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

N.J.-S.P. Officials Looking to Legislature for Education Reform

North Judson-San Pierre Admin buildingA combination of declining enrollment, cuts in state funding and unfunded service mandates has North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation officials facing some difficult choices. They’ve already had to cut $800,000 from their budget this school year. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says eight staff members have been notified they will not have jobs after the school year ends. She says the corporation is looking to the Indiana General Assembly for meaningful education reform when the legislature convenes in January. Continue reading

Recount Commission Reaffirms Vote Totals

Starke County IT Director Joe Short, Democrat James A. Henriott and Republican Marilyn Folkers review vote totals in the two races in which challenges were filed.

Starke County IT Director Joe Short, Democrat James A. Henriott and Republican Marilyn Folkers review vote totals in the two races in which challenges were filed.

The three-member commission charged with reviewing vote totals in two close Starke County races found no discrepancies in either contest. The certificate they will file with the Starke County Clerk’s office finds Democrat Pamela Stalbaum beat Republican Don White by two votes in the fourth district county council race. By the numbers, Stalbaum got 707 votes to White’s 705 for the seat currently held by Marvin McLaughlin. Continue reading

Recount Commission Members to Meet Today

The three-member recount commission appointed last week by Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall to review the votes cast in two recent General Election contests will meet this morning at the courthouse. They’re looking into the outcome of the fourth district county council race between Democrat Pam Stalbaum and Republican Don White. The Republican Party filed a recount petition on White’s behalf after Stalbaum eked out a two-vote victory in the race to succeed Democrat Marvin McLaughlin. Incumbent Railroad Township Trustee Roger Chaffins, Sr. also filed a petition for a recount after losing to Republican Mandy Thompson by three votes. Continue reading

Pay it Forward on Giving Tuesday

Get into the spirit of the holiday season tomorrow with Giving Tuesday. Starke County Youth Club Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says the local nonprofit has joined the movement.

“It really does inspire people to take action for their local community to give, whether it’s giving a gift of money, of time, of making a donation of another sort,”Szarconyi  said. “We really want to encourage and join what is now actually a global movement to give on Giving Tuesday, which is Dec. 2nd.” Continue reading

Judge Appoints Recount Commission Members

Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall has appointed a three-member recount commission to review the votes cast in two recent General Election contests. A petition seeking a recount was filed in the fourth district council race on behalf of Republican Don White, who lost to Democrat Pamela Stalbaum by two votes in the race to succeed Marvin McLaughlin. Incumbent Railroad Township Trustee Roger Chaffins, Sr. also filed a petition for a recount after losing to Republican Mandy Thompson by three votes. Continue reading

Voting Machines and Ballots Impounded, Judge Considering Recount Commission Members

The voting machines and ballots from the four Wayne and lone Railroad Township Precincts in the Nov. 4 General Election have been impounded to facilitate recounts in two very close races. Republican Party officials sought a recount on behalf of 4th District Council candidate Don White. He lost to Democrat Pamela Stalbaum by two votes in the race to succeed Marvin McLaughlin. That seat represents Wayne and Railroad Townships.

Incumbent Democrat Railroad Township Trustee Roger Chaffins Sr. has also filed a recount petition in his race. He lost to Republican Mandy Thompson by three votes. Continue reading

Two Recount Petitions Filed in Starke County

The fate of two contested races in the November General Election is in the hands of the Starke Circuit Court. Starke County Republican Party Chair Brenda Stanojevic filed a recount petition in the 4th District Council seat on behalf of candidate Don White. Democrat Pam Stalbaum edged him by two votes in the contest for the open seat currently held by Marvin McLaughlin. That district is comprised of the four Wayne Township precincts as well as the one in Railroad Township. Incumbent Democrat Railroad Township Trustee Roger Chaffins Sr. is also seeking a recount after losing to Republican Mandy Thompson by three votes.

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North Judson-San Pierre School Board to Discuss Balanced Calendar

TCalendarhe North Judson-San Pierre School Board will discuss several items tonight when they meet in the central office at 7 p.m. CT.

The balanced calendar will be discussed. Superintendent Lynn Johnson has previously stated that the calendars need to be similar with Knox and Oregon-Davis to accommodate students in the JESSE and vocational cooperative programs. Corporations normally adopt school calendars by January and the school board could adopt a calendar tonight.

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