Winamac Police Station Project Nears Completion

At the Winamac Town Council meeting last Monday it was revealed that the renovations to the new police station are nearly complete.

Employees with various departments have been working hard to complete aspects of the project that relate to their various positions. Town Manager Brad Zellers reported that since town employees were utilized for much of the work, they were able to save around $70,000 on the project. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Meets Tonight

The North Judson Town Council will receive a presentation from Larry Wickert, Board President of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, when they meet tonight.

The council members will revisit their discussion of town employee health insurance renewal.At their last meeting, their insurance broker John Howard presented them with a packet that they agreed to review and further discuss at tonight’s meeting.

Continue reading

Starke County Community Foundation Holiday Open House

The Starke County Community Foundation is holding a holiday open house on November 28th in conjunction with Giving Tuesday.

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is celebrated annually as Giving Tuesday. It follows the popular shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is held as a way to kick off the charitable season. The initiative is meant to inspire individuals to give back locally.

Next Tuesday, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. come down to the Starke County Community Foundation office facility located in the former North Judson-San Pierre middle school office suite at 950 Campbell Drive. You can enjoy some holiday treats and learn about this year’s impact. Continue reading

North Judson Police Department Finds Fourth Full-Time Officer

The North Judson Police Department has been in the process of finding an additional officer to complete their force.

Back in September, North Judson Town Marshal Kelly Fisher told Town Council members that her department was searching for a fourth full-time officer.

For the time being, the full-time positions are filled by Fisher and Officer Frank Thomas and Officer Rico Simpson. She stated that she was proud of the work done by everyone in the department, but the addition of another full-time officer would help everything fall into place. Continue reading

Amendments to Salary Ordinance Considered by Winamac Town Council

Amendments to the Winamac salary ordinance were considered on first reading when the Winamac Town Council met on Monday night.

Town Attorney Justin Schramm explained to council members that the first proposed change deals specifically with the salary of the parks and recreation department secretary.

He stated, “It changes the parks and recreation secretary from $30 a meeting to $1,000 payable the first pay period of December.” Continue reading

Knox Peppermint Parade Application Deadline Extended

The Knox Peppermint Parade is right around the corner and residents wanting to be a part of it have received a bit more time to sign up.

Originally, the deadline to register was set for Wednesday, November 22nd. However, in a Knox City Council meeting, Mayor Dennis Estok said so far they’ve only received a little over ten entries. He said he wants to provide some additional time for individuals who may be waiting to sign up until they know what the weather will be like the day of the parade. Continue reading

Winter Weather Preparedness Week Vehicle Tips

Today is the final day of Winter Weather Preparedness Week.

Readiness extends beyond being safe in your own home so the Indiana Department of Homeland Security has a few helpful vehicle tips to keep in mind as road conditions become more dangerous with incoming inclement weather.

First, be sure to have vehicles looked over by a mechanic before the cold weather hits. The mechanic should check the brakes, heater, defroster, tires, windshield wipers and any other parts they may be susceptible to issues in the winter-time. Continue reading

City of Knox Blight Elimination Program Resumed

420 Maple Street

When the Knox City Council met earlier this week, Mayor Dennis Estok alerted members that the blight elimination program is back on track.

He said he recently completed the appropriate paperwork to resume the program. Two houses were included in the approved structures in the last grant that was received by the city.

Mayor Estok said contractors first started working on an eyesore at 420 Maple Street. According to the mayor, the structure previously had a fire and had been up for about a year and half. Continue reading

Starke County Emergency Planning Committee Kick-Off Meeting Scheduled for January

Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director J. Nier {Nigh-er} officially assumed her position back in early October. Currently, she’s working on organizing a meeting for the Starke County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) for January of next year.

Director Nier stated the responsibilities of the EMA include promoting preparedness and acting a logistical support for first responders. The LEPC specifically deals with tracking where hazardous materials are within the community and coming up with plans to take action on potential spills if they occur. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Holds First Reading Over Water Rate Adjustment Ordinance

The Winamac Town Council held the first reading over a proposed Water Rate Adjustment Ordinance when they met Monday night. Town Attorney Justin Schramm mentioned that Eric Walsh with Umbaugh and Associates put the ordinance together.

The proposed changes are being considered to help cover costs of the Town’s water project which is anticipated to cost approximately $1.5 million. Some additional funds for the project will come from a grant recently received from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

A public hearing is scheduled for December 11th, prior to the regularly scheduled meeting. During the regular meeting, members will hold the adoption proceedings over the ordinance. Continue reading

Culver Community Schools’ Band Program Receives Generous Monetary Donation

The Culver Community Schools’ Band program will receive four years of financial assistance thanks to a generous donation from a local family who wishes to remain anonymous. The family agreed to provide $10,000 to the band this year and an additional $5,000 annually for the next three years.

Culver Community School Band Director Jason Crittendon explained that the money will be utilized for various things that will assist the students significantly such as instrument repairs that have been needed for some time but funds haven’t been available until now and new instruments that the school doesn’t currently own. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Establishes Community Crossings Grant Fund

Winamac Town Council members established an account for Community Crossings Grant funds when they met earlier this week.

Town Attorney Justin Schramm mentioned that the account would hold the $90,000 awarded through the grant as well as the $30,000 of match money. Providing match money was a stipulation of receiving the grant and the amount would be transferred from the transportation fund. Continue reading

2018 Holiday and Meeting Schedules Unanimously Approved by Knox City Council

Knox City Council members unanimously approved all proposed 2018 schedules when then met Tuesday evening.

Mayor Dennis Estok said the schedules are essentially the same except for a couple of adjustments. For instance, on the proposed holiday schedule, rather than having Christmas and the day after Christmas off, in 2018 city employees will get Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off and return to work on December 26th. Continue reading

Winamac-based Business Welcomes New CEO

BraunAbility CEO Nick Gutwein has announced his retirement and revealed that his successor will be Staci Kroon, the former Executive Vice President of Eaton Business Systems.

Gutwein, who has led BraunAbility since 2008, recently alerted the company’s Board of Directors of his plans to retire. The Board selected Staci Kroon to fill his position. According to a BraunAbility media advisory released earlier this week, Kroon will officially assume the role of President and CEO of the Winamac-based business on Nov. 27th. Additionally, Kroon will serve as a director. Continue reading

Knox City Council Approves New Vehicle for Building and Code Compliance Officer

The purchase of a new vehicle for the Knox Building and Code Compliance Officer was approved at last night’s city council meeting. Compliance Officer Kenny Pfost has been utilizing his personal vehicle since the old city-issued vehicle broke down.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston mentioned that the $36,000 needed for the vehicle purchase will be split up between three separate accounts. He said that $10,000 would come out of the cumulative capital development repairs and maintenance fund, $8,600 would be from rental registration and $17,400 will be come from the edit account for the Knox Industrial Park. Continue reading

Winamac Golf Cart Ordinance Receives Unanimous Council Approval

The ordinance regulating golf carts within the Town of Winamac was adopted with unanimous approval at Monday night’s town council meeting.

Town Attorney Justin Schramm mentioned that the addition of a registration fee deadline of January 31st was the only change made to the document since the last time council members looked over the ordinance. Specific stipulations about registration and operation as well as particular penalties are included in the ordinance.

There is a fee of $25 for each cart registered and the registration is effective for one year. All registration fees are deposited in the Winamac Police Department’s Continuing Education Fund. At the time of registration, the operator will be issued two numerical identification decals that should be affixed to the front and rear fender of the cart in areas where they’ll be visible when it is in operation. Continue reading

New Restaurant to Utilize Vacant Building in North Judson

Starke County residents should keep their eyes peeled for the opening of a new restaurant in a familiar location.

The drive-in restaurant at 45 S Main Street in North Judson has been sitting vacant for about two seasons. Pop’s Pit Stop at the Point will be replacing Birky Farm’s Piggies and Cream in the near future.

Currently the new buyers are working to finalize the deal with the local realtors of Osborne Advantage Real Estate. Donna Osborne said she expects the deal to be closed within the next 7 to 10 days.

She shared a few things about the new place, explaining that rather than only being open seasonally, the buyers proposed keeping it open year-round. She added that they have expressed interest in doing promotional give-aways at local games and bringing back the car shows to the place. They are also currently in the process of locating and re-installing the original signature ice-cream cone statue that previously stood at the corner. Continue reading

Knox City Council Meets Tonight

The Knox City Council will discuss funding for a new building and code compliance vehicle when they meet at 7 p.m. tonight. They will also consider the 2018 Holiday Schedule as well as the City Council and Board of Works meeting schedules for next year.

The council will receive a report from Ron Gifford of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. Mayor Dennis Estok and Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston will also provide reports. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Approves Request to Purchase Public Alert Service

Utility customers in the Town of Winamac will soon have the opportunity to be directly notified of various alerts thanks to a request submitted by 1st Deputy Clerk Kim Burke.

At Monday’s Winamac Town Council meeting, Burke told members about a system called Public Alert which would allow her to individually send members of the community notifications that would impact them specifically.

“We can send out like emergency snow removal when we need them all to park on one side of the street, waterline breaks, if we close down a road. From what I understand, they can rig it up with our billing system.” Burke provided a potential example, “I can go in there and say ‘look, these people on Burson Street, you’re water’s shut off, we have a break’ and I can send them an alert.” Continue reading

Winter Weather Preparedness Week

It is Winter Weather Preparedness Week and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is encouraging Hoosiers to become better equipped to deal with the approaching winter season.

IDHS provided a couple of tips to help inspire individuals to be actively involved with winter preparedness now through November 18th.

Use this week to create or maintain a home readiness kit that may be needed during winter storms. Kits should include a first aid kit and necessary medications, extra clothing, shoes and blankets as well as copies of important documents such a photo ID and Social Security cards. It would be helpful to have a battery-powered or hand crank radio and flashlight. Also include food and water for up to three days, with one gallon of water per person per day. Continue reading