Some travelers got quite a deal buying tickets on Delta Air Lines's website Thursday, including Milos Rokosz of Dyer, who ended up getting six tickets to Florida for about 29-dollars apiece. He tells today's Times he came across them on a website called Kayak-dot-com, a travel metasearch engine, then went to Delta's site to see for himself. Delta's online booking system offered double-digit, round-trip fares that were incredibly cheap, like New York to LA for 47 dollars, which would normally cost close to ten times that much. Word quickly got around on travel blogs, and the low prices started disappearing. Delta admitted it was a glitch, said it was fixed, and announced any tickets purchased at the incorrect prices would be honored. ...
More snow for parts of the Midwest. Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Center, says they expect some light accumulation -- for example, snow -- maybe a little bit more than light, when you get into Iowa and into parts of northern Illinois. The National Weather Service in Chicago says, in northwest Indiana, expect light snow after sunset until around midnight with a total accumulation of a few tenths to around one-inch expected.
Granger, Ind. – Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement on the passing of former Congressman Andy Jacobs:
“I am saddened to hear of the passing of former Congressman Jacobs. I enjoyed getting to know Andy over the years, and his decades of tireless service to the people of Indiana is an example I try to follow. Jill and I send our thoughts and prayers to Kim, Andy Jr., Steven, and all of Andy's family during this difficult time.”
Indianapolis - Indiana Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement:
“Andy Jacobs, Jr.'s contributions to the life of our state and nation are incalculable and I mark his passing with a sense of personal loss. Andy Jacobs personified the kind of principled and compassionate leadership that Hoosiers most admire and he will be greatly missed.
Before serving a long and illustrious career as a member of the United States House of Representatives, Andy Jacobs served his nation in the United States Marine Corps as a combat infantryman. Upon his return from military service, he dedicated the next three decades of his life to public service. Andy Jacobs served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives in 1959-1960. Later, he was elected to represent Indiana’s Tenth Congressional District in 1964, serving in the same Indianapolis Congressional seat held by his father in 1948-1950.
During his early years in Congress, Representative Jacobs helped to write the 1965 Voting Rights Act. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Representative Jacobs was known for his tireless efforts to improve the lives of America’s senior citizens by enhancing the Social Security Administration and the Medicare program.
Throughout his career, Representative Jacobs was recognized by colleagues on both sides of the aisle as a champion for his principles and a man of impeccable character.
When Representative Jacobs retired from Congress in 1997, he left a legacy of leadership and a reputation for integrity among his peers and the people that he served.
On behalf of my entire family, I express our deepest sympathies and prayers to his family, his wife Kim, and to his two sons during this difficult time. God bless you, Andy Jacobs. Your compassion and servant leadership left Indiana and our nation better for you having been here. You will be sorely missed and your many contributions to Indiana will be remembered always.”...
The Indiana Department of Correction has announced a new program aimed at combating cell phone trafficking in Indiana’s prisons. The Cell Phone Detection K-9 Program has successfully completed its pilot phase, training two cell-phone-sniffing dogs at the Pendleton Correctional Facility and Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.
Photo: (from Indiana Department of Correction): Officer Jarod Collenbaugh and K-9 Dixie search a housing unit at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.
Corrections officials say cell phones are among the biggest challenges prison officials face today, and cell phone detection K-9s are the latest tool for sniffing out the problem. “In the hands of offenders, cell phones not only threaten the safety and security of our facilities, but can also pose a serious threat to the public,” stated IDOC Commissioner Bruce Lemmon. “In many cases, offenders use them to circumvent prison phone monitoring systems, oftentimes to run criminal operations on the outside, plan escapes, facilitate acts of violence inside and outside of prison, communicate with gang associates, or traffic drugs and other contraband into our facilities.”
The Cell Phone Detection K-9 program pilot began in September 2013 with an intensive eight week training course developed by IDOC’s Emergency Operations Division, based off a similar program implemented by the GEO Group at the New Castle Correctional Facility. The training program began with basic fundamental detection work and handler skills, including obedience and socialization, then progressed to real working conditions. The handler and K-9 are trained in personnel searches, vehicle searches, area searches, and property searches.
Commissioner Lemmon added, “This issue has plagued states across the country, and the K-9 detection program has proven to be a cost effective solution to fighting the serious issue of illegal cell phones in prison.”
In 2012, 2560 cell phones were confiscated inside Indiana’s 20 adult correctional facilities. Monthly sweeps in cells around Indiana turn up anywhere from 50 to 60 cell phones. So far this year, the Department has seized over 1000 phones, which are often smuggled in by visitors or staff and can be sold for as much as $1200 on the inside.
The handlers and dogs were hand selected by the pilot facilities. Wabash Valley chose Officer Jarod Collenbaugh and K-9 Dixie, and Pendleton chose Officer Brantley Ferguson and K-9 Port. All IDOC K-9s are donated to the Department and training costs are minimal training costs. The IDOC has future plans to implement this program statewide, placing a Cell Phone Detection K-9 in every IDOC facility.
Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating the disappearance of a Des Plaines, Illinois, woman. Officials say 31-year-old Cathryn McGill was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by her husband, 35-year-old Adam McGill when their vehicle was swept off the roadway in flood waters on Highway 257 near the Pike – Daviess County Line in southwest Indiana. Adam McGill was rescued but his wife couldn' t be found. Search efforts that included bank searches, side scan sonar, canine searches, wading shallow water and dragging operations, concluded at dusk. Water-based search efforts were scheduled to resume this morning. Responding agencies included Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, Pike County Sheriff’s Department, Harrison Fire Department, Jefferson Township Fire Department, Southwest Medical, Pike County EMS, Pike County EMA, Ohio Valley Search and Rescue, American Red Cross and Indiana Conservation Officers. ...
In order to complete the work, lane closures on northbound and southbound I-94 (Bishop Ford Freeway) will be necessary. The left lane will be closed from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Motorists should anticipate delays and allow extra time for trips through this area. Motorists are asked to please obey the speed limit, observe closure signs and remain alert for workers. Find details on other construction projects in IDOT’s District 1 at http://www.dot.state.il.us IDOT says additional updates on the impacts to traffic are available at www.travelmidwest.com ....
Overnight, Indiana State Police say a man from Sawyer, Michigan, was killed when he stepped out in front of an oncoming car on I-94 in Porter County. Troopers say a preliminary investigation revealed that at about 1:15 am, 36-year-old Bradley Miner for unknown reasons parked his Jeep Wrangler on the shoulder of the expressway at the 29 mile marker, which is just east of the westbound truck scales, and stepped out in front of a car traveling in the middle lane. Police say Miner was pronounced dead at the scene and the motorist, a 25-year-old Gary man, was uninjured. The right, middle and entrance ramp to the scales were closed until approximately 4-o'clock this morning. ...
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 59 year old woman under treatment for mental illness for the last two-years has been missing since the first week of December and family members are seeking help in locating her. The Times reports Paula Palo left her residential unit at Edgewater Systems for Balanced Living on December 8th and has been without her medication ever since. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact Gary Police at (219) 881-1214. A description of the woman has not yet been made available. ...
Governor, state board must end pettiness, focus on early learning
By State Senator Earline Rogers (D-Gary)
In the 38 years I spent at the front of a classroom, I’ve undoubtedly seen this type of behavior before. Not getting what they want, a student chooses to sulk and do everything in their power to disrupt what’s going on around them. It’s expected from grade-schoolers. It’s something else altogether to witness this childish behavior from the “adults” in Indianapolis when it is at the detriment of Hoosier students.
In 2012, Hoosiers rallied behind then candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, electing her over her opponent, with more votes statewide than the governor himself received. Since then, Superintendent Ritz has faced attempts from this administration to dilute her constitutionally-mandated office and obstruct her vision for Indiana education policy. Hoosiers made it clear they were fed up with the previous administration’s assault on local control and attitude that Indianapolis knows best when it comes to overseeing the direction of our schools. Ritz has shifted the focus back to students, parents and teachers by strengthening the connection and upping the dialogue between her Department of Education (DOE) and our schools.
Instead of focusing on kids, there has been a return to theheavy-handed policies Hoosiers soundly rejected. At a time when the state’s agencies have been asked to tighten their belts by $75 million, the administration created a new agency tasked with deposing Ritz’s Department of Education. Of the Center for Education and Career Innovation’s 16 staffers, six make more than $100,000 and the pseudo-agency has been heavily criticized for performing functions already handled by the DOE.
The governor-appointed State Board of Education has displayed a willingness to flat out ignore the will of Hoosiers voters and Indiana statute in their efforts to undercut Ritz. That statute plainly spells out that the superintendent chairs the state board and her agency alone is tasked with calculating schools’ A-F grades. That didn’t stop board members from covertly attempting to have those grades calculated by an outside entity and regularly challenging Ritz’s authority as board chair.
What’s most upsetting is the willingness to elevate pettiness over policy. Ritz has been an ardent supporter of early childhood education and ensuring Hoosier children arrive in classrooms ready to learn. Instead of focusing on education policy, the administration is caught up in attempting to erase elections results from more than a year ago.
It’s my hope the governor joins Superintendent Ritz, the Senate Democrats and others education stakeholders this upcoming legislative session in embracing the benefits of quality early childhood education.
Sen. Rogers represents Indiana Senate District 3 which encompasses portions of Lake County. District 3 communities include Gary, Lake Station, New Chicago, Hobart, Ainsworth, Merrillville and Crown Point.
For more information on Sen. Rogers, her legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/s3....
The Cook County Sheriff's Office reports they will be conducting significant enforcement efforts during the next two-weeks, focusing on DUI violators and seat belt violations. Sheriff Thomas Dart says the DUI enforcement will begin Saturday night, with extra patrols focusing on seat belt enforcement on January 3rd and 4th. ...
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