“Courthouses, Cash, and Community Growth: Tying It All Together”

Submitted by Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer:

Over a three-week period, I explained part of the county’s Local Income Tax (LIT) structure and then explored relationships between county revenue sources and the courthouse project, demographics, and economic development. One repeated theme was the centrality of the Property Tax Replacement Credit (PTRC) LIT; having dug deeper into the numbers, I thought that I’d follow up with a deeper analysis of the PTRC LIT.
Note 1. The exegesis hereunder is based on data from the County Form 105 submitted by the auditor for the December 2019 settlement and various reports available on the Department of Local Government Finance’s website. These numbers are not perfect, as Form 105 contains penalties, fees, and late payments from previous years that I did my best to exclude to provide numbers reflective of actual due-for-2019 revenues, as well as excise license revenues, and as there are formulas employed by the state too complicated for me to comprehend fully or to articulate, but they are suitably accurate and reliable for this exploration.
Note 2. A quick summary for readers who want the primary conclusion, but not the details, can be found in the last paragraphs, beginning with “Putting all of this information together.…”

Encore I: Investigating the Property Tax Replacement Credit Local Income Tax

As we know, Pulaski County has a total LIT rate of 3.38%; within that rate, the PTRC rate is 1.18% — 34.9% of the total. (Another 0.3% is our special justice-center LIT, and the remaining 1.9% comprises our expenditure-rate components.) In 2019, the PTRC LIT generated $2,351,015 in revenue for the county and other taxing units — 12 townships, four towns, four school districts, and three library districts.
The purpose of the PTRC, I remind you, is to “buy down” the county’s units’ property-tax maximum levies — the maximum amount of revenue each unit is allowed to generate from property taxes in a given year (with some exclusions, like debt-service property taxes, which are not subject to the maximum levy).
For instance, if Xyz County has a cumulative maximum levy of $1,000,000 split into individual units’ levies, and it is the wish of the Xyz County Council, then a PTRC LIT can be implemented so that all property-tax bills across Xyz County only total, say, $750,000. The remaining $250,000 is withheld from paychecks or otherwise assessed on income through the PTRC LIT.
Because they were frozen for more than a decade, Pulaski County’s maximum levies are some of the lowest in the state. In 2019, the last year before the levy thaw, Pulaski County property-tax revenues (actual tax-bill revenues plus PTRC LIT revenues) totaled roughly $11,620,889 (again discounting late payments, et c., as addressed in note 1, and excluding revenues for the justice-center debt). As noted above, the PTRC LIT generated $2,351,015 — a buy-down (or subsidy, if you prefer) of about 20.23%: property owners-as-property owners were only responsible for $9,269,874, 79.77% of revenues.
In 2019, the county government’s levy was $3,748,594. Add the revenue generated from the county’s share of the 1.9% LIT expenditure rate — $3,235,399 —, and we come up with certified local-tax–based revenues of $6,983,993 (plus an additional $713,292 from the special LIT).
Compare our situation to that of a neighbor: Cass County’s levy was just above $9.8-million. Although we lose otherwise taxable acreage to DNR properties, Pulaski County is about 20 square miles larger; we have about one-third of the population, however.
Cass County also has one of the highest PTRC LIT rates in the state, generating, with its larger population and a 1.0% rate, $7.1-million for the county and its units to buy down their levies — a 28.64% subsidy on a cumulative maximum levy of nearly $24.9-million. With its share of an expenditure LIT rate of 1.4% (compared to our 1.9%) and its maximum-levy revenues, the Cass County government generated $19,771,941 — still more than three times our income stream, despite Cass County’s lower LIT expenditure rate and lower per capita income.
Newton and Pike Counties, two of the closest to Pulaski in terms of population and area, had never-frozen levies of $6,622,484 and $6,974,202, respectively. With these maximum-levy revenues and their shares of the revenues from LIT rates of 1.00% and 0.75%, respectively, the Newton and Pike County governments generated certified local-tax–based revenues of $10,394,920 and $8,698,070, compared to our $6,983,993. Neither uses a PRTC LIT to buy down levies.
Parke, another county fairly similar to us in both population and size, is one of the few counties with a lower levy than ours: $3,212,633 in 2019. With a total LIT rate of 2.65% (compared, again, to our 3.38%), Parke also adopted a PTRC LIT to buy down its once-frozen levy, establishing a 0.5% rate, which generated about $1.4-million in 2019 — a subsidy of 31.12% on their cumulative maximum levy of almost $4.5-million. From its share of an expenditure LIT rate of 2.15% (again compared to our 1.9%, and including a Levy Freeze LIT rate of 0.65%, compared to our 0.4%), the Parke County government collected $5,988,008 in non-PTRC LIT revenues, providing for total certified local-tax–based revenues of $9,200,641 for the county government, compared, again, to our $6,983,993.
Putting all of this information together, we can draw a few conclusions.
1. Roughly 35¢ of every $1 collected in LIT revenue is generated not to fund government operations directly, but to subsidize property owners-as-property owners.
Even with one of Indiana’s lowest cumulative maximum levies after a decade-plus-long freeze, a small and dwindling population, and per capita-income growth (17.7%, 2011-2018) that has trailed the state (25.2%) and nation (27.6%), Pulaski County maintains the state’s highest PTRC LIT rate to tax resident income earners to subsidize approximately $1 of ever $5 owed on property.
It’s only fair to note that homesteads receive an annual discount of approximately 36%, so, depending on an individual household’s annual income and home value, the benefits of the PTRC LIT may offset the burden of paying the highest LIT rate in Indiana. This advantage, of course, is lost to those who don’t own their homes.
Non-homestead properties (including taxable personal property) benefit from relief of about 16%. Regardless of where a property owner resides, and whether or not the property is used for personal enjoyment or income generation, resident income earners-as-resident income earners subsidize nearly 16¢ of every $1 in taxes assessed on these properties.
2. Cass County, especially, and the comparable counties studied in this analysis confirm what we know intuitively: not only does having the highest LIT rate in Indiana make Pulaski County less attractive to residents, but having more residents allows a county to generate significantly more income even with a lower LIT rate — especially when little or none of that LIT rate is dedicated to buying down the maximum levy instead of being directly spent on operations.
3. As the example of Parke County shows, thawing the levy, increasing the Levy Freeze LIT to keep pace with annual maximum-levy growth, and dedicating less of the cumulative LIT rate to property-tax relief all could have allowed Pulaski County units to generate more revenue, thus diminishing the financial problems that we face — potentially while still having allowed for a cut to the cumulative LIT rate. The County Council has done the first, and the second is no longer available to Pulaski County. The third step remains a possibility, as I discussed in part II of this series.
Next week, encore II, the actual final installment of this series, will tackle the one relevant subject that I’ve yet to address in any depth: the spending side of the county’s fiscal equation.

Businesses Step up during COVID-19

Small retailers are the most adapt at being versatile.  Juanita Ketcham from Back to Basics Organics has been helping people stay well for over 3 decades.  Open just 2 days a week, Wednesday from 9:30 – 6 and Saturday from 9:30 – 2 as an essential business, offering not only flour and baking supplies; power foods for building smoothies to enhance a healthy immune system as well as teas and supplements.
However, when she continued to hear of a shortage of hand sanitizers; Juanita tracked down a distillery in South Bend, Indiana Whiskey Company. She drives up once a week and picks up as many gallons as funds will allow.  brings them back and bottles them in quarts, pints and personal size containers.  People have been lining up in the Knox Mall; 6 feet apart, to come in and pick up germ purifying sanitizer and other items. Then a 12 year old who lost her baby sitting job brought in a dozen face mask and asked Back to Basics if they wanted to buy them.  They were gone in 15 minutes – so Juanita also commissioned an additional 3 local ladies to make face mask.  We limit them to 2 per purchase and barely stay ahead of the demand.  Versatility and determination has always been a gift Juanita has had during her years of helping Starke County get well and stay well and Covid is no different.  Research what the people need and supply it!  Remember, Elderberry, Vitamin C and support  your nervous system too! are closing words by Juanita
Pass the Buck
Local business in Starke County believe in helping one another out!  We are all adapting to some new challenges and learning to navigate in different ways.  For small retailers who change hats several times a day and struggle to keep current with paperwork and the public demands, Covid has added a tremendous new curve to the game.
So a local contractor, Starke County Roofing decided to start a very fun game – Pass the Buck.
The Downtown Depot facebook page on April 18th states: “We are playing , pass the buck ,, starke co roofing started our day by buying the first 30 breakfasts,,now the depot is passing it on ,,,the first 20 people will get 10 dollars off at granny s market . Local businesses helping local businesses,,we love starke county ,,thank you everybody”
And Granny’s Market is doing the same at Back to Basics Organics in the Knox Mall – $10 off the bill of the next 20 people. And next is going to be the Pizza Hut on hwy 35. . . who will be chosen to Pass the Buck next?  I bet things will keep poppin with this great community support.

“Courthouses, Cash, and Community Growth: Tying It All Together”

Submitted by Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer:

Not too much in this column will be new, but I thought that I’d put together a comprehensive refresher on the status of County finances, the courthouse/justice-center project, and how the two relate to each other — plus the connection between our financial problems and economic development. I’ve recently encountered, and on occasion participated in, a handful of Facebook conversations in which it’s been clear that information is still lacking, and a couple of individuals have asked that I take my explanations to a broader audience. If the County’s elected officials are going to move forward with hard decisions, it seems as if they should have not only hard data and evidence-based recommendations from the professionals whom they’ve engaged, but also informed input from their constituents.

Continue reading

Starke County Court Services Director Recognizes Staff during Recognition Week

From Starke County Court Services Director Shawn Mattraw:

“We here at Starke County Court Services, and the Starke Circuit Court, would like to take a moment to recognize, and thank our Pretrial Services staff and Probation Officers, for the important work they do every day to ensure community safety, and their efforts to assist their offenders under Court ordered supervision.

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Frain Recognized With Ten Year Award

Local funeral director, Jon Frain, received a lapel pin today commemorating ten years of dedicated funeral service in the State of Indiana. The award was presented by fellow colleague, Andy Clayton, who serves as Executive Director of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association (IFDA). Senator Ed Charbonneau and Representative Doug Gutwein were on hand to congratulate Frain on the milestone and wish him many more years of success.

Jon Frain was born and raised in Winamac. He is a 2003 graduate of Winamac Community High School. He completed his education at Indiana University and Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Chicago, IL. After a one year internship under his father, Dan Frain, Jon became a Licensed Indiana Funeral Director in 2009.

Knox Middle School Ranked 3rd in Final Week of Mathspace Growth Challenge, Placed 8th Overall

A group of Knox Middle School students were recently recognized for their mathematical accomplishments after participating in the Mathspace Growth Challenge.

KMS students came in 3rd in the final week of the challenge and were ranked 8th overall out of 200 competing schools from across the country! Mathspace provided students with a pizza party the Friday before spring break began in order to celebrate their success. Continue reading

Golden Living Earns 13 of the 26 AHCA/NCAL Bronze Quality Awards

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., June 13, 2018, — Of the 26 Indiana skilled nursing facilities that earned the 2018 AHCA/NCAL Bronze Quality Awards, 13 Golden LivingCenters were named recipients. Each year, the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) selects winners of the prestigious AHCA/NCAL Bronze – Commitment to Quality Awards. To be selected for one of the independently judged awards, skilled nursing facilities must demonstrate an extraordinary ongoing commitment to the delivery of quality patient and resident care, as measured against specific criteria. The recipients of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award are:

  • GLC – Bloomington in Bloomington, Ind.
  • GLC – Fountainview Terrace in LaPorte, Ind.
  • GLC – Golden Rule in Richmond, Ind.
  • GLC – Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Ind.
  • GLC – Knox in Knox, Ind.
  • GLC – LaPorte in LaPorte, Ind.
  • GLC – Lincoln Hills in Tell City, Ind.
  • GLC – Muncie in Muncie, Ind.
  • GLC – Petersburg in Petersburg, Ind.
  • GLC – Richmond in Richmond, Ind.
  • GLC – Sycamore Village in Kokomo, Ind.
  • GLC – Willow Springs in Indianapolis, Ind.
  • GLC – Woodlands in Newburgh, Ind.

“We are proud of the entire staff for their hard work and dedication to our residents and patients in each of these LivingCenters,” said Golden Living Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations, Wanda Prince, BSN, RN-BC, WCC, CLNC, QCP. “The process to apply for this prestigious quality award requires a team-based approach and an intense focus on quality. We thank the teams at each of these LivingCenters for their continued commitment to quality care.”

The National Quality Award Program, established by AHCA/NCAL in 1996, is based on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which also serves as the foundation for the metric- based AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative. The Baldrige framework helps organizations among different business sectors improve organizational effectiveness and achieve strategy-driven performance. To be selected by AHCA/NCAL as a Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award recipient, a skilled nursing facility must demonstrate an organization-wide commitment to a patient-centered mission; define its principal customers and their expectations; and indicate how it is striving to meet customer needs and improve processes. “The Bronze award exemplifies a dedication to positively impacting quality,” said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “I am proud to spotlight our members for their relentless drive to advance our nation’s skilled nursing centers and assisted living communities.” A ceremony honoring the recipients of this year’s awards will be held at the AHCA/NCAL 69th Annual Convention and Exposition held October 7-10 in San Diego, Calif. About Golden Living (www.goldenliving.com) Golden Living specializes in recovery care and is a leader in providing skilled nursing and post-acute care in Indiana. Our mission is to share our passion for improving quality of life through innovative healthcare, one person, one family, and one community at a time. We help people recover their health and improve their quality of life through a network of healthcare services including rehab, assisted living, skilled nursing care, hospice and palliative care. There are 23 Golden LivingCenters throughout Indiana. ABOUT AHCA/NCAL The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 13,600 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahca.org or www.ncal.org.

Anthony Manning Joins Golden Living Center

Anthony Manning Joins Golden Living Center Knox

as Admissions & Marketing Director Knox

June 23, 2018 — Anthony Manning has joined Golden LivingCenter – Knox as Admissions & Marketing Director. While he is new to the long-term healthcare industry, Manning brings extensive marketing & business administration experience. “The team at Golden LivingCenter Knox have welcomed me with open arms,” said Manning. “I share Golden Living’s passion to improve the quality of life for each resident at our living centers and my goal is to continue this mission to provide quality healthcare. I am very excited to work in my community.” A native of Sydney, Australia, Manning has lived in Knox, Ind. for 20 years with his wife Kelly and has three sons, ages 22, 20 and 14. Golden Living’s commitment to hiring the best leaders supports the company’s mission to improve quality of life through innovative healthcare, one person, one family, and one community at a time. Golden LivingCenter – Knox provides quality healthcare for patients and residents including those who need skilled nursing and rehabilitative care. For more information please call 574-772-6248 or visit www.goldenlivingcenters.com. About Golden Living (www.goldenliving.com) Golden Living specializes in recovery care and is a leader in providing skilled nursing and post- acute care in Indiana. Our mission is to share our passion for improving quality of life through innovative healthcare, one person, one family, and one community at a time. We help people recover their health and improve their quality of life through a network of healthcare services including rehab, assisted living, skilled nursing care, hospice and palliative care. There are 23 Golden LivingCenters throughout Indiana.

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

As you recall on New Year’s Eve past, we talked about the things people say do and eat on New Year’s Day. We also talked about the things people do not say, do not  do, and do not eat on New Year’s Day.

It was those conversations that caused my email mailbox to back up like Chicago’s Dan Ryan Express Way on a Friday afternoon, in the summer time, during rush hour, with road repair construction going on, in both the north and south bound lanes. Lots of email.

It turns out that the things people say do and eat on New Year’s Day are almost as varied as snowflakes. All the while the things people do not say do or eat on New Year’s Day are just a few snowflakes behind.

With little effort of recall, most of the those things I’d heard of before. Yet some were new and some were know to me but long forgotten. An example of that being, an EastWing Friend who happens to be a cousin of mine told the story of her father going out a midnight and shooting the shotgun.  After reading her account of that, I remembered as a little hillbilly boy hearing my dad and his  brother discuss shooting the gun at midnight. Something about shooting into the night to clear the way into the new year. I don’t recall my dad shooting, but he knew about the practice that’s for sure.

One of the New  Year’s Eve customs I’d not heard of was the German pouring of the lead. A friend of mine told me about it. Having never heard of this practice and so enjoying research on and unknown topic, I hit the books. Except now it’s not the books, it’s the computer keys. In many ways the keys to the kingdom of knowledge. What I found was a story worth telling.

It’s a  fun New Year’s Eve Tradition in Germany as families try to divine their fortune for the New Year by Bleigiessen, Lead Pouring. This is an ancient form of divination, also known as Molybdomancy, it’s been used for 1000s of years in many cultures. Now it’s mostly just for fun, although… there may be something to it…. Ya never know ‘bout things like these….

 The more I researched this topic the more I became convinced I was walking in the shadow  of the Twilight Light Zone. Kinda scary stuff to think many, many years ago people alive back then bought into this practice as a way to tell the future.

Originally, a small bit of lead or tin was melted, and then dropped in water. The form created by the metal is examined to determine the future. Some forms need you to be very open minded to say the least. Then, your fortune for the year is set. For instance, if the lead forms a ball (der Ball), it means luck will roll your way. The shape of an anchor (der Anker) means help is coming when you need it. But a cross (das Kreuz) can mean death.

Today, you can buy kits to make it the pouring of the lead easier. Since most people don’t have lead lying around. In the kit comes a spoon, some lead (often formed into celebratory shapes) a chart to help interpret the shapes, and a poem.

A candle is lit, and placed on the table. A bowl of water is also placed on the table. The chunks of lead are put in the bowl of the spoon, which is then held over the candle. The lead has a low melting point, so it melts fairly quickly. Then the lead gets poured into the water.

There seems to be a trick to this. Holding your spoon close to the water before dumping the lead gives it more of a shape. (I don’t know what the fortune gods think about taking multiple turns to get a preferred shape… so you may have to remember what others did in the years before to get what you want).

In der Silvester-Nacht
wird das Blei zum Schmelzen gebracht.
Es wird gekippt in Wasser, kalt und klar;
rate, was stellen die Figuren dar?
Schau sie an, so wie sie sind;
rätst die Gestalt du nicht geschwind.
Halt sie hinters Licht,
das Schattenbild dir mehr verspricht.
Kommt es dir nicht in den Sinn,

schau auf dieses Büchlein hin.
Es sagt dir frank und frei,
so allerlei…!

If you can read German, enjoy the poem. I do not read German, so I have no clue what it says. The research not only referred to a poem, it also had the above in close proximity to the reference to the poem. I took this to be the poem being referenced.

Sure hope there’s no dirty words in the poem. When I was a little hillbilly boy in downtown Toto, my Mama told me “never put on paper words you would be ashamed to speak to me in person”.  I’ve lived with that thought  in mind for every word I’ve ever spoken to paper. So here goes hoping  this poem passes my Mama’s  approval. I’m sure it will.

But Mama couldn’t read German either.

I Wish You Well,


-16°, An Extra Day, Winter Things To Say, A Mole Hunting Bird Dog, A White Mud Poodle

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

It’s January 2, 2018 at 7:00 in the AM and it’s -16°at the EastWing. Too cold to even think about going out today. A Lazy Day coming on.  Just gonna stay home and continue the Christmas / New Year Holiday one more day then wait and see what tomorrow brings.

Setting at the EastWing computer thinking of many things this coldest day in a long while, I start to marvel all over again at the  beauty of the snow. There has to be many things that can be said about the snow to make it more people friendly to those who hate winter.  And so right now I’m setting about finding such things to say about the winter time, the short day, the lone nights, the cold and the snow.

December is past, even at the worst case you can think of, it’s only two months till March, and February’s a short month.

Winter is the time of the year when we all try to keep our house as warm as it was in the summer, when we complained about the heat.

Kind words can melt both ice and snow. They can also make sunshine in the rain.

Anyone who says only sunny weather brings happiness has never done three things in their life, danced in the rain, made mud pies, or snow angles.

Snowflakes are kisses blown directly from the hand of God.

Snowmen fall from heaven one piece at a time. They come unassembled and without instructions.

When it snows, you have three choices; complain, shovel,  or make snow angels.

On a bright sunny day, the snow  sparkles like a millions of little light bulbs. No heat, just sparkle. Kinda like some people I know. All show and no go.

Whether the weather is fine, Whether the weather is not, Whether the weather is cold, Whether the weather is hot, We’ll weather the weather, Whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not, Whenever the weather is whatever.

Not sure the things I’ve said above  make any sense to anybody except me, but it sure has been fun just setting here in the warm EastWing on this coldest day in a long long time, and thinking of nice things to say about  the winter, about the cold, about  the snow, about the weather being whatever.

One of the things we’ve never had is a big hang up on is a picture perfect lawn. Here at the EastWing, we live in the summertime gardens. My dogs and cat also live in the gardens.  The beautiful She plants lots of flowers in the gardens. From their efforts, you would think The Bird Dog LucyBrown and the Poodle Mr. Boo have a contract to plow the lawns at will. And so they do.

This past spring summer and fall we had an unusual number of ground moles. I made no effort to get rid of the moles. The dogs tried, oh Lord how they tried. The plowing of the sod continued until the  ground froze and the mole decided to migrate south with the birds.

LucyBrown is built for digging. Strong long legs, long nose and a built in system of smell that exceeds me and you by about 100 to 1. With such an ability to smell, it’s no wonder LucyBrown enjoys digging the moles. She can smell ‘em before she digs. The way LucyBrown smells  is kinda interesting. A key factor in  LucyBrown’s ability to smell is humidity. The drier the air, the less scent is carried in the air. With a smellability of 100 to 1 in favor of the Bird Dog, LucyBrown doesn’t mind low humidity.

 Now this may gross you out a little bit to think that you are doing this, but you are. We all are. All living things constantly shed dead cells. We, the people shed dead body cells  at the rate of 50 million per second. As they fall they are enveloped by a microscopic vapor cloud.  In the presence of warmth and water, bacteria act on these tissue cells as a nutrient source, multiplying their odor. Bound to water vapor in the air, they are carried to a dog’s nose. That’s why every day LucyBrown gives me a full body smell. When I change clothes, she smells everything I take off. Everything that goes in the dirty clothes hamper, The Bird God LucyBrown checks it out.

 Mr. Boo on the other hand, he don’t have a clue. He just digs and don’t know why.  Mr. Boo being a little tiny feller, can dig himself a hole deeper than his body in nothing flat. He enjoys digging after a rain when the soil is soft. Mr. Boo’s fur is white After a mole digging day he comes home, a dark shade of mud. But all is not lost, Mr. Boo is  small enough that a quick trip to the kitchen sink, warm water, doggy shampoo, a complete rinse with the  sprayer, and a big fluffy towel drying brings back the white Mr. Boo.

I’ll  say one last thing for the magic of winter. With the snow on my gardens, our lawns look as good as the neighbors. Maybe better, with the Snow Angels in place.

From The EastWing, -16°, An Extra Day, Winter Things To Say, A Mole Hunting Bird Dog, A White Mud Poodle

I Wish You Well, ☺♥☻


Emma Gillard, Youth Power and Hope Winner






Knox Middle Schooler, Emma Gillard, recently received the Youth Power and Hope Award for the State of Indiana. The Youth Power and Hope award is an award designed to recognize Hoosier Middle School students who give back to their communities.

Gillard was one of five students from across the state that traveled to Indianapolis to be honored. As a recipient of the award, Gillard also took part in the Power of Change Youth Symposium at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. This symposium collected youth leaders from all over the country into one room where they dialogued about today’s issues, and what they could do to better them.

Gillard is a sixth grader at Knox Middle School in Knox, Indiana. She is the daughter of James and Sarah Gillard. Gillard is extremely community minded, with 4-H, Robotics club, the school newspaper, and church functions leading the list of her several involvements.

Emma spent Christmas at the local nursing homes and hospital, passing out homemade cards, stuffed animals, and visiting with the residents. She also volunteers her time cleaning up properties around Starke County, including the Koontz Lake Park, the San Pierre Park, and the Dault Property, which is used by the 4-H Shooting Sports club for events.

Gillard led the Starke County 4-H pop tab drive, helping to collect over 100 pounds of pop tabs to donate to the Children’s Hospital. She also has collected 450 pounds of plastic lids for her school’s drive to build benches.

Emma is the current president of her 4-H club, 4-Ever in Blue Jeans, and enjoys the many projects she works on throughout the year, with her favorites being Electric and Pocket Pals.

Emma hopes to graduate from Purdue with a degree in Electrical Engineering.

Paint Starke County Purple!

Event: Paint The Town Purple
Media Contact:
Ericka Taylor-Joseph
American Cancer Society Volunteers to Paint Starke County Purple as part of Relay For Life Movement

Starke County, Indiana (May 21st) – The American Cancer Society is seeking businesses and organizations to get involved in the Relay For Life movement by displaying purple ribbons and other decorations from Monday, May 21st – Thursday, June 1st. Purple is the signature color of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life program, which represents all cancers.

Anyone in the community can help “Paint the Town Purple” by doing other activities, including putting up purple-themed displays in storefronts, swapping out white light bulbs for purple ones, or selecting a day for everyone to wear purple at work or school. In addition, participants who make a $10 donation through the “Paint the Town Purple” campaign will receive a special purple decorative bow to display.

“It is so important to get the community involved to raise awareness of our upcoming event. Every single dollar counts and every single person who participate in Relay for Life makes a difference.” Ericka Taylor-Joseph, Event Chair

Founded by Dr. Gordy Klatt in Washington in 1985, the Relay For Life movement is the world’s largest fundraising event to save lives from cancer. Uniting communities across the globe, we celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action for lifesaving change. During Relay For Life events, members of each team take turns walking or running around the track or path. Teams participate in fundraising in the months leading up to the event.

Funds raised help the American Cancer Society provide free information and support for people facing the disease today, and fund cancer research that will help protect future generations. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Society has invested more than $4.5 billion in research since 1946, and have funded more than 20,000 scientists at more than 1,000 institutions nationwide.
For more information about how to participate in painting your town purple and the larger Relay For Life of Starke County movement, visit RelayForLife.org or call 1-800-227-2345

New Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society inductees at Ancilla College .

DONALDSON – Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of higher education, inducted 23 new members from Ancilla College for the spring semester in a formal ceremony Sunday, March 19 at Ancilla’s campus.

Those inducted to Ancilla’s Beta Beta Beta chapter include:

Jacob Albon (Knox), Nellie Alexander (Knox), Linsey Brewer (Culver), Ha Cao (Donaldson), Karissa Caverley (Plymouth), Liam Cleeton (Edinburgh ,Scotland), Amanda Cook (Logansport), Makayla Flora (Walkerton), Joshua Forth (Stalybridge, England), Olivia Green (Warsaw), Sydney Harmon (White Pigeon, MI), Casey Head (Knox), Emily Hopple (Plymouth), Chi Huynh (Donaldson), Patricia Johnson (Walkerton), Julianna Larson (Knox), Colleen Nine (Lakeville), Allyson Norby (Decatur), Kayleen Pinkham (Walkerton), Corgan Shepard (Kokomo), Klinton Stille (Bloomfield), Brittany Taylor (Schertz, TX), Lauren Taylor (Crown Point), Kelsie West (Peru), Karson Williams (Kingsbury), and Karen Zuniga Marquez (Ft. Wayne).

“These students have become an elite group, noted for academic success,” said Jodie Bowers who serves as the chapter’s co-advisor alongside Academic Advisor Kristin Rust.

“Students will be able to reap the benefits of becoming members of PTK when they transfer to four-year schools and find it easier and perhaps cheaper to continue their education,” Bowers said.

This year’s guest speaker was Debra Friar, local business owner of Small Wonders Daycare. Friar graduated from Ancilla College in 2008 and is also a member of PTK.

Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 2 million members and 1,200 chapters located in all 50 of the United States, U.S. territories, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Germany, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau.

To be eligible for membership a student must complete a minimum of twelve hours of associate degree course work and generally earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Students must maintain a high academic standing throughout their enrollment in the two-year college, generally a 3.25 GPA.

Ancilla College, founded in 1937, offers 25 associate degree programs at their campus in Donaldson, Indiana, near Plymouth. With new on-campus housing, more intercollegiate athletic teams for men and women, and expanded program offerings in nursing, business and agriculture, the college has seen double-digit growth over the past two years.

Click to see full size group picture (downloadable)
Contact: Todd Zeltwanger
574-936-8898 x.345
Ancilla College
web:  www.ancilla.edu

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Indiana high school grads get a second chance.

Indiana announced today that the state’s March 10th FAFSA deadline would be extended to April 15th this year in response to the failure of a federal data retrieval tool that complicated the process for families attempting to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The state’s commissioner for higher education, Teresa Lubbers, made the announcement, which effects anyone seeking financial aid for college in Indiana.

“There were serious security issues found in the FAFSA system, but the federal government did not communicate many of these problems to the states. They simply turned off the data retrieval tool. This left thousands of Indiana families hanging,” said Eric Wignall, vice president for enrollment at Ancilla College.
“Today’s announcement means Hoosiers can go back into incomplete online FAFSA forms and complete them. This also means, if people just didn’t do it– that they didn’t bother or forgot– they can do it now and get in under the deadline,” Wignall said.
Anyone seeking financial aid to attend colleges or universities in Indiana can file the FAFSA, a free online form created to make the financial aid process faster and easier. Difficulties with the data retrieval tool– a tool meant to import previous tax data– surfaced early this year.

The extended deadline means that if the data import tool did not work, students and parents can go back and enter 2015 tax data by hand and still meet the deadline. https://fafsa.ed.gov/

“There were several changes to the FAFSA this year. The date it opened was earlier and the use of the prior tax year were changed to make filing easier. I don’t think anyone, at any level, thought there would be such a significant problem with importing the tax data,” Wignall said.
This also means everyone gets another chance at financial aid in Indiana. 

Financial aid increased for Hoosiers this year.

The change in deadline coincides with the state’s announcement of new funding for Indiana financial aid. Lower income Hoosier students can now qualify for more state aid than last year.  

“The state’s Frank O’Bannon Grants, based on family income, were increased a great deal. For the poorest students, students who have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0,  the grant increased $1,600. This is significant support for people who want to earn a college degree in Indiana. State aid increased to $9,000 a year for students going to private schools like Ancilla, and up to $4,500 for students going to state universities,” Wignall said. 

“The increases mean more financial aid for the students who need it the most,” he said.

O’Bannon Grants, named for a former governor, are designed for Indiana residents who will go to an Indiana college. Here’s the full chart: http://www.in.gov/che/4506.htm

The federal Pell Grant was also increased for the 12017-2018 school year.The maximum Pell Grant for the 2017–18 award year is $5,920. 

Ancilla College, like most schools, adds state aid and federal aid to a financial aid package that helps students pay for school.

“One difference for us, because we’ve kept our tuition and fees so low over the past few years these new grants cover nearly all our tuition costs. A 21st Century Scholar, another Indiana grant program for working families, will not pay a penny in tuition at Ancilla. If they have good grades and above average SAT or ACT scores, they also be eligible for scholarships,” Wignall said. “This combination of need-based aid, using a family’s income level, and incentive scholarships, based on grades and other criteria, can really pile up financial aid for students.”

Please note:
There is no public data on how many Hoosier families this deadline extension affects. It applies to all adult learners, veterans, soon-to-graduate high school students, and anyone who wants to attend college in Indiana this coming year. Please get this information out to people. It’s not just about a tiny Catholic college in northern Indiana. This is a big deal for people across the state.

Eric Wignall
Vice President
Enrollment Management
Ancilla College
phone:  (574)  936-8898   xt. 330
web:  www.ancilla.edu

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Bishop Rhoades to Kick off Lampen Lecture Series

Ancilla College News

Bishop Rhoades to Kick off Lampen Lecture Series

DONALDSON – Informational and inspiring lectures are not limited to the classroom at Ancilla College. For the last 12 years, the college has presented their Lampen Lecture series to the public. Named for Sr. Joel Lampen, Ancilla’s first president, the Lampen Lecture series was initiated by Sr. Carleen Wrasman in 2005.

The Lampen Lecture series was designed to combine the universality of the Catholic Church, the international character of the PHJC, and the Earth Charter, which is a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society.

Now the college is kicking off the Spring Lampen Lecture series for 2017. The first lecture will definitely not be one to miss as they are hosting Bishop Kevin Rhoades, the ninth Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, and his lecture titled The Role of Young Adults in Church and Society. “Our young people carry within them the potential to change the world for the better,” said Sr. Jolise May, vice president of mission integration.

“Might I add, they are adventurers; they are risk-takers. They hold in their hands and hearts the potential and possibilities of healing a hurting world. We are pleased to have Bishop Rhoades here on the Ancilla campus to speak,” Sr. May said.

Bishop Rhoades, speaking at Ancilla College, picture attached below

The lecture will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Evergreen Room of the Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center.

This series is open to Ancilla students, staff, others in the PHJC ministries, as well as the general public at no charge. The Spring Lampen Schedule for 2017 is as follows:

January 25, 2017        “The Role of Young Adults in Church and Society”  Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend Evergreen Room of Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center at 6:30 p.m.

February 22, 2017      Topic on Mysticism (Specific topic to be determined Richard Daves, PhD
Hardesty Room (C231)   at 2:10 p.m.

March 16, 2017          Part I.  The Plight of Central American Women and Unaccompanied Children, and   United States Immigration  Martha Villigas Miranda, MSSW
Cana Hall at 12:45 p.m.

April 19, 2017            Part II:  The Plight of Central American Women and Unaccompanied Children, and Access to the United States Educational System.   Br. Alan Parham, FSC
Cana Hall at 12:45 p.m.

Ancilla College and the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ are proud to offer these lectures to anyone who might have interest in attending. If you have any questions about the details, please contact Sr. Jolise May, Vice President of Mission Integration, at jolise.may@ancilla.edu or (574) 936-8898 ext. 361. We look forward to seeing you at the Lampen Lectures.

Ancilla College, founded in 1937, is a small, private, liberal arts school offering associate degrees in over two dozen academic programs and intercollegiate athletics at their campus near Plymouth, Indiana. Ancilla is a sponsored ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, part of the Center at Donaldson.

Knox JPW Cheer Squad to compete at Nationals

This fundraiser is for Knox JPW Cheer Squad to compete at Nationals at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida .

The girls are ages 8-11years of age who compete in the JPW division.

In October 2016 our girls competed for their first year at District in Indiana and took home a 1st Place Championship Trophy & also HIGHEST score of the day put of all squads, all ages.

In November 2016 next they then went on to compete at Regionals in Illinois and took home a 1st place Championship trophy.  We are now headed to NATIONALS!!!!

There are 16 team members that we need to get to nationals. Expenses will be airfare, hotel, tickets, food, etc  help us get these girls there so we can bring home the NATIONAL CHAMPION title.

These girls work HARD!  They practice anywhere from 2-4 days per week for 1 1/2-3 hours at a time.  They also cheer at their teams games each weekend leaving very little free time after school or on weekends.  They toss into the air several feet up, flip, front and back walkovers, tumble, back flip, jump, cartwheel etc.  It’s a very hard sport to be in. Numerous cheerleaders also attend gymnastics to help better their squad which is even more time, money, & energy for these girls to participate in.  These girls are BEYOND talented and deserve their chance at Disney!  We believe they will be first place Champions!!!!  Let’s get Knox on the map and featured on ESPN as having the #1 JPW Cheer Squad out there!  DONATE & SHARE our link DAILY if possible 🙂  Thank you in advance from all the Cheerleaders, Coaches, & Parents for supporting our squad and helping them make their dreams come true.

ALL $$$$$$ received will be split EQUALLY among the girls that attend the 2016 trip to Nationals to compete.  So  feel free to share, tag, tweet, copy & paste the link etc. and lets get these girls to Disney!!!!

In the event we do not qualify for Disney in 2016 the funds will continue to be saved for the squad for the following year.

The Cheer & Dance Championships feature over 300 cheer and dance teams who compete at a five-day long event. Competitions take place at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex ™. Cheer & Dance Squads compete in 4 different age ranges (Jr. Pee Wee, Pee Wee, Jr. JV & Varsity). The Cheer teams also compete in sizes (Small, Medium & Large) and four competition categories (YCADA PW1, PW2, PW3 & PW4). The Dance teams compete in two competition categories (YCADA Pom Performance and Theme Dance).Each year, Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. hosts the Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer and Dance Championships.

For the past eleven years, the event has taken place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex ™ in Lake Buena Vista, FL during the first full week of December.

The 26TH Pop Warner Cheer and Dance Championships is a 6 day long event beginning on Saturday, Dec. 6th with a Mitey Mite Cheer Event and national finals taking place Monday Dec.5th through Friday, Dec. 9th, at the HP Field House Arena at ESPN’s WWOS, just upstairs from the football fields. Our Advanced Division

PW4 squads across all age ranges will perform live on ESPN3. Over 450 cheer and dance squads participate in small, medium and large squads in four divisions at novice, beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Competition begins with the youngest age divisions performing on Monday and the eldest cheerleaders on Friday, and is broken into morning and afternoon sessions each wrapping up with a festive parade of champions and awards ceremonies.

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Dan Named Finalist for 2016 Influential Women of Northwest Indiana Award

Lisa Dan
Lisa Dan

Lisa Dan, administrative assistant at the Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) for the past 10 years, was recently named a finalist for the 2016 Influential Women of Northwest Indiana recognition award.  Ms. Dan was nominated by previous past presidents of the Foundation, Diane Thalmann and Bill Sonnemaker. Ms. Thalmann was a previous winner back in 2011 as Most Influential Woman in the category of Economic Development. Continue reading