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Arrest Made in Overnight Shooting

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La Porte County Sheriff's Police say a 23-year-old Gary man has been arrested in connection with a shooting overnight at a Michigan City-area apartment complex. Deputies responded shortly before 1 am to Woodland Crossing in the 300 block of Woods Edge Drive in reference to shots fired. Within minutes Michigan City Police officers located the suspect vehicle in a nearby housing complex, and the suspect was taken into custody without incident. The suspect has been preliminarily charged with Criminal Recklessness, a class "C" felony. Authorities say the victim was treated for a bullet wound to his lower back. Officials say the case came to a quick resolution as a result of a collaborative effort between the Michigan City Police Department and La Porte County Sheriff's office....

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Times Managing Editor to Head Bishop Noll

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A longtime Region newsman is leaving The Times Media Company to become president of Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond. Managing Editor Paul Mullaney is a 1977 graduate of Noll, and his new job becomes effective January 6th. The 54-year-old Mullaney has been with The Times for 23 years.  [Photo/Times]...

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Cyber Monday Shoppers Reminded of 'Use Tax'

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Another Cyber Monday is in the books, and the Indiana Department of Revenue has this reminder.  Shoppers are advised to check to see Indiana sales tax was collected with online and/or catalog purchases yesterday as well as any day of the year.  If it wasn't, Indiana residents are required by law to pay that same seven-percent state sales tax as a "use tax".   “Use tax is essentially a seven percent tax on any purchases where the regular Indiana sales tax was not collected. If you make a purchase and the online or catalog retailer does not collect Indiana’s seven percent sales tax, you are required by law to pay that same seven percent as a use tax,” noted department spokesman Bob Dittmer.
“When preparing your 2013 individual tax return at the end of the year, simply total those purchases, take seven percent, and that’s your use tax. This does, of course, require you to either keep records of your online or catalog purchases or to rely upon your retailer to maintain a list for you (and many online retailers do that).” Last year, 28,853 taxpayers in Indiana reported use tax on their individual tax return, amounting to more than $1.9 million. Each year, more than 3.1 million individual income-tax returns are filed in Indiana. Indiana has required Hoosiers to pay use tax on their Indiana income tax return since 1969.  For more information about Indiana’s use tax, here's a link to the department’s use tax liability frequently asked questions:  http://www.in.gov/dor/4710.htm#use...

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Trial Begins in Alleged Hit-Run Jail Officer Death

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In Lake County court, trial is underway for a Lakes of the Four Seasons man accused in an alleged hit-and-run crash that killed Lake County Corrections Officer Brittney Meux and injured three others in March 2012. 43-year-old Jason Cozmanoff faces multiple felony counts. A mistrial was declared this past June, after a jury was selected, after officials say a man who was part of the jury pool informed the court he witnessed the accident. Police say the officers were struck while jogging along 93rd Street not far from the Lake County Government Center in Crown Point....

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Investigations Continue Into Deadly Gary Shootings

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Police in Gary continue to investigate three homicides after what is believed to be two separate shooting incidents Monday. A 22-year-old Gary man died and three others were wounded in an apparent home invasion in Black Oak early Monday. Shortly before 7 am, a man was found dead of a gunshot wound in the 21-hundred block of Georgia Street. Just before 11 am, authorities found a Gary man dead of a gunshot wound inside a van at East 19th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street, a van police had been searching for after a woman said she and her boyfriend were both shot by another man inside that vehicle earlier Monday morning. Police also continue to investigate a shooting death in Glen Park this past Friday. This year Gary has seen more than fifty homicides. In 2012, there were 43 homicides recorded in the city....

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Valpo Schools to Discuss Electronic Report Cards

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A discussion is scheduled for Wednesday evening on Valparaiso Community Schools transition to electronic student report cards. Superintendent Michael Berta says the process of communicating student progress to parents electronically has been in place for the past couple of years, but this action would be the formal reporting of a grading period summary to the parent electronically. Berta says they will continue to provide a paper report card for parents who do not have access to receive the report cards electronically, which he says their data has found to be a minimal percentage.
Superintendent Berta says they are targeting having the electronic report cards sent out shortly after the end of the second grading period on January 16th. For more information, Superintendent Berta says to contact your child's school or stop by the meeting which will be held Wednesday at 6pm in the Cafeteria of Thomas Jefferson Middle School, in the 16-hundred Roosevelt Road. ...

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Pence to Join Hoosiers in Fulton, Pulaski and White Counties

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Gov Mike Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence is scheduled to join Hoosiers in Pulaski County tomorrow. The Governor's Office reports Pence will be giving the keynote address at a luncheon of the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce in Winamac at 12 EST. Prior to his stop in Pulaski County, the Governor is also scheduled to ring the bell for the Salvation Army's Red kettle campaign at 11am EST at a Rochester Kroger and later that afternoon, at 2:15 EST, Pence is scheduled to make a jobs announcement at Adkev, in Monticello. ...

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House Fire in Hebron Under Investigation

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No injuries were reported after a residential fire this afternoon near County Road 835 South and County Road 500 West in Hebron. Hebron fire officials report they were called out just before 12:30pm and spent around three-and-a-half hours at the scene. The cause of the fire remains under investigation and the family was displaced due to the fire....

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Passengers Call Police on Erratic Driver

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A 28 year old Chicago Heights man faces three misdemeanor charges, including operating while intoxicated, after a female passenger in his vehicle called the police due to his alleged erratic driving. Portage Police report they received a call around 2:45am on Sunday from one of the two passengers, while the driver, Dante Theus was in a gas station getting directions. While police were en-route to locate the vehicle, when the complainant advised dispatch the vehicle had crashed on a bridge. The suspect vehicle was later found in front of the Comfort Inn on US Highway 20. Officers report the man stated he got lost coming from Illinois after picking up the two women in South Holland and was trying to get them back to Sauk Village. The man reportedly smelled of alcohol and a warrant was served to force the man to submit to a blood test. ...

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Authorities Look to Reunite Victims with Stolen Property

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The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office announced today they will be holding a press conference on Wednesday to discuss details about a recent rash of residential burglaries, most of which are believed to have occurred in the northern part of county. The Sheriff's Office reports property was recovered last week at a residence in rural Coolspring Township, and efforts are underway to identify the owners of the recovered property. The press conference will be held at 9am, at the Sheriff's Office Training Center, at the LaPorte County Fairgrounds. Potential victims who hope to identify property are encouraged to contact the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office Lead Investigator Andrew Hynek at (219) 326-7700 ext. 2401 or (219) 879-3530....

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Van Til Agrees to Plead Guilty

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A jury trial scheduled for December 9th will longer be necessary after Lake County Surveyor George Van Til today agreed to plead guilty to six-counts of wire fraud. The US Attorney's Office in Hammond reports Van Til has officially signed the agreement but no date has been scheduled for him to make the plea or for the court to accept the plea, which would also require Van Til to pay nearly 20-thousand dollars in restitution. Two obstruction of justice charges will be dropped against Van Til, who has spent over 20 years as Lake County's Surveyor.
Van Til was charged in May with six counts of wire fraud and two counts relating to obstruction of justice and was accused of using county employees to do campaign work....

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Cost of 12 Days of Christmas Up 7.7% from 2012

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It's that time of year again, time to take a look at the cost of the 12 days of Christmas. ABC News reports PNC Wealth Management says this year the total for all the items is $27,393.
The cost of "The 12 days of Christmas is about 7 point 7 percent more than last year. The prices for 10 lords a leaping and 9 ladies dancing have spiked this holiday season. The 10 lords cost twelve hundred dollars more, while the 9 ladies dancing is up 476 dollars. The cheapest item on the list the partridge that costs 15 bucks, unchanged from last year. ...

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Update: Police Investigate Gary Homicides

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Gary PD
A white van involved in an early morning shooting today in Gary was discovered just before 11am, near East 19th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street, with a dead man inside it. Gary Police Public Information Officer Corporal Gabrielle King says, at about 3:30 am, a woman reported being in the van with her 34 year boyfriend and a friend of his, when the friend pulled out a gun and shot both of them, and she was able to jump out. Damian Reedus was pronounced dead at 11:45am due to a gunshot wound to the neck and the alleged gunman remains at large.

Corporal King says a body found in the three-thousand block of Georgia, initially believed to have been the woman's boyfriend, was later determined to be from a separate incident. The deceased has been identified by the Coroner's Office as 28 year old Andre Woods, of Gary, who died due to a gunshot wound to the head.


Police are also investigating a fatal shooting on the west side of the city overnight. Corporal King says shortly after midnight officers received a call of shots fired in the 62-hundred block of West 29th Avenue. Investigators say it was determined that three masked gunmen came to the front door of the residence and tried to get in, then went around to the side door, where they came into contact with one of the occupants of the home.  Police say they led him back into the house at gunpoint, a struggle ensued and shots were fired.  Four people were shot, and one individual, identified as 22-year-old Rolando Correa was pronounced dead at approximately two-o'clock this morning at an area hospital.

Corporal King says an investigation into all three incidents continues and anyone with information regarding these three incidents is asked to contact Gary Police Detective Lorenzo Davis at (219) 881-4738.

Read more: Update: Police Investigate Gary Homicides

   

CR 500 W Closed Between SR 8 and CR 900 S for Fire

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Traffic-Alert
Fire crews are currently on the scene of a residential fire in the 800 block of County Road 500 West, south of State Road 8 and east of Hebron. As a result of the fire, County Road 500 West is closed between State Road 8 and County Road 900 South. The first call to dispatch came in just before 12:30 this afternoon and a second call was made at 12:47pm. Hebron, Boone Grove and Porter fire departments are on the scene, with a tanker assist being provided by Crown Point. No further information is available at this time....

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Patrick Lyp Named to Valpo Leadership Team

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Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas this morning announced Patrick Lyp  has been named General Counsel and Economic Development Director for the city. Lyp will provide legal oversight and work to recruit, maintain, and expand businesses and jobs in the Valparaiso area.  Lyp has been an attorney with the law firm of Blachly , Tabor, Bozik & Hartman since 1997, and became a partner in 2003. Lyp will begin his new role with the city January first.
“We’re so pleased to have Patrick’s expertise and enthusiasm on the leadership team for Valparaiso. He is an exceptional leader who will use his proven skills and valuable experience to help build our economy and create jobs,” said Mayor Jon Costas.
Lyp has been an attorney with the law firm of Blachly, Tabor, Bozik & Hartman since 1997, and became a partner in 2003. He has specialized in municipal work, as well as business and bankruptcy cases. He has been a frequent speaker on the subject of ethics and is a recipient of the Friends of the Mental Health Association award. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Valparaiso University. Lyp is a graduate of The Catholic University of America with a BA in philosophy and earned his law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. He serves on the Board of Directors for Pines Village Retirement Village.
Lyp and wife Jody live in Valparaiso and have three children. Through the years, Lyp has helped to coach both soccer and baseball teams. He is active with Saint Paul Catholic Church in Valparaiso. The Lyp family is also very involved in running, often competing in local races together....

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Valparaiso Roundabout All Open

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The new five-points roundabout on the north side of Valparaiso, at Calumet Avenue, Vale Park and Roosevelt Roads, is now all open as of this morning.  It had been partially open for over a week as weather conditions delayed some of the finishing work.  Motorists are advised to look for temporary closures today as some painting and striping continues this morning, but the work is expected to wrap up by about noon today.
Click here for a video at the city's website on driving a two-lane roundabout:  http://www.ci.valparaiso.in.us/index.aspx?NID=1244...

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Ind Dept of Revenue Names New Chief Financial Ofcr

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The Indiana Department of Revenue today announced Valerie Hunt as the department’s new chief financial officer. Hunt has served as deputy controller for the department since July 2012. Hunt will lead the department’s finance division, which includes accounting operations and reporting, electronic funds transfer and related banking functions, contracts and accounts payable, internal audit, and financial planning and analysis.
“Valerie has done an outstanding job of enhancing our accounting and budgeting process and reporting,” said Commissioner Mike Alley. “She is uniquely qualified to assume the role of chief financial officer for the department and build on our recent success.”
Hunt has experience in financial management at Brightpoint, Rolls Royce and Guidant Corporation.  Hunt is a CPA with a BS in accounting and an MBA in finance from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Bloomington. She replaces Mike Ashley, who was appointed chief financial officer by Governor Mitch Daniels in May 2012. Ashley is retiring at the end of the year.
...

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Valparaiso Police Warn of New Phone Scam

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Valparaiso Police were notified of a potential scam that was occurring during the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. Police say a female subject reported to police she received a cellular telephone call from a male subject informing her that the caller was a gang member and that her husband had been involved in a traffic accident involving his vehicle. The male subject, who identified himself as “Ricky” had a strong Hispanic accent, authorities say, then said he was holding her husband as hostage until she could bring him money for damages to his vehicle. Police checked with the victims spouse and learned no such traffic accident had occurred. The Valparaiso Police Department contacted other police agencies throughout the region and learned they had also received similar complaints of the same type of scam being report to their agencies. Valpraaiso Police advise those who receive a similar call to disconnect the call immediately and contact your family member to confirm their condition. ...

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Police Investigate Gary Homicides

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Police in Gary are investigating as many as three possible homicides this morning. 
Police in Gary say they are searching for a white van involved in a shooting early today. Public Information Officer Corporal Gabrielle King says at about 3:30 am, a woman reported being in her van with her boyfriend and a friend of his, when the friend pulled out a gun and shot both of them, and she was able to jump out.  Investigators say they have since learned that a body found this morning in the 32-hundred block of Georgia Street in Gary, initially thought to have been the body of the woman's boyfriend, was someone else.  The woman's boyfriend may still be in the van, and may have been fatally shot, but that is unknown at this time.   The woman's vehicle was described as a white 1999 Chrysler van with Indiana In God We Trust license plate OFP 293.
Gary Police are also investigating a fatal shooting on the west side of the city overnight. Corporal King says shortly after midnight officers received a call of shots fired in the 62-hundred block of West 29th Avenue.  Investigators say it was determined that three masked gunmen came to the front door of the residence and tried to get in, then went around to the side door, where they came into contact with one of the occupants of the home.  Police say they led him back into the house at gunpoint, a struggle ensued and shots were fired.  Four people were shot, authorities say, and one individual, identified by the Lake County Coroners Office as 22-year-old Rolando Correa was pronounced dead at approximately 2 am at an area hospital.    Corporal King says the shooting incidents do not appear to be related.

...

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One-Vehicle Crash Injures Two

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In Jasper County, Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say at approximately 6:22 p.m. CST Saturday (Nov 30)  they were advised of a one vehicle crash on I-65 southbound near the 225 mile marker (that is 5 miles south of the Roselawn exit) that sent two to area hospitals.

Preliminary investigation by Trooper Brandon Bohling of the Indiana State Police at Lowell has revealed that a black 2001 Ford Taurus driven by Michael Haile, 27 years old from Aurora, IL was traveling northbound in the right lane. For an unknown reason, he drove off the outside shoulder and over corrected causing the Taurus to go across both northbound lanes and through the median. The Taurus continued through the median, crossing both southbound lanes going onto the outside shoulder where it rolled into the ditch and came to rest.

Police say Haile was not injured, and  the front seat passenger, Nur-Yusuf Ibrahim, 42 years old from Aurora was entrapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated by the Keener Fire Department. He was then transported to the Jasper County Airport where Good Samaritan Helicopter flew him to South Bend Memorial Hospital in South Bend with severe leg and ankle injuries. The rear right side passenger, Marianela Cruz, 43 years old also from Aurora was transported to Jasper County Hospital in Rensselaer, IN with complaint of neck, rib and back pain.

All were wearing their seatbelts which probably helped the injuries from being more severe Trooper Bohling said. Police said neither alcohol nor drugs appear to be contributing factors in the crash. The interstate was down to one lane for the investigation of the crash, attending to the injured and cleanup of the crash....

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