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Alcohol and Driving Too Fast Factors in Fatal Crash

Authorities today report a Valparaiso man killed in a single-vehicle crash outside Michigan City early Saturday had a blood-alcohol level nearly three-times the legal limit. The Times reports the 32 year old was traveling too fast while heading south on County Road 525 West, near Warnke Road, where he reportedly failed to negotiate a curve and went into the northbound lane before leaving the roadway, striking a fence, and hitting a tree head-on, causing the Valparaiso man, and his 36 year old passenger from California, to be ejected. According to the article, the Valparaiso man was pronounced dead at the scene, while his passenger was eventually transported to a South Bend hospital....

4 Lost Kayakers on Tippecanoe River Found Uninjured

Indiana Conservation Police
Four kayakers lost on the Tippecanoe River Saturday night were found uninjured by conservation officers. Indiana Conservation Police report the stranded kayakers made a 911 call requesting assistance at 10pm, saying they were unable to continue down the river due to the darkness and informed 911 that they were on the river near an old car on the bank. A veteran conservation officer recognized the described landmark, and responded to the area to aid the kayakers, who were found approximately a-half mile upstream from the state park canoe camp.
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Pinning Ceremony for 1st IN African-American Brigadier Gen

(Photo Courtesy of Governor Pence's Office)
A pinning ceremony was held today for the first African-American to be promoted to Brigadier general in Indiana. Governor Mike Pence led the ceremony for Brigadier General Wayne Black, who has almost 30 years of military experience, and becomes one of only eight individuals to hold this rank in the Indiana National Guard. Brigadier General Black joined the Guard in 1996 and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 as commander of an embedded training team that provided training, mentorship and oversight to the Afghan National Police and the Border Police.
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Grant Opportunity to Help Youth-Serving Organizations

IYI logo
INDIANAPOLIS – At least twelve organizations across Indiana will have the opportunity to serve more children, youth or families or improve their effectiveness through a grant program offered by the Indiana Youth Institute (IYI).
The Capacity Building Coaching grant will give nonprofits serving children, youth or families an opportunity to overcome challenges they face in running their agencies. The grant matches consultants with agency staff and board members to develop strategies and implement best practices so the organizations can best deliver their services.
IYI will award 12 grants, but because collaborative applications between two agencies are encouraged, more than 12 agencies could benefit. Applications must be submitted via e-mail to IYI by Aug. 26.
Nonprofit community and faith-based organizations serving children, youth or families from any Indiana county are eligible. Geographic diversity of the 12 winning applications will be taken into account when the grants are awarded. The grants will be awarded this September and the grant cycle will run through next June. The winning organizations will receive:
·         Up to 150 hours of professional consulting from IYI to provide strategic planning, board development, evaluation planning, fund development, marketing, executive mentoring, technology or other technical assistance that would increase the effectiveness of the organization.
·         Registration for one to attend “Principles and Techniques of Fundraising,” a five-day overview course taught by The Fund Raising School at Indiana University in Indianapolis, all approved travel expenses paid.
·         Registration for two to attend IYI’s Because Kids Count Conference in Indianapolis, Dec. 3-4, 2013, all approved travel expenses paid.
Requests for proposal guidelines for the Capacity Building Coaching grant can be found on the IYI website at Organizations with additional questions may contact Carolyn Langan, IYI’s program manager for consulting, at 1-800-343-7060, ext. 2716 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
The Indiana Youth Institute promotes the healthy development of Indiana children and youth by serving the people, institutions and communities that impact their well-being.
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LaPorte Man Found Dead in Wooded Area

The LaPorte County Coroner's Office reports the cause of death of a man pronounced dead at the scene, in a wooded area in LaPorte on Friday evening, has been initially ruled as a suicide. LaPorte Police report officers responded to a call of an abandoned silver Jeep parked in a secluded area behind a building, in the 13-hundred block of Pine Lake Avenue, just after 6pm Friday evening, and upon checking the vehicle, discovered firearm ammunition lying inside. Authorities say officers followed foot tracks leading across a grassy area and into a nearby wooded area, where they located the 37 year old man lying on the ground with a single gunshot wound and the firearm lying nearby.
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Stabbing Incident at LaPorte Bar Under Investigation

LaPorte PD
A stabbing incident in LaPorte from over the weekend remains under investigation. LaPorte Police report they received a call of a stabbing at the Whistle Stop Bar, just before 12:30am Saturday. Authorities report that the two men involved alleged the other tried to stab him, with one man being transported to the hospital for head injuries allegedly sustained from being stuck with a pool cue. Police report the other man involved was located in the 200 block of Darlington Street, who had two lacerations and a puncture wound on his side, and stated he struck the other man with the pool cue while defending himself from being stabbed.
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No Negative Impact Found as Result of ISTEP + Interruptions

Indiana Department of Education
INDIANAPOLIS – In response to widespread problems associated with CTB McGraw-Hill’s administration of the high-stakes ISTEP+ this spring, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz hired Dr. Richard Hill of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment to review the results.  A copy of Dr. Hill’s report, as well as an interactive map that details the frequency of interruptions statewide and by school corporation is below.
Among other things, the report shows the following:
  • Because of the efforts of teachers, administrators, students and parents, as well as the swift and decisive actions taken by Superintendent Ritz, the average negative statewide impact on scores was not measurable.  However, this does not mitigate the effect the interruptions had on students, parents and teachers throughout Indiana.
  • At this time, the exact impact of interruptions at the individual, classroom and teacher level cannot be ascertained.
“First, I want to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of Indiana students, parents, teachers, administrators and the employees of the Department of Education,” said Superintendent Ritz.  Because of their dedication and hard work, the impact of these interruptions was limited.  However, let me be clear, the problems with the ISTEP+ contractor were absolutely unacceptable.  Every student deserves the opportunity to take a fair and uninterrupted assessment.
“I have spent the last several months talking with Hoosiers about the impact these interruptions had in the classroom.  Although Dr. Hill’s report found that the statewide average score was not affected by the interruptions, there is no doubt that thousands of Hoosier students were affected.  As Dr. Hill stated in his report, ‘We cannot know definitively how students would have scored this spring if the interruptions had not happened.’ Because of this, I have given local schools the flexibility they need to minimize the effect these tests have on various matters, such as teacher evaluation and compensation.  I have also instructed CTB McGraw-Hill to conduct enhanced stress and load testing to ensure that their servers are fully prepared for next year’s test and ensure that this never happens again.”
The Department of Education is conducting an ongoing negotiation regarding settlement with CTB McGraw-Hill.  Next steps for the Department include processing student reports to be available online to parents and students, and calculating A-F accountability results.
An interactive map showing the ISTEP+ interruptions by school corporation can be found by clicking here:
The full report from Dr. Hill can be found here:
Hill Report.pdf
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Webinar Tuesday on Environmental Injustice in NW IN

Hoosier Environmental Council
(INDIANAPOLIS, IN)- The Hoosier Environmental Council is hosting a free online workshop  to consider issues of environmental injustice, particularly those confronted by communities in northwest Indiana. Scheduled for Tuesday, July 30, 2013 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. (EST), HEC’s webinar will examine the very harmful effects of environmental injustice on northwest Indiana’s low-income and minority communities, its root causes, and present potential strategies for addressing this long-standing and critical issue.
“Low-income and minority populations often face disproportionate burdens of environmental pollution and related health risks in this country,” said Kim Ferarro, staff attorney and director of water policy for the Hoosier Environmental Council. “Such is the case for the low-income, minority communities in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago where residents have, for decades, been exposed to a host of pollutants from an incredible concentration of industrial sources – all packed into a small 80 square-mile area.”   These three communities are home to 52 CERCLA/Superfund sites, 423 hazardous waste sites, more than 460 underground storage tanks (USTs), three wastewater treatment works, and 15 combined sewer overflows (CSOs).
As a result, these disadvantaged residents breathe air that is, in some areas, several times the national average in toxicity, and they drink, swim and fish in waters that annually bear 11 billion gallons of raw untreated sewage, and 2 million pounds of developmental, reproductive and cancer-causing toxins. Not surprisingly, these environmental factors play a role in higher-than-average levels of respiratory illnesses and cancers. “With more than 30% of the area's population under the age of 18, the consequences of these environmental risks extend beyond health impacts to affect factors such as school performance and, therefore, the formation of a long-term, productive labor force. As a matter of fundamental fairness, human decency and social equity, it is time for us to take action and help empower these communities to achieve environmental justice. And, addressing these long-term injustices is very much in keeping with the Governor’s own vision of making Indiana number one in quality of life.” Ferraro said.
The webinar, which is free for participants, will include speakers Kim Ferraro (mentioned above), with availability by HEC’s executive director Jesse Kharbanda and Tim Maloney, HEC’s senior policy director to comment on environmental injustice in other parts of the state . To register, click on the following link:
This webinar is sponsored through grants from the John S. and James L.Knight Fund, a fund of Legacy Foundation, promoting informed and engaged communities, and, the Lake County Community Fund, a fund of Legacy Foundation, inspiring you to give where you live.
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About Hoosier Environmental Council:
Founded in 1983, the Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) is the largest statewide environmental policy organization in Indiana. HEC aims to foster solutions that simultaneously improve environmental quality and economic well-being. Visit for more information. You can also follow HEC on Twitter: @hec_ed, or like us on Facebook:

Commuters Would Like 'Quiet Car' Option

Newly-released early results from a recent survey of South Shore passengers show nearly 80-percent would like “quiet cars” available during rush hour... cars where cellphone usage, for instance, would be kept to a minimum. More than 60-percent said they are in favor of allowing bicycles on the train. Just over 45-hundred completed surveys were returned from riders. Busiest boarding point of the work week during morning rush according to the survey – East Chicago.

ND Adopts Backpack Ban for FB Games


The University of Notre Dame has adopted a new ban on backpacks and other items at the football stadium on game days. Beginning with the season-opener Saturday August 31 fans will be prohibited from bringing large bags such as backpacks, duffel bags and totes into the stadium [see photo provided]. Smaller bags, such as purses, will be allowed but will be inspected by trained security personnel, along with blankets, coats, ponchos and other similar items.
“Our top priority is safety, and we believe that in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and other incidents through the years, this new policy is the prudent course of action,” said Michael Seamon, associate vice president for campus safety and director of game day operations. “We know our fans will adapt quickly to the policy, and we appreciate their cooperation in helping to make Notre Dame Stadium as safe as possible.”
Seamon said his hope is that fans would not bring bags of any kind into the stadium, and he added that the addition of specially trained inspectors will ensure that any delays at the gates will be kept to a minimum.

Calumet Ave in Valpo Reopens

Valparaiso Police say Calumet Avenue has reopened.  The road was closed in both directions from Vale Park Road north to the Cumberland Crossing stoplight for about two hours today after police say a gas line was hit shortly before 9am in the construction area of the Five-Points Intersection where the new roundabout is being built.

Lyme Disease Cases in Porter Co

The Porter County Health Department says there have been a dozen cases of Lyme Disease confirmed or suspected this year, with six open cases still under investigation. Last year, the department said there were fifteen cases reported and confirmed in Porter County. Health officials are advising residents to take precautions against ticks and tick-transmitted diseases.
Here's a link to the county health department's website for more info on preventing tick bites:

Wings of Freedom Tour to Valpo

three planes
B-17, B-24 and P-51 in formation [Photo provided]
The Wings of Freedom Tour is headed to the Region.  Three of America's most famous World War Two aircraft –the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, and North American P-51 Mustang-- are scheduled to be at the Porter County Regional Airport today thru Wednesday ((July 29 to July 31)). They leave Valparaiso for Kankakee, Illinois, Wednesday afternoon.
More info:
The Wings of Freedom Tour of the WWII Vintage Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American P-51 Mustang Announce Unique Display in Valparaiso at Porter County Regional Airport from July 29 to July 31.
Who: The Collings Foundation, a 501c3 Non-Profit Educational Foundation based in Stow, MA.
What: The Wings of Freedom Tour featuring the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American P-51 Mustang, three of America’s most famous WWII aircraft.
When: July 29-July 31. 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM July 29; 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM July 30; and 9:00AM to 12:00 PM July 31.
Where: Porter County Regional Airport, 4207 Murvihill Road, Valparaiso, IN.
Why: To honor the veterans of WWII, to educate the nation about the history and impact WWII had on our country, and to assure that the memory of those who gave their life for their country will never be forgotten. Northwest Indiana WWII Veterans are encouraged to attend and share their stories with visitors.
How: All three aircraft are available for walkthrough tours for $12 for Adults and $6 for Children 12 and under. WWII Veterans are admitted for free. Flights are available aboard the aircraft for a tax-deductible donation. B-17 and B-24 flights are $425 per person for a half hour. "Stick-time" aboard the P-51 is $2200 for a half hour and $3200 for a full hour. Pilot’s license not required. For more information or to schedule a ride call 800-568-8924
Food & Beverages will be available from EAA 104 and there will be a Classic Car Show.

UPDATE: Cal Ave Closed V Pk Rd to Cumberland

UPDATE: 920a – Valparaiso Police say Calumet Avenue is now closed in both directions from Vale Park Road north to the stoplight at Cumberland Crossing, after a gas line was hit this morning in the area of the Five Points Intersection where the new roundabout is being built.    Motorists can now go as far north as Vale Park Rd.

Gas Line Hit, Calumet Ave Closed

850am CDT-- Valparaiso Police say a gas line was hit a few minutes ago in the construction area of the Five Points Intersection where the new roundabout is being built.  Calumet Avenue is shut down in both directions from Carrsbrooke Drive north to the Cumberland Crossing stoplight.  Also, there is no access to Calumet Avenue via Vale Park Road in either direction. Valparaiso Police anticipate Calumet Avenue will be closed for at least a couple of hours.

Boy Rescued at Mt Baldy Home

Nathanand parents WinCE
Two weeks to the day after being swallowed up at a twelve-story tall sand dune in northwest Indiana, six-year-old Nathan Woessner was able to go home. It was Friday July 12, when the Sterling, Illinois, boy was buried under eleven-feet of sand for more than three hours. Rescuers believe an air pocket helped save his life. Originally listed in critical condition, doctors say he improved rapidly. He was transferred out of University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital last Tuesday, and left the rehab facility at La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago this past Friday. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore says Mount Baldy in Michigan City remains closed until further notice, and the closure also includes the parking lot, trails and beach area.
[Photo/University of Chicago Medicine, Tom Papandria]

ISTEP Announcement Expected

Indiana School Superintendent Glenda Ritz is planning an announcement today regarding the results of this year's spring ISTEP-Plus standardized tests. A third-party outside evaluator was hired to review the scores after computer problems led to delays in testing from thousands of students across the state, including here in the Region.

Amazon Adding Jobs in Ind, Other States

amazon logo WinCE
Two fulfillment centers in downstate Indianapolis and Jeffersonville are gaining employees in Amazon's plans announced today to add seven-thousand jobs across more than a dozen states, with at least five-thousand of those being full-time positions. Demand is growing for workers at the online retail giant's distribution centers. The bulk of the jobs are being added at warehouses where employees fill orders. About two-thousand jobs are being added in customer service. The company says hiring is starting now.
Here is the news release from Amazon:
SEATTLE, Wash. - Amazon (AMZN) today announced it is creating more than 5,000 new full-time jobs in its U.S. fulfillment network to meet growing customer demand. Median pay inside Amazon fulfillment centers is 30 percent higher than that of people who work in traditional retail stores—and that doesn't even include the stock grants that full-time employees receive, which over the past five years have added an average of 9% to base pay annually. Amazon employs over 20,000 full-time employees in its U.S. fulfillment centers.
“We’re hiring more than 5,000 people to join our team and help us continue to innovate and serve our customers,” said Dave Clark, vice president of worldwide operations and customer service at Amazon. “We’re focused on sustained innovation across Amazon and want to help our employees succeed—whether at Amazon or elsewhere—so we offer programs like Career Choice, where we’ll pay for up to 95% of eligible employees’ tuition regardless of whether the skills they learn are relevant to a career at Amazon.”
Amazon has created thousands of jobs across its fulfillment center and customer service networks in recent years. In the last year alone, Amazon opened eight fulfillment centers in the U.S., resulting in thousands of new jobs being added to communities nationwide. The more than 5,000 jobs now available across the fulfillment network include picking, packing and shipping customer orders while engaging with high-end, state of the art technology. The jobs offer competitive pay, a comprehensive benefits package, company stock awards and bonuses.
Fulfillment network jobs are currently available in:
• Breinigsville, Pa.
• Middletown, Del.
• Chattanooga, Tenn.
• Murfreesboro, Tenn.
• Charleston, S.C.
• Patterson, Calif.
• Chester, Va.
• Phoenix, Ariz.
• Coppell, Texas
• San Antonio, Texas
• Haslet, Texas
• San Bernardino, Calif.
• Hebron, Ky.
• Spartanburg, S.C.
• Indianapolis, Ind.
• Tracy, Calif.
• Jeffersonville, Ind.
Candidates can learn more about the open positions and apply at .
Amazon is also currently hiring for more than 2,000 jobs across its customer service network, which include a mix of full-time, part-time and seasonal positions. Amazon customer service jobs include providing world-class customer service for Amazon’s millions of customers. Customer service jobs are currently available at customer service centers in:
• Grand Forks, N.D.
• Kennewick, Wash.
• Huntington, W.V.
• Winchester, Ky.
Work from home positions on Amazon’s customer service team are currently available in Oregon, Washington and Arizona. Candidates can learn more about the open positions and apply at

Two Die After Being Pulled from Lake Michigan

Two people died over the weekend after being pulled from the waters of southern Lake Michigan. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore officials say a 37-year-old Lafayette, Indiana, man was pronounced dead at an area hospital Saturday night after responders found him in the surf about ten feet from shore at Lake View Beach in Beverly Shores, after a visitor reported seeing someone struggling in waves of about three-to-five feet. Authorities say earlier that afternoon, a 15-year-old Tinley Park, Illinois, boy was pulled out of the lake at a city beach just north of the Indiana state line in New Buffalo, Michigan, and the teen, identified as Matthew Kocher, died at a Chicago area hospital that night.
The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project says there have been 44 drownings in the Great Lakes this year, and 17 of those drownings have occurred in Lake Michigan since June sixth.
In Northwest Indiana, the National Park Service, Beverly Shores Police Department, Beverly Shores Fire Department and the Porter Fire Department Dive Rescue team responded to reach three members of a family swimming in the park at Lake View Beach on Saturday.
The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore says at approximately 5:30 p.m. a visitor saw someone in the water struggling in waves of about 3 – 5 feet in height. They called the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Dispatch Center to report that a man was having trouble in the high waves and that family members were attempting to reach him. First Responders were able to rescue two family members who were in the water and get them safely to shore. Rescuers then located a third victim floating in the surf approximately 40 yards to the west about 10 feet from shore. Rescuers pulled the man from the water and found him unresponsive. CPR was started and an AED was applied. The victim, identified as Gonzola Silva of Lafayette, Indiana, was then transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City, Indiana. Silva, 37, was initially listed in critical condition upon arrival to the hospital and had a pulse and was placed on a respirator. Initial reports are that Silva was under the water approximately 20 minutes before being pulled to shore.  At approximately 9:30 pm Central time on July 27, 2013 Silva was pronounced dead by doctors from St. Anthony’s Hospital.  Park officials say the National Weather Service had issued a Hazardous Beach Advisory for Saturday afternoon through Monday morning with waves expected to be in the range of 4-5 feet.

Gary Man Shot in Back Friday Night Pronounced Dead

Gary police are investigating a late Friday night shooting in the 1500 block of Chase Street that left a Gary man dead after being shot in the back. 
According to a press release, Around 11:14 p.m. the Lake County Coroner's office was called to a Gary hospital for a man who was pronounced dead at 11:10 p.m.
The man identified as 23-year-old, Andre Pullen of the 3400 block of West 21st Avenue, had suffered a gunshot wound to his back, according to police.


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Region News Team
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Region News Team


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