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One of the last few surviving actors to portray Munchkin characters in the classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” has died. Margaret Pellegrini, the Flowerpot Munchkin, had been a regular at the Wizard of Oz Festival in Chesterton, and was in the Region just last year for the Oz Fest. A spokesman told media outlets that she died Wednesday after suffering a stroke at her home outside Phoenix. Pellegrini was 89.
Valpo Chamber President Rex Richards announces that Julie Gaskell has been promoted to the position of Executive Vice President. Gaskell, who joined the Valpo Chamber in 1998 as a part-time employee, performs numerous administrative duties for both the Valpo Chamber and Valparaiso Economic Development Corporation.
"Gaskell has been an outstanding employee who has been involved in most all of the programing and operational matters of the Chamber," says Richards. "She plays a very pivotal role in the broad range of programs and functions of the entire organization. Gaskell previously served as Vice President of Operations.
"Julie has always placed the mission of the organization paramount in all that she does for the Chamber and has helped enormously in building a culture of excellence for the Valpo Chamber," adds Richards. Gaskell is a graduate of Defiance High School and attended Defiance College, Defiance, Ohio. She moved to Valparaiso in 1993. She and her husband Kurt live in Valparaiso and have two sons.
Held on January 30, 2013, the Point-in-Time Homeless Count is a requirement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for every community receiving federal funds for programs to aid the homeless. The count must be conducted every two years during the last two weeks of January. In Indiana, IHCDA, the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP), and the South Bend Continuum of Care conducts counts covering all 92 counties in Indiana on a yearly basis.
"The Point-in-Time Count is essential in assessing homelessness in our state," said Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, who chairs the IHCDA Board. "While not directly affecting the amount of federal funding allocated to the state, we can utilize the information to further develop our collective statewide efforts to end homelessness in Indiana."
Representing a three percent decrease from last year, 6,064 individuals were without a home on January 30th. The individuals made up 4,375 households which is a four percent increase from 2012, but an overall decrease of three percent from 2011.
Demonstrating the largest decrease was the total number of households with dependent children falling 23% to 739. Conversely, there was a ten percent increase in the number of households without dependents. IHCDA cites the increase may be due to more couples living together who are homeless who do not have children or their children are currently not living with them, as a contributor for the bigger number.
Despite the increased partnership with the Veterans Administration and the ability to access rental subsidy programs like the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing voucher program, the number of homeless veterans increased by 12% to include 743 adults.
However, additional assistance for Indiana’s Veterans is on the way. On Thursday, July 11th Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eric K. Shinseki announced the award of nearly $300 million in grants to 319 community agencies nationally that will help approximately 120,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. The federal funds were awarded to private nonprofit organizations and consumer cooperatives that provide services to very low-income veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing.
In Indiana, a record five awards totaling $3,179,218 were granted to four Indiana non-profits: Volunteers of America (who received two awards), Community Action of Northeast Indiana, Lafayette Transitional Housing Center, and InteCare, Inc. The funds are projected to impact 58 unique counties and 958 households throughout the state.
Even with these improvements, IHCDA and statewide partners remain focused on working together to systematically preventing and ending homelessness for those most vulnerable in our communities. It will not be accomplished quickly, but by identifying an individual's or family's barriers to self-sufficiency and targeting the most appropriate housing solution, the hope is to minimize the number of people that enter the homelessness delivery system and the duration of time they spend in it.
The homeless population by category includes: homeless with children, homeless without children, and subpopulations including chronically homeless, unaccompanied youth, veterans, domestic violence victims, persons with severe mentally illness, chronic substance abuse, and/or persons living with AIDS.
Totals for the 2013 PIT Count include:
6,064 individuals comprising 4,375 households were homeless during the last week in January 2013.
Of the 6,064 individuals found and identified as experiencing homelessness, 688 were unsheltered and found on the street and 5,396 were staying in emergency shelters, safe havens or in temporary transitional housing programs.
3,602 households were persons without dependent children.
1,543 were under the age of 18 years old.
1,116 of the adults counted were women fleeing from domestic violence.
743 of the adults counted were veterans.
739 households were with dependent children.
503 identified themselves as being characterized as "chronically homeless."
16% of the adults counted identified themselves as suffering from a chronic addiction.
13% of the adults counted identified themselves as having a severe mental illness.
Source: Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority...
Brand new at the Lake County Fair-- Bunco Night -- hosted by Radio One Communications/107.1 The Z at the Radio One Communications Showcase tent last night.
It's part of a week full of happenings at the Radio One Communications Showcase tent.
Coming up this weekend... Bags will be flying at The Radio One Communications Bags Tournament this Saturday at the Lake County Fair. Teams from across the Region will be competing in doubles action for a prize package worth one-thousand dollars and bragging rights as Lake County Fair Champions.
The 35-dollar entry fee for the 64-team, double-elimination tournament benefits the American Cancer Society. The action will start at 4pm this Saturday at the Radio One Communications Showcase Tent. Space is still available! Those interested are urged to sign up today at Indiana105.com... 1071TheZ.com... or XRock1039.com.
With its concrete seats, bowl shape, and railroad tracks along the southern edge, Brickie Bowl was built as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in the late 1930s.
Greer says more information is available at http://garycsc.k12.in.us/bus-transportation.asp regarding bus transportation, if parents cannot attend either the forums, or the meet-and-greet events to kick off the school year. To hear more of our interview with Greer on this and other topics, click News Audio On Demand at http://www.regionnewsteam.com.
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(Photos Courtesy of the Gary Youth Leadership Council)
In Gary today, grade schoolers and teens took the first step in Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson's challenge to young people in Gary to remove all the city’s graffiti. Youth Services Bureau Director Ken Patrick Barry says about forty youth, ranging in age from ten to nineteen, came out today to help clean up graffiti on 8th and Broadway and 6th and Massachusetts. Young people also picked up litter beginning at the railroad tracks and ending at 5th and Broadway. Barry says they're working on setting up another cleanup day, plus working in partnership with Progressive Unity Church and Gary Youth Leadership Council, in creating a graffiti hotline for residents.
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Two 12 year old girls were taken into custody today by LaPorte Police on charges of receiving stolen property and curfew violation and were transported to the juvenile services center. LaPorte Police report they received a call today, in the area of the Roselawn Apartment Complex, of two young females possibly breaking into vehicles. Police say the girls were located at West 10th and K Street, carrying large bags, with one girl having a large amount of cash hanging out of her shirt, who both later admitted to breaking into vehicles and that their bags contained over one-thousand dollars in property from the vehicles parked in the apartment complex. If you, or someone you know was a victim of a vehicle break in at the Roselawn Apartment Complex, contact the LaPorte Police Department Detective Corp. Brian Phillips at (219) 362-9446 Ext. 205.
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Another crash involving a semi and passenger vehicle has the right lane closed eastbound on the Borman (I-80/94) near Kennedy Avenue. This crash had occurred within 50 minutes of an earllier semi/car accident further down the eastbound lanes. That earlier crash had closed the three right lanes just past Burr Street. Drivers should consider taking the Indiana Toll Road or some other alternate to eastbound I-80/94.
(photo for INDOT)
A crash between a semi and a passenger car that occurred shortly after 4:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon has closed the three right lanes eastbound I-80/94 (Borman) just past the Burr Street exit. INDOT says traffic is backing up from nearly the state line. Expect long delays eastbound on I-80/94 from near the state line to just after Burr St.
(photo from INDOT)
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A Gary Housing Authority employee was shot in the neck by a pellet gun, just before noon today by a passing vehicle. Gary Police Lt. Delmar Stout says the man was taken to Methodist Hospital in Gary for his injuries, after the incident took place in the two-thousand block of Main Street, at a Dorie Miller Public Housing unit, about 11:45am. Lt. Stout says two males in a small compact vehicle were seen heading westbound on 21st Avenue. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Alex Jones, at (219) 881-7477.
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The town of Griffith reports the Lake County Health Department has notified them of a positive result of the West Nile Virus was found during routine testing. Officials report the mosquito was collected on the west side of town and that immediate steps have already taken place to eradicate the species of mosquito. No known cases of the West Nile Virus have been reported being transferred in humans or animals anywhere in the region this year. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, there have been two positive results of the virus found mosquito pools in Lake County in 2013, with one reported positive result in Starke County this year. For more information on the West Nile Virus, visit http://www.state.in.us/isdh/23592.htm.
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- Indiana's Infant Mortality Rate Ranks 47th Out of 50 States
- Ten Valpo Neighborhoods Take Part in Nat Night Out
- Sand Dune Rescuers to be Honored
- Missing Man Found Dead Near Interstate
- July State Revenues Below Target
- New Mental Health Resources for Cook Co Jail Inmates
- Hammond Man Gets Life in Prison, Again, on Murder Conviction
- 2014 Indiana Official Roadway Map Released
- Final Market in the Park in DeMotte for 2013 on 8/7
- Police Investigating Murder-Suicide in New Carlisle
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