Employee and Student Handbooks Approved by NJSP School Board

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board members approved the certified and non certified employee handbooks Tuesday night.

In the certified employee handbook, some information was included about the teacher evaluation process and the section on child abuse reporting was amended to match the new state law. The non-certified handbook also addressed the new policy on child abuse reporting and provided some clarification about holidays and unpaid days. With both handbooks, some changes were made to assist with organization and clarity. Continue reading

Winamac Departments Commended for Addressing Citizen Concerns

Some of the efforts that various Winamac departments have put forth recently to address certain citizen concerns were acknowledged during Monday night’s Town Council meeting.

Earlier this month, Park Board President Courtney Poor called attention to the fact that the parking lot at the Winamac Wellness Center was in need of repairs. He came before the town council this week to express his gratitude for how quickly the matter was addressed. Continue reading

Starke County EMA and EMS Directors Attend Briefing over FEMA Public Assistance

Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director J. Nier and EMS Director Travis Clary attended a briefing with FEMA representatives on Thursday in order to learn more about the public financial assistance that is available to the county to help with flood relief.

EMA Director Nier explained that in order to be eligible for public assistance, the county had to reach about $85,000 spent dealing with flood recovery. Nier said that number was not only reached, but it was surpassed, with close to $2 million spent during the immediate response. Continue reading

Knox Dumpster Days to Be Held at Wastewater Treatment Plant this Saturday and Sunday

The Knox Mayor’s Office issued a reminder that “ Spring Clean-Up Dumpster Days” will be held this weekend.

Residents can drop items off from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 19th and Sunday May 20th. The dumpsters will be located in Wythogan Park, at the Wastewater Treatment Plant in the rear of the park.

This event is restricted to residents who live within the city limits only. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Approved Truck Purchase for Water Department

The Winamac Water Department will be getting a new truck after town council members approved one of the quotes presented to them during their Monday evening meeting.

Water Department Superintendent Jeremy Beckner presented the quotes. Council President Tom Murray asked for the year of the current vehicle and Beckner answered that it is a 2005. Town Manager Brad Zellers mentioned that it is in the department’s 5-year plan to replace the truck this year. Continue reading

NJSP School Board Holds Hearing Over $1.1 Million General Obligation Bonds

North Judson-San Pierre school board members took a few major steps in the General Obligation Bond process at their Tuesday night meeting.

A public hearing was held over the proposed bond issuance, which will be for a total of $1.1 million. Curt Pletcher from Umbaugh provided a general overview of the bond process, explaining that it will take the place of the 2006 bonds that will soon be retired. Continue reading

Knox Redevelopment Pilot Project Aims to Help Revitalize the Downtown Area

A business opportunity is being offered by city officials to help revitalize the downtown area in Knox.

When the City Council met last Thursday, Mayor Dennis Estok shared that the Redevelopment Commission has purchased a building that will be utilized for a proposed pilot program. He said the goal of the program is to provide some incentives to try and induce some business downtown. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre School Board Approves Dean of Students positions at Elementary and Jr.-Sr. High Schools

The North Judson-San Pierre Elementary and Jr.-Sr. High Schools will each have a Dean of Students starting in the 2018-2019 school year, following the school board’s approval of the two new personnel positions during their meeting Tuesday night.

Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin said that school board members, teachers, and administrators have been discussing staffing for the last several months. She said after speaking with faculty, she realized there were a few matters that were consistently brought up. Continue reading

Knox City Council Gets an Early Start on General Obligation Bond Process, at Umbaugh’s Recommendation

Knox Mayor Dennis Estok alerted city council members of some changes to the general obligation bond process when they met last Thursday.

Estok issued an updated timetable for the general obligation bonds that the city will be using to finance the purchase of a pumper truck. He informed members about a suggestion made by the city’s financial advisors that impacted the timeline. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Acknowledges Generous Donation from Mooi Family

Winamac town officials expressed gratitude toward the Mooi family when members met Monday night.

Clerk-Treasurer Melanie Berger explained that two departments will soon receive some funds as the result of a generous posthumous donation from a local couple who passed away last year.

Berger told members, “The Winamac Volunteer Fire Department, along with the Winamac Police Department, they were beneficiaries to the Henry Mooi and Alice Mooi revocable trust.” Continue reading

Knox BZA Approves Variance for Pacific Avenue Property Owner

The Knox BZA met Monday night to consider a variance on the 40-foot rear-yard setback requirement for commercial properties. The owner of Royal Star Builders, Tim Miller, is looking to build a dual-purpose business on Pacific Avenue.

He bought a piece of residential property and took all the necessary steps to have it rezoned to commercial. The only thing standing in the way of construction was the fact that in his site plan, the rear-yard came in about 25 feet shorter than the required footage, so he could not apply for a building permit. Continue reading

Knox City Council Approves Final Version of 5-Year Parks Master Plan

Troyer Group Architect Mike Reese

A public hearing over the final version of 5-Year Parks Master Plan was held prior to last Thursday’s Knox City Council meeting.

Troyer Group Landscape Architect Mike Reese led the public hearing. During this process, he’s been coordinating with city officials and gathering public input about Heritage Park, Sandy Acres, Wythogan Park and potential new park. Continue reading

Donations Still Needed for Winamac Fireworks Display, Location Change Discussed

Donations are still be collected for the Winamac Fireworks Display, as officials are still more than $2,800 away from their goal with the June deadline approaching.

Additionally, officials with the Town of Winamac are reassessing fireworks display plans, after the distributor alerted Town Manager Brad Zellers that the park will not be an acceptable location. Continue reading

NJSP School Board to Consider Handbook Revisions and General Obligation Bond Resolution Tonight

North Judson-San Pierre school board members will take action on the wellness, technology and strategic and accountability plans when they meet tonight at 7 p.m.

Revisions to the Elementary School and the Jr.-Sr. High School student handbooks will be considered and members will discuss revisions to the certified and non-certified employee handbooks as well. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Meets Tonight

Winamac Town Council members are expected to discuss the status of the Local Income Tax (LIT) Issue with the county when they meet tonight at 6 p.m. ET.

The council will also consider a quote for the updated ordinance book and Town Attorney Justin Schramm will discuss arbitrage correspondence. The Jefferson Township fire contract will be up for approval and two ordinances will be considered. Continue reading

Culver School Board Continues Discussion Over Potential Operating Referendum

Culver School Board members met last Monday in order to further discuss a potential operating referendum.

Superintendent Karen Shuman stated that this month’s work session was essentially a review of what was covered during a work session in April. Superintendent Shuman said the board members in attendance had the opportunity to ask some questions about the information that has been provided so far and suggest some other areas to research. Continue reading

Knox City Council Holds Public Hearing Over J.W. Hicks Annexation Petition

A public hearing over a petition for annexation was held when Knox City Council members met on Thursday. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Special Projects Coordinator Ron Gifford spoke on the behalf of the petitioner, J.W. Hicks Holding LLC.

Gifford explained that the Hicks organization previously purchased some property on the corner of Pacific Avenue. He said that when the company started looking into potential expansion, some records were reviewed and they discovered the property to the south, formerly the Hewlett property, was never annexed into the city. Continue reading

Knox Board of Zoning Appeals Meets Tonight

The Knox BZA members are also anticipated to discuss the vacant secretary position when they meet tonight at 7 p.m.

Members will also hear an appeal from a Pacific Avenue property owner seeking a variance. Owner of Royal Star Builders, Tim Miller, will be appealing to the BZA to receive a variance on the 40-foot setback specification for a rear yard on a commercial property. Continue reading