Reminder: Real Estate Taxes Are Due Thursday, May 10th

Taxpayers should be working to finalize their real-estate taxes since the submission deadline is coming up on Thursday, May 10th.

According to Starke County Treasurer Kasey Clark, Tax payment drop-off locations include the First National Bank of Monterey in Monterey and North Judson, the 1st Farmers Bank and Trust in Knox and North Judson and the DeMotte State Bank and 1st Source Bank in Knox.

Payments may also be put in the drop-box in front of the Starke County Treasurer’s Office in Knox. A self-addressed and stamped envelope should be included so an official receipt can be sent. Continue reading

Knox City Council Considers Draft Ordinance Over “Official Duties” to Address Absenteeism Concerns

Knox City Council members received a draft of an ordinance that will establish official duties of council members after their meeting last Tuesday.

Knox Mayor Dennis Estok has been coordinating with Indianapolis attorney John Molitor to construct an ordinance that lays out official council duties. The draft ordinance addresses things such as meeting attendance, consequences for multiple misses and adequate constituent representation. Continue reading

Public Assistance Sought as La Porte County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Armed Robbery

Alleged Armed Robbery Suspect-Photos provided by La Porte County Sheriff’s Office

The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance with identifying an armed robbery suspect who allegedly attempted to rob a Next Door Foods Saturday night.

Police are investigating an armed robbery that reportedly occurred shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday, April 28th. Continue reading

Absentee Voting Continues in Pulaski and Starke Counties

Primary Election day is just around the corner, and while some people will be venturing to the polls on May 8th, there are many people in Starke and Pulaski counties who have opted to vote early.

The Pulaski County Clerk’s Office reported that, as of Saturday afternoon, 22 ballots have been cast by mail, 35 individuals have cast ballots by travel board and 204 in-person absentee ballots have been cast.

According to the Starke County Clerk’s Office, between April 10th and April 28th, 21 ballots have been cast through the travel board, 39 mail-in ballots have been received and there were a total of 356 ballots cast by walk-ins. Continue reading

Knox Mayor Provides Update About Reducing the Scope of the Wastewater Treatment Plant Rehabilitation Project

Knox Mayor Dennis Estok provided a brief update about the city’s wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation project when city council members met last Tuesday.

Mayor Estok explained that the city was initially trying to obtain a USDA grant. However, that grant was not received and the project had to be reworked to be more financially feasible. Continue reading

Culver “BEAR” Program Aims to Identify Needs and Develop Solutions for Local Businesses

Providing support to local businesses is a priority in Culver. Town Manager Jonathan Leist made a statement earlier this month, explaining that Culver is dedicated to planning projects that will help the community grow and improve the quality of life in the area. He went on to say that officials are now turning their focus to another important part of the community, small businesses.

In order to show their dedication to helping local business owners, the Town of Culver is teaming up with the Culver Main Street Corporation as well as the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation to launch the Culver Business Expansion and Retention (CBEAR) program. Continue reading

The Deadline to Sign Up for the Knox 50/50 Sidewalk Replacement Program is Coming Up Soon

With the weather improving many people may be looking to spruce up the area around their house or business. Luckily for citizens of Knox, there is still about one week to get involved in the city’s 50/50 Sidewalk Replacement program.

Mayor Dennis Estok issued a reminder about the upcoming deadline at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

Estok explained, “The 50/50 program for residents and commercial, the due date for that is coming up pretty fast so if anybody is going to enter it, they have to come up and get the application and have it in by May 4th to be a part of that program.” Continue reading

Knox City Council Moves Forward with Bond Process Required for Fire Truck Purchase

Steps were taken by Knox City Council members this week to finalize financial arrangements related to a pumper truck that will be purchased for the Knox-Center Township Fire Department.

An appropriation hearing was held and two ordinances were considered on final readings when members met on Tuesday.

These steps were necessary so that when officials are ready to make a payment for the truck, the General Obligation bonds that are being used to finance the purchase will be sold and then the money can be appropriated to pay the fire truck company. Continue reading

NJ Town Council Considers Request from Local Independent Filmmaker Seeking Facility for Indoor Scenes

A local independent filmmaker came before the North Judson Town Council last Monday, seeking permission to utilize a building in town for an upcoming movie he plans to make. Jacob Dessauer told council members that he is seeking a facility to utilize where he can construct disposable sets for indoor scenes.

“I’m filming an independent movie around North Judson and my property out in English Lake.” He went on, “I was wondering if the Town owned or knew of any spaces roughly 18×12 foot with a 9-foot ceiling just as a minimum that they would be able to donate or loan for a certain period of time.” Continue reading

Starke County COAD Addresses Inconsistencies with Communication Systems Utilized by Emergency Personnel

When Starke County COAD met for the first time Tuesday night, a question from one of the county’s amateur radio operators prompted a discussion about the communication systems utilized by the county’s emergency personnel.

Hamlet Fire Chief and Starke County Council President Brad Hazelton explained that some emergency personnel, such as the Sherriff’s Department, use radios that run on the 800 megahertz spectrum while others, like the fire departments, utilize very high frequency, or VHF technology. Hazelton said, “We can talk to EMS, because they’re VHF and 800 but the police are only 800 and we’re only VHF.” Continue reading

Knox Mayor Reschedules City Council Meetings for the Month of May

Knox City Council meetings for the month of May had to be rescheduled so Mayor Dennis Estok filled council members in on the changes when they met Tuesday night.

Typically, Knox officials hold their city council meetings on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. However, in May, the meetings will be held on the second and fourth Thursday which will be May 10th and May 24th. Continue reading

North Judson Brush Pick-Up Begins Today, Fire Hydrant Flushing to Occur in May

North Judson Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann addressed a few important dates that residents should keep in mind in the coming weeks at last Monday’s town council meeting.

In response to a citizen question, he stated that the town utility department will start brush pick-up on Thursday, April 26th. Horstmann said they won’t be able to accomplish it all in one sweep, so additional brush pick-up will need to take place after today. Continue reading

Starke County EMA Director Holds First Community Organization Active in Disaster Meeting

Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director J. Nier hosted a meeting with community members who interested in participating in a group focused on local disaster preparation and response efforts.

Church representatives, members of the medical community and concerned citizens were among the individuals who attended the first Community Organizations Active in Disaster or COAD meeting on Tuesday night.

Director Nier explained that Starke County COAD was actually established a while ago. However, she said when she took the position in October of last year, the group had been inactive for some time. During the flooding event in February, she realized that there were certain needs that were being unmet so she’s attempting to revive the organization. Continue reading

Knox Mayor Alerts Council Members and Residents of Ongoing Work Downtown

Knox residents are being asked to remain patient as Reith Riley crews conduct sidewalk reconstruction as well as roadwork in the downtown area.

During Tuesday night’s city council meeting, Mayor Dennis Estok informed members and meeting attendees that ‘no parking signs’ have been placed in various spots around town and they will be moved to other areas as work continues. Continue reading