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Crown Point to Review City Buildings

In Crown Point, city officials are taking an overview of city buildings, including the emergency services building, which houses police and fire, and was built in 1990, and City Hall, constructed in 1950... looking at maintenance and utility costs, and overall functionality of the physical structures themselves. The police department has grown to more than forty officers, with three additional hires planned, and fire rescue to nearly 30, with a new hire just announced.

Valpo Council Interviews Candidates

The Valparaiso City Council Monday night interviewed two candidates-- incumbent Jim Jorgenson and Joseph Espinosa – for a four-year seat on the Valparaiso School Board. A third candidate withdrew his application due to newly-assigned work responsibilities. A couple weeks later the public will get a chance to ask questions of the candidates (special session, June 24, 5;15pm).

Governor Asks Lawmakers to Sustain Veto

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is asking members of the Indiana General Assembly to sustain his veto of House Enrolled Act 1546, regarding an income tax issue. Legislators plan to return to the Statehouse on Wednesday to consider overriding the Governor's veto of a measure that retroactively legalizes a tax increase and the revenues collected in Pulaski and Jackson Counties.

Man Sentenced in Dragging Death

A Porter County judge has sentenced a man to twenty-years in prison in connection with the drunk-driving death of a woman he was accused of driving over and dragging, as she stood in front of his vehicle in the parking lot of a Burns Harbor tavern where she worked. Officials say James Lohman III pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and driving drunk resulting in a death in the September 2011 incident.

Public Visitation for Rudy Clay Tuesday in Gary

City of Gary
A representative for the family of former Mayor Rudolph Clay has released details for the upcoming services scheduled to commemorate his life. Clay passed away Tuesday, June 4 at his home in Gary, Ind. after battling prostate cancer. He was 77.
Visitation will take place Tuesday, June 11 at the Genesis Convention Center located in downtown Gary at 5th Avenue and Broadway. The public is invited to pay respects from 10:00a.m. – 6:00p.m. Photo taking and videotaping of the body is strictly prohibited.
A memorial service will take place from 6:00p.m. – 8:00p.m. During this time, family members, clergy and several elected officials will share fond memories and pay tribute to Mayor Clay. The public and media are welcome to attend this service.
The funeral for Mayor Clay will take place Wednesday, June 12 at the Genesis Convention Center at 11:00a.m. In addition to Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Judge Greg Mathis are scheduled to give remarks. The eulogy will be delivered by the Reverend Dr. Essie Clark-George, Presiding Elder of Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The public is invited to attend; however, due to the large crowd expectation, early arrival is encouraged.

Procession to the Cemetery
At the conclusion of the funeral, the procession to Ridgelawn Cemetery is as follows:
Leave Genesis Center and travel south on Broadway to 25th Avenue; turn west on 25th Avenue and travel to Chase Street; turn north on Chase Street and travel to 15th Avenue; turn west on 15th Avenue and travel to Burr Street (there may be a brief pause at 15th and Whitcomb, the home of Mayor Clay); turn south on Burr Street to Ridge Road; turn west on Ridge Road and travel to Ridgelawn Cemetery.
The family of Mayor Clay and dignitaries will park in the main parking lot of the Genesis Center and the parking lot of the Post Office located directly across the street from the Genesis Center on 5th Avenue.
The general public may park in the Genesis Center Parking garage, Adams St. between 4th & 5th Avenues, the Hudson & Campbell Fitness Center Parking Lot (5th & Mass.), Broadway south of 5th Avenue, and the Main Branch Library rear parking lot. The Gary Police Department will be on site to assist with directing attendees. Those who intend to be a part of the procession to the cemetery are encouraged to park on Adams St. or in the library parking lot.
Instructions for Media Representatives
On both Tuesday and Wednesday, media representatives will only be allowed to set up on the platforms located in the rear of the Indiana Room at the Genesis Center. Early arrival is encouraged. Once again, photo taking and videotaping of the body is strictly prohibited....

Bicycle Safety Day June 29 at Willowcreek Middle School

Portage Fire Dept. 2
Later this month the Portage Fire Department, with support from Portage Kiwanis, Porter Hospital, and Portage Firefighters Local 31-51, will be hosting “Bicycle Safety Day”. Portage Assistant Fire Chief Dan Kodicek says the course teaches kids how to ride a bike, what a stop sign and one-way signs mean, how to cross railroad crossings, to look both ways and other safety features.
The Portage Fire Department will be giving a free bicycle helmet to all children while supplies last at the event on June 29th, at Willowcreek Middle School, in the east parking lot, from 9am to noon. For more information, please contact the Portage Fire Department at 762-7404, M-F 8am-4:30pm.
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US Senate Approves Five Year Farm Bill

The U.S. Senate on Monday voted 66 to 27 in favor of a five-year farm bill which is estimated to save 18 billion dollars over ten years. Indiana U-S Senators Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly both voted in favor of the bill, with Coats says the legislation will provide Hoosier farmers with the assurances they need to plan and prepare their operations over the next five years. To read more about the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, visit
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Switchblades and Silencers for Hunting Become Legal July 1st

Starting July 1st, a half-century old law banning switchblades ends in the Hoosier state. Indiana is set to join a growing number of states rolling back their decades old prohibitions on the automatic spring-loaded knives, due to a small provision tucked into a larger hunting and fishing bill that does away with the 1957 law that made it a misdemeanor to manufacture, possess, display, offer, sell, lend, give away, or purchase in Indiana. House Bill 15-63, signed into law by Governor Mike Pence in May, also makes it legal for hunters in Indiana to use lawfully possessed silencers on firearms while hunting.
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Coats: Hoosier Farmers Deserve Answers from EPA

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today demanded that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explain why it leaked the personal information of approximately 80,000 farmers and ranchers to environmental groups. Coats recently joined a bipartisan group of senators in a letter to the EPA requesting answers on the leaked data.
“These EPA leaks are unacceptable and raise questions about whether the agency is more concerned with appeasing environmentalists than protecting the men and women who make our food production system possible,” said Coats. “Hoosier farmers and producers should be able to earn a decent living from their hard work without having their personal information disclosed.”
Personal information leaked by the EPA to environmental groups included names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Facing public criticism, the EPA recently redacted some of the information and asked the recipients to return the released documents.
Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment to the 2013 Farm Bill (S.Amdt. 970) that would have prohibited EPA from disclosing sensitive livestock producer information in the future. 
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Woman Catches Suspect Looking into Window of Her Home

LaPorte PD
Police in LaPorte report responding to a call of suspicious activity in the 16-hundred block of Hillcrest Street, just before 11pm Sunday, after the victim told police she saw someone looking into the window of the home. Authorities report the victim's dog began barking and when she looked outside, saw the suspect on their hands and knees in her yard, who ran south from the property. Police say when the victim went outside, she saw approximately 100 various pieces of plastic cutlery pushed into the ground of her yard, and that the victim also recently had toilet paper strewn through her yard as well. Anyone with information regarding this crime, or any other criminal or suspicious activity, is asked to contact the LaPorte Police Department or at their website,, and that you can remain anonymous.
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Lt Gov in White Co Tomorrow for Economic Development Ceremony

Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann will be in White County tomorrow afternoon, joining executives from Magnetation, L-L-C, who in a joint venture with A-K Steel Corp., are celebrating the start of construction of its iron ore pellet plant in Reynolds. Magnetation plans to invest 350 million dollars to construct and equip a 400-thousand square-foot plant, creating approximately 100 new jobs by 2015. The facility, Magnetation's first in Indiana, will produce high-quality iron ore pellets, which is a critical raw material in the steelmaking process. The groundbreaking is scheduled for 2:30 EDT.
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IN and KY Planned Parenthood Affiliates to Merge in July

Published reports announced today that starting July 1st, Planned Parenthood affiliates in Indiana and Kentucky will merge and be known as Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, serving patients at 28 health centers across both states. Officials report the merger will strengthen the services in the two states and ensure reproductive health remains accessible and affordable.
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Taser Strike Reportedly Causes Death of Crown Point Man

A region resident died at a Chicago Heights hospital Sunday reportedly due to being hit with a Taser by police in Thornton, Illinois. The Times reports Thornton Police were called for a naked man near the Hubbard Park Pavilion, who became erratic and combative when officers approached him, so officers Tasered Mark Koves, of Crown Point, to subdue him during the arrest, and he was taken to the hospital for treatment.
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Seeking Investment Ideas for Gary Airport and Surrounding Land

GARY, IN, June 10, 2013– An Ad Hoc committee of The Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority on Friday released a Request for Expressions of Interest and Qualifications (REIQ) from private sector interests to gather a broad array of approaches and ideas to invest in the airport and the surrounding area through a potential public-private partnership (P3).
Tasked by the Airport Authority in March to explore a P3 to accelerate job creation and long-term investment in Gary and the Northwest Indiana region, the Ad Hoc committee continues to work at a brisk pace to develop a P3 model which retains public ownership of the airport and benefits from private sector innovation and access to capital. 
The committee anticipates following up the REIQ with a formal Request for Proposals (RFP) later this summer. In addition to the P3 exploration, major construction at the airport of a $166 million runway extending the main 7,000-foot runway by 1,900 feet continues. 
“The REIQ is an essential step in attracting creative ideas for a P3 model that reflects all the investment potential of the airport, the City of Gary and the Northwest Indiana region to create good-paying jobs for the long-term,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, mayor of the City of Gary.
A team of a highly-qualified financial experts, project managers and legal advisers were engaged by the Airport Authority in April to assist in the P3 exploration.  The team includes A.C. Advisory Inc., JClark Consulting Group, LLC and Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.
“Every airport P3 model is unique so the ideas we learn from the marketplace will help us shape the best P3 model for Gary and the Northwest Indiana region,” said David Bochnowski,Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NorthWest Indiana Bancorp., member of the Gary/Chicago Airport Authority, and chair of the Ad Hoc committee. “The airport and the surrounding area are full of investment opportunities; everything is directly connected to Chicago's transportation network through freight, interstate and mass-transit and has close proximity to multiple Lake Michigan ports.”
Responses to the REIQ are due by 5 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) Monday June 17, 2013. Supportive due diligence and supplementary materials will be made available to interested respondents on a website established by the City of Gary,  Respondents are requested to register with the law firm, Faegre Baker Daniels.  The registration must be in electronic format and indicate the respondent's intent to participate in this REIQ process. 
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Warrant Issued for Teen in Death of Retired Teacher

Chris Mansfield
(Photo Courtesy of the Michigan City PD)
Michigan City Police say they have issued a warrant for a teenage suspect, considered armed and dangerous, and wanted in connection with the death of a retired school teacher. Police say 19-year-old Chris Mansfield is charged with murdering Henry Whitten, who was found dead in his home in the 500 block of East 8th Street last Thursday morning after police were dispatched for a welfare check. Anyone with information on the suspect's whereabouts is asked to call 9-1-1/ Whitten taught music at Barker Middle School for over 30 years before retiring in 2002.
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Indiana Fallen Officer Blood Drive at Expo Center

FallenOfficer blood drive
The annual Indiana Fallen Officer Blood Drive, put on by the American Red Cross, continues with blood drives in the Region, including a big one tomorrow in Porter County at the Expo Center. Porter County Sheriff David Lain says he hopes the place will be packed full of people who want to give blood and honor officers who've lost their life in the fight against crime.  The Porter County blood drive is 12noon-6pm Tuesday June 11.
The Indiana State Police- Lowell says on July 10, 2001, Sergeant Dan R. Starnes of the Morgan County, IN Sheriff’s Department lost his life as a result of gunshot wounds sustained during a line of duty gun battle. To keep his memory alive his surviving spouse, Janice, organized the Sgt. Dan R. Starnes Memorial Blood Drive in Morgan County later that year and has organized a blood drive each year since, in Dan’s memory. In 2007, she decided to take the blood drive statewide and renamed it the Indiana Fallen Officer’s Blood Drive. The 2013 drive had donation sites located in nearly every county statewide.
Indiana Blood Facts:
• 1,000 units of blood are needed daily in Indiana
• Each unit of blood donated helps in three different ways:
o Red Cells
o Platelets
o Plasma
The Lowell District is comprised of the following seven Indiana counties; Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton, Jasper, Starke and Pulaski. Listed below are dates, times, and locations for the remaining blood drives within the Lowell District.
Newton June 19th, 2013 3P-7PM Newton Co. Fallen Officers, 12100
Punkin Vine, Kentland
Newton July 12, 2013 1:30P-6:30 PM Kentland Community Center, 401 N
4th, Kentland
Porter June 11th, 2013 12P-6PM Porter Co Expo Center, 215 E
Division, Valparaiso
Porter June 23rd, 2013 9A-2PM Nativity of Our Savior Parish Hall
2949 Willowcreek Rd, Portage
Pulaski June 11, 2013 3P-7PM Pulaski Co Sheriff Dept, 110 E
Meridian, Winamac
Pulaski June 26, 2013 11:30A-5:30 PM Knights of Columbus, 340 E
50 N, Winamac
LaPorte June 21st, 2013 9A-2PM LaPorte Co Annex, 809 State St

AG Specialist to Help Protect Seniors From Scams

Linda Gurgel, Outreach Services Specialist, Office of the Indiana Attorney General [Photo provided]
Scam artists often target senior citizens through telemarketing and mail fraud, and here's an opportunity for Region seniors to learn how to protect themselves.  Pines Village Resident Life Director Cherylene Brennecke says the best defense against these type of crimes is knowing how to spot one. “Don't Be A Victim: Protect Yourself” is a free program presented by Pines Village Communities that is designed to help region seniors be better informed consumers.  Brennecke says Linda Gurgel, an Outreach Services Specialist from the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, will be on hand to answer questions.  The event will take place Tuesday, June 11th at 6:30 p.m. at the Campbell Street Cafe, 4245 Meridian Woods Drive, Valparaiso.  Pines Village Retirement Communities is hosting the program.    Do Not Call Registry enrollment will be available following the program.  For more information call Cherylene at 219.465-9917 or email 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

State Supt Ritz to Discuss ISTEP

Indiana State Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz is holding a news conference this morning (11a EDT) to discuss the ISTEP-Plus review process. Computer issues disrupted test-taking around the Region and the state in late April and early May. State lawmakers have requested the test vendor, C-T-B/McGraw-Hill, to come before the General Assembly, to explain why the glitches occurred. Results are usually available as classes are ending, around the end of May, but it looks as though those results will be delayed for several weeks.

Griffith Investigates Alleged Abduction Attempt

In Griffith, police say they're investigating the report of an alleged abduction attempt. Police Chief Greg Mance says a 15-year-old girl reported she broke away from a man who tried to pull her into his vehicle in the one-thousand block of East Glen Park Avenue about 8:30 Friday night. Police say the girl told police she was approached by a man in a white SUV with Illinois plates, and subject allegedly asked the girl if she would get into his vehicle to help him find someone named “Becky”. Police say the man then reportedly got out and tried to pull the girl into his vehicle, but she got away and the SUV left eastbound on Glen Park Avenue.  

Gary's New 311 Service Available

The 3-1-1 phone line for Gary citizens to report non-emergency issues is now up and running. City officials in Gary report the line is for those residents who want to report issues such as potholes, fallen trees, abandoned homes, and other non-emergency matters. Citizens can also download the 3-1-1 app at no cost or report directly on the website at .

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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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