Two Dead After Lightning Strikes in Gary

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In Gary, two people are dead and a baby was injured after two separate incidents involving lightning strikes.  Gary fire officials say shortly before 11:30 Thursday morning a man working on a billboard in the 47-hundred block of 27th Avenue was hit by lightning. The Lake County Coroners office say 28-year-old Angelo Santucci of Hobart sustained multiple burns and was pronounced about an hour later at an area hospital.   Within the hour the fire department was called out to to a house fire in the 11-hundred block of Jefferson Court, a fire that is believed to have started by a lightning strike.  lake County Coroners officials say a 45-year-old male identified as Jacquelyn Allen of that address was pronounced dead after suffering severe burns, and a nine-month old child was transported to a Chicago hospital.  No information was available on the child's condition....

Read more: Two Dead After Lightning Strikes in Gary


Indianapolis Officer Killed in the Line of Duty

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Officer Bradway
Officials say an Indianapolis Police officer who's originally from northern Indiana lost his life this morning, responding to a woman's screams for help, as he was fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire with a man who was later killed.  Police were called out to a disturbance at an apartment complex on the northwest side of the city overnight.  Authorities say 41-year-old officer Rod Bradway, a native of Nappanee, was a five-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
Police say at approximately 1:52 am (Eastern Daylight Time), officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) were dispatched to the 6700 blk. of Eagle Pointe Dr. (Eagle Point Apartments) reference a disturbance.

When the first arriving officer arrived, he heard screams for “help” from an unidentified woman who was inside an apartment. The officer fearing for the safety of this woman made entry. As the officer entered the apartment, gunshots were exchanged between the officer and the suspect and the officer was struck with gunfire. The officer was transported to Wishard Memorial Hospital in critical condition where he later died as a result of his injuries. The officer, identified as Bradway, was a highly decorated officer having just been awarded the IMPD’s Medal of Bravery. Officer Bradway leaves behind a wife and two teenage children.

"We have lost a true hero today in Officer Bradway…please keep his family and the IMPD family in your thoughts and prayers in the days and weeks that lie ahead” said IMPD Chief Rick Hite.

Investigators have not yet identified the suspect who was also fatally shot and killed in the exchange of gunfire with police. Investigators are also working to ascertain the exact circumstances of the shooting, and have detained the woman, who was not injured, for questioning. Further updates will be provided as they become available. [Photo/provided]...

Read more: Indianapolis Officer Killed in the Line of Duty


Hobart Man's Death in Gary Under Investigation

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The Lake County Coroner's Office is investigating the death of a Hobart man who suffered multiple burns in the 47-hundred block of West 27th Avenue in Gary. The Coroner's Office reports the manner of death is pending for 28 year old Angelo Santucci. No further information is available at this time. ...

Read more: Hobart Man's Death in Gary Under Investigation


Transgender Person's Death Under Investigation

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A transgender person from Gary who sustained severe burns was pronunced dead just after noon today at Methodist Northlake E-R.   The Lake County Coroner's Office reports the manner of death is pending for Jacquelyn Allen, and that the incident occurred in the one-thousand block of Jefferson Street in Gary.  The Coroner's Office and the Gary Fire Department are investigating and no further information is available at last check.

Read more: Transgender Person's Death Under Investigation


Crown Point Gets Grant Money for 93rd Ave Trailhead

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The City of Crown Point announced today they received a grant from TransCanada in the amount of 35-thousand dollars to place a trailhead at 93rd Avenue and to add amenties like bike racks, benches and additional shelters. Parks Administrator Jennie Burgess says the city has two trailheads, with construction to begin shortly for the Summit Street end of the one-point-six mile trail, which is the Crown Point portion of the Erie Lackawanna Trail, and that this grant now allows them to now add more to the 93rd Avenue trailhead. Burgess says contruction on the 93rd Avenue portion could begin later next year, in conjunction with improvements to the intersection of 93rd and Main Street.
The public is invited out on Monday, September 23rd, at 10am, at the 93rd Avenue trailhead for a check presentation, which would be moved into the City Hall Council Chambers in the event the weather refuses to cooperate. ...

Read more: Crown Point Gets Grant Money for 93rd Ave Trailhead


Police Investigating the Rape of a Hammond Teen

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Authorities in Hammond and Dolton, Illinois are investigating an alleged sexual assault of a 16 year old Gavit High School girl who was reportedly abducted while walking home from school Monday afternoon in Hammond. Police report the incident occurred around 3:30pm, and the suspects drove her across the state line to a motel in Dolton, where she was raped and eventually released. At last check no charges have been filed and no one is in custody....

Read more: Police Investigating the Rape of a Hammond Teen


Many Without Power Due to Storms

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A number of northwest Indiana communities are dealing with power outages due to the storms. At last check NIPSCO's Outage Map reports over 900 customers in Gary are without power, with almost 180 in Lowell and over 40 without power in Shelby. The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Advisory is in effect for southern Newton and southwestern Jasper County until 8pm tonight. ...

Read more: Many Without Power Due to Storms


Valpo Mayor takes part in Project Lifesaver Event

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Mayor receives wristband from Sheriff Lain
In an effort to call attention to a proven national program that protects elderly parents of adult children afflicted with memory loss or some form of Dementia or Alzheimer's, Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas agreed to seek a hiding place in the City's downtown only to be found.

The event to publicize the effectiveness of Project Lifesaver, hosted by the Porter County Sheriff's Department and Triad of Porter County, is a program that, according to the Lifesaver website, "protects those who wander and brings peace of mind to families, caregivers , and Communities."

Mayor Costas, seen in the above photo receiving a Project Lifesaver wristband from Sheriff David Lain, told Region News, "I can see how difficult it can be when an (elderly) parent is struggling with dementia or Alzheimer’s and they're at risk." But the mayor who is also an Elder Law attorney says, "this program is very cost effective and it really puts the adult children at ease knowing that their parents are safer and that someone who is suffering...can be found quicker."
Mayor and Louise go off and hide
(L-R) Louise Thompson of Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter and Mayor Costas begin their ten minutue head-start in Central Park Plaza, Thursday Sept. 19, 2013.
Time is of the essence when searching. Louise Thompson, Community Outreach Specialist for the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Indiana Chapter, who accompanied the mayor, says the program is a lifesaver, "The mortality (rate) for someone who gets lost and is gone for over an hour...doubles every hour."

Project Lifesaver was unveiled nationally over ten years ago with Porter County being one of the first counties in Indiana to obtain the system in April of 2005, according to a previous Times article. Since that time, Sheriff David Lain says there have only been twelve participants in the county, and all of the participants were found uninjured. Triad tasked County Sheriff David Lain to approach the mayor to get the word out about the program to residents of Porter County. The sheriff says with his celebrity status, Mayor Costas is the perfect figure to champion the program's cause.
Sheriff David Lain
Porter County Sheriff, David Lain at the "Where's the Mayor?" Project Lifesaver event
The sheriff says, "from the standpoint of manpower...we now have technology on our side and instead of it taking hours or even days to find somebody the average amount of time it takes to find a Project Lifesaver client is 30 minutes."
Cpt George Gonzales with tracking gear
Cpt. George Gonzalez of the Porter County Sheriff's Department leads one of two tracking units to find "lost" mayor

Police increase their odds of finding lost individuals by tracking with up to five units and using triangulation to get a fix on the missing subject's probably position. After a ten minute head-start, Captain George Gonzalez of the Sheriff's Department lead one of the two teams that found the mayor and Thompson's location in under ten minutes. The program runs very efficiently, Captain Gonzalez told Region News, "every client has a unique frequency (their radio transmitting wristband) and we program it into the receiver...we stop and scan from time to time to make sure we are headed in the right direction and eventually it will lead us right to the client."
Tracking team finds Mayor and Louise
Sharing in the success of Project Lifesaver after being found in the vicinity of the old jail are (L-R) Sheriff David Lain, Louise Thompson and Mayor Jon Costas
More information about Project Lifesaver is available at:
(photos courtesy of Jay Stevens)...

Read more: Valpo Mayor takes part in Project Lifesaver Event


Idea to Move Animal Shelter to Sunset Hill Dropped

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Porter County Commissioners report they will no longer seek to move the county animal shelter to Sunset Hill Farm County Park. The announcement was made today to find a new location during the Porter County Parks Foundation meeting, in which over 40 people turned out. The proposed site at Sunset Hill is in a federal conservation zone, and the County Parks Foundation could have possibly stood to lose funding if plans would have moved forward....

Read more: Idea to Move Animal Shelter to Sunset Hill Dropped


WX Causing Many Issues Overnight and This Morning

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Flash floods in Chicago killed one man, and left thousands without power. ABC News reports with the rain falling at nearly two inches an hour Wednesday night, a 25 year old private contractor, working on a sewer was swept away. His body was later recovered. Michael Fox, with the Chicago Fire Department, says the contractor had the camera going both ways in the sewer to see if the man could be found faster, and maybe make it a rescue instead of a recovery, but it didn't turn out. The downpour knocked out power to more than 15-thousand customers. At Chicago's airports, dozens of flights were delayed as the storms lingered through the morning.
The heavy rains overnight and into today caused water to drip from the ceiling, leaving soggy carpets in one of the courtrooms at the Lake County Government Center in Crown Point. The roof is reportedly past its prime and commissioners may declare an emergency and seek bids to fix it....

Read more: WX Causing Many Issues Overnight and This Morning


Severe T-Storm Warning and Flood Advisory

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1 breaking-news
The National Weather Service has extended its Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 5:45pm CDT for southwestern Jasper County. Also a Flood Advisory is in effect for southern Newton and southwestern Jasper County until 8pm tonight. ...

Read more: Severe T-Storm Warning and Flood Advisory


National Public Lands Day is September 28th

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Indiana DNR
Volunteer opportunities at Indiana state parks and reservoirs properties take place this weekend as part of National Public Lands Day. The Department of Natural Resources reports on Saturday only, active-duty military personnel and veterans can enter Indiana state parks and reservoirs for free, along with anyone in their vehicle, as long as they present identification showing they are or were a member of the military. On Sunday, free gate admission will be given to Indiana state employees, who show proper identification.  Additionally, volunteer opportunities and fun activities will continue at many properties on Sunday.
For property-specific information on volunteer opportunities and a wide range of fall programs and special event weekends, see or call the specific property you plan to visit.
For more information on National Public Lands Day or to find a National Public Lands Day event near you, visit

Read more: National Public Lands Day is September 28th


Severe T-Storm Warning Until 4:45pm CDT

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1 breaking-news
The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 4:45pm CDT. The warning is for southern Jasper and Newton Counties. Quarter size hail and 60 mile per hour wind gust are associated with the storm, according to their radar, with the potential impact of hail damage to vehicles and wind damage to roofs, siding and trees a strong possibility....

Read more: Severe T-Storm Warning Until 4:45pm CDT


Portage FD Honors 11 year Old Girl

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Portage Fire Dept. 2
The Portage Fire Department presented an 11 year old Portage girl with a Young Hero's award today for her actions and bravery regarding a house fire Wednesday evening. Assistant Fire Chief Joe Calhoun recognized Haley Lawrence, a 5th grader at Aylesworth Elementary, with the award during the annual fire prevention program, with her family in attendance. The Fire Department gives Haley credit for the minimal damage done by the fire and for the safety of residents, like her grandmother, whom she alerted after smelling smoke coming from a dryer in the basement. Officials say the girl, remembering the lessons learned through fire prevention programs, ushered her grandmother outside and reminded her the first call she should make is to 911, not other family members. The Fire Department reports the fire was contained to the dryer and the home received no structural damage. No injuries were reported and the family was not displaced. ...

Read more: Portage FD Honors 11 year Old Girl


Valpo PD Looking to Hire a New Officer

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Valpo PD
The Valparaiso Police Department is looking to hire a new officer. Police report application packets are available at their department, located in the three-hundred block of South Washington Street, or online. Applicants must be 21 or older, hold a high school degree or GED, be a US citizen, posses a valid driver's license, and have no prior felony arrests. All applications must be completed and return to the department by Friday, October 25th at 6pm. For a link to download the online application or for more information, visit

Read more: Valpo PD Looking to Hire a New Officer


Food Network Show in LaPorte to Transform Restaurant

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A restaurant in LaPorte is hoping a television show on the Food Network can overhaul their weak spots. Restaurant: Impossible came to LaPorte's “Seven” in the five-hundred block of State Street on Wednesday and are there again today to assess every aspect of the business including updating menus, retraining staff, and along with a number of local volunteers, paint, clean, and remodel. On the show, Chef Robert Irvine attempts to save the most desperate restaurants from impending failure in two days, with a budget of ten-thousand dollars. ...

Read more: Food Network Show in LaPorte to Transform Restaurant


Experts Say Asian Carp Are Adapting

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asian carp
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
The Asian carp continues confound experts. The Times reports those studying the invasive species found they are much more adaptive than previously thought and a bigger threat to native species, for example, in places like the Wabash River and Flatfoot Lake. According to the article, studies are underway for a toxin to be introduced into the affected waterways to kill them and only them, but that could be expensive. A report on Asian carp, outlining five strategies, is due to Congress in January. ...

Read more: Experts Say Asian Carp Are Adapting


60% Approve of Pence's Job as Governor

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Gov Mike Pence
A poll recently commissioned by the Indiana Republican Party shows 60 percent of Hoosiers approve of the job Governor Mike Pence has done in his first eight-months in office. The poll, which surveyed 800 registered Indiana voters between September 12th through the 15th, also found that 51 percent of Hoosiers believe the state is heading in the right direction. As for the Governor's resistance to the federal government's push to expand Medicaid, 60 percent of men 55 and older, and 53 percent of women 55 and over, give Pence their approval on that issue....

Read more: 60% Approve of Pence's Job as Governor


Westville Food Worker Arrested for Sexual Misconduct

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Bilek Sonya
(Photo Courtesy of the Westville Correctional Facility)
A 29 year old Westville Facility food service worker was charged with felony sexual misconduct by a service provider after being arrested on September 7th. The Westville Correctional Facility today announced that Sonya Belik, of Michigan City, was allegedly seen by another food service worker engaging in an inappropriate activity, with one of the inmate kitchen workers, and an investigation by the facility's Internal Affairs Department is being conducted to determine if any charges or internal disciplinary action maybe taken with the inmate allegedly involved....

Read more: Westville Food Worker Arrested for Sexual Misconduct


New Valparaiso Police Officer Sworn In

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Michael Trueblood  Chief Brickner
Valparaiso's newest police officer was sworn into duty Monday morning, September 16th, in a ceremony held at Valparaiso City Hall. Michael Trueblood, 23, is a graduate of Indiana University and Westville High School. Officer Trueblood previously had been a police officer with Indiana University Northwest in Gary for 3 years.   The hiring of Officer Trueblood increases the department to 51 sworn officers.   [Photo/Valparaiso Police Department]...

Read more: New Valparaiso Police Officer Sworn In


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Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team


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