Knox Officials in the Process of Finalizing Humane Society Agreement

The agreement between the Humane Society and the City of Knox is nearly complete, according to Mayor Dennis Estok.

In an October meeting, Mayor Estok informed members that steps were being taken to deal with the stray animal population within the city. This agreement designates the humane society as the place to house the those animals.

During last week’s Knox City Council meeting, Mayor Estok told members that a few additions need to be made to the contract before it is finalized. He added that he will bring the agreement before the council at their next meeting since there is currently no line item for this purpose. Continue reading

Annual Christmas Cantata Scheduled for This Sunday

This Sunday, more than 40 singers from various churches around the community will perform at the Knox United Methodist Church as a part of the annual Community Christmas Cantata.

Members of the choir have been rehearsing nearly every Thursday since September. The singers will perform ‘And it Came to Pass, Emmanuel’ twice, with the first performance at 2 p.m. and another at 6 p.m. Continue reading

Don’t Miss Winamac’s Winter Wonderland Event

The annual Winamac Winter Wonderland event kicks-off today with Breakfast with Santa at the Pulaski County Elementary School. Various vendor booths will also be set up there from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. ET.

Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce representative Judy Heater explained that some of the vendors will have baked goods and additional types of food while others will feature different kinds of crafts. The Indiana Adoption Program will also have a booth set up where individuals can learn more about Hoosier kids in need of homes and the specifics of the adoption process.

Heater said that the ExPress Choir will sing at courthouse around 10 a.m. and then they’ll head over to the Pulaski County Public Library to join Judge Michael Shurn for cookies and cocoa. Judge Shurn will be at the library from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and the library will also have another visitor; Santa Claus will be there from noon until 2 p.m. Continue reading

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center HVAC Upgrades Complete, Training to Take Place Soon

At the Knox City Council meeting on Tuesday night, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston alerted members that upgrades to the HVAC system at the Community Center are complete.

Houston said, “They’re going to do a little bit of training with people in the city to make sure that we’re aware of how to control the heating and air condition but I’m pretty happy with the way it’s working over there now.”

Houston added that the final invoice for that project has been submitted. Back in July, the Knox Board of Public Works awarded the bid for the project to McGrath Refrigeration. In the past, Mayor Estok stated that this new system will be far more efficient than the old one. Continue reading

Washington Township Fire Results in Countywide Cooperative Effort

The Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call about a structure fire in the 8,000 block of 50 South shortly after 11 a.m. on Friday.

Washington Township Fire Chief Dave Pearman reported that all seven of the county’s volunteer departments assisted with the incident. Knox-Center Township, Hamlet, Bass Lake and Koontz Lake departments helped on the scene while North Judson Wayne-Township and Rail-Road Township departments helped cover neighboring districts to ensure that no areas were without assistance.

Chief Pearman said that crews utilized positive pressure ventilation to blow smoke out of the house and reported it took approximately one hour to take control of the fire. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Authorizes List of Additional Appropriations

North Judson Town Council members approved appropriations for several funds when they met last Monday. Town Council President Wendy Hoppe explained that it was determined that more money is now needed than was originally established in the annual budget.

President Hoppe read from the proposed resolution before listing the accounts in need of appropriations, “Be it ordained, resolved by the Town Council, the civil town of Starke County that the expense of the tax units of the following additional sums of money are hereby appropriated out of the funds named and for the purpose of specified subjects to law governing the same.”

President Hoppe went on to list amounts requested to be approved in the specific funds, stating that $3,500 was requested for the unsafe building fund to be used for the cost of demolition and excavation on a blighted Lane Street building. She also said $1,035 was requested for the continuing education fund and $3,938 was requested for the IPP safety grant fund. Continue reading

Holiday Essay Contest Winners to Participate in Knox Peppermint Parade

Mayor Dennis Estok acknowledged the winners of this year’s “What Christmas Means to Me” essay contest at Tuesday night’s Knox City Council meeting.

He said there were approximately 120 essays submitted from 6th graders and about 280 from 4th and 5th grade students. Ten essays were chosen from each grade, resulting in thirty essays being reviewed to find the contest winners. Out of those essays, 1 grand prize winner and 9 finalists were selected.

All of the essay winners have a chance to play a part in the Peppermint Parade this weekend. Continue reading

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