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President, Governor Direct Flags to Half-Staff

Indiana Governor Pence is directing flags at state facilities in all counties of Indiana to be flown at half-staff today. President Obama signed a proclamation this morning honoring the victims of yesterday's tragedy in Boston and ordering flags nationwide to be flown at half-staff. Per the President's directive, flags are to remain at half-staff until sunset on Saturday, April 20.  Governor Pence also asks businesses and residents across the state to lower their flags to half-staff to honor the victims and their families.
Here is the President's proclamation:
As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on April 15, 2013, in Boston, Massachusetts, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, April 20, 2013. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

Victim Suffered Smoke Inhalation

Fire officials in Portage say a 43-year-old man was found dead inside a house in the 56-hundred block of Buttercup Monday afternoon after crews responded to the report of an odor of smoke coming from a home. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says an autopsy conducted this morning determined the victim suffered smoke inhalation.  Officials say the man's mother had stopped to check on her son,who was wheelchair bound, and when she didn't get an answer at the door and smelled smoke, called 911. Crews arrived within six minutes to find smoke coming from exterior vents. Harris says the man. identified as Nokomis Musenja, was located in a hallway leading to a garage. The fire department says crews had the fire extinguished within 30 minutes. The Portage Fire Department, Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office, and Porter County Coroners Office are investigating the cause.

Two Thwart Scanner Theft

In La Porte, police say a citizen helped foil a theft in progress at a Radio Shack, and police continue to investigate.  LaPorte Police say they responded to the business at 5:15 Saturday evening, after two people entered the store, and one asked to see a police scanner and how it worked.  Police say one of the suspects tried to walk out with it, and as an employee was trying to prevent the theft a citizen walking up to the store saw what was happening and grabbed the scanner. Police say both suspects fled through an alley.
Additional information released by La Porte Police:
Suspect 1 is described as a white male, with a faded tattoo on his left hand that resembled the letter "F."  Suspect 2 is described as a white male, wearing a jacket with fur around the hood.  If you have information regarding this crime, or any other criminal/ suspicious activity, please contact the La Porte Police Department at 362-9446, or at to submit a crime tip. You can remain anonymous while providing important information to help make your community safer. Please be as specific as you can about the activity you are reporting.

Attempted Purse Snatching in Valpo

Police in Valparaiso responded to the parking lot the K-Mart on Calumet Avenue around 5-o'clock Monday evening for the report of an attempted purse snatching. Police say the female victim was walking toward the front door of the store when a young male subject walked toward her talking on a cell phone, then grabbed her purse, but was unable to pull it away, then ran eastbound across the parking lot toward Calumet Avenue. Anyone with information is asked to call Valparaiso Police.
Additional info released by police::
The subject was described as a young black male 14yrs-16yrs old, approximate 5'7"/140 lbs, wearing a gray hooded sweat shirt and dark colored long shorts. The male's hair was described as curly/or dread locks.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Valparaiso Police Department at (219) 462-2135.

Jail Escape in St. Joseph County

Rice Franklin WinCE
[Photo Provided by St. Joseph County Police]
Police in St. Joseph County say a jail inmate escaped around 4:30 this [Tuesday] morning, Eastern time, after getting access to a bread delivery truck that had keys in the ignition. Officials say 27-year-old Franklin Rice of South Bend then drove the truck from a dock area at the jail and through a gate. Police have located the bread truck, and also located his jail-issued shirt and hat, but the inmate has not yet been found. He was booked into jail in October on a burglary charge, and was due to be sentenced next week.
Here is more information from St. Joseph County Police this morning:
At approximately 0430 hrs. an inmate housed at the St. Joseph County Jail, 401 W. Sample St. South Bend, IN 46601, was able to escape custody.
The inmate, identified as Franklin L. Rice, 27, of South Bend, was able to gain access to a bread delivery truck which had the keys in the ignition. Rice then drove the truck from the rear dock area located on the north side of the jail. Rice proceeded driving the delivery truck through the secure gate on the northeast side of the secure jail property. Rice drove the truck onto Lafayette Blvd. and stopped leaving the vehicle on foot, between Sample Street and Bronson Street. It appears Rice got into another vehicle and fled the scene. With the assistance of our midnight patrol officers, K-9 unit, jail staff, and the South Bend Police Department a perimeter was set up immediately around the surrounding area. Rice wasn't located, however, his jail issued hat and shirt were found on Bronson Street.
Rice was booked into the St. Joseph County Jail on October 11, 2012 on a burglary charge.  Rice was due to be sentenced on April 24, 2013 (unknown at this time if he pled guilty or was found guilty).  Rice became a jail worker in November of 2012 and worked in the kitchen area of the jail since that time.  
Rice is described as a male white 5'11" 165lbs with brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to please call their local police or the St. Joseph County Police immediately at (574) 235-9611.

Toll Road Restaurant Robbed

Indiana State Police at the Toll Road continue to investigate an armed robbery at the Hardee's on the north side of the Indiana Toll Road in Portage. Indiana State Police say the restaurant was held-up by three individuals in the early morning hours Saturday. The suspect vehicle reportedly fled the scene at the local exit and onto Clem Road in Portage.

Body Found Outside Hebron

Officials are trying to determine the identity of a man whose body was discovered in a rural area of northwest Indiana late Monday afternoon. The body was found in a drainage ditch about twenty-feet wide near County Road 500 West between County Roads 900 and 1000 South in Boone Township south of Hebron. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says it's possible the person could have died several months ago.  Harris says the severely-decomposed body was observed floating in about three-feet of water, and a forensic autopsy is being scheduled for today or tomorrow to determine cause of death.  Harris also says Conservation Officers were also on scene to bring the body to shore.  Due to the level of decomposition, authorities say they are unable to tell the man's race or age.


Fire Sparked by Video Game

In East Chicago, firefighters are considering the possibility that a fire in the 48-hundred block of Walsh Avenue Monday afternoon appears to have been caused by an Xbox gaming console that was left charging on a mattress. The fire was reportedly contained to the mattress and was out within minutes.

Man Found Dead in Portage Fire

Fire officials in Portage say a 43-year-old man was found dead inside a house in the 56-hundred block of Buttercup Monday afternoon after crews responded to the report of an odor of smoke coming from a home. Officials say the mother of one of the residents had stopped to check on her son,who was disabled and wheelchair bound.  When the mother did not receive an answer at the door and noted a smell of smoke, authorities say, she called 911, and crews arrived within six minutes to find smoke coming from exterior vents. No other family members were home at the time of the fire, officials say.  The fire department says crews had the fire extinguished within 30 minutes. The Portage Fire Department, Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office, and Porter County Coroners Office are investigating.

NWI Runners in Boston Marathon

Hundreds of state and federal investigators are in Boston trying to find out who could have built two bombs that exploded Monday at the Boston Marathon.  About twenty Region residents were participating in the race, and in total nearly three-hundred people from Indiana were registered to compete. Monday evening, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security sent out a notice saying Hoosiers having difficulty contacting family in Boston can call a designated number- 617-635-4500.   Residents are urged to not call the number unless there is difficulty contacting family.
Officials in Indianapolis said they were closely watching what was happening in Boston and plan to review security procedures for the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, just weeks away, in light of the deadly bombings. The 13.1 mile race on May 4, just a few weeks before the Indianapolis 500,  is said to attract about 35,000 participants each year.

Candle-Light Ceremonies Tuesday for Child Abuse Awareness

INDIANAPOLIS (April 12, 2013) – At 7 p.m. throughout Indiana on April 16, communities across the state will gather together simultaneously to hold candle-light ceremonies marking the need to prevent child abuse in Indiana.
The ceremonies, representing all 92 Indiana counties, will be held in 83 different locations, possibly making it one of the nation’s largest single-day demonstrations to raise awareness about preventing child abuse.
DCS is working with child-advocacy groups across the state, and local officials in every community, to unite families, neighbors, professionals and policy makers, in the concerted effort to identify and address the issues that lead to abuse or neglect.
“This is about unity and solidarity in making children a priority,” said new DCS Director Mary Beth Bonaventura.
By the time children come into the DCS system, they’re already victims of abuse or neglect, said Bonaventura, who spent 30 years on the bench as a judge hearing cases of family crisis. “We need all eyes and ears in the community reporting child abuse and neglect, but equally as important, we need everyone -- from families, to extended families, to communities -- working together to prevent child abuse.”  
Melanie Flory, DCS director in Knox County, says she sees the root-causes everyday of child abuse as she works with families. “Parenting is hard enough,” said Flory. “But when families are also struggling with basic survival needs, like food, shelter and keeping the lights on, it can create stress and hopelessness that escalates into child abuse.”
Children’s Bureau, Inc. understands the realities that can lead to family crises. “Child abuse prevention is a cause that should mobilize our communities to blend our resources, talents and efforts in order to protect vulnerable children,” said Tina Cloer, president and chief executive officer. “There is tremendous work being done to protect our children in the State of Indiana, but there is always opportunity for each of us to do more.”
The Children’s Bureau partners with DCS throughout the year in working to prevent child abuse, and strengthen families.
Governor Mike Pence has proclaimed April Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month in Indiana. The governor will kick off the Marion County ceremony on the south steps of the Indiana State House.
For a list of ceremony locations, visit:
About Indiana Department of Child Services:
DCS is committed to protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect. The agency’s primary goal is to safely keep these children at home with their families by offering appropriate support services. If safety continues to be a concern, children are placed with relatives or in foster care. DCS also oversees adoptions from the foster care system and manages the Child Support Bureau. The Kids First Trust Fund, supported by the sale of ‘Kids First’ specialty automobile license plates, subsidizes programs designed to prevent child abuse and neglect.  Indiana Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline:  800.800.5556.
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Free Radon Test Kits Available at Porter County Health Dept

A nationwide campaign continues to educate Americans about the dangers of radon exposure and to encourage them to take action to protect their homes and families. Administrator Keith Letta, of the Porter County Health Department says radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless gas, and exposure to elevated levels is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Letta says older homes with basements that are not air and water tight are most susceptible to having high radon levels
The Porter County Health Department's Portage and Valparaiso Offices are currently offering free radon test kits. For more information, visit

Inmates Charged after Incident at Jail this Month

Several inmates have been charged after threatening to riot and resisting guards earlier this month. Published reports say the incident occurred on April 7th, after five men were reportedly upset power was cut to Pod C-7 after an alleged fight ensued and a decision to move an inmate after said fight. The five are charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
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Obama's Statement on the Boston Explosions

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                               April 15, 2013
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
6:11 P.M. EDT
     THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Earlier today, I was briefed by my homeland security team on the events in Boston. We’re continuing to monitor and respond to the situation as it unfolds.  And I’ve directed the full resources of the federal government to help state and local authorities protect our people, increase security around the United States as necessary, and investigate what happened.
The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight.  And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.
We don’t yet have all the answers.  But we do know that multiple people have been wounded, some gravely, in explosions at the Boston Marathon.
I’ve spoken to FBI Director Mueller and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano, and they’re mobilizing the appropriate resources to investigate and to respond. 
I’ve updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats -- we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens.
I’ve also spoken with Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, and made it clear that they have every single federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families.  And above all, I made clear to them that all Americans stand with the people of Boston.
Boston police, firefighters, and first responders as well as the National Guard responded heroically, and continue to do so as we speak.  It’s a reminder that so many Americans serve and sacrifice on our behalf every single day, without regard to their own safety, in dangerous and difficult circumstances.  And we salute all those who assisted in responding so quickly and professionally to this tragedy.
We still do not know who did this or why.  And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.  But make no mistake -- we will get to the bottom of this.  And we will find out who did this; we'll find out why they did this.  Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.
Today is a holiday in Massachusetts -- Patriots’ Day.  It’s a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the  earliest days of our nation.  And it’s a day that draws the world to Boston’s streets in a spirit of friendly competition.  Boston is a tough and resilient town.  So are its people.  I'm supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city.  And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.
You should anticipate that as we get more information, our teams will provide you briefings.  We're still in the investigation stage at this point.  But I just want to reiterate we will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.
Thank you very much.
                        END                6:14 P.M. EDT
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Crah in Hobart Cleared, Traffic Light Issue on US 30 in Valpi

A crash in Hobart has been cleared according to tipsters. A crash was reported late this afternoon at 37th Avenue and Ridge Road. No further information is available at this time. Meanwhile the traffic light is flashing red again, in all directions at US-30, in front of the Wal-Mart in Valparaiso. Please use caution when traveling.
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How Hoosiers Can Contact Family in Boston

Hoosiers having difficulty contacting family in Boston can call designated number-
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security received information from a Massachusetts emergency management agency with the following information.
Hoosiers who are having trouble contacting family in Boston can call the following number to check on them: 617-635-4500.
Please DO NOT call the number unless there is difficulty contacting family.
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21 Year Old Gary Man Charged with Child Molesting

A Gary man was in police custody at last check, charged with molesting a child over the weekend while watching a movie. The Times reports Merrillville Police have arrested 21 year old Kevin Byrd, after an alleged incident Saturday, at an apartment in the 57-hundred block of Grant Street.
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River Forest Vs Lake Station HSC Game Postponed to Tues

Today’s High School Challenge game between River Forest and Lake Station has been postponed due to inclement weather. The game is now reschedule for Tuesday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m.
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Crash at 37th Ave and Ridge Road in Hobart

Tipsters are reporting a crash in Hobart, at 37th Avenue and Ridge Rd. Rescue crews are reportedly on scene Motorists are being asked to avoid the area. No further information is available at this time.
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Obama to Speak on Boston Marathon Explosion

The President is scheduled to speak at 5:11pm this evening after two people were killed and over 20 people were injured after two explosions near the finish line at the Boston Marathon this afternoon. Authorities says the explosions occurred hours after the winners crossed the finish line.
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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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