Starke County News Items

Election Board Places N.J.-S.P. Tax Referendum on November Ballot

posted Jul 30, 2015, 9:24 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Published: July 30, 2015 
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

The Starke County Election Board considered placing the North Judson-San Pierre tax referendum on the ballot, this week.

N.J.-S.P.’s School Board adopted the resolution to take the property tax levy increase to the public. Under the plan, an increase of 47-cents per $100 of assessed valuation would be seen in year one. The rate would drop to 27-cents per $100 of assessed valuation in subsequent years.

The school corporation believes that the tax increase will offset state funding losses due to declining enrollment, and other factors. The revenue improvements will also help North Judson-San Pierre Schools balance their fiscal year budgets.

In order to be properly placed on the ballot, the referendum was expected to be filed in several places, among them the state of Indiana and the Starke County Clerk’s office.

Now that the proper recording has taken place, Starke County Clerk Vicki Cooley says the referendum was approved to be placed on the ballot during November’s General Election.

NJSP School Board Reviews 2016 Budget Estimates

posted Jul 30, 2015, 9:21 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Published: July 30, 2015 
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI
The North Judson-San Pierre School Board is preparing for fiscal year 2016.

A special budget work session meeting was held on Wednesday night where school Treasurer Guy Richie presented year-over-year comparisons. The school corporation is anticipating about $8-million in General Fund expenditures for 2016 – a much reduced figure from the $11-million expended during 2012.

Richie says every year, the school corporation should look at its staffing levels.

“Obviously whatever staff we need, it may be sad to say that we have to let go of some people time to time because we’re shrinking,” says Richie. It’s just that now the financial situation is now a drastic thing. It should probably be done every January, February, around that time frame.”

Last year total revenues fell short by about $1-million. Those reductions have been seen due to lower state funding and other factors. That has left the school corporation with few choices but to drain about 75-percent of its cash reserve over the last several years.

School Board members reviewed the proposed appropriations for 2016, last night. What happens to the school corporation’s referendum to raise the property tax levy will determine whether key services and activities are continued.

Superintendent Lynn Johnson says special education is not on the chopping block.

“We have to pay that, I mean that’s not an option,” says Johnson. “But we will have to reduce staff, salary and benefits, a lot.”

Some monies could become available in 2017 in the school corporation’s debt service fund. Transportation funds are considered healthy at this time.

Without increased revenue from a referendum passage, however, positions and activities would indeed be reduced. Revenue generating activities may see priority.

North Judson-San Pierre’s budget is anticipated for adoption by the school board on September 15th.

Questions Remain Over North Judson Ordinance Recertification

posted Jul 29, 2015, 9:56 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Published: July 29, 2015 
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI
The Starke County Clerk’s office will continue attempts to receive confirmation regarding an issue that may have affected past elections.

During Monday’s Starke County Election Board meeting, recertified ordinances from the Town of North Judson were considered. The Town felt it necessary to bring annexation and ward map issues back from 2001 and 2012 after the ordinances were improperly certified. The error could make the annexation and ward map changes invalid.

Board member Dan Bridegroom says the there are multiple places an ordinance must be certified.

“The auditor’s office, the clerk’s office, the state of Indiana,” says Bridegroom. “Those are the three places. Once it’s done with that, it will come back to [the clerk’s office] with a certification of new people, then the maps change. We can’t change that map.”

Apart from questioning the responsibility of the Election Board in the annexation matter, those present during Monday’s meeting agreed it was necessary to understand how the annexation was affecting the voting public in North Judson.

While it remains clear the ordinances were improperly certified, the Starke County Clerk’s office had, prior to the issue surfacing, made the changes to the Statewide Voter Registration System maps. North Judson residents are thought by the Board to be correctly mapped as a result. That means that so long as the annexation is viewed as valid, the Clerk’s office believes no voting rights were denied, or illegally allowed.

State statute indicates that just because an ordinance certification was not successfully completed, it does not necessarily invalidate the annexation. That issue is what the Town of North Judson and the Starke County Clerk’s office are working to confirm.

Starke County Clerk Vicki Cooley says that somewhere along the line, the map change was likely made from the Clerk’s office.

“It wasn’t maybe recorded or put actually on some of the mappings that it should have, but it was changed in the system,” says Cooley. “There have been no provisional ballots that have been requested, these people did vote.”

As things stand, the Starke County Clerk’s office believes residents in the annexed portions of North Judson from 2001 are still allowed to vote this November.

Facebook Malware – Think Before You Click That Link

posted Jul 29, 2015, 9:46 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Published: July 29, 2015 
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

Unwanted, overly personal updates from acquaintances isn’t the only thing you have to worry about as a Facebook user these days. One pesky concern is Malware. Malware is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software. In attempt to steal personal information from your Facebook account deceitful tagging is utilized.

Here’s how it works; you would receive a notification claiming a friend has tagged you in a video. You may see that several other friends are also tagged. As soon as you click to view the video, it will prompt you to download a flash player before you can proceed. If downloaded, the Malware can take over your Facebook account and carry out the same trick on any of your unsuspecting Facebook friends.

The Better Business Bureau has some tips to follow in order to avoid having personal information compromised. First off, stay away from promotions that say exclusive, shocking or sensational footage. If you suspect a video you’ve been tagged in by a friend is faulty, try contacting them through another means to confirm the legitimacy of the post. Be cautious of shortened links because link shortening may be used as a disguise to malicious links. Don’t trust FB friend’s online habits. There is a chance they may have not actually “liked” anything and may also be a victim of a hacked account.

If your account has been hacked, contact Facebook. The Facebook Help Center page offers remedies to several potential problems.

Kersting’s-sponsored MDA Ride Touted as Tremendous Success

posted Jul 28, 2015, 10:03 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Published: July 28, 2015 
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

This year’s charitable motorcycle ride sponsored by the North Judson Kersting’s Cycle Center was a success. The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office extended a congratulatory thanks to the Kankakee Valley chapter 1326 of the Harley Owners Group for raising nearly $700 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

In a news release the Sheriff’s Office said it was a privilege to assist the organization with the cause. They also wanted to extend special thanks to Deputy Aaron Heims, Deputy Nick Bowyer and the Medaryville Police Department for their collaborative efforts to provide traffic control during the event. According to the news release, it was their professionalism and courtesy that allowed all participants to have a safe and enjoyable ride for a wonderful cause.

Chapter 1326 of the Harley Owners Group was also grateful for having a chance to participate in this charitable fund-raising opportunity. Road Captain Jerry Hedger presented Sheriff Jeff Richwine with a certificate of appreciation following the event.

Calling All Farmers Interested in Getting Involved with the Community

posted Jul 28, 2015, 9:56 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Published: July 28, 2015 
By: Jacque Ryan, WKVI

If you know someone interested in serving on a local Indiana Farm Service Agency County Committee, now is the time to submit that person’s name as a nominee for the 2015 County Committee Elections. Act fast because you only have until the beginning of August to submit your nomination.

FSA Indiana State Executive Director Julia Wickard has some advice for farmers, or friends of farmers interested in filling one of these positions, “From now through August 3rd you can nominate a candidate for your local FSA county committee and almost anyone participating or cooperating in an FSA program and of legal voting age can be nominated. Download the nomination form from our website or pick one up at your local FSA office.”

Indiana has a big focus on agriculture and by becoming an active member of the FSA you get to be a part of generations of Hoosier farmers who served to assist their communities. Wickard explained the importance of having local members serve on these committees, “FSA county committees are a vital link between the farm community and the US Department of Agriculture. Through the county committee system, farmers have a voice and their opinions and ideas are heard. So make a difference today by nominating a fellow farmer.”

The deadline to submit nominations is August 3rd, all forms must be postmarked or delivered to the county office by that date. Chances are, you know someone perfect for one of these positions. Get your application by following this link and send in your nomination as soon as possible.

Senator Decries Legislature’s “Education Session”

posted Jul 28, 2015, 9:52 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Published: July 28, 2015 
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

A local lawmaker says the recently completed session of the Indiana General Assembly was the most trying and most contentious of his nine-year legislative career. Gov. Mike Pence touted it as the education session. Sen. Jim Arnold, D-LaPorte, agrees this year’s 2.2 percent increase in school funding and next year’s 2.5 percent hike are the largest increases in education funding in history.

“It sounds very good. The downside of that is that the vast majority of our increased money now is going to vouchers and going to charter schools, not going to public school systems,” Arnold recently told the Starke County Council and Commissioners. “The big winners of this are going to be the urban schools. The rural schools such as Knox are going to be the big losers.”

Arnold also notes a significant chunk of the school funding increase goes to vouchers.

“In 2015 we had authorization to fund 28,000 vouchers in the state of Indiana. That goes up to 36,000 in 2016 and it jumps up to 40,000 in 2017.”

Arnold adds he’s never voted for the voucher program.

“I believe in public taxes for public education. If you want to send your childi to a private school, God bless you. I support you on that. I think the family should supply it, not the taxpayers. Public taxes need to go to public education.”

Arnold says the latest state budget is part of an ongoing effort to strip funding from public schools.

Starke County CASA Looking For Volunteers

posted Jul 22, 2015, 10:12 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

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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