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Authorities Incinerate 105lbs of Unwanted Medicines

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(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office)

Authorities in LaPorte County announced today that on Friday they incinerated 105 and a half pounds of unused medicines that had been collected in their pill drop boxes since late April.  Pill drop boxes provide a means for citizens to dispose of unused or unwanted medicines and prevent them from entering the environment in landfills and water systems, as well as prevent experimentation, addiction, overdose and death.  A reminder though that only solid medications are accepted at the drop off boxes, which can be found in the lobbies of most sheriff's offices and police departments, while liquids are to be disposed of in cat litter or coffee grounds and then placed in a trash bin.  Needles are to be placed in a sealed container, such as a detergent bottle, and taken to the proper facility, which in LaPorte County, is LaPorte County Solid Waste, in LaPorte.
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15 year Old Valpo Boy Killed in Motorcycle Crash

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A 15 year old boy was pronounced dead at the scene of a fatal motorcycle crash Sunday.  Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says his office was dispatched to the area of County Road 130 South, 600 West, in Valparaiso, at 6:15am, where Vincent Canzoneri had been heading north when he lost control of the dirt bike and skidded into a wooded area on the west side of 600 West.  Harris says drugs and alcohol are not believed to be a factor in the crash.
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Man Injured After Falling 20ft in Tree Stand Accident

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Indiana Conservation Police
A reminder from Indiana Conservation Police to hunters, always wear a safety harness, this after an a 50 year old man was injured after falling 20 feet while attempting to install a tree stand Sunday afternoon.  Authorities say the Marion man was treated for impact injuries to his legs, as well as serious lacerations to his midsection.  Conservation officers say other witnesses were present when the incident occurred, but that the man was attaching the stand himself.  Officers say always have at least two people working together to raise a stand, always inspect your equipment prior to setting it up, and again, always where a safety harness when your feet are not firmly planted on the ground.

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US Marshals Service Fugitive of the Week: Eric Johnson

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Eric Johnson
(Photo Courtesy of the US Marshals Service)

A 20 year old man wanted in Lake County Court for felony attempted murder with a firearm is this week's US Marshals Service, Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force, “Fugitive of the Week”.  Authorities report Eric Johnson, who is also wanted for felony aggravated battery and felony battery, is described as a black male, 5'06”, weighing 145 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, who was last known to reside in the 21-hundred block of Delaware in Gary.  Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Eric Johnson may contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411). All tipsters will remain anonymous.
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Reminder: Watch for Children and School Buses

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Many schools in the region and across the state have already begun, which is why Indiana State Police are reminding motorists to watch out for children in school zones and waiting to board buses, especially in the early morning hours.  Motorists are also reminded that whenever a school bus arm is extended that you are required by law to stop. State Police want to remind parents to emphasize the danger zone immediately surrounding the school bus and to encourage your children to carry all articles in a back pack or book bag and never chase after dropped items.  Westville Schools are scheduled to begin today with even more slated to start next week. 
Parents should also remind children of these school bus safety tips:
•Wait for the bus in a safe place away from traffic. •No horseplay at the bus stop.
•Wait until the bus and other traffic comes to a complete stop before approaching the bus.
•ALWAYS CROSS IN FRONT OF THE BUS, THE DRIVER SHOULD ALWAYS BE ABLE TO SEE YOU.
•When on the bus remain seated and talk quietly so the driver will not be distracted.
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26 Year Old Gary Man Run Over by Coal Train Sunday

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A 26 year old Gary man was found dead on the railroad tracks on the property of NIPSCO's Michigan City Generating Station Sunday morning.  NICTD Transit Police report Randall Williams was run over by a coal train and an investigation continues as to how the man  gained entry to the rail yard.  No further information is available at this time.
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Lane Closures on US 41 in Newton County This Week

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NEWTON COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces lane restrictions on U.S. 41, between State Road 10 and State Road 14, beginning Monday, August 19th through Thursday, August 22nd. At least one lane in each direction will be maintained on U.S. 41 throughout the project. Crews will perform a chip seal operation to preserve the road surface. Please note: this project is dependent on dry weather and may be delayed if conditions aren’t ideal.
The chip-seal process consists of distributing a liquid asphalt emulsion on the roadway and covering the liquid asphalt with crushed stone to provide a new wearing surface. Chip-sealing extends the life of a roadway by protecting it from moisture, ultra-violet degradation, and any other damaging exposures.
Drivers should exercise caution during these projects. Loose stone will be present on the roadway during the initial cure of the asphalt and can damage windshields and paint on vehicles that may be following each other too closely. It is recommended when travelling on a recently chip-sealed road to slow down and allow additional space between vehicles.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, like us at www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and follow us at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
You can find traffic restriction information at www.trafficwise.IN.gov.  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.

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SR 312 Closed This Week in EC for Rail Crossing Repairs

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EAST CHICAGO, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the closure of State Road 312 at the railroad crossing in East Chicago between Huish Drive and Grasselli Street beginning Monday, August 19th through Friday, August 23rd. Crews will be repairing the railroad crossing.
A detour will take eastbound SR 312 traffic north on U.S. 20 (Indianapolis Blvd), east on U.S. 12 (Columbus Dr), south on SR 912 (Cline Ave), and back to SR 312. Westbound SR 312 traffic will be detoured north on SR 912 (Cline Ave), west on U.S. 12 (Columbus Dr), south on US 20 (Indianapolis Blvd), and back to SR 312.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, “like us” at www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and “follow us” at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
You can find traffic restriction information at www.trafficwise.IN.gov.  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.

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Detainee Awaiting Sentencing Dies of Natural Causes

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Cook County Sheriff
A 64 year old Cook County detainee convicted of murder in December 2012 died of natural causes Friday at the jail.  Sheriff Thomas Dart reported on Saturday that Percy Banks, who was being held at the jail while awaiting sentencing for a 2007 murder, was found unresponsive in his cell Friday afternoon.

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IL Man Killed Sunday in Gary at Food Mart

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A 28 year old man was killed Sunday at the Virginia Street Food Mart in Gary and the death has been ruled an apparent homicide.  The Lake County Coroner's Office reports Mihid Abutemeh, of Oak Lawn, Illinois, was pronounced dead just after 1pm, due to a gunshot wound to the chest.  Gary Police, Lake County Sheriff's Police, and the Lake County Coroner's Office are investigating.
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Gary Man Suspect in alleged Burglaries in Portage

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Police may have disrupted a string of thefts from inside parked vehicles occurring in the Portage area with the arrest of a Gary man. 

A 33-year old and an 18 year-old woman reported various items, including cell phones a checkbook and laptop computer, taken early Thursday morning from inside vehicles parked at their residences.   Portage Police received an eye-witness report of two black males attempting to gain entry into a neighbor's parked vehicle.  An officer en route to an unrelated call observed a subject matching the description of one of the subjects walking south bound on Swanson near the intersection of McCasland.  The subject was detained and found to be wanted in Lake County for a felony burglary charge. 
Police reports say the man identified as 20 year-old, Jirrell C. Dotson of the 300 block of Hayes Street in Gary, was arrested and transported to Porter Count Jail where he faces D Felony theft charges as well as the B Felony Lake County Warrant.  The other suspect reportedly remains at large and is described as male, black, 5'-8" to 5'-10" tall with thin build and wearing a blue or black "hoodie" and baggie pants.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the Portage Police Department at (219) 762-3122.
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Friday Night Crash Takes Life of Hammond Man

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The identity of a man killed in single-car crash in Hammond Friday night has been released.  A press release from the Lake County Coroner's office says the man identified as 59 year-old, Dan Pirkowski of the 7400 block of Baring Parkway, suffered blunt force trauma when his car reportedly struck a pole. According to an article in the Times, the coroner received a call at 8:50 p.m. about an accident at 3300 Michigan Ave. in Hammond.  No other information is available at this time.    


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Crown Point Bulldogs are World Champions!

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Cal Ripken World series logo


The Crown Point Bulldogs are the reigning 2013 Cal Ripken World Series Champions.  During the championship game, Crown Point beat the Knights from Kingsbridge, New York by a score of 5 to 4 Friday night at the Hammond Optimist Youth Sports Complex.  According to the Times, the Knights were among eight teams from around the country that made the trip to the Region to play in the tournament.  The host team, the Hammond Optimist Squad, lost to Crown Point in the semifinals.


The tournament is named for Calvin Edwin "Cal" Ripken, Jr. who is consideed to be one of the best major league shortstops and third basemen in baseball history.  According to WIkipedia, Ripken, who spent his entire major league career with the Baltimore Orioles, is perhaps best known for breaking Lou Gehrig's 56 year-old record for consecutive games played, a feat many thought impossible.  Cal Ripken, Jr. was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.


Read more about the big win at:  http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/hammond/fans-cheer-on-the-winning-bulldogs/article_3ee9e73d-52e2-5502-97a9-de5080456e77.html

(photo from:  https://www.facebook.com/Hammond201312uWorldSeries )


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State Supreme Court Voids Region Twins Adoption

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Despite an Indiana Supreme Court Ruling backing "a fit parent's constitutional rights," a  5-0 decision on Friday could result in the removal of ten year old twins from the only home they've ever known. 
According to the Times, when they were 18-months of age,  the twins were removed from their natural mother's home for unknown reasons by the Department of Child Services and placed with a foster family.  According to court records, their natural father is unknown and in 2008, the Jasper County child services office won county court approval to terminate the parental rights of the natural mother--a decision the mother appealed.  During the course of the appeal, the foster parents went ahead and formally adopted the twins, who according to the article, have been living with them for three years.  Two months after the adoption went through, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision to terminate the natural mother's parental rights.  The court found that DCS did not satisfactorily show that continuing the parent-child relationship would threaten the twins' well-being.  The high court has ordered a new adoption hearing be held in Jasper County where the natural mother can make her case as to why the twins belong with her.   The court also urges agencies, lawyers, judges and others involved in the adoption process to change their procedures so no Hoosier children are ever again put in a similar position.
Read more about this story at:  http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/jasper/indiana-supreme-court-ruling-could-pull-twins-from-adoptive-home/article_d6cf992e-3d53-5faa-a726-33fb152acf0e.html
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Back-to-School Checklist for Students with Asthma

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American Lung Assoc. logo


As summer winds down, Northwest Indiana area families are preparing for the new school year. A new school environment can sometimes be difficult for children with asthma.

This back-to-school season, the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago features tips for families of children with asthma and stresses the importance of crafting a plan to properly manage asthma in a school environment.


“Before shopping for back-to-school supplies, parents of students with asthma should first consider their child’s health for the time that they spend under the supervision of school personnel and in the school environment,” said Meghan Miller, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago. “They should work closely with their healthcare provider and school personnel before the school year begins to put a plan in place for good asthma control in the classroom.”


Asthma is one of the most common chronic childhood disorders in the nation, affecting an estimated seven million children under the age of 18; specifically 20,000 Chicago Public School (CPS) students are affected by asthma (5% of CPS student population). It is also one of the primary illness-related reasons that students miss school, accounting for more than 10 million lost school days each year.


Asthma is the third-leading cause of hospitalization for children under 15. In 2011, more than half of people with current asthma experienced at least one episode, or attack—with children 39 percent more likely than adults to have an asthma episode.
The onset of a new school year also marks the beginning of the cold and flu season. Influenza poses a special health risk to children with asthma, as these children often experience more severe symptoms. The American Lung Association strongly recommends that all children—especially those with asthma—be immunized against influenza

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In preparation for the school year ahead, the Lung Association in Greater Chicago urges parents who have children with asthma to complete the following checklist:


¨  Step 1 – Learn about asthma
Learning about asthma is easy. The American Lung Association has many free resources to help you and your child learn how to keep asthma in good control. Well controlled asthma is the key to helping your child stay healthy and active.
î  Visit www.lung.org/asthma to learn about asthma and asthma management. Be sure to watch the short animation What is Asthma? to learn what happens in the airways during an asthma episode.
î  Asthma Basics is a 50-minute online educational tool for people with asthma or anyone who provides care for someone living with asthma. It teaches how to recognize and manage asthma symptoms, how to identify and reduce triggers, how to create an asthma management plan and how to respond to a breathing emergency.
î  Visit Lungtropolis along with your 5-10 year old child. You’ll find action-packed games designed to help kids control their asthma—plus advice for parents.


¨  Step 2 – Talk to the school nurse
A visit or phone call to the school nurse should be your next step. Together, you and the school nurse, along with your child’s healthcare provider, can work to reduce asthma triggers and manage symptoms while in school.
î  Ask the school nurse to explain and provide all of the required forms you and your child’s healthcare provider need to sign and complete, including an asthma action plan.
î  All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow children to self-carry and use their asthma inhalers while at school. Each law is different; visit www.breatheatschool.org and click on your state to learn more.
î  Discuss your child’s asthma triggers and steps to reduce them in the classroom.
î  Ask about the school’s asthma emergency plan, and if coaches, teachers and staff are trained in how to recognize asthma symptoms and respond to a breathing emergency.


¨  Step 3 - Schedule Asthma Check-up
Each school year should begin with a visit to your child’s healthcare provider for an asthma check-up. This check-up is the best time to make sure your child is on the right amount of medicine for their asthma, to fill-out any forms required by the school and to create an asthma management plan as described in Step 4. Kids with asthma should visit their healthcare provider every three to six months, depending on how often your child is having symptoms.
The Lung Association website provides helpful hints on how to talk to your healthcare provider and make your medical visits more satisfying.


¨  Step 4 - Develop an Asthma Action Plan
An asthma action plan is a written worksheet created by your healthcare provider and tailored to your child’s needs. The plan includes a list of their asthma triggers and symptoms, the names of their medicines and how much medicine to take when needed. The plan also explains the steps to take to manage an asthma episode and a breathing emergency. An asthma action plan should always be on file in the school nurse’s office and easily accessible to anyone who may need to help your child use their inhaler.


¨  Step 5 – Get a Flu Shot
On average, one out of five Americans suffers from influenza (flu) every year. Respiratory infections such as the flu are one of the most common asthma triggers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone over the age of six months get a flu vaccination. The best way to protect your family from the flu is for everyone to get vaccinated.


For additional information on asthma and children, including a downloadable version of this checklist with even more details, visit www.lung.org/asthma or call 1-800-LUNG-USA.


About the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago Our mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit http://www.lung.org/asthma....

Read more: Back-to-School Checklist for Students with Asthma

   

Blast Furance Goes Down at ArcelorMittal in EC

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No injuries were reported after a blast furnace went out at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor in East Chicago.  The Times reports the company is doing planned maintenance repairs earlier than scheduled in light of the outage and that repairs are already taking place.  According to the article, once the repairs are made, normal operations will resume and that shipments and customer demand are not anticipated to be impacted.
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ISP: Changes to Indiana's Methamphetamine Law

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Troopers working from the Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Suppression Section want Hoosiers to be aware of changes to the Indiana criminal code as it relates to methamphetamine. For most law abiding citizens the law will have little if any effect on their day to day lives. For people who have been convicted of engaging in activities related to the illegal manufacturing and use of methamphetamine, the changes to the law can lead to their arrest if violated. Officers want people to pay close attention to Indiana criminal code 35-48-4-14.5(h).  It states, in part, that a person convicted of one of the listed criminal offenses is prohibited from possessing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine within seven years of the person's sentence. They can obtain ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine if dispensed under a prescription.
** AS OF JULY 1st 2013 **
Indiana law regarding the Sale and Control of Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine: 
QUANTITY LIMITS 
A person may not purchase and a pharmacy may not sell to one individual: more than
(1) 3.6 grams of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, or both, on one day; 
(2) 7.2 grams of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, or both, in a 30 day period; or, 
(3) 61.2 grams of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, or both, in a 365 day period. 
(I.C 35-48-4-14.7(d) and (e)) 
POSSESSION BY A METH OFFENDER 
Prohibits a person convicted of one or any of the following charges: 
(1) Dealing in methamphetamine, 
(2) Possession of more than ten grams of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or 
phenylpropanolamine, 
(3) Possession of anhydrous ammonia or ammonia solution with intent to 
manufacture methamphetamine, 
Troopers Want to Make the Public Aware of Changes to Indiana’s Methamphetamine Law
(4) Possession of two or more chemical reagents or precursors with the intent to 
manufacture a controlled substance, 
(5) Unlawful sale of a precursor; 
from possessing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine within seven years of the person's sentence, unless dispensed under a prescription. 
(I.C.35-48-4-14.5(h)) 
UNLAWFUL SALE OF A PRECURSOR 
It is illegal for a person to sell, transfer, distribute, or furnish a chemical reagent or precursor to another person with knowledge or the intent that the recipient will use the chemical reagent or precursors to manufacture a controlled substance. 
(I.C. 35-48-4-14.5(g)) 
Citizens are encouraged to call their local law enforcement agencies with any information about the possession, distribution, or manufacturing of methamphetamine. Information can also be reported anonymously by calling the Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Tip Line at 1-800-453-4756.

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Lake Co Sheriff Dept Partnering with Gary PD

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Erik Gill
(Photos Courtesy of the Lake Co Sheriff's Office)

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich announced today that he is in partnership with the Gary Police Department to address the street violence occurring there due to gangs and drugs.  The Sheriff's Department Tactical Officers served a narcotics search warrant in the 15-hundred block of Pierce Street in Gary on Wednesday morning and arrested 48 year old Erik Gill Sr. on two-counts of dealing a controlled substance and maintain a common nuisance.  They also raided a residence in the four-thousand block of Jackson Street in Gary, and while no one was home at the time, authorities seized two A-K 47 assault rifles, a double-barrel sawed off shotgun, nine pounds of marijuana, almost 40 grams of crack cocaine and 66 grams of powder cocaine.
drugs 1  

Sheriff Buncich says they need the public's help to make a bigger impact to cleanup the neighborhoods, and ask citizens to contact their hotline number 1-800-750-2746, and assures potential tipsters that there is no call I-D associated with the hotline and all callers can remain anonymous.
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Traffic Advisory Issued for Weekend Events in LaPorte

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Traffic-Advisory
The La Porte Police Department is issuing a traffic safety advisory in relation to several events in La Porte this weekend.
- The weekend kicks off with the Mayor's Fitness Friday walk/ run/bike event. This weekly event is on Friday evening, August 16th, beginning at 5:15 p.m. 
Motorists are asked drive with awareness of runners & walkers on the route, which begins at Michigan Av./ Maple Av. (near the YMCA), and continues south on Michigan Av. to Beechwood Golf Course and back.
- On Saturday, August 17th, the 2nd annual Taste of La Porte will take place at the Chamber of Commerce Square & Historic Train Depot in the 400 Blk. of Michigan Av. The event is 3 p.m - 9 p.m.
Motorists should be aware of increased pedestrian traffic and some traffic/ parking congestion in the surrounding area.
- Also on Saturday is the annual La Porte County Blues Fest at the Dennis F. Smith Ampitheater in Fox Park. The event, sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #54 and SDY promotions begins at 12 p.m. and runs until 11 p.m.
Motorists should be aware of increased pedestrian traffic and some traffic/ parking congestion in this area as well.
To assist with traffic safety and ease of parking, a free shuttle will be available to transport patrons between the Taste of La Porte and the Bluesfest.

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Two More Heroin Arrests Made in LaPorte

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Benjamin Heiman
(Photos Courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office)
Amber Malstaff

 

The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office today report the 6th and 7th arrest made in the last two weeks involving heroin.  31 year old Benjamin Heiman was arrested at his home, in the three-hundred block of Niles Street in LaPorte, without incident on an outstanding warrant for two felony counts of dealing heroin.  The Sheriff's Office reports this afternoon LaPorte Police, assisted by the LaPorte County Metro Operations Unit, took 29 year old Amber Malstaff into custody, on an outstanding warrant for felony possession of heroin, after a traffic stop was initiated in LaPorte. Malstaff is being held without bond and authorities report additional arrests are anticipated.
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