Starke County News Items

Starke County Native Returns Home for Purdue Extension Position

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 12, 2015
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI

Purdue Extension LogoPurdue Extension has a new 4-H youth development educator for Starke County.

Julia Miller started in the job October 1, but she says she’s already familiar with the program, “I did grow up in Starke County. I’m from here originally, so I am back to work with the program that I was a 10-year 4-H member of.”

For the past three years, she’d held the same position for Huntington County. She says she’s happy to be back where she grew up, “I’m just meeting people in the community, and I’m excited to be here to work with the volunteers and the 4-H families.”

One of the first things she has going on is enrollment for the next 4-H year. Families can sign up at Enrollment continues through January 15.

Starke County Community Corrections Extends Lease

posted Oct 10, 2015, 8:14 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 10, 2015
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

The Starke County Community Corrections office is staying put until the old jail building in downtown Knox is renovated to accommodate them.

Director Bob Hinojosa told the commissioners Monday the lease renewal for their office in the Christo’s Plaza on South Heaton Street includes an escape clause in case their new building is ready before the year is up. Additionally the rent is staying the same, and funds are available in the agency’s budget to cover it.

Starke County Community Corrections operates alternative sentencing programs for both the Knox City Court and Starke Circuit Court, including electronic monitoring home detention and community service in hopes of reducing recidivism among participants.

Terry Kimmel Receives Robert E. Hamilton Award

posted Oct 9, 2015, 9:27 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 9, 2015
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

A long-time banker and former Starke County Economic Development Foundation executive director has been given the foundation’s highest honor. Terry Kimmel was presented with the 2015 Robert E. Hamilton Award at Thursday’s Prospectus and Achievement Luncheon.

Kimmel worked for First Federal Savings and Loan of Valparaiso and stayed with the company through numerous name changes and mergers until it eventually became part of Fifth Third Bank. Additionally, he served as the Starke County Economic Development Foundation’s executive director from November of 2000 to July of 2005.

In his acceptance speech, he decided not to dwell upon his accomplishments at the foundation, but instead gave a couple pieces of advice for everyone in Starke County, “Number one: pray. Everybody has some problems they’re dealing with and trying to do they best they can; they can use your prayers. And number two is show up for work! Keep trying, get some extra education, and remember our industries take big risks and spend big money to be here and bring the jobs. Thank them.”

Current executive director Charlie Weaver says the choice of Kimmel is a departure from past winners, “This year, the recipient is a little bit different because he wasn’t born in Starke County. In fact, he never lived in Starke County. But he’s made a huge impact upon Starke County itself, and especially the economic vitality of this county and the opportunities for the people.” Weaver says Kimmel didn’t have to live in the county to devote his life to it.

Also during the luncheon, the Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning was recognized for receiving NIPSCO’s Luminary Award for its efforts in strengthening local communities in the area of education.

The event was part of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation’s celebration of Manufacturers Day held at Knox Middle School. The highlight of the day was an opportunity for seventh graders from all the county’s school districts to meet with manufacturing companies in the area and learn about what they make and the careers they have available.

Cemetery Tree Removal Continues in North Judson

posted Oct 9, 2015, 9:23 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 9, 2015
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

The North Judson Town Council got an update on tree removal at Pioneer Cemetery during its meeting Monday.

Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry says most of the dead trees have been cut down, and now the work is shifting to cutting them up and taking them out of the cemetery. She says the council’s also working on appropriating an additional $31,000 for cemetery tree removal and lawn care.

Starke County Sheriff’s Office to Expand Police Presence Through Reserves Program

posted Oct 8, 2015, 9:49 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 8, 2015
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

Residents of Starke County’s smaller communities will see an expanded police presence thanks to the new sheriff’s reserve program.

Starke County reserve captain Joe Reed says the program lets residents help out the Sheriff’s Department on a part-time basis, “It’s bringing in people from the community maybe that would like to do police work but are not able to because they have other jobs. Maybe they’ve taken other career paths, and they really enjoy police work. The sheriff invests quite a bit of time in them, hundreds of hours of training to get them prepared to do police work. They don’t do exactly the same calls necessarily as a police officer would do to a full extent, but they do have full arrest powers through the state of Indiana.”

Sheriff Bill Dulin says the program’s a big help, “It provides better visibility. It provides more cars that are on the road, quicker response times as we have more officers on the road, and it provides backup for full-time officers – we usually have three or four on in a shift. It provides better coverage in Koontz Lake, San Pierre, Ober, Ora, and Bass Lake.”

Reserve members go through more than 400 hours of training as they move through the program’s different levels. So far, the program’s had one class of four officers complete training and become full reserve officers. Reed says it’s already leading to some noticeable improvements, “There’s a good example this weekend where we had coverage on: I know we had a response time of a residential alarm – we were there within one minute because we had extra coverage on. I know there was a reserve officer that spent over two hours patrolling nothing but Koontz Lake, and I know there was another reserve officer that spent over two hours in San Pierre, where a full-time officer might not have the ability to spend that much time in one place. So it really gives better coverage for the county.”

Sheriff Dulin says the reserve program allows his department to do more with fewer resources, “The reason why we’re kind of pushing for this is, budgetary-wise, we’re kind of limited on our access as far as officers and how much officers we can ask for. Right now, the budget’s kind of limited in what we can do, so the reserve program is a huge, huge asset to the county, the citizens, and the Sheriff’s Department in providing police activities to the citizens.”

The sheriff says they’re looking to add five more members to the reserve program. Applicants must be over 21 with no felony on their background. Dulin says they’re looking for people who are willing to work and learn the activities provided by the reserve program.

Residents can fill out an application form at

North Judson K9 and Officer Complete Annual Training

posted Oct 8, 2015, 9:46 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 8, 2015
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

North Judson Police Department K9 Gunner and his handler, Officer Scott Bieshuizen, completed a recent annual training course with high grades.

North Judson Police Chief Doug Vessely, Sheriff Clark and NJ Police K-9 Officer Scott Bieshuizen

They took part in the American Police Canine Association 40 hour training in Fort Wayne. Milwaukee Sheriff David Clark was the keynote speaker for the banquet. He’s a frequent guest commentator on FOX News and CNN regarding the turmoil involving today’s police officers and the public.

Exercises during the training included several “catch the bad guy” scenarios and utilized Lake County’s 1967 Huey helicopter and their newer chopper, Eagle I. 

ISP, INDOT Remind Drivers to Move Over, Slow Down

posted Oct 8, 2015, 9:33 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 8, 2015
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

Indiana drivers are being reminded to move over when an emergency vehicle’s stopped on a road with its lights flashing. The Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Transportation are teaming up for the “Move Over, Slow Down” safety blitz happening Monday through Friday of next week.

The state’s “Move Over” law means that drivers should change lanes away from emergency vehicles if they can do so safely. If not, they should reduce their speed to 10 miles per hour under the posted speed limit and proceed with caution. However, drivers are told not to stop in the roadway, since that can cause a chain reaction crash with the cars behind you. The law not only requires drivers to move over for police cars and ambulances, but also fire trucks, rescue equipment, incident response vehicles, maintenance and utility service vehicles, and tow trucks.

The safety blitz will require drivers to move over or slow down for INDOT’s Hoosier Helpers vehicles.

The “Move Over” law aims to reduce injuries and increase safety for emergency responders and maintenance professionals.

How to Submit Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay Nomination

posted May 28, 2015, 10:04 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Jun 11, 2015, 10:55 AM ]

The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay was created to honor Hoosiers who demonstrate:

- Exceptional public service to their county and/or community
- Achievement and excellence in their profession
- Acts of heroism
- Exceptional volunteer service and leadership to their neighborhood, community, region or state

The Torch Relay will traverse 2,300+ miles during a five-and-a-half week journey.  It will kick off on September 9 in Corydon and end on the statehouse ground in Indianapolis on October 15 after traveling through each of Indiana’s 92 counties.  Torchbearers will be Hoosiers, representing all walks of life.

Over 1,900 Torchbearers will be selected to carry the torch and all will carry the torch in the county in which they were nominated.  The torch will be transported multi-modally.  That is, it will be carried on foot (walking or running), by bicycle, automobile, boat, train, tractor, helicopter and other modes of transport that are deemed safe, secure and representative of Indiana culture and heritage.

Who can carry the torch?

Torchbearers must meet specific criteria to be considered as an Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay Torchbearer.  Those criteria are outlined below.

- Must possess the physical adaptive ability to carry the torch (no more than 32” in length and less than 5 pounds) a minimum of .25 miles
- Must be a resident of Indiana, former resident of Indiana, nominated in honor of someone who is or was a resident of Indiana.
- Must be a current or former resident of the county in which they are being nominated.
- Must be at least 14 years of age to carry the live flame Flagship Torch.  If under 14, the nominee will be required to carry the no flame Kids Torch.
- May be subject to a criminal background check.
- May be nominated posthumously.  A substitute Torchbearer can be submitted to carry on behalf of the nominee.  (See nomination form).
- Must be nominated by another individual and a complete nomination form must be submitted on the nominee’s behalf.

How do I nominate someone?

There are a few different ways to nominate a Hoosier to carry the torch.  Click Here to download the 2015 Torchbearer Nomination Form. Please complete the nomination form in full.  Incomplete forms will not be accepted.

Methods of Nomination

- A writable PDF form can be Downloaded Here.
- Nominators need to complete the form, save it to their computer and then email the form back as an attachment.
- Nomination forms submitted via email should be made to the designated county contact as indicated at the bottom of this page.

- Printed nomination forms may be completed and submitted via U.S. Mail or dropped off at a county designated location.
- Nomination forms should be mailed or dropped off to the designated county contact as indicated  at the bottom of this page.

When can I nominate someone?

The Torchbearer nomination window will be open from May 8 through December 31, 2015.  Nomination forms submitted after December 31 will not be accepted.  Please complete the nomination form in full.  Incomplete forms will not be accepted.

How are the Torchbearers selected?

Once all the nomination forms are collected, a juried nomination process will be employed in each county to select Torchbearers.  Small nomination committees have been formed in each county to manage this process on a county by county basis.

What is the preliminary timeline for the Torchbearer program?

- May 2015 thru December 31, 2015 – Nomination Period
- February 2016 – Primary Selections Made at the County Level
- April 2016 – Final Selection Made
- June 2016 – Torchbearers Announced

How do I submit my nomination form? 

Starke County Coordinator: David Pearman

Email Or Mail Location:
David Pearman
6140 E. 25N
Knox, IN 46534
Coordinator: David Pearman
Phone: 574-772-5548

Drop-off Location:
Starke County Chamber of Commerce
400 N. Heaton St.
Knox, IN 46534

Community Services of Starke County Collection Sites

posted Jun 18, 2014, 3:29 PM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated May 26, 2015, 9:24 AM ]

Community Services of Starke County’s Food Pantry has two collection sites in North Judson.  You can drop off much needed food items during regular business hours at: 

Dr. Bejes’ Office                   
414 Lane Street                     

Dr. Dalphond’s Office
108 West State Street

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