Pulaski County Officials to be Sworn into Office on Thursday

Pulaski County Courthouse

All newly elected officials in Pulaski County will be sworn into office on Thursday, December 15th, at 4:30 p.m. ET, at the Pulaski County Courthouse.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn and Pulaski County Superior Court Judge Patrick Blankenship will administer the oaths. You are invited to witness the event that will be held in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room on the second floor of the Courthouse.

Pulaski County Ronald Reagan Republicans of the Year Award Winners Announced

Bud Cummins accepts the Ronald Reagan Republican of the Year Award

Bud and Alice Cummins were recently named the recipients of the first ever Pulaski County Ronald Reagan Republican of the Year Award. The award was given to the pair during the recent dinner hosted by the Pulaski County Republican Women at the Francesville Fire Station. The annual dinner and auction helps raise money for the county Republican party.

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46 Children in Pulaski and White Counties Participate in Shop with a Cop Event

Officers from the Pulaski County and White County Sheriff’s Departments took 46 children from both counties shopping in the 3rd Annual Shop with a Cop event on Saturday.

The children enjoyed pizza and visiting with Santa before going shopping at the Monticello Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart had awarded $1,000 to be used to purchase items for the children. A total of $2,640 was donated to the Shop with a Cop program by many generous donors in Pulaski County for the 20 children from Pulaski County who were chosen to participate.

The 20 children were randomly chosen by Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer from a list of children provided to him by Health and Human Services, Eastern Pulaski Schools and West Central Schools. Sheriff Gayer said that the look on the kids’ faces is worth the money and time put into this event.

From the WKVI Archives

Woody Hayes

Fifty years ago today the late Woody Hayes was in North Judson. The famous Ohio State coach was there speaking to the annual North Judson Quarterback Club. Marshall Teallow, a famous North Judson resident in his own right, was the President of the club.

So you don’t remember Woody Hayes? He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Had three national championship teams at Ohio State and won 13 Big 10 Championships.

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Grant Received to do Work on Yellow River

Starke County is the recipient of a grant for debris removal on the Yellow River in the amount of $190,000. The grant money came from the Disaster Recovery Fund.

Starke County Surveyor, Dennis Estok, said there has been no removal of trees or debris in the Yellow River.

“That’s our main concern,” said Estok. “From Highway 35 in Knox going to the Starke/Marshall County line hasn’t been touched. In talking with some of the land owners, I don’t think it’s ever been touched. What we will do with this money, since it was for debris removal, we’re going to take the fallen trees and logs out of the river which will help tremendously.”

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Digital Books to Replace Libraries?

Henry F. Schricker Library

What’s the future of libraries in the digital age? We posed that question recently to Shelia Urwiler, Director of the Starke County Library system.

“E-books are changing the library landscape quite a bit and no one is one hundred percent sure how that’s going to work out,” said Urwiler. “We do know that we are going to transition more to e-books and less print eventually. I heard a speaker say that he thinks it will be in the next two to three years – I think that’s a little overestimating. I think we’re looking more at 15 to 20 before print really is more for special collections and archives.”

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Starke County ABATE Holds Annual Christmas Party

Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves make Christmas a little brighter for Starke County children

Over 200 children will have a brighter Christmas because of the efforts of the local ABATE organization. ABATE held its annual Christmas Party at the Bass Lake Country Club on Saturday.

Ernie Brewer, who is instrumental in gathering toys for the event, said the day is the most enjoyable for the ABATE members.

“We’re proud that we could do this for the kids of Starke County,” said Brewer.

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Two Christmas Trees Headed to Statehouse from Hensler’s Nursery

Kankakee Valley REMC workers help prepare the tree for the Statehouse. Photo provided by Kankakee Valley REMC

The Christmas trees for the Indiana Capitol have been cut and they’re ready for transport from Hensler’s Nursery in Hamlet.

Last week, a 25 foot Concolor Fir was cut for the Indiana Statehouse Rotunda. Also cut was an eight foot Fraser Fir for the Lt. Governor’s office.

Crew members from the Kankakee Valley REMC in Wanatah helped with the cutting.

Annual Christmas Cantata Held Sunday

The Community Choir gets ready to sing in the annual Christmas Cantata

The 52 members of the Community Choir performed twice yesterday at the Knox United Methodist Church. It was the 14th season for the annual Christmas Cantata and was performed and dedicated to the memory of Jim Keen, who sang in the choir for 10 years before his untimely death earlier in the year.

Because of illness, Director Jim Oliverius was replaced by Nan Folkers and Brian Liechty.

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Wreaths Laid at Starke County Courthouse Memorial

Taps is played after wreaths are laid at the Starke County Courthouse Memorial

Wreaths were laid at the Starke County Courthouse military memorial yesterday as part of the Wreaths Around America program. Wreaths, which were donated by Hensler’s Nursery, were laid in the ceremony yesterday that involved both American Legion and VFW members.

Honored were our nation’s war heroes both past and present.

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Christmas Display in Pulaski Continues to Impress Spectators

This is just one of the many displays that light up Pulaski each Christmas season

The small town of Pulaski in Pulaski County continues in its tradition with displaying spectacular Christmas light displays.

It all started in 1989 with one tree and three nativity scenes. It’s now up to 200 different lighting displays. Barb Crist tells us how they get up so many lights in a short amount of time.

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Starke County Commissioners Continue to Block Linda Belork’s Return to Office

Linda Belork
Jasper County Circuit Court Judge John D. Potter has set Dec. 22 as the hearing date on a motion to dismiss a temporary restraining order preventing Linda Belork from gaining back the treasurer’s position in Starke County. Belork has been out of office since being removed by the commissioners on Aug. 13. Acting as plaintiffs in the case are the Starke County Commissioners.

Potter set the date yesterday in Jasper County Court. The suit has been venued to Jasper County from Starke County after Judge Kim Hall recused himself from hearing the case.

Although bookkeeping errors in the treasurer’s office were eventually identified, the commissioners have continued to block her resumption of duties. Last week an interim treasurer, Kasey Clark, was selected by the Democrat County Precinct Committee. On Monday, the commissioners affirmed that Clark would receive full treasurer’s pay as long as she is in charge of the office.

If Belork is eventually successful in the Jasper County suit, Clark will be required to step down.

Starke County Commissioners Approve Purchase of Ambulance

The Starke County Commissioners are gearing up for the future needs of the EMS service in the county by considering the purchase of a new ambulance, or two quality used rigs. At a recent meeting, Commissioner Kathy Norem announced that because $250,000 is left from health insurance savings she would like to spend a portion of the money on ambulances and equipment for Advanced Life Service needs.

Councilman David Pearman commented on the issue that when county begins making ALS runs, that is going to open up a new revenue source, but at the same time there will be more activity for the rigs. Pearman also noted that there are many municipalities that are privatizing their ambulance service, so there as some quality used rigs available if they can just be found.

Commissioner Dan Bridegroom said that the ambulances the county currently owns need to be thoroughly checked for issues, but it’s hard to take them out of service to do so. Another issue is that with the older rigs, parts are not always available.

A motion was made to seek the transfer of the money for the purchase of the new rig or two used ones by Commissioner Jennifer Davis. The motion was approved unanimously.

Senator Jim Arnold to Seek Re-Election

Senator Jim Arnold
State Senator Jim Arnold this week announced his intentions to seek re-election in Senate District 8 where he has served since 2007. Arnold currently serves as the Caucus Chair for the Senate Democratic Caucus. In his announcement, Arnold said that he is eager to continue to serve the people of La Porte, Starke and St. Joseph Counties at the Statehouse.

Recently changed during the 2011 redistricting process, Indiana Senate District 8 now encompasses the majority of La Porte County including the City of La Porte and the western part of Michigan City. It also includes Western St. Joseph County and Davis, Oregon, Washington, Center and Jackson Townships in Starke County.

“As a former sheriff, public safety issues have been, and will continue to be, a legislative issue of particular importance to me, “Arnold said.

Senator Arnold resides in La Porte, Indiana, along with his wife Lauren. They have seven children and twelve grandchildren.

Starke United Auction Raises Over $10,000

Starke United
$10,436! That’s the total from the Starke United Radio Auction that took place Friday, Dec. 2, broadcast from the CenturyLink warehouse. Starke United Executive Director Julie Dessauer says she was very pleased with the amount raised.

“We came out approximately $3,000 ahead of last year. Our total came out to about $10,400, which is great,” said Dessauer. “I definitely wanted to make sure that we did some special thank yous for WKVI, first off, Century Link, and Osinski’s Auction Service. Those were our three major components in pulling the auction off, and then of course there was all of the business participants that donated everything.”

And how about those Bears tickets? They brought in almost $600.00 for four tickets. Dessauer was happy with that, partly because she’s a Bears fan.

“They absolutely did, that was wonderful. I know that there was some fighting over them and everybody was really happy to get them,” said Dessauer.

The $50,000 campaign goal is almost in sight, according to Dessauer.

“A typical campaign would close out the end of December. Ours has typically ran a little longer than that,” Dessauer said. “I’m hoping to close out by the end of January, and we are still a little bit shy of the goal so we want to make sure that we do a little boost there and we still have appointments for businesses that want to do an employee campaign.”

Congratulations to Starke United, and a big thank you for the people who have supported the campaign.

Local Nursing Student Receives $1000 in Scholarship Funds

The Legacy of Women organization in Starke County recently awarded scholarship money to local students. The organization’s spokeswoman, Sherri Bartolli, told WKVI more about the funding.

“We have, this Fall, offered scholarship money to women who are going back to school and trying to promote themselves, either in a different career path or going back to school and finishing something that they haven’t been able to since high school. And I do have Rae Humphrey here, she was awarded the most amount of money. We gave her $1000 to apply towards tuition and books or however the school felt that she would need it,” said Bartolli.

Humphrey enrolled in college later in life, but that didn’t put her at a disadvantage.

“I was 44 when I enrolled, and sometimes I was the oldest kid in the class,” she said.

Humphrey says she has always had a passion for the medical profession.

“As a mother, I’ve always taken care of people and nursing fascinates me. I’m always watching medical shows on TV,” laughed Humphrey. “That’s one of my passions.”

Humphrey said she was ecstatic when she won the award, and said it’s going to be put to good use.

Also receiving scholarship money were Kristy Nolcheft in the amount of $750; Dawn Bailey, $500; and Rebbeca Poindexter, $250. This is the first year that the Legacy of Women has distributed money for scholarships.

If you would like more information on how to become a member of the Legacy of Women, contact Sherri Bartolli at the 1st Source Bank office in Knox.

Maxinkuckee Singers to Hold Christmas Spectacular

On Sunday, Dec. 18, the Maxinkuckee Singers are holding their annual Christmas Spectacular and Silent Auction. Gregg Underwood of the Singers told WKVI that the auction has received a lot of support from local businesses and they will be auctioning off about 20 items this year before the concert.

The fundraiser is for the North Judson High School Music and Drama Department, and will start at 3 p.m. with a silent auction in the atrium along with the Madrigals and some of the band members, who will be performing select songs.

At 3:45 p.m., the doors to the main auditorium will open, where a concert will take place at 4 p.m. MC’d by Tom Berg and featuring the Maxinkuckee Singers, the concert is sure to please all in attendance. The Singers will be performing everything from sacred numbers to holiday favorites, and is expected to last about an hour.

Underwood says that the Singers have been together for a very long time, and perform a spring show and a holiday show each year.

The cost is $7 for adults, $5 for children and students, and a $20 special price for families. For more information regarding the event, you can reach Underwood at (574) 772-0911.

Annual Pulaski County Toy Store This Weekend

The Pulaski County Human Services, Inc. are once again holding their annual Toy Store. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 9 a.m. to noon. Donations of toys, winter gear, food, and other items are greatly appreciated, and may be donated to the Pulaski County Human Services prior to the event. Anyone in need that has registered and qualified will get to “shop” on Saturday for items for their children, and those that have not signed up can still drop by and receive the assistance they need.

The Toy Store provides toys, clothes, food, and other items to people that have signed up for assistance for the holidays. Pulaski County Human Services, Inc. have been holding the food store annually for several years, and they don’t plan on stopping.

Elderly Services Specialist Rosetta Podell told WKVI that there are several different ways people can help out with the organization.

“If you’d like to sponsor a family and buy clothes for them, you can contact us and we’ll get you the agents of the children and their clothes sizes. And we can always use monetary donations for our food baskets as well,” Podell said.

Of course, donations aren’t the only thing the organization needs for the Toy Store. Volunteerism is a necessary thing, and Podell says that anyone interested in volunteering is more than welcome to come by.

“We have several people lined up to come, but the more people that we have the more smooth it goes so anybody that would like to stop by, we’ll put them to work!” she said.

Knox VFW, American Legion to Participate in Wreaths Across America

The Knox VFW and American Legion posts will participate Sunday in the Wreaths Across America program. Three wreaths, donated by Hensler Nursery, will be laid at the Courthouse Memorials at 1 p.m. CT. There will be a short ceremony conducted by the veteran’s organizations.

Wreaths Across America is a national campaign to honor our fallen heros, and Knox is one of 545 locations across America that will participate in the program.

Most of wreaths will be laid at Arlington National Cemetery.

2nd Annual Kankakee Valley All-Area Football Team Announced

Kankakee Valley All-Area Football Team

Offensive Line

Jordan Culp-West Central

Danny Francis-John Glenn

Matt Hurford-Culver

Dustin Knapp-North Judson San-Pierre

Brennon Morning-Winamac


Collin Stevens-Culver

Running Back

Josh Anderson-John Glenn

Ethan Biggs-South Central

Tight End

Charlie Dreessen-John Glenn

Wide Receiver

Micah Budzinski-Culver

Erik Beckman-North Judson San-Pierre

Defensive Line

Spencer Dobson-West Central

Dalton Moore-South Central

Tucker Schultz-Culver

Ryan Williams-John Glenn


John Ahlenius-Culver

Kendall Hochstedler-North Judson San-Pierre

Chantz Marlatt-West Central

Hunter McClellan-Knox

Defensive Backs

Michael Hamilton-West Central

Micahel Minix-North Judson San-Pierre

Jon Stewart-John Glenn