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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: http://www.projectlifesaver.org
(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 InterpretiveServices.IN.gov 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 PublicLandsDay.org....

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  www.valparaisopolice.org...

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

   

Park Employees from Poland Visit Indiana Dunes

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PolishVisitors 9-16-12
Kampinos National Park's Małgorzata Mickiewicz and Ewa Siatecka visit Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. (NPS Photo)
Two park employees from Poland are in Northwest Indiana as part of a “Sister Park” program. Małgorzata Mickiewicz and Ewa Siatecka, from Poland’s Kampinos National Park will spend three weeks at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as part of a “Sister Park” program to learn how U.S. national parks are managed. Ms. Mickiewicz is the Deputy Director for Scientific Research, Monitoring, Education, Communication and Tourism and Ms. Siatecka is the park’s Specialist in Tourism and International Affairs. During their stay, which ends September 27th, they also want to learn how the National Park Service (NPS) plans recreational areas for people with disabilities and how it manages different user groups.
You can hear our interview with Ewa Siatecka online here at our website at News Audio on Demand.
The formal “Sister Park” program between the two national parks began in 1998 with the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation. The intent of the program is to promote international cooperation and to exchange technical and promotional knowledge that will help improve the management of both parks. Kampinos, like the national lakeshore, has upland dunes intermixed with marshes and other wetlands. Both are botanically rich with great diversity despite being located near large population centers.
Living expenses for the Polish visitors are being supported through a donation by the Dunes National Park Association. The association is a non-profit organization that supports the protection, preservation, and promotion of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore....

Read more: Park Employees from Poland Visit Indiana Dunes

   

Officials Seek Local Input on High-Speed Rail

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The second of two local public meetings to get feedback on route alternatives being evaluated for high-speed rail between Chicago and Porter, for a Tier One Environmental Impact Statement on the Chicago/Detroit Passenger Rail Corridor, takes place this afternoon at the Porter Town Hall.  Staff will be available to answer questions and exhibits along with other reference materials will be on display. The meeting run from 4pm to 7pm, with a presentation at 4:30pm. Comments will be taken at the meetings or can be filled out online, and all comments must be received by October 28th to be included in this process.
You can hear our interview with Will Wingfield from the Indiana Department of Transportation [INDOT] online here at our website at News Audio on Demand.
Fast Facts from INDOT:
-          Illinois, Indiana and Michigan departments of transportation are holding a series of public meetings to obtain feedback on the route alternatives being evaluated between Chicago and Porter, Ind., including the area known as South of the Lake (SOTL). This is for a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Chicago Detroit/Pontiac Passenger Rail Corridor.
-          The Tier 1 EIS will help evaluate passenger rail improvements along a 300-mile corridor through three states.
-          Public comments must be received by Oct. 28 and can be submitted in multiple ways.
-          Check the website www.GreatLakesRail.org for more details.
September 4, 2013 – The Illinois, Indiana and Michigan departments of transportation, in association with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), are announcing a second series of public meetings for the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac Passenger Rail Corridor Program. The meetings are being held to:
-          Update the public on the Program,
-          Present the route alternatives being evaluated between Chicago and Porter, Ind., including the area known as South of the Lake (SOTL), and
-          Obtain feedback to help determine the route alternatives to be evaluated in the Tier 1 EIS.
The Tier 1 EIS will evaluate passenger rail improvements along a 300-mile rail corridor between Chicago and Detroit/Pontiac, Mich. The Tier 1 EIS will evaluate the effects of upgrading rail infrastructure and facilities to safely accommodate potential passenger rail service improvements. Effects on the natural environment, jobs, the economy, air quality, traffic, and neighborhoods will be considered. State and federal transportation partners are seeking input from residents, business owners and other stakeholders. Staff will be available to answer questions at four upcoming meetings. Exhibits and other reference materials will be on display and presentations made.
All comments must be received by Oct. 28 to be included in this step of the Tier 1 EIS process. Multiple options for submitting comments are available including:
-          Fill out a comment form at a public meeting,
-          Use the online comment form at www.GreatLakesRail.org,
-          Call toll-free number 877- 351-0853, and
-          Mail your written comments to Bob Parsons, MDOT, P.O. Box 30050, Lansing, MI 48909.
Public meetings will be held in each of the three states and will be open to the public between 4 and 7 p.m. A presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on attendance and interest. The same information will be presented at each meeting. Meeting materials will also be posted to the program website on Sept. 13, 2013.
Illinois
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
4 to 7 p.m. (CDT); Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on request.
Chicago Union Station in the
Union Gallery Room (off the Great Hall)
500 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL
Indiana
Wednesday, Sept 18, 2013
4 to 7 p.m. (CDT); Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on request.
Genesis Convention Center, Lake Room
One Genesis Center Plaza, Gary, IN
Thursday, Sept 19, 2013
4 to 7 p.m. (CDT); Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on request.
Porter Town Hall, Main Floor Meeting Room
303 Franklin St., Porter, IN
Michigan
Tuesday, Sept 24, 2013
4 to 7 p.m. (EDT); Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on request.
Double Tree by Hilton Hotel
5801 Southfield Expressway, Dearborn, MI
Information about the program and how to participate can be found at the project website www.GreatLakesRail.org. Sign up for program e-mail updates on the website or call toll-free at 877-351-0853. With an advance notice of seven days, MDOT can make accommodations for persons with disabilities and/or limited English-speaking ability, and persons needing auxiliary aids or services of interpreters, signers, readers, or large print. To request accommodations in any of the three states, call Bob Parsons directly at 517-373-9534 or toll free at 877-351-0853....

Read more: Officials Seek Local Input on High-Speed Rail

   

Lake County Sheriff Requests Help for Demolition

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Lake County Sheriff John Buncich has sent a letter to Indiana Governor Mike Pence, asking for the state to deploy National Guard petsonnel to help tear down some ten-thousand abandoned homes and commercial buildings in Gary.  Buncich says vacant properties are often locales for illegal activity and pose a danger to neighborhoods. Gary has seen forty homicides this year. Earlier this year, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson sent a letter to Governor Pence requesting the state send help to fight an increase in violent crime. ...

Read more: Lake County Sheriff Requests Help for Demolition

   

PUC Gets Grant to Retrain Unemployed Workers

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viscone
First District Congressman Pete Visclosky has announced that Purdue University Calumet in Hammond is getting a two-point-seven-million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide training to Trade Adjustment Assistance eligible workers, veterans, and others who quality who are seeking jobs in Northwest Indiana’s manufacturing industry.  It is expected that the project will impact at least 300 individuals by allowing for the opportunity to attain one or more industry certifications. Individuals receiving this training will be eligible to join the workforce as mechatronics technicians and industrial machinery mechanics.   


visctwo
“Putting our citizens to work is my foremost priority. It is incumbent upon us to invest in a well-trained workforce to protect the jobs of today and create the jobs of tomorrow. I am pleased to know that this grant will address the needs of area industry and build upon the existing successes of our region’s advanced manufacturing sector,” Congressman Visclosky said. 
The U.S. Department of Labor is implementing and administering the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.
Chancellor Tom Keon, Purdue University Calumet, explained that the College of Technology has been working on workforce development in Northwest Indiana for several years.  “It is important to note that our manufacturing partners need an educated workforce with proper training at many different levels.  The College of Technology at Purdue University Calumet is dedicated to providing qualified graduates and to training the NWI workforce in areas of sophistication that are needed in our ever evolving manufacturing technologies,”  Chancellor Keon said.
Photos: Congressman Visclosky visiting Purdue University Calumet’s mechatronics and advanced manufacturing laboratories. [Courtesy/Congressman Pete Visclosky's office]...

Read more: PUC Gets Grant to Retrain Unemployed Workers

   

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