Starke County News Items

Real Estate Taxes Are Due November 13th

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Starke County Job Fair a Success (10/18)

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 18, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI 

Last week’s Starke County Job Fair was deemed a success. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver gave the county council a full report Monday night. He said several companies attended the event.

“We had about 88 people there,” said Weaver. “I’ve got to tell you that both the quantity and the quality of the persons who walked in looking for jobs this year compared to last year was just phenomenally different.”

He noted that there were job seekers from outside of Starke County who wanted to see what jobs are available.

“There were several people there from Bay Valley (Foods) and Del Monte out of Plymouth who are losing their jobs because those facilities are closing. There were a lot of discussions. Those people automatically went to the top of the list because they showed up to work everyday at the old place. I don’t think there’s anybody who’s going to lose a day’s work. It was very good.”

He added that the Manufacturer’s Day was also successful. All of the 7th grade and senior students from the four area schools were able to receive more information about the industries in their back yard.

North Judson Town Council Receives Updates About Water System Improvement Project (10/18)

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 18, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI 

The potential of a supplemental round of grant funding being offered through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs could provide more financial assistance for proposed projects in the Town of North Judson. Vince Sommers of Common Wealth Engineers came before the North Judson Town Council members to fill them in on the process so far and to alert them of the potential supplemental round of grant funding.

The town is pursuing SRF Drinking Water Funds for their water system improvement project. Sommers said that any time federal money is utilized an environmental impact report must be conducted. The State Revolving Fund reviewed the preliminary engineering report for the water system improvements and instructed the organization who helped secure the grant, Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission (KIRPC), to advertise a finding of no significant impact.

Once the report is advertised, there will be a 30 day public comment period. If no significant public input is provided then the plan will receive approval. Sommers said the possibility have having the project approved soon would be advantageous for the supplemental round that OCRA may be offering at the end of the year.

“They have some additional money. They’re looking at a round beginning in December of this year.” Sommers explained, “We’ll have an approval of your plan, like I said probably in the next 35 to 45 days, which will fit very very nicely for KIRPC to pursue a half million dollar grant.”

He said OCRA just closed out their round two grants last week and added that proposals for the additional funds would be due in February of 2018.

North Judson-San Pierre 6th Grader Spreads Kindness with Her Award Winning Design (10/18)

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 18, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI 

A North Judson-San Pierre middle school student was chosen as a finalist in a nation-wide charitable design contest. At last night’s NJSP School Board meeting, sixth grade teacher JoAnn Gappa and her student Hailey Wright spoke to board members about the Wonder Kind Project.

Mrs. Gappa told board members that her students have recently been reading and working with the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio. One activity she provided to her students was to create a visual representation of kindness and inclusion for a design challenge. GAP Kids started the Choose Kind Challenge inspired by the book, which centers around a child with a Craniofacial condition.

Wright explained the challenge to the members of the board saying, “We all had to design a t-shirt and bunch of other teachers around the world did it and they only picked 8 finalists.” She said her inspiration for her design was to show how we are all different but still “fit in”

Mrs. Gappa explained that 100 percent of the proceeds gathered from the student-designed shirts will be donated to charities that work to educate, empower and transform the lives of children and families living with Craniofacial differences.

As an added bonus, Wright also won a GAP gift card, shirts for her class and a pre-showing for her and her classmates of the upcoming movie inspired by the book. Mrs. Gappa said if all goes according to plan, they’ll also be able to face-time with some of the actors from the movie for a Q&A prior to the screening.

North Judson Town Council Holds First Reading Over Animal Ordinance (10/17)

posted Oct 17, 2017, 8:26 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 17, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI 

An ordinance which has resulted in quite a bit of public attention as well as council consideration received its first reading during last night’s North Judson Town Council meeting. The ordinance regulating the housing and maintenance of animals in the Town of North Judson received unanimous council approval on first reading.

The ordinance is divided into three sections. Section one provides definitions of animals such as cats, dogs, chickens, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits and swine as well as other poultry and domestic animals. It also provides the definitions of phrases such as at large, dangerous animal, feral, free-roaming, harboring, impound and housing.

Section two of the ordinance deals with the regulation of animals. This includes general care as well as registration. The ordinance specifies that individuals must annually register their animals at the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office on or prior to February 15th of the current year.

There are specific subsections pertaining to the requirements associated with chickens, horses and ponies, cats and dogs, rabbits and swine. It specifies that any animals not listed in Section 2 of the ordinance cannot be housed within corporate Town limits. It also says that housing and setbacks are required to conform to the acceptable standards listed in the specific subsection for that animal and must be set a minimum of fifty feet from any property line.

The third section deals with penalties and prohibitions. Section three is divided into subsections dealing with confinement, running-at-large, non-immunized animals, capture and removal and bodily injury caused by an animal.

It goes on to list the penalties which include a first violation fee of $50 and the violator would be given 10 days to correct the violation and a second violation fee of $100 with 5 days allotted for the violation to be corrected. Any violation can result in the potential impoundment of the animal(s) in question. The Town’s code enforcement officer would be in charge of determining whether a violation has occurred but the NJ Police Department and Starke County Humane Society would deal with capture and impoundment respectively.

The final subsection of the ordinance declares that if any part of the ordinance is for any reason determined to be illegal, invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed an independent provision and will not affect the validity of the remainder of the ordinance.

This is just a general synopsis of the proposed ordinance which will receive a second reading in the near future. In order to receive a full copy of the ordinance, contact the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office at 310 Lane Street by calling 574-896-3340.

Starke County Council Holds Budget Hearings (10/17)

posted Oct 17, 2017, 8:23 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 17, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI 

The Starke County Council members opened public hearings for the 2018 county budgets 7and the Solid Waste District with no public comment Monday night. The budget presented by the council totals $11,647,011. The General Fund is listed on Indiana Gateway as $7,022,851.

The 2018 Starke County Airport Budget was adopted with a total of $302,659. Phase one of a runway extension project is included for next year. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Director Charlie Weaver explained that the entire project was not fully funded by the FAA so only a portion will be completed with plans to gather grant funding for phase two.

The county council members tabled a request from Coroner Dannie Hoffer for an increase in his pay from $7,500 to $9,000 in the 2018 budget. The council members would like more details on surrounding county wages, death calls, assessed valuation, and a possible job description and position policy manual.

The council members would also prefer that Hoffer use an 800 mhz radio to be called to a scene. There is also a question about his ability to take the vehicle home that is used when responding to calls.

The council will discuss the issue further when they meet in a special session on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the meeting room in the Starke County Annex Building No. 1 in Knox.

Watch Out For This New Amazon Phishing/Phone Password Scam

posted Oct 16, 2017, 11:04 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Watch Out For This New Amazon Phishing/Phone Password Scam

Two Local Communities Receive Grant Funds for Projects (10/16)

posted Oct 16, 2017, 8:26 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 16, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI 

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs recently announced $15 million in Community Development Block Grants.

Thirty-one rural communities received funds in an effort to ensure health and safety, and to improve the quality of life of citizens.

Starke County was the recipient of a $500,000 Public Facilities Program Grant. The county will use the grant funds to replace the elevator at the Starke County Courthouse. The project will help the county meet requirements put forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The new elevator will assist all residents in utilizing the offices on all levels of the courthouse.

The Town of Winamac is the recipient of a $500,000 Stormwater Improvement Program Grant for stormwater improvements to include new inlets and sewers, rehabilitation of existing storm sewers and installation of new drywells.

Northern Wood Products Offers $8,500 for Starke County Forest Timber (10/14)

posted Oct 14, 2017, 8:16 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 14, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

The Starke County Forest will make $8,500 with its timber sale. Northern Wood Products of Walkerton submitted the only bid. It was formally accepted Tuesday by the Starke County Park Board, at the recommendation of Forester Bruce Wakeland.

The Starke County Forest is designed to be a self-sufficient park facility, with timber sales being the main funding source.

North Judson Native Andrew Rowe Appointed to Clerk-Treasurer Position (10/13)

posted Oct 13, 2017, 8:31 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on October 13, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI

The caucus to determine the new North Judson Clerk-Treasurer took place Thursday evening. Democrat Chairman Kenny Wallace announced that one individual had submitted a letter of interest by the Tuesday deadline. Wallace then introduced the candidate, Andrew Rowe, who provided a bit of background information about himself and why he was interested in filling the open position.

Rowe was born and raised in North Judson. He has experience working with government representatives and economic development officials. He said after speaking with an individual about the importance of generational integrity and hometown pride he felt inspired to return to his roots and work to make the town of North Judson a better place to live, work and raise a family.

He said aside from working specifically with the Town of North Judson, he mentioned wanting to be involved with the Democratic Party at the local level.

Three representatives from precincts within North Judson voted at the caucus. Jackie Bridegroom and Paula Eckert are the presidents for their precincts and Vice President Pam Stalbaum was filling in for President Isaiah Collins who was unable to attend. He submitted a notification of his absence to Chairman Wallace 72 hours prior to the caucus in order to allow the VP to stand in.

A secret ballot was taken and there was a unanimous vote to name Andrew Rowe as the new North Judson Clerk-Treasurer. Chairman Wallace thanked Alicia Collins for her service to the community and wished her the best of luck at her next position. Following the announcement, Rowe had his mind set on what comes next,

“I’m just looking forward to getting acquainted with the job, the position, what it entails and getting to know the council members who I don’t know very well. There’s a couple people on the council who I haven’t had a lot of experience with, and seeing how we can work together into the future.”

Alicia Collins will be working with the appointee who will begin training soon and said she will be available to help him if any questions arise further down the line.

Her advice included that communication is key when it comes to working with the town council and told him to be prepared for a variety of responsibilities. She said that since North Judson doesn’t have a mayor, the clerk-treasurer is sometimes the first point of contact when citizens have concerns.

Rowe will be attending the next North Judson Town Council meeting on October 16th to shadow Collins during her final meeting.

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