Starke County News Items

10/10/2014 Kankakee Valley REMC Employees Give Back to Starke, Porter Counties

posted Oct 10, 2014, 9:35 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: October 10, 2014 
By: Mary Perren, WKVI
Gov. Mike Pence has declared this “Indiana’s Electric Cooperative Community Day.” Kankakee Valley REMC members are spending it giving back to the community. They are adding a new section of privacy and security fence at the Phoenix House in Knox. It’s a transitional facility for women and children who have left home to escape domestic violence. They are also painting a 700-foot-long fence for longtime REMC member Mrs. Dolores Hammerlund at her home on 350 West in Knox.

REMC members are also replacing the roof at Caring Designs resale shop in Valparaiso and installing security lighting and enhanced landscaping. Proceeds from the nonprofit shop support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault served by The Caring Place.

The Kankakee Valley REMC office in Wanatah is closed today to accommodate those service projects. Normal business hours will resume Monday.

10/25/2014 Indiana Genealogy & Local History Fair

posted Oct 9, 2014, 1:01 PM by North Judson Public Library   [ updated Oct 9, 2014, 1:28 PM ]

Join genealogy enthusiasts and experts on Saturday, October 25, 2014 for the 9th annual Indiana Genealogy & Local History Fair at the Indiana State Library. The fair will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  All events are FREE and open to the public.  Registration is not required.

Program Information

9:30-10:30 a.m.
Presenter: Joy Neighbors
Program: A Grave Interest 
Cemeteries are a treasure-trove of genealogy records and information. Learn what to search for and where to look. Discover what information is found in Sexton’s records and burial registers. Look for clues at gravestones, plots, and throughout the entire cemetery. 

11:00 am– 12:00 p.m.
Presenter: Joy Neighbors
Program: Reading Symbols
This presentation will focus on the various symbols and images found on gravestones. She will discuss the different meanings of symbols and learn what they can teach us about our ancestors’ lives and times in which they lived. Numerous examples will be presented and explained. 

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Presenters: Tim Poynter & Al Hunter
Program: Indiana State Library Ghost Investigation Findings
Ghost hunter Tim Poynter and local historian Al Hunter will be presenting the findings of their year long investigation of possible ghost sightings at the Indiana State Library. Steve Schmidt from the Indiana State Library will give a brief history of the library and surrounding property.

Midway Information

There will be a “midway” featuring information from genealogical and local history organizations and Indiana public libraries, as well as commercial vendors.

If you have any question please contact the Indiana State Library Genealogy division at: 317-232-3689, or visit the ISL Genealogy Fair page for more information.

The Indiana Genealogy & Local History Fair is sponsored by the Indiana State Library Foundation.

BMV Mails Excise Tax Refund Notices

posted Oct 9, 2014, 9:34 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: October 9, 2014 
By: Mary Perren, WKVI
Some Hoosiers who have registered vehicles with the state will be getting excise tax refund notices in the mail from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles within the next 30 days. The refunds date back to 2004 and are estimated at $29 million plus interest.

About 180,000 Hoosiers are entitled to refunds. That number represents 3.5 percent of those who registered vehicles over the past decade. BMV Commissioner Don Snemis says the agency will use all reasonable measures to locate everyone entitled to a refund, including follow-up mailings and the use of a national database to locate individuals who may no longer live in the state. He says the BMV is also developing a website to allow anyone entitled to a refund to print a claim form. The agency will also work with the attorney general’s office and turn a list of those entitled to refunds over to the Indiana Unclaimed Property program.

Snemis adds the BMV has also reorganized responsibilities for monitoring and supervising tax and fee collections and making sure they are consistent with state law.

Starke County Highway Department Sets Road Improvement Record

posted Oct 9, 2014, 9:32 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: October 9, 2014 
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The Starke County Highway Department is wrapping up road improvements for the year. Superintendent Rik Ritzler says they’ve improved more than 120 miles of roads through a combination of chip and fog sealing, asphalt paving and wedging and crack sealing. That’s the most road miles improved in a single year by the Starke County Highway Department.

Ritzler notes this is the first year the county has fog and crack sealed. He notes this is an inexpensive way to keep water from prematurely deteriorating the roadways. Ritzler says it costs about $750 to crack seal a mile of roadway.

He adds the fog sealing was also successful. That process eliminates dust from a chip sealed road, helps seal in the chips, helps with ice and snow melting in the winter and generally looks better than a chip sealed road. Ritzler says that process costs about $1,500 per mile.

INDOT Looking for Seasonal Workers

posted Oct 8, 2014, 12:52 PM by North Judson Public Library

NOW HIRING - INDOT is looking to hire seasonal workers for the winter, mainly for snow and ice removal. Positions are available across the entire Northwest Indiana District (Lake, Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Newton, Jasper, Starke, Pulaski, Marshall, Fulton, Cass, Carroll and White counties).

Applicants Must Have:
- Valid CDL
- Ability to pass a drug test successfully

- High School Diploma or equivalent

You can apply online at under the Job I.D.#: 592595. Please share with anyone you think may be interested.

NIPSCO Projects Lower Winter Heating Bills

posted Oct 8, 2014, 10:09 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: October 8, 2014 
By: Mary Perren, WKVI
NIPSCO gas customers can expect to pay less to heat their homes this winter, according to the utility company’s forecast for home heating bills. Projections indicate they will be four percent lower than last year. That means an average savings of $22 over the winter heating season for residential customers.

NIPSCO officials note usage amounts could be higher than projected if temperatures are colder than normal. That was the case last year due to record-low temperatures during consecutive months. NIPSCO’s projections take into account market forecasts, supply trends, storage levels and other considerations.

Jefferson Street Bridge in Plymouth to Close Thursday

posted Oct 7, 2014, 11:30 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: October 7, 2014 
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI

The Jefferson Street bridge in Plymouth will be closing beginning Thursday.

Michael Obergfell from USI Consultants told the Marshall County commissioners Monday morning that the concrete slabs by the bridge are not stable and the sidewalk is not reinforced. The bridge was rehabilitated in 1986 but a storm sewer line is leaking and may be causing stability issues.

Obergfell suggested that the commissioners close the bridge so crews can immediately fix the issue.

“What we looked at is putting a concrete cut-off wall there, particularly at the northwest corner, but it would work identically at all of the other corners. It’s our recommendation to do all four corners at this time, shut down the bridge for three to four weeks and get it done all at once,” said Obergfell.

Obergfell said he hopes the work can be done at the least cost possible and crews can diagnose and fix the problem.

“That would entail pulling out those concrete approach slabs and the sidewalks at each end, finding the source of the problem and fixing that and then properly back-filling it and building this cut-off wall so it doesn’t happen again.”

The big worry is a rather large gas line that is near the area so workers will proceed with caution.

He anticipates the cost to be around $100,000 but the cost will not exceed $130,000.

If an issue lies within the storm sewer line, the city of Plymouth would be responsible for costs associated with any necessary repairs.

The commissioners declared this an emergency and approved a notice to proceed.

Additional Stop Signs Added at Sporty’z Intersection

posted Oct 7, 2014, 11:26 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: October 7, 2014 
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

The intersection of Starke County Roads 210 and 675 East at Bass Lake is now a four-way stop. The Starke County Commissioners approved that change in July. Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler opted to wait until exterior renovations at Sporty’z were finished before putting the signage up.

The intersection sees quite a bit of traffic in the summer from seasonal residents and patrons at both Sporty’z and Bielava Summer Resort. Ritzler says signs warning of the traffic pattern change will remain at all four approaches through next spring to make sure motorists are aware. The pavement has also been marked with reflective paint warning of the new stop signs.

Mini Mint Festival Float

posted Oct 2, 2014, 10:55 AM by North Judson Public Library

As part of their Indiana history lessons the fourth grade students at Spring Valley Elementary in French Lick get to choose an Indiana Festival for a project.  Using the theme of the festival, each student then creates a cardboard box float representing that festival.  

Logan, who is a student at Spring Valley Elementary, chose the North Judson Mint Festival for his project.  His mother was kind enough to send us some pictures of his float to share with you.  

Thank you Logan, we think you made a great choice and did a great job on your float.

   Logan creating his float for the North Judson Mint Festival.

   The back of the float.

 Logan and his completed float. We think it's a first place winner.   

North Judson Native Receives Robert E. Hamilton Award

posted Oct 2, 2014, 9:46 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: October 2, 2014 
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

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.

Peters has also been a dedicated and hard-working member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in North Judson for many years. He was church treasurer during the time the existing building was constructed and served as chairman of the investment committee during that time. In that capacity he made sure gifts from the congregation were stretched as far as possible to cover the costs of construction. Peters also sponsored the young people’s group at the church for several years and has opened and closed the popular “Sounds of Praise” each Sunday for more than 20 years.

Peters will be honored with the Robert E. Hamilton Award during today’s Starke County Economic Development Foundation Prospectus and Achievement luncheon at Knox Middle School. It’s awarded to a person who has contributed a great amount of service in the field of economic development as well as to the community as a whole. Past winners include Mat Swanson, Jack Lynch, Nancy Dembowski and Van Janovic.

1-10 of 12