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Police Say Icy Conditions Contribute to Fatal Accident

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In Calumet Township just outside Griffith at approximately 6-o'clock this morning, Lake County Sheriffs Police say icy road conditions contributed to an accident that resulted in the death of a moped driver. Police say the moped driver was traveling westbound on Ridge Road from Colfax Street when he lost control and was thrown from the vehicle, landing in the roadway, where he was subsequently struck by a Chevy Cruze traveling behind.
Police say the victim became lodged underneath the vehicle, and upon officers' arrival, the moped driver was unresponsive. Due to the victim’s location underneath the vehicle, police say his shoe was removed to check for a pulse, none was found. Griffith Fire Department crews raised the vehicle to free the victim, and no signs of life were found by personnel from Prompt EMS. Police say the victim was wearing a helmet. His identity had not been released pending notification of next of kin. Ridge Road was shut down for a time this morning between Arbogast and Broad Street. ...

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Heart Screenings Underway for Student Athletes

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IU LaPorte Hospital
Special heart screenings have been taking place in La Porte. October is National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month and in light of the recent death of 17 year old Jake West, a La Porte High School football player who collapsed during practice and died from a genetic heart defect last month, Indiana University Health La Porte Hospital is offering those screenings for student athletes at no cost on a limited basis.  Registration is required.
Additional information from IU Health La Porte Hospital:
LA PORTE, Ind.–In recognition of National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month in October, Indiana University Health La Porte Hospital is offering free heart screenings to student athletes on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Screenings are offered to area high school students, ages 15 and older, on:
·       Thursday, Oct. 17 from 3 pm to 7 pm
·       Tuesday, Oct 22 from 4 pm to 8 pm
·       Thursday, Oct. 24 from 4 pm to 8 pm
·       Tuesday, Oct 29 from 4 pm to 8 pm
·       Saturday, Nov. 2 from 8 am to noon (all Central times)
A limited number of free screenings will be performed at the IU Health La Porte Heart & Vascular Center, 901 E. Lincolnway, Ste. 102, in La Porte. Pre-registration is required by calling 219.326.2309. In addition, students must have signed parental consent and not be under the care of a physician for any cardiac-related conditions.
Student athletes will be screened with an electrocardiogram and limited echocardiogram. The specialized tests, which take about 15 minutes, help identify any possible structural abnormalities within the cardiovascular system that may lead to premature cardiac arrest, screening organizers said.
“Recent events have brought the issue of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) to the forefront,” IU Health La Porte Hospital Director of Cardiovascular Services, Mary Drewes, MSN, BSN, RN, said. “The tragic loss of one of our community’s student athletes has prompted many questions, fears and a sense of helplessness. Our cardiologists, in collaboration with our team in Cardiovascular Services, look forward to providing these screenings. We are committed to meeting the needs of our community as a whole.”
In addition, IU Health La Porte Hospital cardiologists and specialists will present heart and vascular education on Monday, Oct. 21 at the La Porte High School Auditorium at 6 pm for freshman/sophomore parents and 7 pm for junior/senior parents.
For those unable to attend the free screenings, the “Heart Cart for High Schools” program offers similar screenings through the hospital’s Heart Cart Mobile Screening Unit in partnership with The Foundation, in support of IU Health La Porte Hospital. “Heart Cart for High Schools” screenings are offered at a discounted rate of $50. Students will be screened for cholesterol, blood sugar, electrocardiogram and limited echocardiogram. For more information or to schedule, call 219.326.2626 or toll-free 800.235.6204, ext. 2626....

Read more: Heart Screenings Underway for Student Athletes

 

Funeral Services Set for Merrillville Family

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Funeral services have been scheduled for Monday in Harvey for a family of four found dead in their Merrillville home last week, the apparent victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to authorities. The Lake County Coroners office says 41-year-old Micheal Nichols, 38-year-old Kennetha Purnell, 13-year-old Matthew Nichols and 11-year-old Morgan Nichols were pronounced dead shortly after 7-o'clock last Wednesday night inside a home in the 800 block of West 70th Avenue. Merrillville Police say they had just moved into the rental home the Saturday before. Through the investigation, officers say they determined the power had not been turned on, and a gas generator in the attached garage had power cords connected to various electronics in the home.  Police also say all exterior doors and windows were closed. ...

Read more: Funeral Services Set for Merrillville Family

 

Icy Roads and Snow Hinder Commute

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The first widespread freeze in the Region this season was followed by snowflakes in Chicagoland Tuesday, and this morning, we have icy roads and snow slowing our northwest Indiana commute.  There is heavy snow reported in the La Porte area with visibility issues and also snow accumulating on surfaces.  In the Schererville area, along US 41, icy conditions reported on overpasses. The National Weather Service in Chicago reports the earliest accumulating snowfall in decades was seen across parts of north central Illinois Tuesday....

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Crown Point Man Seriously Injured in Crash

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In Lake County, Indiana State Police say an 18-year-old Crown Point man was seriously injured Tuesday morning when his vehicle rolled numerous times on I-65, and he faces a charge of operating while intoxicated involving drugs. Troopers say their preliminary investigation revealed the PT Cruiser was south bound just north of the scales a mile north of the Lowell exit around 11 am when the car went off the road for unknown reasons and the driver overcorrected and went back across south bound lanes, and off the road, rolling over numerous times, coming to rest in a grassy ditch. He was taken to a local hospital, then airlifted to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. [Photo/Indiana State Police]...

Read more: Crown Point Man Seriously Injured in Crash

 

Crash Closes Ridge Road in Griffith

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Traffic-Alert
In Grifith this morning, Ridge Road is closed between Arbogast and Broad Street due to an accident.  No details are available on the crash at this time....

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Tec Air Relocates Corporate Headquarters to Munster

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An official announcement made by the state today involving another Chicago-area company moving to Lake County, Indiana. Tec Air is relocating its Willow Springs headquarters to the Lake Business Center in the 92-hundred block of Calumet Avenue in Munster, creating up to nearly 260 new jobs by 2016. The 48-year-old company designs and manufacturers plastic air movement components and systems for a variety of industries, including automotive, appliance, and heating and air conditioning. Officials say the expansion will be complete next spring and will house corporate offices, engineering labs, manufacturing, quality labs, warehousing and distribution.  Munster has also just recently become home to MAC Medical Supply and Land O'Frost, moving operations from Illinois to just across the state line.
“Tec Air joins a growing list of companies that have discovered what Hoosiers already know: Indiana is a state that works for business,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Companies in the Midwest and around the world recognize that Indiana is in the middle of everywhere. From our robust infrastructure, low-tax environment, talented workforce and ideal location as the Crossroads of America, opportunity for growth lies in Indiana.”
the Indiana Economic Development Corportation says Tec Air will initially invest approximately $7 million dollars in new equipment and building improvements in connection with the move. In addition to the new investment, Tec Air will also transfer almost $8 million of assets from its Illinois facility to the new location, bringing the company’s investment in Indiana to approximately $15 million.

...

Read more: Tec Air Relocates Corporate Headquarters to Munster

 

Valparaiso Police Chief to Announce Run for Sheriff

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An official announcement is planned for tomorrow afternoon in downtown Valparaiso in the race for Porter County Sheriff. The Times today reports Valparaiso Police Chief Michael Brickner is planning to run for the post. Brickner, a Republican, has been chief in Valparaiso for the past decade and has been with the department for nearly thirty years. Last month, former Sheriff David Reynolds, a Democrat, formally announced his plans to run again. Reynolds, a Democrat, served two consecutive terms as sheriff, from 1999 to 2006. In Indiana, sheriffs are limited from serving more than eight years in a twelve-year span. Reynolds was succeeded by current Sheriff David Lain, also a Democrat, who is currently in his second term. ...

Read more: Valparaiso Police Chief to Announce Run for Sheriff

 

Griffith Road Closure for Emergency Sewer Repair

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Traffic-Advisory
The town of Griffith has announced plans to close the intersection of West Pine Street and North Raymond Avenue on Friday, October 25, for emergency sewer repair.  Closure time will be from 7am to 5 pm.  Town officials say the intersection will reopen that afternoon once repairs are completed.  Detour route will be posted at the affected area.  Questions may be directed to the Griffith Public Works office at 219-924-3838....

Read more: Griffith Road Closure for Emergency Sewer Repair

 

Police Allege Teacher Took Students to Strip Club

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A 31-year-old Hanover Central High School chemistry teacher is reportedly facing three misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after allegedly taking students to a strip club and giving them alcoholic beverages at his home. A report in the Times today says Travis Lechien of Crown Point man has taught in the Hanover Community School district for a decade and has been suspended with pay since last month. An attorney for the teacher is quoted as saying their intention is to enter a plea of not guilty and attend the case.  The report says an iniitial hearing has been scheduled for November in Lake County court....

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Three Hammond Robbery Suspects in Custody

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Hammond PD
The three suspects who allegedly robbed two Hammond Sanitation workers who were picking up garbage in an alley in the 500 block of Chicago Avenue Saturday, now face felony charges. Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller says the Lake County Prosecutor's office have charged all three suspects, who range in age from 20-to-23 years-old, with two counts of felony robbery. One of the suspects who allegedly fired his pistol in the direction of a female who was trying to drive around the garbage truck during the robbery, was also charged with one count of felony pointing a firearm and one count of Criminal Recklessness. Chief Miller says the bullet never struck the female or her car. All three suspects have been taken to the Lake County jail.
...

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Gary's Mayor Named to Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel

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Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson was one of several appointees Governor Mike Pence named on Tuesday to a Blue Ribbon Panel to plan the next generation of transportation infrastructure in Indiana.
The governor's office reports that the Panel is part of Pence's “Roadmap for Indiana,” to review projects related to all four modes of transit including by water, air, road and rail, and to identify a list of future priority projects to keep Indiana on the cutting edge. Mayor Freeman-Wilson is joined on the panel by 23 other notables including Andrew Fox of the Chicago and South Shore and South Bend Railroad and Pete Georgeon of ArcelorMittal USA Flat Carbon. ...

Read more: Gary's Mayor Named to Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel

   

Big Backup NB I-65 Due to Earlier Crash

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NB I-65 crash 10-22-13
A jackknifed tractor trailor truck caused the closure of the two left lanes northbound I-65 near 61st Avenue.  Traffic tipsters reporting northbound traffic is backed up about eight miles to just before the US-30 exit.  In addition, INDOT is reporting road work has restricted the right lanes both diretions of I-65 near Ridge Road.  Expect backups and delays both directions of interstate 65.
(photo:  Looking north on I-65 toward the US-30 exit with northbound traffic backing up.  Provided by INDOT) ...

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Toll Road Crash Closes WB Lanes for over 3 Hours

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Truck crash 1
( Burnt semi of Michigan truck driver.  Photo provided by Indiana State Police)
A three semi crash that caused one semi to catch fire and seriously injure its driver, closed the westbound lanes of the Indiana Toll Rd for nearly three-in--a-half hours Tuesday.
A preliminary investigation says that at around 10:55a.m. a 2009 Kenworth pulling a tanker, driven by a Michigan man was in the right lane traveling westbound just east of the Lake Station interchange following a semi pulling double trailers driven by an Ohio man, when traffic slowed ahead.
The Michigan man was unable to slow his Kenworth in time and struck the rear of double trailer rig, causing the double trailers to crash into each other and causing the Michigan man to loose control. His Kenworth veered off to the left where it passed a third semi bulling a box trailer that was in the right lane. Debris from the Kenworth hit and damaged the the trailer of the third semi.
Truck crash 2
(Damaged double trailer semi.  Photo provided by Indiana State Police)
The Kenworth than hit the guard rail and concrete median barrier which caused the Michigan man's semi cab to catch fire. Two Good Samaritans reportedly were able to pull the truck driver from his cab he was taken to a Hobart hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the double trailer sustained a minor injury and was treated and released at the scene.
Westbound traffic on the Indiana Toll road was forced to exit after the Portage toll plaza onto State Road 249, which caused a huge backup on the bypass as well as westbound I-90 before the Portage exit. The westbound lanes were reopened around 2:15p.m. as the time was needed to investigate the crash, clean-up and remove the burnt semi, damaged trailers and clean-up of the roadway....

Read more: Toll Road Crash Closes WB Lanes for over 3 Hours

   

219: Cedar Lake's Trunk Or Treat Food Drive

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If you are looking for a great way to get the kids out of the house and support your neighbors this weekend, Cedar Lake has the answer. Listen to today's 219 On Demand to find out more on Cedar Lake's 2nd Annual Trunk Or Treat Food Drive this Saturday!
...

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UPDATE: Tanker Truck Fire on Toll Road

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Traffic-Alert
The westbound side of the Indiana Toll Road between Lake Station and Portage is closed at this hour due to an accident and tanker truck fire. Indiana State Police at the Toll Road say the tanker truck on fire was carrying salt.  Earlier we had word that two semi trucks may have been involved in this accident, which occurred on the westbound side of the Indiana Toll Road near Ripley Street.  Police say westbound traffic was being diverted at Willowcreek in Portage.   The fire reportedly started in the cab and did not reach the tanker portion, according to the latest information available from police....

Read more: UPDATE: Tanker Truck Fire on Toll Road

   

Crash on Toll Road in Lake Station

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Traffic-Alert
Indiana State Police at the Toll Road say they are responding to the report of an accident involving two semis.  The crash is reportedly on the westbound side before Ripley Street in the Lake Station area....

Read more: Crash on Toll Road in Lake Station

   

Port Sees Increase in Tonnage Through September

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With the end of navigation season approaching, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor saw a 16 percent increase in total tonnage through September, putting it on pace for its highest annual total in over six years, according to figures released this week by the St. Lawrence Seaway.
“Steel and steel-related byproducts continue to drive strong shipment numbers through the port in conjunction with a steady increase in other bulk commodities such as coal, fertilizer and limestone," according to Port Director Rick Heimann. “Looking ahead, we expect this trend to continue next month as we already have on the books a shipment of distillery tanks from Germany bound for a brewery expansion in Chicago.”
The St. Lawrence Seaway also reported that year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period March 22 to September 30 were 23 million metric tons. The number is down 11 percent over the same period in 2012, but U.S. ports saw increased tonnage in several cargo categories."At least a dozen ships from Europe unloaded steel products at the ports of Cleveland, Milwaukee, Burns Harbor and Detroit over the past month; a clear sign that the end of the navigation season is approaching and shippers are working diligently to get products out of the mills and into the Seaway System before the end of the year," said Rebecca Spruill, Director Trade Development for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.  "Although overall cargo tonnage is down, September provided many positive signs that the next three months will be extremely busy for our ports and terminal operators in the Great Lakes-Seaway System."  [Photo/Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor]...

Read more: Port Sees Increase in Tonnage Through September

   

Positive Report from Indiana Realtors

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Home sales continue to climb in Indiana. According to the monthly Indiana Real Estate Markets Report released Monday by the state's REALTORS® the number of existing, single-family homes sold last month statewide increased 14.3 percent when compared with September 2012. The report also showed the median sale price of those 6,342 homes is $123,500 – a 2.9 percent increase from the same month of last year.
Monday's report "contains some of the best news we’ve shared,” said Kevin Kirkpatrick, 2013 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “Fall usually brings a slowdown to housing markets and while September followed that seasonal trend, home sales and prices across Indiana were significantly higher than the same month of the last two years. Statewide, we are well past the recovery stage and appear to be moving toward a stable, balanced marketplace. Whether we fully achieve that status depends on real employment and wage growth, as well as consumer confidence."
Additional information from the Indiana Association of Realtors:
Other year-over-year, statewide comparisons from the report show -
• The average sale price of homes increased 3.6 percent to $146,553
• The percent of original list price received increased 1.6 percent to 92.3 percent
• The number of pending home sales increased 9.9 percent to 5,483
• The number of new listings increased 13.1 percent to 9,497
September 2013 was the 27th consecutive month of year-over-year gains in the number of closed home sales, and marked these other consecutive year-over-year gains –
• The median sale price of homes has increased for 22 months
• The average sale price has increased for 21 months
• Sellers received a greater share of their original list price for the 19th month
• The number of pending home sales has increased for 24 months...

Read more: Positive Report from Indiana Realtors

   

Vehicle Fire on I-65 in Lake County

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carfire
Traffic alert: Crews are responding to a vehicle fire on southbound I-65 at US 30 on right-hand side. INDOT reports the ramp of southbound I-65 is closed near US 30 due to the fire. Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes as you travel southbound on I-65 near mile 253. [Image/Indiana Department of Transportation cameras]...

Read more: Vehicle Fire on I-65 in Lake County

   

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