Indiana in Ford Recall

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Ford is recalling 370-thousand full sized sedans in Indiana and 21 other states and Canada. The models are the Ford Crown Victoria, the Mercury Grand Marquis and the Lincoln Town Car from 2005 through 2011. The problem is the potential for corrosion on the steering shaft, and that could result in a loss of steering. Dealers will inspect the cars and make repairs if necessary. The recall is in effect for 22 states that have a heavy use of road salt in the winter and the District of Columbia. Owners in other states can ask for inspections and repairs if needed at no cost.
Information from NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Adminstration):
Ford Motor Company
Ford is recalling certain model year 2005-2011 Ford Crown Victoria (including Crown Victoria Police Interceptors), Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car vehicles. The affected vehicles are currently registered or were originally sold in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  Severe corrosion can seize the lower intermediate shaft which may cause the upper intermediate shaft to collapse and the steering column lower bearing to separate.
If the lower bearing separates, the vehicle may experience a loss of steering, increasing the risk of a crash.
Ford will notify owners and dealers will replace the lower intermediate shaft, free of charge.  The upper intermediate shaft and steering column lower bearing will be inspected to identify any damage that may have occurred as a result of lower intermediate shaft corrosion, and repaired or replaced as necessary.  If the steering column lower bearing has separated, a retainer clip will be installed.  The recall is expected to begin October 21, 2013.  Owners may contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332.  Ford's recall number is 13S08.
Customers located in non-corrosion states who have concerns regarding their steering will have a one-time option to have their vehicles inspected and, if necessary, repaired.  Owners of these vehicles should contact Ford directly about these vehicles.  Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to

Read more: Indiana in Ford Recall


Weather Ofc Hit by Lightning

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As meteorologists were tracking strong thunderstorms Saturday, the Chicago office of the National Weather Service was hit by lightning.  The building in suburban Romeoville took a direct strike just after noon, taking down the radar and their phones. An electronics technician has been assessing the situation and amount of damage to equipment and communication lines. Their web site remained active, and you can also reach them by Facebook. 

Read more: Weather Ofc Hit by Lightning


'Zombie Run' in Portage

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The Portage Parks & Recreation Foundation will be hosting a 5K Extreme Run, the 2nd Annual Freaky Fun Zombie Run, on October 19, 2013 at 4 pm. Runners will experience the challenge of one of Imagination Glen’s Outback Trails, as well as, several strategically placed obstacles.
Runners will endure mud, water, rough terrain, an army crawl, and Zombies, according to the Portage Parks' foundation. After the race, runners can enjoy food and beverages at Imagination Glen. Registration forms can be found on the City of Portage’s website and typing Zombie in the search or email the foundation for a copy. Early registration deadline is September 28. The early registration fee is $30, which includes a t-shirt, food & a beverage.
Participants are encouraged to dress in costume. Group entries are encouraged. Prizes will be awarded for top 3 runners in each age category, largest group, and best costume. Additional information can be obtained by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling 219-781-3295. Anyone interested in volunteering as a zombie or to help with the race can also email us for additional information.

Read more: 'Zombie Run' in Portage


Jewelry Store Moving

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A  jewelry store that's been in in downtown Valparaiso for several decades is moving to a new location in the city.  The former Focus Financial Center on US 30 near Applebee's is being remodeled as the future home of Martin Binder Jewelers. The family that owns the store tells the Times they haven't decided what will be done yet with the current building at the corner Lincolnway and Franklin.

Read more: Jewelry Store Moving


Dangerous Rip Currents in Forecast

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Dangerous pounding waves and life-threatening rip currents are expected today at Indiana and Illinois and beaches along the Lake Michigan shoreline.  A Beach Hazards statement remains in effect through tonight (Mon Sep 02 2013).  The National Weather Service Northern Indiana office says since 2002, about 20-percent of all known rip current fatalities, from Michigan City, Indiana, to St. Joseph, Michigan, have occurred around the Labor Day weekend.  [Image/Northern Indiana National Weather Service]

NWS Northern Indiana:

 NWS Chicago (also includes NW Indiana):

Read more: Dangerous Rip Currents in Forecast


Fatal Crash Near St. John

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The Lake County Coroners office says a 52-year-old Evergreen Park, Illinois, man was killed in a motor-vehicle crash early Sunday afternoon on 109th Avenue near St. John.
Officials say Christopher Reynoso suffered blunt force trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:45 pm.   Lake County Sheriffs Police says a minivan began going onto the side of the road, then apparently over-corrected more than once, and a collision occurred between the van and the motorcycle Reynoso was driving. The other driver was reportedly taken to the hospital with minor injuries and the accident remains under investigation.

Read more: Fatal Crash Near St. John


Holiday Cleanout Week in Valpo

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It's Holiday Cleanout week in Valparaiso. City officials encourage residents to clean out sheds, basements, attics and garages, but there are some restrictions -- No tires, household hazardous material, asphalt shingles or grass clippings, and no contractor debris. The Valparaiso Department of Public Works is closed on Labor Day, Sept. 2 and all garbage and recycling pickups will be delayed one day this week.
City website:

Read more: Holiday Cleanout Week in Valpo


Next Phase of Roundabout Work

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The third and final phase of work on Valparaiso's newest roundabout is set to begin next week.  City officials have announced that traffic patterns will shift on September 10th, when Vale Park Road will be closed 200 feet west of the five-points intersection. Additional restrictions will be in place.  Trucks will not be allowed through the intersection.
Valparaiso Five-Points Roundabout Phase Three:
Vale Park Rd will be closed to all traffic from approximately 200' west of 5-Points Intersection to the intersection.  There will be no access to or from Vale Park West at the intersection.
Official detour:
Calumet Ave to Glendale Blvd, to Valparaiso St to Vale Park Rd; OR
Calumet to Bullseye Lake Rd to Vale Park Rd
Due to the closure of Vale Park Rd West (see separate closure info above) and Phasing on the 5-Points Roundabout Project, Calumet Ave, Roosevelt Rd and Vale Park Rd East will be limited to the following directions:
Northbound Calumet can continue north on Calumet or east on Vale Park.
Southbound Calumet can ONLY continue south on Calumet.
Northbound Roosevelt can go north on Calumet or east on Vale Park.
Official detour:
Roosevelt: Calumet Ave to Glendale Blvd; Vale Park: Calumet Ave to Country Club Rd to Silhavy Rd; Truck Route: Calumet to Burlington Beach to SR49 OR Calumet to Rte130 to SR149...

Read more: Next Phase of Roundabout Work


Lot of Lightning in Fri Storms

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Not all the thunderstorms were severe across the northwest Indiana/Chicagoland area Friday night, but forecasters say the storm event featured a lot of lightning, especially in counties northwest of Chicago. Within a one-hour time frame, from 6-to-7 pm, the National Weather Service says there were nearly four-thousand cloud-to-ground lightning strikes.

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Wastewater Contracts Canceled

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Hammond's Sanitary District has voted to cancel longtime contracts with Whiting, Highland and Griffith for treating wastewater. Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr says the three communities don't pay enough for the service in light of the cost of new infrastructure required by the US EPA meant to keep stormwater overflows from going into the Grand Calumet River during heavy rains. The Mayor is quoted as saying nothing will change in the interim, and that he wants to sit down and renegotiate terms of the deal, saying Highland, Griffith and Whiting residents on average pay less than a third what Hammond and Munster residents are charged.

Read more: Wastewater Contracts Canceled


Gary Incidents Investigated

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Police in Gary are investigating the report of a 23-year-old man hit by gunfire while walking along Clark Road near Fourth Avenue around midnight Friday morning. Police say the man said he heard shots fired, then realized he had been shot. Gary Police are also investigating the report of a 15-year-old boy attacked and robbed of his cellphone around 7-o'clock Thursday night in the 49-hundred block of Vermont.

Read more: Gary Incidents Investigated


Longtime State Rep Retiring

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A longtime Indiana lawmaker is leaving due to health reasons. Republican New Haven State Representative Phyllis Pond of House District 85 in the northeast portion of Allen County is resigning her seat effective October 15 after recently being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. Pond, a former kindergarten teacher, was first elected into office in 1978.  She is the longest-serving Republican state representative in Indiana.
During her long tenure, she has served on several key committees including the House Ways and Means Committee and the Judiciary Committee.
House Speaker Brian Bosma says Pond's legacy will continue to be remembered through the many pieces of legislation she has been involved with, including the Primetime Education Bill, which lowered class sizes to 18 in kindergarten through the third grade as well as providing class sizes larger than 18 with a  teacher’s aide. 

Read more: Longtime State Rep Retiring


Thousands Lose Power, FB Games Postponed

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About 13-hundred NIPSCO customers were without power as of this morning, mostly in Hammond and East Chicago area. Last night storms knocked out electricity to thousands of people in Northwest Indiana.
Outage map (refresh for latest info):
Several Region prep football games were canceled last night as strong thunderstorms rolled through the area. Games have been rescheduled for this morning and evening.
Here's a list of Northwest Indiana prep football games that were postponed until today:
Andrean at Merrillville
Boone Grove at Bishop Noll
Bowman Academy at Lake Station
Calumet at Hammond Clark
Culver at South Central (Union Mills)
Chicago Lindblom (Ill.) at Gary West Side
East Chicago Central at Lake Central
Griffith at Wheeler
Hammond v Highland (at Highland)
LaPorte at Hobart
Lowell at Hammond Morton
Mishawaka at Crown Point
Munster at Chesterton
Pioneer at Winamac, susp. to Sat
Rensselaer Central at North Newton, susp. to Sat
Whiting at Hammond Gavit


Read more: Thousands Lose Power, FB Games Postponed


61 year old Woman Overcome by Carbon Monoxide

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Cedar lake Metro PD
Authorities in Cedar Lake discovered a 61 year old unresponsive female in one-unit of a four-unit town house this morning after being called to the ten-thousand block of 130th Lane in reference to a strong smell of gas. Cedar Lake Police report first responders safely evacuated three of the four units and found the woman laying on a bed with no signs of life, who appeared to have passed away sometime during the night. Investigators determined the female victim accidentally left her vehicle running in an attached garage and went inside the house and that after several hours; the victim was overcome by the carbon monoxide fumes from her vehicle's exhaust. Police report fire units registered carbon monoxide levels of four-thousand parts per million inside her unit, safe levels are considered anything under 40 parts per million. Authorities report no other leaks were discovered and the remaining units were aired out and rechecked, at which time the other residents were allowed to return inside. Investigator report they believe this was a case of an accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
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Read more: 61 year old Woman Overcome by Carbon Monoxide


IN Toll Rd Lane Restrictions Removed for Labor Day

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GRANGER, Ind. – Due to the upcoming Labor Day weekend, ITR Concession Co. (the Indiana Toll Road) once again announces the removal of lane restrictions during this time to help ease the arrival of holiday traffic.
With Labor Day approaching, ITRCC has halted construction work beginning at 5 a.m. Aug. 29 and in effect until 8 p.m. Sept. 3. An exception is made for construction on the Ripley Street overpass (MP 20.5); however, two lanes remain open in each direction in that area. Exceptions will also be made for emergency repairs, and ITRCC reminds motorists to use caution while traveling and that speed limits will be enforced.
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Read more: IN Toll Rd Lane Restrictions Removed for Labor Day


Portage Woman Charged in the Death of Ricky Kimble

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A Portage woman has been charged for an alleged hit-and-run which resulted in the death of a LaPorte, whose body was discovered by a mowing crew earlier this month. According to court documents, Patricia Callahan is charged with three-felonies: leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, reckless homicide and insurance fraud. The body of 50 year old Ricky Kimble, was found in a grassy ditch, just south of eastbound I-80/94, about a mile west of the Portage exit, on August 6th, and an autopsy determined he died due to blunt force trauma to the body, which resulted in multiple fractures to his legs and spine, as well as traumatic internal injuries. Kimble, who had been reported missing by family members on August 5th, had reportedly been walking along I-80/94, and court documents state due to the distance between his body and personal belongings, he had been hit by something traveling at a considerable speed.
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Read more: Portage Woman Charged in the Death of Ricky Kimble


50 year old Woman Gets 50 years for Felony Battery

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Billie Jo Moore
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 50 year old woman who was found guilty by a jury last month of two-counts of felony battery was sentenced to 50 years in prison. The Times reports Billie Jo Moore received 20 years total for one-count of aggravated battery and one-count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and another 30 years for being a habitual offender. According to the article, the victim, Robert Gottschling, testified he allowed Moore to enter his home so she could use his phone following her car accident, and after making a couple of calls, she picked up a knife and attacked him.
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Read more: 50 year old Woman Gets 50 years for Felony Battery


Be a Proud Supporter of LaPorte PD K9, Buy a T-Shirt

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LaPorte K9 tshirt
The LaPorte Police Department is raising money for their K-9 units by selling t-shirts. Police report all proceeds go directly into the department's K-9 account to help cover the costs associated with maintaining the program. K-9 handler Matt Drangmeister is cuurently taking orders for the shirts, (219) 362-9446 ext. 209, which reads, “proud supporter – LPPD K-9” on the front and “evil seeks darkness, but K-9 owns the night” on the back.
Police report the K-9 unit will also have a display at the 2nd Saturday “Dog Days Downtown and Rescue Avenue” event in Laporte on September 14th, from 3pm to 7pm, where they'll take t-shirt orders at that time as well.
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Read more: Be a Proud Supporter of LaPorte PD K9, Buy a T-Shirt


NIPSCO Builds Bikes for Merrillville Boys and Girls Club

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build a bike 1
(Photo Courtesy of the NWI Boys and Girls Club of Merrillville)
On Friday, August 30, 2013 NIPSCO hosted their Annual Build A Bike event at the Hilton Garden Inn in Merrillville, Indiana. For the past two years, NIPSCO has donated these bikes to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana, Merrillville Club. NISPCO has been a major supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana and our Tolleston project. This year NIPSCO donated eight wonderful girls and boys bikes to the Merrillville Boys & Girls Club.
This event for NIPSCO is not only used to give back to the communities but is also a team building exercise for their employees. The employees are split up into four different teams. Their goal is to Build A Bike that not only looks good but is also functional and safe for the kids to enjoy. Building the bike promotes safety, exercise, and being responsible. Once the bikes are built the teams have to give a presentation on their “companies” bike. Some of the presentations today included: adults being children and learning about bike safety and a rap that promoted bike safety and how important exercise is. All of the bikes had different themes and each bike had a helmet. Some of the bikes had book bags, baseball bats, beach bags, and volleyball.
NIPSCO presented the bikes to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana this afternoon. Madalyn Hurt, Site Director for the Merrillville Club was very grateful for the bikes. Madalyn quoted “NIPSCO has always been a great advocate for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana. Each year they find different ways to be involved with our organization and our kids.” Robert Montgomery, Interim Vice President of Development & Marketing presented NIPSCO with a certificate and thanked them for all that they have done and continue to do for our organization.
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Read more: NIPSCO Builds Bikes for Merrillville Boys and Girls Club


Gary Mayor Apponits Four to Gary Airport Board

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Brd announcement 1
(Photos Courtesy of the City of Gary)
GARY, IN, AUGUST 30, 2013 – Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson today announced four appointments to the board of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority and welcomed the new appointment of Lake County’s representative on the board.
Each of the new members has long-term ties in the City of Gary and Northwest Indiana as well as expertise in business, accounting, public policy and law. 
“These outstanding individuals share great pride in the City of Gary and a resolute commitment to continue the ongoing progress to expand and grow the airport,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor of the City of Gary. “Their individual expertise and business acumen provide the right leadership to guide the airport forward with strong management and sound policies to attract investment and good-paying jobs.”
The appointments include:
·         James Cooper, Vice President – Account Manager at JP Morgan Chase in Chicago. He holds a Bachelors of Science degree in accounting from Indiana University Northwest. Cooper has extensive experience in data analysis, external regulatory reporting and auditing.
·         Denise Dillard,(Lake County appointment), Vice President of Government and External Affairs at the Methodist Hospitals where she also previously served as the Vice President of Human Resources. Dillard earned a degree in economics and political science from Howard University and a Master’s degree in Public Policy Administration from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.  She also holds a certificate in negotiations from Harvard University.
·         Michael Doyne, President of Doyne’s Marine, Inc., in Portage, Ind. Doyne is a certified pilot for light sport aircraft and previously served on the airport’s board from 2004 to 2009.  A graduate of Purdue University, Doyne also taught biology and environmental science at the former William A. Wirt High School, now the Wirt/Emerson VPA Academy.
·         Shontrai Irving, Attorney at State Farm insurance in Crown Point. He is also a former deputy prosecutor of the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.  Irving holds a law degree from the Indiana University School of Law and an MBA from the Purdue University School of Management.
·         Alesia Pritchett, Director of Business Services/Grant Management for the School City of Hammond.  Pritchett is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of Purdue University. She also holds an MBA from Indiana University Northwest. Pritchett previously served as the Director of Business Services for the Gary Community School Corporation and held several accounting positions at United Airlines.
The mayor announced the appointments at a meeting of the airport’s public-private partnership (P3) committee that is evaluating 10 proposals from companies and organizations to invest in the airport and the surrounding area. The proposals include firms from an array of sectors including aviation, finance and real estate as well as urban and environmental planning. The committee will recommend proposals to the airport authority board in September.
The committee is pursuing a P3 model that retains public ownership of the airport and benefits from private sector access to capital to spur job creation and long-term investment in Gary and the Northwest Indiana region.
In addition to the P3 initiative, major construction to extend the airport’s main 7,000-foot runway by 1,900 ft. continues. 
The seven-member airport authority board includes four members appointed by the mayor, one by the Board of Commissioners of Lake County, and one by the Board of Commissioners of Porter County.  The Governor appoints the president of the airport authority board.
The Gary/Chicago International Airport is less than 30 minutes from the heart of the tri-state region – Chicago. The airport is directly connected to Chicago's transportation network through freight, interstate and mass-transit and has close proximity to multiple Lake Michigan ports.
Brd announcement 2
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Read more: Gary Mayor Apponits Four to Gary Airport Board


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Region News Team
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Region News Team


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