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Chesterton HS Marching Band 2013 State Champs

A region high school marching band took home the first place trophy at the Indiana State School Music Association's competition over the weekend. The Trojan Guard of Chesterton High School were crowned 2013 Scholastic Class “A” State Champions on Saturday. The event was hosted by Lawrence Central High School of Indianapolis....

LaPorte PD Wanted Person of the Week: Michael Shannon

Michael Shannon
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
A 33 year old man wanted on warrants in LaPorte County for felony fraud, felony forgery and violation of felony forgery is this week's LaPorte Police Department's “Wanted Person of the Week.” LaPorte Police report Michael Shannon is described as 5'8”, weighing 192 pounds, with blonde hair and hazel eyes. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Michael Shannon is asked to contact 9-1-1 and you can remain anonymous....

Valparaiso Man Injured in High-Speed Crash

A 19 year old man was hospitalized after a high-speed chase with police which resulted in a crash Sunday. Authorities report Nicholas Lamm, of Valparaiso, led officers on a chase through Porter County's Union Township, at speeds around 100 miles per hour, after police reportedly saw him run a red light at County Road 250 West and Indiana 130. The vehicle ended up leaving the roadway at Indiana 149, went airborne, sheered a telephone pole and hit a tree, causing Lamm to be ejected from the vehicle. ...

Jason Aldean Tour Bus Fatality in Knox County

One of country music's biggest stars was involved in a fatal accident overnight. ABC News reports Country star Jason Aldean's tour bus struck and killed a pedestrian in Knox County, Indiana, early this morning. Knox County Sheriff Michael P. Morris confirms Aldean was on board at the time of the crash. The man, identified as Albert Kennedy, of Vincennes, reportedly walked into the path of the bus traveling north on US 41. He was pronounced dead at the scene....

Man Listed as Wanted Person of the Week in Custody

timothy cooper
(Photo Courtesy of LaPorte Police)
A 50 year old man previously listed as the LaPorte Police Department's “Wanted Person of the Week” was taken into custody over the weekend. LaPorte Police report Timothy Cooper had been wanted on a warrant issued by LaPorte Circuit Court for two-counts of failure to appear for original charges of failure to register as a sex offender and sex offender registry violation, both of which are felonies. ...

LaPorte Woman and Dog Rescued From House Fire

LaPorte PD
A LaPorte woman and her dog were rescued from a house fire late Sunday night. LaPorte Police report first responders were dispatched to a structure fire in the 11-hundred block of Pennsylvania Avenue, at 11:44pm, and were advised a resident and her pet were trapped inside. Authorities report the woman informed officers she was sleeping when she awoke to the smell of smoke and found the laundry area, just outside her bedroom, fully engulfed in flames. The woman was rescued after Cpl. Bill Degnegaard broke a window that was stuck and evacuated the woman and her dog. The woman was transported by EMS to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and cuts to her hand and the cause of the fire is under investigation. ...

IU Joins Opposition Against Same-Sex Marriage Ban

IU Pres Michael McRobbie
(Photo Courtesy of Indiana University)
Indiana University today announced it has joined Freedom Indiana to oppose House Joint Resolution 6, which calls for amending the state Constitution to define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman. IU President Michael McRobbie says, “House Resolution 6 sends a powerfully negative message of Indiana as a place to live and work that is not welcoming to people of all backgrounds and beliefs.” Freedom Indiana is a bipartisan grassroots campaign launched this summer. The Indiana General Assembly will consider the issue in its next legislative session, beginning in January 2014, at which time it could decide to vote down, table, or approve the amendment be placed on the ballot....

Fire at Morocco Laundromat Under Investigation

Several fire departments responded to a fire at a laundromat in Newton County Sunday night. Morocco Volunteer Fire Department crews were joined by firefighters from Brook-Iroquois Township, Rensselaer, Kentland-Jefferson Township, and Lake Township in responding to JB Laundry Services in Morocco, a building that's been described as a total loss. No word at this time on possible cause. Officials say no one was inside at the time of the fire....

Part of Elm Street Reopened in Valpo After Incident

Valpo PD
Elm Street, from Roosevelt east to Orchard, in Valparaiso, is now open to motorists after an incident this morning forced authorities to close the road at that location. Valparaiso Police and Fire, as well as Porter County SWAT Team members, were on the scene in the 13-hundred block of Elm Street, since 9:30am, responding to a welfare check on an individual who had made a threat to harm herself. Authorities report after numerous attempts to failed to make contact with the subject, police entered the residence and located the subject deceased from an apparent suicide. An investigation continues....

Public Officials Announce Forum on Abandoned Homes

State and local officials are hosting a public forum in Lake County this evening (Mon Oct 28) to address Indiana’s abandoned homes. The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority says according to RealtyTrac and 24/7 Wall Street, roughly thirty-percent of Indiana's foreclosed homes are abandoned --the highest percentage in the country. The state is exploring the use of federal monies from what's called the Hardest Hit Fund to demolish blighted and abandoned homes to also stabilize property values in affected communities. Similar hearings are being throughout the state in the coming months. Tonight's meeting starts at 6 at the YWCA of Northwest Indiana on West 15th Avenue in Gary.  Last week, Gary's Redevelopment Commission approved the demolition of thirty homes around the city.
News Release:
What: Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority(IHCDA), which is overseen by Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, will host the second of a series of public forums to address blighted, vacant and abandoned homes in Indiana.  The event will be held in conjunction with a group of bi-partisan elected officials including Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson (D-Gary) and State Senator Earline Rogers (D-Gary) along with State Senator Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis).
When: Monday, October 28, 2013 at 6 p.m. CT
Where: YWCA of Northwest Indiana, 150 West 15th Avenue, Gary, Ind.
Additional meetings will be held throughout the state in the coming months to ensure all Hoosier residents have the opportunity to provide feedback. If you are unable to attend the public hearings, please submit written comments to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.
Blighted, vacant and abandoned homes are a serious issue for Indiana homeowners, neighborhoods and communities. Sadly, the State of Indiana has the dubious distinction of having the highest percentage of abandoned foreclosed homes in the country.  RealtyTrac and 24/7 Wall Street are reporting that roughly 30% of Indiana’s foreclosed homes are abandoned. This means in excess of 5,000 blighted and abandoned homes are negatively impacting Indiana homeowners and neighborhoods by reducing property values. Blighted properties also serve as a drain on municipal resources. Many Indiana communities lack the resources necessary to address this growing issue alone.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury established the Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest-Hit Markets (Hardest Hit Fund) to provide financial assistance to families in the states most impacted by the downturn of the housing market. The U.S. Department of the Treasury designed the overall program to give each participating state the flexibility to tailor its program to the unique factors contributing to its state’s foreclosure problems. The Hardest Hit Fund is a national program available in 18 states and the District of Columbia.
Indiana was awarded more than $221 million under the Hardest Hit Fund and is targeting low- to moderate-income homeowners whose primary residence is in any county in Indiana.  The State of Indiana, through IHCDA, is exploring the use of a portion of the Hardest Hit Funds to demolish blighted and abandoned homes that are beyond repair. The goal is not simply to demolish abandoned homes, but to stabilize property values in Indiana communities.  The proposed partnership between IHCDA and Indiana municipalities would allow communities to demolish blighted properties and offer a variety of end uses for the newly cleared properties including green space and redevelopment. IHCDA, Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, IHCDA’s Board Chair, Mayor Freeman-Wilson, Senator Rogers and Senator Merritt believe that the demolition of abandoned and blighted homes would be a significant step toward rebuilding Hoosier communities. 
Since IHCDA’s announcement that it was exploring the use of Hardest Hit Funds to eliminate blighted and abandoned properties, many have expressed concern that doing so might detract from the mission of helping struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure.  IHCDA would like to reassure the public that it is committed to using the majority of Hardest Hit Funds to help individual homeowners in need.  As of September 30, 2013, more than 2,250 homeowners have received approximately $24 million in Hardest Hit Fund mortgage payment assistance; and another $49 million has been set aside to provide mortgage payment assistance to approved homeowners currently enrolled in the program.  ...

Responders on Scene; Part of Elm St Closed

In Valparaiso at this hour, Elm Street is closed off from Roosevelt east to Orchard. Valparaiso Police and Fire and Porter County SWAT Team members are on scene in the 13-hundred block of Elm Street. Officials responded to do a welfare check at 9:30 this morning on an individual who had made a threat to harm herself. Valparaiso Police say the person is believed to be alone in the house....

Officials Urge Carbon Monoxide Safety

Many Region residents may have turned on the furnace early this Fall, in the early-season cold snap, and with the arrival of cooler temps and the start of home-heating season comes a reminder of the dangers of carbon monoxide. John Erickson, Senior Public Information Officer with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, which includes the Indiana Fire Marshal's office, says carbon monoxide is the number-one cause of accidental poisoning in the United States.
In addition to a smoke alarm, the fire marshal's office recommends having a carbon monoxide detector at home. Northern Indiana Public Service Company is also reminding customers of the danger, noting carbon monoxide is a by-product of the combustion of fuels such as coal, wood, charcoal, natural gas and fuel oil. It can be emitted by furnaces, space heaters, stoves, fireplaces, water heaters and automobile exhaust, and can accumulate in enclosed spaces.
Fact sheet from

Information from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and Indiana Fire Marshal's Office:

In addition to a smoke alarm, Indiana Fire Marshal Jim Greeson also recommends having a carbon monoxide detector at home if any types of fuel (kerosene, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) are used for heating or cooking.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and nonirritating gas created when these fuels burn incompletely. It is the number one cause of accidental poisoning in the United States and can cause similar symptoms to the common cold or flu, such as headaches, nausea and dizziness.
“The dangers of carbon monoxide exposure depend on a number of factors, including a person’s health and activity level,” said Greeson. “Small children, pregnant women, and those with health conditions can be severely affected by smaller amounts of carbon monoxide than healthy adults.”
Hoosiers should follow these recommendations for carbon monoxide detectors:
  • Install in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
  • Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.
  • Test CO alarms at least once a month, replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive.
  • Some manufacturers sell combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is properly ventilated to the outside. Generators should never be operated indoors, that includes attached garages. They should be used outside away from windows and doors.
For more information about safely using heating equipment, visit  .
Additional Information from NIPSCO:
“Knowing the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and precautions to take will help ensure the safety of your home and everyone in it,” said NIPSCO’s Chief Operating Officer Mike Finissi. “Every home should have a working carbon monoxide detector and have appliances checked every year to make sure they are operating safely.”
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are flu-like, including headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. At high levels, it can cause loss of consciousness and death.
If you think you are suffering from CO poisoning, you should get fresh air immediately and call 911.
Information from NIPSCO to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
·        Install a battery-operated CO detector in your home, making sure it’s clear of furniture or draperies. Test the battery regularly.
·        Have a qualified technician inspect all your fuel-burning equipment every year to make sure they are operating correctly.
·        Do not use ovens, gas ranges or grills to heat your home.
·        Never use a generator inside your home, basement, garage or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas.
·        Never leave a car or lawn mower engine running in a shed or garage, or in any enclosed space.
For more important safety tips, visit ...

Munster, Lansing Share State Line and New Trail

More than a-hundred people gathered to join officials from the Town of Munster and the Village of Lansing to celebrate the completion of the Pennsy Greenway at the Indiana/Illinois state line -- marking the rare occurrence of a trail crossing a state line and maintaining the same name. The bike trail is open in three segments between Calumet City and Schererville. On the Illinois side, the greenway connects with the 450-mile Burnham Greenway/Grand Illinois system. In Indiana, the path connects to the Erie-Lackawanna Trail and Veterans Memorial Trail at Crown Point. The route ties in with the cross-country American Discovery Trail....

Moving Day for Spruce Tree Now at Five-Points

tree moving
A special spruce got a new home over the weekend, just in time for the Christmas season. The twenty-five tree at Forest Park in Valparaiso was in the path of a path that's being built, and Horticulture Superintendent Steve Martinson suggested moving her to the island at the new five-points roundabout rather than lose her. The tree is said to be one of the trees in downtown Valpo back in the 1980s decorated during for the holidays and later planted in parks. The city is planning to decorate her again this holiday season in a special tree-lighting and roundabout opening ceremony in late November.  [Photo/Valparaiso Parks, showing the spruce tree now in the middle of the five-points roundabout during moving day. Project Management Director, Don McGinley, center, talks with workers from Lakeshore Landscaping after the tree was replanted Saturday]...

Gary Hosts First Marathon 'Dawn of the Dunes'

More than five-hundred people took part in the inaugural Dawn of the Dunes Marathon, Half-Marathon and 5K at Marquette Park in Gary Sunday morning, the first marathon hosted by the city. The course for the event traveled through some residential, hilly and wooded areas. Finishing first in the full marathon was 48-year-old Jeff Mescal of Lowell, at just under two-hours, 50-minutes.  The Gary Parks Department put together a charity team that participants could join to raise money toward reopening city pools at public parks in 2014.  [Photo courtesy/Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson]...

Valparaiso Debuts 'Monster Dash'

monster dash
The Valparaiso Parks Department and Fit City Council hosted their first-ever "Monster Dash" at Central Park Plaza Sunday [October 27, 2013].  The 5K event also included a 1K Family Fun Run that was led by Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas.  Participants also had an opportunity to purchase a Fit City Challenge membership for $10, entitling you to special programming from November 4 to December 28 at Boys and Girls Club (Valpo facility), eStudio Z fitness, Fuel Fitness, Integrated Movement, Region Crossfit, Top Fuel Crossfit, and Valparaiso Family YMCA. "Our goal is to be the fittest city in Indiana," said Mayor Costas.   You can hear more from our interview earlier with Barbie Johnson of Valparaiso Parks here at our website at News Audio on Demand. [Photo/Valparaiso Parks]...

Indiana Toll Road Project at Lake Station

Lake Station Interchange map
Look for extended restrictions at the Lake Station Indiana Toll Road exit beginning today (Monday Oct 28). Restrictions will start at Milepost 21 as the ramp bridges will be replaced where the Indiana Toll Road, Borman Expressway and State Road 51 converge. The project begins with the closure of the westbound exit ramp to Interstate 94, which will last about a year-and-a-half. The entire existing bridge deck and superstructure, along with the concrete pier caps, will be removed. Traffic seeking to exit at Milepost 21 will be diverted to Exit 17, Gary East to take I-65 south and reconnect with I-94. Exits 17 and Exit 21 on the toll road are both free exits. The entire project is expected to be completed in April 2015.  [Image/ITR Concession Co]...

Crown Point Man Killed in Crash

A Crown Point man is dead after a motor-vehicle crash at Broadway and 113th Street in Crown Point Saturday afternoon. The Lake County Coroners office says 32-year-old Michael Gartner suffered blunt force trauma and died at Methodist Southlake Hospital in Merrillville Saturday night.  ...

Baby's Death Ruled a Homicide

Following an autopsy over the weekend, officials have ruled the death of a five-month-old Gary boy a homicide. Published reports say police were called to the Methodist Hospital Northlake in Gary Tuesday night after the baby came in to the emergency room with multiple skull fractures, blood on the brain and broken ribs. The boy was was then flown to University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, where he died Friday morning. The baby's 19-year-old mother and her 27-year-old boyfriend were taken into custody, then released.  An investigation continues....

Radio One Communications Receives 7 IBA Nominations

Radio One Communications has received seven nominations in this year's Indiana Broadcasters Association's (IBA) Spectrum Awards.
107.1 The Z (WZVN-FM) was nominated in the categories Station of the Year and Radio Station Broadcast Personality or Team, Annie Fox in the Morning. Two news entries are among the top three nominees in the categories of Breaking News Story, for coverage of the downtown Valparaiso fire in early March (Indiana 105 WLJE-FM) , and Newscast (X-Rock 103.9 WXRD-FM) . Two of the top three finalists in the category of Commercial Series were for commercials for American Natural Resources (X-Rock) and 1 Source PI (107.1 The Z). Indiana 105 was also nominated in the category of Website/Multimedia.
“We have an amazing group of broadcasters,” said Radio One Communications President Leigh Ellis. “We're honored to have been nominated in the top three across a variety of categories. Our staff works hard to provide top-quality radio programming for Northwest Indiana, and it's great to see their efforts recognized again this year on a statewide basis,” said Ellis.
The 26th Anniversary Spectrum Awards are November 9 in Indianapolis. Stations compete according to market size. The competition is open to all FCC licensed radio stations and television stations in Indiana.
In the past several years, Radio One Communications has won several Spectrum Awards, including First Place awards in news, commercial, promotional, and cross-platform categories, including two first place awards last year for the Indiana 105 Dawn Patrol with Steve Zana, Laura Waluszko and Scott Rosenberg for Best Radio Station Broadcast Personality or Team, and Special Interest and Cultural Programming on X-Rock 103.9 for “The 219 - Crown Point Marriage Mill” written and produced by Scott Rosenberg.
Radio One Communications is the owner/operator of four radio stations serving Northwest Indiana: WAKE-AM AM-1500, WLJE-FM Indiana 105.5, WXRD-FM X-Rock 103.9, and WZVN-FM 107.1 The Z.
Radio One Communications will be 49 years old on November 4th.  The company was founded by Country Radio Disc Jockey Hall of Famer and Country Music Association (CMA) Charter Member (Card Number One) Leonard “Uncle Len” Ellis and his wife Bee, and remains family-owned by the Ellis family to this day....

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