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One Year Study on Grand Calumet River

In Gary, the city's Sanitary District Board of Commissioners has agreed to enter into a one-year study with the US Environmental Protection Agency, to see if sediment from cleanup of the heavily-polluted Grand Calumet River can be deposited in the Ralston Street Lagoon. The 17-acre lagoon south of Gary/Chicago International Airport, is steps away from the Grand Cal, and is filled with toxic PCB's from decades of dumping of municipal sludge that began years before PCBs were banned in the US. An underground wall was built to contain the pollutants....
 

Century Old NWI Family Business Has Closed

Just months before Christmas, a century-old family business in northwest Indiana that once produced up to one-million poinsettias a year, has closed. The Times today reports Angelo Bernacchi Greenhouses on Fox Street in La Porte shut its doors about a month ago, due to increasing difficulties competing with lower prices offered on plants by big box stores and in part to younger generations not interested in taking on continuing the company. The business was founded by Angelo Bernacchi, who immigrated to the United States from Italy when he was a teenager....
 

Gary PD Investigating Shooting Incident on 53rd Ave

Gary PD
In Gary, police say a 19-year-old man was shot while along 53rd Avenue on the far south side of the city Monday night. Authorities say the man said he saw a silver vehicle driving slowly in his direction around 9 pm, then heard shots fired and was hit by a bullet as he started to run. He was reportedly taken to a hospital by a family member....
 

Chesterton PD Investigating Home Robbery Report

chesterton pd
In Chesterton, police are investigating the report of a woman being robbed at her home in the 11-hundred block of Pam Drive. Police say the man reportedly approached the victim from behind and pushed her inside, implying he had a weapon, though none was displayed. The suspect was described as black, about 6-feet tall and 190 pounds with short curly hair....
 

Crown Point Collecting Donations for Kokomo Residents

The city of Crown Point has announced a collection drive for donations to help those affected by the tornado that struck Kokomo Sunday. Crown Point Special Events Administrator Diana Bosse says Region residents can drop off donations will be accepted through Friday morning at the Crown Point Fire Station (located at 126 N East Street) and Source One Real Estate (located at 855 E. North St.).
Bosse says the city has an account called the Crown Point Cares that's used throughout the year to help others, so Source One and the City of Crown Point will be taking the donations to Kokomo Friday afternoon.
Items needed are plastic containers, ziploc bags, diapers (all sizes), wipes, baby formula, shampoo, conditioner, tooth paste, tooth brushes cleaning supplies, flashlights and batteries.
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Coroner Seeks Public's Help in Identifying Victim

Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey is seeking the public's help in identifying a male homicide victim, believed to be white or Hispanic, whose body was found in the 27-hundred block of Maryland Street in Gary earlier this month. Gary Police Corporal Gabrielle King says an officer on patrol November 4th discovered a burned out vehicle, and upon further inspection, found legs sticking out of it. Frey says the individual weighed 147 pounds, was 5’-6” with brown hair, and was wearing a red hooded sweat shirt, blue jeans and a pair of Diesel tennis shoes. Officials say the only personal property found was a bronze whistle and an Acura key fob with an attached Ace Hardware house key. The coroners office says the victim suffered multiple stab wounds. Anyone with information about the man's identity is asked to call the Lake County Coroners Office at 219-755-3265....
 

La Porte Rep Dermody to Chair Public Policy Cmte

tom dermody
Republican Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma today appointed La Porte State Representative Tom Dermody to chair the Public Policy Committee for the 2014 legislative session.  The Public Policy Committee works to address a variety of issues, including gaming, alcohol, abortion, and firearms. Dermody was elected to the legislature in 2006.
“Tom is a man of integrity and I am confident that he is right person for this job,” said Speaker Bosma. “Tom has exhibited strength in leadership, both in his role as the Assistant Majority Floor Leader and as the Chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee of  the Ways and Means Committee.  As the Chairman of Public Policy, he will deal with tough issues. I have total confidence that Tom will carry out the duties of his new responsibility with honor and fairness.”
“I am honored by this appointment by the Speaker, and I look forward to leading the Public Policy Committee.,” said Rep. Dermody. “Like my colleague, Rep. Bill Davis, before me, I will work to find common ground on important public policy issues affecting our state.  I am eager to serve in this new capacity in order to affect policies that will impact and significantly benefit the lives of all Hoosiers.”
Rep. Dermody  serves as the Assistant Majority Floor Leader where he assists Rep. Friend (R-Macy), Majority Floor Leader, as an advisor and counselor for the caucus by working with all of the members on any issues that may arise. In addition to his leadership role, Rep. Dermody formerly served on the Ways and Means Committee, and continues to serve on the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee.
A full list of committee changes will be made available prior to the start of session.
“I look forward to starting the work before me. I am humbled by the opportunity,” said Rep. Dermody....
 

Same-Sex Marriage Bill Signing in Illinois

Illinois is about to become the 16th state in the country to allow same sex marriage. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is signing the state's new same-sex marriage bill into law this afternoon. The law, titled the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, is set to take effect June first, 2014. It was approved by Illinois state legislators about two weeks ago. Opponents argued that same sex couples can already enter into a civil union in Illinois. Today's signing ceremony takes place at the UIC Forum in Chicago....
 

Crash Closes Southbound I-65 in Tippecanoe Co

Indiana State Police say a crash involving two semi tractor-trailers closed southbound lanes of Interstate 65 in Tippecanoe County just south of Lafayette shortly before 8:30 this morning Eastern time.  No injuries were reported.  The crash occurred at the 163 mile marker.  Southbound traffic was being diverted onto State Road 38.  Traffic caught between the wreckage and State Road 38 was being allowed around the crash scene on the emergency berm.  Troopers say the interstate was closed due to a large amount of wreckage covering both southbound lanes....
 

Portage Police Investigating Robbery

In Portage, police continue to investigate a robbery Monday night. Officers were called out to At Nature's Door on US 6, where shortly after 6 pm police say a subject grabbed an employee by the arm, forcing her to open the register and give him money. Authorities say surveillance shows the suspect coming from the rear of the property, northeast corner, and afterwards, going to the same location and disappearing into a wooded area. Police say the direction of boot prints appear the suspect would have run toward the area of Fiesta Avenue and the Willowcreek Estates Apartment Complex. Police say the suspect was wearing a black ski-type mask with the eye openings, a black hoodie with the hood over his head, blue jeans, black boots, and black gloves, with the palms and bottom of his fingers being white.  Police say the suspect appears to be 5'10" or taller with a stocky build.  Detectives who checked the area say they located a black semi-automatic looking BB gun in the woods near Fiesta. Anyone with information is asked to call Portage Police Detective Vaughan at 219-764-5705....
 

Urschels Donate $3M for Valpo Pavilion/Ice Rink

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The city of Valparaiso says the Urschel family is pledging three-million dollars toward the expansion of Central Park Plaza – specifically, to build a pavilion that'll also serve as as ice skating rink in downtown Valpo during the winter.
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Construction of the William E. Urschel pavilion is expected to begin in October of next year, with a planned opening for summer of 2015. William E. Urschel founded Urschel Laboratories in Valparaiso in 1910. The company designs, manufactures and sells food-cutting equipment like commercial potato chip slicers and lettuce shredders. [Images/Design Organization]...
   

Dr. John T. Scully, 1924-2013

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Visitation is Friday and burial Saturday for cardiologist Dr. John T. Scully of Union Township in Porter County. Dr. Scully passed away Tuesday following a battle against cancer. Dr. Scully, born in Gary, volunteered to serve in the US Army during World War Two as a lieutenant in the Army Medical Administrative Corps. He practiced medicine for half a century in the Region, and was on the medical staffs at St. Anthony hospital in Crown Point, Methodist Hospitals and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. He served as medical director of the intensive care unit at St. Mary Medical Center for 27 years, and after he retired in 2000, the unit was named the John T. Scully ICU. Dr. Scully was 89....
   

Dyer Police to Hold Meeting on Safety

In Dyer, the police department is holding an informational meeting for the public on safety, in light of a string of recent home break-ins. Since the first of October, there have been four burglaries and one attempted burglary, the most recent incidents occurring over the weekend in the 34- and 35-hundred blocks of Orchid Drive. Police are advising residents to keep their vehicles and homes locked and to make sure there's enough light illuminating entrance ways. The meeting is Thursday night Nov 21 at 6:30 at the police station on Hart Street. ...
   

Repair Work Continues in Lowell, Cedar Lk, Crown Pt

Repair work continues into today (Wednesday) to address the extensive damage caused by Sunday’s severe storms, which resulted in more than 75,000 Northern Indiana Public Service Company electric customers losing service. As of Tuesday night, 760 remained without power. The storm damage was widespread, including three damaged transmission towers and more than 150 broken poles. Lowell, Cedar Lake and Crown Point were among the hardest-hit areas in NIPSCO's service territory.  NIPSCO says some individual outages could extend into Thursday.
For the outage map visit www.nipsco.com  ...
   

Red Cross Urges Winter Donations

Amer. Red Cross
Now through January 6th, the American Red Cross is encouraging you to participate in their “Give Something that Means Something” winter campaign through the donation of blood or platelets. Officials say historically during the winter months fewer donors take the time to give blood due to competing seasonal activities, celebrations and holiday shopping, so they want to remind you that by doing something like donating, which does not cost you anything, you can give an amazing gift and offer hope to a patient in need.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
Monday, Dec. 2, from 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at Temple Beth-El in the Sanctuary, located at 10001 Columbia Ave. in Munster.
Monday, Dec. 2, from 12:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Eagles Lodge in the Social Hall, located at 805 Elm St. in Valparaiso.  
Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 1:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at Highland Parks & Recreation Center in Classrooms 108 and 109, located at 2450 Lincoln St. in Highland.     
Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Ivy Tech Community College, located at 3100 Ivy Tech Drive in Valparaiso.
Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 1:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at Holy Spirit Church in the Parish Life Center, located at 7667 E. 109th Ave. in Crown Point
Thursday, Dec. 5, from 9:30 a.m. until noon at Purdue North Central, located at 600 Vale Park Road in Valparaiso.
Thursday, Dec. 5, from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Porter Starke Services, located at 701 Wall St. in Valparaiso.
Thursday, Dec. 5, from 12:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at St. Matthias Church in the Hall, located at 101 Burell Drive in Crown Point.
Thursday, Dec. 5, from noon until 6 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus in the Social Hall, located at 325 E. Vine St. in Rensselaer.  This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.
Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Lowell Public Library in the Program Room, located at 1505 E. Commercial Ave. in Lowell.
Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Washington Evangelical Free Church in the gymnasium, located at 3805 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso.
Sunday, Dec. 8, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church in the gymnasium, located at 638 N. Calumet Road in Chesterton.
Sunday, Dec. 8, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in the Hall, located at 218 S. Court St. in Crown Point.
Monday, Dec. 9, from 1:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the VFW Post 717 in the Hall, located at 10400 W. 93rd Ave. in St. John. 
Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at MacArthur Elementary School in the gymnasium, located at 12900 Fairbanks in Cedar Lake.  This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.  
Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at First Christian Church in the Fellowship Hall, located at 1507 Glendale Blvd. in Valparaiso.

Thursday, Dec. 12, from noon until 6 p.m. at New Life Wesleyan Church in the Meeting Room, located at 75 East 1100 North in Chesterton.
Friday, Dec. 13, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Northview Elementary School in the gymnasium, located at 257 Northview Drive in Valparaiso. This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.
Friday, Dec. 13, from 12:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Portage Christian School, located at 3040 Arlene Street in Portage. This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive. 
Friday, Dec. 13, from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Town Hall Municipal Building in the Community Room, located at 170 S. Grace St. in Wheatfield.  This Pint Size Heroes blood drive is sponsored by Wheatfield Elementary School.
Sunday, Dec. 15, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Nativity of our Savior in the Fellowship Hall, located at 2949 Willowcreek Road in Portage.
·         The Merrillville Donor Center, located at 791 E. 83rd Ave. in Merrillville, is open every Monday from 12:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. and the first and third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. until noon.  


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NIPSCO: 97% of Outages Reported Have Been Restored

NIPSCO Logo
As of 4:30pm this afternoon 97-percent of the 75-thousand outages reported in NIPSCO's service area have been restored. At last check, 19-hundred customers remain without power. NIPSCO reports a majority of the remaining outages are anticipated to be restored by Wednesday night, like for those in Crown Point, but in the hardest hit areas like Cedar Lake, Chesterton, DeMotte, Gary, Lowell and Valparaiso, restoration could extend into Thursday....
   

Senator Tallian Honored as Small Business Champion

Karen Tallian
Indiana State Senator Karen Tallian, of Portage, was presented this week with the Small Business Champion Award by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Senator Tallian says she was honored to receive the award and hopes it will draw more attention to the critical role small businesses play in Indiana's economic recovery. Tallian was first elected to the state Senate in 2005 to fulfill an unexpired term and was reelected in 2006 and again in 2010.
Since 1993, the honor has been given to select legislators who demonstrate dedication to bettering Indiana’s business climate for small employers....
   

Crews to Attempt West Beach Prescribed Fire Wednesday

Fire crews from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore will try again tomorrow to conduct a prescribed burn in the West Beach area of the park, near Portage. Officials, weather permitting, crews will be burning about 73 acres along the West Beach access road, between the parking lots and the West Beach entrance station. The prescribed fire is being done to reduce potential wild fire fuel and improve animal and plant habitats. The fire was scheduled for today but was called off due to the weather conditions and instead conducted small controlled burns around the Century of Progress Homes along Dune Ridge near Beverly Shores...
   

1st Ever Healthcare Associated Infections Report Released

indiana state department of health
INDIANAPOLIS—This week, November 18-24, is National Get Smart About Antibiotics Awareness Week. The annual campaign, now in its fourth year, is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiative that promotes the use of CDC’s Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work campaign and encourages state-based appropriate antibiotic use campaigns.
“Antibiotic resistance has been tabbed as one of the biggest threats to health today,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Infections that are resistant to antibiotics can be found in hospitals and increasingly in the community.”
In coordination with Antibiotics Awareness Week, Indiana has released its first ever Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) report. The report will be published annually and serve as a benchmark for infection prevention efforts in Indiana.
HAIs are infections that patients can get while they are receiving treatment in a healthcare setting. They are the most common complication of hospital care and are one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States. Some HAIs are highly resistant to antibiotics.
“We developed this report as part of a national effort to reduce healthcare associated infections,” said Dr. VanNess. “The goal is to increase overall awareness, encourage infection prevention efforts in hospitals and help consumers make more informed decisions about their healthcare.”

Key findings of the report include:
·        Indiana hospitals reported the overall number of central line associated bloodstream infections were 41 percent lower than predicted, based on national data. Indiana is on track to meet the national prevention target of a 50 percent reduction in infections.
·        Indiana hospitals reported surgical site infections associated with abdominal hysterectomies were 39 percent lower than predicted based on national data. Hospitals in Indiana have already exceeded the national goal of a 25 percent reduction by the end of 2013 and will continue efforts to reduce infections further.
To further address antibiotic resistance, the Indiana State Department of Health, in collaboration with many partners, convened the Indiana Antibiotic Resistance Advisory Committee earlier this year. This advisory committee is working to provide recommendations and guidelines for infection prevention and control measures, antibiotic stewardship, surveillance, laboratory testing and educational opportunities for healthcare providers, laboratories and the public.
Colds, influenza, most sore throats and bronchitis are caused by viruses and antibiotics do not help fight viruses. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases the risk of getting a bacterial infection later that resists antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics cure bacteria, not viruses. Taking antibiotics for viral infections will not cure the infections, help you feel better or prevent others from getting sick.

If you are ill, check with your healthcare provider to see if an antibiotic is necessary. If so, remember these important tips for taking antibiotics:
·             When you are prescribed an antibiotic, take it exactly as the doctor tells you.
·             Complete the prescribed course even if you are feeling better. If treatment stops too soon, some bacteria may survive and re-infect you. This is also true for children so ensure all medication are taken as prescribed, even if they feel better.
·             Appropriately discard any unused prescription medication you may have. Drug take-back events are a great way to do this.
·             Never share your antibiotics with others.

The Indiana State Department of Health developed a State Plan for reducing HAIs and enacted the mandatory HAI reporting rule, which required all hospitals to report HAI data to the Indiana State Department of Health beginning Jan. 1, 2012. Additionally, the Indiana State Department of Health created the Healthcare Associated Infections Resource webpage located at  http://www.in.gov/isdh/24769.htm which includes educational materials and resources for healthcare workers and patients. Three online educational modules featured on the website have earned CDC honors.
The 2012 Healthcare Associated Infections Report may be found on the Indiana State Department of Health website at  http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/2012_Indiana_Healthcare_Associated_Infections_Report.pdf.
The Healthcare Associated Infections State Plan may be found on the Indiana State Department of Health website at www.in.gov/isdh/files/Indiana_Plan.pdf.
To visit the Indiana State Department of Health, go to www.StateHealth.in.gov. Follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1. ...
   

Pope Francis Speaks Out On Respecting the Elderly

The pope is speaking out about care for the elderly. ABC News reports Pope Francis said a society that does not respect its grandparents has lost its memories and has no future. The pope said it's often grandmothers who transmit religious faith, when parents may be swayed by other ideas. He lamented the fact that older people often don't count, when instead, should be considered a societal "treasure."...
   

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