Today's News

Protect Against Identity Theft With a Credit Freeze

Credit FreezeHoosiers can protect themselves from identity thieves by activating a credit freeze. Also known as a security freeze, it keeps new creditors from accessing your credit report without your permission. This will prevent an identity thief from opening a credit card or other account in your name, even if he or she has your Social Security number or other personal information. Continue reading

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Violence AwarenessDating relationships should not hurt. February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, the goal of which is to raise awareness of unhealthy behavior patterns used to exert power and control over a partner. Abuse can be physical, verbal or emotional and may include checking your cell phone or email without your permission, constantly putting you down, extreme jealousy or insecurity, possessiveness, an explosive temper, mood swings and telling you what to do. Continue reading

Area Students to Take Shortened ISTEP Exam Next Week

 This year’s shortened ISTEP exam will be taken at all of the local schools next week. The test window begins today.

Governor Mike Pence signed into law SEA 62, the bill that allows the Indiana Department of Education to shorten this year’s ISTEP test. The test would have been more than 12 hours for third grade students.

The test will begin on Monday at most schools and Tuesday at others. Students will be tested in the next two weeks. The window closes March 11.

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West Central Students Participating in FFA Week

West Central FFA students are getting in the spirit of educating others about FFA.

FFA Leader Shaw Haselby told WKVI News that the students have been participating in spirit days. Today is Denim Day while tomorrow the students will be driving their tractors to school. Friday is Cowboy/Western Day.

Haselby says FFA is vital in giving students information about agriculture, but also public speaking, leadership skills, and other experiences to promote agriculture.

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Daylight Saving Time Begins March 8

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 8 at 2 a.m. local time. Before you go to bed on March 7, make sure that you set your clock ahead one hour or move it ahead one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal encourages residents to change the batteries in smoke detectors when the time is changed. It serves as a reminder to make sure fresh batteries are installed as they should be changed twice a year.

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Sunday Alcohol Sales Bill Could Soon Receive Vote

DermodyA bill designed to allow the Sunday sale of alcohol for carry-out could soon be getting a vote.

Indiana is among a dwindling number of states that prevents alcohol sales on Sunday. House Bill 1624 was filed by Republican State Representative Tom Dermody – who’s Public Policy Committee reviewed the measure.
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West Central School Board Holds Work Session

The West Central School Board held a work session last week to look at the corporation’s strategic plan.

Superintendent Don Street said a presentation of the progression of the one-to-one technology program was given which led into the discussion of e-learning days. Street said the state has approved the corporation’s request to make up missed school days on Saturdays.

“Our first one is March 14 and a few will be held in April as opposed to adding those days on at the end of the year. This will make it a more meaningful and educationally related to our students,” said Street.

The students will receive assignments on Friday which will be due on Monday. The Board also discussed how the staff will prepare for e-learning days.

Principal Patrick Culp discussed a change in classes at the middle school level.

“We’re currently on a four-period day. We would be dividing a couple of those periods up for English and Mathematics. We would go to an eight-period day where those students would get instruction for 40 minutes and go into a lab setting for 40 minutes to get extra assistance if needed.”

More advanced learners would get more challenging assignments during that lab time.

No final decisions were made, but information from the work session will be presented at the March board meeting for approval.

West Central School Board Reviews Capital Projects Plan

The West Central School Board members discussed their capital projects plan during a work session last week.

Superintendent Don Street said that one focus in the next three years will be work at the high school.

“It’s kind of an aging building so we discussed sewer drains, water lines, water, electric panels, lighting, windows, doors, security, restrooms, storage, locker rooms, sidewalks, and fitness facilities were all discussed. We’ll come back to this later in the spring and review many of those items that we see as a need for the future,” said Street.

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Police Warn of IRS Scams

Scammers claiming to be IRS agents are attempting to separate unsuspecting people from their money. That was the case recently in LaPorte, where a woman was swindled out of $600. She told police a man at “Russ Card Live” identified himself as an IRS agent, told her she was being sued and she needed to send $600 via Money Gram pre-paid card to an address in California. Continue reading

Improvements are Being Made at Pulaski County Highway Department

Pulaski County Commissioners (L to R) Bud Krohn, Jr., Terry Young and Larry Brady

Pulaski County Commissioners (L to R) Bud Krohn, Jr., Terry Young and Larry Brady

The Pulaski County Commissioners said communication is getting better between the board members and the highway department.

It was announced in January that things needed to be changed at the highway department. The commissioners last week said the main issues were communication, and how to deal with problems and the policy book. That was according to Commissioner Terry Young, who spoke on behalf of the commissioners when the question was posed.

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Pulaski County Chamber Announces H.J. Halleck Award Winner

A Winamac High School graduate has been named as this year’s Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce’s H.J. Halleck Award winner.

Judy Stinemetz will be recognized for her many years of dedicated service at Pulaski Memorial Hospital, where she worked as the dietary manager for 37 years. She is a volunteer at Pulaski Human Services where she is the food pantry organizer and is in charge of the mobile food pantry. She has also organized the Women of the Moose in Winamac and holds many fundraisers for the community. Among her other community efforts include her assistance on Election Day, memberships with the Cystic Fibrosis Organization in Pulaski County and the State Board of Dietary Managers, pack-a-backpack, and other fundraisers.

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Pulaski County Health Department Receives Grant

The Pulaski County Health Department received a reimbursable grant for supplies in the office.

Sherry Fagner told the commissioners this week that the State Department of Health Public Preparedness Base Grant is worth $13,460.

“We’re doing some updated packet printing for our partners. As far as supplies, we kind of have a lot of different things on there to update our Go Kits for our partners and to support a POD or any other event that we have to do,” explained Fagner.

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Department of Education Issues New ISTEP Requirements

Calls for reduced test times have prompted the Indiana Department of Education to issue guidance eliminating certain questions from the ISTEP test.

The reductions come shortly after new rules were adopted by the Indiana General Assembly. Those alterations, however, come close to the actual testing dates.
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Potential Seminar Works To Give Veterans Transition Training

 WorkOne in Plymouth is working to get veterans the services they need to find work and transition back to civilian life.

Interest is being gathered to help host the seminar in the area. According to a press release, WorkOne is hoping to help veterans cope with change, resume preparation, and networking.
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Repairs Almost Done at Justice Center, Focus Turns to Courthouse

Pulaski County CourthouseThe long-awaited repairs at the Pulaski County Justice Center are nearly complete.

Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston told the commissioners this week that the water softeners and the water heaters are installed, and all of the old units have been hauled away. Johnston said the HVAC systems should arrive this week or next week. He will coordinate with offices in the justice center for that equipment to be properly installed. The new control system will be added after that, but Johnston said that could be a while yet.

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Wind Chill Advisory Issued for Kankakee Valley

cold temperaturesA wind chill advisory remains in effect for the Kankakee Valley until 11 Eastern, 10 Central. Dangerous wind chills of between 10 and 25 below zero are expected due to a combination of very cold air and strong winds. Bundle up if you do go out, as hypothermia can occur quickly. Area schools have delayed the start of classes this morning as a result of the cold temperatures. Find a complete list at


Continuing Cold Leads to State Homeland Security Recommendations

First FEMA, and now the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is advising against being out in the bitter cold.

Wind Chill readings were expected to be in the double-digits below zero. Cold weather moved into the area yesterday, but will continue through midday. Wind gusts may not be helping matters, but the IDHS says they are urging residents to take precautions against the cold.
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Pulaski County Murder Defendant Due Back in Court in April

Paul Katschke

Paul Katschke

The final pretrial conference for a Denham man who is accused of killing his live-in girlfriend is scheduled April 9 in Pulaski Circuit Court. Paul Katschke is charged with murder in connection with the Aug. 11 death of Amber Renee Taylor, 34. Pulaski County Sheriff’s Deputies and first responders found her dead at the couple’s home after receiving a 911 call about a dead, 30-something-year-old woman. Continue reading

Pulaski County Sheriff Updates Commissioners on Random Drug Tests, Military Equipment

Pulaski County Justice Center

Pulaski County Justice Center

A random drug test recently done on work release inmates at the Pulaski County Jail found positive results on five out of the six tested, according to Sheriff Jeff Richwine, who reported that to the commissioners this week.

“The stuff that’s getting in the back of that jail is getting there two ways: work release or employees. This time it was work release. None of it got back, but these guys, when they were at work, were taking drugs,” said Sheriff Richwine.

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