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Two Marijuana Grow Operations Located in LaPorte Co

LapPorte County Sheriff logo - this one
Authorities in LaPorte County report on Thursday, the LaPorte County Metro Operations Unit and the Indiana State Police Marijuana Eradication Team located two outdoor marijuana grow operations and seized 86 plants. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office says one grow operation was located in the 98-hundred block of County Road 300 North in Cool Spring Township, where 73 plants were seized. The other was discovered in the 36-hundred block of Brookside Drive in Long Beach, where 13 plants were seized. Authorities say each site had been found as a result of an Indiana State Police fly-over and an investigation continues.
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Know the Risks to Help Identify Ovarian Cancer Early

indiana state department of health
INDIANAPOLIS—September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and State health officials encourage Indiana women to talk to their doctor about their risks. While there is no available screening for early detection of ovarian cancer, there are tests available for high risk women and those who display symptoms.  Ovarian cancer occurs when malignant cells are found in the tissue of a female’s ovary.
Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in Hoosier women. In 2010, the most recent year for which data are available, 395 cases were diagnosed and 330 deaths occurred. It is responsible for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Nationally, the American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 22,000 American women will be diagnosed this year and 13,850 will die of the disease.
“Family history plays a large role is determining who is at risk for ovarian cancer,” said Indiana State Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Joan Duwve, M.D. “Women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, or those who themselves have had breast cancer should talk to their doctors about whether genetic testing for inherited mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes is appropriate for them.”
Additional risk factors for ovarian cancer include:
·         Age. Ovarian cancer is rare in women younger than 40. Most ovarian cancers develop after menopause, with half of all ovarian cancers found in women 63 years old or older.
·         History of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Studies show that the use of estrogen alone as menopausal hormone therapy in women with intact ovaries can increase risk for developing ovarian cancer.
·         Smoking. Tobacco smoking increases the risk of mucinous ovarian cancer.
·         Obesity. Women with a body mass index of at least 30 may have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
·         Other medical conditions. Conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease and a genetic condition called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (also called Lynch syndrome) may indicate an increased risk for ovarian cancer.
The symptoms of early ovarian cancer are not specific and may not be obvious. The most common symptom is swelling of the abdomen caused by an accumulation of fluid. Some women may experience persistent, nonspecific symptoms including bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly or urinary urgency or frequency. The American Cancer Society recommends that women who experience these types of symptoms consistently for more than a few weeks contact a healthcare provider.
It is important to note that pap tests, the screening test for cervical cancer, do not detect ovarian cancer.  For women that are high risk and women with symptoms, a pelvic examination in combination with a transvaginal ultrasound and/or a blood test for the tumor marker CA125 may be used. Knowing your family history and seeing your doctor for persistent symptoms are important for early detection.
For more information on ovarian cancer, including resources, visit
The Indiana State Department of Health provides free resources for Hoosiers interested in making healthier eating choices and quitting tobacco. Visit or to learn more.
Organizations interested in impacting the burden of cancer in Indiana should consider participating in the Indiana Cancer Consortium (ICC). The ICC is a statewide network of partnerships whose mission is to reduce the cancer burden in Indiana through the development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive plan that address cancer across the continuum from prevention through palliation. Participation in the ICC is open to all organizations and individuals interested in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, quality of life, data collection and advocacy regarding cancer-related issues. To become a member of the ICC and find additional information about cancer prevention and control in Indiana, visit the ICC’s website at
To visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website, go to Follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at

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Jury Convicts Portage Man of Molesting Two Girls

scott nicol
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A Portage man faces 20 to 50 years in prison after a jury found him guilty on four counts of child molesting. The Times reports the jury deliberated for almost 12 hours before agreeing to convict Scott Nicol for molesting two young girls. According to the article, the allegations occurred in Portage between January 2010 and August 2011. A sentencing date has been scheduled for October 11th.
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MC Man Sentenced to 45 Years for Child Molestation

A Michigan City Man was sentenced to 45 years for his guilty plea to three felony counts of child molestation. The LaPorte County Prosecutor's Office reports Raven McGinty admitted to the charges, that occurred between April 2000 and September 2006, in Michigan City, and another instance in May of 2012, and in each incident with a child under the age of 14. The judge, who remarked this was one of the worst cases she had seen as both a judge, and as a former prosecutor, sentenced McGinty to fifteen years on each of the three counts, to run consecutively.
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Gary Man Faces Felony Gun and Drug Charges

Christopher Sallie
(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office)
A 28 year old Gary man faces several drug charges after the Lake County Drug Task Force executed a car stop on Monday in an alley behind the four-hundred block of Arthur Street in Gary. The Lake County Sheriff's Office reports they confiscated a .45 caliber semi-automatic HI-POINT pistol, as well as 144 grams of marijuana packaged for distribution and a scale. At last check, Christopher Sallie was being detained at the Lake County Jail.
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LaPorte PD Arrest Two on Separate Warrants

amanda childers
(Photos Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Dept)
Two LaPorte residents wanted on separate warrants were taken into custody on Thursday. The LaPorte Police Department reports 28 year old Amanda Childers, who was wanted on a warrant from LaPorte Circuit Court for felony theft, surrendered herself to police. Childers had been listed as the department's “Wanted Person of the Week”.
Meanwhile a during a traffic stop Thursday night, police stopped a moped driven by 45 year old Sean Westman for allegedly failing to yield the right of way for oncoming traffic. During the stop, police were able to verify that Westman was wanted on a warrant for felony intimidation, and he was transported to the LaPorte County Jail.
sean westman
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Griffith Safety Extravaganza is Saturday

The Griffith Safety Extravaganza is back. The town held a similar event for a number of years. The extravaganza will feature the town's police and fire departments, ambulance service, Lake County Sheriff, and more. Griffith Police Patrolman Jason Jaques says a SWAT crew will be there, the town's new K-9 unit will have demonstrations, and the Lake County Sheriffs helicopter will be landing around 2-o'clock and is expected to be there for about two hours. It's free to attend, and visitors will be able to donate toward the construction of a new animal shelter in Griffith. You can hear our interview on the event with Patrolman Jason Jaques at News Audio on Demand.
The Griffith Safety Extravaganza is Saturday Sept 14 at Central Park, from 11 am to 5 pm.

Minor Injuries in Valpo Collision

Valparaiso Police say two cars collided at Calumet Avenue and Burlington Beach Road Thursday afternoon, and one of the cars then struck a school bus that was stopped at the light at that intersection. Police say no one on the bus was injured. Authorities say one of the drivers of the two cars involved in the collision reported minor injuries.

Indiana Warns of Health Care Scams

A heath care fraud alert is being sounded by many state officials, including the Indiana Department of Insurance, as the insurance marketplaces are being set up. Consumers are being warned about fake sites and phone calls from scammers. New health care exchanges open for business next month and states are on the lookout for health scams.  Emily Peters of Patient Fusion a website for doctors and patients says there are two kinds of scams, "One is fake insurance exchanges. The second is fake doctors."The biggest warning sign from these sites? "They're going to ask you to wire transfer money through something like Western Union or MoneyGram," Peters said. "No legitimate company is ever going to ask you to wire transfer money."  The Indiana Department of Insurance says individuals being called Navigators under the new federal health care law are currently going through a training and licensing program in Indiana to assist consumers with finding a health care policy.

Ten Years Since Gov O'Bannon Passed Away

Frank O'Bannon (b. 1930)
Governor of Indiana
January 13, 1997 - September 13, 2003
It was ten years ago today that Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon passed away while in office. O'Bannon, a Democrat, was governor from 1997 until his death in 2003 at the age of 73. O'Bannon, Indiana's 48th governor, suffered a stroke while attending a trade conference in Chicago and died days later. He was succeeded by Lt. Governor Joe Kernan. O'Bannon was a native of downstate Corydon, Indiana's first state capital.
Indiana Governor's Portrait Artist - Michael Chelich
Michael A. Chelich (b. 1963)
Artist, Indiana Governors' Portrait Collection
Image of Portrait/Indiana Historical Bureau

US 20 in La Porte Co Reopens

The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office has re-opened  US Highway 20.  The crash that occurred in the 5600 East block of US Highway 20, east of Rolling Prairie, at approximately 6:34 am this morning has been cleaned and removed from the roadway.
La Porte County Sheriff's Police say the crash remains under investigation and information is limited at this time.  However, the road was closed as the result of a two (2) vehicle crash between a semi- truck and sport utility vehicle.  One of the occupants has since been transported to Memorial Hospital in South Bend.

Visclosky: We Need South Shore Expansion

First District Indiana Congressman Pete Visclosky wants forward motion on expanding the South Shore commuter rail line in Lake and Porter Counties, and he told state lawmakers here in the Region:  "I ask for your assistance in fashioning a permanent, non-federal source of matching revenue to expand the South Shore line to the communities of Lowell and Valparaiso." The Congressman said expansion is critical to keeping younger northwest Indiana residents living in the Region and working in Chicago: "Young people today simply are not driving as much, and we must recognize that preference," Visclosky said. " Young people today are more likely to want to live in urban areas and are more open to non-driving forms of transportation than older Americans".
Visclosky testified before the Joint Study Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Assessment and Solutions, as the committee held a field hearing at the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) offices in Portage Thursday.
You can hear his testimony here at our website at News Audio on Demand.

US 20 Closed Near Rolling Prairie

The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a personal injury crash that has all lanes of US Highway 20 closed in far northeast La Porte County.  The crash occurred in the 5600 East block of US Highway 20, east of Rolling Prairie, at approximately 6:34 am this morning and as a result, the highway is closed between 500 East and the intersection of State Road 2/US Highway 20.  
Detour information:  Eastbound traffic is being re-routed south on County Road 500 East to State Road 2.  Westbound traffic is being re-routed east along State Road 2 to County Road 500 East and north along 500 East to US Highway 20.  
Kankakee Township Fire Department and La Porte County Emergency Medical Service is currently attempting to extricate an occupant of one of the vehicles and due to the wreckage and emergency vehicles on site, the road is closed. 

Local Politicians' Email Accounts Hacked

The email addresses of at least three elected officials out of Lake County have reportedly been hacked, with thousands of people getting messages from them saying they're stuck in the Philippines and need money to get home. Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr, and state representatives Linda Lawson of Hammond and Shelli VanDenburgh of Crown Point are all on each other's email contact lists. VanDenburgh tells the Times the problems for her started earlier this week when she clicked on a link sent from an email that looked like it was from Yahoo, then noticed in an email she got that the fake Yahoo had two exclamation points.

Barn Fire in Boone Grove

No injuries are being reported in a barn fire overnight in Boone Grove.  Multiple departments responded to County Road 550 South, behind Boone Grove Elementary and Middle School.  Boone Grove Volunteer Fire Department President Paul Palleson says the fire broke out in a storage barn and crews got the call around 3:15 am.  The fire has been struck.  Boone Grove was assisted by several area fire departments.  No word on possible cause at this time.

Public Meetings Next Week for Rail Corridor Program

Indot Logo color
Fast Facts:
-          Illinois, Indiana and Michigan departments of transportation are holding a series of public meetings to obtain feedback on the route alternatives being evaluated between Chicago and Porter, Ind., including the area known as South of the Lake (SOTL). This is for a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Chicago Detroit/Pontiac Passenger Rail Corridor.
-          The Tier 1 EIS will help evaluate passenger rail improvements along a 300-mile corridor through three states.
-          Public comments must be received by Oct. 28 and can be submitted in multiple ways.
-          Check the website for more details.
September 4, 2013 – The Illinois, Indiana and Michigan departments of transportation, in association with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), are announcing a second series of public meetings for the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac Passenger Rail Corridor Program. The meetings are being held to:
-          Update the public on the Program,
-          Present the route alternatives being evaluated between Chicago and Porter, Ind., including the area known as South of the Lake (SOTL), and
-          Obtain feedback to help determine the route alternatives to be evaluated in the Tier 1 EIS.
The Tier 1 EIS will evaluate passenger rail improvements along a 300-mile rail corridor between Chicago and Detroit/Pontiac, Mich. The Tier 1 EIS will evaluate the effects of upgrading rail infrastructure and facilities to safely accommodate potential passenger rail service improvements. Effects on the natural environment, jobs, the economy, air quality, traffic, and neighborhoods will be considered. State and federal transportation partners are seeking input from residents, business owners and other stakeholders. Staff will be available to answer questions at four upcoming meetings. Exhibits and other reference materials will be on display and presentations made.
All comments must be received by Oct. 28 to be included in this step of the Tier 1 EIS process. Multiple options for submitting comments are available including:
-          Fill out a comment form at a public meeting,
-          Use the online comment form at,
-          Call toll-free number 877- 351-0853, and
-          Mail your written comments to Bob Parsons, MDOT, P.O. Box 30050, Lansing, MI 48909.
Public meetings will be held in each of the three states and will be open to the public between 4 and 7 p.m. A presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on attendance and interest. The same information will be presented at each meeting. Meeting materials will also be posted to the program website on Sept. 13, 2013.
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
4 to 7 p.m. (CDT); Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on request.
Chicago Union Station in the
Union Gallery Room (off the Great Hall)
500 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL
Wednesday, Sept 18, 2013
4 to 7 p.m. (CDT); Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on request.
Genesis Convention Center, Lake Room
One Genesis Center Plaza, Gary, IN
Thursday, Sept 19, 2013
4 to 7 p.m. (CDT); Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on request.
Porter Town Hall, Main Floor Meeting Room
303 Franklin St., Porter, IN
Tuesday, Sept 24, 2013
4 to 7 p.m. (EDT); Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on request.
Double Tree by Hilton Hotel
5801 Southfield Expressway, Dearborn, MI
Information about the program and how to participate can be found at the project website Sign up for program e-mail updates on the website or call toll-free at 877-351-0853.
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Alcohol a Factor In Fatal LaPorte Co Car/Train Collision

LapPorte County Sheriff logo - this one
The La Porte County Sheriff's Office issued a statement today saying a 40-year-old La Porte man killed in a car/train collision overnight near Union Mills had a blood alcohol concentration of point-393, or nearly five-times the legal limit.
Police say the collision occurred at a closed crossing on State Road 39 south of US 6, and the driver, who was the lone occupant, was found dead inside the minivan. La Porte County Coroner John Sullivan says 40-year-old Brian Massengill was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say the crossing was closed due to construction. According to the La Porte County Sheriff's Office, lights and crossing arms were working properly and barricades were in place. Deputies say it appears the victim had driven off the roadway and around a set of barricades that had been across State Road 39. Police say the train crew sounded the horn on the train but the van appeared to be stuck on the rails.
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AG Appeals Unconstitutional Right-to-Work Verdict

Indiana OAG Official Seal
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller's office today appealed a Lake County Superior Court order that found the state's right-to-work law unconstitutional. The September 5th ruling in Sweeney versus Zoeller involved a legal challenge filed by International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 to House Enrolled Act 1001 of 2012. The Lake County ruling said the law violated part of the state constitution that forbids services “without just compensation”. The law remains in effect while the ruling is under appeal.
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NWIBRT Raises $1,500 for the Food Bank of NWI

NWIBRT foodbank check 2013
(Photo Courtesy of Northwest Indiana Business Roundtable)
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 – CROWN POINT, IN –The Northwest Indiana Business Roundtable (NWIBRT) is honored to have raised $1500 for the Food Bank of NWI by way of their annual NWIBRT Golf Outing. This year’s event was held at White Hawk Country Club in Crown Point, IN where NWI’s top professionals and businesses united for a day of networking on the golf course.
Being the largest golf outing in the region with well over 300 in attendance, NWIBRT takes this great opportunity to give back to its community. Each year they donate proceeds and focus awareness on one of the areas non-profit organizations. This year’s organization is the Food Bank of NWI.
“NWIBRT appreciates any chance we get to give back to our community,” said NWIBRT’s Interim Executive Director Andrea Pearman. “It’s very important to us to lead by example. What better way than giving back?” she added. Along with this kind donation, a truck full of food was donated to the Food Bank of NWI in the name of NWIBRT member Manta Industries.
Information for the 2014 outing is still to be announced, but more information can be found at and donation information for the Food Bank of NWI can be found at
The Northwest Indiana Business Roundtable (NWIBRT) is an independent, non-profit council of local firms committed to the improvement of construction and maintenance projects in Northwest Indiana. Its purpose is to promote safety, quality and cost-effectiveness by all parties associated with the local area construction and maintenance industry.
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Highland Man Charged with Felony Burglary of Pharmacy

Highland Police
A Highland man has been charged with felony burglary after being arrested Wednesday night at a pharmacy in the 29-hundred block of Highway Avenue. Highland Police report a call from a concerned citizen was received by disptach at approximately 10:30pm, who stated they observed a suspicious vehicle parked near a side window, heard glass breaking, and then saw someone crawl through the window. Officers set up a perimeter and ultimately apprehended 32 year old Edward Hylek, who was taken into custody.
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Laura-WAKE Scott-WAKE Brent-WAKE
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team


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