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Today's News

SCEDF Looks to Improve Communication with Public

SCEDF logoThe Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) Board of Directors met recently to discuss the past, present and future of the organization.

One concern that the board members felt that needed improvement was communication with the public. SCEDF Executive Director Charlie Weaver stated that what they are doing is not secretive and work done by the organization could be more transparent.

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City of Knox Moving Forward with Blight Elimination Program

City_of_Knox_LogoKnox Mayor Rick Chambers updated the city council last week on the Blight Elimination Program.

The city received a grant for $187,000 that will aid in the cost of removing blighted,vacant and abandoned homes in the city. A majority of the homes on the list are in the Parkview Heights area.

Mayor Chambers explained that the state does not want the purchased properties for demolition under this grant in the name of the city. They want a holding company that is not associated with the city. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver said the city could use the development foundation as a holding company. City Attorney David Matsey will draft a Memorandum of Understanding with the development foundation to hold those properties for three years.

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Starke County Officials Celebrate Completion of Highway Intersection

Starke County officials cut the ribbon to officially open the intersection of State Road 8 and County Road 300 East.

Starke County officials cut the ribbon to officially open the intersection of State Road 8 and County Road 300 East.

The intersection of State Road 8 and Starke County Road 300 East now has turn lanes, guardrails, acceleration and deceleration lanes. Members of the Starke County Council, County Commissioners and Starke County Economic Development Foundation Board of Directors celebrated the completion of the project with a ceremonial ribbon cutting Monday morning.

“This was extremely dangerous before for trucks and motor vehicles to come to pass. They couldn’t make the turns. If a truck wanted to go toward 35 from 300, they crossed both travel lanes into the berm,” Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver said.  Continue reading

Starke County Officials Celebrate Completion of Road Project

A major Starke County road project is substantially complete. Members of the county council and commissioners and officials from the Starke County Economic Development Commission will celebrate the reconstruction of the intersection of State Road 8 and 300 East later today. The intersection has been rebuilt to accommodate traffic to and from the Knox Industrial Park. It now features a turn lane and acceleration and deceleration lanes to help trucks more easily navigate the corner. Continue reading

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Seeks Planning Grant

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is seeking a $15,000 grant to plan for future workforce needs through the SCILL Center. Executive Director Charlie Weaver says they are looking at the cost of implementing vocational and adult automation robotics equipment maintenance programs. He says there is a growing need for that skill set in manufacturing settings. Continue reading

Former Stelrema Building Sold, County Recoups Back Taxes

StelremaThe former Stelrema building on U.S. 35 north of Knox will soon be ready for occupancy. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Special Projects Coordinator Ron Gifford says it was recently sold to the Michigan man who owns the Freeman Products building at the corner of 300 East and Culver Road. Continue reading

North Judson Native Receives Robert E. Hamilton Award

Marv Peters is the 2014 Robert E. Hamilton Award Winner

Marv Peters is the 2014 Robert E. Hamilton Award Winner

A longtime North Judson resident and businessman is the recipient of the Robert E. Hamilton Award from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. Marv Peters was one of the initial members of the Starke County Development Foundation in 1985. He owned Marv’s Body Shop in North Judson from 1966 until his retirement in 1999 and continues to work on antique cars today. Peters is also the president of the North Judson Board of Zoning Appeals and serves as a member of the Starke County Alcoholic Beverage Board. He was president of the North Judson Town Council from 1979-83. Continue reading

Another Vocational Program in the Works

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) is looking to bring life back into the vocational building on the Oregon-Davis school campus to begin an automation robotics and equipment maintenance program as an extension of vocational programs through the SCILL Center.

According to Ron Gifford, the SCEDF will assist in seeking a way to fund the program full-time and to acquire equipment. A pilot program started this year with several students in the eighth grade through the tenth grade enrolled in the program.

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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

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Announces Prospectus and Achievements

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation will celebrate Manufacturers Day with its fourth annual “Prospectus and Achievements” on Thursday, Oct. 2 at Knox Middle School. Hoosier Custom Plastics and EcoGolf Co-Owner Gordon Schenk will be the featured speaker for the 11:10 a.m. program. The Knox-based business is involved in the Folds of Honor Foundation. It provides scholarships and assistance to the spouses and children of those killed or disabled in service to America. Schenk will explain how the businesses became involved with the organization. Continue reading

Unemployment Numbers Drop in Starke County

The unemployment numbers for Starke County continue to decrease.

Ron Gifford from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation said the numbers have been quite encouraging.

“Since January of this year, we’ve seen our labor force grow by almost three hundred more people out there actively seeking a position,” said Gifford. “There’s almost five hundred more people employed than there were in January and the ranks of our unemployed have depleted down by about 180. They’re actually finding jobs and the people that had been out of the job market for some period of time apparently are coming back to it.”

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Economic Development Foundation Director Selected as Wall of Legends Judge

Charles Weaver

Charlie Weaver

The Executive Director of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation will serve as one of 13 judges for the South Shore Wall of Legends and Legends Scholarship Project.

Charlie Weaver will help select inductees from among several who are nominated each year. The Wall of Legends is located at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond and honors people from northwest Indiana who have changed the world and reflect the values of exploration and courage and innovation.

This year’s induction ceremony will be held on Dec. 18 at 5:30 p.m. CT at the welcome center.

Starke County Commissioners Approve Change Order for 300 East Project

The Starke County Commissioners Monday approved a $70,000 change order to add a right turn lane to the rebuilt intersection of State Road 8 and County Road 300 East. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver said it was omitted from the original project specifications in order to keep costs in order. Continue reading

Thermo Pride Engineering Design Team Earns Award Nomination

Thermo Pride logoAn engineering design team from North Judson-based Thermo Pride is a nominee for a prestigious award from the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana. The Starke County Economic Development Foundation nominated director of engineering Everett James and project engineer Michael Sharkozy for the Team Innovators Award for their application of an existing technology to a new process. By doing so, they created an extremely safe, ultra-high efficiency oil-fired furnace for residential and commercial heating. Continue reading

Summer Interns Making a Difference at the SCEDF

Stefanie McGovern and Rachel Mullens

Stefanie McGovern and Rachel Mullens

Two summer interns have assisted in workforce development efforts at the Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF).

Rachel Mullens of North Judson and Stefanie McGovern of Winamac are working on Manufacturing Day activities for 2014, the 7th grade manufacturing experience and the annual Prospectus and Achievement event.

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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 County Unemployment Rate Explained

The unemployment rate for the state and for individual counties was released this week.

The rate in Starke County dropped a point, according to the April statistics. The rate is 6.9 percent which is a 1.3 percent decrease. Starke County still ranks in the top ten in unemployment. All 92 counties reported a decrease in the unemployment rate.

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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 Give Green Light for CR 300 E–SR 8 Project Bids

Charles Weaver

Charles Weaver

The Starke County Commissioners at their meeting yesterday morning approved a request from Charlie Weaver, executive director of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, to authorize the SCEDF to proceed with the bidding process for the County Road 300 East–State Road 8 intersection improvement project. Weaver explained that this reconstruction of the intersection will improve the accessibility of the industrial park for large trucks, which currently have a very difficult time turning onto County Road 300 East or State Road 8 as they attempt to enter or leave the industrial park.

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Knox Board of Public Works Approves Change Order in Demolition Project

This is the old Knox theater and Starke County Economic Development Foundation location

This is the old Knox theater and Starke County Economic Development Foundation location

The Knox Board of Public Works approved change orders for the demolition project at 2 and 4 N. Main Street in the downtown area.

Crews tore down the buildings that housed the old Knox theater and the former office of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. While most of the debris has been cleared, there are a few issues that need to be addressed before inclement weather sets in.

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