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US Marshals Fugitive of the Week: Cameron Taylor

Cameron Taylor
(Photos Courtesy of US Marshals Service)
Cameron Taylor 2
A 26 year old man wanted by authorities in Arizona for four-counts of attempted murder, and who has close ties to the Gary area, is this week's US Marshals Service, Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force “Fugitive of the Week”. Authorities report Cameron Taylor is one of the U-S Marshals Top 15 Most Wanted fugitives, and has been a fugitive since July of 2009. Taylor is described a violent member of the “Vista Bloods” gang, who is also wanted on four-counts of aggravated assault, endangerment, assisting a criminal street gang, and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Cameron Taylor is a black male, 5'11”, weighing 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.  Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Cameron Leezell Taylor may contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411). All tipsters will remain anonymous.
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Dog Reported Stolen from LaPorte Residence

dognapping
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Dept)
A 49 year old convicted last month by a jury for felony child molesting was sentenced to eight-years today. The Times reports Jackie Robson plans to appeal and claims he is the victim of false accusations. According to the article, Robson was accused of molesting three juvenile girls, between January 2008 through April 2012, but the jury only could reach a verdict on the one-count.
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Teens Arrested for Truancy, One for Drug Possession

Three juveniles were arrested for truancy Friday afternoon, and one faces additional charges of possession of marijuana and resisting law enforcement. LaPorte Police report they responded to a call of possible truancy of three teens just after 12:30pm, at Clark Field. Police say a 16 year old girl, and two 14 year old boys were found and after checking with school officials it was confirmed that all three were suppose to be in school. Authorities report officers could smell the odor of burnt marijuana coming from the teens, and during a search discovered a baggie of marijuana in the pocket of one of the boys, who was taking to the LaPorte County Juvenile Services Center. The other two teens were taken back to school.

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LaPorte County Sobriety Checkpoint Results

The LaPorte County DUI Task Force and Indiana State Police conducted a sobriety checkpoint over the weekend, stopping 192 vehicles. Authorities report the checkpoint was conducted near the intersection of Johnson Road and County Road 400 North, a location selected after a review of alcohol related crash data, which resulted in five warnings and two non-custodial arrests, one for driving with a suspended license and the other for driving with no license. During the checkpoint, Michigan City Police and State Police conducted roving saturation patrols in the vicinity, which resulted in 13 citations, 22 warnings and one non-custodial arrest, for driving with a suspended license.

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Rail Safety Awareness Week in Indiana

Governor Mike Pence has declared this week as Rail Safety Week in Indiana.

Indiana Operation Lifesaver says last year, there were 106 railroad crossing collisions resulting in 38 injuries and 17 fatalities in the state of Indiana, and eleven deaths involving people trespassing on train tracks. The group is working with Indiana State Police, INDOT and local law enforcement agencies, to raise awareness about the dangers of disregarding railroad crossing and trespassing laws. Indiana is ranked 4th nationally for railroad crossing collisions.

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First Year IU Student Dies From Injuries Sustained in Fall

Police say a freshman at Indiana University in Bloomington who was set to start classes today died one day after suffering injuries in a fall down a basement staircase during a party at an off-campus house early Friday. Officials say the 19-year-old student from Zionsville was taken off life support Saturday morning. A spokesman for the university says other people at the house say they didn't realize the extent of her injuries. Campus police continue to investigate.

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Gary Man Severely Injured in Motorcycle Crash

Indiana State Police say a Lake County man was severely injured in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 94 in LaPorte County around 7:30 Saturday night. According to a preliminary investigation, officials say 43-year-old Cecil Roach of Gary was driving a Honda BR6 motorcycle westbound near the 35 mile marker, which is about a mile east of the US 421 Michigan City exit, when the motorcycle apparently rear-ended a Chevy Suburban at a high rate of speed, the impact causing Roach to be ejected. He was airlifted from the scene to a South Bend hospital. State Police say Roach, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered head and facial injuries. The driver of the other vehicle was not injured, troopers say, and the crash is under investigation.

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Man Dies in Pond Near Toll Road

Divers with the Indiana State Police recovered the body of a man from a pond near the 16 mile marker just off the Indiana Toll Road in Lake County. State police received a call for assistance around 12:30 Sunday afternoon and dispatched divers to the scene in an attempt to find the man last seen swimming in the pond by his father after the two had reportedly been fishing there. Police say 20-year-old Jelani Louis of Merrillville, was found in 18 feet of water about 120 feet from shore, and was underwater for more than one hour before he was recovered and pronounced dead at the scene. The Lake County Coroners office says cause and manner of death were pending. The state police are working a joint investigation on the drowning with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

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Heat Wave Hits the Region

The Region is heading into a late summer heat wave. Temperatures are forecast to be in the 90s today and tomorrow, with heat indices reaching or exceeding 100 …

Cooling centers are starting to open up. The East Chicago Emergency Management Agency has announced Heritage Hall Community Center will be available from 4 pm to 7 am today [Monday] and Tuesday.

Safety info when it's this hot:  http://www.ready.gov/heat

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Pence Delivers Weekly National GOP Address

pencestill
(Photo Courtesy of the Indiana Republican Party)
Indiana Governor Mike Pence put the spotlight on Indiana in this week's national GOP address.  The governor discusses the negative consequences of Obamacare on premiums in Indiana and how the Healthy Indiana Plan provides a solution to the nation's health care problems.
Watch the address by clicking here or read the transcript below.
"Hello, I'm Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
"These are difficult days for too many Americans. Our economy isn't growing as fast as we would like, and businesses aren't creating as many jobs as we need.  In states like Indiana, we're working every day to give people more freedom to grow their businesses, but the over-regulation, higher taxes and new mandates coming from Washington, D.C. are stifling our economy and hurting efforts being made in states across the country.
"Everywhere I go in Indiana, I meet business owners and workers who are in survival mode. They're trying to figure out how to survive the new normal of more regulations, higher taxes and the impending costs and mandates of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
"As implementation of this law gets closer, we are learning more about the burdens it will place on hardworking Americans. In Indiana, the Affordable Care Act will raise the average cost of health insurance in the individual market by an unaffordable 72 percent.
"In addition, the Obama Administration is creating confusion in the marketplace, from its suspension of the cap on out-of-pocket expenses, to providing subsidies without verifying income, to a one-year suspension of the employer mandate, this health care law is weighing down our economy. It's costing jobs, discouraging investment and making the future bleak for too many families.
"But there is an alternative to waiting on Washington, D.C. to come to its senses and more Americans are realizing every day that the cure for what ails this country is starting to emerge... not in our nation's capital but in our nation's state capitals.
"All across this country, 30 Republican governors are working hard to push back and preserve freedom. While Washington raises taxes, Republicans governors are cutting them. As Washington stifles job growth by adding new regulations, Republican governors are adding jobs by eliminating unneeded regulations and bringing fresh approaches to some of the nation's greatest challenges.
"Nowhere is this more true than in health care. Here in Indiana, we run a nationally-recognized program called the Healthy Indiana Plan. The Healthy Indiana Plan offers the uninsured an affordable health care plan with savings accounts that they control. Giving people in Indiana more freedom and more responsibility over their health care has improved outcomes and now 95 percent our plan's enrollees are satisfied with their coverage. This is a perfect example of the truth that by letting freedom and personal responsibility work together, you reduce the need for government. Republican governors understand this truth, and the proof is in our results. In balanced budgets, lower taxes and less regulation that's promoting job growth.
"These are tough times, and this health care law may make them tougher still. That's why we should always remember on whose shoulders we stand-- and never forget as President Reagan reminded us, that 'the states that created the federal government, the federal government didn't create the states.' Our founders insisted that protecting the states' power to govern themselves was vital to limit the power of Washington and preserve freedom. They were right then, and as Republican governors are proving every day, they are even more right now. More freedom and flexibility for the principled leadership emerging in states across this nation can and will promote good healthcare and a healthy economy.
"Thanks for listening."
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I-80/94 Ramp to Cline Ave Closes for Repaving Monday

Indot Logo color
LAKE COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the closure of the westbound I-80/94 ramp to northbound Cline Avenue (State Road 912) beginning Monday, August 26th through Friday, August 30th. Crews will be repaving sections of the ramp as part of a larger project involving I-80/I-94 between Cline Avenue and the Illinois state line. Additional I-80/I-94 lane restrictions will continue in the coming months.
Drivers wishing to travel northbound on Cline Avenue from I-80/94 westbound will be detoured west on I-80/94, north on U.S. 41 (Calumet Avenue), east on SR 312, and back to Cline Avenue.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, like us at www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and follow us at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
You can find traffic restriction information at www.trafficwise.IN.gov.  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT
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Funeral Service for Sheriff Hartman at S Newton HS

Sheriff Hartman
Friends and family will gather at South Newton High School today to remember Newton County Sheriff Donald Hartman Sr. who passed away August 15th, at the age of 66, at his home in Kentland, after a nine-month battle with cancer. Visitation scheduled to begin at 9am, with the funeral service to start at 1pm. Burial will follow at Buswell Cemetery in Kentland.
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Harrison Electric in MC Expanding Facility

Harrison Electric in Michigan City earlier this week announced plans to expand their operation and create up to 14 new jobs by 2016. The electric motor repair company, celebrating its 50th anniversary, will invest one-million dollars to construct and equip a 15-thousand square-foot expansion to its current 23-thousand square-foot facility located at 10855 West 400 North. The company reports the facility is anticipated to be operational by December, when they will also begin hiring machinists, mechanics and electrical technicians. For more information on how to apply, visit http://www.harrison-elec.com/.
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CP PD Release Details Regarding Shooting of Two Dogs

Crown Point PD
More details are surfacing concerning the animal attack last month in Crown Point, where police had to resort to deadly force to kill two huskies. According to a detailed report, the woman who called police described the animals that dragged her cat to a nearby creek bank and cornered her husband as being “wolves' . The responding officers initially thought they were large coyotes as neither husky was wearing a collar, or tag, and both were covered in dirt, mud and water. The report also says “the assertion that the 'police should have known' the dogs weren't wild and would not be a threat to humans is “unfounded.” This despite the fact police had previously been called out to where the dogs lived seven times for complaints about barking dogs. Plus, back in June, the homeowner was reportedly issued a $239-dollar citation for the dogs' barking, which the homeowner contacted the city about paying five days after the dogs were shot. At the time of the attack, Crown Point Police Chief Pete Land said his officers did all they could to prevent the shootings including pepper spray to scare off the dogs, but the huskies continued to circle the officer and cat owner. According to the case summary, the cat owner sustained at least 32-hundred in vet ills stemming from the incident.
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Portage Man Awarded Purple Heart for WWII Injury

purple heart
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 94 year old World War II veteran who was wounded in combat on April 15th, 1945, in Okinawa, received his purple heart on Friday at Moods bar in Portage. The Times reports Rich Birs received shrapnel in his leg, which ended his service to his country after four-years. According to the article, Birs was also given membership to the Portage VFW Post 7760 and the quartermaster presented him with an American flag. Birs also received a letter of congratulations from US Representative Pete Visclosky.
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Kouts Pork Fest

A 5K walk/run helped kick off the Kouts Pork Fest today. Kouts Fire Chief Don Sutter says the annual event runs from 8am until 8pm, and invites you to stop by the fire station for a pork chop lunch, from 10am to 5pm, for seven dollars, which includes pop and chips, and says donations would be appreciated.
Other activities include sales of arts, crafts, and food by around 100 vendors, an hour-long parade, and a kiddie tractor pull. The entertainment stage features line dancers, square dancers, singers, and bands.  
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Afternoon Fire Displaces Family in Kouts, No Injuries

No one was injured but the family of a residence in the two-hundred block of North Church Street was displaced due to a fire Friday afternoon. Kouts Fire Chief Don Sutter says they were called to the scene just before 3:30pm and that the fire was contained to an upstairs bedroom of the home. Chief Sutter says the fire was accidental in nature and was caused due to a light that had tipped over and was left on. The home sustained water damage, mostly to the upstairs area and there were no injuries. Firefighters spent around an hour-and-a-half at the scene and were assisted by the Morgan, Hebron, Boone Grove and Washington Township Fire Departments.


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Lansing Man's Death Overnight Ruled a Homicide

A 26 year old Lansing, Illinois man was pronounced at midnight today at Community Hospital in Munster due to multiple gun shot wounds. The Lake County Coroner's Office reports the death of Bryant Larry has been ruled a homicide, which occurred in the 36-hundred block of 173rd Court in Lansing, Illinois. No further information is available at this time.
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Assessment of Gary Train Station to Take Place Tuesday

Active Transportation Alliance
GARY, Indiana, August 20, 2013 — Active Transportation Alliance is partnering with the Rotary Club in Gary, Indiana to conduct a Complete Stations Assessment of the local South Shore Line train station.
The assessment — which will take place on Tuesday, August 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the downtown Gary station (200 West 4th Avenue) — will evaluate passenger amenities and the accessibility of the station for riders arriving on foot and by bicycle.
Active Transportation Alliance has developed the Complete Stations Assessment to help communities evaluate their local train station and prioritize improvements so the station will better serve the needs of riders. Creating a “complete station” can help turn a local transit stop into the center of a community and encourage more people to use public transit. By evaluating the accessibility of a station through all modes of transportation, the assessment suggests changes that make it easier to walk and bike to the train — encouraging healthy, cost-efficient travel habits.
The assessment will begin with a close look at the station itself, taking note of the conditions of passenger facilities and amenities such as benches, ticket sales, vendors and available passenger information. The group will then focus on the surrounding area, including parking facilities for cars and bikes, nearby intersections and transit connections.
“The Gary Rotary Club, as well as all Gary civic organizations, is committed to supporting Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and her administration's efforts at community improvement and improved quality of life for all the residents of Gary,” says Don Parker, past president and board member of the Gary Rotary Club. “One part of that quality of life is how easily public transportation in all forms can be accessed by all citizens and visitors. We are especially interested in making sure that residents without cars can still reach their destination, and that may include using multiple forms of transport in one trip, such as by bike or bus and the train. Making sure those various forms of transportation interact well with each other is why the Gary Rotary Club is supporting this study.”
The Gary train station serves the South Shore Line, which allows riders to travel between downtown Chicago and South Bend, Indiana. The station is owned and operated by the City of Gary. Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) representatives and the Mayor of Gary have been invited to attend the event and both will receive a copy of the assessment results following the evaluation.
The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by more than 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 40 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.
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Chalk-A-Lot Festival in Whiting Saturday

A sweet event is scheduled today in Whiting. Whiting/Robertsdale Chamber Executive Director Karen Gajewski told us during a recent Region News Makers interview it is a chalk art festival called “Chalk-a-Lot” that allows you to draw your own art and sample chocolate from area businesses along 119th Street in the downtown business district. The event runs from 10am to 2pm, and to hear more of our Region News Makers interview with Karen Gajewski, visit http://regionnewsteam.com/.
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