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Goodland Man Killed in Jasper County Crash

Jasper Co Sheriff Dept
A 36 year old Goodland man was pronounced dead at the scene of single vehicle crash early Thursday morning on the north side of County Road 700 South, two-miles southwest of Rensselaer. The Jasper County Sheriff's Office reports they were dispatched to the scene at 12:30am on a report of a vehicle off the roadway. The Sheriff's Office reports Fire Rescue was called in to extricate a lone male victim, identified as Jason Hopkins, who suffered extreme head and neck trauma as a result of the crash. Authorities say an investigation revealed Hopkins was traveling east when for unknown reasons the vehicle left the roadway, struck a tree, causing the vehicle to rollover, coming to rest on its roof. An investigation continues pending toxicology results. ...
 

Former Teacher Gets 12 Years for Child Pornography

A former teacher at Morton High School in Hammond has been sentenced to twelve years in prison. In June, 28-year-old Jon Erik Lilly of Cedar Lake pleaded guilty to two counts of receiving child pornography. At his sentencing hearing in Hammond Federal Court Thursday, Lilly apologized to his victims and his family. In a joint Hammond Police Department and Homeland Security Investigation announced earlier this year, the former math teacher was accused of asking underage female students to text sexually explicit pictures of themselves to him by cellphone....
 

Parent Charged for Child's Excessive School Absences

moina lucious
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A Portage woman faces anywhere from six-months to three-years in prison as the result of a child's repeat absences and tardiness. The Times reports Moina (moe-E-nah) Lucious, of Portage, has been charged with felony neglect of a dependant. According to the article, boy in question is a fifth grader, who racked up 19 unexcused absences and was tardy 30 times in the 2011-2012 school year, and 15 unexcused absences and was tardy four times the prior year. In the 2012-2013 school year, the child accumulated 10 unexcused absences and was tardy 18 times by March 12th 2013....

 

LaPorte Police 2013 Traffic Safety Report

LaPorte PD
Police in LaPorte have put together a list of some 2013 traffic statistics. Police report so far in 2013, the most dangerous intersections in LaPorte are East Lincolnway and Boyd Boulevard, with eleven crashes, Lincolnway and Michigan Avenue, with eight crashes, and Lincolnway and Indiana Avenue, with seven crashes. In 2013, from January 1st through September 25th, LaPorte Police report they have investigated 361 property damage crashes and 82 person injury crashes, 20 of which were alcohol related.
Other dangerous intersections in LaPorte this year are:
• Pine Lake Av. & Waverly Rd. with five crashes.
• US 35 & SR 39 and US 35 & Boyd Blvd. with four crashes each.
• Pine Lake Av. & Williams St.; Pine Lake Avenue & Truesdell Av.; 18th St. & A Street; and Indiana Av./Jefferson Av. with three crashes each.
Officers from the La Porte Police Department worked 21 hours of Operation Pull Over funded seat belt patrols in September, writing 41 citations and 26 warnings, including 36 citations for seat belt violations. These patrols wrap Operation Pull Over activities for the current federal fiscal year which ends on September 30, 2013.
We are pleased to announce that the La Porte Police Department has received an Operation Pull Over grant in the amount of $22,500.00 for 2014, which will fund approximately 700 hours of dangerous driving, impaired driving and seat belt patrols.
Operation Pull Over is a traffic safety program which targets impaired driving, seat belt and child restraint violations and dangerous driving. Types of dangerous driving activities that are targeted include speeding, stop sign/signal violations, aggressive driving and distracted driving.
According to NHTSA, motorists that text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash. While texting is probably the distracted driving behavior that we most commonly think of, there are many other sources of distractions including eating and drinking; pets and passengers; grooming activities and radio/climate control adjustments to name a few. Please give your driving your full attention at all times.
It is important to note that there are really three different major categories of distracted driving.
1. Manual – taking your hands off the wheel.
2. Visual – taking your eyes off the road.
3. Cognitive – taking your mind off driving.
To continue the downward trend in traffic crashes and injuries, we ask for the public’s help and commitment. We encourage all motorists who use our community's roadways to drive safely, buckle up and choose never to drive impaired or distracted....
 

Highland Gas Leak Fixed

1 breaking-news
Highland Police report a natural gas leak at 5th and 98th Street has been fixed and that 5th Street should be reopened by 3pm. NIPSCO, Police & Fire Department were on scene as of 10:43 this morning and no evacuation was necessary....
 

LaPorte Woman Arrested for Burglary

terrassa fletcher
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
A 27 year old LaPorte woman was arrested Thursday night and charged with residential burglary, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. LaPorte Police report just before 10:30pm, the victim informed police she arrived home, in the 100 block of West McClung Road, to find the front door standing open and a front bedroom light on, as well as a woman's purse and a plastic shopping bag laying on the front steps. Officers arrived and entered the residence to find Terrassa Fletcher sitting on the floor amongst several clothing items and shoes belonging to the victim and report she was also wearing the victim's clothing. Officers were informed by the victim that neither she, nor her boyfriend, who was sleeping in the home when the incident occurred, knew Fletcher, who told officers she was at the home of another person she knew and denied doing anything wrong. A jewelry box, camera and cash belonging to the victim was also allegedly found in her possession....
 

Natural Gas Leak in Highland

Highland Police

Police in Highland are reporting a natural gas leak at 5th & 98th Street. NIPSCO, Police & Fire Department were on scene as of 10:43 this morning. No evacuation at this time but roads are closed near that intersection.

 

INDOT Announces Job Fair for Local Winter Positions

Indot Logo color
The Indiana Department of Transportation says as many as thirty jobs will be available in the Region for winter work, with opportunities based out of in Gary, Rensselaer, Winamac, and Monticello. INDOT Northwest is hosting a job fair next week for winter program workers. Potential employees are urged to attend the event happening next Friday, October 4th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (CST), at the INDOT Gary Subdistrict, on Melton Road. Positions available include seasonal INDOT maintenance crew staff, and plow drivers during snow events this winter. INDOT also says priority at the job fair will be given to those who apply online in advance at  http://www.in.gov/spd/2334.htm under the Job Bank ID #586315.
Applicants Must Have
• Valid CDL
• High School Diploma or equivalent
• Ability to pass a drug test successfully
For more information like INDOT Northwest at www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and follow us at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest. Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT....
 

Valparaiso Police Announce Next Coffee with a Cop

coffeecop
From Valparaiso Police Department Coffee with a Cop July 26
Valparaiso Police have announced their next Coffee with a Cop is happening this Tuesday, October first, at Campbell Street Cafe, 4245 Meridian Woods Drive, just off Campbell Street. Residents are encouraged to come out between 8 and 10 am to casually chat with police, and discuss community issues – over a cup of coffee. Police Chief Michael Brickner will be there along with other members of the Valparaiso Police Department. Police say their first Coffee with a Cop events, at Viking Chili Bowl and at Suzie's Cafe in late July, were a huge success. Coffee with a Cop is a US Department of Justice initiative to build relationships with the community.  [Photo/Valparaiso Police]...
 

Traffic Advisories Issued for St. John

stjohnpd
St. John officials have issued a couple of traffic advisories that will involve road closures beginning this Monday, September 30.
West 93rd Avenue closure:
Effective Monday, September 30th through October 4th Metro Excavating will be closing West 93rd Avenue from Belmont Avenue to Hilltop Drive (east/west traffic) for the "West 93rd Avenue to Larimer Park Ditch Project". This project is being done for the Town of St John. Metro Excavating will have "NOTICE SIGNAGE" signs put up with an established detour route on Monday, September 23rd.
Detours are as follows:
-Eastbound Traffic will detour around the closure by taking Hilltop Drive south to Larimer Drive / East on Larimer Drive to Woodland Drive / South on Woodland Drive to 94th Court / East on 94th Court to Belmont Avenue / North on Belmont Avenue to 93rd Avenue.
-Westbound Traffic will detour around the closure by taking Belmont Avenue south to 94th Court / West on 94th Court to Woodland Drive / North on Woodland Drive to Larimer Drive / West on Larimer Drive to Hilltop Drive / North on Hilltop Drive to 93rd Avenue.
West 85th Avenue (Bingo Lake Road) closure:
Norfolk Southern Railroad will be making rail repairs and closing the tracks on West 85th Avenue at the railroad crossing to both east and west bound traffic beginning Monday, September 30th and will remain closed through Monday, October 7th. Norfolk Southern Railroad will put up “NOTICE SIGNAGE” with establish detour route on Monday, September 23rd....
 

Fiery Two-Truck Crash Closes I-65 in White County

Indiana State Police say a crash involving two trucks early this morning closed I-65 north bound in White County when one of the trucks pulling double trailers caught on fire.
Authorities say a preliminary investigation by Trooper Kent Wainscott revealed that at approximately 1:30 A.M., this Friday, September 27, 2013, morning a USF Holland International straight truck, driven by James S Wilson, 32 of Missouri parked his truck on the outer shoulder of I-65 north bound at the 187 mile marker (this is just south of the Fowler/Brookston exit) for unknown mechanical problems. Wilson had activated his four-way emergency flashers on his truck before exiting. Wilson walked around to the front passenger side of his truck when it was hit causing Wilson to be partially pinned under the front passenger drive tire. Wilson was able to free himself and was taken to Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lafayette with non-life threatening injuries. The straight truck was loaded with general freight.
A Fed Ex semi pulling two trailers, driven by Vivian George Rose, 59 of Illinois, went off the road for unknown reasons and struck the USF Holland truck. The Fed Ex semi continued on for approximately 300 yards and came to rest under the 500 West overpass where it caught fire and became fully engulfed.
Rose was able to exit the semi and was taken to Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lafayette with non-life threatening injuries. The Fed Ex semi was loaded with general freight.
All lanes of I-65 were closed at this location and all traffic was being diverted off at the 178 mile marker (Brookston/West Lafayette exit). It was expected that all lanes at this location would be closed for several hours to ensure the fire is completely out, for off loading of the trailers, removal of the vehicles, and clean-up of the road.
Driver’s planning to travel north on I-65 were being asked to seek an alternate route. Delays are expected to build with the morning rush.
Assisting were Brookston and Monticello Fire Departments, Tippecanoe Emergency Ambulance Service, White County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana Department of Transportation and Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division....
   

Local Football Player Dies of Genetic Heart Condition

jacob west

When an emotional La Porte varsity football team takes the field tonight, the familiar orange Slicers helmets will feature memorial stickers in remembrance of teammate Jacob West, who collapsed during a practice at Kiwanis Field Wednesday afternoon and was pronounced dead that evening at a nearby medical facility. LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan says the 17 year old linebacker for the La Porte High School football team died due to right ventricular cardiomyopathy, or a thinning of the right ventricular wall of the heart, which kept blood from being pushed out of his heart. Sullivan says no athletic physical would have been able to detect it..

The Slicers are taking on the Merrillville Pirates at 7pm this evening at Merrillville High School.
The LaPorte Community School Corporation issued an official statement yesterday, offering condolences, and announcing that a Celebration of Life service will be open to the public at Kiwanis Field this Sunday at 4:30pm:
The La Porte Community School Family wishes to express its deepest sympathy for the family and friends of Jacob West. Jacob passed away unexpectedly and he will be sorely missed. On Sunday, September 29th, a Celebration of Life Service will be held at Kiwanis Field starting at 4:30 p.m. This service is open to the public so that all can celebrate Jacob’s life and reflect on how he enriched our lives in his short time with us.
With heartfelt condolences,
The Staff, Administration and School Board of the La Porte Community School Corporation...
   

Parking Concerns Come Up in Central Park Discussion

centralpark
The City of Valparaiso and the planning firm of Design Organization hosted a couple of public sessions at City Hall Thursday to get feedback on completing Central Park Plaza... and the issue of parking came up. Some of the comments were about bringing more places to park in downtown Valparaiso, to serve retailers and restaurants. The city is thinking about expanding Central Park by putting an open-air pavilion on a huge area just to the west across the street, that would be used year-round, but in particular, for ice-skating in the winter.  Officials say construction on the pavilion could begin in the latter half of 2014, but it probably wouldn't be ready for the 2014-2015 winter season.  [Image/Design Organization]...
   

Chicago Man Dies After Being Hit on I-80/94

Officials say a 23-year-old Chicago man airlifted to a Chicago-area hospital after walking out on to the Borman Expressway in Hammond about two weeks ago died Thursday. An autopsy is scheduled today. Indiana State Police say 23-year-old Talgat Orumbayev reportedly walked on the ramp from Indianapolis Boulevard to eastbound Interstate 80-94 almost getting hit, and as police were on their way to check on the pedestrian, for unknown reasons he walked out into the right lane of the interstate, just east of the ramp, where he was struck by a car....
   

Chickenpox Outbreak at Local Charter School

A Northwest Indiana charter school is dealing with a chickenpox outbreak. Six students across different grade levels at Discovery Charter School in the town of Porter are said to have chickenpox, and about forty others were excluded from school Wednesday and Thursday because they weren't up-to-date on vaccinations. The school has about five-hundred students in kindergarten through eighth grade....
   

Pre-Register Now for Upcoming Hunter Education Classes

Indiana Conservation Police
Indiana Conservation Officers are offering several Hunter Education classes throughout northwest Indiana in preparation for the upcoming hunting season. Conservation Officer Keith Wildeman says anyone who would like to attend is asked to pre-register.
Indiana Hunter Education Certification is required for all hunters born after Dec. 31, 1986. Participants will learn basic firearms safety, treestand safety, and conservation ethics.
Students are required to preregister for the course prior to attending by visiting www.indianahuntereducation.com. A complete listing of available classes is available on the website.
Upcoming classes and locations include:
Sept. 28 – Portage
Sept. 30, Oct. 1 & 3- LaPorte
Oct. 5 – Lake Village
Oct. 5 & 6 – North Judson
Oct. 11 – Morocco
Oct. 12 – Cedar Lake
Oct. 19 – Michigan City
Oct. 19 & 20 – Hammond
Nov. 9 – Michigan City
Bow season for deer begins on October 1st with firearm season for deer starting November 16th.   To hear more our interview, click News Audio On Demand at http://regionnewsteam.com/

For more hunting start dates, http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/fw-Hunting_Trapping_Seasons_Poster_2013-14.pdf...
   

Man Accused of Threatening Girlfriend with Handgun

Richard Day
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 53 year old Porter Township man faces numerous charges after he allegedly pointed a handgun at his girlfriend Wednesday night and threatened to kill her and her son because she refused to buy him beer. The Times reports Richard Day has been drinking when the incident occurred and his girlfriend informed officers she grabbed his arm and he fired a shot that went out their kitchen door towards a neighbor's home. According to the article, police confiscated nine vials of steroids from the residence and a total of 26 guns, including the one allegedly used in the incident, which Day reported denied ever pointing at his girlfriend....
   

9 Chicago Gang Members Face Racketeering Charges

Nine alleged members of a violent Chicago street gang have been charged with federal racketeering charges. ABC News reports the indictment claims the nine were part of a near South Side Street gang known as the Hobos, who US Attorney Gary Shapiro says intimidated the neighborhood for years through the use of violence, intimidation, murders, attempted murders, and assaults with firearms against anyone who posed a threat to them, or jeopardized their operations.  Four of the nine alleged gang members face a mandatory life sentence, or the death penalty if convicted of murder....
   

Cause of Death for West, Public Service Sunday

jacob west
(Photo Courtesy of LaPorte High School)
An autopsy was conducted today on a LaPorte High School varsity football player who collapsed during practice Wednesday, and who was pronounced dead at a local hospital later that evening. LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan says 17 year old Jacob West died due to right ventricular cardiomyopathy, or a thinning of the right ventricular wall of the heart, which kept blood from being pushed out of his heart. Sullivan says no athletic physical would have been able to detect it and while unfortunate and sad, it was a natural death.
An emotional LaPorte varsity football team will take to the field tomorrow tonight, in Merrillville, with the familiar orange Slicers helmets featuring memorial stickers in remembrance of their fallen teammate. The LaPorte Community School Corporation issued an official statement today, offering condolences, and announcing that a "Celebration of Life" service will be open to the public at Kiwanis Field this Sunday at 4:30pm....
   

Improving Civil Legal Services to Low Income Hoosiers

A statewide commission was established this week by the Indiana Supreme Court to develop a five-year plan to improve the availability of civil legal services for low-income Hoosiers. The Indiana Commission to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services is expected to meet four times a year and must provide the court with a progress report by June 30th. The Commission is meant to study groups and organizations that already provide services to low-income Hoosiers and improve cooperation between them....
   

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