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IN Toll Rd Lane Restrictions Removed for Labor Day

intollrd
GRANGER, Ind. – Due to the upcoming Labor Day weekend, ITR Concession Co. (the Indiana Toll Road) once again announces the removal of lane restrictions during this time to help ease the arrival of holiday traffic.
With Labor Day approaching, ITRCC has halted construction work beginning at 5 a.m. Aug. 29 and in effect until 8 p.m. Sept. 3. An exception is made for construction on the Ripley Street overpass (MP 20.5); however, two lanes remain open in each direction in that area. Exceptions will also be made for emergency repairs, and ITRCC reminds motorists to use caution while traveling and that speed limits will be enforced.
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Portage Woman Charged in the Death of Ricky Kimble

A Portage woman has been charged for an alleged hit-and-run which resulted in the death of a LaPorte, whose body was discovered by a mowing crew earlier this month. According to court documents, Patricia Callahan is charged with three-felonies: leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, reckless homicide and insurance fraud. The body of 50 year old Ricky Kimble, was found in a grassy ditch, just south of eastbound I-80/94, about a mile west of the Portage exit, on August 6th, and an autopsy determined he died due to blunt force trauma to the body, which resulted in multiple fractures to his legs and spine, as well as traumatic internal injuries. Kimble, who had been reported missing by family members on August 5th, had reportedly been walking along I-80/94, and court documents state due to the distance between his body and personal belongings, he had been hit by something traveling at a considerable speed.
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50 year old Woman Gets 50 years for Felony Battery

Billie Jo Moore
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 50 year old woman who was found guilty by a jury last month of two-counts of felony battery was sentenced to 50 years in prison. The Times reports Billie Jo Moore received 20 years total for one-count of aggravated battery and one-count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and another 30 years for being a habitual offender. According to the article, the victim, Robert Gottschling, testified he allowed Moore to enter his home so she could use his phone following her car accident, and after making a couple of calls, she picked up a knife and attacked him.
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Be a Proud Supporter of LaPorte PD K9, Buy a T-Shirt

LaPorte K9 tshirt
The LaPorte Police Department is raising money for their K-9 units by selling t-shirts. Police report all proceeds go directly into the department's K-9 account to help cover the costs associated with maintaining the program. K-9 handler Matt Drangmeister is cuurently taking orders for the shirts, (219) 362-9446 ext. 209, which reads, “proud supporter – LPPD K-9” on the front and “evil seeks darkness, but K-9 owns the night” on the back.
Police report the K-9 unit will also have a display at the 2nd Saturday “Dog Days Downtown and Rescue Avenue” event in Laporte on September 14th, from 3pm to 7pm, where they'll take t-shirt orders at that time as well.
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NIPSCO Builds Bikes for Merrillville Boys and Girls Club

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(Photo Courtesy of the NWI Boys and Girls Club of Merrillville)
On Friday, August 30, 2013 NIPSCO hosted their Annual Build A Bike event at the Hilton Garden Inn in Merrillville, Indiana. For the past two years, NIPSCO has donated these bikes to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana, Merrillville Club. NISPCO has been a major supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana and our Tolleston project. This year NIPSCO donated eight wonderful girls and boys bikes to the Merrillville Boys & Girls Club.
This event for NIPSCO is not only used to give back to the communities but is also a team building exercise for their employees. The employees are split up into four different teams. Their goal is to Build A Bike that not only looks good but is also functional and safe for the kids to enjoy. Building the bike promotes safety, exercise, and being responsible. Once the bikes are built the teams have to give a presentation on their “companies” bike. Some of the presentations today included: adults being children and learning about bike safety and a rap that promoted bike safety and how important exercise is. All of the bikes had different themes and each bike had a helmet. Some of the bikes had book bags, baseball bats, beach bags, and volleyball.
NIPSCO presented the bikes to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana this afternoon. Madalyn Hurt, Site Director for the Merrillville Club was very grateful for the bikes. Madalyn quoted “NIPSCO has always been a great advocate for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana. Each year they find different ways to be involved with our organization and our kids.” Robert Montgomery, Interim Vice President of Development & Marketing presented NIPSCO with a certificate and thanked them for all that they have done and continue to do for our organization.
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Gary Mayor Apponits Four to Gary Airport Board

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(Photos Courtesy of the City of Gary)
GARY, IN, AUGUST 30, 2013 – Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson today announced four appointments to the board of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority and welcomed the new appointment of Lake County’s representative on the board.
Each of the new members has long-term ties in the City of Gary and Northwest Indiana as well as expertise in business, accounting, public policy and law. 
“These outstanding individuals share great pride in the City of Gary and a resolute commitment to continue the ongoing progress to expand and grow the airport,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor of the City of Gary. “Their individual expertise and business acumen provide the right leadership to guide the airport forward with strong management and sound policies to attract investment and good-paying jobs.”
The appointments include:
·         James Cooper, Vice President – Account Manager at JP Morgan Chase in Chicago. He holds a Bachelors of Science degree in accounting from Indiana University Northwest. Cooper has extensive experience in data analysis, external regulatory reporting and auditing.
·         Denise Dillard,(Lake County appointment), Vice President of Government and External Affairs at the Methodist Hospitals where she also previously served as the Vice President of Human Resources. Dillard earned a degree in economics and political science from Howard University and a Master’s degree in Public Policy Administration from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.  She also holds a certificate in negotiations from Harvard University.
·         Michael Doyne, President of Doyne’s Marine, Inc., in Portage, Ind. Doyne is a certified pilot for light sport aircraft and previously served on the airport’s board from 2004 to 2009.  A graduate of Purdue University, Doyne also taught biology and environmental science at the former William A. Wirt High School, now the Wirt/Emerson VPA Academy.
·         Shontrai Irving, Attorney at State Farm insurance in Crown Point. He is also a former deputy prosecutor of the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.  Irving holds a law degree from the Indiana University School of Law and an MBA from the Purdue University School of Management.
·         Alesia Pritchett, Director of Business Services/Grant Management for the School City of Hammond.  Pritchett is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of Purdue University. She also holds an MBA from Indiana University Northwest. Pritchett previously served as the Director of Business Services for the Gary Community School Corporation and held several accounting positions at United Airlines.
The mayor announced the appointments at a meeting of the airport’s public-private partnership (P3) committee that is evaluating 10 proposals from companies and organizations to invest in the airport and the surrounding area. The proposals include firms from an array of sectors including aviation, finance and real estate as well as urban and environmental planning. The committee will recommend proposals to the airport authority board in September.
The committee is pursuing a P3 model that retains public ownership of the airport and benefits from private sector access to capital to spur job creation and long-term investment in Gary and the Northwest Indiana region.
In addition to the P3 initiative, major construction to extend the airport’s main 7,000-foot runway by 1,900 ft. continues. 
The seven-member airport authority board includes four members appointed by the mayor, one by the Board of Commissioners of Lake County, and one by the Board of Commissioners of Porter County.  The Governor appoints the president of the airport authority board.
The Gary/Chicago International Airport is less than 30 minutes from the heart of the tri-state region – Chicago. The airport is directly connected to Chicago's transportation network through freight, interstate and mass-transit and has close proximity to multiple Lake Michigan ports.
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Thomas Collins, Sr, Appointed Pres of Gary Airport Board

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Indianapolis, IN – Governor Mike Pence today appointed Thomas M. Collins, Sr. to a four-year term as President of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Board.
Collins, of Valparaiso, is President of Luke Oil Company, a family-owned and operated business which was founded in 1967 by his father-in-law Ralph Luke. Collins, who joined the company in 1986 after working as an electrician for ten years through IBEW Local 697, has played a critical role in growing the business and was personally responsible for Luke Oil’s north Lake County growth strategy in the late 1990’s. In 2005, the company purchased County Line Orchards, where they have held a number of fundraisers to benefit local charities including the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana and various veterans’ organizations. Today, Collins spends much of his time managing and growing the wholesale fuel and transportation business and is active in the company’s growth plans, real estate development and investment opportunities. He recently completed a term as President of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers Association and serves as Indiana’s board member to the Petroleum Marketers of America Association. He is a lifelong resident of northwest Indiana.
“With nearly thirty years of firsthand economic development experience in northwest Indiana, Tom Collins, Sr. has the skills and unique perspective necessary to lead the Gary/Chicago International Airport Board,” said Governor Pence. “Under his leadership, I am certain the Board will ensure quality service and operation of the airport for Hoosier taxpayers in the region for years to come.”
The Board is a municipal corporation responsible for the management and operation of the Gary airport. Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson names four appointments to the Board while the Governor, the Lake County Board of Commissioners and the Porter County Board of Commissioners each name one appointment.
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Rd Construction Moratorium in Place for Holiday Weekend

Indot Logo color
A road work moratorium is now in place through early Tuesday morning according to the Indiana Department of Transportation for the Labor Day holiday weekend. Spokesperson Matt Deitchley says there are some places where the moratorium cannot be lifted for the safety of drivers, like the lane restrictions on I-94 for bridge work in Porter County, and some other larger projects across their district.
Deitchley says while some construction zones may have cones and other equipment pushed off to the side, construction zone speed limits are still in place for your safety.
INDOT reports starting Tuesday, lane closures will begin on U-S 6/State Road 52/Ripley Street, between I80/94 and just south of Central Avenue in Lake County, through mid-October, for patching and repairing the roadway.
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Highland Police Detective Honored

Highland Police
A Highland Police Department Detective was honored Monday for his investigation into real estate fraud in Highland which resulted in five-thousand dollars being paid to victims. Highland Police report Detective John Siple was recognized during a regular meeting of the Town Council, by attorney Jonathan Peterson and the Garcia Victim's Committee, for his actions into a “phony hold” real estate scam, perpetrated by Sergio Ernesto Garcia II, where vacant/foreclosed homes were fraudulently offered to the public for sale or rent and victims were induced to give deposits to hold the properties.
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$156,656 FAA Grant Awarded to Porter Co Regional Airport

pete visclosky
Valparaiso, IN – Congressman Pete Visclosky announced today that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded $156,656 to Porter County Regional Airport for rehabilitation and maintenance.
The grant is the first in a multistep process to maintain and enhance Porter County Regional Airport.  It will fund immediate repairs to taxiway pavement and an environmental review for rehabilitation on a runway that the FAA has deemed to be nearing the end of its usable life.
Airport Director Kyle Kuebler said of the project, “This grant award represents efforts to maintain critical infrastructure at the airport.”
“Investment in Northwest Indiana’s infrastructure is essential to the vitality of our regional economy,” Congressman Visclosky said.  “Projects that maintain and upgrade our transportation network create good paying jobs as well as attract new economic activity.”
The Porter County Regional Airport accommodates over 50,000 flights each year.  The 2012 Indiana Airports’ Economic Impact Study indicates that Porter County Regional Airport has an estimated economic impact of over $17.2 million annually.
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Port of Indiana Names New Public Affairs Manager

port of Indiana
August 30, 2013 - Heather Bunning has joined the Ports of Indiana as the new Public Affairs Manager, and will serve as the primary contact for media inquiries related to all three of the state's public ports as well as statewide maritime, foreign-trade zone and multimodal transportation issues.
The Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority that operates a system of three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan, located in Jeffersonville, Mount Vernon and Burns Harbor/Portage.  
Bunning will be responsible for coordinating all media releases, interview requests and photographer access to the port facilities. Additionally, she will manage the organization's websites, social media, community outreach programs and special events.
Prior to joining the Ports of Indiana, Bunning managed various communications and marketing initiatives on the national and state levels with the American Institute of CPAs in Durham, N.C. and the Indiana CPA Society in Indianapolis, and was instrumental in strengthening the CPA profession's relationships and outreach with student organizations, schools, business associations and state agencies across the country. She also worked as a research and publications specialist with the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, and as a freelance newspaper writer for the Evansville Courier.
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Indy Enters Bid for 2018 Super Bowl

Indianapolis wants to host another Super Bowl.  Indiana Governor Mike Pence was joined by the mayor of Indianapolis, the owner of the Colts and others at Lucas Oil Stadium for this morning's announcement. Indiana's capital city hosted the game in 2012.    In October, the league will announce the finalists that will be invited to formally bid for the 2018 Super Bowl . Team owners will choose the winner next May.
Future Super Bowl host cities already determined include Super Bowl XLVIII in New York/New Jersey (2014), Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix/Glendale (2015), Super Bowl L in San Francisco/Santa Clara (2016), and Super Bowl LI in Houston (2017).
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Gary Robberies Investigated

Police in Gary are investigating two robberies about two-and-a-half hours apart Wednesday night. A 16-year-old boy was reportedly walking in the area of 5th and Fillmore around 9 when he was tripped by two men who allegedly started going through his pockets before fleeing on foot. Shortly after 11:30, Gary Police say a 55-year-old man was reportedly beaten and robbed by an unknown attacker in the 600 block of West Ridge Road.
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Prescription Drug Abuse 'Epidemic'

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions. Zoeller was in Gary Thursday to announce a new state website to help make Region residents aware of the problem and how to deal with it. Zoeller says in 2011, 718 Hoosiers died from accidental drug overdoses, compared with 654 deaths the year before. Zoeller's office says More people abuse prescription drugs in the U.S. than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants combined, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Website: http://www.in.gov/bitterpill/
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Region Could Use Some Rain

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Drought conditions are beginning to creep into the Midwest, and here in Northwest Indiana, Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper Counties now fall into the abnormally dry category, according to the latest US Drought Monitor released Tuesday. A wide swath of central Indiana is also considered abnormally dry.
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/DM_state.htm?IN
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15 Names to be Read at Doughboy Ceremony

Today [Aug 30] is the final Friday of the month, the day of the Hobart Marine Corps League Howlin' Mad Detachment Number 93 Doughboy ceremony where the names of fallen soldiers are read out loud – fifteen names are being read tonight. The public is invited to the service, which starts at 5 pm at the Hobart Doughboy statue at 7th and Main. Doughboy was a term used to describe US infantrymen of the American Expeditionary Force during World War One. Last montn, the Hobart Marine Corps league marked their 3rd anniversary of reading the names, a three-year total that stands at over 16-hundred.
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NIRPC Staying in Portage

NIRPC headquarters are staying in Portage. The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission Thursday voted to remain where they are on Southport Road, after earlier considering a possible move to Hammond or LaPorte. About a half-million dollars worth of work is planned for the building NIRPC is currently in, and internet service will be upgraded as well.
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Blast Furnace Running Again

A blast furnace that went down earlier this month at ArcelorMittal's East Chicago plant was said to be up and running again. The outage reportedly involved a turbo blower failure at the Number 3 furnace at Indiana Harbor West. Workers and customer orders were not affected by the unscheduled shutdown.
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Enrollment up at St. Joseph's

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The number of students at St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer sits as 11-hundred 63, the highest total since 1971. Classes began August 19th, with 371 first-time students. This year's freshmen represent 16 states, with students from as far as Oregon and Maryland.
The Nursing program, with 276 students, has the highest enrollment of any program offered by the College.  The Biology Department welcomes the highest number of freshmen with 59, followed by Business Administration with 41. Entering its third year, SJC's Master of Business Administration program combines with the new Master of Forensic Science program to bring their total number of graduate students to 22. In July, the Rensselaer Program of Church Music and Liturgy (RPCML) saw seven students graduate. The RPCML, which offers two accredited M.A. degrees granted by SJC, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010.
"The entire College community is excited to have the largest enrollment since 1971," said SJC President Dr. F. Dennis Riegelnegg. "It is clear that parents and students value our high quality academic programs and the individual attention that students receive. Also, we have made every attempt possible to make Saint Joseph's College affordable. The results of all our efforts are reflected in our enrollment numbers."
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Winning Lottery Ticket for Hobart Man

A Hobart man has cashed in a 200-thousand dollar winning ticket. The Hoosier Lottery says Philip Washko, a Bethlehem Steel retiree, matched all five numbers in the August 13 Mix and Match drawing. Washko, an electrician for 32 years, retired in 2003, and said he wants to "think on it a bit" before making any purchases.
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