Today's News

N.J.-S.P. Faces Additional Budget Cuts

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert
Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board will need to reduce their budget even further.

According to North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Lynn Johnson, a decrease in enrollment will cause deeper cuts.  She said the average daily membership has decreased by 40 students.

Earlier this year the board cut $1 million from the budget, and more cuts are forthcoming. Johnson did not elaborate on where those cuts will occur.

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Starke County Economic Development Foundation Hosting Manufacturers Day Event

Students from Starke County’s three school corporations will get a firsthand look at local job opportunities during the upcoming Manufacturers Day at Knox Middle School. The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is bringing together 7th grade students and representatives from local industries and SCILL on Thursday, Oct. 2. They will have displays of what their company manufacturers, the skills and training required for each job at the company and the kinds of jobs they have and will also be available to answer questions. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Moves Forward with New Office Building

The former First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street in North Judson will soon be the town hall.

The former First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street in North Judson will soon be the town hall.

The North Judson Town offices will soon be in a new location. The town council has finalized paperwork on the former First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street that was donated to the town back in August. The plan is to be moved in to the new town hall by the end of the year. It will house the water department and clerk treasurer’s offices and serve as meeting space for the town council. It will provide more space for the employees and for meeting purposes. Continue reading

Starke County Sheriff’s Department Warns of Scam

If you get a call from a relative requesting bail money, make sure the person is really in jail before you rush to their aid. Officials with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department say scammers are preying on local residents in an attempt to swindle money from them. The caller tells the potential victim they need money to get out of jail and will pay them back when they go to court. Continue reading

Starke County Park Board Appointments Expected Tonight

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Council and Commissioners are expected to make their appointments to the county park and recreation board at their respective meetings this evening. The council gets two appointments, one Democrat and one Republican. The commissioners get one appointment, and it is not restricted by political party affiliation. Continue reading

Starke County Sees Spike in Workers’ Compensation Premiums

starke-county-courthouseWorkers’ compensation insurance premiums for Starke County employees have spiked for the coming year. The annual increase of nearly $60,000 is blamed on the county’s prior claims history. Premiums are determined based on three years worth of data. Continue reading

IU Health LaPorte and Starke Hospitals Searching for New Strategic Partner

IU HealthIU Health officials are looking for a new strategic partner to serve the health care needs of Starke and LaPorte Counties. Leadership  has decided that’s the best approach to create the strongest strategy going forward, according to a news release. IU Health LaPorte Hospital President and CEO G. Thor Thordarson said in a statement, “We have a strong plan for taking care of our community that includes investing in new facilities, best people, and leading-edge technology. We will work with an organization that is as dedicated as we are to this mission.”

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Nominate a Candidate for the Henry F. Schricker Award

Henry Schricker

Henry F. Schricker

Nominations for the coveted Henry F. Schricker award are being accepted until Tuesday, Sept. 30.

The award is given to a Starke County resident who has shown that he or she has put “service before self”. That was the motto of former governor Henry F. Schricker who exemplified that action while in office and as a upstanding resident of Starke County.

The Starke County Chamber of Commerce will review all submissions and a committee of former award winners will select this year’s recipient. A nomination form is available on the Starke County Chamber’s website at www.starkecountychamber.com. Include the qualities and deeds of your nominee. The entry should include the person’s voluntary contributions and benefits to Starke County.

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Blue Star Mothers Honoring Veterans in Weekend Event

Senator Joe Donnelly and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski will be honoring area veterans along with Blue Star Mothers this coming weekend.

A parade will be organized for veterans and their families to assemble behind Five Star at 8 a.m CDT. The start time for the parade is 10 a.m. and will run from Five Star to the courthouse.

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Prepare for Possible Severe Weather

Strong storms packing high winds are possible across the Kankakee Valley today. Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti says the full oliage on the trees will cause them to act like kites and blow in the wind. As a result, the potential for lost power will be high. Continue reading

Starke County Highway Department Finishes Bridge Maintenance

Starke County Highway Department workers add rip rap to bridges.

Starke County Highway Department workers add rip rap to bridges.

Starke County’s annual bridge maintenance program is almost complete. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says the county is awaiting the final inspection on each of the 58 bridges. Crews cleaned the deck and drains on each bridge, sealed all of the concrete decks, made minor repairs and added rip rap to about half of the structures to help prevent erosion. Once the inspections are complete a full report will be posted on the county’s website.

 

 

 

Gary Chavez to Appear in Court for Hearing

  Gary Chavez will appear in Starke Circuit Court this morning for an attorney status hearing.

Chavez last appeared in court for an initial hearing on Aug. 25 where he pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping and carjacking. He appeared without an attorney but stated that his family was working on getting an attorney to represent him. Today’s hearing will determine where that process stands.

Chavez, 57, is accused of beating his estranged wife, Kimberly Chavez, to death at his home in Knox, kidnapping an employee at gunpoint and fleeing in a vehicle from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center in North Judson and carjacking a vehicle from a residence in English Lake at gunpoint on June 6.

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Road Maintenance Continuing in Starke County

Starke County Highway Department crews are busy this week re-stoning gravel roads.

Starke County Highway Department crews are busy this week re-stoning gravel roads.

The Starke County Highway Department is on pace to meet and possibly exceed its road improvement goals for the year. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says they paved 10 miles of roadway in August at a cost of slightly more than $21,000 per mile. He says they may add to that total by the end of September. Continue reading

Endowment Fund Established for Starke County Youth Club

The Starke County Youth Club is the recipient of a $5,000 Sustainability Fund grant from the Northern Indiana Community Foundation. SCYC Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says the money will be used to establish an endowment to support the youth club’s work and mission. Funds in the endowment are invested, and a portion of the interest comes back to the organization each year to help offset operating expenses. Continue reading

Starke County Highway Department Preparing for Winter Weather

 Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler is shopping for less expensive road salt to use this winter. He told the county commissioners he’s already got one contract in place through the state bid process but is attempting to negotiate better prices with other suppliers who lost out on the state bid. Continue reading

Planning Commission Working to Rid County of Unsafe Structures

The Starke County Planning Commission is busy ridding the county of blighted and vacant homes. In the past four months, 18 enforcement letters have been sent out for unsafe structures, and 15 property owners have taken care of the problems themselves. The county will demolish three unsafe structures. Of those, two are already down. Dirtworks Excavating, J.D. Excavating and Pioneer Excavating have each volunteered to demolish one structure at no cost to the county. Planning Commission President Dennis Estok is pleased with the process.

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Open House Scheduled for New Maintenance Building in North Judson

The North Judson Town Council announced that the new town maintenance building is complete. An open house for the public to visit the new building is scheduled Thursday Sept. 25th from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at 710 Railroad Street.

In other news from North Judson, lightning from the Aug. 21st storm caused some damage at the water, police and town office buildings. Some equipment needs to be replaced, and that information will be turned in to the town’s insurance company. Town Marshal Doug Vessely also submitted quotes to replace computers in the police vehicles. Of the $4,430 cost $2000 will come from the police training account and $2,430 will come from the rainy day fund. The council also approved a purchase order for the park to remove seven trees and stumps for a total of $1,400.

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Walorski Tours SCILL Center Welding Lab

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski toured the SCILL Center welding lab and met with students, instructors, Knox Community School Corporation officials and industry leaders.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski toured the SCILL Center welding lab and met with students, instructors, Knox Community School Corporation officials and industry leaders.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski is impressed with the workforce training that’s taking place at the SCILL Center welding lab. She stopped there yesterday as part of her district-wide education tour. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Set EMS Interview Date

The Starke County Commissioners plan to interview six applicants for the EMS director position on Tuesday, Sept. 23. All six either live in Starke County or work for Starke County EMS. Other applicants will be considered as part of a secondary list. Continue reading