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Mobile Home Destroyed by Fire

Officials in Portage are trying to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a mobile home early Wednesday. Reports say crews were called out to the 300 block of Camelot Estates, at 2:16am, and put out the fire about 12 minutes after they arrived at the scene. Two other mobile homes on either side of were also said to be damaged. No injuries were reported. Authorities say the mobile home was unoccupied at the time of the fire.
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No Injuries Reported in Hammond Fire

Some Hammond roads were blocked off as a precaution Wednesday after a fire broke out inside a building at the Linde Gas company, in the 3900 block of Michigan Street, a building that houses an acetylene  tank used for welding. Michigan Street at Kennedy was closed for a time, along with portions of Cline Avenue near the facility, but were reopened by 5:30pm. There were no reports of injuries and the flames were said to have been contained inside the building.
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Fatal Shooting in Gary

Police in Gary are investigating an apparent homicide that claimed the life of an 18-year-old Gary man Wednesday. The Lake County Coroners office says Lance Johnson sustained a gunshot wound to the head and an open wound to his left hand, and was pronounced dead at the scene at 20th and Pierce Street at 5 pm.
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Man Critical After Crash

A 37-year-old Fowler man was reported in critical condition after Indiana State Police say for unknown reasons he crossed the center line and the Ford Explorer he was driving struck a semi-tractor trailer on US 421 north of State Road 16 in Monon. He had to be extricated and was flown to an Indianapolis hospital. The semi-driver was unhurt. US 421 was closed for about three hours.
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Property Tax Reminder

Porter County Treasurer Mike Bucko is reminding taxpayers that the spring payment of the Porter County Property Taxes are due May 10, just over a week from today. To avoid penalties it must be post marked May 10. Bucko says you can also pay in person at the Treasurer's office in downtown Valparaiso or online at www.porterco.org. Just click on (pay my tax bill). You will need the duplicate number so have the tax bill handy.
Bucko says if you pay on line E-check is free but credit and debit cards have a fee. Provide your email address and check the box to get a receipt that a payment was made.  He says taxpayers have until 11:59:59 on May 10, 2013 to be on time when paying online. If paying at the Treasurer's Office at 155 Indiana Ave. Valparaiso IN office hours are Mon-Fri. except holidays 8:30am to 4:30pm. Call 219-465-3470 to for information.
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Doctor Killed in Crash

Authorities say a retired northwest Indiana doctor lost his life in a crash on Interstate 94 near Chesterton. Troopers say it appears the car was eastbound at a high rate of speed around 9:30 Tuesday night when for unknown reasons struck the rear of a semi, flipped and rolled multiple times, going over the concrete barrier wall and coming to rest on the westbound side. Police say 62-year-old Dr. Sridhar Mothkur of Chesterton, a retired radiologist out of Michigan City, was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene of blunt force trauma. The semi driver was not hurt. Traffic was being diverted at State Road 49 until lanes were re-opened just before 2 am.
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Construction in 2014 for PNC Student/Activities Complex

PNC logo
Construction is expected to begin next year on a new student services and activities complex at Purdue North Central in Westville. University officials say the new budget approved by the Indiana General Assembly includes a key provision that will allow for the issuance of 23-point-7 million dollars in bonds to help finance construction of the proposed 34-point-7-million-dollar facility. The remaining funding will be generated through student fees and gift donations to PNC. Along with meetings, conferences, and exhibits, P-N-C says commencement will also be held there. The May 2013 graduation ceremonies, for instance, will be at the Valparaiso University ARC.
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Gary Man Files Lawsuit Against Tyler Perry

Tyler Perrys Temptation
A Gary man recently filed a lawsuit in U-S District Court against filmmaker Tyler Perry, claiming the film "Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor" was taken from a script he wrote in 2009. Published reports say William James is seeking unspecified damages, and wants the opening and closing of the film to be re-edited to include the fact that the movie is based on his novel, "Lovers Kill." James claims he passed a copy of his script to an associate of Perry and Oprah Winfrey, with the hope it would reach the director.
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Calumet Twp Man Leads Police on Pursuit

Wayne Urbaszewski
(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office)
Lake County Sheriffs Police say a 34-year-old Calumet Township man is in custody after allegedly fleeing from officers trying to serve a warrant at his home this morning on a number of charges including child molesting and incest. Lake County Sheriffs Department reports as officers approached the residence in the 43-hundred bock of Taft Street in Gary, Wayne Urbaszewski fled, leading officers into a wooded area. Authorities say a K-9 unit and the Sheriff's helicopter were brought out, with the K-9 locating the 34-year-old in the woods in the vicinity of 42nd and Rutledge Streets. Urbaszewski was hospitalized for dog bites, and then transported to the Lake County Jail. Authorities say officials with the Lake Ridge Schools were notified, but there was no lockdown.
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ISTEP Testing Resumes with Minimal Interruptions

ISTEP Plus testing got back underway today with minimal interruptions reported. The Indiana Department of Education reports that as of 3:45pm, over 300-thousand testing sessions were completed across the state, after testing Monday and Tuesday were suspended due to glitch. Testing is scheduled again for tomorrow, but in order to minimize interruptions, the Department is again asking schools to reduce their daily testing load by 50-percent.
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Mobile Home in Portage Destoryed by Early Morning Fire

A mobile home was a total loss after an early morning fire today in Portage. The Times reports the Portage Fire Department was called out to the 300 block of Camelot Estates, at 2:16am, and put out the fire about 12 minutes after they arrived at the scene. Published reports say the fire damaged two adjacent mobile homes on each side of it. No injuries were reported as the mobile home was unoccupied at the time of the fire, and an investigation continues.
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Firefighters On Scene of a Gas Co. Fire in Hammond

The Times is reporting a fire broke out but is being contained to one building of the Linde Gas facility in the 3900 block of Michigan.  According to the article, the building houses an acetylene tank which is used for welding.  Published reports say both directions of Michigan is closed around the facility including between  Kennedy Avenue and Cline Avenue.

Read more at:
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/hammond/hammond-firefighters-called-to-fire-at-gas-facility/article_3a1f6f5d-942b-5f0a-9a09-2a64950a4a98.html

Breaking News

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Bond Set at $1,000,000 for Robbins, Il Man Charged with Murder

Meals
(Photo Courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff's Office)
A 27 year old Robbins, Illinois, man had his bond set at one-million dollars after he was arrested Monday and charged with first degree murder Tuesday in 2011 death of Scott Soderlund. The Cook County Sheriff's Office reports Harlandez Meals is accused of beating Soderlund, at two separate locations, on the night of July 22nd, 2010, after an argument began outside of a Robbins liquor store. Authorities say Soderlund was hospitalized for his injuries, but ultimately died due to the attack on March 9th, 2011. The Sheriff's Office reports Meals has 16 prior arrests, including battery causing bodily harm.
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Fomer Donnelly Staffer Sentenced to Jail

INDIANAPOLIS (May 1, 2013) - Today, Mike Marshall, a former Joe Donnelly campaign staffer, received his jail sentence from a Jennings County court after pleading guilty to absentee ballot fraud.
"It's been quite a busy week for the Indiana Democratic Party," said Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Eric Holcomb. "The rule of law continues to expose their Culture of Corruption."
Last Thursday, two Democrats in St. Joseph County, including a former county chair, were found guilty on felony counts of forging ballot petitions for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008.  Two other Democrats had already pled guilty in the weeks leading up to the trial.  They each face sentences ranging from 11 to 75 years in prison.
"A former Joe Donnelly campaign staffer and a former county chair were both found guilty of election fraud. What does that say about today's Indiana Democratic Party? Senator Donnelly should condemn his former campaign staffer for violating the public's trust," Holcomb added.
Marshall appears on various campaign finance reports around the state including  Donnelly and current State Representative Terry Goodin.
"Election fraud is not a myth.  If Indiana Democrats are serious about protecting elections they should start by following the law."
Other cases of Democrat election fraud have been uncovered in Muncie, Austin and Lake County in recent years.
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Pence Signs Bill to Safeguard Women's Health

Abortion Bill
(Photo Courtesy of the Governor Pence's Office)
Indiana Governor Mike Pence today signed legislation into law he says will protect women's health. Senate Enrolled Act 371 says facilities that dispense abortion-inducing drugs must comply with standards for facilities that provide surgical abortions, and the drug cannot be administered after nine-weeks of pregnancy. The new law also requires the Indiana State Department of Health to post a brochure on its website, and requires Hoosier doctors who perform abortions to have the brochures available. In addition, a woman must indicate in writing that she does not want to view a fetal ultrasound and does not want to listen to the fetal heart beat.
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Warrant Leads to Pursuit

Lake County Sheriffs Police say a 34-year-old Calumet Township man is in custody after allegedly fleeing from officers trying to serve a warrant at this home this morning.  Lake County Sheriffs Department Spokeswoman Patti Van Til says the pursuit led officers into a wooded area, and a K-9 unit and the sheriffs helicopter were brought out. Authorities say the 34-year-old man was taken into custody without incident about 40 minutes later in the vicinity of 42nd and Rutledge. 
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Fatal Crash on SR 149

Porter County Sheriffs Police responded to a fatal crash early this morning. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says 24-year-old Tera Ross of Valparaiso was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials say her vehicle crossed the center line and struck a utility pole on State Road 149 about a mile north of US 6 and Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris was dispatched shortly after 1:30 am
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Gary Shooting Investigated

Police in Gary continue to investigate a shooting Saturday where a man suffered a graze wound to his chin from gunfire. Police say the victim was on 19th Avenue at Grant Street around 2:45 in the afternoon when a vehicle pulled up next to him, and someone inside fired shots at him. Police say he drove himself to a hospital for treatment of his injuries.
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Indy, Chicago Areas on 'Most Dangerous' List

Four areas of Chicago and two on the north side of Indianapolis are among the top 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in America according to real estate search website NeighborhoodScout, which looked at FBI data to assemble the rankings. Some common threads they found - high poverty rates and vacant buildings. The top three neighborhoods were all outside Detroit.
A couple of neighborhoods outside Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, also made the list, but not a single city on the western half of the US, including a giant like Los Angeles, showed up. New York and DC didn't make the list either.
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Region Gas Prices Up

Gas price averages for Illinois and Indiana are continuing on a high streak. Illinois and Indiana drivers are currently paying on average, $3.91 and 3.67 respectively for a gallon of regular unleaded. While much of the rest of the U.S. has dropped in prices, Illinois, Indiana and the Midwest prices are increasing. Illinois averages are currently the highest in the continental U.S., and with a price of $4.32, Chicago has the highest city average in the continental U.S. Triple-A Chicago Motor Club says as Midwest refineries switched over to use a summer blend of gasoline, the markets were much more sensitive to unexpected disruptions in production such as the recent storms and flooding.
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