Kankakee River Basin Commission Discusses Pros and Cons of Yellow River Pilot Project

A bank stabilization pilot project that was recently conducted on the Yellow River was discussed during last Thursday’s Kankakee River Basin Commission meeting.

Starke County Surveyor Bill Crase said that about 2200 feet of work was completed along both sides of the river. He told commission members that he was very impressed with the results, especially with the way the banks were able to withstand recent flooding.

He said only about 300 feet of damage was incurred and suspected that was likely from floating debris striking the spot rather than structural inefficiencies. However, there were certain issues with the way that the project that kept Crase from considering it a complete success. Continue reading

Several Local Officials Attend Starke County Economic Development Foundation’s Community Retreat

A variety of local representatives gathered Tuesday morning to learn more about development opportunities during the Starke County Economic Development Foundation’s Community Retreat.

Those in attendance included members of the Starke County Chamber of Commerce as well as local officials from the communities of Bass Lake, Hamlet, Knox and North Judson. Continue reading

Preliminary Work on North Judson-San Pierre Capital Projects to Start Soon

Preliminary work will soon begin on a series of capital projects at North Judson-San Pierre, according to Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin.

At the February NJSP school board meeting, members approved contractors for approximately $4.2 million worth of projects. They also learned that since the entire Lease Project came in under budget, a few alternates can be tackled as well, including the addition of a digital sign on Highway 10. Continue reading

Permit Question Brought Before the North Judson Town Council

With this weekend’s pleasant weather, you may have noticed ice cream trucks making their first rounds of the season. A citizen of North Judson submitted a question to town council members Monday night, about a truck he saw driving around town over the weekend.

He asked what kind of permit is required for those drivers to sell their wares. Town Council President Wendy Hoppe responded that they need a peddler’s permit to legally sell the treats within the town limits. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre School Board to Meet Tonight

North Judson-San Pierre School Board members will consider the approval of textbook adoption as well as the notification of reductions in force when they meet tonight.

Last month, members approved contractors for the several jobs included in the Lease Project so Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin is expected to cover any on going progress when she delivers her report. Continue reading

Updates at Norwayne Field Discussed During North Judson Town Council Meeting

Big changes are happening at Norwayne Field in North Judson.

At last night’s town council meeting Park Board representative Nick Radke informed members that the band shell has been fully assembled. He added that additional lighting and stonework is pending. He also thanked Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann and members of the utility department for all their assistance with the assembly.

Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe stated that once the remainder of the work is finished, an event will be held with community members and local officials to commemorate its completion.

In other news, Schambers Masonry completed the repair work that needed to be done to the brick wall that runs along highway 10. Continue reading

Knox City Council Considers the Potential of Installing a Digital Message Board

This is an idea of what the proposed self-standing sign would look like. Mayor Estok said certain details, such as the colors, can be changed.

The possibility of installing a digital message board near the entryway into Knox was discussed during last week’s city council meeting. Mayor Dennis Estok told members that a message board could be utilized to notify citizens about upcoming events or any other messages that they may need to convey.

He said after doing a bit of research, he found there are few different options they have to consider. They can get a sign that would be on wheels, similar to what traffic control uses. That would cost approximately $15,000 to $20,000.

The other option they have is a sign that would be placed in the ground. Continue reading

Nurse Faces Level 5 Felony after Allegedly Trafficking Cell Phone into La Porte County Jail

Mugshot of Gina Salinas Provided by LCSD

A nurse employed by Advanced Correctional Healthcare has been arrested for the Level 5 Felony of trafficking with an inmate after she allegedly snuck a cell phone into La Porte County Jail with the intention of delivering it.

A press release issued by the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office indicates that on Friday, March 16th, Jail administrative staff received information that an inmate within the jail was potentially in possession of a cellular telephone.

Upon receiving the information, an investigation was immediately launched and Detectives with the Criminal Investigations Division of the La Porte County Sheriff’s office were called to assist. Continue reading

District 4 Knox City Councilman Submits Verbal Notification of Resignation, Members to Proceed with Official Duties Ordinance

Mayor Dennis Estok informed council members last Tuesday, that the councilman for District 4, Tim Manns, has verbally indicated that he intends to resign from the city council.

Mayor Estok said that Manns sited scheduling conflicts with work and family obligations as the reason for his resignation. Estok added that the verbal notification is not official and Manns will still need to submit a resignation in writing. Continue reading

Winamac Town Attorney Advises Council to Utilize Umbaugh and Associates to Assess Bond Status

In order to ensure that no money is owed to the United States Treasury, Winamac Town Council members agreed to allow Umbaugh and Associates to assess the status of their existing bonds when they met last Monday.

Winamac Town Attorney Justin Schramm explained that whenever the town bonds a project, the bonds are tax-exempt since they were governmental bonds issued for a utility project.

He added that typically, bonds are subject to arbitrage regulations and if any excess interest or income earned are invested into higher yielding bonds for additional proceeds. However, since the town’s bonds are tax-exempt, different rules apply. Continue reading

Local Artists to Collaborate on Mural for Serenity Gardens in Knox

Mayor Dennis Estok shared some information with Knox City Council members about a mural that will be put up on the wall behind Serenity Gardens located at the corner of Main and Lake Streets in downtown Knox.

At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, Mayor Estok said that he met with some local talent recently and brainstormed some ideas about how to tackle the project.

“We do have three local artists, Joe Eskridge, Zac Hunter and Ryan Ehresman, they’re all three working together,” Estok explained, “What they’re going to do is basically, they’re going do three different themes and what I want them to do is bring the themes in and invite the public to view them and everything.” Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Approves Fire Department Contracts

Three township fire department contracts were approved during the Winamac Town Council meeting Monday night.

Town Council president Tom Murray asked if the contracts were the same as last year. Clerk-Treasurer Melanie Berger confirmed that the contracts remained the same with Franklin Township paying $9,283.92 as an annual service fee, Rich Grove Township has a yearly contract fee of $3,664.38 and the contract for Tippecanoe Township lists a $2,174.42 yearly charge. Continue reading

Kankakee River Basin Commission Votes to Fund Preliminary Repair Costs

When Kankakee River Basin Commission members met Thursday morning, they permitted a total of $254,000 to be paid to three counties in order to assist with immediate repair needs resulting from the recent flooding.

Initially, members considered having all funding requests submitted at a meeting that would be held within the next 30 days but a few members said there were some issues with that idea. Continue reading

Check-In Procedure to Be Added to Knox Spring Clean-Up Days

Mayor Dennis Estok alerted Knox City Council members of some changes that will be made to procedures for Spring Clean-Up Days this year.

During Tuesday night’s city council meeting, Mayor Estok said there were some issues with last year’s event.

“Basically we are changing the format on that,” Estok explained, “last year, we went through a record-high 8 dumpsters at a cost of four thousand some dollars. Probably fifty or sixty percent of the stuff coming in was from out of town residents.” Continue reading

Winamac Police Officer Takes Course to Become a Certified Firearms Instructor

Winamac’s Police Department will soon have an officer certified in firearms training once Officer Tyler Campbell completes his training.

A Monday’s Winamac Town Council meeting, Town Marshal Mike Buchanan shared that Campbell is attending a week-long firearms class. He said Campbell’s certification will assist the Winamac PD with future training. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Discusses Inconsistencies in Proposed Employee Handbook

The Winamac Town Council members postponed the first reading of their employee handbook ordinance due to some inconsistencies with grievance procedures.

According to Clerk-Treasurer Melanie Berger, the town pays the Indianapolis-based company New Focus a $125 annual maintenance fee to update the employee handbook as laws change. While reviewing the document prior to Monday’s meeting, Councilman Dan Vanaman brought some conflicting information to Berger’s attention. Continue reading