becomes very likely if the temperature hits 200 degrees. He adds this year’s wet conditions make the risk of fire even greater.

Farmers can speed up drying by laying cut forage in a wide swath with a mower-conditioner. It’s more exposed to sunlight and dries faster, and the conditioner crimps the stems of newly cut wheat and lets moisture evaporate more quickly. Johnson says they can also let the cut forage wilt to 50 percent moisture content and allow it to ferment to silage. This is done using an individual bale wrapper or an inline tuber that exudes air by wrapping the bales in white plastic.

Johnson urges growers to monitor the temperature of their stored hay and notify their local fire department of any potentially dangerous heat buildup.

Ideas Taking Shape for Potential New Hospital

Published: June 27, 2015
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

An exchange of ideas has led to the development of ideas for what could be a new hospital in Knox.

A committee of about 12 individuals, consisting of staff from IU Health Starke and their architects, has been putting their thoughts to paper for a future hospital. The committee presented their ideas on Friday to gathered staff.

Director of Patient Care Services Janet Gillon says the development of a major undertaking is a long process.

“You have to believe that by going through these steps, the outcome will be better than if you had just jumped to the solution,” says Gillon.

Although Starke County owns the current hospital site, it was mentioned several times during the presentation an upgrade in facilities could lead to better employee satisfaction. That could lead to better community care.

Finding efficiency in the operations and layout of a new hospital building was considered key. By optimizing floor space, the healthcare group could potentially save on additional costs that accompany the square footage.

Director of Emergency Management Josephine Klicek says some of that efficiency has to do with the proximity of certain care divisions with others.

“As we built things, we tried to look at: yes, it has to be efficient for the patient, it has to be efficient for the colleagues, it has to be efficient for the providers,” says Klicek. “Those were our watchwords all week long. It’s about efficiency, about steps, and about time.”

Architects will be working with the committee’s ideas for the next several months.

Though the estimate is not set in stone, building and site costs could run IU Health around $13-million.

Starke United Awards $20,000 in Grants

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

Several Starke County charities are benefiting from grant money from the Starke United Fund. These type of grants are made possible through a partnership with Starke United and the Starke County Community Foundation. There was $20,000 available that was split up among the various local organizations.

The organizations who received helpful funding from the grant include Kids Closet Ministry and Starke County A.B.A.T.E who each received $2,000 and Knox Community Elementary School which received $5,000 for their ‘Countdown to Kindergarten’ initiative and $1,000 additionally for the KCES saving project. The Starke County Youth Club also received $2,000 through the grant. Other organizations included WIC which received $350, Bella Vita, the Salvation Army and The Crossing Education Center were each given $500, Psi Lota Xi and Junior Achievement of Starke County each received $1,000, and the Center of Workforce Innovations was given $1,080. One of the most substantial donations of $3,070 went to the Community Services of Starke County.

Money for these grants is raised by individuals who make donations to the Starke United Fund through payroll deductions, direct giving, or through fund-raising events sponsored by the Starke United Fund Committee.

Friday, June 26, 2015

7/11 to 7/19/2015 Starke County 4-H Fair

Purdue Extension has posted the 2015 Starke County 4-H Fair Schedule of Events.  You can download a copy at https://extension.purdue.edu/Starke/Pages/article.aspx?intItemID=10662.

Here are a few of the daily entertainments at the Starke County 4-H Fair this year.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

8/29/2015 WoodStarke is Back!


By: , WKVI

good jpegCome out to Wythogan Park on August 29 for an event full of music, food and fun for everyone. WoodStarke is scheduled to commence at 10 am and run all day on that Saturday in August. Throughout the day, highlights will include a variety of music, games for the kids and artistic displays as well as activities focusing on local talent and Starke County. Similar to last year’s event all activities and healthy food will be free to the public, however this year’s event will feature something new.
For the first time, WoodStarke will feature a center stage for musical performances. In addition to various musical groups and bands, who either perform at no charge or obtain their own sponsorship, individuals and small groups are invited to perform as bands are setting up. Other improvements include rearranging activities around a more central location as well as a better parking situation.
With the improvements planned for WoodStarke 2015, additional sponsorship and donations are still needed. All funding for the event will be recognized and may be processed through Moving Starke County Forward.
To become involved in planning, participating in or to assist in funding the event, you can message WoodStarke officials on their Facebook page or email woodstarke2015@yahoo.com. You can also call the Chamber of Commerce at 574-772-5548 or the Tourism Bureau at 574-772-0896 and mention your interest in getting involved in WoodStarke.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

7/10/2015 Deadline in Early July for Northern Indiana Community Foundation Scholarships

Published: June 24, 2015
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Starke County individuals looking to obtain further education can apply for funding assistance through two Northern Indiana Community Foundation scholarships.

The Megan Elytha Jean Sahlhoff Music Scholarship is available to applicants who are recent graduates of North Judson-San Pierre High School looking to pursue a major or minor in the field of music.

The second scholarship being offered is aimed at non-traditional students. Northern Indiana Community Foundation Program Officer Corinne Lucas shared what they consider to be a ‘non-traditional student’, “A non-traditional student is a student that didn’t go directly into college from high school, maybe they took some time off…” Lucas shared.

The Back Home Again in Indiana scholarship encourages all non-traditional students who are pursuing a college degree as well those who wish to further their education or training as a way of enhancing their employment skills to apply.

Lucas considers this scholarship to be quite unique because of the broad spectrum of people it applies to, “The really neat thing about that is that scholarship is also for someone who maybe needs to get some advanced training for a job they already have.” she explained.

The deadline for all scholarships is July 10. Applications are available online at the nicf.org. If you have any question contact NICF Scholarship Coordinator, Alison Heyde at 574-223-2227.

Starke County Democrats Lacking Judge Candidate Replacements

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

Now that their candidate has decided to step out of the race, the Starke County Democrats likely won’t find a replacement.

Angelo Masuka stopped his campaign for City Court Judge in Knox after a state law was passed disallowing him from holding office without first becoming a registered attorney with the state.

Starke County Democratic Party Chair Ken Wallace says the change limits candidate selection.

“We’ve searched, but there’s nobody that wants it,” says Wallance. “These lawyers aren’t going to give up their time for a position like that. Their time is more valuable to them.”

Incumbent Republican Charles Hasnerl is grandfathered in by the bill which stipulates that so long as he is re-elected to consecutive terms, he may continue serving. Hasnerl is considered a non-attorney judge.

Democratic Party officials in Starke County spent time speaking with representatives of Election Division to clarify language in the bill. Changing the language for rural areas will be left up to the legislature, according to Wallace.

He says he’s disappointed by the outcome.

“It’s kind of a messed up deal. Whether they’ll change the law again: who knows?” says Wallace. “I mean, I’ve talked to several people, both downstate and people here in the district so we’ll see what happens, but right now I don’t see [the law] changing.”

Despite saying that a candidate is unlikely to step forward, the Democratic Party in Starke County has until July 6th to find a candidate.

Masuka, meanwhile, has said he may go on to earn a law degree with the hope of eventually serving in an elected position in the future.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Heartland Grocery Opens In North Judson

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Announces:

Heartland Grocery Opens In North Judson

STARKE COUNTY – The North Judson grocery store, previously known as Ray’s Supper Foods, is now under new ownership as of May 26, 2015.  The closure of Ray’s Super Foods would have left North Judson without a grocery store.  Nathan Origer, a resident of North Judson and the Pulaski County Economic Development Director, had just assisted Heartland Grocery to purchase a store in Francesville and alerted the Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) to its interest in Ray’s.  Because Heartland had just purchased a story in Francesville, it was left with insufficient capital to fix important amenities at Ray’s.

The North Judson store needed new, efficient lighting, new lighting for coolers, and a new cooling/refrigerator system, among other items.  Charles Weaver, executive director of the SCEDF, immediately contacted a NIPSCO Representative for incentives to upgrade lighting fixtures and review the store’s electrical rate structures, and he also recommended to the Town Council of North Judson that it use some of its Economic Development Income Tax funds to create a revolving loan fund to help with the needed improvements.

A revolving loan fund of $50,000 was established by the North Judson Town Council to assist the remodeling and updating of the previous Ray’s Super Foods.  NIPSCO is providing incentives to replace the old inefficient lighting fixtures with new highly efficient lighting fixtures in the ceiling and coolers.  NIPSCO was able to offer Heartland Grocery a lower rate for power and reduce the required security deposit.

Scott Weaver, a managing partner of SAW Capital LLC, oversaw the purchasing of the new Heartland Market in North Judson and eagerly mentioned that it is a mission of the company to provide for small, local towns like North Judson.  The company’s mission is to acquire small town grocery stores to be profitable and serve the county.  Further improvements include a new Point of Sale Syste, to make checking out easier, accessible for credit cards, new lighting, painting, and the updating of different areas to make the store more aesthetically pleasing.  Scott Weaver was pleased to say, “Without help from Charles Weaver and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, none of this would have been accomplished.  Their knowledge, contacts and incentives helped in many ways.  Their awareness of the store in North Judson and supportive nature made this purchase possible.  I, this company, and the town are grateful for what the Starke County Economic Development Foundation helped achieve.”  With the help from SCEDF, NIPSCO and the North Judson Town Council, the Heartland store is open for business.

The Starke County Development Foundation is a not-for-profit local economic development organization (LEDO) providing economic development opportunities on behalf of Starke County, Indiana, the City of Knox, and the Towns of North Judson and Hamlet through the development of industrial parks, rail spurs, greenfield sites, shovel-ready sites, infrastructure and workforce development.  For more information regarding Starke County Development Foundation, visit www.starkecounty.com.

Congratulations, Caitlin!

Congratulations to Caitlin Dvorscak for her 6th place finish at the State Track and Field Event that took place at Indiana University.  Caitlin sent a new school record!

7/3/2015 Fourth of July Fireworks @ Starke County Airport

San Pierre Library Starts New Hours July 6th

Starting July 6th the San Pierre Branch of the Starke County Public Library will have new hours.

During an average week the San Pierre Branch will be open:

Mondays – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Wednesdays – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Fridays – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Saturdays – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

They will be closed Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Pulaski County Commissioners Declare Severe Flooding Emergency


By: , WKVI

Pulaski County Commissioners (L to R) Bud Krohn, Jr., Terry Young and Larry Brady
Pulaski County Commissioners (L to R) Bud Krohn, Jr., Terry Young and Larry Brady
A county-wide severe flooding emergency has been declared in Pulaski County.
The county commissioners advise the flood emergency hazard will remain in effect until further notice, as all country roads are hazardous and impassable due to high waters. The declaration calls on citizens to comply with necessary emergency measures, cooperate with public safety officials and others and to follow the orders of properly identified law enforcement officers. Any requests for assistance should be made through the Pulaski County Emergency 911 Center. A copy of the declaration accompanies this story on our website, WKVI.com.
Click 2015 June Emergency Proclamation to read the local emergency proclamation.

American Idol Audition Bus Schedules Indy Stop

Published: June 20, 2015
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

For the first time in the 15 years of American Idol history, hopeful Hoosier performers have a chance to audition right here in our home state. The free open auditions are set for Thursday, June 25 in Indianapolis at 100 W Georgia St. The line will open at 6 am and registration will follow an hour later at 7 am.

What do you need to bring? Everyone must bring completed Personal Release and two forms of ID that show proof of your age and a photograph. For example you can bring a birth certificate and driver’s license or a birth certificate and a passport or a birth certificate and a school ID card. If you’re under the age of 18 you must bring a completed and notarized guardianship and medical authorization for minors.

Although they would love to audition everyone who registers, it is just impossible due to time constraints built into the schedule. If time is running short the producer may select people to audition based on performing ability, look, style, personality and other factors regardless of how early you arrived. Don’t miss your chance to potentially be a part of the final season of American Idol! At the very least you can make history by attending Indiana’s fist ever American Idol auditions.

Become a Safe Sitter® Today

Published: June 20, 2015
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

More than 650,000 adolescent babysitters across the country have built up their confidence while learning basic life saving skills through Safe Sitter classes. Now your child has a chance to do the same with the Safe Sitter course that IU Health La Porte Hospital is offering. The course helps teens ages 11 and older acquire the knowledge of how, why and where injuries happen so they can be prevented. Classes cost $40 and are being offered from 8 am until 3:30 pm on June 23rd, July 17th and July 30th.

Babysitters receive instruction on how a child’s age affects how to care for them, how to prevent problem behavior and how to run their own babysitting business. They also learn basic CPR and first aid, as well as how to perform infant and child choking rescue, however basic life-saving skills taught at Safe Sitter do not result in a certification.

To learn more about the course or to sign-up your son or daughter call 219-326-2322. For more information about the Safe Sitter organization, contact National Headquarters at 800-255-4089.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

N.J.-S.P. Officials Prepare for School Funding Referendum

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

North Judson-San Pierre School officials are preparing to ask taxpayers within the corporation to support a $1.5 million tax increase over the next seven years to fund school operations. The school board will formally authorize the process during their July meeting.

Last night they hosted a town hall “preparing for a referendum” forum to outline what Superintendent Lynn Johnson calls the “perfect storm” of state budget cuts and declining enrollment. General fund revenue has decreased by $1.8 million since 2010, with additional decreases of $300,000 per year expected in 2016 and 2017, for a total funding loss of $2.5 million, according to Johnson. Since 2010, N.J.-S.P. has also lost 352 students.

Board members have been working with CPA Curt Pletcher from Umbaugh and Associates to decide how much money they need to replenish their general fund. They’ve decided to seek a $1.5 million tax increase. Business Manager and Treasurer Guy Richie says this includes a bit of a funding cushion. If voters approve, it will sunset after seven years. Taxes would be higher during the first year but would decline after the corporation pays off an existing debt service loan. The initial proposed rate of 47.5 cents per $100 of assessed value would drop by 20-cents in years two through seven.

Pletcher ran the numbers last night and said a homeowner whose primary residence is valued at $100,000 would pay an additional $155 during the first year and $92 per year in subsequent years. Those numbers factor in things like homestead tax credits. Owners of agricultural land would see an average first-year increase of $9.63 per acre, which would drop to $5.65 until the tax sunsets. Rental and commercial property owners would pay an additional $475 the first year, based on a value of $100,000. That number would drop to $277 after that.

Pletcher stresses this is the maximum rate and cannot go up without being brought before the voters again. After seven years voters will have to approve an extension. If they don’t, taxes will go back down.

Johnson says money from the tax increase would be used to pay for general fund expenses like vocational education, credit recovery, classroom audio/visual media needs, and supplies, which would in turn free money for teacher salaries. They make up the majority of the corporation’s general fund expenses. She adds further cuts aren’t a viable option, as increasing class sizes and eliminating programs will only drive more students away.

WKVI will present the funding discussion in its entirety during Sunday’s “Kankakee Valley Viewpoints” news program at noon CDT on WKVI-FM. Visit http://www.njsp.k12.in.us/the-fight-for-public-education.html for more information.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

EMA Director Worries About Effect of Rain on Crops

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

The continued rains have left many area farmers up a creek, so to speak. Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti told the county commissioners last night many have sustained significant losses as a result of standing water. He adds it will be too late for them to replant by the time their fields dry out. Bombagetti has made a formal request for “saturated soil” assistance to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and is waiting for a response.

The rain has also washed away a significant amount of nitrogen and other nutrients farmers put on their fields. Bombagetti says this will be a major impact on the county’s agricultural industry.

He also advised the commissioners Starke County EMA is working with property owners who sustained damage when a tornado touched down west of North Judson last Sunday. After they exhaust all of their insurance reimbursement options Bombagetti can send crews in to help. Starke County did not sustain enough damage to qualify for a state or federal disaster declaration.

Mint Festival Royal Court

Published: June 16, 2015
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

After much deliberation, the Mint Festival Royal Court was selected over the weekend. Judges had their work cut out for them this year with a plethora of talented contestants but after weighing all their options they reached a decision and declared the 2015 Mint Pageant winners.

The titles of Little Miss and Little Mister Mint went to Avaleigh Wright and Chance Williams-Smith. Alexander Hardin and Jorja Prater walked away with the titles of Prince and Princess. The Jr. Mint Queen crown went to Cierra Shell. The Mint Queen 1rst runner up is Caitlyn Barnes and the second runner up is Gabriella McCallum and this year’s Mint Queen crown went to Sidnee Frasure.

All of the winning participants will be in the parade and can be spotted at various events during the North Judson Mint Festival this coming weekend.

North Judson-San Pierre School Board Prepares for Upcoming Year

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

Summer vacation just started, but the North Judson-San Pierre School Board is already preparing for the coming year. Tonight’s school board agenda includes discussion of Title I participation, textbook fees and student handbooks for the 2015-16 school year.

Other agenda items include salary schedules for transportation, non-certified employees and non-instructional salaried employees as well as administrative salaries. The school board meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the central office.

School officials will discuss finances in greater detail during a special Wednesday evening “preparing for a referendum” town hall meeting at the high school auditorium. CPA Curt Pletcher with accounting firm Umbaugh and Associates will talk about funding challenges the school corporation is facing due to a combination of declining enrollment and cuts to various funding sources. Taxpayers who live within the North Judson-San Pierre school district are encouraged to attend the 7 p.m. meeting.

Monday, June 15, 2015

8/1/2015 Deadline for Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series

Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series Accepting Nominations

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

Republican women who aspire to a future in business or politics are encouraged to apply for a slot in the 2015-2016 Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series. It provides first-class leadership training experience that encourages mentors and prepares selected women leaders from across the state to seek new levels of personal achievement and public involvement, according to a statement. Participants have unique access to public officials and an effective and diverse statewide political network.

A total of 466 women from around the state have completed the program since its inception in 1990. Applicants should have demonstrated leadership skills in their fields of work or community service. They will be evaluated on the basis of written and oral presentations.

Lugar says the previous 25 classes have set a high standard for future participants. The Lugar Series is a nonprofit organization funded and operated by the voluntary contributions of individuals and organizations.

Applications are due Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015. Visit www.lugarseries.com or call 317-536-6900 for more information.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Lincoln Funeral Train Commemorative DVD

If you missed the Lincoln Funeral Train program, or if you attended and would like a souvenir, here is your chance to relive local history.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

6/14/2015 Mint Festival Pageant

6/17/2015 NJ-SP Preparing For a Referendum

6/11, 12, 13/2015 Knox United Methodist Rummage Sale

Help a Child and Serve Your Community Simultaneously with CASA

Published: June 10, 2015
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Neglected and abused children across Starke County are frequently removed from their homes because their parents cannot or will not properly take care of them. The Starke County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program provides those children with caring volunteers who serve as a voice and guiding hand in the court system. The advocates work to help find safe and permanent living situations for the child they’re assigned to. Right now the program is short staffed and looking for some extra helping hands to join up and attend their instructive course this fall.

The director of the program Rhonda Adcock said unfortunately they have more kids than helpers at the moment.

“Right now we have 25 CASAs serving in our community and we could probably use another ten more. For the first time ever in our program in the last three months we’ve currently started holding a waiting list. Which means a child doesn’t get a CASA just as soon as they come into court. That’s what we like, we like for the CASA to be in there right from the beginning, to be at the very first court hearing and be able to advocate all the way through and now we’re running probably about three months behind. So it’s really a critical time for our current CASA program to have this class to be able to recruit more helpers”

The process to get involved is fairly simple and essentially free when you dedicate a year to the CASA program.

Adcock explained, “In order to be part of our fall class we would need whoever is interested to get an application, that’s the first process and we can email that out our send that out which ever they prefer and they return the application and then we start the background check process which probably takes about three weeks. The only thing that costs money is the finger prints which is about I think $35 and that is reimbursed to them after one year of CASA service”

You can receive your application by either calling the office at (574)-772-7200 or sending an email to starkecountycasa@yahoo.com. The deadline for application submission is July 28. They are searching for ordinary people who want to do extraordinary things. Be the guiding light in a child’s life and contact CASA today.

6/12 & 13/2015 Don’t Burn It or Bury it, Bring it Down to Starke County’s Environmental Days

Published: June 11, 2015
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

If you’re unsure about how to properly dispose of something, chances are you’ll be able to unload it at the Starke County Environmental Management facility this weekend. The hazardous waste collection event is located at 3835 East 250 North in Knox and runs Friday, June 12 from 3:30 until 5 pm and Saturday, June 13 from 8:30 am until 1 pm. This service is being provided free of charge to Starke County property owners only.

Friday feel free to bring in any household appliances such as televisions, computers, stoves and refrigerators. You can also bring in any tires you’re wishing to dispose of but the facility can only accept 5 regular tires or one farm type tire before charging an additional fee.

Certain items will only be accepted on Saturday including any over the counter medications, chemicals of any kinds, fluorescent lamps, PCB ballasts, household batteries, corrosive liquids or acids, aerosols, motor oil and antifreeze.

Items that the facility absolutely will not take include narcotics or controlled substances, your everyday garbage or recycling, furniture, clothes, concrete and construction materials.

The Starke County Environmental Management District employees reserve the right to refuse any item. If you have any questions about whether or not your items will be accepted contact Assistant Director Colleen Asher at 574-772-7865.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Starke County Election Board Plans for November Contests

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

Each of the polling sites for November’s municipal elections will have two electronic voting machines in place. Members of the Starke County Election Board say that will help speed the process and will also provide a backup in case a machine malfunctions.

The City of Knox has four precincts, for a total of eight machines. North Judson will have three or four, and Hamlet will have one. Knox voters will elect a mayor, clerk-treasurer and city council members. Voters in North Judson and Hamlet will select clerk-treasurers and town council members. Election board members say this will be the first time electronic voting machines have been used in Hamlet.

Monday, June 8, 2015

More Storms Possible Today Across the Kankakee Valley

Published: June 8, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

More thunderstorms are possible across the Kankakee Valley today. That’s according to the WKVI AccuWeather.com forecast. Strong storms packing wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour tore through the listening area early last evening. The National Weather Service has yet to confirm whether they were actually tornadoes.

Drivers from the Starke County Highway Department spent the night clearing downed trees. At least 15 and one washout were reported, mainly in the North Judson area. Larry and Deb Wappel in San Pierre tell WKVI News three farmer’s center pivots were rolled along 750 West, and lots of trees were damaged. They also advise there’s lot of crop damage from flooding. We’ll have a better idea of the extent of the damage when the sun comes up. Dispatchers with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office also got reports of 10 to 15 trees and several power lines down in the north and west areas of the county. They say the damage was all reported north of State Road 14. No injuries were reported. The storms apparently ran out of steam before they got to Marshall County, as the sheriff’s office there advises there were no significant problems.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Longtime Starke County Courthouse Custodian Retires

Published: June 5, 2015
By: Mary Perren

An employee of Starke County for more than four decades retired yesterday from what was supposed to have been a temporary job. Gerald Ford was in the White House and gas was 55-cents a gallon when Carl Goodrich took over as courthouse custodian on Nov. 26, 1974.

He had just been laid off from a factory job in Plymouth when his in-laws suggested he apply for the position with the county. Goodrich says he didn’t expect to get the job when he went before the county commissioners.

“I was the wrong party, and they said ‘well, he looks pretty young.’ I’m only 22, and I”m the wrong party. That’s when (auditor) Jack Milner spoke up and said ‘give the kid a chance.’ They did. That’s where it started,” Goodrich said.

He figured he’d give the job a shot for a couple of weeks. Things fell into place, and he stayed. The job at the courthouse afforded a few other opportunities as well. One of his favorite memories is the time he was painting a room in the office of then-county clerk Rhonda Milner, who happened to mention nobody had signed up to run for the Hamlet Town Council seat in his district. It was a few hours before the qualifying deadline, so Goodrich signed up, figuring someone else would come in before noon. He went back to painting, checked his watch, saw that it was after noon and found out he was a town board member.

Goodrich served four years on the Hamlet Town Board and has been a member of the Starke County Airport Authority board since 2000. He’s seen a lot of faces come and go over the years and quite a few changes as well. One of the biggest was the conversion from electric typewriters to computers. He says that was a big adjustment for the courthouse staff.

h says his favorite part of the job was meeting the people and office holders, all of whom he says have been really nice. The current county commissioners proclaimed June 4, 2015 “Carl Goodrich Day” and hosted a retirement open house in his honor.

“Leaving is going to be sad-like, but it’s like leaving home. Actually it was my second home. I just won’t have as much to take care of. I enjoyed doing it. It was a lot of fun,” Goodrich said.

His retirement plans include working on his Model-T and catching up on some other projects at home.

North Judson Council to Finalize Grocery Store Loan

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

The North Judson Town Council will finalize the promissory note for a revolving loan to a local business during a special-called meeting today. That’s the lone topic on the agenda for the 4 p.m. session.

The town set up a revolving loan fund in mid-April and agreed to loan Heartland Markets and R&M Wholesale up to $50,000 to offset the cost of equipment upgrades at the town’s lone grocery store. The company recently purchased Ray’s Super Foods and renamed it Heartland Market. Funds for the loan came from the town’s share of county economic development income taxes.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

6/4 & 5/2015 Rummage Sale & Bake Sale

6/13/2015 Starke County Fireworks Fund Raiser

2015 Garage & Yard Sales

It's Garage and Yard Sale time! Did you know that The Market is available online and is updated on Thursdays? So if you don't have a copy handy, you can find out about local sales just by accessing the internet on your phone and going to this address: 


Community Services of Starke County Hires New Executive Director

Published:  By: 

Rebecca Anspach
Rebecca Anspach
Community Services of Starke County will soon have a new executive director. Joan Haugh is retiring July 31st after 40 years with the nonprofit organization. The board of directors recently hired Becky Anspach of Star City to replace her.
She will start June 15 and assume the director’s duties on Aug. 1. Anspach hold both bachelors and masters degrees from Indiana University. She served as director of donor relations and research development for United Way of Cass County and previously worked as operations manager and human resources director for Bonnell Grain Handling in Star City.
Haugh said in a statement, “Becky will bring new blood, fresh ideas and a passion for the position. I am looking forward to working with Becky and introducing her to the members in the community.”

Starke County Youth Club Honors IU Health Starke Hospital

Published: June 4, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

IU Health Starke Hospital’s investment in the youth of the community has earned them recognition from the Starke County Youth Club. Executive Director Irene Szakonyi presented IU Health Starke Hospital President Craig Felty the Aim High Award in recognition of the hospital’s top pledge of $5,000 during the recent radiothon. The daylong fundraiser on WKVI raised $41,000 for the club. It provides after school and summer enrichment programs for students from Knox, North Judson-San Pierre and Oregon-Davis schools at sites throughout the county.

Felty says it’s important for the hospital to support the Starke County Youth Club’s work because they are an important proponent of childhood learning and development. He adds the contribution is a good reflection of the mission to improve the health of the hospital’s patients and communities.

The hospital’s commitment to the Starke County Youth Club extends beyond financial support. IU Health Starke Hospital Director of Patient Care Services Janet Gillon serves on the Starke County Youth Club board of directors.

Children in Starke County in kindergarten through 12th grade are eligible to join SCYC. The registration fee for SCYC after-school is $15 per child per year. Scholarships are available for families that cannot afford the fee. For more information, or to make a pledge to the Starke County Youth Club, visit thescyc.org.

Freedom Riders Honor Veterans, Raise Money

Freedom Riders Honor Veterans, Raise Money

Published: June 4, 2015
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Community Services of Starke County received a generous donation thanks to a group of compassionate motorcyclists called the Freedom Riders. Over Memorial Day weekend, the group traveled from one end of the county to the other, passing through each cemetery on route. The Freedom Riders collected donations along the way and managed to pull together a total of $3,725. The donated money will assist veterans with any vital needs and will provide transportation to VA clinics and to physicians within the state of Indiana. Veterans interested in hosting a motorcycle run of their own can contact dispatcher Gail Staerkel at 574-772-7070 to schedule a ride.

Healthy Challenge Series Crosses First Goal Finish Line

Published: June 4, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The checkered flag has dropped on the first Moving Starke County Forward Healthy Challenge Series goal. Participants were charged with notching 250 exercise miles from May 11th through the 29th. The theme is NASCAR, so the first goal was billed as the Daytona 250. Participants lapped that and then some, logging more than 700 miles.

The next challenge is the Hamlet 500. Participants can sign up or log miles on the Moving Starke County Forward Facebook page. Registration and mileage log sheets are also available at Knox City Hall or at the Starke County Public Library branches. NASCAR prizes will be awarded after Aug. 30th. Meanwhile, the individual or team who turns in the most miles from June 15 through the 30th will win a Starke County t-shirt.

Summer Food Service Programs Soon to be Available at Local Schools

Published: June 4, 2015
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Students are typically thrilled when summer break finally begins but individuals who rely on school meals for breakfast and lunch could be feeling bitter sweet about the end of the school year. Luckily, the Summer Food Service Program has a mission to make sure no Hoosier goes hungry.

Schools across the county, specifically North Judson-San Pierre Elementary School, Oregon-Davis Elementary School and Knox High School will be hosting summer food service programs for community members to attend. The scheduled dates are as follows:

June 8 through June 25 breakfast will be available at North Judson-San Pierre elementary school cafeteria from 7:30 until 8:00 am. Lunch will be served from 11:15 until noon. All children under 18 eat free of charge but adults pay $1 for breakfast and $2 for lunch.

June 8 through July 2 breakfast will be available at the Knox High School starting at 7:45 and running until 8:45 am. Lunch will be served from 11 am until noon. Adults pay $1 for breakfast and $2 for lunch, while all kids under 18 eat for free.

Meals will be provided at Oregon Davis Elementary school June 8 through July 2. Breakfast commences at 7:45 and will be served until 8:15 am. Lunch will be provided in the half hour from 11 am until noon. Adults are required to pay $2 for each meal but there is no charge for children under 18.

At all locations, the program runs four days a week, Monday through Thursday. The Summer Food Service Program takes pride in being a non-discriminatory organization and will provide meals to all members of the community regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

Starke County Commissioners Set Building Emergency Sealing Policy

Published: June 4, 2015
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Starke County now requires the emergency sealing of structures destroyed or damaged by fires. The county commissioners passed a Monday at the recommendation of building commissioner Terry Stephenson. He says sealing a building preserves the integrity of the fire scene for an insurance company investigation. If a structure is no longer standing, Stephenson says safety tape should be used to cordon off the area.

He hopes the policy will also clear up the public misconception that nothing can be done until the insurance company arrives. Stephenson says insurance adjusters want buildings sealed as quickly as possible in order to lessen the likelihood of additional damage. He adds they have money to reimburse property owners for the expense. ”

Starke County dispatchers will have a list of companies that can secure a burned-out structure, and they will be called on a rotating basis similar to that the county uses for towing companies.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Mint Pageant Registration Reminder

Published: June 3, 2015
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The North Judson Mint Pageant is an opportunity for girls and boys ages 5 through 19 to showcase their personality and regional pride. Aspiring contestants can register at the North Judson Library from 4:00 until 7:30 pm today and Wednesday June 10 during the same times.

Depending on their age, the participants will be featured in one of the following categories: Mint King & Queen, Jr. Mint King & Queen, Mint Prince and Princess and Little Miss & Little Mister Mint.

This year’s pageant will take place on June 14. Any questions can be directed to pageant coordinators Kelly Anderson and Michelle Prater through their email northjudsonmintpageant@gmail.com.

Ancilla College Nursing Department Celebrates A Decade of Honoring Graduates With Pinning Ceremony

Published: June 3, 2015
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The Ancilla College Nursing department has officially been honoring the hard work, dedication and professionalism of their graduating nurses with pinning ceremonies for a decade. The tenth professional pinning ceremony took place on Sunday, May 31 at the Catherine Kasper Life Center Chapel.

Berniece Umbaugh, a registered nurse with 70 years of nursing experience served as the honored guest speaker. Tiffany Addington of Walkerton, Melissa Barenie of Rochester, Shelly Day of Knox and Angela Leary of Plymouth were the four nurses pinned during this year’s ceremony.

Nursing Division Chair, Ann Fitzgerald, described the pin as distinctly unique to the Ancilla Nursing Program. She said many nurses go on to proudly wear their pins daily as they administer care to patients in their future positions.

Front row: Melissa Barenie, Angela Leary, Shelly Day, Tiffany Addington (Graduates)
Back Row: Berniece Umbaugh (guest speaker), Beth Bailey, Pat Bawcum, Nadine Nufer, Gwen West (Nursing Instructors), Ann Fitzgerald (Director of Nursing)

North Judson Officials Need More Completed Income Surveys

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

The town of North Judson cannot finalize a grant application for water system improvements until they get enough completed income surveys from local residents. Town officials are applying for funds to rehabilitate the two water towers. First the town has to meet the income threshold outlined in the grant criteria.

Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry says the Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission mailed income surveys to residents, but not enough have been returned to proceed. Town utility workers are following up with in-person visits to the homes that have not returned the surveys. Henry tells WKVI News 110 surveys were sent in, and 25 more have been collected through site visits. She says the town needs 337 in order to proceed with the grant. Henry adds residents who got surveys in the mail should expect a visit soon.

The North Judson Town Council on Monday also approved the procurement of a credit card for the superintendent to use when making purchases at stores where the town does not have a charge account. Currently he has to pay for purchases out of pocket and submit receipts for reimbursement.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"When Skies Are Blue"

From the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum:
Check out the short movie "When Skies are Blue", which was partially filmed at HVRM by Tony Nawrocki. It shows many of the fine people of the Town of North Judson and members of our own museum as extras.

6/20 & 21/2015 Friends of the Library Book Sale

The Friends of the North Judson-Wayne Township Library will have a book sale in the library basement.

Saturday, June 20th
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Hardbacks and trade editions = $1.00 each
Pocket books = .50 cents each

Sunday, June 21st
12 noon to 4 p.m.
$1 per standard size grocery bag

Lincoln Highway - Starke County Tidbit #61

Automobiles were the playthings of the rich until 1909, when Henry Ford produced the Model T- the first car that the average working family could afford. The number of cars manufactured and owned began to take off, but unfortunately there were few good places to drive them! For over half a century, long-distance travel in the United States had been accomplished by rail, and few roads suitable for the new horseless carriages existed. If the early cars did not break down on their own, it was very likely they would get stuck in mud on the dirt roads outside of cities and towns.

A grass-roots effort began, backed by car companies and related industries, to pull the country out of the mud. The Good Roads Movement championed named auto trails on the best available roads and advocated for government involvement in building hard surfaces on the public highways of the country. The first named auto trail to be marked from coast-to-coast was the Lincoln Highway.  Only the Yellowstone Trail, the Lincoln Highway, and the National Old Trails Road were transcontinental in length and notability, out of the 250 named Auto Trails of the era.

As you probably know, there were two Lincoln Highways through Northern Indiana.  The original one (1913-1928) was north of Starke County and went through Noble, Elkhart, St. Joseph, and La Porte Counties into Valparaiso.    Later, the route was straightened to a more direct route through Kosciusko, Marshall and Starke Counties.   This was because U.S. 30 was established in 1926, which led to the changing of the Lincoln Highway to a more direct southern route in 1928.

The Boy Scouts placed concrete Lincoln Highway markers at 5 different intersections in Starke County as well as across the nation.  The following is from the Boy Scouts Council meetings:  DP means direct or straight ahead post.  RP means Right Turn.
DP main crossing Grovertown (Ind. 23) No. 630
RP 300 yds, E of Highway Gravel Loading Plant No. 631
DP main crossing (600 N) Hamlet No. 632
DP crossing roads (550 E) about ½ mile W of Hamlet No. 633
DP at Junction with Road No. 29 (U.S. 35) No. 634

I can find only one of these markers which is still displayed, although it has been moved from its original location.  It is north of the main intersection in Hamlet – Old 30 and CR 600E on the west side of 600E.  There is also a modern metal marker on a tall post on the northeast corner of the Starke County Co-op’s grain elevator lot in Hamlet.

The Indiana Lincoln Highway Association is developing a corridor management plan.  If you know of any other markers or information about the Lincoln Highway, give me a call – 574-772-4311.

Jim Shilling
Starke County Historical Society

North Judson Residents Reminded of Fireworks Rules

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

Getting an early jump on your Independence Day celebration could prove costly if you live in North Judson. Town Marshal Doug Vessely reminds residents fireworks can only be legally discharged on June 29, 30 and July 1-3 from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset; July 4 from 10 a.m. until midnight and July 5-9 from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset.

Fireworks may also be discharged on New Years Eve within the town limits. Vessely says officers will issue citations to people who discharge fireworks on other dates and times, and fines may be imposed.

State law prohibits the use of consumer fireworks on any public street or in any public park. Fireworks may only be discharged on your property, the property of someone who has given you permission to discharge fireworks or at special discharge

Monday, June 1, 2015

6/12 & 13/2015 Starke County Residential Collection Event

2015 Starke County Residential Collection Event will take place on June 12th & 13th, 2015 at the Starke County Environmental Management District, 3835 E. 250 N, Knox, Indiana  46534.

You will find a list of times and items that will be accepted at http://www.co.starke.in.us/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/2015-Residential-Collection-Event.pdf.

6/2/2015 Johnson Road Bridge Closures in South Bend

Indiana Department of Transportation: Northwest

U.S. 31, South Bend: The 20 minute closures of northbound U.S. 31 between Kern Road and the U.S. 20 Bypass are now complete and traffic is flowing smoothly.

But we have more 20 minute closures all day tomorrow (9am-5pm) for those Johnson Road bridge beam settings in the southbound lanes. You'll want to avoid the area. Also, watch out for Bypass ramp closures. The full details are on the map below.

Congratulations NJ-SP Class of 2015!

Congratulations to the North Judson-San Pierre Class of 2015! 
May you soar to new heights in the years to come!

6/13/2015 Civil War Days @ LaPorte Cancelled

Civil War Days at the La Porte County Historical Society Museum that was scheduled for June 13, 2015 has been cancelled.  

6/1-7/2015 National CPR Week: Stayin’ Alive with the Hands-Only CPR Procedure

Published: June 1, 2015
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

In the time it takes you to brush your teeth, you could learn how to save a life. Preparation is important, especially considering the fact that 70 percent of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests take place at home. June first through the seventh is recognized as National CPR week. The American Heart Association is using these seven days to reiterate the importance of knowing CPR and raise awareness about hands-only CPR. With funding from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield foundation, the American Heart Association released a music-based training video displaying the simplicity of the steps required for hands-only CPR. If you witness a teen or adult collapse step one is to immediately call 911. Step two is to push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the rate of at least 100 beats per minute. That may sound like a lot but it just so happens to sync up to the beat of the classic Bee Gees’ song “Stayin’ Alive.” If performed immediately hands-only CPR can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Accidents happen all the time, be prepared to assist those in danger with stayin’ alive.

NIPSCO Introduces Power Outage Alerts for Customers

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

NIPSCO customers can get information about power outages in the palms of their hands by signing up for NIPSCO Alerts. Information about estimated restoration time will be sent via text, email or automated telephone message. The utility does not charge for the service, but individual wireless carriers may charge for text and data usage. Customers with an online account can visit NIPSCO.com/Alerts or call 1-800-4NIPSCO (1-800-464-7726) to sign up.

Outage information, including estimated restoration times, can also be found online at NIPSCO.com/OutageCenter or m.nipsco.com from a mobile device. Information is also posted on NIPSCO’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Customers can report power outages online at NIPSCO.com or by calling 1-800-4-NIPSCO and following the automated prompts.