Starke County News Items

N.J.-S.P. Pool Activities Approved and Begin in January

posted Nov 23, 2014, 12:43 PM by North Judson Public Library   [ updated Nov 23, 2014, 12:44 PM ]

Published: November 22, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board this week approved the proposed pool activities list for members of the community. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says they will offer swim lessons and have open swim times for kids and their families. Water aerobics has also been added to the list of activities. That will cost $16 for a four-week session. Classes will meet on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. starting Jan. 6th. Open swim will begin on Jan. 7th and run from 6:45 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday. The cost is $2. Swimming lessons will cost $30 per session and will begin on Apr. 13th at 6 p.m.

NJ-SP Elementary Spell Bowl Wins State

posted Nov 23, 2014, 12:40 PM by North Judson Public Library

Published: November 22, 2014
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI

 North Judson-San Pierre hosted the annual elementary spell bowl competition Thursday night. A total of nine schools in five different classes competed against each other.  North Judson-San Pierre emerged victorious from the field of five schools in the orange class. A celebration was held in the elementary gym yesterday for the team’s accomplishment.

The Great American Smoke Out Encourages Smokers to Quit

posted Nov 20, 2014, 9:29 AM by North Judson Public Library   [ updated Nov 20, 2014, 9:29 AM ]

Published: November 20, 2014 
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI
The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke Out is today. It challenges smokers to put down tobacco for one day and is held every year on the third Thursday in November. The number of adults in Indiana who smoke has decreased significantly since 2011, however Indiana’s smoking rate remains among the highest in the nation with over one million adult smokers. Tobacco Control Network Program Director Rachelle Back says today is a big step for those wanting to quit.

“Smokers take that first step on this day. Some have given it up all together. Others give it up for the day and then towards the beginning of the New Year they make a resolution to quit for good. So it’s made a huge impact,” said Back.

A report from the Surgeon General finds smoking rates have decreased significantly since 1964. The report indicates while today’s smokers smoke fewer cigarettes than those 50 years ago, they are at higher risk of developing lung cancer. Changes in the design and composition of cigarettes since the 1950s have increased the risk of adenocarcinoma of the lung, the most common type of lung cancer.

You can receive free help in quitting tobacco by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visiting To learn more about the Great American Smokeout, visit the American Cancer Society website at

North Judson and San Pierre Fire Departments Support Student Council and Community

posted Nov 20, 2014, 9:22 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: November 20, 2014 
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI
The North Judson and San Pierre fire departments donated $100 each to the N.J.-S.P. Middle School Student Council for their community service project. Students raise money throughout the year to help families in the community in need of assistance. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says the fire departments are always generous to the school and support families in need each year. She adds it is a little different from a canned food drive.

“The middle school Student Council adopts families and it’s a shopping trip the kids go out and shop with their sponsors,” said Back.

Johnson says the families always appreciate the extra help, and the school looks forward to the project every year.

Two Recount Petitions Filed in Starke County

posted Nov 19, 2014, 9:35 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: November 19, 2014 
By: Mary Perren, WKVI
The fate of two contested races in the November General Election is in the hands of the Starke Circuit Court. Starke County Republican Party Chair Brenda Stanojevic filed a recount petition in the 4th District Council seat on behalf of candidate Don White. Democrat Pam Stalbaum edged him by two votes in the contest for the open seat currently held by Marvin McLaughlin. That district is comprised of the four Wayne Township precincts as well as the one in Railroad Township. Incumbent Democrat Railroad Township Trustee Roger Chaffins Sr. is also seeking a recount after losing to Republican Mandy Thompson by three votes.

Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall will appoint a three-person recount commission, consisting of one Democrat, one Republican and one person familiar with the electronic voting machines used to conduct the election. They will review the procedures and vote totals and present a report to the judge. State law gives him until Dec. 20 to reach a decision, but he has the power to order an extension should more time be needed.

The judge will order all ballots cast and voting machines used in the four Wayne Township precincts and the one used in Railroad Township be impounded in order to preserve the integrity of the data for that commission’s review. Clerk Evelyn Skronski says the sheriff will lock them in the courthouse safe.

Skronski notes all in-person votes are cast on electronic machines, which lessens the likelihood of a clerical error due to hand counting. Absentee votes are sorted by precinct and fed through the machines so they can be electronically counted as well. She adds one provisional ballot cast in the Nov. 4 election was deemed eligible. It did not affect the outcome of either of these contests, though, as it was cast in Center Township.

A total of 1,272 machine-counted and 206 absentee votes were cast in the Starke County Council District 4 race. In Railroad Township 317 machine and 32 absentee votes were tallied.

Skronski says this is the first recount in Starke County since the current electronic voting machines were put into use in 2003. The last recount occurred in 2002 and also involved candidates for the District 4 seat. Then-incumbent Councilman Bruce Fingerhut emerged victorious in that recount over his opponent.

This year incumbent Oregon-Davis School Board President Christopher Lawrence edged his opponent Annette M. Ferch by three votes. She opted not to pursue a recount in that contest.

Read the state law pertaining to the recount process here:

North Judson-San Pierre Votes Yes on Balanced Calendar

posted Nov 19, 2014, 9:28 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: November 19, 2014 
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI 

The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation is the second in Starke County to adopt the balanced calendar concept. The school board unanimously approved the plan last night. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says until state test dates are released a set calendar cannot be made. She says they are usually released in January or early February. Once they have a firm schedule, Johnson says North Judson-San Pierre will be able to make minor changes so the calendar can work for the corporation.

A balanced calendar still features 180 instructional days. School starts the first of August and ends the first of June. Students get longer fall and spring breaks which can be used for remediation or enrichment activities.

The Oregon-Davis School Board also adopted the balanced calendar concept during their Monday meeting. The Knox Community School Board is also considering the proposal but has yet to act. The Culver Community School Board is waiting to see what other corporations do before acting.

Starke County Community Foundation Awards Grants, Honors Hardesty

posted Nov 19, 2014, 9:25 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: November 19, 2014 
By: Ed Hasnerl, WKVI 
The Starke County Community Foundation has announced that nearly a quarter-million dollars ($247,630.00) was awarded in 2014 grants and scholarships. The total was revealed at last night’s “Impact Celebration” at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center.

A number of the grant recipients were presented their cash awards at the catered dinner.

Scholarship winners were recognized at an earlier event.

A special recognition was given to Foundation donor and former board member, James Hardesty, of Hamlet, who passed away last May at age 92. Since the Community Foundation began operation in 1996, Mr. Hardesty made gifts totaling more than $2-million. This fund will generate more than $80,000 in grant dollars each year — forever.

In making her annual report, Sarah Origer, Director of Development, also reported that 107 new “named funds” were begun in 2014. She said it has been “an incredible year!” for the local Community Foundation.

Town of North Judson Offers Seasonal Reminders

posted Nov 19, 2014, 9:23 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: November 19, 2014 
By: Mitch Columbe, WKVI 

The Town of North Judson reminds residents and business owners to let water run constantly in a stream about the diameter of a pencil whenever temperatures are below freezing. This helps keep water meters and pipes from freezing.

Residents are also reminded the final day of leaf pick-up is this Friday. Loose leaf piles need to be placed next to the curb, not in the alley. Remember to keep all trash, branches and limbs out of the piles so the vacuum can pick up the leaves. If piles have anything other than leaves, they will not be picked up.

Interested in Biotechnology?

posted Nov 11, 2014, 12:43 PM by North Judson Public Library

Purdue Extension--Starke County has a great, new opportunity! We are looking for between 3-5 high school students and 1 adult to start a Biotechnology team!

This group would attend a three day Teens Teaching Biotechnology training and then have the opportunity to create and implement a "Science Behind Agriculture" program in our community.

If you think this opportunity might be for you or would like more information, please call Elisabeth at 574-772-9141 or email at

Indiana Broadcasters Association Names WKVI-FM Market 3 Station of the Year

posted Nov 11, 2014, 10:23 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: November 10, 2014 
By: Mary Perren

WKVI-FM is the Indiana Broadcasters Association Market 3 Station of the Year. General Manager Jerry Curtis says the judges look closely at the service stations provide to the community.

“We have a full-time, full-service news department. They look at that. They look at other community events that we’re involved in, like the Pizza Hut World Hunger night that we did. Also the radiothon for the Starke County Youth Club. Those are all factors that they consider heavily,” Curtis said.

He and the rest of the radio station’s management team accepted the award Saturday night at the 27th Annual Indiana Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame and Spectrum Awards Show in Indianapolis. Curtis said the entire WKVI team deserves credit for the win.

“It’s very exciting, and I’m proud to be a part of this very extraordinary team of radio pros, people that really love the radio business and spend lots of their time every day working hard to make the station sound good, to put out a good product.”

Curtis added the same team is also working to launch WKVI-FM’s sister station, WMYR-FM, MAX 98.3 in Marshall County. It should be on the air by the end of the year.

WKVI Sales Manager Tony Ross, Morning Show Host Tom Berg, News Director Mary Perren, General Manager Jerry Curtis, Operations Manager/Program Director Lenny Dessauer and Sports Director Nathan Welter are all smiles after accepting the Indiana Broadcasters Association Spectrum Award for Market 3 Station of the Year.

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