Group of Starke County Justice Center Trustees to Begin Welding Program Today

Starting today, a handful of Starke County Justice Center trustees will be attending 12 weeks of welding training, with the opportunity to receive certification.

Program officials who were interviewed about this opportunity indicated that the training is being offered to not only give offenders a chance to prove their commitment to recovery and rehabilitation, but to also benefit the community.

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Starke County Wants to be Designated a Regional Stellar Community and Officials Are Taking Steps to Get There

What will it take for Starke County to be designated a Regional Stellar Community?

That is the question that was answered Thursday night when various county, city and town officials met at the Starke County Economic Development Foundation Office to find out what steps they can start taking in order to submit a competitive application in the future. Continue reading

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Appoints Larry Wickert As Executive Director

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Larry Wickert (SCEDF Photo)

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation has decided to keep Larry Wickert as its executive director. Wickert has been serving as interim executive director since the beginning of the year. Now, the foundation’s board of directors has decided to make his appointment permenant, according to a press release issued Wednesday.

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NJ Town Council Members to Discuss Cemetery Mowing Ad and Amended Salary Ordinance Tonight

North Judson Town Council members will discuss the cemetery mowing advertisement when they meeting tonight.

Members will also hold the second reading over an amended salary ordinance. At the final meeting in February, members held the first reading over a salary ordinance that would not include a 3 percent raise for the town council members.

At the beginning of the year, members signed off on a salary ordinance that essentially gave a 3 percent raise across the board. However, Town Attorney Justin Schramm explained that since the salary ordinance was approved in January of 2018, the members couldn’t approve a raise for themselves since it wouldn’t look good to the State Board of Accounts to approve a raise in the same year it is given. Continue reading

Starke County Council Tables Payment to U.S. 30 Coalition

The Starke County Council members want more information about what will be offered to Starke County in the proposed U.S. 30 freeway project before they pay $10,000 toward consultation fees for coalition efforts.

Councilman Dave Pearman asked Larry Wickert from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation about the payment as it was requested. The funds would come out of the commissioner’s County Economic Development Income Tax Fund. Wickert explained that six out of the seven counties involved in the proposed U.S. 30 project pay into the coalition. La Porte County is the only county that doesn’t pay. Wickert believes that U.S. 30 would stay rural in La Porte County and not see an impact. The county has the toll road for a focus.

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Production to Start Soon at Gary Poppins


Production should start soon at the Gary Poppins factory at the corner of U.S. 35 and 250 North, north of Knox.

Larry Wickert from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation updated the Starke County Council last week that the delivery of equipment was delayed. The initial date was Nov. 1, but that has since been postponed to Feb. 1. Wickert said the company has hired a manager who now lives in Starke County.

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North Judson Town Council Meets Tonight

The North Judson Town Council will receive a presentation from Larry Wickert, Board President of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, when they meet tonight.

The council members will revisit their discussion of town employee health insurance renewal.At their last meeting, their insurance broker John Howard presented them with a packet that they agreed to review and further discuss at tonight’s meeting.

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West Side of North Judson Proposed as Ideal Spot for Future Industrial Development

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Board President Larry Wickert provided the North Judson Town Council with a report when they met earlier this week.

Wickert’s report began with an update about the SCEDF Ag-Initiative. He said as a part of the initiative to advance agriculture industry in the area, foundation representatives have been researching alternative crop options that would be more profitable for local producers. Continue reading