Knox City Council Holds Final Reading over Ordinance Eliminating Obstructions

The Knox City Council members held the final reading over the amended ordinance to eliminate obstructions on sidewalks, city streets and railroad right-of-ways when they met Tuesday night.

The ordinance up for approval last night states that individuals can face fines for obstructing sidewalks, streets or railroad right-of-ways with any structures or vehicles. It also includes a section that requires unobstructed passage of vehicles and clear view of any stopped vehicles.

According to that section, a person who stops, parks or leaves a vehicle has to leave a sufficient unobstructed width of the roadway opposite the vehicle free for the passage of oncoming traffic and a clear view of the stopped vehicle from a distance of 200 feet in each direction upon the highway. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Approves Backflow Testing Fees

Winamac Water Department Superintendent Jeremy Beckner presented town council members with different fees to consider for the town’s backflow testing services during Monday night’s meeting.

When the town adjusted their water rates, they also offered to perform backflow testing for a flat $35 rate. However, Proscapes Owner Jason Potthoff came before the council and expressed a concern that the low rate for all systems, regardless of size, may prevent other licensed businesses from fairly competing with the town for backflow testing services.

Before approving the amended water rates, the town removed the section about backflow testing fees so Superintendent Beckner could do some research and provide some other potential prices. Continue reading

Open Seats in Starke County for 2018 Elections

According to Starke County Election Deputy Clerk Crystal McCarty-Taylor, people can file for a declaration of candidacy starting today anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and they have until February 9th at noon to file.

Interested individuals must come into the Starke County Clerk’s Office to file. She added that no exceptions will be made if the February deadline is missed.

Officials up for election in Starke County include the County Sheriff, Assessor, Coroner, Recorder and Auditor as well as the Prosecuting Attorney and Circuit Court Clerk. Elections will also be held for the County Commissioners in District 2 which includes California, Center and Davis Townships. Continue reading

Red Cross Blood Mobile will be at Culver Middle/High School Thursday + Additional January Opportunities

The Red Cross Blood Mobile will be stationed at Culver Middle/High School from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 11th.

If you’re unable to attend Thursday’s blood drive, or if you wish to make multiple donations in January, there are a few other local opportunities available this month.

The Red Cross has a blood drive scheduled at the Community Wellness Center of Winamac, formerly the Pulaski County YMCA, from 12:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. ET on Friday, January 12th. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Holds Public Hearing Over Application for $700,000 OCRA Grant

Winamac Town Council members held a public hearing over their OCRA grant application Monday night.

OCRA Certified Grant Administrator Mike Kleinpeter began the hearing by stating that the town is applying for $700,000 with a $550,000 match for proposed wastewater treatment facility upgrades. Kleinpeter said town’s project is competing with 17 other proposals. The application must be submitted by February in order to be eligible for funding.

Midwestern Engineers CEO Mark Sullivan explained that the proposed upgrades are not optional.When the town renewed their NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Permit last year, they were given 3 years to adapt plant procedures to the new Environmental Protection Agency compliance regulating ammonia levels. Continue reading

Knox City Council Meets Tonight

The Knox City Council will meet tonight where the election of the 2018 Council President Pro Temp will be addressed.

Council members will consider appointments for the BZA, the Starke County Solid Waste Board, the Starke County Economic Development Foundation as well as the Plan Commission and Redevelopment Commission. Mayor Dennis Estok will also present his mayoral appointments.

An amendment to the Salary Ordinance will be considered on first reading and the second reading over the Ordinance to Eliminate Obstructions will be held. Continue reading

Open Seats in Pulaski County for 2018 Elections

Wednesday marks the first day a declaration of candidacy may be filed and several Pulaski County positions will be up for election this year.

Seats are open for Circuit Court and Superior Court Judges who each serve 6-year terms. Elections will also be held for the 4-year terms of Prosecuting Attorney, Clerk of Courts, the Sheriff, Assessor, Surveyor, Coroner and Commissioner for District #3. All registered voters can vote for these positions and may also cast a vote for the delegate to State Conventions. Continue reading

Town of North Judson Takes Over for Hoosier Valley With Omega Railway Management Correspondence

All communications with the railway management company Omega will now go through the town of North Judson rather than Hoosier Valley Railroad, according to Town Council President Wendy Hoppe.

Hoppe explained that Omega is the company responsible for the billing and collection services for residents who utilize anything that runs under the town’s railroad, “Anything that runs underneath, be it an irrigation line, be it a power line, be it a drainage tile.” Hoppe said, “Omega was billing them and taking care of all that.”

At the last few North Judson town council meetings, President Hoppe mentioned that she was contacted by a couple of different local farmers in the North part of town who reported very steep increases in their rates. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council to Hold Public Hearing Over OCRA Grant Tonight, Regular Meeting Scheduled for Afterwards

The Winamac Town Council will hold a public hearing to discuss the OCRA Grant Application for the Wastewater project. It will be held at 6 p.m. with their regular meeting rescheduled to take place immediately after the hearing adjourns.

The OCRA Grant that is up for discussion is a competitive grant worth $700,000 that will help cover costs of the proposed upgrades to the Wastewater treatment plant. In order to be eligible for the funding, the application will need to be submitted by February 9th. Continue reading

Start off 2018 by Strengthening Employee Skills with this Ancilla College Training Program

Last year, the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Ancilla College worked in conjunction with local businesses to launch the Ancilla College Management and Leadership Training program.The program has continued into this year to continue developing the skills of our community’s team leaders.

After conducting interviews with local employers and finding that many of them were seeking more opportunities for management training, the program was created as a way to strengthen the existing workforce. Continue reading

North Judson Police Department K9 Supporter Shirt Fundraiser This Monday

North Judson Town Marshal Kelly Fisher announced that the NJ Police Department will be selling t-shirts and hoodies as a part of their K9 fundraiser from 8 a.m. until noon on Monday, January 8th.

The t-shirts cost $10 and the hoodies will be sold for $20. Fisher stated they consciously set the prices in order to allow all community members a chance to obtain the North Judson Police Department K9 Supporter apparel. The police station is located at 206 Keller Avenue. Continue reading

City of Knox Recycling Pick-up Begins Wednesday

Recycling pick-up for the City of Knox will commence next week on Wednesday, January 10th. It will be carried out on Wednesdays every other week for the remainder of the year. During weeks where there is a holiday, the pick-up will be postponed one day.

People should place the recycling receptacle on the curb no later than 6 a.m. with the handle facing away from the road. Also be sure to have the bin more than 3 feet away from your mailbox, vehicles or other items. Once the collection has been completed, remove your bin by the end of the day. Continue reading

The CDC Warns Individuals to Be Aware of High Frostbite and Hypothermia Risks This Time of Year

With extremely cold temperatures and frigid wind chills expected to continue in the coming weeks, the Center for Disease Control is warning people to take necessary precautions to avoid getting hypothermia or frostbite.

Before going outside, make sure you’re sufficiently dressed for the weather. Your fingers, toes, ears, cheeks, chin and nose should all be thoroughly protected, as these are the areas most vulnerable to frostbite. Continue reading

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Alerts Town Council Members of $6,000 Insurance Policy Premium Increase

When the North Judson Town Council met Tuesday evening, Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe alerted town council members that the town’s insurance policy premium increased from $56,000 in 2017 to about $62,000 for this year.

Rowe said he has recently been working with Christin Romine, an insurance accountant executive with 1st Source Bank in order to familiarize himself with the town’s history and current policy. He explained that after talking with her, he found that a large factor for the increase is the amount of claims that the town filed over the last few years.

Council President Wendy Hoppe recalled that in 2015, within the span of a few months they lost three police vehicles, including a Dodge Charger and two Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars. Continue reading

Troyer Group Representatives Express Satisfaction With the Amount of Knox Parks Surveys Submitted

The first draft version of the Knox Parks 5-year Master Plan must be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources by January 15th. According to Mayor Dennis Estok, everything is on track to have it submitted on time.

At the last Knox City Council meeting, Mayor Dennis Estok mentioned that more than 250 online surveys were submitted. He said that Troyer Group representatives were very happy that a community of our size was able get that many. Mayor Estok said that shows him that people are interested in the park and what the city is doing.

The exact date for the next public hearing has yet to be established but Troyer Group Landscape Architect Michael Reese stated it will most likely take place in late January or early February. Continue reading

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Visit with Animals from the North Pole At Culver Beach Lodge This Saturday

Culver Beach Lodge is hosting a special “Silly Safaris” Presentation tomorrow, featuring animals from the North Pole. The free, all-ages program will start at 11 a.m. ET and last until noon.

According to the organization website, this specific program focuses on animals native to the Arctic Circle, one of the world’s harshest environments. The presentation will feature a reindeer and may also include another mammal, a bird, a frog, a reptile, and a few insects to display the variety of creatures that inhabit this area. Continue reading

Indiana Conservation Officers Seek Public Assistance in Retrieving Stolen Snowmobiles, Offer $1,000 Reward

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources just a press release today, seeking public assistance in finding two stolen Law Enforcement Snowmobiles that were taken from Potato Creek State Park near the town of North Liberty.

The snowmobiles were stolen on or around December 15, 2017. Indiana Conservation Officers are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and/or the recovery of the snowmobiles. Continue reading

Nine Flu-Related Deaths Reported by Indiana Department of Health

The latest Weekly Influenza Report from the Indiana Department of Health shows that flu activity increased sharply in the final weeks of 2017, resulting in multiple flu-related deaths.

The report from December 21st stated that the influenza-like-illness (ILI) activity code was minimal with only 2 deaths reported. On the very next report from December 29th, the ILI activity code had been changed to high with a total of 9 deaths reported. Continue reading

North Judson Town Marshal Proposes Changing Unused Board Room into Training Site

(photo provided by Peggy Bohac)
North Judson Police Department Full-Time Force

North Judson Town Marshal Kelly Fisher came before town council members on Tuesday, seeking permission to turn the police station’s board room into a training site.

Marshal Fisher explained that she hasn’t seen the room utilized for meetings in quite some time. She mentioned that many officers have various instructor qualifications so that unused space is holding some untapped potential.

Fisher said, “We could open it up to host classes and bring some money in for the police department, kind of broaden our training.” Continue reading