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Pelath: Tri-Partnership Doing Nothing for Middle Class this Session

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath of Michigan City today issued the following statement on the first half of the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly:
            “At the halfway point of this session, it would be good to report that the Legislature has taken significant strides to help the middle class in Indiana: creating good-paying jobs, taking the pressure off the middle class, and helping our public schools recover from the body blows of recent years.

Indiana Hits Record High Export Level in 2012

New data announced today by the International Trade Administration shows Indiana merchandise exports increased seven-percent in 2012 compared to the previous year, a record high. Mark Cooper, Director of the U-S Commercial Service in Indianapolis says, “many Indiana exporters continue to do very well in their global sales, but there's excellent potential to increase the numbers of exporting companies and the number of markets they are currently selling to.” Indiana's top exporting merchandise sa...

Nominations Now Accepted for Influential Women of NW IN

Influential Women
(Photo Courtesy of Influential Women of Northwest Indiana)
Nominations are currently being accepted to recognize the abundance of talented and successful women we have in Northwest Indiana. The Influential Women of Northwest Indiana committee reports nominations can be submitted for the event, which takes May 23rd, at Avalon Manor, in Merrillville, in a variety of categories, including Service and Tourism, Healthcare, Government, and Economic Development.
To submit a nomination,and for a full...

Sequestration Could Cancel South Shore Air Show

As the deadline for possible sequestration nears, so does the impending fate of the 14th Annual South Shore Air Show, currently scheduled for July 12th, 13th, and 14th on the beaches of the newly renovated Marquette Park in the Miller section of Gary. The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority reports the decision on whether to host the 2013 South Shore Air Show will be made sooner than later, and the show's organizing committee is currently contemplating the numerous factors affected by...


Donnelly on Sequester Cuts and its Impact on Hoosiers

Washington, D.C. — Senator Joe Donnelly spoke today with Indiana media to discuss the impact of the indiscriminate spending cuts known as sequestration on Hoosiers.  Indiana will see deep cuts to military installations, public safety, education, and public health if these cuts are allowed to go into effect as scheduled.  Donnelly’s office released a fact sheet detailing some of the impact the cuts will have on Indiana.  It is available for download here
“It is past time for Democrats and R...

Parents, Police Talk About McCowan Verdict

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Sandra and Bill Bach
The parents of Amanda Bach are expressing their gratitude to police, prosecutors and the public, after jurors found Dustin McCowan guilty last night of murdering their 19-year-old daughter Amanda in September of 2011.  At a news conference at the Porter County Sheriffs Department today, they also thanked the numerous people, many they didn't know, who came out to look for Amanda when she was still missing, before her body was found, and said they wanted to express special tha...


Back Up on I-65 Near Ridge Road

I-65 backups
The left two lanes of southbound I-65 are closed near Ridge Rd due to a traffic hazard. Motorists can expect delays as you travel southbound on I-65, near mile 258.4. Tipsters report a three-mile backup at that location, with only one-lane open at last check.
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Soil Productivity Legislation Signed into Law

soil productivity passes photo
Preventing a 57 million dollar tax increase of Hoosier farmers became the first piece of legislation for the 2013 session. Governor Mike Pence today signed into law Senate Enrolled Act 319, which delays for an additional year the implementation of new soil productivity factors, meaning soil productivity factors used for the March 1st, 2011, assessment date will be used again for the March 1st, 2013, assessment date.
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Proposal to Reward High Performing Schools

A proposal to reward Indiana's highest performing schools with additional state funding has passed the state senate. Senate Bill 493 by State Senator Brandt Hershman would allow public school corporations to qualify for state tuition support grants if ISTEP-Plus and high school end-of-course assessment results meet an overall passing rate of at least 85 percent or an overall improvement rate of at least 6 percent from the previous year. The grant amount would be determined by a General Assembly...

IN Senate Approves New Abortion Regulations

The Indiana Senate has approved new abortion regulations that include requiring an ultrasound examination for women seeking to end pregnancies through the use of the abortion pill. Senate Bill 371 also establishes stricter rules for clinics that distribute abortion pills.
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'Ag-Gag' Bill Advances in Indiana

A Region lawmaker says a measure approved by the state senate Tuesday jeopardizes free speech and freedom of the press. Senate Bill 373 -- some call it “Ag Gag” – makes it illegal to take photos or video of agricultural or industrial operations without permission from the owner. Portage State Senator Karen Tallian says the measure "puts a criminal penalty on the truth" and would have a major impact on First Amendment rights by punishing people who report, whether or not they're members of the me...

App Helps Link Hoosiers to Elected Officials

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson today unveiled a new app to help Hoosiers identify – and contact – their elected officials. The app is based on the popular Who Are Your Elected Officials website, and uses GPS from your smartphone or tablet to provide information on over 12-thousand elected officials at all levels of government from president to school board.
More info:
INDIANAPOLIS (February 27, 2013) – Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson unveiled today the WAYEO app based on the p...

Gary State of the City Address

State of City 2013 2
[Photo provided]
The mayor of Gary says gun violence, job creation and economic development are among the city's top concerns. In her State of the City address Tuesday at the Genesis Convention Center, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson also encouraged attendees to write to President Obama and request that he name Gary a “Promise Zone”. The President has announced a proposal to seek tax breaks for employers who hire unemployed residents and for those who make capital investments in these designated zon...

Helping Hoosiers Fight Tax Fraud

The Indiana Department of Revenue has launched a new section to its website to help Hoosier taxpayers avoid fraud and report suspected fraud, anonymously. The department reports impersonation scams are on the rise this tax season.
More info:
INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 27, 2013) — Fraud and identity theft continue to be the number one concern of all tax agencies in 2013. Incidents are on the rise, and efforts to combat those illegal activities are also on the rise.
In fiscal year 2012, the IRS initiated...

Gov Pence Signing First Bill Today

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is signing the very first piece of legislation to get his signature this session... today. Senate Bill 319, the first measure to win the approval of the House and Senate, is meant to prevent an estimated 57-million dollar property tax increase on Hoosier farmers by keeping current soil productivity factors in place for another year.

McCowan Found Guilty, Sentencing Set for March 28

A jury deliberated for six-and-a-half hours before returning a guilty verdict in the Dustin McCowan murder trial. McCowan was charged with fatally shooting former girlfriend 19-year-old Amanda Bach of Portage in September 2011. The verdict was read at about 11-o'clock Tuesday night. Police say her body was found the day after her car was discovered along State Road 130 in Wheeler. Sentencing for the 20-year-old McCowan is scheduled for March 28th.
Times Staff Reporter Bob Kasarda has been...


PromotingStudent Safety in Schools Bill Passes Senate

Legislation to protect children and staff members in schools passed the Indiana Senate Wednesday. Senate Bill 345 would establish a “Commission on Seclusion and Restraint in Schools”, to develop a model plan for Hoosier schools on the proper methods, standards, and training for student seclusion and restraint, with each school corporation having to develop its own plan, which would have to be approved by the commission. Bill author, Senator Randy Head, of Logansport, says, “there have reports of...

Senate Approves Legislation Addressing Fed Overreach

David Long
The Indiana Senate today approved a legislative package to exert states' constitutional rights and place a check on federal government overreach. The legislation, put together by Indiana Senate President Pro-Tem David Long, includes a joint resolution exercising Indiana's ability under Article V of the U.S. Constitution to call for a “convention for proposing amendments” to the Constitution, specifically confined to the topics of limiting Congress' power to tax and regulate commerce. The Senate...

Chicago Heights Fire Affects Polling Place

Fire crews in Chicago Heights were called out for a vacant warehouse fire this afternoon, shortly after 1pm. Chicago Heights officials report crews at the scene, located at 17th Street and East End Avenue, at this time have the fire control, possibly even extinguished, but no further information regarding fire is available. The Times reports the fire impacted a polling place, located across the street from the fire, which had to be moved to a nearby elementary school, as adjacent streets were...

Responders Program Registration Deadline on 3/1

A program to learn from natural disasters like the one that ravaged Joplin, Missouri, in May of 2011, is scheduled to take place next month at Valparaiso University. Russell Shirley, Porter County Director of Emergency Management , says the program will be a discussion-based exercise on the different functions responders, whether civilian or emergency, will have in the event of a serious disaster. Shirley says when a disaster strikes it will effect everyone, not just first responders, which is...


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Region News Team
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