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State Sen. Ryan Mishler, Bremen (Photo provided)
Northern Indiana lawmakers are urging the federal government to repeal a new excise tax on the sale of medical devices in the United States, the tax is a provision of the new federal health care law, the Affordable Care Act. The Indiana Senate has approved a resolution authored by Columbia City State Representative Kathy Heuer and sponsored by Bremen State Senator Ryan Mishler to that effect. Mishler says Warsaw, Indiana, is commonly known as the Orthopedic Capital of the World, and the tax would hurt residents of his district. The medical device industry is a strong component of Indiana's economy and employs 26-thousand Hoosiers. “Firms like Biomet, Zimmer, DePuy, Medtronic, Orthopediatrics and supporting companies account for $11 billion of the world’s $38 billion orthopedic industry and employ 13,000 people. I sponsored this resolution in an effort to preserve this great industry in Indiana,” Mishler said. A copy of House Concurrent Resolution 51 can be found at Mishler's website, www.in.gov/senator.mishler by clicking on the 2013 Legislation link
Griffith businesswoman, 76 year-old, Mary Austgen.
Police Chief Mance said one of those suspects, the same man appearing in the surveillance photos released shortly after the crime, was identified as 57 year-old Ralph Perez Martinez of south suburban Alsip, Illinois. Mance said with additional publicity about the case Martinez became the main suspect, which lead to a search warrant of his residence and subsequent arrest and charges.
The Lake County Prosecutor's office this afternoon returned charges of Murder, Robbery and Criminal Confinement against Martinez for "acts that occurred Mary Austgen during the evening hours of march 28th, 2013."
Chief Mance revealed that the suspect, a mechanic by trade, had been a past tenant at property owned by Austgen in the 800 block of E. Main Street in Griffith. Meanwhile, Mance said the investigation is no longer pursuing information about the black sedan seen other security photos picking up the suspect at the Majestic Star Casino, as the driver has cooperated with police and is no longer a person of interest in the investigation.
The victim's son, Jeff Austgen spoke at the press conference saying the family was "elated" that the suspect was in custody. But Austgen also said that the family had gone through a lot emotions including "glad he's (the suspect) apprehended" and "sad the next minute" because "it doesn't change what has happened." He also expressed the families appreciation, thanking, "the press, people out there that have extended offers to us to help us anyway they can. It's been great." He added, "it really make think there are still good people out there."
Mance said investigators are still seeking a motive in the case and the missing two rings the victim reportedly was wearing the night of her murder and photos of which have been featured by the media. Chief Mance asks that if anyone has information about the movements and actions of Martinez in the days before and after the murder of Mary Austgen, and in particular the two rings taken, are asked to contact the Griffith Police Department's non-emergency line; 219 924-3141, the Griffith Police Tip Hotline 219 922-3085 or Gary Police Detective, Lorenzo Davis at 219 881-4738.
Griffith Police Chief, Greg Mance at today's press conference at Griffith Town Hall
Murder victim's son, Jeff Austgen expresses the family's appreciation of the media and public for making the suspect's arrest possible
Griffith Police Chief, Greg Mance (center), victim's son, Jeff Austgen (left) among investigators at today's press conference announcing the arrest on three charges including murder of their main suspect, Ralph Perez Martinez
The murder investigation's prime suspect, 57 year-old, Ralph Perez Martinez of Alsip, Illinois seen in rear seat leaving the Griffith Police Station and being transported to Lake County Jail.
(photos courtesy of Jay Stevens)
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There are 3 options for obtaining mulch and compost:
- Residents may self-load the materials for free at two locations. Self-loading locations and hours are: Valparaiso Compost Site (2150 West Lincolnway) - Monday – Friday, 9 am - 5 pm and Saturday, 9 am - 4 pm, and Department of Public Works (406 Don Hovey Drive) – Monday – Friday, 7 am - 4 pm and Saturday, 7 am - 3 pm. Please bring your own shovels and containers.
- Bulk loading is available for any Porter County resident or business at the Public Works location only (406 Don Hovey Drive, Monday – Friday, 7 am – 3:30 pm and Saturday, 7 am – 2:30 pm) Public Works will load your pickup or open trailer. Mulch is free and compost is $10.00 per cubic yard for residents/non-profits and $15.00 per cubic yard for businesses.
- Delivery is provided by Valparaiso Public Works to those Valparaiso residents inside the city’s garbage service area only. (There is no delivery service provided to County residents outside the city service area.) The price for delivered mulch is $15 per cubic yard to homes and non-profits, and $20 per cubic yard to businesses. Minimum for delivery is two yards and must be arranged in person at the Public Works office during regular office hours, Monday through Friday, 7 am to 4 pm. The homeowner must sign a permit for delivery and pre-pay by cash or check. In most cases delivery will occur on the following business day. At this time Public Works is requesting residential delivery be limited to 10 cubic yards.
(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office)
Authorities are investigating the disappearance of a 16 year old Cedar Lake girl. The Lake County Sheriff's office reports Skylar Burgess was last seen at the Lake County Public Library, Cedar lake Branch, on March 21st. Skylar Burgess is described as a white female, 5'8'', weighing 120 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. The Sheriff's Department reports Burgess has some ties out of state, particularly in South Jordan, Utah, and had no money or cloths with her when she was last seen. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to please contact the Lake County Sheriff's Office. For more information visit, http://www.facebook.com/USAsMissingKids/posts/581377941880194. The Lake County Sheriff's Anonymous Hotline number with information is 800-750-2746.
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Three juveniles have been arrested on felony charges after a burglary in LaPorte County this morning. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office says a witness reported the incident just before 10am, in the 12-hundred block of Goldring Road, and observed the suspected vehicle flee the area. Authorities report the vehicle was located several minutes later, driving erratically along County Road 400 North, near U-S Highway 421, and continuing onto westbound I-94 at a high rate of speed, until it crashed into a semi and came to a stop at the Lake/Porter County line. The Sheriff's Office says the 17 year old driver from Gary fled on foot, but was captured shortly thereafter, while a 16 year old female passenger from Merrillville was taken into custody without incident. Officials say both are charged with felony burglary, and that a 17 year old LaPorte juvenile has been charged with aiding, causing and inducing a crime.
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Multiple reports of a 3-car accident in the Hobart area at County Road 130 and 600N; all lanes blocked. Emergency crews on scene. No further information is available at this time.
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(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office)
Authorities have officially charged an Alsip, Illinois, man with multiple charges, including murder, in the death of a Griffith businesswoman last month whose body was found at a parking garage at the Majestic Star Casino in Gary with a fatal gunshot wound shortly after 2 am on March 29th. At a press conference this afternoon, Griffith Police Chief Greg Mance says 57 year old Ralph Martinez is being held at the Lake County Jail at last check, and was the suspect in the highly publicized surveillance photos. Police say Martinez was a one-time tenant of Mary Austgen, who was evicted a year or two ago. Authorities say several tips from the public helped lead to the arrest, and Austgen's son, Jeff, thanked the public and media for their help. An investigation continues.
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Indiana Dunes State Park will offer a program on the life and times of Indiana’s amphibians, Saturday, April 27, at the park’s Nature Center at 2 p.m. CDT.
The program will feature the various frogs, toads and salamanders that inhabit the marshes, swamps and bogs in the state, and present information about the unique life changes they undergo each year. The program will be presented by Spencer Cortwright, an Indiana University Northwest professor.
“Our frogs and other amphibians are popular indicators of our own conservation efforts,” said Brad Bumgardner, park interpreter. “Knowing and understanding their life stages and population helps us gauge our own environmental successes.”
The program is free after paying the standard state park entrance fees. For more information call the nature center at (219) 926-1390.
Indiana Dunes State Park is at 1600 North 25 E. Chesterton, 46304.
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(Photo Courtesy of the Governor's Office)
Indiana Governor Mike Pence today joined lawmakers and representatives from veteran advocacy groups to sign into law a bill which expands veteran-owned small business opportunities in Indiana. The new law arranges an executive order by the Governor that requires the Department of Administration to procure at least three-percent of state contracts with veteran-owned small businesses and requires them to adopt rules, develop polices, and set forth guidelines regarding contract opportunities. The law also allows the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to assist the Department of Administration in various aspects of the veteran-owned small businesses initiative.
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https://myoracle.in.gov/hs/damage/ia-public.do?method=active&incidentId=IA20130419121922, and for those without internet can call 219-755-35-46.
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Apr 25 |12:47
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Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who had sought a ten-percent reduction, called the agreement reached between his administration and legislative leaders for a 5 percent income tax cut... along with repeal of the inheritance tax ...and additional tax relief for businesses... a “great victory” for Hoosier taxpayers.
[Photos from Indiana State Police]
A three-vehicle crash in northwest Indiana overnight claimed the life of a semi driver and sent a Valparaiso man to jail on drunk driving charges. Indiana State Police say a preliminary investigation revealed at about 2 am, a semi driver was on 911 calling in an alleged drunk driver on eastbound I-94 a couple miles west of the Indiana/Michigan state line. Troopers say the semi- driver activated his four-way emergency hazard lights as he was talking to 911. The station wagon was reportedly going on and off the road anywhere from 25 to 60 miles an hour, before stopping in the right lane, where the driver got out and started walking around. The semi stopped behind the suspect car, and the driver got out to talk to the driver of the Audi, and as the semi driver was climbing back into his semi, another semi struck his rig.
Police say 52-year-old Steven Lunn of Olympia Fields was pronounced dead at the scene of massive trauma, and the the suspect driver, identified by Indiana State Police as 47-year-old Howard Gutenstein, was not hurt and had an alleged blood alcohol content of point-13. He was jailed on charges of Operating While Intoxicated causing Death, a Class C Felony and Endangering, a Class A Misdemeanor. Police say the driver of the first semi, 37-year-old George Leeth Sr. of Hammond, was hospitalized with what police say were non-life-threatening injuries. Police say the first semi was hauling perishable food and the second semi, ethanol, but no load was lost from either.
Indiana State Police are investigating an armed robbery early this morning at the BP Gas Station at 1 South Toll Plaza, which is on the eastbound Indiana Toll Road in Portage. A preliminary investigation revealed that at approximately 3:30 a.m., a male subject described as black, 6’ 2”, wearing a gray hoodie, dark jeans, and black tennis shoes, came around the counter inside the gas station and brandished a knife at the attendant. Troopers say the employee received non-life threatening wounds to their forearm, and the suspect took about six-hundred dollars, fleeing on foot to a lot on Plaza Road in Portage, then possibly fleeing in a vehicle. Some evidence was recovered at the scene. Anyone who may have any information about this robbery is asked to call Trooper Ronald Davidson at the Indiana State Police Toll Road at 574-206-2931.
The Kingsbury Ordnance Plant Employment Office in La Porte County is one of the new additions to the latest edition of Indiana Landmarks 10 Most Endangered List. Much of the ammunition fired by the allies in World War Two was manufactured at that plant, and its employment office was created by John Lloyd Wright, inventor of Lincoln Logs and son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The building has been vacant for decades. [Photos provided by Indiana Landmarks]
The prospects of seven places on last year's list improved enough that Indiana Landmarks removed the critical label, including the House of Tomorrow in Beverly Shores, which the group says has a chance at restoration with an agreement in the works between Indiana Landmarks and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
From Indiana Landmarks:
Kingsbury Ordnance Plant Employment Office
“In World War II, the allies fired millions of rounds of ammunition, much of it manufactured in a sprawling compound eight miles south of LaPorte. Built beginning in 1940, the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant employed more than 20,000 people during the war years, nearly half of them women. Every shell filler on the assembly lines passed through the Kingsbury Employment Office created by John Lloyd Wright, inventor of Lincoln Logs and accomplished designer of International-style buildings. The son of Frank Lloyd Wright lived in Long Beach, Indiana, from 1923 to 1946. Vacant for decades, the Employment Office needs a buyer who’ll renovate and use the landmark, appreciating its design and role in our national story.”
Since the first 10 Most Endangered list in 1991, Indiana Landmarks counts 12 losses among 92 historic places in severe jeopardy that have appeared on the list. The 2013 10 Most Endangered list includes seven new entries and three landmarks making repeat appearances.
New on the list:
• Anderson Athletic Park Pool, Anderson
• Bowen House in Delphi, overlooking Deer Creek
• Brookview-Irvington Park Historic District and State Boulevard, Fort Wayne
• Eagle Cotton Mill, Madison
• Flanner House Homes Historic District and Phillips Temple, Indianapolis
• Kingsbury Ordnance Plant Employment Office, Kingsbury
• Walkerton Church, Walkerton
Repeating from 2012 list:
• Harmony Way Bridge, between New Harmony and White County, Illinois
• Old Clarksville Site, Clarksville
• The Pantheon Theatre, Vincennes
The third edition of the Indiana Department of Correction's “Indiana Cold Case Homicides Playing Cards” was released this week and they're being distributed at state prisons and to police across the state. The cards profile 52 unsolved homicides and missing persons cases each featuring information and a photo of the victim. Officials hope the cards may jar an inmate's memory or provide a clue that, when combined with other information, might provide the break investigators need to solve a case. The latest edition includes seven homicide cases out of Northwest Indiana, two from Lake County, one from La Porte County, and four cases in Newton County that include three people yet to be identified. You can view the cards online at this link: http://www.in.gov/idoc/3280.htm
- 'Pink Moon' Lunar Eclipse
- Merrillville Drainage Project to Begin
- Schererville Denies Home Gunsmithing
- GPS Signs to Help Runners and Responders
- Portage Bomb Threat Suspect Arrested
- Fatal Crash Closes EB 94 Overnight
- 95 Volunteers Teamed Up 2 Clean Up Last Saturday
- Windom Gets 50 More years in Prison
- General Assembly Approves Rural Health Bill
- Aldi Granted Abatement for Proposed Expansion
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