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Man Working in Garden Hit

Indiana State Police say an 88-year-old Lafayette man working in his flower garden near the road was taken to the hospital Friday afternoon after being struck by a driver making a food delivery from a restaurant to a mobile home park. The victim was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and the driver was cited for unsafe lane movement, and the investigation is ongoing.
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Hospital Pavilion Plan Approved

The Hobart Plan Commission has approved the site plan for a 40-million dollar expansion at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. The hospital plans to build a new surgical pavilion at its main campus on South Lake Park Avenue, a two-story building that will replace the current surgical department and intensive care unit. Construction is expected to begin this summer.
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Indiana Monthly Revenue Rept for April

Indiana's latest state revenue report shows general fund revenues were 71-point-three million dollars above the April 2013 forecast, and 81-point- 4 million, or nearly four-and-a-half-percent above collections for the same period last year. The Indiana State Budget Agency also says through the first ten months of the fiscal year, state revenues are one-point-two-percent, or 136-point-eight million dollars above the April 2013 forecast.
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Advice for Landowners Looking to Sell Timber

Indiana Conservation Officers and the DNR Division of Forestry are providing useful tips to landowners that can assist in protecting their valuable timber resources.
Indiana hardwoods, such as black walnut, red and white oak, and other valuable species are sought by the timber industry. Landowners should follow some simple steps before signing a contract with a timber buyer.
“Some Indiana landowners are taken advantage of every year, and they lose money and resources because they are not aware of the value of timber or the steps needed to protect themselves,” said Duane McCoy, timber licensing forester with the DNR Forestry Division.
To protect forestry resources, landowners should follow these steps:
1. Hire a consultant forester to represent you and mark and advertise your timber sale.
2. Always get several bids from different timber buyers.
3. Ask questions and get references from the timber buyer.
4. Mark the trees to be cut with a paint mark on the stem and at ground level.
5. Know and understand the fine details of the contract.
6. Never make an oral agreement.
7. Know how much you will be paid and the method of payment.
8. Be a good neighbor and work out any property line disputes prior to harvesting.
“Marketing the mature timber from a family property is generally something that will only occur once in a person’s lifetime, and it must be done with knowledge that protects the interest of your investment,” said Lt. Tony Stoll, DNR Law Enforcement District 9 commander.
The DNR offers a free information packet titled “callb4ucut” to Indiana citizens considering harvesting their timber. See www.callb4ucut.com for further information.
Any suspicion that a timber theft is occurring citizens are urged to contact Indiana Conservation Officers Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536.
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Chesterton's European Market Opens this Saturday

Chesterton’s European Market will open for its 11th Season on Saturday, May 4th.  The Market is located at Third Street and Broadway in historic downtown Chesterton, and is held every Saturday from May 4 through October 26, from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Each weekend this season, the Market will boast more than 90 merchants, live musical performances from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, fresh food served on-site throughout the day and plenty of opportunities to enjoy gatherings with friends and family at picnic tables in nearby Thomas Centennial Park. “Last year, we had a dozen Seasonal Merchants – vendors who came to the market every weekend. This year, we’ve accepted 44 Seasonals, and 35 Semi-Seasonals,” says Allyson Baughman, Chamber Marketing Director and Market Manager. “We’ve also welcomed several new artists, chefs and musicians to our ranks. The interest we’ve seen this season has been phenomenal. The Chamber receives several calls each day from locals and tourists wanting to learn more about the market – especially when it’s going to open!”
 
New to the market this year will be downtown Chesterton merchant Chelle’s, as well as TAJ Indian Curry House and Valpo Shrimp Company – a local business that raises salt-water shrimp for local restaurants. Market favorites Bit of Swiss, Rolling Stonebaker, Espress Yourself, Good to Go by Lucrezia, Butler Winery, Ivy’s Catering, Ben’s Soft Pretzels, Lehman’s Orchard, Flagel’s Sugarhouse, Pa’s Workshop and Marilyn’s Pies also will be returning. “The Market wouldn’t be the same without everyone’s favorite coffee, pizza, pretzel and croissant merchants,” says Baughman.
 
While booth space at the Market is nearly booked for the entire season, a few spaces remain in October. “We’re always open to receiving applications, since sometimes our scheduled merchants have conflicts and can’t attend,” Baughman explains. “We especially love seeing applicants with new or unusual products – especially savory food items.” For more information about applying to or visiting Chesterton’s European Market, please call the Chamber office at (219) 926-5513, visit www.dunelandchamber.org, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
To hear our interview with Allyson Baughman  and discover more going on this year at Chesterton's European Market visit News Audio On Demand at www.regionnewsteam.com
You can also visit the event's website: http://www.chestertonseuropeanmarket.com
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(photo provided by http://www.chestertonseuropeanmarket.com }
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Veterans Tuition Bill Signed Into Law

Banks SB 177
(Photo Courtesy of State Senator Jim Banks)
STATEHOUSE (May 2, 2013) — Gov. Mike Pence signed Senate Enrolled Act 177 into law today – a bill authored by State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) to give returning veterans access to a more affordable college education.
The legislation grants in-state tuition eligibility to honorably discharged veterans and active National Guard members who enroll in one of Indiana’s state colleges within a year of settling in Indiana. Currently, veterans serving in a different state or country may not qualify for in-state tuition upon returning home, increasing their college costs by thousands of dollars.
To be eligible, veterans are required to enroll in a state college or university no later than 12 months after their discharge or separation from the armed forces. They will then have to take steps to establish Indiana residency within 12 months of enrollment.
“Indiana has always advocated for its veterans, and now, we have an opportunity to extend that advocacy to their college education,” Banks said. “As tuition costs skyrocket and more jobs require a four-year degree, this is the right time to enact legislation that helps our veterans access affordable tuition options. My hope is that with this advancement, more veterans will be encouraged to pursue higher education.”
Pence praised the efforts of Banks and others in passing this legislation.
“Veterans and their families make tremendous sacrifices to serve our nation and protect our freedom,” Pence said. “It is essential that we support and encourage these brave men and women to pursue a higher education and earn a college degree.  I applaud the members of the General Assembly, and I am especially appreciative of the leadership of Sen. Jim Banks, one of the authors of the bill.”
The bill signing ceremony took place at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Members of veterans groups from the campus and community were in attendance.
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Overturned Semi Closes Sothbound Lanes of Cline Ave

All lanes reopened to traffic just before 5pm this evening, about four-hours after a semi overturned and lost its load on the ramp of Michigan Avenue forced the shut down of the southbound lanes of Cline Avenue.  Authorities were called out to the scene just before 1pm, and no injuries were reported.
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Reminder to Anglers: Be Mindful of Fishing Regulations

Fishing regulation guide
Indiana Conservation Officers are reminding anglers to always be mindful of all fishing regulations, including size and bag limits, after a 55 year old Culver man was issued a summons on Tuesday, at Bass Lake, in Starke County, for possessing twice the daily limit of crappie. The Indiana DNR reports the Culver man was in possession of 45 crappie, 20 fish over the daily bag limit of 20. If convicted, the 55 year old faces additional fines of 690-dollars to replace the fish taken. To view Indiana's fishing regulations, visit http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2347.htm.
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Morning Call Program Well Received in Schererville

David-Dowling
It has been about a month or so since a program that calls senior's and homebound residents to check on their well-being was started by the Schererville Police Department. Chief David Dowling says the "Morning Call" initiative has been well received with about a dozen or so individuals having registered.  Chief Dowling says the program, which runs Monday through Friday, is a first of its kind in the region, and came about as a direct result due to the fact they are an accredited police department and this idea came from those meetings. To register just contact the Schererville Police Department and to hear more of our interview with Chief Dowling,visit http://indiana105.com/index.php/news/region-newsmakers.html.
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Linde Gas Company Investigating Cause of Fire

fire at Linde Gas co
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
No one was injured, but a few roads near the Linde Gas Company in Hammond were blocked off for a time as a precaution after a fire Wednesday afternoon. Hammond Fire Chief Jeff Smith says they were called out around 2:30, and spent about three-hours at the scene. Chief Smith says there was a flame coming off an acetylene tank at the point where it gets filled, and that it was contained to that one tank, saying they only got involved after a garbage can in close proximity to the tank caught fire. Chief Smith says there was no damage to the building and at last check, no cause for what started the incident. An investigation is being conducted by the company.
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Competitive Grant Award Program to Improve Air Quality

South Shore Clean Cities has announced a competitive grant award program aimed at improving air quality in Lake County through Diesel Emissions Reduction projects. A total of 450-thousand dollars will be available to support qualified projects submitted by Lake County municipalities, schools and not-for-profit hospitals. The program is the result of a cooperative agreement between the BP Whiting Refinery, the Sierra Club, Save the Dunes, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Hoosier Environmental Council, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, the Environmental Integrity Project and two private citizens. An informational meeting is scheduled later this month in Hammond.  Phase I will begin at 9 a.m., Thursday, May 23 with an informational pre-proposal meeting at the Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr., Hammond, Ind., 46323.
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Man Robbed, Shot Hits Leg

Police in Gary are investigating a shooting just before 11-o'clock Wednesday night. Corporal Gabrielle King says a 62-year-old man was in the area of 5th and Colfax when he saw two men at a gas station that he believed had been watching him. The two subjects then later approached as the man was walking south on Colfax and when he got to about  the 700 block, the two subjects approached him, demanding his wallet.  Police say the victim gave them his wallet, then one of the subjects pulled out a gun, fired a shot, striking the man in the leg.  Police say they all left the area, but emergency personnel were able to locate the victim.
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Gov Pence Uninjured in Traffic Accident

A spokesperson for Indiana Governor Mike Pence says an official state vehicle driving Governor Pence was involved in a traffic accident in Indianapolis as they were traveling to Fort Wayne today.  Word from the Governor's office is mo one was seriously injured, and once it was determined that no one involved required immediate medical attention, the Governor continued on to Fort Wayne to continue his schedule for the rest of the day.
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Illinois Senate Approves Casinos

A casino not far over the Indiana/Illinois state line could be moving closer to reality.  The Illinois Senate approved a new gambling expansion package Wednesday that lawmakers hope will be more palatable to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. The plan allows for five new casinos…including one in the south suburbs and one in Chicago…and slot machines at racetracks and at O’Hare and Midway airports. it also has a provision important to Quinn -- a ban on campaign contributions from gaming interests.  The measure does not include online gambling. Also, it gives the state gaming board regulatory authority over the Chicago casino. It now moves to the Illinois House for a vote.
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New PNC Complex 'Game Changer'


New PNC Complex 'Game Changer'
Construction is expected to begin next year on a new student services and activities complex at Purdue North Central in Westville. University officials say the new budget approved by the Indiana General Assembly includes a key provision that will allow for the issuance of 23-point-7 million dollars in bonds to help finance construction of the proposed 34-point-7-million-dollar facility. The remaining funding will be generated through student fees and gift donations to PNC. Along with meetings, conferences, and exhibits, P-N-C says commencement will also be held there. The May 2013 graduation ceremonies, for instance, will be at the Valparaiso University ARC.
"We are thrilled the general assembly has allowed us to move forward," said PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin. "This is a significant step for PNC as we continue our mission to serve the educational, athletic and social needs of the residents of Northwest Indiana.  This is a game changer which will enable us to continue to improve our retention and graduation rates."  Dworkin thanked the Indiana General Assembly for including the Student Services and Activities Complex in the state budget.  "Our local legislators extended their bipartisan support for the Student Services and Activities Complex and worked hard to ensure that their colleagues from across the state understood the importance of including it in the budget," said Dworkin.  "State Senators Karen Tallian, Jim Arnold and Ed Charbonneau and State Representatives Thomas Dermody, Scott Pelath and Ed Soliday were tremendous advocates and I thank them for their ongoing support of PNC."
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Mobile Home Destroyed by Fire

Officials in Portage are trying to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a mobile home early Wednesday. Reports say crews were called out to the 300 block of Camelot Estates, at 2:16am, and put out the fire about 12 minutes after they arrived at the scene. Two other mobile homes on either side of were also said to be damaged. No injuries were reported. Authorities say the mobile home was unoccupied at the time of the fire.
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No Injuries Reported in Hammond Fire

Some Hammond roads were blocked off as a precaution Wednesday after a fire broke out inside a building at the Linde Gas company, in the 3900 block of Michigan Street, a building that houses an acetylene  tank used for welding. Michigan Street at Kennedy was closed for a time, along with portions of Cline Avenue near the facility, but were reopened by 5:30pm. There were no reports of injuries and the flames were said to have been contained inside the building.
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Fatal Shooting in Gary

Police in Gary are investigating an apparent homicide that claimed the life of an 18-year-old Gary man Wednesday. The Lake County Coroners office says Lance Johnson sustained a gunshot wound to the head and an open wound to his left hand, and was pronounced dead at the scene at 20th and Pierce Street at 5 pm.
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Man Critical After Crash

A 37-year-old Fowler man was reported in critical condition after Indiana State Police say for unknown reasons he crossed the center line and the Ford Explorer he was driving struck a semi-tractor trailer on US 421 north of State Road 16 in Monon. He had to be extricated and was flown to an Indianapolis hospital. The semi-driver was unhurt. US 421 was closed for about three hours.
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Property Tax Reminder

Porter County Treasurer Mike Bucko is reminding taxpayers that the spring payment of the Porter County Property Taxes are due May 10, just over a week from today. To avoid penalties it must be post marked May 10. Bucko says you can also pay in person at the Treasurer's office in downtown Valparaiso or online at www.porterco.org. Just click on (pay my tax bill). You will need the duplicate number so have the tax bill handy.
Bucko says if you pay on line E-check is free but credit and debit cards have a fee. Provide your email address and check the box to get a receipt that a payment was made.  He says taxpayers have until 11:59:59 on May 10, 2013 to be on time when paying online. If paying at the Treasurer's Office at 155 Indiana Ave. Valparaiso IN office hours are Mon-Fri. except holidays 8:30am to 4:30pm. Call 219-465-3470 to for information.
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