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Before the board voted its approval of the project a public hearing was held on the project. Attorney Ed Dumas explained the purpose of the project, and Superintendent Don Street reviewed the plans. Board president Todd Miller asked for public questions or comments on the project; hearing none, the hearing on the project was closed.

The board also approved a resolution determining the need of the project. In part, the resolution noted that the projects cannot be funded from sufficient funds available to the school corporation, and that the board will proceed to take such steps as may be necessary to secure the projects and leasing of such school facilities.

The board also passed a reimbursement resolution, noting the school corporation reasonably expects to reimburse certain costs of the projects with proceeds of obligations to be incurred on behalf of the school corporation in an amount not to exceed $3.8 million.

Pooja Shrestha from H.J. Umbaugh & Associates, Certified Public Accountants, provided detailed information about the bond. She stated that the 10-year bond will be for $3.8 million. However, as existing obligations mature, the anticipated net impact on the Debt Service Fund tax rate will be $0. The estimated interest rate is 2.419%.

Lastly, the board voted to advertise for bids on the proposed "Secure Entrance and Utilization of Space" project.

 

Re-organizational Meeting:

The board held its annual organizational meeting. Todd Miller was elected president of the school board. Mandy Sharpe was elected vice-president and Jonathan Gutwein was elected secretary.

Board members filled out annual conflict of interest forms as required by law.

The board approved the reappointment of the following individuals for 2018:

  • Pamela Ledford – Corporation Treasurer
  • Bonnie Koebcke – Corporation Assistant Treasurer
  • Monica Franscoviak – Extra-Curricular Treasurer
  • Edward Dumas – School Corporation Attorney

Street presented the reduction of 2017 appropriations that more accurately reflect expenditures from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2017. The board voted to reduce the 2017 General Fund appropriations by $433,000.

The board voted to transfer $200,000 to the Rainy Day Fund from the Capital Projects Fund and $10,000 from the Bus Replacement Fund.

The board also voted to transfer $10,000 to the Textbook Fund from the Debt Service Fund for reimbursement of unreimbursed textbook expenses.

 

Personnel:

The board accepted the retirement of Pamela Ledford as corporation treasurer.

The board accepted the resignation of Tyler DeMoss as industrial technology instructor.

The board approved the termination of employment of instructional assistant Stacy Anliker.

Approval was given to the requests for leave of absence from Amber Leman and Lorie Zellers.

The board approved employment for Bethany Perry and Sierra Burtis as instructional assistants, and for E. Anne Ketchen as long-term substitute teacher.

Conference requests were approved for Joanne Stevens to attend the BPA state convention, and for Marcia Kennedy to attend AdvancED.

A field trip request was approved for BPA in Indianapolis, March 11-13.

 

Other Business:

The final reading of employee use of social media, electronic monitoring, notice of procurement of professional services, and reporting of arrests by employees was held. The board then voted to approve the final reading of the policy manual revisions as presented.

Students of the Month were presented with certificates as follows: Katie Scholz at the elementary school level, Brooklynn Mellon and Olivia Mellon at the middle school level and Brianna Messer at the high school level.

Superintendent Street reported on the following:

  • The teachers participated in a Community Action Poverty Simulation during the teacher in-service. The simulation used 18 community volunteers and the teachers made decisions as families do in a low income situation.
  • The district is partnering with Eastern Pulaski Schools in applying for a Lilly Grant that will focus on career pathways, and social and emotional health for students.
  • The State Board of Education is changing the School Letter Grade system. There are several education related bills being introduced in the legislature.
  • The Pulaski County Soil and Water Conservation District is interested in installing a rain garden at West Central.
  • The Elementary Cafeteria received a perfect inspection by the Health Department.
  • The wind turbine has produced a positive amount of electricity this past month.

 

Principal Reports:

Elementary school principal Dan Zylstra informed the board that the West Central Elementary school students enjoyed their Perfect Attendance Lunches on Jan. 10 and 11, receiving ice cream and eating lunch with their classroom teacher.

The elementary school will celebrate its 100th day of school on Jan. 18.

 The Lafayette Strings program, which was originally scheduled in October, has been rescheduled for Jan. 24 and 26. All students in grades 2-5 will have an opportunity to play a violin as part of this experience.

West Central’s math trainer will again work with staff on Friday, Jan. 26 as they continue to improve their delivery of math instruction. Other professional development time will be used to prepare for ISTEP testing.

Middle/high school principal Pat Culp reported that on Thursday, Jan. 18 all eighth-grade students and parents are invited to Freshmen Orientation. The purpose of the orientation is to begin discussions and preparations for high school, including course options, credit and diploma requirements, vocational class options, and scholarship opportunities.

During the professional learning time on Thursday morning, math teachers from the middle school and high school continue to discuss best practices to help student learning. Teachers have reviewed assessments, reviewed data, and discussed ISTEP/ECA tests.

The English/Language Arts teachers continue to focus on strategies to help students in writing and reading comprehension. The primary focus continues to be on non-fiction texts. Collaboration among teachers regarding best classroom reading strategies across the different content areas was the focus during the first semester. During the course of the second semester, different academic departments will be leading sessions on strategies used within the classroom to foster academic progress.

 

Board of Finance Committee

The Board of Finance Committee of the West Central School Corporation met Jan. 11, after the regular board meeting.

Mandy Sharpe was elected president of the Board of Finance. Jeff Tanner was elected Secretary of the Board of Finance. The board designated treasurer Pam Ledford as the investing officer.

The board designated Lake City Bank, Medaryville Branch, and Alliance Bank, Francesville Branch as depositories for the year.

The board voted to declare the listing of outstanding and unpaid checks from West Central School Corporation.

 
 
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Local News Briefs

Chamber seeks nominations for 2018 Halleck Award

The Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the 2018 Halleck Community Service Award.

The award will be presented at the Chamber's annual meeting/awards banquet this spring. Nominations will be accepted through Feb. 28.

 
Local author introduces newest books in mystery series

Local author Kathleen (Kathi) Thompson of Star City will introduce her most recent books to Pulaski County readers with a book signing event at the Pulaski County Public Library. She will be available to speak to individuals and sign books on Wednesday, March 7, from 3 until 6 p.m.

Thompson, retired from a career in criminal justice and social services, debuted her first novel in the series, Tiger Lily’s Café, in 2014. The series now contains 10 volumes. Turtle Soup, Boo!, Phishing, Holiday, A Rock And A Hard Place, Splash, Chasing A Butterfly, Pumpkin Squash, Snowblind, and Hearts On Fire. All volumes will be available.

 
PCPL lists February programs, events

The Pulaski County Public Library has listed its special programs and activities for February, including a Harry Potter Night and a Valentine's Tote Bag Craft.

For more information on any program, call the library at 574-946- 3432.

 
PCHS annual meeting to feature program on Wabash & Erie Canal Association

WINAMAC - The Pulaski County Historical Society will hold its annual feature program Thursday evening (March 8), at the Pulaski County Public Library, Winamac.

This year's program will feature guest speaker Dan McCain of the Wabash & Erie Canal Association. The public is welcome to join the PCHS membership for the dessert and coffee bar program. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

 
Scholarships available through Community Foundation of Pulaski County

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Applications are found on the Community Foundation’s website at www.cfopc.org.

 
Candidate filing for 2018 Indiana Primary closes

Candidate filing for the 2018 Indiana Primary Election closed at 12 noon, Friday (Feb. 9).

Pulaski County offices up for election are circuit court judge, superior court judge, prosecutor, clerk of the circuit court, sheriff, assessor, coroner, surveyor, county commissioner District 3, and county council Districts 1-4.

 
Civic Players of Logansport to present 'Nana’s Naughty Knickers'

LOGANSPORT - Civic Players of Logansport will present the comedy “Nana’s Naughty Knickers” on the weekend of March 2, 3, and 4.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee Sunday. All shows are at the McHale Performing Arts Center at the Logansport High School campus.

 
EPCS seeking nominations for new Winamac Distinguished Alumni program

The Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation is seeking nominations for the inaugural Winamac Distinguished Alumni Class of 2018.

Distinguished Alumni are graduates of Winamac Community High School/Winamac High School, Pulaski High School, or Star City High School (living or deceased) who have led successful lives while making substantial contributions to their chosen field of work or have provided outstanding service to their community, state, or country.

 
Cold or Flu?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced Friday (Jan.12) that influenza cases are widespread across the country, with Indiana among the states hardest hit.

"Flu is everywhere in the US right now," said Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC's influenza branch. "This is the first year we've had the entire continental US at the same level (of flu activity) at the same time." It has been an early flu season that seems to be peaking now, he said, with a 5.8% increase in laboratory-confirmed cases this week over last.

 
PMH Senior Care helps senior citizens with mental health issues

Pulaski Memorial Hospital's new Senior Care program can help senior citizens with mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, fear and worry lasting more than two weeks. It also assists with grief issues.

Program director Mindy Shidler, RN, hopes to spread information about the Senior Care program throughout the community.

 
 

Indiana News

Grants available to cultivate Indiana's specialty crop sector

INDIANAPOLIS  - The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) is now accepting proposals for projects designed to enhance the competitiveness of Indiana's specialty crops, which include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture). Applications are due to ISDA by March 26.

"Various organizations have benefited from grants from USDA, and I am excited to see what projects will come to fruition through the funds awarded,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “Encouraging competition and innovation will help take Indiana agriculture to the Next Level.”

 
Flu claims 167 Indiana lives so far this season

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is reminding Hoosiers that influenza activity continues to be high and widespread across Indiana and is urging people to take precautions against the illness, which has claimed 167 Indiana lives so far this flu season.

According to ISDH’s weekly influenza report (Friday, Feb. 9), emergency departments and outpatient providers continue to see increased visits from individuals with flu-like illness. Flu outbreaks also have increased in schools and long-term care facilities.

 
Donnelly, Walorski, Young weigh-in on federal budget deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress passed a $400 billion budget deal Friday (Feb. 9), ending a brief U.S. government shutdown.

President Trump signed the measure which is expected to push budget deficits past $1 trillion with $300 billion in new spending over the next two years for military and nondefense programs, plus $90 billion in disaster aid.

 
Pulaski County unemployment rate at 3.1% in December

Pulaski County's unemployment rate dipped 3.1 percent in December, down from 3.3 percent in November, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday (Jan. 24). The rate was 4.5 percent a year ago.

The county has 5,810 employed persons in a labor force of 5,997. Last month those numbers were 5,887 of 6,087. A year ago the numbers were 5,798 of 6,072.

 
Delphi double homicide investigation continues

INDIANAPOLIS - Monday morning (Jan.15) members of the Liberty German family and Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter appeared on a live segment of the Megyn Kelly TODAY show to help keep the double homicide of Liberty German and Abigail Williams in the public eye. Late last year there was a similar appearance on the Dr. PHIL show.

The one-year anniversary of the teen girls' deaths near Delphi approaches next month.

 
Holcomb’s second State of the State address emphasizes workforce, presents goals for progress in 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb delivered his 2018 State of the State address to a joint convention of the Indiana General Assembly Tuesday (Jan. 9).

While continuing his focus on five key pillars, the governor’s remarks highlighted his commitment to developing a skilled, ready workforce and detailed several milestones he expects the state to meet.

 
Scammers targeting NIPSCO customers throughout Indiana

Company offers tips to avoid being a victim

MERRILLVILLE - NIPSCO has received an influx in calls from residential and business customers reporting several hundred cases of unknown callers claiming to be affiliated with the company and demanding payment through a prepaid card.

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Fountain County contestant wins 2018 Indiana State Fair Queen title

INDIANAPOLIS - Fountain County's Audrey Campbell was crowned as the 60th Indiana State Fair Queen at the pageant finals Sunday afternoon at the state fairgrounds.

She will reign over the 2018 Indiana State Fair Aug. 3-19, in Indianapolis.

 
 

Post News

Pulaski Memorial Hospital Medical and Surgical Group to open new physician office

NORTH JUDSON – Pulaski Memorial Hospital Medical and Surgical Group has announced the opening of a new physician office in North Judson.

Dr. Curtis Bejes, a native resident of North Judson, will serve as medical director for the facility and will base his practice out of that office.

 
Fourteen children await a CASA volunteer in Pulaski County

Nearly 700,000 children each year are victims of abuse or neglect in the United States.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) trains volunteer advocates who are appointed by judges to speak on behalf of these children, to make sure they do not get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system, or languish in inappropriate group and foster homes. These CASA volunteers make a lifelong difference in the lives of children in their community.

 
Community Foundation welcomes new directors

The Community Foundation of Pulaski County welcomes three new members to its board of directors for 2018.

Incoming members are Kaye Beall, Megan Moon and Tim Gearhart. Each will serve a three-year term, with a maximum of three full consecutive terms of service.

 
EPCS Board approves purchase of school buses

WINAMAC - The Eastern Pulaski Community School Board approved the purchase of two new school buses at its February meeting.

Superintendent Dan Foster presented a request to purchase one 78-passenger International/Collins school bus and one 48-passenger school bus. Funds have been set aside for these purchases. After discussion, the board voted to approve both purchases as presented.

 
February is 'Teen Dating Violence Awareness' month

"Encourage healthy relationships for your children by talking to them about friendships, dating, self-respect and respect for others," says Pulaski County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Kelly Gaumer.

Gaumer notes that February is "Teen Dating Violence Awareness" month, and caregivers should be aware that bruises or broken bones aren't the only form of abuse children may experience in friendships and dating. Abuse is also verbal, emotional, physical, sexual or digital hurt.

 
Community Foundation changes grant process

Now offering year-round grant opportunities

The Community Foundation of Pulaski County (CFPC) has announced that it will offer year-round grant opportunities starting this year. There will no longer be grant deadlines, so applicants may submit applications online at any time throughout the year.

This new grant process will allow proposals to be accepted on a continuous basis, without deadline, giving grant seekers the opportunity to apply when they wish as opposed to waiting for an annual grant cycle.

 
West Central to accept bids for building projects

FRANCESVILLE - Superintendent Don Street provided updates to the West Central School Board at its February meeting for the secure entrance and utilization project, as well as the roofing project.

The board will meet again on Feb. 15 to accept bids for the projects. Board members will also discuss the corporation's strategic plan.

 
Missing Knox woman found dead in Winamac

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The body of Barbara McCurdy, 37, was discovered in her car in a back lot of the Braun Chevrolet car dealership on Monticello Street.

 
CFPC reflects on 2017 highlights, looks ahead to 2018

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The Community Foundation of Pulaski County’s 20th anniversary was celebrated in grand style at Mill Creek Gardens in July. Past and present community members were recognized for their many acts of giving over the years, building both the foundation and the community in turn.