Washington, D.C. — In case you missed it, Politico reported today that though our economy is recovering, government dysfunction could continue to threaten economic growth. According to Politico, Wall Street economists still rate government dysfunction as the leading risk factor for our economy.
“Washington has tried very hard this year to crush the economy with debt ceiling fights, clumsy budget cuts, a government shutdown and complete legislative gridlock… In fact, while most Wall Street economists expect growth to pick up in 2014, they still rate government dysfunction as the leading risk factor.” – Politico
Catherine L. Mann, professor of economics at Brandeis University, told Politico, “If there was anything that even looked bipartisan that made it seem like D.C. was less out of touch and trying to work toward some kind of solutions you would see an improvement in growth that would build over the year. It would probably have very large global benefits as well. But I’d probably put about a 10 percent chance on any of that happening.”
Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) has repeatedly voiced this concern, calling for Congress to help, not hurt, the economy. During the government shutdown, Senator Donnelly ">spoke on the Senate floor in October about the negative impact Congress is having on the U.S. and Hoosier economies.
Donnelly said, “It is embarrassing that the actions of some in Congress these days are now the greatest obstacle to future job creation in our country…
“At a time when Hoosiers are trying to get back to work and take care of our families, Congress’ inability to work together is making it so much more difficult. Congress is not helping and is actually hinderingjob creation and economic growth…
“We must find a way to stop hurting the economy and to actually help the people who have made this country such a great place.”
Donnelly said in October, “I think we need more people focused on what’s best for Indiana, what’s best for our nation, and less about what’s best in politics. This is not about Democrat, this is not about Republican, it’s about America. That’s what Hoosiers sent me here to do, and that’s what I have tried to do the past few weeks and since my first day in office.”...
The Better Business Bureau serving Northern Indiana is warning Region residents about phony websites pretending to be Overstock.com. Better Business Bureau says a noticeable trend recently is websites that include the word "overstock" in the domain name, hoping to trick consumers into thinking they are shopping with Overstock.com. The President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus says they'veseen this with other major retailers as well. BBB is warning consumers: be careful to look for the real domain when it comes to major retail sites. ...
Be sure to pack on the layers and check out the Hammond Holiday Parade this Saturday starting at 10am. There will be over 80 participants this year, as the parade makes its way down Indianapolis Blvd from 175th-169th Street in South Hammond. Santa will also be on hand to take pictures with kids! For more on this Hammond holiday tradition, listen to our interview with Parks and Recreation Special Events Coordinator Michelle Turchany at Region News On Demand here on our website....
NIPSCO, Jelly Pancake House and several community leaders partnered together in Merrillville this morning to support the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas, Valparaiso University Men's Basketball Head Coach Bryce Drew and NIPSCO CEO Jim Stanley were among the guest servers for the fundraising event.
Funds raised from a portion of sales at Jelly's and a 20-thousand dollar contribution from NIPSCO will be used to purchase food to be distributed at two mobile pantry events in Lake and Porter Counties December 14th and 21st. ...
In Valparaiso, the Needle and Thread building heavily damaged by fire this past July was torn down Thursday. The historic home, built around 1900, sat at the corner of Lafayette and Jefferson.
After no one was willing to restore the structure, the city okayed funds in October to buy the building, demolish it, and turn the site into a lot to provide additional free parking for the downtown area. [Photos/Radio One Communications]...
City of Whiting website: http://www.whitingindiana.com/news.php#newsitemEFlVVyEpVkaRxkCFjD...
John Applegate [Photo by Indiana University]
The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved the creation of an online Bachelor of Applied Science degree program, the first bachelor's degree program offered jointly by all five IU-administered regional campuses, and one of the first BAS degrees offered in the state. The new degree must now be approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission. It would be offered at IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend and IU Southeast.
"Joint degrees such as this provide increased educational opportunities for students while capitalizing on economies of scale created by sharing faculty and classes across all five regional campuses,” said John Applegate, IU executive vice president for university academic affairs. Funded by IU President Michael A. McRobbie's IU Online initiative, the regional campuses are working together to create up to four more new joint online degrees over the next few years. IU says the goal is to increase availability of high-quality degrees to students all across the state.
Coursework for the proposed online BAS could be oriented toward several specific career fields, such as hospital administration, general supervision or entry-level management. The degree would track into about 34 occupations that can be grouped into three clusters: specialty business, supervisory and management.
"The BAS is designed for students who already are in the workforce but need a more advanced degree to improve their job options," said Sharon Calhoon, assistant vice president for university academic and regional campus affairs. "Currently, the Associate of Applied Science degree does not align well with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees, so students with an AAS typically lose a substantial number of credit hours when they go on to pursue either degree."
The new BAS program is designed to help students who have earned an Associate of Applied Science degree achieve a high-quality bachelor's-level credential more quickly and efficiently than was previously possible. IU research has identified a great demand for this degree, which is very closely aligned with future workforce needs in the state; it is expected that students in the BAS degree program will develop skills that will help them advance in their careers and earn better salaries.
Students will be able to take all of their courses online or combine online instruction with classroom instruction. Full-time students who already have an associate degree in applied science will be able to complete their bachelor's degree in two years.
The new degree program is expected to involve two full-time faculty from each campus and will be administered jointly by the School of Business and Economics at IU East, the Department of Allied Health at IU Kokomo, the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Northwest, the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics at IU South Bend and the School of Arts and Letters at IU Southeast....
A proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage isn't the only hot topic facing Indiana state lawmakers this session. Crown Point State Representative Shelli VanDenburgh says Indiana's personal property tax that businesses pay on equipment they own is expected to be up for debate this session. There's been talk of reducing or eliminating the levy altogether. VanDenburgh recently told the Region News Team that would mean a big drop in revenue for Lake County. To hear comments from Representative VanDenburgh, visit News Audio on Demand here at our website....
Governor Pence also asks businesses and residents across the state to lower their flags to half-staff to pay tribute to the men and women who were injured or lost their lives on December 7, 1941....
Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela died yesterday at the age of 95. Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison, emerged to end South Africa's white supremacist system of apartheid. Tributes are coming in from around the world and the Region.
Congressman Pete Visclosky released the following statement on the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela:
“Nelson Mandela was a universal symbol of social justice and democracy throughout the globe. He famously said, “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” This remarkable statesman leaves the world a legacy of compassion, love, and optimism for all mankind.”
Statement from Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson:
"As I reflect on the transition of the great Nelson Mandela, the word 'icon' comes to mind. His fight for justice never waned, and his level of sacrifice will forever be etched in our minds and the pages of history. The legacy he built has allowed me and countless others to stand on his shoulders to continue the fight against injustice wherever it may be. I extend my sympathy to his family and the citizens of South Africa."
Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly:
“I am saddened to hear of the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela. His tireless and courageous efforts to bring freedom and equality to all in his home country and across the world will continue to inspire us. May we learn from his example and may he rest in peace.”
La Porte Mayor Blair Milo:
"The world has lost an iconic champion for equality. Nelson Mandela emerged on the world stage after 27 years in prison. He was revered by presidents as well as those who were impoverished and down-trodden. A humble man with a large message. The first black president in a nation that had embraced apartheid. A man who changed the course of a country and a continent. He said, "We can change the world to make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference." Definitely a man who made a difference for having walked on this earth."
Volunteers may sign up to ring a bell at saportercounty.org or call The Salvation Army of Porter County at 219-762-9191 and ask for Nathan. Other Christmas events held by the Army include the Angel Tree Food, Clothing & Toy Assistance, Collection and Distribution, Adopt-a-Family Assistance, Christmas Nursing Home/Shut-in Senior Gift Distribution, Christmas Food Distribution and Youth & Family Christmas Parties, Christmas and New Year Worship Services....
Red kettle donations in Lake County are down by 32 percent compared to this same time a year ago. The Salvation Army of Lake County reports the iconic red kettles have been on the streets and at shopping centers since November 8th, with the goal of raising 940-thousand dollars to fund the emergency and social services provided during the holiday season and throughout the year. In Lake County, the Salvation Army serves more than 11-thousand people, provides more than 25-hundred food baskets, eight-thousand toys and more than four-thousand articles of clothing.
To make a donation by mail, please send to
- The Salvation Army Lake County, 8225 Columbia Ave, Munster, IN 46321, 219-838-1328
For more information on how to volunteer, please contact The Salvation Army closest to you:
- East Chicago, 513 W. Chicago Ave., East Chicago, IN 46312, 219-398-2939
- Gary-Merrillville, 4800 Harrison, Gary, IN 46408, 219-887-6588
- Hammond-Munster, 8225 Columbia Ave, Munster, IN 46321
Schedule of Events:
Dec. 6, 2013
8:30 a.m. - Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw arrives at west end of Navy Pier near Captain at the Helm statue, escorted by Chicago Fire Department and Chicago Police boats; Rickover Naval Academy Band performs
9:05 a.m. - Decorating of Mackinaw commences
9:15 - noon - Students from Goodwin, St. Cornellius and Epiphany Schools tour Mackinaw and Tall Ship, Windy
Dec. 7, 2013
10 a.m. Opening ceremony, west end of Navy Pier; wreath laying at the Captain at the Helm Statue by Capt. Dave Truitt and the President of Chicago Shipmasters; wreath drop and fly-over by Chicago Fire Department helicopter; remarks by Capt. Matt Sibley, Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan and Cmdr. Michael Davanzo, Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw; initial presentation of trees to representative families; music by the Taft High School Choir; folk singer Lee Murdock performs
Trees offloaded from Mackinaw following ceremony
1:30 - 5 p.m. - Free public tours of Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw
- Polar Express Storytelling and City Tour of Lights
- Four Suspects Arrested in Michigan City Robberies
- Lake County Surveyor Formally Submits Guilty Plea
- Coats: Indiana's AAA Credit Ratings a Model for D.C.
- Mandela Dead at 95
- Charges Filed Against At-Large Homicide Suspects
- IN Taxpayers Being Ripped-Off By Metal Scrappers
- Region Invited To Holly Days
- Video: Fire Scene, Gary Building Destroyed
- UPDATE: Major Fire in Gary Overnight
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