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Hoosiers Should Prepare for Arctic Blast

DHS Logo
INDIANAPOLIS – Another round of significant snowfall could potentially hit central and southern Indiana on Sunday, followed by extremely cold temperatures that will affect the entire state. State agencies are advising Hoosiers to prepare now for the frigid weather.

Have a Plan
Hoosiers can take the time now to develop a plan for a potential power outage. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) recommends citizens look up their electric utility’s outage reporting phone number and add it to their cell phone contact list.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) recommends every household have an emergency preparedness kit. Essential supplies to gather ahead of time in case utilities are disrupted:

  • Food and water for three days (includes three gallons of water per person, per day)
  • Battery operated or hand crank all hazards radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
  • Extra clothing, warm blankets, sleeping bags for staying warm in your home if you lose power
  • Special items (baby formula, insulin, medications)
Families should also take the time to check with neighbors and see if there’s anything they can do for each other before, during or after the storm.

With the potential for additional snow, Hoosiers should carefully consider if travel is necessary. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will continue to monitor forecasts for the storm beginning Saturday night and deploy the needed personnel, equipment and materials ahead of any predicted accumulation. Motorists are encouraged to avoid travel during and after the storm as high winds are expected to reduce visibility for drivers.

Temperatures well below freezing are expected to follow the storm, reducing the effectiveness of road salt in melting the snow and ice. INDOT will be treating the salt with specialty chemicals.

Before heading out, residents should check the Indiana County Travel Advisory Map at It’s updated with information from the county emergency management agencies and describes the conditions for a travel warning, watch, advisory and caution.

For road updates, please visit or call 800-261-ROAD. DO NOT call local law enforcement or 9-1-1 for road information. These lines need to be left open for emergency calls.
Indiana State Police (ISP) encourage drivers to delay a trip if possible, but if travel is necessary, let someone know your route, expected time of arrival, and how to reach you.  Charge your cell phone before leaving. Pack essential items such as high protein snacks, water, first aid kit, flashlight, warm blankets, extra prescription medications and important documents or information you might need during an emergency.
If you become stranded, do not leave the car unless there is shelter nearby. Call for help. If you don’t have a cell phone, tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna for rescuers to see. Run the engine for 10 minutes every hour to stay warm and keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Extreme Cold
Subzero temperatures and strong winds will create a potentially dangerous situation Sunday through Tuesday. Wind chills could reach -30 degrees or lower. Hoosiers should limit their exposure by staying indoors. If you must go outside, make it as brief as possible. Wear several layers of loose-fitting clothing, and cover any exposed skin with a hat, scarf, and gloves.

The Indiana Board of Animal Health (BOAH) reminds pet owners to be especially sensitive to their animals’ limits when outside. Most pets cannot tolerate more than 20 minutes outside when the temperature drops below zero. Be sure to provide a sheltered place for outdoor pets and make sure they have fresh water. Use a heater for water or change the supply frequently. ...

Chairman of Gary/Chicago Airport Authority to Resign

Indiana Governor Mike Pence has accepted the resignation of the chairman of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority. Tom Collins Sr.,who was appointed to the position by Governor Pence four months ago, cited difficulty in devoting his time to both being the airport chairman and being CEO of Luke Oil Co. as reasons for resigning. Collins will step down effective January 26th and Governor Pence says he plans to have a new chairman appointed by the 26th. ...

AUDIO: Lake County Emergency Management WX Tips

Lake County Emergency Management is reminding residents to make sure you have plenty of supplies in light of more snow and Artic cold temperatures this weekend and into early next week. The Region News Team spoke with Director Jodi Richmond on a varity of topics including warming centers, tips on being indoors and outdoors in sub-zero temperatures and their “Red/Green Card” initiative.  To listen to the interview click News Audio On Demand at

For more winter weather related information from Lake County Emergency Management contact them at (219) 755-3549....

IN State Government Offices to Open at 10am Monday

Due to the anticipated snow and record low temperatures this weekend, the state of Indiana is adjusting its hours of operations for Monday, January 6th. All Indiana State Government offices across the state where public business is conducted will open at 10am local time that day. ...

How and Where to Find Warming Centers Locations

Brutally cold temperatures are poised to move into northwest Indiana starting Sunday, with the most extreme cold due to set in on Monday and Tuesday. Due to these conditions, which including blowing snow and wind chills forecast to range between minus-25 to minus-45 degrees, warming center locations have been announced in LaPorte County. On Thursday, LaPorte County Emergency Management reported warming center locations will be accessible until at least Friday, January 10th and this afternoon (Friday) Michigan City announced a number of locations have been set up as warming centers. Lake County Emergency Management Director Jodi Richmond says the public should go about finding warming centers by contacting your individual cities and towns, police and fire departments.

A listing of warming centers in LaPorte County:
City of La Porte
IU Health LaPorte Hospital
1007 Lincolnway
(219) 326-1234
6:00am-8:00pm in the lobbies and the chapel.
For assistance with keeping your animals warm:
LaPorte County Animal Shelter
(219) 326-1637
In Michigan City:
Michigan City Police Station (24 hours)
102 W. 2nd Street
Michigan City Fire Administration Building (8am-4pm)
2510 E. Michigan Blvd.

Michigan City Senior Center (8:00am-4:00pm)
2 on the Lake
Michigan City City Hall (8:00am-4:30pm)
100 E. Michigan Blvd.

Michigan City Public Library (during business hours)
100 E. 4th Street

Mayor Meer urges the citizens of Michigan City to check on family, friends, neighbors, pets, and especially the elderly during this dangerous cold outbreak to ensure everyone stays healthy and safe.

Any citizen needing transportation to a warming center may call the M.C. Police Department’s non-emergency number at: 219-874-3221...

Train Service restored Between S. Bend and Michigan City

1 breaking-news
Train service has been restored between Mich City & South Bend beginning with EB Train 9 & WB Train 20....

Porter Starke Counseling Methadone Clinic Robbed

Valpo PD
In Valparaiso, police continue to investigate a robbery that occurred this morning at Porter Starke Counseling's Methadone Clinic. Police report a male subject entered the clinic, after 10am, displayed a handgun and demanded cash from the front counter area. The suspect is described as a male subject, wearing a dark colored hooded sweat shirt, white shoes and his face was partially covered. The suspect, who left with an undetermined amount of cash, was last seen running northbound on Cumberland Drive.
Police are requesting assistance from the community. Anybody with information is asked to contact the Valparaiso Police Department at 462-2135 or text a tip to Tip411, (847-411) and enter “Valpo” as the keyword in the message field prior to sending the tip....

Porter County Red Kettles Shy of 2013 Goal

The Salvation Army of Porter County reports this season's Red Kettle Campaign has reached about 95-percent of its 2013 goal of 150-thousand dollars, being about 76-hundred dollars shy as of Christmas Eve. The Red Kettle Campaign is their major fund-raising event of the year. The overall campaign goal for Porter County for the year was 280-thousand dollars, and they've raised about 86-percent of that. The bell ringing was ending this week, but the mail campaign continues through January 30th. The monies raised will be used to assist those in need in Porter County for Christmas and throughout the 2014 fiscal year.   Goal for the Mail Appeal Drive is $130,000, and they were at about $100,408, or about 77%.
“The Salvation Army has brought spiritual light and love along with food, clothing and gifts to over 433 families, 819 senior citizens and 766 children which were served this Christmas Season so that the real meaning is not forgotten. We minister to the needy in Jesus name without discrimination,” according to Major Jon Welch of The Salvation Army of Porter County.   For more info, contact The Salvation Army of Porter County at 219-762-9191....

Fire Departments Say Keep Hydrants Clear

Region fire departments are reminding residents to clear the snow around fire hydrants. Hebron Volunteer Fire Department says after a snowfall, remember to clear a three-foot radius around hydrants near your home. Valparaiso Fire officials are also sending out the message that when you're shoveling your sidewalks, take time to clear a hydrant as well....

Merrillville Fire Caused by Electrical Problem

A fire that started in a detached garage then jumped to a house in the one-thousand block of East 61st Place in Merrillville late Monday was caused by an electrical failure, officials say. Authorities say the homeowners were uninjured. ...

House Fire Starts in Gas Fireplace

Officials say a house fire in northeast LaPorte County New Year's Eve began in a gas fireplace, but it's not known exactly what caused it. The homeowner told investigators she turned off the fireplace then fell asleep, then woke up and saw flames outside and behind a wall where the fireplace is. She was able to get out safely. About one-third of the house was reportedly damaged by fire....

Wire Problem Affects Some South Shore Passengers

The operators of the South Shore report they are busing riders between South Bend and Michgan City due to overhead wire problems.  Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District says trains are running between Michigan City and Chicago.
South Shore Commuter Line website: ...

Lowell Considers Roads for Repaving

Lowell is looking to repave some roadways. The town's director of public works says there's a list of twenty streets being considered, based on input from the public as well as observations by street department crews. The list will be forwarded to the town council for review. ...

Bus Driver Commended for Actions in Crash

A Lake County man is being praised for his bus driving skills, keeping a bus with more than forty passengers upright after it was struck by a pickup truck on US 20 near Rolling Prairie Tuesday, an accident that claimed the life of the truck driver. Police tell the Times 60-year-old Michael Krzeczowski of Crown Point was behind the wheel of a Royal Excursion bus carrying patrons from a casino in New Buffalo, Michigan, when a pickup truck went out of control on the snow-covered highway near County Road 450 East. The driver of the truck, 36-year-old John Kallok of Griffith was pronounced dead at the scene. Reports say Krzeczowski was able to keep the bus on its wheels after the impact sent it to a cornfield, and he drove it through a shallow ditch and between two trees before it came to rest. Police say injuries to those on the bus were not considered life-threatening....

Lake Effect Busy Overnight

snowlw [Photo - Laura Waluszko]
Varying amounts of snowfall from the lake effect over northwest Indiana Thursday and overnight... some preliminary totals show as of last night nearly ten inches of snow on the ground just northwest of the Lakes of the Four Seasons area. Several inches of snow can be seen in parts of Valparaiso.
For preliminary snowfall reports visit the National Weather Service Chicago website ...


LaPorte County Announces List of Public Warming Centers

Laporte Co warming centers
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
In light of the prediction frigid temperatures and continued snow, LaPorte County Emergency Management is announcing a list of public warming centers that will be accessible until at least Friday, January 10th. Officials also ask you, if possible, to check-in on those who live alone, the elderly and those with special needs and to keep pets and animals from being exposed to freezing temperatures.
City of La Porte
IU Health LaPorte Hospital
1007 Lincolnway
(219) 326-1234
6:00am-8:00pm in the lobbies and the chapel.
Michigan City
100 E. 4th St.
(219) 873-3044
Normal business hours
City Hall
100 E. Michigan Blvd.
(219) 873-1400
Normal business hours
City Police
102 W. 2nd St.
(219) 874-3221
24 hours
City Fire Administration Building
2510 E. Michigan Blvd.
(219) 873-1440
Normal business hours
For assistance with keeping your animals warm:
LaPorte County Animal Shelter
(219) 326-1637...

ISP: Stranded in Cold Weather Tips

Indiana State Police logo
Indiana State Police Lowell Post report with the frigid cold temperatures expected tonight and the possibility of blowing and drifting snow, a disabled vehicle could make for a life or death situation for the driver and passengers.
Following the few tips listed below could save your life:
• Before you leave check the weather forecast and let someone know your route of travel.
• Always keep your gas tank full when driving in cold weather.
• Carry a winter survival kit in your car which is to include: blankets, extra warm clothes, flashlight, extra batteries, brightly colored cloth, sand or a bag of cat litter, shovel, candles and matches, non perishable high calorie foods, (nuts, raisins, and candy bars), newspapers (for insulation), a first aid kit and jumper cables.
• Do not leave your car if stranded, it is your best protection. Do not panic, an idling car only uses one gallon of gas per hour.
• Roll down a window a very small amount for fresh air.
• Make sure the car’s exhaust pipe is not blocked to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
• At night, leave your dome light on.
• Always have your cell phone and a charger so you can call and let us know where you're located.
These simple tips and items placed in your car could save your or a family member’s life in the event you find yourself stranded in the cold.
Road conditions are accessible at For up-to-date county travel statuses, Hoosiers are encouraged to visit

Lawson to Help Hoosiers Tackle Finances in 2014

Secretary of State
INDIANAPOLIS (January 2, 2014) – Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson knows many of you want to pay off debt and improve your financial situation in 2014.  Many Hoosiers’ New Year’s resolutions involve money, and there’s no time like the present to get started.
Over the next few weeks, as part of her focus on financial literacy, Secretary Lawson will take to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to share helpful tips for starting a budget, paying off debt, and saving for the future.
Secretary Lawson’s Top Tips for 2014
1)      Create a budget and prioritize it!  Cutting unnecessary expenses will allow you to pay off debt and build a bigger nest egg.  Plus, understanding how your money is being used can lead to more responsible decision-making.
2)      Try to negotiate lower interest rates with creditors.  If you’re in good standing with the creditor, it’s possible they will give you a better rate and make it easier for you to pay back what you owe.  There’s no harm in asking. 
3)      After paying off a credit card, consider keeping it open!  Your credit score is partially determined by how much credit you have, and how much of that credit you are using.  It’s called credit utilization.  If you have a lot of credit, but are only using a small amount, your score will go up.  Closing a card will lower your amount of available credit and potentially lower your score.
4)      The new year is a good time to check on your credit report.  You’re entitled to one free credit report every twelve months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.  The official website to order these credit reports is  We recommend you bookmark that site.  Go over your credit reports carefully.  Mistakes happen! 
Secretary Lawson says, “The most effective form of investor protection is investor education.”  Her office teaches Hoosiers about investment fraud and financial literacy through Indiana Investment Watch.  The education program is not funded by taxpayers, but with fines imposed on violators of securities laws.  Indiana Investment Watch has educational materials covering the various types of fraud, as well as general financial literacy tools.  Workshops and outreach events held throughout the state provide more in-depth information on detecting and avoiding scams.  For more information, visit

Lake Effect Snow Squalls Move into Northwest Indiana

01-02-14 Lake effect arrives
Lake effect snow is reported in Lake County and is lowering visibilities causing a drop in speeds.  Located on the state line, the lake effect snow squalls are slowing speeds both directions on the Borman (I-80/94) between the Bishop Ford and Cline Avenue.  INDOT is reporting that traffic is moving an average speed of 16 to 30 mph.  At one time earlier this afternoon, on the Illinois-side, traffic on the Tri-State Tollway was reportedly stop and go due to near white-out conditions caused by the lake effect. 



LaPorte Woman Arrested in Connection with Stabbing

Amber Whiteman
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
A LaPorte woman was arrested on Tuesday in connection with a stabbing in the 100-half block of Kabelin Avenue. LaPorte Police report the victim informed officers he and the suspect, 24 year old Amber Whiteman, were discussing a family situation when Whiteman began making suicidal threats. The victim stated Whiteman grabbed the knife and cut herself, and when he attempted to grab the knife from her, she allegedly began swinging the knife back and forth towards him. Police report the victim sustained four-to-five lacerations and was transported to the hospital. Whiteman was located nearby and was also hospitalized and after her release was taken into police custody....

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