North Judson-San Pierre to Host 2nd Annual Blue Jay Show Case Tomorrow, Residents Invited to Share Their Stories

North Judson-San Pierre will be hosting the second annual Blue Jay Showcase during Friday night’s girls’ basketball game versus Triton at the Jr/Sr High School.

Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin invites all community members to come out and see the various things that NJSP students have been working on this year.

“It’s an opportunity for our students and teachers to display or demonstrate student work and programs.” Zupin explained, “So in the cafeteria, during the ball game, we will have just a variety of student work and programs.” Continue reading

Motorists Beware! Current Weather Conditions Ideal for Pothole Formation

As the weather continues to fluctuate between warm and cold, it can unfortunately cause ideal conditions for pothole formation.

Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler explained why the damp, dynamic conditions can result in these unwanted road hazards.

Ritzler said, “Potholes generally form from water on the road and it gets into the cracks on the roadway and then as the water turns to ice and it expands and then contracts and that expansion and contraction over time, causes the structure of the pavement to deteriorate.” Continue reading

Final Unemployment Rates of 2017 for Starke and Pulaski Counties

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development released the final unemployment rates for 2017 and Indiana’s rate stayed steady at 3.4 percent, still coming in lower than the national average of 4.1 percent.

In Starke County, the unemployment rate stayed consistent with the national average, and November’s figure by staying at 4.1 percent. However, Starke County’s unemployment rate for December 2017 is down from the same month in 2016, when was 5.3 percent.

In Pulaski County, December’s unemployment rate dropped slightly from November, moving from 3.3 to 3.1 percent. That’s down almost a point and half from the same time in 2016, when Pulaski’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent. Continue reading

Meet the New Director of the Starke County Public Library System

Kathleen Bowman (Picture from SCPL Newsletter)

The Starke County Public Library has a new director! Community members will have a chance to meet Director Kathleen Bowman next month when the library hosts a meet-and-greet.

Bowman started in December of last year but she said the library board has been giving her some time to get acclimated to the area and the position before holding the welcome party. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Members Include 3% Raise in Amended Salary Ordinance

The North Judson Town Council members met for a special session to discuss the town salary ordinance prior to their regular meeting last week.

Members approved three percent raises across the board for the council, clerk-treasurer and department heads. The only position that remained unchanged was the park caretaker position.

Town Marshal Kelly Fisher requested forgoing her raise and giving it to her full-time officers. Continue reading

Knox City Council Members Approve Revised Employee Handbook

In order to discuss the employee handbook, Knox City Council members held a joint work session with a member of the Board of Public Works last night.

Steve Dodge served as the representative for the BOW. Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained that the firm HR Unlimited was hired to help revise the current employee handbook.

Houston said a new handbook was needed not only due to changes to state requirements but also because multiple versions of the handbook were floating around. He said over the years, people have amended it for various departmental needs but city officials felt it was time to have a standard for everyone to go by. Continue reading

Culver Community Schools Staff Working to Incorporate New Graduation Pathways

Last year, the Indiana State Board of Education and the Graduation Pathways Panel came up with new graduation requirements and laid out some graduation pathways that local educators are working to incorporate into their schools.

According to Culver Superintendent Karen Shuman, to address these changes, staff members participated in professional development on Monday, January 8th. Continue reading

NJ Town Council Discusses Potential Changes to Holiday Decoration Procedure

North Judson Town Council members will be looking into alternative holiday decoration options after there was collective council dissatisfaction and a few citizen complaints about how lights and decorations were handled in 2017.

As a portion of his report, Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe presented a purchase order from HAP Industries for $5,796 for their decoration assistance last year. Though the members voted to pay the P.O., Councilman John Rowe suggested revisiting the deal with HAP and potentially purchasing decorations rather than renting them. Continue reading

Culver Jr./Sr. High School Cafeteria Renovation Project Update

At last week’s Culver School Board meeting, it was announced that the Junior/Senior High cafeteria renovation project is coming along well. Superintendent Karen Shuman told board members that the first phases of the project will be wrapping up as soon as the new furnishing comes in.

Jr./Sr. High School Principal Brett Berndt shared that the new furniture should be arriving sometime this week or early next week. Continue reading

Knox City Council and Board of Public Works to Hold Join Work Session Tonight

The Knox City Council and the Board of Public Works will hold a joint work session to discuss the employee handbook tonight. It will be held at 6 p.m., prior to their regular session.

The regular session will commence at 7 p.m. where the approval of the new employee handbook will be up for consideration.

Additionally, members will consider a KIRPC Grant Administration Agreement and John Julien with Umbaugh will be discussing bonding for a fire truck. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre School Board Establishes 2018-19 Calendar, Approves Policies

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board approved the 2018-2019 NJSP School Calendar when they met earlier this week.

The calendar establishes that the first student day will be August 8, 2018. Fall Break will start on October 15th and end on October 19th, while Thanksgiving break will run from November 21st through November 23rd and spring break will fall on the week running from March 25th through March 29th. The final student day will be May 23rd.

Additionally, revised board policies received unanimous approval on final reading at Tuesday night’s meeting. Continue reading

Cheryl Lyn Welter Family Charitable Foundation Now Accepting Grant Applications

Grant proposals are now being accepted for the Cheryl Lyn Welter Family Charitable Foundation. The application deadline for the first round of 10 grants is January 31st.

Last year, multiple local schools agreed to partner with the organization to provide assistance to underprivileged children in grades K-12.

Individuals have the ability to request funds to help with things such as special projects, field trip fees, school supplies and other scholastic items. Continue reading

North Judson Police Department to Convert Boardroom into Training Area

North Judson Police Officers will be tacking a renovation project soon, following a decision made by town council members on Monday.

At the first town council meeting of the year, Town Marshal Kelly Fisher requested permission to convert a scarcely used boardroom in the police department into a training area. She said that many of the officers have instructor qualifications so they could open the space up to host training classes for other local officers and to bring in some money for the department.

Council Members thought it was a good idea, but they wanted to ensure that the individuals who use the room for meetings wouldn’t feel ousted. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Discusses Umbaugh Contract and Change to the Town’s Point of Contact

The North Judson Town Council members renewed the town’s contract with Umbaugh and Associates when they met Monday evening.

Council President Wendy Hoppe mentioned that Umbaugh really helped save the town money last year. The council members noted that the contract appeared to be identical to last years and Town Attorney Justin Schramm said he felt comfortable moving forward with it.

The contract secures Umbaugh for consulting services related to the 2019 Budget and any other financial matters. There’s a $7,000 maximum for budget consultation, but if all the time is not used then the town will not be charged the full amount.

Though no changes were made to the agreement itself, Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe mentioned that there has been a switch in who serves as the town’s point of contact. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre School Board Elects Board of Finance Officers

The North Judson San-Pierre School Board elected officers to their Board of Finance when they met Tuesday evening.

Members elected Sheila Akers to the President position and Jim Menis was elected to serve as secretary. Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin stated that Indiana state law requires the finance board to meet annually after the first of the year and on or before the final day of January. Continue reading

North Judson Town Marshal Proposes K9 Vehicle Purchase

North Judson Town Marshall Kelly Fisher presented town council members with a few different options for police vehicles when they met Monday night.

Fisher told them that she’s been seeking a vehicle that can be utilized by Officer Rico Simpson once the K9 is obtained from Vohne Liche Kennels.

She explained that $10,000 is currently set aside for the purchase of a code enforcement vehicle. However, she presented members with a proposal to utilize that money for a K9 vehicle instead.

Fisher said, “If we can hand Rico’s car down to the ordinance officer and then maybe if we could use that $10,000 plus maybe another 5 out of our donations to buy him an SUV.” Continue reading

Capital Projects Update Provided at North Judson-San Pierre School Board Meeting

Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin provided the North Judson-San Pierre School members with a capital projects update when they met Tuesday night.

Dr. Zupin informed members that the emergency renovations to the pool are officially complete and it is fully operational. The pool area will now have renovations done to the dehumidification system as a part of the capital projects. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre School Board Approves Memorandum of Understanding with WorkOne

The North Judson-San Pierre school board approved a memorandum of understanding between the NJ-SP School Corporation and the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board when they met Tuesday night.

According to information provided by Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin, the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board, or WorkOne, oversees the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program in Indiana High Schools. The agreement between the school and the organization is in line with complying with recent changes to graduation requirements. Continue reading