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

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Manufacturer’s Day

The theme of this year’s Starke County Economic Development Foundation’s Manufacturer’s Day is “Focus on Your Future”. Students from Oregon-Davis, North Judson-San Pierre, Culver and Knox Community Schools will attend today’s event at Knox Middle School with their sights set on future employment.

More than 350 7th grade students and 200 senior students are anticipated to attend the program which is intended to ensure that students are aware of the available job opportunities within the county and the required skills, training and education needed to obtain a position and keep it.

Representatives from more than ten industries from around the county will be available to share any details about what their jobs entail and what they look for in potential employees. Continue reading

Knox Water Superintendent Announces Completion of Brown Circle Waterline Project

Knox Water Department cutting road to install new 6″ ductile iron waterline to replace the 4″ galvanized waterline

Knox Water Superintendent Todd Gardner announced a milestone in the Brown Circle Waterline Project when the Knox City Council met Tuesday evening.

Gardner told the council members that all the houses that had been hooked up to the old waterline in the area of Brown Circle, were switched over to the new waterline Tuesday, allowing the water department to switch off the outdated system. Three new fire hydrants were also installed as a part of the project. Gardner said when everything was complete, 33 homes were hooked up to the new system.

The Brown Circle Waterline Project was tackled as a preventative measure since the waterline system that was installed in the area in the 1940s was constructed of steel galvanized pipes that had a lifespan of only 40-45 years. The pipes in place were pushing more than 70 years of use and were tangled under residences and yards. Continue reading

Knox Community Schools Partner With Cheryl Lyn Welter Family Charitable Foundation

Harold Welter approached the Knox School Board Tuesday night to discuss how the charitable foundation that was created in memory of his daughter could be a helpful resource to the school corporation. The Cheryl Lyn Welter Family Charitable Foundation was formed in order to assist underprivileged students in grades K-12 with expenses that are beyond what their families are able to afford.

Knox School Board members permitted the principals at each of the buildings to work with the Cheryl Lyn Foundation to process grants that would be provided to disadvantaged students at the elementary, middle and high schools.

Knox was just the first school board that Welter approached. He made plans to speak to the Eastern Pulaski School board in November and is meeting with the superintendent at North Judson-San Pierre later this week to arrange to be put on the agenda for their next board meeting. Continue reading

Eastern Pulaski Community School Board Approves Donation From Gibraltar Design

The Eastern Pulaski School Board scholarship fund got a little bit bigger Monday night after the board approved a donation from Gibraltar Design.

Superintendent Dan Foster explained that in the past, Gibraltar had thanked the school corporation for their business by hosting a dinner or another social function of some kind. However, this year, rather than trying to coordinate with varying schedules the company decided to show their appreciation by sending a $250 donation.

Superintendent Foster said the money will go toward the annual school board scholarship which would bring it up to approximately $10,000.

Caucus to Replace NJ Clerk-Treasurer Scheduled for Tomorrow

A caucus to find a replacement for the clerk-treasurer position in North Judson is scheduled for this Thursday. The current clerk-treasurer, Alicia Collins, announced her resignation during the first North Judson Town Council meeting in October.

Alicia Collin’s last North Judson Town Council meeting will be October 16th and her final day at the office is October 20th. She told council members she will make her self available for training during the transition period. Continue reading

Update About Upgrades to Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

An update about ongoing renovations to the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center was provided by Mayor Dennis Estok during last night’s brief Knox City Council meeting.

Mayor Estok told council members that work being done to the heating and air conditioning systems is nearly complete. He said only one compressor still needs to be installed. He went on to say that roofers will be commencing their work this week, possibly as soon as today. Continue reading

Eastern Pulaski School Board Discusses Substitute Teacher Pay Policy

A request to increase the pay for a substitute elementary school teacher was up for approval at the Eastern Pulaski Community School Board meeting Monday night.

Superintendent Dan Foster explained that Joan Murray has taken on the roll of a teacher twice so far this year. At the beginning of the year she filled in for Dana Field for five weeks. Most recently, she started subbing for Brandi Kappes and will remain in that position until January.

The superintendent explained that Mrs. Murray has taken on quite a few more responsibilities that warrant additional compensation. Continue reading

Plethora of Public Input Provided During EPCS Board Meeting

The Winamac High School library was filled with community members attending last night’s Eastern Pulaski Community School Board meeting. Individuals of various walks of life came to defend a faculty member who is currently the subject of an ongoing board investigation. Following the regular meeting, board members were scheduled to hold an executive session regarding alleged misconduct and to discuss job performance evaluation.  Continue reading

Community Mourns the Loss of Retired Starke Circuit Court Judge

Marvin McLaughlin Passing the Indiana Bicentennial Torch in 2016

This week, the Starke County community learned of the passing of long-time Starke Circuit Court Judge Marvin D. McLaughlin. Though he was retired at the time of his death, community members remember his years of service to the county. The 87-year-old North Judson resident was at Pulaski Memorial Hospital when he passed away on Saturday, October 7th.

Marvin McLaughlin attended Butler University and obtained his law degree from Indianapolis University. In 1957, he moved to North Judson to start a law practice. He served as Starke County Prosecutor for four years. McLaughlin went on to serve as a Starke Circuit Court Judge for nearly three decades, from 1963 until his retirement in 1992.  Continue reading

Knox City Council Meets Tonight

No specific action or discussion items are listed on the agenda for the Knox City Council meeting being held tonight at 7 p.m. in Knox City Hall.

The council will hear reports from Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston and Mayor Dennis Estok. There will be time allotted toward the end of the meeting for citizen’s comments and council items.

In recent meetings, council items included the potential striping of Culver Road and an ordinance pertaining to parking downtown. There is a possibility these items will be revisited tonight but they are not specifically listed on the agenda.

North Judson Town Marshal Reports Concerns Surrounding Semis Braking Near School

The possibility of some “no Jake-brake” signs being installed at the edge of the Town of North Judson was discussed last Monday night at the North Judson Town Council meeting. Town Marshal Kelly Fisher told council members that she’s received some complaints, one from the school corporation and another from a resident, regarding semi-trucks utilizing their noisy engine brakes where the speed limit is reduced on State Road 39/State Road 10 near the location of the schools.

Fisher said “With the speed limit dropping the semis are hitting their “Jake brakes” and its disrupting the school and like I said, a citizen who’s not in very good health, she said it’s bothering her as well.” Continue reading

North Judson Town Superintendent Announces Community Crossings Grant Funds

The Town Superintendent of North Judson, Marshall Horstmann, told council members the amount of money that was received through the INDOT Community Crossings Grant when they met last week.

Horstmann said the Town of North Judson was awarded $125,094.75 to go toward paving for next year. He alerted the council members that a certain rule surrounding the grant funding has changed.

“Now the way they do it is you have to pay for the paving and then you have to turn in a receipt to INDOT. Then they’ll reimburse you.” Horstmann went on, explaining the reason for the switch, “They’ve had issues in the past where towns have gotten the money but then they didn’t do the paving.”

Horstmann told council members he is meeting with INDOT representatives on October 16th to go into more detail about project specifics.

Eastern Pulaski Community School Board Meets Tonight

The Eastern Pulaski Community School Board will hold a public hearing over the school corporation’s 2018 budget, capital projects plan and bus replacement plan when they meet tonight.

The budget estimate submitted to Gateway Indiana states that the corporation’s general fund is estimated at a little over $9 million, while the rainy day fund has exactly $1 million. The capital projects plan has more than $2 million and the bus replacement plan is estimated at $270,000. Continue reading

America Observes Fire Prevention Week

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health observance on record.

First established in 1925 by President Calvin Coolidge, it was formed in order to commemorate the “Great Chicago Fire” of October of 1871 when more than 250 people died and another 100,000 were left homeless. This year, Fire Prevention Week started on the 8th and runs through the 14th. It serves as a reminder to individuals of all ages to be prepared for when the unexpected may strike.

During this week, parents and teachers are encouraged to go over basic fire prevention and safety tips with students at all levels. The NFPA has a few helpful resources that can help families be prepared in case of a fire. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council 2018 Budget Hearing & First Reading

A public hearing over the proposed 2018 budget was held Monday evening at the North Judson Town Council meeting. Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins began by stating that the total proposed budget is $983,546 and the adopted tax levy would be $582,000. The adopted tax levy is the maximum funds estimated to be raised. Collins then opened the hearing up for public input. No comments or questions were provided at the time.

The council moved on to the first reading. Council President Wendy Hoppe read the ordinance associated with the budget, describing the Department of Local Government Finance’s expectations for the town council. These stipulations stated that by passing the budget ordinance they would be bound to the figures therein. Continue reading

Local Police Departments & K-9 Officers Join Forces for High School Sweep

The North Judson Police Department’s K-9 officer, Gunner, was re-certified last week according to North Judson Town Marshal Kelly Fisher. She mentioned his re-certification during her department report during the North Judson Town Council meeting on Monday night.

She also informed the council that on September 29th, three police departments joined forces to conduct a sweep through the North Judson High School building and parking lot to see if any drugs or other illegal substances were on the property.

Fisher said the North Judson Police Department’s reserve officer Scott Beishuizen was on the scene with his K-9, Gunner. The Hobart Police Department’s Matt Dasel assisted with their K-9, Jack and Knox City Police Officer Chad Dulin had K-9 O’Neill there to help as well. Continue reading