North Judson Town Board News

North Judson Town Board: Dan Anderson, Wendy Hoppe, Jane Ellen Felchuk, Attorney Cassie Hine and Clerk-Treasurer Connie Miller

The North Judson Town Board tentatively approved a bid from Gatlin Plumbing and Heating of Griffith, Indiana, to do the sewer separation work on State Road 39. The Board can not formally award the bid until the state releases the funds for the project. The company had the lowest bid of $531,153.

A discussion was held on the proposed 50/50 sidewalk program. The Board is considering entering into this program, but will not make a decision until the Board begins budget sessions for the next year. The Board has scheduled a budget meeting to plan the 2012 budget for Monday, June 27th at 4:00 p.m.

Community Services of Starke County to Increase Transportation Fares

Community Services of Starke County
Community Services of Starke County

Community Services of Starke County is announcing a fare increase for transportation beginning July 1st.

“The reason why we had to do an increase is because of the cost of gasoline,” said Director Joan Haugh. “We put this off and we’re not seeing a break. We’re already six months into this year and we’ve almost spent as much as we did last year. With that cost increasing, we felt that we had to do something so we are increasing as of July 1st. The people that we’ve already told are regular riders and they’ve been asking us for some time when we are going to be raising our rates. How can we afford not to? I think they understand but I just wanted to let the public know too that there is a slight increase.”

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Gas Price Forum Held in LaPorte

Senator Jim Arnold talks with a constituent following the forum

Over 75 people attended a meeting to address gasoline pricing in LaPorte last night. The meeting was arranged by State Senator Jim Arnold (D-LaPorte) and State Representative Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte).

Presenters were Scot Imus, Executive Director of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, and Maureen Hellman-Ferguson, Executive Director of the Indiana Petroleum Council.

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Pulaski Memorial to Sign Agreement with Private Ambulance Firm

Pulaski Memorial Hospital

For the Pulaski Memorial Hospital, some decisions could mean the difference between life and death. When CEO Rick Mynark approached the commissioners this week, he knew that his proposal could mean the very same for patients at the hospital. Mynark informed the commissioners that PMH would be signing an agreement with Keeney Ambulance and Transport Service (KATS), a private ambulance firm, to provide patient transfer service, cutting down drastically on the time required for patient transfers.

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Ritenour, Jr. Sentence Upheld by Indiana Court of Appeals

James Ritenour, Jr.

James Ritenour, Jr. recently appealed his Starke Circuit Court conviction of eight-years for Attempted Battery, a Class C Felony to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Ritenour, Jr. questioned whether sufficient evidence supports his conviction, and he also claims his eight-year sentence for the charge is inappropriate in light of his character and the nature of the offense. Ritenour, Jr. was sentenced to the maximum sentence of eight years, and he requests that his sentence be revised down to the usual term of four years. He also argues that the lack of ballistics tests and conflicting testimony would require a reweighing of the evidence, but the State disagrees.

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Knox School Board Anticipates Contract Agreement with Knox Federation of Teachers

Gary Dulin, Jerry Fletcher, Harold Welter, Mary Lynn Ritchie, Kirk Bennett, Nathan Marcum, Mike Yankauskas, Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The Knox Community School Board has set a tentative meeting with the Knox Federation of Teachers on Monday, June 27th, at 4:00 p.m. CT. Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the Board hopes to approve the ratification of the teacher’s contract during this meeting.

“We came to a conclusion of agreement and we’re trying to beat the July 1st deadline where many new laws take effect and it’s going to effect how schools can operate,” said Gappa. “At this point in time, we’ve come to an agreement and we hope to ratify on June 27th.”

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Pulaski County Relay for Life this Weekend

The Pulaski County Relay for Life will be Friday and Saturday, June 24th and 25th at the West Central High School. Opening ceremonies begin Friday at 6:00 p.m. ET and the closing ceremonies will be Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m. ET. The theme this year is “Rock around the Clock” and those attending will be dressed in 1950s and 1960s attire. Event Chair, Stephanie Parish, says there are many activities planned during the event.

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Phil Shabi Named Head Boys Basketball Coach at North Judson-San Pierre

North Judson-San Pierre High School’s athletic department is pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. Phil Shabi as its new basketball coach. He is a 1996 graduate of Wheeler High School and 2001 graduate of Purdue University. Last season, Shabi served as assistant boys basketball coach at Canyon Springs, Nevada High School which captured the 2011 Class 4A State Championship. From 2006-2010, he was head boys basketball coach at Clark, Nevada High School. Prior to that, Shabi was Director of Physical Education and Athletics as well as the head boys basketball coach at Unity Middle School, in Delray Beach, Florida.

Mr. Shabi will serve as a Health and P.E. teacher at the North Judson-San Pierre Middle School.

Starke County Commissioners Fail to Approve Dog Kennel Ordinance

Starke County Commissioners ( L to R ) Kathy Norem, Dan Bridegroom, Jennifer Davis

Starke County Commission President, Dan Bridegroom, said that the County might be back to square one this week after a dog kennel ordinance failed to gain approval for the third time.

Over 60 dog owners crowded into the County Annex building Monday night to disagree with many aspects of the proposed ordinance that was being presented by Administrator/Building Inspector, Bruce Williams.

After an hour of discussion and comments from the audience, the Commissioners, on a motion by Kathy Norem and seconded by Jennifer Davis, voted to deny the ordinance as presented, and sent it back to the Plan Commission.

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Starke County Library Board Seeks $2 Million for Renovation and Expansion

Curt Pletcher and Ellen Dodge

The Starke County Library Board asked the Starke County Council this week for permission to enter into a bond issue for $2 million to renovate and expand the Henry F. Schricker Library in Knox.

“We’ve had several focus groups and at each one of the meetings, the two main things that came up were more room for the children and meeting rooms,” said Library Director, Ellen Dodge. “Those are our two key points.”

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Server Crash Causes Pulaski County Recorder’s Office to Seek New Software

Pulaski County Commissioners Tracey Shorter, Kenneth Boswell, Michael Tiede

Pulaski County Recorder Lynn Wilder received approval from the Commissioners to get quotes on a new recording system for her office because of issues with the current software. Wilder explained that a server crash completely disabled their main server, which provides service to many of the county offices. A temporary server has been in use since the crash, but this server is newer than the software on the computers accessing it, causing the recorder’s office to experience various issues in the service.

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Knox Community School Board Approves Student Handbook Changes

Gary Dulin, Jerry Fletcher, Harold Welter, Mary Lynn Ritchie, Kirk Bennett, Nathan Marcum, Mike Yankauskas, Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The Knox Community School Board members approved student handbook changes at all building levels at their meeting Monday night.

Elementary Principal, Glenn Barnes, requested that the handbook reflect changes for telephone use by the students. Beginning in August, students may have cell phones with the restriction that they are kept in backpacks during class time and on bus rides.
Also, students who ride the bus on longer bus routes will now be able to use electronic devices while riding to and from school.

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Starke United Golf Outing Set for Friday

The annual Starke United Golf Tournament is Friday, and you can still reserve a space. Executive Director, Julie Dessauer, said yesterday that Kersting’s Cycle Center is the hole-in-one sponsor. Hit that hole-in-one and ride off on a motorcycle. Also win a $500 VISA Card, golf clubs, or T.V.

Call 772-7506 for more information. The tournament is at the Chesapeake Run Golf Course in North Judson.

Child Passenger Safety Certification Course Begins Today

A Child Passenger Safety Certification Course at IU Health Starke Hospital begins today at 1:00 p.m. CT. The class is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Riley Hospital for Children. Police officers, firefighters, healthcare providers and other interested individuals from the area are invited to participate in this 32 hour course.

The classes go through Saturday June 25th. Upon completion of the course, newly certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will assist with a free car seat check up event Saturday in the I.U. Health Starke Hospital parking area.

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