Today's News

SCEDF Executive Director Joins IEDC Board

Charles Weaver

Charles Weaver

Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) Executive Director Charles Weaver is now on the board of the Indiana Economic Development Association (IEDA).

Weaver joined a board composed of 14 members from Indiana where he and his fellow board members can review legislation that is being considered by the General Assembly and its potential impact on economic development efforts.

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Starke Council Approves Appropriation Requests

Charles Weaver

Charles Weaver

The Starke County Council approved a number of appropriation requests at their meeting Monday night, including a request from Charles Weaver, executive director of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. Weaver approached the council and requested an appropriation of $1,035,000 to fund a number of county projects. The commissioners gave the request their approval, and the council approved a motion to appropriate the funds.

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Starke Commissioners Table CEDIT Appropriations

Charles Weaver

Charles Weaver

The Starke County Commissioners on Monday morning were forced to table a discussion item until the next meeting because Commissioner Kent Danford was absent, and Commissioner Jennifer Davis could not act on the item due to a possible conflict of interest.

Charles Weaver, executive director of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, approached the commissioners requesting they authorize the annual CEDIT appropriations to be submitted to the county council. Weaver said half of the CEDIT funds will go toward bridges, one-eighth will go to the commissioners and three-eighths will go to the Economic Development Fund.

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Knox City Council Approves Additional CR300E Project Expense

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council this week approved a motion declaring the County Road 300 East reconstruction endeavor as a economic development project to allow the city to pay for an unexpected expense out of the County Economic Development Income Tax Fund. Charles Weaver, executive director of the Starke County Economic Development Commission, approached the council and explained that part of the reconstruction of County Road 300 East from Culver Road to west of the city, a number of fire hydrants will have to be relocated.

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Demolition in Knox Going Smoothly, Said SCEDF Director

Charles Weaver

Charles Weaver

The demolition of the structures previously located at 2 and 4 N. Main St. in Knox is going well, according to the executive director of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. Charles Weaver told WKVI that there have not been any issues that have developed and the demolition is going smoothly, despite the workers taking a few days off last week to handle other items.

“The demolition has been going very well. We’re pleased with the progress that has been made; we’re pleased that the outside wall, specifically the north wall, was taken down without any damage to the adjoining remaining structure. The sidewalks have been protected during demolition; the little ornamental trees have been protected during the demolition, so we’re very pleased with what’s going on so far,” Weaver explained.

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Stelrema Building Falling Into Disrepair; Prospects Wanted

After being abandoned due to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the old Stelrema building is slowly falling into disrepair, but Charles Weaver, executive director of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, is working hard to find prospects to take the building over and pay back some $400,000 in property taxes.

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Knox City Council Receives Updates on SCEDF Projects

Charles Weaver

Charles Weaver

The Knox City Council this week received an update on the projects being undertaken by the Starke County Economic Development Foundation from CharlesWeaver and Bill Sonnemaker. Weaver explained that the County Road 300 East rebuild project is moving along smoothly, and they are just about finished on land purchases.

Weaver explained that it doesn’t appear that the project will require any imminent domain acquirements, and they are now on track for a Feb. 14 project bid letting. Hopefully, Weaver said, this project will be done during the construction season in 2014.

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Starke Commissioners Approve Imminent Domain Acquisition for Project

Charles Weaver

Charles Weaver

After a lengthy discussion and with some hesitation, the Starke County Commissioners yesterday gave their unanimous approval to allow Lawson Fisher Associates, a civil engineering company from South Bend, to pursue land acquisition through imminent domain for a county project.

Charles Weaver, the executive director of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, approached the commissioners with an update on the County Road 300 East and State Road 8 project. Weaver explained the project, which is essentially a reconstruction project, began several years ago with a request to INDOT to help fund the work, which he said aims to accommodate a larger amount of trucks in that area. He said it became a safety issue because of the increased amount of traffic, and in order to allow for greater economic growth, that bottleneck needs to be rectified.

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Dembowski Awarded Robert E. Hamilton Award

Nancy Dembowski was presented with the award by Bill Sonnermaker.

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation honored three companies who have opened operations in Starke County over the past year during their “Prospectus and Achievements Night” on Dec. 5. Kemin Industries, Inc.; Chester, Inc., Ag Services Division; and Selected Furniture, LLC were honored along with two companies who announced plans to expand operations in the county: American Oak Preserving Company and Knox Fertilizer. Executive Director Charles Weaver also gave a report on the economic development highlights of 2012 and what might be expected in 2013 for Starke County.

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Kokomo Company Salvaging Items From Old SCEDF Building

Knox residents may have noticed a construction team working on the old movie theater building on Main Street, but don’t worry – that building isn’t being torn down yet.

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charles Weaver told WKVI that a well-known Kokomo company has expressed interest in removing salvageable items from within the building at 4 N. Main Street, which was once home to a movie theater as well as the SCEDF office.

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Charles Weaver Elected to Economic Development Association Foundation Board

Charles Weaver

Charles Weaver

The Board of Directors of the Indiana Economic Development Association Foundation has welcomed Charles W. Weaver, executive director of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, as a member of the board. Weaver will also serve as Chair of the Scholarship Committee of the Foundation.

Weaver has served as executive director of the SCEDF since August 2005, after he spent several years serving on the board not only as its president, but also as an unpaid attorney for the organization as far back as its founding in 1985. In addition, he serves on the Managing Board and Executive Committee of the Northwest Indiana Forum, and as Chair of the Forum’s Economic Development Committee. Twice he has been honored by the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana for various projects involving the SCEDF.

The Board of Directors for the Foundation is made up of active members from various industry and economic development organizations, and supports educational opportunities for economic developers to attend training and develop professionally.

Vocational Welding Class May Soon Be Established At Knox Middle School

Charles Weaver

Charles Weaver

Sparks may soon start flying at the Knox Middle School, as the Knox Community School Corporation has been working with the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, the SCILL Center, and North Central Vocational Area School representatives to set up a vocational welding class in the middle school.

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charles Weaver says that the class would benefit not just students, but adults as well.

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Starke County Economic Development Office Moves from Downtown Location

This is the old Starke County Economic Development Foundation location

The moving truck was in downtown Knox yesterday removing the furniture from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation office. Director Charles Weaver and his staff will be moving to 1915 Heaton Street in the strip mall by Christos Restaurant. The move is being made to give the Foundation more room, but what will happen to the building on Main Street that is over 100 years old?

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Mat Swanson and Jack Lynch to be Honored by Starke County Economic Development Foundation

Mat Swanson

Jack Lynch

Mat Swanson and Jack Lynch, two long time members of the Board of Directors of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, will be honored next Thursday night by the Foundation at its “Prospectus and Achievements Night.”

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Residents Gather to Discuss the Future of Downtown Knox

This is the one of locations discussed at last night's meeting. This is the old Everett's Drug Store/movie theatre building

Approximately three dozen people attended the first meeting called last night to gain ideas for improving downtown Knox.

The meeting was chaired by Mayor Rick Chambers and Gene Blastic from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation.

Many of the comments had to do with buildings that have fallen into disrepair. Knox City Councilman, Greg Matt, said it’s obvious the City Council is going to have to create ordinances with more stringent codes to force the building owners into action.

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Starke County Economic Development Foundation Announces 50+ Year Business Awards

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation will be holding it’s “Prospectus and Achievements Night” next Thursday evening, November 10th.

Several awards will be given out that night. For the very first time, the Foundation is recognizing those industries which have been actively involved in business within the county for 50 years or more.

Executive Director, Charles Weaver, says the first to be recognized is almost 100 years old.

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Starke County Economic Development Foundation to Host Awards Night

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation will play host to its “Prospectus and Achievements Night” on Thursday, November 10th at 5:30 p.m. CT at the Knox Community Center.

Several awards will be given that night, and over the next few days, Charles Weaver, the Executive Director of the Development Foundation, will announce the recipients.

Four industries will be getting expansion awards.

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Charles Weaver, Betty Chesak to Receive Awards at Ancilla College Recognition Dinner

In the African Lunyoro tribe, there is a proverb that whose translation is “A child does not grow up in a single home.”

More recently it has been used as “It takes a Village to Raise a Child”.

Charles Weaver has always lived by an African proverb and tonight, when he will be honored for his service to Ancilla College that proverb, will be on his mind as he steps to the podium. Since 1975, Weaver has worked tirelessly for Ancilla, a college he says is “near and dear to his heart.” Tonight, Charles Weaver will receive the Ancilla Award.

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Starke County’s Workforce Needs the Skills for Expanding Industries

One of the questions that Starke County Economic Development Director, Charles Weaver gets is, “What’s the latest on Sysco or other industries here that want to expand?” Weaver then asks himself, “When new industries come or expand, do we have the workforce to fill the skilled positions?”

Weaver recently attended a presentation that was organized by the Northwest Indiana Forum, of which Starke County belongs, where the attendees discussed workforce readiness, and development. Starke County’s unemployment figures, although still in the double digits, have moved out of the “top 10” worst in the state, but will new industry help reduce that figure? Weaver says not if the workforce doesn’t have the skills needed by the employers.

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Charles Weaver Awarded Ancilla Award

Charles Weaver

Charles Weaver

Ancilla College’s annual recognition dinner will be on October 6th on the campus of the school at Donaldson, Indiana.

Betty Chesak will be honored as the Sister Mary D. award winner and Charles Weaver will receive the Ancilla Award. This award is given to an individual who is a community leader who has demonstrated service and commitment to Ancilla and the community.

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