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Arrest Made in Solidier's Park Exposure Incident

LaPorte PD
A 58 year old New Carlisle, Indiana man accused of indecent exposure last week in LaPorte's Solidier's Park has surrendered himself on a warrant. LaPorte Police report Patrick Timmins is charged with public indecency, for allegedly exposing himself to a man he had just spoke with in the area of the channel walking bridge. The victim called police and left the park, only to be followed by the suspect in his vehicle. The victim then went back to the park to wait for police, and after they arrived, the suspect drove by and was stopped by officers.
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Motorists Asked to Avoid US 35 Near MC Due to Crash

Traffic-Alert
Tipster reporting a crash in LaPorte County this morning on U-S 35, about a mile south of Michigan City.  Authorities ask that motorists avoid the area if possible until after 8:30am.  No further information is available at this time.

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Rally in Indy Against Proposed Gay Marriage Ban

A Freedom Indiana kick-off rally was held Wednesday in Indianapolis, organized by a bipartisan group of business, social and civic groups, to stop a proposed amendment to the state constitution to ban civil unions and gay marriage in Indiana.  The current law in the Hoosier state only allows marriage between a man and a woman, and the proposed amendment has been endorsed by the Governor, House Speaker and the Senate President.  During the rally, Freedom Indiana announced that they plan to build and support grassroots organizations to urge lawmakers to vote against the proposal.
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E 911 Service Consolidation Cost Estimates

E-911
A new state law mandating a consolidated E-911 service is going to cost over six-point-six million dollars annually, according to Lake County officials.  The Times reports a Merrillville accounting firm estimated the annual contributions communities in the county will have to pay, with Gary and Hammond being the largest annual contributors, at over one-point-two million dollars and one-million dollars respectively.  According to the article, the county government would contribute two-point-four million in telephone user fees and officials must decide whether to borrow or set aside future tax revenues to purchase or lease at least 12 million dollars in communication devices.   It is estimated that the operational cost of the service will be over nine-million dollars.
Cedar Lake $131,463.00
Crown Point $347,080.00
Dyer $219,933.00
East Chicago $972,431.00
Griffith $198,258.00
Hammond $1,050,365.00
Hobart $358,493.00
Highland $293,208.00
Lake Station $117,884.00
Lowell $190,192.00
Merrillville $364,374.00
Munster $296,585.00
Schererville $381,204.00
St. John $308,001.00
Whiting $173,811.00
Gary $1,212,190.00
New Chicago $16,967.00
Lake County $425,676.00
Total: $7,058,115.00
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Gas Leak Disrupts Traffic at Lakes of the 4 Seasons

4 seasons picture
Traffic going in and out of Lakes of Four Seasons was hampered shorty after 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon as utility crews had to repair a natural gas leak near the main entrance to the subdivision.  The incident occurred when a 52-year old Four Seasons resident was in his car exiting the subdivision when his car repotedly swerved into a security vehicle pushing that vehicle into the gate house.  Larry Graham, spokesperson for NIPSCO says the vehicle then hit a gas meter mounted to the building, rupturing the gas line that connects to the meter, causing the leak.  Graham says the security vehicle and gate house sustain only minimal damage while the car was towed from the scene. No injuries were reported.

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Teen Suspects Arrested at 1st Day of School

portage pd
Two male juveniles suspected of vandalizing property about two weeks ago in the Savannah Heights area of Portage, have been taken into custody. 
Police Chief Troy Williams says over a dozen of the reported incidents consisted of racial slurs, racial symbols, broken car windows, defecating on a vehicle and spray painting numerous vehicles and residences, causing an estimated $25,000 to $30,000 in damages. 
Chief Troy says after parents of the suspects refused to cooperate and failed to meet with department detectives as previously scheduled on Tuesday, the 16 and 17 year olds were arrested Wednesday morning at their respective high schools (Portage High School and Hebron high School). 
The police chief thanks the public for their input the department received once suspect photos were released on social and print media sites.  He also acknowledges the department's detectives who worked tirelessly to bring a resolution to these" numerous, senseless acts of vandalism."
Chief Troy also encourages parents to talk with their children about the "effects and consequences" that "pointless acts of destruction" can cause in terms of distress for the victims and the cost of reimbursing for damages.  
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Officers Visible to Keep Schools Safe, 1st Day Back

Valpo PD
Valparaiso Police Officers used the first day of school to visit principals, parents, teachers and students at schools throughout the city. Officers were visible throughout schools and school zones to show their commitment in keeping schools throughout Valparaiso a safe place for all who attend.
The high visibility of officers throughout schools and school zones will be a common site for individuals visiting the schools early this school year.
Motorist should be reminded that all Valparaiso Schools are back in session and caution should be used when driving through school zones. All speed limits are reduced in school zones and officers will be enforcing the reduce speed limits.
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East Chicago Teen Faces Animal Cruelty Charges

On Monday the Lake County Sheriff’s Department filed Animal Cruelty charges with the Lake County Prosecutors Office, Juvenile Division against a 17-year-old juvenile living in East Chicago, IN.  The juvenile did confess to investigators that, during the week of August 4, 2013, he felt “bored” and decided to use a compound bow and arrows to “hunt” kittens living in the alley behind his residence.  The juvenile did subsequently kill three kittens in total – one of which was speared through the head and one of which was disemboweled.  This juvenile then subsequently posted photos of himself playing with the speared and disemboweled kittens on Facebook.  The Lake County Sheriff’s Department believes Facebook eventually removed the photographs due to their objectionable nature.
Charges filed against the juvenile include “Killing A Domestic Animal,” a D Felony and “Torturing Or Mutilating A Domestic Animal,” also a D Felony.
Any questions regarding this case can be directed to Lake County Sheriff’s Department Detective Michelle Dvorscak at 219-755-3346.
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Taltree puts out call for Green-minded Volunteers

Taltree
Valparaiso, IN – Taltree Arboretum & Gardens is looking for environmentally and community minded individuals to join their volunteer task force.  Volunteer opportunities include tending gardens, giving tours, and helping with special events. This hands-on experience offers endless opportunities to learn and teach about the native landscape and wildlife of Northwest Indiana. Volunteers can work with outside community groups and join special on-site volunteer teams to assist with ongoing projects, such as the Bluebird Watch Team.
Volunteers who serve at least 40 hours receive the following benefits: free individual membership, on-site class and service discounts, special event entry, volunteer outings, and more. Taltree’s volunteer program also is good for active volunteers seeking to fulfill needed hours for conservation certification program such as Master Naturalist and Master Gardeners.
“We truly appreciate our volunteers. Without them Taltree would not be what it is today,” said Alexis R. Faust, President and CEO of Taltree Arboretum & Gardens. “Hard-working, kind-hearted volunteers are the foundation of every great not-for-profit and ours rank among the best.”
The next Taltree new volunteer orientation class is Wednesday, August 28 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. RSVP by Monday, August 26 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 219-462-0025. The class will be held at Taltree Arboretum & Gardens’ main office located at 71 N. 500 West, Valparaiso. The class also includes an orientation hike. Volunteers should wear comfortable shoes and dress for the outdoors.
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Recently voted the Best of the Region, Taltree Arboretum & Gardens is a beautiful 360-acre oasis of formal gardens, woodlands, wetlands, and prairies that offers a variety of events, classes, and exhibits.
As a 501(c)3 public charity, all proceeds received power Taltree’s education, restoration, and conservation initiatives. Support Taltree’s efforts by becoming a member! As a member you can enjoy Taltree’s beautiful grounds year round and receive discounts on educational programs and at The Taltree Store. You’ll enjoy other benefits too, like admission discounts into other American Horticultural Society garden locations, garden magazine discount subscriptions and shopping discounts at these area nurseries: Chesterton Feed & Garden Center, Jake’s Feed & Garden, and Four Seasons Landscaping Nursery, Inc.
Taltree main entrance is located at 450 West 100 North, near Valparaiso, Indiana in Northern Indiana, just south of U.S. 30, approximately 15 minutes east of Interstate 65. For more information, visit Taltree.org or follow Taltree on Twitter at @TaltreeArb and Facebook at facebook.com/Taltree.
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Lake Ridge School Student Reportedly Battered

Lake Co. Sherrif
According to a press relase from Sgt. Patti Van Til of the Lake County Sheriff's Department, on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, at approximately 7:00 am, seven Lake Ridge Middle School students were waiting for the school bus in the area of 24th and Gerry Street in Gary, Indiana.  While waiting at the bus stop, a black 4 door Chevy Impala drove up to the students, 2 male black subjects and 2 female black subjects exited the vehicle and advised the students that something bad would happen to them if they didn’t give up their money and cell phones.  One of the students responded that they didn’t have anything and she was going to call police.  One of the female suspects, referred to as “LaKiesha” by her companions, proceeded to batter the student by punching the student to the face, she was joined by the second female suspect who then hit her about her person.  A resident of the neighborhood exited their home and yelled that she had called the police at which time the suspects fled the area in their vehicle.  The suspects are described as follows: 1st female:   mid 20’s, light skinned African American, dyed blonde hair in a ponytail, wearing a pink shirt and blue jean shorts. 2nd female:   mid 30’s, dark skinned African American, wearing a blue shirt with blue and purple pajama bottoms, and a white and black hat. 2 males:   late 30’s or early 40’s. The student victim sustained a bloody nose and lip.  The students did not recognize any of the suspects.
It was also reported to Lake County Police around the same time, in the 6800 block of West 25th Avenue in Gary, Indiana, a male adult resident was approached by subjects believed to be the same group of males and females asking for directions.  One of the suspects pushed the resident who then fled. Further a resident in the area of 25th and Henry Street in Gary, Indiana also reported that a sixth grade student also waiting for the bus was approached by this group of suspects asking if the student had seen their lost puppy.  At this point the parent yelled to the suspects who then fled. Anyone with information please contact Lake County Sheriff’s Department School Resource Officer Zabrina Harris at the Lake Ridge Middle School at 219.980.0730.
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Water Main Break, Columbia @ 150th in Hammond

Traffic-Alert
Repair crews are on the scene of a broken water main in Hammond at the intersection of Columbia Avenue and 150th St.  According to reports, a construction crew working in the area hit a water main causing high standing water on Columbia Avenue near 150th St....
   

PC Community Foundation gives Grant to Healthlinc

HealthLinc
(L- R) Porter County Community Foundation Board Member Jane Maxwell presents grant check to Healthlilnc CEO Beth Wrobel at Healthlinc's new clinic in Valparaiso
The Porter County Community Foundation presented a grant check to HealthLinc, Inc. to assist with the purchase of optometry equipment for its new Valparaiso clinic on Sturdy Road.  “We are happy to be able to help our local nonprofits expand their services to meet the growing needs in Porter County,” said Barb Young, President of the Porter County Community Foundation.  “We are proud of HealthLinc’s success and what it provides for our community.”  The health clinic now offers comprehensive patient care at the new facility with the addition of optometry to its medical, dental, behavioral health services and pharmacy. 
The Foundation strengthens the work of nonprofits through grants and programs designed to help them do their work better.  In 2012, the Foundation was able to provide more than $1.8 million in grants, investing in critical services for individuals and families throughout Porter County.
The Foundation inspires giving and engages our community to improve lives in Porter County now and forever.  To learn more, visit online at www.portercountyfoundation.org or call (219) 465-0294.

(photo provided)
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Crash Closes Entrance to Lakes of the 4 Seasons

Traffic-Alert
Shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday, fire crews responded to a report of a vehicle versus a building in the 1000 block of N. Lakeshore Drive at Lakes of the Four Seasons.  Traffic tipsters reported that the guard shack at the subdivision's main entrance was reportedly struck by a vehilce contianing only the driver.  No injuries were reported but the accident caused a natural gas leak.  NPSCO repair crews were called to the scene and as a result of the leak the main entrance to Lakes of the Four Seasons remains closed at this time.
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Witnesses Report Animal Abuse Incident in LaPorte

LaPorte PD
Police in LaPorte took possession of a three-legged dog that witnesses report was kicked continuously by a woman Tuesday night in the one-thousand block of Maple Avenue.   LaPorte Police report the woman told officers at the scene the dog belonged to her ex-boyfriend, and denied kicking the animal, which police reported as being very skittish and that it appeared to be malnourished and in a state of neglect.  The dog was taken to the LaPorte County Animal Shelter and a review of criminal charges has been forwarded to the LaPorte County Prosecutor's Office.
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No Injuries after Crane Fire at US Steel Portage Plant

No one was reported injured and operations were not impacted according to US Steel officials after a small fire in a crane Tuesday night at their Portage facility.  Firefighters from Portage were called in to assist and provided an aerial truck to battle the fire, which is under investigation.
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Charbonneau In Canada Studying Environmental Issues

Ed Charbonneau
STATEHOUSE (Aug. 20, 2013) — State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) will serve as a delegate to the Midwest-Canada Legislative Conference this week to discuss environmental issues impacting Indiana and the entire Midwest.
Charbonneau will meet with Canadian government officials and participate in an aerial flyover of oil sands operations. He will also tour Suncor Energy Inc., an international leader in oil sand to refinery-ready feedstock and visit CanmetENERGY, Canada’s largest research center on clean, renewable and efficient energy.
“The Midwest is uniquely positioned to utilize its natural resources for economic development,” Charbonneau said. “From protecting water throughout the Great Lakes region to developing wind energy in Northwest Indiana and beyond, Hoosiers are poised to lead the region in connecting environmental issues with economic impact.”
In addition to participating in the legislative conference, Charbonneau serves as chairman for two related study committees: Water Resources and the Environmental Quality Services Council. Both committees meet regularly to discuss environmental issues and may make recommendations to Indiana government departments, agencies or the legislature.
The conference will be held Aug 20-22 in Edmonton, Canada.

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Memorial Service and Fundraiser for I-65 Crash Victims

lindsey williams
A public memorial service to honor the seven people who perished last week in a fiery three-vehicle crash on I-65 in Jasper County will be held in Munster tomorrow. At last check, the crash remains under investigation and when completed, results will be forwarded to the Jasper County Prosecutor's Office for review.   Meanwhile, fundraising efforts are underway for 27 year old Lindsey Williams and her two daughters, along with her sister and three others killed in the crash to help with the family's funeral expenses, and so far, over 12-thousand dollars has been raised, through over 400 contributors.  The memorial service will take place at noon tomorrow, in Munster, at the Family Christian Center.  For information on how to donate to the family's funeral fund, visit https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/aa3j1

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Cook Co Jail Population Increases 3.7% in 11 days

Cook County Sheriff
The population keeps growing at the Cook County Jail and if trends continue, the Sheriff's Office reports hard-earned legal successes will be jeopardized.  As of Tuesday, the Cook County Jail population stood at ten-thousand-182, a three-point-seven percent increase in just the last 11 days, and its the jail's highest population since October 11th, 2007. The Sheriff's office reports the closing of mental health clinic continues to yield a staggering amount of mentally ill individuals into the jail, typically for petty offenses.

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Owner Finds His 8 Birds Shot and Killed in Portage

portage pd
Police in Portage are investigating eight gaming birds shot and killed at a residence in the 17-hundred block of Samuelson Road.  Police report the owner informed officers that, between 3:30pm Monday and 2:30pm Tuesday, an unknown person or persons entered his property and shot his five maned geese, two mandarin ducks and one pheasant with what appears to be a low velocity round from a BB or pellet gun.  The victim stated he was raising and selling the birds and that he and other family members had been home during the time of the incident, but had not heard anything.

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ISP Conducting Sobriety Checkpoint in Jasper County

Indiana State Police logo
Indiana State Police Lowell Post report they'll be conducting a sobriety checkpoint during the late evening hours tonight in Jasper County.  Drivers encountering a checkpoint will be required to produce a valid drivers license and registration, and can expect delays of two to three minutes if everything checks out. Troopers will also be conducting roving saturation patrols, aggressively seeking impaired drivers throughout their district.

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