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Part of Randolph Closed for Utility Pole Repair

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Officials in Lake County say they were advised part of Randolph Street could be closed for three-to-five hours today after a crash involving a utility pole at 121st and Randolph near Lakes of the Four Seasons this morning. Lake County Sheriffs Police spokesperson Patti Van Til says officers have since cleared the scene, but repairs to the pole are underway. At about 9-o'clock this morning, Kankakee Valley REMC reports an automobile accident caused significant damage to the pole. The rural...
 

Power Outage Lakes of Four Seasons Area

9:30am -- Kankakee Valley REMC reports an automobile accident caused significant damage to one of their electric poles this morning at 121st and Randolph in Lake County. The rural electric membership cooperative says for the safety of their crews, as they replace the pole and make the necessary line repairs, members in this area are currently without power.  The KV REMC online outage map shows 415 members are affected.
Link to outage map:  http://www.kvremc.com/outageInfo.aspx
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School Immunization Requirements Announced

News Release (Jan 09 2013):  INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana State Department of Health has published the school immunization requirements for the 2013-2014 school year for students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.
New requirements include:
·         Kindergarten through 12th grade: Two valid doses of varicella vaccine or a documented history of having chicken pox disease. Students in grades kindergarten through 5th grade will need to have their history of chicken pox disease documented by a h...
 

Homicide Reported in Gary

The Gary Police Department and Lake County Crime Lab are investigating a homicide. A news release from the Lake County Coroner says a team from the coroners office responded to a residence in the two-thousand block of Tennessee Street in Gary at 5:30 this morning, where officials say a 20-year-old man identified as Gregory Cole of the same address was determined to have been stabbed to death. Authorities say the victim was pronounced dead shortly after 6-o'clock this morning.
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Possible Suicide Victim Found at Natl Lakeshore

The National Park Service says a possible suicide victim was found at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Tuesday. Park Rangers from The National Park Service along with officers from the Beverly Shores Police Department, Porter County Sheriff’s Office, and Town of Porter Police responded to the report of a person with a gun in a vehicle along old road within Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. A news release issued by the National Park Service says a hiker was walking along the old road when t...
 

Sen. Banks' College 'Affordability, Accountability' Plan

News Release STATEHOUSE (Jan. 8, 2013) — State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) today announced he is authoring several bills aimed at improving affordability and accountability in higher education.
Banks said the overarching goal of his plan is to make college a less expensive option for Hoosier students while ensuring there is more accountability for public investment in higher education.
“College has simply become too costly for many Hoosier families,” Banks said. “Improving transparency in the...
 

Pothole Probability Goes Up With Temps

As temperatures go up this week in the Region, INDOT says so does the likelihood that potholes will appear on Region roadways. Here's more info:
INDOT News Release:
LAPORTE – Temperatures are forecasted to rise above freezing for Northwest Indiana later this week, increasing the likelihood that potholes will form. When the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is not clearing snow, ice or storm debris, crews are focused on maintaining and preserving the state’s roads and bridges.
Potholes...
 

'Super Saturday' Tax Prep Events in Gary

news conference
 (l-r) Mayor Freeman-Wilson, Myer Blank of True Partners Consulting, Shanta Belyeu and Vanessa Allen of the Urban League of NWI address questions during the press conference on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). [Photo provided]
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson joined representatives from the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Office, the University of Chicago, and True Partners Consulting Tuesday to discuss assisting residents in claiming money they are e...
 

Griffith to Try Again to Leave Township

Today's Times reports there will be a renewed effort by the town of Griffith to 'separate' from Calumet Township. Though details haven't been made available yet, rather than 'secede', a term used in the past, the town will try to reorganize, the report says, in an attempt to gain independence from the township.  It's a move Griffith has been trying to make for the past few years, saying the town sends significantly more in tax dollars to the township than it gets back.
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Violent Crime Reduction Initiative to Start Soon

Patrols could start as soon as this weekend for three region communities who have decided to combine officers for special patrols to deal with crime. Highland Police Commander George Georgeff says an organizational meeting was held Monday, and now Griffith, Highland, and Munster are all on the same page, and have created the “Violent Crime Reduction Initiative”. Commander Georgeff says each town will determine the focus in their own jurisdiction, and the project needs to be results driven. Geo...
 

S Shore CVA Write a Theme Winners Announced

Three theme winners have been announced from the 2012 “Write a Theme” contest, held annually in conjunction with the “A Christmas Story” Comes Home exhibit, paying homage to Ralphie's theme requesting a Red Rider B-B Gun. The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority reports 5 year old Hailey Robbins, of Buchanan, Michigan, won the nine and under category, 13 year old Nicole Lukasiewicz, of Highland, won the ten to 18 year old category, and 33 year old Dawn Carden, of Gary, won the 19 and ol...
   

Guilty Plea for Doctor on Drug Tax Evasion Charges

A Tinley Park, Illinois, couple who own and manage Doctors Weight Loss Clinics in Merrillville, and two Illinois locations, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to dispensing amphetamine-based pills to patients without proper examinations and tax evasion. The Times reports as part of their tax evasion plea agreement, the 57 year old doctor and his 53 year old wife, have agreed to forfeit and pay five-point-two million-dollars, with the judge waiting to address the conspiracy to distribute...
   

Demolition Work Begins on Old School

A historic piece of Lowell history is starting to come down.  Crews are in the process of taking down the old Grade School at 525 E. Main Street.  Prior to the start of the demolition work could even begin, artifacts from the historic, 117 year-old structure including leaded glass windows, bricks from the foundation and the schools nameplate were removed and given to the Three Creeks Historical Association.  According to the Times, the buildings cornerstone was removed in 2011. 
This morning,...
   

Spirit of Competition Exhibit Starts Tomorrow

Porter County Community Foundation News Release: Valparaiso - The Porter County Community Foundation in partnership with Valparaiso University is sponsoring the “Spirit of Competition” exhibit at the Valparaiso University Center for the Arts from January 9 through February 7, 2013.  Created by Indiana Humanities and designed in partnership with the Indiana Historical Society, the exhibit celebrates both unknown and well-known Hoosier competitors.
“We’re really excited to bring this to Porter Cou...

   

Two Northern Indiana Sites 'Shovel-Ready'

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation says the designation paves the way for businesses to quickly locate new operations on property ready for development. The two sites in Plymouth and Elkhart join the list of more than 85 other 'shovel ready' sites identified by the state since 2006 that have undergone extensive title work, proof of ownership, legal and environmental review and qualify for expedited permitting with state regulatory agencies.
News Release (Jan 08 2013):
INDIANAPOLIS...
   

Funeral Services Set for Former Mayor Krentz

Funeral services are Wednesday for former LaPorte Mayor Carl Krentz. Krentz served as mayor of LaPorte from 1996 to 2000, and was Chairman of the Board of LaPorte-based Thanhardt-Burger Corporation. Krentz had served as a member of a number of local boards, and his obituary notice also says he was an actor/director for the LaPorte Little Theatre Club. Krentz passed away Friday at Settlers House in LaPorte the age of 84.
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Indiana 2013 State of the State: Jan 22

Indiana Governor-elect Mike Pence today announced information regarding the 2013 State of the State address. Additional details will follow in the coming weeks.  Pence will deliver the speech January 22, 7:00 p.m. EST, at the Indiana Statehouse, House Chamber.  Inaugural events begin this Saturday (January 12) and continue through Monday. The Inauguration Ceremony is this Monday morning, January 14
For more information on Inaugural Events: www.indianaworks.eventbrite.com
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Death Penalty Trial Begins in Lake County

Trial began Monday in Lake County for a Gary man charged with murder and facing the death penalty in the shooting deaths of his wife and two teenage stepchildren more than five years ago. The Times reports 47-year-old Kevin Isom is also accused of the attempted murder of four of the police officers who responded to the standoff at the family's apartment in the Miller section of Gary in August of 2007.
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Whiting Downsizing City Council Membership

The city council in this far north Lake County community is downsizing, as the number of council members will drop by two by the time the next municipal election comes around in about two years. The Whiting City Council recently voted to cut their membership from seven to five. Whiting City Council President Chris Sarvanidis says the move will save the city money, and put them more in line with other similarly-sized communities.  "I looked at as many of the less than ten-thousand population...

   

Sports, Conventions Bring Tourism Dollars in 2012

South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority says the estimated local economic impact of sports, conventions and other events last year was about 29-percent higher compared to 2011. They say the nationally televised Leon’s Triathlon and the National Softball Association’s Girls Fast Pitch ‘B’ World Series attracted visitors to Lake, Porter and La Porte County from all over the country. Lake County tourism officials today announced sporting-event-related visitor spending on restaurants, hotels,...
   

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