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COPS Cycling 4 Survivors Riding into Region

riding to remember
The 11th annual COPS Cycling 4 Survivors bicycle ride is scheduled to ride into the Region today.  Today's 77-mile leg of the journey will take riders from Mishawaka to Merrillville.  Fifty-one cyclists set out Monday on a thirteen-day trip that will cover nearly one-thousand miles around the perimeter of the state.  President of the Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation Rich Crawford says funds raised help surviving family members and co-workers of officers killed in the line-of-duty.   The group this year is remembering Lake County Corrections Officer Britney Meux [mew] who was struck and killed by a vehicle while on a training run near the Lake County Jail, and Indiana Department of Corrections Officer Timothy Betts, who suffered a heart attack while escorting a 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.
Stops on today's (Friday's) route include La Porte, the Porter County Sheriffs Department, Graceland Cemetery in Valparaiso, and staying overnight in Merrillville, leaving for the 65-mile trip to Kentland Saturday morning.
Here is the COPS Cycling 4 Survivors website:

The ride is scheduled to end Saturday July 20 at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. You can follow the cyclists' route at ...

Gary Man Killed, Fifth Homicide in Seven Days

Gary Police are investigating the fifth fatal shooting in a week. The Lake County Coroners office says 24-year-old Anthony Green Jr suffered a gunshot wound off 53rd Avenue just west of Broadway and was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 6:30 Thursday evening. Reports say he was shot outside a hot dog restaurant he managed on the far south edge of the city, near the Gary/Merrillville border. Less than 24-hours earlier, police say a Gary teenager was shot in the 15-hundred block of Burr Street. Corporal Gabrielle King says 17-year-old Joshua Passmore was in the backseat of a vehicle with some friends who'd gone to a gas station around 10-o'clock Wednesday night.   "As the driver was putting gas in the car, they heard shots being fired in their direction from an unknown location," said Gary Police Corporal Gabrielle King. Corporal King says the driver got back in his car, and as they were driving away,  realized that Passmore was slumped over, then called 911 advising authorities they were on their way to the emergency room with a gunshot victim. The Lake County Coroners office says Passmore was pronounced dead shortly after midnight. Authorities say three people were shot and killed in Gary over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, in the five-thousand block of Pennsylvania Street, near 5th and Delaware, and in the 51-hundred block of Georgia Street.

NW IN Responders Deployed to Aid in Alaska Wildfires

IDHS 2nd team to Alaska
(Photo Courtesy of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security)
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has organized the second deployment of four responders to Alaska to shadow key positions and aid in operational response to the wildfires.
The Indiana team deployed on Thursday, July 11 to North Pole, AK and will return Thursday, July 18.
The IDHS responder team consists of Susan Baugher, Michael Weber, Gary McKay and Thomas Sivak. Baugher is the operations quality assurance manager for Porter County.  Weber is the current deputy director for Porter County Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency (EMA). McKay is the manager of Emergency Preparedness, Safety and Bioterrorism Prevention for Community Hospital in Munster, IN. Sivak is the executive director for the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency. 
All will shadow their designated positions and assist in operations. Responders and their positions are:

§  Baugher and Sivak, planning section chiefs, will organize resources and develop strategies, tactics, and objectives.
§  McKay, liaison officer, will be the direct link between the incident commander and the internal and external stakeholders.
§  Weber, logistics section chief, will support the individuals affected by the incident, especially dealing with details of food, medical services, and communication.
Photo: From left to right: Michael Weber, deputy director for Porter County Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency; Susan Baugher, operations quality assurance manager for Porter County; Gary McKay, manager of Emergency Preparedness, Safety and Bioterrorism Prevention for Community Hospital in Munster, IN; and Thomas Sivak, executive director for the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency
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Coats Amendment to Defund Obamacare Fails 14-16

Senator Dan Coats
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today offered an amendment to the Senate Fiscal Year 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill that would defund provisions in Obamacare if the health care exchanges put in place by the president’s health care law are not ready to enroll qualified Americans by the October deadline. The amendment is similar to the Exchange Sunset Act of 2013, legislation recently introduced by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and cosponsored by Coats. 
“The Obama administration has repeatedly demonstrated that it isn’t prepared to implement its massive health care law, and as a result, Hoosiers are left with even more uncertainty about their future,” said Coats. “If the administration continues to miss its own deadlines in setting up these exchanges, why should the American people be taxed and penalized for not complying with the mandate to acquire health insurance? The president and Congress should start over and work to reform our health care system with step-by-step, market-based solutions that will drive down costs for Hoosiers and increase access to quality care.”
The Coats amendment would prohibit funding for the health care exchanges and individual mandate provisions should the exchanges not be operational by the required October 1, 2013 administration deadline. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) suggested the administration has not been consistently on schedule in setting up the exchanges, and “the timely and smooth implementation of the exchanges by October 2013 cannot yet be determined.”
“I am disappointed Senate Democrats blocked my amendment despite knowing that the administration is not prepared to implement Obamacare and meet its promises to the American people,” added Coats. “Obamacare is one of the most drastic changes in domestic policy reshaping one-sixth of our economy and impacting the lives of every American. The messy and uncertain implementation of this law coupled with its burdensome taxes and regulations is already delivering a serious blow to American families and job creators.”
The Coats amendment was cosponsored by Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.). The amendment failed 14-16 in a vote along party lines. 
In addition, Coats supported the following amendments in the full committee markup:

·         Employer Mandate Delay: This amendment would prohibit any funding that would implement or enforce the employer mandate in the health care law. The amendment failed along party lines.

·         Individual Mandate Delay: This amendment would prohibit any funding that would implement or enforce the individual mandate in the health care law. The amendment failed along party lines.

·         Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) Repeal: This amendment prohibits any funds to be used to implement the Independent Payment Advisory Board under the health care law.
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Urschel Laboratories Breaks Ground in Chesterton

Bob U with mic
Bob Urschel, President/CEO of Urschel Laboratories at the groundbreaking of the new Uschel Laboratories, Coffee Creek, Chesterton location.

Coffee Creek Center, Chesterton, Indiana -- "We look forward to starting another chapter in Urschel history by breaking ground today on what will become our new manufacturing and global headquarters," said Rich Urschel, Vice president of Operations at Urschel Laboratories, Inc.
The company officially purchased the Coffee Creek property earlier this month.  More than 300 employees received an invitation to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony which was also attended by executives from the construction firm of Tonn & Blank, Porter County Commissioner Nancy Adams, and members of the Chesterton Town Council and other local government officials. 
According to Urschel Advertising Manager, Debra Novello, the employees were bussed from Urschel's current plant on Calumet Avenue in valparaiso to the new site located on the south east end of the Coffee Creek area of Chesterton. 
Following a brief lunch, specially engraved shovels were handed out as the employees and other invited guests hollowed out a giant Urschel logo in the footprint of the new building.
The purchase of approximately 160 acres will allow for future growth of the company, according to Novello.  the company has been at its present location since 1958.  It has experienced tremendous growth over the years, and has expanded the facility over 28 times to equal its current size of 250,000 sq. ft.  In a press release, Novello said, the area that surrounds the cirrent manufacturing plant has also continued to grow leaving the facility landlocked.
Founded in 1910, Urschel Laboratories, Inc. is the global leader in food cutting technology.  An engineering-driven company, Urschel continues to partner with leading food processors to discover the latest in food cutting advances.  For more information visit:  http//
Urschel  employees line up
Employees from Urschel line up for a brief lunch at the Thursday, July 11, 2013 groundbreaking of the company's new Chesterton, location

Listening to Bob Urschel
Employees listen to Bob Urschel, President/CEO of Urschel Laboratories speak at employee lunch before the groundbreaking of the company's new Chesterton, site

Nancy Bass thanks Bob Urschel
Porter County Commissioner, Nancy Adams expresses her appreciation to Bob Urschel, President/CEO of Urschel Laboratories for staying in the county

handing out shovels
All 300+ Urschel employees are handed ceremonial shovels for the groundbreaking

Ceremonial Shovel
One of over 300 Urschel employees given a ceremonial shovel that features the Urschel Laboratories' logo on the shovel's blade

groundbreaking circle
Over 300 employees, company management, local government officials and othe rinvited officials line up in the foot print of the new Urschel Laboratories location to be built in Chesterton, during Thursday afternoon's groundbreaking ceremony of the new facility.

Brass Groundbreaking
The Thursday, July 11, 2013 groundbreaking of the new Chesterton, location of Urschel Laboratories.

(photos courtesy of Jay Stevens & Radio One Communications)


50 Year Sentence for Hammond Teen Charged with Rape

A Hammond teenager who pleaded guilty to battery and raping three girls has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. The Times reports 17 year old Dedrick Johnson will have three and a half years taken off his sentence for time served. According to the article, Johnson pleaded guilty to three separate incidents of rape in 2011, occurring on January 20th, February 14th, and on February 24th.
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Cook County Sheriff's Statement on Conceal-Carry Law

Cook County Sheriff
Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart today issued a statement regarding the newly passed Firearm Concealed Carry Act, saying the earliest date an individual could be issued a conceal-carry license and be authorized to carry a concealed handgun under the Act would likely be February 10th, 2014. Sheriff Dart also reminds the public that conceal-carry licenses issued by other states does not authorize you to be able to carry a concealed handgun in Illinois, and that possession of a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card does not authorize the carrying of a concealed handgun under the Act. Carrying a concealed handgun without a license constitutes aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, which is a felony, and punishable by one-to-three years in prison.
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Drunk Motorcyclist Injured in Crash on US 30

A motorcyclist faces multiple drunk driving charges after crashing while heading east on US 30 late Wednesday morning. Authorities report Michael Lopez was witnessed passing by vehicle along the right shoulder of the roadway, and weaving through traffic, until he crashed. Published reports say the 48 year old had a blood-alcohol level that was three-times over the legal limit, and at last check he remains hospitalized due to his injuries
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Pence Statement of Close of the 2013 Session of Gen Assembly

Gov Mike Pence
Indianapolis, IN - Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement at the close of the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly:
"As this legislative session draws to a close, I am grateful for the efforts of every member who made this one of the most civil and substantive sessions of our state legislature in recent memory. 
Throughout this session this General Assembly and our Administration have put taxpayers first. We put together a budget that holds the line on spending funds our priorities, saves for the future and still puts more money back in Hoosiers' pockets. It funds excellence in our schools, rewards outstanding teachers, and includes the first new money in a decade for local roads. 
We also crafted the largest state tax cut in Indiana history-more than $600 million a year-and helped every Hoosier taxpayer, small business owner and family farmer in the process. With a combination of income tax relief, inheritance tax repeal and other business tax reductions, legislators passed the right tax relief at the right time, and it will make Indiana stronger as we compete for new jobs.
The work we have done together has laid a solid foundation for a more prosperous future for Indiana. We will attract more good-paying jobs because of the business-friendly tax climate we have produced and the strong balance sheet we have preserved. And Hoosiers will keep more of what they earn.  
This General Assembly and our Administration also have put kids first. From kindergarten to college, we have improved education in ways that will help the next generation succeed. We have given parents more opportunities to send their children to the school that works best for them. We've rewarded high-performing schools and teachers with increased flexibility. We have made a significant investment in successful dropout prevention programs to ensure that our kids finish high school. We've given college students new funding options, and we've made it easier for them to graduate on time.
And we came together, across party lines, to make sure our schools work for all our kids by taking a historic step toward making career and technical education a priority in every high school in Indiana.  Our state is poised to make sure our kids are more prepared than ever for the jobs of tomorrow. By addressing the skills gap that exists in our state, this General Assembly has put workforce development at the center of economic development in Indiana.
I commend the legislative leadership, especially Senate President Pro Tem David Long and Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, for guiding this session with a steady hand. The people of this state owe a debt of gratitude to them and to all the men and women who served in this session of the General Assembly. Their actions have made our state stronger and have laid a foundation for renewed prosperity and educational excellence. Thanks to these leaders, Indiana has again emerged as a beacon of fiscal responsibility, economic freedom and educational opportunity.  On behalf of all Hoosiers, I offer my heartfelt thanks to each and every member the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly."

Fire at Highland Shopping Plaza Under Investigation

A fire at a shopping plaza Wednesday in Highland caused moderate damage to two businesses and while the incident remains under investigation, officials say there is no indication that it was suspicious in nature. Highland Fire Chief Bill Timmer says the fire was limited to a pizza restaurant and deli/catering business, and that while smoke blew throughout the complex, located in the 25-hundred block of 45 Street, every other business at the shopping plaza was operating today. Chief Timmer says they were called out about 4:15pm and spent around three-hours at the scene.
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Boy Struck by Vehicle in Schererville While Riding Bicycle

Schererville PD
Police in Schererville are seeking the public's help in reference to a boy on a bicycle being struck by a vehicle Wednesday evening near 81st Place and Westwood Court. Police say witnesses advised that the vehicle is described as an older mini-van being driven by a white or Hispanic female with dark hair, wearing a tank top and shorts. Conflicting statements were given as to the color of the vehicle, which ranged from light blue to blue, light green, green, or black, and as to the way the female was wearing her hair, which police say some witnesses stated as being in pig tails or in a pony-tail, while others described her hair as long and straight. Witnesses did advise authorities that the female got out of the vehicle and spoke with the subject and his friend, and retrieved a piece or all of the front bumper and placed it into her vehicle, and then left the scene traveling south on Burr Street. The boy was taken to South Lake Methodist Hospital for treatment, but the severity of his injuries are unknown at last check. Anyone with information regarding this incident, which took place around 5pm, is asked to contact the Schererville Police Department.
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$2.7 Million in Refunds for IN Cunsumers in E-Book Price Case

Indiana OAG Official Seal
Indiana is among 33 states declaring victory after a federal judge ruled Apple conspired with major US publishers to artificially raise the retail prices of electronic books, or E-books, undercutting its chief rival, Amazon. The five publishers named in the anti-trust lawsuit have settled their cases but Apple is appealing. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says those settlements will result in two-point-seven million dollars in refunds for Indiana consumers and more than 166-million dollars for consumers nationwide.
For more information about the refund process visit or contact the Indiana Attorney General’s office at 1.800.382.5516. The multistate lawsuits against Apple and the publishers came after a two-year investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and attorneys’ general offices.
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Borman Lanes Blocked Due to Crash

INDOT says the left two lanes of westbound Interstate 80/94 in Lake Station are closed near the Indiana Toll Road due to a crash.  Authorities say the crash involved a semi and passenger vehicle.  Motorists are advised to expect delays approaching the 17.2 mile marker.

Fiscal Year Closeout Shows Indiana Way Ahead

pence and berry
Indiana is closing the books on fiscal year 2013 with a nearly 483-million dollar budget surplus -- almost 100-million dollars higher than the budget bill projected. Governor Mike Pence joined by State Auditor Tim Berry today announced state tax-funded debt is down 52-percent since July of last year.
“Indiana is strong and growing stronger, and the Closeout Report confirms the balanced approach that we took in the enacted budget,” said Governor Pence.  “I proposed an honestly balanced budget in January, and that’s what the General Assembly passed in April.  The budget holds the line on spending and maintains adequate reserves while including tax relief for Hoosiers and investing in our priorities. As a result, Indiana remains the fiscal envy of the country.”
The state further strengthened its fiscal position by paying off $282 million in debt on state-owned facilities, reducing state tax-funded debt by 52 percent since the start of FY 2013. Pence also announced that the state will lower its debts by an additional $66 million by paying off the bonds for the Miami Correctional Facility. That will reduce state spending by approximately $27 million in the next two years.
“Once again, Indiana continues to be a model of fiscal responsibility,” said State Auditor Berry. “Our discipline when it comes to the state’s financial management allows us to meet our budgetary goals as well as positioning our state for a solid financial future. That is something most states today would envy.”
The FY 2013 Closeout Report is available at
[Photo/Indiana Governors Office]...

Teen Killed, Fourth Recent Fatal Shooting

Gary Police are investigating the fourth shooting death in the city in less than a week. Corporal Gabrielle King says 17-year-old Joshua Passmore of Gary was a backseat passenger in a vehicle with some friends who'd gone to a gas station in the 15-hundred block of Burr Street around 10-o'clock Wednesday night. "As the driver was putting gas in the car, they heard shots being fired in their direction from an unknown location," said Gary Police Corporal Gabrielle King. Corporal King says the driver got back in his car, and as they were driving away,  realized that Passmore was slumped over, then called 911 advising authorities they were on their way to the emergency room with a gunshot victim. The Lake County Coroners office says Passmore was pronounced dead shortly after midnight. Authorities say three people were shot and killed in Gary over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, in the five-thousand block of Pennsylvania Street, near 5th and Delaware, and in the 51-hundred block of Georgia Street.

Banner Year for Peregrine Falcon Chicks

DNR wildlife biologists say it was a banner year for banding peregrine falcon chicks in Indiana -- 44, topping the previous high mark of 38 last year.  Most of the young falcons are banded with leg identification tags to help monitor their movements and survival. Some leave the nest before they can be reached. Nesting sites in the Region, including East Chicago, Whiting, and Michigan City were among those with the most bandings. Baby peregrines were also banded in Gary and Porter County.
A half century ago, biologists say habitat loss and pesticides put peregrine falcons in peril of surviving as a species. By 1965, western populations had declined by 90 percent with not a single peregrine falcon nesting east of the Mississippi River.

Purdue Study Questions Health Value of Diet Drinks

Purdue researchers say artificially-sweetened diet drink may not be helping you lose weight after all, and may be contributing to health issues – like weight gain. Professor Susan Swithers says findings from a variety of studies show routine consumption of diet sodas, even one per day, can also be connected to higher likelihood of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure. She says public health officials concerned about sugar-sweetened drinks may need to think about advocating limiting the intake of artificial no-cal or low-cal sweeteners as well.   Her findings were published by Cell Press on Wednesday (July 10) in an opinion article in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism.
(Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
More information from Purdue:
The concerns for these chemical sweeteners emerged across studies that varied widely in design, methodology and population demographics, and they applied to sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin. About 30 percent of adults and 15 percent of children in the United States consume artificial sweeteners.
"The concern that these non-caloric sweeteners might not be healthy is a message that many people do not want to hear, especially as the prevalence of artificial sweeteners increases in other products," Swithers said. "There is a lot of pressure from the public health sector to find solutions to counter the rise of obesity and chronic disease, and there is a lot of money and business at stake for the food industry as it develops and promotes these products. Beverages are becoming political issues as government leaders and politicians seek regulation and taxing to limit their availability and consumption, but most of these measures exclude diet soft drinks because they are perceived as healthy. When it comes to making policy decisions, it's more important than ever that the science is considered and that the public understands what the science says in order to help them make the best health decisions."
Swithers, who also is a member of Purdue's Ingestive Behavior Research Center, looked at a variety of studies, including the San Antonio Heart Study that reported an increase in body weight gain for adults and adolescents who consumed artificially sweetened beverages over beverages regularly sweetened. Data from a number of studies, including the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study also reported greater risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and metabolic syndrome, which is related to diabetes and cardiovascular problems, for consumers of artificially sweetened beverages. Some data indicated that those who consumed artificially sweetened beverages had double the risk of metabolic syndrome compared to non-consumers.
Research also shows that non-caloric or reduced-calorie food and beverages interfere with a body's learned responses. The assumption is that fewer calories means less weight gain. Research, including studies from Swithers and colleagues, shows that frequent consumption of high-intensity sweeteners may have the opposite effect by confusing the body's natural ability to manage calories based on tasting something sweet. Swithers' research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, and she is continuing to study these effects.

Weeklong Road Closure in Dyer

The Indiana Department of Transportation says US 30 will be closed not far from the Illinois state line for railroad crossing repair next week.  Here's the info along with detour details  from INDOT:

LAKE COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the closure of U.S. 30 at the railroad crossing in Dyer, located just west of Calumet Avenue. U.S. 30 will be closed to all traffic at the crossing beginning Monday, July 15th through Friday, July 19th. Crews will be repairing the crossing.
Drivers wishing to travel west on U.S. 30 will be detoured north on US 41, west on I-80/I-94, south on IL-394, and back to U.S. 30. Drivers wishing to travel east on U.S. 30 will be detoured north on IL-394, east on I-80/I-94, south on U.S. 41, and back to U.S. 30.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, like us at  and follow us at  .
You can find traffic restriction information at Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.

Ind Conservation Officers are Hiring

From the Indiana DNR Law Enforcement Division: Indiana Conservation Officers are beginning a hiring process on July 31st. Anyone interested in being considered must pass an on-line prerequisite test that may be found at  .  The prerequisite test must be completed before August 15th, 2013 to be considered for employment during this hiring process.

Indiana Conservation Officers are employees of the Law Enforcement Division of the Department of Natural Resources and have been a state law enforcement profession since 1911. When fully staffed, 214 Conservation Officers carry out the statewide law enforcement duties which include natural resource laws, outdoor recreation laws, DNR property regulations, boating laws, off-road vehicle laws, environmental laws and Fish and Wildlife laws.

Successful candidates for this hiring process must be 21 years of age prior to February 24th, 2014, have an Associate’s Degree, or higher, from an accredited college or university, or have completed at least 60 credit hours toward a Bachelor’s Degree. The above listed website has additional tips that will assist interested applicants to prepare themselves to become a top candidate for this career.


La Porte Curfew Reminder

La Porte Police say they're sending out a courtesy reminder of their city's curfew law, and issued this news release:
The purpose of a curfew for minors is to aid in reducing juvenile crime and to help protect young people from being victimized.
The City of La Porte has a Curfew Ordinance which limits the lateness of hour and circumstances that youth can be in a public place.
Of course, parents may set curfew times for their children to be home at an earlier time than what the ordinance provides.
The city’s curfew ordinance generally states:
Children who are 14 years of age or under are not allowed to be in a public place after 10:00 pm or before 5:00 am on any day.
Children 15, 16 and 17 years of age cannot be in a public place:
- between 12:01 am and 5:00 am on Saturday and Sunday
- after 10:00 pm Sunday thru Thursday; or
- before 5:00 am Monday thru Friday.
Exceptions to this are a child:
- who is accompanied by his/ her parent, guardian or custodian;
- who is accompanied by an adult, authorized in writing by his/ her parent, guardian or custodian, which written authorization the child shall have on his/ her person; or
Participating in, going to, or returning from:
- lawful employment
- a school sanctioned activity; or
- a religious event
Violations of the ordinance can result in the child being taken into custody, and an ordinance fine issued to the parent/ guardian/ custodian in the amount of $50.

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Laura-WAKE Scott-WAKE Brent-WAKE
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team


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