Starke County News Items

Hundreds of Voters Cast Ballots as Early Voting Continues (10/24)

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 24, 2016
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 
Early voting turnout continues to be strong ahead of next month’s General Election. As of Friday, Starke County has seen 563 voters cast ballots at the courthouse, while 122 have voted by mail and 26 by traveling board.

Meanwhile, 436 Pulaski County residents have voted at the Pulaski County Public Library in Winamac. Another 82 have voted by mail.

Voters registered in Pulaski County can vote early at the Winamac library weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Friday November 4, as well as Monday, November 7 from 10 a.m. to noon. Voting will also take place the next two Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at either the Pulaski County Public Library in Winamac or the Francesville Fire Station. On all of those days, polls will be closed from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. for lunch.

In Starke County, voters can cast ballots on the second floor of the courthouse Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon and from 1 until 4 p.m. On Thursdays, polls remain open until 6:00 p.m. The last day to vote absentee in the Starke County Clerk’s Office is Monday, Nov. 7 from 8 a.m. until noon.

N.J.-S.P. School Board Awards Bids for Energy-Saving Lighting Upgrades (10/24)

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 24, 2016
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation is making some lighting upgrades with proceeds from its recent bond refinancing. Last week, the school board approved bids for three lighting projects totaling just over $166,000.

Superintendent Annette Zupin said the upgrades will lead to some savings in the long-term. “[Maintenance Director Wilbur] Collins did indicate that we could see a return on our money as early as a year and a half,” Zupin said, “but the range is from a year and a half to three years we could see a return on that investment.”

The first project involves lighting improvements at the Middle School gym and mezzanine. It was awarded to Herrman & Goetz for a cost of $24,000. That firm was also awarded the bid for the second project. It calls for lighting replacement at the High School gym, mezzanine, and pool. The third project will upgrade all the parking lot lighting and exterior lights on the buildings. Busse Electric will do that work for $79,865.

N.J.-S.P. worked with Performance Services of Indianapolis to identify areas for potential energy savings. The bond refinancing gives the corporation some extra cash to use on construction projects by issuing bonds at a better interest rate.

North Judson Council Adopts 2017 Budget, Gets to Work on Salary Ordinance (10/24)

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 24, 2016
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

 The North Judson Town Council approved the town’s 2017 budget last week. It calls for a General Fund of $749,231; $10,000 for Local Road & Street; a $102,411 Motor Vehicle Highway Fund; and $25,420 for Parks.

Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins says town officials are now working to complete a salary ordinance by the end of the year.

Recipes Sought for Updated WKVI Cookbook (10/24)

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 24, 2016
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

Kankakee Valley Broadcasting has the perfect Christmas gift for the cook on your list. WKVI AM and FM and MAX 98.3 FM are issuing an updated cookbook in time for the holidays.

It will feature all of the recipes from the WKVI Cookbook the station put out some 20 years ago, along with new submissions from staff members and listeners.

Recipes can be emailed to until Friday, Nov. 11. They can also be dropped off at either the WKVI office at 400 W. Culver Road in Knox or the MAX 98.3 FM office next to the Coffee Lodge on Jefferson Street in Plymouth. If you’d like to mail them in, please send them to: Kankakee Valley Broadcasting, attention: Cookbook, P.O. Box 10, Knox, IN 46534.

Books will be available for purchase in time for Christmas. As soon as they come in, we will let you know.

2017 N.J.-S.P. Budget Approved (10/22)

posted Oct 22, 2016, 8:47 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 22, 2016
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 
The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation’s 2017 budget was approved this week. On Monday, the Starke County Council approved a resolution setting the appropriations and tax rates in the district. Then on Tuesday, it was the school board’s turn to consider several budget items.

Business Manager and Treasurer Guy Richie told the school board the proposed $7,035,070 General Fund budget is the lowest he’s seen in nearly 30 years at the corporation. He added that the corporation’s proposing $971,262 for the Capital Projects Fund and $215,000 for bus replacement. That includes the purchase of two full-sized buses.

However, Richie says getting another smaller, wheelchair-accessible vehicle will require an extra step. “If you have a bus that’s not 12 years or older, you need a petition,” he explained. “Well, our MPVs – that’s the little white buses – we’ve run a lot of miles between special ed services. They run all day between here, Knox, and Plymouth, and we’re getting an excessive amount of miles on them. So one of them, we want to replace it but not trade it because we need it for a backup.”

Richie noted that the corporation will have a better idea of how many of the buses it can replace once he hears back from the Department of Local Government Finance in December. The North Judson-San Pierre School Board unanimously approved the 2017 Capital Projects and Bus Replacement plans, among other budgetary measures.

KVREMC Service Project Benefits Starke, Pulaski County Customers (10/22)

posted Oct 22, 2016, 8:36 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 22, 2016
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

Several Kankakee Valley REMC customers in Starke and Pulaski Counties have new reflective mailbox signs thanks to the cooperative’s employees. Their third annual “Indiana’s Electric Cooperative Community Day” focused on member safety.

KVREMC’s 41 employees made and installed more than 300 reflective mailbox signs for members in the Bass Lake and northern Pulaski County areas. Officials say this is the second year the project was offered for free to members in specific service areas.

KVREMC CEO Dennis Weiss says the project was chosen two years ago after employees who are also volunteer firefighters mentioned how difficult it is to find homes in rural areas due to unmarked mailboxes.

He adds the cooperative is committed to working through all the counties they serve until every member is offered a sign. The Wanatah-based cooperative serves more than 18,000 members in portions of Starke, Pulaski, Marshall, St. Joseph, Porter, Lake and LaPorte Counties.

Kankakee Valley REMC member, Harry Lindstrom Jr. enjoyed receiving his new mailbox sign 
courtesy of Kankakee Valley REMC employees during Community Day.

Kankakee Valley REMC employees Eric Duttlinger and Kristi Fricke 
complete the installation of a reflective mailbox sign for a member in 
Starke County. Over 300 reflective signs were installed on Oct. 14 for Community Day.

Red Hats Collected for American Heart Month (10/22)

posted Oct 22, 2016, 8:11 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Oct 22, 2016, 8:15 AM ]

Posted on October 22, 2016
Author Tyler Maffitt, WKVI 

The American Heart Association has started a campaign to raise awareness of heart-related diseases.

Now through December 31st, newborn and premature-sized red knitted or crocheted hats will be accepted at American Heart Association locations for the second annual “Little Hats, Big Hearts” campaign.

It’s designed to bring awareness to heart disease and heart-related birth defects. They are considered by the group to be one of the top killers of Americans, annually.

Similar hat collection events are taking place in states across the country through the end of the year. Volunteers often participate by knitting the hats themselves. The American Heart Association has templates for patterns and materials available on their website with more information about the campaign.

Last year, the non-profit collected more than 5-thousand hats from Hoosier participants to give to Indiana newborns. Those hats were distributed to 40 hospitals throughout the state.

Following the collection drive, hats will be given to newborns in Indiana during February – which is American Heart Month – to finish the campaign.

N.J.-S.P. Taking Steps to Improve ISTEP Scores (10/21)

posted Oct 21, 2016, 8:34 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 21, 2016
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 
The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation is once again bracing for low test scores. The results from the spring 2016 ISTEP haven’t yet been released publicly, but Superintendent Annette Zupin is already reassuring members of the public that steps are being taken to improve them. “Instead of waiting for the test scores, we’re anticipating that they will be low, just like all the other schools are expecting and anticipating,” she said during Tuesday’s school board meeting. “We need to do some planning right now.” Zupin said schools around the state again have to deal with a new test and changing cut scores, making it difficult to compare results year-over-year.

Math has been a particularly challenging area for N.J.-S.P. School board member Derrick Stalbaum says the state’s current method for math assessment makes it difficult to determine exactly what skills students are lacking. “It’s almost the way that we’ve been taught for the last, probably, 100 years is completely different now,” he said. “They will never ask you to take nine times six, even through a story problem. They will make you solve a problem and then translate it from meters to feet and then translate it to inches. I mean, it’s things like that. It’s several steps. We can’t look at something and say, ‘Oh, the problem is multiplication,’ because most of the time, the problem is, ‘I don’t understand what this question is asking me to do because it has 15 steps.'”

Zupin said the corporation has been adding time for math help outside of regular classes, but so far, that doesn’t seem to be working. Now, she’s calling for both the elementary and the junior/senior high school to change their schedules to allow for bigger blocks of time to be spent on math.

Additionally, Zupin says the junior/senior high school plans to simulate more closely actual testing conditions when students practice. “Thoughts before were, ‘We don’t want to stress the kids out and put any more pressure on the kids than we have to,’ so we tried to keep things low-key,” she said. “Well, we’re not succeeding with the math, so maybe we’ll try this route. I still hate the idea that kids feel pressure. So at some point, we need to make sure the kids understand a balance, and we do need to remind them that there are other measures of success. But we can’t ignore the test scores and what they mean to the schools.”

However, Zupin said part of the problem is that students are simply bogged down with tests. “Those poor 10th-graders. Look how many assessments they took last year,” she said. “They took their local assessments SRI/SMI, they took PSATs, they took the ECA, and then they took the ISTEP+. And the ECA is the one that mattered to the students the most because that was for graduation purposes.”

The corporation plans to continue its professional development efforts, to help teachers relay information to students more effectively. Zupin says all of these efforts will be detailed in each school’s state-mandated improvement plan. Those will be completed by December 1.

However, 2017 will be the last year for the ISTEP. What will replace it remains to be seen.

Annual Drug Take Back Initiative Seeks Safe Disposal of Prescription Meds (10/21)

posted Oct 21, 2016, 8:26 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 21, 2016
Author Tyler Maffitt, WKVI 

The Indiana State Police is participating in a nationwide “Prescription Drug Take Back” Initiative this weekend.

October 22nd will mark the 12th annual event for individuals to dispose of their prescription medications in a safe, no questions asked environment. The initiative is being sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) with disposal sites set-up across the country. The Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force is also participating.

State Police say they will have locations for drop-offs on Saturday at each of their posts, including the Bremen Post in Marshall County. The toll road location will not be participating for safety reasons. State Police will also have a location in Indianapolis on Friday.

According to information provided by organizers of the “Prescription Drug Take Back” Initiative, liquid and pill medications will be accepted. Needles used for certain treatment programs will not be accepted.

Indiana residents may drop-off their medication between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

ISP Officials Warn of Computer Scam (10/21)

posted Oct 21, 2016, 8:24 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 21, 2016
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

A scam involving internet users is making the rounds, according to the Indiana State Police. They’ve gotten several reports of people receiving random tech support pop-up ads while surfing the web. The messages ask the user to call a telephone number to fix a problem with the machine and strongly suggest it be done immediately.

ISP officials say the person who answers the telephone may ask for money to be sent to them so you can download “their software,” or they may ask for your password and other information in order to gain remote access to your machine. Granting them such access leaves your computer vulnerable to the theft of sensitive data.

The ISP recommends never giving control of your computer to a third-party who calls you out of the blue or contacts you via popup message. Also, do not rely on caller ID to determine whether a call is legitimate, as criminals often spoof numbers to make it appear the call is originating from a reputable organization.

Never give your credit card or other financial information to someone who calls and claims to be from tech support, and do not give your password out over the telephone. The ISP stresses no legitimate organization calls or sends you a pop-up seeking your password. If you have any questions, call your computer security software company directly for assistance.

Anyone who paid for bogus charges via credit card can call the issuing bank and ask that the charges be reversed. Also, if you believe someone may have accessed your personal or financial information, visit the Federal Trade Commission identity theft website.

ISP officials note such scams typically occur when a computer is infected with adware or a potentially unwanted program. They are usually acquired when someone installs some type of free software with adware bundled into its installation.

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