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Police in Gary are seeking the public's help regarding two separate shooting incidents from over the weekend. Public Information Officer Corp. Gabrielle King says the first incident took place just before 10:30 Friday night when a 17 year old out riding with friends stopped to speak with an unknown subject in the 700 block of 7th Avenue, near Polk Street. After parting, the 17 year old victim reports the unknown subject pulled out a handgun and shot him.
The second shooting incident took place just before midnight on Saturday, where a 21 year old man and a 17 year old man were traveling north on Pierce Street from 38th Avenue, when they were both struck by bullets from an unknown man with a gun who fired at them.
Corp. King says all injuries sustained appear to be non life-threatening, and that anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to contact the Gary Police Department.
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INDIANAPOLIS—One year has passed since Indiana joined 39 other states in becoming smoke free. The Indiana Smoke Free Air Law prohibits smoking in all businesses, except for membership clubs, bars, casinos and retail tobacco shops, better protecting millions of Hoosiers from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including at least 69 carcinogens. The U.S. Surgeon General found that secondhand smoke is a proven cause of lung cancer, heart disease, serious respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and asthma, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome. In Indiana, an estimated 1,100 deaths annually are attributed to secondhand smoke exposure.
“Protecting Hoosiers from secondhand smoke, helping smokers quit and preventing our kids from choosing tobacco are all top priorities for the Indiana State Department of Health,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “The statewide Smoke Free Air Law has helped protect millions of workers and business patrons across the state. We know there is no safe level of secondhand smoke and so I am pleased that Indiana businesses have been on board with the law.”
Initial monitoring of the implementation of the law indicates compliance is high, with the vast majority of venues (97 percent) abiding by the no-smoking provision of the law. This data is consistent with other smoke-free air laws.
The Indiana State Department of Health’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation division has worked very closely with the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) to implement the new state law. While ATC is the primary enforcement agency, the State Health Department has developed and distributed materials to educate businesses that are impacted by the law and to educate citizens on what to expect with the new law. Over 8,500 educational toolkits have been distributed to Indiana businesses.
“While 300,000 Indiana businesses were affected by the Smoke Free Air Law, only 108 have been cited for violating the law,” said Travis Thickstun of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission's enforcement division, Indiana State Excise Police. “We are finding that as excise officers work to educate businesses across the state, the vast majority come into compliance with the law once they learn what they need to do. Because our officers are finding that most people want to follow the law, only a few citations have been necessary.”
Smoking and secondhand smoke-related illnesses cost Indiana millions of dollars per year. A 2012 report from the Bowen Research Center at the Indiana University School of Medicine concluded that secondhand smoke costs Indiana $1.3 billion per year, or $201 per resident.
Local communities may pass laws stronger than the state law. To date, thirteen Indiana municipalities have passed smoke free air policies that protect workers in all workplaces, including bars and membership clubs, including Bloomington, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Franklin, Columbus, Plainfield, Terre Haute, Zionsville and the counties of Delaware, Hancock, Monroe, Vanderburgh and Vigo.
Those interested in learning about the law and the resources available can go to www.breatheindiana.com. To report a violation or ask a question, please visit the ATC website at www.in.gov/atc.
To visit the Indiana State Department of Health, go to www.StateHealth.in.gov.
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BP announced today that it has completed commissioning and start-up of its new 250,000 barrel-per-day crude distillation unit at the Whiting Refinery, marking a major milestone in the multi-billion dollar upgrade of the facility in Northwest Indiana.
“The safe start-up of this large, sophisticated crude processing unit at the Whiting Refinery has returned the refinery to its nameplate processing capability of 413,000 barrels per day -- initially of mostly light, sweet crude -- and paved the way for the remaining upgrades to the plant to be brought on-line,” said Iain Conn, chief executive of BP’s refining and marketing segment. “When the new coking and hydrotreating units are commissioned and operating at full rates in the second half of this year, the reconfigured refinery will have the flexibility to greatly increase heavy, sour crude processing, delivering an expected incremental $1 billion of operating cash flow per year, depending on market conditions.”
Construction of the Whiting Refinery upgrade project is more than 95 percent complete. BP expects to commission a new 105,000 barrel-per-day gasoil hydrotreater, a large 102,000 barrel-per-day coker and other associated units in the second half of 2013. When all of the new equipment is in full operation, the refinery will have the ability to significantly increase heavy, sour crude processing to roughly 80 percent of its overall crude run.
“The Whiting Refinery project is at the heart of our U.S. fuels strategy to operate sophisticated, feedstock-advantaged refineries tied to strong logistics and fuels markets,” Conn added. “This world class refinery is in the right location and will soon be running the right equipment to process growing supplies of North American crude oil, including oil from Canada.”
The multi-billion dollar investment in the refinery is the largest private sector investment in Indiana history and also includes several hundred million dollars in state-of-the-art environmental controls for water treatment and air emissions, according to Whiting Refinery manager Nick Spencer.
“Our investment in Whiting’s future shows BP’s commitment to creating jobs in America and safely providing energy,” Spencer said.
Spencer also credited the 1,900 Whiting employees and large contractor workforce for safely reaching today’s important milestone in the project.
“We’ve employed more than 10,000 skilled craftspeople here at Whiting the past few years preparing for this important moment,” Spencer added. “We’ve focused on safe execution and earlier this year logged more than 40 million man-hours without an injury resulting in a day away from work. Our focus now is to continue this standard of safety performance through to the completion of the project later this year and for years to come.”
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A state trooper and two other people were hospitalized Sunday night after being injured in a two-vehicle crash near LaPorte on the Indiana Toll Road. Published reports say the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, and no further information is available at this time.
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As long as all the permits are in order, St. John will have its first ever tattoo business up and running one-month from today. The Town Council last week approved a variance ordinance for the business, which will also offering piercings, and will be located in the 91-hundred block of Wicker Avenue.
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Throughout the month of July, the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority will be celebrating its 30th anniversary. During a recent Region News Makers interview, South Shore CVA President and CEO Speros Batistatos says it was on this day 30 years ago the South Shore CVA was created by state code in 1983, in response to the second worst recession in history, to pursue hospitality and get public input to help leverage private investment. Batistatos says they plan to have a lot of fun with the 30th anniversary, like identifying 30 careers and 30 influential people in tourism, 30 stops in 30 days with their Tour Mobile that will travel throughout the South Shore, and much more.
To hear more of our Region Newsmakers interview South Shore CVA President and C-E-O Speros Batistatos, visit http://z1071.com/index.php/news/region-newsmakers.html and for more information on the South Shore CVA, visit http://www.southshorecva.com...
The Crown Point Board of Zoning Appeals is scheduled to hear a petition later this month, July 22nd, from a Warsaw based company about putting up a 175-foot cell tower on a site in a residential zone. The cell tower would be located in the 12-hundred block of South Indiana Avenue, and would be near a senior living complex, who has objected to the proposed structure.
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(Photo Courtesy of the US Marshals, Great Lakes Task Force)
A 41 year old wanted in Lake County Court for dealing cocaine, maintaining a common nuisance, and possession of marijuana has been named this weeks “Fugitive of the Week” by the US Marshals Service, Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force in Hammond. Carl Robinson is described as a six-foot tall black male, weighing 250-pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, with a scar on his nose and near his left eye. Authorities report Robinson was last known to reside in the 39-hundred block of Guthrie Street in East Chicago, that he frequents the areas of East Chicago, and possibly fled the state. Anyone with information on Carl Robinson's whereabouts may contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411). All tipsters will remain anonymous.
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A press conference will be held this Saturday morning to kick off the City of Gary's Clean Water Celebration. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson will be joined by representatives of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Natural Resources for an award presentation to the Gary Storm Water Management District, while discussing Gary's advances in storm water management. The press conference is scheduled for 11am Saturday, at Marquette Park, Shelter Number 5, near the lagoon.
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(Photo Courtesy of IU Health Starke Hospital)
KNOX, Ind.–Children in Knox received a jump start on kindergarten this summer thanks to a common goal aimed at helping at-risk kids transition successfully into school.
The Knox Community School Corporation, the United Way Starke United Fund and Indiana University Health Starke Hospital teamed up to offer Kindergarten Countdown—a program helping underserved children with the basic skills needed to succeed in kindergarten and meet Indiana educational standards later in life.
The free, four-week summer camp was held throughout June at Knox Elementary School. This was the third year Knox schools participated in Kindergarten Countdown.
Peggy Shidaker, director of curriculum/instruction for Knox schools, said the program especially connects to Knox’s current 33 percent of children who have had no preschool experience.
“All research lately has shown that children from low-income or underserved families who have not had preschool experience tend to score below their peers from higher-income families in literacy and math development as well as in social skills. They do not have the readiness skills needed and these children tend to never catch up with their peers unless there is some type of intervention, such as Kindergarten Countdown,” she said.
Shidaker added, “This was a great transitional program to help those students. At Knox, we do whatever it takes to reach out to students and their families.”
Kindergarten teacher, Kim Ray, taught students during the half-day camp four days a week. Children learned hands-on developmental readiness and activities such as how to identify their names and their letters, identify shapes, count to 25 and general book knowledge. Even basic necessities such as locating their classroom and understanding how the school day works will help create a smoother transition for students, program organizers said.
“We’ve had some really positive things happen here over the last four weeks,” Ray said. “Parents are happy that their children are socializing around other children. This will really help when they enter school in the fall.”
IU Health Starke Hospital coordinated a book drive earlier this summer, providing 320 books to Kindergarten Countdown. Each of the 18 campers received one book per day through the program.
“IU Health supports this program statewide,” said Laura Gould, community outreach coordinator for IU Health La Porte and Starke hospitals. “We understand that kindergarten is a fundamental stepping stone in the journey toward literacy and education.”
Hospital colleagues also volunteered for the program, and donated T-shirts for students to wear for the first day of school this fall. Children also received backpacks from Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.
Shidaker, an educator for the past 35 years, found the benefits of the program too great to be measured. “When I walk into a classroom and see children naming letters or making sounds of the letters—especially since they didn’t have that knowledge before they entered the program—you can’t put that kind of progress into any kind of data.”
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The Portage Fire Department today, with support from Portage Kiwanis, Porter Hospital, and Portage Firefighters Local 31-51, will be hosting “Bicycle Safety Day” at Willowcreek Middle School from 9 to noon. Portage Assistant Fire Chief Dan Kodicek says kids are taught things like what a stop sign and one-way sign mean, how to cross railroad crossings, and to look both ways. Free bicycle helmets will be available for children while supplies last.
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An infestation of the exotic European gypsy moth has been identified on Purdue University’s campus in West Lafayette.
Gypsy moth caterpillars feed on the leaves of more than 300 different tree species, but prefer oaks. Indiana has more than 4 million acres of forest, 40 percent of which is oaks. Another 40 percent is other hardwoods – maple and hickory – which are second among gypsy moth’s preferred trees.
Outbreaks of the pest can cause heavy defoliation, which can stress and eventually kill host trees. The hairs on caterpillars also can cause skin irritation and respiratory allergies in humans.
Gypsy moth is now found in nine quarantined northern Indiana counties. The DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology has surveyed for gypsy moth since the mid 1970s. Since 2000, Indiana has participated in the multi-state Slow the Spread (STS) program, which detects and treats infestations.
This infestation falls well outside of the STS program area; however, the DNR will place these sites in its eradication program and plan treatments for spring 2014.
The infestation was discovered by a professor in the Purdue Entomology department. The origin of this infestation is unknown.
Officials from the DNR have placed burlap bands around selected trees to capture caterpillars, and installed tan-colored delta traps and green milk-carton traps in and around the infested area to capture gypsy moths. The public is asked not to tamper with either, to report any that have been knocked down, and to direct questions to DNR at (317) 232-4120. Survey crews will remove burlap bands by mid-July.
Gypsy moth egg masses, which resemble buff-colored, flattened, fuzzy patches about the size of a quarter, can be found on firewood and recreational vehicles. Campers and travelers from northern Indiana counties quarantined for gypsy moth are advised not to move firewood and to thoroughly check all camping equipment and vehicles for egg masses before traveling.
Found egg masses should be scraped into a bucket of soapy water.
More information about gypsy moth is at dnr.IN.gov/entomolo/4531.htm, the Gypsy Moth Slow The Spread website (gmsts.org), and the Purdue University Gypsy Moth Extension website (extension.entm.purdue.edu/GM/index.php).
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INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a state lawsuit, on behalf of Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s office, against Standard & Poor’s for allegedly putting profits and market share above its objectivity when rating structured finance securities.
As the lawyer for state government, Zoeller filed the action in Marion County on behalf of the Indiana Secretary of State’s office and Securities Commissioner Chris Naylor. This lawsuit is part of a joint effort by more than a dozen states and the U.S. Department of Justice, all of which have filed complaints against S&P for alleged misconduct involving its analysis of toxic mortgage-backed securities.
“Investment banks, investors and regulators look to the nation’s credit rating agencies to independently rate the risks of financial products,” Zoeller said. “Leading up to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Standard and Poor’s made promises of objectivity but misled investors into purchasing financial products – like mortgage-backed securities – that they might not otherwise have invested in. The State, through its securities enforcement statutes, is committed to taking strong legal action against those that wrongfully mislead investors.”
Zoeller said S&P is paid lucrative fees for rating its clients’ securities which are packaged and sold on Wall Street. The complaint alleges that S&P adjusted its analytical models for rating residential mortgage-backed securities and other structured finance securities to achieve the ratings that its clients desired.
Indiana’s complaint does not challenge S&P’s ratings of Indiana’s state and municipal securities. The complaint alleges McGraw Hill Financial, Inc. and its subsidiary Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, LLC violated the Indiana Uniform Securities Act by misrepresenting the objectivity and independence of its rating process with respect to certain structured-finance securities. The lawsuit primarily seeks injunctive relief to force S&P to comply with Indiana securities laws and civil penalties.
“I believe S&P intentionally misled the marketplace at a time when our country needed accurate information the most,” Lawson said. “Through enforcing Indiana’s securities law, we plan to hold S&P accountable for its actions. Both retail and institutional investors deserve accurate, independent and objective ratings when investing and we cannot have companies defrauding the marketplace in the pursuit of ill-gotten gains.”
According to the lawsuit, the company intentionally misrepresented that its analysis of structured finance securities was objective, independent and not influenced by its clients’ financial interests from about 2004 to 2012. However, by 2001 the company’s “…desire to maximize revenue and market share by rating as many structured finance deals as possible led S&P to cater to the preferences of large investment banks and other repeat issuers of structured finance securities that dominated S&P’s revenue base.”
Zoeller said other states may also file lawsuits against the company for misleading investors while emphasizing its independent and objective ratings process.
Zoeller and Lawson thanked Deputy Attorney General Lisa Wolf and Securities Division Litigation Counsel Matthew Allen for their work on this case.
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Hendrickson has served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Greenfield District since 2007. Her responsibilities include the management of an annual construction budget of approximately $250 million and an annual operating budget of $48 million. Hendrickson oversees a workforce of 535 employees responsible for the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of INDOT’s transportation infrastructure within the district.
“I am confident that Brandye Hendrickson will lead INDOT in this interim period with skill and integrity,” said Governor Pence.
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- Merrillville Family's Home Burns Due to Candle During Outage
- Fatal Crash in Hebron Kills Griffith Man Update
- Prestigious Sagamore Presented to Bruce Leetz
- Husband and Wife Airlifted from I-65 Crash
- Griffith Man Dies as Result of Car Accident in Hebron
- Zoeller Files Suit to Recover $42K for Lake Satation Schools
- Car Fire Near Hampton Inn in Valpo
- Long Delays on I-65
- 5-Points Roundabout Phase II Underway
- Small Biz Pgms Realigned Under One Agency
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