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Coast Guard: Be Safe on the Lake This Holiday Weekend

Coast Guard 9th District
CLEVELAND — Following a number of swimming and boating accidents on the Great Lakes over the last several weeks, the Coast Guard is urging those who plan to recreate on the Great Lakes during Labor Day weekend, or at any other time, to take appropriate safety precautions.
Labor Day weekend marks the end of the traditional beach and boating seasons on the Great Lakes, and is usually one of the busiest for the Coast Guard.
During the month of August, the Coast Guard's 9th District conducted search-and-rescue cases in Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior and other navigable waterways within the Great Lakes region, like the St. Marys River, which highlighted the importance of proper preparation and boaters looking out for one another.
"Accidents happen fast and unexpectedly on the water," said Michael Baron, Coast Guard 9th District Recreational Boating and Water Safety Program manager. "Individuals looking to celebrate the traditional end of summer on the Great Lakes mustn't let their guard down. Everyone needs to be conscientious and practice personal safety so that their celebration doesn't turn into a tragedy."
"Whatever the activity, keep an eye on the weather and water conditions," Baron said. "Avoid using alcohol and wear your life jacket when boating."
Alcohol plays a major role in boating accidents and fatalities. As of Aug. 28, 2013, the Coast Guard has issued 122 boating under the influence citations, 40 of which were federal tickets.
The Coast Guard encourages swimmers and boaters to always check the current and forecasted marine weather before heading to the water. Even on seemingly nice days, waves and underwater currents may be more than the average swimmer or boater can handle. Marine forecasts can be found on the National Weather Service's website.
The following are additional safety tips all boaters should abide by:
  • Wear a life jacket at all times — The law states you must have a life jacket for every person on board, but the Coast Guard suggests you go one step further and wear your life jacket at all times when boating. It is much more difficult to locate, access, or don a life jacket at the moment the accident occurs. More information about life jackets can be found on the Coast Guard's Boating Safety Resource Center website.
  • File a float plan and leave it with someone who is not recreating on the water — A float plan is a lifesaving device on paper and can assist emergency responders with locating a distressed mariner. More information, as well as a downloadable float plan can be found on the Float Plan Central website.
  • Have a marine band radio and visual distress signals — While many boaters rely on cell phones for emergency communications on the water, VHF-FM radios are much more reliable in the marine environment and work in areas where cell phones sometimes don’t.  When a mayday is broadcast over channel FM Channel 16, the international hailing and distress frequency, multiple response agencies, and other nearby boaters can hear the distress call and offer immediate assistance.  Additionally, in accordance with federal law, recreational boats 16 feet and longer are required to carry visual distress signals such as flares, smoke signals or non-pyrotechnic devices, and vessels 12 meters or longer are required to carry sound-producing devices such as whistles, bells and gongs. State and local laws may require further safety equipment.
  • Have a registered 406MHz emergency position indicating radio beacon — When a 406MHz EPIRB signal is received, search-and-rescue personnel can retrieve information from a registration database. This includes the beacon owner's contact information, emergency contact information, and vessel/aircraft identifying characteristics. Having this information allows the Coast Guard, or other rescue personnel, to respond appropriately.
  • Have a personal locator beacon — A PLB is a compact device that is clipped to a boater, normally on the life jacket he or she is wearing.  Once activated in a distress situation, the PLB transmits a 406 MHz signal to the International Cospas-Sarsat Satellite System, which provides distress alert and location data for search and rescue operations around the world.
  • DO NOT boat under the influence of alcohol — Alcohol affects judgment, vision, balance and coordination. Factor in boat motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray and a drinker's impairment is accelerated. More information about the dangers of boating under the influence can be found on the Coast Guard's Boating Safety Resource Center website.
Drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death in the United States and the second leading cause of accidental death for swimmers aged 5 to 44.  The Coast Guard recommends the following tips for swimmers:
  • Swim near a lifeguard — U.S. Lifesaving Association statistics during a 10-year period show that the chance of drowning at a beach without lifeguard protection is almost five times as great as drowning at a beach with lifeguards.
  • Never swim alone — Many drownings involve single swimmers. Learn water rescue techniques you can use if someone you are swimming with is in danger.
  • Don’t fight the current — If caught in a rip current, don’t fight it by trying to swim directly to shore. Instead, swim parallel to shore until you feel the current relax, then swim to shore. Most rip currents are narrow and a short swim parallel to shore will bring a swimmer to safety.
  • Swim sober — Alcohol is a major factor in drowning. Alcohol can reduce body temperature and impair swimming ability. Both alcohol and drugs impair good judgment, which may cause people to take risks they would not otherwise take.
  • Don’t float where you can’t swim — Non-swimmers and weak swimmers often use flotation devices, such as inflatable rafts, to go offshore. If they fall off, they can quickly drown. No one should use a flotation device unless they are able to swim. The only exception is a person wearing an inherently buoyant Coast Guard approved Type I, II or III personal flotation device, or life jacket.
  • Prepare for the unexpected — Wear a life jacket while participating in any activity during which you could unexpectedly enter the water, such as when fishing from break walls or piers.
  • Avoid unnecessary risks — Walking along break walls is risky because it only takes a momentary loss of footing to invite tragedy. Jumping from break walls, waterside structures or into unfamiliar water is extremely dangerous since unseen underwater hazards may exist.
  • Additional water safety tips are available on the U.S. Lifesaving Association website.
According to United States Lifesaving Association statistics, 80 percent of beach rescues are necessary due to rip currents, and more than 100 people die annually from drowning in rip currents.  The following are tips on identifying, avoiding and escaping rip currents:
  • Identify — Look for changes in water color; water motion; incoming wave shape or breaking point compared to adjacent conditions; channels of churning or choppy water; lines of foam, seaweed or debris moving seaward.
  • Avoid — Check the latest National Weather Service forecast for local beach conditions before heading out; learn to swim; learn to swim in surf; never swim alone; swim near a lifeguard; look for posted signs and warning flags indicating hazards; check with lifeguards before swimming and obey their instructions; always assume rip currents are present; if in doubt, don’t go out.
  • Escape — Remain calm to conserve energy; don’t fight the current; swim across the current parallel to the shoreline; when out of the current, swim an angle away from the current and toward shore; if you can’t escape, try to float or tread water until the current subsides then swim to shore; if you can’t reach shore, face the shore, wave your arms and yell for help to draw attention.
  • Assist — Get help from a lifeguard or if one isn’t available, call 911; throw the victim something that floats — a life jacket, cooler, ball; yell instructions to escape; don’t become a victim trying to help someone else.
Finally, the Coast Guard reminds mariners that water temperatures will start to descend rapidly with the change in seasons. Hypothermia is a risk regardless of water temperature, but cooler waters accelerate its onset.
A person in cold water without proper protective closing will lose functional movement in fingers, arms and legs within minutes. At this point, a victim who is not wearing a life jacket will likely drown because he or she can no longer tread water and remain afloat.
Even with a Coast Guard-approved life jacket, hypothermia is a threat to survival once someone is exposed to cold water. The body may lose heat 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air. When recreating outdoors, mariners should dress for the water temperature — not the air temperature.
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Victims of Ponzi Schemer to Receive Restitution

Secretary of State
INDIANAPOLIS (August 29, 2013) – Victims of money manager Keenan Hauke’s Ponzi scheme will receive $1 million in restitution thanks to an asset freeze by Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s office. Keenan Hauke was a prominent money manager from Fishers who managed Samex Capital Partners LLC.  He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in December 2011 for securities fraud. Although Hauke is now behind bars, the cleanup continues to try to return significant portions of investor losses, totaling over $9 million.
“Helping these Hoosier victims is our number one priority and we will not stop until we have maximized their restitution,” said Secretary Lawson. “Today’s partial repayment was made possible thanks to the quick action of my Securities Division team. Keenan Hauke’s assets were frozen within days of our discovery of the scheme, allowing us to recover a greater portion of investors’ losses. While we are thankful the receiver is able to return $1 million to investors, the work is not done. There is still a condo in Barbados to be sold that Hauke purchased with investor money and we’ve filed an action against Hauke’s CPA firm for its role in contributing to investor losses.  I commend receiver William Wendling and counsel Scott Starr for their work thus far.”
Ninety-seven investors will receive a pro-rata distribution of $1 million from the funds recovered to date. Since June of 2011, the Secretary of State’s office has worked with the receiver, William E. Wendling Jr., and counsel to the receiver, Scott Starr, to recoup as much money as possible for Hauke’s investors. To date, $1.5 million has been recovered through asset freezes, marshaling of other accounts and clawback litigation. The Secretary of State’s office and the receiver will continue to work together to optimize the recovery and return Hauke’s ill-gotten gains to investors.
“When we investigate a Ponzi scheme, the circumstances often hinder our ability to recover large portions of investors’ funds because in many cases the money has already been spent,” said Securities Commissioner Chris Naylor. “By freezing Hauke’s assets within days of initiating the investigation, I believe we’ve been able to maximize our recovery efforts and return a greater portion of investors hard earned money.”
In addition to the $1 million distribution, several Hauke victims have also received money from the Secretary of State’s Securities Restitution Fund. This fund helps victims of securities fraud recover a portion of their losses and was the first of its kind in the nation. Since its inception in July of 2010, over $42,000 has been returned to four separate victims.
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Minnesota Woman Killed in Motorcycle Crash on I-65

motorcycle crash
(Photo Courtesy of Indiana State Police Lowell Post)
A 55 year old Minnesota woman was killed and her husband in critical condition at last check at an Oak Lawn, Illinois, hospital after a crash this morning on northbound I-65, one mile south of the Crown Point exit. Indiana State Police Lowell Post report the crash occurred just after 10am, when Roger Rutten lost control of the 2012 Harley Davidson motorcycle and flipped it while changing lanes, due to uneven pavement at that location, which is under construction, and where authorities report uneven pavement signs are present. State Police say the couple were ejected from the bike, over the barrier cables and into the grassy median. Lori Rutten was pronounced dead at the scene due to massive blunt force trauma, and authorities say neither were wearing helmets at the time of the incident. The crash closed the northbound lane of I-65 for over three-hours for reconstruction and cleanup efforts.
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Cook Co Sheriff's Office to Conduct Checkpoints in Dolton

Cook County Sheriff
The Cook County Sheriff's Office announced today that they'll be conducting a roadside safety checkpoint tomorrow night in Dolton, Illinois. Sheriff Thomas Dart says the checkpoint is to ensure drivers are complying with Illinois driver's license and registration requirements, and to determine whether anyone is driving impaired. The goal of the checkpoint is to emphasize roadway safety, increase seat belt usage, promote safe travel, and help reduce number of vehicle crashed in Cook County.
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Police Warn of 'Alert System' Sales Calls

La Porte Police say the latest in unwelcome, illegal, prerecorded sales calls are coming from alleged scammers pitching a so-called free safety alert system for older adults and diabetics, where the callers spoof a phone number so it looks like a local call on caller ID. Police say people who gave their information have seen monthly charges of 35-dollars or more.
Additional information from police:
If you pick up, you’ll hear a message saying you’re eligible for an alert system, or system upgrade, or that someone bought a system for you. The message asks you to “press one” on your phone to talk to a live operator, who will quickly ask for a bank account, credit card, or Medicare number, and maybe an address, to “expedite shipping and handling.”
The best response? Don't press a number, and don’t speak to a live operator. People who gave their information have seen monthly charges of $35 and up for that “free” system. If you get a call with a recorded sales message and you haven't given the company your written permission to call, the call is illegal. Since the call itself is illegal, you can bet the offer is a scam. If you gave information to one of these callers, check your account statements. If you find unexpected charges, ask your bank or credit card company to remove them. Finally, contact the FTC online or at 1-888-382-1222 to report your experience.

Crash Blocking Lanes of I-65

There are lane closures on Interstate 65 in Lake County near Crown Point due to a crash. Delays are reported in both directions.  INDOT is currently reporting:
The left lane of northbound I-65 is closed near US 231 due to a crash. Expect delays as you travel northbound on I-65 near mile 245.
The left lane of southbound I-65 is closed near US 231 due to a crash. Expect delays as you travel southbound on I-65 near mile 246.
Image/INDOT cams 

Indiana Airs Ads in Times Square

The state of Indiana is taking center stage in New York City. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation says a marketing campaign, called “A State That Works”, is being featured in two 15-second advertisements on the CBS Super Screen in the heart of Times Square. The ads, which began in mid-August, will run twice an hour through the end of the year. More than one-and-a-half million onlookers are expected to see them daily.
To view the visual-only advertisement, A State of Innovators and Makers, click here: &">&
To view the visual-only advertisement, Crossroads of What's Next, click here: &">&

Calendar Upsets Local Tourism Chief

The Indianapolis Colts 2014 swimsuit calendar bypassed the Lake Michigan beaches of Northwest Indiana, holding the photo shoot this past June along a west Michigan shoreline, a small beach community called Saugatuck, about 85 miles north of the state line... and that's got some Region tourism officials upset. South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority President/CEO Speros Batistatos has sent a letter to Colts reps, saying the decision to travel past the Dunes is an affront to all Hoosiers, especially those here in the northwest corner. He also said no one from his organization was asked by the Colts about possibly taking the photos at Indiana Dunes beaches.

Police: Infant Left in Sweltering Van

In Schererville, police say a 34-year-old woman has been charged with felony neglect of a dependent after leaving her one-year-old daughter inside a van when she went into a supermarket in the 15-hundred block of US 41. Officers estimate the temperature inside the van was over one-hundred degrees. The woman reportedly told police she forgot her daughter was in the vehicle. Officers were dispatched to the parking lot after getting a report of an infant unattended in a vehicle.

Ten Responses to Airport Request

Ten responses have come in to a request for proposals for a possible public-private partnership with Gary/Chicago International Airport. They include firms and organizations with experience in a range of sectors including aviation, financial and real estate management as well as urban and environmental planning. An ad hoc committee will review, evaluate and recommend proposals to the Airport Authority Board in September.
"We are very pleased with the number of respondents and the breadth of their expertise," said Carrie J. Hightman, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee and executive vice president and chief legal officer of NiSource Inc. "These respondents demonstrate the value that can be unlocked at the airport to create good jobs and sustainable development for Gary and the region."
The deadline for submissions to the RFP [request for proposals] was 5 p.m. (CDT) on Monday August 26, 2013.
In addition to the public-private partnership exploration, major construction at the airport of a $166 million runway extending the main 7,000-foot runway by 1,900 feet continues.
ACO Investment Group, Inc.
Aviation Facilities Company (AFCO)/AvPorts Management LLC - lead
Associated team includes:
Guggenheim Partners
Loop Capital
The Arsh Group Inc.
Financial Network Center, LLC - lead
Associated team includes:
Purify Solutions
Visage 1 LLC
The GCIA Group, LLC - lead
Associated team includes:
NAI Hiffman
Clark Street Development
LCM, Inc.
The Williams Capital Group
Metropolitan Planning Council
MXD Development Strategists - lead
Associated team includes:
KAI Design & Build
Renditions Studio
Rice Financial Products Company
Z-Force Transportation, Inc. - lead
Associated team includes:
Illinois Bulk Carrier, Inc.

Challenge of Dealing with Mentally Ill Detainees in Jail

Cook County Sheriff
Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart today announced a jail detainee, 45 year old Ricardo Diaz, arrested on August 20th for armed robbery, attempted suicide Monday and was found unresponsive by officers at 9am. Sheriff Dart says Diaz was transported immediately to a local hospital, where he remained in critical condition until he was pronounced deceased at 6:15pm Tuesday evening.
Sheriff Dart says the jail is operating at near capacity, with a growing population of mentally ill detainees, many who previously received treatment in shuttered mental health facilities. The Sheriff says while managing the jail's mental health situation presents tremendous challenges to a correctional facility that was never envisioned to operate as a mental health hospital, his office is providing advanced mental health training to correctional officers, including how to identify suicidal detainees.
Sheriff Dart says Mr. Diaz's death marks the fourth suicide of the year at the jail, a rate far below the national jail average.
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Three Day Tribute to Honor Michael Jackson in Gary

michael jackson trib
(Photo Courtesy of
(Gary, Ind.) - Fans of Gary native and world famous performer Michael Jackson will have a chance to celebrate this iconic entertainer for three days.
Beginning Aug. 29 at 3:30p.m., a block party will kick-off at 2300 Jackson St. filled with an afternoon of music, live entertainment and food vendors.  Festivities will continue Friday, Aug. 30 at 3:30p.m. with more performances by local Gary talent as well as acts from across the country. The block party on Saturday will begin at 11:30a.m. with music, fun, games and will conclude with a fireworks display at dusk.
At the request of matriarch Katherine Jackson, President of 442 No. Mass. Productions Sandy Christmas has been working with city officials to plan this tribute.
"Mrs. Jackson, in honoring her son, wanted to give back to the city of Gary, Indiana," said Christmas. "The city has been very helpful in identifying local talent and vendors to ensure that this event will be successful."
Jackson will also be presented with an award from representatives of Roosevelt High School at the start of Friday’s festivities.
Some of the vendors include Miller Pizza, Glen Park Shrimp, Big Daddy's Barbeque, Jamba Juice along with several others. There will also be a DJ on-site each day playing MJ tunes in between the performances.
"We are honored that Mrs. Jackson is hosting such a celebratory affair for Gary's most famous native son," said Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. "Fans from near and far are invited to come out and have a great time.  It's a perfect way to kick-off your long weekend."
For a more information about the line-up of performers, visit
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Gary Mayor Reflects on March On Washington Anniversary

mlk monument
“Today, we commemorate the March on Washington, an event symbolic of a movement that changed this country and the entire world.  As I reflect on this day in history and Dr. Martin King Jr.'s key role in this march, movement and the transformation of our country, I am moved by how far we have come, but concerned about how many more miles we have to travel.  I hope we all use this day to challenge ourselves to do our part to right the wrongs that still exist.  The overwhelming majority of right-thinking people understand that the continued disparities in education, health, housing, and employment prevent the objectives sought by marchers 50 years ago from becoming a reality and overshadow the progress of those of us who have benefited greatly from their sacrifice.  I am eternally grateful for the ability to stand on the shoulders of trailblazers like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Mayor Richard Gordon Hatcher and others and clearly understand my obligation to create a path for other whenever and wherever I can.  Gary, Indiana is very blessed to occupy a place in the history of our country and the movement towards equality and change in this country.” – Karen Freeman-Wilson.
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Lansing PD Seek Help to ID Bank Robbery Suspects

lansing bank suspect 2
(Photos Courtesy of the Lansing Police Department)
lansing bank suspect 1
An investigation continues into an armed bank robbery in Lansing, Illinois Tuesday. The Lansing Police Department reports at approximately 1pm, officers were dispatched to US Bank, at 17150 Torrence Avenue, and learned three masked offenders entered the bank, wearing hooded sweatshirts, one of which was armed with a handgun, and demanded money. Police say the suspects then fled with an undisclosed amount of money. Two bank employees suffered minor injuries and were taken to a local hospital for treatment. US Bank is currently offering a ten-thousand dollar reward for information that leads to the arrest of the suspects.  Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact the FBI Chicago Field Office at (312) 421-6700 or the Lansing Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at (708) 895-7150.
lansing bank suspect 3
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Donnelly Thanks Home Depot for Supporting Veterans

donnelly at home depot 1
Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly visited the Merrillville Home Depot today, as part of his “Serving Those Who Serve” Defense Jobs tour, which highlights industries and companies throughout the state that assist veterans and troops overseas. Donnelly says Home Depot employs a significant number of veterans and helps to supplement the income of active duty service members on-call, along with programs to help the National Guard, and another called “Team Depot” which helps with veterans homes. The senator is scheduled to be back on the road again tomorrow and plans on visiting VA facilities.
donnelly at home depot 2
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Pence Speaks at GNIAR Trade Expo Meeting

gov at GNIAR meeting 1
 Indiana Governor Mike Pence wrapped up his visit in the Region today, speaking on the economic forecast and giving his take on the real estate market during the annual Trade Expo Meeting of the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors. Governor Pence commented on Region home sales showed their best performance since 2007, with single family home sales up around 25-percent in June of 2013. The Governor also highlighted his work to lower taxes, noting the passing of tax relief of more than 440 million dollars annually, lowering the personal income tax permanently, by five-percent across the board, and ending the death tax in Indiana.
gov at GNIAR meeting 2
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Two Separate Robbery Incidents by Masked Men in Gary

Gary PD
Police in Gary are investigating two separate incidents where a masked man was involved in a robbery. Police report a black male, wearing a mask and a hoodie, entered a store in the 500 block of West 5th Avenue, at 6:50pm Tuesday, and announced a robbery, taking an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing. Then at 7:05pm, in the parking lot of a store in the 21-hundred block of Virginia Street, a woman sitting in her car was approached by a masked man who demanded money from her purse. Police say the woman told the suspect she had no money, so he reportedly took her cell phone and fled. Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to contact Gary Police.
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Aggressive Dog Escapes Porter Co Animal Shelter

porter co sheriff dept
Porter County Sheriff's Police are reporting a dog on the lamb. The Sheriff's Office says a German short-haired Pointer, with a black, white and brown coat, and a brown head, escaped from the Porter County Animal Shelter at approximately 2:30pm Tuesday. Authorities report the dog is considered to be aggressive and should not be approached. The dog was last seen in the area near the Essex Park subdivision, west of the shelter. Anyone who comes across this dog is asked to contact either the Sheriff's office or Animal Control.
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IL Woman Robbed in Gary Responding to Craig's List Ad

Gary PD
Gary Police are advising those purchasing items off Craig's List to make the exchange in a public place after an Illinois woman was robbed in Gary Tuesday evening. Gary Police Corp. Gabrielle King says in the last week, there have been four incidents like this, all at the same location, in the 500 block of Lake Street, where someone has been robbed answering an ad to purchase an electronic device like an iPhone or an iPad. Corp. King says make these transactions in a public place, so other people can see you, and remember, if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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Governor Honors Mt Baldy Rescuers

gov at mc
A very special ceremony in Michigan City today, as Indiana Governor Mike Pence honored those who helped rescue a six-year-old boy trapped for more than three hours in a northwest Indiana sand dune last month. Our Karl Berner was there -- you can hear his report at News Audio on Demand here at our website.
[Photo/Karl Berner]

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