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 Awarded Broadband Readiness Planning Grant

OCRA Executive Director Jodi Golden, Starke County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jessica Craig, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Director of Broadband Opportunities Scott Rudd (Photo provided by the Indiana Lieutenant Governor’s Office)

Starke County is getting $50,000 to develop ways to expand broadband access. Starke and Marshall counties were among five rural Indiana communities awarded a Broadband Readiness Planning Grant.

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Knox Schools Superintendent Asks for State Help with Designing Graduation Pathways

Starke County officials listen to a presentation by Indiana Secretary for Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo.

Smaller schools could use some more state help when it comes to designing local graduation pathways. That’s what Knox Schools Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart told Indiana Secretary for Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo last week.

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Knox Redevelopment Pilot Project Aims to Help Revitalize the Downtown Area

A business opportunity is being offered by city officials to help revitalize the downtown area in Knox.

When the City Council met last Thursday, Mayor Dennis Estok shared that the Redevelopment Commission has purchased a building that will be utilized for a proposed pilot program. He said the goal of the program is to provide some incentives to try and induce some business downtown. Continue reading

Knox City Council Holds Public Hearing Over J.W. Hicks Annexation Petition

A public hearing over a petition for annexation was held when Knox City Council members met on Thursday. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Special Projects Coordinator Ron Gifford spoke on the behalf of the petitioner, J.W. Hicks Holding LLC.

Gifford explained that the Hicks organization previously purchased some property on the corner of Pacific Avenue. He said that when the company started looking into potential expansion, some records were reviewed and they discovered the property to the south, formerly the Hewlett property, was never annexed into the city. Continue reading

Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch Visits AREM Lab at Knox Middle School

Instructor Bob Gregor, Lt. Gov Crouch, Students Explaining a Demonstration

Indiana’s Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch got a behind the scenes look at the newest program offered by the SCILL Center. Crouch had a chance to speak with instructors and students about the Automation, Robotics and Equipment Maintenance (AREM) classroom and lab.

Director Ron Gifford explained that this specific program is now in its second year. He mentioned that the program is not only available to high school students, it is also open to adults looking to improve their skills in order to obtain more meaningful employment.

Through OCRA and Department of Education grants as well as contributions from the city of Plymouth and city of Knox, SCILL was able to purchase all the necessary equipment for a total cost of approximately $450,000. Continue reading

Knox City Council Meets Tonight

Knox City Council meets tonight, where members will discuss the replacement of downtown streetlights.

This topic has been talked about during meetings in the past. Mayor Dennis Estok had one experimental bulb installed and has been asking for council feedback about it over the last few months. Council members reported seeing a significant difference in brightness between the old lights and the new bulb.

The council will also hear from Ron Gifford with the Starke County Economic Development Foundation.

The council members will meet in Knox City Hall at 7 p.m. tonight.

Financial Arrangements for Knox Community Center Upgrades to be Considered Tonight

The City of Knox will finalize some of the financial arrangements for the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center renovations. The Knox Community Center Building Corporation will meet tonight at 6:30 to consider a resolution amending the lease and approving the financing. Once that’s complete, the city council will consider its own resolution, during its regular meeting at 7:00.

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North Judson Town Council to Continue Discussing Animal Ordinance

North Judson Council President Wendy Hoppe; Police Officer Frank Thomas; Council Members Josh Brown, John Rowe, Jane Ellen Felchuk, James Young; Town Attorney Justin Schramm, Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins

North Judson’s animal ordinance will continue to be discussed during tonight’s town council meeting. Council members recently decided to enforce the ordinance more strictly, following complaints about chickens and other animals.

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