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Governor Pence to Spend Dyngus Day in South Bend

Governor Mike Pence will be spending Monday in St. Joseph County, for Dyngus Day. According to his office, Governor Pence will attend a Dyngus Day lunch at the St. Joesph County GOP Headquarters in South Bend, at 12:30pm EDT. The Governor is scheduled to join South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, at M-R Falcons at 3pm EDT, and then the pair will travel to Z-B Falcons for an engagement at 3:45pm EDT.
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Schererville PD Hosting Crime Watch Meeting in April

The subject of firearms and firearms safety will be addressed the second week of April at the Schererville Town Hall. Schererville Police invite the public to attend their first quarter “Crime Watch Meeting” of 2013, on April 11th, at 7pm.
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Overturned Semi in Median Backing Up I-65

Drivers southbound on I-65 should plan to exit the interstate before the State Road 2 Lowell exit.  According to INDOT, an overturned semi in the median ditch about four miles south of the Lowell exit at mile marker 236, is causing a major backup both directions.  At last report the left lane and left shoulder southbound I-65 was blocked with the shoulder to be closed until around 9 p.m. tonight.  Traffic heading northbound on I-65 was backing up to past State Road 10.
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Authorities Investigating Fatal Crash in Center Twp

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One person is dead, another seriously injured after a passenger vehicle collided with a garbage truck early this afternoon in Center Township. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office reports a vehicle, driven a 68 year old woman was heading east on County Road 300 North, toward Johnson Road, and failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection, hitting a northbound garbage truck. A 70 year old man, a passenger in the vehicle that failed to stop, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the 68 year old female driver was airlifted to South Bend Memorial Hospital for her injuries. The Sheriff's Office reports none of the three-occupants of the garbage truck were injured, and the crash remains under investigation. The names of those in the passenger vehicle are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
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Burglary at Dyer Home Happens with the Family There

Police in Dyer today report a residence was allegedly burglarized while the homeowners were inside. Dyer Police report the incident occurred early this morning, between 4 and 5am, in the 26-hundred block of Tulip Tree Lane. Authorities say the alleged thief reportedly went through an unlocked door and took a purse and electronics. The incident remains under investigation.
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McCowan Sentenced to 60 Years and Plans to Appeal

About 40 people were waiting outside the courtroom, and when the doors open this afternoon, they learned 20 year old Dustin McCowan was sentenced to 60 years in prison for murdering former girlfriend, 19 year old Amanda Bach, in September 2011. The parents of deceased read their witness statements, asking for the maximum sentence for McCowan. After sentencing, Sandra Bach, Amanda's mother, gave a final public statement, saying she has no sympathy for McCowan or his family, and their loss is no where near as great as ours. Defense Attorney's for McCowan say their client will file an appeal after 30 days through a public defender.
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Power Outage in Porter County Effecting Some REMC Members

Kankakee Valley REMC is making necessary repairs to a power pole broken on the northeast corner of HWY 2 and 100 South in Porter County.  According to Amanda Steeb, Communications Director for the utility, Approximately 2,000 members living in or around this area are currently experiencing an outage as REMC's crews are on the scene making the necessary repairs.  Kankakee Valley REMC says it appreciates it's members patience as the utility works quickly and safely to restore power.
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US 30 in Dyer Blocked by Train

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US 30 in stopped in Dyer not far from the hospital. Both directions are not moving.  There is a train blocking the highway. We have reports of an issue with the train, but it's not known what that might mean at this time.
Also, in Porter County, tipster tells us the lights are out at County Road 250 West, a couple miles west of Valparaiso.  No word why at this time.
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Yacht Club Demolition Soon

The Portage Redevelopment Commission has awarded the contract for demolition of the Portage Yacht Club, and tear down could begin in less than a month. The decades-old building, now owned by the city, is just north of Interstate 94 off State Road 149. It's been said renting it out wouldn't bring in enough to pay for needed renovations. It used to be a clubhouse for employees of the former Midwest Steel.
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Yellowstone Road Closure Apr 1

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In Valparaiso, a stretch of Yellowstone Road is scheduled to be closed for most of April, starting this Monday, for storm and sanitary sewer work, and water main construction. The restriction will be in effect 24-hours a day between Avondale Avenue and the north George Street entrance.
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No Injuries in Merrillville House Fire

No injuries were reported in a house fire in Merrillville last night that is reportedly believed to have started by a ten-year-old child playing with matches. Firefighters were called out to the 91-hundred block of Wright Street around 9 pm. The fire was in a second-floor closet and was extinguished in about a half-hour.
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Investigation Into Hammond Teacher Continues

In a joint Hammond Police Department and Homeland Security Investigation, a Morton High School math teacher has been accused in federal court of asking underage female students to text sexually explicit pictures of themselves to him by cellphone. Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller says the investigation continues, and says the department thinks there may be more people who have information on this case. Chief Miller says anyone with information on the case is asked to call Hammond Detective Sgt. Mark Biller at 219-852-2966. Chief Miller says the teacher identified as Jon Erik Lilly was taken into custody this week. Reports say investigation began when the mother of a 17-year-old girl suspected her daughter was sexually active with the man, who told officials he had been a teacher at Morton until very recently. Court documents also say he denied having sexual contact with the girl. A hearing was set for Friday.
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Natl GOP Pundit Against Ind 'Ag-Gag' Bill

A nationally-known Republican pundit has recorded a video for PETA – asking Indiana lawmakers to vote against the so-called “Ag-Gag” bill, which would ban videotaping on farms without permission. Mary Matalin says “you may be wondering what a meat-eating conservative Republican” like herself is doing in a PETA video. She says she and her husband, Democratic strategist James Carville, believe farm animals should be treated humanely, and want people to think about where their food comes from. Other critics of Senate Bill 373 say undercover videos expose food safety issues and unsafe conditions. Supporters say it's meant to protect privacy.
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Munster Poplar Bridge Work Ahead

In Munster, construction is scheduled to start back up this Monday (April 1) on the Poplar Lane Bridge that crosses over Hart Ditch going into the Twin Creek subdivision. The town says the traffic signal will be activated, and the contractor will be working on one lane while traffic in both directions shares the other lane. The traffic will be controlled by "pavement loops" which will detect a vehicle coming from either direction, the town says. Whoever crosses the loop first gets the green light. Motorists are asked to proceed with caution.  Anyone with questions may contact Munster Town Engineer Jim Mandon at 219-836-6995.
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1,000 Warnings in Hammond Plate Sweep

The Hammond Police Department recently performed an out-of-state plate sweep throughout the city, issuing nearly a-thousand warnings last month to vehicles parked in residential neighborhoods. During three follow up enforcement periods, officers also say they impounded 129 vehicles for failing to transfer their plates to Indiana within the 60 period granted by state law. Hammond Police say additional follow-up enforcement is planned in the weeks to come.
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Gary HS Teacher Collapses at School, Dies

A Gary high school teacher collapsed at work and passed away Wednesday. Thomas Powell taught at Lew Wallace, where he was once head football coach and assistant basketball coach for the Glen Park school. Several years ago Powell was let go from his coaching position after a medical issue involving his leg. The issue went to court, where reports say it was eventually determined the school corporation violated federal medical leave law by not reinstating Powell.
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McCowan Sentencing Today

Sentencing is scheduled today for 20-year-old Dustin McCowan. A month ago McCowan was found guilty of murdering former girlfriend, 19-year-old Amanda Bach [bahk] of Portage, by fatally shooting her in September 2011. Police say Bach's body was found the day after her car was discovered along State Road 130 in Wheeler. McCowan faces a possible 65 years in prison. The jury deliberated for about six-and-a-half hours before the verdict was read.
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'Stop Team' Funds Okayed

In East Chicago, the city council this week approved a 150-thousand dollar transfer of funds to cover police overtime costs for a new “Stop Team”. East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker says he instituted a similar program when he was chief in Portage previously, where it freed up officers to do that which patrol officers didn't have time to do... police could respond to community concerns, like speeding in a community, and 'stop' it. You can hear more from Chief Becker online, at Region Newsmakers at regionnewsteam-dot-com.
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Munster HS Hosts Shooter Drill

With students on Spring break, a different kind of class was being held at Munster High School. Wednesday, police in full gear filled the halls for an active shooter drill, hosted by Munster Police for Region police agencies and area universities and businesses. Nearly three-dozen representatives of law enforcement took part in live drills at the high school. The federally-sponsored exercise was actually scheduled in Munster before the school massacre in Connecticut in December; since that tragedy, the program is now reportedly booked for years.
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Committee Approves Abortion Regulations

An Indiana House panel has approved a measure that more strictly regulates clinics that distribute abortion pills. A facility that provides abortion-inducing drugs would have to meet the same building standards as a surgical unit — like size requirements for halls, rooms and doors, and many other criteria – under Senate Bill 371, approved 8-5 Wednesday by the House Public Policy Committee.
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