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Proposal to Open 3rd Jail Pod Tabled

A proposal to relieve overcrowding at the Porter County Jail by opening the vacant third pod was tabled today by the Porter County Commissioners. According to the study by the DLZ engineering firm, the county could have to pay anywhere between 146-thousand to 158-thousand dollars to make the third pod, which has been vacant for 11 years, ready for use. Commissioners tabled the proposal to find out if opening the pod can be done for less money. ...
 

Bill to Allow Same-Sex Marriage in IL Goes to Gov's Desk

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage now heads to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's desk after state senators today approved changes to the approved House legislation. Governor Quinn has already stated he would sign Senate Bill 10 into law, and when that happens, Illinois will become the 15 state in the nation to allow same-sex couples to marry. ...
 

Pence to Visit Jasper and Starke Counties Wednesday

Gov Mike Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence will be joining Hoosiers in Jasper and Starke Counties tomorrow (Wednesday). The Governor's Office reports he'll present a Secured School Safety Grant at Knox High School at 10am followed by a noon stop in Remington where he will lead a jobs roundtable at Advanced Auto Parts on West US 24.

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Rear End Crash Claims One Life in I-65 Crash

Indiana State Police logo
An investigation continues after a fatal crash this morning on northbound I-65, one mile south of the Rensselaer exit. Indiana State Police Lowell Post reports a vehicle driven by a 24 year old man from Michigan was rear ended by a pick up truck in the left lane of I-65. The impact ultimately caused the pick up, driven by 44 year old Jason Spears, of Indianapolis, to slide sideways and roll over several times. Both Spears and his passenger, 20 year old Jason Spears II were ejected from the vehicle. The elder Spears was pronounced dead at the scene, while his son was transported to Jasper County Hospital and later life-lined to St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis with life-threatening injuries. The Michigan man whose vehicle was struck from behind was not injured. State Police says seat belts were not in use in the pick up and both vehicles were a total loss. It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were a factor in this crash. ...

 

All Lanes SB I-65 Backing Up Due to Crash

11-05-13 I-65 crash
 
INDOT is reporting the left lane is blocked southbound I-65 before US-30 due to an earlier crash that is backing up traffic to the Borman (I-80/94) at this hour.  INDOT traffic cams are showing all southbound lanes of I-65 are backing up to Ridge Road due to the crash, which one traffic tipster reports involves a semi and a pickup truck on the inside wall right under the 73rd Avenue overpass.  Drivers should expect 10-15 minute delays and should merge into the right lane.

11-05-13  backe dup to the Borman
(photos: Crash backing up SB I-65 to the connector ramp onto SB I-65 from EB Borman (I-80/94)/INDOT)


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Sunday Fire in Gary Claims Another Victim

Authorities report a second person has died due to a house fire in Gary on Sunday morning. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office reports 64 year old Danny Hill died due to injuries sustained in the fire, in the four-thousand block of Louisiana Street, but an exact cause of death remains unknown at last check. Hill's wife, 71 year old Essie Hill was pronounced dead Sunday. The cause of the fire remains under investigation but is believed to be accidental in nature....

 

LaPorte/Michigan City Seeking Ice Sculpture Sponsors

LaPorte and Michigan City are seeking businesses to sponsor ice sculptures for their respective winter events in January. City of LaPorte Downtown Director Tiffany Bley says January is an extremely slow month for their downtown business merchants and this is a way to enhance the downtown experience. She says last year, in LaPorte 12 to 15 ice sculptures were sponsored while 25 or so were sponsored in Michigan City, but the artists can do up to 40 in a day, so they'd love to get to that number.
Bley says the ice is provided by City's Pure Ice and she would like interested businesses to let her know if they want to participate by mid-December. Michigan City's ice sculpture day is January 11th, while LaPorte's Downtown Winter Fest runs from 4pm to 7pm on January 24th.  For more information on the ice sculptures, or how you can get involved in downtown events in 2014, contact Tiffany Bley at (219) 362-3178 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ....
 

World Renowned Chef Charlie Trotter Found Dead

World renowned Chef Charlie Trotter is dead. ABC News reports the 54-year-old was found unresponsive by his son in his Chicago home, and pronounced dead at the hospital. Trotter hosted 'The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter' a PBS show in 1999. He owned several restaurants in Chicago, and around the world. His most famous being the highly acclaimed Charlie Trotter's in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, which closed in 2012. Officials haven't released a cause of death....

 

Porter County Fall Taxes Due Next Week 11/12

The deadline for fall taxes in Porter County is next week, Tuesday, November 12th. Porter County Treasurer Mike Bucko says you can pay in person at the County Administration Building in Valparaiso and reminds residents the Administration Building will be closed Monday, November 11th, for Veteran's Day. Bucko says any payment made by mail and officially post marked by the US Post Office as November 12th will be considered on time, regardless of the delivery date.
Youcan also pay on-line and be considered on-time until 11:59:59 on November 12, 2013.  Funds must be in the account to have a valid payment regardless of how the bill is paid. Late penalties will apply and NSF penalties will be applied to all NSF checks not corrected by November 12, 2013, 4:30pm....

 

Westville Corrections Officer Arrest for Trafficking

A Westville Corrections officer was arrested on Monday after a search of her personal property and subsequent search of her vehicle for allegedly trafficking to prisoners. Prison officials report 51 year old Mary Martin, of Michigan City, was charged with official misconduct and trafficking, but have not released what was being trafficked, other than saying the item was not an illegal substance....
 

Interstate 65 Reopens After Fatal Crash

Traffic-Alert
Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say all lanes of northbound Interstate 65 at mile marker 214 are open again with traffic moving slowly through the area.  The interstate was closed earlier near Rensselaer due to a fatal crash.  No other information was available at this time....
   

Court Cases Many, Jury Verdicts Few

New statistics out this week show about 13-hundred cases, out of one-point-six-million new ones filed in Indiana trial courts last year, were decided by a jury in 2012.  Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice and Hobart-native Brent Dickson voiced concern, saying it means fewer people are being exposed to how the judicial system works. The 2012 Indiana Judicial Service and Probation Report also showed more than 300-thousand cases involved people going to court last year without an attorney.
News Release:  1.6 million new cases were filed in Indiana trial courts in 2012.  The information is available in a collection of reports just released.  The reports include the 2012 Indiana Judicial Service Report and Probation Report, Supreme Court Annual Report, and a new website with comparative data.  For the links, click here:  http://in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?fromdate=11/4/2013&todate=11/17/2013&display=&type=public&eventidn=141759&view=EventDetails&information_id=190133

Chief Justice Brent E. Dickson pointed to the accessibility of the reports, “There are multiple volumes with more than 1800 pages of information.  We have printed a limited number of hard copies and made all of the information available on our website.”
The reports provide details about court operations at the county and appellate level.  The following is just some of the information available (calendar year 2012, unless otherwise noted).
  • 1.6 million new cases were filed in Indiana trial courts
  • The Supreme Court was asked to review 1012 cases (fiscal year 2012-2013)
  • 1,338 civil and criminal jury trials were held statewide
  • 307,612 cases statewide included an individual who went to court without a lawyer
  • 235 murder cases were filed in trial courts
  • 33,876 mortgage foreclosures were filed in the state
  • 11,325 Child In Need of Services (CHINS) cases were filed
  • 13,077 cases included children served by the GAL/CASA program
  • An interpreter was used in 11,564 trial court cases
  • 5,900 cases statewide were referred to Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • 124,322 adults were under supervision by court probation departments
  • Cities, towns, townships, counties, and the state spent $386 million to operate the courts
  • Filing fees, court costs, user fees, and fines generated $205 million in revenue
The Indiana Judicial Service Report and Indiana Probation Report are produced annually by the Supreme Court’s Division of State Court Administration.  Executive Director Lilia Judson noted the requirement of the report by Indiana statute (IC 33-24-6-3) and Supreme Court administrative rules.  “We created the first report in 1976 with handwritten charts.  Today, we gather the information electronically and publish it online.  This year, a new website allows users to compare data easily such as caseloads between counties.”
 
The reports referenced above can be found online including: 2012 Indiana Judicial Service Report and Probation Report [ http://www.in.gov/judiciary/admin/3118.htm ], Supreme Court Annual Report [ http://www.in.gov/judiciary/supreme/2484.htm ], and the website with comparative data [ https://publicaccess.courts.in.gov/icor/report...
   

Porter County GIVE Day - On Demand Interviews

Coming up this Thursday it's Point, Click, Give-- Porter County GIVE Day, a 24 hour event, this year focusing on kids and a variety of organizations that benefit kids. The Stations of Radio One Communication are proud to be a part of this year's GIVE Day in association with the Porter County Community Foundation.  Hear our News On Demand interviews HERE highlighting GIVE Day as we count down to Thursday.  And learn more about GIVE Day and how you can give HERE....
   

Hunting Near or With Deer Attractants Illegal in Indiana

The Department of Natural Resources is reminding Indiana hunters that even though deer attractants found at retail stores can be purchased legally and used in the wild, hunting near them is illegal.
Indiana regulations prohibit the hunting of deer with the use or aid of bait, which is defined as “a food that is transported and placed for consumption, including, but not limited to, piles of corn and apples placed in the field; a prepared solid or liquid that is manufactured and intended for consumption by livestock or wild deer, including, but not limited to, commercial baits and food supplements; salt; or mineral supplements.”
State officials say that includes artificial products marketed under names such as Deer Co-Cain, Buck Jam, Trophy Rock, as well as mineral blocks, salt blocks, and even natural foods such as corn and apples.
“Basically, if you place anything that isn't grown in the area and hunt there, it's illegal,” said Lt. Larry Morrison, outdoor education director for DNR Law Enforcement. “Hunting next to a corn field or from an apple tree is legal, but placing corn or apples under your tree stand would put you in conflict with current Indiana law.”
An area is considered baited for 10 days after the product and the affected soil is removed from an area.  The Indiana DNR says odor differs from bait. Cover scents or scent attractants are legal to use when hunting.
Archery season currently is underway in Indiana and continues through Jan. 5, 2014. The urban zone segment in designated areas continues through Jan. 31, 2014.
Indiana’s deer firearms hunting season begins Nov. 16 and ends Dec. 1, followed by the muzzleloader season (Dec. 7-22) and the special antlerless season (Dec. 26-Jan. 5, 2014).
A violation of Indiana’s no baiting regulation is a Class C misdemeanor....

   

Fans Bear the Night Air, Pack the Park for Tailgate

valpo tailgate
Hundreds of football fans enjoyed a relatively mild November night in the Region to watch Monday night's Bears-Packers game outdoors. The Great Downtown Tailgate at Central Park Plaza in Valparaiso hosted by Valparaiso Community Festivals and Events featured tailgating, refreshments sold on site to benefit high school and pop warner, and a giant screen showing a live broadcast of last night's matchup... it was Chicago over Green Bay, 27-20... Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a shoulder injury in the game, but the team won't have an official injury diagnosis until Tuesday.   [Photo/Valparaiso Community Festivals and Events]

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Not Election Day in Indiana for Most Hoosiers

Today is General Election Day for a number of states, but in Indiana, it's an off-year, and the only voters going to the ballot box in the Hoosier state are casting votes in a handful of local referenda. One of those is in northwest Indiana, for Michigan City Area Schools, a district in La Porte County that also includes two precincts in Pine Township in far northeast Porter County. School officials say the referendum is asking voters for a property tax increase to keep from possibly having to close schools and lay off teachers. Indiana voters return to the polls May 6, 2014, for primaries. Next year's midterm elections include all US Representatives, all Indiana State Representatives, half of Indiana's State Senators, Indiana Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and State Auditor....

   

219: Duneland Y Dancing Like The Stars

The Duneland Y is hosting their annual Dancing Like the Stars Fundraiser this weekend to raise much needed funds for their Family Assistance Program. If you love the TV show, you'll wanna come watch eight local community leaders battle it out on the dancefloor! To purchase tickets or vote for your favorite contestant contact the Duneland Y in Chesterton at 219.926.4204. Be sure to listen to Annie's full interview at News Audio On Demand here on our website....
   

Boy Scouts Recognized by Lowell Town Council

Boy Scout Troop 697 was recognized by the Lowell Town Council for their recent efforts toward beautifying the south Lake County community. Town Council President Edgar Corns says the MS4, or Stormwater Coordinator for Lowell, Greg White, his son is in the Boy Scouts, and the group recently cleaned up a drainage ditch.  "It was really littered," Corns told the Region News Team, "and it took a lot of work. You know, car tires and oil cans and just every kind of thing that you could think of."  Corns says the ditch is behind the Lowell Library, in between houses and the Lowell Cemetery.  The town council presented the troop with a certificate of appreciation at the most recent council meeting. ...
   

Police Investigate Homicide at Piatak Meats

piatak1
Police in Northwest Indiana continue to investigate a shooting death and attempted burglary discovered at Piatak Meats near 61st and Broadway Monday morning. Authorities have identified the victim as 27-year-old Andrew Fugate of Hobart, son of the proprietor. Police say Fugate arrived at the business at 4 am to to do prep work before opening the store.
piatakbyrd1
Detective Robert Byrd, spokesman for the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force, speaks at a news conference Monday regarding the homicide at Piatak Meats
At last word, police said they had no suspects in custody and the investigation was ongoing.  Police say nothing was taken from the business, but physical evidence at the scene indicates an attempted burglary. Detective Robert Byrd, spokesman for the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force, says a previous burglary attempt occurred at the business this past June, in which an alarm sounded, but in this case, since an employee was on site, the alarm did not sound. Anyone with information is asked to call Merrillville Police at 219-769-3531.  [Photos/Karl Berner, Radio One Communications]...

   

Expansion at Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer

dyer hospital
Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation project over the next year expanding its emergency, surgical and laboratory departments.
 “The goal of the project is to expand a comprehensive emergency center of excellence. We will remodel and expand the current surgical space, remodel and improve the surgical preadmission space and expand and improve the central sterile processing department for surgery, as well as improve the main corridor and flow to the Emergency Department on the main level,” John Mentgen, hospital executive vice president and chief operating officer said, adding, “The new design will be targeted at meeting the ever-growing population in south Lake County and to help achieve our continual growth in the emergency services and surgical services areas.”  
Work began in late October and is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2014.  For the Emergency Department the project includes:
     * A 3,500-square-foot addition.
     * Renovating existing space and optimizing patient care areas.
     * Designing new, specialized patient exam rooms.
     * Adding a five-bed observation unit.
     * Creating results-waiting triage space to make visits quicker.
     * A new state-of-the-art trauma room that will double the size of the current facility.
     * Addition of a private, behavioral health suite.
     * A new isolation room for infectious patients.

Current operations will not be affected while the work is taking place, Dan Ratko, hospital project manager of construction, said.  “The project will be done in phases – everything will remain open while it is being completed,” he said, adding the result will optimize capabilities and offer patients the best possible care.  The department also will receive new monitors and an improved nurses’ station that will provide visibility of all exam rooms. A new nurse call and tracking system and staff assistance tags will help patients better communicate with caregivers, Ratko said.
Surgery department improvements will include a new, 760-square-foot advanced surgical suite, new preadmission testing space, expanding the sterilization process for surgical instruments and physician locker room upgrades, Marla Hoyer-Lareau, hospital chief nursing officer and vice president of patient services, said....

   

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