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Fire Departments Say Keep Hydrants Clear

Region fire departments are reminding residents to clear the snow around fire hydrants. Hebron Volunteer Fire Department says after a snowfall, remember to clear a three-foot radius around hydrants near your home. Valparaiso Fire officials are also sending out the message that when you're shoveling your sidewalks, take time to clear a hydrant as well....
 

Merrillville Fire Caused by Electrical Problem

A fire that started in a detached garage then jumped to a house in the one-thousand block of East 61st Place in Merrillville late Monday was caused by an electrical failure, officials say. Authorities say the homeowners were uninjured. ...
 

House Fire Starts in Gas Fireplace

Officials say a house fire in northeast LaPorte County New Year's Eve began in a gas fireplace, but it's not known exactly what caused it. The homeowner told investigators she turned off the fireplace then fell asleep, then woke up and saw flames outside and behind a wall where the fireplace is. She was able to get out safely. About one-third of the house was reportedly damaged by fire....
 

Wire Problem Affects Some South Shore Passengers

The operators of the South Shore report they are busing riders between South Bend and Michgan City due to overhead wire problems.  Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District says trains are running between Michigan City and Chicago.
South Shore Commuter Line website: www.nictd.com ...
 

Lowell Considers Roads for Repaving

Lowell is looking to repave some roadways. The town's director of public works says there's a list of twenty streets being considered, based on input from the public as well as observations by street department crews. The list will be forwarded to the town council for review. ...
 

Bus Driver Commended for Actions in Crash

A Lake County man is being praised for his bus driving skills, keeping a bus with more than forty passengers upright after it was struck by a pickup truck on US 20 near Rolling Prairie Tuesday, an accident that claimed the life of the truck driver. Police tell the Times 60-year-old Michael Krzeczowski of Crown Point was behind the wheel of a Royal Excursion bus carrying patrons from a casino in New Buffalo, Michigan, when a pickup truck went out of control on the snow-covered highway near County Road 450 East. The driver of the truck, 36-year-old John Kallok of Griffith was pronounced dead at the scene. Reports say Krzeczowski was able to keep the bus on its wheels after the impact sent it to a cornfield, and he drove it through a shallow ditch and between two trees before it came to rest. Police say injuries to those on the bus were not considered life-threatening....
 

Lake Effect Busy Overnight

snowlw [Photo - Laura Waluszko]
Varying amounts of snowfall from the lake effect over northwest Indiana Thursday and overnight... some preliminary totals show as of last night nearly ten inches of snow on the ground just northwest of the Lakes of the Four Seasons area. Several inches of snow can be seen in parts of Valparaiso.
For preliminary snowfall reports visit the National Weather Service Chicago website
 http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/?n=lsr_summary ...

 

LaPorte County Announces List of Public Warming Centers

Laporte Co warming centers
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
In light of the prediction frigid temperatures and continued snow, LaPorte County Emergency Management is announcing a list of public warming centers that will be accessible until at least Friday, January 10th. Officials also ask you, if possible, to check-in on those who live alone, the elderly and those with special needs and to keep pets and animals from being exposed to freezing temperatures.
City of La Porte
IU Health LaPorte Hospital
1007 Lincolnway
(219) 326-1234
6:00am-8:00pm in the lobbies and the chapel.
Michigan City
Library
100 E. 4th St.
(219) 873-3044
Normal business hours
City Hall
100 E. Michigan Blvd.
(219) 873-1400
Normal business hours
City Police
102 W. 2nd St.
(219) 874-3221
24 hours
City Fire Administration Building
2510 E. Michigan Blvd.
(219) 873-1440
Normal business hours
For assistance with keeping your animals warm:
LaPorte County Animal Shelter
(219) 326-1637...
 

ISP: Stranded in Cold Weather Tips

Indiana State Police logo
Indiana State Police Lowell Post report with the frigid cold temperatures expected tonight and the possibility of blowing and drifting snow, a disabled vehicle could make for a life or death situation for the driver and passengers.
Following the few tips listed below could save your life:
• Before you leave check the weather forecast and let someone know your route of travel.
• Always keep your gas tank full when driving in cold weather.
• Carry a winter survival kit in your car which is to include: blankets, extra warm clothes, flashlight, extra batteries, brightly colored cloth, sand or a bag of cat litter, shovel, candles and matches, non perishable high calorie foods, (nuts, raisins, and candy bars), newspapers (for insulation), a first aid kit and jumper cables.
• Do not leave your car if stranded, it is your best protection. Do not panic, an idling car only uses one gallon of gas per hour.
• Roll down a window a very small amount for fresh air.
• Make sure the car’s exhaust pipe is not blocked to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
• At night, leave your dome light on.
• Always have your cell phone and a charger so you can call and let us know where you're located.
These simple tips and items placed in your car could save your or a family member’s life in the event you find yourself stranded in the cold.
Road conditions are accessible at  http://indot.carsprogram.org/main.jsf. For up-to-date county travel statuses, Hoosiers are encouraged to visit  http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/....
 

Lawson to Help Hoosiers Tackle Finances in 2014

Secretary of State
INDIANAPOLIS (January 2, 2014) – Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson knows many of you want to pay off debt and improve your financial situation in 2014.  Many Hoosiers’ New Year’s resolutions involve money, and there’s no time like the present to get started.
Over the next few weeks, as part of her focus on financial literacy, Secretary Lawson will take to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to share helpful tips for starting a budget, paying off debt, and saving for the future.
Secretary Lawson’s Top Tips for 2014
1)      Create a budget and prioritize it!  Cutting unnecessary expenses will allow you to pay off debt and build a bigger nest egg.  Plus, understanding how your money is being used can lead to more responsible decision-making.
2)      Try to negotiate lower interest rates with creditors.  If you’re in good standing with the creditor, it’s possible they will give you a better rate and make it easier for you to pay back what you owe.  There’s no harm in asking. 
3)      After paying off a credit card, consider keeping it open!  Your credit score is partially determined by how much credit you have, and how much of that credit you are using.  It’s called credit utilization.  If you have a lot of credit, but are only using a small amount, your score will go up.  Closing a card will lower your amount of available credit and potentially lower your score.
4)      The new year is a good time to check on your credit report.  You’re entitled to one free credit report every twelve months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.  The official website to order these credit reports is www.AnnualCreditReport.com.  We recommend you bookmark that site.  Go over your credit reports carefully.  Mistakes happen! 
Secretary Lawson says, “The most effective form of investor protection is investor education.”  Her office teaches Hoosiers about investment fraud and financial literacy through Indiana Investment Watch.  The education program is not funded by taxpayers, but with fines imposed on violators of securities laws.  Indiana Investment Watch has educational materials covering the various types of fraud, as well as general financial literacy tools.  Workshops and outreach events held throughout the state provide more in-depth information on detecting and avoiding scams.  For more information, visit www.IndianaInvestmentWatch.com....
 

Lake Effect Snow Squalls Move into Northwest Indiana

01-02-14 Lake effect arrives
Lake effect snow is reported in Lake County and is lowering visibilities causing a drop in speeds.  Located on the state line, the lake effect snow squalls are slowing speeds both directions on the Borman (I-80/94) between the Bishop Ford and Cline Avenue.  INDOT is reporting that traffic is moving an average speed of 16 to 30 mph.  At one time earlier this afternoon, on the Illinois-side, traffic on the Tri-State Tollway was reportedly stop and go due to near white-out conditions caused by the lake effect. 

(photo/INDOT)...

   

LaPorte Woman Arrested in Connection with Stabbing

Amber Whiteman
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
A LaPorte woman was arrested on Tuesday in connection with a stabbing in the 100-half block of Kabelin Avenue. LaPorte Police report the victim informed officers he and the suspect, 24 year old Amber Whiteman, were discussing a family situation when Whiteman began making suicidal threats. The victim stated Whiteman grabbed the knife and cut herself, and when he attempted to grab the knife from her, she allegedly began swinging the knife back and forth towards him. Police report the victim sustained four-to-five lacerations and was transported to the hospital. Whiteman was located nearby and was also hospitalized and after her release was taken into police custody....
   

Pence: Avoid Unnecessary Travel During Winter Storm

Gov Mike Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence issued a statement today urging motorists to avoid unnecessary travel as winter storms continue throughout much of the state. Governor Pence says, “Hoosier motorists may be assured that the State of Indiana will continue to monitor the road conditions and weather and will respond with all available resources.” Since the storms hit the Hoosier state late Wednesday into Thursday morning, INDOT has deployed more than 740 trucks and crews and will continue to work to clear roadways as the snow continues to fall.
Road conditions are accessible at  http://indot.carsprogram.org/main.jsf. For up-to-date county travel statuses, Hoosiers are encouraged to visit  http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/....
   

Keeping Safe Driving Resolutions

AARP logo
While geared toward those 50 years and older, the A-A-R-P Smart Driver Course can help any driver learn the skills to stay safe behind the wheel.   
According to Indiana state coordinator Lesley Pence, trained instructors cover the ever-changing challenges on the roads, including construction, cul-de-sacs, roundabouts and dangerous weather conditions.
 "There are so many new things that are happening that it is a learning process, and even though we might be a little older, we have to continue to learn to deal with changing road conditions."
 Pence said 97 percent of those who take the course change at least one driving behavior, and that another important aspect of what they teach people in class is when to look for those signs that it is time to consider giving up driving.
 "Unfortunately we all have to cross that bridge someday, and we think that we can help with that so people realize that maybe it is time to turn in the keys."
 Pence said the course is helping to both to build confidence in older drivers, and to keep them and others safe on the roads.
 "A number of older people have come back to me and said, 'You know, what we actually learned in class did save our lives.' That's why it's so important to give these people something that can help them and keep them driving longer on the road."
 The AARP Smart Driver course is offered in both classroom and online settings, and you do not need to be an AARP member to take it. Additionally, some insurance companies offer discounts upon completion of the course. For more information about courses in Indiana, you can go to  http://states.aarp.org/category/indiana/

 

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News Videos Surface of Missing Michigan Doctor

Teleka Patrick
New videos have surfaced of a missing Michigan doctor from Kalamazoo - showing her with an unknown man in a hotel room. Is this the clue investigators have been searching for?  ABC news reports the bizarre videos show 30-year-old Teleka Patrick talking to, singing, buying flowers and cooking for a mysterious possible love interest. "I am dressed up for you." Teleka's family says they say they thought she was single. And now because of this new discovery, police are scouring her computers.
Patrick's car was later found with a flat tire the night of December 5th in a ditch on the side of westbound I-94, just east of the Porter/Burns Harbor exit....
   

Attempted Purse Theft at Portage Wal-Mart

portage pd
Two men were arrested Tuesday afternoon after a physical altercation erupted, stemming from the attempted theft of a purse, at the Portage Wal-Mart. Portage Police report a witness reported hearing a woman screaming for help, and located her in the laundry detergent aisle, where a black male in a red coat was reportedly attempting to flee with her purse. The suspect, later identified as 19 year old Charles Reed III, was grabbed by the witness and an altercation ensued until other patrons came to hold down Reed until Loss Prevention and police arrived. Reed is charged with felony theft and misdemeanor battery, for allegedly striking a patron. A 20 year old Lake Station man, who witnesses say was in the mix of the altercation, was arrested on a warrant in Lake Station for failure to appear for never obtaining a license and conversion....

   

Two Day Snowfall Totals, More Snow Coming

national weather service
Hoosiers northwest Indiana are bracing for several more inches of snow today as folks try to clear the streets of flakes that have already fallen. In the last two-days, the National Weather Service in Chicago reports the heaviest snowfall in parts of Valparaiso, with seven-point-seven inches of snow, six-point-four inches has fallen in Porter. A Lake Effect Snow Warning remains in effect for portions of northwest Indiana until midnight, with a Lake Effect Snow Advisory continuing for the rest of northwest Indiana until 6am Friday. For more snowfall totals, visit http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=lot&storyid=99294&source=0...

   

Snow Route Restrictions in Effect in Highland

Highland PD
In Highland, police are reminding residents that snow route parking restrictions are in effect. Highland Police report if you are on a snow route, please remove your vehicle from the street, so plows can clear them. Vehicles in designated snow routes that are not moved face ticketing and towing....
   

Stabbing in LaPorte Remains Under Investigation

LaPorte PD
A stabbing in LaPorte last week remains under investigation. LaPorte Police announced today they were called out to the 500 block of Philadelphia Street at approximately 12:40am on Friday and during their investigation a woman informed officers she and her boyfriend had been drinking and while sitting down to eat, she alleged her boyfriend starting calling her obscene names and began slapping her. Police report the woman said she took a steak knife from a kitchen drawer and swung it towards him, stabbing him in the side. The man was later transported to South Bend Memorial for his injuries. ...
   

Valpo Chamber to Honor Carberry, Rodenbarger

CARBERRYrodenbarger
George Carberry, Dr. Jerry Rodenbarger
On Saturday, January 18, 2014, the Valpo Chamber will honor George Carberry, managing partner at Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP, with the 2013 Distinguished Community Leader Award and Dr. Jerry Rodenbarger, primary surgeon and founding partner at Vale Park Animal Hospital, with the 2013 Legacy of Service Award at its annual “Salute to Leadership" dinner, at Stongbow Inn, 2405 US 30 E.   The black-tie optional evening will begin with cocktails at 6:00 p.m., dinner at 7:00 p.m., with the awards ceremony to follow. [Photos provided]
"The Distinguished Community Leader Award is given to an individual who demonstrates a leadership role, is successful in promoting and developing business and industry, is involved and contributes to the community, has a general reputation among the community business leaders and enhances the quality of life in our community on a sustained basis," states Rex Richards, Chamber president." George embodies what this award represents."
The Legacy of Service Award gives special recognition to individuals in the community who have, over the course of time or in an extraordinary circumstance, given service to the community beyond what is expected in their profession.
"Jerry is a terrific example to which others might aspire and learn the value of community service," added Richards.
Both Carberry and Rodenbarger were nominated for the awards by their chamber peers.
Outgoing 2013 Board members, including Board Chair Jonathan Nalli, Porter Health Care System, and incoming 2014 Board Chair, Tina Bengs, Olgetree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, will also be recognized for their service.
Six Valpo Chamber businesses will also be recognized with Business Longevity Awards. Companies celebrating milestones are: 1st Source Bank, 150 years; March of Dimes, 75 years; Boy-Conn Print & Copy, Comcast Business, Ivy Tech Community College, and Raymond James & Associates each with 50 years.
Presenting sponsor for the event is Porter Health Care System. For reservations, call the Valpo Chamber at (219) 462-1105 or register online at www.valparaisochamber.org ....
   

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