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ISTEP + Testing Troubles Has Lawmakers Wanting Answers

Lawmakers would like questions answered regarding the repeated troubles experienced in late April, early May, with the ISTEP + standardized test. While an exact date has yet to be set, the Legislative Council today agreed to call the test vendor, CTB/McGraw-Hill, to come before the General Assembly, and explain why the glitches occurred.
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Beware Tornado Scams

Indiana State Police are warning Hoosiers about scam artists who might try to take advantage of your generosity in the Oklahoma tornado tragedy. Citizens are cautioned to be skeptical of those going from door-to-door or making individual phone calls claiming to be collecting for tornado relief. If you are contacted by someone asking for donations, ask for credentials, what organization they represent, and their address. If you're approached and feel someone is trying to scam you police say try to get as much information as possible such as a name and description of the person and vehicle. Police say the best way to contribute to the relief efforts is to donate money and other needed articles through known legitimate organizations such as the American Red Cross or local churches.

Pence Pushes for Federal Shield Law

Gov Mike Pence
Today Governor Mike Pence sent a letter to leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, pushing for legislators to bring his proposed federal shield law up for a vote.  When Pence served as a US Representative from Indiana, he led multiple efforts to pass the Free Flow of Information Act to let journalists shield confidential sources from disclosure except in certain situations, such as when national security is threatened. Though there is no federal shield law, states have them, and Indiana's is considered one of the broader ones in the country. The Attorney General recently came under fire from both Democrats and Republicans for the department's seizure of reporters phone records, despite the Attorney General's claim that a very serious leak of classified information is involved.

Semi Hits House

In Newton County, sheriffs police are investigating an accident in which a semi ran into a house off of State Road 10 in Lake Village Wednesday. Authorities say just prior to the accident the driver apparently experienced health problems, started feeling light-headed and began to pull over. The semi left the roadway, struck a utility pole, then clipped some trees and the corner of a house, before coming to rest against a garage belonging to a neighbor. There were no injuries reported and no one was inside the home at the time, though police say one of the residents was mowing the lawn in a different area of the property. A gas leak at the residence caused a brief evacuation of the area. Newton County Ambulance and Lake Township Fire Department also responded.

Avoid Sedley Road

Porter County Sheriff David Lain is asking motorists to avoid Sedley Road (County Road 475 West) near County Road 400 North in Union Township as crews continue to clear the scene of a three-vehicle crash that happened around 7-o'clock this morning.  Motorists are advised to avoid Sedley between US 30 and State Road 130. There were injuries, but the extent of those injuries is not known at this time.

Child Found in Pool Dies

In northern Indiana, Indiana Conservation officers say a young boy was pronounced dead after being found face down in a swimming pool in Columbia City. Authorities say the child was discovered by a relative who lives at the residence. Preliminary results from an autopsy Wednesday show the two-and-a-half-year-old child died from drowning. Just before discovering the victim in the water, the relative noticed the boy was not in the house and the back door leading to the pool area was open. This person officers say then walked out and noticed the victim in the pool. The incident is still under investigation.

Skyway Crash Fatal

Authorities say a crash early this morning on the outbound Chicago Skyway was fatal. It happened just after 5 am, near 84th Street.  The eastbound Skyway is closed from the Dan Ryan to the Skyway Plaza.

Former Library Dir Working on Plea Deal

Published reports say former East Chicago Public Library Director Manuel Montalvo is negotiating with federal attorneys on a plea deal. He was charged last fall with filing false income tax returns for two separate tax years. Today's Times reports the trial date has been moved to August.

Road Work Lifted for Holiday

indot memorial day
The Indiana Department of Transportation says all possible road work restrictions will be lifted beginning around noon on Friday, through early Tuesday morning, to allow drivers a safer and more efficient holiday travel weekend over the Memorial Day period.
Wherever possible, road restrictions will be removed. But some closures and restrictions will remain on larger projects that cannot be safely reopened to traffic for the weekend. Here are restrictions around the Region that will remain in place:
Lake County
- SR 152 (Indianapolis Blvd), Hammond - Nine Span Bridge closed over the IHB Rail Yard, for bridge replacement
- U.S. 12 (5th Ave), Gary – Lane restrictions in place between 3 miles west of I-65 and 1 mile east of I-65, for road reconstruction
LaPorte County
- U.S. 6, Kingsford Heights (just south of LaPorte) – U.S. 6 Bridge closed 2 miles east of the western U.S. 6 junction with U.S. 35 (just north of Meadowbrook Blvd.), for bridge replacement
Newton County
- SR 55, southwest of Rensselaer – SR 55 Bridge closed between SR 16 and SR 114, for bridge replacement
Porter County
- I-94, Porter County (near Chesterton) – Lane restrictions in both directions on bridge over Beam Street, just east of U.S. 20 exit, for bridge deck replacement
- I-94, Porter County (near Portage) - Lane restrictions in both directions on bridge 1 mile east of Toll Road ramp, for bridge deck replacement
St. Joseph County
- SR 23, South Bend – Road closed between the Five Points Intersection (Eddy St.) and Twyckenham Dr., for water main construction
- U.S. 20 Bypass, South Bend – Lane restrictions in both directions on the Bypass between the U.S. 20 exit and the Indiana Toll Road exit, for road resurfacing
- SR 933, Mishawaka – SR 933 (Lincolnway) Bridge over Baugo Creek closed between County Line Road (Ash) and Capital Avenue, for bridge replacement
INDOT says stay informed throughout the holiday weekend by liking the INDOT Northwest Facebook page or follow them on Twitter: @INDOTNorthwest

Gary Mayor Recognizes National EMS Week

EMS Week Group Photo 2013
(Photo Courtesy of Gary Mayor's Office)
The Mayor of Gary on Wednesday assembled a host of Gary EMT and Fire Department staff at city hall recognizing EMS Week in the City of Gary. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says, “over the last two-years, the EMS Department has experienced some challenges based on some difficult decisions that had to be made, and never during the time of transition did their focus shift from serving the citizens of Gary. I applaud them for their commitment to this city and I wouldn't want to be in any other place in the time of an emergency.”
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61 Chicago Schools Approved to be Closed

On Wednesday, 61 Chicago schools were approved to be closed in what AFT President Randi Weingarten called the largest mass school closing in America's history. In a released statement, Weingarten called the decision political, and not in the best interests of children. In addition, he says these mass closings will destabilize neighborhoods and raises safety concerns for children in a city where there is already too much violence. The Chicago Board of Education reports the closings were due to under-enrollment and under-utilization, and as a result will produce savings and allow children to go to better quality schools.
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Shoulder Tonight on US 30 Between Colorado and Mississippi

A traffic reminder for those traveling on US 30 tonight, as road crews are scheduled to work on the eastbound inside shoulder and the westbound outside shoulder, between Colorado and Mississippi Streets, just east of the I-65 interchange. Work is scheduled to begin between around 8pm tonight until about 7am tomorrow morning. Work is scheduled again for tomorrow night but after that crews will be taking the Memorial Day weekend off.
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Visclosky to Honor NW IN Vets this Memorial Day Weekend

US First District Congressman Pete Visclosky today announced that he will be attending a number of events this Memorial Day weekend in Northwest Indiana to honor the sacrifices of American's fallen heroes and veterans. On Sunday, the Congressman will deliver brief remarks at the Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville. On Monday, Visclosky will speak at memorials in Griffith, Hammond, and in Leory.
Sunday, May 26, 2013:
1:00-1:45 PM: Calumet Cemetery Memorial Day Program
Congressman Visclosky will deliver brief remarks at a Memorial Day program featuring music played by the Merrillville High School Band.
            Calumet Park Cemetery
            2305 West 73rd Street
            Merrillville, IN
Monday, May 27, 2013:
10:00 AM-10:45 AM: Town of Griffith War Memorial Event
Congressman Visclosky will be a guest speaker at an event honoring America’s fallen heroes and veterans in Griffith. 
            Griffith War Memorial
Broad and Oak Streets
            Griffith, IN
11:30 AM-12:30 PM: Hammond Mohawks Memorial Day Program
Congressman Visclosky will speak before an event to commemorate American war heroes in Hammond. 
            St. Casimir 
4340 Johnson Avenue
            Hammond, IN
2:30 PM-3:15 AM: Lake County Memorial Day Program
Congressman Visclosky will speak before a gathering sponsored by Lake County Parks at the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Leroy.
            Stoney Run County Park
142nd Avenue & Union Street
            Leroy, IN
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Hammond PD Doing Enforcement this Memorial Day Weekend

Hammond PD
Hammond Police are reminding the public about the dangers of drinking and driving after a couple of alcohol-related crashes this month, one of which was fatal. Lt. Patrick Vicari says 20 year old Tyler Hill died on May 10th, the day after losing control of his vehicle, due to massive internal injuries, after losing control of his vehicle and spun into the eastbound lane where he was struck by a van, whose driver was charged with driving while intoxicated. Another incident on May 18th, at 165th Street and Madison Avenue , resulted in a Hammond woman suffering non-life threatening but debilitating spinal injuries, after her vehicle was struck by another vehicle that failed to yield the right-of-way. Lt. Vicari says in this case, the driver, John Atchley, fled the scene, but was later located and arrested, and that was also a factor in the crash. Lt. Vicari says officers will be out doing enforcement this Memorial Day weekend, and urges residents that if must drink, please do not drive.
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Coats to Bernanke: Is the Fed Being an Enabler?

WASHINGTON, DC – In a Joint Economic Committee (JEC) hearing on the national economic outlook, Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today questioned Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, on whether the Fed’s monetary policy is allowing Congress to delay action on a credible, long-term fiscal policy.
In the hearing, Coats suggested that Congress and the administration need to summon the political will to address our nation’s long-term debt problem, rather than continuing to dependon the Fed’s unprecedented monetary policy, which keeps interest rates artificially low.
“I am starting to hear that the Fed is buying us time so therefore we don’t need to take action right now,” said Coats in the hearing. “Is the Fed being an enabler for an addiction that Congress can’t seem to overcome?”
Click here to watch Coats’ questioning in the JEC hearing.
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Man Charged in Attack on Officer at Planned Parenthood

A truck driver accused of assaulting an off-duty Merrillville police officer working as a security guard Monday afternoon has had charges filed against him today in Lake Criminal Court. 43 year old Craig Strand, of Portland, Oregon, was shot by the officer, for allegedly grabbing the officer's weapon, after an altercation between the two occurred due to the officer issuing parking tickets to Strand for illegally parking the semi in the parking lot of Planned Parenthood. Strand is charged with disarming a law enforcement officer, battery resulting in bodily injury, and resisting law enforcement.
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Rollover Crash on IN Toll Road Causes Traffic Back Ups

No one was injured after a semi rollover accident in the eastbound lane of the Indiana Toll Road this morning. Indiana State Police at the Toll Road say the incident occurred about 10:45 am, and was cleared at 2:16 this afternoon. The rollover, which blocked both lanes, took place between the Portage Toll Plaza and State Road 49 and resulted in traffic being backed up from mile marker 25 to mile marker 31.
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Valpo Man Accused with Rape of Minor

Matthew Moore
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A Valparaiso man is charged several felonies for allegedly raping an underage girl. The Times reports 31 year old Matthew Moore is accused of providing the girl alcohol, and that the incident reportedly occurred on November 21st or 22nd, when the girl was between the age of 14 and 16. A hearing is schedule for tomorrow afternoon in Porter Superior Court.
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Drill at Westville Correctional

Drill at Westville Correctional
Westville firefighters assist a mock boiler explosion victim during the annual disaster drill at Westville Correctional Facility. [Photo provided]
Emergency responders from Westville and La Porte County and the Indiana State Police were at the Westville Correctional Facility for the prison's annual disaster drill this week. Public Information Officer for the center, John Schrader, says the drill featured a simulated explosion of one of the boilers in the powerhouse.  Schrader also says one of the main reasons for running these drills is to make sure responders know how to get in and out of the facility. You can hear more of our interview with John Schrader at News Audio on Demand here are our website.
Drill at Westville Correctional
Westville firefighters assist a mock boiler explosion victim during the annual disaster drill at Westville Correctional Facility. [Photo provided]...

Region Home Sales Heat Up

Region home sales are heating up. The Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors says nearly 770 homes were sold in April across Lake, Porter, La Porte, Newton and Jasper Counties – a 26-percent compared to the same month a year ago. April also marked the 22nd straight month that home sales have gone up in northwest Indiana, according to a report from the association. The median selling price is now up to 130-thousand dollars, a point-three percent increase over April 2012.

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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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