Starke County News Items

    Bridge Repair To Start Today on 700 East

    posted by North Judson Public Library

    By: Mary Perren, WKVI
    Published: July 22nd, 2014

    A LaPorte-based contractor will begin repairs on the bridge over the Yellow River on County Road 700 East today. It’s been closed since a tree floating down the river struck one of the bridge supports earlier this year, rendering the structure unstable. LaPorte Construction was the only company to bid on the work. However, when the Starke County Commissioners opened their bid on Monday, July 7 it was nearly double the estimated cost for the project. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler contacted the company, clarified the scope of the work and got them to knock the price down to $78,536. The commissioners approved the revised bid last night. Ritzler says the contractor advised he can still complete the project by the Aug. 15 deadline outlined in the original specifications. Ritzler did note the entire bridge is slated for replacement in 2018. He’s working with INDOT to see if that timeline can be moved up. Meanwhile, the commissioners and county attorney agree the bridge needs to be fixed as soon as possible so the road can reopen.

    North Judson-Wayne Township Library Director to Retire

    posted by North Judson Public Library

    By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
    Published: July 19th, 2014
    The long-time director at the North Judson-Wayne Township Library, Jane Ellen Felchuk, has decided to retire.

    Felchuk said she will be leaving after 38 years at the library.

    “It was lots of fun and it was a challenge,” said Felchuk. “We feel the library has grown and I had a great staff so it was easy to do lots of things.”

    Felchuk’s last day will be Dec. 31. If a new director has not been found by the time she leaves the library, she will stay on until someone is in place.

    She’s got a list of things she’ll be doing in her retirement.

    “I’m going to finish up my love which is our local history collection. I’m going to have time now to work on it and redo it. I’m going to be a granny nanny. I don’t know – I’ve got projects that list about three pages long.”

    The library board is looking for a candidate who is energetic and anxious to move forward with new ideas at the library. Candidates must be eligible for an Indiana Library Certificate 4. Contact the Library for a job description and application details at

    Kid’s Closet Ministry Schedules School Supply Drive

    posted Jul 7, 2014, 10:02 AM by North Judson Public Library

    By: Mary Perren, WKVI
    Published: July 7th, 2014

    The Kid’s Closet Ministry at North Judson United Methodist Church is taking steps to equip Starke County youngsters with supplies for the start of school. They are hosting their second annual “Pack-a-Backpack” event on Aug. 4 and 5 at the church from 5 until 6:30 p.m. for all youngsters in need who attend local schools. First they need supplies.

    Boxes will be placed at the Knox and North Judson Dollar General stores throughout the month of July for the collection of new school supplies. Volunteers are also needed to staff donation drives on Saturday, July 19 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at both stores. Shifts are two hours each. Contact Linda Lewandowski at North Judson United Methodist Church or at Norwayne Lumber in North Judson if you would like to help out.

    Welcome Home Heroes Parade September 13th

    posted Jul 1, 2014, 2:30 PM by North Judson Public Library

    By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI
    Published: July 1st, 2014
    Women and men from all across our nation have been putting their lives on the line to defend the United States of America for centuries. The city of Knox is teaming up with the St. Joe Valley Blue Star Mothers of Indiana #6 to honor those heroes with a welcome home parade. It will take place on Sept. 13th.

    All veterans are invited to participate and receive recognition for their nobility. The plan is to line-up behind Five-Star, go down Main Street and walk to the Starke County Courthouse. Following the parade, there will be a few special speakers on the courthouse steps.

    The South Bend Medical Foundation will also have their bloodmobile set up, and have agreed for every successful donation they will donate $5 to the local chapter of Operation Care Package.

    This event is a way to express gratitude to each and every person who has served for this country. Any questions can be directed to Sandra Boldt via email at,

    Indiana’s New Criminal Codes Take Effect Today

    posted Jul 1, 2014, 2:25 PM by North Judson Public Library

    By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
    Published: July 1st, 2014

     After nearly 37 years, the criminal codes in Indiana will change today which will create six levels of felonies. Credit time will also change.

    Robert Hinojosa, Director of Operations at Starke County Community Corrections, said the change stemmed from a lack of proportionality.

    “A study was done in Indiana to look at Indiana’s prison population and when that study was concluded they found that a lot of offenders were in prison for relatively small level crimes – small-level property crimes and low-level drug crimes. They were serving substantial sentences – sometimes even longer than individuals who had been charged and convicted of more serious crimes. The whole issue was to look at the sentencing guidelines and to see how Indiana can prove sentencing by keeping lower risk offenders in community and higher risk offenders in scarce prison beds,” stated Hinojosa.

    Until the law is in effect for about a year and new offenders move through the system, Hinojosa is not sure yet how that will affect Starke County Community Corrections.

    “This was a complete rewrite of the criminal code so no one is really sure exactly how much those changes are going to affect our populations.”

    The new felony classes include Murder and Levels 1-6. The misdemeanor counts will remain the same. A murder conviction will carry a range of 45-65 years, Level 1 sentence includes 20-40 years, Level 2 10-30 years, Level 3 3-16 years, Level 4 2-12 years, Level 5 1-6 years, and Level 6 six months-2.5 years.

    As of today, offenders convicted of Level 6 felonies or misdemeanors will get one day credit for every day served. Offenders convicted of any other level felony will receive one day credit for every three served. If an offender is sentenced and receives a credit Class C classification, that offender will have one day credit for every six days served. Credit Class D does not offer any days credit.

    Marshall County Sheriff Tom Chamberlin recently told the commission and council members that he isn’t sure how it will affect his inmate population there for another year or so. That’s when the offenders will be moving through the court system and receiving their sentence.

    Ted Hayes, Take A Bow

    posted Jun 30, 2014, 10:29 AM by North Judson Public Library

    By: Jerry Curtis, WKVI
    Published: June 30th, 2014

    Today, we say a fond farewell to our mentor, colleague and friend, Ted Hayes. Over the years, Ted has served in many capacities at WKVI: general manager, news director, commercial producer and longtime on-air personality, forging many friendships throughout the Kankakee Valley and our listening area.

    Mr. Hayes can rightly take credit for many accomplishments over time, including, receipt of the Crystal Award for Public Service from the National Association of Broadcasters and establishment of the annual Starke County Youth Club Radiothon, which raises thousands for the local organization, each year. While Ted will conclude his association with WKVI today, he will continue his work as media representative at IU Health Starke Hospital, for which we wish him the very best of success. Ted, for a final time, allow us to recognize and appreciate your hard work and dedication to broadcasting in general and to WKVI right here at home. Thanks!

    CASA Volunteers Needed in Starke County

    posted Jun 25, 2014, 9:27 AM by North Judson Public Library

    By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI
    Published: June 25th, 2014
    The Starke County Court Appointed Special Advocate program is seeking ordinary people to do an extraordinary job.

    CASA is currently taking applications for its fall volunteer training classes. CASA volunteers work to help abused and neglected children in Starke County who have been taken from their homes and placed into temporary foster care. They help these children find safe, permanent homes where they can thrive. Each advocate undergoes training to be a powerful voice for the children’s best interest.

    If you feel inspired to do your part for our community’s most valuable citizens, our children, contact CASA by calling 574-772-7200 or email at The deadline to apply for this training is July 28.

    The beginning training class has been scheduled for August 5.

    Play it Safe When Using Fireworks

    posted Jun 25, 2014, 9:25 AM by North Judson Public Library

    By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
    Published: June 25th, 2014

    The Fourth of July is an exciting holiday filled with picnics and other celebrations that may include fireworks. Indiana State Police officers urge you to play it safe when using fireworks.

    Only adults can purchase fireworks. A person 18 and older has to be present when anyone younger than 18 is using or possessing consumer fireworks. Children must be supervised at all times when fireworks are in use.

    Fireworks can only be used on the user’s property or if permission has been granted for use on another property. Fireworks can be used at place that has been designated by the Indiana State Fire Marshal.

    Indiana State Police officers say fireworks may be discharged on the Fourth of July from 9 a.m. to midnight. Any person who violates this law can be charged with a Class C infraction. Cities and towns have different ordinances regarding the use of fireworks and the times they can be discharged so refer those inquiries to local officials.

    If anyone recklessly, knowingly or intentionally uses fireworks and there is bodily injury, that person can be charged with a Class D felony. If property damage is caused, a class A misdemeanor could be filed.

    North Judson-San Pierre Graduate Cast in New Reality Show

    posted Jun 21, 2014, 8:45 AM by North Judson Public Library

    By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
    Published: June 20th, 2014

    A graduate of North Judson-San Pierre High School has been cast on the first season of a reality show called The Reel Deal.

    Christine Barger said she was cast as a result of online voting and she will be working with some celebrity mentors.

    “It’s up-and-coming actors and actresses hat get to work with celebrities in different aspects,” said Barger. “We have Judy Norton, Eric Roberts, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Tim Russ, Dustin Diamond, and Holly Fields. What we’re going to do is work together in teams to compete against each other to create short films.”

    Along with the up-and-coming actors and actresses, up-and-coming directors and composers will work with the teams to create short films in four days to present for competition.

    Barger has lived in L.A. for several years now where she has had television parts on iCarly and Dexter and movie roles on Along Came Polly and Made of Honor. She just recently worked on a pilot with Courtney Love that is for where Barger plays a teenager. Barger said it will go up on the web for now but she hopes that it will get picked up to continue as a series.

    She still works on her ventriloquism.

    “I’ve had a little bit of a break. I’ve actually been focused on doing ventriloquism and getting into magic. I joined the Academy of Magical Arts. I’ve been really focusing on adding that into my live act. I’ve been doing college, corporate and library shows and some educational stuff for kids on anti-bullying with my puppets. Having the reaction of kids and seeing firsthand that you’re making a difference and inspiring people is really what I find is the best thing about being in the arts.”

    Her newest series, The Reel Deal, can be seen on Comcast, Hulu, Netflix and more devices this fall.

    She has her fingers crossed that she will get to work with Eric Roberts as she’s a big fan of his.

    Community Services of Starke County Collection Sites

    posted Jun 18, 2014, 3:29 PM by North Judson Public Library

    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 Dr. Dalphond’s Office
    414 Lane Street 108 West State Street

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