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Delays on the EB Borman

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Heavy delays this midday on the eastbound Borman Expressway in Hammond from Kennedy Avenue back to the Indiana/Illinois state line.
The Indiana Department of Transportation says the right lane of eastbound I-80/94 is closed near Kennedy Avenue due to construction work. Expect delays as you travel eastbound on I-80/94 near mile 3.1.
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New State Auditor Named

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dwayne sawyer
Indiana Governor Mike Pence today announced Dwayne Sawyer as the new state auditor. Sawyer will finish former Auditor Tim Berry’s term, which runs through 2014.  Sawyer, who was most recently in software development for Positron, and has also worked for Roche Diagnostics, Dow AgroSciences and Eli Lilly, will become the first black Republican to hold statewide office in Indiana.  The swearing-in ceremony is this Monday [August 19] . Deputy Auditor Kirke Willing is serving as Auditor on an interim basis until then.  Former auditor Tim Berry left after being elected chair of the State Republican Party.
Elected to the Brownsburg Town Council in 2009, Sawyer became president of the council in 2012.
Active in local politics since 2005, Sawyer also serves as the Secretary of the 4th District Republican Committee. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Hendricks County Republican Party and serves on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Leadership Forum and is a 2009 graduate of the program.
Sawyer also sits on the Board of Directors for the Hendricks County Regional Health YMCA. In 2013, he was appointed by Governor Pence to serve on the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males. Sawyer graduated from Purdue University.
The Auditor of the State has four primary duties: accounting for all of the state’s funds; overseeing and disbursing county, city, town and school tax distributions; paying the state’s bills; and paying the state’s employees.

[Photo/Brownsburg Town Council]
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Judge Dismisses Lawsuit

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A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a nonprofit group in Lake County against portions of Indiana's immigration law. US District Judge Jon DeGuilio ruled that the state officials, prosecutors and sheriffs who were being sued have no role in enforcing the portions of the law East Chicago-based Union Benefica Mexicana sought an injunction against.   The lawsuit challenged two parts of the law -- one that lets the state recoup unemployment benefits from employers who knowingly hire illegal or unauthorized workers, and a provision requiring workers seeking day-laborer jobs to submit specific forms and requiring police to submit a complaint to federal immigration authorities if they have probable cause to believe the forms have not been filled out.
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Charges Pending in Standoff

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Porter County Sheriffs Police say charges are pending against a 45-year-old Jackson Township man who barricaded himself inside his home, prompting a standoff that lasted nine hours Wednesday. Authorities say shots were fired from inside the house on County Road 1050 North. Police say CS gas canisters were deployed into the house multiple times to try to get the man to come out.  The Porter County bomb robot and a tactical robot from Munster Police through the Northwest Regional SWAT Team were also sent inside, and police say the man was eventually subdued by less-lethal hard foam beanbag rounds.    Police say the situation started after officers arrived at the man's home to investigate an alleged battery against the suspect's father, who police say was treated and released for bruising and lacerations, and was on scene with authorities during the standoff.   Area residents were without power for a few hours when utilities were shut off as a precaution. Porter County Sheriffs Police thanked Liberty Township Fire for equipment at the scene and also for providing lighting when it got dark outside. 
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Gary Homicide Investigated

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Gary Police are investigating an apparent homicide.  The Lake County coroners office says 39-year-old Perry Johnson died from a gunshot wound at his home in the 200 block of Cleveland Street and was pronounced dead Wednesday night at a local hospital.

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Standoff Ends in Arrest

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A standoff in northeast Porter County ended after nine hours.  A 45-year-old Jackson Township man was arrested at about 9-o'clock last night after barricading himself in his home on County Road 1050 North.  Police say shots were fired from inside the home. Charges were pending. The suspect was reportedly taken into custody after at least one of the county sheriff department's bomb squad robots was sent into the man's house. Tactical officers had  fired tear gas into the home earlier. Authorities say the police situation started after officers went to investigate,  after the man's father went to a local medical clinic for injuries including knife wounds.

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Standoff in Porter County's Jackson Twp

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(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
The Porter County Sheriff's Office has closed off County Road 1050 North, between 350 East and 400 East, in Jackson Township until further notice.  The Times reports Sheriff's police went to a residence this afternoon on County Road 1050 North, after being notified a man residing there had allegedly battered his father.  According to the article, the man has reportedly barricaded himself inside the home.  No further information is available at this time.
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Gordmans Expands Into Valpo, Opening 7th IN Store

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A Nebraska-based apparel and home décor retailer will open a new store in Valparaiso this September, creating approximately 100 jobs.  Gordmans will open a 50-thousand square-foot store on September 26th, at Porter's Vale Shopping Center. A Grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for October 4th.  For information on how to apply for a position, visit http://gordmans.com/careers


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Pinnacle Entertainment To Acquire Ameristar Casinos

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Pinnacle Entertainment announced today they have completed the acquisition of Ameristar Casinos, including the one in East Chicago.  The acquisition is still subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission.  Pinnacle also owns the Belterra Casino Resort and Spa in southern Indiana.
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Red Cross Rewarding Blood Donors 8/26 Through 9/9

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With the arrival of Labor Day and the unofficial end to summer, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to roll up a sleeve and give blood or platelets to help ensure sufficient supplies over the holiday weekend.
Those who present to donate between Aug. 26 and Sept. 9 could win one of five $1,000 American Express gift cards, and all donors will walk away with the instant gratification that they may be helping to save more than one life.
“The summer may be coming to an end, but the work of the Red Cross is far from over,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO of the Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region. “As you make plans for this Labor Day holiday, please also make time to give blood and help patients who depend on your lifesaving donation.”
While thousands of people answered the call for blood and platelet donations issued by the Red Cross earlier this summer, an urgent need remains for platelets and types O negative, A negative and B negative blood. The summer months can be especially difficult to collect enough blood and platelet donations to keep pace with patient needs.
“Patients in local hospitals often can’t take a break to enjoy the holiday,” Whitman said. “But blood and platelet donors can give these patients a chance to enjoy this time with family and friends – simply by rolling up a sleeve.”
To help spur additional donations over the Labor Day weekend, all presenting blood and platelet donors between Aug. 30 and Sept. 2 will also receive a complimentary Red Cross T-shirt. Live a story. Give a story. Donate blood or platelets. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org/summer for more information and to make an appointment to help save lives.
How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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CR 1050N Between 350E and 400E Closed in Porter Co

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Traffic-Alert
The Porter County Sheriff's Office is asking motorists to please avoid County Road 1050 North, between 350 East and 400 East, in Jackson Township until further notice.  The Sheriff's office reports that location is currently closed due to police activity.  No further information is available at this time. 

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Authorites in LaPorte Co Make Another Heroin Arrest

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Jack Heitz
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)

The LaPorte County Metro Operations Unit continues to put the smack down on those who possess or sell heroin.  Authorities report their ongoing investigation into the sale of distribution of heroin in the LaPorte area has resulted in the fifth such arrest in the last week.  35 year old Jack Heitz was arrested without incident Tuesday at his home, in the six-hundred block of Roberts Street in LaPorte, on a warrant for felony possession of heroin and a misdemeanor charge of possession of paraphernalia.
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Authorities Seek Help to ID Dyer Burglary Suspect

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(Photos Courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office)

Suspect3
The Lake County Sheriff's Dept. is asking the public's help in identifying suspects involved in an early morning July 4th burglary in unincorporated Dyer, IN.  The suspects involved entered several residences in a neighborhood near the intersection of W 101st Ave and State Line Rd.  We have provided stills from surveillance video of one suspect and two vehicles possibly involved.  The suspect is described as a black male, medium complexion, heavy build, with a goatee.  The vehicles videotaped are believed to be an older model white Chrysler 300M, and a later model silver Dodge Avenger.  The Avenger is believed to have damage to the right front quarter based on surveillance footage.  Also, a white minivan, unknown make and model, has been described by witnesses to be involved.  If anyone has any information that could assist this investigation, please contact Det. Jeremy Kalvaitis at 219-755-3355, or 219-755-3334.

SilvCar

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Motorcyclist Injured in Crash

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Porter County Sheriffs Police say a motorcyclist was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries this morning after a crash on US 6 just west of Porter Regional Hospital at US 6 and Tanner Drive. Police say the man may have been airlifted to another facility.  
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Governor to Announce New Auditor

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Indiana Governor Pence will announce his selection for Auditor of State at a news conference Thursday. Pence accepted Tim Berry’s resignation as Auditor on Tuesday,and Deputy Auditor Kirke Willing started service as Auditor today on an interim basis. Berry was elected Chair of the State Republican Party on July 22, and assumed those responsibilities on a full-time basis today. He had served as Auditor since 2007.  
“We thank Tim for his service to the people of Indiana,” said Pence. “He put taxpayers first, implemented new financial accounting software and worked closely with local governments in his role as Auditor, and we are grateful for his contributions.”
Pence will announce the next Auditor of State at a press conference in the Governor’s office on Thursday, August 15 at 9:15 a.m. The Governor’s appointee will complete Berry’s term, which runs through 2014. The swearing-in ceremony is planned for Monday, August 19.
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Additional Hole Found at Mt. Baldy

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Researchers have found an additional hole at Mount Baldy. Supervisory Park Ranger Bruce Rowe from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore says it was about ten-inches in diameter in the surface of the dune, and maybe five feet deep, and resembled the size and shape of the hole described by family members of a young boy swallowed by sand on the giant dune last month. Rowe also says it had loose sand in the bottom, so it's possible it was deeper and some sand has filled it in somewhat.
To hear our interview with Bruce Rowe, visit News Audio on Demand here at our website.
Rowe also stresses that the hole that led to last month's rescue is NOT a sinkhole.  "While this is new to science and we don't know what to call it yet, we do know that it is not a sinkhole," Rowe said. He says a sinkhole develops when you've got rock underneath the surface that's eroded by water and then gives way. With no rocks under Mount Baldy, " this is some sort of different phenomenon than a sinkhole."
National Park Service officials say the newly-discovered hole, which was east of the one six-year-old Nathan Woessner child fell into, was not created by any human activity and is believed to have formed as a natural phenomenon, but, although similar, they can't say for sure yet whether it's the same kind as the one that opened up last month.  Additional equipment is being brought in today to collect sand samples from the hole. 
The samples could provide the dates of the sand deposition under this area of loose sand.
The National Park Service has developed an investigation team comprised of NPS geologists and hydrologists and university researchers from several disciplines.  The team will collectively make decisions about the progression of the investigation into the phenomenon associated with the conditions on Mt. Baldy.
The EPA conducted limited ground-penetrating radar (GPR) testing at Mt. Baldy on Monday, August 12, 2013 to initiate the park investigation. Park officials say it's hoped the GPR can provide a 3-D model of the dune (inside and out) as well as locate any anomalies within the dune that might require further investigation.
Additional testing and analysis of results will take weeks and the entire Mt. Baldy area will remain closed to the public until further notice. “We realize that many people would like to visit Mt. Baldy and we regret that the area is closed,” said park superintendent Constantine Dillon, “but the fact that we do not know what caused the original hole, and that a new hole has spontaneously appeared, reinforces our concern that Mt. Baldy is not safe for visitors at this time.”
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Multiple Crashes in Region

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Traffic-Alert
Police are responding to multiple accidents in Northwest Indiana this morning.
Shortly before 7:30am, authorities responded to an accident with injuries reportedly involving a motorcycle and car on US 6 just west of Porter Regional Hospital,  The crash is at US 6 and Tanner Drive and was blocking traffic in both directions.
Just before 8:30 this morning, on westbound US 30 in the Merrillville/Hobart area, we were told the left lane was blocked at Randolph with an accident.
On the Indiana Toll Road, an overturned semi was blocking the Exit 49/La Porte ramp. 
On the Borman Expressway, multiple vehicles collided near Burr Street and Cline Avenue earlier this morning. Those vehicles have since been cleared.
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New Security Measures for Portage Schools

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When classes begin for students at Portage Township schools one week from today (next Wednesday August 21st),   some new security measures will be in place.  The district spent about 180-thousand dollars over the summer to reconfigure entrances so visitors go directly to an office. Guests still have to be “buzzed” in, but before the changes, some of the entryways allowed you to get into a building without seeing anyone from the school first.
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Gary Officials Discuss University Park

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Gary officials want to transform the area known as Glen Park that includes Indiana University Northwest, the Gary Career Center and Ivy Tech  into University Park.  At a public forum at Gary Christian Center last night residents got a look at  draft plans for revitalizing a seven-and-a-half square mile area bordered by the Borman to the north and Ridge Road to the south, with I-65 on the east and Grant Street to the west.  State lawmakers have signed off on a 45-million dollar performing arts venue at 35th and Broadway to replace IUN's former Tamarack Hall, and have approved studying the feasibility of a trauma center at IUN.
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Upcoming Projects in Whiting

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Residents packed the Whiting Community Center last night to hear Mayor Joe Stahura talk about a number of upcoming projects, including development of what the city is calling the Stadium District, an area north of 121st Street and east of Schrage Avenue.  The city is also considering leasing the Whiting Community Center to the YMCA for a-dollar a year so the Y could take over operating costs to help make up half-a-million dollars a year in losses from the center.   The red brick structure at Fishrupp and  Clark Streets was built in 1923 by the Rockefeller family and Standard Oil and was deeded to the city by Amoco Oil in 1977.
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