North Judson Town Council Receives Updates About Water System Improvement Project

The potential of a supplemental round of grant funding being offered through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs could provide more financial assistance for proposed projects in the Town of North Judson. Vince Sommers of Common Wealth Engineers came before the North Judson Town Council members to fill them in on the process so far and to alert them of the potential supplemental round of grant funding.

The town is pursuing SRF Drinking Water Funds for their water system improvement project. Sommers said that any time federal money is utilized an environmental impact report must be conducted. The State Revolving Fund reviewed the preliminary engineering report for the water system improvements and instructed the organization who helped secure the grant, Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission (KIRPC), to advertise a finding of no significant impact. Continue reading

Electrical Maintenance Training Class Proves Successful for Pulaski County

Last Wednesday, seven employees graduated from an 18 week-long NIMS Electrical Maintenance Training Class. This was the first training class to be offered at this capacity in the nation and it was an incredible success for Pulaski County.

All seven employees had perfect attendance throughout the course. According to Pulaski County Economic Development officials, these individuals demonstrated dedication to their craft and a commitment to continuously work on advancing their skills. Each graduate was awarded a nationally recognized credential issued by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills. Employers stated that employees who went through the training are already displaying noticeable results on the job. Continue reading

Energy Safe Kids Presentation Coming to A Classroom Near You

This November, the National Energy Foundation and Northern Indiana Public Service Company(NIPSCO) are teaming up to deliver more than 100 ‘Energy Safe Kids’ classroom presentations in schools across Northern Indiana.

Energy Safe Kids is a unique and engaging program designed to encourage fourth graders to think about energy sources and how to be safe around them whether outdoors, at home or at school. Energy educators teach students the basics about energy and energy safety.

There will be two weeks of presentation beginning on Monday, November 6th. Interested individuals who are within NIPSCO’s service territory can register at EnergySafeKids.org/NIPSCO. Space is limited so fourth grade teachers who want to have an energy safety specialist speak to their students should sign-up as soon as possible. If you’re unable to get someone into your classroom this year, you can still register in advance for the 2018 program.

North Judson-San Pierre 6th Grader Spreads Kindness with Her Award Winning Design

A North Judson-San Pierre middle school student was chosen as a finalist in a nation-wide charitable design contest. At last night’s NJSP School Board meeting, sixth grade teacher JoAnn Gappa and her student Hailey Wright spoke to board members about the Wonder Kind Project.

Mrs. Gappa told board members that her students have recently been reading and working with the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio. One activity she provided to her students was to create a visual representation of kindness and inclusion for a design challenge. GAP Kids started the Choose Kind Challenge inspired by the book, which centers around a child with a Craniofacial condition.

Wright explained the challenge to the members of the board saying, “We all had to design a t-shirt and bunch of other teachers around the world did it and they only picked 8 finalists.” She said her inspiration for her design was to show how we are all different but still “fit in” Continue reading

Pulaski County Public Library Seeks Public Input to Construct Long Range Plan

The Pulaski County Public Library serves more than 10,380 residents in several townships across the county. Currently, the library is in the preliminary stages of constructing a long-term plan that will list the goals and objectives the library hopes to achieve over the next five years. In order to continue improving their services and to ensure their plans match up with community desires, the library is seeking public input in the form of a survey.

The survey addresses the weakness and strengths of both the library and Pulaski County in general. The library officials will use the data collected to help determine the services it will prioritize and the goals it will set in the long range plan. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Holds First Reading Over Animal Ordinance

An ordinance which has resulted in quite a bit of public attention as well as council consideration received its first reading during last night’s North Judson Town Council meeting. The ordinance regulating the housing and maintenance of animals in the Town of North Judson received unanimous council approval on first reading.

The ordinance is divided into three sections. Section one provides definitions of animals such as cats, dogs, chickens, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits and swine as well as other poultry and domestic animals. It also provides the definitions of phrases such as at large, dangerous animal, feral, free-roaming, harboring, impound and housing.

Section two of the ordinance deals with the regulation of animals. This includes general care as well as registration. The ordinance specifies that individuals must annually register their animals at the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office on or prior to February 15th of the current year. Continue reading

Knox School Board Ratifies Teacher Contract Resulting in Base Salary Increase for New & Existing Teachers

The teacher document of agreement otherwise referred to as the certified bargaining agreement between the Knox School Board and the Knox Federation of Teachers was ratified by the Knox School Board during their meeting last Tuesday.

Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart said that the decisions that were finalized during the meeting will be retroactive to the start of the 2017/18 school year. He mentioned that some of the highlights included a new teacher base salary of $34,000 and that any teachers who worked for the Knox School Corporation during the 2016/17 school year were given at least a $1,000 increase to their base salary. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre School Board Meets Tonight

The North Judson San-Pierre School Board will meet tonight at 7 p.m. in the school corporation’s administrative office.

Items up for discussion and action include a donation from Farm Bureau, the approval of certified handbook modifications and amendments to the non-certified handbook. The approval of the teachers’ master contract and approval of advertising the tax anticipation warrant are also on the agenda for tonight.

Board members will also receive some information about the Wonder Kind Project when they meet this evening.

Here/Hear is Bringing Their Mental Illness and Mental Health Initiative to Ancilla College

Here/Hear is a nonprofit organization, based out of Plymouth, which works with a number of initiatives in order to help with mental illness. This week, the director of the organization Dr. Nate Crawford will be delivering his lecture, “Taking Care of Me: Tips for Living Well” as a part of The Lampen Lecture series at Ancilla College.

The Lampen Lecture series was named for Ancilla’s first president Sr. Joel Lampen and though it is sponsored by the college and the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, residents of surrounding communities are encouraged to attend the free lecture series any time.

On Thursday, October 19th Dr. Crawford will be speaking in Cana Hall at 12:45 p.m. (EDT). His organization creates content for the web that helps people navigate the issues surrounding mental illness and they speak with students and parents about the affliction. Their mission statement says that they believe music and the arts provide a great way to engage people in conversations about mental illness and mental health.

Community Members Encouraged to Attend Tomorrow’s Starke County Health Fair

Starke Hospital will be holding their annual health fair tomorrow in the Knox Middle School gymnasium. WKVI will be broadcasting live from this free community event which will feature a number of interactive health exhibits, health screenings, healthy snack samples and more.

From 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. a number community vendors will be on site. “Ask a provider” is a feature of the fair where health care professionals from Knox and North Judson will be present to answer various questions.

There also will be CPR and self-defense demonstrations. Free flu-shots for adults will be available while supplies last. They will even hold some for individuals who won’t be able to attend until after 5 p.m.

For more information, visit starkehealth.com or call 574-772-6231.

North Judson Town Council Meets Tonight

The North Judson Town Council is scheduled to hold the adoption of the 2018 budget this evening. During the last town council meeting, members held the public hearing and first reading over the proposed budget which contains an estimated total of approximately $983,500.

Council members will also revisit old business such as the proposed animal ordinance and receive updates from the Town Marshal and Town Superintendent as well as other present department heads.

The North Judson meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight in North Judson Town Hall located at 310 Lane Street.

Knox High School Culinary Crew Provides Samples at Knox School Board Meeting

Knox School Board meetings feature a ‘spotlight on success’ in which students or various school programs are highlighted. Superintendent Dr. William Reicchart said that last week, board members and patrons received a savory surprise of several culinary treats to sample.

The culinary arts teacher Jill McNeil was at the meeting with six of her students to talk about the vocational culinary class offered at Knox High School. McNeil reported that the class contains students from different parts of Starke County. Currently ten students from Knox but there is also a student from North Judson-San Pierre and another Oregon-Davis. Though the majority of students are juniors and seniors, they accepted a few sophomores this year.

Dr. Reichhart said that the students have dubbed themselves the ‘Culinary Crew’ and the class provides post-secondary opportunities. McNeil explained that her class is a part of the vocational cooperative and upon completion the students will receive ServSafe certifications and dual credits through Ivy Tech. Continue reading

Want to be Part of the 2017 Knox Peppermint Parade? Apply Today!

2017 Peppermint Parade Application

Knox’s annual Peppermint Parade will take place on December 2nd this year but the application deadline to be a part of the parade is coming soon. Applications were  originally due on Wednesday, November 22nd but the deadline has been extended to allow more people to sign-up.

There is no registration fee but applicants are required to share their contact information, the name of their organization, a brief description and they must specify whether they are entering as a church, a non-profit, a business or as an individual. This year, the Peppermint Parade will feature a reviewing station and a winner will be selected from each specific category and one will be chosen for best overall holiday spirit.

Continue reading

Eastern Pulaski School Board Holds First Reading Over Arrest Policy

Eastern Pulaski School Corporation representatives recently realized they did not have a standing policy regarding faculty arrests. At their school board meeting on Monday, Superintendent Dan Foster presented the policy to board members who were able to view it through the online agenda provided on the Eastern Pulaski School website.

“This is a policy that we don’t have and it’s kind of caused some issues and concerns lately.” Foster continued, “So we worked with ISBA and got some simple language from some other school corporations and kind of gelled that together. It is a first reading so obviously it’s open to any input.”

Essentially, the policy requires faculty members to report any run-ins with police, whether they result in an arrest or not. If faculty members fail to report, the superintendent or appropriate designee will conduct an investigation and determine the appropriate disciplinary action to take. Continue reading

Knox School Board Receives Official Enrollment Report

Knox School Board members received an enrollment update when they met Tuesday night. Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart reported that the official enrollment count is down 11 students from last spring’s report. The number is currently 1843.37.

A student enrollment report that has .37 may sound strange, but Reichhart explained why that number is included in the enrollment count. He said, “We have a couple of students who are only attending for a period a day and they are home schooled for the rest of the time so that is the percentage of time they are with us in our classes.” Continue reading

LaPorte County Residents Encouraged to Sign-up for Rave Alert to Stay Informed

LaPorte County public safety officials are excited to announce a new free notification service that can keep residents and travelers informed on potentially hazardous situations involving weather, traffic and emergencies as well as other community events.

The service, Rave Alert, enables individuals to receive timely and useful emergency alerts via voice messages, texts or emails that are delivered directly to their cell phone. They can identify when and how they are alerted and communicated with before, during and after the emergencies.

Rave Alert is a trusted service utilized by several state and local authorities, business and educational institutions. Millions of messages are sent daily that help make first responders and residents better informed during emergency situations. Continue reading

North Judson Native Andrew Rowe Appointed to Clerk-Treasurer Position

Pam Stalbaum, Jackie Bridegroom, Andrew Rowe, Kenny Wallace and Paula Eckert

The caucus to determine the new North Judson Clerk-Treasurer took place Thursday evening. Democrat Chairman Kenny Wallace announced that one individual had submitted a letter of interest by the Tuesday deadline. Wallace then introduced the candidate, Andrew Rowe, who provided a bit of background information about himself and why he was interested in filling the open position.

Rowe was born and raised in North Judson. He has experience working with government representatives and economic development officials. He said after speaking with an individual about the importance of generational integrity and hometown pride he felt inspired to return to his roots and work to make the town of North Judson a better place to live, work and raise a family. Continue reading

Knox Community School Corporation’s 2018 Budget is Ready for Adoption

The Knox Community School Board held a public hearing over the school corporation’s 2018 Budget when they met Tuesday night. Corporation Treasurer Sherry Fort provided the board members and the public with a synopsis of the proposed budget for next year.

The general fund is estimated at $12,760,379. The capital projects fund has approximately $1.9 million budgeted and the bus replacement plan is estimated to be $325,000. The total budget estimate is set at $20,662,696. Continue reading

Knox Residents in Need of Fall Lawn Care Assistance Can Call the Mayor’s Office for Help

As the fall season is upon us, leaves will start to scatter across yards all over town. Knox residents who are unable to tend to their lawns due to advanced age or physical disability are able to submit a request for assistance to the Mayor’s Office.

Mayor Dennis Estok announced the start of the call out for the fall leaf pick-up program at the Knox City Council meeting earlier this week. He informed council members that the Mayor’s Office works in conjunction with the SCILL Center to get the leaves raked. The program is carried out on a first come, first serve basis and they’re able to attend to up to 15 properties. Continue reading

Starke County Community Foundation Announces Lilly Endowment Scholarship Finalists

Nearly 30 students applied for the 2018 Starke County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship and recently, the Starke County Community Foundation announced the five students who were chosen as finalists.

Seniors from Knox High Community School, Culver Community High School and North Judson-San Pierre High School are in the running to receive the scholarship.

The student chosen from Culver was Cody Rieckhoff who plans to study criminal justice. The North Judson-San Pierre finalist is Ashley Rearden who wants to go into business management. Three finalists are from Knox Community High School and they are Elizabeth McEntee, who plans to study neuro-biology, Cassandra Waletzko, who is considering concentrations in biology and forensic science and Daniel Darda who plans to study animation. Continue reading