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Hobart PD Looking for Full-Time Officers in June

Hobart PD
The Hobart Police Department today announced that they will be starting an application process for the position of full-time police officers. Eligibe candidates must be be in good physical condition, a high school graduate, and at least 21 years old, but less than 36 years of age at the time of appointment. Indiana law enforcement graduates and/or honorable military service are preferred, but not required. Those interested may pick up an application at the Hobart Police Department, 705 East 4th Street, between Monday, June 3rd and Friday, June 28th M-F 8am-4pm or Saturdays between 7:30am-2:30pm.   For question contact Captain Paul Oliver at (219) 942-1125 ext. 1048.
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NIRPC Awards Chesterton Funds to Complete Trail

The last remaining portion of the Westchester-Liberty Trail in Chesterton can now be connected. The Times reports NIRPC's Transportation Alternates Program has awarded Chesterton almost 406-thousand dollars for the project, which includes engineering, construction, and materials, and which was ranked number one on NIRPC's project propsal list for Lake and Porter Counties. According to the article, the project will connect the remaining portion of the pedestrian bike trail along County Road 11-hundred North, from 11th Street to the sidewalk near Dogwood Park, as well as expanding the sidewalk to 5th Street into a trail.
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Permanent Homes to be Provided to 125 IN Homeless Vets

Dept of Veteran Affiars
CHICAGO – Approximately 125 homeless veterans living on the streets and in shelters in Indiana will soon find a permanent place to call home.  U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced today that HUD will provide $60 million to local public housing agencies across the country to provide permanent supportive housing to homeless veterans, many of whom are living with chronic disabling conditions. Indiana will receive nearly $607,000 to assists its homeless veterans.

HUD-VASH funding to Indiana:


Indianapolis Housing Agency
Indianapolis
IN
Indianapolis VA Medical Center
50
$ 245,334
Housing Authority of the City of Marion, In
Marion
IN
Marion VA Medical Center
20
$  64,846
Indiana Housing And Community Development Authority
Indianapolis
IN
Indianapolis VA Medical Center
15
$ 80,870
Indiana Housing And Community Development Authority
Indianapolis
IN
Northern Indiana Health Care System , South Bend Community-Based Outreach Clinic
15
$ 80,870
Indiana Housing And Community Development Authority
Indianapolis
IN
Northern Indiana Health Care System , Ft. Wayne and Marion Campuses
25
$ 134,784


IN Total

125
$  606,704


Indiana has received 635 vouchers since 2008.

The supportive housing assistance announced today is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA. Since 2008, a total of 48,385 vouchers have been awarded and 42,557 formerly homeless veterans are currently in homes because of HUD-VASH. 

Donovan and Shinseki announced this additional support for homeless veterans in an address to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Annual Conference today in Washington.  Find out how much of this assistance will help homeless veterans in your area.

“Our veterans have answered the call of duty.  That’s why our nation has its own duty – to help homeless servicemen and women rejoin the very communities they have given so much to protect,” said Donovan.  “These grants make it possible to help more veterans obtain housing, bringing us steps closer to our goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015.”

“These HUD-VASH vouchers are a critical resource toaccomplish our shared goal of ending Veterans’ homelessness in 2015,” Shinseki said. “With the continued support of President Obama, Congress, and our community partners, we will end homelessness among Veterans and provide these brave men and women with the earned care and benefits that help them live productive, meaningful lives.”

“With programs like HUD-VASH, we will end veteran homelessness in Indiana by 2015 -- one veteran at a time,” said Antonio R. Riley, HUD’s Midwest Regional Administrator.

HUD-VASH is a critical part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to end Veteran and long-term chronic homelessness by 2015.  Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness serves as a roadmap for how the federal government will work with state and local communities to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women. HUD’s annual “point in time” estimate of the number of homeless persons and families for 2012 found that veteran homelessness fell by 7.2 percent (or 4,876 people) since January 2011 and by 17.2 percent since January 2009.  On a single night in January 2012, 62,619 veterans were homeless.

The grants announced today are part of $75 million appropriated this year to support the housing needs of homeless veterans.  Local public housing authorities provide rental assistance to homeless veterans while nearby VA Medical Centers (VAMC) offer supportive services and case management.  This is the first round of the 2013 HUD-VASH funding.  HUD expects to announce more HUD-VASH funding this summer.

VAMCs work closely with homeless veterans then refer them to public housing agencies for these vouchers, based upon a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of the homelessness and the need for longer term more intensive support to obtain and maintain permanent housing.  The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff provides.

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.  VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico.
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EPA Oks Brownfield Cleanups

20130529 110824 WinCE
Congressman Pete Visclosky speaks with RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna while Hammond Mayor, Tom McDermott and EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman discuss the EPA's Brownfield Program Grant to be awarded to the RDA. [Photo/Karl Berner, Region News Team]
Federal, state and Region officials gathered in Hammond this morning to announce a new partnership between the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency. RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna and EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman were joined by the mayors of Gary, Hammond and East Chicago, and Congressman Pete Visclosky as the two entities announced an 800-thousand dollar EPA Brownfield program grant which will help the RDA and the three north Lake County cities and NIRPC with brownfield cleanup. This grant will go toward the establishment of a one-million dollar revolving loan fund for Gary, Hammond and East Chicago brownfield remediation. Projects targeted include former US Steel site Buffington Harbor, the Gary downtown city center, the 6200 block of Columbia in Hammond, and the Union Tank car site in East Chicago. This grant is the third partnership between the RDA and the EPA. Previously the RDA was awarded one-million dollars for the dredging of Marquette Park lagoon, and a 350-thousand dollar grant for Miller Beach stormwater mitigation.  Both of those EPA grants resulted from the RDA’s $28 million Marquette Park restoration project.
Specifics:
-Buffington Harbor. This former U.S. Steel site includes 200 acres along the Lake Michigan shoreline contaminated with heavy metals, asbestos, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These contaminants can cause kidney and liver damage, respiratory problems and cancer, among other ailments.
-The Gary Downtown City Center. This includes 15 city blocks in central Gary that once housed paint shops, auto service centers, dry cleaners and printing shops. The area has concentrations of lead, heavy metals, hexavalent, chromium, solvents, PAHs and asbestos that can cause nerve and liver damage, respiratory issues, anemia and bone marrow problems and mesothelioma.
-Union Tank Car. This 50-acre site in East Chicago was once used to manufacturer railroad tank cars and is contaminated with heavy metals, lead, solvents, hexavalent, chromium and PAHs.
-The 6200 Block of Columbia. This consists of 15 acres of vacant commercial space in southeast Hammond that is contaminated with chlorinated-VOCs that can cause headaches, respiratory problems, nerve and liver damage, and affect fetal development.
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Lake Co 911 Announcement Expected

A report in the Times says Lake County police and fire chiefs are expected to announce their choice Thursday May 30 12] for the county's new E-911 director – a recommendation that'll still have to be approved by county officials. Whoever that is faces the task of consolidating the 911 services of seventeen city, town and county law enforcement agencies by the end of next year –as mandated by state law – or face losing millions in public safety dollars from the state. The former director resigned in February.
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RDA, EPA Announcement in Lake Co

rda
The mayors of Gary, Hammond and East Chicago, Congressman Pete Visclosky, Northwest Indiana RDA President/CEO Bill Hanna and EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman are scheduled to gather for an announcement this morning about a new partnership between the RDA and EPA they say will benefit the Region. A news conference is being held at Lost Marsh Golf Course in Hammond.  The Region News Team's  Karl Berner is covering the announcement, and we'll bring you details today.
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Gas Prices Down

With Summer approaching gas prices have actually gone down in many parts of the country, including Northwest Indiana.   The Energy Department says nationwide regular unleaded is down 3 cents in the past week to 3-65 a gallon. The biggest drop was in the Midwest down 9 cents. The most expensive gas is in California and Minnesota where drivers are paying 4-02 per gallon.  According to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report, a gallon of regular unleaded in the Gary metropolitan area is averaging 3-dollars-87-cents, over ten-cents less than a week ago but still the highest in the state.
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Poles and Lines Down on US 421

Traffic-Alert
The Indiana Department of Transportation reports that in LaPorte County, east of Kouts, U.S. 421 between SR 8 and U.S. 30 is closed for poles and lines down. Avoid the area if you can. NIPSCO is on the scene.

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Region 'Spellebrities' Compete

Indiana is represented by a dozen 'spellebrities' among the 281 regional spelling champs competing this week at the Scripps National Spelling Bee ... including 13-year-old Sean Ives of Crown Point, a seventh-grader at Trinity Lutheran School and sponsored by Kankakee Valley REMC... and 14-year-old Ted Tobias of Wheatfield, an eighth-grader at Kankakee Valley Middle School, sponsored by the Journal and Courier out of Lafayette. Preliminaries got underway this morning. For the first time in the 86-year history of the event, vocabulary is being formally incorporated into the competition.  Ives was also on the national stage last week, representing Indiana among the more than fifty students who competed in the National Geographic Bee in Washington DC.
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5200 Lose Power in Storms

Northern Indiana Public Service Company says storms in the Region resulted in damage to power lines and outages. Crews worked throughout the night to restore power to 52-hundred customers. The utility says the majority of damage was in Lake and LaPorte Counties, specifically East Chicago, Merrillville and LaPorte. Some scattered outages remain in northwest Indiana, including Hobart and Michigan City this morning. NIPSCO urges everyone to stay away from downed lines and report any outages from your mobile device or at 1-800-4NIPSCO.
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Knox Man Dies in Crash

Officials say a 57-year-old Knox man died after a piece of metal flew through his windshield and he crashed near Plymouth Tuesday afternoon. Authorities say he was on State Road 17 when some metal came off a trailer being pulled by a pickup truck going the other direction. The Marshall County Coroners office says the victim, Manis Stacy, Jr., then went off the roadway and struck a tree. Stacy was pronounced dead at the scene.
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Region Events for Coastal Awareness

LMCoastalAwarenessMonth
June gives Hoosiers and their neighbors the chance to celebrate the Lake Michigan coast and increase awareness of its importance to Indiana.
Coastal Awareness Month will kick off June 1 with events in Michigan City and end June 29 with a Clean Water Celebration in Gary. The full lineup of Coastal Awareness Month activities is at cam.dnr.IN.gov  
Lake Michigan is a source of recreation, drinking water, industrial resources and many other uses. The 45 miles of shoreline in Indiana is the most diverse in the Great Lakes Region. This month provides a chance to learn and appreciate it more. The Lake Michigan Coastal Program and its partners orchestrate Coastal Awareness Month each year.
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Chamber Seeks Nominations

ind chamber
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is taking nominations for the 2013 Community of the Year Award. The winning community will be announced in August or September. Valparaiso won in 2009, La Porte in 2005. Indianapolis was named Community of the Year last year. The Chamber says the purpose is to give special recognition for significant contributions to local business climate and overall image during the past year. Entries must be received no later than June 17 to be eligible for consideration.  The last five Community of the Year recipients were Indianapolis, Kokomo, Terre Haute, Valparaiso and Noblesville.
The criteria and application form are available online. Submit entries to: Nick Ostergaard, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, 115 W. Washington St., Suite 850 South, Indianapolis, IN 46204 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The honor will be presented at the Indiana Chamber's 24th Annual Awards Dinner on November 12 in downtown Indianapolis.
Link:  http://www.indianachamber.com/index.php/chamber-seeking-2013-community-of-the-year-nominations 
Past Community of the Year recipients:
2012: Indianapolis
2011: Kokomo
2010: Terre Haute
2009: Valparaiso
2008: Noblesville
2007: Anderson
2006: Evansville
2005: LaPorte
2004: Muncie
2003: Warsaw
2002: Marion
2001: Greater Lafayette
2000: Jeffersonville
1999: Fort Wayne
1998: Rochester
1997: Batesville
1996: Elkhart
1995: Indianapolis
1994: Kendallville
1993: St. Joseph County
1992: Columbus
1991: Muncie
1990: Bluffton
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Ribbon Cutting Today for Truck Stop in Gary Off I-80/94

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday to unveil a state-of-the-art TravelCenters of America Ptero Stopping Center in Gary. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson was joined by TravelCenters senior management, State Representative Vernon Smith and a host of others at the site, located at I-80/94, exit 9. Gary Economic Development Director J. Forest Hayes says the facility hired 164 Gary residents, through a series of job fairs held back in April. TravelCenters Preseident and C-E-O Tom O'Brien says groundbreaking for the facility began in November, and although the weather this winter and spring set construction back about two to three weeks, 23 acres of the 28-point-six acre site have been developed, including more than 46-thousand square-feet of building space, and it was still able to open on time.
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Michigan St Closed Tomorrow in Valpo to Remove Fire Debris

Traffic-Advisory
Motorists in Valparaiso using Michigan Street could run into some issues starting tomorrow morning. The City reports Michigan Street, from Lincolnway south to the alley, will be closed starting at 7am through 5pm, for the removal of fire debris leftover from the two-story brick building fire in the downtown, at Lincolnway and Michigan,in early March.
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Volunteers Needed for Portage Twp Summerfest in June

portage twp summerfest
The Portage Township Parks and Recreation Department and the Portage Township Summerfest Committee are looking for volunteers to help at this year’s 2nd Annual Portage Township Summerfest. Portage Township Trustee Brendan Clancy says the event in June at Haven Hollow Park will be even bigger this year, running four days instead of two this Father's Day weekend.
The event started last year as a way to generate funds for the township parks. You can hear more of our Region Newsmakers interview with Portage Township Trustee Brendan Clancy online at regionnewsteam.com.
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Home Invasion in Merrillville Sunday Under Investigation

Merrillville Police are asking for the public's help regarding a home invasion Sunday night. The Times reports five masked men entered the home in the 74-hundred block of Bigger Street about 9pm, entering through a locked screen door. According to the article, two suspects held three individuals in a bathroom while three of the suspects left and used the victim's credit and debt cards to withdraw 200 dollars. The suspects then returned, and reportedly took jewelry, and other personal items, including the victims phones, which required them to drive to the police station to file a report.
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61 Weapons Turned in Saturday at Gary's Gun Buyback

gary gun buyback
(Photo Courtesy of the City of Gary)
A total of 61 weapons, 42 handguns and 19 rifles, were turned in on Saturday in Gary, at their second gun buyback event this year. Chelsea Whittington, Director of Communications for the City of Gary, says this was the fourth such gun buyback since Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson's administration started in 2012, and the hope is to have one or two more by the end of this year. Whittington called the event a success, not only because guns were taken off the streets, but also because it gave the city an opportunity to partner with local churches to raise awareness about the efforts of the Gary Police Department. She says the event also lets potential criminals know the City of Gary is partnering with the eyes and ears of the community, to work together, to make the city safer.
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Allegiant to End Service at Gary/Chicago Airport on 8/10

Allegiant airline say it will end service at the Gary/Chicago International Airport on August 10th. The Times reports Allegiant is severing their ties because they were not seeing a strong demand in the market and they have a responsibility to use their resources where they'll be most successful. According to the article, airport officials say the number of passengers on flights consistently exceeded the airline's minimum requirements.
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Lake Co Coroner's Office Investigating Death of Gary Man

The Lake County Coroner's Office reports the manner of death is pending for a 54 year old Gary man. The Coroner's Office says just before 12:30am Sunday they were dispatched to Methodist Lake Hospital where the deceased, whose name has not yet been released, was identified. Authorities report no visible trauma on the man, but stated the death did occur at the deceased man's residence, in the 62-hundred block of Hemlock Street, in Gary. No further information is available at this time.
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