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Special Elections in the Region

2013 is a 'non-election' year for Indiana as far as public offices are concerned... but that doesn't mean Hoosiers won't be going to the ballot here in the Region and elsewhere in the state. Today (Tue May 07) a handful of Indiana school districts will hold referendums, and locally they include Munster, Metropolitan School District of Boone Township in Hebron, the Wheeler/Union Township Schools, and Knox Community Schools in Starke County. Region voters in the districts with referendums are being asked to say yes or no to a property tax increase to raise funds for the schools; the Knox ballot question specifically is construction referendum for the school district. You can hear interviews with superintendents from each of the school districts with referendums in Northwest Indiana here at our website at News Audio on Demand.  Polls are open from 6 am to 6 pm. 
May 7, 2013 Special Elections
- Barr-Reeve Community Schools (Daviess County)
- Hamilton Southeastern Schools (Hamilton County)
- Noblesville Schools (Hamilton County)
- City of Vincennes Parks & Recreation Department (Knox County)
- Munster School Referendum (Lake County)
- Metropolitan School District of Boone Township (Porter County)
- Union Township School Corporation (Porter County)
- Knox Community Schools (Starke County)
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Council Approves Lake Tax

The Lake County Council voted four-to-three Monday to approve a one-and-a-half percent local income tax. Now it goes before the Lake County Commissioners, who are expected to consider it at a special meeting this Friday [May 10th, at 8:30am.] If commissioners veto it, as two of the three have already said they plan on doing, the county council could override that, but it would take a super-majority, so at least five yes votes would be needed. Lake County is the only county in the state without a local income tax.
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Teen Dies After Being Shot While In Vehicle in Gary Saturday

Gary PD
Three teens were shot while in a vehicle in Gary Saturday, just before 8pm. Corp. Gabrielle King, of the Gary Police Department, says a 19 year old, and two 17 year old, were in a vehcile in the 19-hundred block of Clay Street when shots were fired at the vehicle, injuring all three teens and the driver. Corp. King says the 19 year old died as the result of his injuries, while the extent of the two 17 year olds who were injured is unknown at this time. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Gary Police Department.
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Train Derailment in Gary Closes Parts of 9th Ave

Gary Train Derailment
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A train derailment in Gary this morning has forced 9th Avenue, from Chase to Madison Streets to be closed at last check. Gary Police Public Information Office Corp. Gabrielle King says they were notified at approximately 9:45am, a couple of CSX freight train coal cars derailed and were upright off the tracks, just north of 11th Avenue. Authorities report no injuries, or lost load, due to the derailment.
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Horse Put Down on WB I-94 After Falling Out of Trailer

Indiana State Police logo
Westbound I-94, just east of the Portage exit was closed for a short time after a horse fell out of a moving trailer onto the interstate. Indiana State Police Lowell post reports, just after 11:30 this morning, a 31 year old Texas man was pulling a horse trailer in the left lane, when the eight-year old horse kicked the rear door of the trailer open. No vehicle hit the horse, but the fall caused it to break one of his legs, and he had to be put down at the scene.
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Porter County Activities Guide Now Available for Free

PORTER COUNTY, IN -- The official 2013 Indiana Dunes Country Activities Guide, which is a comprehensive guide to Porter County’s attractions, restaurants, hotels and more, is now available.
The free guide, produced by Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism bureau of Porter County, is being distributed to potential visitors in an effort to get them to visit and spend their dollars in the local communities. Local residents are also welcome to pick up a copy at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, located at 1215 N. State Road 49 in Porter. 
Indiana Dunes Tourism Executive Director Lorelei Weimer said the Activities Guide is a valuable tool that visitors and residents can use to find fun things to do in each community.
“The Activities Guide gives families plenty of ideas for great attractions, museums, restaurants and more to visit throughout Porter County,” Weimer said.
The guide features listings for Indiana Dunes beaches and hiking trails, theaters, and places for family fun like the new Seven Peaks Waterpark Duneland and Taltree Arboretum Railway Garden.
In addition, the guide lists places to enjoy fishing, kayaking and birding. The guide also has listings for golfing, day spas, art galleries and antique shopping. It also directs people to places for sporting fun like disc golf and indoor fun like bowling. It’s even got sections devoted to summer farmer’s markets and winter recreation.
The guide’s hotel listings and restaurant listings feature new places that people might not know have opened, like Tomato Bar Pizza Bakery in Valparaiso and Texas Roadhouse in Portage.
This year’s guide features articles about businesses like Bass Pro Shops and the Rolling Stonebaker pizza truck.
Weimer hopes area residents will use the guide to explore Porter County or to find great things to do with friends and family members from out of town. While the guide is a useful resource to local residents, it is designed to encourage potential visitors to choose Porter County as a destination and then extend their stays by letting them know all there is to do in our communities.
The 68-page guide features a cover with photos the Indiana Dunes, shopping, dining and recreation.
Weimer encourages people to call the Visitor Center at 219-926-2255 if they have any questions or if they would like to request a guide. People can also visit www.IndianaDunes.com/destination-guides to view or download any of Indiana Dunes Tourism's guides electronically. 
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The Summer Care and Share Food Drive is Underway

Now through May 31st  the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana and The Times Media Company are holding Summer Care and Share Food Drive. The purpose of the drive is to fill 1,000 “Share Boxes” for children in need. For many children the only meals they are sure to receive are the breakfast and lunch they receive through the National School Breakfast and Lunch programs. When summer rolls around these children don’t know where their next meal will come from. The Summer Care and Share Food Drive will help provide these children with nutritious food during the summer holiday.

Each “Share Box” will be filled with cereal, oatmeal, canned vegetables, canned fruits, pasta, spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, jelly, macaroni and cheese, boxed dinners, beef stew and canned tuna. Food from this list can be donated at any Strack & Van Til Food Market, Town and County store, Ultra Foods store or The Times offices. Food can also be donated online through a virtual food drive by visiting:  http://www.timescareandshare.com    A copy of the “Share Box” shopping list with the quantities needed of each item is also available on that site.

“There are more than 46,000 children in Lake and Porter Counties that are on the free and reduced lunch program. Hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation, that’s why it’s so important for us to really amp up our efforts and make sure that these kids have something to eat when they are out of school,” said Food Bank Executive Director Arleen Peterson.

The Food Bank and their member agencies also participate in the Summer Food Services Program which also targets children in need over summer break. For more information about that program please contact the Food Bank at 219-980-1777. To request a “Share box” please call the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. The Food Bank will be taking registrations for the boxes Monday, May 13th through June 3rd.
Care abd Share Food Drive
(http://www.foodbanknwi.org )
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Overnight Lane Restrictions on US 30 Near Merrillville

Indot Logo color
LAKE COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces overnight lane restrictions in both eastbound and westbound U.S. 30 between State Road 51 in Hobart and State Road 55 in Merrillville for road resurfacing work. Beginning this week, lane restrictions will be in place during overnight hours (between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.) and will continue through early August.
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 www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and follow us at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
You can find traffic restriction information at www.trafficwise.IN.gov.  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Melanoma Monday

indiana state department of health
INDIANAPOLIS—May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Monday, May 6, has been designated as Melanoma Monday to help raise awareness of melanoma and other skin cancers. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and affects more people than lung, breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.
“Current estimates indicate that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer during their lifetime,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “However, you can reduce your risk of skin cancer by taking a few steps to protect yourself from the sun. Seeking shade, especially during midday hours, wearing sunglasses and using sunscreen that has a sun protection factor of 15 or higher and protects against both UVA and UVB rays can help protect you and your loved ones.”
The two most common types, called basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, are highly curable. Melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is more serious. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), melanoma, which accounts for five percent of skin cancer cases, causes the most skin cancer related deaths, killing one American every hour.
“Unlike many other common cancers, melanoma occurs in both younger and older people,” said Tom Rich, Director of Comprehensive Cancer Control for the Great Lakes Division of ACS. “Rates continue to increase with age and are highest among those in their 80s, but melanoma is not uncommon even among those younger than 30. In fact, it is one of the more common cancers in young adults, especially young women.”
Changes in the shape, size and color of moles may indicate skin cancer. To help with early detection for melanoma and other skin cancers, State health officials suggest the following ABCDE guidelines when looking at a mole to determine if you should be concerned.
A = Asymmetry: One half of the mole (or lesion) does not match the other half.
B = Border: Border irregularity; the edges are ragged, notched or blurred.
C = Color: The pigmentation is not uniform, with variable degrees of tan, brown or black.
D = Diameter: The diameter of a mole or skin lesion is greater than six millimeters (or the size of a pencil eraser). Any sudden increase in the size of an existing mole should be checked.                                                
E = Evolution: Existing moles changing shape, size or color.
“Skin cancer may appear differently than what is described in the ABCDE rule,” said Dr. VanNess. “If you notice any changes to existing moles or new growths on the skin, make an appointment with your health care provider for an exam.”
For more information about skin cancer in Indiana, visit the Indiana Cancer Facts and Figures 2012, a comprehensive report on the burden of cancer in Indiana at http://indianacancer.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/ICC-Facts-and-Figures-2012-Melanoma_Skin-Cancer-pg-45-49.pdf.
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Those interested in impacting the burden of cancer in Indiana should consider participating in the Indiana Cancer Consortium (ICC). The ICC is a statewide network of partnerships whose mission is to reduce the cancer burden in Indiana through the development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive plan that addresses cancer across the continuum from prevention through palliation. Participation in the ICC is open to all organizations and individuals interested in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, quality of life, data collection and advocacy regarding cancer-related issues. To become a member of the ICC and find additional information about cancer prevention and control in Indiana, please visit the ICC’s website at www.indianacancer.org.
To visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website, go to www.StateHealth.in.gov....
 

Train Derailment in Gary Closes Parts of 9th Ave

A train derailment in Gary this morning reportedly forced 9th Avenue, from Chase to Madison Streets to be closed for a time. Authorities report no injuries, or lost load, due to the derailment of a couple of CSX freight train coal cars. No further information is available at this time.
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Early Voting About to End

Early voting ends at noon today (Mon May 06 2013) at the satellite location and Lake County Government Center in Crown Point for residents of the Munster School District who are voting yes or no to a proposed property tax increase to help funds the schools. Lake County Board of Elections and Registration Michelle Fajman says 14-hundred votes have already been cast. The polls are open from 6 am until 6 pm Tuesday for the referendum. You can take a look at the question online as well as a map of the polling places at the Lake County government website. Here is that link:  http://www.lakecountyin.org/portal/media-type/html/group/voters/page/default.psml/js_pane/P-13d89bae041-22ea9  You can also hear comments from Munster School Superintendent Richard Sopko talking about the referendum at News Audio on Demand here at our website.
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Pursuit Ends in Rollover

Police in Portage say what started with an officer in the process of making a traffic stop overnight turned into a pursuit that ended when the vehicle went off the expressway in Gary this morning... and police say the suspect vehicle had apparently just been stolen. A vehicle rollover occurred on the ramp from westbound 80-94 to northbound Broadway early today, police were stationed there and the surrounding area of Gary around 5 am. Indiana State Police, Gary Police, and reportedly a helicopter overhead were in the vicinity as authorities were looking for the suspect driver, and information wasn't available at this time on the status of that search. Information also was not available on the nature of the traffic stop, but police say during the pursuit, after plate information was called in, authorities went to the owners, who said they weren't aware their vehicle was missing.
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Prescribed Fire Near Gary

Fire crews from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore will be burning approximately 10 acres of land near the Paul H. Douglas Center, near Gary, Indiana this afternoon. As long as weather conditions remain good, crews will be burning the small parcel of land on the west side of North Lake Street, north of 3rd Ave. and south of Birch Ave. Fire officials say tThe burn is part of long term plan to improve animal and plant habitats in the habitats found in Miller Woods.   The prescribed fire program at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is conducted by trained and experienced National Park Service fire personnel. Smoke dispersal is a primary concern and park staff say they will try to limit smoke in the area by monitoring wind and atmospheric conditions prior to ignitions, but smoke drifting in and around park lands and roadways is possible.
 More info can be found at www.nps.gov/fire  and www.nps.gov/indu  .
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School Districts to Hold Referendums

2013 is a 'non-election' year for Indiana as far as public offices are concerned... but that doesn't mean Hoosiers won't be going to the ballot, here in the Region and elsewhere in the state. Tomorrow (Tue May 7 ) a handful of Indiana school districts will hold referendums, and locally they include Munster, Metropolitan School District of Boone Township in Hebron, the Wheeler/Union Township Schools, and Knox Community Schools in Starke County. In each case, voters are being asked to say yes or no to a property tax increase that would help fund the schools
To hear interviews about the referendum with Union Township Superintendent John Hunter, MSD Boone Township Superintendent George Letz, and Munster School Superintendent Richard Sopko visit News Audio on Demand here at our website.
May 7, 2013 Special Elections
- Barr-Reeve Community Schools (Daviess County)
- Hamilton Southeastern Schools (Hamilton County)
- Noblesville Schools (Hamilton County)
- City of Vincennes Parks & Recreation Department (Knox County)
- Munster School Referendum (Lake County)
- Metropolitan School District of Boone Township (Porter County)
- Union Township School Corporation (Porter County)
- Knox Community School (Starke County)

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Lake Tax Vote Expected

The Lake County Council is expected to consider the proposed one-and-a-half percent local income tax again this afternoon. The tax has won preliminary approval from the county council, and if approved, it next goes before the Lake County Commissioners, who have scheduled a special meeting Friday May 10th, at 8:30am. If commissioners veto it, the county council could override that, with a super-majority. Lake County is the only county in the state without a local income tax.
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Two Fatal Crashes on I-65

Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say they responded to two fatal accidents on northbound I-65 in Jasper County involving college students going home.
Troopers say the first crash happened around 2 pm Saturday just north of the Remington exit (mile marker 205), when apparently the right tire of a Ford Explorer blew out and the driver lost control, rolling over three times, and ejecting two backseat passengers not wearing seat belts;one, a 20-year-old River Forest, Illinois, man identified as John Malone, Jr., was pronounced dead at the scene, the other was airlifted with life-threatening injuries.
The second crash happened about an hour later also near Remington (mile marker 201). Troopers say a 21-year-old Valparaiso woman was slowing for the earlier crash when a 20-year-old Wheatfield woman realizing traffic was stopping, swerved, and struck the Ford Explorer the Valparaiso woman was driving, causing it to roll. Police say 51-year-old Melissa Gelinas of Valparaiso who was in the front seat of the Explorer was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene of massive blunt force trauma. Police say her daughter who was driving was hospitalized for abrasions.
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Man Dies in Crash

Lake County Sheriffs Police say an 18-year-old Hobart man died in a single-vehicle crash in Hobart early Sunday. The Lake County Coroners office says 18-year-old Christopher Velasquez was pronounced dead at the scene from blunt force trauma. A spokesperson for the Sheriffs Department says Hobart Police tried to make a traffic stop near Cleveland and Wisconsin Street at about 3:30 am, when the driver allegedly kept going before striking a tree just over a mile away at 3rd Street and Crestwood Drive in Hobart.
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Former Governor Bowen Passes Away

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is directing flags at state facilities statewide be flown at half-staff to honor former Governor Otis "Doc" Bowen, who passed away Saturday [ May 4] at the Catherine Kasper Life Center in Donaldson, Indiana, at the age of 95. The Governor's Office say flags should be flown at half-staff for seven days from his passing, through Saturday, May 11. Governor Pence also asks businesses and residents to lower their flags to half-staff to honor Governor Bowen for his service to Indiana and the nation.
Upon his return from military service in World War Two, Governor Bowen started a private medical practice in Bremen, and was first elected to public office in 1952 as Marshall County Coroner. A Republican, he served as Indiana's 44th Governor from 1973 to 1981, and was the state's first Governor since 1851 to serve two consecutive terms in office. Governor Pence says Governor Bowen advanced historic improvements to Indiana's state park and recreation system, helping to create five new state parks.
President Ronald Reagan nominated him to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services and Secretary Bowen would lead that government agency until January 20, 1989, when President Reagan left office. Bowen eventually returned to Bremen.
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Man Dies After House Fire

Authorities say an 85-year-old man died after a house fire in the 4300 block of Torrence Avenue in Hammond Saturday. Officials say the man suffered carbon monoxide and smoke inhalation and died at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Hammond fire officials say two others, a 55-year-old woman and eleven-year-old boy, were also at University of Chicago Medical Center.
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Police Activity Near Borman

Police activity in the vicinity of Broadway and 80-94 in Gary this morning, reportedly including Gary Police, Lake County Sheriffs Police, and Indiana State Police. A vehicle rollover occurred on the ramp from westbound 80-94 to northbound Broadway, police are stationed there and the surrounding area of Gary. Also reports of a helicopter in the vicinity.
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