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Coats: Hoosier Farmers Deserve Answers from EPA

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today demanded that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explain why it leaked the personal information of approximately 80,000 farmers and ranchers to environmental groups. Coats recently joined a bipartisan group of senators in a letter to the EPA requesting answers on the leaked data.
“These EPA leaks are unacceptable and raise questions about whether the agency is more concerned with appeasing environmentalists than protecting the men and women who make our food production system possible,” said Coats. “Hoosier farmers and producers should be able to earn a decent living from their hard work without having their personal information disclosed.”
Personal information leaked by the EPA to environmental groups included names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Facing public criticism, the EPA recently redacted some of the information and asked the recipients to return the released documents.
Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment to the 2013 Farm Bill (S.Amdt. 970) that would have prohibited EPA from disclosing sensitive livestock producer information in the future. 
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Woman Catches Suspect Looking into Window of Her Home

LaPorte PD
Police in LaPorte report responding to a call of suspicious activity in the 16-hundred block of Hillcrest Street, just before 11pm Sunday, after the victim told police she saw someone looking into the window of the home. Authorities report the victim's dog began barking and when she looked outside, saw the suspect on their hands and knees in her yard, who ran south from the property. Police say when the victim went outside, she saw approximately 100 various pieces of plastic cutlery pushed into the ground of her yard, and that the victim also recently had toilet paper strewn through her yard as well. Anyone with information regarding this crime, or any other criminal or suspicious activity, is asked to contact the LaPorte Police Department or at their website, http://lpcitypd.com, and that you can remain anonymous.
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Lt Gov in White Co Tomorrow for Economic Development Ceremony

Sue-LG
Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann will be in White County tomorrow afternoon, joining executives from Magnetation, L-L-C, who in a joint venture with A-K Steel Corp., are celebrating the start of construction of its iron ore pellet plant in Reynolds. Magnetation plans to invest 350 million dollars to construct and equip a 400-thousand square-foot plant, creating approximately 100 new jobs by 2015. The facility, Magnetation's first in Indiana, will produce high-quality iron ore pellets, which is a critical raw material in the steelmaking process. The groundbreaking is scheduled for 2:30 EDT.
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IN and KY Planned Parenthood Affiliates to Merge in July

plannedparenthood2
Published reports announced today that starting July 1st, Planned Parenthood affiliates in Indiana and Kentucky will merge and be known as Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, serving patients at 28 health centers across both states. Officials report the merger will strengthen the services in the two states and ensure reproductive health remains accessible and affordable.
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Taser Strike Reportedly Causes Death of Crown Point Man

A region resident died at a Chicago Heights hospital Sunday reportedly due to being hit with a Taser by police in Thornton, Illinois. The Times reports Thornton Police were called for a naked man near the Hubbard Park Pavilion, who became erratic and combative when officers approached him, so officers Tasered Mark Koves, of Crown Point, to subdue him during the arrest, and he was taken to the hospital for treatment.
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Seeking Investment Ideas for Gary Airport and Surrounding Land

GARY, IN, June 10, 2013– An Ad Hoc committee of The Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority on Friday released a Request for Expressions of Interest and Qualifications (REIQ) from private sector interests to gather a broad array of approaches and ideas to invest in the airport and the surrounding area through a potential public-private partnership (P3).
Tasked by the Airport Authority in March to explore a P3 to accelerate job creation and long-term investment in Gary and the Northwest Indiana region, the Ad Hoc committee continues to work at a brisk pace to develop a P3 model which retains public ownership of the airport and benefits from private sector innovation and access to capital. 
The committee anticipates following up the REIQ with a formal Request for Proposals (RFP) later this summer. In addition to the P3 exploration, major construction at the airport of a $166 million runway extending the main 7,000-foot runway by 1,900 feet continues. 
“The REIQ is an essential step in attracting creative ideas for a P3 model that reflects all the investment potential of the airport, the City of Gary and the Northwest Indiana region to create good-paying jobs for the long-term,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, mayor of the City of Gary.
A team of a highly-qualified financial experts, project managers and legal advisers were engaged by the Airport Authority in April to assist in the P3 exploration.  The team includes A.C. Advisory Inc., JClark Consulting Group, LLC and Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.
“Every airport P3 model is unique so the ideas we learn from the marketplace will help us shape the best P3 model for Gary and the Northwest Indiana region,” said David Bochnowski,Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NorthWest Indiana Bancorp., member of the Gary/Chicago Airport Authority, and chair of the Ad Hoc committee. “The airport and the surrounding area are full of investment opportunities; everything is directly connected to Chicago's transportation network through freight, interstate and mass-transit and has close proximity to multiple Lake Michigan ports.”
Responses to the REIQ are due by 5 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) Monday June 17, 2013. Supportive due diligence and supplementary materials will be made available to interested respondents on a website established by the City of Gary, www.FaegreBD.com.  Respondents are requested to register with the law firm, Faegre Baker Daniels.  The registration must be in electronic format and indicate the respondent's intent to participate in this REIQ process. 
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Warrant Issued for Teen in Death of Retired Teacher

Chris Mansfield
(Photo Courtesy of the Michigan City PD)
Michigan City Police say they have issued a warrant for a teenage suspect, considered armed and dangerous, and wanted in connection with the death of a retired school teacher. Police say 19-year-old Chris Mansfield is charged with murdering Henry Whitten, who was found dead in his home in the 500 block of East 8th Street last Thursday morning after police were dispatched for a welfare check. Anyone with information on the suspect's whereabouts is asked to call 9-1-1/ Whitten taught music at Barker Middle School for over 30 years before retiring in 2002.
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Indiana Fallen Officer Blood Drive at Expo Center

FallenOfficer blood drive
The annual Indiana Fallen Officer Blood Drive, put on by the American Red Cross, continues with blood drives in the Region, including a big one tomorrow in Porter County at the Expo Center. Porter County Sheriff David Lain says he hopes the place will be packed full of people who want to give blood and honor officers who've lost their life in the fight against crime.  The Porter County blood drive is 12noon-6pm Tuesday June 11.
The Indiana State Police- Lowell says on July 10, 2001, Sergeant Dan R. Starnes of the Morgan County, IN Sheriff’s Department lost his life as a result of gunshot wounds sustained during a line of duty gun battle. To keep his memory alive his surviving spouse, Janice, organized the Sgt. Dan R. Starnes Memorial Blood Drive in Morgan County later that year and has organized a blood drive each year since, in Dan’s memory. In 2007, she decided to take the blood drive statewide and renamed it the Indiana Fallen Officer’s Blood Drive. The 2013 drive had donation sites located in nearly every county statewide.
Indiana Blood Facts:
• 1,000 units of blood are needed daily in Indiana
• Each unit of blood donated helps in three different ways:
o Red Cells
o Platelets
o Plasma
The Lowell District is comprised of the following seven Indiana counties; Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton, Jasper, Starke and Pulaski. Listed below are dates, times, and locations for the remaining blood drives within the Lowell District.
COUNTY DATE TIME LOCATION
Newton June 19th, 2013 3P-7PM Newton Co. Fallen Officers, 12100
Punkin Vine, Kentland
Newton July 12, 2013 1:30P-6:30 PM Kentland Community Center, 401 N
4th, Kentland
Porter June 11th, 2013 12P-6PM Porter Co Expo Center, 215 E
Division, Valparaiso
Porter June 23rd, 2013 9A-2PM Nativity of Our Savior Parish Hall
2949 Willowcreek Rd, Portage
Pulaski June 11, 2013 3P-7PM Pulaski Co Sheriff Dept, 110 E
Meridian, Winamac
Pulaski June 26, 2013 11:30A-5:30 PM Knights of Columbus, 340 E
50 N, Winamac
LaPorte June 21st, 2013 9A-2PM LaPorte Co Annex, 809 State St
Laporte
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AG Specialist to Help Protect Seniors From Scams

gurgel
Linda Gurgel, Outreach Services Specialist, Office of the Indiana Attorney General [Photo provided]
Scam artists often target senior citizens through telemarketing and mail fraud, and here's an opportunity for Region seniors to learn how to protect themselves.  Pines Village Resident Life Director Cherylene Brennecke says the best defense against these type of crimes is knowing how to spot one. “Don't Be A Victim: Protect Yourself” is a free program presented by Pines Village Communities that is designed to help region seniors be better informed consumers.  Brennecke says Linda Gurgel, an Outreach Services Specialist from the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, will be on hand to answer questions.  The event will take place Tuesday, June 11th at 6:30 p.m. at the Campbell Street Cafe, 4245 Meridian Woods Drive, Valparaiso.  Pines Village Retirement Communities is hosting the program.    Do Not Call Registry enrollment will be available following the program.  For more information call Cherylene at 219.465-9917 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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State Supt Ritz to Discuss ISTEP

Indiana State Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz is holding a news conference this morning (11a EDT) to discuss the ISTEP-Plus review process. Computer issues disrupted test-taking around the Region and the state in late April and early May. State lawmakers have requested the test vendor, C-T-B/McGraw-Hill, to come before the General Assembly, to explain why the glitches occurred. Results are usually available as classes are ending, around the end of May, but it looks as though those results will be delayed for several weeks.
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Griffith Investigates Alleged Abduction Attempt

In Griffith, police say they're investigating the report of an alleged abduction attempt. Police Chief Greg Mance says a 15-year-old girl reported she broke away from a man who tried to pull her into his vehicle in the one-thousand block of East Glen Park Avenue about 8:30 Friday night. Police say the girl told police she was approached by a man in a white SUV with Illinois plates, and subject allegedly asked the girl if she would get into his vehicle to help him find someone named “Becky”. Police say the man then reportedly got out and tried to pull the girl into his vehicle, but she got away and the SUV left eastbound on Glen Park Avenue.  
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Gary's New 311 Service Available

The 3-1-1 phone line for Gary citizens to report non-emergency issues is now up and running. City officials in Gary report the line is for those residents who want to report issues such as potholes, fallen trees, abandoned homes, and other non-emergency matters. Citizens can also download the 3-1-1 app at no cost or report directly on the website at www.gary.in.us .
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Postal Workers Rally in Highland

In Highland, postal workers from around the Region and elsewhere rallied at the Highway of Flags Memorial at Ridge Road and Indianapolis Boulevard Sunday to protect Saturday mail delivery and support two bills currently in Congress that would continue it. In April, the US Postal Service announced they were dropping their plan to end Saturday delivery in August [Aug 5] saying a measure passed by Congress earlier this year prevented them from changing the delivery schedule, but that resolution ends September 30th.
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4 Charged in 1999 Death, Body Found in Gary

Prosecutors in Cook County say four men have been charged in connection with the death of a man whose body was found in Gary 14-years-ago. Officials say the 28-year-old victim was kidnapped from his Chicago-area electronics store in June 1999, and his body was discovered by Gary Police in the area of 20th Place and Grant Street. The Cook County State's Attorneys Office says the four suspects have been charged with first-degree murder; two are from Chicago and Jeffersonville, Indiana, and the other two men are currently in prison on unrelated charges.
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Event in Valpo to Support the Wounded Warrior Project

WLA Charity Ride
Help support the Wounded Warrior Project with a special event this weekend at Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso.  According to the Duneland Chapter of Harley Owners Group or "HOG," San Diego resident, and armed services veteran, Brian Bieber is traveling across the country on a restored, WWII era WLA 45 Solo Harley-Davidson Military motorcycle, at his own expense, to collect money to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Retired Command Sgt.Major of the United States Army, William "Chip" Ostenberg says over the course of the contract, 90,000 WL Solo bikes were manufactured with 60,000 going to U.S. Forces and another 30,000 to our allies during World War II.  The "A" in the model number designates a bike destined to the Army.  Models were also distributed to the Navy, with the only difference in that they were painted Navy Grey, according to Ostenberg.
 
Beiber's Facebook Page says he has raised almost 13-thousand dollars toward his 45-thousand dollar goal.  The motorcyclist says he hopes to convince 45-hundred people to donate ten dollars each, because he said that even a little will go a long way to help disabled men and women who have proudly served their country.
The "WLA Charity Ride" is scheduled to arrive at the American Legion Post in Valparaiso at 9 a.m. Sunday and from there will be escorted to the Harley-Davidson Dealership located at 1151 Morthland Dr. (off US-30).
Hot dogs and pop will be available both on Saturday and Sunday with all proceeds going to the Wounder Warrior Project.  To follow Beiber's charity ride progress visit his Facebook page at:   https://www.facebook.com/WLAAcrossUSA
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Summer Food Services Program Begins Monday

Food Bank
Gary, IN— The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana is once again acting as a sponsor for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The SFSP is a government funded program that aims to feed hungry children during the summer months when they are no longer receiving free or reduced meals at school. They are once again partnering with Meals on Wheels to provide hot lunches at the sites. The Food Bank is sponsoring 5 sites in Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago.
“For many kids summertime means a break from school and a chance for uninterrupted play, but for countless others, it is a time of uncertainty and lethargy as they no longer have a reliable source of food each day. These children often rely on the breakfast and lunch provided by their schools as their only dependable source of food, and when schools let out for the summer these children are left wondering where their next meal will come from,” says Chanda Dixon, at the Food Bank. The Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, and the Summer Food Service Program help alleviate this problem by providing breakfast and lunch to at risk kids five days a week.
The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana will be providing meals to 5 sites starting on June 10th and running through August 9th. Breakfast and lunch will be served Monday through Friday. The program is open to all children 18 and under. The Summer Feeding Sites for the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana are Bethel Congregational COGIC (815 Michigan St., Hammond): breakfast 9-10am and lunch 12:30-1:30pm, Bethel Temple (110 W. 43rd St., Gary); breakfast 9:30-10:30am and lunch 11:30m-12:30pm, Mission of Jesus Christ (3924 Kennedy Ave., East Chicago): breakfast 9:30-10:30am and lunch 12:30-1:30pm, Salvation Army (513 W. Chicago Ave., East Chicago): breakfast 9-10am and lunch 12:15-1:15pm, and GoodWill Church (5119 Indianapolis Blvd., East Chicago): breakfast 9-10am and lunch 12-1pm.
For more information on the Summer Food Services Program please contact Chanda Dixon at 219-902-2280. For sites in other areas not sponsored by the Food Bank, please call 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (for Spanish speakers).
The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana is located in Gary and supplies food to over 90 pantries and soup kitchens in Lake and Porter Counties. In addition to distributing food to their member agencies the Food Bank also runs the BackPack, Kid’s Café, Food Rescue, HOPE Project, and Pantry on the Go programs and offers pantry referrals. Last year the Food Bank distributed over 4.9 million pounds of food, and served over 5,000 individuals a week.
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Enbridge Talks Benefits of Line 6B Pipeline Project

enbridge-inc-logo
Enbridge Energy's 300 million dollar expansion of a crude oil pipeline through Northwest Indiana designed to meet current and future pipeline transportation needs recently was issued water quality certification. Enbridge Community Relations Adviser Jennifer Smith says the construction will provide a economic boom to the region through the installation of new facilities which will bring added property tax revenues, as well as an influx of sales tax from locally purchased materials and equipment, and will increase employment with over one-thousand temporary and permanent jobs created. But she says the biggest benefit to the Region and the Midwest will be the continued reliable delivery of crude oil to refineries so they can make the gas and petroleum products we rely on everyday.
Smith says they have addressed zoning ordinance concerns raised in LaPorte County and the next step in the process is to gain approval of the Army Corp of Engineers, and possible begin construction in August.
Some environmental groups have called the project a mixed bag for the environment, but did state Enbridge has taken several significant steps to protect natural resources during and after construction, including the hiring of independent environmental monitors. Smith says the hope is to have entire Line 6-B in service by the end of the year. To hear about the project, click News Audio On Demand at regionnewsteam.com.
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Walk for Sojouner Truth House Fundraiser this Morning

In 1997, the year it was founded, Sojourner Truth House (STH) served 800 individuals with emergency food, clothing and emotional support. Today, the day center serves more than 2000 people per month, many of them homeless women and their children from Gary and the surrounding communities.
According to STH Executive Director Sr. Peg Spindler, the numbers of individuals and families seeking services has been sharply increasing in recent years. “We saw a 30% increase in traffic from 2011 to 2012, and we’re already on pace to surpass that in 2013.”
Sojourner’s main fundraiser of the year, the Walk for Sojourner Truth House, is scheduled for Saturday, June 8, 2013. Registration is at 8:00 a.m. and the walk starts at 9:00 a.m. at 13th and Madison Street in Gary.
A special website has been created where individuals can register to walk or donate to help www.walkforsth.org. Registrations and donations will also be accepted on the day of the walk at Sojourner Truth House at 410 West 13th Avenue in Gary.  To learn more about the walk and the Sojourner Truth House visit  http://indiana105.com/index.php/news/news-on-demand.html
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Cruise Night Parking Restrictions, Rd Closures and Detours

cruise night
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
The following parking restrictions, street closures and detours will be in effect on La Porte's Annual Cruise Night, Saturday, June 8th.
– There will be no parking allowed on Lincolnway from the hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The police department will have signs posted indicating this.
– The following street closures will be in effect from 5:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and detour signage will be in place:
- Lincolnway from Adams Street to I Street;
- J Street from First Street to Sixth Street;
- K Street from First Street to Ind. 2;
- Pine Lake Avenue overpass from Kroger Plaza to Lincolnway;
- the cruise route east turnaround of Adams Street from Lincolnway to State Street; State Street from Adams to Linwood; and Linwood from State Street to Lincolnway.
- Indiana Avenue will also be closed to semi-truck traffic and detoured at Boyd Boulevard.
Please be alert for traffic congestion and pedestrian traffic around the cruise route area.
The La Porte Police Department wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable evening!
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Prosecutors Want Jesse Jackson Jr. to Spend 4 yrs in Prison

Former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson, Junior will be sentenced next month for raiding his campaign fund, and prosecutors want to see him put behind bars. ABC'sNews reports the former congressman pleaded guilty in February to using his campaign fund as a personal piggy bank. spending three quarters of a million dollars on home improvements, vacations and luxury items. Now prosecutors want to see Jesse Jackson, Junior pay twice as much back, and spend four years in federal prison. The Chicago Democrat resigned his seat last November, saying he suffered from bipolar depression. Defense attorneys may try to use that as a mitigating factor.
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