SCILL Center to Honor Graduating Students

SCILLThe Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning is hosting an award ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of their 2015 class. The program takes place tonight at 1300 Kloeckner Drive in the Knox Industrial Park and will commence at 6 pm (CST) .

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Autopsy Scheduled Today for Explosion Victim

MedaryvilleFire1An autopsy is scheduled today in Lafayette for the victim of a Saturday morning home explosion in northwest Pulaski County. It happened just after 7 a.m. Saturday in the area of 1600 West and 2505 North, according to officials with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department. Continue reading

Area Academic Team Gathers State Championship

North Judson-San Pierre Middle School students participating in the Social Studies Academic Team has a seventh state championship.

The eight-member team recently competed in the Indiana Academic Super Bowl Junior Competition at LaPorte High School on May 2 and answered 21 out of 25 questions correctly. The topic was “The Grandeur that was Rome” which included questions in the areas in Math, Science, Social Studies, and English.

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North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Addresses School Funding Rumors

N.J.-S.P. Superintendent Lynn Johnson asked supporters of the corporation to sign a banner after the school funding presentation as a show of solidarity.

N.J.-S.P. Superintendent Lynn Johnson asked supporters of the corporation to sign a banner after the school funding presentation as a show of solidarity.

North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation officials are eying a local property tax hike to cover operating expenses. A combination of state funding cuts and declining enrollment have cost the corporation a significant amount of money. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says they are not planning to consolidate.

“This is North Judson-San Pierre. It needs to stay North Judson-San Pierre. We’re not going to be absorbed into Knox. That is not true,” Johnson said. Continue reading

Lincoln Funeral Train Commemoration Planned in San Pierre

Abraham LincolnThe unique event of a train stopping in San Pierre in 1865, which carried the coffin of assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, will be remembered in that community with a program this afternoon at 2 p.m.

The Starke County Historical Society will also place a rock monument with an appropriate bronze plaque on the grounds near where the Monon Line railway, which carried the President’s body through northwestern Indiana, once operated. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre School Officials Propose School Funding Referendum

N.J.-S.P. Superintendent Lynn Johnson asked supporters of the corporation to sign a banner after the school funding presentation as a show of solidarity.

N.J.-S.P. Superintendent Lynn Johnson asked supporters of the corporation to sign a banner after the school funding presentation as a show of solidarity.

North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation officials will ask voters to approve a property tax referendum this fall to help fund day-to-day school operations. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says a combination of declining enrollment and state budget cuts have forced the corporation to cut $2.5 million since 2010. She stresses there are no plans to close schools or consolidate with another corporation, despite rumors to the contrary. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre Officials to Discuss Budget Cuts, Funding Challenges Tonight

North Judson-San Pierre High School

The North Judson-San Pierre Fight for Public Education meeting will take place tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium.

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board is looking at painful budget cuts to close the books on the current year and make ends meet next year. Superintendent Lynn Johnson and other officials will explain those in detail during a “fight for public education” forum tonight at the high school auditorium. Johnson says declining enrollment means N.J.-S.P. will not benefit from additional money in the new state budget. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre Students Ready to Rock the ISTEP

ISTEP Crue 1Students at North Judson-San Pierre Elementary are ready to rock the ISTEP. Exams begin this week. On Friday teachers took a break from instruction for fun activities like movies, healthy snacks and class parties. The day was capped off by a rock concert on the high school football field from the ISTEP Crüe. The band consisted of principal Mike McBride, aka James Michaels, on guitar and lead vocals, drummer Tommy Lee Wilbanks, better known to many students as computer teacher Bob Wilbanks, and guidance counselor Chuck Rebeck, moonlighting as Crüe bassist Chucky Sixx. They jammed out to tunes like “Born to Take ISTEP,” “Keep on Testing Me Baby,” “Rock ‘n Roll All Nite (and ISTEP Every Day) and the always popular “Takin’ Care of ISTEP Business.” Continue reading

Starke County to Celebrate Lincoln Funeral Train Anniversary

Abraham LincolnThe western Starke County community of San Pierre will be the focus of area attention the afternoon of  Saturday, May 2nd. Starke County’s Historical Society has planned a program to commemorate the travel of President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train through the area on May 1, 1865. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre High School Graduation Rate Soars

 The North Judson-San Pierre High School principal attributes the uptick in the graduation rate at the corporation to the efforts of determined students, staff, and counselors.

The rate has only gone up slightly each year for the past few years, but Annette Zupin told the school board this week that it means a lot to see students improve. Zupin believes an 11 percent increase in the graduation rate between 2013 and 2014 is due to the determination of students to graduate. The graduation rate was at 84.7 percent in 2013 and 95.8 percent in 2014. The school board members are hoping for the same or better results this year.  Continue reading

Summer School Classes Approved for North Judson-San Pierre Students

North Judson-San Pierre High School

North Judson-San Pierre High School

North Judson-San Pierre students can attend summer school classes that have been offered in the past, or they can take new classes.

Superintendent Lynn Johnson said summer school classes will be meet Monday through Thursday starting June 8th and continuing through June 25th.

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North Judson-San Pierre School Board Bracing for More Funding Cuts

The state legislature hopes to give more funding for schools, but according to North Judson-San Pierre Schools Superintendent Lynn Johnson her corporation will still see a cut in funding.

She says the schools that are growing, or increasing in enrollment, will see an increase in funding. She explained to the North Judson-San Pierre School Board last night that the corporation’s enrollment is declining which means a cut in funding.

The House and Senate are still attempting to finalize a budget. The House has its school funding plan while the Senate plan differs in numbers. Either way, Johnson said, the school corporation will not see an increase in its budget.

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Medaryville Home Sustains Damage in Fire

The Medaryville Fire Department fought a brush and house fire this afternoon.

Medaryville Fire Chief Shaun Hauptli told WKVI News that the fire started as a neighbor was burning brush at 14715 W. 450 N. in Medaryville. The pile was left unattended. The wind picked up and spread the fire to the home of Charlotte Stoner. The home sustained water and smoke damage along with structure damage to the second story, mainly contained to the roof.

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Starke County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Winner Announced

Joshua Mullens

Joshua Mullens

The Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. has selected Starke County’s 2015 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.

North Judson-San Pierre High School senior Joshua Mullens will receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to an Indiana college of his choice and a $900 yearly stipend for books and equipment.

Mullens is a member of the National Honor Society and a four-year member of the basketball team. Mullens is the part of the North Judson United Methodist Church media team and volunteers with local blood drives. He plans to study chemical engineering in college.

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Academic Decathlon Students to be Honored at NJSP School Board Meeting

North Judson-San Pierre Admin building

North Judson-San Piere Central Office

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board will be honoring seven students for their accomplishments in the recent Academic Decathlon.

The group finished fourth in the small school division. Nick Sierzputowski finished third overall in the individual competition while Jayden Ford had with the top Math score. The board members will take the time to recognize those students along with Tyler Lee, Suleman Khan, Jarrod Jones, Jacob Dessauer and Carrie Hileman for their efforts in the Academic Decathlon.

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Smoke Detectors Available from Community Services of Starke County

Smoke DetectorA local nonprofit agency has smoke detectors available for families in need of the potentially life-saving devices. Community Services of Starke County Executive Director Joan Haugh says a couple of recent fire fatalities got her to thinking.

“I just felt we could save a life or two if we made sure every home had a smoke alarm – a working smoke alarm or sometimes two. So we applied to State Farm because they had a safety grant, and they awarded me some funds to purchase smoke detectors,” Haugh said. Continue reading

One-Time Energy Assistance Available to Struggling Citizens

$Applications for the Energy Assistance Program can still be submitted for a one-time benefit on electric and heating bills. North Central Community Action Agencies, Pulaski County Human Services, and Community Services of Starke County began taking applications for LaPorte, Pulaski and Starke residents in November. Applications will continue to be accepted until all funds are obligated.

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Good News for Job Seekers Surfaces out of the 2014 Workforce Summit

The Northwest Indiana Workforce Board hosted this year’s Workforce Summit in Merrillville. The most pressing piece of information to surface from this year’s summit was the state of Starke County’s unemployment rate. Continue reading

North Judson-San Pierre Students Stage Sit-In

Save The Band Room

North Judson-San Pierre students staged a sit-in to protest the relocation of the band room to the auditorium.

Students at North Judson-San Pierre High School staged a sit-in today to protest the school’s decision to move the band to the auditorium and turn the music suite into a weight room. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says in a letter to choral and band parents “the intention is not to devalue music.” She says the existing second floor weight room behind the bleachers is no longer structurally sound and must be located on the ground level. Johnson adds major renovations are not possible at this time due to financial concerns.

Her letter explains physical education is a required course of study for high school students, and the curriculum includes physical conditioning. Johnson says “this means all high school students use the weight room, not just athletes”.

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Pence Education Agenda Draws Mixed Reviews

North Judson-San Pierre Admin buildingGov. Mike Pence’s education agenda for the upcoming legislative session draws mixed reviews from a local school administrator who is looking to the General Assembly for meaningful reform. North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Lynn Johnson agrees with some of the things the governor is suggesting, such as accountability that takes into account student growth.

The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation has lost millions of dollars due over the past several years due to a combination of state funding cuts, declining enrollment and unfunded mandates. During a Tuesday night public forum, Johnson said the legislature needs to increase the amount of money it pays corporations per enrolled student. That’s also among the items on Pence’s agenda. Continue reading