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Public Invited to View Sheriff's Mounted Posse Training

LapPorte County Sheriff logo - this one
The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office Mounted Posse Unit will be trained this weekend by a former 28 year member of the London, England, Metropolitan Mounted Branch. The Sheriff's Office reports instructor Mark Weller has been assigned to Buckingham Palace, has had numerous commendations for bravery, and is the current Director of Horsemanship Instruction at Culver Military Academy. Training will take place tomorrow and Sunday, from 8am to 5pm each day, at the Draft Horse Arena, located in the northwest corner of the LaPorte County Fairgrounds and is open for public viewing....
 

Secretary of Defense to Indiana: Stop Discriminating

US Secretary of State Chuck Hagel on Thursday issued a stern warning to several states, including Indiana, to stop denying same-sex couples and their families benefits, which he says is in violation of federal law. Today, an Indiana National Guard spokesperson says a decision was never made to not process benefits, rather the decision was delayed in order to understand the impact of these new benefits. Last month the Department of Defense began providing benefits to same-sex spouses of military members and eligible civilian employees following the US Supreme Court's June 26th ruling that Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. ...
 

Indiana National Guard to Honor 7 Fallen Soldiers

indiana national guard logo
A shadow box unveiling for seven fallen soldiers of the Indiana National Guard takes place Sunday at Valparaiso University. The ceremony will honor the sacrifices of the 113th Engineer Battalion soldiers. Friends, family and community leaders will attend the unveiling, which is scheduled to take place at 3pm. The shadow boxes will be permanently mounted in the Indiana National Guard Valparaiso Armory.
Those being honored are:
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Chavez
Staff Sgt. Jonathan Metzger
Sgt. Brian Leonhardt
Spc. Robert Tauteris
Spc. Christopher Patterson
Spc. Nicholas Taylor
Spc. Sergio Perez...
 

Illiana Expressway Open House in Gary

NIRPC Logo
The first of four open house dates scheduled by the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission regarding the Illiana Expressway takes place tomorrow. The hearing is scheduled for November 2nd, in Gary, from 10am to 12pm, at Indiana University Northwest. NIRPC's full board will take a vote on amending its regional plan to include the expressway on December 12th.
The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) will commence a 30-day public comment period on October 14, 2013 and ending November 20, 2013 to gather public comments on amendments to NIRPC’s 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan (2040 CRP) and 2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) which will add the proposed I-65 expansion and Illiana Expressway. Additionally, the public comment period encompasses a new Air Quality Conformity Analysis which includes these projects.
As part of this public comment period, four public meetings will be held as follows:
  • November 2: John W. Anderson Library, Indiana University Northwest, 3400 Broadway, Gary, IN 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • November 5: Lowell Middle School, 19250 Cline Avenue, Lowell, IN, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • November 13: NIRPC, 6100 Southport Road, Portage, IN, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • November 19: Michigan City City Hall, 100 E Michigan Boulevard, Michigan City, IN 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information visit http://www.nirpc.org/illiana-expressway-project...
 

Region HS Bands Head to State Finals

The 40th Anniversary Indiana State School Music Association State Finals for High School Marching Bands is this Saturday [November 2, 2013] at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and two bands from Lake County will be competing. Lake Central High School's “Tribe of Pride” will complete in the Class-A contest. Munster High School's Mustang marching band will complete with the Class B bands for the third year in a row. The classes represent enrollment size for the schools. Organizers say the event is widely known as one of the best State High School Marching Band contests in the country. Forty bands, ten in each class meet at the State Finals to decide the four State Champions.  Admission is $20.00 for adults and $18.00 for students and pre-school.  The schedule of participating bands is located at www.issma.net . One-hundred-nine Open Class bands began performance on October 19 at one of four regional sites. Eighty bands, twenty in each enrollment category, determined by size of school,  continued to Semi-State performance on October 26.
Chesterton High School's marching band will also perform at Lucas Oil Stadium tomorrow. The Trojan Guard Marching Band brought home the title of Indiana State School Music Association’s 2013 Scholastic Class “A” State Title in an event was hosted by Lawrence Central High School of Indianapolis last weekend. Their performance Saturday will be part of the "Open Class" State Finals, and there will be an awards ceremony afterward recognizing them as the new Scholastic Class “A” State Champions....
 

Region Residents Reminded to Turn Back Clocks

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Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday. Saturday night/Sunday morning when we turn clocks back an hour and return to Standard Time. Fire departments around the Region remind residents that it's a great time to also change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Beginning in 2006, all of Indiana started observing Daylight Saving Time.  Before then, most of the state stayed on Eastern Standard Time year round.  Now, most of the state remains on Eastern Time, but also makes the switch to Daylight Saving Time in the Spring.  The Region is on Central Time, along with a handful of counties in the far southwestern corner of the state....
 

Gary Police Investigate Shooting Death

In Gary, authorities say police are investigating the shooting death of a Gary man in the 32-hundred block of Georgia Street Thursday evening. The Lake County Coroners office says 57-year-old Terence Farmer suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at 7:30 pm. The shooting reportedly occurred in the driveway of the victim's house. There have been more than forty homicides in the city this year.  A shooting death earlier this month in the 500 block of east 16th Avenue marked the 43rd homicide in the city this year, the same number as all of last year. ...
 

Congressman Visclosky Testifies on Steel Measures

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First District Democrat Indiana Congressman Pete Visclosky, Vice Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus, testified Thursday before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), urging the Commission to maintain the current countervailing and anti-dumping measures on hot-rolled steel products from China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Ukraine.  Congressman Visclosky says the proper enforcement of trade laws is vital to American steelworkers, and that the steel industry must recover in this fragile economy without the fear of injury from unfair trade.
Click here to view the Congressman discussing his thoughts on this issue:  &feature=youtu.be">&feature=youtu.be
The full testimony from Thursday is as follows:
I would like to first thank Chairman Williamson, the members of the Commission, and the staff, for the work that you do to uphold our trade laws, for your commitment to public service, and for the opportunity to be a part of today’s hearing.  The recent government shutdown provided countless examples of negative impacts from Congress’s inability to come to a budget agreement, but I want you to know that the shutdown took on a new reality for me when I realized that I would not be able to participate in this hearing originally scheduled for October 3, 2013.  I implored on the House floor numerous times during the shutdown that we have a country to run, and an integral part of running this country is the work that you and your staff do here at the International Trade Commission.  Therefore, I thank you for your work and for your timeliness in rescheduling today’s very important hearing. 
As the Vice Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus, I believe that the proper enforcement of our trade laws is vital to American steelworkers.  What is at stake today are American steel jobs.  Steel jobs take skill, know-how, innovation, and teamwork.  They are jobs that provide a living-wage, and allow workers to invest in their families and their communities.  This is essential in the communities in the First Congressional District of Indiana, and in communities throughout America. 
To illustrate, along with Chairman Murphy of the Eighteenth Congressional District of Pennsylvania, the Congressional Steel Caucus gathered the signatures of 48 other Members of Congress from around the county in a letter to you in support of maintaining the current countervailing and anti-dumping duties at issue in this case.  The orders before you cover dumped and subsidized hot-rolled steel from six countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Ukraine.  As the Department of Commerce has already stated, the revocation of the anti-dumping duty orders would likely lead to the continuation or recurrence of dumping at margins as great as 90.83 percent, and the revocation of countervailing duty orders would likely lead to the continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy at rates as great as 563.5 percent.
There also are massive capacity increases throughout these countries, and persistent patterns of unfair trading practices in other steel product lines.  Specifically, it is estimated that hot-rolled steel capacity in China has grown from approximately 175 million metric tons in 2006 to approximately 385 million metric tons in 2012, and in India, hot-rolled steel capacity has grown from approximately 16 million metric tons in 2006 to approximately 37 million metric tons in 2012.  I would add that because of the depressed conditions of their own economies, removing our protections would release a flood of dumped and subsidized imports, leading again to material injury for American steel manufacturers and the loss of American jobs. 
Additionally, as noted in the Steel Caucus letter, American steel is still recovering in this fragile economy.  From 2007 to 2009, U.S. consumption of hot-rolled steel fell by over 43 percent and data from a previous Commission proceeding showed that in 2009, U.S. mills had an operating loss of $2.3 billion and 18 percent of the U.S. workforce making hot-rolled steel lost their jobs.  As of last year, U.S. consumption had still not returned to 2007 levels, and as of last week, the Northwest Indiana Times, a local newspaper in my district, noted that U.S. Steel is predicted to lose money for the fourth consecutive quarter and ArcelorMittal is predicted to lose money for the fifth consecutive quarter. 
Members of the Commission, American steel jobs are at stake, and we must do all that we can to allow American workers to recover in this fragile economy without the fear of further injury from unfair trade.  Therefore, I respectfully request that you keep these orders in place, and again, I thank you for your tireless work and for your fair and thorough consideration of this case....
 

Region Runners in Cross Country Finals Saturday

Runners from across the state and around the Region will converge on the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute Saturday to determine this year's champs in the IHSAA State Finals in cross country. The boys race is scheduled to begin at 1 pm Eastern Time with the girls race to follow at 1:45.
More info at the Indiana High School Athletic Association Website: www.ihsaa.org...
 

Crown Point Boys Soccer Going for State Title

The Indiana high school state soccer championships are this Saturday (Nov 2), with one Region squad going for a state title.  The Crown Point Boys Soccer team is looking to cap its undefeated season with its second state title in three seasons.  The Bulldogs will face Avon High School at 5pm Central Time on the campus of IUPUI.  Tickets are $10. Fans traveling to the game are advised that a marathon could lead to road closures near the stadium.
More info at the Indiana High School Athletic Association webiste:  www.ihsaa.org...
 

Prep Football Tournament Action Continues

Prep football tournament action continues in the Region tonight, with 6A teams playing for sectional championships.  In Sectional 1, 8-2 Lake Central is hosting 9-1 Merrillville at the Burial Grounds in St John... while in Sectional 2 Chesterton is traveling to Mishawaka to take on unbeaten Penn.   Classes 1 thru 5A will be playing sectional semi-final games tonight.  Munster is at Michigan City... Griffith at East Chicago Central... West Side at Highland... Andrean at Calumet... Hammond High hosts John Glenn... Rensselaer is at North Judson... Boone Grove at Bowman... and 9-1 Whiting is at unbeaten Winamac.
More info at the Indiana High School Athletic Association Website: www.ihsaa.org ...
   

Lake Station Toll Road/94 Exchange Blocked by Rollover

Traffic-Alert
Semi rollover is affecting the Indiana Toll Road to eastbound Interstate 94 in Lake Station... EB I-94 to Toll Road... and NB Ripley to EB I-94.  All these ramps are side by side and affected by the rollover.  Ramp from westbound Indiana Toll road to WB 80/94 is already closed with road work....

   

Two Coke Batteries Closing at Gary Works

US Steel is shuttering two of its oldest coke batteries at the flagship Gary Works plant as part of an overall company initiative to reduce costs. Coke batteries 5 and 7 were built in the 1950s. Published reports say the 120 affected workers are being reassigned elsewhere within the mill. US Steel is also shutting down their Hamilton Works steelmaking plant in Canada. Hamilton Works in Hamilton, Ontario, is one of two US Steel plants in Canada....
   

Open Houses Scheduled on Marquette Plan

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and Indiana Landmarks are inviting the public to a series of open houses in Lake, Porter and La Porte Counties on the Marquette Plan, a vision long in the making to reinvest in Northwest Indiana's lakeshore. NIRPC says the idea is to create a “Livable Lakefront for the Region” where people can live, work, play and stay. The first two open houses are in Gary and Whiting this Monday. Two others are scheduled later this month in Michigan City and Portage.
More info from NIRPC:
The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) and Indiana Landmarks would like to invite those interested to participate in a series of public open houses regarding current efforts to update the Marquette Plan, Northwest Indiana’s Vision for Lakeshore Reinvestment. These open houses will be held as follows:
November 4th: 2:00 – 3:30 pm at Gary Public Library, Carter G. Woodson Branch, 501 South Lake Street, Gary IN 46403.
November 4th: 5:30 – 7 pm at Whiting Community Center, 1938 Clark Street Whiting IN 46394
November 12th: 5:30 – 7 pm at City Hall Operations Center, 100 E. Michigan Blvd #2, Michigan City, IN 46360
November 18th: 5:30 – 7 pm at Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission: 6100 South Port Road, Portage, IN 46368
Congressman Pete Visclosky, the creative force behind the Marquette Plan has said “Sweeping changes will not come overnight. Nor can they be dictated by one person or one governmental body. We in Northwest Indiana must sit together as a unified community and reach a consensus on our future”. In 2005 Phase I, and again in 2008 for Phase II, the region did come together on a future for our Lake Michigan Shore. The Marquette Plan’s strategic vision, common to both phases is to create a Livable Lakefront for the Region, where people can live, work, play & stay. The plan provides a framework for thinking and acting strategically to move toward environmental, economic, and social sustainability of our shoreline, with new and mixed uses, as well as increased public access to the vital Lake Michigan resource.
Since 2005 the Marquette Plan has not been a document that sits on the shelf. Many of our shorefront cities and towns have invested in projects and policies to implement the Marquette Plan, with the support of the Regional Development Authority, the Indiana DNR, and many other regional partners. For details on all the developments on the shoreline, visit the RDA’s Marquette Plan page at www.rdatransformation.com...
   

House Fire in Hebron


Crews are responding to a house fire in Hebron.  State Road 8 is reportedly blocked east of Hebron this morning.  No other information was available at this hour....
   

Power Outage in Portage

Northern Indiana Public Service Company reports just over 14-hundred customers in Portage are without power at this hour.  We have reports that includes the traffic light being out at the busy intersection of US 6 and County Line Road.  No word at this hour on what is causing the outage....
   

Region Invited To Save The Kennedy

kennedy    kennedy2
The Kennedy Theatre has been the site of first dates, movie premieres, and family fun for generations in Hessville and now they need your help. Owner Chris Benavidez says they need over one-hundred thousand dollars for studio mandated upgrades to keep showing movies in 2014. To help raise the money needed they have started The Save The Kennedy Campaign online and will be hosting a benefit November 2nd at the Hammond FOP Lodge. For more information, listen to Annie's interview with Chris online at News Audio On Demand here on our website....
   

False Reporting Leads to Arrest of Two DeMotte Men

Jasper Co Sheriff Dept
Two DeMotte men have been arrested and charged with false informing after they told authorities an unknown suspect shot their friend during a robbery that never actually occurred. The Jasper County Sheriff's Office says on Tuesday, just before 3:30am, they received word of a gunshot victim at the Jasper County Hospital Emergency Room, where a 23 year old DeMotte man had received a gunshot wound to his lower left leg. During the investigation, detectives found a discrepancy in the story of the two witnesses who were in the vehicle with the victim when the alleged robbery occurred, at the intersection of State Road 110, south of DeMotte. Authorities say the victim reportedly admitted the robbery story had been fabricated to cover the fact he had self-inflicted the gunshot wound at his apartment. A search warrant of the apartment turned up a 38-caliber revolver, along with spent shell casings at the scene and an investigation continues. ...
   

Indiana Extends High-Risk Insurance 6,800 Hoosiers

Indiana's high-risk insurance pool has been extended until January 31st, 2014, for all 68-hundred Hoosiers currently covered. The Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance issued the order today at the urging of Governor Mike Pence, due to the fact Hoosiers have had difficultly enrolling in Marketplace insurance plans because of technical issues with the federal Marketplace website. Should the enrollment problems continue, the state will assess the feasibility of extending coverage until Hoosiers can apply and enroll in the federal Marketplace. ...
   

Donnelly Outlines Priorities for Farm Bill Conference

donnelly
The federal government is cutting five billion dollars from the food stamp program, meaning families of four will get $36 dollars less a month for food. And more cuts could be coming as Congress debates a farm bill. 47 million people use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program known as SNAP. Paul Morello with the Greater Chicago Food Depository says the cuts will increase demand at food pantries and more people are going to have trouble finding food,  "they're going to have trouble figuring out where their next meal is going to come from".
Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly today outlined his priorities for the five-year Farm Bill, urging the farm bill conference committee to provide a basic level of crop insurance coverage for advanced bio-fuel crops and expressed support for a bipartisan amendment to improve the availability of conservation technical assistance to farmers. For a link to read Donnelly's full letter to the farm bill committee, click http://www.donnelly.senate.gov/download/2013-farm-bill-conference-priorities...
   

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