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Handgun License Applications Jump in Indiana

Indiana State Police have dedicated additional staff to address the jump in handgun license applications – a sharp increase the agency believes is due to the number of shootings across the country, coupled with national debate over more restrictive gun laws. Historically, applications averaged around 5,200 per month, but increased dramatically toward the end of 2012, and this past January alone more than 23,000 requests were submitted to the state police. The level of demand has gone down somewhat, falling to just over 6,500 new license requests in June. However, the overall rise has led to a substantial backlog in applications, nearly doubling processing time to more than 110 days.
Barring unforeseen circumstances Indiana State Police say the backlog should be eliminated within eight to ten weeks of July 1st. New license applications received after mid September 2013 are expected to be processed within the required 60 day timeframe.
Police say to eliminate the backlog, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter ordered a thorough evaluation of the procedures involved to issue a license to carry a handgun. Based on this comprehensive review, processes are being streamlined and additional personnel have been added to process some 45,000 pending applications.
Indiana State Police say during the seven months from December of 2012 through June of this year, they received nearly 92-thousand [[91,940]] applications.  For all of 2012 there were 62,934 applications received and processed, which resulted in the issuance of 60,906 new handgun licenses.
Additional information from Indiana State Police:
Factors that add to increased processing time:
• Applications that are incomplete
• Submission of hand rolled or scanned fingerprints instead of electronic fingerprints
• Incomplete Criminal History information that has to be confirmed
• Common names with Criminal History information that must to be verified

Applications for License to Carry a Handgun received, by month, from December 2012 to June of 2013:
• Dec 2012: 13,954
• Jan 2013: 23,079
• Feb 2013: 15,945
• Mar 2013: 12,204
• Apr 2013: 11,397
• May 2013: 8,848
• Jun 2013: *6,513
• Seven Month Total: 91,940

* June number not final, subject to change

Issued Licenses to Carry a Handgun from 2009 to 2012
• 2009: 98,639
• 2010: 79,027
• 2011: 61,595
• 2012: 60,906

At the beginning of July 2013 there were 493,205 active licenses to carry a handgun, of which 392,520 were issued to men and 100,685 were issued to women.
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Barn Fire Cause Not Yet Known

Authorities continue to try to determine the cause of a barn fire that claimed the lives of two horses in northwest Indiana late Sunday night. Crews were on scene for several hours as multiple departments responded to the blaze on County Road 700 North in South Haven. Authorities say fourteen horses escaped, and the Porter County Sheriffs Department together with the Porter County Animal Shelter are working to find foster homes for the animals. Two firefighters were treated for heat-related illness.

The Porter County Sheriffs Department is working with the county animal shelter to help find foster homes for several surviving horses.  Anyone who can help is asked to call Gayle Laney at 219-252-9160.


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Clark to Oversee Airport Expansion

The Gary Airport Authority has voted to have former Indianapolis International Airport CEO John Clark oversee the 166-million dollar expansion project at Gary/Chicago International. Last week city officials announced the project won't be finished until at least September of next year due to reported pollution in the runway expansion area and railroad issues. The board is expected to take a final vote July 22nd on a 65-million dollar bond issue for the expansion project and repairs.
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Police Investigate Springwood Vandalism

porter co sheriff dept
Sheriffs police in Porter County are investigating reports of damage to more than thirty homes in the Springwood Estates subdivision in Porter Township early Saturday. Most of the incidents occurred along Springwood Drive. Police say there was damage to lamp posts, landscaping lights and vehicles, and thefts from vehicles.
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School Bus Inspection Records Online

isplogo
Indiana State Police have launched a public website displaying school bus inspection records, and released the following information:
The Indiana State Police, in accordance with state law, conduct inspections of all school buses used to transport children to public and private schools. All buses are inspected annually. Buses more than 12 model years old are inspected biannually.

While school bus inspection reports are a public record, historically there was not a simple way for parents, school officials, or the public in general to view the thousands of inspection reports prepared by state police personnel each school year. To make school bus records more accessible the Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, in collaboration with the Indiana Office of Technology (IOT), and Indiana Interactive, a subsidiary of e-government provider NIC USA, developed a public access portal website where school bus inspection records can be viewed from the comfort of a parents’ home computer.

The all encompassing goal of this public access portal website is to provide parents, school officials, and the public in general, an easy to navigate website with up-to-date school bus inspection information. To that end, other website owners are invited to make a direct link to the Indiana State Police school bus inspection public access portal website.

The public access portal website became operational on July 1, 2013. The website contains records from more than 30,000 inspections and will automatically update within days after future school bus inspections are conducted.

Access to this new service can be made in several ways:
Visit this Indiana State Police website link at  http://www.in.gov/isp/2988.htm  . Read the introduction information and then click this link:  https://secure.in.gov/ISP/BusInspections/Public/Index

You may also go directly to the site at:  https://secure.in.gov/ISP/BusInspections/Public/Index

Once on the site, simply select the county where the school is located and follow the on screen directions to view selected school bus inspection records.

Refer to this helpful guide:
1. Select the County of the School Corporation
2. Select the School or School District
a. A pie-chart summary of the most recent annual inspection is displayed reflecting the initial inspection results.
b. The initial annual inspection results DO NOT reflect the current status of the bus fleet
i. To see only the Approved, Ordered Repaired or Out of Service inspection results from the original annual inspection, click on either Total Approved, Total Ordered Repaired, or Total Out of Service
ii. To see definitions of these categories, hover the mouse over the selection
3. To see the current status of any bus, select ‘View Inspections’
a. Select the PDF to the right to view the printable inspection record
b. To see historical inspection records of any bus select the bus number on the far left side of the screen
i. This displays all records for a specific bus dating back to Oct. 2011
ii. Select the PDF to the right to view the printable inspection report

The Indiana State Police encourage parents to use this valuable resource to track the inspection reports of their child’s school bus. The only information a parent needs to successfully navigate the website is the bus number of their child’s bus.
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Preparedness Guide Developed for Child Care Providers

DHS Logo
Protecting Hoosier families and their children has taken another step forward with the release of a new comprehensive guide for disaster preparedness for child care providers.
“There are a few states that have a similar guide, but none that we found contain the amount of detail and collaboration from outside resources,” said Nancy Morris, Emergency Preparedness Planner, Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS). “Indiana will also be the first to design a training program that helps providers really understand what they should have in their emergency plans.”
Currently, child care providers are only required to have a plan in case of fire or severe weather situations. However a need was expressed for a guide to help child care providers plan for all hazards.
The guide was developed in partnership among the IDHS, Indiana School of Medicine – Emergency Medical Services for Children, Riley Children’s Hospital, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Department of Education, Indiana State Department of Health – Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response, the Indiana Association for Child Care Resource and Referral and the Indiana Family Social Services Administration.
“The guide has been well received by the child care community,” Morris said. “The plan provides valuable resources to the people who take care of one of Indiana’s most precious assets.”
In addition to the guide, a training program is being developed that will help child care providers develop plans that are tailored to their specific situations and ways to practice the plans that are developed.
The training program is the second phase of the project. The Bureau of Child Care is incorporating it with the Path to Quality program, a nationally recognized program. The Child Care Preparedness Guide can be found on either childcarefinder.in.gov or dhs.in.gov.
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Cedar Lake Green Infrastructure Corridor Plan Meeting 7/15

Cedar Lake
On Monday July 15th at 6:00pm, the Town of Cedar Lake will be hosting a public work session to present the Cedar Lake Green Infrastructure Corridor Plan. The plan includes a proposed green infrastructure corridor along Founder’s Creek and Cedar Creek and provides for several sustainable best management practices for consideration for future improvements within the corridor. The plan was developed after receiving feedback from interested stakeholders during the initial public work session which was held on January 30th.
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The goal of the project is to develop a plan that encourages conservation and sustainable best management practices within vital natural areas along Cedar Creek and Founders Creek to plan a connection from Lemon Lake County Park south to Cedar Lake and ending at Lake Dalecarlia. The plan is funded through a grant by the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation and was developed through a partnership with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.

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Indiana Woman Brings Loaded Gun to Daley Center

Ana Claudia Gomez
(Photos Courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff's Office)
dcgun
A 38 year old Indiana woman has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon after sheriff's discovered a semi-automatic 9mm handgun in her purse during a security screening at the Daley Center in Chicago. The Cook County Sheriff's Office reports Ana Gomez was in Chicago on Friday to help her father with issues regarding an eviction. Sheriff Thomas Dart announced today (Monday) that the gun was loaded with seven bullets, three of which were hollow-point. Gomez, who is current of on bail after posting bond has a license to carry in Indiana, and reportedly told officers she forgot the loaded gun was in her purse.
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Alleged Road Rage Incident Leaves Two Woman Injured

portage pd
Portage Police say an alleged road rage incident led to an altercation between two women Thursday at the intersection of Central Avenue and Willowcreek Road. Police says while stopped at the light at the intersection, a 39 year old Portage woman, who was reported to be driving erratically, started yelling at another woman parked next to her at the light, and then reportedly sprayed a can of mace at her. The woman, who was not injured because her window was up, then reportedly got out of her vehicle to allegedly take a photo of the suspects license plate, and that is when police say the 39 year old got out of her vehicle, armed with a knife, and attacked the victim. Authorities say the 39 year old woman suffered a laceration to her arm and was hospitalized until she was charged with felony battery Sunday. The victim, who was also hospitalized reportedly needed around 20 stitches due to cuts to her arm, face, and leg.
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Indiana Receives 4 Year Grant for WISEWOMAN Program

indiana state department of health
INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana State Department of Health announced it has received a four-year health screening-related grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The grant was awarded to the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention and will be used to implement the Well-Integrated Screening for Evaluation for Women across the Nation (WISEWOMAN) Program throughout Indiana.
The WISEWOMAN Program provides low-income, under-insured or uninsured women with standard cardiovascular disease (CVD) screening services including blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. In order to be eligible for the WISEWOMAN Program, women must be enrolled in the existing Indiana Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. Women found to be at risk during the WISEWOMAN screening process are referred to lifestyle programs that target poor nutrition and physical inactivity, such as healthy cooking classes, smoking cessation programs, walking and exercise clubs.
“This grant will allow the Indiana State Department of Health to directly address cardiovascular disease in women,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Cardiovascular disease is a serious issue and the leading cause of death in our state.”
The Indiana Breast and Cervical Cancer Program targets women from ages 40 to 64 who are at 200 percent of the federal poverty level or below. In Indiana, 14.1 percent of the population had an income below the poverty level the past year, with 7.9 percent of this population being women.
According to the Indiana State Department of Health Vital Records statistics, in 2010, the mortality rate from heart disease, including all forms of CVD, was 190.8 deaths per 100,000 (this does not include stroke, essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease, atherosclerosis and vessel disease). This accounts for 13,374 Indiana residents who died of heart disease, making it the leading cause of death overall.
Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth causes of death among women in the U.S., and almost twice as many women die of heart disease, stroke and other CVDs as from all forms of cancer combined, including breast cancer. Heart disease may be preventable by incorporating healthy eating, exercise and stress reduction habits into a daily routine; however, the prevalence of the risk factors continues to remain high in Indiana.
Hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, exposure to second-hand smoke, obesity and sedentary life-style contribute to cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.
According to the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, Indiana’s prevalence rates for diabetes (10.2 percent), overweight (34.8 percent), obesity (30.8 percent), smoking (25.6 percent), high blood pressure (32.8 percent) and high cholesterol (38.9 percent) were higher than U.S. rates. Prevalence rates for pre-diabetes (6.6 percent) did not have a comparable value for the entire U.S.
The Indiana State Department of Health has set several agency priorities to improve the health of Indiana residents including, reducing obesity rates and adult smoking rates. The WISEWOMAN Program will address these priorities by screening women for CVD and providing resources to reduce risk factors.
The WISEWOMAN Program will be implemented later this year as a pilot in Northeast Indiana in partnership with United Health Services of St. Joseph County and in Eastern Indiana in partnership with Open Door Health Services. The Indiana State Department of Health aims to screen 1,000 women through the two pilot programs in the first year.
For more information, visit www.StateHealth.in.gov or follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.
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Kentland Man Charged with Armed Robbery in Newton Co

Newton County Sheriff Dept
An armed robbery incident early Sunday morning in Newton County remains under investigation. The Newton County Sheriff's Office reports they received the call at 12:10am, at Casey's General Store, in the one-hundred block of East Seymour Street, in Kentland. Authorities report a lone black male entered the store, displayed a handgun, and demanded money before fleeing the store to the east. The Sheriff's office says a short time later, a man matching the suspect's description was taken into custody during a traffic stop near the Kentland Police Department. Alfonzo Hicks, of Kentland, has been charged with felony armed robbery.
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LaPorte County Homeowner Shoots and Kills Intruder

LapPorte County Sheriff logo - this one
An as of yet unidentified Michigan man was shot and killed this morning at a home in LaPorte County's Hudson Township. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office reports dispatch received a call at approximately 9:15 this morning from a homeowner stating his home, in the 67-hundred East block of County Road One-thousand North, had been burglarized, and that he had shot the intruder. Upon arrival, authorities say they found the intruder, from Three Oaks Township, dead due to a single gunshot wound to the chest. Investigators report the deceased entered the home through a rear window he had shattered, which awoke the sleeping homeowner. The homeowner, armed with a pistol, got into a physical altercation with the intruder, who was armed with a hatchet, until the homeowner shot him, and then called 9-1-1. The Sheriff's Office reports the deceased did not know the homeowner, and an investigation continues....
   

Friday Fire in Valpo Deemed Accidental, Family Displaced

Fire officials say one family was displaced by a fire Friday evening in Valparaiso, at the corner of Jefferson and Lafayette. Valparaiso Assistant Fire Chief Dan Lamb says they received the call at 5:09pm, and were on-scene until about 1am Saturday morning. Lamb says they believe the fire, which has been deemed accidental, started in the wall of the 3rd floor of the building, and was caused due by a heat-gun being used on the outside of the building to strip paint off the wall.
Assistant Chief Lamb says there was a lot of water damage throughout the Victorian-era structure that dates back to the late 18-hundreds, and which houses the “Needle and Thread” store on the first floor, and apartments on the 2nd and 3rd. No injuries were reported.
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Investigation Continues into Holiday Weekend Homicides

Police in Gary are investigating three fatal shootings that occurred over three days during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Corp. Gabrielle King says police were called out to the five-thousand block of Pennsylvania Street at 6:30 Friday morning for a man down, and arrived to find Bryan Cooke, of Gary, unresponsive in the street. Corp. King say a man who lives in the area found the man 46 year old and called police.
Corp.King says on Friday night at 9:50pm, 19 year old Antoine Taylor was traveling with a friend east on 5th Avenue, when he noticed two males walking in the 500 block of Delaware Street and asked his friend to stop so he could talk with them. A short time later, the friend in the vehicle reported he thought he heard gunshots, then saw Taylor running. Corp King says the friend got Taylor back in the vehicle, who then drove him to the hospital, and Taylor died due to his injuries on Saturday.
King says a 57-year-old man suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the 51-hundred block of Georgia Street, in Glen Park, around 2:15 Sunday morning. The Lake County Coroner's Office has identified the deceased as Andrew Wilkins, of Gary, who died due to multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body. Anyone with information regarding any of these incidents is asked to contact the Gary Police Department.
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Extra Valpo Patrols Result in Seven Arrests

Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Valparaiso Police worked a number of extra drunk driving patrols that resulted in seven arrests – one of them by officers on bikes. Police say Saturday the department's bicycle patrol observed erratic driving and conducted a traffic stop at Brown and Franklin Streets.
Four arrests occurred throughout the morning and evening hours of July 5th, at Danvers Parkway/State Road 2; Calumet Avenue/ McCord Road; Brown and Campbell Streets, and Chicago and Campbell Streets. Two other arrests occurred on July 7th on US 30 and at Chicago and Sturdy Road.
Extra patrols, funded by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and the Porter County Driving Task Force ,were conducted from July 4th through July 7th.
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Michigan City Announces Code Sweep

Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer says the second code enforcement sweep of the year will be conducted this week – a two day sweep Wednesday [ July 10th ] and Thursday [ July 11th ] in an area roughly bound by Highway 12 on the north, Country Line Road on the west, Earl Road on the south, and Wabash Street on the east. Personnel from various city departments will be participating, and residents are urged to fix any possible violations before the sweep gets to your area.  The Michigan City Fire Department will also be available city-wide to assist any elderly or disabled persons with installing or checking of their smoke detectors.  For information, call the Michigan City Fire Department at: 219-873-1440.
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Transition Begins for Strongbow Inn

strongbow-logo
The transition gets underway today for new ownership of a Region restaurant tradition. Last week the sale of Strongbow Inn in Valparaiso was announced, as Hobart-based Luke Company is purchasing the restaurant and banquet facility from owners Russ and Nancy Adams.  "Nobody will notice a thing different," Russ Adams said.  "The staff is continuing," he told us today, "we're hanging on to the wonderful recipes, and these guys will do an excellent job."  Adams says his grandmother Bess Thrun opened Strongbow Turkey Inn in 1940, with a name based in Region history, a name that will continue on.
Strongbow Turkey Farm was started in the 1930’s by Dr. Walter and Bess Thrun (Russ Adams’ grandparents) and named for the Pottawatomie Indian chief who lived on the land with his tribe in the 1800’s. In 1940  Bess Thrun opened the Strongbow Turkey Inn on US Hwy 30 in Valparaiso with 28 seats. Known for the turkey the Thruns raised on the farm across the highway the first menu included hot and cold turkey and the now-famous Strongbow Turkey Pie. Over the years Strongbow has grown to not only a sizeable restaurant but also includes banquet facilities that accommodate up to 500 people. Strongbow currently employs 130 people.  Adams said that he is proud of what Strongbow has meant to his family – with his mother Chuggie and father Chuck running the business from 1951-1993 when Russ and Nancy took over. “We know that Strongbows helped put Valpo on the map,” he said.   The restaurant, now in its 73rd year, is along US 30 just west of State Road 49.
The Luke Company is a family owned and operated company based in Hobart, Indiana that was founded in 1967 by Ralph Luke.  It is owned by Tom Collins Sr., Tom Collins Jr., and Ryan Richardson and has grown to include 25 C-Stores, the $5 Carwash and County Line Orchard.  The Luke organization currently employs approximately 400 associates.
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Coast Gd Rescues, Assists 24 Over the 4th

Coast Guard rescue crews throughout the Great Lakes rescued or assisted 24 people from various boating incidents between late Wednesday night and early Friday morning, including a 39-foot cabin cruiser with four adults and two children aboard that ran aground in Lake Calumet Harbor. There were no reported injuries, pollution or damage to the vessel, but the boat was stranded.
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Merrillville FD Considers Green Roof

The idea of the green roof continues to grow. In Lake Station the city's new municipal building that opened in the Fall of 2011 features a living roof that absorbs and filters rainwater and helps insulate the building. In nearby Merrillville, the fire department is now looking at the possibility of planting a green roof at Fire Station Number One on West 73rd Avenue to provide a place where firefighters could grow vegetables for themselves. It would also reduce stormwater runoff, and give crews a place to stay active by gardening when not responding to any calls for service.
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Cops Cycling for Survivors Ride 2013

riding to remember
Today [Monday, July 8, 2013] marks the start of the 11th annual Cops Cycling for Survivors bicycle ride. A departure ceremony was scheduled this morning [ 8:30 a.m. EDT ] at the Law Enforcement/Firefighter Memorial, adjacent to the State Capitol, in downtown Indianapolis. Fifty-one cyclists are taking part in a thirteen-day journey that will cover nearly one-thousand miles around the perimeter of Indiana, including northwest Indiana this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Funds raised are used to aid surviving family members and co-workers of officers killed in the line-of-duty.
The group says this year the cyclists are recognizing the sacrifices of Lake County Corrections Officer Britney Meux [mew] who was struck and killed by a vehicle while on a training run around the perimeter of the Lake County Jail, and Indiana Department of Corrections Officer Timothy Betts, who suffered a heart attack while escorting an unruly prisoner to the segregation unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.
On August 22, 2006, retired Lake County Police Chief Gary Martin of Merrillville and Indiana State Police Lt. Gary Dudley of Indianapolis were killed during the ride when a large box truck struck the rear of the support truck, pushing the support truck into the cyclists.
The ride is scheduled to conclude on the afternoon of Saturday, July 20, 2013, at Crown Hill Cemetery.
Link for route:  http://www.copscycling4survivors.org/route.html
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