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Major Backup Eastbound I-80/94 Due to Crash

An SUV hauling a trailer reportedly rolled over blocking the right lane of eastbound Interstate 80/94 between Ripley St./Exit 16 and State Road 149.  Traffic was reportedly jammed from I-65 to mile marker 20, where the accident occurred.  Drivers can expect five miles of stop and go traffic with delays up to 20 minutes.   The Indiana Toll Road should be considered as an alternate.
EB 80-94 backed up 06-27-13
Looking eastbound I-80/94 near State Road 249, traffic backed up from I-65 due to crash.
(photo from INDOT)

Changes to Business and Securities Laws Start July 1st

Secretary of State
INDIANAPOLIS (June 27, 2013) – Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced today that her office is prepared to implement stronger safeguards for Hoosier investors and new requirements for uniform commercial code (UCC) filings that go into effect on July 1. The new laws protect Hoosiers from Durham-like fraud through greater audit transparency and bring UCC filings in Indiana in line with national standards.  
Hoosier investors will now receive additional protections from future schemes similar to those convicted felon Tim Durham used to swindle Ohio investors. The securities offered and sold by Tim Durham and Fair Finance were securities that could be offered with no requirement that Durham submit independently audited financial statements.  This loophole helped facilitate Durham’s multi-year scheme.
To enhance the office’s ongoing effort to protect Hoosier investors, intrastate offerings to be registered by qualification will now require audited financials performed by an independent CPA at the time of registration. This will provide investors with a more complete picture of the offerings so they can make better informed investment decisions.
“Over the past two years, Hoosiers have watched the Tim Durham case unfold involving over 4,000 Ohio investors and wondered if it could happen here,” said Secretary Lawson. “Now, this new law creates an added safeguard to protect Hoosiers from thieves like Durham.” 
“I want to thank author Representative Bob Heaton, co-authors Representatives Christina Hale, Dale Devon and Justin Moed, sponsor Senator Jim Smith, and cosponsors Senators Mark Stoops and Doug Eckarty,” said Secretary Lawson.
Another change for financial professionals will be new UCC filing forms. The new UCC filing forms follow international naming conventions and will go into effect on July 1. Changes to the form are minimal. Previously, the form asked for last name and first name. Last name is now listed as surname and first name is now listed as first personal name.
The eFiling system has been updated to reflect the amendments, and online service will not be interrupted.  The office will begin accepting the new forms on July 1, 2013 and will allow for a transition period until July 31, 2013.  The old UCC form will be rejected starting August 1, 2013.
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Valpo Economic Dir to Join City's Board of Works and Safety

City of valpo
The Mayor of Valparaiso today announced that the city's Economic Development Director since 2007 will now become the newest member of the city's Board of Works and Safety effective immediately. Matt Murphy will replace Chuck Williams, who announced his resignation earlier this month. Mayor Jon Costas says Murphy has a demonstrated interest in the future of city, as his efforts have been instrumental in recruiting new businesses as well as helping to retain businesses, and that his expertise will be a valuable addition to the Board of Works and Safety.
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Trial of Man Accused of Molesting a Child Ends in Hung Jury

Terry Hill
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
The trial of a 63 year old Tennessee man accused of molesting a Porter County child from 1995 through 1997 resulted in a hung jury Wednesday. The Times reports the jury could not reach a verdict after deliberating for around seven-hours. Terry Hill was facing two felony charges of child molesting, after the victim accused him of sexual abuse in 2009, back when he was between the age of 11 to 13 years old.
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Friday Rules for South Shore Riders

Region Blackhawks fans planning on taking the South Shore to Friday''s celebration in downtown Chicago...and all commuters on the South Shore... here are some do's and don'ts for Friday:
Because of the Blackhawks’ Celebration alcohol is prohibited on ALL trains.
We encourage eastbound passengers to board South Shore trains at Van Buren or Millennium Station. Museum Campus/11th St. station is not designed to handle the eastbound crowds we’re expecting.
At Van Buren Street Station South Shore passengers must board trains from TRACK 2 platform between the hours of NOON and 3:20 p.m.
We will add cars to off-peak trains and will provide an extra westbound train in Train 14’s time slot and an extra eastbound train early in the afternoon to address overcrowding. We have scheduled as much extra service as we can given our fleet size and manpower.
Passengers should expect very crowded conditions, especially on eastbound trains departing Chicago after 12:00 noon on Friday. During the Blackhawks celebration in 2010 daily ridership surged from 12,000 to 21,000 passengers. -NICTD
And, for more info visit

Fairgrounds Park Reopens

park today
Little bit of water today [Photo/Laura Waluszko]
Valparaiso Parks reports Fairgrounds Park is open again after being temporarily closed to the public Wednesday morning following very heavy rains. The park is also a detention facility for stormwater and by 8am the city locked the gates due to several feet of water in the park, including the parking areas. Today, officials say the parking lots are accessible as is the walking track, but field conditions are being assessed to determine whether sports leagues will play tonight. For a link to updates, visit
park wednesday
This was yesterday  [Photo/Valparaiso Dept of Parks and Recreation]

New Immediate Care Center in Lake Co

A new immediate care center is officially opening on the first of July in Lake County. Ribbon-cutting was held this week for the Community Hospital Outpatient Center Schererville at US 30 and Harvest Drive. The medical facility will also offer family medicine, laboratory, and outpatient diagnostic services like MRI, CT imaging and general X-ray.


Cong Visclosky Reax to DOMA Ruling

pete visclosky
First District Congressman Pete Visclosky says he believes “every single American should be able to marry the person they love", in his statement issued in response to Wednesday's two big US Supreme Court rulings in favor of same sex couples .
Read his statement here:


New Community HealthNet Opening in Merrillville

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held this week for Community HealthNet's new location in Merrillville at 61st and Broadway. The facility, which had temporarily been in the 86-hundred block of Connecticut Avenue near the Methodist Southlake campus in Merrillville, is scheduled to open next month. Community HealthNet is a nonprofit community-based primary health care organization.

Trial Date in Griffith Businesswoman Murder

In Lake County, trial was set for February 24 for an Alsip man accused of murdering a Griffith businesswoman. Charges of robbery and criminal confinement were also filed against 58-year-old Ralph Martinez. Police say the body of 76-year-old Mary Austgen of St. John was found in the parking garage of a Gary casino in March.

Police Investigate Attempted 'Cash Advance' Fraud

LaPorte PD
According to reports taken the last two days from several area banks, La Porte Police say there have been attempts by two women to get cash advances for large sums of money off allegedly stolen or fraudulent credit cards. Police say the subjects enter the bank at different times, but are believed to be working together. In one case, police report one subject told the teller she was from Texas and was here visiting her sister and wanted to purchase a vehicle, while in another instance, one of the women reportedly provided an Illinois ID card and was seen leaving in an older white car with Illinois license plates.
Police issued a release saying: "In the cases, the suspect(s) request a cash advance and inquire on what their limit is. The teller advises them they will need to check with the credit card company. In all cases, the teller was directed to speak to a "bank representative" from a phone number provided by the suspects. This number was later found not to match the one on the back of the card. The tellers become suspicious by the instructions provided by the "bank representative" to increase the credit limits and they discontinue the transaction."
La Porte Police ask anyone who has information regarding this crime, or any other criminal/ suspicious activity, to contact their department at 362-9446, or at to submit a crime tip. Police say people who report crime tips can remain anonymous.


Storms Affect 105,000

Storms Affect 105,000
Repairs continue to restore power to Region residents after a series of storms over the just past few days. As of last night, Northern Indiana Public Service Company reported over ninety-percent had electricity again out of the 105-thousand total affected customers since Monday night. NIPSCO says three separate waves of storms damaged more than eighty utility poles and other electric distribution equipment. Gary, Hammond, Munster, Valparaiso, La Porte and Michigan City had some of the hardest hit areas, and the utility company says some outages may extend through this evening or Friday .

Apparent Overheating Motor in Fatal Explosion

The La Porte County Sheriff's Office says one motor, or possibly two, overheating and igniting grain dust appears to have led to a fatal grain silo explosion at the Union Mills Co-Op in La Porte County Monday afternoon. Fire broke out in that same grain elevator Tuesday afternoon, prompting a voluntary evacuation of nearby homes. 67 year old James Swank, of Union Mills, who had worked at the facility for seven-years, lost his life in the accident Monday. Co-Alliance, L-L-P, the owner of the elevator, issued a statement earlier saying the focus for the cause was centered on grain dust ignition, with preliminary indications it took place at the top of the grain elevator.

Home Sellers Must Be Upfront

In a unanimous decision involving a house out of Crown Point, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that home sellers must be upfront about major defects or they may be paying the buyers' repair bills. The justices set aside Indiana's over century-old "buyer beware" precedent and ruled that a modern-day Indiana law requiring disclosure on elements like the roof or foundation forbids a seller from knowingly misrepresenting their condition. In the case of the Lake County house, the justices ordered a Lake County court to determine whether the sellers knew about more than 13-thousand dollars in home defects not disclosed.

Sentencing for Two Former Lake Co Officers

Sentencing is scheduled today in U-S District Judge James Moody's courtroom for two former Lake County police officers who were indicted on charges of conspiring to use their police positions to buy machine guns and laser sights later allegedly sold over the internet. Hammond Federal Court officials say Ronald Slusser is set to be sentenced at 930 this morning, followed by Joseph Kumstar at 10am. A third former officer charged in the indictment, Edward Kabella, was sentenced in January to two years in prison. Officials say all three pleaded guilty to public corruption charges.

Free Smoke Detector Giveaway Thursday in Gary

The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago has partnered with the Gary, Indiana fire department to promote fire safety for senior citizens. The team will help get smoke detectors to senior citizens who have requested them. Chief John Lesley and the Red Cross volunteers will be at the public safety building in Gary to give out smoke detectors. The fire department is grateful for the community support and will install the smoke detectors for senior residents who cannot do so on their own.
Who:                     Reporters, Editors and Feature Writers
What:                   Smoke Detector Giveaway—join members of the American Red Cross and Gary Fire Department for a free smoke detector giveaway for senior citizens.
When:                  Thursday, June 27, 2013
                                10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Where:                 Public Safety Building
                                555 Polk St.
                                Gary, IN 46402

Why:               See how the Red Cross:
·         Promotes fire safety
·         Teams with the fire department give back to the community
·         Assists senior citizens

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross....

Gary Man Sentenced to 7 yrs for Rape, 1 yr for Theft

A Gary man was sentenced to seven years in prison Wednesday for rape. The Lake County Prosecutor's Office reports Nicholas London was charged with the rape of a 15 year old girl back in October of 2011. Officials says London was also sentenced to one-year in the Lake County Jail after pleading guilty to felony attempted theft from a separate incident in April of 2012.
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NIPSCO: 90% of Customers Have Power Back

NIPSCO storm Photos
(Photos Courtesy of NIPSCO)
NIPSCO storm Photos 1
More than 400 NIPSCO field and contracted personnel continue to work around the clock to restore the remaining 12,000 electric customers system-wide who experienced power outages resulting from a series of damaging thunderstorms, carrying up to 80 MPH winds and lightening.
Since Monday evening (June 24), NIPSCO crews have restored more than 93,000 customers resulting from three separate waves of storms that damaged more than 80 utility poles and other electric distribution system equipment. Nearly 105,000 electric customers in total were impacted by storm related outages this week.
After first working to restore the system’s critical transmission and distribution circuits, field crews began addressing localized customer outage reports – many of which require extensive system repairs, such as repairing poles, lines, transformers and cross arms, before power can be safely restored.
NIPSCO expects to restore most of the remaining customer outages by late Thursday evening. However, some individual customer outages will extend to Friday afternoon (June 28). The potential for more storms this week may cause additional service outages and delay current restoration efforts.
A list of communities with the largest number of customer outages (as of 5 p.m. CT) is provided below. The Estimated Restoration Time provided reflects when NIPSCO expects the majority of the customers in this community to be restored. However, some individual customer outages may take longer than projected due to the need for extensive system repairs. 
NIPSCO understands that any service outage is an inconvenience for our customers. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this current storm restoration event. For your safety, please stay away from any downed power lines and power restoration crews working in your area.
Customers can receive regular updates on the restoration process, such as current number of customers affected, where outages are located and when power is expected to be restored, by visiting the Center, via a mobile device at or via social media with Facebook or Twitter.
Estimated Restoration Times
Estimated Restoration Times
Gary Thursday evening (10 p.m.)
Hammond Thursday evening (10 p.m.)
Munster  Thursday evening (10 p.m.)
Valparaiso  Thursday evening (10 p.m.)
LaPorte  Friday afternoon (5 p.m.)
Michigan City  Friday afternoon (5 p.m.)

Cooling Centers
As restoration efforts continue, please refer to this list of cooling centers or call your local municipal office for the latest information on the nearest centers available to you.
Our NIPSCO Mobile Customer Service Team will be on site to assist affected customers at the Gary Genesis Center starting Wednesday at 8 a.m.
Restoration Process
In any storm event, the safety of the public as well as those working on the lines is the top priority. Before restoring service, NIPSCO must locate downed power lines and make sure electricity is no longer flowing through the wires.
NIPSCO’s restoration process begins with repairing large transmission and distribution lines that supply electricity to large numbers of customers in large geographic areas – including critical customers such as hospitals and emergency response. Repairs to other lines that serve smaller groups of customers can’t be made until the larger lines feeding electricity to those areas are repaired.
Weatherhead damage
Customers with storm damage near their electric meter are encouraged to contact an electrician to repair any damage to this connection point between your electric meter and your service line to the utility pole. If the weatherhead connection is damaged, customers must have this connection fixed by a licensed electrician before NIPSCO can return the customer’s electric service. For more information, please review this company fact sheet or contact NIPSCO at 1-800-4-NIPSCO (1-800-464-7726).
Storm Debris
When crews work on damaged trees during storms, they focus on repairs that are critical to our facilities and to restoring power and do not clean up or remove branches and debris that may be left behind. Contact your local municipal officials for more information on storm debris disposal.
NIPSCO understands that any service outage is an inconvenience for our customers. We thank them for their patience and understanding during this current storm restoration event. For your safety, please stay away from any downed power lines and power restoration crews working in your area.
You can report an outage from your smart phone or other mobile device, on your computer via the or by calling NIPSCO Customer Service at 1-800-4NIPSCO (1-800-464-7726).

Libertarian Party of IN Applauds Supreme Court DOMA Ruling

(Indianapolis, Indiana)  The Libertarian Party of Indiana applauds today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down key provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
LPIN State Chairman Dan Drexler issued the following statement:
"Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is clearly an historic move toward marriage equality consistent with the long-held libertarian belief that government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships."
"We encourage Republican leaders in the Indiana Statehouse to heed this ruling and abandon their ongoing efforts to build discrimination into Indiana's own state constitution in this year's legislative session."
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Pelath on Supreme Court's DOMA Decision

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath from Michigan City issued the following statement after today’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings:
          “For many years, Republicans argued that nothing was more important than preventing marriage equality. Many Democrats, including me, argued that the prosperity of our workers was pre-eminent.
          “Today, there was vindication of Democratic priorities. At the same time, I am embarrassed for those who continue to press the case for inequality.
          “The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled. The federal Defense of Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional. Public support for marriage equality continues to grow at a time when any legal justification for inequality is withering.
          “The time has come for Indiana lawmakers to pour their energies into helping our state’s struggling middle class. There is no need to muddy up our state’s highest document with an amendment that is likely to be a blemish on Indiana’s history.
          “A number of states now have marriage equality. From them, we have learned several things. Families remain important. People still practice the Golden Rule. And folks have a lot greater concerns than who loves whom.
          “We have many problems in the state of unemployment rate that continues to hover over 8 percent, families scrambling to make ends meet, and public schools trying to do more with less.
          “We need to fight for changes that make people’s lives better, not waste our people’s vitality on more division.”
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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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