Monday, August 31, 2015

Quote of the Month - September 2015

Happy Birthday, Shel Silverstein!
September 15, 1930

North Judson – 1863

     North Judson – population 1,000 – This now enterprising town, seventy-seven miles out from Chicago, on the Pan Handle road, commenced billage and business life about 1863.  In 1867 “Keller Brothers,” L. and J. Keller, commenced business.  They had a store and a mill.  The first year the amount of business transacted was about $7,000.  It increased year by year until it reached $133,000.  Their place of business is now occupied by Craig & Kurtz, the house being called “Hardware, Furniture & Merchandise Co.”  Amount of business in 1899, $50,000.  Expecting to reach $100,000 in 1900.  Have shipped in one season two thousand bushels of huckleberries.

     The industries here are:
  1. A curl grass factory, said to be the only one in the State.  The native grass is twisted and curled into a form to be used in making mattresses.
  2. A pickle factory, J. Nichols, Manager, started about 1890.  Some 25,000 bushels of cucumbers used in a season.
  3. A broom factory, to be changed into a different factory.
  4. A sugar beet factory near prospect.  Seven thousand acres desired in an area with a radius of forty-five miles.
  5. North Judson Brewery. 

This was the situation in 1900.

     North Judson has four physicians:  J. F. Noland, W. A. Noland, P. O. Englerth, C. Waddell, and one lawyer, S. Bybee.  It has three drug stores, seven business houses, two hotels.  The brick school house, two stories and basement built in 1896 cost $12,000.  The churches are four:  Catholic, Lutheran, M. E., and United Brethren.

     North Judson is located on sections 17 and 16, township 32, range 3 and was incorporated some 76 or 78 years ago. 

Moving Starke County Forward Hosts Overdose Awareness Service

Published:  By: , WKVI

Overdose Awareness 1
Aaron Kochar from Porter-Starke Services lights a candle in memory of a life lost to a drug overdose. A total of 61 candles were lit during last evening’s ceremony.
Community members paused last night at Wythogan Park to celebrate the 61 Starke County lives lost to drug overdoses over the past seven years as well as those who are in long-term recovery. Aaron Kochar is the director of prevention and education at Porter-Starke Services. He says people are now more likely to die from a fatal overdose than from a car accident.
“Up until last year, if you died in an accident it was some sort of motor vehicle accident. Now it’s overdose. Another statistic that is concerning is the fact that while a number of people will die in overdose from heroin, in fact we’ve got about three times the number who will die from a prescription opioid overdose.”
Kochar says it’s important to properly dispose of prescription drugs that are no longer needed and lock up drugs that are kept in the home.
“We’ll tend to lock up our liquor cabinets, but kids are taking these drugs and having what are known as Skittle parties. They’re taking them out, putting a bunch of pills in a bowl and popping a couple at parties. That’s one of the reasons that we’re seeing such an epidemic with the number of opioids, and then when people can’t access opioids they switch to heroin. The body processes it the same way.”
Overdose Awareness 2Recovering addict Michael Hookman also spoke during last night’s vigil. He says he got the opportunity to get treatment and took it seriously.
“A lot of people didn’t get that chance, you know. Most of the addicts that are out there using today, they don’t want to be addicted. They don’t know that there’s ways out there to get help. They don’t know that there’s people out there that actually care about them, because as a community a lot of us look down at addicts. We don’t give them the time of day because we think it’s a lost cause, and it’s not.”
Hookman says he thinks more clearly since he’s been in recovery and adds he’s trying to reach out to younger addicts.
“I like going home and seeing my kids’ smiling faces. You know I wouldn’t have seen that if I was in prison for nine years, and I got the opportunity to do that. I truly believe if I didn’t get arrested and go to jail and get that opportunity to go to rehab, I’d be another cross.”
Rev. Joseph Cunningham from St. Peter Lutheran Church in North Judson led the crowd in prayer, after which 61 candles were lit in honor of the 61 lives lost to drug addiction.

Starke County Prosecutor Warns of Sexting Perils

Published:  By: , WKVI 

Sexting imageThe photos you post online or the text messages you send can haunt you for years to come. That’s the message prosecuting attorneys across Indiana are sharing with young people. Starke County Prosecutor Nick Bourff says so-called sexting — the sending and posting of inappropriate images — can get you in a lot of trouble.
He says young people often don’t realize they’ve done something illegal until after they get in trouble. He adds that’s not a defense when you’re facing serious charges.
Bourff met last week with the superintendents at all three county school corporations to discuss the problem. He also gave them brochures to distribute to middle and high school students that explain various scenarios.
“For instance, a couple is dating, and a girlfriend sends her boyfriend some inappropriate pictures. Two weeks later they’re broken up, and he’s got these pictures on his phone, and he’s sending these out to his buddies or posting them online. Well, depending on how old those students are, you’ve potentially just broken quite a few laws there.”
Bourff says he’s trying to get out in front of the issue before it becomes a problem locally. So far no local issues have been reported, and he wants to keep it that way by raising awareness.
He encourages parents to educate themselves about the issue and talk to their children about the consequences their online actions may carry.

9/5 & 7/2015 BMV Announces Labor Day Closure

Published:  By: , WKVI 


If you have business with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, keep in mind they will be closed for a couple of days in observance of Labor Day.
Commissioner Kent Abernathy says branches will be closed Saturday, Sept. 5 and Monday, Sept. 7. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Visit for a complete list of branch hours and locations.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Kankakee Valley REMC Equips Students for School

Published:  By: , WKVI 

Packed BackpacksStudents in Starke, LaPorte and Porter Counties went back to school with new supplies thanks to Kankakee Valley REMC’s second annual Pack a Backpack program. Members purchased supplies or made monetary donations to help provide for students in need.
Marketing director Amanda Steeb says hundreds of students in the communities they serve can’t afford the supplies required by schools. She credits the generosity of KVREMC members with providing for 250 students.
Kids Closet Ministry in North Judson was one of the recipients of supplies from Kankakee Valley REMC. Founder and director Linda Lewandowski says their donations helped provide for one-third of the Starke County students served during their recent Pack-a-Backpack event.

Friday, August 28, 2015

8/30/2015 Sunday Vigil to Mark International Overdose Awareness Day

Published:  By: , WKVI 

Overdose awareness
The ribbons on the lawn at IU Health Starke Hospital represent local victims of overdoses over the past seven years.
Moving Starke County Forward is trying to take the stigma out of drug overdoses with a Sunday evening event at Wythogan Park in Knox. Advocates and community members will remember the 61 lives lost in Starke County with a candlelight vigil and share information about the perils and pitfalls of drug use. Jordan Morris from Starke County Community Corrections says people who use drugs are less likely to be aware of the potential consequences of their actions. She  says common rationalizations include “I know my limit” or “I always test what I get first, so I know the strength of it.” She adds mixing different types of drugs can often prove fatal.
Michael Hookman is a recovering addict. He says it takes hitting “a very extreme” bottom to realize there is a problem. Hookman admits he thought he knew his limits and was immune to becoming a statistic.
“Very many times I did come close to death, and even after that I still never did think death would happen to me. Luckily I got out before it did,” Hookman said.
Morris says the first step to recovery is admitting to having a problem. She says treatment options vary from inpatient residential services to weekly relapse prevention groups. Medication management is also a viable option for some people.
Sunday’s event starts at 6 p.m. It will give all who have been affected a chance to publicly mourn and help the community understand how fatal overdose profoundly affects mainstream society. The day also serves as a warning that all drugs can be dangerous and no one is immune to overdose. Family and friends are encouraged to attend and bring a photo to honor their loved one. Tributes may also be submitted in advance through the Moving Starke County Forward Facebook page or via email They will be shared at the event.

9/26 & 27/2015 Power from the Past Holding Smaller Replacement Event

Published:  By: , WKVI 

 The Northern Indiana Power from the Past summer power show may have been canceled this year, but you still have a chance to see some antique farm machinery in action.
The group’s president, Josh Wilder, says they’ll be at the Winamac Town Park September 26 and 27 to do some work they weren’t able to do at the regular show, “We’re going to just saw some logs, and we’ve got four loads of wheat we need to run off and get that taken care of, so we can get that to the fella that provided that for us. And, I think we’re going to shell a little bit of corn. We’ve got one wagon load of corn that we’re going to run through the corn sheller.”
He says there’s no cost to attend and everyone’s welcome, “If anybody wants to come by, we’ll probably get started there around nine o’clock in the morning or as soon as we get set up, set the sawmill up and get things over there. But we’ll be sawing throughout the day, and we probably will just stop and have a little lunch and saw some more in the afternoon and run some wheat there. And so, they’re more than welcome to come and watch if they want to.”
The organization’s yearly power show had to be canceled in July due to flooding in the Winamac Town Park.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The First Railroad in North Judson

       About 1857-1861 there came rumors, and finally the realization, of a steam railway.  This road was to connect Columbus, Ohio, with Chicago and was knows as the Columbus, Chicago, and Central Indiana Railway.  It is now a part of the Pennsylvania system.  Apparently, someone conceived the idea that a town to serve the community should be established on the railroad.  The early market place evidently was at Brantwood, about a mile northwest of here where a town was platted October 1, 1859, consisting of fifteen blocks, with a public square in the center of the plot named Washington Square, and a section set aside for church grounds.  The Post Office, a store and several homes were built.  In 1860, David D. Adair was the Postmaster.  The name of the Post Office was changed to Brantwood later and discontinued March 6, 1871.  Israel Uncapher, carried the mail, on Star Route from San Pierre to Knox, in 1862, under a Government contract at the rate of $163.00 per year.  This was before there was a railroad in Knox.

As noted in the previous paragraph, there was a North Judson when Brantwood was platted.  It has been stated that our town was given the name of a Civil Engineer or Railroad Engineer, named Judson, employed in the construction of our present Pennsylvania Railroad, with the word North Judson added.  This may have been the situation at Brantwood and following the change of name of the North Judson Post Office to Brantwood, evidently our town was given the name North Judson.

The records in the Court House at Knox show an original plat of North Judson, recorded between October 23 and December 1, 1966, the definite date not stated.  An acknowledge statement by W. C. Boyle, Surveyor of Starke County, states that he surveyed a plat of the town on March 30, 1869.  Following are the field notes of the survey:
The town of North Judson is situated in the West half of the South West quarter of Section Sixteen and the East half of the South East quarter of Section Seventeen in Township No. thirty-two (2) North of Range No. 3 West in Starke County, Indiana, Cincinnati Street is 100 feet wide from the center of the Columbus, Chicago and Indiana Central Railway.  Main Street is 66 feet wide, Starke Street, Adair Street, Sycamore Street, Vine Street, Lane Street, Keller Avenue and Central Avenue all 54 ft. wide each.  The alleys are each sixteen feet wide.  The Lots are each 132 feet long and 72 ft. wide.  Also Lot 1 in Block 21 is 144 ft. on the line toward the Railroad Section line, also Lot 7 in Block 20 is 50 ft. on Starke Street and bounded South by the Section Line.  Also Lot 1 in Block 32 is 45 ½ feet on Main Street and 158 feet on J. Rollers tract and 106 feet on the Section Lot 4 in Block 22 Lot 1 in Block 23 and Lot 2, 3, 5 and 6 in Block 26 and divided between the proprietors as indicated by the red line and figures upon the subjointed Plat.
This was acknowledged before W. J. Tilden, a Justice of the Peace in Starke County, Indiana, April 24, 1869.  This plat is signed by Mrs. Caroline Keller, Samuel Bender and Levi Lightcap.

9/25/2015 Starke County Historical Society Fish Fry

The Starke County Historical Society will have a Fish Fry on September 25, 2015 to raise funds for the New Starke County Museum.  The event will take place at the Knox Moose Lodge from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

Tickets:  Adults = $9; Children 6 and under = $4.  Carry outs will be available. 

SNAP Work Requirements Return

Published:  By: , WKVI 


Nearly 47,000 Hoosiers are at risk of losing their benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. A federal waiver letting Indiana residents forgo work requirements is expiring.
That means able-bodied adults who are between the ages of 18 and 49 and don’t have dependents will now have to demonstrate they are working or actively looking for work. Otherwise, they’ll have a time limit of three months of SNAP benefits.
But Jessica Fraser, the program manager for the Indiana Institute for Working Families, says there are ways to stay in the program, “If they begin to work 20 hours per week or if they begin to participate in an approved employment and training activity, then they would not be at jeopardy of losing their benefits.”
She says those who are at risk of losing their benefits will get the chance to have an in-person assessment, “If folks have been classified as an able-bodied dependent, then they will have received a letter from the state giving them an appointment to meet with someone and to talk about their status and to talk about what kinds of employment and training activity or work would be the right fit for them, and they will be assigned some type of activity.”
Fraser says going to that appointment is critical, “Don’t get that letter and think, ‘Well, I can’t really work, so I’m just not going to go,’ and then you’re going to lose your benefits. They need to go to their appointment and see what can be done.”
She says the waivers were put in place during the Great Recession, but with unemployment levels dropping, the waivers are going away, “States, once they reach a certain low level of unemployment rate, were going to lose these waivers, anyway. Employment rates across the country are going down low enough now that, state by state, it’s going falling off these waivers, and these requirements are going to start being the law of the land again for every state.”
If SNAP recipients aren’t able to complete the required steps, the earliest they could begin losing their benefits is November 1.

Starke County Bicentennial Committee Moves Ahead with Promotional Items

Published:  By: , WKVI

Starke County Bicentennial DesignThe Starke County Bicentennial Committee is moving ahead with making a design that will be used on promotional place mats and posters. 
At Tuesday’s meeting, the committee made plans to hire a local artist to create the design based on a rough draft drawn by a local eighth grader. The place mats and posters will be used to raise money for the local celebration.
Committee chairman Dave Pearman says they’ve also made some adjustments to the torch relay route and are working with representatives from the state for final approval. Nominations for torch bearers will be accepted until the end of December. Information is available on the Indiana Bicentennial: Starke County Facebook page or at
The Bicentennial Committee will have its next meeting September 22.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

9/1/2015 Deadline to submit stories for 'Undeniably Indiana'

The Indiana Bicentennial Commission is on the hunt for stories that are "Undeniably Indiana!" Share your offbeat, interesting or unusual fact/story about something that could only happen here in the Hoosier state.
Submit your story to Undeniably Indiana by September 1.

One week left to submit stories for 'Undeniably Indiana'

Undeniably IndianaWe are one week away from the submission deadline for our first crowd-sourced book, Undeniably Indiana!
Many of you responded to our previous calls for submissions, and we appreciate your support! But we still need stories about the following counties in white on this map to ensure that we have a representative collection. Can you help us turn the whole state blue?
Undeniably Indiana map
Click to enlarge map
We could also use some more stories on the following cities:
  • Anderson
  • Bedford
  • Bloomington
  • Columbus
  • Elkhart
  • Fishers
  • Gary
  • Greenwood
  • Hammond
  • Indianapolis
  • Jeffersonville
  • Kokomo
  • Lawrence
  • Mishawaka
  • Nashville
  • Noblesville
  • Terre Haute
Please review the submission guidelines on our FAQ, then head to our Undeniably Indiana Facebook page and tell us your most offbeat, interesting, or unusual fact or story about something that could only happen here. We will accept submissions until September 1. We will select the best stories to publish in Undeniably Indiana, which will be available next fall for the 2016 Indiana bicentennial.

10/15/2015 Earthquake Drill Scheduled in October

Published:  By: , WKVI 

 The largest earthquake drill in the Central United States is coming up in October, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security wants you to take part.
The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut will take place October 15 at 10:15 a.m. During the drill, participants should drop to the ground, take cover under a table or desk, and hold on as if a major earthquake were happening. The IDHS says it’s also a good time for people to check their homes, workplaces, and schools for potential earthquake hazards and create a preparedness kit including food, water, and first-aid supplies.
There is a serious threat of earthquakes in Indiana, due to the New Madrid and Wabash Valley Seismic Zones. Of the 14 states in the drill’s Central U.S. region, Indiana so far has the most participants registered, with nearly 600,000.
To sign up, go to

Passes Now Available for Blueberry Festival Carnival

Published:  By: , WKVI

Blueberry-Logo-2012The Marshall County Blueberry Festival may still be over a week away, but you don’t have to wait to start planning for your visit.
Festival coordinator Sherrie Martin says the MegaPass for unlimited carnival rides starting a day before the festival is on sale now, “The festival opens on Friday, but the carnival will be open on Thursday evening from five to 10, so those of you that have bought the MegaPasses get an extra night of riding. So if you figure it out, the MegaPass costs you about $11 a day for the festival.”
For those only planning on going for one day, she says wristbands are a good option, “The wristbands are $20 each if you but them at the office. They’ll be $25 at the carnival, and those are good for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, your choice of the day.”
Wristbands and MegaPasses are on sale now at the Blueberry Festival Office in Plymouth. The festival runs labor day weekend, September 4 – 7.
For more details visit

Monday, August 24, 2015

Earliest North Judson History

At the time the community of North Judson was formed from 1850 on, there must have been the usual pioneer activities:  clearing of land, building of homes and crude outbuildings, marking and improving of trails.  The first land entry in Wayne Township is recorded in 1847.

The land on which our town of North Judson is situated was conveyed by the 13th President of the United States, Millard Fillmore, to Ebanezer Jones on July 1, 1851, in pursuance of an Act of Congress entitled, “An Act to raise for a limited time additional Military force and for other purposes.”

Moses Lain was the owner of the land on August 24, 1857, having purchased it for $2.50 per acre and selling it to David D. Adair and Levi Lightcap in 1861.

By 1851 there was a considerable community, as records indicate that a log school house had been erected on a site which is now in the west part of town along Highway 10.  The teacher was a Rev. Arnold, a Methodist minister who also conducted church services in this building on Sundays.

These pioneers of over a century ago lived an extremely simple life by our standards.  Yet none can say, that they accomplished less than we do.  They worshipped their God; they educated their children to the best of their ability; they cleared their land, they tilled it; they built roads; they began drainage; they hunted; visited their neighbors; they buried their dead.

Doctors were few, hospitals non-existent, and the modern conquest of disease had not yet begun; smallpox, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and the ‘white plague,’ tuberculosis, took a heavy toll of lives.  Headstones in the older cemeteries tell a mute tale of early death.  In 1850, life expectancy was less than 40 years.  Today, it is over 70.

North Judson-San Pierre Presents Bare-Bones Budget

Published:  By: , WKVI

BluejayThe proposed North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation budget has been slashed considerably over the past several years. Corporation business manager and treasurer Guy Richie told the county council during last week’s budget hearing that revenue continues to decline due to changes in state funding and drops in enrollment.
“At the moment it looks like we’re going to be about 40 students down if nothing changes between now and Sept. 15th. With that hit, we’ve done reductions for the last three or four years of almost $2.5 million. The general fund budget we’re presenting this year is $8 million, because that’s all our revenue would fund. Just five or six years ago I believe we were around $11 million for our budget,” Richie said.
The corporation is asking voters who live within the N.J.-S.P. school district to support a general fund referendum in November. Richie says they have no choice given the straits they are in. He says they can’t get ahead due to continued drops in enrollment. Richie adds the corporation would not even consider a referendum unless they felt it was absolutely necessary.
Richie adds the corporation is counting heavily on the passage of the tax increase. If it doesn’t pass, he says N.J.-S.P. will have to make significant cuts to programs and staff. He says corporation officials have not decided yet just what those will be.  The county council will adopt the corporation’s budget at their September meeting.

Voter Registration Ends October 5

Published:  By: , WKVI


If you plan to vote in November’s elections, you have until October 5 to register.
You can register in person at the voter registration or county clerk’s office, any BMV license branch, or public assistance office. If you have a valid Indiana driver’s license or state-issued identification card, you can register online at
On the website, you can also confirm your registration status, find your polling place, and look at the ballot for upcoming elections.

North Judson-San Pierre School Board Recognizes Staff Efforts

Published:  By: , WKVI

BluejayNorth Judson-San Pierre support staff members are pulling extra duty due to the budget shortfalls the corporation is facing. In addition to extra work, Superintendent Lynn Johnson says they also had less time to get ready for the start of the school year. Students came back a week earlier this year due to the adoption of the balanced calendar.
Johnson publicly expressed her appreciation during Tuesday’s school board meeting to the custodians, members of the technology department and all of the office staffs. She notes they are all doing more with less people. Johnson also recognized administrators who are doing double duty and the staff at the central office who are picking up the slack since the transportation director’s position was eliminated and handling a number of other tasks.
Johnson made her comments during the “Bluejay Way” portion of the board meeting. It’s a monthly recognition of extraordinary efforts by someone in the school corporation community.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

North Judson Police Department

I decided to follow up this week’s write up about the North Judson Volunteer Fire Department with one about the North Judson Police Department.  But search as I might there was nothing to be found.  Not in the Standard History of Starke County, Indiana, nor in McCormick’s Guide to Starke County, not even in the North Judson Centennial booklet (although there was a photo of the 1966 police department in the booklet which I have posted). 

My theory, lawmen would have existed in some capacity since the earliest days of the town and the County Sheriff would have been available if needed.  A fire department, on the other hand, had to be established.  And the fire department had to purchase specialized equipment – like the pumper – to fight fires. 

But if you have any information about the organization of the North Judson Police Department please let me know.  I’ll pass it along to the rest of the community.  

N.J.-S.P. Divides Athletic Director Duties

Published:  By: , WKVI 

BluejayAthletic director duties at North Judson-San Pierre will be split between two existing administrators this year in an effort to save money. The school board eliminated the full-time athletic director position last year. High school assistant principal Kevin Cox and middle school principal Kelly Shepherd will share the responsibilities.
Cox will oversee the football and volleyball programs this fall, girls basketball and wrestling during the winter sports season and boys and girls track and field, boys golf and girls tennis in the spring. Shepherd will handle boys and girls cross country, boys tennis and girls golf this fall, boys basketball and swimming in the winter and baseball and softball in the spring.
The corporation is facing a significant budget shortfall due to a combination of declining enrollment and changes to the state’s funding formula. They’ve proposed a general fund property tax referendum to cover the shortfall. Voters who live within the district will decide the question in November.

State and Federal Agencies Form Partnership to Help Veterans

Published:  By: , WKVI 


The Indiana National Guard is teaming up with state and federal agencies to help veterans and their families. The new initiative, called Joining Community Forces Indiana, will work to identify common issues for veterans and provide resources and education for the groups helping them.
In its first year, JCFI will focus on employment and financial readiness issues. Specifically, they will work on connecting veterans and service members to employment resources and events. They will also work to improve veterans’ financial literacy and teach them how to secure immediate financial assistance if they need it.
In addition to the National Guard, the partnership includes Purdue University’s Military Family Research Institute, the Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Veterans Benefits Administration, and the Veterans Health Administration.
Currently, about 20 groups meet regularly around the state to provide support of their local communities. These include community and business leaders, social service organizations, and veteran service organizations. JCFI plans to add statewide work groups made up of experts who will discuss current efforts, identify gaps, and provide support and education to communities.

North Judson Sells Surplus Items

Published:  By: , WKVI 

North Judson Town Hall - FFBT BuildingThe Town of North Judson made about $300 selling odds and ends during the recent town-wide yard sale.Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry says they got rid of items that are no longer needed at the community center and that were left behind at the new town hall. One thing that didn’t sell was an organ that was donated years ago to the community center. Henry says the town no longer has a use for it. They would like to donate it to a church or nonprofit organization that can put it to use. Contact her at 574-896-3340 for more information.