Monday, August 21, 2017

4/8/2024 - Next Total Solar Eclipse

Be sure to save your solar eclipse glasses because the next one - in 2024 - should be closer to us.

8/26-27/2017 TIppecanoe River State Park Program Schedule

Public Hearing Tonight for North Judson Sewer, Water Projects

Posted on August 21, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The North Judson Town Council will hold a public hearing tonight on proposed water and sewer upgrades. The town plans to pursue a loan through the State Revolving Fund, as well as grant funding from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, to rehabilitate the two water towers, add a well, and upgrade the existing well pumps, among other improvements.

North Judson is also planning $3.1 million in wastewater upgrades. That work will include modernizing the wastewater treatment plant and bringing the town’s combined sewer overflow into compliance with Indiana Department of Environmental Management regulations. The town hopes to get a 40-year bond through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office to pay for that work.

Residents will have the chance to weigh in on the financial arrangements tonight at 6:00, before the regular town council meeting at 6:30.

Starke County Council to Hold Public Hearing Tonight on North Judson-San Pierre Budget

Posted on August 21, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

A public hearing on the North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation’s proposed 2018 budget will be held during tonight’s Starke County Council meeting.

Council members will also expected set a pay rate for a part-time Emergency Management Agency director. The position is currently open, after Jacob Lippner was fired by the county commissioners back in May.

This evening’s Starke County Council meeting starts at 5:30, followed by the Starke County Commissioners meeting at 6:00. The commissioners are scheduled to hear from Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler about a county-wide sign and speed limit ordinance, the installation of ADA-compliant ramps, and paving the Annex Building parking lot.

Additionally, Coroner Dannie Hoffer is expected to continue discussing the cost of autopsies with both the council and commissioners. Last month, he said his autopsy budget took a hit, due to accidental overdose cases. Both groups will also get their monthly update from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. Both meetings will be held in Starke County Annex Building No. 1.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Visiting Local School This Thursday

Posted on August 21, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

In an effort to provide updates and discuss educational initiatives, Indiana State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Jennifer McCormick is holding a series of teacher and community meetings across the state. Less than ten meetings have been scheduled but fortunately, local residents have the opportunity to attend the North Judson-San Pierre meeting and reception as long as they register prior to the Thursday.

During a N.J.-S.P. school board meeting last week, Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin presented details to the board, “It will be August 24th, from 5 o’clock to 6:30 she will be speaking in the auditorium. The Indiana State Teacher’s Association is hosting a reception prior with finger foods and just a chance to speak with Dr. McCormick. That is 4 o’clock to 5 o’clock and will be in our cafeteria.”

Since the program is offered through the Department of Education and the reception is hosted by I.S.T.A, individuals must register for both separately in order to attend. Register for the 4:00 p.m. reception here. Register for the 5:00 p.m. teacher and community meeting here.

The Starke County Career and College Success Coalition Looking for Community Input

August 21, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The Starke County Career and College Success Coalition wants to hear from you during their meeting open to the public on Tuesday, September 5. This coalition focuses on providing the appropriate resources needed to help Starke County residents obtain further education and maintain meaningful careers.

Parents, students, business owners and any enthusiastic individuals geared towards community improvement are asked to speak up and share any ideas that could help the coalition with their goals. Any questions can be directed to coalition member Shirley Fosler at her work number 574-772-1675.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

9/2/2017 Dedication at Little Company of Mary/Holy Cross Grounds

The Starke County Historical Society will dedicate the Lincoln Funeral Train Historical Marker at the former Little Company of Mary/Holy Cross grounds in San Pierre on Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. CST.

Railroad Township Trustee, Mandy Thomason will dedicate the former LCM/HC ground as Tierney Park, in memory of John Tierney.  Tierney is the San Pierre resident who donated the land for the Little Company of Mary complex, as well as successfully stowed away on Lincoln’s funeral train as a teenager, ultimately ending up in Springfield, Illinois for President’s Lincoln’s funeral.

Thomason will also dedicate the Little Company of Mary Sand Prairie that resides in Tierney park.

Speakers will include Alice Dolezal of the Starke County Historical Society, Mandy Thomason, Charlie Adams of WKVI radio, and Derek Luchik of the Nature Conservancy.

Please join us as we celebrate these new additions to Starke County’s heritage.

AAA Safety Tips for Monday’s Eclipse

Posted on August 19, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

This Monday, for the first time since 1979, certain parts of the continental U.S. will experience a total solar eclipse and even though only a partial eclipse will be visible from Indiana, it is important to stay safe if you’re driving while the phenomenon occurs. AAA provides the following safety tips for people who may be operating a vehicle during the eclipse.

Before getting behind the wheel, check NASA’s interactive map to pinpoint the approximate time the eclipse will be visible in your area so you can be off the road if you want to watch.

Be sure you have the proper protective eye wear while viewing the un-eclipsed or partially eclipsed sun. Regular sunglasses will not suffice; the only safe way to view is with special ‘eclipse glasses’ or hand-held solar viewers.

If you must be on the road while the eclipse is happening be sure to follow all traffic laws you normally would and avoid looking in the sky. Peak darkness will only last 2-3 minutes but if you think you’ll be distracted, find a safe place to park your vehicle.

If you’re driving during peak darkness, have your headlights on, watch for pedestrians who may be attempting to see the eclipse and keep additional space between you and other vehicles in case of potentially distracted drivers.

Friday, August 18, 2017

9/9/2017 Starting Point for Genealogy

10/17/2017 Starke County Community Health Fair

Join us for this FREE health fair on Tuesday October 17, 2017 from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM at the Knox Community Middle School Gym (901 South Main Street, Knox, Indiana).   You can register at Starke County Community Health Fair.

Interactive health exhibits:

  • Free health screenings! Blood pressure, BMI, Cholestrol, Hip/Knee/Back, Diabetes
  • Free flu shots (while supplies last) (We will hold some for those who need to arrive between 5-7 p.m.)
  • Ask-a-Provider with doctors and nurses in Knox and North Judson
  • CPR demonstrations
  • Cardio Pounding demonstrations
  • Self Defense demonstrations
  • Healthy snack samples
  • Live radio broadcast with WKVI
  • Community vendors

Thank you to the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte for continued support of health events in La Porte and Starke Counties!

West Nile Virus on the Rise Throughout Indiana

Posted on August 18, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

West Nile virus activity is on the rise across Indiana. Now, state health officials are urging Hoosiers to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases.

According to statistics from the Indiana State Department of Health, West Nile has been found in mosquito batches in 53 of the state’s 92 counties, including Starke, LaPorte, and St. Joseph. On top of that, two human cases have been confirmed in Lake and Hamilton counties.

West Nile virus can lead to fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands, or a rash, according to state health officials. But more severe cases may cause inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis, or death.

The Indiana State Department of Health says there are a few steps you can take to reduce the risk of West Nile and similar diseases. Avoid being outdoors in the late afternoon, at night, or early in the morning, when mosquitoes are active. Cover your skin by wearing long sleeves, long pants, and a hat. Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent to clothes and exposed skin.

State health officials add that you can help stop mosquitoes from breeding, by getting rid of any old tires, ceramic pots, or other containers that can collect water. Cut your grass short and trim your shrubbery. Flush fountains and birdbaths every week.

The Indiana State Department of Health expects increased West Nile activity until the first hard freeze of the year, which typically happens in late October.

N.J.-S.P. School Bus Drivers Set to Receive Raises

Posted on August 18, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson-San Pierre School bus drivers will be receiving raises following a decision to approve the transportation salary schedule made by the school board during a meeting earlier this week. Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin said bus drivers have been working hard to familiarize themselves with new transportation software and recently reduced routes.She told the board, “We have reduced the routes by two, we are down to 17 routes this year and our bus drivers have not received a raise in quite some time.”

The new software which was approved by the board in December of last year, is used to assess routes for efficiency. While addressing the transportation salary schedule, Dr. Zupin personally thanked Cafeteria Treasurer Nancy Hubbard and Transportation Director Wilbur Collins for their dedicated work with the Transfinder system.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

8/20/2017 Free Pre-WoodStarke Concert

FREE CONCERT to show off some talent of WoodStarke. PS-150, June Bros., and one other band will be preforming. 1

2-4pm on Sunday August 20 in the Norwayne Field amphitheater in Downtown North Judson.

Map for SCYC Rainbow Splash on August 20th

Farmers Expecting Lower Corn Production, Following Spring Weather Challenges

Posted on August 17, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting similar corn yields to last year’s in Indiana, but many Hoosier farmers aren’t that optimistic. That’s according to the Indiana Farm Bureau.

Heavy rain in April, followed by unseasonable cold weather into May created some challenges. Several farmers say they’re behind in their corn production. Many told the Farm Bureau they had to replant a lot of their corn, with much of it just pollinating now. Corn that was not replanted is thin.

However, farmers in southern Indiana are reporting healthier corn yields, according to the Farm Bureau. Farmers say there’s still a chance that corn production will improve, if weather conditions are favorable.

Starke County CASA Training Class to Start Later this Month

Posted on August 17, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The Starke County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program is recruiting its next group of volunteers. CASAs help guide abused and neglected kids through the court system.

Director Rhonda Adcock says the next training class is set to begin August 29. Classes will be held Tuesday evenings, through the end of October.

Adcock says there are currently 17 children waiting to be paired with an advocate. She says 10 more volunteers would bring that number down to zero.

To join the CASA program, volunteers need to have reliable transportation and must be able to pass background checks. On top of that, Adcock says they need to have a passion for helping children.

If you’re interested in volunteering, you can get an application by visiting or contacting Starke County CASA at or 574-772-7200.

Motivated Community Members Needed for Blue Jay Strategic Planning Group

Posted on August 17, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The Blue Jay Strategic Planning Group is searching for new members to join their organization that serves as a link between the school corporation and the community. The group meets once a month in order to set goals that seem pertinent to parents, residents and school faculty.

The group lost at least half of last year’s members due to scheduling conflicts so they are looking for four to six new members to join. In order to be considered, community members have to fill out the appropriate application. Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin is accepting the applications in multiple ways. Individuals can visit the N.J.-S.P. Central Office at 801 Campbell Drive to pick up or drop off an application or email them to Zupin directly.

Members of this year’s committee have the opportunity to also serve on the School Improvement Team which is comprised of faculty, parents and community members. The application deadline is set for the end of August. Access the application here.

Ancilla College New Student Orientation on Friday

Posted on August 17, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Incoming Ancilla College students have the opportunity to settle into residence halls, explore the campus, meet faculty and learn all they need to know about the upcoming semester at a new student orientation this Friday at 12 p.m. [EST]. College placement testing will start at 9 a.m. for students who still need to get that completed.

Orientation covers things such as housing, semester billing, financial aid, advising and student support services. Lunch is provided for orientation but students must first register through Ancilla’s website. A link to registration requirements, as well as more information about activities Ancilla has in store for their Welcome Weekend can be found here.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

8/27/2017 Overdose Awareness Day

9/23/2017 Center For Hospice Care Volunteer Training

From Compassion to Action
2017 September Volunteer Training
Center for Hospice Care needs volunteers in St. Joseph, La Porte, Elkhart, LaGrange, Starke, Marshall, Kosciusko and Fulton Counties. The next Volunteer Training is in September & October. No previous health care experience is necessary. Volunteers are needed for:

  • Patient Care
  • Companionship
  • Bereavement Callers
  • Office Support
  • Massage Therapists
  • Veteran Volunteers to serve our veteran patients
  • Hair Stylists and Barbers
  • Pet Visitation
  • Camp Evergreen Grief Camp for Kids
  • Life Bio (capturing the life stories of our patients)
Training is comprehensive and will prepare volunteers for various opportunities. Following training, volunteers may assist patients and families in activities such as respite, transportation, laundry, errands, companionship, or bereavement. Volunteers will serve patients in their homes, in nursing homes, or may serve in office or clerical roles. Center for Hospice Care is in need of individuals with licensure/certification in massage therapy, hair styling, pet visitation, or notary public.
Training dates are:
September 23 and October 7, 8:30 am – 5 pm
Mishawaka Campus, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka
Registration required. Please contact Kristiana Donahue, Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator, (574) 286 -1198 or

10/14/2017 Sweet Life Comedy Night

N.J.-S.P. School Board Approves Boiler Purchase & Capital Project Advertising

Posted on August 16, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

After working with Thermal Solutions for several months, North Judson-San Pierre Schools are permitted to purchase three new boilers at a discounted price. Though the school board already approved the boiler project during their July meeting, they were required to act on purchasing the boilers during their Tuesday night meeting.

Superintendent Annette Zupin informed the board that the boilers will cost $16,606 each. The total cost of $49,818 will come out of the capital projects and construction funds. The board voted unanimously to approve the purchase.

The board also approved to advertise the 2018-2020 Capital Projects. Superintendent Zupin told the board that all projects involved are still currently in the paper work stage so physical work won’t begin until around November.

However, in order to prioritize projects they will be meeting with an architect in two weeks. Zupin explained that priority is based on time of year, whether there are students in the building or not and the climate, so the meeting is to put together a rough draft of a timeline for the projects. The Superintendent plans to keep both the board and the public posted about the capital projects timeline to make sure that everybody stays informed during the process.

Railroad Township Board Approves 2018 Salaries

Posted on August 16, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Railroad Township officials will keep the same salaries for another year. A 2018 salary resolution was approved last week by the township board.

Trustee Mandy Thomason will continue to get $12,020 a year. Trustee Clerk Sarah Gillard makes $5,459. Board members Gus Eckert, Clarence Gehrke, and Mike Lawecki each receive $750 a year.

Yellowstone Trail Fest This Weekend, 8/19 & 20/2017

Posted on August 16, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Hamlet’s annual celebration of classic transportation returns this weekend. The Yellowstone Trail Fest takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Starke County Fairgrounds.

Saturday’s highlights include the Dr. Leinbach Memorial Zucchini Contest, a car show, and musical performances from Mark & Liza, PS 150, South of Sorrow, and Seldom Told.

Sunday’s festivities kick off with the Starke County Youth Club Rainbow Splash Fun Run and Walk at 8:00 a.m. The re-purposed metal sculpture contest returns Sunday, and the Yellowstone Trail Fest Parade steps off at 2:00 p.m.

Bounce houses, a water slide, and the Indiana Historical Society’s History on Wheels exhibit will be featured throughout the event.

For a complete schedule, visit

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Long-time Farming Families Receive Recognition at Indiana State Fair

Posted on August 15, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

At the Indiana State Fair last Friday, five local farms received the Hoosier Homestead Award, recognizing their families’ century-long commitment to Indiana agriculture. In order to be considered for the Hoosier Homestead Award, farms must be owned by the same family for more than 100 years and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 of agricultural products annually.

This year’s local recipients include the Hostetler-Stutzman Farm of Laporte County, established in 1884 and the Will Family Farm of Starke County, established in 1915. The Pulaski County award winners are Glen-Ray-Den Farms, established in 1879, Needham House Farms, established in 1887 and Louis Tieman’s Farm, established in 1900.

In total, 72 Indiana families received Hoosier Homestead Awards from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. ISDA Director Ted McKinney expressed how important it is to recognize these generational farming families since they provide the food, fuel and fibers we use in everyday life.

Starke County Leadership Class Set to begin in September

Posted on August 14, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The sixth community leadership training class in Starke County begins Sept. 22.

The class meets once each month from September to May from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at different locations in Starke County. The program provides new and established leaders a chance to get a new perspective on Starke County including history, culture, challenges, opportunities, and more. Attendees will learn leadership skills, networking, social services, local government, economic development, education, law enforcement, and personal development.

Class Facilitator Jim Jessup says interaction with current community leaders and other class members is a key component of the experience.

The cost to attend is $300 which includes meals, instruction, materials, and transportation. Contact the Starke County Chamber Office at (574) 772-5548 or call Charmaine Dunkel at Community Services of Starke County at (574) 772-7070 for an application and more information. Payment plans and partial scholarships may be available.

The deadline for acceptance into the program is Sept. 15.

Colorful Fundraiser Planned for Sunday

Posted on August 14, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

A Rainbow Splash Fun Run and Walk is set for Sunday, Aug. 20 at 8 a.m. CT at the Hamlet Fire Station and all of the proceeds will benefit kids in Starke County. The event is part of this year’s Yellowstone Trail Festival.

This is an opportunity to meet with your friends for a morning of fun. Run or walk this event and get splashed with color at points along the route.  Proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the Starke County Youth Club

Irene Szakonyi from the Starke County Youth Club said sign up is easy.

“You can go to and sign up right online and pay online with a credit card at that location,” said Szakonyi. “You can download the hardcopy forms and send them in by mail if that’s your preference. We’ll have on-site sign-up on the day of the splash.”

The cost is $26 per person. A discount is applied if you have a team of four members.

Szakonyi recommends wearing specific clothing for the event.

“We do recommend that you wear a white shirt because that shows the color the best. There will be stations where color will be spayed on you. You get it in your hair, you get it on your shirt, you get it on your shoes, you get it everywhere! It’s a really good time and a lot of fun.”

For more information, visit or call (574) 772-1600 ext. 1851.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Police Seeking Information in North Judson Church Burglary

Posted on August 12, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Officers from the North Judson Police Department are investigating a burglary that occurred at the St. Peter Lutheran Church on Talmer Avenue.

Police say the incident happened during the overnight hours of Sunday, Aug. 6. While police initially thought a broken window was the entry point into the church, they learned that the suspects entered the building in a different manner.

Investigators gathered several pieces of evidence and continue to analyze details in the case.

Police are still determining the total loss of items and damage in this incident.

If anyone has information about this burglary, anonymous tips can be made to the North Judson Police Department by calling (574) 772-5914.

Railroad Pavement Markings, Signs to be Updated

Posted on August 12, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Some railroad signs and pavement markings will be updated soon in Starke County.

Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the commissioners this week that INDOT recently conducted a railroad crossing audit for the county. Crews found 23 crossings that needed improvement with updated pavement markings or signs.

Ritzler said he is working on funding to update these crossings.

“We applied for a grant totaling just under $37,000 to replace 43 signs and 88 pavement markings,” commented Ritzler. “Pavement markings are expensive. For us to do it, it costs $610 per sticker, but TCS (Traffic Control Specialists) has a machine that can do it for the same price and much better. So, we’ve got a quote from them to do that. If we get the grant, they will be doing our pavement markings for us.”

Ritzler said this is not a matching or reimbursable grant. This particular grant covers 100 percent of the cost. Ritzler feels confident that the county will receive the grant since INDOT helped the county properly complete the paperwork.

Starke County Park Board Considers Crowdgranting for Yellow River Access Site

Posted on August 12, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The proposed Yellow River access site at Range Road has missed the boat for a Place Based Investment grant. Now, the Starke County Park Board may turn to crowdgranting, to keep the project alive.

The park board planned to pursue a Place Based Investment grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. However, coming up with the local share of the match proved to be a bit of a challenge. Carolla Heilstedt, who’s been coordinating the project, said she literally worked until the last minute trying to line up funding. But that caused her to miss the application deadline.

She told park board members Tuesday there are other options, though. The CreatINg Places grant through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority also helps communities and nonprofit groups raise money for placemaking projects. As part of the program, project organizers set up an online fundraising campaign through If the goal is met within a specific amount of time, the project is eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match from the state. The program was successfully used by the Town of Culver recently, to raise money for a new amphitheater.

However, Heilstedt wanted to revisit the project’s plans, before moving forward. While the county already owns the potential Yellow River access site at Range Road, Heilstedt said it would be difficult to build a parking lot there. Since the site is steep and narrow, she said a retaining wall would be required.

As an alternative, Heilstedt suggested that the county look into getting another piece of land nearby for a parking lot, while the existing property would be used for the kayak launch itself. Board member Roger Chaffins agreed to contact a neighboring landowner, to see if any arrangements can be made.

If the Range Road site can’t be used, Heilstedt is also looking into the possibility of putting the access site at State Road 23. She said Dr. Walter Fritz would allow the facility to be built on his property, but he would not be willing to sell the land to the county outright.

Map of North Judson Town Wide Yard Sale

From the Town of North Judson:  

I discovered an error on the Town Wide map. In the Out of Town section the sale listed at 6700 S. St. Rd. 10 is supposed to say 6700 S. STATE ROAD 39. My apologies to the people running that sale.

Friday, August 11, 2017

9/3/2017 Learn to Hunt: Youth Dove Hunt

September 3nd: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

This event is designed for Youth (12 to 17 years old) new to dove hunting. All youth hunters will have an experienced mentor to provide dove hunting guidance and to ensure safe gun handling practices. Students will practice their shooting techniques and skills on the trap range with clay birds before hitting the dove field. Dove cleaning demonstration will take place after the hunt.

This event is FREE of charge, all firearms and ammunition will be provided. Eye and ear protections is recommended. Camouflage or drab colored clothing is preferable but not necessary. Attendees should bring afternoon snack and a fold out chair to sit on while in the dove field. You may bring your own cased firearm and ammo if you desire (firearm and ammo must Abe legal for dove hunting). A valid a youth hunting license (resident or non-resident) and a free HIP number is required.

Pre-Registration is required due to limited space so sign up quickly. Register at

NOTE: This will likely be a warm weather hunt, so light weight clothes are recommended.

Location Information:
Winamac Fish & Wildlife Area (View Map)
1493 West 500 North
Winamac, IN 46996

Phone: (574) 946-4422
Contact Information:
Name: Kody Fox
Phone: (574) 946-4422

They're Looking For Some Good People

North Judson - Wayne Twp Volunteer Fire Department

We have what is guaranteed to be a fun, rewarding and exciting opportunity for YOU! We currently have openings to join our fire department.

If you enjoy: driving large trucks, operating equipment, learning new things, strenuous activity, educating, being on a roof, cutting apart cars, caring for the injured, water, adrenaline rushes, nights with no sleep, helping the community, sirens and/or the color red this may be for you.

Dedication is required, as we do not take this job lightly. We are currently planning a class for new recruits, so don't delay. Doctors, nurses, or anyone with medical experience, we don't just fight fires, we also run lots of medical calls and could use your help.

Contact this page, or anyone you know that is currently a member for more information. You must be at least 19 years old, have at least a GED or high school diploma, and live within our coverage area, which includes all of Wayne Township and the majority of Jackson Township in Starke County, and part of Rich Grove Township in Pulaski County. Experience is not required. Please share.

2017 Deer Reduction Zones

The 2017 Deer Reduction Zones have been established and Indiana DNR Law District 10 has reduction zone opportunities in portions of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties this year. It is important to check whether or not your specific location within your county falls within the established reduction zone. Reduction zones provide an opportunity for hunters with an abundance of deer in their area to better manage their herd if needed by taking more deer than areas outside of the reduction zones.

For more detailed information on Indiana's deer reduction zones click the link:

New Basic EMTs, Paramedic Hired (8/11)

Posted on August 11, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Starke County EMS personnel roster is getting a facelift.

Starke County EMS Director Travis Clary informed the commissioners on Monday night that he recently hired three basic EMTs and a paramedic. Clary was promoted to director in July which left his paramedic job open. Clary conducted other interviews this week to fill other part-time paramedic positions within the department.

Following a CPR training class at the highway department, Clary mentioned that he and Rik Ritzler discussed Automated External Defibrillators. Ritlzer expressed interest in purchasing one for his department, but Clary said he had one that he gave Ritzler to satisfy the request. It’s an older model but is in working order. Three others are available for departments who may want them.

Clary added the ambulance repair issues continue to plague the EMS staff. The newest ambulance is experiencing an issue with a system to that is required on diesel vehicles for cleaner air.

“We continue to have ambulance repairs,” said Clary. “Ambulances continue to be in and out of service. Last week we were down to no spare ambulances again. The newest truck is out right now. It had to be sent to Chevy. That one has about 30,000 miles on it. We’re being told that it could cost quite a bit but we’re hoping everything’s under warranty.”

The county council will review the EMS budget when they meet later this month.

Public Hearing Scheduled for North Judson Sewer, Water Projects

Posted on August 11, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

North Judson residents will have a chance to weigh in on proposed water and sewer upgrades. A public hearing is scheduled for Monday, August 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the town hall, before the regular town council meeting at 6:30. It’s a required step before the town can pursue financing for the projects.

To pay for the water upgrades, North Judson hopes to get a loan through the State Revolving Fund, as well as grant funding from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The project would rehabilitate the two water towers, add a well, and upgrade the existing well pumps, among other improvements.

At the same time, the town is also planning $3.1 million in wastewater upgrades. That work will include modernizing the wastewater treatment plant and bringing the town’s combined sewer overflow into compliance with Indiana Department of Environmental Management regulations. The town hopes to get a 40-year bond through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office to pay for the upgrades.

If all the funding arrangements fall into place, town officials expect to be able to make the upgrades without increasing water and sewer rates again.

Starke County Park Board Requests Repairs to Bass Lake Beach House Patio

Posted on August 11, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The operator of the Bass Lake Beach is being asked to make some improvements to the beach house patio. A group of local residents and Starke County Park Board members has been working on a plan to stabilize the seawall surrounding the site. To help find a solution, they’ve obtained the original drawings from the seawall’s installation in 1988.

Resident Rick Anderson presented them during Tuesday’s park board meeting. “So the building foundation is good, but here’s all this fill that was put in here, a lot of it’s gone,” he explained. “And so you got just the concrete, and if it goes, you could have a collapse there. So that’s got to be refilled, and this is how it was originally done.”

He said repairing the wall shouldn’t be too difficult. “If I was doing this repair, what I would do is just get a little of this concrete out, enough to get in there, and sandbag it all the way up,” Anderson said. “I’ve done this before with sandbags, just fill them and get them loose and up against that expansion joint, which is very wide, and then put the sand back and put the concrete back. It’s not a huge job to fix that.”

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has also suggested installing glacial stone around the seawall, to protect it from incoming waves and also help prevent sand erosion. The installation of the stone is estimated to cost about $5,000.

There was some discussion Tuesday about who is responsible for making the upgrades. In the end, board members agreed that the improvements should be considered maintenance. That means it’s up to Callahan Development, LLC to do the work, under the terms of its lease with the county.

What exactly counts as maintenance and what is a capital improvement has been an ongoing debate between Callahan and county officials. Park board member Roger Chaffins and County Attorney Marty Lucas agreed to draft a letter to Callahan, detailing the requested upgrades.

Shop with a Cop Event a Success

Posted on August 11, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #129 recently held an event to assist children in the Starke County area.

FOP President Chris Kisela said that the members of the organization took 60 children shopping at Kohl’s in Valparaiso for back-to-school clothing on Sunday, Aug. 6.

Fundraising efforts helped in this endeavor to help children get something new for the new school year. Fundraisers to help more children next year will be coming soon.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

North Judson Compliance Officer Has Issued 16 Warnings, Town Council Discusses 214 Lane Street

Posted on August 10, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The Town of North Judson is seeing results with its new compliance officer. So far, Joe Leszek has written about 16 warnings, leading to 12 responses, according to Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins. She says the new part-time position has improved communication, when it comes to getting people to cut their grass or move their vehicles, after they’ve been neglected for a length of time.

Additionally, the owner of 214 Lane Street met with the town council Monday to address safety concerns at the building. Collins says the owner plans to fix the exterior and roof. Council members expect to get an update on the progress during their September 5 meeting.

Starke County Forest to Proceed with Timber Sale

Posted on August 10, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The Starke County Park Board is moving ahead with a timber sale at the County Forest. On Tuesday, board members voted to let Forester Bruce Wakeland start soliciting bids from timber buyers.

He said he’s marked trees in two sections of the forest, totaling 20 acres. Wakeland said that while the timber in the Starke County Forest is not of the best quality, the fact that it can be harvested at any time to the year will help boost demand.

Potential buyers will be given about a month to look at the timber before bids are due. The park board plans to open the bids at its October 10 meeting.

Wakeland expects the timber sale to bring in $5,000 to $10,000. Some of that money may be used to help fix the forest’s access lane.

Wakeland said he discussed the issue with Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler. Ritzler recommended that glacial stone be installed to help prevent the roadway from washing out, which may cost up to $20,000. Park board member Roger Chaffins suggested exploring the possibility of using donated railroad ballast instead, to lower the cost.

North Judson-San Pierre School Board Reviews 2018 Budget Proposal during Work Session

Posted on August 10, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board got a look at the corporation’s 2018 budget Monday. The proposed budget totals just under $12.5 million, including a General Fund of more than $7.8 million.

Superintendent Annette Zupin says a big priority is making sure the number of teachers stays in line with the number of students. “Every year, we need to look at our staff and how that relates to our enrollment,” she says. “That’s our biggest expense is salaries, and so we need to make sure that we are managing the decline in enrollment, if we do indeed have that. We just need to manage that.”

She says the school board had a chance to learn about the proposed budget during a work session Monday. “Mr. [Guy] Richie, our business manager, went over each fund, the historical information on that and then what he would like to propose for the new budget coming up,” Zupin says. “And that was a very good session because we did have new board members, and so I think that was really good for them to get an idea of where we have been historically, and where we’re moving.”

A public hearing on the budget will be held during this month’s Starke County Council meeting. It will take place Monday, August 21 at 5:30 p.m. at Starke County Annex Building No. 1 in Knox. Council members are scheduled to adopt North Judson-San Pierre’s budget in September.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

9/6 & 7/2017 Bridges Out of Poverty

8/22 & 24/2017 Ancilla Domini Children’s Choir Open Auditions

DONALDSON, IN -- Auditions will be held for the Ancilla Domini Children’s Choir on August 22 and 24, 2017 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT. Auditions are open to children of all faiths ages 7 to 10 and will be held at The Center at Donaldson’s main building both days. No music experience necessary. This is tuition free.

Andrew Jennings, MSM, is the Director of liturgy and music at The Center at Donaldson. Andrew received his master of sacred music degree in choral conducting from the University of Notre Dame. He is an experienced music educator with previous experience as a conductor with the Notre Dame Children's Choir and teacher at The Music Village.

To register or for more information, please contact Andrew Jennings at or 576-935-1723.

Visit to learn more about The Center at Donaldson, sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. The Center’s physical address (gps) is 9601 Union Rd. Plymouth, Indiana.

8/26/2017 Classic Car Show

8/19/2017 Fish Fry & Bake Sale for Kid's Closet

Congratulations Dr. Charles Heinsen!

8/23/2017 Harry L. Keller Auxiliary Annual Dinner

205 and 207 Lane Street Demolished

Posted on August 9, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The demolition of 205 and 207 Lane Street in Downtown North Judson is complete. Crews began tearing down the partially-collapsed structure last Monday, and they were done by the end of the week, according to Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins.

She says eight bags of asbestos were removed, as part of the process. The two asbestos contractors were only on site for two days, which Collins says helped save the town some money.

Meanwhile, the building’s windows have been given to someone who plans to repurpose them. Selling the windows was seen as a way for the town to recoup a small portion of the demolition cost.

Collins says the contractors were recognized during this week’s town council meeting. Council members also approved the payment of $96,499 to demolition contractor Dirt Works Excavating.

Now with the safety hazard removed, Collins says the site is open and is now basically a stone parking lot. She says nothing else will happen with the property until a final court hearing takes place in November.

Highway Superintendent Completes ADA Audits of County Buildings

Posted on August 9, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler reported to the Starke County Commissioners Monday night that the county buildings fared pretty well during a recent ADA audit.

Ritzler said only minor issues were found.

“I did an initial ADA audit of the courthouse, annex building, annex 2 with Jim Coad, I did the highway garage myself, and did the justice center with Tony Mildice,” explained Ritzler. “There were no deficiencies found at the justice center. Three were found in the new annex building, four in the courthouse, three in the annex and two at the garage. Most of those were just minor things like signage and counter height. The only major one that we had there was no curb cut at the new annex building in the front.”

He added that this was only an initial audit. This year’s 20-page audit will turn into an 80-page requirement with photos in 2018.

Ritzler will talk to Knox Mayor Dennis Estok to see if the county can apply for the city’s 50/50 sidewalk program to save a little money on the needed adjustments to the curb at the new annex building to satisfy ADA requirements.

He mentioned that Clerk Vicki Cooley provided him with paperwork to show that all election sites are deemed ADA compliant.

This month Ritzler will be performing an ADA assessment at the Starke County Public Library in Knox and all of the county branches.

School Board Approves Personnel Items, Boiler Replacement Bid

Posted on August 9, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board is making some final preparations for the start of the school year tomorrow.

Superintendent Annette Zupin says board members approved some personnel items during a special meeting Monday. “That included teachers, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers,” she explains. “We had a variety of positions to fill.” Zupin says the school board also approved the corporation’s bus driver manual for the year.

In other business Monday, board members voted to hire Benchmark Mechanical of Kokomo to replace an aging boiler in the middle school building. Zupin says approving the project now will help make sure the work is done before the cold weather arrives, while helping the corporation meet its November deadline.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

9/1/2017 Neuter Scooter in North Judson

The Neuter Scooter (cats only) will be in North Judson on Sept.1,2017. Please visit their website to register:

Starke County Sheriff Requests Three Full-Time Staff Members

Posted on August 8, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Starke County Commissioners considered a proposal from Sheriff Bill Dulin to move three part-time employees to full-time positions at the Starke County Sheriff’s Office in 2018.

Sheriff Dulin said he’d like to have a full-time receptionist, full-time cook and full-time 911 operator. He said a significant savings in part-time funding would be saved if these three employees moved to full-time. He is also asking for a raise of $1,000 for dispatchers to be included in the 2018 budget.

He told the commissioners that specific funds in the budget would be able to cover the costs of the change to full-time status. Funding for the receptionist and the cook would come out of the sheriff’s CEDIT fund while the 911 operator’s pay would need to come out of the 911 operating budget as mandated by the state.

The commissioners gave their blessing for the sheriff to seek these changes in the budget for 2018. The commissioners and county council members will convene for a budget workshop on Friday, Aug. 11 at 9 a.m. in the Starke County Annex meeting room in Knox.

Monday, August 7, 2017

North Judson Town-Wide Yard Sale to Take Place Next Saturday

Posted on August 5, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

North Judson’s Town-Wide Yard Sale is one week away. Those planning on selling items need to buy a permit ahead of time at the town hall.

Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins says the cost is five dollars to take part in the event or ten dollars for a two-day permit. Those who sign up by Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. will have their location, as well as their five “hot ticket” items, included on the yard sale map.

The North Judson town-wide yard sale will take place rain or shine on Saturday, August 12 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

History on Wheels Exhibit a Part of Yellowstone Trail Fest

Posted on August 5, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Indiana Historical Society’s new History on Wheels traveling exhibit will be making a stop in Hamlet for the Yellowstone Trail Fest.

The exhibit hosts an opportunity to explore Indiana’s rich automotive and racing heritage. Auto Indiana touches on the history of more than 100 Indiana automakers and Manufacturers. Hoosier innovators and inventors are also highlighted. An interactive exhibit allows visitors to look under the hood of a vehicle and children can climb into the driver’s seat of a mini Indycar.

It is free to enter the exhibit. The 53-foot expandable semi-trailer and mobile museum will be open Saturday, Aug. 19 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Yellowstone Trail Fest celebrates the first transcontinental road across the northern United States. All of the food vendors and other activities will be at the Starke County Fairgrounds in Hamlet.

For more information on Yellowstone Trail Fest, contact Juanita Ketchum, historian, at (574) 249-5992 or visit

Friday, August 4, 2017

Starke County Sheriff Looking for Pay Increases in Next Year’s Budget

Posted on August 4, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin commented to the Starke County Council in mid-July that he would like to see a pay increase for the staff at the Starke County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Dulin said that his department is the lowest paid in the county. His staff has a lower wage than those working for the Starke County EMS, Starke County Highway Department and even the town and city police departments within the county. Officers are leaving the department to seek the same employment in other jurisdictions because of pay.

Sheriff Dulin has taken steps since that initial discussion to present a proposal to the Starke County Council when the budget meetings occur.

“We had a comprehensive study group that was presented with surrounding area police department salaries on Monday,” said Sheriff Dulin. “We had about nine people in there and I think it went very well. I’m going to propose to the county council ideas and ways I think we can make this happen.”

He added that Starke County deputies and staff have not gotten a salary increase outside of the cost of living raise in approximately 25 years. He said qualified applications have declined due to the current pay schedule.

The county council will hold negotiations on the budget on Aug. 11.

Starke County Chamber of Commerce to Host Résumé Building Class

Posted on August 4, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

People working in Starke County have the chance to brush up their résumés. The Starke County Chamber of Commerce will host a résumé building class on Wednesday, August 16 at noon at the Chamber Office.

Jeff Beach of Integrity Trade will be there to guide people through the process. The class is free for Starke County Chamber members.

For more information or to register, contact Starke County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jessica Craig at 574-772-5548 or

Thursday, August 3, 2017

New ebooks at the North Judson-Wayne Township Library

This month we added an assortment of titles to our e-book collection.  There are a few classic fiction titles; some newer fiction; a series of books for our Young Adult readers; and, since school starts in August, there are 9 ebooks on homeschooling.

General Fiction
The Illustrated Man = Ray Bradbury
Liberty's Last Stand = Stephen Coonts
A Tale of Two Cities = Charles Dickens
The Mistletoe Secret = Richard Paul Evans
On Second Thought = Kristan Higgins
The Alice Network = Kate Quinn

Non-Fiction – Homeschooling 
Homeschooling Essentials = Dianna Broughton
The Homeschooling Book of Answers = Linda Dobson
The Homeschooling Handbook = Mary Griffith
Create Your Own Successful Homeschooling Program = Bobbi Roque Hornik
Homeschooling for Dummies = Jennifer Kaufeld
Homeschooling Without Harm = Michael Kenmore
The Everything Homeschooling Book = Sherri Linsenbach
Free Range Learning = Laura Grace Weldon
Food for Thought = Lorilyn Roberts

YA Books
0.5 The  Prince = Kiera Cass
1 The  Selection = Kiera Cass
2 The  Elite = Kiera Cass
2.5 The  Guard = Kiera Cass
2.6 The  Favorite = Kiera Cass
3 The  One = Kiera Cass
3.5 The  Queen = Kiera Cass
4 The  Heir = Kiera Cass
5 The  Crown = Kiera Cass
The  Noble Servant = Melanie Dickerson

School Starts - Watch Out For School Buses

8/5/2017 6th Annual Drew's Gift of Music

8/3 & 5/2017 North Judson Soccer Sign Up

Computer Classes @ Pulaski County Extension Office

8/9/2017 Starke County Retired Teacher Meeting

Starke County CASA Classes

Work Continues on Knox Habitat for Humanity Project, Volunteers Sought

Posted on August 3, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Starke/Pulaski Habitat for Humanity is making progress on its Knox home building project. Volunteers are helping to build a house at the corner of Prettyman and Delaware streets for Hope McIntire and her 5-year-old daughter Raelynn.

Executive Director Steve Morrison says he hopes to be able to start working on floor joists in the next couple weeks. “We’re getting the foundation set and poured, and NIPSCO will be here this week and put in the electric service. So we’ll be ready to start,” he says.

When that’s done, volunteers will be needed to help with the work. “Once we have announced when we’re going to start, basically they just show up on the day we start at a time, and we have some forms they will need to complete and fill out, and we’ll give them a hammer,” Morrison says. He expects the home to be complete in about two to four months, with volunteers working Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Morrison says the project has been getting a great deal of support from the Starke County Young Professionals group. Members helped paint the project job trailer. Morrison says they have also been keeping everyone informed through Facebook and email.

It’s Never to Early to Get a Flu Shot

Posted on August 3, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Local pharmacies and health departments are getting ready for the flu season. Flu shots will be available soon.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect against influenza. The flu vaccine is said to reduce doctor’s visits and missed work and school. Those who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications, including the elderly, infants, pregnant women and those who suffer from certain health conditions, should get a flu shot early.

The CDC says the composition of the U.S. flu vaccine is reviewed annually and updated to match circulating flu viruses.

If children have fast breathing or trouble breathing, bluish skin color, suffer from dehydration, can’t interact, or develop a fever with a rash, these are symptoms that require an emergency room visit.

If you suspect you have the flu, stay home from work or school, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue to prevent the spread of the virus, wash your hands often with soap and water, and clean and disinfect surfaces or objects.

North Judson Council Approves Pay Raise for Town Marshal, Hires Two Part-Time Officers

Posted on August 2, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

North Judson Town Marshal Kelly Fisher will be making a bit more money than her predecessor. The town council approved a salary ordinance amendment last week, raising Fisher’s annual salary to $50,000.

That’s over $1,300 more than what former Town Marshal John Ramos made. Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins says the increase was agreed upon when Fisher was hired back in June.

Also during last week’s special meeting, the North Judson Town Council approved the hiring of two new part-time police officers. Collins says they will fill in for the full-time officers, as needed. Part-time officers got a pay raise during the council’s previous meeting, from $15 to $18 an hour.

Ancilla College Introduces APAC Program

Posted on August 2, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

An open house and ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday morning to usher in a new chapter to the array of specialized programs that Ancilla College offers its students. The Autism Program at Ancilla College (APAC) will help students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to build social and workplace skills along with academic and real-world knowledge.

Students with ASD may have superior intellectual ability but are challenged in social situations or have a communication gap. The APAC will allow growth in these aspects as the students gather skills in their post-secondary education.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch addressed those in attendance stating that Ancilla College has a model program that can be replicated across other institutions.

“One of Ancilla College’s values is to serve the underserved,” stated Lt. Gov. Crouch. “It is the first two-year college to offer an ASD-specific residential program in Indiana. Support programs as Autism Program at Ancilla College can result in substantial improvements in social interaction and enhance talents of those with ASD.”

She also noted that she hired a worker with ASD while working as the auditor of the State of Indiana and that worker now works for her as she serves the state as the lieutenant governor.

Kristen Robson is the APAC Director. She said the students will have the opportunity to reside at The Lake House in a serene location on the campus of Ancilla College.

Ancilla College President Dr. Ken Zirkle also spoke along with Todd Zeltwanger and representatives for Senator Joe Donnelly and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ were in attendance to give spiritual guidance toward the effort.

The Autism Program at Ancilla College is now ready to welcome students for the fall semester.

More Than 6,500 Miles Logged in Moving Starke County Forward Challenge

Posted on August 2, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Starke County residents are making progress in this summer’s Get Moving Challenge. More than 6,500 miles have been logged by 61 participants, according to Moving Starke County Forward.

Leading the team category with over 1,400 miles are The Holy Walkamolies, followed by the Prairie Pedalers and the Toto Treckers. Donna Osborne has the most individual miles with over 1,000. Amy Stacy is in second place with 444 miles, followed by James Skibbe and Venita Cunningham with around 370.

This year’s challenge, Starke County Walks to the National Parks in America, continues through early September. Organizers say there’s still plenty of time to take part.

For more information, visit Moving Starke County Forward’s Facebook page.

Moving Starke County Forward was formed in 2012 to improve the health of local residents. The county has consistently ranked near the bottom in state health rankings.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Demolition Begins on Partially Collapsed Downtown North Judson Building

Posted on August 1, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The demolition of a Downtown North Judson building has finally begun. Crews began tearing down the structure at 205 and 207 Lane Street Monday morning, according to North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins.

The town council made the final preparations during a special session Friday, approving a couple contracts related to asbestos handling. Amereco Engineering of Valparaiso was chosen to take care of project design and air monitoring, while Safe Environmental Corporation of Highland will actually remove the asbestos. Collins says the total cost of the asbestos work will depend on various factors, such as how long the project takes.

The demolition work itself will cost the town nearly $100,000. A contract with Dirt Works Excavating had previously been approved by the town council.

It’s taken several months for the project to get to this point. The town first solicited demolition bids back in February. But the council ended up rejecting all of them, after building owner Doug Cassel began an unsuccessful but lengthy legal battle to retrieve his personal property from inside, including a 1978 Cadillac Eldorado.

The town again attempted to hire a demolition contractor in June. However, the town only got one quote, and it was for over $250,000. In the meantime, part of the structure collapsed in on itself and asbestos was found in the property, which further complicated matters.

North Judson Curbside Recycling Pickup to Start Next Week, Not This Week

Posted on August 1, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

North Judson residents will have to wait another week for the start of curbside recycling pickup. A flyer distributed by Republic Services incorrectly stated that recycling service begins this Thursday. Company officials say the correct date is Thursday, August 10. Pickup will then take place every other week.

Republic Services asks residents to put out their totes by 5:00 a.m. on recycling pickup days. The handle should face your house, and the lid should open toward the road. Totes should be placed four feet away from any other objects, and there should be nothing in front of them.

For more information, contact Republic Services’ Culver office at 574-842-4719.

State Officials Encourage Residents and Businesses to Catch Up on Prior Years’ Tax Filings

Posted on August 1, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

It’s never too late to pay your taxes, according to the Indiana Department of Revenue. State officials remind residents that if they filed a federal return, they need to file a state return, as well.

To bring your tax filing status up to date, go to the Indiana State Prior Year Tax Forms web page and choose the tax form for the year you need to file. You can then complete and return the form. If you’re not sure whether you filed for a particular year, call the Indiana Department of Revenue at 317-232-2240.

Businesses that have fallen behind in their state tax payments can catch up with the state’s voluntary disclosure agreement program.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Correction on North Judson Recycling Pickup Dates

Republic Services wishes to make a correction to the dates for recycling pick up. It will not start on Aug. 3rd as originally thought. Recycling pick up will begin on AUGUST 10TH and will be picked up every other week from then.

Quote of the Month - August

Happy Birthday, Robert Mitchum. 
August 6, 1917

SCILL Center Expects 127 Students this Fall, Plans New Welding Facility

Posted on July 31, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning is gearing up for the start of the school year. As of last Tuesday, 127 students were signed up for SCILL’s three vocational training programs.

SCILL Center Director Ron Gifford says the automation, robotics, and equipment maintenance program is starting its second year. “That started with five students, all from Knox, last year,” he told the Knox City Council last week. “This year, we are looking to go to about 17 students in one class, so we’ve tripled our enrollment in one year. Right now, Knox has 12 of those 17 and North Judson has two, but we have two other schools in Marshall County that are sending at least one student here, as well.”

Gifford also said SCILL’s automotive program remains popular, with 71 students set to take part, with 29 of those coming from Knox. Meanwhile, he said the welding program is once again at full capacity. “This year, we had 63 applications for the welding program,” Gifford said. “We can only handle 40 in the space that we’re in, and that’s assuming we get 20 in the morning and 20 in the afternoon, which is very unlikely. So we’re out of space. This is the second year in a row we’ve had to tell kids they can’t take the course.”

The welding program is currently housed at Knox Middle School, but Gifford said plans are in the works for a larger space. “It would be just north of the existing auto facility in the industrial park, not connected to it, other than a breezeway to connect the buildings,” he explained. “Because of fire codes and the like, we can’t add onto the auto facility or do anything like that.”

SCILL Center classes for the 2017-2018 school year start this Thursday.

INDOT to Award Community Crossing Grants This Fall

Posted on July 31, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Local and county government agency officials are waiting patiently to learn if their road projects will be accepted for grant funds through the state’s Community Crossings grant program.

The competition for grant funds ramped up this year as the state dropped the local match requirement for all applications to 25 percent. Several more municipalities and city government agencies were able to submit requests this year as the local match made a $1 million grant more affordable for some.

According to Media Relations Director for the Northwest INDOT District Doug Moats, 430 applications were received by the La Porte District that encompasses 13 counties. Those 13 counties include Carroll, Cass, Fulton, Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Starke and White.

The state anticipates an announcement of grant recipients at the end of August or the beginning of September.

School Schedules Affect Sleeping Schedules

Posted on July 31, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Many school corporations welcome students into the 2017-2018 school year this week which means students’ sleep schedules will be changing. Nearly 8 in 10 Indiana high school students sleep less than the recommended eight hours on school nights.

According to Pediatric Sleep Specialist Dr. Sarah Honaker, a change in internal body clocks makes it difficult for many teens to fall asleep before 11 p.m. or midnight. Decreased sleep associated with rising early and later bedtimes can lead to dangerous consequences.

The American Academy of Pediatrics states potential risks of adolescent chronic sleep loss include depressed mood, behavior and learning problems, poor impulse control, and academic performance deficits. Research also links insufficient teen sleep with increased risk of fall-asleep car crashes, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and an increased risk of self-harm, including suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Several Indiana school districts have shifted to later start times, with more districts making the move this fall. In Starke County, start times ranged from 7:20 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Parents are encouraged to set child limits on caffeine, reduce or eliminate late-night “screen time,” encourage regular exercise and incorporate at least 30 minutes of downtime before bed. Dr. Honaker says letting teens sleep-in on the weekends can be helpful, but cautions against varying weekday and weekend sleep patterns by more than two hours.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Increase in Whooping Cough Cases under Investigation

Posted on July 28, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Indiana State Department of Health is looking into an increase in pertussis, or whooping cough, cases.

Whooping cough was confirmed in 136 cases in the first half of the year in Indiana. The state recorded only 66 cases during the same time period in 2016. The number of cases is expected to continue to rise.

Pertussis is a bacterial illness transmitted by nose or throat droplets. Symptoms include prolonged cough, bursts of coughing that may cause difficulty in breathing or vomiting following coughing. Older children and adults can experience mild cases while it is more serious in infants.

Whooping cough can be treated with antibiotics and it can be prevented with two vaccines.

Although the illness can occur in people who have received all of their childhood vaccinations, the symptoms are usually milder in people who have been fully vaccinated.

Discuss any symptoms and treatment with your physician as soon as possible.

North Judson Town Council to Meet in Special Morning Session

Posted on July 28, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The North Judson Town Council will meet in special session this morning.

An executive session is set for 7 a.m. with a special meeting at 7:30 a.m. to sign a contract for asbestos removal to proceed with the demolition of 205 and 207 Lane Street. The council members are also expected to amend the salary ordinance.

The North Judson Town Council will meet in the town hall building.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

10 Things All Car & Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles

9/2/2017 Woodstarke4

Treasurer Mitchell announces launch of statewide ABLE program

Hoosiers with disabilities will now be able to save money without jeopardizing their state and federal benefits.

Today, Indiana State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell announces the launch of its INvestABLE Indiana savings plan. The plan was made possible by the passing of the ABLE Act of 2014. It allows for the creation of tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities to save for their future, and pay for disability related expenses without endangering access to vital public benefits. The intent of these accounts is to ease financial burdens on individuals with disabilities and allow for financial savings to cover qualified living expenses including, but not limited to, education, transportation, housing and medical needs.

Treasurer Mitchell said this about the new ABLE plan, “I am pleased to be able to offer such an important service to Hoosiers. With INvestABLE Indiana, individuals with disabilities, their family members and others can contribute funds to a tax-exempt ABLE account without affecting the individual’s eligibility for state and federal benefits. This program allows individuals living with disabilities an opportunity to build assets.”

INvestABLE Indiana offers seven investment options, including a checking account option with a debit card. Up to $14,000 per year can be saved in an account, with a maximum account balance of $450,000. For an individual receiving Social Security benefits, they can save up to $100,000 in their INvestABLE Indiana account and not risk losing their monthly benefit. Money can be withdrawn and spent on qualified expenses or INvestABLE Indiana account holders can choose to grow their finances and create long-term savings with tax-free earnings. Contributions and earnings in INvestABLE Indiana accounts are not subject to federal or state income tax if spent on qualified expenses, similar to a 529 college savings account. Contributions are made with post-tax dollars.

To qualify for an ABLE account, the account owner must have the onset of disability or blindness before the age of 26 and be receiving Social Security benefits. If they are not receiving Social Security benefits, but still meet the age of onset disability requirement, they may still be eligible if they meet Social Security’s definition and criteria regarding significant functional impairment and can provide a letter of certification from a qualified physician.

In celebration of this milestone, the Indiana Treasurer of State and the Indiana ABLE Authority will be holding launch events around the state during the month of August.
August 11th – The ARC, Evansville
August 15th – The Will Center, Terre Haute
August 22nd – Logan Center, South Bend
August 30th - Turnstone Center, Fort Wayne
Indiana is part of the National ABLE Alliance, a partnership of states dedicated to providing individuals living with disabilities and their families with an ABLE investment product that offers multiple financial options at low cost. Ascensus College Savings manages and administers INvestABLE Indiana, as they do the state’s CollegeChoice 529 Savings Plans.

Learn more at

Starke Hospital Earns Another Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for Hospital Accreditation

Posted on July 27, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Starke Hospital has been re-accredited for another three years. Hospital officials say a recent Joint Commission survey found Starke Hospital to be in compliance with various performance standards, earning the hospital another Gold Seal of Approval for Hospital Accreditation.

Starke Hospital Interim CEO Jeff Vice says the survey involves an unannounced inspection covering all areas of the hospital, including patient care, emergency management, leadership, facilities, and engineering.

There were a few things Starke Hospital is doing particularly well, according to surveyors. The medical/surgical unit’s “frequently asked questions” materials were commended, and the Joint Commission has asked to include them in its Leading Practice Library. Starke Hospital was also found to be transparent when it comes to hospital falls. The engineering/facilities department was also commended for its door inspection program.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rules for Recycling Totes in North Judson

7/27/2017 Jumping Over The Moon - A Puppet Musical

8/5/2017 Movies At Norwayne Field - Trolls

After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious, curmudgeonly Branch (Justin Timberlake) set off on a journey to rescue her friends. Their mission is full of adventure and mishaps, as this mismatched duo try to tolerate each other long enough to get the job done.

The movie will start at dusk - about 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Sponsored by R & L Elephant Ears      Hosted by Starke County Young Professionals

North Judson Council Hears Complaints About Cemetery Mowing

Posted on July 26, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Unmowed grass at Highland Cemetery has led to a complaint to the North Judson Town Council. During last week’s meeting, one resident said the condition of the cemetery was a disgrace and asked council members to fix the problem.

Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins explained that the town gets eight mowings per year, under its contract with J. Rogers Services. So far, the cemeteries are being mowed twice a month, but residents and council members pointed out that when it rains, the grass grows faster. While the town has the option to get additional mowings for an extra cost, town officials said they hadn’t asked for any, before last week.

The town council has had a few issues this year, when it comes to the timing of cemetery mowings. Back in May, the town received numerous complaints, after the grass wasn’t mowed before Mother’s Day weekend. At the time, town officials said they contacted the contractor, but the cemetery wasn’t mowed until Mothers Day itself. Town officials are also concerned that the contractor hasn’t always been trimming around the headstones and fences.

It was suggested that rather than bidding the mowing contract out each year, the town have inmate work crews from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department do the work, instead. Council member Jane Ellen Felchuk said when she’s requested work crews in the past, the Sheriff’s Department refused.

June Unemployment Rates Down from Last Year, Up from May

Posted on July 26, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Starke and Pulaski counties’ June unemployment rates are lower than last year’s, but the number of people employed has actually dropped slightly.

Last month, Starke County reported 3.5-percent unemployment, compared to 5.2-percent during the same period last year, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Meanwhile, Pulaski County’s June unemployment rate dropped to 2.9 percent from 4.4 percent in 2016.

But those numbers don’t tell the whole story. The drop in unemployment rates comes at the same time as a a drop in the labor force. The number of people actually employed decreased by 120 in Starke County and 27 in Pulaski County from June 2016 to June 2017. In both counties, last month’s unemployment rates were also a bit higher than the May figures.

LaPorte and Jasper counties had the highest June unemployment in the local area, at 3.8 percent. Marshall and White had the lowest in the area at 2.6 percent. Statewide, Indiana had 3.1-percent unemployment last month, while the U.S. average was 4.5-percent.

Bass Lake Festival this Friday through Sunday

Posted on July 26, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The 2017 Bass Lake Festival is this weekend. It gets underway this Friday with the Miss Bass Lake, Junior Miss Bass Lake, and the Little Miss/Mister Bass Lake pageants. Saturday’s activities include a 5K run/walk, sailboat races, and a fireworks display over Bass Lake.

The festival wraps up Sunday, with a bike race, cardboard boat race, and the Bass Lake Festival Parade. This year’s grand marshal is local businesses owner and longtime festival volunteer John McGrath.

Food and entertainment will be featured all weekend long. For a complete schedule and more information, visit

Vouchers Available for Free Mammograms

Posted on July 26, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Women in Starke or La Porte Counties who do not have the resources to pay for screening and diagnostic mammograms may apply for a voucher for these services.

Vouchers are available for low-income, uninsured or underinsured women age 40 and older and women of any age who are at-risk for breast cancer. Women should contact their physician’s office to see if they meet the qualifications for a voucher.

Vouchers are made available thanks to grant funding through the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust. $18,000 in grant money was secured for this year to help in this effort.

Contact the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte for more information at (219) 326-2471.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

7/27-30/2017 Tippecanoe River State Park

Attorney’s Fees Adding Up in North Judson Railroad Dispute

Posted on July 25, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Legal costs continue to add up for North Judson in the dispute over the town’s short line railroad. The town is paying several thousand dollars a month to Chicago-based railroad regulatory attorney Thomas McFarland to help deal with two ongoing lawsuits.

Last week, the town council approved a payment of over $4,700 to McFarland, which is a bit higher than the last couple of months’ payments. One reason for the increase, according to Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins, was that the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum emailed McFarland directly with questions. “You can figure out how much we’re paying an hour fairly easy,” Collins said. “That’s a lot of money. So his email, all that stuff, it’s adding up.”

Museum officials were seeking information about what impact the litigation would have on a $32,000 tourism grant the museum’s set to get from the state.

The town council decided a year ago to lease the line to Michigan-based Lake State Railway, but the Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad still hasn’t vacated it. Meanwhile, Chesapeake and Indiana has blocked the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum from running excursion trains beyond English Lake and into LaCrosse.

Museum officials say that and other issues with Chesapeake and Indiana have cost the museum over $200,000 in lost revenue over the past four years. The museum has turned to crowdfunding to help cover its own legal expenses in the dispute.

At the same time, North Judson officials say the town has spent around $300,000 in legal fees and maintenance costs since the dispute began. While North Judson has a specified fund for its railroad, town officials say that money’s currently unavailable because of the litigation.

Attorney General Warns Hoosiers of Tech Support Scams

Posted on July 25, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

If you see a pop-up saying your computer has a virus, there’s a good chance it’s a scam. That’s according to Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.

The messages typically resemble security alerts from legitimate sources. However, by following the instructions and giving remote access to your computer, scammers can obtain personal information, user names, and passwords, and steal your identity. In addition to pop-up alerts, scammers may also contact victims by phone, claiming to be from Microsoft or another trusted company.

The Attorney General’s Office says its Consumer Protection Division has gotten 111 tech support complaints so far this year.

Kid’s Closet Ministry Pack-a-Backpack Event a Success

Posted on July 25, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The volunteers behind the Pack-a-Backpack event call Saturday’s school supply drive a success. School supplies were purchased from members of the community to help students in need through the Kid’s Closet Ministry at the North Judson United Methodist Church at 210 Central Ave.

Any Starke County student in kindergarten through 12th grade who qualifies for free or reduced lunch is welcome to attend the 5th annual Kid’s Closet Pack-a-Backpack on Monday, July 31 and Tuesday, Aug. 1. School supplies may be chosen at that time. The child must be present and the parent must have proper identification.

Kankakee Valley REMC employees delivered cases of school supplies to the church last week to help in the supply drive. Items were purchased by Kankakee Valley REMC members and community residents. REMC has been a part of this effort for four years in each of the communities they serve: Lake, Porter, Starke, St. Joseph, Pulaski, Marshall, and La Porte Counties.

Monday, July 24, 2017

North Judson Town Council Approves Phone Upgrades, Discusses Website Plans

Posted on July 24, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The Town of North Judson is looking to save some money by upgrading its phone system. Last week, the town council approved a proposal from IT company Datacrates to install an Internet-based phone system.

The town will get five phones for a cost of $199 a month, plus a one-time installation charge. Currently, the town pays CenturyLink about $974 a month for combined phone and Internet service, according to Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins. While the town plans to switch the phone service, it will continue to pay CenturyLink nearly $245 a month for Internet.

Council member John Rowe said the switch seemed like a no-brainer. “After three months, it pays for itself, basically,” he said. “Four months, it’s completely paid for, and then we’re just saving $450 a month, every month.”

Datacrates has also offered to build and maintain a website for North Judson, for $45 a month, plus a one-time setup charge. Under the plan, each town department would get its own web page, and residents would be able to pay water bills and view the town’s ordinances online. Collins suggested that the town hold off on the website until next year, but use Datacrates’ estimate to build the cost into the 2018 budget.

Council member James Young has also been gathering estimates for a new website. Datacrates was recommended by Town Marshal Kelly Fisher. Company owner Brian Pinson used to be Starke County’s IT director. He’s built websites for the Starke County government, the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, and the City of Knox.

Council members agreed that Collins should include the cost of a website when working on next year’s budget.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Starke County Council to Review Part Time Employee Status

Posted on July 22, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Starke County Council will revisit its salary ordinance pertaining to classifications of employees as part-time or skilled part-time.

There are different pay scales for those employees who work part-time and those part-time workers who have developed skills that can be interchangeable between departments. It is up to the department head to determine which level of pay that employee receives.

After a lengthy discussion, the council members asked Auditor Kay Chaffins to give County Attorney Marty Lucas a copy of the salary ordinance and they will discuss changes, if any, during their meeting in August.

North Judson Council Accepts Property Donation for High School Memorial

Posted on July 22, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Plans to mark the site of the old North Judson High School are moving ahead. A group of volunteers has been working for the past year and a half to construct a memorial where the school used to stand on Keller Avenue.

Committee member Marshall Field told the town council Monday the bank that currently owns the land has agreed to donate it to the town. The town council voted unanimously to accept the property. Field says the updated deed will be presented to the council at a later date.

Federal Trade Commission Warns of Publishers Clearing House Scam

Posted on July 22, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Don’t be scammed when it comes to Publishers Clearing House.

The Federal Trade Commission and Publishers Clearing House have received numerous reports about people pretending to be from Publishers Clearing House to scam people out of money.

The scammers are calling victims to say they’ve won a sweepstakes. In order to claim the prize, a payment of fees and taxes is required. They will ask to send money by Western Union or MoneyGram or by prepaid credit card or gift card.

Paying to collect a prize is a scam. If you receive a phone call like this, report it to the FTC by calling (202) 326-2222.

If you have sent money to a scam artist, report the loss immediately to the company you paid the claim and then call the FTC. If you paid through Western Union, you may be eligible for a refund.