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Fugitive of the Week

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Arturo Corral
The United States Marshals Service, Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force, Hammond office says Arturo Corral, white male, 62 years of age, 6’03”, 230 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes, is this week’s “Fugitive of the Week”.  Corral is wanted in the Porter County Court for, A Felony Child Molesting.

Corral was last known to reside in the Morgan Township area of Valparaiso, Indiana. Corral has previously resided in Hobart, In and the Miller area of Gary, Indiana.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Arturo Corral may contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411). All tipsters will remain anonymous.
(photo provided)
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Pro-Marijuana Ad Pulled from NASCAR's Brickyard 400

INDIANAPOLIS — A video ad that began airing Friday on a jumbotron outside the NASCAR Brickyard 400 is scheduled to be pulled because it highlights the fact that marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol. The company dropping the ad, Grazie Media, solicited the ad from the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), approved its content, and accepted payment for it. The decision to pull the ad was announced in a press release distributed by Save Our Society From Drugs, which states the organization opposes the ad because of its message that marijuana is less toxic than alcohol and less likely to contribute to violent and reckless behavior.
The original press release about the ad is included below. The ad can be viewed at  http://youtu.be/7H8Cz9woC2A
"We find it odd that this company is willing to run ads at an alcohol-fueled event, yet unwilling to run an ad that simply highlights the ways in which marijuana is less harmful than alcohol," said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. "This is the exact type of hypocrisy that motivated us to run this ad. We wanted to make people think about the absurdity of laws that allow adults to use alcohol but punish them for making the safer choice to use marijuana instead, if that is what they prefer.
"We are absolutely baffled by the claim that marijuana is not safer than alcohol, which accompanied the announcement of the ad being pulled," Tvert said. "If Save Our Society From Drugs truly wishes to 'save our society from drugs,' why on earth would they want to prevent people from learning that alcohol use is far more toxic and likely to contribute to violent behavior than marijuana? It is clear this organization is more concerned about maintaining marijuana prohibition than it is about maintaining public health and safety. We are sorry to see Grazie Media abandon its agreement with a client when confronted by such reefer madness."
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The Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana-policy-reform organization, has been responsible for changing most state-level marijuana laws since 2000. For more information, visit  http://www.marijuanapolicy.org....
 

Webinar Tuesday on Environmental Injustice in NW IN

Hoosier Environmental Council
(INDIANAPOLIS, IN)- The Hoosier Environmental Council is hosting a free online workshop  to consider issues of environmental injustice, particularly those confronted by communities in northwest Indiana.  Scheduled for Tuesday, July 30, 2013 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. (EST), HEC’s webinar will examine the very harmful effects of environmental injustice on northwest Indiana’s low-income and minority communities, its root causes, and present potential strategies for addressing this long-standing and critical issue.
“Low-income and minority populations often face disproportionate burdens of environmental pollution and related health risks in this country,” said Kim Ferarro, staff attorney and director of water policy for the Hoosier Environmental Council.  “Such is the case for the low-income, minority communities in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago where residents have, for decades, been exposed to a host of pollutants from an incredible concentration of industrial sources – all packed into a small 80 square-mile area.”   These three communities are home to 52 CERCLA/Superfund sites, 423 hazardous waste sites, more than 460 underground storage tanks (USTs), three wastewater treatment works, and 15 combined sewer overflows (CSOs).
As a result, these disadvantaged residents breathe air that is, in some areas, several times the national average in toxicity, and they drink, swim and fish in waters that annually bear 11 billion gallons of raw untreated sewage, and 2 million pounds of developmental, reproductive and cancer-causing toxins.  Not surprisingly, these environmental factors play a role in higher-than-average levels of respiratory illnesses and cancers. “With more than 30% of the area's population under the age of 18, the consequences of these environmental risks extend beyond health impacts to affect factors such as school performance and, therefore, the formation of a long-term, productive labor force. As a matter of fundamental fairness, human decency and social equity, it is time for us to take action and help empower these communities to achieve environmental justice.  And, addressing these long-term injustices is very much in keeping with the Governor’s own vision of making Indiana number one in quality of life.” Ferraro said.
The webinar, which is free for participants, will include speakers Kim Ferraro (mentioned above), with availability by HEC’s executive director Jesse Kharbanda and Tim Maloney, HEC’s senior policy director to comment on environmental injustice in other parts of the state .  To register, click on the following link:  http://www.hecweb.org/news-events/webinars/
This webinar is sponsored through grants from the John S. and James L.Knight Fund, a fund of Legacy Foundation, promoting informed and engaged communities, and, the Lake County Community Fund, a fund of Legacy Foundation, inspiring you to give where you live.
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About Hoosier Environmental Council:
Founded in 1983, the Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) is the largest statewide environmental policy organization in Indiana.  HEC aims to foster solutions that simultaneously improve environmental quality and economic well-being.  Visit hecweb.org for more information.  You can also follow HEC on Twitter: @hec_ed, or like us on Facebook: facebook.com/hecweb....
 

IU Health LaPorte Offering Free Dental Exams for Kids

IU LaPorte Hospital
LA PORTE, Ind.–Indiana University Health La Porte Dental Center is offering free dental exams to children with no dental insurance. The exam is offered by appointment only on:
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2 pm – 6 pm
  • Monday, Aug. 5, 8 am – 10 am
  • Tuesday, Aug. 6, 8 am – 10 am
  • Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2 pm – 6 pm
  • Thursday, Aug. 8, 8 am – 10 am
  • Friday, Aug. 9, 8 am – 10 am
  • Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2 pm – 6 pm (all Central times)
The exam meets the requirements of the La Porte Community School Corporation. All children will also receive a free bag of dental-related gifts for participating. The La Porte Hospital Foundation provided funding.
IU Health La Porte Dental Center provides quality dental care to children and adults with low income and no dental insurance, focusing on educating children on prevention. The dental clinic accepts Medicaid patients. The center operates through the support of IU Health La Porte Hospital, grants through the Indiana State Department of Health and The Foundation.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 219.326.1943.
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Porter Co 911 PIO Among Responders Sent to CA Wildfires

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(Photo Courtesy of the IDHS)
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security today deployed six responders to the Aspen fire in California to shadow key positions and assist in operational response. One of the six members deployed is Porter County 911 Communications Public Information Officer Paige Donaldson Connelly, who will focus on important communication links between public agencies and the community, working through traditional news media and new media. Connelly and the other five Hoosier responders are scheduled to return on Friday, August 2nd. ...
 

Two Men Cutting Catalytic Converters off Vehicles Arrested

Highland Police
In Highland, two men have each been charged with resisting law enforcement and theft after officers discovered they were cutting catalytic converters off vehicles before being interrupted by police. Authorities report they received a call just after 3am today after a resident informed dispatch of hearing the sound of somebody sawing something outside his residence in the 88-hundred block of Schneider. Police report that upon seeing the officers, the two men fled, but were later apprehended as additional officers arrived in the area.
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Donnelly on 60th Anniversary of Korean War Armistice

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Washington, DC – Senator Joe Donnelly, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement acknowledging tomorrow as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day.  It will be the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice.
“On this day, we honor our nation’s veterans of the Korean War for their selfless service and the many sacrifices they made,” said Donnelly.  “We also reflect on the continuing strength of the United States’ alliance with South Korea and the importance of working together for a peaceful resolution to the tensions on the Korean peninsula today. 
“This week, I co-sponsored a resolution in the Senate honoring the sacrifice of U.S. and allied armed forces that served in Korea and calling on North Korea to abide by its international agreements and denuclearize completely.  The United States and South Korea are committed to peace in the region and stand firm against threats or actions by North Korea that harm this peace and security.”
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Hepatitis: Know It, Confront It and Get Screened Now

indiana state department of health
INDIANAPOLIS—Did you know that hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver, can be caused by a virtual alphabet of different viruses? It’s a major reason the World Hepatitis Alliance, working in partnership with the World Health Organization, will recognize the sixth annual World Hepatitis Day on Sunday, July 28, 2013. The main themes for this year are “This is hepatitis. Know it. Confront it,” and “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.”
Hepatitis is a silent epidemic. In the U.S., the most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. As of 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that nationwide, approximately 4.4 million people have chronic hepatitis B and C infections. In Indiana in 2010, 12 cases of hepatitis A, 75 cases of hepatitis B, and more than 6,000 cases of hepatitis C were reported.
“Hepatitis can be a serious illness leading to liver disease and liver cancer,” said Joan Duwve, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at the Indiana State Department of Health. “The good news is that testing for hepatitis is simple. Knowing your status can help prevent serious complications of infection and stop the further spread of disease to others.”    
Hepatitis A is spread through ingestion of contaminated food or water, while hepatitis B and C are both spread through contact with infected blood and bodily fluids. Common modes of transmission for hepatitis B and C include the spreading of the infection from mother to child during childbirth, intravenous drug use, reusing contaminated needles, including those used for tattoos, body piercing, home blood sugar testing, and injection of drugs. Thankfully, there are safe and effective vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and B, and treating babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B within hours of delivery greatly reduces the likelihood that they will become infected.
Protect yourself against infection with hepatitis C by avoiding risk factors like reusing needles.  Other risk factors for hepatitis C include having HIV (since HIV and hepatitis C are transmitted in similar ways), receiving body piercing or tattoos with non-sterile instruments and sex with partners already infected with hepatitis C.
Most Americans with hepatitis B and C are unaware they are infected with serious liver infections until they begin to have complications from their infections. State health officials are encouraging Hoosiers to take action to increase viral hepatitis by talking with your doctor about risk factors, getting tested and getting vaccinated.  State health officials recommend a one-time hepatitis blood test for everyone between the ages of 48 and 68. There are treatments available for both hepatitis B and C, and knowing your hepatitis status can help prevent ongoing spread of disease.  Visit your health care provider and ask about testing.    
To learn more about World Hepatitis Day 2013, visit  http://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/en/who-what-where-when-and-how.html.
For more information about viral hepatitis, visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at  http://www.in.gov/isdh/25797.htm. Follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1
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Michigan City Man Sentenced in Death of Isiah Wright

One of three defendants was sentenced on Thursday in the case of a 16 year old found dead near Eastport School last September. The Times reports 21 year old Jamar Pasha, of Michigan City, who pleaded guilty to the murder of Isiah Wright, was sentenced to 45 years in prison. Published reports say authorities are not releasing many details regarding the shooting incident, since two other cases are pending. A 25 year old woman is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to robbery, while an 18 year old man has yet to enter a plea on charges of robbery and criminal gang activity.
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17 Year Old from Gary Charged with Murder

A Gary teenager has been charged in the shooting death of 18 year old Cameron Sanders, which took place in Hammond on Monday. According to court documents, the 17 year old is being charged as a adult, and witnesses stated they heard the Gary teen and the victim arguing about Sanders allegedly firing a gun at his girlfriend, who happens to be the suspect's sister, prior to hearing gunshots.  The homicide was one three shooting incidents in Hammond this week.
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Hobart Names Ceremony Marking 3rd Anniv

Today is the final Friday of the month, the day of the Hobart Marine Corps League Howlin' Mad Detachment Number 93 Doughboy ceremony where the names of fallen soldiers are read out loud – seven names are being read tonight. The public is invited to the service, which starts at 5 pm at the Hobart Doughboy statue at 7th and Main. Doughboy was a term used to describe U-S infantrymen of the American Expeditionary Force during World War One. Today the Hobart Marine Corps league marks their 3rd anniversary of reading the names, a three-year total that stands at 1,637.
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Hospital, Assessor Reach Agreement

Officials say Porter Regional Hospital has agreed to turn over documents said to be necessary to complete the property tax assessment of the hospital campus at US 6 and State Road 49 in Liberty Township. The issue wound up in court. County Assessor Jon Snyder issued a statement today saying the hospital and his office have come to an equitable agreement, and that thanks to  "this agreement and its timing, assessments will be completed on time and accurately.”
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Public Comment Sought on Upgrade Plan

Indiana's utility consumer representative is taking public comment on a one-billion dollar proposal by NIPSCO to upgrade its electric system. The plan that would include replacing poles and transformers could mean yearly one-percent electric bill increases in the coming years. The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor says the Merrillville-based utiity giant's request is the first to be filed under a new law, Senate Enrolled Act 560, passed by the legislature this year. The measure allows utilities to pay for certain infrastructure improvements through surcharges called "trackers" added to customer bills.
For more info on the proposal or submitting a comment, visit http://www.in.gov/oucc/2747.htm
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Van Til Trial Won't Start Monday

Reports say the public corruption trial scheduled to begin this Monday for Lake County Surveyor George Van Til has been postponed until December 9th. Van Til's attorney had filed a motion in federal court asking for more time. Van Til pleaded not guilty in Hammond Federal Court after being accused of using county employees to do campaign work. He's been Lake County's Surveyor for more than twenty years.
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Powerball Jackpot Up to $196 Million

hoosier lottery
Some facts and figures about a couple of big jackpots this weekend, courtesy of the Hoosier Lottery:
INDIANAPOLIS (July 26, 2013) - At $196 million, Saturday's Powerball jackpot is the stuff dreams are made of.  At $13 million, and thirteen weeks without a winner, Saturday's Hoosier Lotto jackpot is the stuff dreams - and superstitions - are made of.
Superstitious or not, at the Hoosier Lottery, the number "13" is a historicaly significant number. The Hoosier Lottery opened it's doors and sold its first ticket on Friday, October 13, 1989.  If a player is lucky enough to win Saturday's Hoosier Lotto jackpot they will need to claim their $13 million prize at Hoosier Lottery Headquarters, which is located at the intersection of Meridian and 13th Street in Indianapolis (1302 N. Meridian Street to be exact).
When it comes to Powerball jackpot wins, Hoosiers have historically been pretty lucky.  The Hoosier Lottery leads the pack nationwide.  Hoosier Lottery retailers have sold a record 38 Powerball jackpot winning tickets over the years.  That's more than any other state.  With the recent addition of California to the game, Powerball is now played in 43 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Not only does Indiana hold the record for most jackpot wins, but 25 Powerball players in Indiana have also won $1 million prizes playing Powerball or Powerball with Power Play. 
Thirteen lucky Indiana players have won $1 million Powerball prizes since January 2012, including four already in 2013.
The most recent Powerball jackpot prize in Indiana was a $74 million jackpot win in Merrillville in April 2011. The largest Powerball prize ever won in Indiana was a $314.3 million jackpot won in Richmond in August 2007.
Players in Indiana have until 9:58 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday night to purchase their shot at the $196 million Powerball jackpot.   If they want to try their luck at Hoosier Lotto's lucky $13 million, they have until 10:39 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday to get their $1 tickets.
Players don't have to wait until Saturday to try their luck.  Friday night's Mega Millions drawing offers a $19 million jackpot.
The Hoosier Lottery reminds all players to play responsibly. Must be 18 or older to play.  Gambling Addiction Referral Line: 800-994-8448.  
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Three Gas Utilities Fined

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has announced they are seeking a total of 180-thousand dollars in proposed penalties from Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Company and two other major gas utilities in the state, Citizens Gas and Vectren, for pipeline safety violations. The I-U-R-C says the companies failed to follow procedures and keep accurate maps and records of underground facilities, resulting in mislocating or not locating pipelines in accordance with the state's “Call Before You Dig” laws. IURC Chairman Jim Atterholt says a deadly gas pipeline explosion three years ago in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno, California, was a “tragic wake up call”.

NIPSCO issued a statement saying, "Public safety and the safety of our employees is a top priority, and we take that responsibility seriously.

"NIPSCO, along with every utility in the country, has an obligation to its customers to continually operate and maintain a safe energy infrastructure.

"NIPSCO has upgraded its systems and internal procedures to improve performance in responding to locate requests received throughout the year, and will continue to investigate and implement further measures to reduce pipeline damages.

"The additional action required by the Commission recognized the corrective steps already identified by NIPSCO," the company said.
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The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has announced they are seeking a total of 180-thousand dollars in proposed penalties from Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Company and two other major gas utilities in the state, Citizens Gas and Vectren, for pipeline safety violations. The I-U-R-C says the companies failed to follow procedures and keep accurate maps and records of underground facilities, resulting in mislocating or not locating pipelines in accordance with the state's “Call Before You Dig” laws. IURC Chairman Jim Atterholt says a deadly gas pipeline explosion three years ago in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno, California, was a “tragic wake up call”.

NIPSCO issued a statement saying, "Public safety and the safety of our employees is a top priority, and we take that responsibility seriously.

"NIPSCO, along with every utility in the country, has an obligation to its customers to continually operate and maintain a safe energy infrastructure.

"NIPSCO has upgraded its systems and internal procedures to improve performance in responding to locate requests received throughout the year, and will continue to investigate and implement further measures to reduce pipeline damages.

"The additional action required by the Commission recognized the corrective steps already identified by NIPSCO," the company said.
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Fire Training Provided to Inmates

image005 WinCE
Eleven inmates at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City are being certified as firefighters. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security collaborated with the Indiana Department of Correction to provide the training this week, which included classroom and hands-on lessons in topics like fire behavior and ventilation. The Indiana State Prison had earlier established an offender fire department, but this is the first time certified fire training was conducted inside the facility. Upon graduating, the inmates will be certified to fight interior fires.    William K. Wilson, Superintendent of the Indiana State Prison stated, “This certification will benefit them when they return to their communities and will allow them to give back to the community”.
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[Photos/Indiana Department of Correction]
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 102 acres of land on Michigan City’s west side. The physical plant consists of 51 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-minimum security offenders....
   

Multiple Sobriety Checkpoints Planned

Multiple sobriety checkpoints will occur in the Region this weekend. The Lowell District of the Indiana State Police will conduct a sobriety checkpoint during the late evening hours in Porter County tonight [July 26, 2013]. Troopers say motorists who encounter a checkpoint will be required to produce a valid license and registration and can expect delays of two-to-three minutes if they're not impaired and there's no other reason to be detained. The Hammond Police Department says they will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint this weekend as part of the Lake County Drunk Driving Task Force with funding provided by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. And, the Lake County Traffic Safety Partnership has announced they're conducting a sobriety checkpoint in Hobart sometime this weekend.
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NWI RDA Considers EC Request

rda WinCE
The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority Board of Directors is considering a 39-million dollar funding application from the City of East Chicago. It would go toward a project to create a public-private partnership for spur economic development in the North Harbor area.
The board this week also approved a request for Deal Closing Funds from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, currently in negotiations with a company considering Northwest Indiana. Due to the sensitive nature of the talks, no further details were made available. The board says no RDA funds will be used unless a deal is finalized.
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Services for Former State Sen William Costas

william costas
Visitation is scheduled today (Fri Jul 26 2013) and funeral services tomorrow (Saturday) for former northwest Indiana state lawmaker and Region grocery store owner William Costas of Valparaiso. William Costas passed away at his home Tuesday at the age of 84. Costas, who was born in Detroit, founded Wilco Foods in Miller in 1962, then owned and operated Costas Foods from 1972 to 1998. Costas served two terms in the Indiana State Senate from 1980 to 1988. Costas is the father of Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas.
Visitation is Friday, July 26, 2013 from 2:00-8:00 p.m. at Liberty Bible Church, 824 N. Calumet Avenue in Chesterton.   The funeral service will begin Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. at the church with Rev. Robert Nienhuis officiating. Burial will be at Angelcrest Cemetery in Valparaiso.
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