Starke County News Items

Indiana Granted Approval for Health Reform Program

posted by North Judson Public Library

Published: January 28, 2015 
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI 

The state of Indiana received approval yesterday to use an updated version of the consumer-driven Healthy Indiana Plan instead of Medicaid.

The program is expected to offer healthcare to 350-thousand uninsured Hoosiers.

IU Health LaPorte Public Information Officer Stacey Kellogg says it affects their locations in a great way.

“This program will now enable those who kind of fell through the cracks, who are in that gap and kind of been waiting for this decision to happen, who may have lost their HIP coverage, to go back online, sign up, and get the coverage that they deserve and that they need,” says Kellogg.

IU Health says they simply need to update information they already have. The Family and Social Services Administration says they will be taking applications immediately with coverage beginning February 1st.

HIP 2.0 participants are required to contribute to a POWER account – which works similarly to a Health Savings Account – and are rewarded for using preventive care services.

Governor Mike Pence says the program is based on a similar program that has been used for the last seven years. Kellogg says they have a good relationship with the previous program.

“It’s a little too early to compare the two because the announcement has just been made, but for the most part, very responsive program and very successful for our patients,” says Kellogg.

The Healthy Indiana Plan also offers assistance to low-income residents to purchase private insurance through their employers.

Approval from the federal government effectively ends Medicaid for all non-disabled Indiana residents between 19 and 64.

North Judson Police Get Reports of Scam Phone Calls

posted Jan 27, 2015, 9:36 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: January 27, 2015 
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI
Officers from the North Judson Police Department warn residents that scams are making the rounds.

Several complaints have been made about a caller posing as a Social Security or an IRS worker looking for information and requesting account numbers. Police have also received information that people are posing as other county officers are calling residents asking for bail money for a loved one. Other calls have been reported involving a police detective looking for information about a warrant. If the resident puts up bail money immediately, then the arrest warrant would not be carried out.

North Judson officers stress that police officers would not make these types of phone calls at any time.

They encourage residents to be very cautious about giving out any personal information during an unsolicited phone call. If the phone call sounds suspicious, hang up and notify the police. Social Security information and bank account information should not be given to anyone over the phone.

For more information or to report a scam, call the North Judson Police Department at (574) 772-5914.

New Filings for Municipal Election

posted Jan 26, 2015, 10:02 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: January 26, 2015 
By: Anita Goodan, WKVI 

The clerk’s offices in Starke County and Marshall County were busy tending to more candidates who wish to file for office for this year’s Municipal Election.

In Starke County, Republican Anthony Radkiewicz filed for Knox City Council District 4 while Democrat Tim Manns filed for Knox City Council District 4. Republican Wendy Hoppe filed for another term on the North Judson Town Council in Ward 2, and Democrat Tamara Brantley is seeking a seat on the Hamlet Town Council. Republican Charles Hasnerl is seeking another term as Knox City Court Judge.

In Marshall County, former Democrat State Representative Gary Gook has filed for an at-large seat on the Plymouth City Council while Republican Larry Wattenbarger filed for Bourbon Town Council. Republicans William L. Daily and Rick Lee Graverson both filed for seats on the Bremen Town Council.

Pulaski County Clerk Tasha Foerg told WKVI News that were no filings in her office last week.

The city positions up for election will have a primary election while towns with a population under 3,500 will have town conventions if there is opposition on any positions on the ballot. If there is no opposition, all names will be on the General Election ballot in November.

City candidates have until Feb. 6 to file while candidates seeking office in towns with a population under 3,500 have until Aug. 3 to file.

IU Health Starke Hospital Seeks Community Health Needs Input

posted Jan 23, 2015, 9:22 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: January 23, 2015 
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Officials at IU Health Starke Hospital want input from members of the community as to the health needs that need to be met. Members of the public are invited to complete a brief online survey, which can be found at

This is a first step to developing new programming. Additional information will be gathered through targeted focus groups later this year. Examples of successful programs developed as a result of these sorts of initiatives are the regional Women’s Fair and numerous other free screenings and other events held throughout the year. A link to the survey is also posted on the hospital’s home page at

Starke County Veterans Service Officer Provides Range of Services

posted Jan 16, 2015, 11:15 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: January 16, 2015 
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

Veterans who are having issues with Medicare, Social Security, VA or other types of federal programs can enlist help from Starke County Veterans Service Officer Terry Turner.

“If they come talk to me, I can help them fix that. It’s been several times where they’ve had hospital bills that run up to about $6,000, and I’ve been able to get them hardships,” Turner said. “I got one call that the bill was $700 and they cut it to $20. If you’ve got problems with the hospital or doctors as far as money, give me a call. I might be able to help you.”

Starke County veterans can contact Turner at 574-772-9132 or 574-249-0415. He’s in his office at the Starke County Annex from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. CST Monday through Wednesday but is available by appointment during other times.

Indiana House Makes Another Attempt To Dissolve Township Government

posted Jan 16, 2015, 11:07 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: January 16, 2015 
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI 

Starke County Townships could be affected if another attempt to transfer their duties to the county level is successful.

House Bill 1309 was recently filed and looks to dissolve township governments. The transition would take place by 2019. Starke County has nine townships with hundreds more in the state of Indiana.

Mark Allen has been Oregon Township Trustee for the last five years. He has spent time in the past lobbying against similar measures. Allen says House Bill 1309 is a poor bill.

“I wish the state legislators would stand down from local government,” says Allen. “This is the best government, and the most efficient government you can find because it’s in touch with the people on an everyday basis.”

If signed into law, the bill would transfer services such as fire protection, cemetery maintenance, parks, and libraries under the duty of the county government. It would also allow county governments to levy greater property taxes to pay Township indebtedness.

Allen says he believes there is plenty Townships can do more effectively than county government.

“You have to be accountable for your own Township, you get funding from your own Township, so if your Township is in a good area and is getting growth, then you can grow with that,” says Allen.

The process for transferring services to the county level remains to be seen, but Allen says ensuring outlying areas of Indiana’s counties don’t get left behind will be key.

Allen says he does not believe House Bill 1309 will pass.

Engineering Team Honored for High-Efficiency Furnace

posted Jan 15, 2015, 9:29 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: January 15, 2015 
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI
A design team from a local company has been honored for their innovation in high efficiency oil-fired furnaces.

According to a release from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, engineers from Thermo Products were recently inducted into the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana.

Everett James and Michael Sharkozy were inducted among those in a seven county area, including Starke and Pulaski County.

The design team was nominated by the Economic Development Foundation as part of a challenge to develop a new furnace that is more efficient and doesn’t create carbon build-up.

The Thermo Products team created a furnace with an efficiency of 95-percent. That compares with the 87-percent efficiency of other oil furnaces. The press release says the furnace can be used for both residential and commercial purposes.

Thermo Products was founded in the 1940’s in Starke County, but was purchased by another company in the late 1990’s.

The society recognizes those they believe have proven themselves as innovators.

Starke County Veterans Service Officer Can Help Navigate VA Health Care System

posted Jan 14, 2015, 9:25 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: January 14, 2015 
By: Mary Perren, WKVI

A program rolled out late last year by the Veterans Administration in an attempt to ensure timely access to health care services is creating confusion locally. The Veterans Choice Program gives veterans the option to seek non-VA health care rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling a long distance to the nearest facility. Starke County Veterans Service Officer Terry Turner says Starke County is geographically situated between the facilities in Crown Point and in Knox. Both places are more than 45 miles away by car, but Turner says the VA looks at distance as the crow flies. He adds the VA will allow patients to see other health care providers if certain qualifications are met. These include having to wait longer than 30 days for an appointment. However, the steps in the process are confusing. Starke County veterans with questions about the VA health care system or any other programs can contact Turner at 574-772-9132 or 574-249-0415. He’s in his office at the Starke County Annex from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. CST Monday through Wednesday but is available by appointment during other times. Find more information about the Veterans Choice Program online at

Rep. Gutwein Supportive of New VA Position

posted Jan 10, 2015, 8:22 AM by North Judson Public Library

Published: January 10, 2015 
By: Tyler Maffitt, WKVI

He had a bill prepared, but 16th District State Representative Doug Gutwein says he is just as pleased with a new resource for female veterans in Indiana.

There are 38-thousand vets in the state who also happen to be women.

Plans have been in the works for some time to hire a female state coordinator for the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs. A hire has been made according to Gutwein with an announcement planned soon.

Gutwein says he was prepared to introduce a bill to create the position in the instance the role wasn’t allowed through the state budget process.

“My bill wouldn’t change anything that’s happened over the last six months,” says Gutwein. “It’s a done deal. It’s a done deal unless something comes out of the Senate and I have not heard that any legislation is coming from there yet.”

The new resource would offer an avenue to resolve concerns that the state’s female service members may not wish to discuss with a male serving in the role.

It’s rumored a similar position may have existed at one time in the state. As the process was being completed over the summer of last year, input was gathered detailing how to proceed from the VA and other organizations.

Gutwein says he’s looking for great things for female veterans in the state.

“I just think this is going to be an avenue for them and it’s going to be like something they’ve never seen before,” says Gutwein.

Funding was found in the current budget cycle to fill the position – which will be continued for the position.

Community Services of Starke County Collection Sites

posted Jun 18, 2014, 3:29 PM by North Judson Public Library   [ updated Aug 18, 2014, 10:03 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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