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Two Big Presentations at NIRPC Committee

nirpc logo
State environmental officials will be in the Region today to present the results of the Lakeshore Air Toxics Study. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management analysis evaluated air monitoring data and performed modeling of industrial, car and truck emissions in Northwest Indiana to assess potential health risks.
Also at today's NIRPC Environmental Committee meeting this morning... the Indiana Department of Transportation is returning as a followup to an overview presentation in May, when committee members had a number of questions about water-related impacts of the proposed Illiana Expressway.  Meeting is at 9 am.
More info from NIRPC:
Jeffrey Stoakes, Senior Environmental Manager with the Office of Air Quality at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management will present the results of the Lakeshore Air Toxics Study. This study was introduced at EMPC in May of 2012. The study evaluated ambient air monitoring data and performed modeling of industrial, car, and truck emissions within Northwest Indiana to assess potential health risks.
In addition, Jim Earle of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will return to EMPC as a follow up to an overview presentation in May of this year. “The EMPC members had numerous questions about water related impacts of the proposed Illiana expressway,” said Kathy Luther, NIRPC Director of Environmental Programs, “I’m pleased that the Illiana team requested an opportunity to come back and address these concerns.”
The Environmental Management and Policy Committee (EMPC) is one of the primary advisory bodies to NIRPC. The group includes elected local officials, environmental managers, regional environmental activists, industry leaders, and academics with expertise in environmental and ecological areas.
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Gary Leaders Seek Answers to Violence

City and community leaders in Gary continue to search for ways to combat crime. At a meeting of the Gary Public Safety Committee Wednesday, Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram stressed the importance of economic development and jobs as part of the solution. He also said he is hoping to hire ten to eleven additional officers in the next few weeks and is planning another gun turn-in August 24th.  Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson has asked the Governor for State Police to assist the city in fighting the recent surge in violence, a request Governor Pence is currently reviewing.  A man shot and killed Tuesday morning marked the 33rd homicide in the city of Gary this year.  Wednesday morning police say a 63-year-old Gary man was shot and wounded in a carjacking when he stopped to check on his tire at 5th and Wabash.
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NIPSCO Earns 2013 Energy Star Housing Awward

NIPSCO Logo
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. – Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) is pleased to announce that it has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a 2013 ENERGY STAR® Leadership in Housing Award. This award recognizes the contribution NIPSCO has made to energy-efficient construction and environmental protection.
Created in 2008, NIPSCO’s Residential New Construction Program offers incentives to local builders and developers who construct homes to ENERGY STAR standards. To earn the ENERGY STAR label, a home must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes are up to 30 percent more efficient than typical new homes built today.
Together, families living in ENERGY STAR certified homes saved nearly $626 million on their utility bills and avoided greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 686,000 vehicles last year alone.
Since NIPSCO’s Residential New Construction Program began, 1,527 homes across northern Indiana have earned incentives. Nationwide, more than 1.4 million ENERGY STAR certified homes have been built to date, with more than 100,000 constructed in 2012.
“We thank ENERGY STAR for recognizing NIPSCO’s efforts to help our customers build efficient homes,” said Victoria Vrab, director of conservation programs for NIPSCO. “Together with local builders we are helping encourage the adoption of energy-saving features, including insulation and duct sealing systems, high performance windows and efficient heating and cooling equipment that will help our customers achieve long-term energy savings.”
Additional energy efficiency programs
In addition to the Residential New Construction Program, NIPSCO customers have access to a wide range of energy efficiency programs which can help them identify ways to manage energy usage at home and the office, including:
·        Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program: Save even more when you replace old, inefficient equipment with new, high efficiency natural gas and electric equipment as well as insulation and duct sealing.
·        Energy Efficiency Incentives for Businesses, Schools: Businesses and organizations of all size can take advantage of rebates and other incentives on renovation and new construction projects.
·        Home Energy Assessment: Learn how you can raise your home’s performance, lower energy bills and improve in-home air quality with an in-home assessment.
·        Appliance Recycling Program: Recycle your old refrigerator or freezer with us – it’s free and we’ll give you a $35 reward.
·        Air Conditioner (AC) Cycling Program: Help reduce energy demand on the hottest days of the year and earn bill credits during the summer.
·        Instant Savings on CFL Bulbs: Take advantage of instant, in-store discounts when purchasing CFL bulbs at participating retail locations. No coupons or forms needed.
A full list of energy efficiency programs available to NIPSCO customers can be found at www.NIPSCO.com/SaveEnergy.
About ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today, ENERGY STAR offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the environment for future generations. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).
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Harvey, IL Murder Suspect Arrested in Dolton

Michael Reid
(Above Photo: Michael Reid; Below: Christopher Chandler)
Christopher Chandler
(Photos Courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff's Office)
A 37 year old Alsip, Illinois man, wanted in connection with a Harvey murder was apprehended this morning in Dolton. The Cook County Sheriff's Office reports Michael Reid was taken into custody at 5:40am, at a hotel room in the 13-hundred block of Sibley Boulevard on a warrant issued back in May. The Sheriff's Office reports while searching for Reid Tuesday in Harvey before getting a tip he was Dolton, officers arrested 22 year old Christopher Chandler of Harvey, who was wanted for concealment of a homicidal death stemming from a Harvey Police Department case.
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Gary Man Faces 45 Year Sentence in 2011 Homicide

A 26 year old Gary man is scheduled to be sentenced on September 6th, after accepting a plea agreement regarding a 2011 homicide. According to court documents, Cadereo Jester faces 45 years in prison after confessing to killing then 23 year old Christine Arnold, whose body was found in the Ivanhoe Nature Conservancy in Gary. A piece of glass found in a vehicle at the scene was analyzed through the D-N-A database, and came back with Jester as a possible contributor. Arnold admitted to Conservation officers he stabbed Arnold with a piece of glass at a residence on Hovey Street in Gary, before putting her body in a car and crashing through a fence on the property of the Nature Conservancy. Arnold died due to blunt force trauma caused by traumatic head injuries and a fracture of the cervical spine.
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Leo Finnerty to be New Chief Deputy Coroner in Lake Co

CROWN POINT -- Lake County Coroner Merrilee D. Frey R.N., B.S.N., M.S., F.N.E., will be welcoming newly appointed Chief Deputy Coroner Leo Finnerty next week. Chief Finnerty brings to us, more than 30 years of Law Enforcement / Detective expertise with the Hobart Police Department in addition to an extensive background in criminal investigations. Leo Finnerty has attended The Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and the prestigious FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Leo’s diverse investigative background in addition to more than 200 training certifications will bring the type of experience of investigation that is required in the Coroners Office. Coroner Frey states, “Our plan is to utilize the professional skills of Chief Finnerty in Homicide Investigations to instruct Coroner staff employees, helping them to develop additional skills with their investigations.” In addition Leo has served as Police Chief at Purdue University Calumet Hammond, Indiana and has lectured at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield, Indiana. He will truly be an asset to the Coroners Office.
“It has been an Honor to work with Chief David Pastrick for one year. He accepted the position as Chief temporarily when I was elected, to help with my transition into office as Coroner. Chief Pastrick has my support in returning to his family owned Funeral Home. Together Chief Pastrick and I choose our new Chief Leo Finnerty”
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CP Home Damaged by 2012 Fire to be Demolished

A Crown Point home that has been sitting vacant since a fire in February of 2012 has been approved for demolition. City officials today (Wednesday) approved allowing the demolition of the burned-out home and put a lien on the property, located in the 95-hundred block of Johnson Street. Officials say it poses a health and safety risk to the community, and will prevent property values on other homes in the vicinity from being impacted.
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Jim Gaffigan Talks With Karl Berner

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World-famous comedian Jim Gaffigan is in The Region this week preparing for a stop at Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville with his current act “The White Bread Tour”.
His show is tomorrow night at 7:30pm. The Region News Team's Karl Berner caught up with Jim this morning. Hear the full interview HERE.
 

Naturalized Detention Basin Worshop and Tour

save the dunes
Save the Dunes is pleased to announce that registration for an upcoming workshop on naturalized detention basins on August 14th is now open.   Space is limited, so they request that interested parties or individuals please register soon to reserve their seat. Registration is required for this event.  This full day workshop is free, but there is a $10 charge to cover a light breakfast, lunch, and drink service throughout the day.  The deadline to reserve a lunch for this event is August 7th, however registration will still remain open until the workshop is full (food options will be available on and adjacent to the Valparaiso University campus). This workshop will feature presentations by Dr. Kristopher Bass from North Carolina State University. Dr. Bass has years of experience designing and installing naturalized basins, making him a national expert on this stormwater practice that improves water quality and provides urban habitat.
Topics and activities for the workshop include:
A brief introduction to Save the Dunes and watershed management, an overview of traditional detention basin design, design options and considerations, cost and economic considerations, benefits and pollutant load reductions, maintenance, naturalized basin case studies, what these practices mean in the context of the Salt Creek Watershed planning efforts, Thorgren & Wall Street basins case studies, and a tour of those two naturalized basins in Valparaiso, Indiana.
To register for this event, please go to the registration webpage:  http://tinyurl.com/BasinWkshpDescription or email Shaena Reinhart at Empower Results at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
This workshop is part of the Salt Creek Watershed Management effort. The naturalized basins are also part of Save the Dunes’ Salt Creek efforts as well as the Valparaiso Stormwater master plan. Save the Dunes received financial support to naturalize the Wall Street Basin through the Salt Creek Cost Share and Education program, which was funded by a Clean Water Act section 319 grant in 2011. The Thorgren Basin was naturalized and expanded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant program in 2012 in partnership with the City of Valparaiso.
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Man Shot During Carjacking Incident in Gary

Gary PD
A 63 year old Gary man was shot during a carjacking incident this morning. Gary Police Corp. Gabrielle King says James Murray had stopped to check the tire on his 1995 Champagne-colored Cadillac Seville, at 5th Avenue and Wabash Street, when he was approached by three black males, one of which started shooting. Corp. King says Murray then fled the scene, when he notice he had been shot in the leg, but managed to walk to a friend's house, in the one-thousand block of Whitcomb Street, where the authorities were called and he was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Corp. King says the suspects fled the scene in Murray's vehicle, which was not registered and had an interim plate. Anyone with information is asked to contact Corp. Mike Barnes, of the Gary Police Department at (219) 881-7300 ext 3004.
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Scneider Man Arrested on Warrant for Dealing Rx Meds

Michael Johnson
(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office)
A Schneider man was arrested this morning with charges pending through the Lake County Prosecutor's Office on two-counts of dealing prescription medication. The Lake County Sheriff's Office reports tactical officers served a narcotics search warrant at a residence in the 99-hundred block of West 241st Avenue, in Schneider, at 6:30am, and arrested 58 year old Michael Johnson. Authorities say numerous prescription pills were seized from the home.
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Dentist from LaPorte Arrested for Heroin Formally Charged

ben porter
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 30 year old LaPorte dentist arrested Monday evening for possession of heroin with intent to distribute has been formally charged today.  Portage Police report they pulled over Benjamin Porter's vehicle for speeding, after an officer noticed his vehicle weaving through eastbound traffic on I-80, just west of the Portage Toll barrier. Police say Porter reportedly admitted to possessing heroin in his vehicle, after he was informed an officer was en-route with a canine to check his vehicle, after initially denying a search of his vehicle. Porter is scheduled to appear in Porter Superior Court on the two felony charges Friday.
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Monon Man Killed in I-65 Crash


crash WinCE
One person was killed in a crash on northbound I-65 just south of Lowell shortly after 6-o'clock this morning. Indiana State Police say a preliminary investigation showed one semi was stopped due to construction up ahead when a second semi struck and ran over a pickup truck that was between the two, then hit the trailer of the first semi. The first semi was carrying about 44-thousand lead ingots and a small number went onto the highway. The second semi was partially loaded with meat, and no load was lost. The driver of the Dodge Ram pick-up has been identified as 52-year-old Jim Uildriks of Monon, Indiana, and he was pronounced dead at the scene of massive blunt force trauma. Both semi drivers were taken to a local hospital for complaint of pain. Northbound I-65 was closed for over four-hours.
[Photo/Indiana State Police]
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Corn Maze Celebrates Stanley Cup Champs

Blackhawks - East logo 2013 WinCE
Region Blackhawks fans … here's another way to relive your Stanley Cup moment.  Mike Williams from County Line Orchard in Hobart says they have two corn mazes this year honoring the NHL champs.  The one with the crossed tomahawks is the smaller maze at about three-acres and will probably take about 20- minutes...the other one, Number 88 for Patrick Kane (and there's a Stanley Cup in there, too)  is about eight acres, could be a 45-minute trip, but Williams says there are shortcuts to get out without doing the whole maze.
Corn Maze Celebrates Stanley Cup Champs
The mazes will open the Saturday of Labor Day weekend and close the Sunday before Halloween. Last year, County Line Orchard had a corn maze honoring the late Ron Santo and his posthumous election into the Hall of Fame.  Most of the corn is about six-feet tall now.. and it'll get anywhere from eight to nine feet by the time they open.
Hear our interview with Mike Williams here at our website at News Audio on Demand.
For more info:
www.countylineorchard.com ...
   

'Nursing Mothers' Nook' at Lake Co Fair

St. Mary Medical Center and the Northwest Indiana Breastfeeding Coalition say they're sponsoring a “Nursing Mothers’ Nook” at the Lake County Fair to offer a cool, comfortable and private place for nursing moms and as part of a larger community initiative to encourage breastfeeding of infants during their first year of age. Staff from coalition member organizations will be present each day including International Board Certified Lactation Consultants and Certified Lactation Counselors. The “Nook” will be in the southeast corner of the 4-H Building. The Lake County Fair begins this Friday.
In support of the Northwest Indiana Breastfeeding Coalition, St. Mary Medical Center recently sponsored the opening of a Lactation Station at the Hobart Chamber of Commerce building, located at 1001 Lillian Street in Hobart. The station is staffed with a certified lactation consultant and/or counselor and is open to nursing mothers from 1:30 – 3 pm on the first and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Pregnant and nursing moms can just drop-in, no appointments are necessary.
Funds to support the development of the Northwest Indiana Breastfeeding Coalition, the Nursing Mothers’ Nook and the Lactation Station are made available through a grant awarded to St. Mary Medical Center and 12 other agencies throughout the state earlier this year. The grant was made available from the Centers for Disease Control and the Indiana Perinatal Network for the purpose of promoting community support of breastfeeding and improving access to breastfeeding assistance beyond hospital discharge.
The Northwest Indiana Breastfeeding Coalition is currently seeking local organizations, businesses, and individuals to become members. For more information about the Northwest Indiana Breastfeeding Coalition, or about related Perinatal class offerings at St. Mary Medical Center call 219-947-6084 or visit www.comhs.org .
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UPDATE: NB 65 Reopens After Fatal Crash

Traffic-Advisory
10:30am -- All lanes of northbound Interstate 65 just south of of the Lowell/State Road 2 exit have reopened after being closed for more than four hours this morning following a fatal crash near mile marker 238. Indiana State Police say the crash involving two semis and a passenger vehicle happened just after 6:00 A.M. and resulted in the death of one of the drivers. Police say one of the semi’s was on top of the passenger car.
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Back-to-School Immunization Reminder

Indiana state health officials are reminding parents of new immunization requirements relating to chicken pox.  Here's the information released by the Indiana State Department of Health:
INDIANAPOLIS—With the new school year quickly approaching, State health officials want Indiana parents to be aware of new immunization requirements for school entry. Parents can get immunization records from their health care provider or use the secure website, www.MyVaxIndiana.in.gov , to print their child’s official immunization record from home by using personal identification number (PIN).  
For the 2013-2014 school year, all students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade will be required to have a record documenting two valid doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine or documented history of chickenpox disease. Students from kindergarten through fifth grade will need to have their history of chickenpox disease documented by a health care provider.
“We experienced multiple outbreaks of chickenpox around that state during the last school year,” said Indiana State Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Joan Duwve, M.D. “This new requirement will help stop the spread of this preventable disease and keep kids healthy and in school.”
Although not required for school entry, Dr. Duwve recommends that students also receive the following immunizations if they haven’t already:
·         Two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine
·         Flu vaccine every year
·         Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, 3-dose series for all adolescents
·         Booster dose of meningococcal conjugate (meningitis) vaccine for adolescents ages 16-18
 
The requirements and recommendations are in alignment with the routine vaccination schedules from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). For a complete listing of all recommended immunizations, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/index.html.
Indiana school immunization requirements are posted on the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at www.state.in.us/isdh/17094.htm .
Hoosiers are encouraged to check their children’s vaccination records on www.MyVaxIndiana.in.gov, a  user-friendly website from the Indiana State Department of Health that provides Hoosiers direct access to their immunization records from any computer through the use of a PIN. Many Hoosiers have already utilized this resource. Since MyVaxIndiana was launched in July 2012, nearly 30,000 PINs have been assigned and 4,619 unique records have been accessed from the site. PINs can be obtained from health care providers and used to log in to the secure website. Users can then download, print or fax official records. Each record also displays the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended immunization schedule.
“The goal of the MyVaxIndiana site is to make it easier for all Hoosiers to access their immunization records,” said Dr. Duwve. “Parents can check what immunizations their child has already received and find out what may still be needed, as well as print, fax or email an official copy of the record. Vaccinations reduce the spread of disease and help to keep all of us healthy.”
To learn more about MyVaxIndiana, visit www.MyVaxIndiana.in.gov.
For more information about school immunization requirements, visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at www.StateHealth.in.gov. Follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1
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Woman Sentenced in Death of Child

A 35-year-old Gary woman has been sentenced to thirty years, with five years suspended, in the 2010 death of a five-year-old boy allegedly beaten by his father, the woman's then-boyfriend.. Officials say Rochell Johnson admitted to not helping the boy, about to turn six, and pled guilty to neglect of a dependent. Officials say 31-year-old Leon Burns, facing murder and other charges, is scheduled to appear in court in September.
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One Person Killed in I-65 Crash

65 crash WinCE
845a-- Indiana State Police say an early morning crash south of Lowell this morning, just after 6:00 A.M. CDT, involving two semis and a passenger vehicle, resulted in the death of one of the drivers.
All lanes of I-65 north bound are closed and traffic is being diverted off at State Road 10 in Demotte/Roselawn. Police say it is not known at this time how long the road will be shut down due to one of the semi’s being on top of the passenger car.
The location of the crash is northbound I-65 at the 238.3 milemarker, which is just south of the Lowell/State Road 2 exit.
Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post are asking drivers to use alternate routes this morning if you are coming north.
Northbound US 231 was slow from Demotte to Hebron with volume diverting around the crash.  Southbound I- 65 also remained slow from Crown Point to DeMotte corridors with roadwork, an earlier semi fire, and congestion from the northbound crash.
Indiana State Police say an earlier semi fire on southbound 65, around 230a, had one lane blocked at mile marker 237; the right side was blocked as crews worked to clear the scene.
[Photo/Indiana State Police]
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Big Delays from I-65 Crash

Traffic-Advisory
815am -- All lanes remain blocked on northbound Interstate 65 with a multi-vehicle crash at mile marker 241, just before State Road 2 in Lowell.  Northbound traffic is being diverted at State Road 10.  Northbound US 231 is slow from Demotte to Hebron with volume diverting around the crash.  Southbound I- 65 remains slow from Crown Point to DeMotte corridors with roadwork, an earlier semi fire, and congestion from the northbound crash. 
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