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Commuters Would Like 'Quiet Car' Option

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Newly-released early results from a recent survey of South Shore passengers show nearly 80-percent would like “quiet cars” available during rush hour... cars where cellphone usage, for instance, would be kept to a minimum. More than 60-percent said they are in favor of allowing bicycles on the train. Just over 45-hundred completed surveys were returned from riders. Busiest boarding point of the work week during morning rush according to the survey – East Chicago.
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ND Adopts Backpack Ban for FB Games

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The University of Notre Dame has adopted a new ban on backpacks and other items at the football stadium on game days. Beginning with the season-opener Saturday August 31 fans will be prohibited from bringing large bags such as backpacks, duffel bags and totes into the stadium [see photo provided]. Smaller bags, such as purses, will be allowed but will be inspected by trained security personnel, along with blankets, coats, ponchos and other similar items.
“Our top priority is safety, and we believe that in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and other incidents through the years, this new policy is the prudent course of action,” said Michael Seamon, associate vice president for campus safety and director of game day operations. “We know our fans will adapt quickly to the policy, and we appreciate their cooperation in helping to make Notre Dame Stadium as safe as possible.”
Seamon said his hope is that fans would not bring bags of any kind into the stadium, and he added that the addition of specially trained inspectors will ensure that any delays at the gates will be kept to a minimum.
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Calumet Ave in Valpo Reopens

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Traffic-Advisory
Valparaiso Police say Calumet Avenue has reopened.  The road was closed in both directions from Vale Park Road north to the Cumberland Crossing stoplight for about two hours today after police say a gas line was hit shortly before 9am in the construction area of the Five-Points Intersection where the new roundabout is being built.
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Lyme Disease Cases in Porter Co

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The Porter County Health Department says there have been a dozen cases of Lyme Disease confirmed or suspected this year, with six open cases still under investigation. Last year, the department said there were fifteen cases reported and confirmed in Porter County. Health officials are advising residents to take precautions against ticks and tick-transmitted diseases.
Here's a link to the county health department's website for more info on preventing tick bites:
http://www.porterco.org/QuickLinks.aspx?CID=68
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Wings of Freedom Tour to Valpo

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B-17, B-24 and P-51 in formation [Photo provided]
The Wings of Freedom Tour is headed to the Region.  Three of America's most famous World War Two aircraft –the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, and North American P-51 Mustang-- are scheduled to be at the Porter County Regional Airport today thru Wednesday ((July 29 to July 31)). They leave Valparaiso for Kankakee, Illinois, Wednesday afternoon.
More info:
The Wings of Freedom Tour of the WWII Vintage Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American P-51 Mustang Announce Unique Display in Valparaiso at Porter County Regional Airport from July 29 to July 31.
Who: The Collings Foundation, a 501c3 Non-Profit Educational Foundation based in Stow, MA. http://www.cfdn.org/
What: The Wings of Freedom Tour featuring the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American P-51 Mustang, three of America’s most famous WWII aircraft.
When: July 29-July 31. 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM July 29; 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM July 30; and 9:00AM to 12:00 PM July 31.
Where: Porter County Regional Airport, 4207 Murvihill Road, Valparaiso, IN.
Why: To honor the veterans of WWII, to educate the nation about the history and impact WWII had on our country, and to assure that the memory of those who gave their life for their country will never be forgotten. Northwest Indiana WWII Veterans are encouraged to attend and share their stories with visitors.
How: All three aircraft are available for walkthrough tours for $12 for Adults and $6 for Children 12 and under. WWII Veterans are admitted for free. Flights are available aboard the aircraft for a tax-deductible donation. B-17 and B-24 flights are $425 per person for a half hour. "Stick-time" aboard the P-51 is $2200 for a half hour and $3200 for a full hour. Pilot’s license not required. For more information or to schedule a ride call 800-568-8924
Food & Beverages will be available from EAA 104 and there will be a Classic Car Show.
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UPDATE: Cal Ave Closed V Pk Rd to Cumberland

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Traffic-Advisory
UPDATE: 920a – Valparaiso Police say Calumet Avenue is now closed in both directions from Vale Park Road north to the stoplight at Cumberland Crossing, after a gas line was hit this morning in the area of the Five Points Intersection where the new roundabout is being built.    Motorists can now go as far north as Vale Park Rd.
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Read more: UPDATE: Cal Ave Closed V Pk Rd to Cumberland

 

Gas Line Hit, Calumet Ave Closed

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Traffic-Alert
850am CDT-- Valparaiso Police say a gas line was hit a few minutes ago in the construction area of the Five Points Intersection where the new roundabout is being built.  Calumet Avenue is shut down in both directions from Carrsbrooke Drive north to the Cumberland Crossing stoplight.  Also, there is no access to Calumet Avenue via Vale Park Road in either direction. Valparaiso Police anticipate Calumet Avenue will be closed for at least a couple of hours.
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Boy Rescued at Mt Baldy Home

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Nathanand parents WinCE
Two weeks to the day after being swallowed up at a twelve-story tall sand dune in northwest Indiana, six-year-old Nathan Woessner was able to go home. It was Friday July 12, when the Sterling, Illinois, boy was buried under eleven-feet of sand for more than three hours. Rescuers believe an air pocket helped save his life. Originally listed in critical condition, doctors say he improved rapidly. He was transferred out of University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital last Tuesday, and left the rehab facility at La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago this past Friday. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore says Mount Baldy in Michigan City remains closed until further notice, and the closure also includes the parking lot, trails and beach area.
[Photo/University of Chicago Medicine, Tom Papandria]
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ISTEP Announcement Expected

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Indiana School Superintendent Glenda Ritz is planning an announcement today regarding the results of this year's spring ISTEP-Plus standardized tests. A third-party outside evaluator was hired to review the scores after computer problems led to delays in testing from thousands of students across the state, including here in the Region.
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Amazon Adding Jobs in Ind, Other States

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Two fulfillment centers in downstate Indianapolis and Jeffersonville are gaining employees in Amazon's plans announced today to add seven-thousand jobs across more than a dozen states, with at least five-thousand of those being full-time positions. Demand is growing for workers at the online retail giant's distribution centers. The bulk of the jobs are being added at warehouses where employees fill orders. About two-thousand jobs are being added in customer service. The company says hiring is starting now.
Here is the news release from Amazon:
SEATTLE, Wash. - Amazon (AMZN) today announced it is creating more than 5,000 new full-time jobs in its U.S. fulfillment network to meet growing customer demand. Median pay inside Amazon fulfillment centers is 30 percent higher than that of people who work in traditional retail stores—and that doesn't even include the stock grants that full-time employees receive, which over the past five years have added an average of 9% to base pay annually. Amazon employs over 20,000 full-time employees in its U.S. fulfillment centers.
“We’re hiring more than 5,000 people to join our team and help us continue to innovate and serve our customers,” said Dave Clark, vice president of worldwide operations and customer service at Amazon. “We’re focused on sustained innovation across Amazon and want to help our employees succeed—whether at Amazon or elsewhere—so we offer programs like Career Choice, where we’ll pay for up to 95% of eligible employees’ tuition regardless of whether the skills they learn are relevant to a career at Amazon.”
Amazon has created thousands of jobs across its fulfillment center and customer service networks in recent years. In the last year alone, Amazon opened eight fulfillment centers in the U.S., resulting in thousands of new jobs being added to communities nationwide. The more than 5,000 jobs now available across the fulfillment network include picking, packing and shipping customer orders while engaging with high-end, state of the art technology. The jobs offer competitive pay, a comprehensive benefits package, company stock awards and bonuses.
Fulfillment network jobs are currently available in:
• Breinigsville, Pa.
• Middletown, Del.
• Chattanooga, Tenn.
• Murfreesboro, Tenn.
• Charleston, S.C.
• Patterson, Calif.
• Chester, Va.
• Phoenix, Ariz.
• Coppell, Texas
• San Antonio, Texas
• Haslet, Texas
• San Bernardino, Calif.
• Hebron, Ky.
• Spartanburg, S.C.
• Indianapolis, Ind.
• Tracy, Calif.
• Jeffersonville, Ind.
Candidates can learn more about the open positions and apply at www.workatamazonfulfillment.com .
Amazon is also currently hiring for more than 2,000 jobs across its customer service network, which include a mix of full-time, part-time and seasonal positions. Amazon customer service jobs include providing world-class customer service for Amazon’s millions of customers. Customer service jobs are currently available at customer service centers in:
• Grand Forks, N.D.
• Kennewick, Wash.
• Huntington, W.V.
• Winchester, Ky.
Work from home positions on Amazon’s customer service team are currently available in Oregon, Washington and Arizona. Candidates can learn more about the open positions and apply at www.amazon.com/csjobs
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Two Die After Being Pulled from Lake Michigan

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Two people died over the weekend after being pulled from the waters of southern Lake Michigan. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore officials say a 37-year-old Lafayette, Indiana, man was pronounced dead at an area hospital Saturday night after responders found him in the surf about ten feet from shore at Lake View Beach in Beverly Shores, after a visitor reported seeing someone struggling in waves of about three-to-five feet. Authorities say earlier that afternoon, a 15-year-old Tinley Park, Illinois, boy was pulled out of the lake at a city beach just north of the Indiana state line in New Buffalo, Michigan, and the teen, identified as Matthew Kocher, died at a Chicago area hospital that night.
The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project says there have been 44 drownings in the Great Lakes this year, and 17 of those drownings have occurred in Lake Michigan since June sixth.
In Northwest Indiana, the National Park Service, Beverly Shores Police Department, Beverly Shores Fire Department and the Porter Fire Department Dive Rescue team responded to reach three members of a family swimming in the park at Lake View Beach on Saturday.
The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore says at approximately 5:30 p.m. a visitor saw someone in the water struggling in waves of about 3 – 5 feet in height. They called the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Dispatch Center to report that a man was having trouble in the high waves and that family members were attempting to reach him. First Responders were able to rescue two family members who were in the water and get them safely to shore. Rescuers then located a third victim floating in the surf approximately 40 yards to the west about 10 feet from shore. Rescuers pulled the man from the water and found him unresponsive. CPR was started and an AED was applied. The victim, identified as Gonzola Silva of Lafayette, Indiana, was then transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City, Indiana. Silva, 37, was initially listed in critical condition upon arrival to the hospital and had a pulse and was placed on a respirator. Initial reports are that Silva was under the water approximately 20 minutes before being pulled to shore.  At approximately 9:30 pm Central time on July 27, 2013 Silva was pronounced dead by doctors from St. Anthony’s Hospital.  Park officials say the National Weather Service had issued a Hazardous Beach Advisory for Saturday afternoon through Monday morning with waves expected to be in the range of 4-5 feet.
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Gary Man Shot in Back Friday Night Pronounced Dead

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Gary police are investigating a late Friday night shooting in the 1500 block of Chase Street that left a Gary man dead after being shot in the back. 
According to a press release, Around 11:14 p.m. the Lake County Coroner's office was called to a Gary hospital for a man who was pronounced dead at 11:10 p.m.
The man identified as 23-year-old, Andre Pullen of the 3400 block of West 21st Avenue, had suffered a gunshot wound to his back, according to police.
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Police Investigate Fatal Crash in LaPorte County

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LapPorte County Sheriff logo - this one
La Porte County Sherriff's Police are investigating an early morning crash that took the life of the driver and inured a pasenger in Springfield Township.
According to reports, at around 5:41 a.m., Saturday, July 27th, deputies from the sheriff's office responded to a crash involving a 1997 Silver Honda Civic and a tree in the 6000 N. block of County Road 525 West.  Police say evidence indicates that the SUV was traveling southbound on County Road 525 West and failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway.  The vehicle then crossed the center line leaving the roadway and striking a large tree. 
The driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.  The injured passenger was taken to a Michigan City Hospital for treatment. 

The driver's identity is being witheld pending next of kin.  At this time, the toxicology test results have not yet been obtained and the crash remains under investigation.
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No Injuries Reported at Explosion in Hammond

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Fire crews remain on the scene of a fire and propane gas explosion that occurred shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday at a trucking company warehouse in the 600 block of 131st in Hammond.  Hammond Emergency Management official Scott DeAngelo says as a precaution two residences in the area were evacuated in the area because of thick black smoke coming from the fire.  No injuries were reported however streets in the vicinity of the fire are still reportedly closed.

At one time police closed Calumet Avenue at 129th Avenue as well as portions of Calumet Avenue at Sheffield Avenue. Reportedly smoke from the blaze partially obscured drivers' visibility at the near by west junction of Cline Avenue and the Indiana Toll Road.

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Explosion at a Warehouse in Hammond

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1 breaking-news
Emergency management officials in Hammond are reporting that fire crews are on the scene of propane gas explosion that reportedly occurred inside a warehouse located near the intersection of Cline Avenue and the Indiana Toll Road.  As a result of the blast, officials report that the intersection of 129th Avenue at Calumet Avenue is closed as is a portion of Calumet avenue at Sheffield Avenue.   Because of the site of the explosion is near the western junction of Cline Avenue and the toll road, visibilty may be partially imparied due to black smoke in the area.
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Fugitive of the Week

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Z0008438
Arturo Corral
The United States Marshals Service, Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force, Hammond office says Arturo Corral, white male, 62 years of age, 6’03”, 230 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes, is this week’s “Fugitive of the Week”.  Corral is wanted in the Porter County Court for, A Felony Child Molesting.

Corral was last known to reside in the Morgan Township area of Valparaiso, Indiana. Corral has previously resided in Hobart, In and the Miller area of Gary, Indiana.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Arturo Corral may contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411). All tipsters will remain anonymous.
(photo provided)
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Pro-Marijuana Ad Pulled from NASCAR's Brickyard 400

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INDIANAPOLIS — A video ad that began airing Friday on a jumbotron outside the NASCAR Brickyard 400 is scheduled to be pulled because it highlights the fact that marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol. The company dropping the ad, Grazie Media, solicited the ad from the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), approved its content, and accepted payment for it. The decision to pull the ad was announced in a press release distributed by Save Our Society From Drugs, which states the organization opposes the ad because of its message that marijuana is less toxic than alcohol and less likely to contribute to violent and reckless behavior.
The original press release about the ad is included below. The ad can be viewed at  http://youtu.be/7H8Cz9woC2A
"We find it odd that this company is willing to run ads at an alcohol-fueled event, yet unwilling to run an ad that simply highlights the ways in which marijuana is less harmful than alcohol," said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. "This is the exact type of hypocrisy that motivated us to run this ad. We wanted to make people think about the absurdity of laws that allow adults to use alcohol but punish them for making the safer choice to use marijuana instead, if that is what they prefer.
"We are absolutely baffled by the claim that marijuana is not safer than alcohol, which accompanied the announcement of the ad being pulled," Tvert said. "If Save Our Society From Drugs truly wishes to 'save our society from drugs,' why on earth would they want to prevent people from learning that alcohol use is far more toxic and likely to contribute to violent behavior than marijuana? It is clear this organization is more concerned about maintaining marijuana prohibition than it is about maintaining public health and safety. We are sorry to see Grazie Media abandon its agreement with a client when confronted by such reefer madness."
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The Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana-policy-reform organization, has been responsible for changing most state-level marijuana laws since 2000. For more information, visit  http://www.marijuanapolicy.org....

Read more: Pro-Marijuana Ad Pulled from NASCAR's Brickyard 400

   

Webinar Tuesday on Environmental Injustice in NW IN

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Hoosier Environmental Council
(INDIANAPOLIS, IN)- The Hoosier Environmental Council is hosting a free online workshop  to consider issues of environmental injustice, particularly those confronted by communities in northwest Indiana.  Scheduled for Tuesday, July 30, 2013 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. (EST), HEC’s webinar will examine the very harmful effects of environmental injustice on northwest Indiana’s low-income and minority communities, its root causes, and present potential strategies for addressing this long-standing and critical issue.
“Low-income and minority populations often face disproportionate burdens of environmental pollution and related health risks in this country,” said Kim Ferarro, staff attorney and director of water policy for the Hoosier Environmental Council.  “Such is the case for the low-income, minority communities in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago where residents have, for decades, been exposed to a host of pollutants from an incredible concentration of industrial sources – all packed into a small 80 square-mile area.”   These three communities are home to 52 CERCLA/Superfund sites, 423 hazardous waste sites, more than 460 underground storage tanks (USTs), three wastewater treatment works, and 15 combined sewer overflows (CSOs).
As a result, these disadvantaged residents breathe air that is, in some areas, several times the national average in toxicity, and they drink, swim and fish in waters that annually bear 11 billion gallons of raw untreated sewage, and 2 million pounds of developmental, reproductive and cancer-causing toxins.  Not surprisingly, these environmental factors play a role in higher-than-average levels of respiratory illnesses and cancers. “With more than 30% of the area's population under the age of 18, the consequences of these environmental risks extend beyond health impacts to affect factors such as school performance and, therefore, the formation of a long-term, productive labor force. As a matter of fundamental fairness, human decency and social equity, it is time for us to take action and help empower these communities to achieve environmental justice.  And, addressing these long-term injustices is very much in keeping with the Governor’s own vision of making Indiana number one in quality of life.” Ferraro said.
The webinar, which is free for participants, will include speakers Kim Ferraro (mentioned above), with availability by HEC’s executive director Jesse Kharbanda and Tim Maloney, HEC’s senior policy director to comment on environmental injustice in other parts of the state .  To register, click on the following link:  http://www.hecweb.org/news-events/webinars/
This webinar is sponsored through grants from the John S. and James L.Knight Fund, a fund of Legacy Foundation, promoting informed and engaged communities, and, the Lake County Community Fund, a fund of Legacy Foundation, inspiring you to give where you live.
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About Hoosier Environmental Council:
Founded in 1983, the Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) is the largest statewide environmental policy organization in Indiana.  HEC aims to foster solutions that simultaneously improve environmental quality and economic well-being.  Visit hecweb.org for more information.  You can also follow HEC on Twitter: @hec_ed, or like us on Facebook: facebook.com/hecweb....

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IU Health LaPorte Offering Free Dental Exams for Kids

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IU LaPorte Hospital
LA PORTE, Ind.–Indiana University Health La Porte Dental Center is offering free dental exams to children with no dental insurance. The exam is offered by appointment only on:
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2 pm – 6 pm
  • Monday, Aug. 5, 8 am – 10 am
  • Tuesday, Aug. 6, 8 am – 10 am
  • Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2 pm – 6 pm
  • Thursday, Aug. 8, 8 am – 10 am
  • Friday, Aug. 9, 8 am – 10 am
  • Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2 pm – 6 pm (all Central times)
The exam meets the requirements of the La Porte Community School Corporation. All children will also receive a free bag of dental-related gifts for participating. The La Porte Hospital Foundation provided funding.
IU Health La Porte Dental Center provides quality dental care to children and adults with low income and no dental insurance, focusing on educating children on prevention. The dental clinic accepts Medicaid patients. The center operates through the support of IU Health La Porte Hospital, grants through the Indiana State Department of Health and The Foundation.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 219.326.1943.
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Porter Co 911 PIO Among Responders Sent to CA Wildfires

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Paige-Donaldson-Connelly resize
(Photo Courtesy of the IDHS)
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security today deployed six responders to the Aspen fire in California to shadow key positions and assist in operational response. One of the six members deployed is Porter County 911 Communications Public Information Officer Paige Donaldson Connelly, who will focus on important communication links between public agencies and the community, working through traditional news media and new media. Connelly and the other five Hoosier responders are scheduled to return on Friday, August 2nd. ...

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