Valpo Employee Food Drive Now Through 11/11

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City of valpo
The City of Valparaiso is currently conducting its “City Employee Food Drive”, which runs through November 11th. The food collected will be distributed to nearby food pantries for local families for the holiday season. You can drop off food items or financial donations at Valparaiso's Town and County or Strack and Van Til on Saturday, November 9th. Residents can also give at Valparaiso City Hall anytime through November 11th, during normal business hours, 8:30am to 4:30pm.  If you would like to make a financial contribution or give after business hours, you may contact Jeffry Van Syoc, city employee and organizer of the food drive at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  ...

Read more: Valpo Employee Food Drive Now Through 11/11


Revenue in Indiana Down Compared to 2012

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Revenue for the state of Indiana failed to meet expectations during the first third of this budget year. From the July through October period, income tax revenue came in four-point-nine percent less than during the same period a year ago, totaling 76-point-six million dollars and the corporate tax revenue and riverboat wagering tax revenue were down about twice what was anticipated. Overall state revenue was down one-point-five percent compared to last year, at 64-point-five million.
On the bright side, October revenue came in at nine-million dollars above what was forecast, totaling one-point-zero-five billion, but that is still down three-point-three percent from what was taken in in October of 2012. ...

Read more: Revenue in Indiana Down Compared to 2012


Bears Fan Charged with Tazing His Packer Fan Wife

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A Chicago Bears fan has been charged and could face up to 6 years in prison, after allegedly tazing his Packer fan wife following a bet on the Monday night football game. ABC News reports Wisconsin Bar owner Chris Neu says its started as a friendly bet between the man and his wife... "Everybody walked outside, and she assumed the position on the wall. She put two hands on the wall. And he walked behind her and zapped her on the butt." He says the first two shocks were consensual...But the third time set his wife off. "She was talking to people, and he had come out of the bathroom, and he snuck up behind her, and he goosed her with it one last time." They got into a fight, she called police. John Grant is now charged with illegal possession of an electric weapon. ...

Read more: Bears Fan Charged with Tazing His Packer Fan Wife


Safe Family Travel Enforcement Blitz 11/8-12/1

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Indiana State Police logo
Indiana State Police are joining approximately 250 other law enforcement agencies across the state to make the upcoming Thanksgiving Day Holiday travel period safer. The annual “Safe Family Travel" campaign effort begins tomorrow and continues through December 1st. Law enforcement will be conducting high visibility enforcement efforts, including check points and saturation patrols, targeting drivers and unrestrained motorists.
Please help do you part to make the Thanksgiving Holiday travel period safe by observing the following safety rules:
-  If you are planning to travel make sure you are well rested, a fatigued driver is a dangerous driver
-  Avoid tailgating; remember the two-second rule
-  Make sure everyone is buckled up
-  Put down the electronic devices and drive
-  MOVE OVERr emergency and highway service vehicles...

Read more: Safe Family Travel Enforcement Blitz 11/8-12/1


Longtime Highland School Board Member Dies

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larry vassar
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A longtime Highland School Board member died this morning. The Times reports 78 year old Larry Vassar, who spent 32 years as a school board member, reportedly died in his sleep. According to the article, Vassar was a strong community supporter who loved his church and the town. The school board has 30 days to fill the remaining 13 months left on Vassar's term. Those who maybe interested are asked to contact the Highland School Board....

Read more: Longtime Highland School Board Member Dies


Westville Correctional Center Employee Arrested

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Joseph Altemus
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office)
For the second time this week a Westville Correctional Center employee has been arrested. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office reports 26 year old Joseph Altemus, of LaPorte, was arrested Wednesday on a warrant for one-count of dealing a controlled substance, in this case hydrocodone, which is a felony. The warrant had been issued as a result of an investigation initiated by the LaPorte County Metro Operations Unit.
On Monday, a 51 year old Michigan City woman employed as a corrections officer at the prison was arrested for allegedly trafficking to prisoners. Prison officials did not disclosed what was being trafficked, other than saying the item was not an illegal substance. ...

Read more: Westville Correctional Center Employee Arrested


I-65 Lane Restrictions In Lake County Friday

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Indot Logo color
I-65, between US 30 and US 231, will have lane restrictions in place starting tomorrow in both the north and southbound lanes. INDOT reports crews will be patching stretches of the roadway requiring the closure of the driving lane of northbound and southbound I-65 in this area. Drivers are being asked to remain especially alert in this work zone due to the heavy congestion in the area....

Read more: I-65 Lane Restrictions In Lake County Friday


Valparaiso Man Charged with Rape and Incest

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A 41 year old Valparaiso man was arrested Wednesday night on numerous felony charges, including rape and incest. Valparaiso Police say on October 28th, the victim's mother and grandparents informed police of an incident that had occurred this summer, between the victim and the suspect. Police investigated and learned of two separate incidents where the suspect had sexually battered the victim. The suspect is charged with two-counts of criminal confinement, two-counts of incest and two-counts of rape and at last check was being held in the Porter County Jail. ...

Read more: Valparaiso Man Charged with Rape and Incest


Lake Co Salvation Army Red Kettle Kick-Off in Highland

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The Salvation Army of Lake County is celebrating the start of the holiday season this evening (Thu Nov 7) at their Red Kettle Campaign Kick-Off Ceremony at Strack and Van Til, 9632 Cline Avenue, Highland, at 5 pm. The event will include a musical performance by The Salvation Army East Chicago Youth Band and Singing Company and hot chocolate for everyone. 2013 Lake County Advisory Board Chair Tom DeGiulio, Munster Town Manager, will kick off the campaign. The evening will wrap-up with the lighting of a six-foot tall red kettle. The event is free and open to the public. The Red Kettle campaign generates nearly 70-percent of the funds used year-round to provide programs and services to those in need. The iconic red kettles will hit the streets in Lake County Friday, November 8th. This year's goal for Lake County, Indiana, is 940-thousand dollars....

Read more: Lake Co Salvation Army Red Kettle Kick-Off in Highland


Lake Co Govt Workers to Be Honored for Military Service

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In Crown Point, about one-hundred veterans of the Armed Forces will be honored in a special ceremony, Friday November 8, 10am, leading up to Veterans Day.  Those veterans are all Lake County Government employees, men and women who have served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, representing a total of nearly five-hundred years of combined service, that includes wars and conflicts that span a half-century, from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan. They'll be individually recognized at the Lake County Government Center at 93rd and Main in Crown Point, in the Auditorium of Building "B", and Ray Guiden, Service Officer in the Lake County Veterans Service Office, told the Region News Team the public is invited.  The veterans are employed across over twenty different offices of Lake County Government. You can hear our interview today with Ray Guiden at News  Audio on Demand here at our website.

Read more: Lake Co Govt Workers to Be Honored for Military Service


Highland Town Council President Leaving

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The town of Highland will have a new councilman soon. Town Council President Brian Novak has resigned, citing a decision to focus on his professional career. Novak, representing the 4th ward on the community's northeast side, has been on the Highland council for six years. Highland Democrat precinct committeemen will need to gather for a special election to fill Novak's vacancy. [Photo/Town of Highland]...

Read more: Highland Town Council President Leaving


Hobart Chamber Names Next Executive Director

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The Hobart Chamber of Commerce has announced Dawn Duty will be their next Executive Director.  Mike Adams will retire from the position at the end of the year after seven years of service.  Duty, whose term begins January first, has over 25 years of non-profit professional experience that includes the Boys & Girls Clubs, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and Kids Alive International. Duty was born in Chicago and lived in suburban Chicago until her family moved to Northwest Indiana ten years ago. The Hobart Chamber of Commerce says Duty and her husband and their teenage son live on a small rural horse ranch in Porter County. 'I look forward to serving the City of Hobart and the Chamber of Commerce,' says Duty. 'Hobart has great history and this warm vibrant City continues those traditions with potential for economic and community development. I look forward to being a part of your team!'  [Photo courtesy/Hobart Chamber of Commerce]...

Read more: Hobart Chamber Names Next Executive Director


Issues Reported with Indiana Welfare Website

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Problems with Indiana's welfare website. A spokesman for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration told the Indianapolis Star that Hoosiers who receive food stamps and other benefits have been unable to get information on the status of their cases for the past couple of weeks. Clients have been advised to call a toll-free number, 1-800-403-0864, or visit Division of Family Resources offices in the meantime. The website itself is running, but no word on when the specific site issues would be resolved. ...

Read more: Issues Reported with Indiana Welfare Website


Former Library Director Sentenced to Probation

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In Hammond Federal Court, former East Chicago Public Library Director Manuel "Manny" Montalvo was sentenced this week to 24 months probation, including four months of home confinement after pleading guilty to providing false information on his 2009 federal tax return. Court records say he was accused of falsely listing business and medical expenses for which he'd already been reimbursed by the board. The sentencing followed a plea deal reached in August....

Read more: Former Library Director Sentenced to Probation


Semi Accident Sends Driver to Hospital

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In south Lake County today, an early morning roll over crash on northbound I-65 between Lowell and Crown Point sent one person to the hospital. Indiana State Police report the driver stated around 4:30 this morning he reached down for a drink between the driver and passenger seat, and when he looked up the semi had drifted off the road, and when his tires hit the gravel he lost control and the semi overturned. The windshield had to be broken out to get the 36-year-old driver identified as Jeffrey Keel from Mayville, Wisconsin, out and he was taken to a local hospital with a large wound to his head that was said to be non-life-threatening. Police say he was wearing a seat belt.  The Freightliner was loaded with produce coming from Florida City, Florida, to Lemont, Illinois. No load was lost. The right lane of the interstate was closed for about three hours. The driver was cited for Unsafe Lane Movement and Log Book Not Current.  [Photo/Indiana State Police]...

Read more: Semi Accident Sends Driver to Hospital


Two Democrats in Race for Lake Co Assessor

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Two Democrats are now running for Lake County assessor in 2014. Schererville Town Councilman Michael Troxell this week announced plans to run for the post. Last month, Lake County Councilman Jerome Prince of Gary announced his campaign for county assessor.
Lake County began this week with a newly-elected county assessor. 46-year-old Jolie Covaciu of Cedar Lake was selected in a county Republican caucus of precinct committee members Friday to fill a post formerly held by the late Hank Adams. Adams passed away early last month at the age of 77 shortly after stepping down from his elected post for health reasons. Covaciu is Lake County's first female county assessor. Adams was the first Republican elected to a countywide seat in Lake County in over half a century. ...

Read more: Two Democrats in Race for Lake Co Assessor


Ind Dunes Natl Lakeshore to Conduct Prescribed Fires

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The National Park Service is planning four prescribed fires this Fall at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, across a total of about 550 acres, as part of the park's long-term restoration efforts.
Two are planned near the city of Portage. One includes 73 acres in the West Beach area north of the West Beach Entrance Road. An additional 125-acre fire will be conducted in cooperation with the Ogden Dunes Volunteer Fire Department on the west side of Ogden Dunes along the north side of US Highway 12. Park officials say the Ogden Dunes burn will reduce the threat of wildfires in the community by reducing available fuels on National Park Service and Town of Ogden Dunes lands.
The Dune Ridge Trail prescribed fire, in the east end of the National Lakeshore, will be burned in the area of East State Park Road and Lake Front Drive. These 262 acres will help in creating a buffer to lower the threat of wildfire in the Town of Beverly Shores. Additionally, habitat for wildlife and native plans will be improved. An additional 190 acres will be burned to improve plant and animal habitat in the area of Furnessville Road and US Highway 12.
The prescribed fire program at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is conducted by trained and experienced National Park Service fire personnel. Smoke dispersal is a primary concern and park staff will do everything possible to limit smoke in the area by monitoring wind and atmospheric conditions prior to ignitions. However, smoke drifting in and around park lands and roadways is possible.
Before burning, a designated set of conditions must exist including ideal air temperature, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity. Weather conditions will be monitored throughout the duration of the burn to ensure the fire is completed safely.  [File photo/National Park Service]...

Read more: Ind Dunes Natl Lakeshore to Conduct Prescribed Fires


State Atty General Attends Ribbon-cutting in NWI

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Greg Zoeller
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller joined Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas, Porter County Sheriff David Lain, the owners of Prompt Ambulance Service and others in a ceremony to unveil a new ambulance dedicated to Porter County Triad at Prompt Ambulance's Valparaiso base on Wednesday, November 6, 2013.

Porter County's Triad is an important resource for area seniors that Attorney General Zoeller said is the coming together of people to help seniors who, "need a little more protection  because they are vulnerable in a lot of ways."   Zoellers added, "I think we all owe a duty to serve those people who have really been the generation to lead us."
Ron Donahue, Business Development Director for Prompt Ambulance says the company hopes this newest ambulance addition will help promote the triad's "unique programs available to seniors in our area."  Donahue said Prompt has other ambulances in their fleet dedicated to the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society and Supporting Heroes.
Ribbon cut
(The ribbon is cut on the lattest addition to the Prompt Ambulance fleet that will promote the Porter County Triad)
Mayor Costas, who is seen in the above photo cutting the ribbon with Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, Porter County Sheriff David Lain, Prompt Ambulance owners Gary and Shar Miller, officials with Porter County Triad, logo designer, IVY Tech Valpo student Courtney Anderson and other officials, says the Triad is a unique partnership.
The Porter County Triad is a partnership of law enforcement, area seniors, senior health care providers, clergy, social service organizations, and state and local agencies . Triads not only help with elderly related medical issues Zoeller said Triads also partner with his office to in "educating older adults about scammers to offers programs to assist according to a press release for the attorney general's office. 
Mayor Costas (pictured above) told Region News that when it comes to helping with the needs of the area's aging adults that it's important to stay focused, "on preventative measures because that's always the best stop the problem before it exists and that is what Triad is doing."
According to Donahue, a triad must be first approved by the county's sheriff department and Porter County Triad is only one of 22 county triads in the entire state, an honor not lost on anyone at the dedication ceremony.
PC Sheriff David Lain
Indiana Porter County Sheriff David Lain (pictured above speaking with L-R Ron Donahue of Prompt, Chris Behrendt of Porter County Triad, and company co-owner Gary Miller and Linda Gurgel of Porter County Triad), said with attorney general Greg Zoeller attending the ambulance dedication ceremony attests to the fact that the triad is "something to be trusted."  "Seniors know that they are being preyed upon and so top have the power of the attorney general's office and local law enforcement , it gives (seniors) that comfort level," according to Sheriff Lain. 
Lain said that the ambulance being unveiled at the ceremony, "is going to be a beacon...for everyone around Northwest Indiana...people will see that Triad logo on the side of the ambulance, and that will say so much more than we ever could say as individuals."
Courtney Anderson
The look of the new Porter County Triad decaled ambulance was conceived by IVT Tech Community College's design class student Courtney Anderson (pictured above).
Susan Perry's design class at IVY Tech's Valparaiso campus partnered with Prompt for an ambulance design project.  Anderson said that the students were each given a different assignment that would allow the student to put in their own designs and her design was picked from all the others.  She said that "we were given a list of things that we had to specifically put on the ambulance and I made sure everything was on there."  The design student added, "I just had to put it in the right place to make everything look nice."
She wants to make sure that when people see her design they know that it is Porter County Triad she added, "it's important, I mean Prompt is supporting them."
You can hear Wednesday's entire ribbon-cutting ceremony online by selecting the News Audio On Demand link at:
(photos: courtesy of Jay Stevens/Radio One Communuications)


Read more: State Atty General Attends Ribbon-cutting in NWI


Kubina's Prison Sentence Upheld

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Kubina Choate
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
The 35 year prison term for 48 year old Kimbery Kubina was upheld today by the Indiana Court of Appeals. Kubina was the step-mother of Christian Choate, the 13 year old boy whose body was discovered buried in a shallow grave at a Gary mobile home park in 2011. The Times reports Kubina claimed the judge improperly assessed her position of trust and did not account for her suffering as a victim of spousal abuse, ignored her mental illness and remorse. According to the article, the 48 year old witnessed the violent attacks on the boy but never told authorities. She also assisted the boy's father, Riley Choate, who is currently serving an 80 year prison sentence, in burying the body. ...

Read more: Kubina's Prison Sentence Upheld


LaPorte Man Accused of Indecent Exposure

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LaPorte PD
Police in LaPorte are investigating an incident of indecent exposure in the 13-hundred block of Kingsporte. Police report the victim informed officers she had arrived home from shopping, just after noon, on Tuesday, and while unloading items, looked over at her neighbor's house and observed a man in the front window completely nude and masturbating. The victim says she then called a friend and informed her of what happened. The friend arrived and advised officers she walked past the suspect's home and witnessed the same thing. Police report the 26 year old man, described as a heavy-set white male, denied the allegations, saying his cat pulled down a sheet being used as a curtain in the bathroom, so he jumped out of the shower to replace it and both women may have seen him by mistake. A review of charges has been forwarded to the LaPorte County Prosecutor's Office....

Read more: LaPorte Man Accused of Indecent Exposure


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