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Illiana Open Houses Begin in Indiana

Few people attended an open house on the Illiana Expressway at IU Northwest in Gary Saturday, but a bigger turnout is expected at the one tomorrow night at Lowell Middle School, with the proposed expressway set to go through south Lake County, connecting I-65 on the east with I-55 in Illinois to the west. Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission has four open houses on the proposed tollway this month, including one in Porter County, at the NIRPC office in Portage, November 13th , and one in Michigan City, at Michigan City City Hall November 19th. Regional planners are expected to vote on the highway next month.
News Release NIRPC: Both the Departments of Transportation in Indiana and Illinois are actively working on a new limited highway facility from I-65 south of Crown Point, IN, to I-55 south of Joliet, IL.  This facility dubbed the Illiana Expressway would connect the south Chicago Suburbs with NW Indiana along its proposed 47-mile route.  The process behind the development of the expressway is complex, and this web page will serve as an information clearinghouse regarding important dates and documents relating to approvals and possible construction of the facility.  Documents are both public and private in nature, and include all updated public comments.  Please scroll down to the content you wish to view regarding the project.  This will also include any public comment dates and forms you can submit online.   Additional questions on the expressway project can be forwarded to Mitch Barloga at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
The official INDOT/IDOT website which holds all information regarding the study process and related documents can be accessed here:
http://www.illianacorridor.org
Schedule of Actions & Public Comment
NIRPC has been asked by INDOT to amend our 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan to include the Illiana Expressway project and widening of I-65 from US 30 south to US 231.  The following documents outline the planning process as well as any upcoming public comment dates.
    Illiana Expressway:  NIRPC Action Schedule (click image for larger view) NIRPC Approval Schedule
    Public Comment Open Houses: (Public Comment period commences October 14 and ends November 20)
                November 2: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
                             John W. Anderson Library
                             Indiana University Northwest
                             3400 Broadway, Gary, IN
                November 5: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
                              Lowell Middle School
                              19250 Cline Avenue, Lowell, IN
                November 13: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
                              NIRPC
                              6100 Southport Rd., Portage, IN 46368
                November 19: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
                              Michigan City, City Hall
                              100 E. Michigan Blvd., Michigan City, IN
The comments received at these meetings will be compiled into a public comment summary report and responded to, along with other comments received during the 30-day comment period. The summary report will be made available to the public and distributed to NIRPC’s Transportation Policy Committee (TPC) and NIRPC’s Full Commission prior to TPC action on December 3, 2013 and the NIRPC Full Commission’s action on December 12, 2013....

 

Alligator Found at O'Hare Airport

alligator3
Officials in Chicago found a small alligator at Terminal 3 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.  Passengers spotted the two-foot-long animal Friday under an escalator.  Police aren't sure how the alligator came to be at the airport.  The alligator is receiving medical treatment and was transferred into the care of the Chicago Herpetological Society until a  permanent home can be found.  The alligator is believed to have been lacking a proper diet.  [Photo/Chicago Herpetological Society]...
 

One Dead, Three Injured in Gary Fire

Gary fire officials say a residential fire claimed the life of one person and injured three others Sunday morning.  Crews were called to the four-thousand block of Louisiana Street shortly after 6:30 am.  A 71-year-old woman was pronounced dead at an area hospital.  Authorities continue to try to determine the cause of the fire....
 

Closures Announced for MC Drawbridge Inspection

Michigan City officials say the historic Franklin Street drawbridge near the lakefront will be closed at certain times this week in preparation for a major rehabilitation project. Today and tomorrow (Nov 4 & 5)  the drawbridge will be closed between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and motorists are asked to use Center Street and Krueger Avenue as a detour. Meanwhile, on Wednesday for sure and Thursday if needed, city officials say the bridge will be opened and closed periodically for mechanical inspection, but the delays should be no different than what is normal for the passage of a  large boat.   Detour signs will be put in place to help guide citizens and visitors to alternate routes around this part of Franklin Street....
 

Indiana National Guard Honors Seven Fallen Soldiers

nationalgd1
The Indiana Army National Guard on Sunday paid tribute to seven Guardsmen during a recognition ceremony at Valparaiso University with family members and friends of fallen soldiers.
Photo, top: Personalized shadow box displays of seven fallen soldiers are unveiled to family members and friends during a remembrance ceremony held at Valparaiso University, Nov. 3, 2013 to honor their dedication and sacrifices for state and country.   US Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Tinsley.
“Today’s ceremony is great; while I have attended individual ceremonies for most of them, we get to put all of them to rest in our armory today,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kyle Leonard, former platoon sergeant in the 713th Engineer Company.
Individually designed shadow boxes for each soldier were unveiled at Valparaiso University. Each display contained an American flag, military service ribbons and medals, as well as a photograph of the service member. The displays were permanently mounted in the Valparaiso Army National Guard Armory following the ceremony.
Major Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, Adjutant General of the Indiana National Guard, addressed the families and friends of the fallen soldiers by recounting past memorial services. “Today is all about the memory of each of our soldiers.” Umbarger then reflected upon personal experiences he had with each of the fallen. “They were all heroes in every sense of the word.”
nationalgd2
Photo: The Indiana National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, hosts a ceremony to honor seven fallen soldiers of the 113th Engineer Battalion on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013 at Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind.  US Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Tinsley.
Indiana National Guard officials say Spc. Sergio Perez Jr. of Crown Point and Spc. Nicholas Taylor of Berne, Indiana, died from a direct fire ambush, July 2012 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Staff Sergeant Jonathan Metzger of Indianapolis, Sgt. Brian Leonhardt of Merrillville, Spc. Christopher Patterson, a Valparaiso University student who was from Aurora, Illinois,  and Spc. Robert Tauteris of Hamlet died as a result of a roadside bomb, January 2012 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Chavez of Portage died July 2008 from an illness contracted stateside at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, during specialized combat engineer leader training....
 

Obamacare Town Hall Meeting in Gary Monday

City of Gary
The City of Gary on Monday will be hosting an Affordable Healthcare Act town hall meeting at the Genesis Convention Center. City Director of Communications Chelsea Whittington says a panel of experts will share updates about Obamacare and how to enroll.
Whittington says the city will also be hosting enrollment session this month at city hall, beginning on Friday, November 8th, from 10am to 2pm and continuing every Friday throughout the month with the exception of Black Friday.
The town hall meeting on Monday takes place at 5:30pm and for more information on the enrollment sessions or to sign up for them, please contact Gary City Hall....
 

Over $9 Million in Grants to Help Schools Improve Safety

Gov Mike Pence

Indiana Governor Mike Pence on Friday announced more than $9 million in grant funding to local schools and school corporations through the Secured School Safety Grant Program. Governor Pence says, “these grants will allow our public schools and school corporations to add resources that will help secure our schools so they can focus on educating our students.” 14 schools in Lake County received over 476-thousand dollars, while five schools in Porter County will receive over 215-thousand. For a complete list of northwest Indiana schools receiving grant funding, visit http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=141036&information_id=190064&type=&syndicate=syndicate...

 

231 Shut Down Between Leroy and I-65

Traffic-Alert
A crash has reportedly shutdown 231 this morning between Leroy and I-65. Traffic tipsters reporting a car struck an electric pole in that area and emergency crews were called out to the scene. At last check, NIPSCO's outage map is showing 640 customers are without power in Leroy and 855 customers are without power in Crown Point as a result of the crash. No further information is available at this time. ...
 

Grand Opening of Dog Park in Dyer

Dog lovers in west-central Lake County have a new place to take their four-legged friends. The Dyer Dog Park is celebrating their grand opening this afternoon at 1pm. The park is located in the 900 block of Central Park Blvd. ...
 

Hammond Man Sentenced to Lifetime Imprisonment

A 33 year old Hammond man was recently sentenced to life in prison in US District Court in Hammond for numerous felony convictions, including murder. According to court documents, Styles Taylor was found guilty of conspiracy to commit interference with commerce by threat of violence, use of a firearm to cause death during a crime of violence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Taylor, a three-time convicted felon, along with Keon Thomas, robbed and murdered the 72 year old owner of Firearms Unlimited Gun Shop inside his business in order to obtain numerous firearms, which they began to sell to any willing buyer in the Hammond area. Taylor was also involved in drug trafficking, the armed robbery of a pizza delivery man and two burglaries as a juvenile. As part of his sentence, he received five years of supervised release and must pay over 11-thousand dollars in restitution. ...
 

Monthly Warning Siren Test in LaPorte County

A reminder...this morning at 11am is the next scheduled test of the LaPorte County warning sirens. During the test two, one-minute signals will sound with one-minute of silence between signals. In the event of an actual emergency, a three-minute signal will sound, with a short period of silence between signals, repeated one or more times. ...
   

Coats Bashes Obamacare Website in GOP Address

Senator Dan Coats
Many Americans are being told they can't keep their current health care plans ... because the plans don't meet Obamacare's new coverage requirements. In the weekly GOP address ... Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) says this means the President has essentially broken his promise
"This week the public learned that for at least the past three years, the Obama administration has known that millions of Americans will not be able to keep their health care plans, but the President has continued to promise repeatedly, If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period".
Senator Coats says perhaps the President hasn't tried logging onto the website himself because he and his political appointees are not required to join Obamacare. To hear the Senator's entire GOP address, click News Audio On Demand at http://regionnewsteam.com/...
   

Indiana HS Football Sectional Finals

Week Two of the Indiana High School Football Sectionals have come and gone. Here is a list of the final scores.


Gary West Side 46
Highland 27


Winamac 41
Whiting 20


Andrean 52
Calumet 12

Rensselaer 43
North Judson 14


John Glenn 43
Hammond 0

East Chicago Central 51
Griffith 19

Munster 21
Michigan City 13

Bowman Academy 28
Boone Grove 21

Lake Central 31
Merrillville 0


Penn 30
Chesterton 0...

   

Husband and Wife in Gary Found Stabbed to Death

Gary PD
The number of homicides in the City of Gary this year has now reached 47 after a man and woman were found stabbed at a home in the 25-hundred block of Delaware Street Friday afternoon. Gary Police report a relative discovered the bodies and called 911, and police arrived shortly thereafter to find the unresponsive bodies. The Lake County Coroner's Office reports the deceased have been identified as 62 year old Leviticus Dupree and 54 year old Toshiba Moore-Dupree. The city had a total of 43 homicides in 2012.
Meanwhile police continue to investigate the shooting death of a Gary man in the 32-hundred block of Georgia Street Thursday evening. The Coroner's Office says 57-year-old Terence Farmer suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at 7:30 pm. The shooting reportedly occurred in the driveway of the victim's house....
   

Pence: Reduce Child Deaths

Indiana Governor Mike Pence today challenged those attending the state's first-ever statewide summit on its high infant mortality rate to reduce deaths in children. Indiana's infant mortality rate is the 6th highest in the nation, with seven-point-seven deaths per one-thousand live births according to 2011 figures, the last year such information has been made available. Indiana's State health Commissioner says the state's infant mortality rate has only fallen below seven deaths per one-thousand once in 132 years records have been kept. ...
   

Snow to be Tried in Minnesota Before Extradition to IN

The son of a Lowell-area couple found dead in their home last month will have to face charges in Minnesota before he'll be released to authorities in Indiana. Thomas Snow is a suspect in the death of his parents, 68-year-old retired Hammond schoolteacher Clifford Snow and his wife, 66-year-old Joyce Snow, whose bodies were found on October 18th. Snow is to stand trial in Minnesota where he is charged with fleeing a peace officer, reckless driving and driving while intoxicated during a police chase on October 19th. Snow is also charged in Newton County with armed robbery of a service station on October 17th....
   

Man and Woman Found Dead in Gary

Gary PD
The number of homicides in the City of Gary this year has now reached 47 after a man and woman were found dead at a home this afternoon in the 25-hundred block of Delaware Street. Gary Police report a relative discovered the bodies and called 911, and police arrived shortly thereafter to find the unresponsive bodies of the 62 year old man and a 54 year old woman, whose names have not yet been made available. The city had a total of 43 homicides in 2012....
   

Michigan City Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Rape

A Michigan City man was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to a felony rape charge. The LaPorte County Prosecutor's Office reports Rah-Sha'N Cherry admitted that on or about November 26th, 2012, in Michigan City, he engaged in sexual intercourse with a female minor by force while he was armed with a knife. The judge suspended the last five-years of Cherry's sentence, which can be served on probation. Cherry also faces charges in Lake County. ...
   

Roll Over Semi Loses Load of Paper

lake station rollover 1
(Photos Courtesy of the Indiana State Police Lowell Post)
lake station rollover 2
A semi that lost part of its load of paper garbage during a rollover incident this morning temporarily shutdown the ramp from the Indiana Toll Road to the I-80/94 eastbound ramp in Lake Station. Indiana State Police Lowell Post report the semi, driven by a 28 year old Michigan man, was on the ramp, just before 7am, when a vehicle in front of him allegedly slammed on the brakes, causing him to brake, and in-turn the semi lost control and rolled over. Part of the load spilled into the median and the top of the box trailer split open. State Police report the ramp was closed off and on until just before 9:30am. The driver of the semi was not injured, but was cited for going too fast to avoid a collision....
   

Ammonia Spill at Munster PepsiCo Plant

An ammonia spill this morning at the PepsiCo plant in Munster forced the evacuation of employees in Munster. Fire officials report the spill, which occurred around 4am, was contained to inside the facility. No injuries were reported and there was no danger to the public. ...
   

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