In Michigan City, four people were arrested on probable cause pending a probable cause hearing, regarding two robberies Wednesday night. Police says the first robbery occurred in the parking lot of Lighthouse Mall and the victim was a 55 year old woman. The second robbery occurred two-hours later in the three-hundred block of South Street where the victim was a pizza delivery driver. Police says a city-wide search began and just after 10:30pm, an officer was able to locate the suspect vehicle in the 41-hundred block of Franklin Street. Through the investigation, police report it was determined that both robberies were committed by the four people in the suspect vehicle. Arrested were three men, ages 20, 19, and 18, along with a 29 year old woman, all from LaPorte. An investigation continues and additional charges are expected. Anyone with any additional information regarding these robberies is asked to contact Michigan City Police....
When asked by Senior U.S. District Court Judge James T. Moody who was the victim in this case, Federal Prosecutor Phillip Benson said that the Lake County Government was and if case went to trial the government is prepared to prove Van Til was using his office employees and resources to help get re-elected while employees were on the county's payroll sometime between the period of November 2007 and December 2012.
Prior to hearing the plea, Judge Moody asked Van Til if he was fully aware of the rights and privileges that he would be giving up including not being able to run for public officer again and waiving the right to appeal the sentencing, to which Van til responded in the affirmative.
Judge Moody also instructed the defendant that he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for each of the six counts plus, an additional 2 to 3 years supervised release adding up to a maximum sentence of 120 years in prison, 18 years supervised release and $1.5 million dollars in fines plus restitution.
The judge reserved accepting the plea pending a sentencing date which Judge Moody said would be set to a date and time convenient to both the prosecutors and defendant’s council. Until that time, Van Til remains free on bond....
Indiana has maintained its Triple-A credit ratings from all three bond agencies – Standard and Poor's, Moody's and Fitch. Indiana US Senator Dan Coats today says the Hoosier model has resulted in balanced budgets, job creation and a continued Triple-A credit rating, which is why Washington should look to it as a good blueprint for Amercia's recovery. Senator Coats says Washington's approach the last five-years has resulted in fewer jobs, higher debt, and credit agency downgrades, while Indiana's fiscal turnaround has brought increased opportunity and prosperity for Hoosier businesses, workers and families.
Indiana has held Triple-A ratings with all three bond agencies since April of 2010. ...
Former South African President Nelson Mandela has died. He was 95. ABC News reports Nelson Mandela became an international symbol of triumph over injustice after he became South Africa's first democratically elected president following a quarter century as a political prisoner. During his five years in office he encouraged a policy of national reconciliation to heal the wounds of apartheid and devoted his later years to charity and conflict mediation across the globe. ...
Charges have been filed regarding two recent homicides in Gary. Gary Police Public Information Officer Corp. Gabrielle King says on Sunday, December 1st, Robert Crawford was charged in the November 29th death of 33 year old Eugene Jackson, who died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds in the 44-hundred block of Virginia Street.
On Wednesday, Corp. King says 28 year old Anthony T. Williams was charged with murder and in the December 2nd death of 34 year old Damian Reedus, of Gary, and attempted murder for the shooting of his girlfriend. Williams is alleged to have shot the two while in a van, near East 19th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street.
Corp. King says both suspects remain at large and anyone with information regarding their whereabouts is asked to contact the Homicide Division of the Gary Police Department at (219) 881-1210. ...
INDOT and Indiana State Police today announced a press conference will be held next week regarding the numerous incidents recently of metal scrapper thieves stealing wiring from highway light poles. Officials say the incidents have persisted along the I-80/94 and I-65 corridors, which results in darkened highways and in turn threatens the safety of drivers. Details on Indiana taxpayer money lost due to metal scrapping thieves, how they're doing it, and how the public can help to catch them is expected to be addressed during the press conference, which takes place Wednesday at 11am, at the INDOT Gary Subdistrict Conference Room.
Here is video from the fire scene this morning (courtesy Karl Berner/Radio One Communications: http://youtu.be/DOMBdm7-tQo...
An abandoned hotel in Gary is destroyed by fire overnight. Fire also damaged a second vacant building near 8th and Washington, a block west of Broadway. The former Hotel Plaza, which collapsed in the blaze, is mostly empty, but was occupied by a storefront church called God's House of Prayer. There's debris including bricks from the collapsed structure across 8th Avenue. No word on possible cause of the fire at this time.
Crews responded at about 11 pm Wednesday night, and firefighters this morning are dealing with flareups and hotspots. Some streets are blocked off around the fire, but we understand traffic on Broadway was not being affected. The 21st Century Charter School of Gary is located across the street from the fire. At this time no word of any injuries. The 21st Century Charter School of Gary is located across the street from the fire.
Our Karl Berner was at the scene this morning - to hear his report visit News Audio on Demand here at our website. [Photos/Karl Berner]
With a significant winter weather system expected to make its way to Indiana Thursday evening, state officials are warning Hoosiers to prepare in advance. The Region looks to be spared from this system, which is expected to significantly impact travel just a little to our south and affect areas like West Lafayette, Kokomo, Indianapolis and Bloomington. A Winter Weather Advisory today was expanded north: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ind/ Central and southern Indiana could see several inches of snow, preceded by a messy combination of rain, sleet, slush and snow today. Ice could also be a factor. [Image/Indianapolis National Weather Service]
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says preparations include charging cell phones and other items in case power is interrupted, evaluating whether driving is necessary, taking your time if you decide to drive, and gathering items for your car and home in case they are needed.
The National Weather Service is predicting sleet and significant snowfall beginning Thursday evening. These conditions, in addition to low temperatures, may cause roads to be extremely icy and travel conditions dangerous. Anyone in the path of the storm is strongly encouraged by state officials to make alternate plans in case weather conditions disrupt daily routines.
Information from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security:
Go to GetPrepared.in.gov and click on “Indiana Travel Advisory Map” at the top of the page. The map is updated with information from counties and describes the conditions for a travel warning, watch, advisory, and caution.
The page also has links to the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Traffic Wise information.
A travel "advisory" is notification that travel may be restricted in some areas. Under a "watch" level, only essential travel is recommended. A travel advisory at a "warning" level means travel may be restricted to emergency personnel only.
DO NOT call city, county or state police to check on road conditions – police agencies across the state want to keep phone lines open for emergency phone calls. Dial toll-free 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) for updated Indiana travel information, including road conditions, road closures, crashes and other traffic alerts.
Winter Driving Safety
Those considering going out onto the roads are advised to check the weather forecast and travel conditions prior to leaving, and allow for extra travel time. If driving during the storm is necessary, make sure you have a fully charged and functioning cell phone. A vehicle preparedness kit is also strongly encouraged. Items in a vehicle preparedness kit include:
- At least two blankets or a sleeping bag;
- Flashlight and extra batteries;
- Booster (jumper) cables;
- Emergency flares;
- Extra clothing, including boots, hats and gloves;
- Bottled water and non-perishable foods like granola bars, raisins, nuts, peanut butter or cheese crackers;
- First-aid kit and necessary medications;
- Sand or non-clumping kitty litter for tire traction;
- Cell phone and charger for vehicle use; and
- Ice scraper and snow brush.
If You Become Stranded
- Unless there is a safe structure nearby, do not leave the car, since it is the best protection;
- Run the engine for 10 minutes every hour to stay warm. An idling car only uses about one gallon of gas per hour;
- Tie a brightly colored cloth to the car for rescuers to see;
- Light a flare or turn on a flashlight to let others know you are stranded;
- Make sure the exhaust pipe is free of any blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning; and
- Keep hydrated by drinking water from your preparedness kit. Don’t eat snow, as it will lower body temperature.
Lake County Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson announced an agreement that is contemplated to result in the settlement of litigation surrounding the move of the IV-D Child Support out of the Gary, Indiana Court House. The agreement was the result of a collaborative effort involving Lake County Commissioner Roosevelt Allen, Lake County Clerk Michael Brown, Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter, and Lake County Councilpersons Elsie Franklin and Jerome Prince.
Judge Stefaniak indicated that while he understood the factors that led former Juvenile Judge Mary Beth Bonventura to close the Court, he was pleased that the parties were able to reach a solution that would ensure access to justice for citizens in the northern part of Lake County. This decision also honors the investment that has been made in the Gary Courthouse. Judge Stefaniak also praised the members of the Lake County Commission and Lake County Council for the flexibility in the use of resources to govern the Court.
Mayor Freeman-Wilson applauded the agreement and indicated that she knew that Mayor Anthony Copeland and the citizens of East Chicago and other north Lake County communities would join the citizens of Gary in their appreciation of the opportunity to attend hearings in the Gary Courthouse. She further indicated her willingness to develop employment opportunities and work with Judge Stefaniak to ensure compliance and prevent parents from having to be brought into Court.
Judge Stefaniak will assume full-time responsibilities at the Juvenile Court on December 20, 2013. He anticipates that a full service IV-D Court will return to Gary in January 2014 as well. ...
More signs of the season in Northwest Indiana as East Chicago gets ready for two tree lighting celebrations.
Mayor Anthony Copeland and the East Chicago Parks and Recreation Department invite residents to the Magic of Christmas, According to the City's website, a tree Lighting celebration to be held this Friday (Dec. 6. 2013) at 5:30 p.m. on the corner of Main Street and Broadway in downtown Indiana Harbor. Following that at 6:30 p.m., East Chicago's main tree lighting will take place at City Hall, on Indianapolis Blvd. The city says hot chocolate will be served and families can take a photo with Santa Claus at City Hall. Plus, a free surprise for the city's children with parent while supplies last. Gift recipients must be from East Chicago, parent ID's will be checked, according to the City's website.
More about the tree lighting available at: http://www.eastchicago.com ...
(Photos Courtesy of Karl Berner; Law enforcement gather for
news conference at LaPorte County Fairgrounds)
An iPhone GPS tracker assisted La Porte County Sheriff's Detectives in recovering thousands of dollars in allegedly stolen property from a residence in rural Coolspring Township last week. La Porte County Detective Sergeant Andrew Hynek says the collaborative effort between the La Porte County Sheriff's Department and the Michigan City Police Department has led to the arrest and charging of 33-year-old Nicholas Rife with three counts of residential burglary. His wife, Stephanie Rife, was also arrested and charged with receiving stolen property. The investigation was also aided by serial-number confirmation and anonymous informants and links the recovered items to a dozen or more burglaries throughout western La Porte County. Hynek says modern technology proved very valuable in the initial stages of the investigation.
Hynek advises all homeowners to take precautions against burglaries by recording serial numbers and taking photos of your property.
As the investigation continues, recovered items are being viewed by potential victims so that they may be returned to their rightful owners. Hynek advised victims who believe their property may have been recovered to contact the detective in charge of their case in order that an inquiry can be made with the La Porte County Sheriff's Office....
The Street Department request that residents cooperate by following these rules:
- No plastic bags are to be used
- Branches, rocks and other debris must be kept out of the leaf piles
- Leaf piles should be loose in large piles in front of the property as close to the curb as possible, but away from the sewer drains.
- Please do not use Toters, leaves will not be picked up in those containers
December 9 – 14, 2013
Area 1 is marked by Franklin Street on the west, Michigan Boulevard and Roeske Avenue on the east and Kieffer Road on the south.
December 16 – 21, 2013
Area 2 is marked by Lake Shore Drive and U.S. 12 and Shoreland Drive on the north, Michigan Boulevard on the south and Meer Road on the east.
December 2 – 7, 2013
Area 3 is marked by County Line Road on the west, Franklin Street on the east, Kieffer Road on the south and Lake Michigan on the north....
Authorities are seeking the public's help to locate a man who assaulted a Wendy's employee at the drive-thru window on Saturday night. LaPorte Police report they received the call just after 10pm and were informed an elderly woman driving a large white vehicle, possibly a Lincoln or Cadillac, with a male passenger in his 20's, pulled up to the drive-thru to collect their order. Police say the man got upset because there was too much ice in his drink, exited the vehicle and began slamming the drive-thru window open and closed before reaching inside a grabbing an employee's arm. The employee was able to pull away from the man, who got back in the vehicle which exited the area. Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to please contact the LaPorte Police Department and you can remain anonymous....
- Valpo PD Investigating Suspicious Incident at Bus Stop
- Gary Metro Center Elevator/Escalator Out of Service
- Warning: New Phone Scam Circulating
- Two Highland Burglary Suspects in Custody
- Rash of Daytime Burglaries Reported in Highland
- Lake County Legislators Preview Session
- 219: Valpo Holly Days
- Purdue North Central Receives Historic Donation
- Hearing on Redistricting Postponed
- Cedar Lake Trying to Help Blind Woman Keep Home
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