Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Weekly Magic Tournaments

10/15/2015 Pumpkin Carving Contest @ NJWTPL

10/15/2015 Painting With Tabitha

10/10/2015 Dance the Night Away

1st Choice Insurance Presents Check to Kid's Closet

10/5/2015 Fall Brush Pick-Up in North Judson

Nominations Open for Schricker Award

Published:  By: , WKVI 

Henry Schricker
Henry Schricker
Nominations are now being accepted for the Henry F. Schricker Award, presented each year by the Starke County Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber director Debbie Mix says it honors those who help the community, “The Henry F. Schricker Award is a very prestigious award. It’s named after Governor Schricker, who really lived his life with the mantra ‘service before self’ and so we celebrate that, and it is a lifetime achievement award for a volunteer putting oneself behind and doing service within the community.”
She says winners cover the full spectrum of volunteer work, “Many of our inductees have done quiet things. They drive people to the doctor and they go and clean their homes or do any kind of volunteer stuff very quietly. Or it can also be somebody who’s a little bit more celebrated and known throughout the community, who has done a lot for the community and is well-known because of that.”
To nominate someone, you can fill out a nomination form, or send a letter to the chamber telling what the nominee has done to deserve the award. Once a person is nominated, that nomination stays active, but Mix says it’s always nice to get fresh nominations. After the chamber receives the nominations, this year’s winner will be chosen by a committee made up of past winners as well as some chamber members. The winner will be formally inducted during the Starke County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner November 5.
The deadline for nominations is this Friday.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Facebook Is NOT Going To Charge For Privacy

No matter what you heard, Facebook is NOT going to charge you to keep your profile private.  You can check it out at Snopes, "the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation."

10/3/2015 Memorial Run Planned for Fallen Soldiers

Published:  By: , WKVI 


Six soldiers who died in the line of duty – including two from Starke County – are being honored with a memorial run in Valparaiso. The Sapper Six Memorial Race will honor the members of the Indiana National Guard 713th Engineer Company based in Valparaiso who died while deployed in Afghanistan in 2012.
Event organizer Chuck Leonhardt says the loss of these soldiers hits close to home for the Starke County community, “One of my younger brothers was actually Sgt. Brian Leonhardt that did not return home, and Spc. Robert Tauteris grew up in the area and still has lots of family that lives between North Judson and Grovertown.”
The event includes both a 5k race as well as a 3k fun run/walk. Leonhardt says it’s a way to keep their memories alive, “We feel like something should be done. You know, we just don’t want these guys to be forgotten. So it’s an event that we’ve created to remember them, one, and bring the community together, two, and just come out and, even for one night, just remember these six guys.”
But he says it will also help those left behind, “What we’re doing is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from this to an organization called Folds of Honor Foundation. Folds of Honor helps with scholarships for the spouses and children of fallen and wounded soldiers and also disabled veterans.”
The event’s being held Saturday at Central Park Plaza in downtown Valparaiso, starting with registration at 4:00 p.m. The race itself will start at 5:00 p.m., followed by the fun run/walk at about 5:15, and Leonhardt says there’s even more planned, “Once that’s done, we’ll have the awards for the race. We’ve got a 70-inch smart TV that we’ll be raffling off afterwards and there will be another few raffles going on with plenty of vendors and food and drinks, and we’ve got the Hobart High School Wolf Gang band there to perform. So it should be a good time.”
For more information, to donate, or to sign up for the run online, visit

Monday, September 28, 2015

Starke County Pursues Adult Jobs Training Grant

Published:  By: 


Starke County officials are applying for one of eight state grants to set up a job skills training program for local adults. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver recently spoke to the commissioners about the need for such an initiative.
“The idea is that workers who are currently employed but are not utilizing the potential they have, or workers who are unemployed and seeking new skills, the goal was to find a program that could train them.”
Each grant is worth up to $250,000. Economic development officials surveyed local employers to determine their most pressing workforce needs and said it is industrial equipment maintenance. Weaver says it’s a very sophisticated, high-skilled field.
“People don’t realize it, but we have factories now that have robots in place doing things. Someone’s got to maintain those robots. Someone’s got to do it, and there’s just not enough people who know enough electronics who know enough electricity, enough about compression and everything else to do the jobs. And everyone of these companies that’s been their number-one priority is also typically their number-one salary.”
Weaver adds Starke County’s workforce needs to be prepared for the automation wave of the future by making sure automation technicians with troubleshooting abilities are available at all times.
The Starke County Economic Development Foundation also wants to add an automation and robotics program to the list of high school vocational offerings. However the state grant they are seeking will only cover the adult program. Weaver told the county commissioners other grant funds are available to offer the program to high school students as well.

Starke County Officials Prepare for State Bicentennial Celebration

Published:  By: , WKVI 

Indiana BicentennialStarke County will soon have a special flag flying. The local Indiana Bicentennial Committee is designing a flag
for the state’s 200th anniversary in the county. Committee member Melba Shilling brought in a county flag from Ottawa County, Ohio as a suggestion. Ottawa County is Starke County’s “sister county,” with a courthouse that was built from the same plan as Starke County’s county seat center.
Another plan that is under consideration by the committee are place mats that can be placed in local restaurants to call attention to the arrival of the of the Bicentennial Torch in Starke County on Friday, October 7, 2016.
Nominations are available for local people to assist in carrying the flag through the county. Look for them at local libraries and on line thru Dec. 31 ,2015.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

So What Happened In September, 1926?

Apparently something important happened in September of 1926 but what?

These are several things that occurred during the week leading up to the 26th. Which item do you think might have been the reason that 1,150 newspapers were sold in town on that day?

  • September 20 - The North Side Gang attempted to assassinate Al Capone, spraying his headquarters in Cicero, Illinois with over a thousand rounds of machine gun fire in broad daylight as Capone was eating there. Capone escaped harm.
  • September 21 - The Miami hurricane began to dissipate as it entered Louisiana. All told the hurricane killed at least 373 people, wounded over 6,000, and did the equivalent of about $90 billion damage in modern dollars.
  • September 23 - Gene Tunney defeated Jack Dempsey by unanimous decision to win the world heavyweight boxing championship in Philadelphia.
  • September 24 - The St. Louis Cardinals clinched the National League pennant with a 6-4 win over the New York Giants.
  • September 24 - The Pabst Mine Disaster occurred at the Pabst Iron Mine in Ironwood, Michigan. 3 miners were killed and 43 were trapped when an elevator fell down the shaft, which was then sealed by a rock fall.

10/15/2015 We're Having A Pajama Party!

9/26/2015 State Police Organize Prescription Drop Off Saturday

Published:  By: , WKVI 


If you have prescription drugs that are expired or unused, the Drug Enforcement Administration is sponsoring a take back initiative.
On Saturday, the 10th annual “Prescription Drug Take Back” initiative will take place. The event looks to prevent drug abuse and possible theft by properly disposing of the substances.
Collection sites will be set-up nationwide so that the prescription drugs can be prevented from polluting the environment. According to information released by the Indiana State Police, the program is limited to liquid and pill medications. Needles are not accepted.
Drugs can be dropped off at any Indiana State Police Post, except on Toll Roads between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

INDOT Hiring Seasonal Help

Published:  By: , WKVI 


The Indiana Department of Transportation is getting ready for winter. The agency is teaming up with WorkOne of northwest Indiana to hire seasonal maintenance crew members and snow plow drivers. Positions are available across the entire northwest Indiana district, which includes Starke, Pulaski, Marshall, Fulton, St. Joseph, LaPorte, Porter, Lake, Newton, Jasper, White, Cass and Carroll Counties.
Qualified applicants must have a valid CDL and be able to successfully pass a drug test. Applicants can apply for the positions online right now under the Job I.D.#: 598545 (Seasonal) or 597670 (Mechanic).

Friday, September 25, 2015

10/15/2015 Paintng With Tabitha

Scarecrow Festival Gets Underway in Wanatah

Published:  By: , WKVI 

scarecrowFall is officially here, and that means it’s time for the annual Scarecrow Festival in Wanatah. Activities get under way today with the harvest contest from 3 until 6 p.m. Awards will be handed out for the tallest sunflower, heaviest pumpkin, largest ear of corn, largest zinnia, soybean stalk with the most pods, largest tomato, largest watermelon and most unusual gourd or squash. Bring your entries to Scarecrow Square between 3 and 6 p.m. for judging. Winners will be announced tonight at 8.
All of the food and vendor booths will be open from 4 until 7 this evening, and a pork chop dinner will be served at Wanatah School. Round out the evening with entertainment from Elvis and the Sweet Sensations.
The festival continues through Sunday in Wanatah. Parking is free, and shuttle service will be available. Visit for more information.

WKVI Sports Bet Payoff Continues with Food Drive

Published:  By: , WKVI

WKVI Sports Director Nathan Welter, the N.J.-S.P. mascot and news director Mary Perren
WKVI Sports Director Nathan Welter, the N.J.-S.P. mascot and news director Mary Perren
WKVI Sports Director Nathan Welter isn’t done paying off his bet on the outcome of the Knox v. North Judson football game just yet. He’s a Knox graduate, and news director Mary Perren is a N.J.-S.P. alum, so they make a friendly wager on the game each year. North Judson beat Knox 21-14 at Community Field two weeks ago. Last week Nathan served lunch at the high school cafeteria and got glitter dumped on him by the four captains from the Knox game during the homecoming pep rally. He also presented a check for $25 to the Bluejay athletic department.
Tomorrow the final payoff will take place from 11 a.m. until noon at Heartland Market, formerly Ray’s Super Foods, in downtown North Judson. First Nathan has to dye his beard blue, since he doesn’t have hair, and then he and Mary will conduct a food drive at the store. All donations will go to the Community Services of Starke County food pantry. We’ll leave the donation bin in place for a few days if you can’t make it during the drive. However, it may be worth rearranging your schedule to come help a good cause and snap an epic selfie with Nathan “Blue Beard” Welter.

Thursday, September 24, 2015



By Noah Benjamin-Pollak (

Print book fans got some good, if unexpected, news this week: the industry announced that e-book sales are down about 10% this year – the biggest drop ever – while print held fairly steady.

Some observers say the new numbers mean the e-book mania of a few years ago was a fad – and that ink-on-paper will remain dominant.

E-book fans insist the drop is mainly due to e-book price increases.  They argue sales will rise again when e-book readers and formats inevitably get better.

At the National Book Review, we are platform agnostic, though we have a soft spot for print (our logo is a manual typewriter).  But in this week when they are suddenly out of favor, Noah Benjamin-Pollak offers, in rant form, 10 reasons to love e-books:

1.    You can search them.  While this is especially true for textbooks, isn’t it great to be able to find that one scene in a play, or figure out which Compson is which.  (And if you don’t have trouble with this, re-read Absalom, Absalom and then get back to me.  There are three, and they are only referred to by their last name. WHY?!)  Searchability is the future, and when I need it I refuse to go back!

2.    The environment.  This should be obvious, but nothing gets killed in the making of eBooks.  Save the planet kids, join team e-book.

3.    THEY ARE CHEAPER!!! Never pay $25, $30, or gasp $40 for a hardcover again.  E-books are $13.99, or $7 – some are $1-2, and some are *gasp* free! FREE BOOKS! Who doesn’t like free? Not me certainly.

4.    Size. Ever go on a long vacation?  I used to have to pay Delta their $25 of blood money every time I left the country because my beach reading broke the holy 50-pound barrier.

5.    No one gets to see the title and judge you for your terrible taste in literature.  Really, Mom.

6.    Getting published is cheaper so there are more authors, and more authors mean more books! Who doesn’t like more books?

7.    You can have your book anywhere, since you are already carrying your cell phone.  This is underrated.  You should never be bored waiting in line or on a subway platform when you have the entire universe of literature at your fingertips.

8.    Project Gutenberg.  Did you know that you can get almost any public domain book for free?  Almost 50,000 books, free.  Pride and Prejudice, FREE!  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, FREE! Beowulf, The Yellow Wallpaper, and The Prince, FREE, FREE AND FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! I hate to be a shill, but since it’s a non-profit I feel no guilt: https://www.gutenberg.orgGo forth and claim your FREEEEEEEEEEEEE BOOOKSSS!!!!!!

9.    References and citations can be hyperlinked! This is amazing, and has revolutionized how I read non-fiction. In the middle of the chapter if the author talks about something that sounds interesting, if I want to learn more I can just click the hyperlink in the footnote and BOOM I’m reading the primary source. This is totally underrated and I learn much more when reading history.

10.   You can read in the dark!

Informational Website Launched for N.J.-S.P. School Referendum

Published:  By: , WKVI 

BluejayVoters who live within the North Judson-San Pierre School District can learn more about the corporation’s proposed general fund referendum by visiting a new website. explains the rationale behind the push for a property tax increase. Corporation officials say it’s necessary due to what they’ve described as a perfect storm of declining enrollment and changes in the way the state funds schools. Without it, they say significant, painful cuts will need to be made to programs and personnel.
The proposal would raise property taxes by $0.475 per $100 of assessed value in 2016. From 2017-2022 the referendum property tax rate drops to $0.277 per $100 of assessed value. If additional money is needed after 2022, voters will again be asked to consider a referendum.
All voters who live within the school corporation limits are eligible to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 3rd. That includes all residents of Wayne, Jackson and Railroad Townships in Starke County as well as California Township Precinct 2 and Rich Grove and Cass Townships in Pulaski County. Early and absentee voting is also allowed. Visit to register to vote or update your address or other information.

Starke County Community Foundation Taking Grant Applications

Published:  By: , WKVI


The Starke County Community Foundation is now taking grant applications.
One of the grants available is the Maude Brown and Henry F. Schricker Endowment. Its goal is to help students in grades four through 12 with projects dealing with Indiana history and social studies. Also available is the Robert ‘Boom Boom’ Baker Alternative Agriculture Grant. It funds projects and educational programs advancing alternative agriculture in Starke County.
The foundation says grants assist schools and organizations seeking hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. Grant applications and guidelines can be found at the Community Foundation’s website. The deadline to apply is October 9.

EBT System Offline this Weekend

Published:  By: , WKVI


SNAP and TANF benefits will be unavailable for several hours this weekend.
The Hoosier Works Electronic Benefits Transfer system will be offline beginning at 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday. It’s expected to be back up and running by Sunday at 12:30 p.m. EDT.
That will let the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration move the system to a new provider. The FSSA says JPMorgan Chase, its current provider, is getting out of the business of providing EBT card services, so the administration’s moving its business to Xerox. During the transition, EBT cardholders won’t be able to make SNAP purchases or access TANF benefits at grocery stores or ATMs. The FSSA says cardholders should plan to do grocery shopping or make cash withdrawals either before or after the transition.
They also say cards and PIN numbers, as well as users’ benefits, won’t change. However, users will have a new customer service website after the transition.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

North Judson Town Council Discusses Brush Pickup, Sets Trick-or-Treat Hours

Published:  By: , WKVI

North Judson Town Hall - FFBT BuildingThe fall season’s getting underway, and the Town of North Judson’s getting ready. The Town Council discussed fall brush pickup and trick-or-treat hours at its meeting Monday.
Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry says residents who have brush that needs to be picked up should put it out before the morning of October 5. Brush piles should be placed along the side of the alley or, for residents who don’t have an alley, next to the road. Piles should only contain brush, not any other debris.
Additionally, the council set trick-or-treat hours for 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. October 31.

Monday, September 21, 2015

10/9 & 10/2015 Community Services Rummage Sale

9/25/2015 Free G04Life Breakfast for Seniors 60+

Starke County Youth Club Receives Gift from Golden Living Center

Published:  By: , WKVI 

Golden Living Check PresentationThe Starke County Youth Club can continue its efforts to provide quality after school programs to local students thanks to a local business. The nonprofit recently received a $1,000 award from the Golden Living Center Community Support Initiative. SCYC Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says the organization has been delighted to perform service learning projects in partnership with Golden Living Center. She says their gift means quality activities like learning to invest in community can continue at Club.
Community Support Initiative grants are charitable contributions given in support of worthy nonprofit community organizations. Golden Living has contributed nearly $1.75 million into communities it serves. The Knox Golden Living Center has been in Starke County since the mid-1970s, specializing in skilled nursing, rehabilitation and recovery to home as well as long-term care.
The Starke County Youth Club provides a high-quality array of after-school, summer and recreational programs for youngsters throughout the county. They encourage individual growth, support working families and build community. Visit for more information.

10/13/2015 Community Services of Starke County Hosts AARP Smart Driver Course

Published:  By: , WKVI 

Community Services of Starke CountyAn AARP driver safety program is being held next month by Community Services of Starke County.
The AARP Smart Driver Course will teach participants safety techniques to reduce the chances of a crash, as well as the effects that aging, medications, alcohol, and health issues can have on driving. Organizers say participants can expect to feel safer and more confident while driving after taking the course. They also say to check with your insurance company to see if completing the course might lower your premiums.
It will be held October 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with a half-hour lunch break at Community Services of Starke County in Knox. The price is $15 for AARP members and $20 for everyone else.
Call Elderly Services Coordinator Patricia Minix at 574-772-7682 by October 7 to register.

Friday, September 18, 2015

North Judson After Harvest Festivals & Muck Crop Shows

 For twenty five years, 1906 to 1931, the business men and other citizens of North Judson sponsored the Annual After-harvest Jubilee, a fall festival, with exhibits of farm products, poultry, livestock, baking, sewing and school work.  Liberal prizes were given and free entertainment was provided.  A special feature was a parade of bands and floats.  Through the years this developed into a large Home Coming Event. 

 Six Muck Crops Shows, the first in 1935, were held in North Judson, with large displays of crops grown on the muck soils of northern Indiana.  Roscoe Fraser, a Mucks Crops specialist of the Extension Service and Agricultural Department of Purdue University ably supervised the shows, which were attended by many thousand each year.  A special entertainment feature on the closing night was the selection and crowning of a Muck Crops Queen.  A picture of Congressman Charles Halleck and Ex-Governor Harold W. Handley weighing the 90 pound prize pumpkin, at the time of the last show in 1958, is shown elsewhere in this publication.  

Benefit Planned for Domestic Shooting Victim

Published:  By: , WKVI 


A benefit will be held tomorrow for a woman police say was shot by her estranged husband last month.
Indiana State Police say during the early morning hours of August 1, Melanie Greer’s estranged husband Jeffery Greer allegedly broke into her home outside of Culver and shot her in the face before turning the gun on himself. They say two boys, ages seven and ten, were in the home at the time but were not hurt.
Benefit organizers say Melanie has many obstacles to overcome before she’ll be physically and financially able to take care of her family. They say money raised from the event will go towards her recovery and the needs of her boys.
The benefit will include an all you can eat dinner, bake sale, raffles, an auction, and a guest speaker on domestic violence. It will be held tomorrow from 4:00 – 11:30 p.m. at the Knox VFW.
More information can be found by calling 219-508-8892 or 574-207-5139, or by going to their Facebook event page, “Benefit for Melanie Greer, Miracles Happen.”

Royalty Set to Reign Over Knox Harvest Festival

Published:  By: , WKVI 

Miss Harvest 2015 Keisha Ashton
Miss Harvest 2015 Keisha Ashton
The Knox Harvest Festival returns to downtown this weekend with activities for the entire family. The first event actually took place last weekend with the festival pageant, sponsored by the Knox Moose Family Center. Keisha Ashton of North Judson was crowned Miss Harvest. She’s a junior at North Judson-San Pierre High School.
Little Mister Harvest Festival is Jayden Prater and Isabella Clark won the little miss contest. Makinzie Sanders was the 1st runner up; Brynlee Littleton – 2ndrunner up; Carleigh Risner and Emmalyn Johnson also competed.
Look for the Harvest Festival royalty in Sunday’s parade down Main Street. WoodStarke founder and correspondent for “The Leader” M.J. Bendt will be the grand marshal.
The Starke County Historical Society will also offer courthouse tours during this year’s festival. Students from each of the three high schools in Starke County will serve as guides. Enter the courthouse through the Main Street door across from the Moose Lodge. Tours will be offered tomorrow from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 3.
Tomorrow’s activities include a 10 a.m. opening prayer and flag raising ceremony and a pet parade. Quarter bingo will be offered from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 3 until 6 p.m. at the Moose area. Several bands are scheduled to perform throughout the day and into the evening hours as well. Knox Harvest Festival 2015 Schedule