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Indiana Amber Alert Issued

Indiana Amber Alert Issued
Sophia Snow
Police in the Indianapolis suburb of Fishers issued an Amber Alert Tuesday night for a missing eight-year-old girl believed to have abducted by her mother. Here is the official announcement:
From State of Indiana Amber Alert:
Amber Alert number: AA 001-2013
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Indiana statewide
Amber alert broadcast
A statewide amber alert has been declared
The Fishers Police Department is investigating an abducted child from Fishers, Indiana. northeast of Indianapolis. Sophia Snow, date of birth December 31, 2004, a white female, 8 years old, 3 foot 10 inches tall, weighing 50 pounds with shoulder length blonde hair and blue eyes. Sophia Snow was last seen at 1200 pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time on Friday, August 30, 2013 at Fishers, Indiana, and is believed to be in extreme danger. Sophia Snow was wearing unknown type of clothing. Fishers Police department says Sophia Snow was likely abducted by her mother, Jennifer (Curtis) Ansari and suspect vehicle is a 2012 burgundy Honda Civic bearing Kentucky registration 779nzj.
If you have any information on Sophia Snow please contact fishers police department at 1-888-58amber.
Indiana Amber Alert Issued
Jennifer (Curtis) Ansari, a white female, 37 years old, 5 foot 4 inches tall, weighing 130 pounds with shoulder length blonde hair and blue eyes.

New Sports, Concert Venue Proposed

A Northwest Indiana group is proposing a new sports and entertainment venue for the Region. Chesterton-based Duneland Family Sports and Entertainment, a division of the non-profit Duneland Sports Authority, says a state-of-the-art environmentally-friendly LEED platinum certified multi-purpose facility would be a "landmark destination economic catalyst" that would create 15-hundred long-term jobs. They want to build "Duneland Arena" in Porter County, but no other specifics have been released yet. Total investment is estimated at 115-million dollars.
Duneland Arena's proposed capacities would include seating of up to 10,350 for concerts, nine-thousand for basketball games, 84-hundred for ice hockey, 92-hundred with standing room.
News Release:
September 3, 2013 Chesterton, Indiana - Duneland Family Sports and Entertainment, a division of Duneland Sports Authority, an Indiana non-profit Corporation, has positively concluded a six month feasibility study entitled Game ON!  DSA aims to construct and professionally operate a multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue in Northwest Indiana, Porter County, currently entitled Duneland Arena.
Duneland Family Sports and Entertainment was established in 2012 to determine the feasibility of constructing and successfully operating a multi-purpose professionally managed state of the art LEED platinum toward net-plus family friendly multi-purpose entertainment and sports venue.  This project is led, owned and operated by non-profit Duneland Family Sports and Entertainment.
DSA‘s mission is to:
-Build and operate a multi-purpose venue that is LEED platinum toward net-plus, sustainable, green, ethical and transparent.
-Provide family-friendly entertainment and sports to Northwest Indiana and greater Chicagoland.
-Some features will include:  Contract with local venders and retain financial resources and revenues in the community.  Source personnel locally through educational career conduits.  Source concessions with a local supply-chain.  Support local sports initiatives with revenues above operating costs.
Headquartered in Chesterton, Indiana, DSA is led by Founder and Chairman Paul Boardman.   Together with a consortium of local, state and national interested parties, DSA will closely coordinate regarding key strategic decisions on capital partnerships, target markets, and new projects.  “Duneland Arena will be the first arena to achieve LEED platinum certification.  LEED platinum is a good starting goal. We will push the design envelope toward net-plus closing the gap of hypothetical to commercialization.  Duneland Arena, a state of the art LEED platinum-net plus facility, will be a landmark destination economic catalyst estimated to create 250 immediate jobs and 1,500 long-term jobs.  Game ON! is in line with Northwest Indiana’s 2030 economic and quality of life initiative goals to create a global model high output green manufacturing and high quality of life Northwest Indiana community” said Mr. Boardman.
DSA combines its breath of talent and background and will seek private capital for Duneland Arena.  DSA’s initiative will foster additional development and investment opportunities for investment partners. DSA is combining strengths to allow partnerships with a consortium of Northwest Indiana organizations to significantly expand economic growth, sports and entertainment.  In addition, Game ON! offers exciting new opportunities for investors to partner in this development long-term which is focused on community-enhancing economic development in thriving and forward-looking Northwest Indiana.  Northwest Indiana is the second largest populous community in Indiana next to Indianapolis.  Game ON! is positioned for Duneland Arena to provide as many as 120 events per calendar year ranging from concerts to professional and amateur sports.
Duneland Arena, as America’s first LEED platinum toward net-plus venue in its class, conceived, designed and built multi-purpose venue represents a significant step forward for Northwest Indiana and America’s sustainable goals.  “As a minimum goal, Duneland Arena will be the first LEED platinum arena.  This is a significant challenge that requires thorough LEED platinum design and integration from concept to use.   In addition, attempts will be made to achieve net-plus status” Mr. Boardman stated.   As background, energy-plus or net-plus building produces more energy from renewable energy sources, over the course of a year, than it imports from external sources.
DSA is the current lead for Duneland Arena project Game ON!  This includes a hands on role to develop locally owned professional sports franchises.  In addition to its investment leading Game On!, DSA will partner with commercial real estate developers to ensure adequate accommodations.  Total Northwest Indiana investment including Duneland Arena and accommodations is estimated at $115 million.
“DSA’s vision and execution is well-positioned to be an enduring supplier of opportunity to Northwest Indiana”   said Mr. Boardman of DSA.  “Our overall approach is to do the right thing for our citizens.  Our goal is to provide excellent entertainment value and bring resources into our community.  We are looking forward to a landmark venue contextual to the natural beauty of the Lake Michigan duneland shore that leads arena technology.”  Mr. Boardman added.
Project Game ON! represents Stewardship that is:  Green, Sustainable, Locally Sourced, Transparent and Ethical.   To ensure these goals are met, DSA is partnering with established leading LEED architects, planners, engineers, researchers and universities to ensure a fully integrated state of the art venue from concept to use.  “We have a vision for long-term landmark development, investment, management that serves our community,” said Mr. Boardman.
Game ON! is family friendly sports and entertainment with representative events such as:
-College, high school, youth  hockey, soccer, la crosse, basketball, sports tournaments and a growing list of sports-
-Family friendly concerts, dog shows, circus, Disney, Sesame, ice capades, community events, trade shows, corporate, religious and cultural events.
DSA brand will denote the best-in-class Northwest Indiana sports and entertainment platform, and we believe this combination has unmatched potential to develop a stellar portfolio addressing our communities sports and entertainment needs.    This is a logical succession of what the DSA leadership started generations ago while returning to its roots as a long-term family friendly operation that allows it to maintain deep ties to the community it serves.
History unites DSA leadership with a six generational history in Northwest Indiana since the mid 19th century.   The shared vision is reflected in DSA’s leadership.  With highly-specialized expertise in food-beverage, entertainment, sports, project management, LEED, local needs and partnering, DSA has the breadth and strength to envision and successfully execute project Game ON! for Northwest Indiana and greater Chicagoland.
DSA gains further competitive capabilities through its national capital markets scope, access and knowledge. “DSA has the flexibility and resources to lead a LEED platinum-net plus design team and manage a team of facility professionals while taking advantage of new opportunities, with a view to the long term.” Mr. Boardman noted.
DSA will capitalize for our community on substantial location advantages and opportunities as a crossroads of America to bring best-in-class sports and entertainment.   Porter County is situated 65 miles from approximately 11 million residents and 150 miles from approximately 15 million residents.  In addition to serving local needs, Duneland Arena’s proposed capacities provide growth and an economic development opportunity with:  Concerts: 5,300 (half-house), 6,400 (3/4 house) 7,790 (End-stage) 10,350 (center-stage) Basketball: 9,000 Ice Hockey: 8,400 (9,200 with standing room).
Duneland Sports Authority is an Indiana non-profit corporation doing business as Duneland Family Sports and Entertainemnt.   Duneland Family Sports and Entertainment was established in 2012 with a mission to construct and successfully operate a multi-purpose professionally managed state of the art LEED platinum toward net- plus family friendly entertainment and sports venue.  This project is led, owned and operated by Duneland Family Sports and Entertainment.

Knox Man Charged with Sexual Misconduct with a Minor

A 36 year old Knox man was arrested without incident today and charged with felony sexual misconduct with a minor. Indiana State Police Lowell Post reports an investigation determined the alleged sexual misconduct, between Keith Thatcher and a 15 year old girl, had been taking place since July 2012, in Michigan City. Authorities say Thatcher, a family acquaintance at the time of the alleged incidents, was taken to the Starke County Jail, and at last check was awaiting extradition to LaPorte County. State Police say this is an on-going investigation.
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MC PD Adds New Fugitive to Their Top 10 Most Wanted

William Shaifer
(Photo Courtesy of the Michigan City PD)
A recent arrest has opened up a spot for a new fugitive to the Michigan City Police Department's Ten Most Wanted list. Michigan City Police report on Thursday, Mercedes Jones, wanted on an outstanding warrant for felony fraud, was arrested without incident in the 12-hundred block of West 9th Street. Police announced today that 27 year old William Shaifer, wanted on a warrant for felony escape, has now been added to their Top Ten Most Wanted list. Shaifer is described as a black male, 5'8”, weighing 165 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes and is considered to be armed and dangerous.  The Michigan City Police Department encourages the public to call the Crime Tip Hotline with any information on the whereabouts of any subject on the Michigan City Police Department Top Ten List at 219-873-1488; callers can remain anonymous. 
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P3 Negotiations Underway for Gary Animal Control

City of Gary
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson today gave an update on animal control. The Mayor says originally, the plan was to expand animal control services to a local facility, but that offer was declined. Recently the Animal Rescue Corporation, or ARC, conducted a one-week, no cost needs assessment of the Gary Animal Control facility, and since receiving those results the City and ARC have been working to develop a public-private partnership with a local Humane Society for the purpose of housing animals from Gary Animal Control. Mayor Freeman-Wilson says the negotiation of a contracted agreement is underway, and once both parties have reached a mutual agreement, the city will release the name of the private partner. Meantime, the Mayor says an additional animal control officer has been added to the afternoon shift, which was previously an on-call position.
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Addressing Overcrowding at the Porter County Jail

Efforts are being made to address overcrowding at the Porter County Jail. One proposal which has gained the support of the Porter County Commissioners is to hire one full-time and two part-time positions who would choose among pretrial detainees, and the jail population, which ones could be supervised outside the jail. Another option would be to open a third pod.
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Upcoming MC RR Crossing Closures

Michigan City, IN --- Due to train track crossing repairs being performed by CSX Railroad, the City of Michigan City is announcing the closing of numerous track crossings over the next few weeks. This schedule is approximate and could change due to weather and CSX progress.
Closing about September 10th with a planned re-opening about September 12th
1600 North
Closing about September 12th with a planned re-opening about September 18th
 Ohio Street
Buffalo Street
Wabash Street
Franklin Street, the above (3) streets will be closed and re-opened before Franklin Street is closed.
Closing about September 12th with a planned re-opening about September 18th
 Carroll Ave.
Greenwood Ave.
Roeske Ave.
Karwick Road
Royal Road
Closing about September 12th with a planned re-opening about September 17th
 Meer Road
Freyer Road

Detour signs will be put in place to help guide citizens and visitors to alternative routes around these affected crossings. Updates will be provided.

The city appreciates your cooperation during the repair process.
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Rail and Sewer Projects Coming to Burns Harbor Port

The Ports Commission of Indiana recently approved one-point-seven million dollars for new rail and sewer infrastructure for the 600 acre Burns Harbor port. The Times reports the project includes rehabilitating 25-hundred feet of rail, replacing one-thousand cross-ties and that workers will replace almost two-thousand feet of sewer pipe that runs under the freight and commuter rail lines. According to the article, the project was anticipated to begin after Labor Day, with the rail work expected to take around two-months and the sewer work about three-months.
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RailCats Playoff Bound, Attendance Up 5.4% from 2012

Gary Railcats
GARY, IN – For the first time since 2010, the Gary SouthShore RailCats have qualified for the American Association playoffs. With Saturday’s 7-4 victory over the El Paso Diablos, the RailCats clinched the wild card and finished their regular season with a record of 58-41.
2013 is the 18th straight season in which Manager Greg Tagert’s team did not have a losing season and the RailCats seventh playoff appearance in nine years under Tagert.
“We are very fortunate to have someone of Greg’s caliber to lead our organization on and off the field,” said RailCats President and General Manager Kevin Spudic, “One of the reasons he’s been here for so long; is that he understands the talent level in the league he’s managed in. Year-in and year-out, he’s able to find high quality players for our team.”
58 wins for the RailCats is tied for the most in franchise history, tying the record set in 2007 when the RailCats won the Northern League Championship over Calgary.
"The ballclub deserves a lot of credit as they really had to earn their playoff spot in a highly competitive American Association. Post-season baseball at the U.S. Steel Yard is also a great reward for the RailCats fans that showed tremendous support throughout the season" said Pete Laven, President of Salvi Sports Enterprises.
In 2013, 165,024 fans passed through the gates at U. S. Steel Yard; an increase of 5.4% over 2012.
“It’s been a strong mixture of the product on the field and the family friendly atmosphere we’ve created here at U. S. Steel Yard. We have done a great job getting out in the community with the RailCats Caravan in the off-season and creating promotions and entertainment that has made RailCats baseball an exciting and fun experience for everyone in the region,” said RailCats President and General Manager Kevin Spudic.
The increase in attendance caps off a banner year for the RailCats organization. In March of 2013, the RailCats proudly announced a new 10-year naming rights agreement with U. S. Steel keeping the home of the RailCats named U. S. Steel Yard through the 2022 season.
The RailCats open the 2013 American Association playoffs with a five-game series with Fargo-Moorhead on Wednesday night. It is the fifth time the Redhawks and RailCats will meet in post season play in franchise history. Fargo took each of the three most recent matchups when the teams were members of the Northern League. In 2005, the RailCats defeated Fargo in five games to win the Northern League Championship.
In the RailCats previous playoff appearance, 2010, the Redhawks took the series in three straight games on their way to the Northern League Championship.
The RailCats will begin their series on Wednesday in Fargo, below is game time information and the scheduled pitching matchups. As with all games during the 2013 season, you can listen to RailCats baseball on 89.1 FM The Lakeshore and
Wednesday, September 4 at Fargo 7:02 p.m, – Game 1 RHP Taylor Stanten vs. LHP Alain Quijano
Thursday, September 5 at Fargo 7:02 p.m. – Game 2 RHP Alex Caldera vs. RHP Stephen Hiscock
Friday, September 6 at Gary 7:10 p.m. – Game 3 RHP Brian Ernst vs. RHP Billy Spottiswood
Saturday, September 7 at Gary 6:10 p.m. (if necessary) – Game 4 LHP Jake Laber vs. RHP Morgan Coombs
Friday, September 8 at Gary 2:10 p.m. (if necessary) – Game 5 TBA vs. TBA
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Pelath on HIP Expansion

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath from Michigan City issued the following statement in response to Gov. Mike Pence’s announcement about the Healthy Indiana Plan:
“While I am pleased that we have temporarily settled the health care fears of Hoosiers covered under the Healthy Indiana Plan, we have not solved the problems that face more than 400,000 Hoosiers who still have no answer to their health care concerns apart from visits to their local emergency rooms.
“The stubbornness demonstrated by this administration on the Affordable Care Act would put a mule to shame, and for no reason at all. They continue to be unwilling and unable to do anything to seriously discuss a plan that will assure millions of Hoosier tax dollars return to our state to make health care affordable.
“So our money will continue to pay for affordable health care for our neighbors in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky. We have no answers for the people of Indiana.
“No matter how you try to sugar coat it, our continued intransigence on the subject of affordable health care in Indiana is an embarrassment and a failure.”
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HIP Extension Approved Through at Least 12/31/14

The state's Healthy Indiana Plan received an extension today. The US Department of Health and Human Services has extended the program through at least December 31st, 2014. Indiana Republican Party Chairman Tim Berry says the waiver approval is welcomed news for Hoosiers currently enrolled in the Healthy Indiana Plan, which was implemented in 2008. The Indiana Hospital Association also expressed their pleasure over hearing the news, stating hospitals use the Healthy Indiana Plan as the model to expand coverage to as many as 400-thousand uninsured.
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Visclosky Talks Higher Education at IUN and St. Francis

visclosky and IUN Chancellor
First District Congressman Pete Visclosky attended a couple of events on the campuses of some northwest Indiana university's today with the topic being high education. Congressman Visclosky met with University of St. Francis President Sister M. Elise Kriss and Indiana University Northwest Chancellor William Lowe, getting their view points on the Higher Education Act, which was originally passed in 1965, and is up for re-authorization in this upcoming session of Congress. Chancellor Lowe expressed his concern for the procurement of Pell and Work Study grants. Congressman Visclosky also took time to applaud St. Francis for their higher education retooling opportunities to help graduates struggling to find work the ability to reshape their skill set.
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Weekend Rains a Welcome Sight

crop one
The leaves of some plants in this cornfield in southern Tippecanoe County have wilted and turned brown. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)
The Labor Day weekend brought some needed rain to northwest and central Indiana farm fields. Purdue Corn Specialist Bob Nielsen says the state's corn yields could fall somewhat after the month-long dry spell, but he added it's nowhere near as bad as last year. The 2012 drought that shriveled farmers' crops and led to fire and watering bans across Indiana ended over the winter, and any remaining abnormally dry conditions were erased by frequent rain in the spring.
crop two
The yellowish section of a soybean field shows that plants on a hillside are "burning up" from lack of water. This is among the worst-looking soybean fields that Purdue Extension soybean specialist Shaun Casteel has seen so far this year. (Purdue Department of Agronomy photo/Shaun Casteel)
The state's soybeans also are at a critical time, said soybean specialist Shaun Casteel. "We need rain to retain pods and to finish seed fill," Casteel said. "The hilltops of some fields are burning up, and those plants will not recover. But there isn't that much severe stress in most of the state. "Even if soybeans lost pods due to this water stress, rain within the week would help yield recovery via seed size. It might prevent further deterioration. "
Some of the stress in soybeans is from conditions at planting time, Casteel said. Some fields delayed in planting have poor root systems from too much rainfall in June. Nielsen says in July, US Department of Agriculture projections pointed to exceptional yields for corn. Yields could fall somewhat, now, after a month-long dry spell.The most-recent U.S. Drought Monitor said much of northwest Indiana – Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper Counties – and Central Indiana were abnormally dry.

Family Rescued from Lake

An Illinois family was rescued from the waters of Lake Michigan off northwest Indiana Monday. Indiana Conservation Officers responded to a 911 call of 4 individuals about a mile off shore in Porter County, east of the Port of Indiana. Conservation Officers arrived on scene about 12:30 in the afternoon finding all four floating in life jackets in six foot or higher waves. Conservation Officers say they were able to safely remove Savino Garbuno of Plainfield and his three children, who were all in the water about one hour before they were rescued. Officials say the children, ages 7, 12, and 14, displayed initial signs of hypothermia. They were transported to the Portage Marina where they were met by the Portage Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service personnel, and checked and released. The Indiana DNR says a bilge plug was missing in the hull of the man's boat, causing the hull to flood, making the watercraft unstable and inoperable.


South Split Project Begins

In Indianapolis, I65 & I70 between the north & south splits are now closed for the next 59 days. Work is getting underway to rebuild and lower one-half mile of pavement beneath seven bridges to increase bridge clearances and reduce the potential for collisions from trucks with oversize and unsecure loads. INDOT says repeated bridge strikes cotinue to pose a safety concern.
Additional information from the Indiana Department of Transportation:
More than 400 collisions have been recorded at South Split bridges over I-65/I-70 since 1999 and the frequency of vehicle bridge strikes has increased in recent years.
The most severe incident occurred on Feb. 22, 2013, when an oversize vehicle struck the Virginia Avenue Bridge, requiring a weekend-long closure of northbound I-65 and eastbound I-70 for emergency repairs to the bridge.

Man Dies in Fall from Balcony

A man who died in a fall from a hotel balcony in St. Joseph, Michigan, over the weekend has been identified as 38-year-old David Ginter of Hebron, according to the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety. A news release from the Silver Beach Hotel said Ginter was a repeat guest. Police say the incident, which happened Saturday night, remains under investigation, but foul play is not suspected.

Hammond Teen Dies After Crash

Officials say a 13-year-old Hammond boy died at a Chicago hospital Sunday night after being hit by a car on Calumet Avenue in Hammond. Police say Joshua Spencer was riding his bike around 12:30 in the afternoon in the area of 171st and Calumet when he rode into traffic. Authorities say an 83-year-old woman was not able to brake in time to avoid striking the teen.

Study Planned for MC Drawbridge

Many Region residents know the drawbridge in Michigan City, the one on Franklin Street heading into Washington Park and the lakefront. An article in today's Times says La Porte County Commissioners have ordered a study to see if a stationary bridge would be more feasible because the 80-year-old drawbridge is getting more and more expensive to maintain. The board recently approved one-and-a-half million dollars worth of work, including replacing worn gears and repainting the bridge.

Hobart Shelter Concerned

The Humane Society of Hobart says they can no longer afford to house strays from the city of Portage. A board member at the Hobart shelter sent a letter to Portage saying Hobart's facility on State Road 130 cannot continue “indefinitely” with what was supposed to be a temporary arrangement with Portage that's lasted for several years. Portage officials, in turn, are urging Porter County to move forward on a proposal to build a new county animal shelter that they could become part of.

New Report of Glittery Mystery

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is investigating new reports of a glittery substance in the Region. One said a substance was seen floating on Lake Michigan Friday between East Chicago and Burns Harbor. Additionally, a resident of Robertsdale said he spotted something tiny and silvery on cars and the sidewalk while walking his dog in the 23-hundred block of Indianapolis Boulevard Sunday morning. A mystery glittery substance was also reported in Robertsdale back in June. In June and July an oily sheen seen on the waters of Lake Michigan off Porter Beach, and authorities said the sheen might have been a food additive.

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Laura-WAKE Scott-WAKE Brent-WAKE
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team


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