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Gary Man Killed in Early Morning Crash in Lake Station

A 29 year old Gary man is dead after a fatal crash in Lake Station earlier this morning. Lake Station Police report it appears the Gary man's vehicle struck the rear of a flatbed truck, driven by a 56 year old Hobart man, that was stopped at a traffic light in the inner eastbound lane at the intersection of Central Avenue and Grand Boulevard, sometime around 2am. Police say the Gary man was transported to St. Mary Medical Center for treatment, and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. An autopsy was scheduled for earlier today, and an investigation is ongoing pending the results of the toxicology report.
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Snow Parking Restrictions in MC Lifted at 8am Saturday

Snow removal parking restrictions that were put into place in Michigan City on Thursday morning will be lifted Saturday morning. Michigan City officials say as of 8am tomorrow, normal parking rules will be back in effect. Mayor Ron Meer is thanking citizens for all their help and cooperation during the snow removal process.
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Isom to be Executed February 5th, 2014

A Gary man convicted last month in the 2007 shooting deaths of his wife, stepson and stepdaughter was sentenced to death today. The Lake County Prosecutor's Office reports 47 year old Kevin Isom's execution date is scheduled for February 5th, 2014. The Times reports Isom also received a 36-month sentence for shooting at police during a standoff after the murders.
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Rep. Visclosky Jobs and Opportunity Fair

First District Representative Pete Visclosky says a full slate of Northwest Indiana employers will be attending the Congressman's Jobs and Opportunity Fair this Saturday [ March 9, 2013] at the Genesis Center in Gary from 1 to 4. In addition, the Valparaiso-based Center of Workforce Innovations will host a booth to help Northwest Indiana job seekers fine-tune their resumes. The 35 Region employers attending will be a diverse group, including contractors, apprenticeship programs, colleges and manufacturers.
More info from Congressman Visclosky's office: Merrillville, IN – Congressman Visclosky announced that a full slate of Northwest Indiana employers would attend his Jobs and Opportunity Fair to be held on Saturday, March 9, 2013 in the Indiana Hall of the Genesis Center in Gary from 1 PM to 4 PM.
The Valparaiso-based Center of Workforce Innovations will attend the event and host a booth to help Northwest Indiana job seekers fine-tune their resumes. The Center announced that it would also host a table with resources for small businesses.
In addition to businesses from across Northwest Indiana, the Visclosky Jobs and Opportunity Fair will host various apprenticeship programs in the trades that will help local residents build lasting careers. “Apprenticeship programs give workers the skills they need to have a career earning a livable wage,” Northwest Indiana Building and Construction Trades Business Manager Randy Palmateer said.
Mary Lynn Gargas-South, Director of Human Resources for ArcelorMittal USA, explained that the fair would be useful for employers and job applicants alike: “We are pleased to be part of Congressman Visclosky’s Jobs and Opportunity Fair,” Gargas-South said. “We look forward to meeting individuals that are interested in our hourly craft and operations positions as well as salaried supervisors, providing excellent wages, benefits, and career opportunities. Our ideal candidates should not only have the skills required to qualify, but also possess a strong work ethic and important skills including teamwork, independent thinking, problem solving, and the desire to succeed.”
“The Jobs and Opportunity Fair will give Northwest Indiana residents the opportunity to connect with a variety of employers throughout the region, as well as polish their job-seeking skills. I encourage all Northwest Indiana residents seeking job opportunities or stronger job-searching skills to attend,” Congressman Visclosky said.
Employers Attending the Visclosky Jobs and Opportunity Fair
U.S. Steel
Lake County Electrical Training Center
DeVry University and Keller Graduate School of Management
Staff Source
Operating Engineers Local 150 Apprenticeship
Korellis Roofing, Inc.
Peoples Bank
Indiana Beverage, Inc.
Porter-Starke Services, Inc.
Heat and Frost Insulators Local 17 J.A.T.C.
Horseshoe Casino Hammond
Carpenters JATC
IU Health – La Porte Hospital
Edgewater Systems for Balanced Living
Davis Staffing
Purdue University North Central
Calumet College of St. Joseph
Valparaiso University Graduate School
Iron Workers Local 395 J.A.T.C.
Gary/Chicago International Airport
Horizon Bank
Indiana Wesleyan University
Finishing Trades Institute of District Council 91/IUPAT
BP Whiting Refinery
Great Lakes Electrical Maintenance, Inc.
Pipefitters Local 597 Apprenticeship
Roofers Local 26 J.A.T.C.
B.A.C. Local 4 IN/KY Apprenticeship
Canadian National Railroad
Primerica Financial Services
Canadian National Railway Company
Center of Workforce Innovations (Small Business and Resume Resources)
The Art Institutes of Illinois

Region Pothole Patrols Are Out

Indiana Department of Transportation tweeted today: "It's a beautiful day for pothole hunting. Crews are out across NW IN filling & patching. If you see them, give them room to work safely."

Methodist Southlake Unveils New ER

In Merrillville, a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday marked the official unveiling of Methodist Hospital Southlake's new ER. The remodeled and expanded emergency department, which is about twice as big as it used to be, will open to the public later this month. Hospital officials say the project was the first major expansion in about ten years.
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held last February 2012 at Methodist Hospitals Southlake Campus for the new eight-million dollar emergency department. Hospital officials say the number of rooms have nearly doubled, from twelve rooms in the ER department to 23.

Time Zone Debate Marches On

Daylight Saving Time starts this Sunday (March 10 2013) at 2 am – but the debate over time zones in Indiana may never end... Most of the state, including South Bend, Lafayette and Indianapolis, used to be on Eastern Standard all year long, but that changed in April 2006, when all counties in the state began observing Daylight Saving Time. Carmel Senator Mike Delph authored a resolution this session asking the US Department of Transportation to hold hearings on placing the entire state in the Central Time Zone. Twelve Indiana counties, in northwest and southwest Indiana, observe Central Time.

Winning Lottery Ticket Sold in Dolton

Illinois Lottery officials say one of two winning Lucky Day Lotto tickets for Wednesday night's drawing was sold at a Food 4 Less on East Sibley Boulevard in Dolton. The other was sold in Chicago. Each of the tickets is worth 87-thousand-five-hundred dollars.

Valpo Looking at Lake Water

The city of Valparaiso is one of few communities in the Region to get its drinking water from deep wells... but that could change. Mayor Jon Costas says Valparaiso is having various issues with these wells, including the need to have to move some of them, and the fact that the water is very hard.   Mayor Costas says hard water can not only damage appliances but also pose difficulties for industrial users who use a lot of water. He says they've been talking about this issue for a long time, and have created focus groups to get input, and a decision could be made within the next six months or sooner.   Most Region cities and towns get their water from Lake Michigan. You can hear more from Mayor Costas on a variety of topics at Region Newsmakers at On Demand here at our website.


Sobriety Checkpoint for St. John Area

The Lake County Traffic Safety Partnership will be conducting a Sobriety Check Point in the St. John area sometime this weekend. The goal of the check point is to remove impaired drivers from the roadways. Drivers will need to show their license and registration to the officers. Drivers will only be delayed for about two minutes unless there are signs of impairment from drug or alcohol usage.
Starting tonight you can expect to encounter sobriety checkpoints during the late evening hours around the Region as part of a safety blitz that covers St. Patrick's Day. In Lake County:, Hammond and Merrillville Police, along with the Lake County Traffic Safety Partnership, will focus on aggressive and impaired drivers using roving patrols, and will be conducting sobriety checkpoints, as part of “Operation Pull-Over Blitz” that begins today [March 8th ] and runs through March 24th. Indiana State Police Lowell Post, in conjunction with the Northern Porter County Traffic Safety Partnership, and Portage Police, will be conduct checkpoints in Porter County. The LaPorte County DUI Task Force has announced a sobriety checkpoint this Saturday night.
The Lake County Traffic Safety Partnership includes Cedar Lake PD, Crown Point PD, Dyer PD, East Chicago PD, Griffith PD, Highland PD, Hobart PD, Lowell PD, Munster PD, New Chicago PD, Schererville PD, and St. John PD.

School Resource Officers in the Spotlight

With school safety top-of-mind after the Connecticut school shooting tragedy, school resource officers were in the spotlight at a free legal seminar in Indianapolis. Juvenile justice, human trafficking and online crimes against children were also part of discussion at Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller's third annual Criminal and Civil Justice Summit attended by some 245 people.
More from the Indiana Attorney General's office: With school safety under a spotlight nationwide since the Newtown, Connecticut, tragedy, the first session of Thursday'’s Criminal and Civil Justice Summit focused on school resource officer (SRO) programs where specially trained law enforcement officers are stationed at schools to protect students and teachers.  One of this morning’s speakers was Mo Canady, executive director of the National School Resource Officer Association (NASRO), who addressed the role of police in school safety policies.  The approaches taken in Indiana schools were discussed by Carmel police officer D.J. Schoeff who is SRO for Carmel Middle School, and Fort Wayne police officer Chris Crapser who is SRO in the Fort Wayne Community Schools.
Last fall, prior to the Newtown tragedy, the Attorney General’s Office conducted a needs assessment study where Indiana educators and law enforcement indicated they would like to make more school resource officers available in their schools but funding is an obstacle.Zoeller reiterated his support for a bill now moving through the Legislature, Senate Bill 1, that would define school resource officers in law and provide state matching grants to help schools create or expand SRO positions through local control and decision-making.  He invited the three SRO experts to speak at today’s summit, whose theme was “Keeping Hoosier Children From Harm.”
“The increase in the dangers that are present to our children require the State of Indiana to do more to meet our obligations to the most vulnerable in our society. This justice summit brings together the three branches of state government, local school administrators, members of law enforcement and others who serve and protect the children of our state to find ways to work together collaboratively in a common effort,” Zoeller said.
As the lawyer for state government, Zoeller has organized two previous Criminal and Civil Justice Summits, or free legal seminars, to facilitate discussion among attorneys, judges, prosecutors, legislators, policymakers and the public on subjects facing the judicial system.  Past summit topics included the impact of the mortgage foreclosure crisis on homeowners, and disparities between counties in seeking the death penalty due to costs that resulted in fairness concerns.
Other session topics and speakers in Thursday'’s Criminal and Civil Justice Summit include:
Juvenile Detention Reform.  Under the leadership of Judge Marilyn Moores of Marion Superior Court Juvenile Division, Marion County became a site for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Judge Moores led efforts to enact system-wide reforms to reduce the number of juvenile detainees while maintaining public safety.  Judge Moores today led a panel discussion on approaches to juvenile detention reform.
Child Victims of Human Trafficking.  Indiana’s anti-human-trafficking task force, IPATH, and the Attorney General’s Office have worked to raise awareness about children becoming victims of human trafficking and prostitution due to criminals who support the commercial sex industry.  Because of concerns about human trafficking associated with large sporting events, Indiana in 2012 passed a new trafficking law prior to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.  At today’s summit, attendees heard from Deputy Attorney General Abigail Kuzma, chief counsel of the Consumer Protection Division, and Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Mary Hutchison, who handles human trafficking investigations and prosecutions.
Investigating and Prosecuting Internet Sex Offenders.  Law enforcement has found that sex offenders who prey upon children typically use the Internet to lure their victims.  The Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, or ICAC, is a local, state and federal partnership that works to combat online predators.  Steven DeBrota, Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, discussed his work prosecuting such cases.
Thursday’s four summit topics were among the list of priorities Attorney General Zoeller announced in 2012 as part of his second-term agenda.
The school resource officer legislation, Senate Bill 1, recommended by the Attorney General and authored by State Senator Pete Miller, R-Avon, passed 43-7 in the full Indiana Senate on Feb. 25 and has advanced to the Indiana House.  If passed into law, SB 1 would do the following:
·         Update the statute to legally define school resource officers as being law enforcement officers who have at least 40 additional hours of certified SRO training.  Such officers could be employed directly by schools or work for law enforcement agencies and be assigned to schools under an agreement.
·         Create a Secured School Fund from which schools could apply for two-year matching grants of up to $50,000 each, to use to 1) employ a school resource officer, 2) conduct a threat assessment of school buildings, or 3) purchase equipment and technology to restrict access to school property or expedite notification of first responders.
·         Set up a five-member board that includes the Attorney General that would review grant applications and award funding to qualifying proposals.
The Indiana General Assembly is considering Senate Bill 1 even as the White House recently announced a proposal for a $150 million federal grant program to fund 1,000 resource officers and school counselors nationwide in the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy.  Zoeller said the Attorney General’s Office will closely monitor whatever federal grant program might emerge, and he will work closely with the Department of Education, the Legislature and other state agencies to make schools aware of any federal funding opportunities that could complement state grants.

Valpo Fire Origin Possibly Basement

Fire officials in Valparaiso say they don't know if they'll ever be able to determine what caused a blaze that destroyed a century-old building in downtown Valparaiso Monday – because they had to demolish what was left of it for safety reasons – but they say it's starting to look like it might have started in the basement, according to the Times today. What was left of the structure had to be brought down to prevent those exterior walls from collapsing onto nearby buildings or the street.

Almost 200,000 Minivans in U.S. Being Recalled by Ford

Almost 200-thousand Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans., from 2004 through 2007, are being recalled in 20 states, including Indiana. Ford reported today that rust issues can cause the third-row seats to come loose. The auto maker says there have not been any crashes or injuries associated with the problem, and that those who own these vehicles will get a letter in the mail, officially notifying them of the recall later this month.
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Man gets 19 Yrs for Crash that Killed a Crown Point Native

A 34 year old man who was found guilty last year to leaving the scene of an accident that later resulted in the death of a Crown Point native was sentenced to 19 years in prison Thursday. The Times reports Delaney Jarvis drove his vehicle through the right lane to make a right-turn, causing a motorcycle driven by the Crown Point native to hit another vehicle, and that the man died three-days later. Published reports say Jarvis was driving on a suspended license when the incident occurred, in June of 2011, in south suburban Olympia Fields, Illinois.
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Hounds About Town Fundraiser for Porter Co Animal Shelter

Attention animal lovers, a community service group for kids is conducting a fundraiser to raise some much-needed money for the Porter County Animal Shelter. 9 year old Giana Gavaller says she came up with the idea of the “Hounds About Town” program due to her love of dogs, and thought it be a great thing for the members of Kids Power to take part in.
The fundraiser works like this: Porter County businesses can purchase a 31-inch dog statue for 200-dollars by March 15th, and the statues will be delivered by April 15th. The business then decorates them, and puts them on display in a prominent place in or outside their business. The public has the entire month of May to view the decorated dogs, get a code listed on the statue, and vote for their favorite, which enters them into a drawing for a cash prize.
Giana says the goal is to raise ten-thousand dollars for a furnace and washer and dryer at the animal shelter. For information on how to get a dog statue, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (219) 242-7026.  You can also visit them online at Facebook or on their website,
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Lawsuit Accuses Indiana BMV of Overcharging Residents

A lawsuit was filed today by an Indianapolis attorney accusing the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles of overcharging state residents. According to the article in the Indianapolis Star, Attorney Irwin B. Levin asked the Marion Superior Court to give the suit “class-action status”, so the alleged overcharges can be returned to those who paid for a driver's license over the last six-years.
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Bulletproof Vest Pgm Reauthorization Introduced

First District Congressman Peter Visclosky and New Jersey Congressman Frank LoBiondo have introduced a four year reauthorization of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program. Created in 1999 by the two lawmakers, the program provides funds to state, local and tribal law enforcement officers to buy protective gear. The last reauthorization in 2008 expired in October 2012.
More info: WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressmen Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) and Peter Visclosky (IN-01) have introduced a four year reauthorization of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) program. Created in 1999 by the two lawmakers, the bipartisan BVP program provides state, local and tribal law enforcement officers with needed protection by aiding the purchase of protective equipment. The last reauthorization in 2008 expired in October 2012.
“The men and women in our local law enforcement play an essential role in safeguarding our communities and protecting the freedoms all of us enjoy. Bulletproof vests and body armor have saved thousands of law enforcement officers. However, they cannot protect the lives of those who do not have access to them,” said LoBiondo. “As protectors of our lives and our property, it is imperative that we give law enforcement the critical tools they need so they may do their jobs and carry out their duties safely and effectively. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership program is one of those critical tools.”
"Our families have entrusted the men and women of state and local law enforcement with the responsibility of protecting their lives, their homes, and their property. We must ensure that each and every officer has access to the equipment, training, and support they need as they place their lives on the line for us. Bulletproof vests are crucial, lifesaving tools, and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program helps local law enforcement agencies acquire them. I am proud to support the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program," said Visclosky.
Since 1999, over 13,000 jurisdictions across the country have participated in the BVP program with nearly $300 million in federal funds committed to support the purchase of more than 1 million vests. Additional information on the BVP program can be found at
The lawmakers’ bipartisan bill, “The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act of 2013” (H.R. 988), was introduced on the House floor yesterday.

Additional Bank Robbery Charges Filed

The U-S Attorney's Office in Hammond says a 44-year-old Gary man is facing additional bank robbery counts. Officials say Stacy Davis, who was charged earlier with robbing banks in Merrillville in Munster, has now been charged with the October 2nd, 2012, bank robbery of TCF Bank in Munster, and the robbery of Chase Bank in Merrillville October 3rd, 2009. The charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation GRIT Task Force.
News Release:  Stacy Davis, 44, of Gary, Indiana, was charged in a superseding Indictment adding two additional bank robbery counts to the original indictment; the bank robbery of TCF Bank in Munster, Indiana on October 2, 2012 and the robbery of Chase Bank in Merrillville, Indiana on October 3, 2009.    These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation GRIT Task Force.  This case has been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Chang-Adiga.

Update: Burned Business Finds Bride in Alaska

We have an update on a story we ran earlier about a bride-to-be in Alaska who didn't know her wedding dress was among the items destroyed by fire that consumed a commercial building in downtown Valparaiso earlier this week. Anita's Alterations was in that building for 22 years, and owner Anita Hall tells us their customer contact information and the back ups were all lost -- and they've trying to reach everyone, including that bride-to-be who's thousands of miles away. Today Hall tells us they have located her "through your radio station. The message that you put out yesterday, there were people that heard," Hall said, and said that sounded like somebody they knew and "they made their phone calls and they got through to her for us."  Hall says she's asking all her customers to call her regular business number to get in touch with her -- 219-477-5307.   She also says they are planning to be opening again.


Another Step for Schererville's Shops on Main

In Schererville, officials have approved financing incentives for the eagerly-awaited Shops on Main. Construction could begin this Spring on the project at US 41 and Main Street which is expected to include high-end retail and restaurants, though details on what shops might be moving in have not yet been disclosed.

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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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