(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office)
The Lake County Sheriff's Office has released a composite sketch of the suspect accused of forcing a 14 year old female student to perform a sex act on him. Sheriff's Police report the girl was walking to school in the area of 45th and Grant Street in Gary, just before 8am, on Monday, when she accepted a ride from the suspect who was reportedly driving a silver colored vehicle. The alleged incident was said to have occurred in a church parking lot, in the area of 47th and Pierce Street. The suspect is described as an older black male, with caramel colored skin, who is older, heavy-set and balding, with black facial hair on his chin, wearing a gray t-shirt, blue jeans and black shoes. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff's Detective Traci Harbin at (219) 755-3355.
A northwest suburban Chicago man is in custody facing Class 3 felony charges after allegedly cyber stalking and sending death threats to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. A sheriff's office press release says following six months of threatening emails, including recent specific threats to Sheriff Dart's life, 49 year-old Steven Cleary of Franklin Park, Illinois was arrested on Friday, November 8th. Cleary is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing today.
The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.
(photo: Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart appearing at the Gun Trafficking Suppression Summit, hosted last February at the Genesis Center in Gary)...
After leading the Diocese of Gary for more than twenty years Gary Bishop Dale Melczek, who celebrates turning 75, will be retiring. The Times is reporting that church law requires bishops to submit their resignation to the Holy Father by their 75th birthday. Bishop Melczek says that he sent his letter earlier this week through Pope Francis' ambassador to the U.S. in Washington D.C. who, via his diplomatic pouch, will send it to the Vatican, according to the article.
Melczek, who was ordained a priest in 1964 and consecrated bishop of Detroit in 1983, became the Catholic Diocese of Gary's third bishop in 1996. The retiring bishop told the Times that the challenge for the next bishop will be centered around how to "effectively staff our parishes and keep the schools vital to our faith."
You can hear Bishop Melczek discuss the Catholic faith's newest leader, Pope Francis during a Region Newsmaker interview from earlier this year. Just log onto: http://www.regionnewsteam.com and select the Region Newsmakers link.
You can read more about Bishop Melczek's resignation at: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/gary/region-s-bishop-melczek-sends-pope-required-resignation-letter-as/article_10bd70e8-26b2-51ac-a4b9-97fec3d4bce5.html
(photo of Bishop Dale Melczek courtesy of Brent Brown)
In other games, East Chicago Central wins its first sectional title defeating West Side 46-44. Mishawaka over Munster 24-17 and Rensselaer beat Bowman Academy 40-12, according the the Times Prep Football Extra.
Read more about prep football action at: http://www.nwitimes.com/sports/high-school/football/ ...
The Gary Police Department will be hosting another gun buyback event on Saturday, November 23, at six local churches. City of Gary Director of Communications Chelseas Whittington says, in addition to receiving Wal-Mart gift cards, the first 50 people who turn in weapons that day will receive a GED testing voucher. Whittington says Pastor LaTonya Pettigrew, of St. Andrew AME Zion Church, put forth the idea back in August to have the GED incentive apart of this gun buyback event.
The participating churches are:
Trinity Missionary Baptist Church
1831 Virginia St.
Pilgrim M.B. Church
1301 W. 21st Ave.
Embassies of Christ
4285 Cleveland St.
Grace Unity C.O.G.I.C.
3435 W. 21st Ave.
St. Andrew AME Zion Church
749 Chase Street
Beyond 4 Walls Christian Center
875 S. Lake St.
For more information, call (219) 881-1201....
(Photo Courtesy of Indiana State Police Lowell Post)
A 23 year old South Bend man is facing felony drug charges after authorities report they found 82 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle. Indiana State Police Lowell Post reports a trooper pulled over Armando Bautista for speeding on the Indiana Toll Road, near the McCool Road overpass in Porter County, just before 10:30am on Thursday. A K-9 with the DEA alerted authorities and a subsequent search of the vehicle revealed two large compressed bundles of marijuana in the trunk....
The public is invited out to a special event regrading the celebration of our veterans for their service and sacrifice. The Hobart Marine Corps League Howlin' Mad Detachment 93 reports all Hobart military organizations will gather on Veteran's Day, at Veterans Memorial Park, in the 59-hundred block of East 73rd Avenue in Merrillville, at 11am. Several military organizations will be partaking in a short service with the laying of wreaths and they will be firing off a volley of three rounds and the playing of taps.
The Hobart Marine Corps League also would like to wish all current active duty and marine veterans a very happy birthday, as this Sunday is the U-S Marine Corps 238 birthday....
All lanes northbound I-65 are backing up from 101st Avenue to just past 73rd Avenue due to a vehicle fire on the inside shoulder near 73rd Avenue. Fire crews are on the scene at this time. Drivers should avoid traveling northbound I-65 north of US-30 to avoid the backup caused by the blaze. Drivers should consider taking Mississippi Street north to 61st Avenue or US-30 to Broaway back to 61st Avenue then back to I-65 northbound as an alternate. Drivers traveling southbound I-65 can also expect gaper delays and slowdowns.
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office)
A 39 year old man being held in the LaPorte County Jail now face additional charges. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office reports Carl Ulrich was served with a warrant on Wednesday, charging him with two felony counts for possession of a precursor by a methamphetamine offender. The warrant was issued as a result of an investigation by the LaPorte County Metro Operation Unit. Ulrich has been held at the jail, for revocation of suspended sentence for dealing meth, since his arrest on September 4th....
For more information on this or other programs at the national lakeshore, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit or contact the park’s information desk at 219-395-1882....
In Valparaiso, a 20-year-old Gary man was arrested after an alleged disturbance. Valparaiso Police say they responded to a call for help in the 12-hundred block of Chicago Street Thursday morning, where a woman had just been battered by male friend who used a handgun to batter the victim. Valparaiso University Police were informed of the incident due to the campus being near the apartment and a short time later the male subject was located by Valparaiso University Police at the entrance to Valparaiso University on US 30. Authorities say a police search of the apartment located a handgun, ammunition and a sawed off shot gun. Authorities say Kevin Brown was arrested and charged with Battery with a Deadly Weapon (C-Felony), Intimidation with a Weapon (C-Felony), Possession of a Sawed Off Shotgun (D-Felony), Strangulation (D-Felony), Domestic Battery with a Child Present (D- Felony), Criminal Recklessness with a Firearm (D-Felony) and Domestic Battery (A- Misd), and was being held at the Porter County Jail. ...
(Photos Courtesy of the City of Gary; Group photo: (L-R) Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Lisa Benko and Dan Klein of Habitat for Humanity, and Mike Lisac of JP Morgan Chase Foundation)
GARY, Ind., November 8, 2013 -- Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Indiana today received a $74,500 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation that will help the nonprofit serve an underserved area of the Gary community.
Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Indiana owns several lots on the 1700 block of Adams also referred to as “The Field of Dreams.” Habitat plans to break ground in early spring of 2014 on two of the six homes planned for the area. The nonprofit is hoping to secure additional funding to build two more homes for families in 2015.
The presentation took place at Gary City Hall where Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson served as host.
“This generous donation is another example of how corporate partnerships with non-profits and municipalities help build communities,” said Freeman-Wilson. “I applaud the JP Morgan Chase Foundation for their support, and I look forward to seeing the finished homes that will be occupied by some deserving families.”
“I am pleased that Chase stepped up to help this community,” said Lisa Benko, Habitats’ Director of Development and Community Relations. “This project will provide for two hardworking families and is just a start to the plans for that area.”
Mike Lisac of JPMorgan is always looking for ways to help the community. “JPMorgan Chase hopes our contribution will serve as a catalyst for other corporations to invest in the community,” Lisac said. “Habitat provides hope, not only for the family that is helped, but for all families living in poverty housing in our community.”
For more information about Habitats projects, contact Lisa Benko, director of development and community relations, 219-923-7265 Ext.304.
(Dan Klein of Habitat for Humanity addresses the crowd)...
Video of the statue arriving on campus (courtesy Indiana State University):
Authorities say both directions of State Road 114 remain closed at the Jasper/Pulaski County line due to an earlier motor vehicle accident. The crash is on the Pulaski County side, which is south of Francesville. No details were being released on the accident at this time. No word on how long the highway will be closed at that location....
Citizens and activists from Indiana are joining hundreds from around the Midwest in Chicago today to give the Environmental Protection Agency their thoughts on reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants. Today's public listening session wraps up a total of eleven held around the country. Katy McFadden with the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign says the EPA is asking for the public's ideas before going to the drawing board. A new rule is being issued in June 2014. The EPA is also accepting comments online. The session is from 9am to 4 pm at the Metcalfe Federal Building on Jackson Boulevard. [Photo courtesy/EPA]...
This is separate from NIPSCO’s proposed one-billion dollar plan to improve its electric infrastructure, which would raise electric rates through 2020, with the first increase of 0.4 percent taking effect in 2015, and increases growing each year, reaching 1-point-7 percent in 2020.
Here's more info from the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor:
(News Release) The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is inviting written comments from Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) customers on the utility’s $713 million plan for natural gas transmission, distribution and storage system improvements. NIPSCO intends to seek incremental gas rate recovery of the costs as the projects proceed, through a new rate adjustment mechanism.
The OUCC – the state agency representing consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) – is reviewing the utility’s plan and has not yet taken a position in the pending IURC case. The OUCC anticipates completing its review and filing testimony on January 10, 2014.
NIPSCO has filed its request under a new Indiana law (Senate Enrolled Act 560) approved earlier this year.
- The law allows an investor-owned electric or natural gas utility to seek IURC approval of a seven-year infrastructure improvement plan.
- If the plan is approved, the utility may then adjust rates every 6 months, subject to IURC and OUCC review, to recover project costs as they are incurred.
- The rate adjustments – under a new Transmission, Distribution, and Storage System Improvement Charge (TDSIC) mechanism – may not exceed two percent of the utility’s total retail revenues each year.
- Twenty percent of the costs must be deferred until the utility’s next base rate case, which must be filed before the end of the seven-year period.
- The proposed projects throughout its natural gas service territory would be built from 2014 through 2020.
- Projects would include replacement of aging infrastructure, installation of new transmission mains, the installation of automated valves, and expansion into rural areas that currently do not have natural gas service.
- NIPSCO plans to file its first TDSIC natural gas rate increase request in September 2014.
- If the 7-year plan is approved by the IURC, NIPSCO’s first natural gas TDSIC rate increase of approximately 1.0 percent would take effect in 2015. The annual rate increase amounts from 2016 through 2020 would vary annually, ranging from 1.5 percent to 1.9 percent each year. The average annual percentage increase over the 7-year term is 1.4 percent.
- Under the new law’s timing requirements, the IURC must issue a final order on the 7-year plan no later than May 1, 2014.
For more information on this case and the new law, please visit www.in.gov/oucc/2750.htm.
This proposal – referred to by NIPSCO as its Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Plan – is separate from the utility’s electric infrastructure plan. For information on NIPSCO’s electric plan and cases, please visit www.in.gov/oucc/2747.htm.
An IURC technical evidentiary hearing in the natural gas case is scheduled to start February 10, 2014 at the PNC Center (101 W. Washington St.) in Indianapolis. While evidentiary hearings are open to the public, participation is typically limited to attorney and Commission questioning of expert witnesses who have filed technical testimony on behalf of the case’s formal parties.
Consumers who wish to submit written comments may do so via the OUCC’s Website at www.in.gov/oucc/2361.htm, or by mail, email or fax:
- Mail: Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204
- Fax: (317) 232-5923
Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC’s consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.
(IURC Cause No. 44403)
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) represents Indiana consumer interests before state and federal bodies that regulate utilities. As a state agency, the OUCC’s mission is to represent all Indiana consumers to ensure quality, reliable utility services at the most reasonable prices possible through dedicated advocacy, consumer education, and creative problem solving.
Visit us at www.IN.gov/OUCC , www.twitter.com/IndianaOUCC or www.facebook.com/IndianaOUCC
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- Habitat for Humanity to Receive Grant for Homes in Gary
- Valpo Employee Food Drive Now Through 11/11
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