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Gas Line Hit, Calumet Ave Closed

850am CDT-- Valparaiso Police say a gas line was hit a few minutes ago in the construction area of the Five Points Intersection where the new roundabout is being built.  Calumet Avenue is shut down in both directions from Carrsbrooke Drive north to the Cumberland Crossing stoplight.  Also, there is no access to Calumet Avenue via Vale Park Road in either direction. Valparaiso Police anticipate Calumet Avenue will be closed for at least a couple of hours.

Boy Rescued at Mt Baldy Home

Nathanand parents WinCE
Two weeks to the day after being swallowed up at a twelve-story tall sand dune in northwest Indiana, six-year-old Nathan Woessner was able to go home. It was Friday July 12, when the Sterling, Illinois, boy was buried under eleven-feet of sand for more than three hours. Rescuers believe an air pocket helped save his life. Originally listed in critical condition, doctors say he improved rapidly. He was transferred out of University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital last Tuesday, and left the rehab facility at La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago this past Friday. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore says Mount Baldy in Michigan City remains closed until further notice, and the closure also includes the parking lot, trails and beach area.
[Photo/University of Chicago Medicine, Tom Papandria]

ISTEP Announcement Expected

Indiana School Superintendent Glenda Ritz is planning an announcement today regarding the results of this year's spring ISTEP-Plus standardized tests. A third-party outside evaluator was hired to review the scores after computer problems led to delays in testing from thousands of students across the state, including here in the Region.

Amazon Adding Jobs in Ind, Other States

amazon logo WinCE
Two fulfillment centers in downstate Indianapolis and Jeffersonville are gaining employees in Amazon's plans announced today to add seven-thousand jobs across more than a dozen states, with at least five-thousand of those being full-time positions. Demand is growing for workers at the online retail giant's distribution centers. The bulk of the jobs are being added at warehouses where employees fill orders. About two-thousand jobs are being added in customer service. The company says hiring is starting now.
Here is the news release from Amazon:
SEATTLE, Wash. - Amazon (AMZN) today announced it is creating more than 5,000 new full-time jobs in its U.S. fulfillment network to meet growing customer demand. Median pay inside Amazon fulfillment centers is 30 percent higher than that of people who work in traditional retail stores—and that doesn't even include the stock grants that full-time employees receive, which over the past five years have added an average of 9% to base pay annually. Amazon employs over 20,000 full-time employees in its U.S. fulfillment centers.
“We’re hiring more than 5,000 people to join our team and help us continue to innovate and serve our customers,” said Dave Clark, vice president of worldwide operations and customer service at Amazon. “We’re focused on sustained innovation across Amazon and want to help our employees succeed—whether at Amazon or elsewhere—so we offer programs like Career Choice, where we’ll pay for up to 95% of eligible employees’ tuition regardless of whether the skills they learn are relevant to a career at Amazon.”
Amazon has created thousands of jobs across its fulfillment center and customer service networks in recent years. In the last year alone, Amazon opened eight fulfillment centers in the U.S., resulting in thousands of new jobs being added to communities nationwide. The more than 5,000 jobs now available across the fulfillment network include picking, packing and shipping customer orders while engaging with high-end, state of the art technology. The jobs offer competitive pay, a comprehensive benefits package, company stock awards and bonuses.
Fulfillment network jobs are currently available in:
• Breinigsville, Pa.
• Middletown, Del.
• Chattanooga, Tenn.
• Murfreesboro, Tenn.
• Charleston, S.C.
• Patterson, Calif.
• Chester, Va.
• Phoenix, Ariz.
• Coppell, Texas
• San Antonio, Texas
• Haslet, Texas
• San Bernardino, Calif.
• Hebron, Ky.
• Spartanburg, S.C.
• Indianapolis, Ind.
• Tracy, Calif.
• Jeffersonville, Ind.
Candidates can learn more about the open positions and apply at .
Amazon is also currently hiring for more than 2,000 jobs across its customer service network, which include a mix of full-time, part-time and seasonal positions. Amazon customer service jobs include providing world-class customer service for Amazon’s millions of customers. Customer service jobs are currently available at customer service centers in:
• Grand Forks, N.D.
• Kennewick, Wash.
• Huntington, W.V.
• Winchester, Ky.
Work from home positions on Amazon’s customer service team are currently available in Oregon, Washington and Arizona. Candidates can learn more about the open positions and apply at

Two Die After Being Pulled from Lake Michigan

Two people died over the weekend after being pulled from the waters of southern Lake Michigan. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore officials say a 37-year-old Lafayette, Indiana, man was pronounced dead at an area hospital Saturday night after responders found him in the surf about ten feet from shore at Lake View Beach in Beverly Shores, after a visitor reported seeing someone struggling in waves of about three-to-five feet. Authorities say earlier that afternoon, a 15-year-old Tinley Park, Illinois, boy was pulled out of the lake at a city beach just north of the Indiana state line in New Buffalo, Michigan, and the teen, identified as Matthew Kocher, died at a Chicago area hospital that night.
The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project says there have been 44 drownings in the Great Lakes this year, and 17 of those drownings have occurred in Lake Michigan since June sixth.
In Northwest Indiana, the National Park Service, Beverly Shores Police Department, Beverly Shores Fire Department and the Porter Fire Department Dive Rescue team responded to reach three members of a family swimming in the park at Lake View Beach on Saturday.
The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore says at approximately 5:30 p.m. a visitor saw someone in the water struggling in waves of about 3 – 5 feet in height. They called the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Dispatch Center to report that a man was having trouble in the high waves and that family members were attempting to reach him. First Responders were able to rescue two family members who were in the water and get them safely to shore. Rescuers then located a third victim floating in the surf approximately 40 yards to the west about 10 feet from shore. Rescuers pulled the man from the water and found him unresponsive. CPR was started and an AED was applied. The victim, identified as Gonzola Silva of Lafayette, Indiana, was then transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City, Indiana. Silva, 37, was initially listed in critical condition upon arrival to the hospital and had a pulse and was placed on a respirator. Initial reports are that Silva was under the water approximately 20 minutes before being pulled to shore.  At approximately 9:30 pm Central time on July 27, 2013 Silva was pronounced dead by doctors from St. Anthony’s Hospital.  Park officials say the National Weather Service had issued a Hazardous Beach Advisory for Saturday afternoon through Monday morning with waves expected to be in the range of 4-5 feet.

Gary Man Shot in Back Friday Night Pronounced Dead

Gary police are investigating a late Friday night shooting in the 1500 block of Chase Street that left a Gary man dead after being shot in the back. 
According to a press release, Around 11:14 p.m. the Lake County Coroner's office was called to a Gary hospital for a man who was pronounced dead at 11:10 p.m.
The man identified as 23-year-old, Andre Pullen of the 3400 block of West 21st Avenue, had suffered a gunshot wound to his back, according to police.


Police Investigate Fatal Crash in LaPorte County

LapPorte County Sheriff logo - this one
La Porte County Sherriff's Police are investigating an early morning crash that took the life of the driver and inured a pasenger in Springfield Township.
According to reports, at around 5:41 a.m., Saturday, July 27th, deputies from the sheriff's office responded to a crash involving a 1997 Silver Honda Civic and a tree in the 6000 N. block of County Road 525 West.  Police say evidence indicates that the SUV was traveling southbound on County Road 525 West and failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway.  The vehicle then crossed the center line leaving the roadway and striking a large tree. 
The driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.  The injured passenger was taken to a Michigan City Hospital for treatment. 

The driver's identity is being witheld pending next of kin.  At this time, the toxicology test results have not yet been obtained and the crash remains under investigation.


No Injuries Reported at Explosion in Hammond

Fire crews remain on the scene of a fire and propane gas explosion that occurred shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday at a trucking company warehouse in the 600 block of 131st in Hammond.  Hammond Emergency Management official Scott DeAngelo says as a precaution two residences in the area were evacuated in the area because of thick black smoke coming from the fire.  No injuries were reported however streets in the vicinity of the fire are still reportedly closed.

At one time police closed Calumet Avenue at 129th Avenue as well as portions of Calumet Avenue at Sheffield Avenue. Reportedly smoke from the blaze partially obscured drivers' visibility at the near by west junction of Cline Avenue and the Indiana Toll Road.



Explosion at a Warehouse in Hammond

1 breaking-news
Emergency management officials in Hammond are reporting that fire crews are on the scene of propane gas explosion that reportedly occurred inside a warehouse located near the intersection of Cline Avenue and the Indiana Toll Road.  As a result of the blast, officials report that the intersection of 129th Avenue at Calumet Avenue is closed as is a portion of Calumet avenue at Sheffield Avenue.   Because of the site of the explosion is near the western junction of Cline Avenue and the toll road, visibilty may be partially imparied due to black smoke in the area.
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Fugitive of the Week

Arturo Corral
The United States Marshals Service, Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force, Hammond office says Arturo Corral, white male, 62 years of age, 6’03”, 230 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes, is this week’s “Fugitive of the Week”.  Corral is wanted in the Porter County Court for, A Felony Child Molesting.

Corral was last known to reside in the Morgan Township area of Valparaiso, Indiana. Corral has previously resided in Hobart, In and the Miller area of Gary, Indiana.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Arturo Corral may contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411). All tipsters will remain anonymous.
(photo provided)


Pro-Marijuana Ad Pulled from NASCAR's Brickyard 400

INDIANAPOLIS — A video ad that began airing Friday on a jumbotron outside the NASCAR Brickyard 400 is scheduled to be pulled because it highlights the fact that marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol. The company dropping the ad, Grazie Media, solicited the ad from the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), approved its content, and accepted payment for it. The decision to pull the ad was announced in a press release distributed by Save Our Society From Drugs, which states the organization opposes the ad because of its message that marijuana is less toxic than alcohol and less likely to contribute to violent and reckless behavior.
The original press release about the ad is included below. The ad can be viewed at
"We find it odd that this company is willing to run ads at an alcohol-fueled event, yet unwilling to run an ad that simply highlights the ways in which marijuana is less harmful than alcohol," said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. "This is the exact type of hypocrisy that motivated us to run this ad. We wanted to make people think about the absurdity of laws that allow adults to use alcohol but punish them for making the safer choice to use marijuana instead, if that is what they prefer.
"We are absolutely baffled by the claim that marijuana is not safer than alcohol, which accompanied the announcement of the ad being pulled," Tvert said. "If Save Our Society From Drugs truly wishes to 'save our society from drugs,' why on earth would they want to prevent people from learning that alcohol use is far more toxic and likely to contribute to violent behavior than marijuana? It is clear this organization is more concerned about maintaining marijuana prohibition than it is about maintaining public health and safety. We are sorry to see Grazie Media abandon its agreement with a client when confronted by such reefer madness."
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The Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana-policy-reform organization, has been responsible for changing most state-level marijuana laws since 2000. For more information, visit

Webinar Tuesday on Environmental Injustice in NW IN

Hoosier Environmental Council
(INDIANAPOLIS, IN)- The Hoosier Environmental Council is hosting a free online workshop  to consider issues of environmental injustice, particularly those confronted by communities in northwest Indiana.  Scheduled for Tuesday, July 30, 2013 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. (EST), HEC’s webinar will examine the very harmful effects of environmental injustice on northwest Indiana’s low-income and minority communities, its root causes, and present potential strategies for addressing this long-standing and critical issue.
“Low-income and minority populations often face disproportionate burdens of environmental pollution and related health risks in this country,” said Kim Ferarro, staff attorney and director of water policy for the Hoosier Environmental Council.  “Such is the case for the low-income, minority communities in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago where residents have, for decades, been exposed to a host of pollutants from an incredible concentration of industrial sources – all packed into a small 80 square-mile area.”   These three communities are home to 52 CERCLA/Superfund sites, 423 hazardous waste sites, more than 460 underground storage tanks (USTs), three wastewater treatment works, and 15 combined sewer overflows (CSOs).
As a result, these disadvantaged residents breathe air that is, in some areas, several times the national average in toxicity, and they drink, swim and fish in waters that annually bear 11 billion gallons of raw untreated sewage, and 2 million pounds of developmental, reproductive and cancer-causing toxins.  Not surprisingly, these environmental factors play a role in higher-than-average levels of respiratory illnesses and cancers. “With more than 30% of the area's population under the age of 18, the consequences of these environmental risks extend beyond health impacts to affect factors such as school performance and, therefore, the formation of a long-term, productive labor force. As a matter of fundamental fairness, human decency and social equity, it is time for us to take action and help empower these communities to achieve environmental justice.  And, addressing these long-term injustices is very much in keeping with the Governor’s own vision of making Indiana number one in quality of life.” Ferraro said.
The webinar, which is free for participants, will include speakers Kim Ferraro (mentioned above), with availability by HEC’s executive director Jesse Kharbanda and Tim Maloney, HEC’s senior policy director to comment on environmental injustice in other parts of the state .  To register, click on the following link:
This webinar is sponsored through grants from the John S. and James L.Knight Fund, a fund of Legacy Foundation, promoting informed and engaged communities, and, the Lake County Community Fund, a fund of Legacy Foundation, inspiring you to give where you live.
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About Hoosier Environmental Council:
Founded in 1983, the Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) is the largest statewide environmental policy organization in Indiana.  HEC aims to foster solutions that simultaneously improve environmental quality and economic well-being.  Visit for more information.  You can also follow HEC on Twitter: @hec_ed, or like us on Facebook:

IU Health LaPorte Offering Free Dental Exams for Kids

IU LaPorte Hospital
LA PORTE, Ind.–Indiana University Health La Porte Dental Center is offering free dental exams to children with no dental insurance. The exam is offered by appointment only on:
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2 pm – 6 pm
  • Monday, Aug. 5, 8 am – 10 am
  • Tuesday, Aug. 6, 8 am – 10 am
  • Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2 pm – 6 pm
  • Thursday, Aug. 8, 8 am – 10 am
  • Friday, Aug. 9, 8 am – 10 am
  • Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2 pm – 6 pm (all Central times)
The exam meets the requirements of the La Porte Community School Corporation. All children will also receive a free bag of dental-related gifts for participating. The La Porte Hospital Foundation provided funding.
IU Health La Porte Dental Center provides quality dental care to children and adults with low income and no dental insurance, focusing on educating children on prevention. The dental clinic accepts Medicaid patients. The center operates through the support of IU Health La Porte Hospital, grants through the Indiana State Department of Health and The Foundation.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 219.326.1943.
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Porter Co 911 PIO Among Responders Sent to CA Wildfires

Paige-Donaldson-Connelly resize
(Photo Courtesy of the IDHS)
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security today deployed six responders to the Aspen fire in California to shadow key positions and assist in operational response. One of the six members deployed is Porter County 911 Communications Public Information Officer Paige Donaldson Connelly, who will focus on important communication links between public agencies and the community, working through traditional news media and new media. Connelly and the other five Hoosier responders are scheduled to return on Friday, August 2nd. ...

Two Men Cutting Catalytic Converters off Vehicles Arrested

Highland Police
In Highland, two men have each been charged with resisting law enforcement and theft after officers discovered they were cutting catalytic converters off vehicles before being interrupted by police. Authorities report they received a call just after 3am today after a resident informed dispatch of hearing the sound of somebody sawing something outside his residence in the 88-hundred block of Schneider. Police report that upon seeing the officers, the two men fled, but were later apprehended as additional officers arrived in the area.
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Donnelly on 60th Anniversary of Korean War Armistice

Washington, DC – Senator Joe Donnelly, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement acknowledging tomorrow as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day.  It will be the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice.
“On this day, we honor our nation’s veterans of the Korean War for their selfless service and the many sacrifices they made,” said Donnelly.  “We also reflect on the continuing strength of the United States’ alliance with South Korea and the importance of working together for a peaceful resolution to the tensions on the Korean peninsula today. 
“This week, I co-sponsored a resolution in the Senate honoring the sacrifice of U.S. and allied armed forces that served in Korea and calling on North Korea to abide by its international agreements and denuclearize completely.  The United States and South Korea are committed to peace in the region and stand firm against threats or actions by North Korea that harm this peace and security.”
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Hepatitis: Know It, Confront It and Get Screened Now

indiana state department of health
INDIANAPOLIS—Did you know that hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver, can be caused by a virtual alphabet of different viruses? It’s a major reason the World Hepatitis Alliance, working in partnership with the World Health Organization, will recognize the sixth annual World Hepatitis Day on Sunday, July 28, 2013. The main themes for this year are “This is hepatitis. Know it. Confront it,” and “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.”
Hepatitis is a silent epidemic. In the U.S., the most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. As of 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that nationwide, approximately 4.4 million people have chronic hepatitis B and C infections. In Indiana in 2010, 12 cases of hepatitis A, 75 cases of hepatitis B, and more than 6,000 cases of hepatitis C were reported.
“Hepatitis can be a serious illness leading to liver disease and liver cancer,” said Joan Duwve, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at the Indiana State Department of Health. “The good news is that testing for hepatitis is simple. Knowing your status can help prevent serious complications of infection and stop the further spread of disease to others.”    
Hepatitis A is spread through ingestion of contaminated food or water, while hepatitis B and C are both spread through contact with infected blood and bodily fluids. Common modes of transmission for hepatitis B and C include the spreading of the infection from mother to child during childbirth, intravenous drug use, reusing contaminated needles, including those used for tattoos, body piercing, home blood sugar testing, and injection of drugs. Thankfully, there are safe and effective vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and B, and treating babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B within hours of delivery greatly reduces the likelihood that they will become infected.
Protect yourself against infection with hepatitis C by avoiding risk factors like reusing needles.  Other risk factors for hepatitis C include having HIV (since HIV and hepatitis C are transmitted in similar ways), receiving body piercing or tattoos with non-sterile instruments and sex with partners already infected with hepatitis C.
Most Americans with hepatitis B and C are unaware they are infected with serious liver infections until they begin to have complications from their infections. State health officials are encouraging Hoosiers to take action to increase viral hepatitis by talking with your doctor about risk factors, getting tested and getting vaccinated.  State health officials recommend a one-time hepatitis blood test for everyone between the ages of 48 and 68. There are treatments available for both hepatitis B and C, and knowing your hepatitis status can help prevent ongoing spread of disease.  Visit your health care provider and ask about testing.    
To learn more about World Hepatitis Day 2013, visit
For more information about viral hepatitis, visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at Follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at
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Michigan City Man Sentenced in Death of Isiah Wright

One of three defendants was sentenced on Thursday in the case of a 16 year old found dead near Eastport School last September. The Times reports 21 year old Jamar Pasha, of Michigan City, who pleaded guilty to the murder of Isiah Wright, was sentenced to 45 years in prison. Published reports say authorities are not releasing many details regarding the shooting incident, since two other cases are pending. A 25 year old woman is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to robbery, while an 18 year old man has yet to enter a plea on charges of robbery and criminal gang activity.
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17 Year Old from Gary Charged with Murder

A Gary teenager has been charged in the shooting death of 18 year old Cameron Sanders, which took place in Hammond on Monday. According to court documents, the 17 year old is being charged as a adult, and witnesses stated they heard the Gary teen and the victim arguing about Sanders allegedly firing a gun at his girlfriend, who happens to be the suspect's sister, prior to hearing gunshots.  The homicide was one three shooting incidents in Hammond this week.
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Hobart Names Ceremony Marking 3rd Anniv

Today is the final Friday of the month, the day of the Hobart Marine Corps League Howlin' Mad Detachment Number 93 Doughboy ceremony where the names of fallen soldiers are read out loud – seven names are being read tonight. The public is invited to the service, which starts at 5 pm at the Hobart Doughboy statue at 7th and Main. Doughboy was a term used to describe U-S infantrymen of the American Expeditionary Force during World War One. Today the Hobart Marine Corps league marks their 3rd anniversary of reading the names, a three-year total that stands at 1,637.

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