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Mega Millions Jackpot Soars to $550 Million

There will be another drawing for one of the largest jackpots in US history. The Mega Millions lottery drawing was held Friday night, and officials say no one won the big prize.  Tuesday's drawing will be for 550-million dollars. Organizers say they sold 40 percent more tickets than they thought they would.   Friday night's drawing, for 425-million dollars, was the second-largest in the game's history. Mega Millions changed the odds in October, upping the number of the first five balls drawn, and Illinois State Lottery Director Mike Jones says that may be why there hasn't been a winner in a while. ...
 

Hazardous Winter Weather Outlook Update

All winter weather advisories and warnings for the Region have been cancelled.  The National Weather Service Chicago received a report of nearly 6 inches of snow in Beverly Shores as of early this afternoon, about 5-and-a-half inches in Kentland, and about five in DeMotte.
The latest forecast for Northwest Indiana shows scattered snow showers continuing into the evening hours, possibly some lake effect snow tonight, and turning colder tonight with a low of about 14. Additional flurries and/or scattered snow showers are in the outlook for the rest of the weekend.
National Weather Service Chicago website: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/...
 

Apartment Fire in Portage, Resident Critically Injured

The Portage Fire Department says a resident of Breckinridge Apartments in the 33-hundred block of East Bend on the city's south side was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries after crews were dispatched to a possible apartment fire at approximately 5:30 this morning.  Upon arrival, crews noted light smoke in the hallway, and the building was evacuated.  Firefighters found a working fire in a third-floor apartment and extinguished it quickly.  While one crew was putting out the fire, another searched the apartment and found the resident lying in the hallway of the unit. Fire officials say that person, whose identity has not been released pending notification of family, was taken by ambulance to Porter Regional Hospital in critical condition.  The Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office was also contacted and on scene as of this morning to assist in the investigation along with the Portage Fire Investigation Team.  A first alarm was struck to cover the fire stations while crews worked the scene.  Ogden Dunes, Burns Harbor, and Union Fire covered the stations, and South Haven Fire assisted at the scene....
 

UPDATE: I-65 Hazmat Crash

tanker3
TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE - I-65 northbound is still shutdown at I-80/94 due to an earlier semi accident. A semi tanker overturned this morning. The hazardous materials inside are causing this extensive delay. A specially qualified crew must move the semi. INDOT has no control over this.
Right now traffic cannot continue northbound on I-65 at I-94. Traffic can exit westbound onto I-94, but cannot exit eastbound onto I-94. [Image/INDOT]...
 

Winter Weather Continues This Afternoon

wxgraphic
Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for Lake and Porter Counties until 3pm CST.  Winter Storm Warning until 3pm CST for Newton and Jasper.  Winter Storm Warning until 6pm CST for LaPorte, Starke and Pulaski.  Snow can be heavy at times through early evening.  Total daytime accumulations of up to 5 inches, especially away from the lake.  Additional snow showers and flurries possible tonight. Lake effect snow is possible tonight.  Low 15°.  Cold Sunday.  High 16°, wind chill -3°.  [Image/National Weather Service Chicago]
National Weather Service Chicago website: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/...
 

Northbound I-65 Remains Closed at 80-94

tanker65
Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say crews were continuing to work on uprighting a tanker that overturned earlier today.  The Indiana Department of Transportation reported that the accident involved a hazmat response.  No information is available at this time on what material the tanker was carrying....
 

Semi in Ditch Blocking WB US 30 Traffic

Traffic-Alert
Traffic tipsters are reporting a semi in the ditch blocking all lanes of westbound US 30 traffic near the Porter County Airport.  Traffic is reportedly being diverted off westbound US 30 near Walmart....
 

Winter WX Advisory Extended Until 3pm CST

65 rollover
(Photo Courtesy of INDOT)
Numerous spin-outs, crashes and vehicles in the ditch have kept authorities in northwest Indiana very busy this morning. INDOT has busy working most of the morning dealing with an overturned tanker on northbound I-65, near the I-80/94 junction which has caused all northbound lanes to be closed. The National Weather Service has extended its Winter Weather Advisory until 3pm CST today for Lake and Porter Counties. The Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for the rest of northwest Indiana until 6pm CST this evening. ...
 

NICTD: Utility Issue Cancels Extra EB Train

NICTD logo
Due to the NIPSCO utility problem the EB extra scheduled to depart Millennium at 4:25pm has been cancelled. All other scheduled EB Trains will operate....
 

NICTD: Train Service Suspended from MC to South Bend

NICTD logo
NICTD is reporting all train service has been suspended between South Bend and Michigan City on account of the NIPSCO utility problem. Passengers need to find alternative transportation to Michigan City to board trains. ...
 

Jasper County Farm Bureau Gets Special Recognition

IN Farm Bureau logo
A northwest Indiana county was one of nine honored this weekend in Fort Wayne by the Indiana Farm Bureau. The nine counties received “Impact Awards” in one of four program areas: issue engagement, young farmers and youth, public relations and education, and influential organization. The Jasper County Farm Bureau received the award for public relations and education as they provided grain rescue tubes to four fire departments and provided classroom instruction and hands-on training for volunteers. The winning counties received 250 dollars each to help them continue to make a positive impact. ...
   

Head Start Scholarship Informational Session Tuesday

An informational session will be held on Tuesday for Head Start scholarships and quality care to eligible children three to five years old. The event is being sponsored by Geminus Head Start and TradeWinds and takes place at the current TradeWinds headquarters in the 59-hundred block of West 7th Avenue in Gary, at 4pm on Tuesday, but the program, which begins in early 2014, will take place at the new TradeWinds facility in the 31-hundred block of East 83rd Place in Hobart.
To determine if a child is eligible for a Head Start Scholarship, parents should bring the following documentation to the December 17th information session: child’s birth certificate and immunization records, medical insurance card and the parent’s or caregiver’s proof of income (last two check stubs and W-2 or 1040) or unemployment documentation....
   

Snow Route Parking Restriction in Effect in Highland

Highland Police
In Highland, police have announced snow route parking restrictions are in effect. Police ask that you please remove vehicles from the street if you are on a snow route so plows can clear the streets. Police report you could face ticketing and towing if parked on a snow route. ...
   

Visclosky to Hold 19 Town Forums in January

pete visclosky
First District Congressman Pete Visclosky announced on Friday that he will be holding 19 town forums in January. Visclosky hosts the forums each year to give constituents an opportunity to ask questions and to provide an update on the issues facing the region and the country. The first meetings are scheduled to begin on Friday, January 3rd and wiil continue through Tuesday, January 7th.
Congressman Visclosky’s 2014 Town Forum Schedule:

Friday, January 3, 2014

10:00 a.m. CST – Tri-town: Dyer Town Hall, 1 Town Square, Dyer, Indiana 46311

12:00 p.m. CST – Munster: Munster Town Hall, 1005 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana 46321

2:00 p.m. CST – Hammond: Purdue University Calumet, Room with a View, 2200 169th Street, Hammond, Indiana 46323

4:00 p.m. CST – Highland: Lincoln Center, 2450 Lincoln Street, Room 108 and 109, Highland, Indiana 46322

6:00 p.m. CST – Griffith: Griffith Town Hall, 111 North Broad Street, Griffith, Indiana 46319

Saturday, January 4, 2014:

10:00 a.m. CST – Valparaiso: Valparaiso City Hall, 166 Lincolnway, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383
Note: an interpreter for the deaf will be present.

12:00 p.m. CST – Portage: Portage City Hall, 6070 Central Avenue, Portage, Indiana 46368

2:00 p.m. CST – Michigan City: Michigan City-City Hall, 100 East Michigan Boulevard, Michigan City Indiana 46360

4:00 p.m. CST – Chesterton: Westchester Public Library Service Center, 100 West Indiana Avenue, Chesterton, Indiana 46304

6:00 p.m. CST – Gary: American Legion, Miller Dunes Post 27, 6601 Hobart Road, Gary, Indiana 46403

Sunday, January 5, 2014:

2:00 p.m. CST – Hebron: Hebron Community Center, 611 North Main Street, Hebron, Indiana 46341

4:00 p.m. CST – Crown Point: Crown Point Civic Center, 101 South East Street, Crown Point, Indiana 46307

6:00 p.m. CST – Cedar Lake: Fraternal Order of Eagles, 13140 Lake Shore Drive, Cedar Lake, Indiana 46303

Monday, January 6, 2014:

10:00 a.m. CST – Hobart: Hobart City Hall, 414 Main Street, Hobart, Indiana 46342

12:00 p.m. CST – Lake Station: Lake Station City Hall, 1969 Central Avenue, Lake Station, Indiana 46405

2:00 p.m. CST – Gary:  Gary YMCA, 150 West 15th Avenue, Gary, Indiana 46407

4:00 p.m. CST – East Chicago: East Chicago Main Library, 2401 East Columbus Drive, East Chicago, Indiana 46312

6:00 p.m. CST – Merrillville: Merrillville Town Hall, 7820 Broadway, Merrillville, Indiana 46410
Note: an interpreter for the deaf will be present.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014:

10:00 a.m. CST – Hammond/Whiting: Calumet College of St. Joseph, 24...
   

First Safety Institute Made in the USA

Ribbon Cutting Celebration
(Photos Courtesy of Construction Advancement Foundation)
A ribbon-cutting recently took place at a facility in Portage constructed entirely out of materials made in the USA. Construction Advancement Foundation, or CAF, reports the roughly one-point-six million dollar, seven-thousand square-foot Safety Training Institute, located in the six-thousand block of Southport Road, will house state-of-the-art safety technology that will be used to instruct individuals across both a classroom setting and a hands-on workspace environment. CAF Executive Director Dewey Pearman says they believe it is the first 100 percent made in the USA facility dedicated exclusively to safety training for safety professionals and field personnel.
CAF Safety Training Institute Photo ...
   

I&M to Conduct Helicopter Aerial Transmission Inspections

You may notice a helicopter flying around northwest Indiana next week. Indiana Michigan Power, or I and M, will be conducting helicopter aerial inspections on its high-voltage lines and towers in portions of central and northwestern Indiana, as well as in southwest Michigan. I and M's contractor, Due North Aviation, will conduct the inspection work and will be flying over transmission lines in Lake, LaPorte, Porter, Pulaski and Starke Counties beginning Monday, December 16th....

   

NICTD: Extra EB Train Today to Terminate in MC

NICTD logo
NICTD reports today an extra eastbound train will depart Millennium Station at 4:25 pm, serve Van Buren at 4:28 pm, run non-stop to Hegewisch and make all local stops and terminating in Michigan City. Extra will not serve Hudson Lake or South Bend. ...
   

Gary Man Receives 45 Years for 2011 Murder

A 27 year old Gary man was sentenced on Friday to 45 years in prison for the July 2011 death of a Michigan woman. Cadereo Jester admitted to stabbing 23 year old Christine Arnold, formerly of LaPorte, at an abandoned home in the 300 block of Hovey Street in Gary following a dispute and then disposed of her vehicle and body at the Ivanhoe Nature Conservancy, where police found the vehicle the same day still-running with her body in the backseat. ...

   

NB I-65 Closed for Roll Over Semi Near I-80/94

Traffic-Advisory
Traffic tipsters this morning reporting a tanker truck rolled over causing all northbound lanes of I-65 at mile marker 259, near I-80/94 to be closed for crash clean up. Meanwhile on I-80/94, the left eastbound lane near I-65 is closed due to a crash. You can expect delays if you travel in this area and it is suggested you seek an alternate route. ...
   

Gary Man Charged with Burglary at Fagen Pharmacy

Gary PD
A Gary man has been charged with one-count of burglary in connection to a break-in at Fagen Pharmacy early Wednesday morning. Authorities say they responded to an alarm around 3:30am, and the suspect was arrested at the scene after he was allegedly discovered in the store, located in the five-thousand block of East Dunes Highway....

   

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