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Wishard Memorial Hospital Closes

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Eskenazi Health
In downtown Indianapolis, Wishard Memorial Hospital is closing its doors this morning. Patients and staff are moving to the brand new 754-million dollar Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Health facility two blocks away. Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, the U.S. Naval Reserves, the Indiana National Guard, and multiple ambulance services from throughout Central Indiana and over 300 volunteers are assisting in the transfer.

Hospital officials say Eskenazi Health will be the first new complete public hospital campus relocation in the nation since Chicago’s John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital opened in 2002 to replace Cook County Hospital, and it will be the first time in more than 40 years Indianapolis has seen a new downtown hospital campus. The history of Wishard goes back to 1855 when a smallpox epidemic prompted Indianapolis to begin building a hospital, which opened four years later as City Hospital, and after a couple other name changes, became Wishard Memorial in 1975....

Read more: Wishard Memorial Hospital Closes

 

Veteran Deputy Lake County Prosecutor Passes Away

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Veteran Deputy Lake County Prosecutor John Burke has died. Burke, born in Gary, was a retired Deputy Prosecutor with the Lake County Prosecutor's Office, where he served in the Career Criminal Unit for 37 years. Among the high-profile cases Burke prosecuted was that of convicted serial killer Eugene Britt. Burke won an arson-murder conviction in the trial of Steven Allen for a 2005 fire at Tanglewood Apartments in Hammond that killed Allen's wife, infant daughter and a neighbor. Burke was also involved in eight death penalty cases. Burke, who retired in 2011, passed away at his home in Valparaiso Monday. Burke was 66....

Read more: Veteran Deputy Lake County Prosecutor Passes Away

 

Soup Recalled Due to Undeclared Allergen

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The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service says StockPot, Inc., an Everett, Wash. establishment, is recalling 1,864 cases (approximately 22,368 pounds) of chicken noodle soup due to misbranding and an undeclared allergen. The Classic Chicken Noodle Soup product, shipped to distribution centers in Indiana and seven other states, is formulated with wheat, a known allergen.  However, the product was released with a Loaded Baked Potato Style Soup side label, which does not declare this allergen.
The following product is subject to recall:  
24-oz. plastic tub of Wholesome@Home  “Classic Chicken Noodle Soup.” The establishment number “P-18235” is located on the label on the lid.  The products were produced on October 25 and 26, 2013, with a use-by date of February 17 and 18, 2014. The product was shipped to distribution centers in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. The product was sold at retail only.
The problem was reported by a supermarket employee who noticed the labeling error while stocking shelves. Officials say the problem occurred when a subset of the labels provided by the label printing company were assembled incorrectly.  FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to ensure that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.
Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Susan Baranowsky at 1-866-270-9303. Media with questions about the recall should contact Carla Burigatto, a company media contact, at 856-342-3737.
Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. "Ask Karen" live chat services are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem...

Read more: Soup Recalled Due to Undeclared Allergen

 

Senators Join Forces to Promote Illiana Expressway

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Indiana U.S. Senator Dan Coats joined Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk Friday morning to highlight the economic benefits of the proposed Illiana Expressway project during a joint press conference by the two Republicans at the Union League Club in Chicago. 
 
According to a press release from Senator Coats' office, both the Illinois and Indiana Departments of Transportation are working together to build the project as a public-private partnership, in which a private contractor would design, build and operate the new roadway.
 
Senator Coats said that both states are, "demonstrating that regional problems require regional solutions." The senator added, "By partnering together...we can solve some of our region's biggest transportation challenges." He said, "Increasing opportunities to distribute goods made all over Indiana is good for Hoosier job creation and economic growth."
 
The project would create around 9,000 construction jobs with $1.3 billion in wages over a 30-year period, according to the release. In addition the Illiana Expressway is expected to provide $1 million in daily travel time savings and will help truck traffic bypass the Chicago metropolitan area.

Senator Dan Coats 2
 
Senator Coats, who later in the day delivered the keynote address at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Regional Meeting in Merrillville (above photo), took the opportunity to talk about his earlier press conference with Senator Kirk saying that it seemed to him that one of the things that can keep predicted growth and a "staggering number of new jobs in the Region" from happening is a "dysfunctional transportation system" by not having an alternative way to move goods other than a congested interstate.
 
Meanwhile, Senator Kirk echoed the infrastructure of President Abraham Lincoln by pointing out that in order to construct the 2,000 mile transcontinental railroad, Lincoln resourced private railroads to build the tracks in exchange for land rights.

Senator Dan Coats 3
Region News Team speaks with U.S. Indiana Dan Coats after workshop appearance at the Radisson, on his way to deliver the keynote at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Regional Meeting.

(photos/Jay Stevens)


 
Facing yet another audience, Senator Coats also talked about the joint press conference when he spoke briefly at a free workshop for small businesses in northwest Indiana titled, "Indiana Get Your Business Online," sponsored by Google and held at the Radisson in Merrillville.


...

Read more: Senators Join Forces to Promote Illiana Expressway

 

Audio: IU Northwest Professor On Mandela

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Around the world, mourning for former South African President Nelson Mandela, who passed away Thursday at the age of 95. IU Northwest Professor of Communications Dr. Dorothy Ige, along with a former IUN colleague, extensively researched the public speaking style of Mr. Mandela in their most recent book, Public Speaking & Responsibility in a Changing World. Ige says Mandela used spoken word to change a nation.
Mandela ended the policy of racial separation known was apartheid after spending years in jail.  To hear our interview with Dr. Ige, click News Audio On Demand at http://regionnewsteam.com/...

Read more: Audio: IU Northwest Professor On Mandela

 

Christmas Tree Display at Lake County Public Library

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(Photos Courtesy of the Lake County Public Library)
The Lake County Public Library in Merrillville invites everyone to stop by and view the nine Christmas trees set up now through December 23rd in the Acheff Art Gallery. The trees were decorated by the employees of various branches of the library system representing specific themes and designs including garland made from old encyclopedias, actual processing materials, noses put into books, fish and boats from a lakeside branch, miniature cross-stitch from craft classes, historical trains from a station branch, gingerbread men from program refreshments, and more. While you're there, take some time to view the original SouthShore poster artworks depicting life in Northwest Indiana.
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The gallery is open from 2 to 4pm and from 7 to 8pm Monday through Thursday, and from 2 to 4pm on Fridays and Saturdays. ...

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Franciscan St. Anthony-MC Patient Turns 100

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(Photo Courtesy of Franciscan St. Anthony Health- Michigan City)
Cardiac Services staff members at Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Michigan City on Thursday celebrated early the 100th birthday of one of their patients. Ed Brunner, a native New Yorker who has spent the last 11 years in Michigan City, turns one-hundred tomorrow and over the last century Brunner says some highlights including meeting famous celebrities such as Babe Ruth, Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra among others. According to the nurses, Brunner still lives independently and is “very sharp” mentally, using email to correspond and still drives. As for the secret to his longevity, Brunner, who was married to his late wife for 63 years, says he drinks a cocktail everyday at 5 o'clock. ...

Read more: Franciscan St. Anthony-MC Patient Turns 100

 

Donnelly Calls on Congress to Help, Not Hurt Economy

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Washington, D.C. — In case you missed it, Politico reported today that though our economy is recovering, government dysfunction could continue to threaten economic growth.  According to Politico, Wall Street economists still rate government dysfunction as the leading risk factor for our economy.
“Washington has tried very hard this year to crush the economy with debt ceiling fights, clumsy budget cuts, a government shutdown and complete legislative gridlock…  In fact, while most Wall Street economists expect growth to pick up in 2014, they still rate government dysfunction as the leading risk factor.” – Politico
Catherine L. Mann, professor of economics at Brandeis University, told Politico, “If there was anything that even looked bipartisan that made it seem like D.C. was less out of touch and trying to work toward some kind of solutions you would see an improvement in growth that would build over the year.  It would probably have very large global benefits as well. But I’d probably put about a 10 percent chance on any of that happening.”
Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) has repeatedly voiced this concern, calling for Congress to help, not hurt, the economy.  During the government shutdown, Senator Donnelly ">spoke on the Senate floor in October about the negative impact Congress is having on the U.S. and Hoosier economies.
Donnelly said, “It is embarrassing that the actions of some in Congress these days are now the greatest obstacle to future job creation in our country…
“At a time when Hoosiers are trying to get back to work and take care of our families, Congress’ inability to work together is making it so much more difficult. Congress is not helping and is actually hinderingjob creation and economic growth…
“We must find a way to stop hurting the economy and to actually help the people who have made this country such a great place.”
Donnelly said in October, “I think we need more people focused on what’s best for Indiana, what’s best for our nation, and less about what’s best in politics. This is not about Democrat, this is not about Republican, it’s about America.  That’s what Hoosiers sent me here to do, and that’s what I have tried to do the past few weeks and since my first day in office.”...

Read more: Donnelly Calls on Congress to Help, Not Hurt Economy

 

DeMotte Man Sentenced for Possession of Child Porn

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A 31 year old DeMotte man was sentenced this week in Hammond Federal Court to over four-years in prison and five-years supervised released after pleading guilty to felony possession of child pornography. According to court documents, Matthew Jasek admitted to possessing over 600 child pornography images and that he distributed some of the material through a file sharing program. The case resulted from an investigation by members of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including the U-S Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. ...

Read more: DeMotte Man Sentenced for Possession of Child Porn

 

Lake Station Man Charged in October Armed Robbery

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A 38 year old Lake Station man was arrested and charged on Thursday with armed robbery stemming from an incident in October in Porter County's Union Township. Jose Alvarez is accused of using a gun to rob the victim of cash, a cell phone and a bracelet, before driving off and leaving the victim near US 30 and County Road 700 West. Authorities report Alvarez had picked up the victim to take them to purchase a vehicle Alvarez was supposedly interested in purchasing....

Read more: Lake Station Man Charged in October Armed Robbery

 

Hobart Man Gets 3 Years for Voyeurism/Sexual Battery

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A 22 year old Hobart man was given credit for one-year served and will spend two-years on probation with sex offender conditions after he was sentenced Thursday to three-years for voyeurism and sexual battery. Ashley Toney admitted that on June 8th he put a video camera under the skirt of a shopper and made a recording while at the Hobert Kohl's store and, later that same day, exposed and fondled himself in front of a store employee. ...

Read more: Hobart Man Gets 3 Years for Voyeurism/Sexual Battery

   

Elevator and Escalator Back in Service at Gary Metro

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The operators of the South Shore commuter rail line announced this afternoon that the Gary Metro Center platform elevator and escalator are now back in service. The platform elevator and escalator at Gary Metro had not accessible to passengers with disabilities to access or leave the train platform pending a complete inspection and repair which has been completed. ...

Read more: Elevator and Escalator Back in Service at Gary Metro

   

BBB: Phony Websites Pretending to be Overstock.com

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The Better Business Bureau serving Northern Indiana is warning Region residents about phony websites pretending to be Overstock.com. Better Business Bureau says a noticeable trend recently is websites that include the word "overstock" in the domain name, hoping to trick consumers into thinking they are shopping with Overstock.com. The President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus says they'veseen this with other major retailers as well. BBB is warning consumers: be careful to look for the real domain when it comes to major retail sites. ...

Read more: BBB: Phony Websites Pretending to be Overstock.com

   

Hammond Holiday Tradition Continues This Weekend

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Be sure to pack on the layers and check out the Hammond Holiday Parade this Saturday starting at 10am. There will be over 80 participants this year, as the parade makes its way down Indianapolis Blvd from 175th-169th Street in South Hammond. Santa will also be on hand to take pictures with kids! For more on this Hammond holiday tradition, listen to our interview with Parks and Recreation Special Events Coordinator Michelle Turchany at Region News On Demand here on our website....

Read more: Hammond Holiday Tradition Continues This Weekend

   

Community Leaders Raise Funds for Hungry Families

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NIPSCO, Jelly Pancake House and several community leaders partnered together in Merrillville this morning to support the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas, Valparaiso University Men's Basketball Head Coach Bryce Drew and NIPSCO CEO Jim Stanley were among the guest servers for the fundraising event.
Funds raised from a portion of sales at Jelly's and a 20-thousand dollar contribution from NIPSCO will be used to purchase food to be distributed at two mobile pantry events in Lake and Porter Counties December 14th and 21st. ...

Read more: Community Leaders Raise Funds for Hungry Families

   

Historic Valpo House Torn Down

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In Valparaiso, the Needle and Thread building heavily damaged by fire this past July was torn down Thursday. The historic home, built around 1900, sat at the corner of Lafayette and Jefferson.
photo 2
After no one was willing to restore the structure, the city okayed funds in October to buy the building, demolish it, and turn the site into a lot to provide additional free parking for the downtown area. [Photos/Radio One Communications]...

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Whiting Reports on Source of 'Blasting Noise'

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Whiting City Hall reports having taken a number of calls regarding a “blasting noise” sometimes as early as 4am. City officials say thanks to the help of some residents looking into it, it's been determined the sound was sourcing from the dredging landfill along the channel. A message to residents posted at the city's website says the Army Corps of Engineers set up propane cannons to keep birds and wildlife away from the confined disposal facility, especially during the spring and fall bird migrations. City officials say the USDA thinks that since the water in the cells froze earlier this year, the sound from the cannons is being amplified by ice and that’s why residents are hearing the noises now. According to the information from city hall, federal officials believe the solution is to move the propane cannons lower into the cell, and the timers will be double-checked, to make sure they aren’t going off in the middle of the night.
City of Whiting website:  http://www.whitingindiana.com/news.php#newsitemEFlVVyEpVkaRxkCFjD...

Read more: Whiting Reports on Source of 'Blasting Noise'

   

Governor Unveils Legislative Agenda

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence unveiled his legislative agenda Thursday at the Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP Legislative Conference. Among other things, "Roadmap 2014" calls for phasing out the business personal property tax, investing 400-million dollars in highway expansion, creating an Indiana Teacher Innovation Fund, and providing financial support to teachers who choose to work in a low performing school or a public charter school that serves a majority of disadvantaged children. ...

Read more: Governor Unveils Legislative Agenda

   

UPDATE: Flags at Half-Staff Now through Monday

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Indianapolis, IN - In accordance with a presidential proclamation regarding the passing of Nelson Mandela, Governor Mike Pence is directing flags at state facilities statewide be flown at half-staff beginning immediately.  Flags should remain at half-staff until sunset Monday, December 9.  Governor Pence also asks businesses and residents across the state to lower their flags to half-staff to pay tribute to this world leader....

Read more: UPDATE: Flags at Half-Staff Now through Monday

   

IU Approves New Online Degree

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John Applegate [Photo by Indiana University]
The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved the creation of an online Bachelor of Applied Science degree program, the first bachelor's degree program offered jointly by all five IU-administered regional campuses, and one of the first BAS degrees offered in the state.  The new degree must now be approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission. It would be offered at IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend and IU Southeast.
"Joint degrees such as this provide increased educational opportunities for students while capitalizing on economies of scale created by sharing faculty and classes across all five regional campuses,” said John Applegate, IU executive vice president for university academic affairs. Funded by IU President Michael A. McRobbie's IU Online initiative, the regional campuses are working together to create up to four more new joint online degrees over the next few years. IU says the goal is to increase availability of high-quality degrees to students all across the state.
Coursework for the proposed online BAS could be oriented toward several specific career fields, such as hospital administration, general supervision or entry-level management. The degree would track into about 34 occupations that can be grouped into three clusters: specialty business, supervisory and management.
"The BAS is designed for students who already are in the workforce but need a more advanced degree to improve their job options," said Sharon Calhoon, assistant vice president for university academic and regional campus affairs. "Currently, the Associate of Applied Science degree does not align well with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees, so students with an AAS typically lose a substantial number of credit hours when they go on to pursue either degree."
The new BAS program is designed to help students who have earned an Associate of Applied Science degree achieve a high-quality bachelor's-level credential more quickly and efficiently than was previously possible. IU research has identified a great demand for this degree, which is very closely aligned with future workforce needs in the state; it is expected that students in the BAS degree program will develop skills that will help them advance in their careers and earn better salaries.
Students will be able to take all of their courses online or combine online instruction with classroom instruction. Full-time students who already have an associate degree in applied science will be able to complete their bachelor's degree in two years.
The new degree program is expected to involve two full-time faculty from each campus and will be administered jointly by the School of Business and Economics at IU East, the Department of Allied Health at IU Kokomo, the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Northwest, the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics at IU South Bend and the School of Arts and Letters at IU Southeast....

Read more: IU Approves New Online Degree

   

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