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Lake Effect Snow Possible in the Region

Parts of the Region could be seeing significant snow by early Tuesday.  The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued a Lake Effect Snow Watch from tonight through Tuesday. There is the potential for lake effect snow accumulations of more than six-inches in localized areas. Forecasters say a strong cold front will push across the area today with cold air pushing south across the warm waters of Lake Michigan.  Currently Porter County could be in or near the axis of the heaviest snowfall, according to the latest outlook. Bursts of heavy snow with whiteout conditions and two to three Inch per hour snowfall rates possible in the intense band. Localized snow accumulations of over 6 inches are possible.
Click here for the National Weather Service website for updates: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?map.x=284&map.y=130&site=lot&zmx=&zmy=...
 

Man Injured in Grenade Accident

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating an incident involving a grenade launcher in northern Indiana. Authorities say 41-year-old Kevin Patterson of Walkerton was injured after firing a starburst grenade round from an AR-15 platform rifle at a private shooting range in the 3000 block of Plymouth-LaPorte Trail in Marshall County.
“The 37 millimeter starburst grenade is an aerial illumination round, similar to an aerial firework,” said Conservation Officer Corporal Ashlee Jackson. The grenade detonated in the launch tube under the rifle barrel.  Patterson was transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for treatment of injuries to his arm.
The results of the investigation will be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms for review. Indiana Conservation Officers, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, and Indiana State Police responded....
 

Fall Cleanup Time Coming to the City of La Porte

La Porte seal
The annual Fall Cleanup in the City of La Porte returns the week of November 11th through the 15th.  According to a release from the City's police department, the City of La Porte and Waste Management will be conducting their annual cleanup.  Residents are required to place unwanted items at their curb by 6 a.m. on their regular garbage pickup day.
The collection is available to city residents only, no businesses or apartment buildings.
Household doors and windows, furniture, mattresses and carpeting will be accepted. Carpeting must be rolled and securely tied in no longer than 4-foot sections.  Bags placed for collection may not exceed 35 pounds and cans may not exceed 75 pounds.  All small items must be in bags or cans for collection.  Loose piles will be left for the homeowners' disposal.
Not accepted during the Fall Cleanup:  auto parts, engines, tires, batteries, lumber, chemicals, siding, plaster, drywall, paneling, fencing, concrete, iron, steel, appliances containing Freon....

 

Veterans Day Observance at Valpo Service Memorial

Service Memorial
Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas is scheduled to speak Monday morning at a Veterans Day Observance at the Service Memorial at Foundation Meadows Park in Valparaiso.
According to the City's Parks Department, Army veteran and Pastor of New Song Church, Kurt Nichols will also be speaking before the Duty and Sacrifice monument where a wreath will be placed at the base of the monument.  The monument is dedicated to Valparaiso military service people who  bravely sacrificed their lives in service to our country as well as those who are currently serving.  

The public is invited to attend the observance to be held starting 10:00 a.m. Veterans Day morning at Foundation Meadows Park located at 3210 N. Campbell.  Hosted by the City of Valparaiso, the Valpo Parks Department, and the Valpo Parks Foundation. 
For more information call the Valparaiso Parks Department at 219-462-5144.

(photo/Valparaiso Parks Foundation)
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List of Names Raises Concern at a Region High School

Lake Station Police Dept
The Lake Station Police Department is reporting that two students at Edison High School told school staff one day last month that they saw a 15 year-old student allegedly compile a "hit list" of students' and teachers' names.  That led to officers responding to the high school on October 29th in reference to a report of threats.
A police press release says that after other students said he would be in trouble for making such a list, the suspect reportedly crossed out the words "hit list" and wrote "reward list." The witnesses turned in cell phone photos they took of the "hit list" to school administrators and according to staff, the suspect was brought in to the office and searched. 
The suspect who admitted to having the list but he has since thrown it out, was removed from the school pending investigation.  Reports say the suspect's guardian refuses the juvenile to speak to investigators. Meanwhile, detectives continue to identify and talk to students on the list and their parents.  Reportedly, the suspect has only been at the school for about a month.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Detective/Sgt. Brian Williams at the Lake Station Police Department at 219-962-1186 or by email at:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
(graphic:  http://www.lakestation-in.gov)
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Man Faces Charges for Threatening Cook Co. Sheriff

Sheriff Tom Dart
A northwest suburban Chicago man is in custody facing Class 3 felony charges after allegedly cyber stalking and sending death threats to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.  A sheriff's office press release says following six months of threatening emails, including recent specific threats to Sheriff Dart's life, 49 year-old Steven Cleary of Franklin Park, Illinois was arrested on Friday, November 8th.  Cleary is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing today. 
The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.     

(photo:  Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart appearing at the Gun Trafficking Suppression Summit, hosted last February at the Genesis Center in Gary)...

 

75th Birthday of Region Leader Leads to Letter to Rome

Bishop-Dale-Melczek
After leading the Diocese of Gary for more than twenty years Gary Bishop Dale Melczek, who celebrates turning 75, will be retiring.  The Times is reporting that church law requires bishops to submit their resignation to the Holy Father by their 75th birthday.  Bishop Melczek says that he sent his letter earlier this week through Pope Francis' ambassador to the U.S. in Washington D.C. who, via his diplomatic pouch, will send it to the Vatican, according to the article.

Melczek, who was ordained a priest in 1964 and consecrated bishop of Detroit in 1983, became the Catholic Diocese of Gary's third bishop in 1996.  The retiring bishop told the Times that the challenge for the next bishop will be centered around how to "effectively staff our parishes and keep the schools vital to our faith."
You can hear Bishop Melczek discuss the Catholic faith's newest leader, Pope Francis during a Region Newsmaker interview from earlier this year.  Just log onto:  http://www.regionnewsteam.com and select the Region Newsmakers link.
You can read more about Bishop Melczek's resignation at: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/gary/region-s-bishop-melczek-sends-pope-required-resignation-letter-as/article_10bd70e8-26b2-51ac-a4b9-97fec3d4bce5.html  

(photo of Bishop Dale Melczek courtesy of Brent Brown)  

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Prep Football Tournament Action Friday Night

In High School Sectional action Friday night Andrean earns the Class 3A Sectioonal title in a shut out game beating John Glenn 42-0.  The Penn Kingsmen remain undefeated beating Lake Central 33-6 for the Class 6A Regional title.
In other games, East Chicago Central wins its first sectional title defeating West Side 46-44.  Mishawaka over Munster 24-17 and Rensselaer beat Bowman Academy 40-12, according the the Times Prep Football Extra.

Read more about prep football action at:  http://www.nwitimes.com/sports/high-school/football/  ...
 

GED Testing Voucher Incentive with Gary Gun Buyback

Gary PD
The Gary Police Department will be hosting another gun buyback event on Saturday, November 23, at six local churches. City of Gary Director of Communications Chelseas Whittington says, in addition to receiving Wal-Mart gift cards, the first 50 people who turn in weapons that day will receive a GED testing voucher. Whittington says Pastor LaTonya Pettigrew, of St. Andrew AME Zion Church, put forth the idea back in August to have the GED incentive apart of this gun buyback event.
The participating churches are:
Trinity Missionary Baptist Church
1831 Virginia St.
Pilgrim M.B. Church
1301 W. 21st Ave.
Embassies of Christ
4285 Cleveland St.
Grace Unity C.O.G.I.C.
3435 W. 21st Ave.
St. Andrew AME Zion Church
749 Chase Street
Beyond 4 Walls Christian Center
875 S. Lake St.
For more information, call (219) 881-1201....
 

Chrysler Recalling 1.2 Million Ram Trucks

Chrysler is recalling over a million Ram trucks.  ABC News reports the problem -- says Chrysler - is steering system rods that may have been misaligned during assembly. So... 1.2 million Ram trucks are on the recall list. Chrysler says over 700-thousand of them may not need repairs but it has to recall so many to catch the ones that do. The recall affects Ram trucks going back to 2003. There have been seven accidents according to Chrysler. Affected customers will get letters in the mail.

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Lawsuit Against State Board of Education Dismissed

A lawsuit by Indiana School Superintendent Glenda Ritz against members of the State Board of Education was dismissed today. The lawsuit alleged the board violated Indiana's open meetings law regarding the shifting of school grade calculations to a legislative agency. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller challenged the lawsuit because it was done without his approval. State Board of Education members argued Ritz was taking too much time calculating the grades. ...
   

Traffic Stop Yields 82 Pounds of Marijuana

state Police Pot Bust
(Photo Courtesy of Indiana State Police Lowell Post)
A 23 year old South Bend man is facing felony drug charges after authorities report they found 82 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle. Indiana State Police Lowell Post reports a trooper pulled over Armando Bautista for speeding on the Indiana Toll Road, near the McCool Road overpass in Porter County, just before 10:30am on Thursday. A K-9 with the DEA alerted authorities and a subsequent search of the vehicle revealed two large compressed bundles of marijuana in the trunk....
   

Veterans Day Ceremony in Merrillville on Monday

The public is invited out to a special event regrading the celebration of our veterans for their service and sacrifice. The Hobart Marine Corps League Howlin' Mad Detachment 93 reports all Hobart military organizations will gather on Veteran's Day, at Veterans Memorial Park, in the 59-hundred block of East 73rd Avenue in Merrillville, at 11am. Several military organizations will be partaking in a short service with the laying of wreaths and they will be firing off a volley of three rounds and the playing of taps.
The Hobart Marine Corps League also would like to wish all current active duty and marine veterans a very happy birthday, as this Sunday is the U-S Marine Corps 238 birthday....

   

Vehicle Fire Closes 2 Left Lanes NB I-65 near US-30

11-08-13  Car Fire  NB I-65
All lanes northbound I-65 are backing up from 101st Avenue to just past 73rd Avenue due to a vehicle fire on the inside shoulder near 73rd Avenue.  Fire crews are on the scene at this time.  Drivers should avoid traveling northbound I-65 north of US-30 to avoid the backup caused by the blaze.  Drivers should consider taking Mississippi Street north to 61st Avenue or US-30 to Broaway back to 61st Avenue then back to I-65 northbound as an alternate.  Drivers traveling southbound I-65 can also expect gaper delays and slowdowns.

(photo/INDOT)...

   

Jail Inmate Served Drug Related Warrant

Carl Ulrich
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office)
A 39 year old man being held in the LaPorte County Jail now face additional charges. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office reports Carl Ulrich was served with a warrant on Wednesday, charging him with two felony counts for possession of a precursor by a methamphetamine offender. The warrant was issued as a result of an investigation by the LaPorte County Metro Operation Unit. Ulrich has been held at the jail, for revocation of suspended sentence for dealing meth, since his arrest on September 4th....
   

Sketch Released of Man Wanted for Sexual Assault

Scan-Patti-Lexmark 2013 11 08 10 03 40 642
(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office)
The Lake County Sheriff's Office has released a composite sketch of the suspect accused of forcing a 14 year old female student to perform a sex act on him. Sheriff's Police report the girl was walking to school in the area of 45th and Grant Street in Gary, just before 8am, on Monday, when she accepted a ride from the suspect who was reportedly driving a silver colored vehicle. The alleged incident was said to have occurred in a church parking lot, in the area of 47th and Pierce Street. The suspect is described as an older black male, with caramel colored skin, who is older, heavy-set and balding, with black facial hair on his chin, wearing a gray t-shirt, blue jeans and black shoes. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff's Detective Traci Harbin at (219) 755-3355.
(...

   

Help Restore the Landscape at Good Fellow Camp

Volunteers are needed next weekend to restore the landscape around the historic Good Fellow Club Youth Camp at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Officials report those who are interested in volunteering need to meet at the Good Fellow Camp, on November 16th, from 9am to noon, in the seven-hundred block of Howe Road in Porter. Volunteers will help remove vines, shrubs, and small trees that are growing up around the camp's fruit trees, which date back to when the camp operated over 40 years ago, and hand tools and work gloves will be provided. The volunteer effort is part of the stewardship program for November and was originally scheduled for Mt. Baldy, but had to be moved while an investigation continues to determine why a hole opened up on the giant sand dune, swallowing up a six-year-old boy for nearly four hours before he was rescued in July.
For more information on this or other programs at the national lakeshore, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit or contact the park’s information desk at 219-395-1882....
   

Gary Man Faces Numerous Felony Charges

Valpo PD
In Valparaiso, a 20-year-old Gary man was arrested after an alleged disturbance. Valparaiso Police say they responded to a call for help in the 12-hundred block of Chicago Street Thursday morning, where a woman had just been battered by male friend who used a handgun to batter the victim. Valparaiso University Police were informed of the incident due to the campus being near the apartment and a short time later the male subject was located by Valparaiso University Police at the entrance to Valparaiso University on US 30. Authorities say a police search of the apartment located a handgun, ammunition and a sawed off shot gun. Authorities say Kevin Brown was arrested and charged with Battery with a Deadly Weapon (C-Felony), Intimidation with a Weapon (C-Felony), Possession of a Sawed Off Shotgun (D-Felony), Strangulation (D-Felony), Domestic Battery with a Child Present (D- Felony), Criminal Recklessness with a Firearm (D-Felony) and Domestic Battery (A- Misd), and was being held at the Porter County Jail. ...
   

Grant Awarded to Build Homes in Gary

Group pic with Check 2
(Photos Courtesy of the City of Gary; Group photo: (L-R)  Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Lisa Benko and Dan Klein of Habitat for Humanity, and Mike Lisac of JP Morgan Chase Foundation)
GARY, Ind., November 8, 2013 -- Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Indiana today received a $74,500 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation that will help the nonprofit serve an underserved area of the Gary community.
Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Indiana owns several lots on the 1700 block of Adams also referred to as “The Field of Dreams.”  Habitat plans to break ground in early spring of 2014 on two of the six homes planned for the area. The nonprofit is hoping to secure additional funding to build two more homes for families in 2015.
The presentation took place at Gary City Hall where Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson served as host.
“This generous donation is another example of how corporate partnerships with non-profits and municipalities help build communities,” said Freeman-Wilson. “I applaud the JP Morgan Chase Foundation for their support, and I look forward to seeing the finished homes that will be occupied by some deserving families.”
“I am pleased that Chase stepped up to help this community,” said Lisa Benko, Habitats’ Director of Development and Community Relations.  “This project will provide for two hardworking families and is just a start to the plans for that area.”
Mike Lisac of JPMorgan is always looking for ways to help the community.  “JPMorgan Chase hopes our contribution will serve as a catalyst for other corporations to invest in the community,” Lisac said. “Habitat provides hope, not only for the family that is helped, but for all families living in poverty housing in our community.”
For more information about Habitats projects, contact Lisa Benko, director of development and community relations, 219-923-7265 Ext.304.
Press Conference shot
(Dan Klein of Habitat for Humanity addresses the crowd)...
   

Pipeline Breach Reported at Dyer Park

A notice at the Town of Dyer's website reports BP was testing a pipeline at Northgate Park today [November 7th, 2013] with high pressure water when the pipeline breached. Town officials say there was no loss of petroleum product but BP employees are attending to the breach and they closed the park down for precautionary reasons. It was expected that the breach would be repaired by this morning....
   

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