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.