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Code Enforcement Sweep In Michigan City Thur and Fri

Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer says an enforcement sweep is happening this week. Inspectors from the city will be issuing warnings and citations for code violations. The two-day sweep this Thursday and Friday (May 16 and May 17) will cover an area within Springland Avenue on the north, Vail Street on the west, Michigan Boulevard on the south, and Carroll Avenue on the east. Michigan City Fire officials will also be available citywide to help the elderly or disabled with the installation or checking of their smoke detectors, and those who'd like assistance are asked to call the Michigan City Fire Department.
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Gacy Lead Solves 41 Year Old NJ Missing Person Case

Steven-Soden-photo
(Photo Courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff's Office)
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart today announced a 41 year old New Jersey missing person's case has been solved as a result of the on-going investigation to identify the unnamed victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Sheriff Dart says while testing confirmed no genetic association between a female relative of Steven Soden and any of Gacy's unidentified victims, her profile did match unidentified skeletal remains found 13 years ago in New Jersey, which were confirmed to be that of the missing 16 year old, who was last seen alive running away from a Burlington County campground in April of 1973. Sheriff Dart says relatives had thought the teen may have headed to Chicago where his biological father lived, and may have come into contact with Gacy.
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Arrest Warrant Issued for 2nd Home Invasion Suspect

Warren Hunter JPEG
(Photo Courtesy of the Orland, IL, Police Department)
A 350-thousand dollar arrest warrant has been issued today for 31 year old Gary man who authorities accuse of participating in a home invasion in Orland Park, Illinois, just before 3am Friday. Orland Park Police say Warren Lamont Hunter, who is 5' 3'', weighs 124 pounds with black hair and brown eyes, should be considered armed and dangerous. Police report a 30 year old male suffered non-life threatening injuries after being shot in the home invasion incident, in which three suspects reportedly fled the scene. One suspect killed himself Friday night in East Chicago, as the Lake County Sheriff's Department Gang Unit approached a residence after a warrant was issued for his arrest. Orland Police say besides Hunter, they are now seeking two additional offenders involved with the home invasion, and anyone with information on the whereabouts of Hunter, or information regarding the home invasion, is asked to contact the Orland Police Department, at (708) 349-4111.
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NRC Approves Conrad Station Nature Preserve

Indiana DNR
The Conrad Station Nature Preserve in Newton County has become the 252nd site to receive nature preserve status. The Natural Resources Commission approved the 342 acre property today, which was purchased in 1998 with assistance from the Indiana Heritage trust program. The site is owned by the Nature Conservancy and consists primarily of black oak savannah, sand prairie, and a high-quality prairie restoration. It also connects with a large area that includes the Nature Conservancy's 72-hundred acre Kankakee Sands, Beaver Lake Nature Preserve and Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area.
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Pence Directs Flags to be Flown at Half-Staff Tomorrow

Gov Mike Pence
Indianapolis, IN - Governor Mike Pence is directing flags at state facilities statewide be flown at half-staff tomorrow in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day, which honors federal, state and local officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. President Obama signed a proclamation ordering flags nationwide to be flown at half-staff on Wednesday, May 15. Flags should remain at half-staff until sunrise on Thursday, May 16. 
Governor Pence also asks businesses and residents to lower their flags to half-staff to pay tribute to the brave men and women in law enforcement across Indiana and our nation.
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Valpo PD Records Div Closed May 15

Valpo PD
The Valparaiso Police Department's Record Division will be closed the entire day on Wednesday May 15th.  The department will be conducting their annual department inspection and Memorial Service to recognize National Police Week. The Records Division for Valparaiso Police will resume normal business hours on Thursday May 16th at 7 a.m.
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Memorial Svc Thu for Professor Yovich

Yovich Dan
Longtime university professor, businessman and the founder and past director of the Inventors and Entrepreneurs Society of Indiana, Daniel Yovich, has passed away. The South Chicago, Illinois, native taught at Purdue Calumet in Hammond for many years, and later moved to Michigan. Yovich, a US Army veteran, invented educational games including Krypto, 26!, and MathSuey, and taught creativity courses for over three decades. Yovich was 83.
Yovich was nationally-recognized in academe and industry as an applied creativity instructor before retiring from Purdue University Calumet in 2000, died Friday (5/10) after a lengthy illness.   The university says Yovich, professor emeritus of organizational leadership and supervision, was considered among the most popular, foresighted and energetic faculty members to serve Purdue Calumet and its students. He also was an inventor, having produced patents in biocide coating compositions at the paint manufacturing business he founded in Kankakee, Ill.
A former Army Security Agency Intelligence Officer during the Korean War, he worked as a product development chemist in the coatings industry for 20 years before making a career change and joining the Purdue Calumet faculty in 1979.
“Dan was way before his time,” friend, colleague and Purdue Calumet Professor of Organizational Leadership and Supervision Carl Jenks said. “He was bright, creative, and the students loved him. He had a way of effectively getting his points across while keeping his students interested.”
At Purdue Calumet, he introduced classes in creativity and entrepreneurship, earning national recognition teaching applied creativity in academe and industry. He was a three-time recipient of outstanding teaching awards during his 21-year faculty career at Purdue Calumet. He also was a member of the World Futurist Society.
After retiring from Purdue Calumet, he lectured at Grand Valley State and Northwood Universities in Michigan. He is survived by his wife, Anita, two sons, two daughters, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A memorial service is scheduled at 11 a.m., Thursday (5/16) at Saint Stephen Church, 750 Gladstone SE East Grand Rapids, Mich. 49506.
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Stores Sue to Sell Cold Beer

ipca
Convenience stores in Indiana are pursuing legal action to be able to sell cold beer. Executives and members of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, a statewide trade association, announced today that they have filed a complaint in U.S. District Court challenging the law governing the sale of cold beer. Under current law, convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores are only allowed to sell beer warm, and only liquor stores are allowed to sell beer cold. Indiana is the only state in the country that regulates beer sales based on temperature. The law doesn’t apply to wine products, including wine coolers.
Here is the full news release:
INDIANAPOLIS (May 14, 2013) – Executives and members of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (IPCA), a statewide trade association, announced today that they have filed a complaint in U.S. District Court against the State of Indiana challenging the law governing the sale of cold beer.
Under current law, convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores are only allowed to sell beer warm, while their competitors in the carryout market are allowed to sell beer cold.
IPCA and three of its members - Ricker’s, Thorntons and Freedom Express – claim this Indiana law violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by restricting convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores to selling beer only at room temperature. In the complaint, the plaintiffs charge that Indiana statutes and regulations have evolved into an irrational and discriminatory regulatory regime that favors one class of retailer over another.
“This lawsuit is about fairness, convenience, and promoting competition for the sale of cold beer in a rational and responsible way so that my members can serve their customers,” said IPCA Executive Director Scot Imus. “We are confident that the court will agree with us that it is not the job of government to pick winners and losers in the marketplace.”
Indiana is the only state in the country that regulates beer sales based on temperature. The current law doesn’t apply to wine products, thus allowing convenience stores to sell these products cold. On average wine products, including wine coolers, contain higher levels of alcohol compared to beer.   
Managing Member of Freedom Express Gregory Cobb, who owns three convenience stores in Kosciusko and Marshall Counties, explained that the current law is confusing to his customers who may purchase cold wine but not beer, even though wine products contain approximately double the amount of alcohol.  
“Some common sense needs to be applied to Indiana’s alcohol laws, so that Hoosier business owners like myself may provide products, including beer, without ridiculous temperature restrictions to their customers,” said Cobb.
Indiana Excise Police compliance figures show that package liquor stores were 138 percent more likely to violate Indiana liquor laws between 2007 and 2012 than convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores. Similarly, restaurants and bars, who may also sell refrigerated beer – were 1,376 percent more likely to violate Indiana liquor law over the same period of time.
“There is no logic with the current law that gives one class of retailer an exclusive right to sell cold beer,” said Imus. “Indiana’s alcohol laws have not always favored one retailer over another and in fact, it was just in the last 50 years that liquor stores were granted the privilege of selling cold beer.”
A look at the history of beer sales in Indiana shows a constantly changing regulatory environment. Coming out of Prohibition, only confectionary stores were allowed to sell cold beer. That practice ended when the General Assembly passed a law prohibiting such sales in 1941. Liquor stores could not sell beer - warm or cold - until 1953, and then, like other retailers, they were forced to sell it warm. A 1963 decision by the unelected three-member Indiana Alcoholic Beverage Commission granted liquor stores in metropolitan areas the right to sell cold beer. These changes were eventually codified into statute in 1979.
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Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (IPCA) is a nonprofit trade association that was formed in 1922 by Indiana wholesalers and retailers. Today, the IPCA has more than 250 members comprised primarily of small; to medium-sized, family owned businesses that own and operate convenience stores and supply petroleum (wholesale and retail), and related products and services throughout Indiana....
 

Report: Sentencing Date Moved

The Times today is reporting that the sentencing date for former longtime Gary Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas has been rescheduled for August 21. Krusas pleaded guilty in Hammond Federal Court last month to tax evasion, after being accused of failing to file tax returns since 1991 and failing to pay taxes on a 232-thousand dollar inheritance. She resigned in April from the Gary City Council, where she had served since 2000.  This past Saturday, Mildred Shannon was chosen at a democratic caucus to replace Krusas on the council.
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Farming Accident in N. Ind

In northern Indiana, the Marshall County Coroner's office reports a 61-year-old Plymouth man died in a farming accident in which his clothing got caught on a shaft connecting an engine and a pump on an irrigation device. Officials say he had gone out to the field Sunday night, and family members discovered his body Monday morning near the equipment. Coroners officials say the man suffered severe internal injuries
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Big Back-to-Back Jackpots

mega
Two nights of back-to-back jackpot drawings that feature combined more than half-a-billion dollars in jackpot money. Hoosier Lottery officials say tonight's (tue may 14 13) Mega Millions drawing offers an estimated jackpot of $170 million while tomorrow's night's Powerball jackpot currently sits at an estimated $350 million, marking the first time Mega Millions and Powerball have cracked the $150 million and $300 million marks, respectively, at the same time since Indiana began offering Mega Millions more than three years ago.
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AT&T Expands 4G LTE to Valpo


att soliday
Valpo State Rep. Ed Soliday, AT&T Indiana Pres. George Fleetwood
State and local lawmakers gathered at the Porter County Government Center today for an announcement regarding cell phone service in Valparaiso. AT&T has upgraded seven mobile internet cell sites in the area to expand 4G LTE coverage for residents and businesses. George Fleetwood is president of AT&T Indiana says the goal is for "our customers to have an extraordinary experience, and our investment in the local wireless network is another way we're accomplishing that."  Valparaiso State Representative Ed Soliday says technology continues to play a larger role in the way we communicate, and for "the many businesses and consumers who rely on wireless devices everyday to stay connected, this investment is a big step forward".  AT&T launched its 4G LTE network in Gary last October.
[photo by Karl Berner/Radio One Communications]
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Demolition of La Porte Church

laporte church
A more-than century-old church is in the process of being demolished in downtown La Porte. St. Paul's United Church of Christ was built in the late 1880's. Membership had declined and after the congregation dissolved late last summer, the property was transferred to the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ in Indianapolis. The parent organization has said necessary repairs and upgrades would have been very costly. The Indiana Department of Transportation this morning said there were some lane closures on State Road 2, also known as Lincolnway through there, as crews tearing down the church ran into some water problems.
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Forty 4-Stars in the Region

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz announced Indiana's 4 Star schools for 2013 . Nearly forty are in the Region. To achieve this designation, a school must be in the top 25th percentile of schools in ISTEP+ testing results. A total of 313 schools received the award throughout the state.
Here's the full list:
http://www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/news/fourstarschools-20112012.pdf
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Man Shot in Vehicle

Police in Gary are investigating a shooting that injured a 28-year-old man as he was reportedly sitting inside a vehicle in the four-thousand block of Connecticut Street. Officials say it was just before 8:30 Saturday night when the victim said an unknown male came from between two homes and started firing. He was transported to the hospital for his injuries.
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Sentencing Hearing Moved

The Times today is reporting that the sentencing date for former longtime Gary Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas has been rescheduled for August 21. Krusas pleaded guilty in Hammond Federal Court last month to tax evasion, after being accused of failing to file tax returns since 1991 and failing to pay taxes on a 232-thousand dollar inheritance. She resigned in April from the Gary City Council, where she had served since 2000.  This past Saturday, Mildred Shannon was chosen at a democratic caucus to replace Krusas on the council.
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LOFS Clubhouse Closed for Now

There were no injuries reported Sunday when a van went into the Lakes of the Four Seasons clubhouse, but officials say the building will be closed for an undetermined amount of time. The chief of the fire force for Lakes of the Four Seasons says there was structural damage in the kitchen area. Authorities say a resident accidentally put his car into reverse, and the vehicle went through the wall. Crown Point's Fire Department was at the scene to help get the vehicle out of the structure.
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High Court Sides With Seed Giant

The US Supreme Court has sided with Monsanto in a seed patent case involving an Indiana farmer. In a unanimous ruling, justices said farmers cannot plant the company's genetically-altered and herbicide-resistant Roundup Ready soybeans without paying the company to do so – including later generations of the seed. 75-year-old Farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman contended he was not violating Monsanto's patent by planting seeds that were produced by seeds he had purchased from a grain elevator, knowing that those would likely be Roundup-resistant as well.
The high court said Bowman is free to buy grain elevator beans to eat or feed to livestock or resell, but he could not plant the beans, and harvest them again and again without paying the agri-giant for use of its patented product. Bowman contended the soybeans replicated themselves, but the court said 'blaming the bean' was no defense.
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Indiana HS Graduation Rate Up

Indiana's statewide graduation rate went up last year, to 88-point-three percent from 86-point-one percent. The Indiana Department of Education also reported an 87-percent rate, based on the federal method of calculating the percentage, which exempts fewer students  Lowell and Calumet High Schools posted some of the biggest gains in graduation rates in the Region, accoding to figures released by the state Monday.
http://www.doe.in.gov/news/indiana-department-education-releases-graduation-rate-data
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Highland Assesses Town Facility

The town of Highland has hired a company to assess their current police station and town hall – with an eye toward possibly replacing both and starting the process within a year's time. Officials are especially concerned about getting more room for the police department, which is currently housed in the basement area of the municipal building on Ridge Road.
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