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Pilot Killed in NW Ind Plane Crash

The FAA and NTSB are trying to determine what caused an ultra-light aircraft to crash in a La Porte County cornfield Sunday morning, killing the pilot. Police say 36-year-old Benjamin Hubbard of South Bend was found dead in the wreckage of his airplane, which was about a half-mile east of county road 600 east, south of Division Road. Deputies say the pilot who found the wreckage reported he and Hubbard both left the Niles, Michigan airport in separate aircraft at approximately 6:30 (CST) Sunday morning on their way to Plymouth. When his friend failed to arrive he left Plymouth and retraced his route. He remained in the air, circling the crash site until emergency responders arrived.
More information from La Porte County Sheriffs Police:
On Sunday, July 21, 2013 at 7:03 am (CST), the La Porte County Regional Dispatch Center received a single 911 call from a resident who lived in the area of Division Road and County Road 600 East in reference to a possible plane crash. Deputies responded and the complainant reported that he believed a crop duster airplane had crashed. Deputies observed a crop duster in the area, still flying and because no wreckage or evidence of a plane crash could be found, they cleared the area.
At 1155 am (CST), the Dispatch Center received another 911 call from a pilot of an aircraft who reported that he had just located the wreckage of an ultra-light airplane in a field east of County Road 600 East, south of Division Road. Deputies arrived in the area and the pilot who had reported the discovery circled over the wreckage until it was located. Sheriff’s Deputies located the wreckage in a field located approximately 2,100 feet east of County Road 600 East, south of Division Road. The crashed plane was located 235 feet south of the roadway in a corn field that contained corn that was approximately six to ten feet in height. The wreckage could not been seen from the road.

The pilot, who was the lone occupant of the single engine plane was found deceased. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was immediately contacted and they made contact with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The FAA currently has an investigator on scene and are awaiting NTSB investigators. The investigation has since been turned over to the FAA and NTSB.
Deputies have learned that the pilot who made the discovery had reported that he and the deceased had departed the Niles, Michigan airport at approximately 6:30 (CST) this morning, in route to Plymouth, Indiana where the two were going to meet. Both left in separate aircraft, he in a Cessna and his friend in his ultra-light. That pilot arrived in Plymouth and when his friend failed to arrive he departed Plymouth and retraced his route and discovered the wreckage of the ultra-light and called 911 via his cellular telephone. He remained in the air, circling the crash site until emergency responders arrived on scene.
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59 Year Old Journalist Dies After NW IN Mudathlon

A local journalist passed away Saturday after completing the Northwest Indiana Mudathlon. Longtime journalist Rick Richards was pronounced dead after the three-mile obstacle course that took place at Gambler Family Farms, in the 200 block of South County Road. The Corner's Office reports, due to Richards history of heart issues, no autopsy will be conducted. Richards career included time at Lakeshore Public Television, the Michigan City News-Dispatch, Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly, and the Post Tribune.
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Duneland Sierra Club Urges No Build Option for Illiana

The Duneland Group of the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club has opposed the building of the proposed Illiana Corridor Toll Road, from I-55 in Illinois to I-65 in Indiana, and is urging NIRPC board members to vote for the no-build option. The group states that while the 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan does have some good aspects, it also fails in many others. The group notes that building the Illiana would add more flooding and pollution into the Kankakee watershed, could foster Illinois' Peotone airport and casino development which conflicts with the regional priority of expanding the Gary/Chicago International Airport, associated new sprawl development would draw investment, residents, business, and jobs away from already developed urban areas creating more blight, and would foster more fossil fuel intensive transportation and land use which adds to global climate change.
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Fire Destroys Two-Story Outbuilding at Meyer's Castle

Dyer fire
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
In Dyer, a fire destroyed a two-story outbuilding at the historical Meyer's Castle. The Times reports firefighters were called out sometime around 6:15 Friday evening and no injuries were reported. According to the article, the castle itself was not damaged and US 30, between Indianapolis Boulevard and Calumet Avenue, was closed while crews worked to extinguish the flames. No further information is available at this time.
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Lake County Sheriff Dedicates New Boat

new boat
(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Department)
On 7-19-13 Lake County Sheriff John Buncich dedicated a new vessel for use by the Lake County Sheriff’s Department Marine Unit. The vessel is described as a 2013 Silver Ships AM 800 Rigid-hull inflatable boat with a three sided pilot house. It is equipped with the latest marine electronics and side scan sonar. It is 28 feet long with a beam of 9.4 feet.
The vessel was obtained through a FEMA 2009 Port Security Grant. The Sheriff’s department provided a trade in of a 1995 Silver Ships 28 foot aluminum patrol boat valued at $20,920.00. The vessel that was traded was obsolete and outdate in its equipment and ability to effectively respond. The Port Security grant dollars provided were $219,149.00, bringing the total cost for the vessel at $240,068.00. Officers assigned to the Marine Unit will attend training in the use of the electronic sonar provided by the manufacturer.
Sheriff Buncich stated, “We are afforded an opportunity to respond to critical incidents on the water with this boat in an effort to save lives and provide effective response particularly with the use of state of the art equipment this boat has. It is especially important during this summer season. The boat was used to assist in response to a drowning victim just yesterday at Wahala Beach. We hope to continue to provide a safer boating and swimming environment through marine patrols and rescues. This boat will help us in that effort.”
“During these difficult economic times, we are thankful to the grant dollars that allowed us to make this purchase without the use of any additional county funding,” Sheriff Buncich added.
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US 24 Closure in Newton County Starts Monday

Indot Logo color
GOODLAND, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the closure of U.S. 24, a half mile east of SR 55, in Goodland beginning Monday, July 22nd through August 15th. Crews will be replacing a culvert.
Drivers wishing to travel east on U.S. 24 will be detour north on SR 55, east on SR 16, south on U.S. 231, and back to U.S. 24. Drivers wishing to travel west on U.S. 24 will be detoured north on U.S. 231, west on SR 16, south on SR 55, and back to U.S. 24.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, like us at www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and follow us at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
You can find traffic restriction information at www.trafficwise.IN.gov.  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
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Benefit Ride for Anna Orlando on July 21st

A benefit ride for Anna Orlando will be held on July 21 at Leroy’s Hot Stuff, 333 West US Hwy 20 in Porter. The event begins with a breakfast buffet at 10 a.m. for $6/person. The ride begins with the first bike out at 11 a.m. and the last bike in at 4 p.m. Cost is $15 per person or $25 per couple and includes lunch. Though you must be 21 to attend, you don’t need to have a bike to enjoy the day. Entertainment will be offered all day, compliments of Tommy Thompson Band, Train Wreck, Ron Buffington, and Christina Mayes. The event will take place rain or shine and will also include a silent auction and 50/50 raffle.
This benefit will raise funds to help fund cancer treatment for Anna (Sandy) Orlando who is bravely battling advanced cervical cancer. For updates on the event and Orlando’s journey, visit giveforward.com and search “Anna’s Healing Hearts,” where you may also give directly to the fund. The event is graciously organized by Joanne Spicketts-Cooper and Mary Chavez on behalf of the Anna and Philip Orlando family.
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Human Trafficker Arrested Following Missing Person Tip

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(Photo Courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff's Dept)
A 24 year old Olympia Fields, Illinois, man is in custody on human traffic charges following a missing person tip. The Cook County Sheriff's Office reports that, following a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Sheriff's VICE Unit arrested Neal Price without incident Wednesday night after an investigation discovered internet advertisements for prostitution regarding a missing female juvenile, who was with Price at the time of his arrest. Price is charged with promoting juvenile prostitution, promoting prostitution, possession of a firearm and ammunition without a valid Firearm Owner Identification Card.
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Hobart Man Sencenced in Death of Jada Justice

A Hobart man accused in connection with the death of a two-year-old girl whose body was found burned and encased in concrete in a La Porte County swamp four years ago was sentenced to forty-years in prison in Lake County court on Friday. Timothy Tkachik pleaded guilty in 2010 to neglect. Co-defendant and former girlfriend Engelica Castillo was found guilty of murdering Jada Justice and is serving a 65-year prison term. Police say the child was beaten to death while the couple was babysitting her. A judge dismissed neglect charges against the child's mother last month.
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Statewide Silver Alert Issued for Missing Fishers, IN Teen

Peyton Rickhof
(Photo Courtesy of the Indiana State Police)
A statewide Silver Alert has been issued regarding the disappearance of a 18 year old Fishers, Indiana, woman who is believed to be in danger. Indiana State Police report Peyton Rickhof was last seen wearing a pink tank top and black yoga pants on Thursday, July 18th, in Fishers, located approximately 15 miles northeast of Indianapolis. The missing teen is described as a white female, 5'08”, weighing 140 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes, and is believed to be driving a black 2006, Mercury Mariner SUV, with Indiana license plate number SGC-405. Authorities say Rickhof may be disoriented and require medical assistance. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Peyton Rickhof is asked to contact the Fishers Police Department at (317) 773-1282.
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Elderly Hammond Man Gets 10 Years for Child Pornography

An elderly Hammond man on Thursday was sentenced to ten-years in prison and ten-years of supervised release after pleading guilty to felony possession of child pornography. According to court documents, almost 95-hundred images and almost 250 videos were found in 71 year old Jon Zondor's possession, who was also ordered to pay 500-dollars in restitution to two victims. The resulted from an investigation by members of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including the FBI.
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Couple Sentenced for Illegal Dispencing of Pills and Tax Evasion

A husband and wife were sentenced Thursday in US District Court in Hammond after pleading guilty in January to tax evasion between 2005 and 2008, and for illegally dispensing millions of pills containing amphetamine-based controlled substances to patients at their facilities in Northwest Indiana and south suburban Chicago. 57 year old Doctor Rakesh Anand will begin serving his two-year sentence on August 30th, while his wife was ordered to begin her 30-day sentence on September 3rd. The couple was also ordered to pay over 745-thousand dollars in restitution to the IRS from the nearly five-point-two million that was seized from them and ordered forfeited. In addition to that, the couple remains civilly liable to the IRS for any and all back taxes and a civil fraud penalty of up to 75-percent of the underpayment, plus interest.
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March to End Violence in Hammond at Noon July 20th

Demonstrators will be marching in Hammond tomorrow, July 20th, as part of the Justice for Trayvon: 100 City Vigil. The Times reports members of area churches, and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition plan to march at noon, starting on Douglas Street, near the Hammond Federal Courthouse. According to the article, supporters of the march say while the not guilty verdict in case of George Zimmerman initiated these marches, violence in local communities across the state and the nation effects everyone and is reason enough to demonstrate against.
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Gary Kicks Off New Redevelopment Initiative

Mayor Initiative
Mayor of Gary, Karen Freeman-Wilson at Friday's press conference to announce the City's partnership with the EPA, HUD, DOT for Sustainable Communities Redevelopment Initiative
Leaders from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Transportation today joined Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson at the Genesis Convention Center in Gary, Indiana, to announce a new redevelopment initiative to revitalize four city neighborhoods. They are the Horace Mann, Downtown/Emerson, Aetna and Miller neighborhoods on the city’s north side. 

“I am pleased to announce that the City of Gary has been selected for a $350,000 U.S. EPA grant to establish a revolving loan fund that will be used to clean up contamination at brownfield sites in Northside neighborhoods,” said EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. “The work we are starting here today -- through the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities -- will be good for the environment, good for the economy and good for Gary.”
The federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, EPA, HUD and DOT, along with other federal and state agencies, will work with the city and private foundations to identify additional resources needed for the Gary Northside Redevelopment Project to move forward.
“The interest that all of these federal agencies have taken in the city of Gary is both exciting and humbling,” said Mayor Freeman-Wilson. “We will continue to work with these entities as they look to invest in various neighborhoods throughout the city, ultimately leading to the rejuvenation of Gary’s economy.”
“Eighteen months ago, HUD convened a meeting of eight Federal Agencies to align our resources and join state and regional partners in a super effort to identify available resources and innovative strategies to support Mayor Freeman-Wilson and the development of sustainable solutions for Gary and Northwest Indiana,” said Antonio R. Riley, HUD Regional Administrator. “Today, we join together to continue the progress of that first meeting and many that followed in helping Gary achieve the future it deserves -- this shows the progress that can be made when a region and partners from all sectors act as one.”
“I appreciate Mayor Freeman-Wilson’s vision in initiating this project, and her constant efforts to leverage every available resource to improve the quality of life for Gary’s citizens,” said U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky. “This collaborative project between the city of Gary and the Partnership for Sustainable Communities will strengthen not only Gary but all of Northwest Indiana. I look forward to the progress of the Gary Northside Redevelopment Project, and I anticipate working with her and our agency partners to turn this vision into reality.”
Today’s federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities event in Gary included a tour of the Horace Mann, Downtown/Emerson, Aetna and Miller neighborhoods and discussions on transportation, housing and neighborhood stabilization, environment and brownfields, and public health.
For more information on the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities:  http://www.sustainablecommunities.gov/
More information on EPA’s brownfields program:  http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/
(photo provided by Jay Stevens & Radio One Communications, article provided)
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SWAP Cleans Up Abandoned Homes in Dolton, IL

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Dolton3after
(Photos Courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff's Office)
A program that uses offenders sentenced to manual labor helped cleanup a dozen abandoned homes Thursday morning in Dolton, Illinois. The Cook County Sheriff's Office reports approximately 20 offenders with the Sheriff's Work Alternative Program, or SWAP, picked up garbage, whacked weeds and mowed grass, transforming the lawns in front of homes located on East 140th Place, East 141st Place and East 142nd Place. The SWAP crews provide municipalities, government agencies and nonprofit organizations with free labor, and runs seven-days a week.
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Trustees Approve Several Changes at Purdue Calumet

Purdue Calumet
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's Board of Trustees on Friday (July 19) approved several academic changes at Purdue University Calumet.
The board approved changing the name and moving the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Members also voted to merge the Department of Information Systems and the Department of Finance and Economics and to change the name of all academic units from schools to colleges.
The name of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management will be changed to the White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and move to the College of Business. Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas Keon said the department's faculty unanimously voted to approve the changes earlier this year.
The new Department of Information Systems, Finance and Business Analytics will combine relevant disciplines into one department in the College of Business, Keon said.
"The reorganization allows more opportunities for collaboration and program updates consistent with university goals and with industry needs," Keon said. "This is especially relevant as employers of our students are calling for database management and business analysis skills."
Keon said changing the names of schools to colleges is to be consistent with other Purdue system campuses. The name changes include:
* School of Management to College of Business
* School of Education to College of Education
* School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science to College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science
* School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences to College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
* School of Nursing to College of Nursing
* School of Technology to College of Technology
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Schererville PD Seek Help in July 10th Hit and Run

Schererville PD
Authorities in Schererville continue to search for a hit and run suspect who injured a child last week. Schererville Police report that at 5:10pm on Wednesday, July 10th, a mini-van driven by a White or Hispanic woman, approximately 30-to-40 years old, struck a nine-year old boy causing a severe arm injury on 81st Avenue and Wedgewood Court. Police described the vehicle as a green or blue older model Chrysler or Dodge, but the investigator believes the vehicle may be teal in color due to varying descriptions from witnesses. The vehicle should also have minor damage to the front end of the van. Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to please contact the Schererville Police Department.
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Caution for Swimmers on L. Michigan as Foul Wx Approaches

Coast Guard 9th District
MILWAUKEE — The Coast Guard is advising Lake Michigan residents and visitors to be cautious if swimming or recreating in or around the lake, as a strong cold front is expected over the weekend.
According the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, Mich., winds and waves are expected to increase considerably this afternoon and tonight. A beach hazards statement is in effect until Friday night for beaches from Manistee, Mich., to St. Joseph, Mich. Hazards include high wave action, strong currents, possible rip currents, and dangerous swimming conditions.
“It’s imperative that those who choose to swim in Lake Michigan this weekend exhibit personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of others,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Randy Williams, a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan in Milwaukee. “Whether boating or swimming, always be mindful of the conditions on the water and along the shoreline. If rip current warnings, small craft advisories, or other dangerous weather conditions are forecasted, it's best to stay away from the water.”
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 also able to swim. The only exception is a person wearing an inherently buoyant Coast Guard approved Type I, II or III 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 breakwalls is risky, because it only takes a momentary loss of footing to invite tragedy. Jumping from breakwalls, waterside structures, or into unfamiliar water is extremely dangerous since unseen underwater hazards may exist.
Read a June 2013 Coast Guard news release to learn more about rip current safety.
Read the National Weather Service’s beach hazards statement....
   

Rogers: Expanding Opportunities for our School Principals

Expanding opportunities for our school principals
By Indiana State Senator Earline Rogers (D-Gary)

Ensuring our public school principals have the skills and tools they need to be successful is essential to student achievement and creating a job-ready workforce. There are too many differences in schools and students to apply a one-size-fits-all approach across Indiana. The needs of students in Lake County schools are not necessarily the same as the needs of students in other areas of the state. By identifying the areas of need in their local communities, our public school leaders must come up with new and innovative ways of ensuring Hoosier schools succeed.
I was very pleased to work with legislators in the General Assembly in a bipartisan effort to establish the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute, a two-year collaborative program at Indiana State’s Bayh College of Education. This experience is designed to incorporate the full spectrum of community and professional collaboration to develop both personal and organizational goals for our public school leaders. In its first year, the institute will assist 50 principals from around the state with the evolving needs of schools including teacher evaluation models, student performance, community involvement and shaping a strong school culture. The participating principals will attend five seminars throughout the year, and will be assigned to focus groups led by mentors who are veteran educators with proven history of success in these areas. The inaugural class will begin the program this month in Terre Haute.
It is my hope that with the creation of the institute, along with a new law I authored creating the family-friendly school designation, these school principals will become better equipped to identify and implement programs that foster community and student involvement.  The institute is an innovative top-down approach to building strong schools through building strong leaders. These educators are in the unique position to be able to identify and understand the needs and strengths of their local schools from the perspective of those most directly involved – Hoosier students, the teachers and parents.
Strong communities and a healthy economy rely on strong schools, and strong schools are reliant on strong leaders. I think that the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute is a step in the right direction to ensuring our school leaders are proficient at the skills necessary to support their students and their communities.
I would encourage any school principals interested in participating in the institute to explore the opportunity. If you would like to participate in the program in the future, or if you would like more information please visit www.indianapli.org.
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NICTD: Riders May Have 10-20 Minute Delays Due to Heat

Traffic-Advisory
Extreme Heat Alert
Due to the forecast for extremely hot weather South Shore Rail riders may experience delays of 10-20 minutes. NICTD reports it is necessary to operate their trains at reduced speeds under these conditions.
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