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Lake Co Man is 1st Player to Claim Top Prize in Scratch Off Game

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(Photo Courtesy of the Hoosier Lottery)
A Lake County man is the first player to claim a $3 million top prize on the $3 Million Jackpot Hoosier Lottery scratch-off game that launched April 30. Four top prizes remain unclaimed. Lottery officials say Ronald Woodworth, who turns 70 next week, initially thought he had won 300-thousand dollars, and it wasn't til a friend checked the ticket that he discovered he had won ten times that amount.
Woodworth works for Quintel as a driver, and says even with the windfall in the bank, he has no plans to retire anytime soon. He does plan to pay off all his bills, put new tires on his truck and make one major splurge purchase, a 1957 Chevy. He purchased his winning ticket at the Cline Avenue Food Mart in Schererville, where's he been a regular customer for 14 years.
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Pierogi Fest Makes List of 10 Wacky Summer Events in US

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A Region festival makes a national list of 10 wacky summer events in the U-S. Travel site TripAdvisor has included Whiting's Pierogi Fest, a three-day celebration of Eastern European heritage – and the half-moon shaped dumpling after which the festival is named. Happening later this month (July 26-28) Pierogi Fest draws more than 200-thousand visitors a year. TripAdvisor editors who assembled the list say all the events are all affordable off-the-wall entertainment for travelers seeking comic relief.
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Strong Storms Move Across Region

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kv storm pic
Kankakee Valley REMC says this picture was taken about 10:15 am CDT today by one of their crews at their  Morgan Substation, south of Valparaiso.  Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued around 9:30 am today for portions of northwest Indiana including Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper Counties.  Lights flickered in portions of Porter County and the power has gone for some as storms moved through. KV REMC reports an outage including 1,357 members in Porter County as of 10:40 am.
Here's the KV REMC website: http://www.kvremc.com/home.aspx
[Photo/KV REMC]
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Investigators Seek Cause of Lake Eliza Fire

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Officials continue to investigate the cause of a fire that broke out in a vacant home near Lake Eliza early Tuesday. Multiple departments responded to Starr Street around 4:30 am, and flames were reportedly visible from the roof and attic.
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Winfield Considering Curfew

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The Winfield Town Council is looking at setting up a crime watch program, and also possibly instituting a curfew, in light of recent thefts and vandalism. A curfew ordinance could be ready for council members to consider at their next meeting July 23rd. Officials want to include all subdivisions in town as well as rural areas in the effort.
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Merrillville Moves Forward on Stormwater Ctr

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Merrillville's Stormwater Management Board has awarded a provisional contract for a new building to house the town's stormwater utiilty – for less than half the two-point-one-million dollar price tag of the initial design. The board sought alternative bids, scaling down the project and size of the building, reducing costs by more than a-million dollars. The proposed building in the 7400 block of Broadway will include an education center. No construction date yet as officials are still reviewing the bid.
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Grants Sought for Valpo Building

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Renovations could be around the corner for the former Ticor Title building at the corner of Michigan and Indiana in downtown Valparaiso. The plan commission has recommended a series of grants to help pay for outside improvements including brick work and new windows.
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Work Planned for Borman Bridges

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A nearly 725-million dollar road project plan – okayed by a NIRPC (nerp-see) committee Tuesday – is reportedly the largest four-year highway improvement blueprint for Lake, Porter and La Porte Counties in a number of years. It still needs approval from the full board. It includes numerous bridge rehabilitation projects, especially along Interstate 80-94.
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New Pricing for Purdue Football Tix

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Purdue University has announced a new system for pricing their football tickets they say is already widely used in professional sports and is now being adopted at the collegiate level. The athletics department will introduce dynamic pricing for single-game tickets this year.   In the Big Ten Conference, it has been implemented previously by Northwestern and will be by Michigan this fall.
Purdue says dynamic pricing will not affect the John Purdue Club priority purchasing period that began June 20 and runs through July 14, adding to the value of JPC membership. It will begin when single-game tickets go on sale to the general public July 23. Prices will be adjusted in $5 increments and will not increase more than five times on any given day. Prices will not drop from their initial level, so fans are encouraged to purchase early.
A team of five Purdue students from the Krannert Experiential Initiative made the recommendation to utilize dynamic pricing, after compiling and analyzing single-game sales data from the last 10 seasons and sales from the secondary market over the last three years. They also talked with other universities that have implemented similar strategies. Moving forward, the university says dynamic pricing data will be used to help establish future single-game ticket prices to be more competitive with the secondary market.
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Naming Rights Available for New PNC Complex

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Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2014 on the new Student Services and Activities Complex on the campus of Purdue North Central. P-N-C Chancellor Doctor James Dworkin, as part of our Region News Makers interview series, says it is a 34-point-seven million dollar project, 23 million of which comes from the state, six-million comes through student fees, and the remaining three-point-seven million comes through private individuals and from corporations. Chancellor Dworkin says if anyone is interested in pursuing the 30 or so naming rights opportunities to contact him jdworkin@pnc-dot-edu.
The 70-thousand square foot complex will sit on one-point-six acres, and will be used for a variety of university events. To hear more of our Region News Makers interview with Chancellor Dworkin, visit regionnewsteam.com
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Coats: Mandate Delay Shows Need for Obamacare Repeal

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Senator Dan Coats
The following op-ed by Senator Dan Coats is available for publication:
Employer Mandate Delay Shows Need for Obamacare Repeal
Senator Dan Coats
Bowing to growing criticism, earlier this month the administration announced that it will delay until 2015 the highly unpopular Obamacare mandate requiring businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to provide workers with government-approved health care or face penalties.
Not coincidentally, the administration made its announcement just days before the Labor Department revealed that another 322,000 Americans involuntarily entered part-time employment in June. This report reinforces what I have been hearing from Hoosiers for months.
In all parts of the state, workers are expressing deep anxiety about losing health insurance coverage for their families and the possibility of reduced hours and smaller paychecks because of Obamacare. Meanwhile, many employers tell me they would like to expand, grow and hire more full-time workers but cannot afford to do so because of the massive fines, taxes and regulations that will hit when the law is fully implemented.
The delay of the employer mandate, a key provision of Obamacare, is evidence that even the White House is realizing the many flaws of its own health care law. While the administration has conveniently delayed this job-killing mandate on employers until after the 2014 elections, problems with Obamacare are far from solved.
The law defines full-time as 30 hours, which means employers still have a long-term incentive to employ part-time workers. For Hoosiers, this means fewer hours and lower wages at a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet.
While the recent delay may provide some relief for businesses, middle-class Hoosiers will not be spared. Health care premiums continue to rise as insurance companies compensate for Obamacare’s costly impact on their businesses. Additionally, the law contains several new taxes on middle-class Americans and stiff penalties on individuals who do not purchase health insurance that will apply beginning in 2014.
Rather than temporarily delay a bad policy, all Americans should be permanently exempted from Obamacare’s taxes and mandates.
When President Obama signed his health care reform package into law back in March 2010, he said that the reforms would “lower costs for families and for businesses” and “help lift a decades-long drag on our economy.” A law that was supposed to help workers, employers, families and our economy is doing the exact opposite.
We all want to increase access to health care coverage and lower health care costs. But Obamacare is failing to achieve these goals, making our health care system weaker, not stronger.
Congress needs to repeal the deeply flawed health care law this year and replace it with step-by-step reforms that actually lower costs and put patients, not bureaucrats, in charge of their own health care decisions.
Senator Max Baucus, a Democrat from Montana who helped write the health care law, recently expressed serious concerns about the implementation of Obamacare. Several other Democrats are starting to walk back support for provisions in the health care law and now even the administration is issuing waivers and delays.
If Democrats, Republicans and a majority of Americans agree this law is not working, then let’s do something now before Obamacare’s full impact on our economy takes effect.
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Illinois Adpots Conceal/Carry Gun Legislation

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Illinois has become the last state in the nation to adopt conceal and carry gun legislation. ABC News reports it came after a showdown between lawmakers and the governor. Governor Pat Quinn didn't think the legislation passed by both state chambers went far enough... "The legislature thinks that the bill they put on my desk is acceptable...having guns in bars. I don't." He made several amendments, including banning guns in bars. but today,  the state legislature voted to override the governor's changes to the original bill. The vote comes as a deadline set by federal appeals court that the state get a conceal and carry law on the books.
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2 Juveniles Charged in Springwood Estates Thefts/Vandalism

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porter co sheriff dept
A string of vandalism and thefts that occurred last week in the Springwood Estates subdivision in Porter Township has led to the arrest of two juveniles. Porter County Sheriff's Police this afternoon announced a 12 year old boy who lived in the subdivision, and a 13 year old boy from Lakes of the Four Seasons, have been charged with multiple counts of theft and criminal mischief through Juvenile Court. Sgt. Larry LaFlower says there were reports of damage from 31 homes early Saturday, as well as damage to a number of lamp posts, landscaping lights, vehicles, and thefts to vehicles.
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Red Cross Issues Emergency Call for Donations

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Amer. Red Cross
(July 9, 2013) –The American Red Cross issued an emergency request for platelet and blood donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give because many fewer donations than expected were received in June and the first week of July.
“We are counting on generous volunteer blood and platelet donors to step up and give now,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO, Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region. “Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Each day donations come up short, less blood is available for these patients in need.”
Nationwide, donations through the Red Cross were down approximately 10 percent in June, resulting in about 50,000 fewer donations than expected. The shortfall is similar to what the Red Cross experienced in June 2012.
June can be among the most challenging months of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they adjust to summer schedules. High school and college blood drives account for as much as 20 percent of Red Cross donations during the school year. Donations from those who usually give at these drives drop by more than 80 percent when school is out for the summer.  In addition, a mid-week Independence Day holiday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July. Many sponsors, especially businesses, were unable to host drives because employees took extended vacations.
The Red Cross urgently needs donations to ensure an adequate blood supply is available for patients all summer long.  Each day, the American Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Region needs approximately 500 donors to step forward and give blood. Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially encouraged to give. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.
There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients - must be transfused within five days of donation, so it’s important to have a steady supply of platelets on hand.

Upcoming Blood Donation Opportunities:
  • Wednesday, July 10 from 1pm - 7pm at Grace Fellowship Church located at 1424 8th SE in DeMotte.
·         Thursday, July 11, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Hopewell Mennonite Church in the Meeting Hall, located at 805 N. Main St. in Kouts. 
·         Friday, July 12, from 10:30 a.m. until noon at City Hall Valparaiso, located at 166 Lincolnway in Valparaiso. 
·         Friday, July 12, from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Portage Avenue Baptist Church, located at 6605 Portage Ave. in Portage.
·         Saturday, July 13, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Harley-Davidson, located at 1151 U.S. Highway 30 in Valparaiso. 
·         Tuesday, July 16, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Liberty Bible Church in the gymnasium, located at 824 N. Calumet Ave. in Chesterton. 
·         Wednesday, July 17, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Heritage Lutheran Church in the Fellowship Hall, located at 308 Washington St. in Valparaiso.
·         Thursday, July 18, from noon until 4 p.m. at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in the Ranger Station Conference Room, located at 1100 N. Mineral Springs Road in Porter.
·         Monday, July 22, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Williamsburg on the Lake Apartments, located at 2810 Winchester Drive in Valparaiso.
·         Tuesday, July 23, from 2:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Faith Memorial Lutheran Church, located at 753 N. Calumet in Valparaiso.
·         Tuesday, July 23, from 2 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in the Fellowship Hall, located at 202 W. Church St. in Hebron.
·         Wednesday, July 24, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Ivy Tech Community College, located at 3100 Ivy Tech Drive in Valparaiso.
·         Friday, July 26, from 1:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Portage in the Fellowship Hall, located at 2637 McCool Road in Portage.
·         Sunday, July 28, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Chapel Hall, located at 638 N. Calumet Road in Chesterton.
·         Monday, July 29, from 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church in the Social Hall, located at 6540 Central Ave. in Portage. 
·         Tuesday, July 30, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in The Gathering Space, located at 505 Bullseye Lake Road in Valparaiso.
·         Wednesday, July 31, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Duneland Falls Banquet Center, located at 1100 N. Max Mochal Highway in Chesterton.  This blood drive is sponsored by USW 6787 Union Chesterton.
·         Wednesday, July 31, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Arnell Motors, located at 241 Melton Road in Burns Harbor.

How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. 

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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No Charges Against Man Who Shot Intruder Monday in LaPorte Co

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Authorities say a man who shot an intruder Monday morning in LaPorte County's Hudson Township will not have charges brought against him. The LaPorte County Prosecutor says the shooting appears to be in self-defense. LaPorte County Sheriffs Police were called out to County Road 1000 North in Hudson Township Monday morning, around 9:15am, where the suspect, a 23 year old Three Oaks, Michigan man, allegedly armed with a hatchet, was fatally shot by the man who was renting the home after a physical confrontation.
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Semi Fire Closes Lane on I-65

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Traffic-Advisory
An overnight semi fire on I-65 shut down the right-hand southbound lane of the interstate just south of the West Lafayette exit near mile marker 178. Indiana State Police say a semi-trailer loaded with dog food was engulfed in flames around 1 am Central Time. Cleanup was still underway at this hour (730am CDT) . Troopers say the driver by another semi by c-b radio that smoke was coming from his trailer axle area.
Indiana State Police say Battle Ground Fire and Rescue arrived to put out the fire but not before the trailer and its contents were a complete loss. As of 7:30 CDT/8:30 EDT am cleanup of the area was still underway and the right lane was expected to  be shut down for possibly two more hours to clean up the wreckage.
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Early Morning Fire in Boone Grove

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Fire crews from Boone Grove were assisted by crews from other departments in responding to an early morning structure fire today. No other details were available at this hour.
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Handgun License Applications Jump in Indiana

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Indiana State Police have dedicated additional staff to address the jump in handgun license applications – a sharp increase the agency believes is due to the number of shootings across the country, coupled with national debate over more restrictive gun laws. Historically, applications averaged around 5,200 per month, but increased dramatically toward the end of 2012, and this past January alone more than 23,000 requests were submitted to the state police. The level of demand has gone down somewhat, falling to just over 6,500 new license requests in June. However, the overall rise has led to a substantial backlog in applications, nearly doubling processing time to more than 110 days.
Barring unforeseen circumstances Indiana State Police say the backlog should be eliminated within eight to ten weeks of July 1st. New license applications received after mid September 2013 are expected to be processed within the required 60 day timeframe.
Police say to eliminate the backlog, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter ordered a thorough evaluation of the procedures involved to issue a license to carry a handgun. Based on this comprehensive review, processes are being streamlined and additional personnel have been added to process some 45,000 pending applications.
Indiana State Police say during the seven months from December of 2012 through June of this year, they received nearly 92-thousand [[91,940]] applications.  For all of 2012 there were 62,934 applications received and processed, which resulted in the issuance of 60,906 new handgun licenses.
Additional information from Indiana State Police:
Factors that add to increased processing time:
• Applications that are incomplete
• Submission of hand rolled or scanned fingerprints instead of electronic fingerprints
• Incomplete Criminal History information that has to be confirmed
• Common names with Criminal History information that must to be verified

Applications for License to Carry a Handgun received, by month, from December 2012 to June of 2013:
• Dec 2012: 13,954
• Jan 2013: 23,079
• Feb 2013: 15,945
• Mar 2013: 12,204
• Apr 2013: 11,397
• May 2013: 8,848
• Jun 2013: *6,513
• Seven Month Total: 91,940

* June number not final, subject to change

Issued Licenses to Carry a Handgun from 2009 to 2012
• 2009: 98,639
• 2010: 79,027
• 2011: 61,595
• 2012: 60,906

At the beginning of July 2013 there were 493,205 active licenses to carry a handgun, of which 392,520 were issued to men and 100,685 were issued to women.
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Barn Fire Cause Not Yet Known

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Authorities continue to try to determine the cause of a barn fire that claimed the lives of two horses in northwest Indiana late Sunday night. Crews were on scene for several hours as multiple departments responded to the blaze on County Road 700 North in South Haven. Authorities say fourteen horses escaped, and the Porter County Sheriffs Department together with the Porter County Animal Shelter are working to find foster homes for the animals. Two firefighters were treated for heat-related illness.

The Porter County Sheriffs Department is working with the county animal shelter to help find foster homes for several surviving horses.  Anyone who can help is asked to call Gayle Laney at 219-252-9160.


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Clark to Oversee Airport Expansion

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The Gary Airport Authority has voted to have former Indianapolis International Airport CEO John Clark oversee the 166-million dollar expansion project at Gary/Chicago International. Last week city officials announced the project won't be finished until at least September of next year due to reported pollution in the runway expansion area and railroad issues. The board is expected to take a final vote July 22nd on a 65-million dollar bond issue for the expansion project and repairs.
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