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Leaf Pick-Up Season Begins in Valparaiso

In Valparaiso, the city's fleet of seven leaf vacuum crews will begin picking up leaves today (Mon Oct 21) and continue through November 29. City officials say the trucks follow the trash routes, but because of the unpredictability of the wind and weather, it's difficult to commit to a specific pickup day for each neighborhood each week. Public Works Director Matt Evans says they may add occasional Saturday pickups during the heaviest part of the season. Residents are asked to keep sticks and any other items out of leaf piles. City officials say non-leaf items and debris can damage equipment and lead to downtime for repairs. After November 29th, leaves must be left in biodegradable bags for pickup.  The city also says there will be no additional leaf pick ups in the Spring, so any leftover leaves from the Fall season must be bagged for pick up. [Photo/Laura Waluszko, Radio One Communications]
leaf vac
[Website Photo/City of Valparaiso]
Additional info from the city:
- Crews will begin at 7 am and continue until dark, if necessary
- Leave your leaves in the right-of-way -- off the street -- for pick up.  Leaves cannot be picked up in alleys.
- Leaves should be the only thing in the pile -- no sticks, bricks, boards or other items. Public Works cannot pick up mixed piles with brush and leaves together until separated by the resident.  Public Works does not pick up any debris from contractors, regardless of the time of year.
- Additional items should be placed off the street, near the curb.
- Although it's preferable to leave leaves unbagged and unconvered through Nov. 29, leaves may be placed in biodegradable bags (NO plasitc) or covered with a tarp at the curb to prevent them from blowing.
- Please bag any leaves remaining after the leaf pick-up season ends on Nov. 29.
- For more information about leaf pick up, or other services of Public Works, visit the city's website at

Problems Plaguing Facebook Users

Region residents having trouble updating their status or posting on Facebook in general this morning are not alone. There are reports of update problems elsewhere in the country with people getting error messages. Posts on another social media juggernaut, Twitter, are relaying the experiences....

First Widespread Freeze of the Season Possible

The first widespread freeze of the season could hit the Region tonight.  The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Watch from late tonight through Tuesday morning. Meteorologists say temperatures in the upper 20s to lower 30s could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation. [Image/National Weather Service Chicago]
Here's a link to the Chicago National Weather Service website:

Temporary Busing in Effect for Bridge Replacement

Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District says South Shore is temporarily busing passengers between South Bend, Hudson Lake and Carroll Avenue Station in Michigan City while NICTD is replacing a bridge east of Michigan City. Busing is expected to continue thru November first.
Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District website: ...

Serious Injuries Reported in Crash Near LaCrosse

US Highway 421 south of LaCrosse in rural Dewey Township was closed for an extended length of time for a crash resulting in serious injuries. La Porte County Sheriffs Police say for unknown reasons Friday afternoon a southbound passenger vehicle crossed the center line and struck the axles of a northbound trailer that was being pulled by a semi-tractor. after striking the trailer axles, police say the soundbound vehicle then crashed into a Jeep that was also traveling northbound on US 421. Deputies arrived on scene north of County Road 2300 South shortly before 2 pm.  The driver of the southbound vehicle was airlifted from the scene to a South Bend hospital. A juvenile passenger of that vehicle and the driver of the semi were taken to a Porter Regional Hospital for treatment.  Police say the crash investigation was on-going and results of toxicology tests were pending for the driver of the southbound vehicle.    
La Porte County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were assisted at the scene by members of  the following agencies:  Indiana State Police, Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Starke County Sheriff’s Department, North Judson Police Department, La Porte and Porter County Emergency Medical Services and the La Crosse Volunteer Fire Department....

Region Football Sectional Game Moved

The opening round 4A high school football sectional game this Friday night [Oct 25] between Lowell and Gary West Side has been moved from West Side to East Chicago Central High School, reportedly due to concerns over field conditions, including problems with some lights. A representative from the Indiana High School Athletic Association traveled up to Gary last week.  ...

Highland Firefighter Killed in Off-Road Vehicle Crash

Indiana Conservation Officers, Highland and Lake County Police are investigating a fatal off-road vehicle crash in the 29-hundred block of Condit Street early Sunday that killed an off-duty Highland fireman. Officials say 50-year-old Richard Haschke of Highland was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple head injuries. Authorities say there were two passengers, a 31-year-old La Porte man transported to the hospital for a broken arm and a 42-year-old Highland man who was treated and released at the scene. State and local authorities say it appears alcohol may have been a contributing factor. Emergency crews responded shortly before 3:30am where conservation officers say a Polaris Ranger was overturned in the roadway. Highland Police released a statement saying the vehicle involved belong to the Highland Fire Department, but the victim was not authorized to use it and was not responding to any type of incident on behalf of the town of Highland. Conservation officers say safety belts were not being worn by any of the occupants of the Ranger.


Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

IMG 20131020 123814 427
Residents from all over Northwest Indiana gathered in Valparaiso's Central Park Plaza Sunday to listen to Sherry Grevenstuk of DeMotte share her story of survival. Hanah Tepe, Community Representative for the American Cancer society says in it's 4
th year the Making Strides Walk has nearly doubled in size. Although, it will take a couple of days to get the exact dollar total raised, fund raising did surpass this year's goal of 60-thousand dollars! For more information on how you can make strides against Breast Cancer check out the Region Spotlight Page here on our website....

Hammond Man Killed in Crash

fatal crash
A Hammond man died in a crash on the Borman Expressway Saturday night. Indiana State Police say a preliminary investigation shows the driver was eastbound on Interstate 80-94 east of Indianapolis Boulevard, and she and her boyfriend were arguing when he grabbed the steering wheel. Troopers say the woman overcorrected which spun the Toyota Tercel around until it was almost perpendicular to an oncoming charter bus, which struck the car head-on. Police say 21-year-old Joshua Walberg of Hammond was pronounced dead at the scene, and 21-year-old Shawnna Popenhagen of Hammond was taken to an Illinois hospital with what were described as incapacitating injuries. Police say Popenhagen was wearing a seat belt and Walberg was not.  The bus held a total of 39 people (one driver and thirty-eight passengers), including coaches, football players and cheerleaders from the University of Saint Francis out of Fort Wayne, coming home from a game in Joliet, Illinois. No one on the bus was hurt, police say, and they went back to Fort Wayne on a different bus.  [Photo/Indiana State Police]...

Shooting Death in Hammond

Police in Hammond are investigating a shooting death that authorities say appears to have been a justifiable homicide. The Lake County Coroners office says 30-year-old Jonathan Butler of Chicago suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead in the four-thousand block of Grover Street shortly after one-o'clock Sunday morning. Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller says it appears the homeowner shot Butler in self-defense during an argument over money, which published reports say police believe is related to a drug debt. Authorities say evidence from the investigation is being presented to the Lake County Prosecutor to determine if any charges will be filed....

Hobart Police Investigate Stabbing Death

Police in Hobart are investigating a homicide. The Lake County Coroners office says 19-year-old Jesus Ibarra of East Chicago was pronounced dead just after midnight Sunday at Northlake Methodist Hospital in Gary. Hobart Police say the victim was stabbed late Saturday after a fight outside a gas station in Hobart, and a 17-year-old Hobart has been taken into custody. Charges were reportedly pending....

No New Information on Apparent Double Homicide

There was no new information available this morning relating to what authorities believe was a double homicide south of Lowell. At last word, Lake County Sheriffs Police were looking for a person of interest. Friday afternoon authorities went to perform a well-being check on the residents of a home in the 145-hundred block of West 197th Avenue, where they found two bodies described as “badly decomposed”. Additional information was expected to be released later today (Monday Oct 21).  There was also no information released on possible cause of death or the identities of the two persons who were found dead at the house.


Railroad Crossing Repairs in Michigan City

This reminder for drivers in the Michigan City area, repair work is being performed by CSX Railroad to the Franklin Street crossing. The City announces that the Franklin Street crossing will be closed starting Monday, October 21st, with expectations to reopen the crossing on Saturday, October 26th.  The schedule is approximate and could change due to weather and CSX progress, according to the a release from the Mayor's office.  Detour signs are posted to assist residents and visitors to alternative routes around the affected crossing....

More Illinois-based Companies Moving to the Region

A manufacturer from across the state line is joining the parade of other Illinois-based companies that have recently announced plans to relocate to Munster, in neighboring Lake County. Land O' Frost recently announced the move of their Lansing headquarters, and last week MAC Medical Supply Company announced that they will relocate warehouse and shipping operations from Tinley Park.
The Times is now reporting that Tech Air Incorporated is also relocating its manufacturing of heating and air-conditioning components to Lake Business Center on Calumet Avenue in Munster. The three combined moves will bring nearly 300 new jobs to the Region.
The Town Manager of Munster, Thomas DeGiulio says the companies the town wants to attract are finding exactly what they need.  During a recent Region Newsmaker interview DeGiulio says, "Our philosophy has always been that if we get clean manufacturing, good white collar jobs and those type of things, we've got the environment for that, we're not a heavy manufacturing community."
Hear the entire interview by clicking on the Region Newsmakers link located under the news menu on our webpage.
To read more about Illinois-based companies crossing the state line log on to:  ...

Costs for Lake County's New E-911 Service Revealed

Lake County officials revealed in their proposed budget Friday that consolidated E-911 service would cost more than 36-million dollars to get up and running. The Times reports the money would go toward building and equipping the new 911 call center in Crown point, a back-up center in East Chicago, to purchase radios for the county's hundreds of police officers and firefighters and the computers needed to coordinate all the calls. It would cost eleven million for salaries, utility costs and other daily operational expenses, according to the article.
Because the cost to operate the new system is more than some towns are paying now, St. John along with Cedar Lake, Lowell and Schererville are considering consolidating their own police and fire dispatch network, with Dyer about ready to jump on the bandwagon.
Consolidation into one E-911 call center must be complete by the end of 2014 or Lake County stands the chance of losing two-point-six million dollars from the state toward operation costs.
Read more about this story at:

Painting Auction to Benefit Meals on Wheels

charging stallion
An auction to benefit Meals on Wheels commenced online today. The Thasseus C. Gallery is hosting a one-week auction for the painting, “Charging Stallion” an acrylic on canvas measuring 38-by-38 inches, which was created live during the City of LaPorte's Sunflower Fair by Laura and Thaddeus Culter. The auction runs until 8pm Friday, October 25th.  
Individuals can view the painting and see the current bid at  Anyone interested in placing a bid can email the gallery at 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 or call the gallery direct at (219) 326-8626. Final Auction bids can be placed in person during the opening reception of the “Colors of Autumn” exhibition on Friday, October 25th, from five to eight in the evening.
Gallery hours are Wed/Thur/Fri 10-6, and Sat 10-3. For more information please visit our online gallery at, or call 219.326.8626....

3 Center Lanes Blocked EB 80/94 near Calumet Ave

10-18  EB Borman crash closes 3 right lanes
INDOT is reporting that three right lanes eastbound Borman (I-80/94) are closed due to a crash near Calumet Avenue.  Drivers should expect backups and delays approaching the state line.

(INDOT photo:  shows the eastbound lanes of the Borman (I-80/94) backed to just before Calumet Avenue) 


New Military Service Academy Info Nights Event Dates

The recent government shutdown postponed an opportunity for high schoolers around the state to get information on applying for one of the five military service academies, but since the government is back up and running, new dates, times and locations have been established. The Office of Indiana US Senator Joe Donelly reports five events will take place around the state, starting Tuesday in Evansville, with a northwest Indiana event to be held the following week in Valpariso on October 29th, from 5 to 7pm at the American Legion Post Number 94. Representatives from Senator Donnelly's office will be available to help students interested in a future in the Armed Services navigate the application process and will outline any addition requirements necessary to be considered for a nomination from Senator Donnelly.
The dates for all Military Service Academy Information Nights events are as follows:

Wednesday, October 23
TIME:     5:00 – 7:00 PM CDT
WHERE: Senator Donnelly’s Regional Office
   123 NW 4th Street, Suite 417
   Evansville, Indiana

TIME:    5:00 PM 7:00 PM EDT
WHERE: Senator Donnelly’s Regional Office
   702 North Shore Drive
               Jeffersonville, Indiana

TIME:     5:00 PM -7:00 PM EDT
WHERE: Senator Donnelly’s Regional Office
               10 West Market Street, Suite 1180
               Indianapolis, Indiana

Thursday, October 24
TIME:     5:00 PM -7:00 PM EDT
WHERE: Senator Donnelly’s Regional Office
   203 East Berry Street, Suite 702B
   Fort Wayne, Indiana
Tuesday, October 29
TIME:     5:00 PM -7:00 PM CDT
WHERE: American Legion Post #94
               4 Monroe Street
               Valparaiso, Indiana...

Robbery at Bozeman's Marathon in DeMotte

Authorities are investigating a robbery that occurred at Bozeman's Marathon Thursday evening in DeMotte. The Newton County Sheriff's Office reports they received a call of an armed robbery at 6:30pm, and upon arrival, sheriff's deputies were informed that a white male, approximately 6'2”, with a thin build and a reddish goatee, wearing a blue and white flannel coat, blue jeans and a baseball hat, entered the store and demanded all the money from the register. Attendants reported the suspect indicated he had gun and he fled with an undisclosed amount of cash in a white Chevrolet H-H-R heading east on State Road 10. No injuries were reported....

Vigo County Resident 1st West Nile Death of 2013

State health officials today announced the state’s first death in Indiana this year from West Nile virus. The Indiana Department of Health says the person who died was a Vigo County resident. Twenty human cases have been reported in Indiana this year, three in Porter County, and one in Lake. In 2012, 77 human cases and eight deaths occurred in Indiana. Health experts say even though we're past the normal peak season for the West Nile virus, August and September, there's still a risk of becoming infected. Mosquitoes, they say, are typically not very active below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but until a hard freeze, about 30 degrees Fahrenheit, there is still a risk of being bitten. ...

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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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