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Even for Healthy Kids, Flu can be Fatal

Even for Healthy Kids, Flu can be Fatal
As Flu season sets in, health officials have a warning for parents--even the Region's healthiest kids are at risk of dying from influenza.  According to new research from the American Academy of Pediatrics,   of the 830 children in the U.S. who died from the flu between 2004 and 2012, more than 40-percent did not have any underlying medical condition that would have put them at risk for complications, like asthma or heart disease. 

Pediatrician Dr. Lia Gaggino says the flu can make health spiral downward very quickly,even for the healthiest kids.  "Ear infections and pneumonias, and sinus infections as secondary complications, and a lot of times that's what the kids may die from, are pneumonias."
While Dr. Gaggino admits it is difficult for researchers who make the flu vaccine to predict which strains will dominate in any given year, she says this year there are two different vaccines--and both offer wide protection from several viruses.  "It covers the HINI, it covers the H3N2, and then there's a third; and then the quadrivalent, or the newer one, includes an additional virus."
Dr. Gaggino says during the last flu season, 158 children died from influenza-related causes in the U.S. including four in Indiana.
The CDC recommends anyone older than six months of age be vaccinated against the flu, if there are no health reasons preventing the immunizations--such as allergies. Frequent hand-washing and sanitizing surfaces can also minimize virus exposure.  Dr. Gaggino stresses that while the vaccine can trigger a short-lived immune response causing some fatigue or soreness, there is no way to contract the virus from a flu shot or nasal spray.

(photo/Microsoft images)...


Results in for 3 Month Law Enforcement Team Effort

A three month law enforcement team effort to help fight crime in Lake County, has lead to hundreds of traffic stops, and arrests and the recovery of over cash and firearms. 
The Region Stop Team, made up of full and part time officers from throughout Lake County is supported by the Lake County Prosecutor's Office, the U.S. Attorney's Office as well as crime mapping and analytical support by Indiana University Northwest.
According to a press release from the East Chicago Police Department, the Region Stop Team is comprised of full time officers from the Hammond, Gary, Lake County Sheriff and the East Chicago Police Departments.  Part time members include the Munster, St. John, Highland, Griffith, Schererville, Dyer, University of Indiana- Northwest Campus (IUN), Whiting and the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD).  The effort is supported by the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office, the United States Attorney’s Office as well as crime mapping and analytical support by IUN.
The team initiated on August 20, 2013 and through October, 2013, the team has recorded the following statistical accomplishments:
  • 390 Traffic stops
  • 178 Suspicious events
  • 107 arrests
  • Recovered over $13,552 in United States Currency (USC) for seizure
  • Recovered 16 firearms
On November 8, 2013 the team arrested Curtis Anthony Fields, black male, 26 years of age of Gary, Indiana after he was observed to be involved in suspicious activity near 11th and Polk Street, Gary, Indiana.  Fields fled in his vehicle and after a leaving his vehicle near 18th and Lincoln, continued to flee officers on foot.  After a short foot pursuit Fields was arrested and found to have an outstanding parole violation warrant on file.  Fields also had $680 USC in his possession and a small amount of suspected marijuana was found in his vehicle.
Lake County K 9 officers as well as air support from the Gary Police Department and the Lake County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the apprehension.
While attempting to locate Fields, officers observed another individual to be in the area who was urinating in a public alley.  This subject was approached and also fled on foot, but was captured shortly thereafter.  He was found in possession of marijuana, packaged in dealer type quantities and was taken into custody.  The subject has been turned over to the Gary Drug Unit for further investigation.
Shortly after this arrest, officers attempted to stop a vehicle in the area of 13th and Van Buren, Gary, Indiana.  The driver threw a bag out of the vehicle, later found to be suspected marijuana, and then took off at a high rate of speed.  The vehicle proceeded south from 13th on Van Buren and then crashed into a “No Parking” sign, at which time the driver fled on foot.
Lake County K 9 officers again responded and after a foot pursuit, the subject, Christopher Lee Sallie, black male, 29 years of age from Gary, Indiana, was arrested and charges are now being sought for dealing in marijuana, resisting law enforcement, failure of duty and driving while suspended. Officers recovered suspected marijuana, a scale and plastic bags associated with the distribution of drugs and $510 USC.
In total, the team arrested 8 individuals in Gary. In addition to the 3 described above, they are as follows:
  • Devin Miles, black male, a 25 year old Gary resident, wanted on charges filed by the Hobart Police Department
  • Warren Greene, black male, a 23 year old Gary resident, wanted on charges filed by the Hammond Police Department
  • Curt Simmons, black male, a  27 year old Gary resident, wanted on charges filed by the Gary Police Department
  • Joseph Bishop III, black male, a 22 year old Gary resident, arrested for felony fleeing when he failed to curb for a traffic violation and was arrested in the 3300 block of Pennsylvania
  • Alice Bryant Walker, black female, a 35 year old Gary resident who was arrested in the 2400 block of Broadway for operating a vehicle with a suspended drivers license
According to the release, other highlights for the month of October include:
  • The responded to shots being fired in the area of 150th and Magoun, East Chicago, and assisted in the arrests of 7 suspected individuals
  • A traffic stop at 49th and Washington, Gary, resulted in the recovery of marijuana, a scale and approximately 3 grams of crack cocaine, packaged in distribution amounts
  • State Parole agents requested the assistance in dealing with a home check of a parolee, who was found to be in possession of a firearm.  That matter has been referred to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
  • A traffic stop in the area of 4300 Olcott, East Chicago, resulted in the recovery of 238 grams of powder cocaine and nearly 4 grams of marijuana
  • A traffic stop at 6th and Madison in Gary found the driver to be a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Charges are pending
  • A suspicious person in the area of the 4500 block of Van Buren, Gary, was found to be a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Charges are pending
  • A traffic stop in the 4800 block of Carolina, Gary, found 2 convicted felons present in the vehicle and both were armed with firearms, charges are pending
  • The team assisted the Hammond Police Department in their investigation and arrest of 2 individuals involved in dealing with stolen metal, which had been removed from a location near 7th and Alabama in Gary
  • The team was assigned to patrol the Hessville section of Hammond, following a series of armed robberies that had been taking place.  As a result, Hammond and STOP Team officers arrested 2 subjects, recovered evidence linking them to the crimes and charges are now being pursued.
  • The team also assisted Schererville detectives with their investigation of armed robberies that had taken place at an ATM and at a residence in their city. The team canvassed a neighborhood in Hammond and located a possible subject in Gary
Finally, on September 24, 2013 the team executed a search warrant in the 4800 block of Walsh Avenue, East Chicago.  A pound of marijuana, 3 handguns and an assault rifle were recovered as was $12,752 USC.  In October, Ivan Brignoni was charged with maintaining a common nuisance and dealing in marijuana. ...

AG's Urging Anti-Theft Software for Smartphones

Indiana OAG Official Seal
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller today joined 30 other attorney generals to urge leading smartphone manufactures to step up security features. Zoeller says smartphones are not only stolen for their resell value, but they also contain consumers' personal and financial information. Zoeller says one method discussed to dry up aftermarket phone sales includes installing a smartphone “kill switch” which could render a phone permanently useless if stolen.
To avoid having your personal information stolen along with your phone, the attorney general's office recommends having password protection, backing up your phone regularly, signing up for a tracking service and seeking out security software....

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Network Changing

Indiana's Insurance Commission today advised seniors who have Medicare Advantage plans with UnitedHealthcare, including ones sold through AARP, to confirm that their preferred providers will be part of the network throughout 2014, because of reductions the company recently made to its provider network.
Medicare Advantage plans are different than traditional Medicare plans, because members are restricted to the doctors who participate in their network, so it is critical seniors understand their options during the Medicare open enrollment period, which ends December 7th. For more information, visit


Gas Prices May Not Bottom Out Until Mid-December

The U-S Energy Department reports gas prices fell another seven cents over the past week. The national average is now three dollars and 19 cents a gallon. ABC News reports Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst at says prices may not bottom out until mid December and it's entirely realistic the national average could hit as little as $3.15, perhaps even $3.10 a gallon by Thanksgiving and it could march within a nickel of three dollars a gallon here by Christmas.
In the Gary metropolitan area, reports the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.02. ...

IFA and INDOT Issue RFQ for Illiana Corridor Project

The Indian Finance Authority and INDOT today issued a Request for Qualifications for the Illiana Corridor project. Indiana is seeking submission of qualifications by private partners to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Indiana portion of the Illiana Expressway using an Availability Payment Structure.
NIRPC will continue to receive public input throughout the course of the remaining two open houses on the proposed project, one tomorrow at the NIRPC office in Portage, from 4pm to 6pm and the other scheduled next week, Tuesday November 19th, at Michigan City City Hall, from 2pm to 4pm. The commission is scheduled to vote on whether or not to include the project in their 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan on December 12th.
The RFQ document can be viewed at the IFA website: Statements of Qualifications are due by Friday, January 10, 2014....


Gary Double Homicide Suspects Charged with Murder

Gary PD
Both suspects in a November 1st double-homicide of a husband and wife in Gary are now in custody. The Porter County Sheriff's Office reports, on Friday, one of the suspects was found walking along northbound State Road 149, near County Road 875 North, and was taken into custody without incident. The man had reportedly been with the Good Samaritan Church Group when he fled after he overheard an arrangement being made for police to stop the church van. Gary Police Corp. Gabrielle King says 44 year old Mark Anthony Williams and 46 year old Anthony Wilson have been charged with two-counts of murder, two-counts of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and auto theft.
The bodies of 62 year old Leviticus Dupree and 54 year old Toshiba Moore-Dupree, were found unresponsive and covered in blood, after being found stabbed in their home in the 25-hundred block of Delaware Street....

House Fire in Portage Under Investigation

Portage Fire Dept. 2
Fire officials continue to investigate the cause of a fire at a house in the 52-hundred block of Terry Avenue in Portage. The Portage Fire Department was called out around 5:30 Monday afternoon on a one alarm fire. Reports say no one was home at the time, and that the homeowner arrived as crews were on scene. ...

Gary Double Homicide Suspect in Custody

A suspect in a double-homicide in Gary was taken into custody on Friday. The Porter County Sheriff's Office reports the man was found walking along northbound State Road 149, near County Road 875 North, and was taken into custody without incident. The man had reportedly been with the Good Samaritan Church Group when he fled after he overheard an arrangement being made for police to stop the church van.  ...

Chicago's Willis Tower Named 2nd Tallest

Chicago's Willis -formerly Sears- Tower is losing its 'tallest building in the US' title. The Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat announced today (Tuesday) in Chicago, that One World Trade Center in New York City will be number one upon its completion next year. Antony Wood, Executive Director of the group, says the spire on One World Trade Center -- which makes it higher than Chicago's Willis Tower --  is not considered an antenna. "Antennae do not count in the height of a tall building," Wood said, "because they are functional technical equipment which is put on top. The committee were quite clear that that was not the case on One World Trade Center. This is a permanent feature."  After 39 years of holding the title of America's Tallest Building, Sears, or Willis, will be number two in the U.S....

Horses Abandoned in Lake County

horse 1
Lake County Sheriffs Police announced today that two horses were abandoned November 3, 2013, at 241st Avenue in Schneider in far south Lake County near LaSalle State Fish and Wildlife Area. Authorities say the horses are safe due to the efforts of the Lake County Sheriff's Posse Unit who provided them with temporary shelter and care, however the horses are emaciated, police say, and in need of donations and foster care.  [Photos/Lake County Sheriff's Police]
horse 2
To inquire about foster care/ adoption or information about making donations to help in the care of the two horses, please contact:
Lake County Sheriff's Animal Adoption and Control Center
3011 West 93rd Avenue
Crown Point, Indiana 46307
Phone (219) 769-7016
Fax (219) 755-3921
The donations needed for the two horses are:
Monetary donations for veterinary care
Halters - various sizes
Feed gift cards- * Leo's feed & Garden * Crown Feed * Tractor Supply
Wormer, brushes, buckets (for feed & water), feed scoops, and hay bags....

Heavy Lake Effect Blankets Part of Northwest Indiana

That says 10
There's sunshine in Lake County but on the eastern side of Northwest Indiana, several inches of snow. LaPorte County getting upwards of eight-and nine-inches in some areas, there's also snow on the ground in Porter County. Just north of the Indiana/Michigan state line, in Berrien County, reports of 12-to-14 inches of lake effect, according to reports in to the National Weather Service Northern Indiana. The snow-making machine has stalled out somewhat, but lake effect was still falling this hour in parts of the Region. [Thanks Amanda Senne, La Porte, for the photo]

Part of US 30 Closed; Lake Effect Continues

Officials say the eastbound lanes of US 30 from Hanna to State Road 39 in southern La Porte County are being shut down as crews continue to clean up debris from an earlier crash scene. Westbound lanes remain open, we're told, and the eastbound closure affects about a two-to-three mile stretch of US 30.
Lake effect snow continues to fall especially on La Porte County, but not exclusively, as we're seeing additional snow now across Porter County and parts of Starke County locally. The Indiana Department of Transportation-Northwest has more than three dozen plow crews working to clear the roads.
INDOT says the first snow of the season typically brings a higher rate of crashes and slide-offs as some drivers forget to consider the winter weather road conditions. Drivers are asked to promote their own safety, and that of others, by reducing their speed and increasing the distance between themselves and other vehicles, including INDOT’s yellow plow trucks....

Winter Preparedness Week in Indiana Nov 17-23

Indiana Governor Mike Pence has proclaimed November 17-23, 2013 as Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Indiana. The Indiana State Police offers the following tips.
Be prepared:
 Before traveling, check the forecast and let someone know your travel route
 Keep your gas tank at least half-full
 Carry a winter driving kit that should include blankets, flashlight, extra batteries, a brightly colored cloth, sand (or kitty litter), shovel, candle, matches, non-perishable high calorie food, first aid kit, and jumper cables
 Have a cell phone and charger cord
 Slow down on snow/ice covered roads
 Allow extra time to arrive at your destination
 Clear all vehicle windows of ice and snow. Remove snow from hood, roof and lights.
 Use extra caution when driving across bridges, underpasses, shaded areas and intersections where ice is slow to melt
 Avoid abrupt stops and starts. Slow down gradually.
Should you become stranded:
 Don’t leave your car. It’s the best protection you have.
 Tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna
 Roll down your window a small amount to allow fresh air in your vehicle
 Keep exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
 Don’t panic. An idling car uses approximately one gallon of gas per hour
For Indiana road conditions call 1-800-261-7623, or visit the Indiana Department of Transportation website at In partnership with the Governor’s office, Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Education and the Red Cross more information can be found at the following website:

Lake County Company Adding Jobs

A Lake County company is growing. MonoSol LLC out of Merrillville has announced plans to add one-hundred workers over the next year to year-and-a-half, on the manufacturing side mostly, but also scientists and engineers, and marketing, sales and administrative positions. The company makes film that dissolves in water, as seen, for instance, on cleaning products placed in washing and dishwashing machines. Company officials say they're currently expanding in La Porte, and site selection is underway, with plans to announce groundbreaking for their next manufacturing site early next year. They also have locations in Portage, Indiana, and the UK. 
MonoSol also says they're investing significantly in developing next generation film delivery systems for food, feed and personal care applications. Their Vivos® Edible Delivery System, for instance, is engineered to create individual delivery systems, like pouches, that disappear and release their contents when exposed to hot or cold liquids.  The dissolved film, transparent, odorless and tasteless, and made of a proprietary blend of food-grade ingredients, could then be safely consumed along with the food, company officials say....

Activity 'Non-Stop' in La Porte Co in Lake Effect

We are getting reports of several accidents, slide-offs, crashes across La Porte County this morning.  Road conditions are very difficult with lake effect snow continiing to fall.  On US 20, just west of State Road 39 (north of La Porte, in the Springville area), there are a few large vehicles having difficulty climbing the grade.  Authorities say activity has been non-stop due to the snow and road conditions this morning....

Eastern Northwest Indiana Getting Lake Effect

Heavy snow is expected today over parts of the Region in the first significant lake effect snow event of the season.  The heaviest snowfall is expected on the east side of Northwest Indiana.  La Porte County remains under a Lake Effect Snow Warning until 12 noon CST.  Lake Effect Snow Advisories have been issued for Porter, Jasper, and Starke Counties.    For forecast updates here is the link to the National Weather Service Northern Indiana:  and here is the website link to the National Weather Service office in Chicago:

219: Blue Top Drive-In Restoration

The legendary Blue Top drive in is getting a second life in the region thanks to new owners, Dennis Miniuk and John Golfis. We spoke with John on their plans for the future, including opening the restaurant by January. For more on the future of this iconic Region spot, listen to today's 219 or our full interview with John at Region News On Demand here on our website....

Investigation Continues into Gary Cell Phone Truck Theft

Gary PD
An investigation continues into an over 12 million dollar cargo heist from a Gary truck stop on October 25th. Gary Police reports a truck driver from Illinois parked at the Petro lot on Grant Street and went across the street to Denny's, and when he returned the truck filled with over 22-thousand new Sprint LG G2 smart phones, which are worth about 550-dollars each, was gone. Authorities recovered the missing truck four-days later in Louisville, Kentucky, after the suspect crashed the truck into a utility pole. ...

Structure Fire in Portage Township

1 breaking-news
Fire crews are dealing with a structure fire this evening in Porter County's Portage Township. Officials say the Portage Fire Department was called out to the 52-hundred block of Terry Avenue, near Sherwin Avenue late this afternoon for the One Alarm fire. No further information is available at this time.

Page 205 of 477


Laura-WAKE Scott-WAKE Brent-WAKE
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team


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