Starke County News Items

North Judson Council to Consider Cumulative Capital Development Fund Reestablishment (2/24)

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on February 24, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

North Judson residents may soon see a bit of a tax increase. The town council is working with accounting firm Umbaugh and Associates to reestablish a cumulative capital development fund.

Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins says the town currently has one, but since the tax rate decreases over time, it’s down to just over 0.01 percent. The reestablishment would boost that level back up to 0.05 percent.

Collins adds that residents will have the chance to ask questions and offer input on the cumulative capital development fund during a public hearing on Monday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m., before the council makes a final decision.

North Judson Council Seeks Input on Curbside Recycling (2/23)

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

Posted on February 23, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

The Town of North Judson is asking residents whether or not they want curbside recycling pickup. On Monday, the town council heard a presentation from Republic Services about adding the service. The company already provides trash pickup for the town.

Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins says council members decided to hold off on making a decision until their June 5 meeting, so community members have a chance to offer input.

School Superintendents Cautiously Optimistic About Budgets (2/20)

posted Feb 20, 2017, 11:53 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on February 20, 2017
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

Public school officials are keeping a close eye on the Indiana General Assembly in hopes of getting more money in the next state budget. Eastern Pulaski Superintendent Dan Foster says the Small and Rural Schools Association and the North Central Indiana Superintendents Study Council hosted a legislative day in Indianapolis last week. He says they’re still cautiously optimistic the state will restore the small and rural schools grant.

“We’re over 1,200 so that would get us $100 per student. Which doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you take our fall count of 1,262 kids, that would get us $126,000, just with that $100 a student,” Foster said.

He adds many small, rural schools, including Eastern Pulaski, are experiencing drops in enrollment.

“From the fall of ’15 to the fall of ’16 we were down 13 students, which was about $75,000. If we were to receive, for instance, that $100 a student, that would neutralize that loss of enrollment a little bit, so definitely any little bit will help.”

Foster adds the education budget in general will be tight.

“They’re telling us to on average maybe expect about a 1 percent increase next year. My comment is how many utilities and insurances and things like that have only increased 1 percent.”

Additionally Foster says the change a few years ago from a fiscal to a calendar year budget and the addition of a second student count date creates budget challenges, as funding can be cut midway through the school year.

ISP Warns of Thieves Targeting Grieving Families (2/17)

posted Feb 17, 2017, 8:22 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on February 17, 2017
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

Thieves are adding insult to injury for grieving families by trolling obituaries and breaking into their homes during visitations and funerals. Officials with the Indiana State Police Lowell Post note a number of burglaries have occurred in the past year in Starke, Pulaski, Jasper and Newton Counties.

They add thieves can find information and hours when victims will be gone by reading obituaries published online or in newspapers.

ISP officials recommend having someone stay at your home during the wake, memorial or funeral service. Another theft deterrent is a security system with a direct link to a monitoring service. Some include outdoor cameras, automated lighting and alarms.

Also, use locks and secure your home every time you leave, even if you are just running a quick errand. You can also notify your local police department and ask them to do extra patrols by your home during the visitation and funeral.

Starke County Park Board to Inspect County Forest (2/17)

posted Feb 17, 2017, 8:18 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on February 17, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

The Starke County Forest will get an inspection by members of the County Park Board, in an effort to resolve drainage issues in the area.

Forester Bruce Wakeland says a neighboring landowner is unfairly blaming beaver dams in the forest for flooding. But County Surveyor Bill Crase believes there may be some validity to the claims, according to County Attorney Marty Lucas. “Sometimes, you just get differences of opinion on land use, if you see what I’m saying. That’s another thing, but it sounds like Bill feels there’s something to it,” Lucas told the park board Tuesday. “I think we should meet with him and investigate it and try to find out what needs to be done to resolve it.”

Lucas suggested that the park board schedule a site visit with Crase and Wakeland. While Wakeland believes issues outside the forest have been causing the flooding, he does admit that a beaver control device installed in the forest hasn’t helped, partly because it wasn’t installed properly.

Still, Wakeland has said he’s done a good job of maintaining water levels in the forest. Lucas says Crase can use GIS data to see whether that’s true. Lucas is confident the park board can reach a solution everyone will be happy with.

Starke County Park Board Still Waiting for Bass Lake Beach and Campground Inspection Report (2/16)

posted Feb 16, 2017, 8:18 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on February 16, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

The Starke County Park Board continues to demand documentation of the Bass Lake Beach and Campground’s condition. County Building Inspector Terry Stephenson visited the property in December, but hasn’t provided a formal inspection report, as requested by Park Board President Debbie Mix.

As it stands, Bass Lake Beach and Campground operator Callahan Development, LLC is set to proceed with an automatic extension of its lease with the county. Mix believes the county may have a chance to get out of the lease, if Callahan is officially found to be in violation.

During Tuesday’s park board meeting, County Attorney Marty Lucas said the issue may boil down to how to create an inspection report if there isn’t an associated building permit. “We got a response,” he explained. “I took the response as being that there wasn’t really a permit and so there wasn’t a formal report.”

Some of those in attendance Tuesday questioned how many of the issues at the Beach and Campground were Callahan’s fault and how many of them existed beforehand. During the meeting, Mix presented photographic evidence of how the site appeared shortly after Callahan took over, which appears to show that at least some components were in much better shape. “Some of that is just fascia,” Mix explained. “It’s painting. It’s keeping it nice and neat. It means that that whole pavilion building was being used. It wasn’t not being used. And it had a working kitchen. It had sales of different items.”

Residents also asked what the park board plans to do if it is successful in getting out of its lease with Callahan. Mix assumed the county would simply lease the facility to another operator, but with more attention paid to the lease before it’s signed.

However, Lucas suggested that the county consider other options if and when the time comes. “I think a best practice nowadays is that if you have a property like this, you have several vendors,” he said. “You might have a contract with a restaurateur to run a restaurant in there. You might have somebody else running the campground. Somebody else might be running the facility that rents boats. And I think that maybe is a better approach, but once again, we’re not in that situation right now.”

Several of those in attendance Tuesday pointed out that Callahan has made at least some improvements to the facility in recent months. However, many agree that it’s not being used to its full potential.

2/27/2017 Deadline for Indiana’s Family of Farmers Student Video Contest (2/11)

posted Feb 11, 2017, 8:49 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Feb 17, 2017, 12:17 PM ]

Posted on February 11, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

Indiana students are being asked to consider the future of agriculture, as part of a video contest from Indiana’s Family of Farmers.

Students in grades six through 12 are encouraged to create a 30-to-60-second video discussing what the agriculture industry can accomplish in the future, when it comes to supplying food, feed, and fuel. Students are also asked to explain how it will affect them. They will have the chance to win a GoPro Hero+ video camera or up to $150 in cash.

The contest will be divided into two categories: one for students in sixth through eighth grades and another for students in ninth through 12th grades. The videos will be posted on the Indiana’s Family of Farmers website, where the public will have a chance to help choose the winners by voting for their favorite.

The deadline to submit a video is Monday, February 27. Winners will be recognized at the Indiana Statehouse on Tuesday, March 21, as part of the Indiana Ag Day celebration.

More information can be found on the Indiana’s Family of Farmers website.

Prevent Frozen Pipes As Temperatures Drop

posted Dec 13, 2016, 8:15 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on December 13, 2016
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

With temperatures expected to remain below freezing for the rest of the week, residents are reminded to take steps to keep pipes and water meters from freezing.

Let your faucet run at a trickle, as long as temperatures are consistently below 30 degrees. That’s the advice the Town of North Judson is giving to its utility customers. The town also recommends not removing any snow that may accumulate in your meter pit, since it acts as an insulator.

If your water meter does freeze, North Judson utility crews will attempt to thaw their customers’ meters, at no charge if it’s the first time it’s happened. However, crews will not be able to thaw frozen water lines.

For more information, call the North Judson town superintendent at 574-896-3332 or the town’s water department at 574-896-2711.

Community Services of Starke County Collection Sites

posted Jun 18, 2014, 3:29 PM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Sep 8, 2016, 9:18 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: 

414 Lane Street                     

Dr. Dalphond’s Office
108 West State Street

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