Santa Claus Schedules Visit at Henry F. Schricker Public Library in Knox

Santa Claus
Santa Claus

Santa Claus is coming to the Henry F. Schricker Public Library in Knox on Saturday, December 11th from 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT.

Children will listen to a story about Santa, visit with Santa, and receive a treat from Santa. While you are waiting to visit with Santa, join in the Saint Lucia Day celebration. Make a Saint Lucia craft, listen to stories, and enjoy a traditional Saint Lucia treat.

Call the Library to RSVP your visit, (574) 772-7323 and ask for the Children’s Department.

Washington Township Firefighters Complete State Certification Course

Washington Township Training #2
Members of the Washington Township Fire Department train for certification

Twelve firefighters from Washington Township Fire Department participated in the 2010 State Firefighter I/II course. The course started in May and finished Sunday, November 14th. Firefighters met two days a week for lectures and hands-on activities.

The course covered topics such as fire service history, health and safety, fire behavior, ropes and knots, extrication, water supply, fire control, communications, fire prevention, public education and emergency medical care. Chief Stuart Short, Lt. David Emigh, James Coad, Josh Ream, Bill Lehiy, Chad Lehiy, TJ Reiss, Wallace (Boz) Williams, Corry Williams, Rookie Cody Williams, Rookie Terry Fawley, and Rookie Geary Manuel participated in the program.

Washington Township Training #3

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Knox City K9 Officer Introduces new K9 to City Council

Chad Keen and Marco #2
Officer Chad Keen speaks to the Knox City Council
Greg Matt and Marco
Marco greets Knox City Councilman, Greg Matt

K9 Officer Chad Keen and K9 Marco appeared at the recent Knox City Council meeting. Officer Keen recently finished training with K9 Marco at the Von Liche Kennels in Denver, Indiana. Marco detects all types of narcotics and can trackpeople as well. Marco is a two-year-old Belgian Tervuren and met the Knox City Council for the first time at the Council’s meeting on November 23rd. This is the third K9 to be part of the Knox City Police Department.

The final walk-through was done at the Wastewater Treatment Facility to close out the City’s grant for that rehabilitation project. A curb needs to be replaced and then the project will be complete.

The Council also got a tonnage report on the refuse and recycling service from the garbage contractors. In July, 137 tons was the highest amount of refuse collected in 2010. The lowest amount of refuse collected was in January at 83.6 tons. 27.2 tons of recyclable material was collected in July, the most collected in 2010.

Starke County Commissioners Approve Motion to Close out Federal Grant

Starke County Commissioners
Starke County Commissioners: Kathy Norem, Dan Bridegroom and Jennifer Davis

The Hamlet Infrastructure grant was discussed at the most recent Starke County Commissioners meeting. Starke County Development Foundation Director, Charles Weaver, requested, and received, permission to begin the process to close out the Federal Economic Development Administration Grant. Starke County received almost $2 million dollars from E.D.A. toward the water tower in the Hamlet West Park, the installation of about 2 miles of 12 inch water mains, fire hydrants, and the installation of one mile of sanitary sewer lines to service the industrial area.

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Starke County Property Owners Need to File for Property Tax Deductions

Michaelene Houston
Michaelene Houston

Starke County Auditor, Michaelene Houston, reminds property owners that they have until the end of the year to file for property tax deductions.

Deduction applications must be completed and dated by December 31st, 2010 and filed with the Auditor’s office for the taxpayer to receive the eligible deductions on 2011 property tax bills. In addition to meeting all other eligibility requirements for the desired deductions, the applicant for the deduction must own or be buying the property under contract on the date the application is filed in order to receive the deduction.

Specific questions about property tax deduction eligibility should be directed to the County Auditor’s office. Call 772-9101, 772-9102, 772-9103 or 772-9104 for assistance.

Knox City Employees Encourage Citizens to Donate Food during their Food Drive

Knox City Hall
Knox City Hall

The employees of the City of Knox are planning a special fundraiser for the holiday season this year.

“For Christmas, the employees of the City of Knox have decided to forgo the usual gift exchange and to participate in a food drive for the Starke County Food Bank,” said Knox Mayor, Rick Chambers. “All of the employees will make cash donations or will bring food items to the Clerk’s Office for collection. Anyone wanting to assist the Knox City employees in this food drive are asked to drop off your donations or food items at City Hall, in the Clerk’s Office. If you want to make a donation and are unable to make it to City Hall, call Mayor Rick Chambers or any member of the Knox Common Council to schedule a pick up.”

The deadline date to donate food items is Wednesday, December 17th.

Starke United Auction this Friday

The Starke United Auction is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. this Friday, December 3rd.

“If you go to you’ll see a list of all the items that we’ll have at the auction,” said Edie Hall, the Executive Director of Starke United. “Some of the items will be listed with pictures and we’re looking forward from a lot of you on Auction Day, December 3rd.”

WKVI’s Ted Hayes will be at the auction all day along with Auctioneer Ben Osinski and his staff. Several volunteers will be manning the phones during the Auction to take your important bid.  The number to call on auction day is (574) 772-7209.

Edie says it’s a great way to get your Christmas shopping done, “You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home.”

The auction will be broadcast live on WKVI AM 1520. The auction will be conducted at the CenturyLink building in downtown Knox. The preview night is Thursday from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the CenturyLink building and items may be viewed on Friday from 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Federal Government Looking to Ban Synthetic Marijuana

Dan Bridegroom with Kaboom
Starke County Commissioner Dan Bridegroom inspects synthetic marijuana product

A Lake Station store owner is suing the City over an ordinance banning the selling of synthetic marijuana products. The store owner says under the new ordinance, over the half the items in his store could be considered synthetic marijuana.

The U.S. Government is considering a ban on products that mix herbs and synthetic chemicals that mimic marijuana. Government officials say it appears the products are dangerous.

The Knox City Council and the Starke County Commissioners are in the process of banning these products.

Pulaski County Chamber’s Winter Wonderland is this Saturday in Winamac

Winter Wonderland

The Pulaski County Chamber’s Winter Wonderland event is this Saturday, December 4th from Noon-4:00 p.m. ET in downtown Winamac.

“There will be craft booths, there will be vendor booths, some great food to eat, the stores in the area will be offering wonderful specials, horse and buggy rides, and the children can visit with Santa,” explained Winter Wonderland Coordinator, Brandi Larkin. “We also have some groups hosting free children’s activities so there is a little bit of something for everyone. There will be a parade at 12:30 p.m. ET through the downtown area, a toy drive, a coat, hat and glove drive and a food drive. The Fire Department will have a quilt raffle and other not-for-profit organizations will have a presence at some of the booth locations as well.

Maps will be available for residents to see where they can find participants in this year’s event. Larkin said it’s important to grab a map as it could lead you to a great prize.

“If they visit nine of the eleven Chamber locations that are noted on the map and receive a sticker, they can be entered in a drawing for some great prizes,” added Larkin.


I wonder if some people still think that milk comes from the grocery store.

milk bottles
milk bottles

When I was a kid, Dad would milk about 10 or 12 cows every morning and every night. This was before milking machines – all milking was done by hand. There is nothing like a glass of warm milk right from the cow. Dad would secure the cows into the stanchions for their feed, then get his stool. He had a four-legged stool, but many farmers used a three-legged stool, and I have even seen a one-legged stool used quite often. Dad would position himself on the right side of the cow and start milking. It was fun to watch him because once in a while he would squirt the cat in the face with the milk. Of course the cat would love that and lick the milk from his fur for quite a while. Sometimes Dad would let me milk the cow, but when I started to squirt the cat more than into the bucket, that stopped.

The folks had an in-ground “cooler” on the north side of the house – a 30″ glazed tile in the ground with boards for cover – that cooled the milk somewhat. The temperature in the “cooler” was always 55 – 60 degrees. Later, Dad would pour the milk into the cream separator (see attachment). I got to crank the machine. This was really a centrifuge. It had a series of cones in it that, when spun, separated the cream from the milk. We could then make cheese or butter from the cream.

Remember, this was during the depression. The folks would sell the butter (and the eggs that Mom had gathered from the chicken house) to the grocery store. The rest of the milk that wasn’t separated was sold to Drews’ Sanitary Dairy at 405 S Main in Knox. They would pasteurized it, bottle it and deliver it to their customers’ door steps. This was before homogenized milk. The cream would rise to the top of the milk bottle, and you could tell the quality of the milk by how much cream was on top. Generally, it was thought that the taller the layer of cream, the better the milk. In the winter, if the bottles of milk were left outside too long, the freezing temperature would push the lids off. (see attachment) As for why the bottles didn’t crack, well, I’m speculating that with whole milk, at least, the cream that collected at the top acted as a lubricant, allowing the ice to move freely upward, relieving pressure and keeping the bottle intact. On the coldest of winter days we would sometimes make “ice cream” by placing a bowl of the cream into the snow so it would freeze. Later, the homogenizing process was invented which breaks down the fat of the milk into smaller particles so that it stays suspended in the milk and the cream doesn’t rise to the top.

My wife, Melba, came from a farm in Eastern Indiana and showed Red Poll cattle all over the United States. Red Polls are considered dual-purpose animals, giving great meat production and good milk production, also. One time as a teenager, while showing at the Indiana State Fair, the owners of the 4-H Grand Champion cows in all dairy breeds (Jersey, Holstein, Guernsey, Red Poll, Milking Shorthorn, etc.) participated in a milking contest. Of course the contestants were all boys, except Melba! Her cow had just had a calf the week before and milked very easily – she knew she could win this contest. They even brought in a cow for the Governor of Indiana to milk, just to make the contest a little more fun. That Governor was our own Henry F. Schricker from Starke County.

The contest starts – Melba started to milk her cow – but got no milk. The cow just stood there and “Mooed” – she wanted her calf. Melba’s Dad quickly realized that fact and ran to get the calf. As soon as the cow saw the calf, the milk poured into the bucket. As fast as the milk came, Melba couldn’t make-up for lost time. Both she and the Governor lost the contest to a boy!

Jim Shilling
Starke County Historical Society

Brittany Griffith Arrested on Forgery, Fraud Charges

Starke County resident, Brittany Griffith, was arrested Tuesday after allegedly writing bad checks from her grandmother’s bank account without permission.

Griffith reportedly stole the checks after she was told to leave her grandmother’s house. She wrote bad checks to several businesses including the Culver Cove, Culver CVS and the Bottle Shoppe in North Judson. The investigation continues into this case.

Griffith has preliminary charges of Forgery, Fraud and Theft. Griffith’s boyfriend, Aaron Wireman, was also arrested and has a preliminary charge of Assisting a Criminal.  Griffith is currently being held in the Starke County jail.

Meetings Scheduled to Inform Farmers on Irrigation Systems for Farming Operations

Alan Kurtz
Alan Kurtz

If you’re a farmer considering irrigation to your farm operation Purdue Extension can help you answer some of your questions. Alan Kurtz, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator with Purdue Cooperative Extension in Starke and Pulaski Counties, suggests questions you might ask yourself.

“If you are a grower considering adding irrigation to your farm operation, Purdue Extension can help you answer some of the difficult questions,” said Kurtz. “Questions may include, how much water do I need? What are my energy options? Can I afford to pay for irrigation? These and other questions will be addressed during three workshops to be held at four locations in Northern Indiana during the month of December.”

The two meeting locations closest to farmers in Starke County include the Wheatfield Public Library and the Wanatah Public Library. The Wheatfield meeting is in the morning at 9:00 a.m. CT and the Wanatah meeting is at 2:00 p.m. CT.

For more information contact the Extension Cffices in Starke and Pulaski Counties.

Week in Review for November 22nd-26th, 2010

Here is just some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week:

The WKVI Food Drive at the Knox Mall was a success last Saturday $2,167.73 was collected and over 2,500 pounds of food was collected.

Starke United

It was announced that the Starke United Radio Auction is scheduled for Friday, December 3rd, and it will be broadcast live beginning at 10:00 a.m. on WKVI AM 1520.

Dr. Walter Fritz will be stepping down as the Starke County Health Officer at the end of the year. He will be replaced by Dr. Teresa Alexander.

Stephen Braasch
Stephen Braasch
Christina Orange
Christina Orange

Christina D. Orange of North Judson and Stephen Adrian Braasch of Argos were arrested Saturday, November 20th by the North Judson Police Department. They were arrested on methamphetamine related charges.

The Starke County Traffic Safety Partnership and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office were honored at the recent Annual Operation Pull Over Awards Banquet. Both entities received Equipment Awards to purchase law enforcement equipment of their choice.

Knox City Council #2

The Knox City Council approved the second reading of an ordinance to prohibit the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana in the city limits. Several questions were raised by Knox Mayor Rick Chambers about the enforceability of the ordinance.

Charles Weaver
Charles Weaver

Starke County Development Director, Charles Weaver, appeared before the County Commissioners at its most recent meeting. He asked the Board to sign an application to be submitted to the Indiana Department of Transportation to classify County Road 300 East between Culver Road south and State Road 8 on the north as a rural major collector.

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department

Anthony Ferris attempted to escape from the LaPorte County Security Complex, Wednesday morning. He was quickly apprehended by the LaPorte County K9 unit.

And that is just some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week.

SCILL Center Staff and Students Encourage Community to Participate in Coat Drive

Mark Anderson
Mark Anderson

The SCILL Center staff and students are collecting coats for children and adults this holiday season.

“Anybody that has a good, used coat that they’d like to drop off, rather than take to Goodwill or put in a yard sale, you may donate it during this coat drive,” said SCILL Center Instructor, Mark Anderson. “In Knox, you can drop them off at Community Services of Starke County, Davis Auto, Integrity Skill in the Knox Mall, Starke United, or the WIC office. In North Judson, you can drop them off at Love INC., Bailey’s, or there’s a box at the North Judson Plaza. When we accumulate all of the coats, we’re going to take them to the Knox Schools and they have names of people throughout the community and a lot of students that need these coats and they’re going to disburse them. We’d like to try and end the program on December 5th.”

For more information, call (574) 772-8001.

R and R Horse Haven Finds a Home in North Judson

Mary Wodrich
Mary Wodrich

The Horse Haven dream has come true according to Mary Wodrich, Director of the therapedic establishment.

“This dream began last year at about this time,” said Wodrich.  “With help from friends and neighbors and local people from North Judson, we are established now.  R and R Horse Haven was established for disabled veterans, but we will not turn away anybody that can benefit from the use of a horse.  We are located at the old Ag-Bio Center in North Judson.”

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Starke County Commissioners Asked to Classify County Road as Rural Major Collector

Charles Weaver
Charles Weaver

Starke County Development Foundation Director Charles Weaver appeared before the County Commissioners at it’s most recent meeting. He asked the Board to sign an application to be submitted to the Indiana Department of Transportation to classify County Road 300 East, between Culver Road South and State Road 8 on the North, as a rural major collector.

“This makes that parcel of road eligible for eighty percent federal financing on a highway project,” said Weaver.

The major collector will link the road that will be rebuilt to state standards to service not only the industry in that area but the residents and other users as well.