Washington, D.C. – Congressman Visclosky has re-introduced the American Steel First Act of 2013, a bill to require the Department of Transportation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security to exclusively use American-made iron and steel in infrastructure projects.
“We must reject unfairly-subsidized foreign steel and use American-made materials in taxpayer-financed projects,” Congressman Visclosky said. “I am re-introducing the American Steel First Act to send a clear message to American workers: I stand with you and will never stop fighting to give you the tools you need to strengthen our economy.”
Visclosky, Vice-Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus, was joined by Steel Caucus Chairman Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA) in support of the measure. Murphy is an original cosponsor of the bill.
“Building projects financed with taxpayer dollars must use American-made materials, not foreign,” said Chairman Murphy. “With the nation facing trillions in needed infrastructure development, using domestic top-of-the-line iron and steel produced right here in the United States will not only ensure the highest quality materials are used in the next great American building boom but also will keep all the jobs here at home.”
Visclosky has long been a staunch supporter of American steel. He authored a successful Buy America provision that passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 and joined with leaders in both parties in a successful effort to require the Department of Defense to use American-made steel in armor plating.
The legislation will be referred to a relevant committee in the House.
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(Photo Courtesy of the Recycling & Waste Reduction Dist of Porter County)
Porter County, Indiana – The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County will help Porter County residents with their spring cleaning by providing a One Stop Drop collection event that will accept old and unwanted appliances, electronics, tires and household hazardous waste.
The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the Porter County Expo Center/Fair Grounds, 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso.
Restrictions or fees may apply. For more information, call the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County, 465-3694, or visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org to learn more.
The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission will be at the event to present new environmentally friendly 2.5-gallon gas cans to residents who bring their old gas cans in for disposal at the collection. Limit one new gas can per vehicle/family, while supplies last.
The One Stop Drop is an opportunity for residents to properly discard materials that are harmful to the environment. Appliances accepted include refrigerators, stoves, dish and clothes washers, dryers, water heaters, air conditioners, freezers, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, furnaces, and just about anything metal. Water softener holding tanks will not be accepted.
Not only do old appliances contain hazardous components, including used oil, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury, they are much less energy-efficient. Additionally, the refrigerant used in refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, water coolers and air conditioners is extremely harmful to the environment and must be extracted safely.
Many companies certified to remove refrigerants from appliances often charge for the removal of this toxic substance, leaving residents to dispose of the remaining appliances. Once old appliances are brought to the One Stop Drop, the refrigerant is extracted and properly discarded. The appliances will ultimately be taken apart and recycled.
According to Indiana law, households can no longer mix unwanted computer monitors, computers, televisions, printers, computer peripherals (such as keyboards and mice), DVD players, video cassette recorders, or fax machines with trash that is intended for disposal at a landfill or intended for disposal by burning or incineration.
Electronics can contain lead and other toxic materials that pose serious threats to human health. Porter County residents can bring their old electronic devices to the May 18 event for safe disposal. Accepted items include anything with electrical cords or run by batteries.
Porter County residents also can drop off electronics at the Valparaiso and Boone Grove compost sites any time during their hours of operation. Additionally, Porter County residents can drop off their electronics at the following locations: Portage Street Department: 2302 Hamstrom Road, 762-4564; Valparaiso Public Works: 406 Don Hovey Drive, 462-4612; Porter Street Department: 550 Beam Street, 926-2771. Residents should call the departments to determine hours of operation. Visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org for more information, or call 465-3694.
Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients are considered to be “household hazardous waste” or “HHW,” and require special care when they are discarded.
Improper disposal of household hazardous wastes can include pouring them down the drain, on the ground, into storm sewers, or in some cases putting them out with the trash, which can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health.
HHW items accepted at One Stop Drop include aerosols; anti-freeze; oil; batteries (household and automotive); corrosives; mercury containing products (fluorescent tubes, CFLs, thermometers, thermostats, etc.); oil-based paint, thinners and solvents; pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and other poisons; diesel fuel, gasoline, kerosene, other flammable liquids; ammunition and expired medications.
Explosives, commercial hazardous waste and radioactive materials (like smoke detectors) will not be accepted. Old smoke detectors should be sent back to the manufacturers for recycling. Though latex paint is not considered household hazardous waste, it will be accepted at the collection thanks to the district’s intergovernmental agreement with the City of Hobart for paint recycling.
Approximately 300 million used automobile and truck tires are discarded by Americans annually. At landfills, tires take up large amounts of space and have been known to damage landfill linings. Around town, discarded tires become prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes and rodents that carry diseases such as West Nile virus and encephalitis.
Tire storage piles pose fire hazards that are extremely difficult to extinguish. Burning tires release toxic gases into the air and leave behind a hazardous oily residue that pollutes streams and ground water. Once recycled, the rubber in tires can be used for paving material, fuel, mulch, floor mats, drain pipes, and more!
Porter County residents can dispose of their first four tires up to 20 inches for free at the One Stop Drop. The disposal fee for each additional tire up to 20 inches is $3. Residents can dispose of tires from 20 to 25 inches for $5 each, and tires over 25 inches for $15 each.
The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County is a government agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life for Porter County residents by providing convenient, voluntary waste reduction services. Visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org for more information or call 465-3694.
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(Melvin Walker Jr. Photos Courtesy of Lake Co Sheriff's Dept)
Three Gary men involved in drugs and gangs were each arrested today after search warrants were executed based on tips from the public. The Lake County Sheriff's Office reports warrants were issued in the 44-hundred block of Buchanan Street and in the 19-hundred block of West Ridge Road. Arrested were 43 year old Sylvia Branch and 48 year old Melvin Walker, both charged with dealing in narcotics, and 29 year old Randy Martin, charged with dealing a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. Sheriff John Buncich they will continue to conduct raids on a weekly basis, says thank you to those who called their anonymous hotline, 800-750-2746, and encourages others who desire to clean up our communities to do the same. ...
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NIPSCO crews were on the scene early this afternoon repairing a gas line break under the 400 block of Weston Street in Valparaiso, NIPSCO said the break apparently occurred when an earlier crew from the city's water department was digging in the area to repair a broken water line. As a precaution to the gas leak, Ben Franklin Middle School located directly across the street from the gas line break, evacuated their students earlier today. The gas line leak has since been secured and students have returned to their classes.
NIPSCO repair crews at work on a gas line break in the 400 block of Weston Street in Valparaiso
The gas line break is located in the area city's water department crews were excavating earlier in order to repair a leaking water line
The gas line that broke under the 400 block of Weston Street in Valparaiso
Looking south from Park Avenue where Weston Street is closed to Chestnut Street while repairs are being made to a broken gas line
(photos provided by Jay Stevens)
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Valparaiso Police and Fire responded to a gas line break this morning that led to a precautionary evacuation at Ben Franklin Middle School. Police say crews were dispatched at 9:45 to a strong smell of natural gas in the 500 block of Weston Street, directly behind the school. Valparaiso City Utilities Director Steve Poulos says a city utility crew working on a water main leak in the 400 block of Weston struck a gas line during trenching operations. Police say due to a strong smell of natural gas inside the school the students were evacuated and eventually bused to the Valparaiso High School fieldhouse as a precaution. NIPSCO arrived on scene and stopped the leak. As of 11:15 a.m. the gas line had been repaired. School and fire department officials will be determining when the students will return to the school. No injuries were reported.
"We are thrilled the general assembly has allowed us to move forward," said PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin. "This is a significant step for PNC as we continue our mission to serve the educational, athletic and social needs of the residents of Northwest Indiana. This is a game changer which will enable us to continue to improve our retention and graduation rates."
Valparaiso City Utilities Director Steve Poulos says city utilities field crews were working on a water main leak in the 400 block of Weston Street, where the crews initiated a trench within the street to replace the line, and during the trenching a NIPSCO gas line was hit. Valparaiso Police and Fire crews are on scene and per his communications with field crews, Benjamin Franklin Middle School has been evacuated to the high school field house as a safety precaution. NIPSCO has been called to respond to the leak so it may be repaired. Assistant Distribution Manager Mark Geskey is on site with City Utilities staff.
Fire crews from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore will be burning approximately 100 acres of land near West Beach today.
Fire officials with the National Lakeshore say as long as weather conditions remain good, crews will be burning the parcel of land along County Line Road, north of US 12 to improve animal and plant habitats.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Stephen Elliott
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, a 240-foot icebreaker homeported in Cheboygan, Michigan, is doing some work in the northwest Indiana waters of Lake Michigan. On Monday, as shown in the photo above, they repositioned shoal buoys off the entrance to Burns Harbor, to better mark a shoal created by Hurricane Sandy that covered much of the entrance to the commercial port. The other day the crew also commissioned the Southern Lake Michigan NOAA weather buoy. The crew of the Mackinaw is conducting buoy operations along western Lake Michigan as part of Operation Spring Restore.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Dave Lieberman
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, a 240-foot icebreaker homeported in Cheboygan, Mich., prepares to commission the Southern Lake Michigan NOAA buoy, April 26, 2013.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Ashley
The Southern Lake Michigan NOAA buoy is lowered down to the water by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, a 240-foot icebreaker homeported in Cheboygan, Mich., April 26, 2013.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Dave Lieberman
The Southern Lake Michigan NOAA buoy floats free after being set and anchored by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, a 240-foot icebreaker homeported in Cheboygan, Mich., April 26, 2013.
The crew of the Mackinaw is conducting buoy operations along western Lake Michigan as part of Operation Spring Restore.
The proposed project will include improvements to the existing roadway, including new pavement, curb and gutter, sidewalks, storm sewers, roadway lighting, and new traffic signals.
Here's more info from the city:
The City of Hammond will hold a Public Meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Two presentations will be offered. The first presentation will be held at City Hall, 5925 Calumet Avenue, Hammond, Indiana 46320, with a formal presentation at 12:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. The second presentation will be in the auditorium of Washington Irving Middle School located 4727 Pine Avenue, Hammond, Indiana 46327 with a formal presentation at 6:00 p.m. An open house will follow each of the presentations. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the project purpose and need, alternatives being investigated, and afford an opportunity for public participation and allow discussion of any views and comments the public may have in relation to the proposed project. Concept plans of the proposed project will be on display for public review. City of Hammond and design consultants will be available during the meeting to discuss the project.
The City of Hammond, Indiana, is developing a federal-aid project to reconstruct and widen Chicago Street (formerly known as State Route (SR) 312) through Hammond from South Brainard Avenue, on the Indiana border with Illinois, to White Oak Avenue, at the eastern limits of the City of Hammond. The entire length of the proposed project is approximately 2.1 miles. Former SR 312 coincides with three separate streets as it traverses the project study area, including Gostlin Street, Sheffield Avenue, and Chicago Street. The project limits, from west to east, begin at the intersection of Gostlin Street and South Brainard Avenue and continue east along Gostlin Street to the intersection of Gostlin Street and Sheffield Avenue, where the project study area continues south along Sheffield Avenue to the intersection of Sheffield Avenue and Chicago Street. At this intersection, the project study area turns east along Chicago Street to the study area’s eastern terminus at the intersection of Chicago Street and White Oak Avenue.
The western end of the proposed project corridor is currently a two-lane roadway. Travelling east along the corridor, the roadway remains two lanes until the intersection of Gostlin Street and Sheffield Avenue, where a left-turn lane is provided for both eastbound and westbound traffic. Turning south, Sheffield Avenue is a two-lane facility. No left-turn lane is provided at the intersection of Sheffield Avenue and Chicago Street. Turning east onto Chicago Street from Sheffield Avenue, Chicago Street is a two-lane facility with striped on-street parking along both sides of the roadway up to its intersection with Calumet Avenue, where both left- and right-turn lanes are provided for eastbound and westbound traffic. East of Calumet Avenue, Chicago Street becomes a four-lane roadway with two eastbound and two westbound travel lanes and striped on-street parking along both sides of the roadway through to the end of the project study area. Left-turn lanes are provided for both eastbound and westbound traffic at the intersection of Chicago Street and Columbia Avenue.
The proposed project will include improvements to the existing roadway, including new pavement, curb and gutter, sidewalks, storm sewers, roadway lighting, and new traffic signals. Several alternatives are currently being evaluated. The current proposed project includes realignment of Gostlin Street between the Indiana/Illinois state line and Sheffield Avenue, leaving the current alignment of Gostlin Street as a local access road between Clark Avenue and Wabash Avenue. The intersection of Sheffield Avenue and Gostlin Street will be shifted to the southwest and become a roundabout. Sheffield Avenue will be slightly realigned, and the intersection of Sheffield Avenue and Chicago Street will be realigned to eliminate the 90 degree turn. The intersection of Hohman Avenue and Chicago Street will also become a roundabout. Additionally, Chicago Street between Hohman Avenue and Torrence Avenue will be widened to accommodate these improvements. Intersection improvements are also proposed at Johnson Avenue, Pine Avenue, and Columbia Avenue.
This project is being proposed to improve safety, reduce congestion, repair deteriorated infrastructure, and maintain the east-west travel corridor for truck traffic. It is anticipated that new permanent right-of-way will be acquired from residential, commercial, park, and industrial properties.
The proposed project is anticipated to be constructed in two phases with Phase I extending from Brainard Avenue to Calumet Avenue and Phase II extending from Calumet Avenue to White Oak Avenue. It is anticipated that Phase I will be let in July 2015 with Phase II being let in September 2016. Estimated construction costs as of September 2011 were $16 million with 80 percent of this total being provided by federal funding and 20 percent coming from local funding. Maintenance of traffic during construction will be coordinated with the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the City of East Chicago, and the City of Hammond.
Initial investigations, including an assessment of potential hazardous materials sites, historic resources, land use, and ecological resources have been completed. Several sites along the project corridor contain hazardous materials and will be further investigated. One property, the Polish Army Veterans’ Post No. 40 located at 241 Gostlin Street, was recommended as eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A for its association with the ethnic and military heritage of the Hammond Polish community. Additionally, the project traverses Census Tracts containing both low income and minority populations identified as meeting the criteria for an Environmental Justice population. An Environmental Assessment is being prepared for this project and will be completed in 2013.
This notice is published in compliance with Title 23, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 771.111(h) entitled “Early Coordination, Public Involvement and Project Development,” and the Indiana Public Involvement Manual, approved by the Federal Highway Administration, US Department of Transportation, on August 16, 2012.
The tax has gotten preliminary approval, and there's word today that the Lake County Council may hold a special meeting this Monday to consider it again, and if approved, it would then go before the county commissioners for a vote.
Kim Krull, lead organizer of Lake County Taxpayers Against Additional Taxation, the group behind Monday evening's rally in Crown Point, told our Jay Stevens earlier she believes the tax would have a ripple effect on local businesses.
Lake is the only county without one, and for years its property tax levy was frozen because of it. Legislation was just approved lifting that freeze.
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- ISTEP Testing Today Canceled Due to Glitch
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