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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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: www.in.gov/dcs/files/HoosiersUnifyFlyer.pdf
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.  www.in.gov/dcs.
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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 http://epa.gov/radon/nram...
 

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

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
___________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                               April 15, 2013
 
 
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
 
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

Traffic-Advisory
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

Breaking-News
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

Traffic-Alert
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

Breaking-News
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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Public Meeting Tuesday for Valpo PD CALEA Accreditation

Valpo PD
The Valparaiso Police Department is scheduled for an on-site assessment as part of a program to achieve accreditation by verifying it meets professional standards.
Administered by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), the program requires agencies to comply with state-of-the-art standards in four basic areas: policy and procedures, administration, operation, and support services.
This accreditation assessment will be held April 14th through April 17, 2013.
As part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments to the assessors at a public information session on April 16th , 2013 at 6:00 p.m. held in the conference room at the Valparaiso Police Department located at 355 Washington St. or by calling (219) 476-7955 on April 16th, 2013 between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.
Telephone comments will be limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards. A copy of the standards is available at the Valparaiso Police Department by contacting Sergeant Michael McLinn.
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Community Hospital CEO Appointed by Pence to NRDA

Indianapolis, IN - Governor Mike Pence today announced the appointment of Dr. Donald Fesko to the Northwest Regional Development Authority in Lake County. The purpose of the seven member board is to fund and develop economic projects in northwestern Indiana.
"Dr. Donald Fesko demonstrates true leadership and the ability to make sound decisions," said Governor Pence. "He exemplifies good character and integrity that make him a good fit on the board."  
As the Chief Executive Officer of Community Hospital, Dr. Fesko oversees the day-to-day operations of the busiest hospital in Lake County. His tenure includes a list of successful accomplishments that includes being presented with the Robert S. Hudgens Memorial Award as the 2012 Young Healthcare Executive of the Year.
Prior to joining Community Hospital, Dr. Fesko was a practicing Optometrist with Munster Eye Care Associates. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Indiana University, a B.S. in Economics from Purdue University and a Doctor of Optometry from Indiana University.
Dr. Fesko is a native of Munster. He lives in Dyer with his wife Katie and their three children.
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Raynold P. Gore is US Marshals Fugitive of the Week

rynold Gore
(Photo Courtesy of the US Marshals Service)
A self-admitted gang member wanted by the Lake County Sheriff's Department for felony murder and robbery is this week's U-S Marshals Service, Great Lake Fugitive Task Force, “Fugitive of the Week”. Authorities report 23 year old Raynold P. Gore was last known to reside in Chicago, but is known to frequent Gary and the region. Raynold Gore is described as a black male, five-foot eight, weighing 119-pounds, with black hair, and brown eyes. He has a tear drop tattoo under his left eye, and a tattoo on his forearm and chest, and scars on his left arm.
Anyone with information on Raynold P. Gore whereabouts may contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411). All tipsters will remain anonymous.
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Lugar to be Knighted

Richard Lugar
Former longtime Indiana US Senator Richard Lugar will join the handful of Americans to be knighted by the British. Lugar serves as a professor at Indiana University. He will receive the rank of honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire during a ceremony at the British Embassy in Washington tomorrow// Tuesday.
From The Lugar Center: Her Majesty The Queen of England has bestowed upon retired U.S. Sen. Richard G. Lugar the rank of honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE).
The presentation will be made to Lugar at the British Embassy in Washington, DC on Tuesday, April 16. Sir Peter Westmacott, British Ambassador to the United States will preside. Only royal subjects carry the title of "sir." Still Lugar joins a very select set of Americans to be knighted including Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush; as well as Bill Gates, Rev. Billy Graham, Alan Greenspan, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Bob Hope and Henry Kissinger.
            Lugar ended his 36-year senate career in January as the Senate's most senior Republican member and its senior foreign policy statesman. His career accomplishments have included creation of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program that has eliminated over 7,600 nuclear warheads in the former Soviet Union and continues to secure and destroy weapons of mass destruction around the world.
            Lugar was also the Senate leader on European security affairs and led U.S. efforts to support new members into the NATO alliance. In private life he continues working with British and European allies on energy security, weapons nonproliferation and global food security. To advance solutions in these areas he has founded The Lugar Center (www.TheLugarCenter.org).
            Lugar has been busy since leaving the Senate. He heads the German Marshall Fund's Richard G. Lugar Institute for Diplomacy and Congress. He heads the Lugar Academy at the University of Indianapolis which includes a Washington, DC internship program.
            Lugar is a distinguished scholar and professor of practice at the Indiana University School of Global and International Studies and co-chairs the IU International Advisory Committee with former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton. Lugar is also a visiting distinguished professor of public policy at the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute. And he is a Counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
            Lugar, the recipient of 46 honorary degrees, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, England and remains active on the board of Trustees of the Pembroke College Foundation. His studies there were Lugar's first experiences outside the United States and he often credits this commencing his interest and eventual leadership in international relations.
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