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LaPorte PD Seek Info into Copper Theft and Link Park Vandalism

LaPorte PD
Police in LaPorte are seeking the public's help regarding two separate incidents this week, one regarding theft, the other vandalism. Police report between the hours of 3:30pm Wednesday and 8am Thursday, four rolls of copper wire were stolen off a NIPSCO truck at the facility in the 15-hundred block of State Road 2 West. Meanwhile, police were informed that around 3:30pm, a witness observed a silver car drive up with two teens, and one of them, described as 5'10”, with curly hair, exited the passenger side of the vehicle, ran up to a sign at Link Park and sprayed graffiti on it with black spray paint. Any one with information regarding these crimes is asked to contact LaPorte Police.
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Stray Bullet Hits Home, Misses Woman and Two Children

shot thru window
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A woman and two small children reportedly narrowly missed being struck by a stray bullet Thursday evening in the 300 block of Pepper Creek Drive in Porter County's Union Township. According to an article in the Times, authorities believe the bullet came from a couple who were target shooting at watermelon without a backstop 18-hundred feet away. No arrests were made, but police did confiscate the handguns used in the incident, and forwarded charges of criminal recklessness against the couple to prosecutors for consideration.
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Event in Valpo to Support the Wounded Warrior Project

Help support the Wounded Warrior Project with a special event this weekend at Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso.  According to the Duneland Chapter of Harley Owners Group or "HOG," San Diego resident, and armed services veteran, Brian Bieber is traveling across the country on a restored, WWII era WLA 45 Solo Harley-Davidson Military motorcycle, at his own expense, to collect money to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Retired Command Sgt.Major of the United States Army, William "Chip" Ostenberg says over the course of the contract, 90,000 WL Solo bikes were manufactured with 60,000 going to U.S. Forces and another 30,000 to our allies during World War II.  The "A" in the model number designates a bike destined to the Army.  Models were also distributed to the Navy, with the only difference in that they were painted Navy Grey, according to Ostenberg.
 
Beiber's Facebook Page says he has raised almost 13-thousand dollars toward his 45-thousand dollar goal.  The motorcyclist says he hopes to convince 45-hundred people to donate ten dollars each, because he said that even a little will go a long way to help disabled men and women who have proudly served their country.

The "WLA Charity Ride" is scheduled to arrive at the American Legion Post in Valparaiso at 9 a.m. Sunday and from there will be escorted to the Harley-Davidson Dealership located at 1151 Morthland Dr. (off US-30).

Hot dogs and pop will be available both on Saturday and Sunday with all proceeds going to the Wounder Warrior Project.  To follow Beiber's charity ride progress visit his Facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/WLAAcrossUSA
WLA Charity Ride
(photo from the WLA Charity Ride Facebook page)
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Missing S Carolina Woman with Schizophrenia Found Safe

Sommerville
(Photo Courtesy of the Cook Co Sheriff's Dept)
A missing South Carolina woman diagnosed with schizophrenia who fled her Glenview-based sister's home on May 9th, after being told she eventually would need to return to South Carolina, has been located in good health. The Cook County Sheriff's Office reported late Thursday that 68 year old Marcella Somerville was located around 4pm Thursday, near a bus terminal at Higgins and Milwaukee Avenues, after following various leads. The Sheriff's Office reports Somerville has since been reunited with two of her sisters and is receiving medication for her condition.
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Gary 311 Phone Line Now Running for Non-Emergency Issues

City of Gary
The 311 phone line for Gary citizens to report non-emergency issues is now up running. City officials in Gary report the line is for those residents who want to report issues such as potholes, fallen trees, abandoned homes, and other non-emergency matters by calling (219) 881-1311. Citizens can also download the 311 app at no cost or report directly on the website at http://www.gary.in.us/publicworks/citizen-311-responder.asp.
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Death of Retired MC School Teacher Ruled a Homicide

Henry-Whitten
(Photo Courtesy of the Michigan City PD)

Police report the death of a 66 year old retired Michigan City school teacher has been ruled a homicide after an autopsy was conducted. Michigan City Police report the body of Henry Whitten was discovered Thursday during a welfare check at his apartment in the 500 block of East 8th Street, and the death remains under investigation. La Porte County Coroner John Sullivan says cause of death was due to a sub-dural hemorrhage as the result of blunt force trauma.

Authorities say if anyone has any knowledge or can provide any details regarding this incident to contact Michigan City Police Detective Cpl. Greg Jesse (219) 874-3221 Ext. 318. 
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Remains Found in May in MC that of Missing Woman

Candi-Brown
(Photo Courtesy of the Michigan City PD)
A body discovered May 3rd, in the area of County Line Road and Chandler Road, has been identified today by authorities as that of missing person Candi Brown. Michigan City Police say Brown was reported missing as of August 7th, 2012, by her husband David Morris, and was last seen August 25th, 2012. An investigation continues and anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Michigan City Police Cpl. Jason Holaway at (219) 874-3221 Ext #346 or the Crime Tip Hotline at (219) 873-1488.
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Police K-9 Demonstrations at Horizon Bank Today

The Valparaiso Police Department and Horizon Bank are partnering together today for K-9 demonstrations with Officer Joe Hall and his K-9 partner, Femmy.
Officer Hall and K-9 Femmy will be at Horizon Bank located at 902 Lincolnway from Noon until 3:30 p.m. meeting community members, displaying his K-9 police car and conducting demonstrations of how K-9's search for drugs.  horizon bank will provide refreshments during the event.
The Valparaiso Police Department and Horizon Bank encourage everyone to attend the demonstrations and meet Officer hall and his K-9, Femmy.  He will also be passing out items to children that attend the demonstrations.
Officers Joe Hall and Femmy
Valparaiso Police Officer Joe Hall and his K-9 partner "Femmy"
Officer Hall shows Femmy  
Valparaiso Police Officer Joe Hall and his K-9 partner "Femmy" in the lobby at Horizon Bank
Femmy
Valparaiso Police K-9 Officer Femmy
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MC Man Accepts Plea Deal for Murder Charge

A 21 year old Michigan City man has accepted a plea agreement regarding the shooting death of a 16 year old last fall. The Times reports Jamar Pasha will plead guilty to murder, and in exchange, felony robbery and felony criminal gang activity charges will be dropped, if the court accepts the plea. Pasha would receive a 45 year sentence for the death of Isiah Wright, who was found dead in September, near Eastport School. Two other defendants still face charges and each have trials scheduled for next month.
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Timeline Extended for Learning Center

On Thursday, Ivy Tech Community College issued a news release saying the timeline for construction on a new learning center in South Lake County has been extended as they seek state approval. The timeline for the building called for construction to begin in August 2013 and completion of the facility by August 2014, but no information was available at this time on how that is being affected other than they have slowed the process down.
The project, a collaboration between the Tri-Creek School Corporation and Ivy Tech, would have. Ivy Tech occupy half the facility to provide vocational and general education courses to high school and adult students. The two have been working on the project for a year to increase dual college credits and career and technical course opportunities for students in South Lake County.
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This week, Ivy Tech trustees agreed to increase tuition by more than eight-percent, which is above the maximum two-percent increase recommended by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. The decision adds five-dollars to the per-credit-hour rate each semester, for four semesters over the next two years, starting this fall, as the school tries to address a 68- million-dollar statewide budget deficit. The community college is also reportedly looking at closing about one-fourth of its 72 locations in the state.
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Today,  Ivy Tech Community College announced it will freeze tuition for all Hoosier veterans eligible for the GI Bill, members of the Indiana National Guard, Hoosier veterans and Indiana members of the federal military reserve, as well as Indiana state government employees.
Ivy Tech will keep tuition at the 2013 rate of $111.15 per credit hour for these eligible groups for the next two academic years.  Ivy Tech first announced a tuition freeze for these eligible groups in 2011 when it did not increase tuition for 2012 and 2013.
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Accident Blocking NB 65

Traffic-Alert
7:34am: This just in - accident blocking ALL LANES of NB I-65 just north of the 80/94 exchange. 
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County Considering New Courthouse

North County Complex 01
A published report today says officials are looking into the possibility of building a new courthouse in downtown Portage, and selling the current North County Government Complex to North Shore Health Centers. The complex on Willowcreek just south of US 6 is about forty-years old. Porter Superior Court Judge Julia Jent tells the Times the proposal would provide more room for the two courts that are in that building.
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/new-county-courthouse-eyed-for-portage/article_fd9997ab-c038-5344-bd77-efe7da363e39.html
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Former Teacher Acquitted

A jury in Lake County has found a former teacher and coach at Morton High School in Hammond not guilty in a case accusing him of child seduction allegedly involving a 17-year-old student. 27-year-old Benjamin Chinn was acquitted Thursday following a four-day trial.
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IN to Implement 3% Contracting Goal for Veteran-Owned Businesses

govpence usethisphoto
Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence today announced the next step in helping veterans do more business with the state, encouraging them to register their Indiana small businesses as veteran-owned. Beginning July 1, the state will implement a 3 percent state contracting goal for veteran-owned businesses.
“Expanding business opportunities for the men and women who have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedom is right for them and right for the state,” said Governor Pence. “It will help our veterans find success, improve our state’s workforce and increase private sector employment in Indiana.”
The Governor first outlined the state’s contracting goal for veteran-owned businesses last summer, and established the 3 percent target when he signed Executive Order 13-04 on his first day in office.
In April, Governor Pence signed Senate Enrolled Act 564, which codified the executive order  requiring the Department of Administration (DOA) to procure at least 3 percent of state contracts with veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs). The law also requires the DOA to adopt rules, develop policies and set forth guidelines regarding contracting opportunities for VOSBs.
Veteran-owned businesses that are not registered with DOA should go to  http://www.in.gov/idoa/2464.htm and complete the instructions to become registered vendors. Although the law does not take effect until July 1, veteran-owned businesses should have their status in place for any new contract bidding opportunities that become available at that time.
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Cruise Night Parking Restrictions, Rd Closures and Detours

cruise night
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
The following parking restrictions, street closures and detours will be in effect on La Porte's Annual Cruise Night, Saturday, June 8th.
– There will be no parking allowed on Lincolnway from the hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The police department will have signs posted indicating this.
– The following street closures will be in effect from 5:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and detour signage will be in place:
- Lincolnway from Adams Street to I Street;
- J Street from First Street to Sixth Street;
- K Street from First Street to Ind. 2;
- Pine Lake Avenue overpass from Kroger Plaza to Lincolnway;
- the cruise route east turnaround of Adams Street from Lincolnway to State Street; State Street from Adams to Linwood; and Linwood from State Street to Lincolnway.
- Indiana Avenue will also be closed to semi-truck traffic and detoured at Boyd Boulevard.
Please be alert for traffic congestion and pedestrian traffic around the cruise route area.
The La Porte Police Department wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable evening!
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Hammond Man Gets 10 yrs for Battery and Neglect of a Dependent

A Hammond man was sentenced today to 10 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections for battery and neglect of a dependent. The Lake County Prosecutor's Office reports Stacy Striblin received four-years on the battery charge and ten-years for the neglect of a dependent charge, and that the sentences will run concurrently. Striblin was charged in January of 2012 for striking a woman and also injuring a three-month old child who was being held by the woman.
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Deceased Person Found in Michigan City During Welfare Check

michigan city police
The Michigan City Police Department is seeking the assistance of the public after a deceased person was discovered during a welfare check. Police say officers were dispatched to the 500 block of East 8th, just before 6:30 this morning, and at last check, the identification of the deceased is being withheld until next of kin are located. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cpl. Greg Jesse at (219) 874-3221 ext 318.
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Two People Found Injured by Train Tracks in Lowell

Lake Co. Sherrif
An investigation continues regarding two individuals found with what appeared to be severe injuries, lying near the railroad tracks west of Parish Avenue in unincorporated Lowell. The Lake County Sheriff's Office reports a Norfolk and Southern Railroad employee reported the incident at 9am this morning. One individual was unconscious and the other was conscious, but incoherent, and both were transported to St. Anthony's Hospital in Crown Point for treatment. Authorities say at this time it is unknown how the individuals got there, or how long they had been there prior to being discovered, and what the circumstances are surrounding the incident.
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Teir Two Illiana Corridor Public Meetings Announced

Two public open houses have been scheduled for later this month regarding the second tier of the proposed Illiana Corridor. Officials say, based on previous feedback, I-DOT and INDOT will be presenting refinements to the preferred corridor, interchange types and locations, local road connectivity, overpass and underpass locations, environmental protection and opportunities. The Indiana public meeting is scheduled for June 17th, from 5 to 8pm, at Lowell Middle School, while the Illinois public meeting will take place during those same hours the next day at Peotone High School. A continuous power point presentation will take place throughout both public meetings, and a question and answer forum will be held at 6pm each day.
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Three Separate Shooting Incidents in Gary Overnight

Gary PD
Gary Police are investigating three separate shooting incidents overnight and into this morning. Corp. Gabrielle King says 17 year old Antwon Davis Jr. was walking east on 47th Avenue at Broadway, when an unknown vehicle pulled up and the occupants opened fire striking Davis in the leg. Anyone with information or who may have been area at the time of the shooting is encouraged to contact Detective James Bond, at (219) 881-47-51.
Meanwhile at 11:30 Wednesday night, Corp. King says 54 year old Edward Pointer reported that he was shot at 6th and Washington Street, but police do not have much to go on regarding this incident because he refused to give them any details.
Finally, just before 5am this morning, officers were dispatched to a call of shots fired at 25th and Clark Road. Corp. Kings when officers arrived in the area they were stopped by two hysterical females who claimed to have been shot at by two men in an orange S-U-V.   Corp. King says officers were able to locate the vehicle in question, and recovered two handguns from the vehicle. Both the driver, 23 year old Darrius Wilkins, and his passenger, 25 year old Emmitt Smith, were charged with criminal recklessness.
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LAURA WALUSZKO
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