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Slick Roads, Accidents in Northwest Indiana

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INDOT reports the right lane of northbound Interstate 65 was closed near Ridge Road due to a crash.  A medical helicopter reportedly flew at least one injured person from the crash scene. Roads are slick and snow-covered.  Police have responded to other accidents overnight in Northwest Indiana....

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Info Sought to ID Driver in Chicago Heights Hit and Run

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Cook County Sheriff
A 53 year old man remains in critical condition after he was struck by a vehicle on Saturday in unincorporated Chicago Heights. The Cook County Sheriff's Office reports the man was struck at 6pm on 26th Street, near Euclid Avenue. The Sheriff's Office reports the man was walking westbound on 26th Street, along the edge of the road, behind another man, when the incident occurred. A gray, passenger side-view mirror, consistent with that of a Ford Taurus, was discovered near the victim. Anyone with information regarding this hit-and-run is asked to contact the Cook County Sheriff's Police Investigations Unit at (708) 865-4896.  ...

Read more: Info Sought to ID Driver in Chicago Heights Hit and Run

 

2 Indy Men Arrested in Chesterton for Attempted Theft

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Two men from Indianapolis have were arrested Friday night in Chesterton and charged with felony attempted theft. The Times reports Chesterton Police were alerted by management of Autozone, in the 700 block of Indiana Boundary Road, of two men trying to return merchandise without a receipt. According to the article, management had just received a call from the Autozone in Michigan City of two men attempting to return a car starter with no receipt that reportedly belonged to a Texas man. A search of the suspects vehicle yielded warranty information on hand-written notes along with Autozone receipts. ...

Read more: 2 Indy Men Arrested in Chesterton for Attempted Theft

 

Opportunity Enterprises 5th Largest Employer in Porter Co

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Opportunity Enterprises is now the fifth largest employer in Porter County. The company today announced they recently hired their 500th employee and in the past five-months, 70 new staff positions have been created and filled, with more growth anticipated for 2014. The company reports a continued demand for services and the closure of the ARC of Northwest Indiana's group homes has led to the employment opportunities. Opportunity Enterprises now serves over 11-hundred children and adults with disabilities at locations across northwest Indiana. For information on employment, visit http://www.oppent.org/about/employment/...

Read more: Opportunity Enterprises 5th Largest Employer in Porter Co

 

Teens Arrested for Shooting at Homes and Vehicles

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Kelly Cline
(Photos Courtesy of Michigan City Police.
Above: Kelly Cline. Below: Richard Cambe.)
Richard Cambe
In Michigan City, two 18 year old men and a 15 year old male juvenile were arrested after numerous reports of homes and vehicles being damaged by shots from BB guns. Police report they started receiving calls on Saturday and Sunday, but no suspect information was available until a pizza delivery driver reported his window was shot out just before 9pm in the 600 block of East Barker Avenue. Officers later that night located a vehicle described as the possible suspect vehicle and three adults and the juvenile were taken into custody. Kelly Cline, of Michigan City, Richard Cambe, of LaPorte, and the juvenile, who appeared to have a non-life-threatening wound consistent with being shot with a BB gun and who received medical attention, are all charged with felony criminal recklessness and misdemeanor criminal mischief. A third adult male in the vehicle was later released after police report he was found not to be involved. Anyone with any additional information is asked to contact Michigan City Police. ...

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UPDATE: Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident in Lake Station

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A 25-year-old Hobart man was killed in a motor vehicle accident that occurred Sunday night in Lake Station in the 38-hundred block of Liverpool Road. The Lake County Coroner's office says John Garcia, Jr., suffered blunt force trauma and was pronounced dead at approximately 12:30 this morning at St. Mary Medical Center's emergency room. Lake Station Police report Garcia, the lone occupant of the vehicle, drove off the roadway, hit a NIPSCO pole, a tree and finally stopped when it struck a house, which it knocked off its foundation. Fire crews at the scene had to extract Garcia from his vehicle. ...

Read more: UPDATE: Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident in Lake Station

 

Warrant Issued for 3rd Suspect in Death of Pregnant Teen

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eva casara
A man wanted in connection with the Christmas night shooting of a pregnant Calumet City teen in Dolton may reportedly turn himself into authorities today according to the Times. Dolton Police report they have been in contact with the man's attorney and that a warrant has been issued for his arrest. Police report 17 year old Eva Casara's  death allegedly stems from a drug deal between her, her boyfriend 16 year old Anthony Lee, his brother 21 year old Diante Coakley, and their sibling, who were reportedly planning to rob a drug dealer from northwest Indiana. Casara, who was five-and-a-half months pregnant, died the next morning due to a gunshot wound to the head and at last check her baby remains hospitalized. Lee and Coakley have each been charged with murder and authorities continue to search for the alleged drug dealer. ...

Read more: Warrant Issued for 3rd Suspect in Death of Pregnant Teen

 

Light Snow and Cold Temps Expected Tonight

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More snow for parts of the Midwest. Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Center, says they expect some light accumulation -- for example, snow -- maybe a little bit more than light, when you get into Iowa and into parts of northern Illinois.   The National Weather Service in Chicago says, in northwest Indiana, expect light snow after sunset until around midnight with a total accumulation of a few tenths to around one-inch expected.

...

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Former Ind Congressman Andy Jacobs, Jr., 1932-2013

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Former Democratic Indiana Congressman Andy Jacobs, Jr., passed away Saturday night at his home in Indianapolis. A former Marine, Jacobs was a combat infantryman in the Korean War. Jacobs was elected to represent Indiana's Eleventh Congressional District in 1964, which later was redistricted into the Tenth District, lost his seat in 1972, then regained it two years later, serving in the US House of Representatives until retiring from Congress in 1997. Jacobs was 81. 
Granger, Ind. – Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement on the passing of former Congressman Andy Jacobs:
“I am saddened to hear of the passing of former Congressman Jacobs. I enjoyed getting to know Andy over the years, and his decades of tireless service to the people of Indiana is an example I try to follow. Jill and I send our thoughts and prayers to Kim, Andy Jr., Steven, and all of Andy's family during this difficult time.”
Indianapolis - Indiana Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement:
“Andy Jacobs, Jr.'s contributions to the life of our state and nation are incalculable and I mark his passing with a sense of personal loss. Andy Jacobs personified the kind of principled and compassionate leadership that Hoosiers most admire and he will be greatly missed. 
Before serving a long and illustrious career as a member of the United States House of Representatives, Andy Jacobs served his nation in the United States Marine Corps as a combat infantryman.  Upon his return from military service, he dedicated the next three decades of his life to public service. Andy Jacobs served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives in 1959-1960. Later, he was elected to represent Indiana’s Tenth Congressional District in 1964, serving in the same Indianapolis Congressional seat held by his father in 1948-1950. 
During his early years in Congress, Representative Jacobs helped to write the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Representative Jacobs was known for his tireless efforts to improve the lives of America’s senior citizens by enhancing the Social Security Administration and the Medicare program.
Throughout his career, Representative Jacobs was recognized by colleagues on both sides of the aisle as a champion for his principles and a man of impeccable character.
When Representative Jacobs retired from Congress in 1997, he left a legacy of leadership and a reputation for integrity among his peers and the people that he served. 
On behalf of my entire family, I express our deepest sympathies and prayers to his family, his wife Kim, and to his two sons during this difficult time. God bless you, Andy Jacobs. Your compassion and servant leadership left Indiana and our nation better for you having been here.  You will be sorely missed and your many contributions to Indiana will be remembered always.”...

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Cell Phone Detection Program Introduced

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The Indiana Department of Correction has announced a new program aimed at combating cell phone trafficking in Indiana’s prisons.  The Cell Phone Detection K-9 Program has successfully completed its pilot phase, training two cell-phone-sniffing dogs at the Pendleton Correctional Facility and Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.
Photo: (from Indiana Department of Correction): Officer Jarod Collenbaugh and K-9 Dixie search a housing unit at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.
Corrections officials say cell phones are among the biggest challenges prison officials face today, and cell phone detection K-9s are the latest tool for sniffing out the problem. “In the hands of offenders, cell phones not only threaten the safety and security of our facilities, but can also pose a serious threat to the public,” stated IDOC Commissioner Bruce Lemmon. “In many cases, offenders use them to circumvent prison phone monitoring systems, oftentimes to run criminal operations on the outside, plan escapes, facilitate acts of violence inside and outside of prison, communicate with gang associates, or traffic drugs and other contraband into our facilities.”
The Cell Phone Detection K-9 program pilot began in September 2013 with an intensive eight week training course developed by IDOC’s Emergency Operations Division, based off a similar program implemented by the GEO Group at the New Castle Correctional Facility. The training program began with basic fundamental detection work and handler skills, including obedience and socialization, then progressed to real working conditions. The handler and K-9 are trained in personnel searches, vehicle searches, area searches, and property searches.
Commissioner Lemmon added, “This issue has plagued states across the country, and the K-9 detection program has proven to be a cost effective solution to fighting the serious issue of illegal cell phones in prison.”
In 2012, 2560 cell phones were confiscated inside Indiana’s 20 adult correctional facilities. Monthly sweeps in cells around Indiana turn up anywhere from 50 to 60 cell phones. So far this year, the Department has seized over 1000 phones, which are often smuggled in by visitors or staff and can be sold for as much as $1200 on the inside.
The handlers and dogs were hand selected by the pilot facilities. Wabash Valley chose Officer Jarod Collenbaugh and K-9 Dixie, and Pendleton chose Officer Brantley Ferguson and K-9 Port.  All IDOC K-9s are donated to the Department and training costs are minimal training costs. The IDOC has future plans to implement this program statewide, placing a Cell Phone Detection K-9 in every IDOC facility.
...

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Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident in Lake Station

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In Lake Station overnight, police say a 25-year-old Hobart man was killed in a motor vehicle accident. The Lake County Coroner's office says John Garcia, Jr., suffered blunt force trauma and was pronounced dead at approximately 12:30 this morning at St. Mary Medical Center's emergency room. Officials say the crash occurred in the 38-hundred block of Liverpool Road....

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Illinois Woman Disappears in Indiana Flood Waters

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Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating the disappearance of a Des Plaines, Illinois, woman. Officials say 31-year-old Cathryn McGill was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by her husband, 35-year-old Adam McGill when their vehicle was swept off the roadway in flood waters on Highway 257 near the Pike – Daviess County Line in southwest Indiana. Adam McGill was rescued but his wife couldn' t be found. Search efforts that included bank searches, side scan sonar, canine searches, wading shallow water and dragging operations, concluded at dusk. Water-based search efforts were scheduled to resume this morning.  Responding agencies included Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, Pike County Sheriff’s Department, Harrison Fire Department, Jefferson Township Fire Department, Southwest Medical, Pike County EMS, Pike County EMA, Ohio Valley Search and Rescue, American Red Cross and Indiana Conservation Officers. ...

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Hobart Fire Battalion Chief Passes Away

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A 48-year-old Hobart firefighter who police say crashed his minivan into his home near Hebron earlier this month has died. Porter County Sheriffs Police say John Wall suffered severe burns to his face and hands in a domestic incident December 10th in which the van he was driving and part of the house caught fire. Wall, who authorities say was on leave from the fire department after allegedly threatening his wife with a gun last month, was a battalion chief in Hobart and had worked for the fire department for twenty years. Cause of death was pending an autopsy scheduled for today. Porter County Sheriffs Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry LaFlower said the family told police that Wall went into septic shock Saturday and was subsequently taken off a ventilator.  Tom Castle, president for the Hobart Firefighters Local 1641, said Wall was a hard worker who was held in high regard by the department and could have been Hobart's next fire chief....

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Police Say Icy Roads Factor in Fatal Crash

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The Lake County Coroners office says an 80-year-old Crown Point man was killed in a crash in the 75-hundred block of East 117th Street Sunday afternoon. Officials say Paul Plumer suffered blunt force trauma. He was transported to an area hospital where authorities say he died shortly after 3 pm. Lake County Sheriffs Police say shortly before 2:30 the man was heading west on 117th when his Buick LaSabre began to go left of center, then went off the road and struck a tree. Investigators believe icy road conditions contributed to the crash....

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Wintry Conditions Returning to the Region

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Wintry weather returning to the Region... with freezing rain, freezing drizzle, snow showers and bitterly cold temperatures all in our forecast. After relatively mild temperatures Saturday, temperatures are in the 30s today, and a Freezing Rain Advisory has been issued for much of northwest Indiana.  Meteorologists say freezing drizzle may result in a glazing of ice on area roads. Here's a look at the forecast at the National Weather Service Chicago website:  http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/...

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IDOT Bridge Inspections at Bishop Ford Over Little Cal

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The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)  announced that weather permitting, an inspection of the bridges at I-94/Bishop Ford Freeway northbound & southbound bridges over the Little Calumet River, 1.3 miles north of Illinois Route 83 in Calumet City, is scheduled today (Saturday, December 28, 2013). 
In order to complete the work,  lane closures on northbound and southbound I-94 (Bishop Ford Freeway) will be necessary. The left lane will be closed from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Motorists should anticipate delays and allow extra time for trips through this area. Motorists are asked to please obey the speed limit, observe closure signs and remain alert for workers.  Find details on other construction projects in IDOT’s District 1 at http://www.dot.state.il.us  IDOT says additional updates on the impacts to traffic are available at www.travelmidwest.com ....

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Melting Ice Falling From Hancock Building

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With the upswing in temperatures, a downtown Chicago hazard we're hearing about -- melting chunks of ice falling from the John Hancock building Friday night. Warning signs were posted and the affected area was blocked off by police....

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Dyer Man Gets Unexpected Deal from Delta

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Some travelers got quite a deal buying tickets on Delta Air Lines's website Thursday, including Milos Rokosz of Dyer, who ended up getting six tickets to Florida for about 29-dollars apiece. He tells today's Times he came across them on a website called Kayak-dot-com, a travel metasearch engine, then went to Delta's site to see for himself. Delta's online booking system offered double-digit, round-trip fares that were incredibly cheap, like New York to LA for 47 dollars, which would normally cost close to ten times that much. Word quickly got around on travel blogs, and the low prices started disappearing. Delta admitted it was a glitch, said it was fixed, and announced any tickets purchased at the incorrect prices would be honored. ...

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Cedar Lake Improvements Planned for 2014

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Infrastructure growth will be a focal point in Cedar Lake in 2014. During a recent Region Newsmakers interview, Cedar Lake Town Council President Randy Niemeyer says capital projects include the east side 133rd Avenue reconstruction, from Morse to Fairbanks Streets, which kicks off this spring. "It's an in-house funded project funded by our TIF district," Niemeyer said.  The pavement then from Fairbanks to Colfax, he said, will be completed . "Our entrance to the east side of Cedar Lake will be complete and it'll be beautiful. Our west side second phase of 133rd Avenue reconstruction from Industrial Boulevard to US 41 is going to be underway in the Spring and should be will be substantially completed by the end of October with all-new stormwater and sewer infrastructure and new pavement, a three-lane road."  The new three lanes of 133rd Avenue, from Morse to Fairbanks, are anticipated to be completed by the 4th of July. To hear more of our Region Newsmakers interview with the Cedar Lake Town Council President, visit Region Newsmakers here at our website.  ...

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Michigan Man Killed on Interstate 94

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Overnight, Indiana State Police say a man from Sawyer, Michigan, was killed when he stepped out in front of an oncoming car on I-94 in Porter County. Troopers say a preliminary investigation revealed that at about 1:15 am, 36-year-old Bradley Miner for unknown reasons parked his Jeep Wrangler on the shoulder of the expressway at the 29 mile marker, which is just east of the westbound truck scales, and stepped out in front of a car traveling in the middle lane. Police say Miner was pronounced dead at the scene and the motorist, a 25-year-old Gary man, was uninjured. The right, middle and entrance ramp to the scales were closed until approximately 4-o'clock this morning. ...

Read more: Michigan Man Killed on Interstate 94

   

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