Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Quote of the Month - December

Happy Birthday, Rudyard Kipling 
(December 30, 1865)

New Tenant Proposed for Knox Mall

Tractor Supply CompanyA Tractor Supply Company store may soon reside at the former site of ALCO in Knox.
The City’s Board of Zoning Appeals has set a hearing for December 21st that may determine whether the transaction is finalized. Tractor Supply Company is a major provider of home, lawn, garden and livestock supplies.
A lease contract is currently being written with Five Star grocery. They own the site Tractor Supply Company is interested in occupying. Completion of that lease, however, is contingent upon approval by the BZA for a special use permit.
Under Knox city ordinance, land zoned C-2 – which in this case is the site under consideration – can only use 15 to 25-percent of the company’s gross floor space for outdoor storage.
Due to Tractor Supply Company’s relatively large use of outdoor space for equipment storage, a special use permit is being requested.
If approved, Tractor Supply Company is anticipated to conduct some renovation work to the inside of the retail site.
Officials with the City of Knox expect the work will take a couple of months with a possible opening sometime in the spring.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

12/5/2015 Crossing Custom Creations Christmas Open House

Pallet Pine Tree

Here's a simple decoration for the outdoors that can actually be used year round and not just for Christmas.  (You could even take the two end pieces and make a second tree.)  

Gas Prices to Remain Affordable for Thanksgiving Travel

Gas prices are expected to stay low during the Thanksgiving travel period.
That’s according to GasBuddy Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. He says in spite of rebounding oil prices, many gas stations won’t see too much change in price, “Some of these ultra-cheap stations that are in the $1.50 area may need to tinker with their prices in the days ahead if crude oil prices maintain today’s increase. So I don’t see any huge spikes at the pump, but some of those ultra-low prices you may see bounce a little bit higher.”
DeHaan expects prices to remain low beyond the next few days, as well. “Most of the time through the end of 2015, prices should be at or under $2 a gallon,” he says. “I don’t really see a whole lot of time being spent over $2 a gallon. Certainly, there could be a few days where gas prices rebound to say $2.09 or even $2.15 should something happen at the region’s refiners, but the chances of that are relatively low, so I see most of the time between now and the end of the year under $2 a gallon.”
He says it’s been a while since we’ve seen prices this low, “It looks like the winter should see some of the lowest wintertime gas prices that we’ve seen since the recession. So, though there may be some bumps in the road that result in gas prices rising temporarily, it’s still looking like a relatively pain-free winter at the pump compared to the last few years.”
According to GasBuddy, average gas prices are down nearly a dollar per gallon from this time last year.

Lincoln Memorial Plaque Nears Completion

Abraham LincolnAn official marker to commemorate President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train passing through San Pierre in 1865 will soon be complete.
Last spring the Starke County Historical Society  marked the 150th anniversary of the event by placing a large boulder at the site, south of San Pierre. The location on U.S. 421 is now a township park where Little Company of Mary once stood.
The Starke County Community Foundation announced funding for the plaque last week. Historical society treasurer Deb Mix wrote the grant.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Remember These Businesses?

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is known as Small Business Saturday.  On that day everyone is encouraged to shop at the local businesses which provide support for their home town rather than the national chains.  These are some of the local businesses that ran ads in the NJ Centennial Booklet.  Some still exist but most are no longer around.  How many of them do you remember?  

It's Not Even Thanksgiving Yet!

N.J.-S.P. Awaits State-level Decisions on ISTEP Scores


The North Judson – San Pierre School Corporation says waiting on the state for direction is a lesson in frustration.
ISTEP scores have been embargoed, or unable to be shared, until December 8th for the school corporation. Any testing results shared with staff have come with a recommendation from the state that they be taken with a bit of caution.
The test students took in 2014/15 was a new standard and test. N.J.-S.P- Superintendent Lynn Johnson says that a new test is expected in 2015/16 as well.
“I think this year will probably be straightened out, I would hope. But this 2014/15, we’re kind of all in limbo so we just don’t know where we stand,” says Johnson. “By the time we get everything back and go through it, it’s going to be time for the next test. I’m not sure how useful the data will be.”
Reduced ISTEP scores in English and Mathematics across Indiana for the previous year have prompted officials with the state Department of Education and the state Board of Education to consider methods for evaluating the results.
According to the discussion during last week’s North Judson – San Pierre School Board meeting, administrators were still evaluating the results, locally.
“When we reviewed ours, we have gray bubbles above, we have gray bubbles slightly below, but right now, they’re embargoed. We can’t share those,” says Johnson.
Written portions of the ISTEP test could be rescored. Disparity in the difficulty levels between the written version of the test and the online version has also caused concerns around the state. N.J.-S.P. students experienced technical problems with the online version, putting the school corporation in a bit of an odd position.
Certain officials with the state have called for fast solutions to the problems associated with ISTEP.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Let it snow?

I don’t know about you but I look forward to the first snowfall of the year with a mixture of anticipation and dread.  Anticipation because who doesn’t love to see that first snow gently floating to the ground and softening the rough edges of bare branches.  Dread because driving in snow is slippery and over the past several months too many people have forgotten how to drive in slush.

But in “honor” of the snow that is expected on Saturday, whether it stays or melts right away, here is my favorite snow song – sorry about the commercial, but this was the clearest copy I could find.

Suzy Snowflake

12/5/2015 Cocoa & Canvas for NJ Pop Warner Dance Team

There will be a fundraiser for the North Judson Pop Warner Dance Team at Bass Lake Bum December 5th at 1 p.m.  The price is $35 per 16 x 20 inch canvas, all materials, instructions and light refreshments provided.  All ages are welcome.  No experience art!

You must register in advance as space is limited.  Call 219-314-2030 to reserve your canvas.  Bass Lake Bum is located at 5820 S. 600 E., Knox, Indiana.

Congratulations St. Peter!

Congratulations to the St. Peter Spell Bowl team for winning first place in their division!

12/15/2015 Painting With Tabitha

Looking for a Christmas gift with that personal touch? One that can be updated as needed? 

Tabitha D. will be back at the North Judson-Wayne Township Library on December 15th to show you how to create this picture destined to become a family heirloom.

$10 fee includes all materials, instructions and light refreshments. No experience art!

Reserve your seat by calling the North Judson-Wayne Township Library at 574-896-2841.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

N.J.-S.P Interim Superintendent Interviews Begin Next Week

North Judson-San Pierre Admin buildingInterviews for an interim superintendent with the North Judson – San Pierre School Corporation will be taking place in the near future.
Applications for the position are being accepted by the board following the retirement of current Superintendent Lynn Johnson. Her last day with the school corporation will be December 31st of this year.
N.J.-S.P- School Board President Pat Goin says a few candidates have turned in an application vying for the position.
“I’m hoping by the end of the first week of December – which I believe is like the 4th or the 5th – that we should have an interim,” says Goin.
The Board expressed a desire to see a few more applicants before proceeding with interviews. Those face-to-face meetings between the candidates and the board will start next week. No mention of when a selection will be named.
The chosen candidate is expected to fill the seat until the end of the school year in June. They will be contending with reduced revenue as a result of school funding formula changes at the state level.
Goin says that by using an interim superintendent, it gives the school board some time to consider their options.
“That gives us just enough time so that we as a board can explore some opportunities with the surrounding schools, and sit down as a board and try to figure out the direction with either an interim or a full-time superintendent,” says Goin.
The North Judson – San Pierre School Board has brought up the possibility of meeting with neighboring school corporations to determine where savings can be seen by combining resources.
Those discussions are anticipated to take place over the next several months.

North Judson Town Council Renews Fire Protection Contracts


The North Judson Town Council voted Monday to renew the town’s fire protection contracts with Jackson and Wayne Townships. The agreements let the North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Department cover areas outside of the town.
North Judson clerk-treasurer Donna Henry says the contracts will remain the same for the next year. They’ll now be sent to the township trustees for final approval.
In addition to Jackson and Wayne Townships, the fire department also covers Rich Grove Township. Its two-year contract with North Judson isn’t up for renewal until next year.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Starke County Youth Club Basketball Program Sign-up

All Starke County students in grades K-4 are eligible to join. 

Registration is $25 for Starke County Youth Club members and $45 for non-Club members. Multi-student discounts are available. 

Students can register at the following dates and locations: 
Thursday, December 3rd at the Knox Elementary cafeteria from 5:00 – 7:00 PM  
Monday, December 7th, at the Oregon-Davis Elementary cafeteria from 5:00 – 7:00 PM 
Tuesday, December 8th, at the North Judson-San Pierre Elementary cafeteria from 5:00 – 7:00 PM.  

11/26/2015 Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner @ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church

11/21/2015 Feather Party @ NJ American Post 92

11/21/2015 St. Vincent DePaul Christmas & Miscellaneous Sale

11/21/2015 Knox Moose Annual "Burr"zaar

N.J.-S.P. School Board Plans Budget Sessions in Face of Funding Woes

North Judson-San Pierre Admin buildingThe North Judson – San Pierre School Corporation has their work cut out for them, but all indications are they will end this fiscal year in the black.
Tuesday night’s school board meeting brought with it a packed house and a few observers wondering what the school corporation’s plans are following the defeat of a referendum designed to temporarily increase the property tax levy.
School Board President Pat Goin kept her comments on the issue brief.
“Certainly we as a board are disappointed that we didn’t get the referendum passed,” says Goin. “That was very evident. We felt that we needed the money to move forward and to provide a good education and opportunities for our students. Having said that, we must now face what we have and work with it and try to find solutions.”
Over the next six to eight weeks, the N.J.-S.P. School Board will be meeting regularly to discuss its finances, both in the short and long-term.
Several residents expressed concerns about involving the public in the discussions. The Board made it clear that some of their meetings will be work sessions open to the public. As things stand, a reduction in force is a strong possibility.
Goin says their focus going forward will likely be on the coming calendar year
“What will happen between January 1st and June 30th? That is still to be determined and I say that not to put anyone off, but just to tell you that we’re looking at all of the possibilities,” says Goin.
The North Judson – San Pierre School Board met in executive session prior to Tuesday night’s meeting and said they intended another executive session following the meeting to further consider their finances before bringing their ideas to the public.

North Judson Qualifies for Grant Funding

North Judson Water TowerThe Town of North Judson has qualified for a grant to help the town rehabilitate its two water towers.
Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry says the Kankakee Iroquois Regional Planning Commission has reviewed the resident income surveys and determined that enough households meet the income requirements to allow the process to move ahead.
KIRPC will publish a notice this week to notify engineering firms interested in the project.
The North Judson Town Council was given an update on the grant application during its meeting, Monday.

Starke County Community Foundation Awards Grants

The Starke County Community Foundation honored its grant recipients at its 2015 Community Impact Reception.
This year, $221,096 was given out in grant funding, with $74,690 awarded in scholarships. That money comes from the foundation’s 112 funds.
SCCF Director of Development Sarah Origer says eight new donors have started funds in the past year. She says since the foundation began in 1996, a total of $5.6 million dollars has been given out as grants and scholarships.2015 Grant Recipients

Monday, November 16, 2015

11/19/2015 NJSP Elementary Spell Bowl @ the High School

The North Judson-San Pierre Elementary School will hold their Spell Bowl at the North Judson-San Pierre High School at 5 p.m., November 19th. 

WKVI Wins Indiana Broadcasters Association Award

WKVI's Bridget Markin, Lenny Dessauer, Mary Perren, Michael Gallenberger, Tom Berg and Tony Ross at Saturday's Indiana Broadcasters Association Spectrum Awards banquet
WKVI’s Bridget Markin, Lenny Dessauer, Mary Perren, Michael Gallenberger, Tom Berg and Tony Ross at Saturday’s Indiana Broadcasters Association Spectrum Awards banquet
WKVI fared well at Saturday’s Indiana Broadcasters Association Awards in Indianapolis. News director Mary Perren’s April 16th report from LaCrosse after the Co-Alliance Elevator there exploded, injuring four employees, won in the Market 3 Breaking News Story category.
Other finalists in the category were WLJE-FM in Valparaiso and WHON-FM in Richmond.
The award marks the second straight year WKVI has been recognized by the Indiana Broadcasters Association. In 2014 WKVI-FM was named Market 3 Station of the Year.
“I’m proud of Mary and the entire WKVI news team,” WKVI General Manager Lenny Dessauer said. “Our news department works hard to cover all types of news throughout the Kankakee Valley and provide a valuable service to our listeners. It’s nice to see them get some well-deserved recognition.”

11/21/2015 WKVI Food Drive Planned Saturday in Knox, Winamac

Stop and see WKVI staff members Saturday in Knox and Winamac as you shop for your Thanksgiving dinner. The station is once again hosting a bi-county food drive to benefit the Community Services of Starke County and Pulaski County Human Services food pantries.
Tony Ross and Ed Hasnerl will be at Five Star in the Knox Mall from 10 a.m. until noon Central, while Nathan Welter and Mary Perren will be at Sanders in Winamac doing the same. Lenny Dessauer will be in the studio checking in live with the teams at both locations during the two-hour donation drive.
“WKVI is a community radio station,” Dessauer said. “Hosting our annual food drive allows us to interact with our listeners and provide a valuable service to the community we call home. The food pantries in both Knox and Winamac are an important part of that community, especially during the holidays. It is our hope our listeners in Starke and Pulaski Counties will once again give generously as they do every year.”

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Open House Scheduled at New Physicians Office Location

IU HealthIndiana University Primary Care-Knox is celebrating its recent move into a new location with a Monday ribbon cutting and open house.
They’ve moved from their location next to the WKVI studios on West Culver Road into the medical office building behind IU Health Starke Hospital. Dr. Thom Browne, Dr. Nabil Abdo, Dr. Sabrina Beecham, Dr. Ashley Kirkwood and nurse practitioner Jennifer Frasier are now located at 104 East Culver Road, Suite 102. That office most recently housed HealthLink, which has moved to the west end of the medical complex.
The Starke County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting will take place at 10 a.m. CST Monday and will be followed by an open house until noon. Refreshments will be served, and the public is welcome to attend.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security Urges Gas Appliance Safety

Indiana Department of Homeland SecurityThe Indiana Department of Homeland Security says to leave natural gas appliance work to professionals. The warning comes after four people have been killed in the recent weeks after trying to fix furnaces, heaters, or gas lines.
Homeland Security officials say all furnaces need a yearly inspection to make sure they’re no problems that can cause gas or carbon monoxide leaks, fires, or explosions. Inspections are even more important for older heating systems, which often have flexible gas connectors that are more likely to break. Older appliances may also lack the shut-off systems that newer ones have.
State Fire Marshal James Greeson has a few additional natural gas safety tips for the start of the winter heating season. He says to check the color of appliances’ pilot lights. Except for natural gas fireplace logs, the flames should be blue, rather than orange or yellow. Greeson also says to never use gas ranges or stoves for heating, since that can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide levels. He says if all members of the family develop flu-like symptoms at the same time, it may actually be carbon monoxide poisoning. And if you smell natural gas, leave your home immediately, then call the utility company and 9-1-1.
For more information, visit or the website of your gas provider.

Friday, November 13, 2015

11/29/2015 Santa comes to Knox for annual tree-lighting ceremony

By Mary Bendt, Starke County Daily Edge

The City of Knox Tree-Lighting Ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Nov. 29, at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center, 55 E. Lake St., Knox.

The program following the lighting will feature the Knox Jazz Band and Choir members, Starke County Choralairs and of course, Santa Claus.

Refreshments will be served by the City of Knox Community Center Committee, with the cookies donated by Subway. All events from 5 to 7 p.m. will be held at the Community Center.

12/4/2015 Kersting's Garage Party

Hey ladies! Kersting’s Garage Party is a fun way to learn the basics — the bikes, the lifestyle, the destinations — all from a woman's perspective. Let your adventure begin! 

Call (574) 896-2974 to join us Friday, December 4 at Kersting’s Cycle Center for this 2015 Garage Party!!

11/15/2015 Hensler Nursery Holiday Open House

Get your holiday started early at Hensler's! Think of this as the pre-party before Christmas Fest begins at our farm. You can shop the Christmas Barn, place orders for holiday greenery and see some of the new things we're planning this season.

November 15, 1-4 p.m. Central Time.

Starke County Community Foundation Selects Winners of Hardesty Awards

Mat Marilyn SwansonThe Starke County Community Foundation has announced the first recipients of its new award honoring philanthropists in the county. Marilyn and Mathew Swanson of Bass Lake will be honored next week with the James R. Hardesty Leadership in Philanthropy Award.
Mat, who passed away in January, was a former president and board member of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. He also served on the Starke United Board, the Starke County Fine Arts Commission, the Starke County 4-H Livestock Council, and the Ancilla College Board of Directors, in addition to his career as a banker.
Marilyn, a longtime English teacher at Knox High School, has served on the Culver School Board and the Starke County Library Board. She also started the 4-H Horse and Pony Club in Starke County.
Both Marilyn and Matt were involved with the Starke County Community Foundation, starting in 1997. As part of their work with the foundation, they helped create the Ancilla/SCILL Center Fund, as well as The Mat and Marilyn Swanson Family Fund.
Marilyn will be presented with the award during the foundation’s 2015 Community Impact Reception on Tuesday.

11/17/2015 Resume & Cover Letter Workshop

Purdue Extension LogoResidents will have a chance to sharpen their career skills next week. The Purdue Extension will be holding a résumé and cover letter workshop in Knox Tuesday morning.
Health & Human Sciences Extension Educator Mandy Medbourn says she’s excited about having the chance to work with residents, “I’m just going to kind of go over résumé and cover letter information, what future employers are looking for, and then they’ll be lots of time for me to work one-on-one with people. If they have questions about their résumé or cover letter, I can help them perfect it; or if they’ve never done a résumé or cover letter before, I can work with them and we can kind of help start developing a résumé and cover letter based on their skills and their previous employment and things like that.”
She says the goal of the workshop is to help the people who haven’t had the chance to learn these important skills, “These are life skills that people need. They need to know how to present themselves for job interviews and how to write a résumé or a cover letter, and a lot of times, you don’t get that unless you go to college. So I’m really looking forward to getting to help people one-one-one with this very important life skill, and hopefully this will prepare them for job interviews coming up, so I’m very excited about the event.”
The free résumé and cover letter workshop will take place Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Henry F. Schricker Public Library in Knox. For more information, call the Starke County Purdue Extension Office at 574-772-9141 or the library at 574-772-7323.