(Photo Courtesy of INDOT's Facebook Page)
INDOT reports all lanes of northbound I-65 are now open after crash forced a closure south of the Lowell/Route 2 exit. No further information is available at this time on the cause of the accident that forced the closure, but there was a vehicle on fire....
Discolored water was coming out of some faucets at Lake Prairie Elementary School near Lowell Wednesday. The gray-colored water led to drinking fountains being turned off and bottled water being provided to students and staff as a precaution. The school is outside of town limits and not part of the municipal water system. It's an issue Tri-Creek officials have dealt with at Lake Prairie for years, including last year. School officials say the well water has been determined to be safe, despite its color, and that they've been working with state and county health officials. Dr. Kleefisch says the discoloration has varied over the years, with a variety of extremes, where at times it's looked like there's mud in the water....
12 noon -- Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post report all lanes of northbound I-65 are closed south of the Lowell/Route 2 exit due to an accident. A caller to the Region News Team reports a vehicle on fire in the area.
We also have word from a caller of a backup in the area of northbound Cline Avenue in the Hammond area, with a car sideways blocking the left lane as you exit north from the Borman Expressway....
Chief Patricia Nowak and Officer Ricardo Garcia were on hand at IU Northwest’s recent “Coffee with a Cop” event, in which the campus and community came out to meet the campus officers in an informal, conversational setting. Nowak said the event was a huge success, and the IUPD-Northwest is planning on future meet-and-greets.
About sixty people came out for the very first "Coffee with a Cop" event hosted by the Indiana University Police Department-Northwest (IUPD-NW) at the campus cafeteria Tuesday.
IUPD-NW Chief Patricia Nowak said she was thrilled with the turnout for the inaugural meet-and-greet, in which officers engaged in informal conversation, providing campus and community members the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work, both on the IU Northwest campus, as well as in the community, most specifically in Gary. The conversations touched on such topics as careers in law enforcement, the desire for more citizens’ and kids’ police academies, and the IUPD-NW’s involvement in patrolling the University Park area immediately surrounding campus.
Sergeant Melvin Blakely, Jr. (foreground) speaks to a resident at the recent “Coffee with a Cop” event at Indiana University Northwest. The meet-and-greet attracted about 60 campus and community members who enjoyed an informal conversation with campus officers.
Overall, Nowak said the folks she chatted with expressed satisfaction with their safety and security on campus, appreciate the department’s presence immediately surrounding the campus and feel the officers are friendly and approachable.“It is important that the campus, and community, have an awareness of what we do, and how we serve,” Nowak said. “Building relationships builds trust.”
The university says a commitment to community engagement efforts, such as Coffee with a Cop, have become more greatly embedded into the mission of IUPD-NW since Chief Nowak joined the squad in July 2012. Similar community-based efforts include the Citizens’ Police Academy, the Youth Citizens’ Police Academy, and the annual Shop with a Cop program, among others. “The concept of community policing efforts is to build trust with our constituents,” Nowak said. “The IUPD-NW sees great value in getting to know, and serving the needs of not only the IU Northwest campus, but also the citizens of Northwest Indiana.”
The meet-and-greet was one of several such gatherings that are taking place nationwide as part of a U.S. Department of Justice initiative. Because of the high turnout and valuable information gleaned from the event, Chief Nowak anticipates hosting more meet-and-greet events in the future.
[Photos/Indiana University Northwest]...
The Gary Animal Control Division has forged a partnership with the Humane Society Calumet Area out of Munster to assist with the intake of animals. The Board of Works approved the contract Wednesday. Commander Peter Sormaz of the Gary Police Department, who represented the City’s Animal Control Division during the negotiations, says Gary is not in a position to build a new facility at this time. Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says she believes the plan will bode well with groups who have expressed concerns about the care and safety of the animals. “We are extremely pleased with this agreement, and I applaud the Gary Police Department and the representatives from the Humane Society Calumet Area for their hard work in mapping out a plan that works well for both parties,” said Freeman-Wilson. “The animals will continue to get the care they need," Sormaz said, "and we have gained a great partner in the Humane Society Calumet Area.”
According to the contract, the Gary Animal Control will transport animals to the Munster facility located at 421 45th St., and the City will pay the Humane Society $50 per animal per month for services performed. However, the Humane Society will waive the S50 fee for feral cats. The contract is not to exceed $82,000 annually and shall continue through December 31, 2014. The contract may be extended for up to four additional two-year terms so long as both parties agree.
Guardians who are looking to reclaim an impounded animal will pay a $15 fee for each day the animal has been impounded. Impoundment fees for less than three days will be waived. The Humane Society Calumet Area will begin providing services next week....
Traffic advisory for south Lake County: Big backups on northbound I-65 approaching State Road 2 Lowell Exit, due to semi rollover northbound blocking left lane near the scales....
(L-R: Joseph Simonetto, Munster Town Council President; Donna Van Eekeren, Chairwoman of Land O' Frost; Governor Mike Pence; David Van Eekeren, CEO Land O'Frost)
Land O' Frost is the nation's second-largest seller of pre-sliced, pre-packaged lunchmeats is relocating it's corporate headquarters from just over the state line in Lansing to a three acre campus in Munster. Officials say the move to the new 27,000 square foot facility, which is scheduled to be operational in 2014, will create up to 50 new jobs.
Governor Pence joined company executivest at the Wednesday afternoon groundbreaking celebration where he pointed out that Land O' Frost was the 24th Illinois company to relocate to Indiana since 2010. The governor adding that he hopes those companies and this one will soon have "lot's of company in the years ahead."
(Van Eekeren family members and officials posing with Governor Mike Pence before one of the company's semi trailers)
(photos: courtesy of Karl Berner)...
At about 6:05 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Sheriff's police in LaPorte County received a number of reports of a funnel clouds with one tornado reportedly on the ground near County Road 1000 South and 750 East moving in a northeasterly direction. While there were no active watches or warnings in effect at the time, the National Weather Service did issue a special weather statement at 6:17p.m. CDT stating showers were producing funnel clouds across southern LaPorte County and that at 6:09p.m. a shower was producing a funnel cloud near Kingsford Heights, or 10 miles north of Knox, moving north at 5 mph.
Some of the towns and communities immediately in the path of the storm included Wanatah, Kingsford Heights, Salem Heights and South Center.
The Weather Service Northern Indiana Facebook page also reported receiving a number of reports of a funnel cloud in LaPorte County. In response the weather service says the funnels were what they call a "landspout tornado." "These types of tornadoes are generally weak, short lived, and undetectable by radar, but can do minor damage. Because the weak tornado did not show up on radar, the National Weather Service was relying on reports phone din by LaPorte County Emergency Management.
The Region News Team has not received any reports of damages or injuries at this time.
(photo of "landspout tornado" courtesy of Sherry Frey)
The National Do Not Call Registry maintained by the Federal Trade Commission is among the numerous federal government services affected by the current shutdown. Many states, like Indiana, operate their own telemarketer-do-not-call lists that are not affected and remain in operation. Indiana's Do Not Call List is through the Indiana Attorney General's Office, and is for residential, wireless or VOIP telephone numbers or prepaid wireless numbers primarily in Indiana. For more info: http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2446.htm
Reports say charges against other individuals are expected as authorities continue to investigate the death of a two-year-old child. The LaPorte County Prosecutors office says 22-year-old Tommy Shannon, Jr., of Michigan City is in jail on no bond accused of murdering the boy, who coroners officials say died of blunt force trauma. Officials say the suspect was the boyfriend of the child's mother. Police say Shannon was brought up to LaPorte County from Evansville, where he was being held in the Vanderburgh County jail on unrelated charges.
(photo provided: Tommy Shannon Jr.)...
Authorities say southbound Cline Avenue has been reopened to traffic, closed earlier due to fuel spill that resulted from an earlier accident involving a semi. Traffic had been backed up all the way to BP and the mills around the noon hour. Traffic tipsters first reported the incident that caused a tractor trailer truck to jackknife across two lanes of southbound Cline Avenue at the entrance ramp from 169th Street around 11:20 Wednesday morning. Northbound traffic was unaffected, however police did divert traffic onto 169th Street while fire crews were mopping up the spilled fuel. There were no injuries reported....
In Porter County, sheriffs police are investigating nearly twenty instances of damage to mailboxes and garbage cans on the eastern side of the county overnight. Porter County Sheriffs Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry LaFlower says a lot of the vandalism took place between Sager Road east to County Road 450 East, and between County Roads 500 North and 100 South. "We had 18 reports of vandalism in Washington and Morgan Townships, mainly in Washington Township, where we had garbage cans and also mailboxes that were damaged," Sgt. LaFlower said, and anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriffs Department Detective Bureau at 219-477-3140. Sgt. LaFlower says based on the damage reports, it appears whoever was responsible may have driven their vehicle into the the plastic trash and recycling containers that had been put out by the roadside for pickup, pushing them into mailboxes, but they're still investigating. ...
- Accident Has Traffic Backed Up on Cline
- Governor Pence Disappointed in Shutdown
- Caucus to be Scheduled for Lake County Assessor
- Police Investigate Suspicious Incidents at Park
- UPDATE: NICTD Reports Train Service Resumes
- Police Respond to Suspicious Package in Chicago
- Sen Donnelly Academy Information Nights Postponed
- Hunter Injured in Fall from Tree Stand
- Region Students Affected by Federal Shutdown
- Hoosier Lottery Launches 'Walking Dead' Scratch-Off
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