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Heat Wave Hits the Region

The Region is heading into a late summer heat wave. Temperatures are forecast to be in the 90s today and tomorrow, with heat indices reaching or exceeding 100 …

Cooling centers are starting to open up. The East Chicago Emergency Management Agency has announced Heritage Hall Community Center will be available from 4 pm to 7 am today [Monday] and Tuesday.

Safety info when it's this hot:



Pence Delivers Weekly National GOP Address

(Photo Courtesy of the Indiana Republican Party)
Indiana Governor Mike Pence put the spotlight on Indiana in this week's national GOP address.  The governor discusses the negative consequences of Obamacare on premiums in Indiana and how the Healthy Indiana Plan provides a solution to the nation's health care problems.
Watch the address by clicking here or read the transcript below.
"Hello, I'm Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
"These are difficult days for too many Americans. Our economy isn't growing as fast as we would like, and businesses aren't creating as many jobs as we need.  In states like Indiana, we're working every day to give people more freedom to grow their businesses, but the over-regulation, higher taxes and new mandates coming from Washington, D.C. are stifling our economy and hurting efforts being made in states across the country.
"Everywhere I go in Indiana, I meet business owners and workers who are in survival mode. They're trying to figure out how to survive the new normal of more regulations, higher taxes and the impending costs and mandates of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
"As implementation of this law gets closer, we are learning more about the burdens it will place on hardworking Americans. In Indiana, the Affordable Care Act will raise the average cost of health insurance in the individual market by an unaffordable 72 percent.
"In addition, the Obama Administration is creating confusion in the marketplace, from its suspension of the cap on out-of-pocket expenses, to providing subsidies without verifying income, to a one-year suspension of the employer mandate, this health care law is weighing down our economy. It's costing jobs, discouraging investment and making the future bleak for too many families.
"But there is an alternative to waiting on Washington, D.C. to come to its senses and more Americans are realizing every day that the cure for what ails this country is starting to emerge... not in our nation's capital but in our nation's state capitals.
"All across this country, 30 Republican governors are working hard to push back and preserve freedom. While Washington raises taxes, Republicans governors are cutting them. As Washington stifles job growth by adding new regulations, Republican governors are adding jobs by eliminating unneeded regulations and bringing fresh approaches to some of the nation's greatest challenges.
"Nowhere is this more true than in health care. Here in Indiana, we run a nationally-recognized program called the Healthy Indiana Plan. The Healthy Indiana Plan offers the uninsured an affordable health care plan with savings accounts that they control. Giving people in Indiana more freedom and more responsibility over their health care has improved outcomes and now 95 percent our plan's enrollees are satisfied with their coverage. This is a perfect example of the truth that by letting freedom and personal responsibility work together, you reduce the need for government. Republican governors understand this truth, and the proof is in our results. In balanced budgets, lower taxes and less regulation that's promoting job growth.
"These are tough times, and this health care law may make them tougher still. That's why we should always remember on whose shoulders we stand-- and never forget as President Reagan reminded us, that 'the states that created the federal government, the federal government didn't create the states.' Our founders insisted that protecting the states' power to govern themselves was vital to limit the power of Washington and preserve freedom. They were right then, and as Republican governors are proving every day, they are even more right now. More freedom and flexibility for the principled leadership emerging in states across this nation can and will promote good healthcare and a healthy economy.
"Thanks for listening."
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I-80/94 Ramp to Cline Ave Closes for Repaving Monday

Indot Logo color
LAKE COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the closure of the westbound I-80/94 ramp to northbound Cline Avenue (State Road 912) beginning Monday, August 26th through Friday, August 30th. Crews will be repaving sections of the ramp as part of a larger project involving I-80/I-94 between Cline Avenue and the Illinois state line. Additional I-80/I-94 lane restrictions will continue in the coming months.
Drivers wishing to travel northbound on Cline Avenue from I-80/94 westbound will be detoured west on I-80/94, north on U.S. 41 (Calumet Avenue), east on SR 312, and back to Cline Avenue.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, like us at and follow us at
You can find traffic restriction information at  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT
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Funeral Service for Sheriff Hartman at S Newton HS

Sheriff Hartman
Friends and family will gather at South Newton High School today to remember Newton County Sheriff Donald Hartman Sr. who passed away August 15th, at the age of 66, at his home in Kentland, after a nine-month battle with cancer. Visitation scheduled to begin at 9am, with the funeral service to start at 1pm. Burial will follow at Buswell Cemetery in Kentland.
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Harrison Electric in MC Expanding Facility

Harrison Electric in Michigan City earlier this week announced plans to expand their operation and create up to 14 new jobs by 2016. The electric motor repair company, celebrating its 50th anniversary, will invest one-million dollars to construct and equip a 15-thousand square-foot expansion to its current 23-thousand square-foot facility located at 10855 West 400 North. The company reports the facility is anticipated to be operational by December, when they will also begin hiring machinists, mechanics and electrical technicians. For more information on how to apply, visit
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CP PD Release Details Regarding Shooting of Two Dogs

Crown Point PD
More details are surfacing concerning the animal attack last month in Crown Point, where police had to resort to deadly force to kill two huskies. According to a detailed report, the woman who called police described the animals that dragged her cat to a nearby creek bank and cornered her husband as being “wolves' . The responding officers initially thought they were large coyotes as neither husky was wearing a collar, or tag, and both were covered in dirt, mud and water. The report also says “the assertion that the 'police should have known' the dogs weren't wild and would not be a threat to humans is “unfounded.” This despite the fact police had previously been called out to where the dogs lived seven times for complaints about barking dogs. Plus, back in June, the homeowner was reportedly issued a $239-dollar citation for the dogs' barking, which the homeowner contacted the city about paying five days after the dogs were shot. At the time of the attack, Crown Point Police Chief Pete Land said his officers did all they could to prevent the shootings including pepper spray to scare off the dogs, but the huskies continued to circle the officer and cat owner. According to the case summary, the cat owner sustained at least 32-hundred in vet ills stemming from the incident.
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Portage Man Awarded Purple Heart for WWII Injury

purple heart
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 94 year old World War II veteran who was wounded in combat on April 15th, 1945, in Okinawa, received his purple heart on Friday at Moods bar in Portage. The Times reports Rich Birs received shrapnel in his leg, which ended his service to his country after four-years. According to the article, Birs was also given membership to the Portage VFW Post 7760 and the quartermaster presented him with an American flag. Birs also received a letter of congratulations from US Representative Pete Visclosky.
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Kouts Pork Fest

A 5K walk/run helped kick off the Kouts Pork Fest today. Kouts Fire Chief Don Sutter says the annual event runs from 8am until 8pm, and invites you to stop by the fire station for a pork chop lunch, from 10am to 5pm, for seven dollars, which includes pop and chips, and says donations would be appreciated.
Other activities include sales of arts, crafts, and food by around 100 vendors, an hour-long parade, and a kiddie tractor pull. The entertainment stage features line dancers, square dancers, singers, and bands.  
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Afternoon Fire Displaces Family in Kouts, No Injuries

No one was injured but the family of a residence in the two-hundred block of North Church Street was displaced due to a fire Friday afternoon. Kouts Fire Chief Don Sutter says they were called to the scene just before 3:30pm and that the fire was contained to an upstairs bedroom of the home. Chief Sutter says the fire was accidental in nature and was caused due to a light that had tipped over and was left on. The home sustained water damage, mostly to the upstairs area and there were no injuries. Firefighters spent around an hour-and-a-half at the scene and were assisted by the Morgan, Hebron, Boone Grove and Washington Township Fire Departments.

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Lansing Man's Death Overnight Ruled a Homicide

A 26 year old Lansing, Illinois man was pronounced at midnight today at Community Hospital in Munster due to multiple gun shot wounds. The Lake County Coroner's Office reports the death of Bryant Larry has been ruled a homicide, which occurred in the 36-hundred block of 173rd Court in Lansing, Illinois. No further information is available at this time.
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Assessment of Gary Train Station to Take Place Tuesday

Active Transportation Alliance
GARY, Indiana, August 20, 2013 — Active Transportation Alliance is partnering with the Rotary Club in Gary, Indiana to conduct a Complete Stations Assessment of the local South Shore Line train station.
The assessment — which will take place on Tuesday, August 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the downtown Gary station (200 West 4th Avenue) — will evaluate passenger amenities and the accessibility of the station for riders arriving on foot and by bicycle.
Active Transportation Alliance has developed the Complete Stations Assessment to help communities evaluate their local train station and prioritize improvements so the station will better serve the needs of riders. Creating a “complete station” can help turn a local transit stop into the center of a community and encourage more people to use public transit. By evaluating the accessibility of a station through all modes of transportation, the assessment suggests changes that make it easier to walk and bike to the train — encouraging healthy, cost-efficient travel habits.
The assessment will begin with a close look at the station itself, taking note of the conditions of passenger facilities and amenities such as benches, ticket sales, vendors and available passenger information. The group will then focus on the surrounding area, including parking facilities for cars and bikes, nearby intersections and transit connections.
“The Gary Rotary Club, as well as all Gary civic organizations, is committed to supporting Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and her administration's efforts at community improvement and improved quality of life for all the residents of Gary,” says Don Parker, past president and board member of the Gary Rotary Club. “One part of that quality of life is how easily public transportation in all forms can be accessed by all citizens and visitors. We are especially interested in making sure that residents without cars can still reach their destination, and that may include using multiple forms of transport in one trip, such as by bike or bus and the train. Making sure those various forms of transportation interact well with each other is why the Gary Rotary Club is supporting this study.”
The Gary train station serves the South Shore Line, which allows riders to travel between downtown Chicago and South Bend, Indiana. The station is owned and operated by the City of Gary. Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) representatives and the Mayor of Gary have been invited to attend the event and both will receive a copy of the assessment results following the evaluation.
The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by more than 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 40 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit or call 312.427.3325.
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Chalk-A-Lot Festival in Whiting Saturday

A sweet event is scheduled today in Whiting. Whiting/Robertsdale Chamber Executive Director Karen Gajewski told us during a recent Region News Makers interview it is a chalk art festival called “Chalk-a-Lot” that allows you to draw your own art and sample chocolate from area businesses along 119th Street in the downtown business district. The event runs from 10am to 2pm, and to hear more of our Region News Makers interview with Karen Gajewski, visit
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2 Hoosier WWII-era Marines will be Laid to Rest

Flgas at In Veteran Cemetery
After Nearly 70 Years Two Hoosier Marines to be laid to Rest.  On Saturday, August 24, 2013, at approximately 1:00pm, two U.S. Marines Veterans will be laid to rest with military honors at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery located at 1415 North Gate Rd, Madison, IN.  The funeral procession will leave Bond Mitchell Funeral Home at approximately 11:00am traveling from the funeral home south on SR 135 to SR 46, east on SR 46 into Columbus, South on SR 7 (State Street) from Columbus through North Vernon to Madison where the procession will arrive at the Cemetery.  The Patriot Guard Riders, Rolling Thunder and Indiana State Police, along with local public safety agencies will be involved in the escort.  The public and media are encouraged to show their support for thetwo Marine heroes by lining the streets and roadways along the route of travel.  Hoosiers  can also go to the Bond Mitchell Funeral Home web site and sign the guest book of PFC Manley F. Winkley .
U.S. Forces were ordered to secure the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Island chain in late 1943.  During the battle of Tarawa approximately 1000 Marines were killed.  PFC Manley F. Winkley was among those killed in action.  US Casualties were buried in a number of expedient battlefield cemeteries around the atoll.  In 1946 US Army Graves Registration Service personnel attempted to locate and exhume all of the battlefield interments, however, because of the construction activities many burials were never located.  PFC Winkley was among the men that were not recovered.  On Oct 29 thru Nov 8 2012, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting command team excavating in what is now the Republic of Kiribati, found human remains of at least three individuals on the Tarawa island of Betio.  The remains were transported to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, Central Identification laboratory, Hawaii, where on Apr 2 2013, PFC Manley F. Winkley was positively identified.   Manley F. Winkley was born in Indianapolis, IN on Sep 17, 1923 and enlisted into the US Marine Corps in Indianapolis, IN on Dec 12, 1942.  He was assigned to Company B 1 ST Battalion 2nd Marine Division during WW II and was killed in action on Nov 20, 1943 at the age of 20.
Lyman M. Winkley (nephew of Manley F. Winkley) was born in Indianapolis, IN on Feb 11 1927.  Lyman Winkley enlisted into the US Marine Corps on December 11, 1944 because of the death of his uncle, Manley F. Winkley, who was his hero as they were growing up together.  He served with the 3rd Division and was honorable discharged as a CPL on May 28, 1947.  Lyman Winkley re-enlisted into the USMC on Aug 24, 1950.  He was with the 1st Marine Division during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.  He was wounded in Yo-Dong, Korea on Mar 22, 1951 and was wounded on Apr 25 1951 in Central Korea.  He received a Korean Service Medal with one bronze service star and Purple Heart with on gold Star.  He was honorable discharged on Sep 4, 1951.
IN Dept of Veteran Affairs  seal
(photo from article provided)

Dispute Over Narcotics Sale Leads to Shooting

LapPorte County Sheriff logo - this one
On Thursday, August 22, 2013, Deputies from the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office were summoned to a parking area at the campus of Purdue University North Central in reference to a shooting that had occurred off campus.  Upon arrival deputies found a 17 year old juvenile male who had suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his left hip and after being shot the victim and his friends fled to the nearby campus of Purdue North Central.  
An immediate investigation was launched and it was determined that a disagreement over a narcotics transaction at a residence located in the 9500 West block of County Road 125 South lead to multiple gunshots being fired at a vehicle.  One round penetrated the vehicle and struck the juvenile victim, who was seated in the back seat.  The vehicle had been occupied by four (4) juvenile occupants at the time of the shooting.  The victim was transported to Saint Anthony Memorial Hospital in Michigan City.
Two (2) persons, a father and son, were ultimately arrested.  They have been identified as 58 year old David DIEDERICH and 16 year old Jeremy DIEDERICH.  David DIEDERICH has been charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Violent Felon, a class “B” felony, Dangerous Control of a Child, a class “C” felony and Aiding, Inducing and Causing Dealing Marijuana, a class “D” felony.   His bond has been set at $25,000.  Jeremy DIEDERICH is being charged as an adult for the following offenses:  
    Attempted Murder          -    Class “A” felony
    Aggravated Battery         -    Class “B” felony
    Criminal Recklessness     -    Class “C” felony
    Dealing Marijuana         -    Class “D” felony
He is being held without bond.  Both are scheduled to appear in La Porte County Circuit Court.
     The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance from the public in locating a vehicle that was involved in a crash near the scene of the shooting.  Immediately following the shooting, the victim’s vehicle was involved in a crash with a dark colored pickup truck as it fled the residence after being shot at.  Anyone with information about that dark colored pickup truck is asked to contact led investigator Sergeant Andrew Hynek at (219)  326-7700 Ext. 2401.  
     The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team, La Porte County Emergency Medical Service, Indiana State Police and Michigan City Police.
*The charges against the defendants are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
David  Diederich
David Diederich
Jeremy  Diederich
Jeremy Diederich
(phots and article provided)

Engineering Students Seeking Employer Projects

Purdue Calumet
HAMMOND, Ind. – In preparation for industrial employment, Purdue University Calumet senior engineering students are seeking employer projects to tackle during the 2013-14 academic year.
            As enrollees in two-semester, capstone sequence courses that simulate a real world, engineering environment, the students form teams of two to four members to manage and complete and/or solve an employer project. The students receive guidance from academic and industrial advisors.
            Comprising the student teams are majors of mechanical, electrical, civil and computer engineering.
            As part of Purdue Calumet’s experiential learning initiative, capstone courses provide senior students opportunities to apply their classroom, laboratory and textbook knowledge participating in the type of hands-on activities they are apt to face after graduation as engineers.
            In addition to students gaining experience of partaking in a real world project, participating employers benefit from the work of ambitious, eager-to-please students.
Desired employer projects would require design and engineering decisions and must be suitable for a team of students able to devote approximately one day a week for nine months. Students would address an employer project from September through the following April. A Purdue Calumet faculty mentor will meet weekly with the students  Each participating employer also must be willing to provide a representative to interact with its student team on an as-needed basis. This person is expected to be available by email, attend occasional meetings, and take part in the design review and final presentations. Each project concludes with the presentation of team oral and written reports. Examples of recently completed projects by Purdue Calumet student engineers include: Design and Building of a Moonbuggy; Analysis of a Diesel Engine Manifold 1; Formula SAE Brake Design; Industrial Reactive Power Control; Automation of Water Pumps; and Real-Time Data Monitoring for Transformers.
Employer representatives desiring more information are invited to contact Professor of Mechanical Engineering Harvey Abramowitz (219/989-2473, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Professor of Electrical Engineering Edward Pierson 219/989-2467 or

Indiana State Prison holds Annual Disturbance Drill

Prison drill
The Indiana State Prison, with the assistance of the Michigan City Police Department, held an annual drill simulating a disturbance at the facility’s Minimum Security Unit.  The Emergency Response Teams for the facility were activated and participated in the drill conducted Thursday morning at the Indiana State Prison. 
The minimum security unit houses approximately 300 level one and two offenders.  Eight staff members played the parts of offenders making demands on staff.  During the exercise, offenders were treated for mock injuries that included a heart attack, broken bones and stab wounds.
The purpose of the drill was to evaluate the emergency plans in place. The exercise lasted just over two hours, with a debriefing after the event to suggest improvements for the future. All teams did an excellent job and were very professional in handling their duties during the operation.
William K. Wilson, Superintendent at the Indiana State Prison, expressed his appreciation to Chief Swistek and the Michigan City Police Department for their assistance with the drill. “The drill gave us an opportunity to re-evaluate the emergency procedures in place and make the necessary revisions to continue to protect the safety and security of our community,” stated Superintendent Wilson.
About the Indiana State Prison:
This Indiana State Prison (ISP) was built in 1860, and is the oldest correctional facility in operation for the Department. ISP is located on 100 acres of land on Michigan City’s west side. The physical plant consists of 52 buildings, which include 13 offender-housing units, steam plant, garage, warehouse, industries buildings, and five staff housing units. The main walled compound surrounds 24 acres of land.  Located on the same grounds, outside the wall is the unit dedicated to house the medium-security offenders.
Prison logo

Gov Announces Center for Education and Career Innovation

Gov Mike Pence
Indianapolis, IN – Governor Mike Pence today continued his focus on improving education and workforce development for Hoosiers by creating the Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI). Joined by Special Assistant for Career Innovation Jaclyn Dowd and Special Assistant for Education Innovation Claire Fiddian-Green, the Governor signed Executive Order 13-21 to establish the new agency.
CECI will improve collaboration among Indiana’s public, private and non-profit education and workforce partners by aligning education and career and workforce training efforts. The center will focus on students, clients and results, and will work to ensure Indiana is providing quality education for children and preparing adults for new careers.
“Indiana has made great strides in the last eight years when it comes to improving education and workforce development opportunities for Hoosiers, but with unemployment stubbornly staying above eight percent, there is still work to be done,” said Governor Pence. “The Center for Education and Career Innovation will strive to improve coordination between pertinent agency partners and industry voices to ensure a world-class education for students and to better prepare adults to be successful in their chosen career pathway that also meets industry demands. By creating a focal point for bringing together and deploying critical resources, the agency will deliver real change in Indiana, benefitting Hoosier families, employers and taxpayers, and, ultimately, impacting every Hoosier across the state.”
The agency also will foster, identify, and scale innovative education and workforce models, tools and resources and ensure Hoosier educators have the freedom, support and flexibility to succeed in the classroom. Through transparent accountability systems, CECI will hold students, adult workers, educators, schools, higher education institutions and workforce programs accountable for their progress.
The agency will proactively engage and collaborate with a number of valuable partners in state government including the Department of Education, the Indiana Charter School Board, the Department of Workforce Development, the Commission for Higher Education, and the Office of State-Based Initiatives. The Indiana Career Council, the Indiana Works Councils, the Education Roundtable and the State Board of Education, though functioning independently, will exist as part of the new agency.
More information about the Center for Education and Career Innovation can be found at
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Gary Man Shot Multiple Times While Entering his Home

Gary PD
A 24 year old Gary man was shot multiple times Thursday night in the 700 block of West 41st Avenue. Gary Police Corp. Gabrielle King says James Bailey was entering his home around 10pm, when shots were fired at his home. Bailey was hospitalized and Corp. King reports at last check no one was in custody. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact lead investigator James Bond, at (219) 881-4751. Corp. King also reports a Gary man was shot by a pellet gun earlier in that night while entering his home in the 14-hundred block of West 15th Avenue.
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Donnelly Kicks Off Defense Jobs Tour Monday

Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly will be in the Region next week to kick off a “Serving Those Who Serve” Defense Jobs Tour. Senator Donnelly will visit six communities, starting on Monday in Fort Wayne, to highlight Indiana's sizable defense industry, and is scheduled to be in Merrillville on Wednesday at the Home Depot.
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Back to School Jump-Off Celebration Saturday in Gary

A back-to-school jump-off celebration for Gary kids will take place this Saturday (Aug. 24th) at Marquette Park. Sponsored by Xsquit (exquisite) Kool Kids Foundation and HOPE in the City Project, the 3rd annual jump-off will feature free school supplies, face painters, dancers, bounce house, motivational speakers and more. Parents must accompany children pre-K to 8th Grade. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m..
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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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