Saturday, September 30, 2017

10/1/2017 Bow Hunting Season Starts in Indiana

Tomorrow begins an Indiana tradition like no other. The anticipation has been haunting every bow hunting Hoosier since last season. They are well practiced, their clothes are scent free, they have their perfect spot chosen and their gear is all ready to go. We understand their passion and many ICOs love the same thing. It is our true hearts desire that EVERY single bow hunter practices excellent tree stand Safety this season. 

Watch this video and share it with every bow hunter you know. Good luck, have fun and happy harvest season to all of you.

Nominate Someone Now for the Henry F. Schricker Award

Posted on September 30, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Nominations are now being accepted for the Henry F. Schricker Award.

The members of the Starke County Chamber of Commerce will review all nominations of those Starke County residents who exemplify the former governor’s motto of “service before self”. This is the 30th Schricker Award to be given to a worthy Starke County resident.

The chamber is also accepting nominations of the Business of the Year.

Both awards will be presented during the annual awards dinner on Nov. 2 at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox. Tickets for the event are on sale now for $35 and can be purchased through the chamber office and online through

Nominations for both awards will be taken until Tuesday, Oct. 10. Email your candidate to or mail it to 400 N. Heaton Street, Knox, IN 46534.

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum’s Pumpkin, Halloween Trains to Return in October

Posted on September 30, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Special fall train excursions will be offered during the month of October at North Judson’s Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum. Pumpkin Trains will run the first three Saturdays in October. Passengers will enjoy a trip through the countryside to English Lake and back, before stopping at the museum’s pumpkin patch.

The museum’s fall excursion season wraps up with the annual Halloween Train on Saturday, October 28. The two-and-a-half-to-three-hour trip includes Silly Safaris’ “Not So Scary, Scary Animal Show.”

After that, families will have another chance to take a train ride before then end of the year. Hoosier Valley’s Santa Trains will run the first three Saturdays in December.

Complete schedule and ticket information can be found at

Friday, September 29, 2017

Quote of the Month - October 2017

Quote from John Glenn on the occasion of his second flight into space, October 29, 1998.  
You can read more at - The Voyages of John Glenn

10/23/2017 Deadline for NJ-SP Box Tops for Education

10/21/2017 Country Breakfast @ NJWT Volunteer Fire Department

High School Seniors Encouraged to Continue their Education during College Application Day

Posted on September 29, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Indiana high school students are getting some extra encouragement today to apply for college. As part of National College Application Day, 13 Indiana colleges are waiving their application fees, according to Learn More Indiana. On top of that, more than 50 events are taking place around the state.

Organizers say the goal of College Application Day is to increase the number of low-income and first-generation students who continue their education beyond high school. That includes helping high school seniors through the college admissions process and making sure they apply to at least one college or university.

Help Still Available for Taxpayers Filing 2016 Tax Returns

Posted on September 29, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Taxpayers who still need to file their 2016 tax returns can still get some help, according to the Internal Revenue Service. October 16 is the filing deadline for many of those granted an extension on their tax returns. The IRS says those individuals can still take advantage of several programs.

Electronic filing is an option for those who buy their own tax software, and it’s required for most tax professionals. Statistically, those who file electronically make fewer mistakes on their tax returns, according to IRS officials.

Additionally, IRS Free File is available to all taxpayers. Brand-name software is available to those making $64,000 or less, while taxpayers at any income level can use the online fillable forms.

On top of that, free face-to-face tax help is still available for those who qualify. Those include people with low-to-moderate incomes, those with disabilities, senior citizens, and people who speak English as a second language.

The IRS also encourages taxpayers to double check whether they’re eligible for certain tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Savers Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

Mammogram Vouchers Available During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted on September 29, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is right around the corner, and the Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte is reminding local residents they may be eligible for a free mammogram. Vouchers are available to low-income, uninsured, or under-insured women age 40 and older, as well as those of any age who have a high risk for breast cancer.

The Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte says health care providers in Starke or LaPorte counties may request a voucher for their patients through the end of December. The mammograms would take place at LaPorte Hospital. The vouchers were funded by an $18,000 grant from the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust, with proceeds from the sale of Indiana’s Breast Cancer Awareness license plates.

For more information, call the Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte at 219-326-2471.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

10/3/2017 Open House & Ribbon Cutting

Starke County Manufacturer’s Day Event and Job Fair Set

Posted on September 28, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

WorkOne and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation will be hosting a Job Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. CT at the Knox Middle School Auxiliary Gym. This is a new event this year that is designed to showcase what is available for employment in Starke County as workers are needed for several positions. Students and adults are invited to this event.

As a supplement to the Job Fair, the annual Manufacturer’s Day in Starke County is set for Thursday, Oct. 12.

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation will host the event at the Knox Middle School where 350 seventh grade students and 200 students from four schools will learn about the various industries in the county.

Students from the Knox Community School Corporation, North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation, Oregon-Davis School Corporation and Culver Community School Corporation will learn what each company manufactures and what job skills and education are necessary to secure employment at the facilities.

This year’s theme is “Focus on Your Future” and each participant will receive a take-home bag full of items based on the theme as well as a brochure highlighting the SCILL Center and each of 16 manufacturers available at the Manufacturer’s Day.

For more information, call (574) 772-5627.

NIPSCO to Seek Increase in Natural Gas Bills

Posted on September 28, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

More than 25 years have gone by since NIPSCO has increased natural gas base rates, but that may change.

NIPSCO along with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission are looking to increase natural gas base rates as the cost to comply with state and federal safety standards has increased. According to a NIPSCO press release, the company has made additional investments in its aging gas system to improve service to 820,000 customers while maintaining more than 17,800 miles of pipelines.

The new rates proposed would be phased in over two steps. The first would occur in mid-2018 with new rates fully in place by early 2019. A residential customer using 69 therms per month would see an overall increase of approximately $10 a month.

NIPSCO is planning $400 million in system upgrades, technology improvements and other investments to increase pipeline safety and reliability, with plans for future investments.

If customers would like to comment on the proposed increase, written comments can be submitted directly to the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, or at public field hearings and various consumer advocacy organizations.

NIPSCO touts that it serves as Indiana’s lowest-cost natural gas provider and among the lowest in the nation while offering programs to help customers save energy and be more energy efficient.

Knox High School to Host Financial Aid Night

Posted on September 28, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Help will be available to senior students, parents or guardians in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in a special financial aid informational night.

Kelly Manning from Ancilla College will explain the financial aid process and give information on the FAFSA form which will be available on Oct. 1. Manning will field questions after the presentation. Time will be available to begin work on the FAFSA form online.

If you own a computer, bring it with you so you can access the FAFSA form online and follow along.

This presentation is not limited to Knox residents. The forum is open to all students, parents and community members.

The financial aid night is set for Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. in the Knox High School Cafeteria.

Indiana Office of Energy Development Now Accepting School Bus Grant Applications

Posted on September 28, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The Indiana Office of Energy Development recently announced that they are accepting applications from public school corporations for the Indiana Propane School Bus grant program. Their announcement marks the third round of grant funding made available by the OED dedicated to propane school buses.

According to OED Director Tristan Vance, propane school buses offer a variety of benefits such as increasing fuel diversity, lowering maintenance costs through the use of a cleaner burning fuel and most importantly, decreasing student exposure to harmful emissions.

Fifty percent to one-hundred percent of the incremental cost difference between a new propane-powered school bus and a diesel or gasoline-powered school bus would be received by grant recipients.

Indiana public school corporations interested in applying for the grant must own their own buses in order to be eligible. Applicants should have access to propane fueling infrastructure or show that they will have access if a grant is awarded. While cost sharing of the incremental cost is not a requirement for applicants, special consideration is given to applications that leverage additional funding or those with in-kind funding.

Applications are being accepted through November 1st. Grant recipients will be notified about the status of their applications by December 1st. To access the OED Indiana Propane School Bus grant program application click here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

10/2017 Annual Collection for CADA @ NJWTPL

NIPSCO Employees Assist Veterans Through Summer Fundraisers & Activities

Posted on September 27, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

To help fund Veteran support programs throughout Northern Indiana, NIPSCO is awarding 31 local Veteran organizations with donations totaling approximately $125,000. Combined with a NiSource Charitable Foundation contribution presented by NIPSCO of $25,000, the campaign raised more than $150,000.

Charity of Choice, one of NIPSCO’s key giving programs, was established to help maximize financial and volunteer impact in our communities. Each year, employees select an area in need of support or a nonprofit organization for which fundraisers and other activities are planned.

Through out the summer, a variety of fundraising events and activities were organized. Some of these events included a fishing derby, a family fun day, a fashion show, flag football game, a golf outing and more. Additionally NIPSCO employees volunteered more than 1,100 hours during the summer in support of nonprofit organizations and Veteran home repairs.

The Executive Vice President and President of NIPSCO Violet Sistovaris said that the employee enthusiasm and energy surrounding this year’s campaign was substantial. She said it was clear from the beginning that employees and their friends and families were going to go above and beyond to assist those who have sacrificed so much for our country.

Upcoming Local Red Cross Blood Drives

Posted on September 27, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The Red Cross is always in need of blood donations. However, in the aftermath of the recent natural disasters that have impacted different portions of the country, it is vital to have a wide variety of blood types from a plethora of donors.

Some blood types are unique to certain racial and ethnic groups, so having an assorted blood supply is important to meet the medical needs of an increasingly diverse patient population. Red Cross reports that patients are less likely to experience complications from blood donated by someone of a similar ethnicity. Some local blood donation opportunities are coming up during the month of October.

In Pulaski County, a blood drive is being held at Knights of Columbus in Winamac from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on October 11th.

Starke County residents have the chance to donate in a few local places as well.

  • On October 3rd a drive will be held from 12:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Knox Community Center. 
  • On October 12th from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. the United Methodist Church in North Judson will hold a blood donation drive. 
  • Toward the end of the month, on October 25th, North Judson-San Pierre Elementary School will hold a drive from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

La Porte County will also feature a few blood drives.

  • On October 9th, two events are scheduled. La Porte Hospital will hold a drive from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • The First Church of God in La Porte will have one from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • On October 19th the St. Peter Church in La Porte will hold a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
  • There will be a drive at the Center of La Cross from 12:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. that same day. 
  • Another drive will be held on October 26th from noon until 5 p.m. at the Golden Living Center.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Entertaining Visitors Over the Holidays?

Have you ever checked out the Entertainment page on the North Judson-Wayne Township Library website?

That’s where we list:

  • Local Movie Theaters (2 local drive-ins (Melody & Triway) and 4 theaters (AMC, Cinemark, Isis, Showland Cinema))
  • Museums (15 in Indiana, 3 in Chicago, and - just for fun - the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.)
  • Parks & Trails (Indiana Department of Natural Resources Parks, North Judson Erie Trail, St. Joseph County Parks, and the Tippecanoe River State Park) 
  • Water Parks (Deep River and Indiana Beach)

If you’re planning a family outing you can check out events, times, ticket prices, and so much more. So just click on the link below and check it out.  We’ve already done some of the hard work for you.

9/30/2017 National Public Lands Day

A day when we encourage everyone to get out and enjoy the outdoors!  To help everyone do this, all State Park entry fees are waived!

So get out there! Explore! Go on an adventure! Kick over some rocks in a stream or river!   Feel the sunshine on your face and make some memories in the great wildlands of the state!

As an added bonus, you can help others and give back to the community by volunteering at your local State Park…. Tippecanoe River State Park that is!

10/2/2017 Special Meeting of Starke County Council

Notice of a Special Meeting of the Starke County Council

Will meet on Monday, October 2, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in the Annex Building Meeting Room located at 53 East Mound Street., Knox, Indiana

Purpose of the Meeting:   The Public Hearing of the 2018 County Budgets

Posted Tuesday, September 26, 2017 10:00AM
Katherine Chaffins, Auditor & Secretary to the Board of Commissioners

10/27/2017 Deadline for Starke County Reserve Officer Unit

The Starke County Sheriff's Office will be accepting applications for our Reserve Unit until October 27th,2017 at 4pm.  This is strictly volunteer basis without pay.

If you are interested in applying you can either pick an application up at 5435 E St Rd 8 or go online at and go to electronic forms and find the employment app, fill it out and mail it in to the address above

All Applicants are subject to background investigation prior to be accepted.

Thank You
Sheriff Bill Dulin

Starke County Council Approves Additional Appropriation for Contract

Posted on September 26, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Starke County Council members last week approved a $5,000 additional appropriation to pay on the contract with the Starke County Convention and Visitors Commission and the Starke County Chamber of Commerce for providing services to promote tourism.

The council members expressed concern about how the funds are being utilized and whether or not the innkeepers tax is being used to promote tourism or for operating expenses. Further, complicated discussion found that the structure of the Starke County Convention and Visitors Commission board and much of its functions need to be altered to run more smoothly and in coordination with what is expected of the board members.

The council hopes to hear of progress in the right direction in a future setting.

Local Red Cross Volunteer One of Six Hoosiers Chosen for U.S. Virgin Islands Deployment

Posted on September 26, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

A Winamac woman, who recently returned from Texas after spending two weeks assisting the Red Cross with mass care efforts there, is leaving once again – this time to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Sherry Fagner is one of six Indiana volunteers who were chosen to be a part of the jump team that was assembled to be deployed to the area.

When Sherry returned from Texas, she was a little under the weather. However, she said she is feeling better now as she physically, mentally and emotionally prepares for her journey. She leaves today and will spend a day or two in Atlanta, Georgia for staff collection then she will leave from there to the islands.

Sherry said that although she will be using her volunteer experience in similar ways, the conditions she’ll witness will be strikingly different from those affected here in the continental U.S.

“Very austere conditions is what they’re telling us on the islands at the moment.” Sherry explained, “No power, no potable water, airports are still closed. I mean, there’s all kinds of infrastructure issues but they are slowly bringing those back day by day.”

Fagner said that in Texas, the majority of damage was caused by flooding, where as the Virgin Islands saw much more wind damage, resulting in major visible infrastructural devastation. Fagner said often times Americans forget that the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are U.S. territories. Although they may be an ocean away, they’re still a part of our country and Fagner said when you look at it on a human level, there isn’t a difference between a state and a territory.

Sherry will be deployed for three weeks this time around and said she has received broad based orders that could encompass a wide range of issues. Specifically, she was told she’d be working with bulk distribution but orders could change depending on the type of assistance needed on site.

Monday, September 25, 2017

9/30 & 10/1/2017 Tippecanoe River State Park

10/28/2017 Woof Studios @ Starke County Humane Society

Woof Studios will be here on Saturday, October 28th. Please call to schedule an appointment at 574-896-5060.

There are thousands of background choices due to green screen technology. Worried your pet won't behave? Woof Studios are amazing at getting that great photo! They have many years of experience and it shows :)

You can also order Christmas cards for that unique holiday greeting to friends and family. Prices are very affordable as you may order by the sheet or individually!

10/17/2017 A Cause for Paws Chili Cook-Off

"A Cause for Paws" ~ Wintersong Village's 2017 Chili Cook-Off will be Tuesday, October 17th from 4:30 - 7:00 p.m. at the Knox Community Center. Contestants needed for the cook-off (Please contact Jodi or Todd at 574-772-5826)

Tickets are $ 6.00 for an Adult or $ 4.00 for students (K-12)

This includes all you can eat Chili & cornbread/biscuit. There will also be a Silent Auction and Bake Sale :) Join us to support the Animals!

10/7/2017 Rabies Clinic @ Starke County Humane Society

OCTOBER 7th, Saturday
Walk-IN clinic from 10 am. - 1 p.m. central
Rabies: 15.00
Booster: 15.00
Please share !

State Road 39 Closed for Bridge Work in Pulaski County

Posted on September 25, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Crews from the Indiana Department of Transportation are closing State Road 39 between County Road 750 South and County Road 800 South in Pulaski County beginning today through the end of October.

Restoration of the bridge over the Harp Ditch will be conducted during that time.

INDOT officials say this $350,000 bridge restoration investment will be in the hands of JCI Bridge Group, Inc.

The official detour takes a southbound driver from State Road 39 west to State Road 14, south on U.S. 421, east on State Road 16 and back to State Road 39. Northbound travelers will reverse the route.

For more information on road closures, road conditions and traffic alerts any time, visit

Three Starke County Community Crossings Projects Awarded

Posted on September 25, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Funding for three Starke County projects were approved by INDOT as part of the Community Crossings grant.

Starke County was awarded just under $571,000 which will be a reimbursement in state matching funds for work done on Bridge No. 50 on County Road 1150 E. over the Osborn Ditch about three miles south of State Road 10, and Bridge No. 47 on County Road 625 S. over Osborn Ditch, just over a half mile west of County Road 875 E.

The paving project on 300 E. from State Road 8 to 1,110 feet south of Division Road was also approved for Community Crossings grant funds. According to Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler, this will be the first hot mix project under the new 10-year truck route paving plan. This would complete paving in the Industrial Park in Knox. The county’s match for this project will be provided by the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. The project will begin in the spring of 2018.

Ritzler said he was happy with what projects INDOT funded for the county, especially with the number of applications handed into INDOT for this year’s grant round. He said the county, City of Knox, Town of North Judson, and the Town of Hamlet did really well as a whole in getting projects approved by state grant funds.

School Bus Safety

Posted on September 23, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The new design of many school buses is causing some concerns about safety. A feature that was installed to give drivers more warning that children are in the area and the bus is about to stop is not being heeded.

In the past, when a bus would stop the arm would come out and the red lights would flash in unison. Now buses feature flashing yellow lights while the driver is coming to a stop, and once they stop completely they hit a button to put out the arm and start the red lights.

Although the yellow lights are supposed to warn oncoming drivers that they need to stop, the superintendent of Culver Community Schools Karen Shuman says she’s heard reports of people pulling around buses before the arm can come up. This potentially puts children attempting to board the bus, the driver of the passing vehicle and others on the road in danger.

Motorists in areas where there are frequent bus stops should be aware of this new design and understand that yellow means slow down, not go around.

NJ-SP Sees Increase in Student Enrollment

Posted on September 23, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The Indiana Department of Education does an annual student count in schools and their findings are used to determine state funding. When the average daily membership count took place at North Judson-San Pierre on Friday, September 15th, the ADM count was 1,031 students. Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin said that for the first time in about 10 years, the school corporation saw an increase in their enrollment figures.

The school corporation had six more students enrolled than last year. Dr. Zupin stated that even though six more students may not seem significant, it points to progress and indicates that they are seeing some stability.

Vice President of the board, Derrick Staulbaum, mentioned that the additional students will result in approximately $42,000 more in state funding.

Starke County Council Approves Transfer of Highway Funds

Posted on September 23, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler requested a transfer of funds from the fuel line item to help pay for other projects.

Ritzler explained that there is a surplus of funds in the fuel line item that can be spread to other accounts to pay for needed projects in the county. He said some of the funds will be spent on upgrading signs.

“As you know, the federal government mandates that we do high reflectivity with all of our signs as it’s much safer,” said Ritzler. “We’re able to use some of that excess fuel money because the fuel prices were very good this year and we save a good deal of money bidding each time we get fuel. So, we are taking our old signs and sending them to the company in Georgia. We’re going to do about 100 signs and see how that works. I just met with them last month so we are able going to do that and that could save a lot of money.”

Other funds will into paving projects, roof repairs, salt for roads, purchasing diagnostic software, and refurbishing a chipper truck.

Ritzler asked the council for a transfer of $77,035.24 to work on these projects and it was unanimously approved.

Starke County Concludes Summer Walking Challenge

Posted on September 23, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Get Moving Starke County walking challenge concluded its fifth season on Monday, Sept. 4.

This year’s campaign, Starke County Walks to the National Parks in America, gathered more than 25,000 miles which surpassed the 16,000 mile goal.

Donna Osborne walked the most miles in the individual category with 2,060 while Mike McGregor logged 1,990 miles and Amy Stacy with 970 miles.

The Prairie Trail team finished first with 13,065 miles. The Holy Walkamolies followed with 2,297 miles and the Toto Treckers came in third with 1,574 miles.

Moving Starke County Forward focuses on improving the quality of life and encourages a healthy Starke County. After ranking 91st out of 92 counties in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health rankings in 2012, the county has since improved to 86th in the state. The organization will continue efforts to climb the ladder of health.

Friday, September 22, 2017

NJ-SP School Board Approves School Improvement Plans

Posted on September 22, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson-San Pierre School Board members approved the school improvement plan from the Elementary and Jr./Sr High School principals after they provided compelling presentations addressing areas of achievement as well as specific place where progress is needed.

North Judson Jr./Sr. High School Principal Jim Polite explained that one of the areas where the Jr./Sr. High is excelling is the amount of students enrolled in AP and dual credit classes. Those numbers are at an all time high. Polite mentioned that all though they did see significant progress in language arts and math scores on the ISTEP, they are still working to increase proficiency in those areas. He said specific testing is being utilized to identify areas where students are struggling and online assignment programs are used to help them address those problems.

Elementary School Principal Julie Berndt told board members that Elementary students have seen major improvements thanks to teacher collaboration. One of the main goals she presented was continuing teacher collaboration and data analysis in order to incorporate those findings into the curriculum to assist students in deficient areas.

One thing that both principals mentioned as being vital to success was respecting classroom instruction time. Each school does its best to eliminate any unnecessary interruptions that could disrupt student concentration. Another topic that was covered by both principals was the importance of implementing the “Blue Jay Way” into everyday life. The Blue Jay Way is the school’s positive behavioral reminder that encourages achievement, respect and responsibility.

North Judson Police Department Seeks Fourth Full-Time Officer

Posted on September 22, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The North Judson Police Department is accepting applications for a new officer now through October 11th. Town Marshall Kelly Fisher addressed the Town Council Monday night, saying the department is looking to complete their force with a fourth officer.

Currently the full-time force consists of Fisher and Officer Frank Thomas and Officer Rico Simpson. Fisher said she is very proud of the work being done by the full-time and part-time officers but an additional full-time position would allow everything to fall into place.

Applications can be picked up at North Judson Town Hall at 310 Lane Street from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information about the application process, required qualifications and subsequent training contact the North Judson Police Department at 574-772-5914.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

9/28/2017 Daisy Girl Scout Registration

Community Crossings Grant Recipients Announced

Posted on September 21, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Local communities are learning how much money they’ll get for street projects, as part of the second round of Community Crossings grants.

Pulaski County got the biggest award in the local area, for just under $879,000. Starke County received just under $571,000, while the City of Knox will get nearly $456,000. The Town of Medaryville is set to receive $300,000.

Community Crossings grants cover 50 to 75 percent of the cost of approved road and bridge projects. Governor Eric Holcomb and INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness officially announced the grant awards Wednesday afternoon.

Local Community Crossings grant recipients:
Pulaski County: $878,542.50
Starke County: $570,832.13
Culver: $207,857.70
Francesville: $101,700
Hamlet: $160,950
Knox: $455,559.61
LaCrosse: $83,250
Medaryville: $300,000
North Judson: $125,094.75
Winamac: $90,000

Projects Can Move Forward After Resolutions Receive NJ-SP Board Approval

Posted on September 21, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Two resolutions were passed Tuesday night that will allow the North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation to move forward with their lease rental bond project. The resolution approving the form of lease agreement and the resolution approving the issuance of series 2017 bonds received unanimous board approval.

Attorney Thomas Peterson explained that the resolution approving the form of lease agreement authorizes officers to sign the lease that has been before them since June. Before they could sign the lease, the board had to follow proper protocol, such as holding a public hearing over the lease agreement. Peterson mentioned this was one of the final formalities involved in the process.

The next resolution that came up for approval was the issuance of series 2017 bonds. Peterson said that for federal tax purposes, this resolution designates that the bonds will be issued through the building corporation on the school’s behalf.

“The building corporation is the one that actually issues the bonds and they use the monies that the school corporation pays under the lease agreement to pay the principal and interest on those bonds.” Peterson said, “For those bonds to be tax exempt, you as a governmental unit have to approve their issuance by the building corporation.”

Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin explained that the building corporation serves as an intermediary between the school and money lenders. School corporations often utilize a building corporation, a separate legal entity, in order issue additional financing for major projects.

In her superintendent’s report, Zupin provided a schedule outline for the lease rental bond project. An initial planning meeting will be held August 29th. In September, they plan to finalize the schedule, procurement approach and initial design review. An interim design review will be held in October and a final design review will take place in November. In December they shall issue bid documents.

In 2018 they will receive bids in January, begin construction some time in the spring depending on access and weather and they are estimating construction completion by the fall of that year.

The lease rental bond project proposes approximately 5.6 million dollars worth of renovations including the installation of a secure entrance, electronic access control and video surveillance, H-VAC replacement, duct cleaning, exterior renovations, pool re-purposing and tennis court construction.

North Judson Town Superintendent Report Addresses Manhole Issues

Posted on September 21, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann has recently been checking the condition of various manholes around the Town of North Judson. He told council members Monday evening that he has discovered six manholes that need to be relined in order prevent deterioration beyond repair.

If unaddressed, Horstmann said the deteriorating manholes could lead to sinkholes in those areas.

He explained, “If we get them relined now it will prolong their life at least 20 years, if we don’t reline them they will continue to deteriorate and then we’ll end up with sinkholes around them like we had over on Vine and Ohio Street where we ended up having to replace the whole top half of the manhole.”

Horstmann mentioned that aside from the relining work that needs completed, he found five spots around town where manholes should be installed or adjusted. On Garden Street and Luken Street a manhole lid and casting exists but Horstmann said right now there is only an 8 inch pipe going down to the main line.

Similarly, a manhole lid exists on Beech Street in the alley between Lincoln Avenue and Arlington Avenue but only a six inch pipe runs down to the main line on Beech Street and it isn’t lined up with the main line that is on the alley making it impossible to jet the alley in the event of a clog-up.

Three of the needed manholes would have to be installed on Garfield Street. Currently the only manholes on that street are the ones where the street intersects with State Road 10 and Campbell Drive. The two existing manholes on Garfield Street are 12,050 feet apart. He told council members manholes need to be installed every 300 to 350 feet to allow for jetting.

State Police to Target Commercial Vehicle Drivers in Seatbelt Enforcement Blitz Next Week

Posted on September 21, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Indiana State Police will be making sure drivers of commercial vehicles are properly wearing seatbelts. Commercial motor vehicle officers and motor carriers inspectors will take part in a statewide commercial vehicle enforcement blitz next week.

Officers say the problem isn’t limited to drivers simply not wearing their seatbelt. They say many commercial vehicle drivers are using a device designed to reduce tension on the shoulder. But police say that makes the seatbelt less effective. It’s also against the law.

State police say their goal is to get drivers to wear their seatbelt voluntarily, but they will be issuing tickets when warranted.

Officers point out that semi tractors don’t have airbags, as passenger cars do. That means drivers can be thrown out of their seat, in the event of a crash.

Free Trees Available to NIPSCO Customers

Posted on September 21, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Did you know strategic tree planting can help conserve energy and reduce energy bills? The Arbor Day Foundation program Energy-Saving Trees is offering 375 free trees to NIPSCO customers to simultaneously assist clients and the environment.

An online tool helps customers estimate the annual energy savings that will result from planting trees in the most strategic location near businesses or residences. The Energy-Saving Trees tool uses peer-reviewed scientific research from the USDA Forest Service’s i-Tree software to calculate estimated energy savings. Additionally, the tool estimates other benefits including cleaner air and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

Customers can reserve up to two trees and are expected to plant and care for them in the location provided by the online tool. The program will continue until all 375 trees are reserved. The two-to-four foot tall trees will be delivered directly to customers at an ideal time for planting.

NIPSCO reminds customers to call 811, the free national safe digging hotline, prior to starting any digging projects. Individuals can reserve their free trees and see the best spot to plant by visiting

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

10/7/2017 Taco Dinner

Okay everyone! Get ready for a delicious Taco Dinner! Mint Festival Committee will hold a Mint Taco Dinner on Saturday, October 7 at the Lutheran School in North Judson from 3-8 CST.   $8 per plate = 3 Tacos, Rice and Beans

The proceeds will be used to help bring in new attractions and to continue our great Mint Festival! You can purchase tickets for our Mint Taco Dinner from any of our Mint Committee members - Donna Henry, Paige Barnett, Matt Hamilton, Sharen Barnett, Bob Barnett, Phil Rodriguez, Andrea Wireman, Katie Collins, Cheryl Tellman, Terry & Deb Young.

Plan to join us for some delicious tacos and a fun evening! We also plan to have a bake sale.

Meeting Room Rules & Fees @ North Judson-Wayne Township Library

The Board of Trustees of the North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library invites any group of community residents whose purpose for meeting is in harmony with the social, cultural and intellectual purposes of the Library to use the meeting room.  The Board of Trustees believes that as a community agency, when conditions permit, an area should be available for public use, subject to Board policy.

1.  Hours of use:  The room may be used during the Library's open hours. After hours, special arrangements for opening or closing must be made with the Library Board or delegated representative.  All participants must be out by 10:00 (ten) p.m.

2.  Application for use:  Reservations for use must be made in writing at least two weeks in advance of the meeting.  Application forms are available at the Library.  All applications are taken on a first come basis and must be approved by the Library Board or delegated representative. 

3.  Cancellations:  Notice of cancellation must be given at least 48 (forty-eight) hours in advance.  If the cancellation is not made in a timely manner, a fee of $25.00 (twenty-five dollars) will be assessed.  The Library retains the right to cancel a reservation  but only in order to use the room for Library purposes or as a disciplinary action.

4.  Conditions of Use:
a.  Library programs and uses have first priority. 
 b.  Civic, community, educational organizations and groups, whose purpose is non-commercial, non-profit may use the meeting room at no charge with approval of the Library Board or delegated representative and by abiding by the policy of the Board of Trustees. 
 c.  Commercial or for-profit organizations or groups may use the Lecture Room upon payment of $35.00  (thirty-five dollars) a day,  approval of the Library Board or delegated representative and by abiding by the policy of the Board of Trustees. 
 d.  No fees may be charged by any group, except to cover costs of materials used during the meeting. 
 e.  Groups of children such as 4-H or scouting may use the meeting  room provided the group is constantly supervised by one or more adults. 
 f.  Tables, chairs, dry marker board, video projector, VCR and TV monitor are available for use.  A $25 (twenty-five dollar) fee may be charged if Library staff sets up the meeting room for an activity.  If the dry marker board is used,  check with the Library as to the type of markers permissible. 
 g. All trash - edible and otherwise -  must be removed by the group using the meeting room. 
 h.  The Library reserves the right to access $25.00 (twenty-five dollar) cleaning fee if the meeting room and rest rooms are not returned to their original condition after an activity. 
 i.  Smoking, alcohol and illegal substances are prohibited on the premises. 
 j.  The Library Board of Trustees does not assume any responsibility for the security of personal or group possessions. 
 k.  All groups using the Library meeting room  are responsible for their own accident and liability  insurance. 
l.  Any infractions may result in denial of use of the meeting room.

Adopted 8/12/97
Revised 1/13/98
Revised 10/9/2001
Reviewed 4/13/2004
Reviewed 6/12/2007
Revised 8/14/2012
Revised 2/9/2017

9/23/2017 Spaghetti Dinner by Girl Scout Troop #553

Saturday at 4:30 PM - 7 PM at the Hamlet American Legion Post 356, 504 Railroad St, Hamlet, Indiana 46532.

Delicious Spaghetti dinner prepared by the moms of Girl Scout Troop #553.

Doors open at 4:30 so you can make your last minute purchase of raffle tickets for our great gift baskets. (Donated and presented by Troop 553 moms).

Dinner served 5-7 pm
All you can eat. Spaghetti, marinara (add meat to your liking) Garlic bread, dessert & beverage (pop available for purchase)

Gift Basket drawing will be held at 7:15 (winners need not be present).

10/1/2017 Henny Penny Chicken Dinner

North Judson Animal Ordinance Discussion Continues

Posted on September 20, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

During the North Judson Town Council meeting Monday evening, members confirmed that rather than adding an urban chicken ordinance, they will instead be amending the current animal ordinance to address the concerns brought before the council the last several meetings.

Prior to the meeting, council members received a working document from Town Attorney Justin Schramm. In the working document he provided place-holder numbers and language based off similar ordinances from other towns and cities in the surrounding area. He encouraged the council to let him know where they’d like to see changes or what else they’d like to cover in the ordinance.

Council member Jane-Ellen Felchuk listed a few things that she felt weren’t mentioned in the document provided such as the inclusion of rabbits and pigeons, as well as registration, restrictions on the number of pets, the potential of hiring an animal catcher and how the town responds to rabies, non immunized animals, dangerous animals and cat colonies. She also added that the matter of who is responsible for impoundment and where the animals are taken should be addressed.

Schramm commented that some of the matters Felchuk is concerned about, such as rabies and immunization are actually addressed in state law so it would not need to be included in the ordinance. However, he added that proof of rabies shots and immunization can be required as a part of the ordinance in order to ensure registered pets are sufficiently protected. Felchuck said she worries too many people won’t know about the state laws and feels these matters must be addressed in the ordinance.

Schramm also provided a recommendation of how to go forward with efficient registration techniques.

“I think there should be a separate permit form. I know the city of South Bend does that, where instead of putting it in the ordinance, there’s just a separate permit form where you list the type of fowl you have, for example.” Schramm stated, “That should probably be separate because that’s a good way to tag and identify your animals rather than try to make it exhaustive in the ordinance.”

The council members also discussed matters related to lot size and the distance chicken enclosures would be required to be from a neighbor’s residence and property line. No definite decisions were reached during the council meeting but various council members are continuing personal research to ensure the amended ordinance will address issues expressed by the public during the course of this process.

North Judson-San Pierre School Board Approves All Items Up for Adoption

Posted on September 20, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson-San Pierre School board held a public hearing for a proposed lease agreement as well the 2018 school budget prior to their regularly scheduled meeting last night. They were specifically addressing the Capital Projects Fund and the Bus replacement fund during the hearing.

Treasurer Guy Richie explained that approximately 40 percent of the capital project funds go toward technology with the remaining funds being disbursed among things such as insurance, utilities and repairs. He also mentioned that the bus replacement fund is set up to allow the corporation to purchase three new buses in 2018.

Attorney Thomas Peterson addressed the board about the proposed lease agreement. He informed the board that the County Council’s approval of the lease agreement was received on Monday. Later Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin clarified that the lease agreement is how the school will be funding the $5.6 million worth of proposed projects. These projects include replacing damaged sidewalks, repairing roofs and other exterior issues, replacing lighting, upgrading the water heater system and a number of other needed repairs and renovations.

No public comments were provided during the hearing which allowed the board to adjourn and move forward with adopting the 2018 Capital Projects Plan, Bus Replacement Plan, advertised budget reduction resolution and the tax neutrality resolution.

The capital projects and bus replacement plans were adopted after receiving unanimous approval from board members. Before the budget reduction resolution was adopted, Richie explained the purpose of this resolution.

“When our 2018 budget is reviewed by the Department of Local Government Finance, they may find it necessary that some line items need to be reduced.” Richie said, “What you’re doing here is giving myself or the superintendent the power to make the decision on what items, you don’t have to come back and do a special meeting and we continue with budget at that point.”

The board members unanimously agreed to adopt the resolution, granting the treasurer and superintendent the power to make the call on what gets cut if the DLGF decides certain line items need reduced.

The final item up for adoption was the tax neutrality resolution. Richie said that the school has a severance pension fund that must be at a neutral cost to the tax payer. In order to do that other funds may need to be reduced, so the tax neutrality resolution grants the treasurer the ability to carry through with that action. The board unanimously approved the final item up for adoption.

The proposed lease agreement was discussed further during the regularly scheduled meeting.

Starke County Receives Railroad Crossing Marking and Signs Grant

Posted on September 20, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The state recently awarded Starke County a grant to update railroad crossings and signs.

Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the Starke County Commissioners Monday that there are no matching funds for this grant.

“The good news is $36,000 is 100 percent paid for. We don’t have to pay anything. We do have to keep the records. Even better news is that TCS (Traffic Control Specialists) can do it cheaper than we can. They have a painting machine and it keeps the money in Starke County. It keeps the tax money in the county and all of their workers live in Starke County. It’s a good thing,” said Ritzler.

The grant will cover all of the railroad crossings in the county.  Ritzler said 15 of them will be getting both markings and signs while 8 other crossings will get markings and four will only receive signs.

Commission President Donnie Binkley signed the necessary paperwork to get the process rolling as soon as possible.

SCCF Grants Awarded Year-Round, Funds Still Available for Interested Non-Profits

Posted on September 20, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

This year the Starke County Community Foundation eliminated deadlines for their grant applications which allows them to accept applications and award grants all throughout the year. Nearly $23,000 of community grant money remains available to Starke County non-profits who submit grant applications to the SCCF.

So far this year, the SCCF has awarded more than $284,000, with around $12,000 going toward community grants. The foundation is looking to award the remaining $22,900 by the end of 2017.

Organizations that have benefited from the deadline free SCCF grants this year include Starke County A.B.A.T.E, Kid’s Closet, Starke County Community Corrections, HealthLinc and the North Judson-San Pierre High School Memorial Committee. Each of the three Starke County Schools also received an education grant.

If you have any questions about a grant or would like to talk about a funding idea, contact SCCF Director of Development Sarah Origer at 574-772-3665. To access grant applications follow this link.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Know Your Charities and Where Your Money Is Going

Indiana State Police - Public Information Office

With all the charities that are asking for your hard earned money, there are people and organizations that are posing as legitimate charities or fund raisers who are putting your money in their bank accounts.  They say they represent nonprofit organizations and they are scamming people out of cash and credit card numbers to benefit themselves.

People who have donated money to the Flora Fire Fund or to the Abby and Libby fund, be sure and check to see they are legitimate charities.  Information has been received that there are scams going on using these two charities to try to work on your sympathy to send money.  Be sure and ask questions when you are called or if you call a number you found on the internet for those soliciting funds to support any legitimate causes.  Questions that a scammer does not like to be asked are;

  1. May I have your business license number?
  2. Do you belong to the Chamber of Commerce?
  3. May I call your local Chamber of Commerce?
  4. What is the name of your banker so I can verify your statements?
  5. May I have your broker's license number?
  6. What sort of references can you provide?
  7. Can you give me addresses where I can see samples of your work?
  8. Do you mind if I get a second opinion?
  9. Do you mind if I check with the local authorities?
  10. May I have your contractor's license number?
  11. Do you mind if I verify that procedure with my banker and/or my attorney? 

After asking a few of the questions, scammers will usually hang up.  They want to be the ones to ask questions not answer them.

If you feel that you are being scammed, hang up and notify your local police department or the Indiana State Police.  If you have given money or used a credit card or have sent a check, cancel the check and notify your credit card company immediately to stop payment.  We only investigate the alleged scam.  It is the opinion of the local prosecutor if there is sufficient evidence to file charges or not.  If a credit card is used and you are not liable for the charges, the credit card company is the victim not you.  It will be the opinion of the credit card company to pursue charges or not.

Always check into any type of fund raising organization if you are not familiar with them.  It is better to spend a little time and save your money than to try and get the money back after it is gone.

Trick or Treating With Allergies

We've started our Halloween page on the Library's website and it made me think that not ALL children find Halloween to be as much fun as their friends.

When I was a child we never thought about allergies when we went trick or treating, if we knew some type of treat “didn’t agree with us” we just traded it to our brother/sister/friend for candy that did agree with us.  The thought that the dislike was caused by an allergy never occurred to us, and I’m not sure it occurred to our parents either.

Now allergies often seem to rule children’s lives, there are so many different types to consider and treats that were staples at school events are now banned from the buildings.

Some children actually might find Trick or Treating to be a danger to their very lives.  That’s one of the reasons that we have included sites where you can find treats appropriate for children with allergies.  Some sites offer allergy-free recipes if you are hosting a party or sending something to school, while some offer alternatives to candy treats.

One suggestion is to create some homemade craft kits to hand out.  If you are of the “crafty persuasion” this gives you a chance to clean out all those odds and ends you have left over from earlier projects.  You include all the items needed (except for the glue or sewing needles) to make simple beaded necklaces/bracelets/pins, puppets, bookmarks, a little pompom creature, etc. If you aren’t crafty there are store bought items:  small tubs of clay, puzzles, card games, pencils/pens, spider rings, stickers, etc.

There’s even a color – Teal – that you can display at your house that will let parents know that you offer allergy free treats or alternative items.  You can learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project at

So this year you can be prepared for all those little spooks and goblins that go door to door asking, “Trick or Treat!”

Cumulative Railroad Revenue Fund Established During NJ Town Council Meeting

Posted on September 19, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

During the North Judson Town Council meeting last night, board members approved an ordinance establishing a cumulative railroad revenue fund for future payments from the railroad company and to transfer the money from the existing railroad capital improvement fund.

In the settlement agreement between the Town of North Judson and Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad Company (CKIN), it was arranged that the town will receive quarterly payments from the railway operator based on and coinciding with railroad traffic. A fund needed to be established in order to put those payments somewhere under the new agreement.

Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins mentioned that approximately $94,000 of unspent money from the railroad capital improvement fund was also re-positioned into this fund. In the past, money in the railroad capital improvement fund was solely limited to railway construction, repairs and refurbishing. With the shift, that money can now be spent for a number of reasons that were listed in the ordinance establishing the cumulative railroad revenue fund.

The funds can only be spent for the purposes listed in the ordinance. Authorized uses include capital improvements and general maintenance to town buildings and infrastructure, local matching funds for state and federally received grants, attorney and litigation fees as well as court costs, public safety equipment.

The funds can also be spent for the expenses of administering the cumulative railroad revenue fund other professional services including but not limited to financial advising, engineering and survey costs, certified appraisal fees and other associated expenses relating to railroads and other town projects.

The town council is permitted to approve and incorporate any other qualifying expenses that into the ordinance as things come up, as long as it is done in a meeting open to the public. After a unanimous approval from the board, the Cumulative Railroad Expense Fund went into effect. The fund is of perpetual existence or until the ordinance is duly repealed by the North Judson Town Council.

Starke County Council Approves Three Percent Employee Raise

Posted on September 19, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Starke County Council Monday night approved a three percent increase for county employees. The council members discussed what sort of impact that will have on the budget and found it would be about a $78,000 increase. They felt that was feasible, but they hope that the state won’t cut too much out of the budget.

The public hearing for the 2018 budget for Starke County will be held on Oct. 2. The budget adoption is scheduled for Oct. 18. Budgets must be approved by Nov. 1.

A request by Coroner Dannie Hoffer to increase his pay and the pay for his deputies was tabled as Hoffer was not present at the meeting to discuss the matter. However, council member Brad Hazelton reviewed paperwork submitted by Hoffer and stated that Hoffer is not the lowest paid coroner in the state as he previously claimed.

Hoffer is seeking a $9,000 pay increase and an increase in pay for his deputies per call. The deputy coroners are required to go to calls with the coroner with any assistance needed, or go in his place if he is not available.

The commissioners previously recommended the increase.

Unemployment Up from Previous Month But Down from Last Year in Starke, Pulaski Counties

Posted on September 19, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Local unemployment rates are up from the previous month, but still better than the same period a year ago. Starke County’s unemployment rate rose to 4.6 percent in August from 4.1 percent in July, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The change was similar in Pulaski County, where the August rate was four percent, compared to 3.4 percent the previous month.

But year-over-year, both counties saw a drop of 0.4 percent in their August unemployment. Still, changes in the labor force mean there are actually fewer people working now.

Pulaski County’s August unemployment rate matched the state average at four percent, while the U.S. as a whole saw a rate of 4.5 percent.

NJSP School Board to Hold Public Hearings for 2018 Budget & Proposed Lease Agreement

Posted on September 19, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

When the North Judson-San Pierre School Board members meet tonight they will hold a public hearing for their 2018 school budget, the capital projects fund and the bus replacement fund. The will also hold a hearing about a proposed lease agreement.

Once the hearings have been adjourned, council members will move on to budget adoption. They will also be acting on the capital projects plan, the bus replacement plan and a tax neutrality resolution. Board members are scheduled to adopt the advertised budget reduction resolution.

After the budget adoption concludes, members will move on to the regular meeting where they will consider the final adoption of board policies as well as a resolution approving the form of lease agreement. They will also discuss approving the issuance of series 2017 bonds and the approval of school improvement plans.

The NJSP school board meets tonight at 7 p.m. in the central office board meeting room.

Choir Call-Outs for Community Christmas Cantata This Thursday

Posted on September 19, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Though there are still a few other holidays coming up before Christmastime is officially here, practices for a December performance will start soon. Choir call-outs for this year’s Community Christmas Cantata will be Thursday at 6 p.m. CT in the Knox United Methodist Church. Brian Liechty and Nan Folkers are working together as directors for this year’s production and will hold choir practices at the church every Thursday at 6 p.m. following the initial call-out meeting.

The cantata will be performing ‘And it Came to Pass, Emmanuel’ composed by Rose Aspinall and Jay Rouse. Folkers said she is very excited to start working with community members on the pieces for this year.

“It’s a really lovely works of different songs and music put together.” Folkers explained, “If anyone’s familiar with them they know that those arrangements are usually pretty fun and beautiful music.”

Call-outs are open to anyone at the high-school level or older. The cantata is not only limited to Starke County residents. Folkers encourages all interested individuals to come out Thursday. She also said practice CDs can be disbursed in the event that someone has a scheduling conflict that does not allow them to attend particular practices.

The final performance will at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 10th at the Knox United Methodist Church,  201 S Shield Street. Any questions can be directed to Nan Folkers at 574-772-6248.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Spooky Snacks for Halloween

Looking for some Spooky Snacks for a Halloween Party or to send with the kids to school?  We've added a list of sites for you to check out - everything from Bloody Halloween Smores to Earwax Candy to Pretzel Candy Spiderwebs to Worm Sandwiches.

Come on over and check them out -

11/1 to 12/15/2017 Affordable Care Act Enrollment

10/28/2017 Starke County Chamber Presents: A Do-It-Yourself Christmas

We love to share with you how important it is to shop local. Now we are going to provide some additional ways to do so, and get some time in on those arts and crafts so many love. There will be 6 Saturdays organized for a total of 10 projects that can be used as great gifts. Register for one or all of them and get those gifts crossed off your list!

Classes will be held at the Starke County Chamber of Commerce, 400 N Heaton Street,  Knox, Indiana 46534.

Saturday, October 28 at 10 AM - 12 PM - Monogrammed Tote Bag
This morning we will be creating a monogrammed tote bag. The cost is $15/bag and includes all supplies. Visit:  to register online. 

Saturday, October 28 at 12 PM - 2 PM - Personalized Coasters
At this class we will be creating a set of personalized coasters. They can be built to suit your needs, even adding pictures of the family to them! The cost is $15/set of 4 and includes all materials.  Visit: to register online

November 4 at 10 AM - 12 PM - Real Pearl Earrings / Leather Earrings
During this class we will be creating real pearl earrings! The Monster Oysters will be opened in the class and will be cleaned and drilled on site. You will then use 2 of the pearls to create a beautiful set of pearl earrings. Register for one set or 10, totally up to you. While our pearl expert cleans the pearls and drills them we will create a second pair of earrings from leather. You will be able to craft both sets for $25, all materials included (even the pearls!).  
Come be a part of this amazing class and create a set for you and any other loved ones you may be gifting this holiday season! 
Don't like to craft but still want to purchase a pair at a super discounted price? Register and let me know you won't be here so we can make them for you.  **These are real pearls, straight from the oyster. They will have thier natural shape and color which can include shades of purple, white, pink etc.**

November 18th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - String Art Deer 
The November 18th Class will be a beautiful deer, done in string art. The cost of this project is $25 and includes all material. These will be approximately 11"x14" 
Visit to register online. 

November 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Horseshoe Ornament 
In this class we will creating a horseshoe ornament. Colors will determine whether you use it for the Holidays or year round. Horseshoes hung over your door are considered good luck so perhaps more than one will be in order! 
Cost is $10 and includes all materials 
Visit to register online. 
November 25 from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. - Wine Glasses
In this class we will be painting these fantastic wine glasses with your own winter wonderland. Deer stencils will be available if needed. Class costs $15/pair and includes all materials 
Visit to register online

December 9 at 10 AM - 12 PM - Leather Notebooks
In this class we will be creating these classy leather notebooks. Filled with heavy paper and refillable these notebooks are indispensable. The class is $25 and includes all materials 
Visit to register online. 

December 16 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Personalized Trays 
In this class we will be personalizing 9 3/4" x 9 3/4" trays. The saying can be anything you like as we will be painting it on. You can also choose to add pictures of family, holiday designs etc. Your imagination is the limit with this project. $20 includes all materials (except family photos if you choose to use them) 
Visit to register online. 

Animal Ordinance Referendum

10/14/2017 19th Annual Bluejay Golf Outing

9/26/2017 Falls Prevention Workshop

Insurance Companies Donate to Bluejay Football

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Starke County EMS Director Hires New Part-Time Paramedics, Gives Ambulance Maintenance Report

Posted on September 9, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Starke County EMS Director Travis Clary told the county commissioners this week that five part-time paramedics were recently hired and they are completing orientation. He hopes this will help cut down on overtime hours.

Clary also reported that no major mechanical issues occurred to the county ambulances in August. Previously, ambulances had experienced several issues and one was always in out of service for repair. The repairs have taken a toll on the EMS budget. Clary and Clerk Mary Lynn Ritchie have brought budget issues before the county council and the commissioners as repairs have caused a funding shortage.

Clary also mentioned that he plans on researching a keyless entry system to better secure the ambulance buildings.

Hoosiers Urged to Donate Blood to Help Hurricane-Impacted Communities

Posted on September 9, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Indiana’s lieutenant governor is calling on Hoosiers to donate blood, to help communities impacted by hurricanes. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch says Hurricane Irma is expected to have a widespread impact like Hurricane Harvey, and blood supplies are already low.

She adds that the Indiana Blood Center has already provided 600 units of blood to patients in Texas, and state employees in Indianapolis are planning another blood drive next week at the Indiana Government Center.

Locally, you can donate blood at one of several events hosted by the American Red Cross. Blood drives will take place Thursday, September 14 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Knox and Wednesday, September 27 at West Central High School.

For more information or to find a blood drive near you, visit

North Judson Town Council Receives Lane Street Renovation Updates

Posted on September 9, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The North Judson Town council received an update on renovations to a Lane Street property that was a safety hazard during their meeting Tuesday night. Monty Timm served as a representative for the renovations being done at 214 Lane Street.

Timm told the board the approximately 90 percent of the front portion of roof has been re-decked and felted. Board President Wendy Hoppe asked Timm when he plans to have the entire roof completed. At the meeting he said construction crews would finish up the front of the roof and start on the back soon. He hopes to have the renovations complete by the end of October before snow starts to fly.

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Halloween Countdown Has Begun!

Well, I didn't want to do it but I've created our annual Halloween page for the library's website. So far there are only two items listed with more to come in the weeks ahead.

UPDATE:  Added a section on DIY kid’s costumes and one of Halloween party ideas for kids – which includes games, treats that are allergy free (dairy, gluten, and nut) and alternative treats instead of candy.

North Judson Trash Pick-up Rescheduling Causes Influx of Calls

Posted on September 8, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Due to the Labor Day holiday, North Judson recycling and trash pick-up has been rescheduled to today. Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins said she was receiving many calls concerning that matter over the last few days. The fact that Collins was able to take all of those calls shows that the recently installed phone system is working efficiently.

Now that the phone system is installed, the possibility of a North Judson Town Website is becoming more of a reality. The site construction would not begin until next year, so the Town Council is allocating some money for that purpose in their 2018 budget.

Collins said they are considering using Datacrates, the same company who handled the phone system but they have looked at quotes from other companies, attempting to find the least costly option. The website would be utilized to post ordinances, upcoming events and various departmental information as well as potentially allowing citizens to pay their water bill on the site.

A public hearing for the North Judson Town Council 2018 budget is scheduled for October 2nd.

Bid Opening for Starke County Bridge Projects Delayed

Posted on September 8, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The bids that were to be opened Tuesday during the Starke County Commissioners meeting for Bridge #154 over the Robbins Ditch on 100 E. has been delayed until Monday, Oct. 2.

Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler explained that funding is dependent on the announcement of Community Crossing grant awards which has been delayed.

“All three will be Oct. 2 pending the Community Crossings announcement,” said Ritzler. “One of those we could bid anyway, but I’d still rather wait until we know the whole picture of Community Crossings. We know we’ll have enough money even without that. If that happens again, we’ll move them out again. I want to get that bid right after we get the grant because there’s going to be a lot of projects bid right after the Community Crossing grants are announced. We’re trying to time it to just after they’re announced.”

Ritzler has eight projects that he submitted to INDOT for consideration for Community Crossings grant funds. The three bridges that will be bid on Oct. 2 include Bridge #154, Bridge #36 on County Road 25 N. over Eagle Creek and Bridge #58 on County Road 800 South over Bogus Run. Seven out of the eight projects proposed for Community Crossings money are bridge projects. Ritzler said he will be working with USI Consultants soon to conduct bridge inspections. He said the fees will be less as there are fewer deficient bridges.

The Indiana Department of Transportation La Porte District received over 430 applications for this year’s grant rounds. The La Porte District covers 13 counties including Marshall, Starke, La Porte and Pulaski Counties. The funding is more competitive as the match money was lowered to a 75/25 match rather than a 50/50 match.

Starke County Commissioners Choose Vendor to Seal Parking Lot

Posted on September 8, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Starke County Maintenance Director James Coad presented quotes to the Starke County Commissioners for sealing the parking lot at Annex Building No. 1.

Quotes were given in the amount of $1,700 from Les Jensen and $2,400 from Scott Lehiy. The commissioners chose to go with Scott Lehiy for this job as Jensen completed a recent job. Coad said he would like to give Lehiy the work and the commissioners thought they would support both local businesses. The commissioners approved a motion to award Lehiy the bid to do the work.

In addition to the sealant, the parking lot would need to be striped and a handicap parking spot would need to be marked at the Annex Building No. 2. The work was to be done previously, but was left out. The company was also to install a seven-foot parking curb and didn’t do that. The highway department may be able to do that work.

Secretary of State Touring Indiana with Investment Fraud Documentary Screenings

Posted on September 8, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Protecting Hoosiers from investment fraud is the goal of a video produced in partnership with the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office. “$cammed: Investment Fraud Revealed” aims to show that investment schemes don’t just target large-scale investors on Wall Street, but also regular people here in Indiana.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson is traveling around the state, showing the half-hour documentary and discussing the dangers of investment fraud. A visit to South Bend is planned for Thursday, October 12, but a time and location have not yet been announced.

You can also watch the video online, on the Indiana Secretary of State’s website. If you suspect securities or investment fraud, you can report it to the Secretary of State’s Office by calling 317-232-6682.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

American Red Cross "Safe and Well" Application

If you have family in any area that is hit by a natural disaster the American Red Cross has set up an application that will allow them to let you know that they are safe and well. You can also use it to let friends and family know if you are safe and well if a natural disaster hits our area or an area you are visiting. Just visit and follow the instructions.

Safe and Well
After a disaster, letting your family and friends know that you are safe and well can bring your loved ones great peace of mind. This website is designed to help make that communication easier.
Register Yourself as “Safe and Well”
Click on the “List Myself as Safe and Well” button to register yourself on the site.
Search for Loved Ones
Concerned family and friends can search the list of those who have registered themselves as “safe and well” by clicking on the “Search Registrants” button. The results of a successful search will display a loved one’s first name, last name and a brief message.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort Update from Local Volunteer

Posted on September 7, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The last time Sherry Fagner, spoke with WKVI, she was two days away from joining the Red Cross in Houston to assist with mass care efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Fagner is a Lead Disaster Action Team member for Pulaski and Starke Counties as well as a long-time Red Cross Volunteer. Sherry has been on the ground for a little under a week now and has been quite busy as the supervisor of a staff shelter there.

Her responsibilities involve assisting volunteers by providing food, water and adequate facilities to ensure they’re at their best to be out in the field. Fagner said that even though her experience with volunteer work has prepared her for what she is doing now, there are some differences between this relief effort and ones from her past.

She said that when she volunteered during the South Bend floods last year she did more client casework which had her working one-on-one with clients. “They are just beginning that phase of stuff here and that probably would not be something I would be doing in Texas.” she said, “We are doing more of the shelter aspect, that’s what I came down here for is shelter work.”

Sherry said she will be helping with feeding work later in the week, providing food to the client shelters. She will be in her current location for two weeks total, and then she will be out-processed back home. However, she said there is absolutely a possibility of signing up for another term in the near future. Sherry wanted to remind everyone that the best way to provide assistance is to make monetary donations so that responders have the ability to purchases needed supplies rather than attempting to find what they need in miscellaneous donations.

As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida and parts of the South East U.S., she advised anyone in the path of danger to sign up for the Red Cross Safe and Well Program. The program allows individuals to provide their name, address and other important information and then they have the ability to check in as safe through the Safe and Well Page at to alert loved ones in other parts of the country of their status.

Starke County Commissioners Select EMA Director

Posted on September 7, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Starke County Commissioners are prepared to offer the EMA Director position to one of the many candidates they interviewed for the opening.

Commissioner Kathy Norem commented that all of the applicants brought a varying degree of strengths that would have worked for what the commissioners had in mind for an EMA Director. Norem thought Danielle Stormy stood out as the candidate that would best fit the role for Starke County. Stormy has a degree in meteorology with a minor in emergency management.

The commissioners unanimously approved a motion to give a conditional offer of employment to Stormy.

The EMA Director position has been vacant since May after the commissioners terminated Jacob Lippner. The county council recently amended the EMA Director’s position to part-time, setting an hourly pay rate from $15.50 to $18.50 for a 20-hour work week. The rate will be decided upon depending on education and experience.

Updates to North Judson’s Phone System are Complete

Posted on September 7, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

As of today, the updated phone system for the Town of North Judson will be up and running. The fire department was the final number scheduled to be added to the directory and it will be accessible today. Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins said this switch will not only save money, but it will also save her and other department heads a lot of time, while also making it easier for citizens to contact specific departments.

The North Judson Town Council has been working with the company Datacrates to update the town’s phone system for a few months. The old system not only cost more money, but it also made matters more difficult. Collins said many times, people would call her line attempting to pay their water bill or contact another department. She would have to personally redirect the calls which took up a lot of her time.

The new automated system gives callers the option of selecting the extension of the department they wish to reach, speeding up the process. During the Town Council meeting on Tuesday evening, Collins said she’s already seeing a difference. Before they had four bills, and now it’s been cut down to two bills. They are currently saving around $150 on one bill and $50 on another, while the service costs about $195 a month. Although this month they broke even, Collins said she expects there to be big savings by the time the year is over.

Citizens can test out the new system by calling 574-896-3340 and selecting their desired department extension from the automated options presented.

Starke County Career and College Success Coalition Members Discuss Fall Activities

Posted on September 7, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Several local organizations are working together to help Starke County residents build successful careers.

Members of the Starke County Career and College Success Coalition met Tuesday to share their plans for the coming months, according to member Shirley Fosler. “The Starke County Youth Club was there,” she says, “and they were talking about how they have homework help and tutoring help, so they can make sure that their students get their work done, so they can reach the goal of passing to the next grade level and graduating. They also have STEM activities, which is a big push now across the State of Indiana, which is science, technology, engineering, and math. That’s the way a lot of the career fields are going, and of course, they have career discussions, as they do different activities with the kids.”

For students thinking about going to college next year, many organizations are offering help with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Fosler says Ancilla College is once again planning FAFSA meetings around the local area, including one at Knox High School on October 4. North Judson-San Pierre High School will also hold a FAFSA night, and Knox United Methodist Church will have a FAFSA workshop for people who need access to computers.

Another big event coming up is the annual Manufacturing Day celebration, hosted by the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. This year, seventh graders and high school seniors from around Starke County will take part in the event at Knox Middle School on October 12. A job fair will also take place there October 11 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Fosler says a couple new organizations joined the coalition for the first time Tuesday. The Starke County Adult Learning Center offers free help to people who want to take the TASC, a replacement test for the GED. They also offer resources to those who simply want to improve their math or reading skills to further their careers. Meanwhile, Key Counseling highlighted their efforts to help teenagers and adults make better decisions, leading to better careers.

Fosler says the Starke County Career and College Success Coalition could still use some more help. “We’re always looking for more people to get involved and to do things in Starke County to promote higher education,” she says, “and to get better jobs and careers to better support their family and make a better life for everybody.”

She encourages anyone interested in helping out to call Ron Gifford with the Starke County Economic Development Foundation at 574-772-5627.

The Starke County Career and College Success Coalition’s next meeting will take place January 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Starke County Economic Development Foundation office.

Full Weekend of Events at Kersting’s Cycle Center

Posted on September 7, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Kersting’s Cycle Center and Museum has a plethora of fun things to look forward to this coming weekend. To start it all off, Starke County A.B.A.T.E will be hosting its Autumn Slam, a two-day event that begins Friday when gates open at 7 p.m. EST. The event is open to anyone 21 or older and the cost is $15 dollars per person. That fee grants access to food, bike games, field events, entertainment and primitive camping on Friday and Saturday.

On Sunday, Kersting’s is showing their customer appreciation by having a Mystery Ride. Sign-up will be from noon until 1 p.m. EST. At that time, the bikes will leave for the ride and return around 4 p.m. for a picnic lunch. A $10 donation per person is being asked in order to benefit the Nella Kersting Memorial Fund.

Kersting’s is four miles South of North Judson on US 39 in Winamac. Feel free to contact them with any questions about this weekend’s upcoming events by calling (574) 896-2974.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

How Do You Prepare For A Natural Disaster?

Hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, earthquakes – this has been one of the worst years on record for natural disasters.  September is National Preparedness Month but where can you find the information/details you need to be prepared?

We’ve done some of the work for you.  On the North Judson-Wayne Township Library’s website we have a section called “Directory and Community Guide for Starke County” which lists local information (child care, education, township trustees, emergency assistance/social & human services, etc.) as well as governmental sites.  One of those is the “READY: Prepare, Plan, Stay Informed” page which provides you with websites where you can order or download the information you need.

Check it out, it could have just what you’ve been looking for.