Knox, Francesville Businesses Receive USDA Funding for Energy-Efficiency Upgrades

A number of farmers and rural businesses will be able to lower their energy costs, thanks to funding from the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program. Locally, N&L Pork near Knox will get $20,000 to buy and install a 111-kilowatt solar array. The USDA says that will save enough energy to power 14 homes a year and lower the business’s annual energy costs by more than $15,000.

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Pulaski County Sheriff Hopes USDA Grant Could Bring Body Scanner to County Jail

A potentially life-saving piece of equipment may soon be within reach for the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Jeff Richwine told the county commissioners Monday that he recently learned about grant opportunities from the USDA for equipment purchases. He hopes to possibly use some of that funding to get a body scanner for the jail.

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USDA Financial Assistance Available to Rural Homeowners Highlighted by NJ Town Superintendent

Through the USDA’s Rural Housing and Repair Loans and Grants program, assistance can be provided to very low-income homeowners to help repair, improve and modernize homes or remove health and safety hazards from rural dwellings.

North Judson Utility Superintendent Marshall Horstmann highlighted this opportunity at Monday’s town council meeting and provided members with some additional information about the terms. Continue reading

Summer Food Service Program Sites for Starke and Pulaski Counties

More than 250 Indiana schools and community sponsors will be kicking off their Food Summer Service Programs this week, with a number of local sites included.

June is the busiest month for the program since many families begin seeking additional nutrition assistance in the summertime. For that reason, Governor Eric Holcomb issued a statewide proclamation, declaring the week of June 4th through the 8th Summer Food Service Program week.

For more than 40 years, the program has provided eligible children and teens ages 18 and under with access to free, nutritious meals and snacks during the summer months. Last year, more than 3 million meals were delivered across the state. This year there are various sites set up across Starke and Pulaski County to help hungry kids here in our community. Continue reading

Knox Mayor Provides Update About Reducing the Scope of the Wastewater Treatment Plant Rehabilitation Project

Knox Mayor Dennis Estok provided a brief update about the city’s wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation project when city council members met last Tuesday.

Mayor Estok explained that the city was initially trying to obtain a USDA grant. However, that grant was not received and the project had to be reworked to be more financially feasible. Continue reading

Knox Set to Proceed with Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Funding

The City of Knox is ready to apply for a federal grant and loan to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant.

Much of the infrastructure is more than 20 years old and no longer runs efficiently. At a minimum the city is looking at upgrades to the headworks to better deal with grit removal and screening. The necessary equipment carries an estimated cost of $500,000, according to a study done last year for the city. Improvements to the aeration side of the plant are also proposed. Continue reading

Pulaski Commissioners Show Support for Federal PMH Financing


The Pulaski County Commissioners have provided a letter of support for a project upgrading Pulaski Memorial Hospital.

Officials have already sought special financing from the county to help pay for certain upgrades in the form of a storage facility and upgrades to the parking lot. This is only one part of the project, according to discussion during Monday night’s Commissioner’s meeting.

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USDA Approves State’s Request for Secretarial Disaster Declaration

Crop lossFarmers throughout the state who suffered crop losses due to excessive rainfall can apply for low-interest emergency loans from the federal government. The U.S. Department of Agriculture yesterday approved a secretarial disaster declaration for 53 of Indiana’s 92 counties. Gov. Mike Pence, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellsperman and Indiana Farm Service Agency Executive Director Julia A. Wickard made the request in late July after farmers suffered significant crop damage and losses as a result of flooding and excessive rain that started May 1st. Continue reading

N.J.-S.P. Hosts Summer Food Service Program

NJ-SP ElementaryThe North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation will take part in the federal summer food service program this year. Free breakfast and lunch will be available to all children through age 18 each Monday through Thursday from June 9 through 26. Food will also be served to adults who are enrolled in a state approved education program for the mentally or physically disabled. All meals will be served at the North Judson-San Pierre Elementary School cafeteria. Breakfast will be offered from 7:30 until 8 a.m. daily. Lunch will be served from 11:15 a.m. until noon. Adults may eat there for a nominal charge. Adult breakfasts cost $1, and lunches are $2.