Library Work Crew Hits Gas Main, Knox Elementary School Evacuated

Knox Elementary School has been evacuated after a construction crew at the Henry F. Schricker Public Library struck a gas main. Knox Superintendent A.J. Gappa says students at the elementary school have been moved to other facilities. Students in grades kindergarten, 1 and 2 are at the high school, while students in grades 3, 4 and 5 are at the middle school. Gappa stresses the school was evacuated as a precautionary measure and says he will advise parents as to student pickup arrangements by the end of the day. The Starke County Public Library Henry F. Schricker branch is also closed as a result of the gas main break.

Voter Turnout Steady for Starke County Special Election

A steady flow of voters have already cast ballots in the upcoming May 7 special election.

Absentee voting started last week at the Starke County Courthouse for the May 7 question involving whether taxes should be raised in order to fund construction at Knox Elementary School. As of Monday morning, 66 people have voted in person, according to officials with the Starke County Clerk’s office. Many of those voters are older and don’t want to worry about getting out on Election Day, but you don’t need any special reason to cast an early ballot. Absentee voting continues each weekday at the courthouse through noon on Monday, May 6.

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Knox Voters Encouraged to Tour Elementary School’s Palmer Wing

Voters in California, Center and Washington Townships can get a firsthand look at what advocates say are long overdue and necessary repairs to the Palmer wing at Knox Elementary School this evening. The Whatever it Takes Committee is hosting another open house at the school from 5 until 6 p.m. Problems with the 60-year-old original structure include an antiquated heating and cooling system, a cramped cafeteria that is insufficient to prepare food for the entire student population and a host of other problems. The work will only be done if voters agree to support a property tax during a May 7th special election, for which absentee voting is under way at the Starke County Courthouse. Click https://gateway.ifionline.org/CalculatorsDLGF/RefCalculator.aspx to determine how much your property taxes will go up should the referendum pass.

Additional Palmer Wing Tours Scheduled at Knox Elementary

Voters in the Knox Community School District will have several more chances to take a firsthand look at the repairs they are being asked to fund through a nominal property tax hike. The Whatever it Takes Committee has scheduled five more informational meetings at Knox Elementary School. Each will start with a brief PowerPoint presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session and tours of the building’s original Palmer wing. All meetings will start in the cafeteria/multipurpose room at the east end of the elementary school building. Continue reading

Absentee Voting Starts, Voter Registration Ends Today

Today is the last day to register to vote and the first day to vote absentee for the May 7 special election in Starke County.

If you have not previously registered to vote in Starke County, today is the last day you may do so. Registration is available in the Starke County Clerk’s office. If you reside in the Knox Community School voting district, you are eligible to vote in the special election on May 7.

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Whatever it Takes Committee Holds Open House at KCES

You have to see it to believe it.

The Whatever it Takes Committee held an Open House Tuesday night at the Knox Community Elementary School in order to inform those attending of the proposed construction project on the May 7 ballot. Superintendent A.J. Gappa went over the specific problem areas in the 60-year-old Palmer Wing and how the project would be funded.

“I showed them the highlights of the problems with the HVAC units and the electrical system that’s maxed out,” said Gappa. “Door number seven fell in last year into a tunnel beneath it and we had to have that fixed. We also talked about wall separation in certain areas where the foundation is separating from the walls and the boiler system is outdated and in constant need of repair.”

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Open House Tomorrow at Knox Elementary School

An opportunity is available for you to see what the Knox Community School Board is looking to do in terms of renovation and construction at the Knox Elementary School if the voters approve a public question that will be offered on the May 7 ballot.

You will be able to tour the Palmer Wing of the Knox Elementary School tomorrow from 6–7 p.m. CT. Your tour will begin in the old all-purpose room at the east end of the elementary building.

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Open House Scheduled For Knox Elementary School Palmer Wing

An open house will be held Tuesday, April 2 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the Palmer Wing of the Knox Elementary School so you can tour the portion of the building that is up for a proposed construction project.

The construction of the Palmer Wing is in the fate of the voters of the Knox Community School District on May 7 where a yes or no majority vote determines the future of that portion of the building.

Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the open house is sponsored by the “Whatever it Takes Committee” who supports the project. The event will be held in the all-purpose room in the elementary school.

“That’s kind of the heart of the old building,” explained Gappa. “It’s connected to the affected areas including the kitchen and the boiler rooms. Tours will be offered to anybody who hasn’t been through the building.”

The open house is intended to be an informational meeting to address current building concerns, overview of the project and the impact on community members.

Knox Kindergarten Round-up Scheduled

The Knox Community Elementary School officials will be holding Kindergarten Round-up on April 11 and 12 in the school library.

Parents are asked to bring in their child’s birth certificate, social security card and an immunization card. The child enrolling in kindergarten will need to accompany the parent.

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Knox School Board Spotlights “I Love to Read” Challenge

Superintendent A.J. Gappa

Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The Knox Elementary School recently won WSBT’s I Love to Read challenge and Superintendent A.J. Gappa said that was recognized by the school board Monday night.

“Mr. Ryan Marsh, a second grade teacher, and two of his students came to the board meeting and talked about the success they’re having with reading incentives that are going on in Mr. Marsh’s class,” explained Gappa. “A clip was played from the newscast that afternoon from WSBT that showed all of the elementary students in the gym being read to by one of their newscasters. They also watched a follow up with some of the students in the office talking with the WSBT personnel.”

Some of the board members had not seen the clip and they enjoyed the review the students gave during the meeting.

Preschool to be Offered at Knox Elementary School

Superintendent A.J. Gappa

Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The Knox Elementary School will house a new preschool program beginning in April. Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the program is aimed at four and five year old children to need help before they enter kindergarten.

“It’s funded by our Title 1 funds, which is a federal grant program for schools that have a high percentage of free and reduced lunch students,” explained Gappa. “We’re presently screening students so if parents have children that they think might fit the program they can contact Jana Hazelton at the Knox Elementary School and set up a screening appointment.”

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Local school wins Thursday “I Love to Read” Challenge

WSBT-TV's Krisin Bien reads to Knox Elementary School students.

WSBT-TV’s Krisin Bien reads to Knox Elementary School students.

A reporter and photographer from a South Bend television station paid a visit to Knox Elementary School this morning.WSBT-TV’s Kristin Bien shared a story with the more than 900 students, teachers, faculty members and staff gathered in the Knox Elementary School gym. The school won the station’s Thursday “I Love to Read” challenge with 13,000 votes. Bien said this is quite impressive, as Wednesday’s winner got 7,000 votes. She read the book “Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing” to the students and stressed the importance of reading. Bien also granted an interview to two reporters from “The Redskin Riot”before returning to South Bend.

 

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Knox Elementary Project to be Decided by Voters in May

The Knox Community School Board approved a motion to place a public question on the ballot in May for voters in the school district regarding the proposed elementary school project.

Superintendent A.J. Gappa said no community member spoke out against the project in a public hearing held on Dec. 3 regarding the proposed project, so the issue now goes to the voters.

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KES Students’ Letters to Santa Will Serve An Even Better Cause

The familiar words, “Dear Santa,” will soon be written by nearly one thousand elementary students at Knox Elementary School as the Parent-Teacher Organization turns hundreds of letters into donations for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

PTO member Tammy Taulbee said the elementary school students will each write a letter to Santa that will be dropped off at Macy’s as part of their “Believe” holiday campaign. For each letter addressed to Santa that Macy’s receives, they will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Taulbee said the PTO received information about the campaign and thought it would be a great class project with an even better message.

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Knox Elementary School Briefly Locked Down Yesterday

A domestic dispute in Knox led police to lock down the Knox Elementary School as a precaution yesterday.

Knox City Police were called to a Knox residence in response to threats that had been made toward family members. When police arrived on the scene, officers learned that the threats that had been made were related to a domestic incident that had occurred the night before. Unfortunately, the male subject had left the home before officers arrived and authorities believed he was in an unstable state of mind.

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Firefighter to Speak to Knox Elementary Schoolers About Fire Prevention

Smokey the Bear will join Kidder at the Knox Elementary School for Fire Prevention Week.

In observance of Fire Prevention Week, Knox-Center Township Fire Prevention Officer Shawn Kidder will be educating students on fire dangers and what to do to if a fire occurs.

Kidder will be at the Knox Elementary School today where he will go over the importance of smoke detectors and other important fire prevention tips.

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Red Cross Thanks “Pint Size Heroes”

The American Red Cross would like to thank Knox Community Elementary School for their outstanding contribution at their recent blood drive. This blood drive was part of the Pint Size Heroes project designed to teach children the importance of donating blood.

There were a total of 56 donations at Knox Elementary’s blood drive. Each donation has the potential to help up to three people; therefore, their blood drive has the potential to help a total of 168 people.

The need for blood is constant. To find a blood drive near you, call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Blood Drive Planned At Knox Elementary

Students at many high schools and colleges are giving the gift of life this fall.

Every year, students nationwide join the American Red Cross to give blood and sponsor blood drives. High schools and colleges sponsor about 19 percent of Red Cross blood drives in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio and gather 30 percent of donations in the same areas.

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Work Session To Be Held Regarding Knox Elementary Palmer Wing

The Knox Community School Board will hold a work session on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. to discuss the possible elementary facility project.

Residents are encouraged to attend this event and give their opinion on what the board should do with the Palmer Wing of the elementary school. The board has been getting updates from the Elementary Facility Study Committee; Architects Barton, Coe, Villema and financial representatives Umbaugh and Associates, and the groups have been discussing all options available.

The Palmer Wing is deteriorating and can no longer house all of the technology and necessary needs in that section of the elementary school. The board has the options of doing nothing, tearing down the Palmer Wing and building a new structure in its place, or rehabilitating the current structure.

The board will meet in the Knox Community Elementary School All-Purpose Room and will take comments from the public. No action will be taken at this meeting.