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Linda Wiltfong Named New S. Cent Schools Superintendent

The South Central Community School Corporation has named 51 year old Linda Wiltfong as their new superintendent. Wiltfong was among over 20 applicants applying for the position, which opened up after Christopher Smith resigned due to charges he physically assaulted the school district's head of maintenance. Wiltfong, a former assistant superintendent of elementary education for LaPorte Community Schools, will begin duties on an interim basis and take over the position permanently on August 28th.
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Update: Employee of GHA Shot by Pellet Gun from Vehicle

Gary PD
A Gary Housing Authority employee was shot in the neck by a pellet gun, just before noon today by a passing vehicle. Gary Police Lt. Delmar Stout says the man was taken to Methodist Hospital in Gary for his injuries, after the incident took place in the two-thousand block of Main Street, at a Dorie Miller Public Housing unit, about 11:45am. Lt. Stout says two males in a small compact vehicle were seen heading westbound on 21st Avenue. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Alex Jones, at (219) 881-7477.
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Positive Result of West Nile Found in Mosquito in Griffith

town of Griffith
The town of Griffith reports the Lake County Health Department has notified them of a positive result of the West Nile Virus was found during routine testing. Officials report the mosquito was collected on the west side of town and that immediate steps have already taken place to eradicate the species of mosquito. No known cases of the West Nile Virus have been reported being transferred in humans or animals anywhere in the region this year. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, there have been two positive results of the virus found mosquito pools in Lake County in 2013, with one reported positive result in Starke County this year. For more information on the West Nile Virus, visit http://www.state.in.us/isdh/23592.htm.
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Employee of Gary Housing Authority Shot

An employee of the Gary Housing Authority was shot around noon today in the 19-hundred block of East 21st Avenue. The worker was reportedly getting ready to do some work there when he was shot in the neck from a passing vehicle. No further information is available at this time.
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Indiana's Infant Mortality Rate Ranks 47th Out of 50 States

Indiana's State Health Commissioner told a group in Lake County that Indiana's infant mortality rate is “horrible” – 47th out of 50 states. Dr William VanNess met with local health care workers and lawmakers in East Chicago Tuesday. Provisional state data for 2011 show nearly eight Hoosier children out of every thousand live births will die within their first year.
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Ten Valpo Neighborhoods Take Part in Nat Night Out

Valparaiso Police say last night's National Night Out was a huge success. Ten neighborhoods participated... Pine Creek, Essex Park , Maple Creek , Campbell Meadows , and Lexington Green subdivisions, 300 Block of Parkside- the Kirchoff Park Neighborhood-, also the 1300 Block of Napoleon, Hawthorne Subdivision, Meridian Woods and the 3500 block of Oak Grove. Numerous police officers,along with K9 officers and police officers' family members, volunteers and Volunteers in Police Service members participated.
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Sand Dune Rescuers to be Honored

There's word today that Indiana Governor Mike Pence may attend a ceremony in northwest Indiana honoring those who rescued a six-year-old boy from a sand hole at Mount Baldy last month. Date and location are still being worked out, according to an article in today's Times.
Equipment, like ground-penetrating radar, to help try to determine why a section of the giant sand dune in Michigan City collapsed last month burying the child for nearly four hours before he was rescued, might be available and on-site at the park in the next week. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Superintendent Costa Dillon, who retires at the end of the month, says in 35 years of park service, he has never come across an incident quite like it.  Mount Baldy's beach, trails, and parking area remain closed to the public until further notice.  You can hear our Region Newsmakers interview with Costa Dillon online at our website.
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Missing Man Found Dead Near Interstate


mower WinCE
Police are asking for the public's help after the body of a missing La Porte man was found in a grassy ditch just south of I-94 in Porter County Tuesday afternoon. Shortly after 2-o'clock, detectives from the Indiana State Police and La Porte County Sheriff’s Department responded to the eastbound side of the interstate about a mile west of the Portage exit.. Troopers say a member of a mowing crew contracted by the Indiana Department of Transportation found the body. The deceased, identified as 50-year-old Ricky Kimble was last seen Saturday. August 3rd. Family had reported him missing to the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department on Monday, August 6. Cause of death is pending an autopsy at South Bend Memorial Hospital.
Anyone with who may have seen Kimble walking on I-80/94 from late Saturday, August 3rd evening until early Tuesday, August 6th, morning is asked to contact Indiana State Police Detective Brian Kubiak at 219-696-6242 or La Porte County Sheriff’s Detective Ron Heeg at 219-326-7700.
Police say Kimble was wearing brown shorts, white tank top, tan boots, carrying a black backpack. Kimble was a black male, 6’ 1”, 258 pounds, with a shaved head.
[Photo of mower/Indiana State Police]
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July State Revenues Below Target

Indiana tax revenues for last month came in below projections. Total revenue for July, which marks the first month of the fiscal year, was one-point-oh-four-billion, 14-million dollars, or one-point-four-percent, less than the state forecast. The state's budget director noted the figure was lower in part due to a percentage of sales tax dollars being redirected to the Motor Vehicle Highway Fund, as directed by the budget bill approved in this year's legislative session.
Link to commentary from Budget Director Brian Bailey::
http://www.ai.org/sba/files/revreport_july2013_commentary.pdf
Link to report:
http://www.ai.org/sba/files/revreport_july2013.pdf...
 

New Mental Health Resources for Cook Co Jail Inmates

Cook County Sheriff
Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart today announced the establishment of the Office of Mental Health Policy and Advocacy within the Cook County Sheriff's Office as well as the launch of a 24 hour mental health hotline. Sheriff Dart says the new office will expand the portfolio of mental health initiatives, including a mental health screening process at daily intake. The 24 hour hotline will be supported by live team-members to be used exclusively for ex-detainees of the Cook County Jail and for families of current detainees. Sheriff Dart says this new office, and it resources, represent important steps toward shutting the revolving door between the streets and jail for Cook County's mentally ill. The Cook County Jail is the largest single-site jail in the nation and typically holds between two-thousand to 25-hundred mentally ill detainees at any one time, giving it the dubious distinction of being the largest mental health institution in the country.
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Hammond Man Gets Life in Prison, Again, on Murder Conviction

A man found guilty for murdering a Hammond gun-shop owner in 2000, but who had the conviction overturned, and then was found guilty of murder again last year, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday. 37 year old Keon Thomas, of Hammond, along with co-defendent Styles Taylor, were found guilty in May 2012 for the shooting death at Firearms Unlimited. The original conviction had been overturned after an appeals court found the jury had been improperly selected. Thomas was also ordered to pay restitution to the family of the deceased.
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2014 Indiana Official Roadway Map Released

Indiana Tourism logo
( www.in.gov)
The Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) recently announced the release of the 2014 Indiana Official Roadway Map. The all-new map is the first partnership of its kind between the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and IOTD and provides Hoosiers with a single map reflecting INDOT’s roadway accuracy and IOTD’s statewide attraction information.
“This new map is an exciting consolidation of the two existing maps and reflects the great roadways and destinations throughout Indiana,” said Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann. “By housing this project with our tourism team, we have eliminated a redundant program while also providing a new outlet for our tourism partners to promote their attractions.”
The 2014 Indiana Official Roadway Map is a combination of two Indiana map programs. In previous years, INDOT produced the official transportation map on a biannual basis and IOTD produced a yearly Indiana travel map. IOTD spearheaded the consolidation of these two maps into one, easy to read product that retains all the functionality of a traditional roadmap while also highlighting many of Indiana’s tourism destinations. The new map will be produced by IOTD on an annual basis.
“By partnering with INDOT to transition production of our state map to the tourism office, we are able to promote Indiana’s tourism partners, destinations and attractions to a wider audience,” said Mark Newman, executive director of IOTD. “From the cover photo to the partners advertised on the map back, this project is a great representation of the beauty, accessibility and travel opportunities that exist throughout Indiana.”
The undulating hills of Crawford and Harrison Counties grace the cover of this year’s map. The image, not often associated with Indiana, is representative of the state’s diverse landscape.
The new roadway map reflects the boom in infrastructure improvements Indiana has undergone in recent years. Among the many new roadway projects on the map: the new Interstate 69 corridor in southwestern Indiana, the Hoosier Heartland corridor and expansion of U.S. 31 in and around Kokomo, both expected to open by the end of this year, and the Fort to Port connection. Additionally, many other projects currently under construction with completion expected in the coming years are noted on the map. These new and future projects provide connectivity throughout all regions of the state and allow travelers within Indiana to safely and quickly reach destinations and attractions.

This year begins a two-year transition to move all production, administrative and sales oversight of the official state map to IOTD. The 2014 Indiana Official Roadway Map will be available at the Indiana State Police and Indiana Office of Tourism Development booths in the expo hall at the Indiana State Fair. As in previous years, maps will also be available at state legislative offices, highway rest stops and state welcome centers. Individuals may also request a new map by visiting IndianasMap.com. The 2014 Indiana Official Roadway Map is free of charge.
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Final Market in the Park in DeMotte for 2013 on 8/7

The last opportunity of 2013 for “Market in the Park” in DeMotte takes place tomorrow (Wednesday). The DeMotte Chamber of Commerce reports the event will take place from 2 to 7pm at Spencer Park. Crafters and food vendors, as well as live entertainment will featured, along with a bounce-house, balloon-art and face painting for the kids.
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Police Investigating Murder-Suicide in New Carlisle

An investigating continues after two people were found dead this morning just east of the LaPorte/St. Joseph County line in New Carlisle. Published reports say police received a call after 7am and found a 42 year old man and a 39 year old woman dead in the home. Two children, ages 9 and 14, were inside the home at the time of the incident and were taken to be interviewed. Police are reportedly investigating the incident as a murder-suicide.
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Section of Hitchcock St in MC to be Closed for RR Repair

A section of Hitchcock Road in Michigan City will be closed for a week starting tomorrow (Wednesday). City officials report the closure is due to train track crossing repairs on Hitchcock Road, north of Earl Road and south of Woodlawn Avenue, which is scheduled to be reopened for complete through traffic on Wednesday, August 13th. Detour signs will be posted.
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Powerball Jackpot Now at $425 Million, 3rd Biggest Ever!

hoosierpowerball
The Powerball jackpot has been raised again, and now stands at an estimated 425 million dollars, the third highest ever. Lottery officials report the record jackpot of 590 million was won in May in Florida, while the second largest jackpot of 587 million was split between two players in November 2012. If a Hoosier wins Wednesday's drawing, he or she would claim the largest jackpot ever won in Indiana. Powerball has been played by Hoosiers since 1992, and a Hoosier won the very first Powerball jackpot on April 22nd, 1992.
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Lawsuit Filed Against Dustin McCowan and his Father

A lawsuit has been filed by the parents of Amanda Bach against Dustin McCowan, and his father, Joseph Elliott McCowan, for compensation in the murder of their daughter. The suit is under the Indiana Child Wrongful Death statute and claims the elder McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, failed to properly secure his firearms, alleging Dustin McCowan used one of them on September 16th, 2011, when 19 year old Amanda Bach was killed. McCowan is currently appealing his 60 year sentence, after being convicted in the death of the Portage teen earlier this year.
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Burglaries at Two Merrillville Churches

Police in Merrillville are investigating burglaries at two area churches. Two weeks ago, a burglary was reported at Protection of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church on Grand Boulevard, where the church's garage was reported to have been broken into and more than ten-thousand dollars worth of lawn maintenance equipment and other items were stolen, including two tractors, several lawn mowers and a canopy tent. Authorities say another break-in was reported about a month earlier on the other side of town at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in the 58-hundred block of Harrison Street. Details on what may have been stolen in that incident were not available.
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Gary, HUD Mtgs for GHA Residents Wednesday

An administrator with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development is joining Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson in hosting three town hall meetings for Gary Housing Authority residents Wednesday [Aug 7]. Assistant Secretary Sandra Henriquez will join Freeman-Wilson in hosting three town hall meetings throughout the city to explain how the partnership will work.  Last week the mayor announced the federal agency was partnering with the city to administer operations at the housing authority to address administrative, financial and management concerns.
Meetings Wednesday August 7:
Genesis Towers Ballroom, 578 Broadway, Second Floor
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
New Mount Moriah Baptist Church, 1917 Carolina Street
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The Center, 1845 West 37th Avenue
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
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Gary Schools Holding Bus Forums

Gary public school officials are hosting a couple of opportunities for parents and students to pick up bus routes and other info on riding the school bus. Last September, school administrators in Gary, including Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt joined students on their ride to school after a variety of issues were brought to the district's attention, like changing bus routes. One of the bus transportation forums is tonight (Tue Aug 6) at 6 at Wirt-Emerson School for Visual and Performing Arts. The other is this Friday, August 9 at 6 pm at West Side Leadership Academy. In Gary, the first day for students is Wednesday August 21st.
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