Friday, June 29, 2018

Happy Birthday, Sir William Osler, 1st Baronet, FRS FRCP 
July 12, 1849 

He was a Canadian physician and one of the four founding professors of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

NJ Clerk-Treasurer Discusses Contaminated Recyclables and the Threat they Pose

Posted on June 28, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

In a meeting between North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe and Republic Services Municipal Account Executive Pete Callan, the two discussed a recent change to recycling procedures that is having a major impact locally and across the country. Rowe told town council members last Monday that Republic Services, as well as many trash collection agencies, have been exporting much of their recyclable material to China for years.

However, he said China recently shifted the amount of contaminated material they’ll accept from 3 percent to .5 percent and it’s resulted in a lot of the material being returned to the States with no place to go.

Rowe explained, “Even a little bit of something organic or any food in with something you recycle can contaminate everything,” he went elaborated, “and that means a block of something that they’ve compressed and sent over immediately gets rejected and sent back.”

Rowe noted that if nothing is done to cut down on the contamination of recyclables, Republic Services could have to discontinue the program locally due to the loss in revenue.

He mentioned that Callan plans to appear before the council in a future meeting to go over ways that officials and residents can work together to improve recycling practices.

Some ways that residents can actively help cut down on contamination is by rinsing and drying cans, bottles and other items thoroughly before placing them in recycling bins. Always be sure that containers are completely empty before recycling them.

It also helps to separate recyclable items by material to help cut down on cross contamination. For instance, collect paper, plastic, aluminum and glass products separately in paper bags and then place each the individual assortment of items in your bin.

Additionally, it’s important to recognize what is and what isn’t recyclable. Certain items such as milk cartons, Styrofoam, bubble wrap, plastic bags and greasy pizza boxes should never be placed in recycling. For more information about specific rules that Republic Services has, check out their Recycling Guide.

General Election to Include At-Large North Judson Town Council Seats

Posted on June 28, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Two at-large North Judson Town Council seats will be included on the November General Election ballot.

The Starke County Election Board members noted that the North Judson Town Council did not pass an ordinance by Jan. 1 to indicate that those seats would be included in the Primary Election. Those candidates will now be determined in a Town Convention to be held by Tuesday, Aug. 21. However, if only two candidates each file for the two open positions, a Town Convention will not need to be held. Those candidates will simply move to placement on the November General Election ballot.

Candidates may file for the at-large seats by Aug. 1. Forms will be available in the Starke County Clerk’s Office.

The Starke County Election Board members indicated that they will discuss the procedure with North Judson town officials as soon as possible.

Starke County Election Board to Research Resolution Timetable for Late Candidate Financial Reports

Posted on June 29, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Starke County Election Board members are going to do more research on a timetable for their resolution for the filing of late candidate financial reports.

In May, the board members approved a resolution that outlines the board’s decision to fine candidates who are late in filing financial reports beginning with the Primary Election in 2018. A fine of $50 per day would be assessed, but that fine may be amended following the outcome of a hearing conducted by the board for each candidate who files an appeal. The resolution follows Indiana code that discusses this matter.

Clerk Vicki Cooley noted that each candidate is told of this requirement when they file for office. She explained that the candidates receive a packet of information and this notification is said to be in the packet at the time of candidate filing.

There were eight candidates who filed late forms after the April 20 deadline of this year and their fines range from $50 to $900 for each day the form was late.

The board members are unsure if the resolution they passed is effective as of the date they approved it, which is in May, or when the law was passed. After much discussion, the election board members ultimately voted unanimously to table a final decision until their July meeting for clarification.

Starke County Prosecutor Looking to Update Computers

Posted on June 29, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff will be looking to purchase new computers for his staff.

He told the Starke County Council members on June 18 that the three computers used by the three prosecutors are not working properly along with the rest of the desktops in the office and in the child support office. Bourff said they’re the same computers he’s been using since at least 2011.

He added that several high profile jury trials are on the docket in the next month and he needs to have proper working equipment in order to present evidence to the jury during the trials.

Bourff presented several quotes for three laptops for the prosecutors and six desktops for the rest of his staff and child support. He also presented an alternate option with the replacement of the three laptops and three desktops for just his staff and not child support.

Councilman Dave Pearman commented that the purchase is a capital expenditure and should be considered by the commissioners first to be included in their list of capital projects for funding. Commissioner Kathy Norem, who was a member of the audience during the council meeting, noted that the commissioners weren’t aware of the need and they haven’t seen any paperwork on the request.

With that information, the council members unanimously voted to table the request until Bourff makes the formal presentation before the commissioners, as procedure suggests. He is anticipated to discuss this with the commissioners during their July 2 meeting.

Frankenstein Friday #23 - Chapter 18

Frankenstein Friday is back! Dive into the novel with us.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

7/1/2018 Starke County Historical Society Ice Cream Social

6/30/2018 NJSP Class of '73 45th Class Reunion

The North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Department Memorial Wall is Now Complete

Posted on June 27, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The construction of the memorial wall for the North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Department is complete.

At a town council meeting in May, Fire Chief Joe Leszek shared that one unique element of this project was that the wall was built utilizing some limestone that was salvaged from the old fire station that was demolished a few years back.

The memorial wall pays tribute to that original building that stood on Main Street from 1952 until 2009.

Department representatives shared pictures on social media Tuesday afternoon and expressed their gratitude to the companies that helped create the commemorative monument in front of the firehouse.

Brian Allen Masonry was thanked for the work that they put into this project and the companies O’Donnell Monument and Patten Monument were acknowledged for the detailed artwork that was etched into the black stone in the center of the wall.

To check out the memorial wall in person, you can stroll by the firehouse on Luken Street

Starke County Sheriff Asks for Impound Fee, Golf Cart Inspection Deadline

Posted on June 27, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin asked the county commissioners last week if a vehicle impound fee could be implemented.

The proposed fee would be $25. County Attorney Marty Lucas will be looking at statutes that would justify the authorization of such a fee. Lucas said he’s aware that other counties charge a fee, but will research the issue further before the commissioners present a final decision on the request, including how the fees would be utilized within the department.

Sheriff Dulin also asked the commissioners to amend the golf cart ordinance to include an inspection deadline date. He would like to set a deadline of July 1 for inspection and any inspections after that would be done with a late fee of $10 or $15. Dulin said officers are often doing inspections well into October despite open golf cart inspection hours on Saturdays.

“We’ve done probably five golf cart inspection sites on Saturdays,” said Dulin. “We’ve done quite a bit of them. I don’t know how many of them, probably 300, 400 or 500 just on those sites. Plus, we go to the residences.”

If passed, the amendment won’t to into effect until 2019. The commissioners will review the ordinance this fall to include that information.

One Week Left to Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance for Flood Damage

Posted on June 27, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Those who experienced flood damage this past February have just over a week left to register for federal disaster assistance. The deadline is Thursday, July 5.

You can apply online at or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. A FEMA Disaster Recovery Center remains open today through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Rensselaer Fire Department at 1060 West Clark.

Marshall, Starke, Pulaski, and LaPorte County residents who experienced uninsured flood damage at their primary residence are encouraged to register. FEMA’s individual assistance grants are designed to help with the cost of bringing damaged homes back to a safe and functional standard.

Homeowners and renters may also apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, up to $200,000 for a homeowner’s primary residence and up to $40,000 for personal property. For more information, visit

If you’ve already registered with FEMA and have been found ineligible, FEMA officials say to read your letter carefully to understand why. If FEMA asks for more information, there’s a chance you may be reconsidered for assistance, if you send it within 60 days.

Additionally, Starke, Pulaski, and LaPorte County residents whose employment was lost or interrupted by the storms and flooding may also be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. More information can be found on the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s website or by calling 800-891-6499. Applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance are due by July 9.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

“Senior Cruise Night” Proposed at North Judson Town Council Meeting

Posted on June 26, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Representatives from the North Judson High School Memorial committee came before Town Council members last week, seeking permission to hold a “blast from the past” event next June.

Committee member Sue Dolezal said that on June 8th of 2019, the committee wants to hold an event that would coincide with the Fire Department’s annual fish fry since many people would already be coming into town for that.

“We’d like to have a senior cruise night,” Dolezal told members,” and with that we want to do a dedication to the new memorial and open up the time capsule that was in the cornerstone.”

Dolezal said that with this, North Judson residents could take a trip down memory lane, taking the same routes that “cruisers” took back in their high school days.

She said they’ll probably award some prizes for things like ‘best muscle car’ and ‘oldest cruiser’. She said they’re also planning to put up signs to recognize where past landmarks once stood.

The stretch of road that will be the main focus of the event will be Lane Street. Dolezal noted that in the past, there were fewer stop signs. In order to help with the flow of the cruise, she asked if they would be able to cover those up.

Council President Wendy Hoppe said that legally, they would not be permitted to cover them but they could work with the Police Department and potentially work something out to allow the signs to be temporarily ignored for the event.

The council provided unanimous approval for the event. Dolezal said that since it’s a year away they’re still in the planning stages but committee members are getting excited. She also informed the council that they’re hoping to break ground for the memorial sometime within the next month.

Starke County Commissioners Submit Budget for Consideration

Posted on June 26, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Commissioner Kathy Norem submitted budget figures for the 2019 Starke County Commissioners budget in the General Fund to Auditor Kay Chaffins when the commissioners met last week.

Norem explained that there aren’t too many line items in the budget, but it is one of the biggest funds as they take care of the payment of health insurance and benefits.

A lot of the line items will be the same as last year including the commissioners’ salaries and P.T.A.B.O.A. board, unemployment, tax sale, travel expenses, dues and subscriptions, soldier monuments, Starke County Fair Board, Community Services of Starke County, Marshall-Starke Development Center, Starke County Historical Society, 4-H Clubs, other services and charges, animal control, and courthouse monument flags.

Norem said the biggest increase proposed in the budget is a 10 percent increase for insurance costs. She said the costs seem to increase every year so they will be ready for it in 2019. An increase to the county attorney was proposed as well as money for legal fees, workman’s comp and juvenile detention efforts.

A reduction in liability insurance was requested in next year’s budget.

The commissioners voted unanimously to submit the proposed budget to the auditor to include in upcoming budget discussions. Chaffins said Social Security and PERF amounts are estimated. The budget is around $2,720,000.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Frankenstein Friday #22 - Chapter 17

It's Frankenstein Friday! This week we're diving into Vol. 3, Ch. 1. Come read with us.

Jail Sergeant Positions Created at Sheriff’s Office

Posted on June 25, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Two new Starke County jail sergeant positions will be created in the salary ordinance.

Sheriff Bill Dulin requested the creation of the positions during last week’s Starke County Commissioners meeting.

“The pay increase will be an additional 45 cents an hour, about $1,000 a year,” said Dulin. “The need is due to the amount of movement in the jail with transports to court, doctor appointments and rehabilitation courses within the facility. It will also cut down on overtime and comp time.”

New employees will not be hired for this position, but a jailer working the day shift and a jailer working the night shift will be appointed as jail sergeants to supervise the jail and the staff members during the shifts.

Commissioner Kathy Norem clarified that the jail sergeant position will act like the paramedic shift captain in the Starke County EMS Department.

The commissioners unanimously approved the positions.

North Judson-San Pierre Officials to Close on $1.1 Million G.O. Bond This Week

Posted on June 25, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson-San Pierre will be taking one of the final steps to secure the school’s $1.1 Million General Obligation Bond tomorrow. Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin informed school board members met last week that the bond closing will be on Tuesday, June 26th.

As a reminder, this bond will take the place of the 2006 bonds that will soon be retired. Replacing the 2006 bonds that are about to fall off with this G.O. bond will allow for the levy and the school’s current rate to be unaffected.

Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin has mentioned in past meetings that about $400,000 of the bond money will be used to purchase new technology devices. Another $100,000 dollars will be spent to enhance safety and security. The remaining money will be set aside for future repairs and projects as well as potential upgrades to the elementary school building.

North Judson Town Superintendent Informs Council Members About Recent Projects, Updates and Purchase

Posted on June 25, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann provided the town council members with a brief update about a few different projects that he and the utility crews have been taking care of around town.

Horstmann said that 10 new sets of barricades were recently made. He said they were painted, stenciled and reflective tape was applied. He added that he also put some tar on the stumps that were recently eliminated to prevent them from growing back.

The Superintendent noted that he finished hanging up the town’s new banners on Lane Street. He suggested that in the future, they may want to invest in a bigger size. He recommended potentially getting ones that are 24 inches wide and about 4 feet long.

A purchase order, totaling $1,946 to Blue River Technologies for two barrels of polymer was submitted. He also asked the council members to approve a purchase order to Central Paving $565.25 for 6.65 tons of cold mix. Horstmann said the mix was utilized to fill in potholes and fill up space around the manhole castings that were replaced.

Council members voted unanimously to approve both purchase orders.

Safe Swimming Tips for the Summer

Posted on June 25, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The temperatures are rising and that means more outdoor activities! This time of year can be lots of fun, but if you’re not careful, it can also potentially be dangerous. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep yourself and your family safe this summer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that an average of 10 people die in the U.S. each day from unintentional drowning, in Indiana alone more than 110 people died of drowning last year.

The CDC and the Indiana State Department of Health advise that anyone going into the water should have basic swimming skills and that children should always be supervised whenever they are in and near water. Even if a kid knows how to swim, they should wear life jackets around natural bodies of water as a safety measure.

Swimmers should also take precautions to prevent sunburn and heat-related illnesses by applying sunscreen often and drinking plenty of fluids.

Anyone experiencing stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fever, muscle weakness or difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Be sure to stay out of the water if experiencing diarrhea and for two weeks after symptoms stop.

The CDC warns that drowning, heat stroke and sunburns aren’t the only dangers that swimming can pose.

Each year, Indiana sees an average of 190 cases of Cryptosporidium. This is a parasite that can survive for days, even in properly chlorinated pools. It can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal illness that primarily involves watery diarrhea with or without a persistent cough.

To reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting a recreational water illness, swimmers should avoid swallowing water and shower before and after getting in the pool. Always thoroughly dry ears after swimming.

Never urinate or defecate in the water, and be sure to instruct children to avoid doing so. Parents should always check swim-diapers and change them in a bathroom or diaper changing area, not poolside. Be sure to wash your hands and the child’s hands before returning to the pool.

Additionally, Hoosiers who spend time in natural bodies of water are warned to avoid swimming if a blue-green algal bloom is present. Also steer clear of these bodies of water after a rain event since rain can wash contaminants like sewage overflows and animal feces into the water.

For more information on recreational water illnesses following the links provided with this story on our website at

Click the following links for more information about recreational water illnesses and public swimming pools and spas.

Starke County Commissioners Award Bridge Bid

Posted on June 23, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Starke County Commissioners opened bids Monday night for the reconstruction of Bridge #154 on County Road 100 East over the Robbins Ditch, one-tenth of a mile north of County Road 400 North.

Three bids were received and La Porte Construction submitted the lowest total base bid of $400,643. Reith Riley’s bid was $499,020.15 while JCI Bridge Group out of La Porte bid $437,975.39.

The projected engineer’s estimated cost of the bridge was around $409,000.

After a review of the bids and the responsible bidder ordinance, the Starke County Commissioners unanimously approved a motion to approve the lowest total base bid provided by La Porte Construction at $400,643.

NJ-SP Officials Discuss Necessary Budget Changes Due to State Policy Passed in 2017

Posted on June 23, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

When North Judson-San Pierre school board members met on Tuesday, they discussed an upcoming change that will impact how the school corporation keeps track of finances.

Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin reminded the board members about a House Enrolled Act (HEA 1009) passed in 2017 that will go into effect on January 1, 2019. This will impact all schools, not just NJ-SP. According to Zupin HEA 1009 will eliminate a few different accounts including the capital projects, transportation, bus replacement and general funds. Those will all be replaced with two new funds; the Education fund and the Operations fund.

She explained that the Education fund will be utilized for distributions of tuition support and it will only be used for expenses allocated to student instruction and learning.

On the other hand, the Operations fund will be used to pay for non-academic expenses. Funds and levies will be consolidated here, including the transportation, bus replacement and capital projects funds. Zupin noted that plans will still need to be submitted for Capital Projects and Bus Replacement.

Though the new rules won’t go into effect for months, the budget process for next school year is currently ongoing so the changes it will cause are incredibly relevant to the schools’ financial advisors.

Dr. Zupin said that Business Manager and Treasurer Guy Richie and the corporation’s other business managers have been working diligently to assess past finances and prepare the budget for next year, with this shift in mind.

Moving forward, Zupin said it will be important for officials to monitor, analyze and interpret how the Education and Operations Funds interact. She added that they’ll also need to continue observing enrollment to ensure a proper student-to-teacher ratio.

Zupin stated that a work session will be held in August to allow for more discussion over this topic. For more information, click the following link to download the Indiana Department of Education press release about HEA 1009.

North Judson Billing Clerk Recognized During Town Council Meeting for Census Assistance

Posted on June 23, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson Councilwoman Jane Ellen Felchuck took a moment during Monday night’s council meeting to express her gratitude toward a town employee for their assistance with a recent project.

When it came time to discuss additional business deemed necessary by the council, Felchuck thanked Town Billing Clerk Jennifer Vanek for helping with a census-related report that needed to be submitted.

She commented, “I would like to commend Jennifer for all the help for that census thing. She stepped up and just took over and it was done. I asked her how it was going the other day and she said ‘Oh, I sent it in.’ Well, thank you Jennifer!”

Felchuck noted that it certainly wasn’t an easy task so she wanted to be sure that Vanek was recognized for her hard work. Council President Wendy Hoppe added that Jennifer always does a good job.

Million Meal Movement Gives ISP Resources to Help Feed Hoosier Families

Posted on June 23, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

ISP Troopers are now better equipped to provide help when they’re dealing with people in need of nutrition assistance.

At the beginning of this month, the Million Meal Movement provided the Indiana State Police with more than 300 meal packets that contain enough nutrients to feed a family of four. Troopers received the packets in order to carry them in their patrol cars to assist hungry Hoosiers across the state.

According to an ISP press release, Dan and Nancy Hintz began Million Meal Movement in 2007 with a vision to feed the hungry and teach the importance of volunteerism. Since then, more than 28 million families have received meals made of healthy, delicious ingredients designed to satisfy hunger while providing essential nutrients thanks to the volunteers who work with this program.

For more information, visit

Friday, June 22, 2018

NJ-WT Fire Department Receives Grant

North Judson - Wayne Twp Volunteer Fire Department

Nathan Henning, member of North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Department, presents a $2,500 check to North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Chief, Joe Leszek. As an employee at Wappel Grain and Herb, Nathan was able to apply for and win the “America’s Farmers Grow Communities” grant from the Monsanto Fund. The $2,500 was used to purchase equipment for Engine 16-2, making it more capable to combat large fires. Thank you, Nathan Henning and Wappel Grain and Herb!

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Starke County Commissioners Review Quotes for Capital Purchases

Posted on June 22, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Starke County Commissioners reviewed quotes Monday night for several items on their list of capital purchases this year.

A new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system is on the list and two quotes were obtained by IT Director Richard Franks. One quote was for $253,000 and another for over $500,000. Franks said the licensing agreements make the difference in the quotes but the company with the lower quote should be able to handle everything the sheriff’s office is looking for in terms of updated dispatching equipment. The request was tabled in order to research grants for funding the purchase as well as possible funding from other agencies. Franks said he should be able to get an extension on the quote.

The commissioners did approve a quote from All Star Communications for a new phone system in the amount of $62,526 which includes a backup system. The funding will be taken from the Cumulative Capital Development fund.

The last capital project on the commissioners list is a backup server to be placed at an off-site location. The purchase was tabled so Franks could get another quote to consider with the two provided during the commissioners meeting on Monday night.

Local Emergency Planning Committee Prepares for Tabletop Exercise in the Fall

Posted on June 22, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The Local Emergency Planning Committee determined a few more details about the tabletop exercise scheduled for later this year that will allow local emergency responders to test the county’s All-Hazards Plan.

Members are required to hold at least three planning meetings prior to the exercise. They held the first meeting last week and their second one on Wednesday. They established that final planning session will be held after their regular meeting in August.

Members intend to the hold the exercise at the Knox-Center Township Fire Station during the month of October.

LEPC members will be working over the next month to put together a list of people who should attend the exercise. The list will include representatives from law-enforcement, the fire departments, EMS and other individuals who would play a role in responding to a hazardous emergency.

Starke County EMA Director J. Nier said that specific details about the exercise itself cannot be shared publically. She said this is so participants won’t have time to prepare for the simulated disaster beforehand and they can work together during the exercise to come up with a solution in real time.

North Judson-San Pierre School Board Discusses Technology Updates

Posted on June 22, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson-San Pierre School board members considered a lease with Apple when they met Tuesday night.

Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin shared that the lease will help finance the technology upgrades that the board has been discussing recently. She added that the contract would begin on Saturday, June 30th and it would run for 4-years.

Zupin stated that members also considered the outright purchase 150 MacBook Airs to complete the technology purchase. The Apple lease and the purchase of the new technology received unanimous board approval.

Dr. Zupin mentioned that the technology purchase will be funded through General Obligation Bond money while the Apple lease will be paid for with money from the capital project fund, where funds have already been budgeted for that purpose.

Mint Festival Reviewed at North Judson Town Council Meeting

Posted on June 22, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

A brief synopsis of last weekend’s Mint Festival was given during Monday night’s North Judson Town Council meeting.

Event Organizer Donna Henry said though the weekend was pretty toasty, the festival was a success and there were no mishaps.

She took some time to thank the council, Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann, Town Marshal Kelly Fisher and the officers with NJPD for their help with preparing, setting up and patrolling the event.

Councilman John Rowe said that he was approached several local and non-local people who commented on how Norwayne Field looked.

Rowe was excited to share, “Norwayne Field looked amazing! Everything out there looked great, from the fence to the pavilion to the grass, everything. I thought everything was just perfect out there.” He went on, “People came in from out of town and even said to me ‘wow this is nice out here.’

He said that the event was great but he did note a few safety concerns, such as the visible cords that were strung along some of the pathways. He also stated that he saw some of the festival patrol staff utilizing their vehicles on heavily populated streets.

Henry replied that organizers have talked in the past about purchasing some covers to put over the cords to prevent tripping. She said Rowe’s other concern could be further discussed when Mint Fest officials meet next month.

She told the council and members of the audience that they’re more than welcome to attend the Mint Fest review meeting that will be held at the town library on July 19th at 6:30 p.m. She added that they’ve already begun preliminary planning for next year’s event.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Local Emergency Planning Committee Brainstorms Ideas for Grant Application

Posted on June 21, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Starke County EMA Director J. Nier alerted members of the Local Emergency Planning Committee that she has received permission to proceed with the LEPC Grant process.

She mentioned that the grant is due July 13th and it is offered through the Indiana Emergency Response Commission. She said she wasn’t given a specific cap but she was told they could potentially apply for up to $10,000.

She also stated that there is a 12 percent “in-kind” match that wouldn’t require a monetary contribution. She said they would just need to hold meetings and record the time.

When members met on Wednesday, they were asked to come up with some ideas of the types of training, equipment and other resources that should be included in the grant application.

The main item that all members agreed to include is a Decontamination Trailer. The idea of buying specific types of HAZMAT suits was suggested but since members weren’t sure which types would be needed they just wrote suits for now.

They also noted that it could be useful to include a section in the proposal, asking for funds to either repair or replace the existing EMA trailer.

Director Nier added that a lot of counties utilize this grant funding to attend a week-long conference and that it could cover the attendance fees as well as the cost for hotel rooms. Since they couldn’t say how many people would definitely attend the conference, they estimated that about 4 people would attend and they would need two hotel rooms.

Nier said the grant can also help cover the cost of the required exercise and any potential training that emergency responders may need to take. The members weren’t sure of what kind of training they should invest in but since HAZMAT training is an annual requirement, they included that in the list of potentials.

The Committee members proposed utilizing some of the money to purchase additional firefighting foam for all departments in the county. The also said J. should include a line item for office supplies that are utilized for LEPC purposes.

The members voted unanimously to include the items they discussed in the grant application. Nier noted that she just needed an outline to submit and then adjustments could be made later if priorities happen to shift.

North Judson Town Council Discusses Changes to Fee Schedule

Posted on June 21, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe brought an amended fee schedule before the town council for their consideration Tuesday night.

The fee schedule was adjusted to include a gas-line inspection fee of $50, at the request of Building Inspector Jeff Abrams.

While reviewing the document, Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann noted a few other recommended changes.

He stated that the utility crew’s fees haven’t been updated in some time and suggested adjusting the fee for labor hours from $30 to $50 and the rate for after-hours labor from $75 to $100. Clerk-Treasurer Rowe said those changes could be made.

Additionally, Councilman Josh Brown mentioned that he recently spoke to Code Enforcement Officer Joe Leszek and Leszek suggested making some adjustments to the charges for ordinance violations in order to make them more effective.

Town Attorney Justin Schramm informed the council that if they want to make any changes to the charges for ordinance violations, they’ll need to take a few additional steps.

Schramm explained, “You can’t just amend the fee schedule without amending the original ordinance first to set that fee forth and then you’re going to have to publish notice since it’s prescribing a penalty provision.”

Councilman James Young said they should definitely take that route to make those changes and Councilman Brown agreed. Town Council President Wendy Hoppe suggested coordinating with Leszek and Town Marshal Kelly Fisher to adjust the consequences that people will face for multiple violations.

Aside from code-enforcement related changes that will require a bit more research and coordination, all the other suggested amendments will be added to an adjusted fee schedule that will be presented at the first meeting in July.

North Judson-San Pierre School Board Considers Salaries and Contracts

Posted on June 21, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

When North Judson-San Pierre school board members met Tuesday night, various contracts and salaries were up for approval.

Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin shared that the non-certified salary schedule was updated to include $8 per hour as the starting rate and the number of categories listed was reduced in order to make payroll and HR matters less complicated.

Zupin said this schedule is more organized, easier to understand and it better reflects and matches categories with job descriptions.

Board members also considered the salaries for non-instructional salaried employees, as well as the principals’ salaries and contracts. Dr. Zupin stated that the employees and principals that were eligible for an increase received the same increase that teachers got back in the fall.

The Superintendent’s contract was up for approval, with no changes made the original contract in regards to salary, benefits, responsibilities or other details. It was extended one year, as specified in the existing contract language.

Dr. Zupin said that all the contracts and salaries were approved as presented.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Good Luck Backstage Dancers at the World Dance Competition

7/9/2018 Indiana State Nurse Aide Training Class

North Judson Town Council Officially Joins Local Stellar Efforts

Posted on June 20, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson officials confirmed that they will be joining the Regional Stellar Communities effort during Monday night’s town council meeting.

During last week’s informational meeting about the Regional Stellar program at the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, OCRA Representative Gerry White shared that two of the basic requirements include the submission of income survey and a comprehensive plan.

He said in order to have an official comprehensive plan drawn up, it costs approximately $50,000. However, he mentioned that assistance is available to communities that have a certain portion of the population that is considered low-income.

At Monday night’s town council meeting, Clerk-Treasurer Rowe mentioned the potential assistance that the town could receive to help finance the creation of a comprehensive plan. He explained that OCRA would cover $45,000 and the Town would just need to come up with the remaining money.

He noted that this seemed like a pretty rare opportunity to access the resources needed to get a good plan in place that would outline future projects and goals.

He told members, “Worst case scenario, is to have something to look to and to work from, especially with the opportunity for us to get this done for $5,000 at a cost of $50,000.” Clerk-Treasurer Rowe continued, “In the future, going a different route I don’t think it would be possible to get that much of a break.”

The other members who attended the Stellar meeting, Vice President John Rowe and Council Members Jane Ellen Felchuck and James Young added that they were also on board and felt this would be a good step for North Judson to take. The council then voted unanimously to proceed with the process.

The decision was finalized after Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe alerted Starke County Executive Director Larry Wickert on Tuesday.

Wickert says that North Judson officials are now free to begin the process. He added that North Judson officials already have one of the requirements covered since they had to conduct an income survey prior to undertaking their water and wastewater projects.

Now they just need to start reaching out to the necessary resources in order to get started on comprising a comprehensive plan for the town.

Concerns Remain with Bass Lake Beach Patio, Nearly a Year After Repairs Were Suggested

Posted on June 20, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

As work gets underway to protect the Bass Lake Beach from future erosion, concerns remain about the beach house patio. Last summer, a group of local residents and Starke County Park Board members studied the site and pointed out that the fill that’s supposed to support the concrete patio had mostly washed away.

One of the members of that group, Rick Anderson, told the park board last week it’s been almost a year since those concerns were raised, and it still doesn’t look like the problem has been fixed. He noted that without anything supporting the concrete, the patio is in danger of collapse, and it will only get worse if nothing is done. Board members agreed that the issue is a safety hazard, and County Attorney Marty Lucas said he would send an email to the facility’s operator, Callahan Development, LLC.

While the repairs themselves don’t seem to have been made, related work to prevent future damage by installing glacial stone is being undertaken by the county.

North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Provides Project Updates

Posted on June 20, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

An update on the ongoing projects at North Judson-San Pierre Schools was delivered during Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

In Dr. Annette Zupin’s Superintendent’s report, she stated that security cameras and key fobs have been added to both buildings to help improve security. As another safety precaution, renovations to the main entrances to all three buildings on the school’s campus will begin soon.

Her report included that carpeting was laid in the Jr./Sr. High School Media Center and Main Office and the roofing work on the football locker room is nearing completion.

Additionally, the old tennis courts have been demolished, drainage was installed and paving for the new courts has begun.

She mentioned that work on the baseball and softball diamond started with the demolition of the dugouts and press boxes and will continue, with the eventual addition of a new scoreboard and fencing.

Dr. Zupin noted that the old HVAC units have been taken down and replaced with new, energy-saving units. She also informed members that the Agriculture wing at the Jr./Sr. High is now equipped with energy-efficient, LED light bulbs that will soon be installed in the rest of the school.

America’s Run for The Fallen to Pass Through Pulaski County

Posted on June 20, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

America’s Run for the Fallen aims to commemorate the brave heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice by “blazing a tribute trail across our nation”.

Starting today and running through June 30th, the Run for the Fallen will make its way through Indiana. The established trail will be making a local impact; by utilizing IN-14, volunteers will pass through Francesville and Winamac, recognizing service members of the community along the way.

The run individually recognizes nearly 20,000 Service Members who have fallen since the USS Cole bombing in October of 2000. It spans across 6,000 miles, over 19 states in 5 months. Starting in Fort Irwin, California, it began on April 7th and it will come to a close in the Arlington National Cemetery on August 5th.

If you’re interested in volunteering to participate, becoming a sponsor or making a donation or if you’d like to view the scheduled route or search for a service member’s hero marker location, visit

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Starke and Pulaski County Unemployment Statistics From May

Posted on June 19, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The most recent Indiana Department of Workforce Development unemployment report reveals a growing labor forces in Starke and Pulaski counties and fairly consistent unemployment rates.

From April to May, the labor force in Pulaski gained 338 additional workers and 321 more people were described as employed. Conversely, there were 19 more people determined to be unemployed and the rate rose slightly from 3.8 to 3.9 percent.

Starke County’s rate remains higher than that of their neighbors to the south and west. However, the county did see a slight decrease from April to May, going from 3.9 to 3.8 percent unemployment.

There were 364 more people on Starke County’s labor force during the month of May. Other improvements include that there were 267 additional individuals identified as employed and there were 3 fewer people determined to be unemployed.

Meanwhile, the state rate stayed the same from April to May at 3.2 percent and America’s rate shrank slightly, falling one-tenth of a percentage point. Compared to this time last year, the state is in the same boat while the country’s rate has improved, going from 4.3 in May of 2017 to 3.8 this year.

Salaries to be Discussed at Tonight’s North Judson-San Pierre School Board Meeting

Posted on June 19, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board will be discussing salaries when they meet tonight at 7 p.m.

Salaries for non-certified employees, transportation staff, non-instructional salaried employees and the new Dean of Students will be considered, along with administrative salaries and employee stipends.

Textbook fees, school meal prices and food provider proposals will all be up for acceptance and an appointment for the Pulaski County Public Library board will be established. A lease agreement with Apple and the superintendent’s contract will be up for consideration. Members will also set a reorganization meeting.

Additionally, a closed executive session will be held prior to the meeting in order to discuss the job performance evaluation of individual employees.

The School Board meets in the central office board meeting room in the NJSP administration building at 801 Campbell Drive.

North Judson Officials Plan to Attend Open House Celebrating the Upcoming One-Year Milestone of a Local Business

Posted on June 19, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Outstanding Trade Exhibit Services, also known as OTES Signs and Graphics is coming up on their one year anniversary of being established in North Judson. Local officials intend to celebrate the company’s one-year milestone this week.

When the North Judson Town Council met Monday evening, Council President Wendy Hoppe reminded the members that an open house to celebrate the anniversary will be held at the business on Wednesday.

She explained that she’s been coordinating with Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe to find the right thing to present during the event to express their gratitude to the company.

Hoppe said that invitations were recently sent out by the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. Council Vice President John Rowe noted that the Friday was the last day to submit an RSVP.

President Hoppe mentioned that she will be one of the speakers, SCEDF Executive Director Larry Wickert will also be providing a presentation and additional speeches will be made as well.

SBA Encourages Qualifying Flood Victims to Apply for Disaster Loans

Posted on June 19, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Those who experienced flood damage this past February may qualify for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Federal disaster assistance is now available to residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations across the local area, including Marshall, Starke, and Pulaski counties. The deadline to apply is July 5.

SBA Public Affairs Specialist Brian Beard says that for homeowners and renters, the first step is to register with FEMA. “The first thing they do is look at the financial situation, and somebody who has enough income is quite possibly going to get referred to the SBA for a loan because FEMA just concentrates on the safety and security of the home,” he said during a presentation at Monday’s Pulaski County Commissioners meeting. “And so if somebody does get referred to the SBA, it’s important for them to follow through, and even if they’re not sure they want a loan, they should go ahead and apply. There’s no cost. And if the loan gets turned down for any reason, they might be referred back to FEMA for more direct aid.”

Businesses and non-profit groups looking for disaster loans may apply directly with the SBA. Those who qualify for a loan have two months to decide whether or not to accept it.

Beard said loans of up to $200,000 are available for a homeowner’s primary residence, while up to $40,000 is available for personal property. “Businesses can get up to $2 million, not only for physical damage,” he explained, “but if there’s an interruption in sales and income, in direct effect from flooding, like if a bridge got washed out and you couldn’t get to the business or something, you can get a working capital loan to cover monthly costs, until sales come back up again.”

Beard said repayment terms are up to 30 years, based on the applicant’s ability to pay, and there’s no payment for the first six months. “The SBA loans are directly from the federal government, and the interest rate will not change,” he said. “So it’s 1.813 percent for home or the personal property, and that includes the personal vehicle, the automobile, and 3.58 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for non-profits.”

To apply for an SBA disaster loan, visit, or call 800-621-3362 for more information. To register with FEMA, visit

Starke County to be an Applicant for Regional Stellar Communities Designation

Posted on June 19, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Starke County officials will be taking the steps necessary in becoming a stellar community.

Starke County Commissioner Kathy Norem discussed the recent Regional Stellar Communities Designation program meeting with OCRA’s Northwest Indiana Community Liaison Gerry White and municipal government entities last week who outlined steps needed in order to submit a successful application to become a stellar community.

The commissioners approved action Monday night to spend $8,000 in order to complete an income survey which is the first step required before the application for a planning grant to build a five-year plan for the county. That plan will be instrumental in helping outline future projects in the county to include in the county’s Stellar application.

Norem and Commission President Don Binkley noted that even if the county doesn’t reach Stellar status, they will have a good idea of which direction to go with the five-year plan in place. Also, the county could have a better chance at getting some grants to help those projects along.

One component of the application is the agreement of three municipalities to join as a regional applicant. The commissioners have yet to hear formal confirmations from the City of Knox, Town of North Judson and the Town of Hamlet in their partcipation, but it is likely that the requirement could be met.

The commissioners voted in favor of providing a letter of intent to the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Additionally, it was a unanimous decision to move forward in conducting an income survey in the amount of $8,000 and a planning grant in the amount of $50,000 for the five-year plan.

Monday, June 18, 2018

7/18/2018 Science of Sound

Parents/Guardians can sign up 6-8th graders at:

Recycling Bin Rules

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Decides Not to Lease Erie Trail to Starke County Park Board

Posted on June 16, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

The North Judson Erie Trail will remain under the control of the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum for the foreseeable future. The Starke County Park Board had approached the museum’s leaders about leasing the trail and operating it as a park facility. County officials hoped the lease would help reduce maintenance costs, increase grant opportunities, and encourage volunteers.

But during Tuesday’s park board meeting, President Roger Chaffins said the museum has declined the county’s proposed contract. “Their problem is they don’t want to get hooked up with the county right now because they say they’re working on a five-year plan,” Chaffins said. “Well, okay, that’s what your board wants to do, but myself, I feel that if you were hooked up with the county, it’d be better for your five-year plan. But I’m not arguing with them. That’s what I was told on that.”

The trail lease was first proposed in the park board’s five-year plan. The idea has also gotten the support of volunteers with the Prairie Trails Club.

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Contributes to North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Department Fundraiser

Posted on June 18, 2018Author Jacque Ryan

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum provided a donation to the North Judson-Wayne Township Volunteer Fire Department earlier this month.

HVRM President Cory Bennett presented Assistant Fire Chief Mike Scutchfield with a $300 check, just before the annual Fish Fry Fundraiser that was held on June 9th. According to a press release, this is the sixth donation that the museum has made to the fire department in recent years.

Fire Department representatives reported that this year’s fish fry had one of the biggest turn outs they can recall and said that the fundraiser was a huge success.

HVRM President Cory Bennett and Assistant Fire Chief Mike Scutchfield

FEMA Officials Provide Additional Guidelines in Public Notice

Posted on June 18, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

FEMA recently issued a public notice in regards to the major flooding that occurred earlier this year and the subsequent public and individual funding assistance being offered to several counties including Starke, Pulaski, Marshall and La Porte.

The notice, provided by Starke County EMA Director J. Nier, reportedly concerns activities that may affect historic properties, ones that are located in or affecting wetland areas or the 100-year floodplain and critical actions within the 500-year flood plain. FEMA officials report that such incidents may adversely affect the historical property, floodplain, or wetland or could result in continuing vulnerability to flood damage.

Federal actions in or affecting the floodplain or wetlands are required to be reviewed for opportunities to relocate. They must also be evaluated for any historical, environmental, social, economic, legal and safety considerations.

When there is no relocation opportunity available, FEMA is required to perform a detailed review to determine what measures can be taken to minimize future damages. Members of the public are invited to participate in the process by determining their impacts and identifying alternative locations.

When it comes to historic properties, the National Historic Preservation Act required federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on the structures. The activities or actions affecting buildings, districts or objects 50 years-old or older that affect archeological sites or undisturbed ground will require further review to determine if the property is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

If the property makes it onto the Register and there is proof that FEMA’s undertaking will adversely affect it, FEMA will provide additional public notices.

Additionally, FEMA intends to provide Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding to the State of Indiana to mitigate future disaster damages. These projects may include construction of new facilities, demolition of structures or other types of projects that will help reduce future disaster damages and prevent them if at all possible.

If you feel that this information applies to your property, click the following link to view the full FEMA Public Notice.

Starke County Forest Access Road Plan Needs Another Level of Approval

Posted on June 18, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Plans for the Starke County Forest’s new access road still have another hurdle to clear before construction may begin. The Starke County Park Board recently got $15,000 from the Hardesty Memorial Endowment Fund to turn the forest’s existing access trail into a gravel road and add a parking lot.

During last week’s park board meeting, it was reported that Bob Aloi with Territorial Engineering has drawn up the plans. Now, they have to be approved by the county’s zoning board, according to County Attorney Marty Lucas. “The road’s narrower than the standard road for Starke County,” he explained, “and that’s okay because there’s no houses on it or anything, anyway. But because of that, it does require the zoning board to approve that change from what the normal minimum standard road is.”

That’s expected to occur when the Starke County Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals meet on Wednesday. In the meantime, the park board has decided to approve the plan on a preliminary basis, to allow construction to start as soon as the proper zoning permission is granted. The Starke County Commissioners have already agreed to let the County Highway Department do the construction work.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Frankenstein Friday #21 - Essay "Frankengod"

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein shines a withering light on the human longing for divinity. Join us on this Frankenstein Friday with an essay entitled, "Frankengod" from Dr. Richard Gunderman:

FEMA Intent Reimburse Eligible Applicants

FEMA has asked that EMA to share the public notice of the intent to reimburse eligible applicants following the severe storms and flooding that occurred from February 14 through March 4, 2018. The public notice can be found at
Please download and share the public notice with contacts in your county.

Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) opened Tuesday, June 12, in LaPorte to help Indiana flood survivors in LaPorte, Porter and Starke counties.
The DRC hours are
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
2581 W. STATE ROAD 2
LaPORTE, IN 46350

Bass Lake Beach Erosion Prevention Project Underway

Posted on June 15, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

A project to reduce future erosion at the Bass Lake Beach is finally underway. During Tuesday’s Starke County Park Board meeting, President Roger Chaffins said that the delivery of glacial stone was set to begin yesterday. The goal is to protect the beach and patio from incoming waves.

Chaffins said attorneys Marty and Steve Lucas helped obtain the necessary permit. The Starke County Highway Department will haul the stone, while inmates from the Starke County Justice Center will help take it to the installation site.

Chaffins said the reason it’s taken so long to get to this point is that he wants to make sure the work is done correctly. He also noted the limited availability of the facility’s managers. “A little bit of the reason why I was slow about it is Larry and Mara [Clarich’s] house burnt,” Chaffins said. “They’re still working on fixing that. They both work, so they’ve only got the weekends to work on this with themselves because you know [Richard] Callahan’s not going to give any help, and there’s not enough help out there. And I realize, yeah, well, we want it done, but my thing is bear with the man because he’s busting his ass to get stuff done for us.”

But board member Debbie Mix pointed out that many of the problems at the facility existed long before Larry and Mara Clarich got involved in its upkeep. “My issue is not with Larry,” Mix said. “My issue is with Callahan. And since eight years of not doing anything, because Larry’s working his tail off through the last two years, that doesn’t excuse Mr. Callahan for not getting someone else to get it done.”

“I’m sure he’s in Florida, and he’s not too worried about it,” Chaffins said. “It’s all on Larry’s shoulders.”

“But that’s our responsibility to make sure it gets done,” Mix replied.

She continued to voice concerns that the proper permits were not obtained for the repairs that have taken place. That would mean that they may not have been re-inspected, to make sure the work was done correctly. Chaffins said he’d discuss the matter with Building Inspector Terry Stephenson.

Starke County Wants to be Designated a Regional Stellar Community and Officials Are Taking Steps to Get There

Posted on June 15, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

What will it take for Starke County to be designated a Regional Stellar Community?

That is the question that was answered Thursday night when various county, city and town officials met at the Starke County Economic Development Foundation Office to find out what steps they can start taking in order to submit a competitive application in the future.

Starke County officials, leaders from Knox and North Judson and a few other community members interested in contributing to the efforts attended the meeting.

SCEDF Executive Director Larry Wickert began by reminding individuals about the recent shift to a more regional focus for the Stellar program. While it’s already too late to apply for this year’s program, Wickert said it is vital that community members start collaborating early on if this is something they are interested in doing down the line.

OCRA’s Northwest Indiana Community Liaison Gerry White was there to inform the officials about what it takes to be considered for the program. He stressed the fact that the involved partners would need to have a comprehensive plan. The plan would list existing amenities and describe an idea of where the individual municipality would like to be about 20 years as well as the potential projects that could help achieve those goals.

Once all the comprehensive plans are finalized, White said the next step would be creating a letter of intent that would eventually be submitted to Stellar officials for consideration.

He mentioned that it is important for community members to start considering what resources exist locally that would be helpful during the planning stages. He stated that the SCEDF has access to a lot of useful data. He added that officials may want to check into the services that could be offered through the Purdue Extension Office and Ball State University. White stated that once community resources are exhausted, it would behoove the officials to hire a professional consultant to provide additional assistance.

Additionally, Dave Weinberg was in attendance and spoke about a recently formed non-profit organization called the Merit Foundation. He explained that the focus of Merit is to help improve Starke County’s health rankings. Currently, the county stands at 79th place and he hopes to propel them to the number one spot within the next 8 years by working on the individual categories that are measured.

White explained that would be an excellent thing to include as a focus in the potential letter of intent, as it would provide an attainable goal the whole community can work toward. He mentioned that adding a health component would significantly increase the chances of Starke County’s collective community partnership being selected as a Stellar finalist.

Wickert asked White what the next steps officials should take after coming away with all the information that was shared.

White said there needs to be at least three partners involved in order to be considered for the regional program. Since County Commissioners Kathy Norem and Donnie Binkley said the County is definitely on board and Knox Mayor Dennis Estok indicated that the city is also interested, they will need to establish at least one more partner to be eligible.

White added that now, each individual entity will need to start discussing their own comprehensive plans. He also said it’s important to continue collaborating with other parties involved to keep the Stellar conversation going while preliminary steps are being taken.

White told everyone how helpful this process can be to a community since it allows officials to map out plans for the future. He added that even if a Stellar Designation is not received, OCRA and other involved organizations do their best to show possible avenues and provide additional resources so the established goals can still be reached.

More information from Thursday’s meeting will be shared in this week’s Kankakee Valley Viewpoints program this Sunday at noon on K99.3 WKVI.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Public Vet’s Neuter Scooter to Return to Knox this Weekend

Posted on June 14, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Due to the incredible success of the event that was held in April, Public Vet’s Neuter Scooter Mobile Clinic will be returning to the City of Knox.

The program provides an integral service that helps keep the feral cat population in check. Mayor Dennis Estok previously reported that more than 130 cats were registered for the last Neuter Scooter Mobile Clinic.

According to the organization’s website, the Neuter Scooter will be in Knox from Friday, June 15th until Monday, June 18th. As a reminder, the exact location of the mobile clinic is not revealed until online registration is completed.

At Tuesday night’s Knox City Council meeting, the Mayor reminded individuals in attendance that this procedure was implemented since the organization had problems in the past with people dumping cats off at the site without paying for the services first.

The cost is $50 for each domesticated cat. Other services such as rabies vaccinations, flea and ear mite treatment and de-worming are also available for an additional fee.

If a cat is determined to be feral by Neuter Scooter Staff, the cost is $20. If you plan to bring in any feral cats, which are animals that are wild – not just cats that simply live outdoors, visit the organization’s website for additional information.

Once cat owners complete online registration, they will be given an arrival time, the location of the clinic and all pre-surgery and transporting instructions. Registration can be completed online at If you have any additional questions, contact the Mayor’s Office at 574-772-4553.

LEPC Starts Discussion Over Tabletop Exercise to Test All-Hazards Plan for Starke County

Posted on June 14, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The Local Emergency Planning Committee of Starke County was scheduled to hold a meeting on Wednesday but there were not enough members present to have a quorum.

However, since no quorum was required to hold the first planning meeting for a tabletop exercise that will be held to test the County’s All-Hazards Plan, members went over some preliminary information about that.

A tabletop exercise is a meeting to discuss a simulated emergency situation where officials talk about their individual roles and responsibilities when it comes to responding to a situation.

Starke County EMA Director J. Nier mentioned that municipalities typically hold these exercises in the fall and said that the deadline to get it done is sometime in October. She asked the members if they had any suggestions and mentioned that she does have a template they could utilize.

Members recommended going with the template and working to customize it over the next few months so it will fit the needs of the County.

Additionally, members discussed ways to get better attendance at the meetings, since they’ve had issues with reaching a quorum the last few times. A few different possibilities were considered, but eventually, they landed on holding the meetings earlier in the day.

EMA Director Nier said she will send an email out to members to inform them that the make-up meeting for this month will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20th.

She added that she will also include the template for the All-Hazards Plan Exercise in order to get some feedback about any potential changes. The second planning session for the exercise will be held immediately following the regular meeting next Wednesday.

Starke County Highway Superintendent Working on 2018 Community Crossings Application

Posted on June 14, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler is working on applications for the 2018 Community Crossings program.

He told the Starke County Commissioners last week that the applications may be turned in starting Monday, Aug. 6. The Bridge #154 replacement project will be among the projects included along with several others, according to Ritzler.

“We’re going to do the intersection improvement at Bass Lake County Road 210 and old State Road 10/600 South,” said Ritzler. “We’re going to make that a safer intersection. We’re going to make that a T-intersection and make a continuous loop around the lake. We also won’t allow trucks once that becomes a T-intersection. We’re going to do five miles of hot mix roads. I’m doing a list now. We’re doing traffic counts and accident counts right now. We’ll have that for you next month.”

A fourth project will also be included, although Ritzler said it may be outside of what would be awarded.

“It’s always good to put a few more applications in. We’re putting in a bridge rehab project on Bridge #137. That’s the one on 300 E. in the industrial park. It needs some work so we’re going to include that.”

The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 28.

Ritzler noted that beginning in January, INDOT will award projects twice a year with applications due in January and July.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Starke County Commissioners to Consider Replacing Older Ambulance

Posted on June 5, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Starke County EMS Director Travis Clary will be looking into quotes for a new ambulance to replace an older truck on the fleet.

Clary told the Starke County Commissioners Monday night that a 2011 Chevy ambulance was recently out of service for two months to repair the DEF system and the turbo on the unit that is primarily used at the North Judson base. Clary said that the ambulance continues to be a strain on the ambulance maintenance budget.

He added that Commissioner Kathy Norem asked about a rotation system for the ambulances and to contact the insurance company to discuss that possibility.

“They do not have a set standard for our insurance standards,” said Clary. “We did contact Bliss McKnight as well and they recommended a two-year rotation, but again there’s no set policy. They said in order for a truck to be replaced it needs to have 150,000 to 225,000 miles or be four to seven years old.

The 2011 Chevy ambulance has 190,000 miles so it fits the perimeters for replacement.

The commissioners encouraged Clary to start seeking at least three quotes for a new ambulance. The commissioners have discussed the purchase in previous meetings so funding requests for the truck will be presented to the county council once quotes are obtained and approved.

Clary explained that it will take about 200 to 250 days to complete an ambulance purchase. He anticipates looking at an ambulance with a gas chassis rather than a diesel and a truck with the standard equipment.

Monday, June 4, 2018

June is National Safety Month

Posted on June 4, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

June is recognized as National Safety Month and there are a number of things you can do to help keep yourself and your family safe this summer and all year-round.

Unfortunately, accidents and emergencies can pop up at any time and while you can’t control when they happen you can help by being prepared. Officials from Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion have a few helpful tips to keep in mind when it comes to staying safe.

They stress the importance of learning how to help someone who is choking or hurt and knowing when it is time to call 911.

Taking various safety classes such as ones that teach lessons about CPR, AED (automated external defibrillator) and other first aid skills can help you determine what to do when an emergency strikes.

Lastly, always keep a first aid kit ready in your home and vehicles. First aid kits should contain items that can help in a variety of situations, including a thermometer, tweezers, disposal/instant ice packs, gauze and bandages of assorted sizes.

Be sure to check your kit regularly to replace items that are running low and to get rid of anything that has expired.

For more information, check out

HealthPorte Program to Offer Educational, Social Programs for Seniors

Posted on June 4, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Helping those over 50 get healthy and make some new friends is the goal of a new program at Starke Hospital. HealthPorte is a free senior program that began at LaPorte Hospital. Now, it’s expanded to Starke and Porter Regional hospitals, according to a hospital press release.

Among its offerings are a series of lunchtime educational programs on various health care issues. Starke County’s first Lunch & Learn program will be “Alzheimer’s Disease: Know the 10 Signs. Early Detection Matters.” It will be held Thursday, June 28 from 12:15 to 2:00 p.m. at Starke County Community Services in Knox.

Those planning to attend are asked to register in advance online or by calling 888-840-8204. A program on diabetes is planned for late September.

The HealthPorte program also gives members discounts at Starke Hospital’s fitness center, as well as affiliated fitness centers in LaPorte, New Carlisle, and Michigan City. Members may attend any of the programs across the system, including those in Knox, LaPorte, and Valparaiso.

For more information on HealthPorte, contact programming coordinator Karin Birchel at (219) 983-8633.

Summer Food Service Program Sites for Starke and Pulaski Counties

Posted on June 4, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

More than 250 Indiana schools and community sponsors will be kicking off their Summer Food Service Programs this week, with a number of local sites included.

June is the busiest month for the program since many families begin seeking additional nutrition assistance in the summertime. For that reason, Governor Eric Holcomb issued a statewide proclamation, declaring the week of June 4th through the 8th Summer Food Service Program week.

For more than 40 years, the program has provided eligible children and teens ages 18 and under with access to free, nutritious meals and snacks during the summer months. Last year, more than 3 million meals were delivered across the state. This year there are various sites set up across Starke and Pulaski County to help hungry kids here in our community.

In Starke County, breakfast will be served at Oregon-Davis Elementary School at 7:45 a.m. Monday through Friday, running today through Friday, August 3rd.  Lunch is also offered from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Breakfast will also be provided at North Judson-San Pierre Elementary at 7:30 a.m., Monday through Thursday. This site will also provide lunches at 11 a.m. on those same days. The NJSP site will stay open until Thursday, July 26th.

Knox Community Elementary School is hosting a site that will provide food Monday through Thursday. They will serve breakfast at 8 a.m. and lunch at 10:30 a.m. from now until Thursday, June 28th.

Pulaski County also has several sites set up.

The West Central School Corporation is sponsoring a few different sites. Lunch will be provided at noon at the Francesville Public Library, Monday through Friday, starting today and running through Friday, August 3rd.

West Central Schools are also hosting a site at the Medaryville West Side Community Center where lunch will be provided at 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This site will be open starting Tuesday, June 5th and it will run until Friday, July 27th.

The West Central Elementary School Swim Program is sponsoring a site at the Elementary School, where a snack will be provided at 9:15 a.m., Monday through Friday.

The Culver Community School Corporation is hosting a site at the Ora Gospel Chapel where lunch will be provided at 11:45 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Culver Schools are also hosting a site at the Monterey-Tippecanoe Public Library where lunch will be provided at 11:45 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Both of these sites will run from now until Friday, August 3rd.

The Food Finders Food Bank is hosting a site at Winamac Public Library where lunch will be provided on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. This site has a start date of Tuesday, June 5th and end date of Thursday, August 2nd.

Later on in the summer, starting on Monday, July 23rd, a site will open up at West Central Elementary School in Francesville. Monday through Thursday, breakfast will be provided at 8 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon at that site. The site will remain open until Tuesday, August 2nd.

The times listed for Starke County are in CT and the times listed for Pulaski County are in ET.

The Summer Food Service Program is a federal nutrition program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and administered by the Indiana Department of Education. Click the following link for a full list of Summer Food Service Program sites.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Quote of the Month - June

Happy birthday, Henry Ward Beecher!  
June 24, 1813  

Henry Ward Beecher founded Plymouth Church in Brooklyn , N.Y. , in 1847, and became renowned as a preacher and an abolitionist.

Frankenstein Friday #19 - Chapter 14-2

It's that time of the week! We're diving into another chapter of Frankenstein. Read with us.

Calling All Kids for the Chalkin’ with Cops Event in North Judson Tomorrow

Posted on June 1, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The North Judson Police Department is hosting a special event tomorrow to give local children a chance to bond with the officers who serve and protect the community.

The “Chalkin’ With Cops” event will be held from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday at Norwayne Field on the sidewalk near the Police Department.

At the last council meeting, Town Marshal Kelly Fisher shared a little bit about the event.

She told town council members, “We’re going to invite kids to come up to the park area with sidewalk chalk to color it and give the kids a chance to get out and mingle with the officers.”

Marshal Fisher added that she discussed the event with the park board prior to scheduling it they provided their approval since the chalk art will be temporary and will wash off with the first rain.

Chalk will be provided but families are free to bring along their own as well. If you have any questions, you can contact the North Judson Police Department at 772-5914.

Starke County Commissioners Discuss Bass Lake Beach Operations

Posted on June 1, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Starke County Commissioners held discussion on the operations at the Bass Lake Beach last week.

While Callahan Development, LLC, leases the Bass Lake Beach and Campground from Starke County, company officials say they may be willing to give up control of the beach, in order to focus on the profitable campground and pier slots.

County Attorney Marty Lucas, who also serves as counsel for the Starke County Park Board, noted that several proposals from interested residents were received concerning the operations at the Bass Lake Beach, but none of them were favorable.

Starke County resident Kenny Wallace commented that the area doesn’t look as good as it used to and something needs to be done. He also mentioned that the buildings are in bad shape.

Commissioner Kathy Norem said the county is restricted on supplying any funding to provide maintenance to the area due to the contact with Callahan Development, LLC, but the commissioners are open to taking all serious inquiries into the purchase of the beach.

“I think probably if there’s someone out there that was willing to buy the beach under the conditions that it could be sold with the assumption of the Callahan contract we’d certainly consider it,” stated Norem.

The deed specifies that the property needs to be preserved for outdoor public activities. All written inquires may be mailed to the Starke County Auditor’s office to be directed to Manager Larry Clarich.