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September State Revenue Below Forecast

Indiana revenues for September were reported at approximately one-point-46 billion dollars, eight-million dollars below projections. The state budget agency says overall revenues would be higher if not for the redirection of one-percent of sales tax collections to the motor vehicle highway fund, as lawmakers directed for the 2013 budget.
Here are details released by the State Budget Agency Friday:
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The monthly revenue report of September 2013 state tax collections was released today.
Results:
State general fund revenues for September were $1,460.4 million, $8.0 million (0.5 percent) below the target based on the most recent forecast updated on April 16, 2013.
For the first quarter of FY 2013, total general fund revenues were $3,452.2 million.
Sales tax collections were $4.7 million (0.8 percent) below forecast for the month and $32.2
million below forecast for the quarter. HEA 1001-2013 redirected 1 percent of sales tax to the motor vehicle highway fund. Absent that change, quarterly sales tax collections would have only been $14.6 million below forecast.
Individual income tax collections totaled $541.4 million for the month, $26.8 million (4.7 percent) below forecast but $14.0 million (2.7 percent) above collections for the same month last year.
For the quarter, individual income tax collections were $81.7 million below forecast at $1,166.1 million.
Corporate income tax collections were $3.7 million (1.8 percent) below forecast for the month, but $10.6 million above target for the quarter.
Gaming revenues were $5.9 million (16.2 percent) below target for the month and $3.4 million (4.7 percent) below forecast for the quarter.
Commentary
Through the first quarter of FY 2014, state general fund revenues were $73.5 million (2.1 percent) below target based on the April 16, 2013 revenue forecast.
State general fund revenues were 0.9 percent lower than in the first quarter of FY 2013.
HEA 1001-2013's redirection of 1 percent of sales tax collections to the motor vehicle highway fund reduced general fund collections by $17.6 million for the three months.
Absent that change, sales tax collections would have increased by 3.5 percent over the same period last year. The April 2013 forecast projected sales tax collections to grow by 3.9 percent for the year.
Individual income tax collections were $81.7 million below target for the quarter and $58.4 million below the first quarter of FY 2013.
Transfers made to the LOIT reserve fund in the first quarter totaling $59.3 million resulted in a year-over-year reduction in individual income tax revenue; there were no LOIT reserve transfers in the first quarter of FY 2013.
These transfers were made in accordance with the December 2012 revenue forecast.
Another factor contributing to the year-over- year reduction in individual income tax revenue
is the modest growth in withholdings, which have only grown 0.4 percent year to date.
Through the first quarter of FY 2014, corporate income tax collections were $10.6 million
(4.6 percent) above the forecast target, but 7.9 percent below the same period last year....
 

Man Dies in Lawnmower Accident

In southern Indiana,  Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating the death of a man on Friday (10-04-2013) who was involved in an accident while mowing his property near the town of Dubois, in Dubois County. According to the information, Linus Bauer, 73 from Dubois was mowing his property with his lawnmower when it started sliding on wet soil, went down an embankment and overturned pinning the operator in a small ditch which had about 3 inches of water in it. It was reported that Bauer began his mowing around 12:00 p.m. on Friday. A family member went looking for Bauer and found the scene of the accident and called Dubois County 911 at 4:32 p.m..
Dubois Volunteer Fire Department First Responders, Jasper Memorial EMS, Dubois County Coroner’s Office, and Indiana Conservation Officers responded to the scene.The cause of death is undetermined at this time. The accident is still under investigation by the Dubois County Coroner’s Office and Officers from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. An autopsy is scheduled for today [Saturday]....
 

DeMotte Woman Passes Away After I65 Crash

crash
Indiana State Police say a 61-year-old DeMotte woman died after a crash that had southbound I-65 south of Crown Point closed to traffic until about 9-o'clock Friday night.  Indiana State Police say Sara Bergren of DeMotte had to be extricated from her vehicle and was airlifted from the scene to Christ Advocate Hospital in Oak Lawn, where she passed away.  Officials say a preliminary investigation by Trooper Dennis Simcoe revealed that at approximately 5:21 p,m Friday [October 04, 2013], a 2002 Peterbilt Recovery (big truck) tow truck, driven by Mark S. Rapo, 49 of Portage, Indiana, was south bound on I-65 in the left lane preparing to make a left turn onto the interstate crossover near the 245 mile marker (this is approximately two miles south of the Crown Point exit).
The tow truck was going to a service call for a semi that had lost part of its load on I-65 northbound at the 247 mile marker (Crown Point exit). Witnesses stated the tow truck had its flashing emergency lights turned on as it began to turn into the crossover when it was hit in the rear by a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Bergren. There were no passengers in the vehicle.  Police say Rapo was not injured.

All lanes south bound were closed for re-construction of the crash, airlifting of the driver, removal of the Malibu and clean-up of the scene. Motorists need to find alternate routes; expect back-up and long delays in this area. Also assisting were Troopers Brandon Henderson and Danielle Elwood, Sergeant Dan Leslie, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division Trooper Dale Turner, and Crown Point Fire and EMS. [Photo/Indiana State Police Lowell]...

 

Demotte Woman Critically Injured in Crash on I-65

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A 62-year old Demotte woman was airlifted to an area hospital Friday evening after the vehicle she was driving slammed into the back of a Peterbilt wrecker on I-65 a few miles south of the Crown Point exit.
Indiana State Police say the driver, identified as Sara Bergren, received life-threatening injuries and had to be extricated from her vehicle.
Preliminary reports say that around 5:20 p.m. the driver of the big-rig wrecker, 49-year old Mark Rapo of Portage was southbound in the left lane, with emergency lights flashing, preparing to turn onto the interstate crossover to answer a call back north when Bergen's 2008 Chevy Malibu slammed into the back of his truck.
According to police, Bergen was airlifted from the scene to Christ Advocate Hospital in Oak Lawn and her family has been notified.  There were no passengers in the vehicle.
Police say Rapo was enroute to help a semi that had lost part of its load, a large power generator, in the northbound lanes near the Crown Point exit.
The crash closed southbound I-65 at US-231 as well as the northbound lanes at State Rd. 2, the Lowell exit.  While the northbound lanes were closed to traffic for about an hour, the southbound lanes remained closed until 9p.m. with traffic being diverted off at the Crown Point exit.  Several traffic tipsters reported major, bumper-to-bumper traffic was reported on US-231 toward Crown Point and Hebron.

(photo:  provided by Indiana State Police)   ...

 

Government Shutdown Hurting Meals On Wheels

The partial government shutdown continues and is impacting many across the nation including here in northwest Indiana. Meals on Wheels Executive Director Sandra Noe says many meals to seniors are funded through the Older Americans Act and even more seniors are on waiting lists, and with the sequester and now the shutdown, she says they're looking at things only getting worse.
Noe says in Lake County, they deliver one-thousand meals a day to seniors and national statistics show one in seven seniors are at risk for hunger, which equates to seven-thousand seniors in northwest Indiana.
Noe asks residents to contact your representatives in Congress and tell them how important senior nutrition is to the quality of life in northwest Indiana. She also wants you to consider donating to Meals on Wheels because, if the shutdown continues much longer, more and more seniors will be in need of help. To hear more of our interview, click News Audio On Demand at http://regionnewsteam.com/...
 

Incident Leads to Crash that Closes I-65

Electric sign SB I-65 
An earlier incident where a large generator apparently fell off the back of a truck and into the travel lanes of Interstate 65 near the US-231 Crown Point exit, caused traffic to stop in the northbound lanes.  INDOT initially posted a traffic hazard around 4:30 p.m. CDT that caused a back up on the northbound side. 

According to Sgt. Doug Parcel of the Indiana State Police Lowell post, crews were able to move the generator out of the travel lanes and onto the left hand shoulder.  Sgt. Parcel says at around 5:50p.m. a driver in a wrecker, responding to the earlier generator incident, was, for reasons unknown, rear-ended by a passenger car vehicle as the wrecker was turning around in the median.

That accident caused the the southbound lanes of I-65 to be closed at US-231, where traffic was being diverted.  Also, northbound I-65 was closed at State Rd.2 the Lowell exit, where traffic was also being forced off for a while.  The extent of injuries was unkown, but Sgt. Parcel says that a Life Line helicopter did land in the southbound lanes.

(Photo:  southbound I-65 traffic being diverted off at the US-231, Crown Point exit.   Photo from INDOT)

 

Valpo Man Found Competent to Stand Trial

Wayne Han II
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 36 year old Valparaiso man who claimed insanity has been found competent to stand trial. Wayne Han II is charged with two-felony counts of attempted child molesting. Han is accused of holding a handgun to the head of a 13 year old girl, during the early morning hours of November 29th, and demanding sexual acts, while staying with the girl's mother. A trial date has been scheduled for February 10th. ...
 

Visclosky Urging Colleagues to Restore Order

pete visclosky
Merrillville, IN- Congressman Pete Visclosky took to the House Floor yesterday to voice his strong opposition to piecemeal measures that would only provide short-term funding for small pieces of the federal government, while leaving the vast majority of federal programs and agencies unfunded.
“What have we come to here? We have the best country in the world.  It’s time we start running it again. I’m opposed to this piecemeal approach,” Congressman Visclosky said.
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SB I-65 Closed Near US 231 Due to Crash

Traffic-Alert
All lanes of southbound I-65 are closed near US 231 due to a crash. Seek alternate routes as you travel southbound on I-65 near mile 247....
 

41 Arrested in Michigan City Warrant Sweep

michigan city police
A recent warrant sweep in Michigan City has netted 41 arrests. Michigan City Police report a total of five dangerous weapons were taken off the streets, three of which during today's “Operation Trick or Treat”, in which two narcotics search warrants were executed with the assistance of the SWAT Team, one in the two-hundred block of Detroit Street and the other in the one-hundred block of Grace Street. ...

 

Donnelly: Actions of Some in Congress Embarrassing

donnelly
Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly gave a speech on the floor of the US Senate this afternoon about the ongoing federal government shutdown and the negative impact Congress is having on the US and Hoosier economies, calling the actions of some in Congress embarrassing. Senator Donnelly says some in Congress is playing a game of “chicken” with our jobs, economy, and our future because they haven't gotten their way, which has resulted in thousands of Hoosiers not receiving paychecks because they are furloughed.
Donnelly says Congress is actually hindering job creation and economic growth, which is no way to run a country and something must be done to find a common sense way out of this train wreck. To listen to Senator Donnelly's speech in its entirety, visit click News Audio On Demand at http://regionnewsteam.com/...
   

Two Valpo Females Arrested for Burglary

Valpo PD
Two Valparaiso women have been arrested for a burglary. Valparaiso Police report while interviewing two individuals Thursday afternoon for an unrelated burglary, one of the suspects admitted she had committed a different burglary just prior to speaking with police. 21 year old Jamie Farmer and 20 year old Sabrina Cahillane were each charged for the burglary, that took place in the three-hundred block of Chestnut Avenue. Police report all property taken from the burglary on Thursday was recovered and returned to the victim. ...
   

C-MAP Committee Votes to Include Illiana in Plans

A critical decision-making period has begun on the Illinois side of the proposed Illiana Expressway. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's transportation committee voted ten-to-seven today in favor of including the Illiana Expressway in its transportation plan. Mitch Barloga, who is with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, or NIRPC says that recommendation now goes to the full C-MAP board, who could take up the issue as early as next week, and NIRPC's full commission could take up the issue for approval on December 12th.
Barloga says online public comment peroid will commence on October 14th and they are looking to extend it until November 20th. Four open houses will begin in early November, two in Lake County, with one in Porter County and another in LaPorter County, but at this time, dates and locations are not yet available.
Barloga says a link to make comments should be available on their website, http://www.nirpc.org, next week. A public-private partnership deal is in the works for the Illiana, which he says is the reason they're able to bring the financing to bear.
An influential Chicago area group called the Metropolitan Planning Council has come out against it, saying it would put other needed road work at risk, and would not be used by enough vehicles. The Illiana, as currently proposed, would be a 47-mile tollway between I-65 near Lowell and I-55 in Will County, Illinois, to provide an alternative to the busy Borman....
   

Thieves Damage Cars at Miller South Shore Station

NICTD
NICTD Transit Police are seeking the public's help for information regarding catalytic converter thieves damaging vehicles at the Miller South Shore Station in Gary on Thursday afternoon. NICTD Police Chief Robert Byrd says just before 2pm, suspects were witnessed wraping chains around the exhaust systems of parked vehicles, which were tied to the back end of their truck, then rapidly accelerating their truck and driving forward, ripping the exhaust systems from the vehicles parked at the Miller South Shore Station. Chief Byrd reports three vehicles had their exhaust systems damaged and a license plate and a set of windshield wipers were also stolen from other vehicles in the lot, located at U-S Highway 12 and Lake Street. The suspects are described as two males, possibly black or hispanic, and possibly driving a red Jeep and blue pickup truck. ...
   

NIPSCO Modernization Plan, Rate Increase Proposal

Northern Indiana Public Service Company today announced a 713-million dollar plan to modernize its natural gas system through the end of the decade.   The Merrillville-based utility giant which serves 32 counties in the northern third of the state says planned projects over the next seven years include eliminating bare steel natural gas lines and installing eighty miles of transmission lines, and construction that will bring new service to rural areas. The company is proposing a gradual average increase in customer bills of about one-point-four percent a year through 2020, with no change in 2014 and a one percent increase in 2015. The plan still has to be approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
“Homes and businesses across the 32 counties we serve depend on safe, reliable and affordable natural gas service,” said Jim Stanley, NIPSCO CEO. “We are proud to be among the lowest cost natural gas providers in Indiana. And, this plan helps to ensure a safe and modern natural gas system for the future, while continuing to maintain competitive rates for customers.”
For more information about the plan, visit NIPSCO.com/modernize .
NIPSCO serves the following counties: Adams, Allen, Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Dekalb, Elkhart, Fulton, Howard, Huntington, Jasper, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Miami, Newton, Noble, Porter, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Wabash, Warren, Wells, White and Whitley.
With some investments expected in mid-2014, the bulk of the project activity is expected to increase in the following years. Sample projects include:
Example Natural Gas System Modernization Projects Estimated Total Cost
Install 80 miles of transmission pipeline, add automated valves $280 million
Eliminate bare steel gas mains, replace low pressure systems $61 million
Construct natural gas service to rural areas $99 million
Retrofit lines for in-line inspection $46 million
...
   

Gary Mayor, Police Chief Issue Statement on Report

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram today issued a joint statement regarding a newly-released state report critical of the city's police department. The mayor and police chief thanked the governor and Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter, and say they will review the input and make changes that they deem appropriate. The city Thursday received a 13-page report from a Special Task Force convened by Carter at the request of Governor Mike Pence after the governor was asked to send state help to assist in tackling an upswing in violent crime in Gary this year. Among the recommendations of the report was dedicating additional current officers to patrol duties. In the letter dated Thursday, Governor Pence offered assistance with training and processing evidence and said he has instructed Indiana State Police to work with the Indiana Department of Technology to review current information technology at the Gary Police Department and make recommendations to improve operations.  The mayor and police chief also said no further comment would be issued until officials have had the opportunity to review the findings and discuss next steps.
Here is the statement issued by Mayor Freeman-Wilson and Chief Ingram:
“Yesterday evening, we received the report of the Special Task Force convened by Indiana State Superintendent Doug Carter at the request of Governor Mike Pence.  We would like to thank Governor Pence and Superintendent Carter for their willingness to convene this group.  It is our intent to review this report in the context of the previous assessment of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the work of the Office of Justice Programs Diagnostic Center and our work with the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.  We will review all external input and offers to assist as we move forward to access the help needed and make the changes that we deem appropriate.”...
   

Annual Governor's Ride Helps Military Families

motorcycles
Motorcycles gathering in Indy this morning
Indiana Governor Mike Pence this morning [Friday Oct 4] is leaving on a one-hundred-mile motorcycle ride through east-central Indiana with members of ABATE of Indiana, American Bikers Aimed Toward Education. a non-profit safety and advocacy organization.
govmotorcycle
Gov. Pence arriving at the Statehouse to greet motorcyclists prior to the ride

The Governor's Annual Motorcycle Ride was started by longtime motorcycle rider former Governor Mitch Daniels in 2005 to raise funds for military families. This year's trip includes three stops -- Rushville, Connersville and Liberty. Pence, not a regular on a motorcycle like his predecessor, has been taking lessons to ready himself for the event.
Governor20Motorcycle20Photo
Gov. Pence is shown here speaking with members of ABATE earlier about the upcoming ride   [All photos/Governor's office]...
   

State Report Critical of Gary PD

Newly-released details show a state report critical of the Gary Police Department, making a number of recommendations, including dedicating additional current officers to patrol duties. The assessment was conducted under the order of Governor Mike Pence after Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson asked Pence to send state help to assist in tackling an upswing in violent crime earlier this year. The thirteen-page review accompanied a letter to the mayor from the Governor dated Thursday in which Governor Pence offered state assistance to the Gary force with training and also processing of evidence. There has been no comment on the report from the city at this time. In the letter, Pence also said he has instructed Indiana State Police to work with the Indiana Department of Technology to review current information technology at the Gary Police Department and make recommendations to improve operations. ...
   

Hoosier Rep Ribbed Over Comments

stutzma
As the standoff and shutdown continue in the nation's capital, and both sides of the aisle issue comments, a congressman from Indiana has taken some ribbing for his statement on the Washington gridlock. Republican 3rd District Representative Marlin Stutzman was quoted as saying, "We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is." Stutzman's comment was made to the Washington Examiner earlier this week. ...
   

Council Narrowly Votes Down Funding for Jail Pod

The Porter County Council on Thursday voted four-to-three against a request for money to hire enough new jailers to open the third pod at the Porter County Jail to help relieve overcrowding. Council members are in the midst of assembling the 2014 budget, and Council President Bob Poparad, who was among those voting against it, suggested reconsidering it later. Porter County Sheriff David Lain says even if the third pod were to open, the jail would still be at capacity. Executive Director for sheriff and county jail operations at the Indiana Department of Correction Ken Whipker described the request for nine new jailers as "bare bones" to operate the currently unused pod. ...
   

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