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Call To Hotline Tips Police to Suspected Drug Activity

On Thursday, April 4th, at approximately 12:38 pm, the Lake County Police responded to the residence at 648 New Jersey Street in the Aetna section of Gary reference to information provided on the Lake County Sheriff’s Department Tipline indicating there is suspected drug activity at that location. 
Upon arrival at the location, officers discovered the rear door of the residence to be standing open and could not raise any occupants to come to the door.  Officers noticed an extremely foul odor coming from the home.   Observations made through the open back door included children’s clothing laid throughout the residence.  The residence smelled of filth, and observed urine, feces, rat/mouse droppings, and molded food. 
Officers entered the building due to the circumstances to secure a possible crime scene.  They found no one to be home.  Officers located in plain view marijuana and pills.  The marijuana field tested positive.  A total gross weight of 113.5 grams was confiscated.  There was morphine pills along with other prescription medications as well as field test confirmed PCP.
Admitted gang member Daniel P. Thomas was located in the area who indicated he was the occupant of the residence and was arrested for Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute and incarcerated in the Lake County Jail.  Contact was made with Code Enforcement for the City of Gary and the Building Commissioner Steven Marcus.  Mr. Marcus advised that the residence was inhabitable and ordered the City to board up the residence immediately. 
Contact was also made with Lake County Department of Child Services due to the children living in the residence.  An investigation will ensue with that agency.  An area resident indicated there were at least four children living in the home and other children were brought there for babysitting services.
Sheriff Buncich stated, “We continue to encourage other area residents to call the Hotline.  If you see something like this in your neighborhood, please call us and we will see what we can do.”  Lake County Sheriff’s Department Tipline telephone number is 1-800-750-2746.
Daniel Thomas Sr
Daniel P. Thomas
(photo provided by Lake County Sheriff's Department
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Lane Restriction Start Monday on US 41 in Newton County

Indot Logo color
NEWTON COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces lane restrictions for U.S. 41 just north of State Road 10, beginning Monday, April 8th. U.S. 41 will be restricted to one lane in each direction near the project site so crews can install a pipe. All lanes are expected to reopen in early July.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, “like us” at and “follow us” at
You can find traffic restriction information at  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT
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DNR Grants to Address Invasive Aquatic Vegetation

Indiana DNR
Department of Natural Resource grants totaling 693-thousand dollars is set to be used to fund the battle against invasive aquatic vegetation in 53 Indiana lake, including a half-dozen in northwest Indiana. Several lakes in LaPorte, Porter, and Starke County will receive DNR grant money, which comes from the LARE fee paid annually by boat owners to the BMV. The DNR's Division of Fish and Wildlife reports the projects also provide economic benefits to the associated lake communities by offering increased opportunities for those who fish or pleasure boat.
April, 2013 LARE Invasive Aquatic Vegetation Management Grant Awards
Water body (County)
Project type
Grant award

Bass Lake (Starke)
Aquatic vegetation management treatment

City of LaPorte Area Lakes-Clear, Pine, and Stone lakes (LaPorte)
Aquatic vegetation management survey, plan and treatment

Fish Lake Area-Upper Fish, Lower Fish and Mud lakes (LaPorte)
Aquatic vegetation management survey, plan and treatment

Hudson Lake (LaPorte)
Aquatic vegetation management survey, plan and treatment

Koontz Lake (Starke)
Aquatic vegetation management survey, plan and treatment

Valparaiso Area Lakes-Flint and Long lakes (Porter)
Aquatic vegetation management survey, plan and treatment

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National Public Health Week: Empower a Healthy Community

indiana state department of health
INDIANAPOLIS—National Public Health Week wraps up today with an important message to empower a healthy community. Individual health and community health go hand-in-hand. Where individuals have access to health tools, knowledge and opportunities, improved community health follows.  A resilient, well-supported public health system provides these necessary resources.
“It’s been a great National Public Health Week so far,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Each of the daily themes were designed to help people understand exactly what public health is and its value. Nowhere is that value more evident than in the community setting, so today’s theme of Empowering a Healthy Community is a great lesson to end the week.”
There are many ways public health efforts positively affect Hoosiers, such as by providing access to fluoridated water, which can reduce tooth decay by up 25 percent, and protecting children and adults from infectious diseases by making immunizations available.
Providing information and guidance about healthy eating, physical activity and injury prevention are key components of public health. Health and wellness initiatives are often driven by local health departments and other public health partners. These efforts are aimed at improving quality and length of life and reducing the burden of health care costs on society. For example, if 10 percent of adults began regularly walking, $5.6 billion in heart disease costs could be averted. And a sustained 10 percent weight loss could reduce an overweight person's lifetime medical costs by up to $5,300 by lowering the costs linked to hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and high cholesterol.
“It’s amazing how far a little physical activity can go toward your overall health and wellness,” said Dr. VanNess. “Adding a few small extra steps into your day by parking far away from an entrance or choosing the stairs over the elevator adds up. You can gradually work your way up to more challenging activities, like Zumba, swimming, yoga or running. Have fun with exercise.”
Here are some ways to help your community become empowered:
·         Join your Neighborhood Watch program.
·         Inquire about volunteer opportunities at community health centers.
·         Take part in national health observances, such as National HIV Testing Day, National Youth Violence Prevention Week and National Minority Health Month.
·         Support smoke-free policies; visit to learn more. 
·         Partner with state and local parks and recreational facilities to increase access to safe places to be outside and physically active.
·         Work with local authorities to initiate violence intervention and prevention efforts. 
·         Reach out to health care professionals and discuss community health and prevention efforts.
·         Create a local health movement. Start a healthy food co-op, organize a canning circle, gather a walking group or form a club dedicated to volunteering.
To learn more about National Public Health Week, visit
For more information about the Indiana State Department of Health, visit
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Preliminary Info Released on South Bend Plane Crash

On March 17, 2013, at 1623 eastern daylight time, a Hawker Beechcraft model 390 (Premier IA) business jet, N26DK, serial number RB-226, collided with three residential structures and terrain following an aborted landing attempt on runway 9R located at the South Bend Regional Airport (KSBN), South Bend, Indiana. The private pilot and pilot-rated-passenger occupying the cockpit seats were fatally injured. An additional two passengers and one individual on the ground sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to 7700 Enterprises of Montana, LLC and operated by Digicut Systems of Tulsa, Oklahoma, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 while on an instrument flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the business flight that departed Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport (KRVS), Tulsa, Oklahoma, at 1358 central daylight time.
According to preliminary air traffic control information, at 1610:31, the accident pilot established radio communications with South Bend Approach Control while at 11,000 feet mean sea level (msl). The air traffic controller cleared the flight direct to KNUTE intersection and told the pilot to expect a visual approach to runway 9R. At 1611:44, the flight was cleared to descend to 10,000 feet msl. At 1613:06, the flight was cleared to 3,000 feet msl. At 1615:00, the approach controller told the pilot to make a 5-degree left turn to align with runway 9R and asked the pilot to report when he had the airport in sight. At 1615:07, the pilot declared an emergency because of a lack of engine power, reporting that they were "dead stick" and without any power. About 23 seconds later, at 1615:30, the pilot transmitted "we've lost all power, and we have no hydraulics." When the controller asked if the airplane remained controllable, the pilot replied "ah, barely controllable." The controller advised that all runways at KSBN were available for landing and issued the current winds, which were 130-degrees at 10 knots. At 1615:22, the pilot transmitted that the airplane’s navigational systems were inoperative and requested a radar vector toward the airport. The controller replied that the airport was 9 miles directly ahead of the airplane’s current position. At 1616:12, the controller told the pilot to turn 10-degrees left to intersect runway 9R. At 1616:15, the pilot replied "26DK, turning left." No additional voice communications were received from the accident airplane. The approach controller continued to transmit radar vectors toward runway 9R without any response from the accident pilot. At 1618:58, the approach controller told the accident airplane to go-around because the main landing gear was not extended. (The tower controller had informed the approach controller that only the nose landing gear was extended) The accident airplane was then observed to climb and enter a right traffic pattern for runway 9R. The airplane made another landing approach to runway 9R with only the nose landing gear extended. Several witnesses observed the airplane bounce several times on the runway before it ultimately entered a climbing right turn. The airplane was then observed to enter a nose low descent into a nearby residential community.
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Two Thursday Afternoon House Fires in Lake County

Thursday fires
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
Two house fires in Lake County Thursday afternoon reportedly occurred within an hour of each other. The Times reports a home, at the northwest corner of 153rd Avenue and Colfax Street, in Cedar Lake Township was burned to the ground. The second fire, in the 500 block of Meadow Ridge Drive in Schererville, caused smoke and water damage to the home, with one corner of the residence sustaining heavy exterior damage, and several dogs were rescued as well, that according to the article. The cause of both fire have yet to be determined.
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Novak to Step Down from RDA Board April 30th

pete novak
(Photo Courtesy of the Northwest Indiana RDA)
The City of Hammond's appointee to the Board of Directors of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority is stepping down from the Board, effective April 30th.
Pete Novak says while has enjoyed his time on the Board, changes in his personal and professional life since 2009 are demanding more and more of his time. Novak, who is the CEO of the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors, thanked Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna, Chairman Leigh Morris, and the Board for the tremendous experience.
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Rebuilding Together Duneland Accepting Volunteers

Rebuilding Together
You can help make a difference in the Duneland Community on this year's annual National Rebuilding Day, Saturday April 27th. Rebuilding Together Duneland is accepting volunteers, skilled or unskilled, to help rehabilitate 13 homes and two community improvement projects. The deadline to apply is Monday, April 15th, and for information on to apply online, visit
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Bill Passed in Senate to Reduce Calumet Twp Spending

Legislation was approved by the Senate Thursday that would give Calumet Township a year to reduce its township assistance tax rate for poor relief spending. The Times reports if the township fails to do that, then the Indiana Distressed Unit Appeals Board can consider placing an emergency manager in power to make the necessary spending reductions, and if that doesn't reduce the the township's assistance tax rate, then in 2015, Griffith could hold a referendum on whether or not to leave. The bill now heads back to the House. Griffith residents pay more in property taxes to support the township's poor but reportedly get little in return.
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Bill to Protect Hoosier Children Online Passes House

One of State Sen. Randy Head’s (R-Logansport) bills to protect Hoosier children was approved by the House of Representatives today by a vote of 93-0. Senate Bill 347 now returns to the Senate for final legislative review. 
SB 347 makes it illegal for certain sex offenders whose victims were children to communicate with a minor under 16 years old using a social networking site. It also increases the penalty for child solicitation to a Class B felony if the person solicits a child online and then travels to meet him or her, or if the person is a repeat offender for child solicitation.
“This bill is a crucial step toward better protecting our children from online predators,” Head said. “As more young people use social media to communicate, criminals are using these websites to find and talk to potential victims. The legislation passed today will address this problem and send a message that Indiana will not tolerate those who seek to harm our children.”
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New Duke Study: Bullying Lasts a Lifetime

Those who think bullying is something kids "grow out of" may want to think again. A new study from Duke University found that bullying increases the risk of anxiety and depressive disorders for decades after the incidents. The researchers followed more than 1,000 children for up to 20 years and found victims of bullying and the bullies much more likely to wind up with severe problems as adults.
According to the lead author of the study, Dr. William Copeland, an associate professor of psychiatry at Duke, one group was particularly troubled: those who had reacted to being bullied by bullying others themselves.
"The males were at eighteen times higher risk of suicidality, the females were at 26 times higher risk of agoraphobia," the doctor said. "Males and females were at 14 times higher risk of having panic disorder."
Copeland said many of those who had been victims, and had not themselves turned to bullying, are now dealing with depression, anxiety, panic disorders, and that agoraphobic fear of being out in public.
Dr. Rochelle Harris, a child psychologist, said that some parents don't realize how much harm bullying can do to a child, and sometimes their response to that child is not helpful.
"I've heard all kinds of responses from the 'You don't have to take it; go back and punch them,' to the 'Just ignore, pretend it doesn't happen.' Ignoring is a really sophisticated skill that's difficult for everyone, much less a child," Harris declared.
She said bullying is not the victim's fault and that studies have shown that the whole-school approach is what works best.
"Rules about how children treat one another: have them posted all over the place," Harris suggested. "Teachers are trained to look for subtle aspects of bullying and to intervene."
Bullying doesn't only lead to problems for the victims. The study found that bullies who had not been victimized were much more likely to develop antisocial personality disorders as adults and had a high risk of suicide. Both Harris and Copeland recommend early intervention as a way to prevent problems later on in life.
The study appears in the on-line issue of JAMA Psychiatry, and is at:
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U.S. Military Returns to American-Made Steel

Congressman Pete Visclosky applauded a decision of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) that restores a rule that stood for 35 years requiring certain types of steel purchased by the U.S. military to be 100% American-made. The rule required certain types of armor plate products to be both melted and finished in the United States.
“The Department’s decision represents a major victory for American steel workers and steel producers,” Congressman Visclosky said. “We have a responsibility to keep our fighting men and women safe on the field of battle and ensure that American-made steel is used to protect our troops.”
The decision revises the 2009 definition of “produced” steel to include the quenching and tempering of steel armor plate.  DoD regulations specify that materials procured for defense, like those used in the construction of tanks, armored vehicles, and other military equipment, must be produced in the United States.
As Vice-Chair of the Congressional Steel Caucus, Visclosky has been significantly involved with Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) in urging the DoD to use American-made steel. The two lawmakers joined Members from both parties over multiple years to urge DoD to use American-made steel in its procurements.
pete visclosky
Congressman Pete Visclosky
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Gov., Law Makers and Medical Experts Don’t Agree on Obamacare

Governor Mike Pence is against expanding Medicaid to help cover some 400,000 uninsured Hoosiers. He is banking on federal government approval of the expansion of the already existing Healthy Indiana Plan, known as HIP. Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany), chair of the Public Health Committee, has amended Senate Bill 551 to require the Pence Administration to negotiate with the federal government, not just leave it as an option.
Clere said some worry the federal government will back out of paying.
"If federal participation ever drops below the levels that have been promised, then our program would terminate, and per this language," he said. "That would have to be a pre-condition."
Clere's amendment and the bill passed the committee with bipartisan support. SB 551 now heads to the House Ways and Means Committee.
Dr. Rob Stone, the medical director of palliative care at IU Health Hospital, Bloomington, said the problem now is that uninsured people are using the emergency room as their doctor.
"When they get a chest pain, they don't go right away - it's more when the heart attack is fully blown. And of course, you can't get mammograms and pap smears and diabetes care in the emergency room - that just won't work. These people need real health care," he said.
Stone said expanding Medicaid is the easiest and fastest way for the state to expand health care.
At this point, HIP covers about 40,000 in the state, Stone said. It does not provide care for pregnancy and limits coverage for childless adults. Politicians need to stop fighting, expand Medicaid now and then work on improvements to HIP down the road, he added.
"We've really just gotta go with what's on the table right now, and then try to improve it as we go on. But we need to get 400,000 people covered in January. We just can't let that go by," he said.
Studies on the cost of expanding Medicaid differ. One done for the state suggests $2 billion through 2020, while another by the Indiana Hospital Association estimates $503 million.
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Portage Police Conduct Warrant Sweep

The Portage Police Department conducted a warrant sweep throughout the city on Wednesday to clear out a backlog of felony, misdemeanor and civil warrants.  About 120 warrants were attempted with 14 arrests being made.  The department, with assistance from the city's police reserves conducted the warrnat sweeps in two waves.  The first wave was conducted in the morning from 7-11 am and the second wave occurred from 6-10pm.  While serving the warrants, Portage Police said they also arrested 2 subjects who had been smoking marijuana, possessed drug paraphernalia, possessing alcohol as a minor and had unprescribed pills in their possession.
The goal of the department was to arrest 30 people on warrants; however the department was only able to take half that number into custody.  Portage Police remind those who may currently have an active warrant to take care of it on their own before the police appear at their door and take them into custody at a time that may not be convenient.
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Emergency Rd. Work EB I-90 at Broadway

INDOT crews are performing an emergency joint sealing operationsand  that is affecting eastbound traffic on the Indiana Toll Road approaching mile marker 14.2.  INDOT tells the Region News team that oly the left lane will remain and that the work is expected to continue for the next couple of hours.  Drivers are urged to merge into the left lane eastbound on the Toll Road.  Drivers could consider exiting at Broadway.
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Bill to Address Skills Gap Passes Indiana Senate

House Bill 1002, the Indiana Career Council (ICC), passed out of the Senate this week with a unanimous vote, continuing to receive unprecedented bipartisan support from each of the caucuses and their leadership. House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) introduced the legislation in January to create an Indiana Career Council to coordinate the participants in the state’s educational, job skills and career training systems to address the “skills gap.”
The Speaker was joined in the House by Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) with Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R-Fort Wayne) and Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) serving as the Senate’s sponsor and co-sponsor, respectively.

“I’m encouraged by the bipartisan support regarding Indiana’s employment prospects in both chambers. Workforce development and job training remain the most critical challenges before this General Assembly as we work to spur continued private sector growth and economic development. Indiana is consistently ranked best in the Midwest for its job creation environment; however, our state’s unemployment rate hovers stubbornly above 8 percent,” said Speaker Bosma.

“The Indiana Career Council will unite a fragmented system, share data and coordinate all elements of the state’s workforce development system and work to address skills and opportunity gaps affecting many Hoosiers. We must make every effort to ensure Indiana has a highly educated workforce to keep our economy moving forward.”
Designed to improve coordination, communication and vision for Indiana’s workforce training and career preparation systems, the ICC is a panel that will bring the principal stakeholders in the state’s workforce development efforts to a single table to create a stronger plan to move Indiana forward.

More than 930,000 Hoosiers – nearly one-third of Indiana’s workforce – lack even the most basic skills to thrive in today’s economy.

Members of the ICC will be charged with aligning the education skills and training provided by Indiana’s educational, job skills and career training systems with the existing and projected needs of the state’s job market. The ICC will also be charged with submitting recommendations to the General Assembly on necessary improvements to Indiana’s job skills training system.

HB 1002 was amended in February to incorporate military and veterans organizations due to the high unemployment rate among returning servicemen and women. The Senate also included an amendment requiring input from the logistics industry and women and minority groups.
The bill will now head to a conference committee between House and Senate leaders before being submitted to the governor to become law. For more information regarding HB 1002, please visit
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Police Continue to Investigate Death at Chcgo Hgts Plant

An invesitigation continues into the death of a 60-year old SOuth Holland man who's body was found at a Chicago heights metals plant this morning.  The Times is reporting emergency crews responding to a call at around 7:00 am found the man lying unresponsive in a bulk hopper at the Vesuvius metals plant in the 300 block of State Street.  Cruz was pronounced dead at the scene. 
According to the article, it is not known if the victim works at the plant and his body was taken to the Cook County medical Examiner in Chicago, where an autopsy will be performed.   The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is expected to conduct its own investigation.
Read more of this story at:
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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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