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Lake Council Debates, Agrees on E911 Post

After some debate, the Lake County Council eventually agreed on a 112-thousand dollar annual salary for their new E-911 director, who'll be responsible for guiding the consolidation of Lake County's seventeen separate 911 systems by the end of 2014 –as mandated by state law – to prevent the county from losing millions in public safety dollars from the state. Lake County Commissioners named 50-year-old Brian Hitchcock of Davenport, Iowa, an E911 director for the Quad Cities area, to the position, pending the county council create a salary for him in the budget.  Hitchcock is a Minnesota native who helped guide consolidation of E-911 services for 30 public safety agencies in the Quad Cities area and elsewhere in the Midwest.
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Hammond School Supt in Accident

The school superintendent of Hammond Schools told the the Times he was lucky to have survived an accident around 11-o'clock Saturday morning that police say showed the district vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, went through the parking lot of a donut shop at 173rd and Calumet Avenue, then crossed 173rd and struck a brick wall, fence and storage building, before crashing into a wooden playhouse in someone's yard. The report says 66-year-old Walter Watkins received a ticket for unreasonable speed.
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/hammond/hammond-schools-superintendent-crashes-into-playhouse/article_67454bad-e023-5dca-8d96-105ed26dec05.html


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Hammond Man Found Guilty of Child Molesting

A Hammond man charged with molesting a young relative has been found guilty by a jury.   Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter on Tuesday announced Christopher Galvan was convicted for the incidents that occurred between August of 2011 and February 2012, and will be sentenced on July 3rd.
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Porter Co Police Present Medals at Special Olympics

2013 Summer Games - Stephanie 106
(Photos Courtesy of the Porter County Sheriff's Office)
2013 Summer Games - Stephanie 109
Members of the Porter County Sheriff's Office over the weekend were in Terre Haute for the Special Olympics. Sgt. Larry LaFlower says he, along with Officer Paul Czupryn, visited the campus of Indiana State University on Saturday to present medals, and found the experience to be both very fun and rewarding.
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PUC Ranked 2nd in State for Quality and Affordability

purdue university calumet
            HAMMOND, Ind. — Purdue University Calumet is Indiana’s No. 2-ranked college/university for providing a quality education at an affordable price.
            The College Database recently released its rankings of top Indiana higher educational institutions based on best financial return on investment. Purdue Calumet is ranked behind Purdue University at West Lafayette.
            “Value and affordability comprise the cornerstone of the Purdue education we offer at Purdue Calumet,” Chancellor Thomas L. Keon said. “This recognition verifies that an education built on academic excellence that enables personal and professional success can be both high quality and reasonably priced.”   

Rankings metric
            For its rankings, The College Database used a metric that considers institutions with annual tuition rates of less than $20,000 and new graduates who earn an average annual salary of at least $40,000. The College Database reported that recent Purdue Calumet graduates command an average annual salary of $42,900, while the tuition Purdue Calumet students pay is the lowest among ranked institutions.
            “With the cost of college a concern for many families, it’s important for students to find a school that produces successful, well-paid graduates,” Matt Davis, managing director of communication & partnerships for The College Database, said. “We believe it’s equally important to recognize the colleges and universities that offer both quality and affordable post-secondary options.”

Rankings of Indiana institutions
            Nine institutions qualified for The College Database Indiana rankings. They are:
1.     Purdue University (West Lafayette)
2.     Purdue University Calumet
3.     Indiana University (Bloomington)
4.     IIT Technical Institute (Indianapolis)
5.     Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
6.     Indiana State University
7.     Ball State University
8.     Indiana University-Purdue University Ft. Wayne (IPFW)
9.     University of Southern Indiana
            The College Database, according to its web site, uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau and American Fact Finder to develop its rankings. More comprehensive information can be accessed at the College Database website.

Other recent Purdue Calumet recognitions
            Purdue Calumet’s ranking by The College Database follows other recent recognitions the university has received, including:
·       “Best College/University” -- The Times of NW Indiana Best of the Region 2013 readership survey;
·       “Best Adult Educational Institution” – The Times of NW Indiana Best of the Region 2013 readership survey;
·       “Best University for Attaining a Technology Degree” – 2013 Best of Northwest Indiana Business magazine readership survey;
·       Top 100 status in awarding degrees to minority students – Diverse: Issues in Higher Educationmagazine.  
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MC Couple who Stole from Blind Woman Plead Guilty

Bary and Robin Bostic
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A husband and wife who stole over 100-thousand dollars from an elderly, Chesterton woman who was also blind pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony theft. The Times reports 48 year old Bary and 40 year old Robbin Bostic stole gold, silver and platinum coins and bars, jewelry, and cash from the woman they had helped care for, and will be sentenced to eight-years in prison. According to the article, most of the missing assets have been returned, and the Bostic's will be responsible for paying back the balance during their probation.
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Beware of Counterfeit Sports Merchandise During NBA/NHL Playoffs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Playoffs in full swing, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) warned the public today to beware of purchasing counterfeit sports apparel and tickets to playoff games.
Fake jerseys, ball caps, t-shirts, jackets and other souvenirs are among the counterfeit merchandise and clothing typically sold at these events.  Additionally, authorities have seen an increase in the sale of counterfeit tickets being sold to these events. Large sporting events such as the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Playoffs are prime targets for counterfeiters, many of whom travel the country with the sole intention of scamming innocent sports fans.  According to the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, businesses worldwide lose an estimated $600 – 700 billion annually due to counterfeiting.
"The playoffs for these two leagues are meant to be a chance to celebrate the success of our favorite sports teams,” said IPR Center Director Lev Kubiak. “Instead, organized criminals are preying on that excitement, ripping consumers off with counterfeit merchandise and stealing from the American businesses who have worked hard to build a trusted brand."
“CBP remains ever vigilant in targeting, identifying and seizing shipments of counterfeit sports merchandise, including nearly $27 million worth seized in FY 2012,” said Assistant Commissioner Allen Gina. “CBP works closely with our partners in ICE/HSI to ensure violations of intellectual and property law are investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
HSI and CBP regularly team up with other federal agencies and state and local law enforcement during significant sporting events like the playoffs.  'Operation Red Zone' targeted counterfeit products surrounding NFL games between September 2012 and February 2013.  The operation netted 196,333 items including fake jerseys, ball caps, t-shirts, jackets and other souvenirs. The items had a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of more than $17.3 million. Special agents from HSI, CBP, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and state and local police departments around the country worked in partnership with the NFL and other major sports leagues during the operation. In all, 168 tickets were seized with an MSRP of more than $154,000. Forty-one individuals were arrested nationwide during the operation including six federal and 35 state and local arrests.
Although counterfeiters are becoming smarter, fans can keep several key factors in mind when making purchases to avoid being victimized:
  • Shop at authorized retail locations, such as the official team stores rather than buying items from street vendors, flea markets, online auctions or other questionable sources
  • Look out for ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel
  • If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.  While some counterfeiters may attract fans with a low price tag or 2-for-1 deal, just as many try to legitimize their merchandise with a higher price point.  Purchasing authorized league merchandise guarantees the quality and life of that souvenir, while also providing a reputable source for concerns, returns, and exchanges.
Intellectual and Property Rights enforcement is a priority trade issue for CBP. CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive IPR enforcement program. CBP targets and seizes imports of counterfeit and pirated goods, and enforces exclusion orders on patent-infringing and other IPR violative goods.
The HSI-led IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 21 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety and the U.S. economy.
To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit www.IPRCenter.gov.
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Coats: Immigration Reform Bill Must Be Improved

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, today issued the following statement after voting for a procedural motion to begin Senate debate on immigration reform:
“I have serious concerns with the legislation that came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and cannot support it in its current form. However, the immigration system we have today has failed – it has failed the citizens of this country and it has failed those who have been standing in line for years trying to become citizens the right way. Over the next few weeks, the Senate should work to improve this bill through an open, fair and thorough debate that includes the input of the American people.
“I am particularly focused on enhancing border security measures to ensure the same mistakes made in 1986 do not occur again. We cannot just trust that the border will get fixed. Steps must be taken now to secure our borders, expand employer verification and improve the existing exit system. Fixing our immigration crisis is critical to growing our economy and strengthening national security, and I look forward to this important debate.”
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IN Supreme Court Indefnitely Suspends Philpot's Law License

A former Lake County Clerk and Coroner has had his ability to practice law suspended indefinitely. Thomas Philpot was convicted last August to 18-months in federal prison for paying himself more than 24-thousand dollars in bonuses from federal child support incentive funds while he was Lake County Clerk. The ruling was issued by the Indiana Supreme Court on May 30th.
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Multi-Vehicle Crash Backing Up Eastbound Borman

The left lane eastbound on the Borman (I-80/94 remains blocked due to an earlier multi-vehicle crash blocking the lane that occurred under the Chase Street overpass.   Traffic was reportedly backing up to just after Cline Avenue.
EB 80-94 crash at Chase St.  06-11-13
Hoosier Helper is blocking the left lane eastbound Borman (I-80/94) under the Chase Street overpass; the scene of an earlier multi-vehicle crash.
(photo from INDOT)
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SR 152 Lane Restrictions Begin Thursday in Hammond

Indot Logo color
HAMMOND, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces lane restrictions on State Road 152 in Hammond, between 165th Street and 169th Street beginning Thursday, June 13th through November 2013. Crews are resurfacing the roadway. One lane in each direction on State Road 152 will be maintained throughout the project.
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 www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and follow us at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
You can find traffic restriction information at www.trafficwise.IN.gov.  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT....
   

Karwick Road Rail Crossing Repairs in MC Pushed Back

Michigan City, IN --- Due to the train track crossing repairs being performed by NICTD on the section of Karwick Road, north of Warnke Road and south of Springland Avenue, the City of Michigan City is announcing that the closing of the intersection at Springland Avenue and Roeske Avenue will be pushed back one week from the originally stated date of Wednesday, June 12, 2013 to Wednesday, June 19, 2013.
This one week delay is caused by the need to utilize Springland Ave. and Roeske Ave. as the primary alternative detour route for the closing of South Karwick Road. Barring any unforeseen problems, the intersection will be set to re-open by June 29, 2013.
Detour signs will be put in place to help guide citizens and visitors to alternative routes around this affected intersection.
The city appreciates your cooperation during the repair process.
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All Lanes SB I-65 Backing Up Due to Couch in Roadway

Traffic is backing up eastbound on the Borman (I-80/94) just before Burr Street due to a traffic hazard on southbound I-65.  Several traffic tipsters reported that a couch fell off the back of a truck a smashed to pieces in the two right southbound lanes of I-65 just before Ridge Rd.  Reportedly the couch pieces were too big to drive over causing drivers to swerve to avoid the debris.  As a result of that and heavy precipitation moving through the Region traffic is stop and go from the Borman to Ridge Rd.
Backup SB I-65 connector ramp
Traffic hazard southbound I-65 just before Ridge Rd. is backing up traffic on the eastbound I-80/94 connector ramp to southbound I-65.
(photo from INDOT)
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Bones Found in Gary Backyard Not Human Remains

A Gary woman planning to start a backyard garden dug up an usual item today, what appeared to be a hand. Gary Police report they received a call of bones found in the 13-hundred block of DeKalb Place, after the woman discovered them wrapped in carpet. Police say the Coroner's Office analyzed the bones and determined that they were not human remains.
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Crown Point Woman Suffers Serious Injuries after Machete Attack

Gary PD
A 30 year old Crown Point woman was hospitalized this afternoon after being injured by another woman with a machete. Gary Police Corp. Gabrielle King says officers were called out at 12:14pm to the 45-hundred block of Georgia Street, and that the victim suffered what appear to be serious injuries to her arm, neck, and shoulder. Corp. King says at this time it is unknown what provoked the attack, and the victim may have known her attacker.
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Two Hospitalized with Non Life-Threatening Injuries in CP

cp crash
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
Two people were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries after a two-vehicle crash late this morning in Crown Point. Crown Point Assistant Police Chief James Janda say they received the call just after 11:30 this morning in the 200 block of South Court Street. Janda says the crash caused one of the vehicles involved to strike a utility pole, which knocked down some wires, and that the driver of that vehicle had to extricated, which caused a temporary road closure.
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Update: Shooting Death Monday Afternoon in Gary

Gary PD
Police in Gary are seeking the public's help after a shooting death Monday afternoon. Gary Police Corp. Gabrielle King says officers were dispatched to the 11-hundred block of Connecticut Street at 4:20pm for reports of a man down. The Lake County Coroners office says 56-year-old Donald McHenry, of Gary, suffered a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:15 Monday evening, and his death was ruled a homicide. Corp. King says witnesses reported at the same time shots were heard, that a black male was observed in the area between the age of 19 and 20 years old, approximately 5'10”, with a slender build and dreadlocks. Anyone with information is asked to contact Gary Police Detective Lorenzo Davis at (219) 881-7300 Ext 3015. 
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Man Arrested on Preliminary Murder Charge

In La Porte, authorities are investigating an apparent homicide. Police say a 60-year-old La Porte man has been preliminarily charged with murder after his 48-year-old wife was found dead in their home overnight. La Porte Police say at about 12:30 this morning their officers were dispatched to a home in the 800 block of “E” Street for a burglary in progress. Upon arrival, police say a man who lived there with his wife was apprehended coming out of the residence, and later taken to the La Porte County Jail, based on the department's preliminary investigation and evidence collected at the scene. Police say they discovered the body of the man's wife inside the residence, and the investigation is ongoing.  La Porte County Coroner John Sullivan says a forensic autopsy is being performed today in Mishawaka.
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Woman Struck and Killed by Train

Authorities say a 58-year-old Valparaiso woman was struck and killed by a train in Valparaiso Monday night in what has preliminarily been ruled an apparent suicide. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says his office was dispatched just before 8:30 pm and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene in the area of Silhavy Drive and Grand Trunk Road.
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Munster PD Getting New Ford Interceptors

In Munster, the police department is getting six new Ford Police Interceptors – made just across the state line – to replace older squads in their fleet. The Munster Town Council has approved the lease/purchase of the 2014 all-wheel drive vehicles, which are manufactured at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch.
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