City of Knox Park Survey Opens Today, Public Hearing Scheduled for Next Week

Knox officials are working to update and renew the city’s 5-year Park Master Plan.

At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, Mayor Dennis Estok announced that a public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, December 7 at 6 p.m. in Knox City Hall. Community members will have a chance to provide their input about what they’d like to see implemented at the parks over the next few years. Continue reading

First Weekend of December to Feature a Variety of Community Festivities

This weekend, there are few different ways you and your family can kick-off the Christmas season with various local holiday events in Culver, North Judson and Knox.

On Friday, December 1st, the Culver Academies Community Service Club, the Cavs Club and the Culver Youth Community Organization will sponsor a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Train Depot in Culver Park. Light refreshments will be served at 6:15 p.m. ET and the tree lighting will be at 6:30 p.m.

Another part of Culver’s Christmas celebration will be the Holiday Hop which will run from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Citizens can visit participating businesses on Lake Shore Drive and Main Street to get in some early Christmas shopping and for a chance to win a $300 shopping spree. Carolers will sing throughout town during the Holiday Hop and will also be at Millers Merry Manor.

The Town of North Judson will also hold their holiday celebration on Friday, with their event taking place in Norwayne Field. Continue reading

North Judson Town Superintendent Talks Tractor Replacement with Council Members

Town Superintendent of North Judson, Marshall Horstmann, alerted council members that the John Deere tractor that is utilized for utility purposes needs replaced.

During his report at last week’s town council meeting, Horstmann explained that there is a leak in the hydraulic pump on the tractor and the clutch is also going out. He said the tractor is from 1964 and it isn’t worth it to pay to repair the broken parts. Rather than spending money on the old tractor, he attempted to locate a slightly used one that could be purchased to replace it.

One quote for a used tractor was received and the other two quotes were for new models with loaders. Horstmann said he wasn’t initially looking for a tractor with a loader but he said it could come in handy for uses at various times of the year. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Continues Health Insurance Deliberation

At last week’s North Judson Town Council meeting, Insurance Broker John Howard with the Wealth Care Group informed council members of a new piece of information he discovered since the last time they discussed health insurance policy options.

During their first November meeting, members voted to allow Town Attorney Justin Schramm to be added to the insurance policy in lieu of paying him a retainer fee. Board member Josh Brown inquired about a similar possibility for council members.

A last Monday’s meeting, Howard explained that the town attorney and council members are classified as 10-99 employees and their current health insurance provider, United Health Care, does not allow those types of employees to be added to the group plan. Continue reading

Mayor of Knox Informs Council Members of Delay with Main Street Light Replacement

Yesterday evening, Mayor Dennis Estok informed Knox City Council members that the installation of the new light bulbs on Main Street has been delayed due to a delivery issue.

Mayor Estok explained that the bulb that was initially installed as an example came without any ballast. Since the existing light fixtures contain their own ballasts there were no issues with that installation. However, the nine additional bulbs that were purchased came with ballasts inside the bulbs.

The mayor said that in order to install those bulbs, the existing ballasts would need to be bypassed during installation which would cost some additional money for labor. If they want to send these bulbs back and get the same ones as the example, they will be charged a restocking fee. Continue reading

The Food Finders Food Bank Mobile Pantry is Scheduled to Stop in Pulaski County this Friday

Food Finders Food Bank Mobile Pantry will be making a stop in Winamac this week. This Friday, starting at 11 a.m. ET the mobile food bank will at the Pulaski County Highway Garage supplying groceries to individuals in need.

The food will be distributed on a first come first serve basis. Patrons are encouraged to bring along a laundry basket, box or something else to carry away food since the pantry does not supply containers. Some of the items that will be available include frozen meats, cereal, vegetables, baked goods and beverages.

No smoking, swearing or obscene gestures are allowed on the premises. Fighting and aggressive behavior will not be tolerated. Individuals are only allowed to go through the line once and people are asked to leave the site once they’ve received their food items.

Income guidelines provided by FFFB are listed below: Continue reading

North Judson Residents Encouraged to Help Secure Competitive Grant for Water System Improvements

A public hearing was held over a $550,000 OCRA wastewater/drinking water grant during last week’s North Judson Town Council meeting.

Executive Director of Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission Edwin Buswell provided some information about the proposed Office of Community and Rural Affairs grant, explaining that it will be utilized for various water system improvements. He said the local match of $1,268,000 would come from the state revolving loan fund.

One individual asked about the potential impact this could have on taxes. Buswell replied that he believes the rate increase that was implemented earlier this year would cover the cost and no additional increases will be necessary. Continue reading

NJSP School Board Held Work Session Over Proposed Graduation Requirements

The North Judson-San Pierre school board held a work session last week to discuss proposed changes to graduation requirements and accountability grades. These changes would not only impact NJSP, but all Indiana public schools.

Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin clarified that some things are still not set in stone but she wanted the board to meet to go over some of the issues that could arise from these educational adjustments at the national and state level.

There were quite a few topics that were discussed but a potential change causing major concerns is the different graduation requirements that are being proposed. With the adjustment, schools could no longer accept any diploma less than a Core 40. Continue reading

Knox City Council Meets Tonight

The Knox City Council members are anticipating an update from a representative with the Starke County Economic Development Foundation when they meet tonight.

The agenda for tonight’s meeting is pretty light but Mayor Dennis Estok said during his report he will touch on a few items that have been discussed in the past such as the city’s contract with the humane society and the new bulb installation on Main Street.

Mayor Estok said he’ll also be talking to the council members about the renewal of the Parks and Recreation Department 5-year Master Plan. Continue reading

Culver FFA President Provides Presentation to School Board Members

The Culver Community School Board received a presentation from FFA President Alex Temme who told them all about Culver’s involvement in this year’s National FFA Conference.

FFA members were able to watch the rodeo there as well as exhibit some of their agricultural skills. Superintendent Karen Shuman said that Culver students experienced some success with their soil judging presentations, getting ranked as one of the top ten teams to compete. Continue reading

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Settles Purchase Order Uncertainty

The North Judson Town Council members previously refrained from acting on a purchase order from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation until they could acquire more information about the charge.

At their town council meeting last week Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe elaborated on the existing contract between the two entities.

Mr. Rowe explained that in the agreement for planning and implementing economic development programs, it states that the town will pay twenty percent of the tax revenue they receive from the economic development tax in two yearly payments. Continue reading

Construction Administrator Provides Project Updates to North Judson-San Pierre School Board

When the North Judson-San Pierre School Board met last week they received a project report from Edward Sawa, the construction administrator of Fanning Howey.

Sawa has been working closely with Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin and Maintenance Director Wilbur Collins to determine the specifics of current capital projects. Last Tuesday Sawa informed board members of some the key preliminary findings from some onsite investigations.

Continue reading

Culver Superintendent Shares Plans to Tackle Jr/Sr High Cafeteria Project

When the Culver Community School Board met last week, Superintendent Karen Shuman shared a few updates about a remodeling project that will be tackled in the near future.

All three elements of the project; lighting, furnishing and flooring, would be focused in the cafeteria at the Junior/Senior High School building. According to Principal Brett Berndt, certain elements of the cafeteria date back nearly 50 years. During a previous school board meeting he mentioned how the floors have not been renovated since they were installed in 1968. Continue reading

WorkOne Kids’ Coat Drive Distribution Scheduled to Start Today

WorkOne is working hard this holiday season to show their continuous commitment to our communities.

Aside from the educational and occupational assistance they provide year round, during the month of November, the Knox and Winamac locations have been hosting kids’ coat drives to collect winter apparel to help local children in need this time of year.

Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre Schools Partner with Cheryl Lyn Welter Family Charitable Foundation

North Judson-San Pierre is the latest school to form a partnership with the Cheryl Lyn Welter Family Charitable Foundation. Harold Welter provided the NJSP School Board with an informative presentation when they met Tuesday night.

Welter explained to board members that the foundation was established in memory of his daughter Cheryl who passed away in an automobile accident her senior year. He provided a bit of background, saying she was a major people person and had been accepted into Purdue University’s School of Child and Family Counseling.

He said Cheryl’s love of helping others and interest in children inspired him to focus the foundation’s mission on helping students at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

Another reason they decided to go with this kind of assistance is because Harold saw a lack of available resources that allowed teachers to apply for immediate assistance. The fund was created as a way to keep teachers from having to pay out of pocket for various things like school supplies, field trip fees and other little items that can really add up after awhile. Continue reading

After Months of Deliberation, North Judson Town Council Adopts Animal Ordinance

A matter that has been addressed vehemently in multiple North Judson Town Council meetings over the past five months has been settled, with the Ordinance for the Housing and Maintenance of Animals in the Town of North Judson receiving its final reading at Monday evening’s meeting.

The ordinance was approved on the third reading and adopted with a 3 to 1 vote with Council members Jane-Ellen Felchuck, John Rowe and James Young voting in favor and Council President Wendy Hoppe opposing.

Sarah Burkett, the citizen who obtained more than 300 resident signatures in favor of substituting or amending the ordinance that was in place, asked when the newly adopted ordinance would go into effect. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Provides School Board With a Few Project Updates

At last night’s North Judson-San Pierre School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin provided board members with a brief update about a current project that is nearing completion and another project that will be addressed in the near future.

First, she alerted board members that the pool repairs are nearly complete. Employees with the company Buddenbaum & Moore Commercial Pool Services have finished replacing the faulty main drain boxes and pipes have been set. She said this week they are re-tiling. Once all the tile is laid, the curing period will take approximately one month. Continue reading

Culver Community Schools Benefit from the Season of Giving

Culver Community School Board members approved multiple donations when they met earlier this week.

A large donation that was up for board approval was from a local family who provided $10,000 to the band program this year and promised to donate $5,000 annually for the next three years.

Superintendent Karen Shuman stated that much of the donation money from this year will be used to purchase instruments and band chairs but some funds could potentially go toward redesigning the band room as well. Continue reading

Knox City Council Receives Estimate for Community Center Flooring Renovations

The Knox City Council members received a few updates about the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center renovation project when they met last week.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston informed council members that work on the roof is complete and the satellite was reinstalled. Mayor Dennis Estok went onto say they received the estimate for the flooring work that will be tackled in the near future. Continue reading

Earl Beem Jr. Sentenced to Two Amended Counts Following Guilty Pleas in Starke Circuit Court

On Monday, November 20th 35-year-old Earl Beem, Jr. appeared in Starke Circuit Court where he pleaded guilty to two counts; Amended Count I: Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine and Amended Count II: Conspiracy to Commit Trafficking with an Inmate.

The individuals who were also in court for the case were the defendant’s attorney Nathan Pearson, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Mary Ryan, Honorable Judge Kim Hall, as well as the Deputy Sheriff and the Court Reporter. According to a plea and sentencing order provided by Court Reporter Delainah Hewlett, prior to the defendant’s plea, The Court discussed the specifics of the plea agreement and the defendant’s rights. Continue reading