Bus Rolls Over South of Lowell

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In Lake County, an early morning bus rollover a couple miles south of Lowell resulted in the driver being extricated and taken to a local hospital. Indiana State Police say just before 1:30 this morning a bus owned by North American Charter Lines out of Bolingbrook, Illinois, was north bound in the right lane at the 238 mile marker when it went off the road and came to rest on its passenger side, against the center strand barrier cable. There were no passengers onboard. Troopers say the driver, a 41-year-old Chicago man, stated he had probably fallen asleep, telling officers he was driving in the right lane then woke up in a ditch. Authorities say he suffered non-life-threatening injuries to his shoulder and head. One lane was closed for over two hours. Police say the driver was cited for failure to retain his previous seven days log and for unsafe lane movement. [Photo/Indiana State Police]...

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Valpo May Acquire Big Dome and Old Home

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Valparaiso is taking steps toward tearing down a historic building damaged by fire in July. The city will get an appraisal of the Needle and Thread site at Lafayette and Jefferson Street to buy the building in hopes of turning the property into a free parking lot for the downtown area.
Meanwhile, the city is also reportedly eyeing a highly-visible structure off of State Road 49. According to the Times today, the Redevelopment Commission has tentatively earmarked funds in its draft budget for 2014 to demolish the former Natural Ovens Bakery dome, which has sat empty for several years, so the property could be prepped for new development. It could go up for tax sale, and possibly eventually end up being deeded to Valparaiso. The Natural Ovens plant opened in 2003 and closed less than two years later in the midst of a surge in popularity in low-carb diets....

Read more: Valpo May Acquire Big Dome and Old Home


Informational Pickets Continue

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In Calumet Township, teachers in the Lake Ridge school system continue holding informational pickets to protest proposed cuts to salary and benefits. Yesterday, teachers stood outside the school administration building on Ridge Road before the School Board meeting last night. The Lake Ridge Federation of Teachers president, who teaches at Calumet High School New Tech, issued a statement last week saying they've had no part in budget discussions. Lake Ridge Schools Superintendent released a statement earlier saying there were public budget talks held earlier, and that the district is facing financial shortfalls due to less money coming in from the state and from property tax collections. ...

Read more: Informational Pickets Continue


Merrillville Eyeing Properties

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In Merrillville, officials continue developing the town's historic district, which could eventually include the former Old Mill pizzeria property at 73rd and Madison and former Carriage House antique store nearby. The town is reportedly looking at acquiring the vacant buildings, remodeling them, and renting them out, for possible future businesses like coffee shops or art studios.
There's been concern in Merrillville over empty, abandoned properties in general, many of which have fallen into states of disrepair, including a number of homes. ...

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Central US Earthquake Drill set for Thursday Oct. 17th

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One of the largest earthquakes in U.S. history occurred in the Central part of the country a little over 200 years ago--a quake so big it reversed the course of the Mississippi River while the earth quivered.  Seismologists say there's a chance another quake as intense could strike the central United States.  To help Hoosiers prepare the Indiana Department of Homeland Security will hold the Great Central US Shake Out earthquake drill on Thursda, October 17, 2013 at 10:17 a.m. local time. According to emergency officials and first responders, when an earthquake hits you should drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy table or desk and hold on until the shaking stops.   

Earthquake drill  
(graphic:  provided by

Individuals, schools and organizations are being asked to sign up online to participate in the drill.  John Erickson of the department of homeland security says, once registered, participants will receive information about showcase events in their area and regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.
Erickson told Region News that he was proud of the fact that of all ten states in the central U.S., participating in the drill, Indiana leads the way for people registered to participate in the drill.  According to, as of 5p.m. CDT Monday, October 14, 2013, 531,827 Hoosiers have registered so far with the next closest state, in number and proximity, Illinois, reporting 486,556 individuals have signed up.
USGS earthquake hazard map  
(graphic provided by )
  To register for the earthquake drill to be held on Thursday, October 17, 2013 or more information visit:
Official rescue teams who have been dispatched to the scene of earthquakes and other disasters around the world continue to advocate use of the internationally recognized "Drop, Cover and Hold On" protocol to protect lives during earthquakes:
•DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!), •Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and •HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.
If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building. Do not try to run to another room just to get under a table.
These are general guidelines for most situations. Depending on where you are (in bed, driving, in a theater, etc.), you might take other actions, as described in Recommended Earthquake Safety Actions .
The main point is to not try to move but to  immediately protect yourself as best as possible where you are. Earthquakes occur without any warning and may be so violent that you cannot run or crawl; you therefore will most likely be knocked to the ground where you happen to be. You will never know if the initial jolt will turn out to be start of the big one. You should Drop, Cover, and Hold On immediately!
In addition, studies of injuries and deaths caused by earthquakes in the U.S. over the last several decades indicate that you are much more likely to be injured by falling or flying objects (TVs, lamps, glass, bookcases, etc.) than to die in a collapsed building. Drop, Cover, and Hold On offers the best overall level of protection in most situations.
As with anything, practice makes perfect. To be ready to protect yourself immediately when the ground begins to shake, practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On as children do in school at least once each year.
According to here is What NOT to do: 
DO NOT get in a doorway! An early earthquake image of California is a collapsed adobe home with the door frame as the only standing part. From this came our belief that a doorway is the safest place to be during an earthquake. In modern houses and buildings, doorways are no safer, and they do not protect you from flying or falling objects. Get under a table instead!
DO NOT run outside! Trying to run in an earthquake is dangerous, as the ground is moving and you can easily fall or be injured by debris or glass. Running outside is especially dangerous, as glass, bricks, or other building components may be falling. You are much safer to stay inside and get under a table.

Read more: Central US Earthquake Drill set for Thursday Oct. 17th


Man With Muscular Dystrophy Finishes Marathon

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The Chicago Marathon started Sunday morning, but for one runner it didn't finish until early today. 38 year old Venezuelan Maickel Melamed crossed the finished line in Chicago around 1:30 in the morning, guided by the cheers of dozens of people. Melamed suffers from muscular dystrophy. He finished the 26.2 mile race in 16 hours a 46 minutes. The time wasn't officially recorded, as the time mats had already been taken down. He has previously run marathons in New York and Berlin. ...

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2 University of Chicago Professors Win Nobel Prize

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Two University Of Chicago professors have won a Nobel Prize for Economics. ABC News reports 60 year old Lars Peter Hansen developed a statistical method to test theories of asset pricing. He says he was walking his dog, when he got the call. Eugene Fama, who's been at the University of Chicago for more than 50 years, is known as the the father of efficient market hypothesis. He was asked if he ever thought as a young economist he'd be in this place... "I thought about how I'd feed my family...(laughing)" He won't have to worry about that any more. The Nobel Prize comes with a 1.2 million dollar reward. ...

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Cedar Lake Police Invesigating Home Burglary/Fire

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Cedar lake Metro PD
Cedar Lake Police are seeking help from residents after a house in the 136-hundred block of Cardinal Lane was broken into and a fire was set. Police say at approximately 11:40am Sunday, they received a call from the homeowner saying he returned from being out-of-town to find the rear door of his residence had been kicked in. Officers arrived and entered the home, only to encounter large amounts of black smoke and a couch on fire in the lower level of the residence. Firefighters were called to the scene and authorities report it appears the fire had been smoldering for several hours and may have burnt itself out. Anyone with information, or if anyone saw anything suspicious between 3pm on October 12th to 11am October 13th, is asked to contact Cedar Lake Police....

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Chicago Man Arrested for Illegal Buying/Selling Wildlife

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illegal buying and selling wildlife
(Photo Courtesy of Indiana Conservation Police)
A 47 year old Chicago man has been arrested in Starke County for illegally buying and selling wildlife. Conservation Police report officers served search warrants late this morning in Hamlet, at Alexander Moy's Starke County property, known as the Kankakee Valley Fish Farm, for evidence related to illegal wildlife sales, and various equipment and animal species used in the illegal operation were reportedly located at the property and seized as evidence. Authorities say their investigation of Moy began in 2011, after they received complaints Moy allegedly purchased whitetail deer from members of the public and during the course of their investigation they learned Moy was actively reselling the wildlife to markets and restaurants in Chicago's China-town. Conservation Police say an investigation continues which could lead to more arrests.
If anyone has information regarding this investigation, or has information on the illegal taking, possessing, or selling of wildlife; please contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division. You can report any fish and game violation to your local Conservation Officer’s District Office, or the IDNR Tip Hotline at: 1-800-TIP-IDNR....

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IUNW Alumni Assoc. hosts Chicago Chocolate Tour

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Paulette La Fata-Johnson IUNW
Chocolate lovers, the Alumni Association of Indiana University Northwest invites you to take a tour of Chicago Chocolatiers on Saturday, October 19th.  Alumni Director Paulette LaFata-Johnson says the all-day bus tour begins at the Macy's Frango Mint Viewing Kitchen with "sweet" stops along a five to seven-block walk.  Tour goers will then be given about three hours free time at Water Tower Place before heading back to the university at around 5p.m.

LaFata-Johnson says the $70 fee includes bus transportation to and from I-U Northwest, box lunch, tour, samples and a "chocolate challenge." She says there will also be two door prizes one of which is a chocolate basket to be given away.  Paid Alumni members will receive a discount. 
For tickets, or more information, contact the IU Northwest Office of Alumni Relations at (219) 980-6769 or a rel="nofollow" href="http:
You cna hear more about the tour by clicking on and selecting the News Audio On Demand link.
(photo:  Paulette La Fata-Johnson, Alumni Director, Indiana University Northwest; )

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Another Suspect Charged in 2012 Double Homicide

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sanchez alejandro
(Photo Courtesy of the Porter County Sheriff's Office)
A 21 year old Hammond man was formally charged today in an April 2012 double-homicide. The Porter County Sheriff's Office reports Alejandro Sanchez was picked up by police on Friday afternoon and charged today with two-counts of murder in the shooting deaths of Jeffery Trinka and Jennifer Guinn. Authorities report the double homicide occurred in the 15-hundred block of West Lincolnway, during the early morning hours of April 7th, 2012, on the southwestern fringe of Valparaiso. A November 4th trial date has already been scheduled for another suspect in this case, 20 year old Julius Garza, of Hammond, who is also charged with two-counts of murder....

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Autopsy on Jail Inmate Postponed

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An autopsy anticipated to be performed today on a Porter County jail inmate who was found unresponsive in her cell early Saturday morning has been postponed. The Porter County Coroner's Office says at this time an autopsy has been moved to Wednesday, but ultimately it depends on the availability of the pathologist. The female inmate in question was brought to the jail at 10:15 Friday night and placed in a padded cell, after being deemed a threat to herself and others following a suicide screening, according to the Porter County Sheriff's Office. Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry LaFlower says at 12:30 am Saturday, the woman, identified as Autumn Mc Ilvain, was found unresponsive and was transported to Porter Regional Hospital where she later died....

Read more: Autopsy on Jail Inmate Postponed


US Marshals Fugitive of the Week: Wanda Montanez

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wanda montanez
(Photo Courtesy of the US Marshals Service)
A 53 year old woman wanted by the Porter County Sheriff's Office for three-counts of dealing dangerous drugs is the US Marshals Service, Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force “Fugitive of the Week”. Wanda Montanez, who is from the Portage area, is described as a white female, 5'06”, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information on Wanda Montanez and her whereabouts is asked to contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411). All tipsters will remain anonymous....

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Garden Area Dedicated Across from Hospital

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DSC 0011
Deacon Bill Walsh, a chaplain at Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Michigan City, officiates at a blessing and dedication ceremony Oct. 11 for a new employee and community garden area across from the hospital at Wabash and Ripley Streets.  A spokesman for Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City says the area was created through free-of-charge efforts of Tonn and Blank Construction of Michigan City and Lakeshore Landscaping of Valparaiso. The site formerly was the location of a hospital-owned house that was used as a priest residence and later for offices and storage before it was razed more than a year ago.
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Bill Beven, hospital director of facilities, and Sister Marcene Franz (shown in the second photo) said at the ceremony officials decided to transform the site into a place for rest, reflection and recreation for employees and the public. It is equipped with park benches and a picnic table and is adorned with statues of St. Francis and St. Joseph (shown) that were relocated from the hospital grounds by Tonn and Blank. Beven thanked Jeff Elisha, Lakeshore sales manager; Brock Rhodes, Tonn and Blank project manager and Jason Bailey, company superintendent; for their firms’ generosity.  [Photos/provided]...

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Audio: 911 Call of Alligator on Indiana Interstate

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10-14-13 Alligator Pic 1
Just north of Indianapolis, in the Hamilton County community of Fishers, police locate an alligator along Interstate 69. A motorist phoned in the sighting to police, who responded and located the three-foot long reptile, who authorities believe may have been on his own for weeks, if not months. The alligator was taken to a reptile rescue in central Indiana.  
10-14-13 Alligator Pic 2
Fishers Police say early Saturday morning a driver on I-69 called 911 to report an alligator walking along the southbound lanes near the 206 mile marker. Fishers Police officers responded and located the animal. The animal was dirty and appeared to have been running loose for some time, according to police. The animal appeared to be in good health. The officers safely secured the animal and contacted a reptile rescue service in Strawtown, Indiana. A representative from Strawtown responded and took custody of the alligator. Fishers Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Tom Weger says officers believe the alligator was most likely someone’s pet who got too big to handle and ended up being released. [Photos/Fishers Police]
To hear a portion of the the 911 call, visit News Audio on Demand here at our website....

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Police Investigate Overnight Shooting Death

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Police in Gary are investigating a homicide that occurred overnight. The Lake County Coroners office says 35-year-old Jerome Williams of Gary suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead in the 500 block of East 16th Avenue shortly after 2:30 this morning. Gary Police responded to a nearby tavern just after 1 am on the report of shots fired outside the establishment.  The shooting death marks the 43rd homicide in the city this year, the number recorded for all of 2012. ...

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Motorcyclist Injured in Interstate 94 Crash

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A three-vehicle chain reaction crash on Interstate 94 Sunday afternoon a few miles east of the Porter/Burns Harbor exit sent a 56-year-old Gary man who was ejected from his motorcycle to a local hospital with injuries described as non-life-threatening. Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say the first vehicle, a Yukon, had to slow and stop because of traffic due to an earlier property damage crash involving three vehicles and was struck from behind by a Buick, and the motorcyclist, who police say was wearing a helmet, tried to stop in time, but was unable to, and hit the back of the second vehicle. Troopers say the other two drivers were unhurt. All lanes of westbound I-94 were closed for about an hour. [Photo/Indiana State Police]...

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Autopsy Results Expected in Jail Inmate Death

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Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says autopsy results are expected today after the death of a female county jail inmate over the weekend.  Porter County Sheriffs Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry LaFlower says the woman was brought to the jail at 10:15 Friday night and placed in a padded cell after being deemed a threat to herself and others following a suicide screening.  Sgt. LaFlower reports at 12:30 am Saturday, the woman was found unresponsive.  She was transported to Porter Regional Hospital where she later died. ...

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Deadly Crash Near Portage

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Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say a crash that left a couple from Ontario, Canada, dead in northwest Indiana after their car dropped thirty feet off an interstate over the weekend was still under investigation. Shortly before 4:30 Saturday morning, troopers responded to Jensen Road underneath Interstate 80/94 near Portage.
Officials say the preliminary crash investigation revealed a 2014 Toyota Matrix westbound on Interstate 80/94 near the 19 mile marker for unknown reasons traveled off the north side of the interstate, continued to track westbound parallel to the highway,struck an earthen embankment, then went airborne across Jensen Road, landing on the west side of Jensen Road after an approximately 30 foot drop off of the interstate. Jensen Road. travels north and south under Interstate 80/94
The driver, identified as 62-year-old Isaac Acheampong and his wife, Cecelia Acheampong, 53, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Indiana State Police say the crash is still under investigation, but at this time neither the use of alcohol nor narcotics is suspected as having contributed to this crash. [Photo/Indiana State Police]...

Read more: Deadly Crash Near Portage


Prep Football Sectional Draw

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The IHSAA Prep Football sectional draw was Sunday, setting the stage for this year's tournament which introduces the new 6A class featuring the largest schools in the state. 322 schools will start the playoffs, but only six will be champions.
*Note: Playoffs begin Oct 25th. Due to realignment there are five teams in sectional 9 which will have one game the first week of the playoffs, with the other teams will play the following week.
Here are the sectional pairings for the Region schools.  For the state-wide sectional lineup, CLICK HERE.
6A: Sectional 1
Lafayette Jefferson at Merrillville
Crown Point at Lake Central
Sectional 2
Penn at Portage
Valparaiso at Chesterton
5A: Sectional 9   
LaPorte at Mishawaka (Oct 25)   Plays Oct 25
Munster at Michigan City          Plays Nov 1
South Bend Adams at winner of LaPorte/ Mishawaka   Plays Nov 1
4A: Sectional 17 
Hammond Clark at Griffith
East Chicago Central at Hammond Morton
Lowell at Gary West Side
Highland at Hammond Gavit
Sectional 18 
South Bend St. Joseph at Hobart
Kankakee Valley at New Prairie
3A: Sectional 25 
Calumet at Gary Wallace
Knox at Andrean
Hammond at Gary Roosevelt
2A: Sectional 33
North Judson at North Newton
Bishop Noll at Rensselaer Central
Boone Grove at Wheeler
Bowman Academy at River Forest
1A: Sectional 41
South Central at Culver Community
LaVille at Whiting
Lake Station at Winamac
Sectional 42
South Newton at Frontier...

Read more: Prep Football Sectional Draw


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