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Senate Considers So-Called 'Ag Gag' Measure

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The Indiana Senate is considering a bill that would outlaw photographing or video-taping a farm or industry without the owner's permission. Critics of Senate Bill 373, including the Humane Society of the United States, say undercover videos expose wrongdoing like inhumane treatment of farm animals and unsafe conditions. Supporters say it's meant to protect privacy rights.
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Read more: Senate Considers So-Called 'Ag Gag' Measure

 

Lake Co, Hammd Library Merger Measure Removed

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Legislation that was moving through the Indiana House to merge the Hammond Library with the Lake County Library system has been removed and the measure, sponsored by Munster State Representative Mara Candelaria-Reardon, now instead would have a legislative study committee meet this summer to review the issue of library consolidation. A couple years ago two Hammond library branches closed due to budget issues.
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Read more: Lake Co, Hammd Library Merger Measure Removed

 

No Injuries in Porter House Fire

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No word on a possible cause at this time on a fire in the town of Porter Tuesday night that is reported to have destroyed a home under construction on Sunset Avenue. Crews from several Region departments worked for hours in icy cold temperatures and high winds. There were no reports of injuries.
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Defense Begins Calling Witnesses in McCowan Trial

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After two-and-a-half weeks, prosecutors have wrapped up their case against a 20-year-old man accused of fatally shooting 19-year-old Amanda Bach of Portage. Her body, police say, was found less than three-hundred yards from the suspect's former Union Township home, the day after her car was discovered off State Road 130 in Wheeler in September 2011. According to today's Times, a defense attorney for Dustin McCowan requested a mistrial, which was denied. In today's Times and at nwi-dot-com,...

Read more: Defense Begins Calling Witnesses in McCowan Trial

 

Lawmakers Say Nay to School Letter Grades

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An Indiana State Senate committee unanimously agreed with a proposal to dump the state's A-thru-F grading system for schools. Letter grades were first issued a couple years ago, now Democrats and Republicans want the State Board of Education to put together a new way of assessing school improvement and performance
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Read more: Lawmakers Say Nay to School Letter Grades

 

Cupboard Nearly Bare at St. Clare Health Clinic

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franciscan alliance
CROWN POINT | St. Clare Health Clinic is seeking donations of nonperishable food items, paper goods, including toilet paper; laundry detergent and personal care products, such as deodorant, shampoo and soap; for its food pantry, which is nearly depleted due to increased demand.
The clinic, which is under the auspices of Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point, provides free primary health care for residents of Northwest Indiana who fall within established income guidelines, are uninsured and...

Read more: Cupboard Nearly Bare at St. Clare Health Clinic

 

Portage Man Sentenced in Fatal Hit and Run

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Reinaldo Figueroa III
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 22 year old Portage man was sentenced today in a fatal hit-and run that resulted in the death of 22 year old Frank Ivey, of South Haven. The Times reports Reinaldo Figueroa III was sentenced to six-years in prison, with the judge suspending three-years, so with good behavior, they calculate he could serve just 18-months. Published reports say Figueroa pleaded guilty to hitting a mo-ped, driven by Ivey, on County Road 700 North, in April, and fleeing the scene,...

Read more: Portage Man Sentenced in Fatal Hit and Run

 

Lake Co Commissioners Take No Action on Gun Shows

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The Times today reports the Lake County Board of Commissioners took no action after Sheriff John Buncich requested tightening up prerequisites at six gun shows, scheduled this year at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point, so venders comply with federal firearms license regulations. The Sheriff's comments echoed those made last week in Gary, at the "Gun Trafficking Suppression Summit", where according to a study by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, 20-percent of weapons recovered by...

Read more: Lake Co Commissioners Take No Action on Gun Shows

 

DeMotte Bank Warns of Fraudulent Text Message Scam

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DeMotte State Bank is continuing to urge their customers to not respond to a text message asking for your personal information for a security update, as it is a scam. Bank officials say it is a fraudulent text messaging scam that is circulating, asking you to contact the telephone number listed, but that DeMotte State Bank does not contact their customers in this manner. DeMotte State Bank is asking its customers to not respond to the text message, but if you already have responded, and entered...

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How to Deal with Injured or Orphaned Wildlife

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Indiana DNR
Wildlife biologists from the Department of Natural Resources are asking the public to help keep Indiana’s wildlife wild.
“Rescuing an injured or apparently abandoned baby wild animal may do the opposite of what you seek to accomplish and eventually cause the animal more harm than good,” said Mark Reiter, director of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.
A video that explains what to do when finding an injured or orphaned wild animal is posted on the DNR YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/je5O9Wjwu...

Read more: How to Deal with Injured or Orphaned Wildlife

 

Lake Co Coroner Seeks Help in Finding Victim's Family

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david lawson
(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Coroner's Office)
The Lake County Coroner's Office is seeking your help in identifying and locating the family of 47 year old David Lawson, whose body was discovered in an abandoned residence on the one-hundred block of East 39th Avenue, in Gary, on July 15th, 2012. Coroner Merrillee Frey says they were able to identify his father, Eugene Lawson, and mother, Lillian Coleman Lawson, from his birth certificate, which was located among his belongs. The Coroner's...

Read more: Lake Co Coroner Seeks Help in Finding Victim's Family

   

Officer-Involved Shooting Incident in East Chicago

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The Lake County Sheriffs Office has been asked to investigate an officer-involved shooting in East Chicago. East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker says around 11:30 Tuesday night, an officer came upon a vehicle without working taillights in the 45-hundred block of Euclid, a vehicle allegedly reported stolen earlier that day in the city. A pursuit ensued, and police say the suspect vehicle went around a crossing gate at Chicago and Kennedy Avenues, and into a squad on the other side of the...

Read more: Officer-Involved Shooting Incident in East Chicago

   

Local Income Tax for Lake Co Debated Downstate

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A one-percent local income tax for Lake County is being discussed downstate.... as a Senate committee has added language to an existing economic development bill for Gary, Senator Ed Charbonneau's Senate Bill 585, that would let Lake County spend some of dollars collected from the tax on county needs...instead of putting it all toward property tax relief. Lake County is the only one of Indiana's 92 counties without such a tax, and because of that, property tax levies in Lake County have been...

Read more: Local Income Tax for Lake Co Debated Downstate

   

Spring 5K Event Shapes the Lives of Region Girls

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Girls On The Run of Northwest Indiana is the local chapter of a national organization that is a life-changing, character building program for girls in 3rd through 8th grade.  
Jill Schlueter-Kim, Council Director says  girls in Lake, Porter, Jasper and La Porte counties are invited to sign-up for this 10 week, after school course that through exercise, positive reinforcement and encouraging role models, develops confidence girls need during their critical pre-teen years.  Schlueter-Kim says the p...

Read more: Spring 5K Event Shapes the Lives of Region Girls

   

Boone Grove HS Closed 2nd Day in a Row

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Porter Township School officials sayt Boone Grove High School is closed today, Wednesday, February 20, due to a water damage from a water line break in the hallway -- a break described to the Region News Team Tuesday as "substantial". Principal Garry DeRossett says Boone Grove High School is the only school in the Porter Township School District included in this closure again today.  The high school was closed Tuesday, too.
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Read more: Boone Grove HS Closed 2nd Day in a Row

   

Variety of Proposals for Former Hammond Apt site

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From a restaurant/brewery... to a veterinary facility... to something akin to a Wisconsin-like 'cheese castle' store... the Times today reports the city of Hammond is looking at a variety of proposals for the former site of an apartment complex at the corner of Kennedy Avenue and Borman Expressway. That's where the River Park Apartments stood for years, eventually becoming the site of many police calls, before being demolished in 2006. The development area is now known as Oxbow Landing.
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Office Store Merger in the Works

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Breaking business news this morning... word of a merger between Office Depot, headquartered in Florida,  and Naperville-based OfficeMax as both firms look to cut costs. ABC reports Office Depot has been fighting an uphill battle against not just Staples, but also Amazon and Costco.
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Read more: Office Store Merger in the Works

   

Bill Would Require Licensure for Massage Therapists

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The Indiana Senate unanimously approved a proposal by LaPorte State Senator Jim Arnold he says will improve safety for customers seeking massage therapy. Senate Bill 573 proposes individuals be licensed by the State Board of Massage Therapy to practice in the state of Indiana. Currently, they only need to be certified by that board. Arnold says Indiana is one of the few states that only require certification in this field. The bill would also retroactively license massage therapists with valid...

Read more: Bill Would Require Licensure for Massage Therapists

   

Hand Sanitizer, Static Electricity Spark Fire?

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Investigators in Oregon believe hand sanitizer ignited by static electricity may have caused a fire that burned an 11-year-old girl in her hospital bed. ABC's Neal Karlinsky reports the recovering cancer patient who was back in the hospital after hitting her head while at school had just wiped down the table that slides over her hospital bed with hand sanitizer.  Investigators believe hand sanitzer may have been ignited by static electricity. "According to her father," Karlinsky reports, "she...

Read more: Hand Sanitizer, Static Electricity Spark Fire?

   

Jonassen Sentenced to 40 Years for Kidnapping Relative

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Martin Jonassen
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A Kansas man was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison today on charges of kidnapping and obstruction of justice. The Times reports Martin Jonassen, who represented himself, was convicted by a federal jury in July for kidnapping an adult-female relative in attempt to take her from Missouri to Michigan in September of 2011. Published reports the woman escaped a Portage hotel, and ran naked into a liquor store, where surveillance footage captured Jonassen dragging...

Read more: Jonassen Sentenced to 40 Years for Kidnapping Relative

   

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