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Hobart Woman Predicts Her $50,000 Lottery Win

(Photo Courtesy of the Hoosier Lottery)
A Hobart woman told her family last Friday that she was going to the gas station to win 50-thousand dollars, and after purchasing a hangful of Wild Cherry Crossword Tripler Scratch-offs, won 50-thousand dollars. Hoosier Lottery officials Kelly Domikaitis purchased the scratch-off lottery tickets, at the Speedway gas station, in the 47-hundred block of 61st Avenue, in Hobart. She says she called her husband and started crying, saying she was joking about winning, and never imagined in a million years it would happen. Domikaitis says she'll use her winnings to help herself transition carrers, as she goes to school while working full-time, and plans to take her family out for a steak dinner.
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Charges Filed Against Gary Man for Injuring a Pregnant Woman

Samuel Odisho
(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office)
Charges were filed Monday against a 36 year old Gary man accused of injuring a pregnant woman in front of her four-year old child. The Lake County Sheriff's Office reports a detective with the department's Children and Family Division investigated an incident recently where the victim says the suspect, Samuel Odisho pushed her down multiple times, knowing she was three-months pregnant, and also allegedly grabbed her while he was going up the stairs, causing her to slide on a rug, leaving burns to her legs, back and elbows, which were visible to officers. Authorities say Odisho also took the victim's and her child's belongings, and fled the area. Anyone with information on his whereabouts contact the Lake County Sheriff's Office.
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INDOT Transportation Open House in LaPorte Thursday

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LAPORTE, Ind. – Want to learn more about transportation plans for your area? The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is hosting an open house for Northwest Indiana from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. this Thursday, May 9th, at its LaPorte District Office, 315 E. Boyd Blvd., LaPorte, IN. INDOT officials will provide an overview of the planning and public involvement information available during the open house.
As part of a public comment period that ends May 24, INDOT has published a Draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) that lists regionally significant transportation projects or projects using federal funds during Fiscal Years 2014 through 2017. Draft STIP information will be available for review during the open houses and the public is invited to submit written comments. The Draft STIP and an electronic comment form are also available day or night at:
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you have a disability for which the Indiana Department of Transportation would need to provide accommodations pertaining to the accessibility to program documents and participation at the public meeting venue, please contact Rickie Clark, INDOT Office of Public Involvement at (317) 232-6601 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Also, persons of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) requiring assistance pertaining to accessing project documents and participating at the public meeting venue, may contact INDOT’s Office of Public Involvement.
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Former Valpo Mayor Bryce Billings Has Passed Away

A former attorney, judge, and Mayor of Valparaiso has passed away. Moeller Funeral Home says visitation for Bryce Billings will take place this Sunday, from 1 to 4pm, at the funeral home, with a funeral service scheduled for Monday morning, at 10:30, at Heritage Lutheran Church in Valparaiso. Billings served as Mayor of Valparaiso from 1968 through 1972.
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Remembering and Honoring Fallen Police Officers

Law enforcement agencies in the region are remembering their fallen brethern this month. This morning, the Lowell Post of the Indiana State Police held their annual memorial service to pay homage to their employees who have given their lives in the service of the citizens of Indiana. On May 17th, the Lake County Sheriff's Department will hold their memorial service, at the department's Memorial Gardens, located directly east of the Sheriff's Department building. The service is scheduled to begin at 10am, and will last approximately 20 minutes.
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Pence Declares This Week Building Safety Week

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Governor Mike Pence has declared the week of May 5-11 as Building Safety Week, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) is reminding Hoosiers how building inspections help with Hoosier safety.
The Fire and Building Safety Division of IDHS is responsible for inspecting hundreds of public structures a year, including schools, child care centers, nursing homes, hospitals, restaurants and hotels.
“Building safety and fire prevention officials, architects, engineers and all those in the construction industry, work year-round to ensure the places we live, learn, work, worship and play are safe,” said Dean Illingworth of IDHS’s Division of Fire and Building Safety. “Countless lives have been saved due to the implementation of building and fire safety codes by state and local code officials.”
Building codes address all aspects of construction, from structural to fire prevention, plumbing and mechanical systems, and energy efficiency. To ensure buildings are safe requires the active participation of code officials, fire inspectors, architects, builders, engineers, contractors and others in the construction industry, as well as property owners.
Hoosiers can make the places they live safer by taking simple steps. A few are:
•        Install smoke alarms outside sleeping areas on each level of your home.
•        Test your smoke alarm each month and change the batteries at least once a year.
•        Develop a family action plan for a disaster, and include an escape plan from every room in the house in case of a fire.
•        Use surge protective devices to protect electronic appliances.
•        Routinely check the condition of electrical appliances and wiring for damage.
•        To avoid damage and injuries during an earthquake, hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches, or anywhere people sit, and store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china, in low, closed cabinets with latches.
Building Safety Week is part of a larger National Building Safety Month.  This year’s theme is Code Officials Keep You Safe. Each week of Building Safety Month spotlights a specific area of building safety: Fire Safety and Awareness, May 6‐12; Disaster Safety and Mitigation, May 13‐19; Backyard and Pool Safety, May 20‐26; and Energy and Green Building, May 27‐31.
You can view the Governor’s proclamation at
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Statehouse Memorial for Governor Bowen

Governor's Portrait, Otis R. Bowen, painted 1978; Artist: Everett Raymond Kinstler
Governor Mike Pence is encouraging Hoosiers from around the state to pay tribute to former Governor Otis R. Bowen by signing condolence books at a Statehouse memorial Wednesday and Thursday. Visitors will also have the opportunity to view former Governor Bowen's portrait and bust and learn more about his career and extensive background in public service.
"A dynamic leader, Governor Otis R. Bowen made innumerable contributions to the state in the areas of taxes, healthcare and government administration," said Governor Pence. "I invite Hoosiers from all corners of Indiana to visit his public memorial to pay tribute to this tremendous Hoosier and public servant."
Governor Pence will lay a wreath at the memorial tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. EDT. The memorial will be open to the public during Statehouse hours, 8:00 a.m. EDT to 5:00 p.m. EDT, on Wednesday, May 8, and Thursday, May 9. Doors open to the Statehouse at 7:30 a.m. EDT.   Bowen served as Indiana's Governor January 9, 1973-January 13, 1981.
 Former Governor Bowen's wake will take place in Bremen at St. Paul's Lutheran Church from 11:00 to 3:00 on Wednesday, May 8, and from 4:00 to 8:00 on Thursday, May 9.


Dunewood Campground Fee Goes Up

The fee for camping at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore's Dunewood Campground goes up to $18 this Thursday (May 9). The increase of three-dollars a night was approved by the National Park Service to cover the cost of adding municipal water to the campground. A new waterline was installed last year and went into service earlier this spring.
National Park officials say the new water system will improve the quality and reliability of the water supply compared to the previous well system and increases the capacity of hydrants to provide fire protection.
Before approving the increase, the National Park Service solicited public comment and received no negative comments. Surveys of comparable campgrounds in Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan were also conducted and found that prices ranged from $19.00 - $29.50.


Wet Fields Delay Planting

flooded-field WinCE
Water on an Indiana farm field following frequent rains in April. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)
In a year's time, Hoosier farmers have gone from one weather extreme to another.... last year, a drought... this year, too wet. As farmers look to have at the latest, corn in the ground by about the middle of June, Purdue Extension Agronomist Bob Nielsen says that is actuallly plenty of time to get a lot accomplished in time for the growing season. "On a good week, we can plant somewhere around thirty-percent of the state's crop in a single week, " Nielsen said. "Over four weeks time we certainly hope that we can get everything in the ground during that time."
But right now, Hoosiers farmers are way behind what would be a more typical planting schedule.   Nielsen, Purdue Extension corn specialist, says only one-percent of Indiana's corn crop was planted by the week ending April 28, compared to 67-percent last year... and the latest report out this week stills shows only eight-percent planted, compared to last year, when over eighty-percent of the crop had been planted.
"Over the past few years, in the even-numbered years we've had early planting, and in the odd-numbered years we've had late planting," he noted. This year, it's been so slow that it is among the five slowest years for spring planting in the past 20, Nielsen said.  Purdue officials say Indiana had the seventh-wettest April on record, with a statewide average of 6.4 inches of precipitation - nearly 3 inches above normal.
You can hear our interview with Bob Nielsen here at our website at News Audio on Demand.

EC Waterfront Meeting

The City of East Chicago is holding their second Waterfront Revitalization Initiative Public Meeting this evening at the East Chicago Public Library (Tue May 07 5:30pm -8pm). Residents are asked to take a few minutes to complete the 'Waterfront Survey' available at the city website's home page. The revitalization effort in East Chicago was initiated with the help of a seven million dollar grant from the Regional Development Authority.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 5:30 pm at East Chicago Public Library
5:30 pm to 6:00 pm—Open Viewing
6:00 pm to 6:15 pm—Opening Remarks
6:15 pm to 7:15 pm—Lakef ront Revitalization Initiative Presentation
7:15 pm to 8:00 pm—Public Input
East Chicago website's home pae:

Indiana Among Best for Business

bestworststates WinCE
[Graphic provided]
Indiana was ranked as the best place to do business in the Midwest and the fifth best nationwide in a survey of more than five-hundred CEO's by Chief Executive magazine. The magazine's ninth annual "Best & Worst States" survey asks chief executives to evaluate states based on business tax policies, regulation, workforce quality and livability factors. Indiana has moved up eleven places on the main list since 2010. Illinois ranked near the bottom, at 48th.   Among the other neighboring states, Kentucky ranked 29th, Ohio ranked 22nd, and Michigan ranked 44th.    Chief Executive magazine is a bi-monthly publication for top management executives published by the Chief Executive Group LLC. Founded in 1977, the Chief Executive Group LLC is headquartered in Greenwich, Conn. The "Best & Worst States," survey results are available at

Governor to Sign School Safety Bill

There's a signing ceremony this afternoon for Indiana's new school safety bill. Indiana Governor Mike Pence will put his signature to Senate Enrolled Act One, legislation providing ten-million dollars in matching grants to help school corporations hire security officers. [1 pm Eastern]
Controversy had surrounded the measure, then lawmakers removed a plan to require all public and charter schools to have at least one person armed with a gun, to protect against school shootings. If they didn't have an officer, for instance, a school employee would have been armed to serve as a 'school protection officer'. The revised bill instead creates a summer committee to examine the idea.
On Monday, Governor Pence signed a measure that strengthens penalties for B and C felonies, computer crimes, sex crimes and hazing... and another meant to provide a 'clean slate' on certain nonviolent offenses to give people with a criminal past a “second chance,” the Governor says, and a stronger chance of finding work.

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)

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.

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 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:    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
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Overnight Lane Restrictions on US 30 Near Merrillville

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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 and follow us at
You can find traffic restriction information at  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
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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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