Starke County News Items

AAA Safety Tips for Monday’s Eclipse (8/19)

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on August 19, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI 

This Monday, for the first time since 1979, certain parts of the continental U.S. will experience a total solar eclipse and even though only a partial eclipse will be visible from Indiana, it is important to stay safe if you’re driving while the phenomenon occurs. AAA provides the following safety tips for people who may be operating a vehicle during the eclipse.

Before getting behind the wheel, check NASA’s interactive map to pinpoint the approximate time the eclipse will be visible in your area so you can be off the road if you want to watch.

Be sure you have the proper protective eye wear while viewing the un-eclipsed or partially eclipsed sun. Regular sunglasses will not suffice; the only safe way to view is with special ‘eclipse glasses’ or hand-held solar viewers.

If you must be on the road while the eclipse is happening be sure to follow all traffic laws you normally would and avoid looking in the sky. Peak darkness will only last 2-3 minutes but if you think you’ll be distracted, find a safe place to park your vehicle.

If you’re driving during peak darkness, have your headlights on, watch for pedestrians who may be attempting to see the eclipse and keep additional space between you and other vehicles in case of potentially distracted drivers.

West Nile Virus on the Rise Throughout Indiana (8/18)

posted Aug 18, 2017, 8:37 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on August 18, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

West Nile virus activity is on the rise across Indiana. Now, state health officials are urging Hoosiers to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases.

According to statistics from the Indiana State Department of Health, West Nile has been found in mosquito batches in 53 of the state’s 92 counties, including Starke, LaPorte, and St. Joseph. On top of that, two human cases have been confirmed in Lake and Hamilton counties.

West Nile virus can lead to fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands, or a rash, according to state health officials. But more severe cases may cause inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis, or death.

The Indiana State Department of Health says there are a few steps you can take to reduce the risk of West Nile and similar diseases. Avoid being outdoors in the late afternoon, at night, or early in the morning, when mosquitoes are active. Cover your skin by wearing long sleeves, long pants, and a hat. Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent to clothes and exposed skin.

State health officials add that you can help stop mosquitoes from breeding, by getting rid of any old tires, ceramic pots, or other containers that can collect water. Cut your grass short and trim your shrubbery. Flush fountains and birdbaths every week.

The Indiana State Department of Health expects increased West Nile activity until the first hard freeze of the year, which typically happens in late October.

N.J.-S.P. School Bus Drivers Set to Receive Raises (8/18)

posted Aug 18, 2017, 8:32 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on August 18, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI 

North Judson-San Pierre School bus drivers will be receiving raises following a decision to approve the transportation salary schedule made by the school board during a meeting earlier this week. Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin said bus drivers have been working hard to familiarize themselves with new transportation software and recently reduced routes.She told the board, “We have reduced the routes by two, we are down to 17 routes this year and our bus drivers have not received a raise in quite some time.”

The new software which was approved by the board in December of last year, is used to assess routes for efficiency. While addressing the transportation salary schedule, Dr. Zupin personally thanked Cafeteria Treasurer Nancy Hubbard and Transportation Director Wilbur Collins for their dedicated work with the Transfinder system.

Farmers Expecting Lower Corn Production, Following Spring Weather Challenges (8/17)

posted Aug 17, 2017, 8:51 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated ]

Posted on August 17, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting similar corn yields to last year’s in Indiana, but many Hoosier farmers aren’t that optimistic. That’s according to the Indiana Farm Bureau.

Heavy rain in April, followed by unseasonable cold weather into May created some challenges. Several farmers say they’re behind in their corn production. Many told the Farm Bureau they had to replant a lot of their corn, with much of it just pollinating now. Corn that was not replanted is thin.

However, farmers in southern Indiana are reporting healthier corn yields, according to the Farm Bureau. Farmers say there’s still a chance that corn production will improve, if weather conditions are favorable.

Starke County CASA Training Class to Start Later this Month (8/17)

posted Aug 17, 2017, 8:49 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on August 17, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

The Starke County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program is recruiting its next group of volunteers. CASAs help guide abused and neglected kids through the court system.

Director Rhonda Adcock says the next training class is set to begin August 29. Classes will be held Tuesday evenings, through the end of October.

Adcock says there are currently 17 children waiting to be paired with an advocate. She says 10 more volunteers would bring that number down to zero.

To join the CASA program, volunteers need to have reliable transportation and must be able to pass background checks. On top of that, Adcock says they need to have a passion for helping children.

If you’re interested in volunteering, you can get an application by visiting or contacting Starke County CASA at or 574-772-7200.

Motivated Community Members Needed for Blue Jay Strategic Planning Group (8/17)

posted Aug 17, 2017, 8:35 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on August 17, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI 

The Blue Jay Strategic Planning Group is searching for new members to join their organization that serves as a link between the school corporation and the community. The group meets once a month in order to set goals that seem pertinent to parents, residents and school faculty.

The group lost at least half of last year’s members due to scheduling conflicts so they are looking for four to six new members to join. In order to be considered, community members have to fill out the appropriate application. Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin is accepting the applications in multiple ways. Individuals can visit the N.J.-S.P. Central Office at 801 Campbell Drive to pick up or drop off an application or email them to Zupin directly.

Members of this year’s committee have the opportunity to also serve on the School Improvement Team which is comprised of faculty, parents and community members. The application deadline is set for the end of August. Access the application here.

Ancilla College New Student Orientation on Friday (8/17)

posted Aug 17, 2017, 8:24 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on August 17, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI 

Incoming Ancilla College students have the opportunity to settle into residence halls, explore the campus, meet faculty and learn all they need to know about the upcoming semester at a new student orientation this Friday at 12 p.m. [EST]. College placement testing will start at 9 a.m. for students who still need to get that completed.

Orientation covers things such as housing, semester billing, financial aid, advising and student support services. Lunch is provided for orientation but students must first register through Ancilla’s website. A link to registration requirements, as well as more information about activities Ancilla has in store for their Welcome Weekend can be found here.

N.J.-S.P. School Board Approves Boiler Purchase & Capital Project Advertising (8/16)

posted Aug 16, 2017, 8:22 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on August 16, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI 

After working with Thermal Solutions for several months, North Judson-San Pierre Schools are permitted to purchase three new boilers at a discounted price. Though the school board already approved the boiler project during their July meeting, they were required to act on purchasing the boilers during their Tuesday night meeting.

Superintendent Annette Zupin informed the board that the boilers will cost $16,606 each. The total cost of $49,818 will come out of the capital projects and construction funds. The board voted unanimously to approve the purchase.

The board also approved to advertise the 2018-2020 Capital Projects. Superintendent Zupin told the board that all projects involved are still currently in the paper work stage so physical work won’t begin until around November.

However, in order to prioritize projects they will be meeting with an architect in two weeks. Zupin explained that priority is based on time of year, whether there are students in the building or not and the climate, so the meeting is to put together a rough draft of a timeline for the projects. The Superintendent plans to keep both the board and the public posted about the capital projects timeline to make sure that everybody stays informed during the process.

Railroad Township Board Approves 2018 Salaries (8/16)

posted Aug 16, 2017, 8:20 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on August 16, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

Railroad Township officials will keep the same salaries for another year. A 2018 salary resolution was approved last week by the township board.

Trustee Mandy Thomason will continue to get $12,020 a year. Trustee Clerk Sarah Gillard makes $5,459. Board members Gus Eckert, Clarence Gehrke, and Mike Lawecki each receive $750 a year.

Yellowstone Trail Fest This Weekend (8/16)

posted Aug 16, 2017, 8:16 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on August 16, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

Hamlet’s annual celebration of classic transportation returns this weekend. The Yellowstone Trail Fest takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Starke County Fairgrounds.

Saturday’s highlights include the Dr. Leinbach Memorial Zucchini Contest, a car show, and musical performances from Mark & Liza, PS 150, South of Sorrow, and Seldom Told.

Sunday’s festivities kick off with the Starke County Youth Club Rainbow Splash Fun Run and Walk at 8:00 a.m. The re-purposed metal sculpture contest returns Sunday, and the Yellowstone Trail Fest Parade steps off at 2:00 p.m.

Bounce houses, a water slide, and the Indiana Historical Society’s History on Wheels exhibit will be featured throughout the event.

For a complete schedule, visit

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