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Gary PD Asks Those Walking to School to Do So in Numbers

Gary police are asking kids who walk to school, to try and do so in a group if possible, after an incident Wednesday morning. Gary Police Public Information Corporal Gabrielle King says a 14 year old was grabbed from behind while walking southbound on Washington Street to school, at 8:43am. Corporal King says the suspect, a black male, took the girl in an abandoned building in the 41-hundred block of Washington, fondled her, and left the scene. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Gary Police Department.
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Hammond PD Seek Public's Help in Armed Robbery

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Hammond Police are asking for the public's help regarding an armed robbery that occurred at the Super Gas, in the 75-hundred block of Columbia Avenue, around 2am, on March 31st. Authorities say the suspect a male, described as being in his late teens to early twenties, approximately five-foot-nine inches tall, weighing around 140 pounds, wearing a dark colored jacket, red hooded sweatshirt, dark colored pants, gloves, and black shoes with a white mask. Police says the weapon used in the robbery was described as a black automatic handgun.
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(Photos Courtesy of the Hammond PD)
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Power Restored Along US 30 in Valpo

Tipsters report power has been restored to the area along US 30 in Valparaiso. Power reportedly went out sometime after 1:30 this afternoon, affecting over 11-hundred customers for about a half-hour or so.
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Over 11 Hundred without Power Along US 30 in Valpo

Over a 11-hundred customers are without power in Valparaiso at last check. NIPSCO's Outage Map reports crews have been assigned, with power estimated to be restored by 5pm this afternoon. Tipster are reporting no electricity from County Road North 250 West to Horseprairie, along U-S 30. Power reportedly went out sometime after 1:30 this afternoon.
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Hammond Road Closures Due to Storm

We got word that emergency sirens were going off in Lansing this morning, reportedly someone spotted what they thought was rotation in the clouds... in nearby Hammond heavy rains have shut down some roads. This morning Hammond Police reported the following closures:
-Northcote [north-cott] Ave bridge from Hammond to Munster closed
-Columbia Ave bridge from Hammond to Munster closed
- Sheffield Ave, from Calumet to 141st Street
- 129th and New York Ave
-136th and Sheffield to Illinois
Also, INDOT reported Cline Avenue is closed between Riley Road and Calumet Avenue (East Chicago)
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Flood Exercise Friday in Gary Canceled Due to Flooding

A flood fighting exercise that was scheduled for tomorrow morning, near Indiana University Northwest, in Gary, has been canceled due to flooding. The drill would have been the first of its kind in Gary, with Harrison Avenue to have been closed using sandbags, in light of the floods back in September of 2008, that left nearly the entire main campus parking lot along 33rd Avenue under water, along with significant portions of the campus grounds.
Just about a month ago, there was a Hammond/Highland flood prep drill that had Kennedy Avenue shut down near the Borman for a few hours overnight. The exercise used concrete blocks and sandbags to build a 'wall' in just a couple hours on Kennedy Avenue as if flood waters were rising and was held in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers to make sure region responders, including public works and safety officials, are ready to act quickly in the event of a major flood.
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Indiana Flu Deaths Increase to 70

Two flu-related deaths have been reported this week by the Indiana State Department of Health, bringing the current total of flu-related deaths this season in the state to seventy. Five deaths occurred in individuals younger than 18 years of age. Five deaths occurred in Lake County, though no other information was released. The department does not report the number of deaths in a county until that number reaches five. Sixty-four of the cases involved individuals with underlying medical conditions. Flu season generally runs from October through May. State Health Commissioner Dr. William VanNess says everyone should still be diligent with hand washing.
Additional tips from the Indiana State Department of Health:
Dr. VanNess says practicing the following “Three C’s” will help protect you and prevent the spread of flu.
·        Clean: properly wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water.
·        Cover: cover your cough and sneeze with your arm or a disposable tissue.
·        Contain: stay home from school/work when you are sick to keep your germs from spreading.
Flu symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat and body aches. Anyone experiencing symptoms should contact their health care provider. Individuals 65 and older are more susceptible to complications and death from flu and are urged to seek treatment quickly if they experience symptoms.
Flu vaccination is recommended for anyone six months of age or older. It is especially important for those at higher risk of complications related to the flu, to get vaccinated. High risk individuals include pregnant women, young children, people with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and the elderly. Because the vaccine can be less effective for people 65 and older, it is especially important for others to get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of flu to individuals in that age group.
For more information about Indiana’s 2012-2013 influenza season, visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.StateHealth.in.gov
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Multiple Shots Fired in Gary Homicide

Gary Police and the Lake County Crime Lab are investigating a shooting death overnight that occurred in the area of a corner store in the 700 block of West 45th Avenue in Gary. The Lake County Coroners office says 22-year-old Bryan David Taylor of Gary suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene at midnight this morning. Gary Police Public Information Corporal Gabrielle King says officers responded to the report of shots fired in the area of 45th and Harrison just before 11pm. "And upon their arrival, they found 22-year-old Bryan D. Taylor lying on the ground, unresponsive and no signs of life.  Mr Taylor was identified at the scene by Detective James Bond who had recognized him from previous encounters with him," Corporal King said. "It's our understanding there were numerous shots that were fired," King said. Anyone who saw anything in the area of 45th and Harrison just minutes before 11 pjm Wednesday night is urged to call either Gary Detective James Bond, who can be reached at 219-881-4751, or Gary Corporal Ed Gonzalez, who can reached at 219-881-4750, as the two are both working this case.  Corporal King says the shooting victim was located outside of the nearby store.
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Police Seek Public's Help in Holdup

Porter County Sheriffs Police are asking for the public's help as they continue to investigate an armed robbery in South Haven Tuesday night. Officers say shortly after 10-o'clock, the subject entered the Speedway gas station at US 6 and State Road 149 and confronted the clerk as she came out of the back room. Police say the suspect pointed a handgun at the clerk and made her open the register and give him an undisclosed amount of currency.  The suspect is described as a black male, 5'9" with a large build, wearing blue/black pants, black shoes, tan gloves, dark blue nylon winter coat with a green collar and 2 red stripes running horizontally across the center of the back. The suspect also was wearing a black ski mask over his face. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Department Detective Bureau at 219-477-3140. Anonymous tips can be called into WeTip at 1-800-782-7463. WeTip offers up to a $1,000 reward for information aiding in the arrest and conviction of any suspects involved.
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Griffith Graffiti Investigated

Police in Griffith are investigating what's been described as the largest incident of graffiti the town has seen in recent memory as far as the number of buildings covered in one act. Griffith Police Chief Greg Mance says more than a dozen structures, including garages and fences, in the alleyway along Indiana Street were defaced with blue spray paint.  Chief Mance says the graffiti was found during the morning hours of Tuesday April 16 between the 200 and 400 blocks of Indiana Street in the alleyway. "The graffiti did have some resemblance of gang graffiti, and we are investigating it very vigorously with two officers working directly on that case," the Chief said. Chief Mance also says the town can assist with cleanup. "We take all graffiti, especially anything that might have gang affiliation to it, very seriously," asking that the public report it immediately. "There is a policy in place that the town parks department is able to take that graffiti off with equipment, at no charge to the public, with their permission."   Chief Mance says residents should contact the police department first, at their non-emergency number, 219-924-3141.
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Update: Region Road Closures

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From the INDOT Cams this morning, overhead electronic sign along I65 near 101st Avenue in Lake County, IN, warns of flooding in Illinois
Hammond Police report:
-Northcote Ave bridge from Hammond to Munster closed
-Columbia Ave bridge from Hammond to Munster closed
-In North Hammond US 41/Calumet Avenue is closed at 141st through 129th
INDOT reports:
-Cline Avenue is closed between Riley Road and Calumet Avenue (East Chicago)
Also -- the westbound ramp rom the Borman Expressway to Calumet Avenue was closed earlier (Hammond), and there was concern about the water level at the Kennedy Avenue ramp off the Borman (Hammond)
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Tornado Watch Cancelled for the Region

A Tornado Watch remains in effect for 39 counties in Indiana, but counties around the Region are no longer included in that watch area. Other weather alerts remain in effect.
http://forecast.weather.gov/hazards/lot
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Tornado Watch, Other Alerts in Effect

Multiple watches and warnings are in effect for the Region today related to the heavy rains moving across Northwest Indiana and the Midwest. 
A Tornado Watch for our entire listening area has been posted til 4 pm CDT. A Flash Flood Warning that includes Lake County and southwestern Porter County is in effect until 2 pm CDT. There's also a Wind Advisory from this morning through tonight.  A Flood Watch continues for Northwest Indiana.  A Flood Warning for the Little Calumet River at Munster is in effect where observed flooding has changed from minor to moderate severity. A Flood Warning is also in effect for the Kankakee River at Shelby, affecting Lake and Newton Counties.
For updates from the National Weather Service: 
http://forecast.weather.gov/hazards/lot
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Road Closures in Hammond

Heavy rains have led to road closures in parts of Hammond. Kennedy Avenue is still passable.  Hammond Police Lt. Pat Vicari gave us an update::
-Northcote Ave bridge from Hammond to Munster closed
-Columbia Ave bridge from Hammond to Munster closed
-In North Hammond US 41/Calumet Avenue is closed at 141st through 129th
Heavy rains have caused major flooding in and around Chicago. ABC reports cars are underwater... "I have an underground parking garage and the water in the parking garage is up to the tires, " was one description. And expressways are underwater making it difficult to get to work... "Probably about eight inches of water just submerging the roads."
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Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued

warned area
Click here for updates:
http://forecast.weather.gov/hazards/lot
BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL 809 AM CDT THU APR 18 2013 THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHICAGO HAS ISSUED A * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR... IROQUOIS COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL ILLINOIS... SOUTHEASTERN KANKAKEE COUNTY IN NORTHEAST ILLINOIS... BENTON COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA... JASPER COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA... SOUTHERN LAKE COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA... NEWTON COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA... SOUTHERN PORTER COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA... * UNTIL 945 AM CDT * AT 806 AM CDT...A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WAS LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM CHEBANSE TO RANKIN...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 40 MPH. HAZARD...70 MPH WIND GUSTS. SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED. IMPACT...EXPECT CONSIDERABLE TREE DAMAGE. DAMAGE IS POSSIBLE TO MOBILE HOMES...ROOFS AND OUTBUILDINGS. * SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE NEAR... AROMA PARK AND CLAYTONVILLE AROUND 815 AM CDT. ST. ANNE AROUND 820 AM CDT. WATSEKA AND MILFORD AROUND 825 AM CDT. MOMENCE AND HOPKINS PARK AROUND 830 AM CDT. STOCKLAND AND SHELDON AROUND 835 AM CDT. TALBOT AROUND 940 AM EDT. OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE MARTINTON...SUN RIVER TERRACE...WOODLAND...PAPINEAU...WELLINGTON...DONOVAN...BEAVERVILLE... IROQUOIS...AMBIA AND SCHNEIDER. OTHER LOCATIONS AFFECTED... KANKAKEE COMMUNITY COLLEGE...KANKAKEE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS... SPEEDWAY...US 41 DRAGWAY... PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A BUILDING....
   

Flood Safety Tips from Ind St Police

Indiana State Police say the threat of heavy rain makes flooding a real threat in north central Indiana. Floods occur as streams and rivers overflow their banks. This can occur from deep snow run off or during heavy rainfall. Flash floods can come rapidly and unexpectedly. Flash flooding can occur after a few minutes of heavy rain fall or after hours of significant precipitation. Hoosiers who live in flood prone areas should always be conscious of the threat of flash floods when receiving significant rainfall. The Indiana State Police offers a few flood safety tips.
• Don’t travel unless absolutely necessary. If you have to travel carry a cell phone with a car charger.
• Purchase a weather scanner and heed all flood and flash flood warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
• Do not drive around barricades at water crossings.
• Be especially vigilant at night. Many drowning deaths occur at night when it is difficult to see water crossings.
• Do not cross or enter flowing water. Driving fast through high water on the road is not a solution. Faster speeds create less tire contact with the road surface and increase your chance of crashing.
• Driving through standing water may affect your brakes. Test your brakes at low speeds as soon as you exit the water.
• If you choose to abandon your vehicle, respect the force of the water flow, you may be swept off your feet. After you exit the vehicle seek higher ground.
• Be aware that road erosion may occur when there is running or standing water.
• Remember that six inches of water will reach the bottoms of most car doors. One foot of water will float many vehicles, and two feet of moving water can carry away most vehicles.
If you find yourself stranded in flood waters remain calm and call 911. If you can do so safely move to higher ground.
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Shooting Death in Lake County

Gary Police and the Lake County Crime Lab are investigating a shooting death overnight. The Lake County Coroners office says 22-year-old Bryan David Taylor of Gary suffered multiple gunshot wounds at the More 4 Less Corner Store in the 700 block of West 45th Avenue in Gary and was pronounced dead at the scene at midnight this morning.
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Flash Flood Warning Includes Lake, Porter Co

The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued a Flash Flood Warning that now includes Lake County, Indiana, and southwestern Porter County.  A Flash Flood Warning is issued when flash flooding is in progress, imminent, or highly likely. National Weather Service officials say a flash flood is a rapid and extreme flow of high water into a normally dry area, or a rapid water level rise in a stream or creek above a predetermined flood level, beginning within six hours of the causative event, like intense rainfall, dam failure, ice jam. Here is a link to watches and warnings from the National Weather Service::
http://forecast.weather.gov/hazards/lot
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March For Hunger Generates Equivalent of 143 Tons of Food

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced the March Against Hunger food drive competition generated $55,455 and 10,065 pounds of food for local food banks.
The fifth annual food drive competition was between 44 participating law groups from Indiana and Kentucky. To help coordinate the donations, Zoeller teamed up with the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) and the nonprofit group, Feeding Indiana's Hungry (FIsH), which is the umbrella organization for 11 regional food banks.
"All food drive participants deserve recognition for their efforts to serve their local communities by selflessly giving their time and money to a worthy cause," Zoeller said. "Too many Hoosiers, including children, face hunger on daily basis and it’s heart-warming to see the members of my profession step up in such a big way.”
Zoeller said this year’s monetary and food donations combined is the equivalent to 143 tons of food.
"As a fellow lawyer, I am particularly proud of the fact that lawyers from all corners of the state rose to the occasion to serve Hoosiers in need," said ISBA President Daniel B. Vinovich. “It’s opportunities like this annual food drive that allow us to serve beyond our clients."
Winners from all six divisions will receive a trophy known as the Attorney General’s Cup for collecting the most donations:
Extra Large Division – Barnes & Thornburg LLP (Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Elkhart) – 784 pounds of food and $16,190 in monetary donations
Large Division – Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP (Merrillville) – 1,675 pounds of food and $7,153 in monetary donations
Medium Division – Wilkinson Goeller Modesitt Wilkinson & Drummy LLP (Terre Haute) – $2,510 in monetary donations
Small Division – Tuesley Hall Konopa LLP (South Bend) – 29 pounds of food and $1,570 in monetary donations
Sole Proprietor – Steven Douglas Law Office (Elletsville) – $1,685 in monetary donations
Public/Non-Profit – Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office (Evansville) – 2,295 pounds of food and $5,000 in monetary donations.
“We are grateful for the participation and generosity of so many Hoosier lawyers, as well as for the leadership of our state's attorney general to raise awareness of hunger,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, FIsH Executive Director.  “One in six Hoosiers is at risk of hunger, and for Hoosier children just one in four. The pounds contributed through the food drive this year will provide the equivalent of nearly 240,000 meals to Hoosiers in need, with nearly 1 million pounds donated since the program was created in 2009.”
The 11 regional food banks that serve Indiana and are members of FIsH include: Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana Inc., Food Finders Food Banks, Gleaners Food Bank, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, Food Bank of Northern Indiana, Terre Haute Catholic Charities Food Bank and Tri-State Food Bank Inc. Also, Freestore Foodbank of Cincinnati and Dare to Care Food Bank of Louisville also participated and serve some Indiana counties.
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Crown Point Man Arrested on 11 Felonies

Indiana State Police logo
A 39 year old Crown Point man accused of multiple financial crimes, identity deception, and crimes against the elderly, was arrested Wednesday in Michigan City on 11 felonies charges. Indiana State Police say Marlon Leon Underwood was taken into custody without incident, and his arrest stems from an investigation that began back in July of 2012 after a complaint by the Indiana Department of Insurance on possible insurance fraud. Authorities say Underwood, who had his brokers license suspended in 2010, was a broker at the American Freedom Financial Insurance Office in Highland, and later worked out of his home, selling insurance primarily to the elderly. State Police say it is believed there may be more victims that have not yet come forward, so if you think you may have been a victim, please contact the Indiana State Police Lowell Post, at 219-696-6242, and ask for Detective Joe White.
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