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Chicago Man Dies After Being Hit on I-80/94

Officials say a 23-year-old Chicago man airlifted to a Chicago-area hospital after walking out on to the Borman Expressway in Hammond about two weeks ago died Thursday. An autopsy is scheduled today. Indiana State Police say 23-year-old Talgat Orumbayev reportedly walked on the ramp from Indianapolis Boulevard to eastbound Interstate 80-94 almost getting hit, and as police were on their way to check on the pedestrian, for unknown reasons he walked out into the right lane of the interstate, just east of the ramp, where he was struck by a car....
 

Chickenpox Outbreak at Local Charter School

A Northwest Indiana charter school is dealing with a chickenpox outbreak. Six students across different grade levels at Discovery Charter School in the town of Porter are said to have chickenpox, and about forty others were excluded from school Wednesday and Thursday because they weren't up-to-date on vaccinations. The school has about five-hundred students in kindergarten through eighth grade....
 

Pre-Register Now for Upcoming Hunter Education Classes

Indiana Conservation Police
Indiana Conservation Officers are offering several Hunter Education classes throughout northwest Indiana in preparation for the upcoming hunting season. Conservation Officer Keith Wildeman says anyone who would like to attend is asked to pre-register.
Indiana Hunter Education Certification is required for all hunters born after Dec. 31, 1986. Participants will learn basic firearms safety, treestand safety, and conservation ethics.
Students are required to preregister for the course prior to attending by visiting www.indianahuntereducation.com. A complete listing of available classes is available on the website.
Upcoming classes and locations include:
Sept. 28 – Portage
Sept. 30, Oct. 1 & 3- LaPorte
Oct. 5 – Lake Village
Oct. 5 & 6 – North Judson
Oct. 11 – Morocco
Oct. 12 – Cedar Lake
Oct. 19 – Michigan City
Oct. 19 & 20 – Hammond
Nov. 9 – Michigan City
Bow season for deer begins on October 1st with firearm season for deer starting November 16th.   To hear more our interview, click News Audio On Demand at http://regionnewsteam.com/

For more hunting start dates, http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/fw-Hunting_Trapping_Seasons_Poster_2013-14.pdf...
 

Man Accused of Threatening Girlfriend with Handgun

Richard Day
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 53 year old Porter Township man faces numerous charges after he allegedly pointed a handgun at his girlfriend Wednesday night and threatened to kill her and her son because she refused to buy him beer. The Times reports Richard Day has been drinking when the incident occurred and his girlfriend informed officers she grabbed his arm and he fired a shot that went out their kitchen door towards a neighbor's home. According to the article, police confiscated nine vials of steroids from the residence and a total of 26 guns, including the one allegedly used in the incident, which Day reported denied ever pointing at his girlfriend....
 

9 Chicago Gang Members Face Racketeering Charges

Nine alleged members of a violent Chicago street gang have been charged with federal racketeering charges. ABC News reports the indictment claims the nine were part of a near South Side Street gang known as the Hobos, who US Attorney Gary Shapiro says intimidated the neighborhood for years through the use of violence, intimidation, murders, attempted murders, and assaults with firearms against anyone who posed a threat to them, or jeopardized their operations.  Four of the nine alleged gang members face a mandatory life sentence, or the death penalty if convicted of murder....
 

Cause of Death for West, Public Service Sunday

jacob west
(Photo Courtesy of LaPorte High School)
An autopsy was conducted today on a LaPorte High School varsity football player who collapsed during practice Wednesday, and who was pronounced dead at a local hospital later that evening. LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan says 17 year old Jacob West died due to right ventricular cardiomyopathy, or a thinning of the right ventricular wall of the heart, which kept blood from being pushed out of his heart. Sullivan says no athletic physical would have been able to detect it and while unfortunate and sad, it was a natural death.
An emotional LaPorte varsity football team will take to the field tomorrow tonight, in Merrillville, with the familiar orange Slicers helmets featuring memorial stickers in remembrance of their fallen teammate. The LaPorte Community School Corporation issued an official statement today, offering condolences, and announcing that a "Celebration of Life" service will be open to the public at Kiwanis Field this Sunday at 4:30pm....
 

Improving Civil Legal Services to Low Income Hoosiers

A statewide commission was established this week by the Indiana Supreme Court to develop a five-year plan to improve the availability of civil legal services for low-income Hoosiers. The Indiana Commission to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services is expected to meet four times a year and must provide the court with a progress report by June 30th. The Commission is meant to study groups and organizations that already provide services to low-income Hoosiers and improve cooperation between them....
 

Hamlet Man Arrested for Hit and Run Accident

william conner
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
A 40 year old Hamlet man faces numerous charges after a hit and run accident in LaPorte Wednesday night. LaPorte Police report they were called to the area of Rose and McCollum Street, just after 10pm, where a witness informed them he heard a crash and observed a dark-colored pickup truck with a flat front tire, traveling east. Officers were able to follow gauges in the pavement, which ultimately lead to the suspect vehicle, which was found heading south on Highway 35, with sparks coming from the front tire area. Police say officers were able to stop the vehicle at Greenlawn Drive and County Road 400 South, and the driver, William Conner, was taken into custody and faces multiple operating while intoxicated charges, resisting law enforcement, driving on a suspended license, possession of marijuana, and other misdemeanors charges. ...
 

Funding Secured for Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway

NIRPC Logo
The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission announced today that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has selected the four-year project proposal for funding for the Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway Watershed Initiative. The Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway watershed covers nearly 180 square miles and is the largest watershed in Northwest Indiana's Lake Michigan drainage area. NIRPC reports IDEM has identified approximately 125 miles of stream in the watershed that are considered impaired, with some of the known water quality issues being E. coli, siltation, low dissolved oxygen levels, and impaired biotic communities, which they report as being by far the most prevalent issue. IDEM is currently assessing water chemistry, habitat and biological communities at 35 different sites strategically located throughout the watershed and the information gathered will be used to develop a Total Maximum Daily Load report which will be incorporated into the watershed management plan.
IDEM has created a webpage for Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway TMDL study to help disseminate information such as public meeting dates, quarterly water quality data results, and site photographs (http://www.in.gov/idem/nps/3893.htm).  The next TMDL public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 5th beginning at 1p.m. at the Lake County Extension and Soil & Water Conservation District offices in Merrillville.  The watershed management project is expected to begin this January with a public meeting kick-off which NIRPC will announce as the project start nears closer. NIRPC hopes to draw in other partners as the initiative moves forward....
 

Names of Deceased in Gary Murder/Suicide Released

Gary PD
Gary Police say a husband and wife were pronounced dead at the scene this morning in a murder-suicide. Corporal Gabrielle King says at about 6 am, Gary Police responded to a call of shots fired in the one-thousand block of Harrison Street. Officers found 43-year-old Fredrick Smith and 37-year-old Alicia Smith in a bedroom, unresponsive, both victims of gunshots. Corporal King says a 17-year-old female told officers she heard her mom and step dad arguing, then she heard a gunshot, so she gathered her siblings and took them to a neighbor's house, while she called 911, then returned to her house and found her mom unresponsive and asked her stepfather, 'What did you do?' The 43-year-old man then turned the gun on himself, pulled the trigger, and shot himself in the head. The Lake County Coroner's Office has ruled Alicia Smith's death a homicide, and Fredrick Smith's death a suicide....
 

Portage Police Investigate Armed Robbery

In Portage, police are investigating an armed robbery. At around 8-o'clock Wednesday night, police responded to the MCR Short Stop at the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Hamstrom Road. Authorities say the suspect displayed a semi-automatic pistol and fled in an unknown direction. He was described as a white male, wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, dark colored jeans and a black mask. Anyone who was passing through the area around the time of the robbery who observed anything suspicious is asked to contact the Portage Police Department at 219-762-3122 and ask for Detective Grynovich....
   

Police: Husband, Wife Dead in Murder/Suicide

Gary Police say a husband and wife were pronounced dead at the scene this morning in an apparent murder-suicide. Corporal Gabrielle King says at about 6 am, Gary Police responded to a call of shots fired in the one-thousand block of Harrison Street, where they came into contact with a 17-year-old female who was outside in front of the house screaming.  Corporal King says the 17-year-old told officers that her mom and her stepdad were inside the residence and both had been shot. Officers found a 43-year-old male and a 37-year-old female in a bedroom, unresponsive, both victims of gunshots. “The 17-year-old told officers that she heard her mom and stepdad arguing, then she heard a gunshot. So she gathered her siblings and took them to a neighbor's house, while she called 911,” Corporal King said. “The 17-year-old then returned to her house and found her mom unresponsive and asked her stepfather, 'What did you do?' The 43-year-old man then turned the gun on himself, pulled the trigger, and shot himself in the head” . Their names have not yet been released. Police say all five children are with family members.
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Did You See Fireball This Morning?

fireball
The American Meteor Society reports getting nearly two-hundred reports of a large fireball this morning [September 26th] around 7 am Eastern time. Their website says witnesses from Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Missouri reported a bright light traveling across the morning sky from west to east.
Image: http://www.amsmeteors.org/2013/09/large-fireball-spotted-in-midwest/...
   

Emergency Management Vehicles Get New Logo

cpema
Crown Point's Board of Public Works and Safety has approved a new logo for the city's Emergency Management Department vehicles to make them more visible and set them apart from other first responders. The design change, the first in more than twenty years, replaces a smaller logo that city officials say was more difficult to spot....
   

Indiana Fire Crews Fight Fires Out West

indianacrew
Two National Park Service and a TNC firefighter dig line together on an Indiana crew on the Rim Fire this summer. [Photo provided]
Crews from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore were among 82 firefighters deployed from Indiana so far this year to respond to western wildfires in what's been described as one of the worst years on record. Maggie Schuetter, director of the Indiana Interagency Coordination Center, says all the Indiana fire fighters are home now, but the western fire season isn’t over and they could be called out again.   Of the 82, some were sent as crews, and some in positions helping with a variety of tasks such as logistics, safety, and operations officers. 
“Indiana firefighters worked on 47 different wildfire incidents this year; building fire lines, cutting hazard trees, and protecting homes,” Schuetter said. “They also managed fire camps, dispatched personnel and equipment, made maps and planned the next day’s work, and kept firefighters safe on the line and in camp.”
Crews and resources from Indiana were sent to 11 states -- Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin. "Towards the end of the season, probably the most activity was in California, where most of the crews from the east went to; however in the beginning of fire season, most crews went to Alaska,"  Schuetter said.  Schuetter says Indiana firefighters are ordered through a national system out of the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. The orders for personnel and equipment are filled by the closest available resources from a variety of state and federal agencies.
Firefighters come from across the state and represent the Hoosier National Forest (USDA Forest Service), Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Lincoln Boyhood National Monument (National Park Service), Big Oaks (US Fish and Wildlife Service), Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), and The Nature Conservancy.  Some are professional firefighters; many are foresters, wildlife biologists, recreation specialists, and other resource managers who have specialized fire training to do the many jobs required to support fire suppression efforts.  Each person who goes on assignment is expected to be out for at least 14 working days.  They all have completed a rigorous course of training specific to the job they will be doing.  They have also spent time in on-the-job training before getting certified in their individual positions.
Indiana personnel who are trained firefighters could go on multiple assignments throughout the year.  Demand for Indiana firefighters usually slows once cooler temperatures arrive in the mountainous western states, normally sometime in late September or early October....
   

Autopsy to Shed More Light on Teen's Death

La Porte County Coroner John Sullivan says an autopsy is being conducted this afternoon at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka by a pediatric certified forensic pathologist to shed more light on the death of a La Porte High School football player Wednesday. Sullivan says responders were dispatched shortly after 5 pm on the report of a football player suffering cardiac arrest at Kiwanis Field, where the teen collapsed on the track during practice. When LaPorte Fire and EMS arrived, they found La Porte High School linebacker 17-year-old Jacob West unconscious and unresponsive, with coaches and bystanders performing CPR. Sullivan says West's heart was shocked three times by EMS crews using a defibrillator. The teen was transported to IU Health La Porte where resuscitative efforts continued. West was pronounced dead shortly after 6:30 last night. LaPorte is scheduled to play at Merrillville Friday night....
   

Former Mayor Daley Keynotes One Region Event

daleypic
Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley was the keynote speaker for the Times' annual One Region luncheon in Merrillville Wednesday. Daley applauded local efforts to take a regional approach to issues and challenges, saying this kind of regional cooperation is unique here in the US. More than six-hundred people attended the event, held at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville. To see the keynote speech, click here: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/merrillville/daley-tells-nwi-to-innovate-compete/article_80126291-6957-50c5-9813-7a6b3f93fae3.html  [Photo/Laura Waluszko, Radio One Communications]...
   

Valparaiso Seeks Input on Completing Central Park Plaza

central park
The City of Valparaiso and the planning firm of Design Organization want to hear what you have to say about completing Valparaiso's Central Park Plaza. City Administrator Bill Oeding says two public input sessions are being held at Valparaiso City Hall, 166 W. Lincolnway, today [Thursday Sept 26 2013] , the first from 4-to-6 pm, then another from 7 to 9 pm. The city is thinking about putting an open-air pavilion on a huge area just to the west, across the street from the park, that would be used year-round, but in particular, for ice-skating in the winter. City Administrator Bill Oeding says the park has already been an overwhelming success. "Having this public gathering space," Oeding said, "a quality public gathering space in our downtown has been so well-received by our residents, it's been amazing. I hear it all the time how much they appreciate the park."  To hear our interview with Bill Oeding, visit News Audio on Demand here at our website. [Photo/City of Valparaiso]

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La Porte HS Football Player Collapses, Dies

La Porte County Coroners officials say a La Porte High School football player collapsed during practice at Kiwanis Field Wednesday, and was pronounced dead at a local hospital early Wednesday evening. Multiple reports this morning are saying 17-year-old Jake West, a linebacker on the La Porte team, suffered cardiac arrest. Bystanders and coaches were said to have performed CPR and responders used a defibrillator. He was rushed to IU Health La Porte Hospital where he died. LaPorte is scheduled to play at Merrillville Friday night. ...
   

Donnelly to Congress: Stop Fighting, Get to Work

donnelly on senate floor
Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly spoke on the Senate floor today calling on Congress to start doing what Hoosiers expect: stop fighting, get to work, and focus on the most serious business at hand, which is creating jobs for those who need them.
“We are at a critical point in our ongoing economic recovery.” Donnelly said. “In the next week, this Congress will decide whether to keep the federal government open and operating.  In the weeks ahead, this Congress will decide whether to continue to pay the government’s bills—our bills.  We can go one way—the responsible way—and show the American people that we are capable of working with one another.  Or, we can continue to yell at each other to score political points, refuse to be realistic about the need to find common ground, and shut down the government and stop paying our bills—the bills we are responsible for.”
Donnelly offered three bipartisan, common sense ways Congress could do something about the economy: first, pass the America Work Act; second, pass the Farm Bill, and third, cut red tape to encourage private investment in infrastructure. For a link to view Donnelly's entire speech, visit ">...
   

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