Wed, July 28 2010 19:07
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has announced that effective Friday, July 30, 2010, traffic on State Road 10 between State Road 39 and US 35 will be restricted to one lane as directed by signs and flaggers during daylight hours as State Road 10 is resurfaced. The work is scheduled to be completed by mid-October.
Thu, July 22 2010 22:41
The United States Congress has enacted an 8th extension of the Federal Unemployment Benefits that would allow entitled persons to retroactively receive benefits back to June 2, 2010, when the last extension ran out. This latest extension would be good until November 30th of this year. This extension would restore benefits to about 2.5 million unemployed persons who have not been receiving benefits since the last extension expired. On the State of Indiana level, it is estimated that 13,000 Hoosiers were losing benefits each week. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has posted a notice on their website that once this bill is signed by President Obama, which will take place this week, it may take as long as two weeks to set up the state’s computers for this extension. This extension does not provide additional benefits to any person who has been unemployed for more than 99 weeks, but rather, covers only those persons who have exhausted their 26 weeks under the Indiana program, and are covered under the Federal Act for up to 73 additional weeks of unemployment benefits.
Wed, July 21 2010 20:48
With a grant to Starke County from the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program in the amount of $1,034,000, the Koontz Lake Regional Sewer District has now captured over $14 million dollars in grant and loan funding to build that system. Previously, the District had received a combination of grant and loan funding from the USDA-Rural Development totaling over $13 million. The most recent funding is from a supplemental appropriation of CDBG dollars that were made available to aid in economic recovery after several natural disasters caused damage in many areas across Indiana during 2008. This program is administered by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). OCRA will also provide technical assistance to community leaders during the 18-month implementation of their water infrastructure project.
This newest grant will help fund the construction of a wastewater treatment and collection system to replace existing individual septic systems. Failing septic systems have created serious health concerns, including raw sewage overflows into Koontz Lake and the presence of E. coli at unsafe levels. The new wastewater treatment and collection system will alleviate these health concerns as well as protect the environmental conditions of the lake community.
Tue, July 20 2010 19:43
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today issued its preliminary report for unemployment rates for June of 2010. While the United States rate fell from 9.7% to 9.5%, the Indiana rate went up from 10.0% to 10.1%, and the Starke County rate went up from 11.8% to 12.2% during the month. An overwhelming number of Indiana counties (80%) saw their unemployment rates go up last month, while about 12% of counties saw a decrease in their rates.
Starke County had experienced 4 straight months of declining unemployment rates until this report was issued. A summary of the Starke County unemployment rates for the past several years, as well as an updated Labor Force chart can be found on the SCEDF website under the heading of Resources-Demographics.
Fri, July 16 2010 22:18
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has announced that US 35 will be closed beginning July 26, 2010 from US 30 to SR 8 on the north side of Knox. The closure is necessary to replace a culvert over the Bailey Ditch, which work will mean a closure of US 35 until mid-October with minor lane restrictions after that until the project is completed in early November.
The work is being done by Jack Isom Construction Company of Reynolds, Indiana at a low-bid cost of $647,506.87.
Thu, July 15 2010 17:14
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has issued its June construction status report for ongoing projects in the District. The pipe lining project on SR 39 at three different locations is proceeding and at the end of June was considered to be about 40% complete. As of June 23, 2010, the contractor was continuing to clear right of way, and was cleaning and pushing pipes. There were no lane restrictions at that time.
Pipe lining is being done about 1.25 miles north of the east junction of SR 10, 2.25 miles north of the east junction of SR 10, and 1.48 miles south of SR 8. The contractor is West Michigan Cable from Grant, Michigan, who bid $118,146 for this work. Monies for this project came from Stimulus Act funding.
Wed, July 14 2010 22:57
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) today awarded the bid for the resurfacing of State Road 10 from State Road 39 to US 35 to E&B Paving of Anderson, Indiana. Their low bid of $1,330,419 came in less than the engineering estimate of $1,436,000. This project was let on July 7 in a formal bidding process in which two other bidders also put in bids, both of which were higher than the engineering estimate.
Wed, July 14 2010 22:12
CNBC has released its 2010 report of America's Top States for Business, in which a total of ten categories was looked at. Despite falling from 15th to 21st place in the United States from the 2009 report, Indiana continued to lead the Midwest states as being a top location for business. This year's rankings found Indiana at 21st, followed by Wisconsin at 29th, Illinois at 30th, Ohio at 34th, Kentucky at 40th, and Michigan at 41st. In the 2009 report, Indiana was 15th, Illinois 25th, Wisconsin 26th, Ohio 29th, kentucky 34th, and Michigan 41st.
Indiana did best in the categories of Cost of Doing Business (9th overall), Transportation and Infrastructure (6th overall), Business Friendliness (6th overall), and Cost of Living (13th overall). In a direct comparison of the ten categories reviewed among the Midwest states, Indiana finished 3rd or better in 5 categories, and had no 6th place position in any category.
Tue, July 13 2010 18:14
The Northern indiana Community Foundation, Inc. (NICF) which includes the Starke County Community Foundation as one of its affiliates, and also includes Miami and Fulton Counties, was recently mentioned in a report issued by Community Foundation Insights (CFI), which is a centralized data resource for community foundations across the country. That organization provides data so that individual community foundations can see how they stand up to their peers in a number of different categories. CFI has just issued its 2009 Benchmarking Report entitled, "Benchmarking Beyond Asset Size: Top 100 Lists." That report seeks to look at other factors besides total assets in a community foundation, and looks instead at "Most Gifts Per Capita", "Most Activity", and "Most Active Grantmakers."
The Northern Indiana Community Foundation was ranked in the top 100 community foundations around the country in each of those three categories. In the category of "Most Active Grantmakers", NICF was listed at number 57, with an 11% distribution rate and 8% of its total assets being donor-advised funds. In the category of "Most Activity", NICF finished at number 97, with 2,700 total transactions and an average transaction size of $1,798. Finally, in the category of "Most Gifts Per Capita", NCIF finished at number 24, with a per capita gift of $41.54 on a population served of 75,000.
A full copy of this report can be found at www.cfinsights.org/home/
Wed, July 07 2010 21:15
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) opened bids this morning on numerous projects around the State of Indiana. Of importance to Starke County, one of these projects was the resurfacing of SR 10 from SR 39 to US 35. Three bids were received for this project, with the apparent low bid of $1,330,419 coming from E&B Paving from Anderson, Indiana. Other bidders and their bids were Rieth Riley Construction ($1,458,501) and Walsh & Kelly, Inc. ($1,539,304). The engineering estimate for this project was $1,436,000.
The bids will be reviewed by INDOT before a final award is made. No other information is available at this time as to when this project might begin or how long the contract will provide for the completion of the work.