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Chief Pens Times Article on Crime in the Region

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Just days after officially marking one full year as Police Chief of East Chicago, the Times is scheduled to run an article by Chief Mark Becker on crime in the Region. Becker served as Police Chief in Portage about four years just before taking on his current role, and prior to Portage, he retired as senior supervisory resident agent for Northwest Indiana after more than three decades with the FBI. Becker says he was humbled by the request from the Times to do such an overview. "The Times...

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House Dems Say Pence Tax Proposal Will Be Heard

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Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City
House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath of Michigan City today said House Democrats would ensure that Governor Mike Pence’s income tax cut proposal will be heard – even though the Republican House majority did not include in the just-released budget bill. "The House of Representatives," Pelath said, "is going to have an up or down vote on Governor Pence's tax cut proposal," and, he added, "some Democrats are going to support it."    Pelath says the governor's proposal i...

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Charges Filed in Winfield Bank Robbery

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Christopher Gerlach
[Photo/Lake County Sheriffs Police]
Multiple charges including robbery and confinement have been filed in connection with a robbery at the Centier Bank on East 109th Avenue in Winfield earlier this week. Lake County Sheriffs Police identified the suspect today as 39-year-old Christopher Gerlach of Crown Point. Authorities say Tuesday evening, a man entered the bank, demanded money, then fled on foot. Police say no weapon was displayed. Soon afterwards, police heard about a suspicious person...

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Gun Summit in Gary Targets Many Issues

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Officials attending a two-state gun summit in Gary Thursday say lines of communication need to be open between Indiana and Illinois, as law enforcement tries to stem the tide of gun trafficking across the state line, in particular between Cook County, Ilinois, and Lake County, Indiana.  Law enforcement and other officials from Indiana and Illinois attended the "Gun Trafficking Suppression Summit", where authorities also said gun shows were one of the main topics -- and so-called "straw purchasers", people who buy guns there then resell them to criminals. Lake County, Indiana, Sheriff John Buncich said problems in Cook County and the city of Chicago are "bleeding over" into Lake County, and vice versa, and "that's why law enforcement and everybody, the community as a whole, is going to have to come together to work out these issues in the future".

 

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Indiana: Main Supplier in IL./Chicago Gun Crimes

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Gary Mayor, Karen Freeman-Wilson and Cook County, Illinois Sheriff, Tom Dart
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and the city of Gary hosted the “Gun Trafficking Suppression Summit” Thursday afternoon at the city's Genesis Convention Center. 80 officials from over 20 Illinois and Indiana law enforcement agencies discussed strategies to prevent guns from landing in the wrong hands and how to close the loop on inter-state gun trafficking.
 
Immediately after the summit Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Cook...

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Snowfall Leads to Hazardous Conditions This Morning

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Traffic-Alert
Driving conditions have deteriorated across the Region with snowfall causing very slick conditions. Numerous accidents have been reported, especially in Lake, Porter and La Porte Counties. INDOT is informing motorists that, despite deicing, motorists must use winter driving skills and slow down.
A couple of trouble spots in particular -- Interstate 65 in Lake County and State Road through Porter and La Porte Counties.
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President Obama Visiting Chicago Today

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President Obama takes his State of the Union agenda to his hometown today, and ABC's Ann Compton reports he will not ignore the epidemic of gun violence in Chicago. On the eve of his visit, President Obama took a question on a Google online chat: "Do you think we should ban handguns? Obama: Well, I actually don't think we should BAN handguns." The President calls for a broader approach. "The package we put forward will have an impact on handguns by instituting a universal background check...

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Notre Dame Raises Tuition Nearly 4 Percent

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University officials say undergraduate tuition at Notre Dame will go up nearly four-percent for the 2013-2014 academic year, the same percentage increase as in each of the three previous years. When you include average room and board rates , student charges add up to more than 57-thousand dollars.
News Release:
Undergraduate tuition at the University of Notre Dame will increase 3.8 percent for the 2013-14 academic year to $44,605. The rate of increase matches that of the previous three years,...

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Indiana Lawmakers Criticize Sequester Cuts

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First we faced the fiscal cliff... now, the sequester.... impending automatic government spending cuts, approved by Congress.  First District Congressman Pete Visclosky issued a statement calling the across-the-board cuts “mindless” and “unacceptable”. Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly says there will be significant spending reductions, but it remains to be seen whether they will take place through sequestration, saying there's discussion being made toward significant cuts "but in a more thoughtf...

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Hammond Library Could Merge With Lake Co

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There's legislation moving through the Indiana House that would merge the Hammond Library with the Lake County Library system. The language, in House Bill 1145 sponsored by Munster State Representative Mara Candelaria-Reardon,  passed out committee unanimously Thursday according to the Times today. A couple years ago two Hammond library branches closed due to budget issues.
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Violence Against Women Act Passes U.S. Senate

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Washington, D.C.— Senator Joe Donnelly spoke with Indiana media today about the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the Senate.  VAWA, which Donnelly co-sponsored, passed with bipartisan support of 78 senators including Indiana’s Senior Senator, Dan Coats.
“The FBI estimates that a rape occurs in Indiana every five hours,” said Donnelly.  “That is a tragedy, and we owe the survivors of rape, sexual assault, and stalking our full support and protection.  Last year, this bill failed...

Read more: Violence Against Women Act Passes U.S. Senate

   

Crash Backs Up Traffic on the Borman

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Traffic-Advisory
A crash on the Borman had eastbound traffic backed to the Indiana/Illinois state line. The right 2 lanes of eastbound I-80/94 are, at last check, closed near Indianapolis Blvd due to a crash. Expect delays as you travel eastbound on I-80/94 near mile 2.2. Also, all lanes of westbound I-80/94 were moving very slowly near Burr St due to heavy traffic. Expect delays as you travel westbound on I-80/94 near mile 7.6.
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Smith Found Guilty in Death of his Girlfriend

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Douglas Smith
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)

Sentencing is scheduled for March 22nd for a 27 year old Highland man found guilty today of murdering his live-in girlfriend. The Times reports a Lake County jury returned the guilty verdict on Douglas Smith, in the death of 28 year old Jacqueline Williams, on January 14th, 2012, in their Highland apartment, after deliberating less than three-hours. The Lake County Prosecutor's Office reports Smith faces anywhere from 45 to 65 years in prison.

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Lake Co Coroner Seeks Help in Finding Victim's Family

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vincent demus
(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Coroner's Office)
The Lake County Coroner's Office is once again seeking your help in locating the family of 63 year old Gary man, who died at Methodist Hospital, Northlake, in Gary, on January 12. The Coroner's Office reports Vincent Lamont Demus was a black male, six-feet tall, weighing 250-pounds, with no tattoos or scars, balding, with a receding salt and pepper hairline, and had a goatee. Authorities says Vincent Lamont Demus, whose last known address was...

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Crown Point Officer Suspended After Filing Lawsuit

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The Crown Point Board of Public Works and Safety today voted three-to-nothing to suspend a police officer with pay, pending his termination, regarding the results of an investigation into the officer's handling of a police chase in May of 2012. The Times reports Officer James Poling in October submitted his resignation, after learning the results of the investigation, and in December, applied for an early separation incentive from the city, worth 13-thousand-200 dollars, which the city...

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How Do You Love Gary Contest Begins Today

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City of Gary Launches Social Media Contest "How Do You Love Gary?"
 
Happy Valentine’s Day! In honor of this “Day of Love,” Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and the City of Gary social media team are launching an exciting online contest called “How Do You Love Gary?” The City of Gary is looking for the citizen with the most Love for Gary! Upload your video nominating yourself or someone you know for the chance to have lunch with Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. Winners will also receive a FREE “I Love Gary...

Read more: How Do You Love Gary Contest Begins Today

   

2 Area Youth Workers Selected to Journey Fellowship

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amber alexander
(Photo Courtesy of Portage Twp YMCA)
The Senior Program Director of the Portage Township Y-M-C-A, is among 27 executives from youth organizations across Indiana selected for the 2013 Executive Journey Fellowship. The Executive Journey Fellowship provides Indiana's youth workers greater opportunities to bring meaning to their lives and make stronger commitments to the field of youth work. Amber Alexander completed her first leg of the journey last week in Terre Haute, saying she made a lot of...

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Semi Hauling Plywood Tips, Slides and Smolders

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semiplywood
[Photo/Indiana State Police]
Indiana State Police say a semi rolling over this morning in Gary caused the contents -- approximately 40-thousand pounds of plywood -- to smolder. Troopers say the vehicle was on the I80/94 eastbound to I65 southbound ramp, and a prelminary investigation showed the rig was changing lanes when it went out of control and tipped over, and as the semi, hauling a rail container, slid against the concrete barrier wall for about six-hundred feet, the friction caused the...

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Two Arrested in Schererville Armed Robbery

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scherervillesuspects
(Daniel Wright, Marcus Sharod Harris/Photos from Schererville Police] Authorities say two Chicago men –who are in custody in La Porte County – have been charged with an armed robbery in Lake County at the T Mobile Cellular on US 41 in Schererville last month. Schererville Police say a customer and five employees were ordered to the back of the store and held at gunpoint while one of the suspects filled a large duffel bag with cellular phones. Police say the female customer was kicked by one of t...

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Semi Accident has Expressway Ramp Closed

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semionside
[Courtesy INDOT cameras]
http://pws.trafficwise.org/ipws/nw/index.html
The Indiana Department of Transportation reports the ramp of eastbound Interstate 80/94 is closed near Interstate 65 due to a crash.  INDOT is urging motorists to seek alternate routes traveling eastbound on 80/94 (Borman Expressway) near mile marker 11.0 in the Gary area.
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