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Munster Poplar Bridge Work Starts Monday

In Munster, construction is scheduled to start back up this Monday (April 1) on the Poplar Lane Bridge that crosses over Hart Ditch going into the Twin Creek subdivision. The town says the traffic signal will be activated, and the contractor will be working on one lane while traffic in both directions shares the other lane. The traffic will be controlled by "pavement loops" which will detect a vehicle coming from either direction, the town says. Whoever crosses the loop first gets the green light. Motorists are asked to proceed with caution.  Anyone with questions may contact Munster Town Engineer Jim Mandon at 219-836-6995.
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SR 55 Closure in Newton County Begins April 1st

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NEWTON COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the closure of State Road 55 to through traffic between State Road 16 and State Road 114 beginning Monday, April 1st through the end of June 2013. Crews will be replacing a bridge. All traffic will be restricted at the work site, one mile north of State Road 16.
A detour will take northbound SR 55 drivers west on SR 16, north on U.S. 41, east on SR 114, and back to SR 55. Southbound SR 55 drivers will travel west on SR 114, south on U.S. 41, east on SR 16, and back to SR 55.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and project updates from INDOT, like us at www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and follow us at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
You can find traffic restriction information at www.trafficwise.IN.gov.  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
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I-65 Night Lane Restrictions in Lake County Start Monday

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LAKE COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces I-65 will be restricted to one northbound lane and one southbound lane during evening and overnight hours between the U.S. 231 exit (mile marker 247) and just south of the State Road 2 exit (mile marker 240) beginning Monday, April 1st through early December 2013. Lane restrictions will be in place no earlier than 6 p.m. and no later than 10 a.m. during a Monday night through Saturday morning work week. Two lanes of traffic in each direction will be open during daytime hours. Crews are resurfacing the roadway in addition to pipe and drain work.
In the event of back-ups or slowed traffic, message boards on I-65 will alert drivers to an alternative route to avoid the construction zone.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and project updates from INDOT, like us at www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and follow us at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
You can find traffic restriction information at www.trafficwise.IN.gov.  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
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Yellowstone Road Closure Apr 1

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In Valparaiso, a stretch of Yellowstone Road is scheduled to be closed for most of April, starting Monday, for storm and sanitary sewer work, and water main construction. The restriction will be in effect 24-hours a day between Avondale Avenue and the north George Street entrance.
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Visclosky Supports Invest in American Jobs Act

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Washington, D.C. – Congressman Visclosky announced his support for the Invest in American Jobs Act of 2013, a bill to close loopholes in existing Buy America provisions and ensure that all federal transportation and infrastructure investments support American jobs and domestic manufacturing. The bill, which was introduced by Congressman Nick Rahall (D-WV), heads to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for consideration.
“We have the best workers in the world, the smartest manufacturers in the world, and an economic infrastructure in dire need of repair,” Congressman Visclosky said. “Today, I am urging my colleagues to join me in support of this legislation, which will close Buy America loopholes, strengthen existing Buy America requirements, and ensure that all federal infrastructure projects receive the “Made-in-America” seal of approval.”
According to a report of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the legislation would:
  • Strengthen existing Buy America requirements for investments in highway, bridge, public transit, rail, and aviation infrastructure and equipment to ensure that all of the steel, iron, and manufactured goods used in these projects is produced in the United States;
  • Increase domestic content requirements for public transit rolling stock and Federally-procured aviation facilities and equipment, from 60 percent under current law to 100 percent by FY 2017;
  • Apply Buy America requirements to other transportation and infrastructure investment where such requirements do not exist in current law, including rail infrastructure grants, loans, and loan guarantees, Clean Water State Revolving Fund grants, and Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants; and
  • Require Federal agencies to justify any proposed waiver of the Buy America requirements and ensure that the American public has notice of and an opportunity to comment on any proposed waiver prior to it taking effect.

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All South Shore Train Service Suspended

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All South Shore train service is temporarily suspended, as there has been a CN freight train derailment, at Broadway, in Gary, north of the South Shore tracks. Hazmat has directed NICTD to suspend service, until they determine it is safe to resume. More information soon as it becomes available.
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Train Derailment in Gary

There has been a CN freight train derailment at Broadway in Gary. 
At this time hazmat is accessing the situation and NICTD train 600 will be delayed for an undetermined amount of time from Gary Metro Station to Chicago.
Train 502 will depart South Bend Airport on time passengers please be advised your train could be held up east of Gary Metro Station while this situation is being resolved. 
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Disabled Vets License Plate Bill Goes To Gov's Desk

A bill to expand eligibility for a disabled Hoosier veteran license plate now moves to Governor Mike Pence's desk, after passing the House of Representatives this week. Senate Bill 403 allows a person to receive a disabled veteran license plate if he or she has been rated by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs as being at least 50-percent disabled, with at least a 30-percent mobility rating, as opposed to the current law, in which veterans must be rated 100-percent disabled to qualify.
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Brush Fire Burns Half-Acre Near Westville

About a half-acre burned in a small brush fire today, southwest of Westville. Liberty Fire Chief Brian Duncan says they were called to assist the Westville Fire Department, at 3:40 this afternoon, in the area of County Road 700 North and 550 East. Chief Duncan says residents were cleaning the yard and burning debris when the fire got away from them. He also reminds Porter County residents that you cannot burn any yard waste that should be composted, as the county is in a non-attainment zone, which makes open burning illegal.
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Measles Confirmed in Bloomington

INDIANAPOLIS—State health officials have confirmed a case of measles in a student at Indiana University Bloomington. This student did not attend classes while infectious and does not live on campus. The Indiana State Department of Health, the Monroe County Health Department and Indiana University are working to identify potential additional cases and to prevent further transmission of the disease.
The individual visited the IU Health Bloomington Hospital emergency department and a CVS pharmacy while infectious on March 24. IU Health Bloomington Hospital is contacting individuals directly who may have been exposed to measles.
Visitors to the CVS Pharmacy at 1000 N. College Ave, Bloomington, IN, 47404, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on March 24 may have been exposed to the measles virus. Individuals who cannot verify two doses of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine or who were born in 1957 or later should contact their health care provider. In addition, individuals who develop symptoms of measles should stay home and call their health care provider as well as the Monroe County Health Department at (812) 349-2543.
On March 25, the individual visited the IU Student Health Center at 600 N. Jordan Ave., Bloomington, IN, 47405, while infectious. Risk of exposure at this location is very low because the individual wore a mask during the time spent in the clinic. A very small number of patients may have been exposed. The Student Health Center is contacting these individuals directly.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is rare in the United States due to the widespread availability of the MMR vaccine; however, visitors from other countries or U.S. citizens traveling abroad can become infected before or during travel. 
More than 95 percent of people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to measles, and more than 99 percent will be protected after receiving a second dose. Two doses of the vaccine are needed to be fully protected. Individuals are encouraged to check with their health care providers to ensure vaccinations are up-to-date. 
Children are routinely vaccinated for measles at 1 year of age, and again at 4-6 years of age before going to kindergarten, but children as young as 6 months old can receive the measles vaccine if they are at risk. Individuals born before 1957 are presumed to be immune to measles. Individuals who are unsure about vaccination history should contact their health care providers. Hoosiers can also access immunization records directly through the secure online tool MyVaxIndiana by requesting a PIN from their health care provider. Go to www.MyVaxIndiana.in.gov to learn more.
Symptoms
Measles begins with a fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes about 7-10 days after exposure.  The fever increases and can get as high as 105 degrees. Two to four days later, a rash starts on the face and upper neck. It spreads down the back and trunk, and then extends to the arms and hands, as well as the legs and feet. After about five days, the rash fades the same order in which it appeared.
Measles is highly contagious. When infected persons sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air.  Those droplets remain active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to two hours. 
What you can do
If you are experiencing the symptoms of measles, stay home and call your doctor. Be prepared to describe your symptoms and alert your doctor if you think you have been in contact with an infected person.  If you are ill with measles, remain home and away from others, especially unvaccinated infants, people with diseases affecting their immune systems, and pregnant women.
For more information about measles, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/measles/.
To visit the Indiana State Department of Health, go to www.StateHealth.in.gov.
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Search on Monday for Missing Dolton Teen

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(Photo Courtesy of Dolton Police)
Police, 20 community volunteers, and the family of 19 year old Austin Battle will be canvassing the Village of Dolton, Illinois on Monday, in a search for the teen who was last seen on March 19th. Dolton Police report Battle, who was known for having bouts of depression, had asked his father to pick him up, during a phone call that Tuesday night, at the intersection of Sibley Blvd and Burnham Avenue, in Calumet City, but when his father arrived Battle was no where to be found. Police say phone records indicate there has been no activity since that call, and the Cook County Morgue reports no possible matches. Austin Battle is described as standing five-foot-eleven inches tall, and was last seen wearing a grey hoodie, blue jeans and black boots. If you would like to volunteer in the search effort, stop by the Dolton Police Department, 14014 Park Avenue, at noon. Anyone with any information is asked to please contact the Dolton Police Department, at (708) 201-3375.
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Coroner Still Seeking Next of Kin in Monday 's Fire Death

The identity of a 73 year old woman, who died shortly after being hospitalized Monday evening after being removed from house fire in Gary remains unknown at last check. The Lake County Coroner's Office reports a next of kin has yet to be found, so until then, the name and the cause of death is being withheld. The fire reportedly occurred in the 24-hundred block of Buchanan Street.
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Identities of Thursday LaPorte County Crash Released

The 68 year old woman is expected to recover from her injures after the Michigan City woman failed to stop at a LaPorte County intersection Thursday afternoon and her vehicle collided with a garbage truck, killing her husband, and their golden retriever. LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan says 70 year old David Riggs, of Michigan City, the front seat passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene, due to massive blunt force trauma. The driver, Barbara Riggs, was airlifted to a South Bend hospital, and remains hospitalized. Sullivan says the garbage truck was empty at the time of the crash, with a three-man crew, no of which were injured, when it collided with the vehicle, at the intersection of County Road 300 North and Johnson Road, near LaPorte.
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Woman Found Dead in Casino Parking Garage

Police in Gary and Griffith are investigating the shooting death of a 76-year-old St. John woman found inside a vehicle, police say, in a parking garage at Majestic Star Casino in Gary. The Lake County Coroners office says Mary Austgen was pronounced dead at the scene in parking garage 2D, 1 Buffington Harbor, shortly after 4-o'clock this morning, from a single gunshot wound to her torso, and her death has been ruled a homicide. Gary Police Public Information Officer Corporal Gabrielle King says at about 4:30 Thursday afternoon, family members of the victim reported her missing to the Griffith Police Department.  No information was available from Griffith Police at this hour. Mary Austgen is listed as owner of a business in Griffith, but we've not been able to get that confirmed.
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Fatal Shooting at Gary Casino Parking Garage

The Lake County Coroners office says a 76-year-old St. John woman suffered a fatal gunshot wound this morning in a parking garage at Majestic Star Casino in Gary. Authorities say Mary Austgen was pronounced dead at the scene in parking garage 2D, 1 Buffington Harbor, shortly after 4 am from a single gunshot wound to the lower left torso, and her death has been ruled a homicide. Investigating agencies also include Gary and Griffith Police Departments and the Lake County Crime Lab, according to officials this morning.
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Teen Critically Hurt in Merrillville Shooting

Police in Merrillville say a 14-year-old juvenile who suffered a gunshot wound to the head while in the living room of his family's home was airlifted to an Illinois hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police say they responded to the 75-hundred block of Marshall Street shortly after 8:30 Wednesday night in reference to gunshots heard in the area. There is no suspect information available at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Ray Smith of the Merrillville Police Department at 219-769-3531.
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15 Names to be Read in Hobart Ceremony

Today (Fri Mar 29)  is the final Friday of the month, the day of the Hobart Marine Corps League “Howlin' Mad Detachment Number 93” Doughboy ceremony – where the names of fallen soldiers for the month are read out loud – a total of 15 names will be read tonight. Last month, for the first time in three-and-a-half-years, there were no names to read. The public as always is invited to the service which starts at 5pm at the Hobart Doughboy statue, at 7th and Main.   Doughboy was a term used to describe U-S infantrymen of the American Expeditionary Force during World War One.
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Cal College to Sponsor Gary Charter School

On July first Calumet College of St. Joseph out of Whiting becomes the new sponsor of Charter School of the Dunes in Gary. The announcement comes just three months before Ball State's sponsorship ends. Earlier this year, Ball State announced its sponsorship of several charter schools, including two in Gary, Charter School of the Dunes and LEAD College Preparatory , would end June 30th based on a review of academic performance and other criteria.
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Plea Agreement in Fatal Shooting

Sentencing was set for April 24 for a 19-year-old Merrillville man who has pleaded guilty to reckless homicide in the shooting death of a 39-year-old Gary man. Officials say 39-year-old Bryan McCoy suffered a fatal gunshot wound inside his home on East 48th Avenue in April 2011. Police allege the suspect, Angel Garcia, who was 17 at the time, shot the victim during an argument that turned physical. Garcia faces eight years in prison as part of the plea agreement. Charges of murder and murder in the perpetration of a robbery will be dismissed as part of the agreement if accepted.
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Illinois State Trooper Killed in Crash

Officials say a 28-year-old Illinois State Trooper was killed last night when his police car was apparently struck by a semi on the Tri-State Tollway in Northbrook. Illinois State Police say James Sauter was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash was still under investigation.
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