La Porte County Gets the Local Lake Effect

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Parts of northwest Indiana are digging out from several inches of lake effect snow.   Winter preparedness week in Indiana is next week, but for many Region residents, winter got here Tuesday in a big way, in the first major snow event of the season. The lake effect snow machine spent a good deal of time over the easterm side of northwest Indiana, specifically La Porte County.  Meanwhile, Porter, Starke, and Jasper Counties, which all had lake effect snow advisories, got some snow, and there was sunshine in north Lake County.
Some totals through 5 pm EST Tuesday evening from the National Weather Service Northern Indiana office, showed nine inches in Kingsbury in La Porte County, and about eight inches in La Porte and Rolling Prairie... just north of there, north of the Indiana/Michigan state line, parts of Berrien County got 14-to-17 inches of snow.
For additional snow totals, click here for the National Weather Service Northern Indiana:

Read more: La Porte County Gets the Local Lake Effect


Hammond PD Look to Prevent Pedestrian/Bike Crashes

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Hammond PD
Police in Hammond today announced they were recently awarded a 75-hundred dollar grant through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to reduce the number of pedestrian and bicycle crashes in the city through increased enforcement. Lt. Patrick Vicari says they have had a number of pedestrian/bicycle crashes with motor vehicles, most notably, the recent crash that occurred on Calumet Avenue that resulted in the death of a 13 year old Hammond boy.
Lt. Vicari says they will primarily look at school zones to start, but will expand to parks, neighborhood areas and anywhere else they identify as a problem area with this issue. Police are encouraging pedestrians to use sidewalks, crosswalks and obey traffic control signals and also encourage motorists to be mindful of school zones and to watch for pedestrians and school crossing guards. ...

Read more: Hammond PD Look to Prevent Pedestrian/Bike Crashes


Weight Loss TV Pitchman Found Guilty in Chicago

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A federal jury in Chicago claims TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau violated an order barring him from making false claims about his best-selling weight loss book. ABC News reports jurors needed just 45 minutes to decide that Trudeau had made false claims about his diet books. In the infomercials for "The Weight-Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want you to Know About", Trudeau claims that his cure wasn't a diet, and required no exercise or supplements. However, the book requires intake of just 500 calories a day, long daily walks, and daily injections of prescription hormones. He could spend the rest of his life behind bars when he's sentenced. No sentencing date has been set.


Read more: Weight Loss TV Pitchman Found Guilty in Chicago


Even for Healthy Kids, Flu can be Fatal

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Even for Healthy Kids, Flu can be Fatal
As Flu season sets in, health officials have a warning for parents--even the Region's healthiest kids are at risk of dying from influenza.  According to new research from the American Academy of Pediatrics,   of the 830 children in the U.S. who died from the flu between 2004 and 2012, more than 40-percent did not have any underlying medical condition that would have put them at risk for complications, like asthma or heart disease. 

Pediatrician Dr. Lia Gaggino says the flu can make health spiral downward very quickly,even for the healthiest kids.  "Ear infections and pneumonias, and sinus infections as secondary complications, and a lot of times that's what the kids may die from, are pneumonias."
While Dr. Gaggino admits it is difficult for researchers who make the flu vaccine to predict which strains will dominate in any given year, she says this year there are two different vaccines--and both offer wide protection from several viruses.  "It covers the HINI, it covers the H3N2, and then there's a third; and then the quadrivalent, or the newer one, includes an additional virus."
Dr. Gaggino says during the last flu season, 158 children died from influenza-related causes in the U.S. including four in Indiana.
The CDC recommends anyone older than six months of age be vaccinated against the flu, if there are no health reasons preventing the immunizations--such as allergies. Frequent hand-washing and sanitizing surfaces can also minimize virus exposure.  Dr. Gaggino stresses that while the vaccine can trigger a short-lived immune response causing some fatigue or soreness, there is no way to contract the virus from a flu shot or nasal spray.

(photo/Microsoft images)...

Read more: Even for Healthy Kids, Flu can be Fatal


AG's Urging Anti-Theft Software for Smartphones

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Indiana OAG Official Seal
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller today joined 30 other attorney generals to urge leading smartphone manufactures to step up security features. Zoeller says smartphones are not only stolen for their resell value, but they also contain consumers' personal and financial information. Zoeller says one method discussed to dry up aftermarket phone sales includes installing a smartphone “kill switch” which could render a phone permanently useless if stolen.
To avoid having your personal information stolen along with your phone, the attorney general's office recommends having password protection, backing up your phone regularly, signing up for a tracking service and seeking out security software....

Read more: AG's Urging Anti-Theft Software for Smartphones


UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Network Changing

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Indiana's Insurance Commission today advised seniors who have Medicare Advantage plans with UnitedHealthcare, including ones sold through AARP, to confirm that their preferred providers will be part of the network throughout 2014, because of reductions the company recently made to its provider network.
Medicare Advantage plans are different than traditional Medicare plans, because members are restricted to the doctors who participate in their network, so it is critical seniors understand their options during the Medicare open enrollment period, which ends December 7th. For more information, visit

Read more: UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Network Changing


Gas Prices May Not Bottom Out Until Mid-December

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The U-S Energy Department reports gas prices fell another seven cents over the past week. The national average is now three dollars and 19 cents a gallon. ABC News reports Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst at says prices may not bottom out until mid December and it's entirely realistic the national average could hit as little as $3.15, perhaps even $3.10 a gallon by Thanksgiving and it could march within a nickel of three dollars a gallon here by Christmas.
In the Gary metropolitan area, reports the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.02. ...

Read more: Gas Prices May Not Bottom Out Until Mid-December


IFA and INDOT Issue RFQ for Illiana Corridor Project

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The Indiana Finance Authority and INDOT today issued a Request for Qualifications for the Illiana Corridor project. Indiana is seeking submission of qualifications by private partners to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Indiana portion of the Illiana Expressway using an Availability Payment Structure.
NIRPC will continue to receive public input throughout the course of the remaining two open houses on the proposed project, one tomorrow at the NIRPC office in Portage, from 4pm to 6pm and the other scheduled next week, Tuesday November 19th, at Michigan City City Hall, from 2pm to 4pm. The commission is scheduled to vote on whether or not to include the project in their 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan on December 12th.
The RFQ document can be viewed at the IFA website: Statements of Qualifications are due by Friday, January 10, 2014....

Read more: IFA and INDOT Issue RFQ for Illiana Corridor Project


Gary Double Homicide Suspects Charged with Murder

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Gary PD
Both suspects in a November 1st double-homicide of a husband and wife in Gary are now in custody. The Porter County Sheriff's Office reports, on Friday, one of the suspects was found walking along northbound State Road 149, near County Road 875 North, and was taken into custody without incident. The man had reportedly been with the Good Samaritan Church Group when he fled after he overheard an arrangement being made for police to stop the church van. Gary Police Corp. Gabrielle King says 44 year old Mark Anthony Williams and 46 year old Anthony Wilson have been charged with two-counts of murder, two-counts of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and auto theft.
The bodies of 62 year old Leviticus Dupree and 54 year old Toshiba Moore-Dupree, were found unresponsive and covered in blood, after being found stabbed in their home in the 25-hundred block of Delaware Street....

Read more: Gary Double Homicide Suspects Charged with Murder


House Fire in Portage Under Investigation

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Portage Fire Dept. 2
Fire officials continue to investigate the cause of a fire at a house in the 52-hundred block of Terry Avenue in Portage. The Portage Fire Department was called out around 5:30 Monday afternoon on a one alarm fire. Reports say no one was home at the time, and that the homeowner arrived as crews were on scene. ...

Read more: House Fire in Portage Under Investigation


Gary Double Homicide Suspect in Custody

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A suspect in a double-homicide in Gary was taken into custody on Friday. The Porter County Sheriff's Office reports the man was found walking along northbound State Road 149, near County Road 875 North, and was taken into custody without incident. The man had reportedly been with the Good Samaritan Church Group when he fled after he overheard an arrangement being made for police to stop the church van.  ...

Read more: Gary Double Homicide Suspect in Custody


Chicago's Willis Tower Named 2nd Tallest

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Chicago's Willis -formerly Sears- Tower is losing its 'tallest building in the US' title. The Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat announced today (Tuesday) in Chicago, that One World Trade Center in New York City will be number one upon its completion next year. Antony Wood, Executive Director of the group, says the spire on One World Trade Center -- which makes it higher than Chicago's Willis Tower --  is not considered an antenna. "Antennae do not count in the height of a tall building," Wood said, "because they are functional technical equipment which is put on top. The committee were quite clear that that was not the case on One World Trade Center. This is a permanent feature."  After 39 years of holding the title of America's Tallest Building, Sears, or Willis, will be number two in the U.S....

Read more: Chicago's Willis Tower Named 2nd Tallest


Horses Abandoned in Lake County

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horse 1
Lake County Sheriffs Police announced today that two horses were abandoned November 3, 2013, at 241st Avenue in Schneider in far south Lake County near LaSalle State Fish and Wildlife Area. Authorities say the horses are safe due to the efforts of the Lake County Sheriff's Posse Unit who provided them with temporary shelter and care, however the horses are emaciated, police say, and in need of donations and foster care.  [Photos/Lake County Sheriff's Police]
horse 2
To inquire about foster care/ adoption or information about making donations to help in the care of the two horses, please contact:
Lake County Sheriff's Animal Adoption and Control Center
3011 West 93rd Avenue
Crown Point, Indiana 46307
Phone (219) 769-7016
Fax (219) 755-3921
The donations needed for the two horses are:
Monetary donations for veterinary care
Halters - various sizes
Feed gift cards- * Leo's feed & Garden * Crown Feed * Tractor Supply
Wormer, brushes, buckets (for feed & water), feed scoops, and hay bags....

Read more: Horses Abandoned in Lake County


Heavy Lake Effect Blankets Part of Northwest Indiana

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That says 10
There's sunshine in Lake County but on the eastern side of Northwest Indiana, several inches of snow. LaPorte County getting upwards of eight-and nine-inches in some areas, there's also snow on the ground in Porter County. Just north of the Indiana/Michigan state line, in Berrien County, reports of 12-to-14 inches of lake effect, according to reports in to the National Weather Service Northern Indiana. The snow-making machine has stalled out somewhat, but lake effect was still falling this hour in parts of the Region. [Thanks Amanda Senne, La Porte, for the photo]

Read more: Heavy Lake Effect Blankets Part of Northwest Indiana


Part of US 30 Closed; Lake Effect Continues

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Officials say the eastbound lanes of US 30 from Hanna to State Road 39 in southern La Porte County are being shut down as crews continue to clean up debris from an earlier crash scene. Westbound lanes remain open, we're told, and the eastbound closure affects about a two-to-three mile stretch of US 30.
Lake effect snow continues to fall especially on La Porte County, but not exclusively, as we're seeing additional snow now across Porter County and parts of Starke County locally. The Indiana Department of Transportation-Northwest has more than three dozen plow crews working to clear the roads.
INDOT says the first snow of the season typically brings a higher rate of crashes and slide-offs as some drivers forget to consider the winter weather road conditions. Drivers are asked to promote their own safety, and that of others, by reducing their speed and increasing the distance between themselves and other vehicles, including INDOT’s yellow plow trucks....

Read more: Part of US 30 Closed; Lake Effect Continues


Winter Preparedness Week in Indiana Nov 17-23

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence has proclaimed November 17-23, 2013 as Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Indiana. The Indiana State Police offers the following tips.
Be prepared:
 Before traveling, check the forecast and let someone know your travel route
 Keep your gas tank at least half-full
 Carry a winter driving kit that should include blankets, flashlight, extra batteries, a brightly colored cloth, sand (or kitty litter), shovel, candle, matches, non-perishable high calorie food, first aid kit, and jumper cables
 Have a cell phone and charger cord
 Slow down on snow/ice covered roads
 Allow extra time to arrive at your destination
 Clear all vehicle windows of ice and snow. Remove snow from hood, roof and lights.
 Use extra caution when driving across bridges, underpasses, shaded areas and intersections where ice is slow to melt
 Avoid abrupt stops and starts. Slow down gradually.
Should you become stranded:
 Don’t leave your car. It’s the best protection you have.
 Tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna
 Roll down your window a small amount to allow fresh air in your vehicle
 Keep exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
 Don’t panic. An idling car uses approximately one gallon of gas per hour
For Indiana road conditions call 1-800-261-7623, or visit the Indiana Department of Transportation website at In partnership with the Governor’s office, Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Education and the Red Cross more information can be found at the following website:

Read more: Winter Preparedness Week in Indiana Nov 17-23


Lake County Company Adding Jobs

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A Lake County company is growing. MonoSol LLC out of Merrillville has announced plans to add one-hundred workers over the next year to year-and-a-half, on the manufacturing side mostly, but also scientists and engineers, and marketing, sales and administrative positions. The company makes film that dissolves in water, as seen, for instance, on cleaning products placed in washing and dishwashing machines. Company officials say they're currently expanding in La Porte, and site selection is underway, with plans to announce groundbreaking for their next manufacturing site early next year. They also have locations in Portage, Indiana, and the UK. 
MonoSol also says they're investing significantly in developing next generation film delivery systems for food, feed and personal care applications. Their Vivos® Edible Delivery System, for instance, is engineered to create individual delivery systems, like pouches, that disappear and release their contents when exposed to hot or cold liquids.  The dissolved film, transparent, odorless and tasteless, and made of a proprietary blend of food-grade ingredients, could then be safely consumed along with the food, company officials say....

Read more: Lake County Company Adding Jobs


Activity 'Non-Stop' in La Porte Co in Lake Effect

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We are getting reports of several accidents, slide-offs, crashes across La Porte County this morning.  Road conditions are very difficult with lake effect snow continiing to fall.  On US 20, just west of State Road 39 (north of La Porte, in the Springville area), there are a few large vehicles having difficulty climbing the grade.  Authorities say activity has been non-stop due to the snow and road conditions this morning....

Read more: Activity 'Non-Stop' in La Porte Co in Lake Effect


Eastern Northwest Indiana Getting Lake Effect

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Heavy snow is expected today over parts of the Region in the first significant lake effect snow event of the season.  The heaviest snowfall is expected on the east side of Northwest Indiana.  La Porte County remains under a Lake Effect Snow Warning until 12 noon CST.  Lake Effect Snow Advisories have been issued for Porter, Jasper, and Starke Counties.    For forecast updates here is the link to the National Weather Service Northern Indiana:  and here is the website link to the National Weather Service office in Chicago:

Read more: Eastern Northwest Indiana Getting Lake Effect


219: Blue Top Drive-In Restoration

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The legendary Blue Top drive in is getting a second life in the region thanks to new owners, Dennis Miniuk and John Golfis. We spoke with John on their plans for the future, including opening the restaurant by January. For more on the future of this iconic Region spot, listen to today's 219 or our full interview with John at Region News On Demand here on our website....

Read more: 219: Blue Top Drive-In Restoration


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Region News Team
Region News Team
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Region News Team


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