Bass Lake Gas Station Sustains Structural Damage from Break-in Attempt, Prompts Starke County Sheriff’s Department Investigation

Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin reports that three male subjects wearing hoodies and masks covering their faces broke into the KP Corner gas station located at 7090 S State Road 10 in Bass Lake on December 21st. According to Sheriff Dulin, the incident occurred around 3:50 a.m. Thursday. Continue reading

North Judson Town Attorney Presents Council Members with Railroad Bylaws

Railroad Committee bylaws were up for discussion during Monday night’s North Judson Town Council meeting. Town Attorney Justin Schramm informed members that he received the bylaws from Rachel Arndt, the town’s former attorney.

He told the council that part of the bylaws indicates that the committee would be comprised of at least four members. It would consist of one town council member, a representative from Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum and representatives from Chesapeake and Indian Railroad and Co-Alliance. He mentioned that any freight carrier who hauls more than 20 percent of product on the railway would be able to appoint a member as well. Continue reading

NJSP Elementary School Principal Speaks Highly of Successful Attendance Initiatives

At Tuesday night’s North Judson-San Pierre School Board meeting, Elementary School Principal Julie Berndt informed school board members about a few initiatives that are positively impacting the attendance records of her students.

Principal Berndt talked about the “Attendance Champions” program where each teacher’s attendance percentage is posted every month. The class with the highest number gets announced and receives a bag of candy, a temporary trophy for their class room and bragging rights. She said so far it has been a pretty competitive and successful initiative. In November, there weren’t any classes that reported less than 91 percent attendance. Continue reading

Culver Community School Board Members Approve Field Trip Requests

The Culver Community School Board members approved a few different field trip requests when they met earlier this week. Superintendent Karen Shuman stated that one of the requested field trips will be funded by the Parent Teacher Organization.

Shuman said, “Our PTO provides behavior incentive trips to multiple students throughout the school year and one that’s coming up at the end of January is a trip to Plymouth for our 6th graders to go bowling as a reward for them doing what they’re supposed to do in school.” Continue reading

Helpful Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

The holidays are time of social gatherings with lots of decadent foods and elaborate decorations. However, what seems like a winter wonderland to humans can actually cause pets a plethora of problems.

Dr. Sandra Norman, a veterinarian with the Indiana Board of Animal Health has a few helpful tips to keep in mind this holiday season to ensure your four-legged friends stay as safe as possible. Continue reading

This Special Holiday Tracker Allows Hoosiers to Keep Up With Santa’s Travels

If you and your kiddos want to keep any eye on when old St. Nick will be visiting the Hoosier state this holiday, INDOT has the perfect option for you. The organization brought back their annual “Santa Tracker” which can be accessed through certain social media sights.

This Christmas Eve you can witness Santa stop by some Indiana landmarks, visit with INDOT staff and help spread the word about safe driving and travel tips

Continue reading

Cold Weather Preparation Tips from Knox Water Department Superintendent Todd Gardner

Today is officially the first day of winter and as temperatures are expected to dip below freezing in the coming weeks, home owners need to take necessary precautions to avoid frozen pipes.

Knox Water Department Superintendent Todd Gardner has a few helpful tips to help protect homes this winter season. Superintendent Gardner reported that most incidents happen at the beginning of the season since people don’t take these simple steps before cold weather hits.

His first tip is to be sure that all hoses are disconnected and outdoor faucets are turned off. He said even “frost-free” faucets can freeze and break if they’re not disconnected and completely switched off. He also stressed the importance of making sure that crawlspace doors and other openings are securely shut to keep drafts from entering the home and cooling the water pipes. Continue reading

North Judson Town Superintendent Addresses New State Board of Accounts Requirement

Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann touched on a few different topics during his report at the North Judson Town Council meeting Monday Night.

He alerted council members that leaf and brush pick-up has officially concluded for this year and will resume in the spring.

Additionally, in Superintendent Horstmann’s report, members were told that the State Board of Accounts is requiring that the town take measures to better secure the modem tower located in Town Hall. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre Pool Repairs Complete, Facility Renovations Expected to Start in the Spring

North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Dr. Annete Zupin told school board members that repairs to the pool are finished. The final step in the project was being completed during the school board meeting Tuesday night.

During her report Dr. Zupin said, “The pool is filling with water as we speak, so it will be ready to go in January and we’re excited about that.”

The school corporation recently had to deal with an unexpected issue where corroded main drain boxes needed replaced and the area had to be re-tiled. Continue reading

Local Community Service Organizations Benefit from WKVI December Food Drives

The WKVI food drives held in early December resulted in community members providing a plethora of goods to Community Services of Starke County and Pulaski County Human Services.

Community Services of Starke County Executive Director Charmaine Dunkel said that more than 700 pounds of food was donated at the Five Star site. They also received about $108 in cash donations and a $500 gift certificate for the food pantry.

Pulaski County Human Services representatives shared that nine carts of food were donated at the Sanders Foods site in Winamac. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Permits Fire Chief to Utilize Call Fees for Equipment Purchase

During Monday night’s North Judson Town Council meeting, Fire Chief Joe Leszek told members that the first installment of Rich Grove Township’s call-fees has been submitted.

At the last town council meeting he explained that Rich Grove Township is on a pay-by-call basis where the Township pays $660 per call.

That agreement didn’t present much of an issue when they only had 5 calls in 2016 but this year they had a total of 46 calls, resulting in a charge of $30,360. Leszek said a check for $18,000 was recently sent from Township Trustee Deloris Locke. Locke told him that the remaining $12,360 will be paid after the first of the year. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre School Board Discusses Year-End Financial Business

North Judson-San Pierre Corporation Treasurer Guy Richie presented board members with tax anticipation warrant bids during Tuesday night’s meeting. Richie explained that the corporation advertised for the $230,000 that needs to be borrowed for the capital projects plan and two bids were received.

Richie told board members, “One was from Centier Bank at 2.24 percent and the other from our local First National Bank of Monterey at 1.5 percent so it is my recommendation that the board approve the First National Bank of Monterey at 1.5 percent.” Continue reading

Several Local Students Recognized as Rising Stars of Indiana

A number of students from schools in the area made their way onto the Indiana Association of School Principals’ list of Rising Stars of Indiana Class of 2019.

School officials from all across the state were encouraged to nominate up to four students currently in 11th grade based on academic achievement. Juniors from John Glenn, Knox and South Central high schools were recognized for their dedication and hard work.

The Indiana Association of School Principals describes Rising Stars of Indiana as non-competitive recognition program designed to honor high school juniors for outstanding academics. Continue reading

Governor Eric Holcomb Responds to Resignation Letter from Department of Child Services Director

On Friday, Governor Eric Holcomb’s press secretary released a statement regarding the resignation of Department of Child Services Director Mary Beth Bonaventura. However, another statement was sent out on Monday, following the release of Bonaventura’s resignation letter.

In his initial statement, Governor Holcomb announced that after learning of her resignation, he started the search for the next leader of the ‘critical state agency.’ He also commented saying how grateful he was to Bonaventura for her five years of service and unwavering commitment to the safety of Hoosier children in the midst of a growing opoid epidemic that has impacted so many families.

In her resignation letter, Bonaventura charges that the administration has systematically slashed funding to the agency as well as damaged relationships with foster parents, placement agencies and treatment centers, according to a report by Network Indiana’s John Herrick. Continue reading

Walkerton Substitute Teacher Charged with Sexual Misconduct with Middle School Student

According to information provided by St. Joseph County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer McKinney, 20-year-old Austin Kipp, also known as Austin Csenar, was recently charged with the Level 5 Felony of sexual misconduct with a minor.

The minor, who is at least 14 years of age but less than 16 years of age, is referred to as child victim in all the official documentation and certain information was withheld from reference to protect their anonymity.

Detective Jeremy Wright with the South Bend Police Department was assigned to the St. Joseph County Special Victims Unit to investigate allegations of a substitute teacher at a Walkerton middle School engaging in sexual behavior with a student. Continue reading

Progress Made in North Judson PD K-9 Fundraiser, Additional Donations Still Needed

The North Judson Police Department is already nearing their $20,000 goal for the purchase of a K-9 and subsequent training thanks to a decision made by town council members Monday evening.

Town Marshal Kelly Fisher requested for $15,000 to be encumbered from the general police insurance fund into the K-9 fund to help cover the cost of purchasing a K-9 from the Peru-based company Vohne Liche Kennels. The council members unanimously approved Fisher’s request.

Fisher also acknowledged some local businesses and organizations that are already offering assistance to the NJPD. San Pierre Veterinary Clinic offered to donate annual shots and physicals and Feed Barn is donating all food needed for the K-9. Continue reading

City of Knox Receives a $20,000 Planning Grant

Mayor Dennis Estok told Knox City Council members last week that the city is the recipient of a grant worth $20,000.

The city received the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and according to the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the planning grant is funded with money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. OCRA says the goal of the program is to encourage communities to plan for long-term community development.

Mayor Estok said that CDBG funds will be spent to cover the cost of services being provided by the Troyer Group, the architecture and planning firm assisting city officials with the construction of the Knox Parks 5-Year Master Plan. Continue reading