Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thank You For a Successful Cookie Walk!

THANK YOU!  Thank You!  Thank you to everyone who baked for our Friends of the Library Cookie Walk on Saturday, those who manned the table at Bailey’s, to Bailey’s Discount for allowing us to set up in their store, and to those who bought cookies!  As usual it was a great success and the money made ($500) will be used for children’s programming in the year to come.  Hope those delicious cookies made it home safely.  When we closed up shop this year there were only two boxes left and they were quickly snapped up.

There is a collection of containers belonging to our cookie bakers – some with names, some without – that can be picked up at the library at their convenience.  If you would like to be a member of the North Judson-Wayne Township Friends of the Library contact us by either calling 574-896-2841 or emailing us at lib.norjud@gmail.com

Starke County Council to Cut 2019 Budget

Posted on November 20, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Starke County officials will need to push the pencil to the paper to come up with about $838,000 in cuts to the 2019 budget as mandated from the state.

County department heads were notified of the 11 percent budget cut and were asked to make suggestions on where to cut the budget, but no replies were received by the auditor, county council members or commissioners.

Auditor Kay Chaffins was able to shift some money around in the Jail CEDIT fund and the regular CEDIT fund to help with the cuts. Another aspect that is helping with the budget situation is that the employee insurance quote for 2019 was much lower so the county realized about a $100,000 savings there.

The council members stressed that they would like to keep the three percent raise for employees in the budget, which is about $91,000. In order to do that, a minimum six percent reduction in each budget will help preserve that incentive.

After much discussion on the matter, the county council members unanimously voted to require the department heads to cut six percent out of their budgets or the council members will need to do the reductions.

The reduction information will need to be submitted prior to the council’s next regular meeting in December. The budget needs to be finalized by the end of the year.

North Judson Town Council Approves Water Rate Adjustment

Posted on November 20, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Residents in the Town of North Judson will see an increase on their next water bill. When the Town Council met Monday evening, Umbaugh representative Ross Hagan provided members and meeting attendees with the finalized figures for a water rate adjustment.

He stated that an 18.3 percent increase is required to help cover the cost of a required waterworks project. Hagan noted, “Currently your residents are paying for $26.05 for a 4,000-gallon bill, that’s going to be $30.70 now on an average monthly bill.”

Some of the major elements of the project, such as the rehabilitation of the water towers and the installation of a backup generator at the water plant, will bring the town into compliance with mandated standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). In other words, these are not cosmetic fixes but necessary upgrades that are required by the state.

When this rate adjustment was introduced to the council last month, they were told it would be about a 15 percent increase based on engineer’s estimates. However, after the only viable project bid came in about $250,000 over budget, it required the adjustment to be increased to cover the additional commitment. Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann noted that two other bids came in but since they were received after the deadline they could not be opened.

While discussing the matter, Council members noted that they’d like to speak with Vince Sommers from Common Wealth Engineers to discuss the bidding process and the large difference between the engineer’s estimate and the actual price of the contractor’s bid.

Councilwoman Jane-Ellen Felchuck asked if the project could be re-bid to see if any other contractors could provide a lower cost. She was informed that in order to stick to the schedule that will allow the Town to secure the required SRF Loan needed to fund this project, they would not have enough time to start the bidding process over again.

Hagan added that if they were to scrap this path and try re-bid the project on their own, they’d face even higher interest rates in the open market and would run the risk of not being eligible for loans from the State Revolving Fund down the line.

When asked if another rate increase will be required in the near future Hagan noted that, barring any major unforeseen expenditures popping up, this increase should suffice since it takes into account long-term maintenance and operation costs related to the project.

While council members were anticipating a lower rate adjustment, they recognized that they’ve already committed to the SRF Loan and realized the necessity of the increase as demonstrated in the rate study conducted by Umbaugh.

Much to their chagrin, members approved the ordinance amending the waterworks schedule of rates and charges. The ordinance went into effect immediately after adoption, meaning the new rate will be reflected on the next water bills.

Starke County’s Unemployment Rate Climbs to 4.1 Percent, Numbers Mixed in Pulaski County

Posted on November 20, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Unemployment is up in Starke County. The county saw a 4.1-percent unemployment rate in October, according to the latest report from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. That’s up from 3.6 percent in September and 3.7 percent in October of 2017.

Meanwhile, Pulaski County’s unemployment rate is 3.1 percent. That’s an increase of three-tenths of a percent from the previous month but unchanged from the same period last year. However, the number of Pulaski County residents working is actually higher than it was in October of 2017. Pulaski County’s labor force grew over the past year, while Starke County’s shrunk slightly.

The state as a whole saw a non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.6 percent last month, while the national rate was 3.5 percent.

Here’s How to Keep Your Recyclables from Ending up in a Landfill

Posted on November 20, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Every day, people all over the world recycle plastic, paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, and glass. Not only can these items be repurposed for future use but the practice of recycling helps reduce our dependence on landfills.

However, if an item is wet or soiled with any kind of food, it cannot be recycled and it runs the risk of contaminating other items you hoped to recycle.

To help cut down on contaminants in local recyclables and to keep them from winding up in a landfill, Knox Mayor Dennis Estok has shared some vital information from Republic Services.

Representatives of the waste management company say to keep these three words in mind when recycling; empty, clean and dry.

Be sure that all containers are completely empty by dumping out excess liquid or food. Next, rinse out the items that can be exposed to water such as glass, plastic and aluminum. Lastly, check that all materials are absolutely dry before they make it into your container.

Residents should also be aware of what items are permissible. For instance, a lot of people don’t realize that plastic bags are not recyclable. Rather than putting your items in a bag, residents are encouraged to place them directly in their recycling bin.

Other items such as bubble wrap, pizza boxes, waxed cartons and Styrofoam cups and containers should never be placed in recycling. You can find more specific rules that Republic Services has in their Recycling Guide.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Light Up North Judson Holiday Decorating Contest

The Town of North Judson is sponsoring “Light Up North Judson”, a residential Holiday Decorating Contest.  Prize money will be awarded to the two best decorated homes located within the Incorporated Town limits.  Pre-registration is required but there is no fee.  Residences are judged only on outdoor decorations as viewed from the front of a house.

Prizes are $125 each for the two best decorated homes.  Two honorable mentions will be awarded at the judges’ discretion.  (Bragging rights only.)

Entry applications are due no later than December 7, 2018 at 4pm CST at the Town Hall (310 Lane Street). 

Judging will be the weekend of December 15th & 16th, 2018.

Winners will be announced at the Council Meeting on Monday, December 17, 2018.

Participants who agree to the following rules and guidelines are eligible to participate.

  1. Participation is open to all residences within the corporate boundaries. 
  2. There is no entry fee but registration is required. 
  3. Deadline to register is December 7, 2018 by 4pm CST and should be mailed or turned in to the Town Hall at 310 Lane Street. 
  4. Town Employees and Board Members are not eligible to participate. 
  5. The contest is for exterior decorations only, although judges will consider window decorations that are visible. 
  6. Judging will be based on “curb appeal” as viewed from the street.  Judges will not enter property to back or side yards. 
  7. Participants must agree to have one of more photos of their decorated resident exterior to be posted on the Town’s Facebook page. 
  8. Be Creative – Be Festive - & Have Fun!!!

11/30 Tree Lighting @ Norwayne Field

Tree decorating at Norwayne Field is underway. We currently have 1 large maple available for anyone still wanting a tree. Lighting will be on Friday, November 30, at 6 PM. 🌳

Friday, November 16, 2018

11/24 PWK: Hot Enough For Ya?

12/3 NextLevel Jobs Indiana

Knox High School, Oregon-Davis Elementary Earn A’s in Latest School Accountability Grades

Posted on November 16, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Three local schools saw their letter grades decline in the latest round of School Accountability Grades. Knox Middle School and West Central Elementary School both got a D for the 2017-2018 school year, down from a C the year before. North Judson-San Pierre Elementary dropped from a B to a C.

The biggest increase in the local area was at Oregon-Davis Elementary School, which jumped from a C to an A. Meanwhile, Winamac Middle School and Culver Community Middle/High School both improved from a C to a B.

All other schools in Starke and Pulaski counties saw their letter grades stay the same. Knox was the only high school in the area to earn an A.

In the corporation-level accountability grades, North Judson-San Pierre declined from a B to a C, while Culver Community Schools did the opposite. The Knox and Eastern Pulaski community school corporations kept their B grades, while Oregon-Davis and West Central remained at a C.

The 2017-2018 School Accountability Grades were released this week by the Indiana Department of Education. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick said in a statement that the “grades are an indication of the great education Indiana students are receiving,” and that the state’s work is paying off.

A complete list of School Accountability Grades for 2017-2018 can be found on the Indiana Department of Education’s website.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

11/17 Friends of the Library Cookie Walk @ Bailey's Discount

Friends of the North Judson-Wayne Township Library will have their annual Cookie Walk this Saturday at Bailey's Discount. Cookie bakers can drop off their goodies at the NJ-WT Library starting at 10am Friday or take them directly to Bailey's on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

North Judson Town Council Takes Steps to Secure Funding for a Comprehensive Plan

Posted on November 13, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson officials took an important step last Monday to secure financial assistance for the creation of a comprehensive plan. An up-to-date comprehensive plan is one of the requirements for the county-wide Regional Stellar Initiative.

The total cost of the comprehensive plan project is $44,000 which is $6,000 less than what was originally anticipated. To help pay for the plan, the Town is applying for $39,600 Community Development Block Grant that is offered through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

Members held a hearing over the grant application during last week’s meeting where KIRPC Community Development Planner Emily Albaugh mentioned that a match of $4,400 must be provided to cover the remainder of the cost.

The initial cost estimate for the match was $5,000 so officials will be spending even less than they expected. The money for that match will come from the Town’s cumulative capital development fund.

Town officials indicated this effort is long overdue since it has been more than 10 years since the Town has constructed a comprehensive plan so

During public input, a citizen asked Albaugh about North Judson’s chance of being awarded this grant.

Albaugh responded, “They are turning a little more competitive, I will say that. However, we have been told through our community liaison that if it’s not awarded on the first round, it will definitely be awarded in the second [round].”

In addition to holding the public hearing, members also approved a resolution that authorizes the grant application submission and confirms the Town will provide their local match. That resolution passed with a unanimous vote.

Starke County Highway Department Ready for Winter Weather

Posted on November 13, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Several training opportunities in October have proved successful for the crews at the Starke County Highway Department. Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the Starke County Commissioners that the snow plow drivers brushed up on skills and new drivers took in new information presented by Mark Ennis of Bliss-McKnight.

“Eleven of our drivers went to the IPEP safety training in Plymouth,” explained Ritzler. “We sent the newest drivers because there was winter weather safety, distracted driving, hazard awareness and other safety topics. We had the driving simulator at our garage for a few days. All of our drivers did that. They love doing that. He brings a different program every year. It’s kind of like playing video games and training at the same time. He also taught a winter snow plow training class that he does every year. The drivers enjoy him. They really relate with him.”

Meanwhile, residents should be prepared when the snow starts to gather on public roadways. If snow is in the forecast, prepare to leave for your destination a little earlier in order to allow extra time to drive on hazardous roads.

Put together an emergency preparedness kit for every vehicle. A few suggested items for kits include extra blankets, non-perishable food, jumper cables and spare clothes. Schedule an appointment with a mechanic for a thorough check of each vehicle before a winter storm hits, especially the brakes, battery and tires.

Monday, November 12, 2018

2018 Local Christmas Events

Well, it's trying to snow outside which, for some strange reason, put me in mind of the various Christmas craft events coming up in the weeks to come.

There are many local crafts persons you need to contact ASAP if you want to give homemade artisan quality gifts for Christmas.  In fact, many of them will probably be exhibiting samples of their wares at some of the holiday craft shows that will be occurring in the weeks to come.  So you might want to keep an eye on our 2018 Christmas Events page (https://sites.google.com/site/wwwnjwtlibinus/2018-craft-events), as we're going to list local events where those artisans, and vendors of many other items, will be present.  

Starke County Highway Superintendent Discusses Additional Appropriation Requests

Posted on November 12, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners last week that he’s planning to ask the county council members next week to approve some additional appropriations.

“Over 2018 we spent a lot of funds that might be reimbursable. That includes the money we spent for the flooding, the transmission line installation that NIPSCO did – we had to repair those roads, the work we did for the park board trail group and other things. The total is about $174,000. We’ve been given that money back, but it’s in our cash account. We have to move it into line items to replace the money we spent. Before, we had to move around the vehicle replacement plan to get some of that money in there. Now that we get some of this money back we don’t have to transfer that money from the vehicle account and we can put it into our vehicle replacement program. We can buy that one truck that we were going to buy this year,” said Ritzler.

Ritzler added that the county has submitted the finalized application to FEMA for possible reimbursements from the flooding event earlier this year. Ritzler is not sure when that decision will be delivered.

North Judson Officials to Look at Alternative Splash Pad Providers to Compare Prices

Posted on November 12, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Now that North Judson officials have received a few different splash pad designs from Vortex Aquatic Structures, they’ll be looking into some different companies to ensure they’re making the most financially feasible decision.

When Town Council members met last Monday, Councilman James Young said he’ll be bringing the two new renderings from Vortex to the next meeting. He also encouraged his fellow council members to check into some alternative splash pad providers.

Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe added that he’s still looking into potential grant options that would assist with covering the cost of this project as well as an additional restroom facility project.

Right now, the town has $60,000 set aside for the splash pad project in the 2019 budget. However, if they’re able to get a lower cost on the equipment and installation or if they receive some grant assistance, a portion of that budgeted money could go toward constructing the restrooms.

Members have noted in the past that one project is not contingent on the other. If they cannot afford to do the bathroom project right away, the splash pad project will still move forward and temporary restrooms would be set up by the recreational water feature in the meantime.

Salvation Army Bell Ringers Needed in Starke County

Posted on November 12, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKI

It’s nearly that time of year again, when Salvation Army bell ringers pop up all across the country, collecting funds to assist local families in need. Salvation Army Bell Ringer coordinator Joe Lopez said they’re currently looking for volunteers to pitch in at the Starke County locations.

Unlike many places where Bell Ringers have to stay outside, Starke County volunteers have the chance to do their work inside.

Ringers will be in the front lobby of Five Star in Knox Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. and volunteers will be stationed at Bailey’s Discount Center in North Judson on Fridays and Saturdays during the same times.

Lopez shared that the “Bell Ringer” season begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs until the day before Christmas.

If you’re interested in being a Bell Ringer to help provide assistance to those who need it most this holiday season, contact Mr. Lopez at 574-207-3718.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Navy Veteran Joins Sheriff’s Department as Officials Deliver Wreaths to Starke County Cemeteries

Posted on November 10, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Navy Veteran Charles “Chuck” Johnson accompanied officials from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department Friday morning as they placed wreaths on the entrances of local cemeteries to commemorate service members who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Johnson is one of two remaining WWII Veterans at the V.F.W Post 748 in Knox where serves as the Chaplain. He is actively involved with the alumni association for the USS Colorado BB-45, which is the ship he served on. Chuck shared that he enlisted at 17 and turned 18 aboard the ship. He was in the service from September of 1943 until March of 1946.

Once he left the military, Chuck went onto work as a railroad engineer for more than 40 years. He recently celebrated his 93rd birthday and mentioned that one of his favorite pastimes is line dancing, which is how he met his wife Sandy.

Mr. Johnson noted that bringing the wreaths to the cemeteries was a great way to show respect for the veterans who sacrificed it all for this country.

The wreaths were delivered to cemeteries all over the county. The officials behind the initiative were Sheriff Bill Dulin, Justice Center Warden Phill Cherry, Jail Commander Nathan Caudill, Maintenance Director Tony Mildice and Chief Detective Adam Gray.

The Veterans Day wreaths were created by trustees in the Justice Center Fostering A Recovery Mentality (F.A.R.M.) Program.

They utilized branches and pine cones from the trees that line the property at the facility. The flags that were affixed in the center of the wreaths were donated by the Knox V.F.W and American Legions.

Jail Commander Caudill said the inmates were shown an online tutorial about how to properly fold the flags and they spent a great deal of time carefully folding each and every one.

Sheriff Dulin shared that the flags will be collected and retired by the Knox V.F.W. after they’ve been displayed.

One of the trustees commented that the wreath project is a good extension of the F.A.R.M program since colder temperatures limit what they can do with gardening.

Another individual mentioned that he was really grateful for this opportunity to show gratitude to those who served.

North Judson Town Attorney Recommends Appointing a Separate Safety Board

Posted on November 10, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson Town Attorney Justin Schramm encouraged town council members to appoint a safety board when they met Monday night. Currently, North Judson Town council members also serve as members of the safety board.

The attorney referenced an Indiana code that regulates the discipline and removal of firefighters and police officers which gives individuals the right to a hearing where they can appeal to the safety board if they face a suspension exceeding 5 days.

Schramm said that can lead to a bit of an issue when safety board consists of the same people who serve as town officials.

He noted, “Usually it starts with an executive meeting between the chief and the town council, at which time the town council receives information about the type of transgression.”

Schramm explained that this puts the town council in a tricky position because they wouldn’t be able to hear the appeal from the individual being reprimanded without having that initial information from the chief.

He said in order to avoid any question of potential bias, it would be beneficial to appoint five to seven individuals to serve as safety board representatives.

He said a decision doesn’t have to be made right away but he asked them to start looking for people who would be fit for a safety board position, such as retired firefighters and police officers or other impartial community members.

Schramm added that he is making this recommendation to all of the municipalities he represents that don’t already have a separate safety board established.

Work Begins on New Starke County Environmental Management Office

Posted on November 10, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Work has begun on the construction of a new Starke County Environmental Management Office.

The new facility will be built on the northwest portion of property at the Starke County Highway Garage on 250 N. in Knox. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler updated the board on the progress this week.

“Tim did the pad for the dumpsters and we built the entrance,” said Ritzler. “We’re not opening the entrance until everything is done. We’re going to pave over that and we’re going to put concrete on the ends by the pipe at the entrance. But, until then it’s going to be blocked off.”

The new office building would give envrionmental officials a location where they can oversee what materials are being left in the recycling containers to avoid excessive contamination.

The commissioners previously discussed funding the construction of the site and then lease it to the Solid Waste District. The cost is about $28,700 with an automated gate.

Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship Provides Funds for Future Teachers

Posted on November 10, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

High school seniors interested in pursuing an education degree are running out of time to apply for the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship.

The scholarship opportunity is also available to college students currently studying education, as long as they graduated from an Indiana accredited high school or a non-accredited nonpublic high school.

It provides $7,500 a year for a maximum of four years to 200 students who attend an Indiana college or university. The deadline to apply is Friday, November 30th.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT or ACT or they have to be in the top 20 percent of the high school graduating class. Recipients are required to commit to teaching in Indiana for five consecutive years once they graduate.

High school students who are interested have to be nominated by a teacher. A nomination form must be submitted with the scholarship application.

For more information and to access the nomination form and application visit Commission for Higher Education’s webpage for the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Dedicated Community Members Honored at Starke County Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner

Posted on November 9, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center was teeming with community spirit Thursday evening during the annual Starke County Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner.

The event was attended by local leaders, state representatives, former award recipients and a plethora of caring community members. It was led by Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Gurrado and Executive Director Jessica Craig.

The man of the hour was the owner of Territorial Engineering Van Janovic, who was presented with the Henry F. Schricker Service Before Self Award.

Brenda and Van Janovic, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jessica Craig 
and Chamber President Jerry Gurrado

Chamber President Gurrado shared a bit about the man behind the award before he was welcomed onto the stage, “People like Van are why our communities are so inviting and he’s truly deserving of this award.”

He added, “I don’t know that there could be a more fitting tribute to someone that he actually has to step out of the shadows and be our man of the night.”

Mr. Janovic was recognized for his involvement in the community, the numerous projects he has donated his time and services to and his incredibly humble personality.

Since Van was celebrating his birthday on Thursday, the entire community center erupted into the Happy Birthday song after he received his award.

The Chamber also presented two Above and Beyond Awards.

Kid’s Closet Director Linda Lewandowski

Both recipients are based out of North Judson. The director of the Kid’s Closet Ministry Linda Lewandowski, as well as Nan Wellman and her team from O.T.E.S Signs and Graphics, were honored for the impact they’ve made on the community.

O.T.E.S Owner Nan Wellman and her team

Before presenting the Business of the Year Award, Chamber President Gurrado highlighted that the selection process can be difficult when there are so many promising organizations in the area.

Gurrado shared, “Honestly, we could have given out four ‘Business of the Year’ awards easily this year and still left a lot of people out. That’s what kind of growth we’re starting to have.”

Traffic Control Specialists President Tracy Triska

Ultimately, Traffic Control Specialists out of Knox was determined to be the 2018 Business of the Year. President Tracy Triska accepted the award on behalf of her company.

Downtown Depot catered the event, Silver Leaf Florist provided the centerpieces and every attendee received a takeaway bag from Poppin’ Off Popcorn.

You can hear more from the Starke County Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner during this week’s Kankakee Valley Viewpoints program which airs every Sunday at noon right here on K99.3 WKVI.

2018 Community Crossings Matching Grant Recipients Announced

Posted on November 9, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

A few local municipalities will be receiving funding assistance to complete some needed roadwork thanks to the Community Crossings Matching Grant Program. The City of Knox received $346,138.07, the Town of Francesville received $131,854.29 and North Judson will be getting $93,010.50.

Starke County also applied for Community Crossings funds and received a total of $454,002.

According to Starke County Highway Supervisor Rik Ritzler, in the county’s application, officials requested funding for the realignment of the intersection of County Road 210 and 600 South/old State Road 10 at Bass Lake.

Money for the application of hot mix asphalt and preventative maintenance on County Road 25 North from 600 East to State Road 23 was also included as a request in the application.

The number of people who live in each of these places determines how much the local match will be. Since Knox, Francesville and North Judson all have populations of less than 10,000 and Starke County has less than 50,000 residents, only a 25 percent match is required.

Now that officials are aware of how much they’ve received, they have to secure contractors for the various projects. One of the requirements for this grant is that the projects must be bid out and contracts have to be awarded before the end of the year.

However, that doesn’t mean the work needs to be done right away. Due to the impending inclement weather, a lot of the work will have to wait until the spring.

Click the following link to download a full list of the 2018 Community Crossings Grant awardees.

North Judson Police Department to Host Women’s Self Defense Training Saturday Morning

Posted on November 9, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The North Judson Police Department will be equipping local girls and women with the skills they need to evade attackers during the “Fight Like a Girl!” Women’s Self-Defense class tomorrow morning.

The training will be held at the North Judson-San Pierre High School from 8 a.m. until noon, with registration starting at 7:30 a.m.

The class is open to women of all fitness levels who would like to learn quick and effective self-defense techniques. Participants must be at least 10-years-old to attend and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Town Marshal Kelly Fisher issued a reminder about the event during Monday night’s town council meeting.

“It’ll be about a four-hour class and myself and the other officers are going to instruct it. I believe we’ll have at least 40 that are going to attend.

Everyone who attends must turn in a liability waiver before they can participate. Attendees are encouraged to print out and complete the required form prior to the event to help save time during registration. There are two different waivers; one for adults and another for minors.

Click the following link to access the Liability Waivers for the Women’s Self Defense Class.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Lady Jays Basketball Schedule

From:  North Judson-San Pierre Girls' Basketball Team

Here is the schedule for those who wanted a full one! 🏀 Please share!

From:  North Judson-San Pierre Athletics

If you are interested in purchasing a North Judson-San-Pierre State Volleyball Shirt. Please fill out form and drop off in the High School Office with payment. All Orders Due Thursday November 15th. Thank You

Starke County EMS Staff Participates in Continued Training

Posted on November 8, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Starke County EMS staff has been busy with ongoing training. EMS Director Travis Clary gave the update during Monday’s Starke County Commissioners meeting.

“Our paramedics were re-certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support. They obtained the two-day certification at Ivy Tech in Valparaiso. We also hosted a K9 training with the local police and fire departments with excellent collaboration. Our crews also attended the driving simulator at the Starke County Highway Department and we trained on the new ventilator and BiPAP and the new report writing software,” explained Clary.

In addition, a few members attended a unique training experience in South Bend last week.

“Four of our paramedics, including myself, got a pretty neat opportunity on Friday to go up to a cadaver lab in South Bend. Normally, it’s $500 per student and it’s in southern Indiana. We received some scholarships for us to go up there. It was free for us to kind of do some skills that we normally – you can’t train on a mannequin to do chest tubes and chest decompressions and things like that. It was a great opportunity.”

He also noted that the new ambulance should be in the county’s possession the first part of March.

North Judson Town Council Brainstorms Ways to Recognize the NJ-SP Lady Jays Volleyball Team

Posted on November 8, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre Lady Jay Volleyball team received a tremendous amount of community support over the weekend after winning the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s State Volleyball Championship on Saturday.

When town council members met Monday night, they deliberated about some ways they can recognize these talented student-athletes for this historic accomplishment.

Members said that they want to install a sign that acknowledges the victory. They added that it would likely be placed underneath the welcome sign at the edge of town.

The members agreed to present three different designs to Athletic Director Greg Estok so he can show the different options to the team members and they can decide which one they’d like the town to utilize.

Officials also mentioned the possibilities of renaming a street in honor of the team and presenting the young women with something on behalf of the Town during their winter sports awards banquet.

No official actions were taken but town officials will continue to coordinate about these possibilities.

Photo Source: WKVI Sportscaster Nathan Welter

NJ-SP Officials Seek Railroad Township Representative to Fill School Board Vacancy

Posted on November 8, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson-San Pierre School officials are searching for a Railroad Township resident to fill a vacancy on the school board.

Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin announced this week that the current Railroad Township representative, Susan McCormack, will be stepping down from her position due to a relocation.

Qualified individuals who would like to apply for the open seat must submit a letter of interest by 3 p.m. on Friday, November 16th. Letters can be turned in at the NJ-SP Central Administration Office located at 801 Campbell Drive on the schools’ campus.

The appointee would serve the remainder of the unexpired term which will end on Wednesday, June 30th, of 2021.

The selection process will be discussed more when the school board meets next on Tuesday, November 20th.

If you have any questions contact Superintendent Zupin by calling 574-896-2155.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Starke County Commissioners Hold Public Hearing for Planning Grant Application

Posted on November 7, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Starke County Commissioners opened a public hearing concerning the application for a planning grant to get the county closer to a possible finalist status in the selection of next year’s Regional Stellar Communities Designation Program.

KIRPC Representative Edwin Buswell explained that the hearing was to gather public comment on the county’s proposed application to Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs for a planning grant to help fund the completion of a comprehensive plan for the county.

“The grant request will be $48,600 and the local match is $5,400 for a total project cost of $54,000,” said Buswell. “The grant application will go in by Nov. 15 and they should have it scored by the end of the month so it will be awarded by Dec. 1.”

HWC Consultants will complete the plan for the county as previously approved by the commissioners.

Commissioner Kathy Norem asked if there will be a time crunch to get it done before the Stellar Communities application is due in May. Buswell said it was a concern for company officials, but it should be completed in time.

County Attorney Marty Lucas said there are four municipalities involved in the application and all four entities need to have a current comprehensive plan in order to move forward as a region. Three of the four municipalities don’t have a current plan.  The City of Knox has one, but it expires in June of 2019. But OCRA Project Manager Michael Sinnet told Lucas said it couldn’t hurt to go ahead.

“He really didn’t report any downside to doing it,” commented Lucas. “If you do it this year and you’re not successful, you’re still going to get a review of your application from all of the same people that will review it the next year which will help. You’ll have a better chance of making it the next year.”

Following the public hearing, the commissioners unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the submission of the grant application and the grant match.

North Judson Town Council Considers Request from Habitat for Humanity

Posted on November 7, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

A Habitat for Humanity Representative submitted a request to the North Judson Town Council Monday night.

Ernie Smith spoke on behalf of the organization and said that volunteers are going to install a wheelchair ramp at a residence near the Girl Scout Cabin on Talmer Avenue. He asked the council if they’d be willing to waive the $50 permit fee to do the work.

President Wendy Hoppe said since Habitat for Humanity is donating the time and materials, waiving the fee seems reasonable. Other members were in agreement and they voted unanimously to waive the fee.

President Hoppe added that while the volunteer group will not need to pay for the permit, one will still be issued to them so they can prove that they’ve been authorized to do the work.

Smith said they’re looking to get the ramp put in this Saturday.

Republicans Come up with Election Night Victories in Starke County

Posted on November 6, 2018
\Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

It was a big night for Starke County Republican candidates in the November General Election.

Republican Leslie Baker defeated Incumbent Democrat Nicholas Bourff for Starke County Prosecuting Attorney while Republican Bernadette Welter-Manuel defeated Incumbent Democrat Vicki Cooley for Circuit Court Clerk.

In other races, it was Republican Mandy Thomason over Democrat Rebekah Sponaugle Wagner for County Recorder, Republican Jack E. Rosa received the most votes for County Coroner over Incumbent Democrat Dannie Hoffer, Jr. and Republican Bryan Harold Cavender defeated Incumbent Democrat Don Binkley. In the County Council District 2 race, Republican Howard A. Bailey was the winner over Democrat Chuck Estok while in the County Council District 4 race it was Republican Tom A. DeCOLA receiving the most votes over Democrat Karen Tibbs.

Democrat Roger Chaffins, Sr. was the winner over Debra Wappel in the Railroad Township Trustee race. The three top vote-getters in the Railroad Township Board race were Joe Krzyzanowski, Bart D. Egolf, and Clayton (Clay) Redlin. Republican Josh Brown and Democrat John Rowe are the two winners in the North Judson Town Council At-Large seats. In the Oregon-Davis School Board District 1 race, Christopher W. Lawrence defeated Lee Nagai for that seat.

For a complete run-down on election results, visit this link.

About 46 percent of voters turned out at the polls to cast a ballot.

As for a delay in releasing election results, Election Board President Peg Brettin noted that there were a few issues at the polls with voting machines which trickled down to getting the vote totals out to the media watchers. She said they will work to make things smoother in the 2019 May Primary Election. Even with the issues experienced, she commended the workers for working through the election process.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Radio Issues Continue for Starke County Firefighters

Posted on November 6, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The communications vendor for Starke County’s fire departments is still working on issues experienced with radio communications.

The company did replace an antenna in North Judson which has improved the signal for the Railroad Township Fire Department, but the communication issues are not quite resolved.

A few months ago, fire chiefs from several fire departments urged the commissioners to find a solution to the issue of firefighters unable to talk to each other on their radios and other fire departments. The Koontz Lake Fire Department and Hamlet Fire Department officials were hesitant to send firefighters into burning buildings because they couldn’t communicate with each other for safety reasons.

A lot of those issues have since improved.

J&K Communications is currently repairing the sirens at the Bass Lake Fire Department and the Railroad Township Fire Department in addition to reprogramming radios for some firefighters.

Until those repairs are done and other radio repairs are complete, the Starke County Commissioners agreed to hold an invoice the company submitted for over $23,000.

IT Director Richard Franks said since the invoice is being held he can get a better explanation of repairs done and expectations.

Thousands Vote Early, Ahead of Today’s Election

Posted on November 6, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Voters head to the polls today, but several Starke and Pulaski County residents have already cast their ballots. The Starke County Clerk’s Office reports that 1,795 voted early in-person. Another 232 Starke County residents voted by mail, while 35 voted by travel board.

Pulaski County’s had 1,263 in-person absentee voters, according to Election Assistant Laura Bailey. She says that number is lower than during the 2016 presidential election, but nearly double that of the 2014 mid-terms. Pulaski County election officials were still waiting for the final mail-in ballots to arrive, as of Monday afternoon.

Election Day voting takes place today from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time. Starke County voters have to vote at their local precinct polling place, while Pulaski County voters may cast ballots at any one of the county’s five vote centers.

Once the polls close, tune into K99.3 for live election results, as we follow all the contested races in Starke and Pulaski counties.

NJ Town Council Amends Water Revenue Bond Ordinance to Reflect SRF Public Pool Interest Rate

Posted on November 6, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson Town Council members were required to make an amendment to the Town’s 2018 water revenue bonds ordinance when they met Monday night.

As previously reported, the Town is funding their drinking water project with money from a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan. When members initially passed the water revenue bond ordinance, they included the anticipated interest rate which was 3.25 percent.

However, when the Town submitted a request for the loan, they were not accepted in the round they applied for. Instead, they were placed into a category where they would receive funds from a public pool of money. This resulted in an increased interest rate.

Town Attorney Justin Schramm told the town council members on Monday that they just needed to pass an ordinance that would amend that interest rate in the ordinance to reflect the new amount.

Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe noted that the rate was first going to be 4.25 percent. He said after some negotiations, that percentage was brought down to about 3.55 percent.

Members voted to introduce the ordinance. They then unanimously approved a motion to suspend the rules that call for a second and third reading and went on to adopt the ordinance which amends the rate. The 3.55 percent rate is what appears in the amended water revenue bonds ordinance.

Starke County Community Foundation Highlights Gift Matching Opportunities

Posted on November 5, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Those planning to donate to one of the Starke County Community Foundation’s community funds have the chance to make their money go even further. The Lilly Endowment has announced a “2-for-1 dollar matching opportunity” for gifts to community funds, according to a Community Foundation press release. On top of that, the Starke County Community Foundation will match community fund donations dollar-for-dollar during its annual open house on Giving Tuesday, November 27.

The matching opportunities were highlighted by the foundation’s director of development Sarah Origer, during last month’s Community Impact Reception. She announced that the foundation has given out more than $400,000 in grants and scholarships so far this year. The foundation has also accumulated $12 million in assets.

Reception attendees had the chance to hear from two of the beneficiaries of Community Foundation funding. Starke County EMS Director Travis Clary said the Lucas device the EMS department was able to purchase has already saved several lives. Clary says the device, which performs CPR on cardiac arrest victims, has increased Starke County’s survival rate to 70 percent, 60 percent higher than the national average.

Additionally, Karen Zimmerman, the director of Little Lambs Preschool at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church said the Community Foundation’s Preschool Scholarship Program sets Starke County children on a track for success. She shared that many families worry about having to sacrifice their kids’ preschool education in order to make ends meet.

Starke County ‘Business of the Year’ and ‘Above and Beyond’ Award Winners Announced

Posted on November 5, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

This week, a number of vital people and organizations will be recognized for the important impact they’ve made on the community during the annual Starke County Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner.

At the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center this Thursday, the Henry F. Schricker Service Before Self Award will be presented to Van Janovic, of Territorial Engineering. The Business of the Year and Above and Beyond awards will also be presented at this time.

The 2019 ‘Business of the Year’ is Traffic Control Specialists, Inc located in Knox. In a social media post, Chamber of Commerce representatives congratulated President Tracey Triska for the amazing contribution her company has made to the community by donating time, labor, signs and much more.

Some additional important people in Starke County will be recognized on Thursday night for showing their ability to go to spectacular heights with their community-oriented efforts.

One recipient of the Above and Beyond award this year is Linda Lewandowski, the director for the Kid’s Closet Ministry. Chamber reps shared that a part of Linda’s nomination mentioned that she began Kid’s Closet virtually out of a closet with a dream of serving the children and families of Starke County and the organization has grown tremendously over the years under her leadership.

The other Above and Beyond award winner is OTES Signs and Graphics. According to the Chamber of Commerce, OTES does an exceptional job of helping local business owners, supporting the community, and hiring local talent. Owner Nan Wellman will be accepting the award on behalf of her business.

Thursday’s ceremony will run from 6 p.m. until around 9 p.m. If you have any questions contact the Starke County Chamber of Commerce at 574-772-5548.

The North Judson Town Council Meets Tonight

Posted on November 5, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

North Judson Town Council members will receive some additional information about the Norwayne Filed Splash Pad when they meet in Town Hall tonight at 6:30 p.m.

According to the tentative agenda for tonight’s meeting, members are also anticipated to discuss town employee health insurance for 2019 and go over next year’s railroad insurance binder and promissory financial agreement.

Additionally, an ordinance amending the water revenue bond ordinance will be introduced and members will consider the 2019 North Judson Volunteer Fire Department fire service contracts.

Department heads will deliver their reports, citizens will have a chance to provide input and council members will discuss any other business deemed necessary.

Friday, November 2, 2018

11/3 & 4 Local Weekend Events

I knew as soon as Halloween was out the door that pre-Christmas events were going to swoop in to take its place.  And, as usual, they’re accompanied by even more tempting food to help keep us warm for the cold - possibly snowy - weather ahead.  Pancakes, sloppy joes, chili, turkey dinner, cakes and all kinds of snacks in between; crafts, vendor goodies, raffles, and tip boards are waiting for you to help support a variety of causes.  But don’t spend all your money this weekend; there’s plenty scheduled for the weeks ahead.

Saturday 11/3
7-11am = Hillbilly Breakfast & Bake Sale @ Community Gospel Baptist Church (Knox)   Serving: Biscuits & gravy, sausage, eggs, fried apples.  Donation: Adult = $7 / 6-12 years old = $3 / 5 and under = Free Carry outs available.
 7-11am = Little Dove Hillbilly Breakfast & Bake Sale (Toto)  Serving: sausage, eggs, fried apples, homemade biscuits and gravy. Tickets: Adults = $7 / 6-12 = $3 / 5 & under = Free.  Free delivery in Starke County for a minimum $35 order. Call 249-0479 for carry outs.
 9am-3pm = Psi Iota Xi Sorority Winter Wonderland @ Washington Township Community Building.  An extra special craft and vendor show!  Taste savory food and beverages for a small fee.   Proceeds will be used for pre-school and college scholarships.
 2-5pm = Cub Scout Woodworking Auction & Sloppy Joe Dinner @ Hamlet American Legion.  Cub Scout packs 13 & 235 are making wooden items to raffle to raise funds to help those in need this Christmas. Sloppy Joe sandwiches and chips will also be available. $5 per person; free for Veterans.
 2-5pm = Feather Party @ Knox American Legion.  Tip boards, raffles & more. Finger foods & Chili provided. All proceeds support the Legion, S.A.L., 40 & 8, & Auxiliary Charities.
Sunday 11/4
8-10am = Knox Knights of Columbus Pancake Breakfast.  Ticket price is $6.  The breakfast take place at the Knights of Columbus Hall (located at 503 E. Lake St. in Knox).
 11-2pm = Turkey Dinner @ Ss Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church Parlor (North Judson).  Adults = $9 / Children 6-12 = $5.  Dine in or drive thru. Carry outs available. Sponsored by North Judson & San Pierre Knights of Columbus #12486
 4-7pm = Girl Scout Chili Dinner & Cake Auction @ Hamlet American Legion.  Come out for dinner and stay for the cake auction! Cakes and dinner prepared by our local Girl Scouts.  Tickets:  Adults = $7 / 10 & under = $4  Cake auction @ 5 p.m. All proceeds used to make care bags for NICU parents @ Porter Regional Hospital.
 4-9pm = Benefit for Karen Toll @ Knox VFW.  Benefit for Karen Toll who was diagnosed with Small Cell Carcinoma Lung Cancer in February.   There will be a Sloppy Joe Dinner = $10 and a silent auction.
 6-9pm = All Saints Fall Festival.  Join in at the All Saints Parish Hall in San Pierre for a raffle, tip boards, Bingo, and refreshments.

Early Voting Opportunities Continue in Starke, Pulaski Counties

Posted on November 2, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The November General Election is just a few days away. If you can’t make it to the polls on Election Day, there are a few opportunities for you to vote early to ensure your vote counts.

Early ballots can be cast today in Starke County from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT on the first floor of the Starke County Courthouse. Early voting is also scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 3 from 8:30 a.m. to noon, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. CT at the same location.

In Pulaski County, in-person early voting is available from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET at the Pulaski County Justice Center in Winamac. Satellite voting is available tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET at the Francesville Fire Station.

The last day to vote absentee is Monday, Nov. 5 from 8:30 a.m. to noon local time in both counties.

Health Insurance Open Enrollment Now Underway

Posted on November 2, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Open enrollment for 2019 health insurance coverage is now underway. Residents have until December 15 to enroll in a plan through the federal Marketplace at HealthCare.gov.

The Indiana Department of Insurance is encouraging Hoosiers to review their current coverage and check to see what else is available. Those already enrolled in a Marketplace plan are asked to make sure their income and household-member information is up-to-date. If you like the plan you currently have, you will automatically be enrolled in the same plan or a similar one, according to the Department of Insurance.

A big change for 2019 is that there will no longer be a penalty for not having major medical health insurance. Additionally, the Department of Insurance says there are more direct enrollment options. That means you might be able to sign up directly on an insurance company’s website, without visiting HealthCare.gov.

Donations Are Being Collected for the Families Impacted by the Rochester Bus Stop Tragedy

Posted on November 1, 2018
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

In an effort to provide some assistance to the families impacted by Tuesday’s bus stop accident in Rochester, all Good to Go Convenience Stores will be accepting donations now until Sunday, November 11th.

Some nearby locations include Culver, Medaryville, North Judson and Winamac.

Store officials also note that the Rochester location on the corner of SR 25 and 14 will be donating all of the revenue from their car wash on Thursday, November 8th and Friday, November 9th to help the family of the victims during this difficult time. One-hundred percent of the funds collected will be donated.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Daylight Saving Time Ends Sunday

Posted on November 1, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Get ready to “fall back” this weekend. Daylight Saving Time officially ends Sunday at 2:00 a.m. That means clocks should be moved back one hour before going to bed on Saturday.

It’s also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms, according to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. Officials remind residents to test smoke alarms every month, remove any dust from the front of them, and replace alarms that are more than 10 years old.

More fire safety tips can be found on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security website.

Poor Handmaid Foundress Declared a Saint

Posted on November 1, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

Blessed Katharina Kasper was canonized on Oct. 14 by Pope Francis in Rome. She is now known as Saint Katharina Kasper. She founded the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ in 1851.

Canonization is the act by which the Catholic Church declares a person who has died a saint. Persons named saint are examples of following Christ and are worthy of imitation by the faithful.

According to information released by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, she is known as Catherine Kasper in the U.S. where a facility in Donaldson bears her name. She died on Feb. 2, 1898. Because of her exemplary work with the poor, sick, and the children and her following of the life of Christ, the Catholic Church named her Blessed Katharina Kasper in 1978 until her canonization last month.

A Mass of Thanksgiving to celebrate the canonization of Saint Katharina Kasper will be held in the Ancilla Domini Chapel at The Center of Donaldson on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 11 a.m. ET. A reception will follow in Cana Hall. Everyone is invited to attend.

Winter Energy Assistance Now Available

Posted on November 1, 2018
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Starting today, qualifying residents can get help with their heating and electric bills. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has begun for the winter. The federally-funded program runs from now until the middle of May, and residents can apply at any time.

LIHEAP won’t cover all energy costs, and residents will still have to pay their bills regularly, according to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. But between December 1 and March 15, utility companies may not disconnect service to customers enrolled in LIHEAP who fall behind on their payments. On top of that, homeowners may also qualify for the State Energy Assistance Program this winter.

To apply for LIHEAP, residents should contact their local service provider. Community Services of Starke County can be reached at 574-772-7070. Pulaski County Human Services’ phone number is 574-946-6500. Marshall County residents should contact the Community Resource Center at 574-935-0132.

More information about LIHEAP and how to apply may be found on the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority website.

Psi Iota Xi Sorority Winter Wonderful Set for Saturday

Posted on November 1, 2018
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI

The members of the Psi Iota Xi Sorority in Knox invite you to the Winter Wonderful craft and vendor show on Saturday, Nov. 3

The event will feature unique, hand-crafted gifts, seasonal items, and door prizes along with food and beverages for purchase.

All of the proceeds will be used for pre-school and college scholarships.

Winter Wonderful will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT at the Washington Township Community Building at 20 N. State Road 23 east of Knox.