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Afternoon Fire Displaces Family in Kouts, No Injuries

No one was injured but the family of a residence in the two-hundred block of North Church Street was displaced due to a fire Friday afternoon. Kouts Fire Chief Don Sutter says they were called to the scene just before 3:30pm and that the fire was contained to an upstairs bedroom of the home. Chief Sutter says the fire was accidental in nature and was caused due to a light that had tipped over and was left on. The home sustained water damage, mostly to the upstairs area and there were no injuries. Firefighters spent around an hour-and-a-half at the scene and were assisted by the Morgan, Hebron, Boone Grove and Washington Township Fire Departments.


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Lansing Man's Death Overnight Ruled a Homicide

A 26 year old Lansing, Illinois man was pronounced at midnight today at Community Hospital in Munster due to multiple gun shot wounds. The Lake County Coroner's Office reports the death of Bryant Larry has been ruled a homicide, which occurred in the 36-hundred block of 173rd Court in Lansing, Illinois. No further information is available at this time.
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Assessment of Gary Train Station to Take Place Tuesday

Active Transportation Alliance
GARY, Indiana, August 20, 2013 — Active Transportation Alliance is partnering with the Rotary Club in Gary, Indiana to conduct a Complete Stations Assessment of the local South Shore Line train station.
The assessment — which will take place on Tuesday, August 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the downtown Gary station (200 West 4th Avenue) — will evaluate passenger amenities and the accessibility of the station for riders arriving on foot and by bicycle.
Active Transportation Alliance has developed the Complete Stations Assessment to help communities evaluate their local train station and prioritize improvements so the station will better serve the needs of riders. Creating a “complete station” can help turn a local transit stop into the center of a community and encourage more people to use public transit. By evaluating the accessibility of a station through all modes of transportation, the assessment suggests changes that make it easier to walk and bike to the train — encouraging healthy, cost-efficient travel habits.
The assessment will begin with a close look at the station itself, taking note of the conditions of passenger facilities and amenities such as benches, ticket sales, vendors and available passenger information. The group will then focus on the surrounding area, including parking facilities for cars and bikes, nearby intersections and transit connections.
“The Gary Rotary Club, as well as all Gary civic organizations, is committed to supporting Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and her administration's efforts at community improvement and improved quality of life for all the residents of Gary,” says Don Parker, past president and board member of the Gary Rotary Club. “One part of that quality of life is how easily public transportation in all forms can be accessed by all citizens and visitors. We are especially interested in making sure that residents without cars can still reach their destination, and that may include using multiple forms of transport in one trip, such as by bike or bus and the train. Making sure those various forms of transportation interact well with each other is why the Gary Rotary Club is supporting this study.”
The Gary train station serves the South Shore Line, which allows riders to travel between downtown Chicago and South Bend, Indiana. The station is owned and operated by the City of Gary. Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) representatives and the Mayor of Gary have been invited to attend the event and both will receive a copy of the assessment results following the evaluation.
The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by more than 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 40 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.
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Chalk-A-Lot Festival in Whiting Saturday

A sweet event is scheduled today in Whiting. Whiting/Robertsdale Chamber Executive Director Karen Gajewski told us during a recent Region News Makers interview it is a chalk art festival called “Chalk-a-Lot” that allows you to draw your own art and sample chocolate from area businesses along 119th Street in the downtown business district. The event runs from 10am to 2pm, and to hear more of our Region News Makers interview with Karen Gajewski, visit http://regionnewsteam.com/.
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2 Hoosier WWII-era Marines will be Laid to Rest

Flgas at In Veteran Cemetery
After Nearly 70 Years Two Hoosier Marines to be laid to Rest.  On Saturday, August 24, 2013, at approximately 1:00pm, two U.S. Marines Veterans will be laid to rest with military honors at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery located at 1415 North Gate Rd, Madison, IN.  The funeral procession will leave Bond Mitchell Funeral Home at approximately 11:00am traveling from the funeral home south on SR 135 to SR 46, east on SR 46 into Columbus, South on SR 7 (State Street) from Columbus through North Vernon to Madison where the procession will arrive at the Cemetery.  The Patriot Guard Riders, Rolling Thunder and Indiana State Police, along with local public safety agencies will be involved in the escort.  The public and media are encouraged to show their support for thetwo Marine heroes by lining the streets and roadways along the route of travel.  Hoosiers  can also go to the Bond Mitchell Funeral Home web site and sign the guest book of PFC Manley F. Winkley .
U.S. Forces were ordered to secure the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Island chain in late 1943.  During the battle of Tarawa approximately 1000 Marines were killed.  PFC Manley F. Winkley was among those killed in action.  US Casualties were buried in a number of expedient battlefield cemeteries around the atoll.  In 1946 US Army Graves Registration Service personnel attempted to locate and exhume all of the battlefield interments, however, because of the construction activities many burials were never located.  PFC Winkley was among the men that were not recovered.  On Oct 29 thru Nov 8 2012, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting command team excavating in what is now the Republic of Kiribati, found human remains of at least three individuals on the Tarawa island of Betio.  The remains were transported to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, Central Identification laboratory, Hawaii, where on Apr 2 2013, PFC Manley F. Winkley was positively identified.   Manley F. Winkley was born in Indianapolis, IN on Sep 17, 1923 and enlisted into the US Marine Corps in Indianapolis, IN on Dec 12, 1942.  He was assigned to Company B 1 ST Battalion 2nd Marine Division during WW II and was killed in action on Nov 20, 1943 at the age of 20.
Lyman M. Winkley (nephew of Manley F. Winkley) was born in Indianapolis, IN on Feb 11 1927.  Lyman Winkley enlisted into the US Marine Corps on December 11, 1944 because of the death of his uncle, Manley F. Winkley, who was his hero as they were growing up together.  He served with the 3rd Division and was honorable discharged as a CPL on May 28, 1947.  Lyman Winkley re-enlisted into the USMC on Aug 24, 1950.  He was with the 1st Marine Division during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.  He was wounded in Yo-Dong, Korea on Mar 22, 1951 and was wounded on Apr 25 1951 in Central Korea.  He received a Korean Service Medal with one bronze service star and Purple Heart with on gold Star.  He was honorable discharged on Sep 4, 1951.
IN Dept of Veteran Affairs  seal
(photo from http://www.in.gov/dva/2328.htm article provided)
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Dispute Over Narcotics Sale Leads to Shooting

LapPorte County Sheriff logo - this one
On Thursday, August 22, 2013, Deputies from the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office were summoned to a parking area at the campus of Purdue University North Central in reference to a shooting that had occurred off campus.  Upon arrival deputies found a 17 year old juvenile male who had suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his left hip and after being shot the victim and his friends fled to the nearby campus of Purdue North Central.  
An immediate investigation was launched and it was determined that a disagreement over a narcotics transaction at a residence located in the 9500 West block of County Road 125 South lead to multiple gunshots being fired at a vehicle.  One round penetrated the vehicle and struck the juvenile victim, who was seated in the back seat.  The vehicle had been occupied by four (4) juvenile occupants at the time of the shooting.  The victim was transported to Saint Anthony Memorial Hospital in Michigan City.
Two (2) persons, a father and son, were ultimately arrested.  They have been identified as 58 year old David DIEDERICH and 16 year old Jeremy DIEDERICH.  David DIEDERICH has been charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Violent Felon, a class “B” felony, Dangerous Control of a Child, a class “C” felony and Aiding, Inducing and Causing Dealing Marijuana, a class “D” felony.   His bond has been set at $25,000.  Jeremy DIEDERICH is being charged as an adult for the following offenses:  
    Attempted Murder          -    Class “A” felony
    Aggravated Battery         -    Class “B” felony
    Criminal Recklessness     -    Class “C” felony
    Dealing Marijuana         -    Class “D” felony
He is being held without bond.  Both are scheduled to appear in La Porte County Circuit Court.
     The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance from the public in locating a vehicle that was involved in a crash near the scene of the shooting.  Immediately following the shooting, the victim’s vehicle was involved in a crash with a dark colored pickup truck as it fled the residence after being shot at.  Anyone with information about that dark colored pickup truck is asked to contact led investigator Sergeant Andrew Hynek at (219)  326-7700 Ext. 2401.  
     The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team, La Porte County Emergency Medical Service, Indiana State Police and Michigan City Police.
*The charges against the defendants are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
David  Diederich
David Diederich
Jeremy  Diederich
Jeremy Diederich
(phots and article provided)
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Engineering Students Seeking Employer Projects

Purdue Calumet
HAMMOND, Ind. – In preparation for industrial employment, Purdue University Calumet senior engineering students are seeking employer projects to tackle during the 2013-14 academic year.
            As enrollees in two-semester, capstone sequence courses that simulate a real world, engineering environment, the students form teams of two to four members to manage and complete and/or solve an employer project. The students receive guidance from academic and industrial advisors.
            Comprising the student teams are majors of mechanical, electrical, civil and computer engineering.
            As part of Purdue Calumet’s experiential learning initiative, capstone courses provide senior students opportunities to apply their classroom, laboratory and textbook knowledge participating in the type of hands-on activities they are apt to face after graduation as engineers.
            In addition to students gaining experience of partaking in a real world project, participating employers benefit from the work of ambitious, eager-to-please students.
Desired employer projects would require design and engineering decisions and must be suitable for a team of students able to devote approximately one day a week for nine months. Students would address an employer project from September through the following April. A Purdue Calumet faculty mentor will meet weekly with the students  Each participating employer also must be willing to provide a representative to interact with its student team on an as-needed basis. This person is expected to be available by email, attend occasional meetings, and take part in the design review and final presentations. Each project concludes with the presentation of team oral and written reports. Examples of recently completed projects by Purdue Calumet student engineers include: Design and Building of a Moonbuggy; Analysis of a Diesel Engine Manifold 1; Formula SAE Brake Design; Industrial Reactive Power Control; Automation of Water Pumps; and Real-Time Data Monitoring for Transformers.
Employer representatives desiring more information are invited to contact Professor of Mechanical Engineering Harvey Abramowitz (219/989-2473, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Professor of Electrical Engineering Edward Pierson 219/989-2467 or http://www.pierson@purduecal.edu.
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Indiana State Prison holds Annual Disturbance Drill

Prison drill
The Indiana State Prison, with the assistance of the Michigan City Police Department, held an annual drill simulating a disturbance at the facility’s Minimum Security Unit.  The Emergency Response Teams for the facility were activated and participated in the drill conducted Thursday morning at the Indiana State Prison. 
The minimum security unit houses approximately 300 level one and two offenders.  Eight staff members played the parts of offenders making demands on staff.  During the exercise, offenders were treated for mock injuries that included a heart attack, broken bones and stab wounds.
 
The purpose of the drill was to evaluate the emergency plans in place. The exercise lasted just over two hours, with a debriefing after the event to suggest improvements for the future. All teams did an excellent job and were very professional in handling their duties during the operation.
William K. Wilson, Superintendent at the Indiana State Prison, expressed his appreciation to Chief Swistek and the Michigan City Police Department for their assistance with the drill. “The drill gave us an opportunity to re-evaluate the emergency procedures in place and make the necessary revisions to continue to protect the safety and security of our community,” stated Superintendent Wilson.
About the Indiana State Prison:
This Indiana State Prison (ISP) was built in 1860, and is the oldest correctional facility in operation for the Department. ISP is located on 100 acres of land on Michigan City’s west side. The physical plant consists of 52 buildings, which include 13 offender-housing units, steam plant, garage, warehouse, industries buildings, and five staff housing units. The main walled compound surrounds 24 acres of land.  Located on the same grounds, outside the wall is the unit dedicated to house the medium-security offenders.
Prison logo
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Gov Announces Center for Education and Career Innovation

Gov Mike Pence
Indianapolis, IN – Governor Mike Pence today continued his focus on improving education and workforce development for Hoosiers by creating the Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI). Joined by Special Assistant for Career Innovation Jaclyn Dowd and Special Assistant for Education Innovation Claire Fiddian-Green, the Governor signed Executive Order 13-21 to establish the new agency.
CECI will improve collaboration among Indiana’s public, private and non-profit education and workforce partners by aligning education and career and workforce training efforts. The center will focus on students, clients and results, and will work to ensure Indiana is providing quality education for children and preparing adults for new careers.
“Indiana has made great strides in the last eight years when it comes to improving education and workforce development opportunities for Hoosiers, but with unemployment stubbornly staying above eight percent, there is still work to be done,” said Governor Pence. “The Center for Education and Career Innovation will strive to improve coordination between pertinent agency partners and industry voices to ensure a world-class education for students and to better prepare adults to be successful in their chosen career pathway that also meets industry demands. By creating a focal point for bringing together and deploying critical resources, the agency will deliver real change in Indiana, benefitting Hoosier families, employers and taxpayers, and, ultimately, impacting every Hoosier across the state.”
The agency also will foster, identify, and scale innovative education and workforce models, tools and resources and ensure Hoosier educators have the freedom, support and flexibility to succeed in the classroom. Through transparent accountability systems, CECI will hold students, adult workers, educators, schools, higher education institutions and workforce programs accountable for their progress.
The agency will proactively engage and collaborate with a number of valuable partners in state government including the Department of Education, the Indiana Charter School Board, the Department of Workforce Development, the Commission for Higher Education, and the Office of State-Based Initiatives. The Indiana Career Council, the Indiana Works Councils, the Education Roundtable and the State Board of Education, though functioning independently, will exist as part of the new agency.
More information about the Center for Education and Career Innovation can be found at www.in.gov/ceci.
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Gary Man Shot Multiple Times While Entering his Home

Gary PD
A 24 year old Gary man was shot multiple times Thursday night in the 700 block of West 41st Avenue. Gary Police Corp. Gabrielle King says James Bailey was entering his home around 10pm, when shots were fired at his home. Bailey was hospitalized and Corp. King reports at last check no one was in custody. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact lead investigator James Bond, at (219) 881-4751. Corp. King also reports a Gary man was shot by a pellet gun earlier in that night while entering his home in the 14-hundred block of West 15th Avenue.
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Donnelly Kicks Off Defense Jobs Tour Monday

donnelly
Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly will be in the Region next week to kick off a “Serving Those Who Serve” Defense Jobs Tour. Senator Donnelly will visit six communities, starting on Monday in Fort Wayne, to highlight Indiana's sizable defense industry, and is scheduled to be in Merrillville on Wednesday at the Home Depot.
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Back to School Jump-Off Celebration Saturday in Gary

A back-to-school jump-off celebration for Gary kids will take place this Saturday (Aug. 24th) at Marquette Park. Sponsored by Xsquit (exquisite) Kool Kids Foundation and HOPE in the City Project, the 3rd annual jump-off will feature free school supplies, face painters, dancers, bounce house, motivational speakers and more. Parents must accompany children pre-K to 8th Grade. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m..
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LaPorte Man Arrested in 20 Year Old Murder Case

rayna rison
(Photos Courtesy of Indiana State Police Lowell post)
An arrest was made today in a 20 year old murder case that received nation-wide news coverage. LaPorte Police and the Indiana State Police report 38 year old Jason Tibbs, of LaPorte, was arrested during a traffic stop when officers served an arrest warrant for a single count of murder regarding the disappearance of Rayna Rison of LaPorte. Rison, who was 16 at the time she was reported missing by her father on March 26th, 1993, did not return home after her shifted ended at the Pine Lake Animal Hospital, in LaPorte, and her body was discovered the next month in a pond near Range Road in LaPorte County. An autopsy resulted in her death being ruled a homicide, and the story was featured on America's Most Wanted. Authorities report an investigation continues, and anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Indiana State Police or the LaPorte Police Department.
jason tibbs
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Weekend Sobriety Checkpoints in Lake and LaPorte Co's

A couple of sobriety checkpoints will be taking place in the Region this weekend. Authorities in LaPorte County report that during the evening hours tonight, officers will be conducting a checkpoint somewhere in the county and that Indiana State Police will also conduct saturation patrols near the general area of the sobriety checkpoint. Meanwhile authorities in Lake County report a sobriety checkpoint will be conducted in the Hobart area sometime this week. Drivers will need to provide a valid driver's license and registration, and could be delayed around two-minutes unless there are signs of impairment.
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Illegal Immigrants to be Admitted at Notre Dame

Notre Dame Mascot
The Fighting Irish will begin allowing students without legal permission to be in the US, but who are living here anyway, the opportunity to attend the Roman Catholic University. Notre Dame made the announcement on Thursday, stating the policy change will strengthen the incoming class and give illegal immigrants a chance for a higher education, as well as provide them with financial aid.
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Man Struck While Holding His Child in LaPorte

LaPorte PD
A review of charges for battery and felony battery have been forwarded to the LaPorte County Prosecutor for review after man told police he was struck in the head by two individuals while holding his one-year old child. LaPorte Police report they were called to the one-hundred block of Grove Street , just after 5pm Wednesday, were the victim informed officers he was confronted by a man he knew over money the victim allegedly owned. While arguing, the victim stated the man told him to put the child down, and when he refused, the man reportedly struck the victim in the head, causing the victim's head to strike his son's head. Then police report the suspect’s wife reportedly threw a child safety seat at the victim, which also struck him in the head.
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Planned Parenthood Files Lawsuit Against New IN Law

plannedparenthood2
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky has filed a lawsuit against a new Indiana law that requires clinics to meet the same standards as surgical abortion clinics. According to the lawsuit, the new law wrongly singles-out the Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette, the only place in Indiana where abortion pills are provided, but not surgical abortions. Under the new law, that begins on January the first, that clinic would have to meet the same surgical standards as a surgical abortion clinic, thus violating constitutional rights of equal protection, according to the lawsuit.
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Youth Volunteer Day in Gary Saturday

As part of the Roosevelt Neighborhood Revitalization Project Gary is holding a Youth Volunteer Day tomorrow. To entice young people to participate, free food, prizes and giveaways will be offered. Also, a 50-dollar Visa gift card will be awarded to the youth who brings the most volunteers. The Youth Volunteer Day will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with participants meeting at the Roosevelt Pavilion on Harrison Street. Adult volunteers welcome. All volunteers are being asked to dress comfortably.
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Chalk-A-LOT Festival in Whiting Saturday

A sweet event is scheduled tomorrow in Whiting. Whiting/Robertsdale Chamber Executive Director Karen Gajewski told us during a recent Region News Makers interview it is a chalk art festival called “Chalk-a-Lot” that allows you to draw your own art and sample chocolate from area businesses along 119th Strret in the downtown business district. The event runs from 10am to 2pm, and to hear more of our Region News Makers interview with Karen Gajewski, visit http://regionnewsteam.com/.
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Kia Recalling Over 9,700 2014 Sorento SUV's

Kia is recalling over 97-hundred 2014 Sorento S-U-V's, built from January 7th through March 12th of this year because the right front axle drive shaft can crack and fail, causing the vehicle to lose power or roll away when parked. The company reports owners of the recalled S-U-V's, with two-point-four liter four-cylinder engines and front-wheel-drive, will be notified by a letter and that dealers will replace the axle shaft free of charge.
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