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Dyer Quiet Zones Ahead

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The town of Dyer is moving forward on instituting a 'quiet zone' at the Hart Street railroad crossing. A contractor's been hired to make the changes required,like a specially-designed gate. Another quiet zone is planned on Lake Street. The rail company covering the cost. The Federal Railway Authority in a designated quiet zone, railroads have been directed to cease the routine sounding of their horns when approaching public highway-rail grade crossings.
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Flooding Still a Concern

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Flood warnings continue along rivers in Northwest Indiana, like the Little Calumet River in Munster and Kankakee River at Shelby, near Kouts and at Dunns Bridge. While the rain has stopped, flooding is still a concern along a number of rivers in the Midwest as floodwaters continued to rise. ABC's Todd Ant reports flood fighters were busy all day Friday from small Mississippi River hamlets to the suburbs of Chicago trying to hold back raging rivers, after days of torrential rains soaked much of the Midwest.  Mississippi river communities in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri are expected to see significant flooding -- some near-record levels.  The Morton Arboretum in Illinois will remain closed to the public Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21, 2013, due to extensive flooding. The Arboretum has been closed since Thursday, April 18.
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Store Evacuated Friday Night

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Customers were evacuated for a time last night by employees at the Valparaiso Walmart, after the store reportedly received a bomb threat. Valparaiso Police responded and checked the store. No other information available at this hour.
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Boston Bombing Suspect in Custody

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Cheers throughout the Boston area with the arrest of the second suspect in this week's deadly bombings.  The 19 year old ethnic Chechen wanted in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings - the younger brother of the man killed in a police shootout -- - was captured alive in Watertown, Massachusetts Friday evening. The suspect was taken into custody here after a lenghty manhunt that virtually shut down the city and an intense firefight: "One of the officers said to me that there was a huge explosion when they first encountered the suspect and were exchanging gunfire - he said, then the second explosions weren't as powerful so I just kept shooting,"  Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. ABC News reports Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in the hospital after he was found hiding in a backyard boat.
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National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

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National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (April 14th-20th) is an opportunity to recognize the women and men who serve as public safety dispatchers. They are the calming voice at the other end of an emergency 911 call and the provider of critical information over the radio to Police, Fire, and EMS responders. Heard but rarely seen, these dedicated professionals are an often forgotten component of public safety.
Telecommunicators Week began in California in 1981 and quickly grew to national recognition. Just ten years later, Congress designated the second full week of each April as a time to remember the important role that dispatchers play in keeping us all safe.
Porter County is served by a Central Dispatch Center (C-Comm) that employs 48 full-time and part-time Telecommunicators. Eight police departments, 18 fire departments, and 1 EMS agency are dispatched from the center. Over 175,000 911 and non-emergency calls were handled in 2012.
Throughout this week the Telecommunicators of Porter County C-Comm will be honored by the Police, Fire, and EMS agencies they dispatch. Telecommunicator Service Awards will be presented by John M. Jokantas, Director of Communications, at the Porter County Board of Commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday, April 16th at 1pm. A special Years of Service Award will be presented to Kathy Sepiol, who recently retired after 35 years at Porter County.
“It’s important to remember the women and men who work in our 911 Center. They are often referred to as the “Hidden Heroes”. You can see a police car, you can see fire trucks and ambulances, but you don’t ever see the person who is taking the calls. Our Telecommunicators are a dedicated group who want nothing more than to help those in their time of need.” said Jokantas.
dispatch
Central Communications Center, Porter County
( provided by:  http://www2.porterco.org)
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DNR Properties Affected by Flooding and Flood Driving Tips

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Indiana DNR
Indiana Conservation Officers are staying busy in parts of west central Indiana today dealing with vehicle in flood water on many roadways, and as a result are warning the public of the dangers associated with driving through flooded waters. The Indiana Department of Resources reports many closing, restrictions, and warnings at a few D-N-R properties across the state, including at the Kankakee Fish and Wildlife in North Judson where Ten-mile Road is closed.
A complete list of D-N-R properties affected:
J.E. Roush Fish & Wildlife Area, Huntington, (260) 468-2165
—Kil-So-Quah campground and boat ramp will be closed for several days, until further notice.
—Shooting range remains open until further notice, depending on county road access.
—Turkey hunting will take place as scheduled. Road closures to lower areas may require hunters to walk farther and a few flooded areas will not be accessible.
—Hunters should take extreme caution if wading.
 
Raccoon State Recreation Area, Rockville, (765) 344-1884
—The Hollandsburg and main Raccoon boat ramps are open; all other ramps are closed.
Wabashiki FWA, West Terre Haute, (812) 659-9901
—North of Interstate 70, 90 percent flooded; south of I-70, 70 percent flooded.
Kankakee FWA, North Judson, (574) 896-3522
—10-mile Road is closed.
 
Muscatatuck Healthy Rivers INitiative project area (812) 346-5596
—State Road 256 West from Austin may be closed overnight.
Fairbanks Landing FWA, Fairbanks, (812) 659-9901
—Lower bottom land areas are flooded along County Road 1200 N
 
Chain O’Lakes State Park, Albion, (260) 636-2654
—Some trails are closed due to high water.  The Indiana Trail 100 race will be held as planned this weekend; however, a portion may be re-routed.
 
Shades State Park, Waveland, (765) 435-2810 & Turkey Run State Park, Marshall, (765) 597-2635
—The trails may remain closed this weekend due to high water. Even if the creek’s level goes down overnight, trail access points may remain a challenge.
 
Mississinewa Lake, Peru, (765) 473-6528
—Warning of potential “high water” over recreation roads and parking areas. Boat launching may be difficult due to the inability to turn around on water covered ramps.  Users must back down the ramps to load and unload their boats. The Youth Turkey Hunt will still be held as planned. 
Residents that live or travel through areas prone to flooding should use extreme caution and follow these simple tips.
• Never drive around barricades at water covered roadways.
• Do not drive through flowing water.
• Drive with care at night. This is when it may be difficult to see barricades or flowing water.
• If you choose to abandon your vehicle, prepare for the fast moving water and seek higher ground immediately.
• Always travel with a fully charged cell phone.
• Turn Around Don’t Drown
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50 Years in Prison for Hobart Man for Molesting a Child

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Arthur Gutierrez
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 33 year old Hobart man received 50 years in prison today at his sentencing for molesting a child. The Times reports Arthur Gutierrez received five years more than prosecutors were seeking, and 30 years more than his defense sought. Gutierrez abused the child, who was between the age of four and seven, from 2007 through 2010, in Liberty Township. According to the article, the Hobart man had been tried late last summer on similar charges which resulted in a hung jury.
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DHS Asking Hoosiers to Report Suspicious Activity

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With many upcoming local events, it’s important for Hoosiers to be vigilante in monitoring and reporting suspicious activities. Suspicious activity reports are one of the best defenses against violent acts.
According to a survey released earlier this week, 56 percent of Americans said they hadn’t heard of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign. In light of the incident at the Boston Marathon and the data from the report, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), the Indiana State Police (ISP) and the City of Indianapolis Department of Public Safety are doing all that they can to bring forth this message, including calling on the media to help spread the word.
The encouraging side of the survey is that 57 percent of respondents indicated that they were willing to meet with homeland security or local police to talk about reporting suspicious activity.
“Citizen awareness is one of the best partners we have against manmade crises,” said IDHS Executive Director John Hill. “We need the average person to know that their input is critical to preventing violent situations. Do not feel embarrassed for reporting anything out of the ordinary.”
To report suspicious activity, contact on-site security, local law enforcement’s non-emergency line or the Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center at 1-877-226-1026. If violence is imminent, call 9-1-1.
When reporting suspicious behavior, it is important to take note of several key details. When and where you witnessed the behavior and any description of individuals involved such as gender, age, physical description and unique characteristics. Also take note of any vehicles involved, make and model of the vehicle, and its direction of travel.
Examples of suspicious activity include monitoring personnel, testing security, unusual or prolonged interest in security measures, or purposely placing objects in sensitive areas to observe response. For example, a person taking photos at a high profile event is not unusual in itself, but if that person is only taking photos of security cameras or personnel, that activity would be suspicious.
For more information on the See Something, Say Something campaign visit http://www.dhs.gov/if-you-see-something-say-something-campaign or getprepared.in.gov.
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Two-Day Workshop Teaches Basics of Grant Writing

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A series offered by Purdue University Extension will help those who work for nonprofit organizations and government agencies learn how to prepare grant proposals.
The two-day Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing Workshop will take place at the Purdue Extension LaPorte County office on April 26th and May 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central time. The workshop teaches grant writers of all skills levels how to develop a professional proposal. Also, during the workshop the attendees will learn how to identify and work with funding sources.
Past participants of Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing Workshops have received millions of dollars in funding allowing them to expand facilities, buy computers and other technical equipment, and increase their services provided.
Pre-registration is required to attend the workshop. The workshop registration is $150 per person and includes a workbook, reference materials and lunch both days.
The workshop will be held at the Purdue Extension LaPorte County office, 2857 W. State Road 2 Suite A, LaPorte Indiana on April 26 and May 17 from 9a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT.
For more information and to register, log onto the workshop website at http://www.purdue.edu/grantwriting. Click on “Registration Form” and then “Select An Event” for a list of workshops, then select “LaPorte County.”
Questions can be addressed by contacting Peggy Hosea at 765-236-0955, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling the Purdue Extension, LaPorte County at 219-324-9407.
2857 W. State Road 2, Suite A 35 LaPorte, IN 46350  (219) 324-9407 · FAX: (219) 326-7362 · www.ag.purdue.edu/counties/laporte
Purdue University, Indiana Counties and U.S Department of Agriculture Cooperating   An Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Institution...

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LaPorte PD's Wanted Persons of the Week

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eric eaton
(Above: Eric Eaton. Below: Nathan Hinz)
nathan hinz
(Photos Coutesy of the LaPorte PD)
In LaPorte, police today announced they are seeking the public's help identify the whereabouts of two men who were recently added as “Wanted Persons of the Week”. LaPorte Police say 28 year old Eric Eaton is wanted on a warrant for battery and is described weighing 240 pounds, and is five-foot eleven-inches tall, with blond hair and green eyes. Also wanted is 23 year old Nathan Hinz, who is also wanted on a warrant for battery, and is described as weighing 170 pounds, is approximately six-feet tall, with brown hair and green eyes.
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Two Arrest in LaPorte on Warrants for Dealing Heroin

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Clifton Riegert
(Photos Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
Brittany Sons
Authorities in LaPorte County report their on-going investigation into the sale and distribution of heroin in the City of LaPorte and the County resulted in two arrests Thursday. 30 year old Clifton Riegert, of LaPorte, and 19 year old Brittany Sons, of Westville, were arrested on warrants, and without incident, in the parking lot of Indiana University Health – LaPorte Hospital. Riegert is charged with three-counts of dealing a controlled substance and is being held without bond, while Sons is charged with one-count of dealing a controlled substance, with bond set at 100-thousand dollars. Authorities say additional arrests are anticipated, and urge the public to report potential drug activity to the LaPorte County Metro Operations Unit.
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Lake Co DHS: Please Report Flood Damage ASAP

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In light of all the recent rainfall, flooding has become an issue for some residents in Lake County, which is why the Lake County Department of Homeland Security is urging those who sustained damaged caused by severe weather and flooding to report the damage. Director Jodi Richmond says it is very important that residents with damage contact them in the event an emergency is declared, which means additional funding to help residents recuperate their home, but she says there is big threshold number the County needs to hit first, so it is important to file a report as soon as possible. That phone number is 219-755-35-46, and for a link to the form, https://myoracle.in.gov/hs/damage/ia-public.do?method=form&incidentId=IA20130419121922.
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NW Indiana Road Closures

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High water still had roads closed in the Region today, including the Columbia and Northcote bridges between Hammond and Munster at the Little Calumet River.  The Indiana Department of Transportation is warning drivers to be on the lookout for high water. Flooding caused by heavy rainfall over the last 48 hours has already closed some state roads in the Northwest Indiana district. The potential for more closures is increasing due to more rainfall in the forecast.
Cass County closures:
State Road 218, east of Camden
State Road 18, between State Road 29 and U.S. 35
INDOT crews are patrolling state roads, posting high water signs or closing roads as needed. At this time high water closures on state roadways across the Northwest Indiana district are not widespread, but motorists need to practice extreme caution due to the potential for flooding.
Officials stress If you come across a flooded roadway, turn around. Never drive through standing water. According to the National Weather Service most flooding deaths occur in automobiles. Six inches of standing water is enough to stall a car and a foot of water will float many vehicles
INDOT encourages Region residents to follow updates on high water closures or other restrictions through their social media sites,  www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and  www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
You can also find traffic restriction information at www.trafficwise.IN.gov  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
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Two Arrests in LaCrosse Armed Robbery

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Two male subjects from the LaCrosse area have been arrested in connection with an armed robbery in LaCrosse Thursday afternoon. Officers were dispatched shortly before 3:30 to Will's Service. A short time later, the suspect vehicle, an SUV Delaware registeration, was stopped by LaPorte County, Starke County, and Knox Police, near the intersection of State Roads 8 and 39 at the LaPorte/Starke County line. Police say the investigation continues and anyone with information is asked to contact Lead Detective Andy Hynek with the LaPorte County Sheriffs Police at (219)-326-7700 Ext 2401.
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Rising Waters Close Roads in C. Indiana

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Rising waters have closed a number of State Roads in Central and Southern Indiana, including Tippecanoe County. The Indiana Department of Transportation in the Crawfordsville District reports this morning that the following roadways have been closed:
         Boone County
·        State Road 47 near County Road 1100 West
·        US 52 westbound north of State Road 47
Clay County
·        State Road 246, two miles east of the Eel River near Clay City
Clinton County
·        State Road 75 north of Frankfort near County Road 200 North
         
Montgomery County
·        US 136 near County Road 50 South
Morgan County
·        State Road 42 near Eminence
Putnam County
·        State Road 236 east if US 231
Tippecanoe County
·        State Road 26 near Edna Mills
·        State Road 43 between I-65 and State Road 443
·        State Road 225 between State Road 43 and Old State Road 25
When encountering a flooded roadway, INDOT urges drivers to turn around and not drive through standing water.  According to the National Weather Service, most flooding deaths occur in automobiles. Six inches of standing water is enough to cause passenger cars to stall and a foot of water will float many vehicles.  For the latest road conditions, please visit www.trafficwise.in.gov .
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County Dumps Ethanol Plant Deal

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Lake County's trash-to-ethanol contract is no more. The Lake County Solid Waste Management Board unanimously agreed to cancel the deal that was signed back in November 2008 with Powers Energy out of Evansville that was meant to put a facility in Schneider where the alternative fuel would have been produced out of garbage. But for years funding failed to materialize, and Thursday's vote comes on the heels of a local construction consortium deciding not to take over the contract.
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Boston Manhunt Continues

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Authorities are searching for the second suspect in the Boston marathon bombing and ABC Chief Global Affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz reports there are questions about whether the two men worked alone.  ABC News also reports the suspects are believed to be of Chechen or Turkish descent.  People in Boston, Watertown and Cambridge are being asked to stay inside with the doors locked as police search for the second suspect. The Governor of Massachusetts is asking for the public to stay off the streets of 
Boston, Watertown and Cambridge with the manhurt underway.    ABC's Aaron Katersky tells us the suspects tossed explosives from their car and that authorities have found a pressure cooker in a neighborhood in Watertown. Officials say pressure cookers were used to fashion a device that detonated at the Marathon, but there's no indication that this pressure cooker was similarly fashioned into a bomb.
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Body Identified as Missing N. Indiana Man

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The body of man found Monday night in a ditch south of Hebron has been identified as a missing man from an Indiana community about eighty miles away. The Porter County Sheriff's Office reports the deceased, 32 year old Ruben Paredes of Akron, Indiana, which is a little east of Rochester, was reported missing by his wife in early February, and a joint homicide investigation is now underway. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says the man suffered an apparent gunshot wound. Anyone with information is asked to contact Porter County Sheriff's Police.
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LOFS Area Fire Might Have Been Lightning

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Officials continue to try to determine what caused a fire in Winfield Township late Wednesday afternoon, but they do say it might have been a lightning strike. The blaze reportedly started on the second floor of a home on Gibson Street. Lakes of the Four Seasons Fire Force and other local agencies responded. There were no reports of injuries.
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Griffith 'Secession' Bill Awaits Signature

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For years, Griffith has sought a legislative avenue to secede from Calumet Township, and this time they may have succeeded. The House Thursday voted to accept changes made by the Senate to House Bill 1585, a measure that gives the township about a two-year window to reduce its poor relief tax rate, which is reportedly almost 23 times the state average. Griffith officials have said the town sends much more to the township than it gets back. If conditions set forth in the bill aren't met, Griffith could hold a referendum on leaving the township and joining another.  The measure now heads to the Governor's desk.
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