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US 421 Near Westville to be Closed Monday thru July 15th

Indot Logo color
LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the closure of U.S. 421 at the railroad crossing a half mile south of U.S. 6, near Westville. This crossing will be closed beginning Monday, July 8th through Monday, July 15th.
A detour will take southbound U.S. 421 drivers east on U.S. 6, south on SR 39, west on U.S. 30, and back to U.S. 421. Northbound U.S. 421 drivers will be detoured east on U.S. 30, north on SR 39, west on U.S. 6, and back to U.S. 421.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, like us at and follow us at
You can find traffic restriction information at  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
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Suspects Charged in Lake Co Drug Store Robberies

A Gary man and woman have been charged in connection to armed robberies at three area drug stores last week in Lake County. 49-year old Debra Ann Adams and her boyfriend, 57-year old John Stefanich, were charged Wednesday in Lake County Superior Court with three counts of Armed Robbery and three counts of Criminal Confinement for allegedly holding up drug stores on June 24th in Griffith, in Highland on June 26th, and again in Griffith on June 29th. Authorities report through witness statements, surveillance video and the assistance of security personnel, police were able to locate the suspect vehicle seen leaving from two of the robberies in Highland. A search warrant of a residence on the west side of Gary allegedly turned up a large quantity of controlled substances stolen from the drug stores.
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4th of July Naturalization Ceremony at Wolf Lake

A naturalization ceremony was held Thursday at Wolf Lake Memorial Park pavilion. Indiana US Congressman Pete Visclosky helped welcomed 47 people from 24 countries who now join over 300-million other Americans as US citizens.
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Sign Up Now for Boater Ed Class at Koontz Lake on 7/13

Indiana Conservation Police
Indiana Conservation Officers are offering a Boater Education course on July 13, 2013 from 9am – 5pm CDT at the Koontz Lake Homeowners Association clubhouse. The course is being sponsored by the Koontz Lake Homeowners Association and is free of charge. The clubhouse is located at 10896 E Cherokee, Walkerton. Lunch will be provided.
The class covers a wide variety of information, including:
• General information concerning boats and maintenance
• Information to make your boating experience safe and more comfortable
• Tips on how to be a more courteous vessel operator
• Laws and regulations you must follow
Upon successful completion of the class, boaters 15 years and older with an Indiana ID can operate motorboats on state waters.
Pre-registration is required.
On-line: go to click on Indiana, follow steps to sign up.
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Fire at LaPorte County Jail Sends One Inmate to Hospital

LapPorte County Sheriff logo - this one
A fire Thursday afternoon at the LaPorte County Jail resulted in one inmate being taken to the hospital for possible smoke inhalation. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office reports employees were alerted to a fire just before 1pm in a cell located in the south side of the jail. Fire crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire and inmates in the immediate cell block area were relocated to another secure area within the jail as firefighters ventilated the area. 35 year old Marzano Shelly, of Michigan City, who was being held in the jail while awaiting trial for murder, robbery, and other charges, was taken to Indiana University Health, in LaPorte. No other inmates were injured, and the jail was not evacuated.
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Highland Police Investigating Armed Robbery

Highland Police
Police in Highland are investigating an armed robbery that took place just before 11:30 Wednesday night. Police report a 21 year old female and her two friends were approached by two black males as they were walking from the Main Street Festival back to their vehicle parked in the Highland High School parking lot. Authorities say one of the suspects pointed a gun at the woman and demanded her purse, at which point he grabbed it, and then then two suspects fled north on Erie Street. A male friend of the woman ran after the suspects, and confronted them, until he was struck by one of them in the head. Police say he refused treatment.
Both suspects are described as a six-foot tall black males in their late teens to early 20's, wearing black hoodies, one with a slender build, the other with a heavier build and short dread locks. Anyone with information regarding this robbery is asked to contact Highland Police at (219) 838-3184.
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Enhanced Holiday Patrols in Cook County, Illinois

Cook County Sheriff Sheriff's Police across the state line in Cook County will be stepping up enforcement patrols over the holiday weekend.  According to Sheriff Thomas J. Dart, officers will be on the lookout for seat belt law violators during the nighttime hours Thursday, July 4th through Sunday July 6th. 

Also, Extra patrols will also be conducted for various traffic violations as well.  Sheriff Dart says the weekend reinforcements are funded through grants from the Illinois Department of Transportation. 

The patrols are done to help remind motorists to drive safely. In Illinois, motor vehicle crashes killed more than 50 people over the last five Independence Day holiday periods, according to IDOT.


A Hoosier Summer Picnic for less than $6.00 per person

IN Farm Bureau logo An Indiana Farm Bureau survey shows Hoosiers can plan a summer picnic for less than $6 per person.
Hoosiers can serve a summer cookout of their favorite picnic foods including hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pork spare ribs, potato salad, baked beans, lemonade and chocolate milk for less than $6 per person, according to an informal survey conducted by Indiana Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The average cost to feed 10 people is $54.89, or $5.49 per person, according to IFB’s survey. The American Farm Bureau survey showed a total cost of $57.20.

            “Although retail food prices have increased modestly over the past year or so, most Americans should be able to find summer picnic foods at close to the average prices found by our volunteer shoppers,” said John Anderson, deputy chief economist at AFBF.

            “For many of us, nothing says the Fourth of July more than firing up the grill to prepare a meal,” Anderson said.

“As we celebrate America’s independence and the freedoms that so many have defended, we can also celebrate our country’s safe and affordable food supply,” said Isabella Chism, IFB 2nd vice president and chair of the Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee, which is in charge of the market-basket survey program.

The summer picnic menu for 10 consists of hot dogs and buns, cheeseburgers and buns, pork spare ribs, deli potato salad, baked beans, corn chips, lemonade, chocolate milk, watermelon for dessert, and ketchup and mustard.

Sixteen volunteer shoppers participated in IFB’s survey. A total of 60 volunteer shoppers in 22 states, including Indiana, participated in the AFBF survey.

            The picnic survey is part of Farm Bureau’s market-basket series, which also includes the annual Thanksgiving survey and two market-basket surveys on common food staples that can be used to prepare everyday meals.

Average Retail Prices – July Fourth Picnic Survey:

Picnic item
 AFBF price
Ground round (pre-cooked weight), 2 pounds
Package of hamburger buns
Mixed meat hot dogs (1-pound package)
Package of hot dog buns
American cheese slices (1-pound package)
Pork spare ribs, 4 pounds
Deli potato salad, 3 pounds
Baked beans, 28-ounce can
Corn chips, 15-ounce bag
Lemonade (pre-mixed), 2 quarts
Chocolate milk (pre-mixed), 2 quarts
Watermelon, 4 pounds
Ketchup, 20-ounce bottle
Mustard, 16-ounce bottle
(article provided)


Swine Influenza Cases in Indiana Increase to 12

ISDH logo
State health officials continue to encourage Hoosiers to take steps to protect themselves at county and 4H fairs around the state this summer following detection of 12 cases of variant influenza A (H3N2v), also known as swine influenza. At least 10 individuals had exposure to swine at the Grant and Hancock county fairs and one individual had contact with swine at their home farm.  Variant influenza A H3N2v was identified in Indiana last year, with a total of 138 cases in 2012.

The Indiana State Department of Health and local health departments continue to investigate these cases. Human infections with swine influenza are rare but have most commonly occurred after close proximity to live infected pigs, such as working with them in barns and livestock exhibits at fairs. Influenza viruses are not transmitted by eating pork and pork products. 

“There’s no reason why Hoosiers shouldn’t enjoy our county and 4H fairs this summer,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “But now that we know swine influenza is circulating, it’s going to be important to take some extra precautions around the animals.”

Since there is no vaccine available for people to protect against this variant influenza A virus, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid sources of exposure to the virus. When spending time around animals this summer, State health officials recommend the following:

·         Wash hands with soap and water before and after petting or touching any animal.

·         Never eat, drink or put anything in your mouth when visiting animal areas and avoid face-to-face contact with animals.

·         People at high risk for flu complications should avoid close contact with swine in the fair setting particularly.

Symptoms of variant influenza A include: fever, cough, sore throat, chills, headache and muscle aches. Diarrhea and nausea may occur in children. Symptoms can begin approximately one to four days after being exposed to the illness and last from two to seven days.

State health officials recommend contacting your health care provider if you begin experiencing flu-like symptoms. And if you have visited a fair or been around animals, let your health care provider know. Influenza antiviral drugs can treat infection with this type of flu and quick treatment is especially important for people who are at high risk of serious flu complications, including the very young, the elderly, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease and pregnant women.

According to the State Board of Animal Health, 29 pigs from the Grant and Hancock county fairs have tested positive for influenza.  It is not uncommon for pigs to be infected with swine influenza viruses, but not show any signs of illness. If ill with influenza they typically recover.

While influenza is not an uncommon diagnosis in pigs, the State Board of Animal Health encourages swine owners to contact a veterinarian if their animals show signs consistent with flu, including coughing, respiratory illness, off-feed and fever. Most county fairs have a private veterinary practitioner on call for on-site assistance.

The State Board of Animal Health has encouraged county fair officials to do the following:

·         monitor the health of all pigs for any signs of illness at check-in and throughout the event;

·         vaccinate pigs, when appropriate; and,

·         reduce the number of days the swine are housed on site.

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 309 infections with variant influenza A H3N2v in the United States. According to the CDC, most of these infections resulted in mild illness, though 16 people were hospitalized and one person died. Most of the people who were hospitalized and the individual who died had one or more high risk conditions.

For more information about variant influenza A H3N2v, visit or follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at
(article provided)


Cline Avenue Ramp Set to Close for Repaving Work

Indot Logo color The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the closure of the southbound Cline Avenue ramp (SR 912) to westbound I-80/I-94 beginning Monday, July 8th through July 22nd. Crews will be repaving sections of the ramp as part of a larger project involving I-80/I-94, between Cline Avenue and the Illinois state line. Additional I-80/I-94 lane restrictions and ramp closures are expected in the coming months.

Drivers wishing to travel southbound on Cline Avenue to westbound I-80/I-94 will be detoured east on I-80/I-94 to the Broadway exit (SR 53), then back on I-80/I-94 westbound.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, like us at and follow us at

You can find traffic restriction information at  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
(article provided)


Violence Reduction Grant Helps get Criminals off Streets

Within the last week the Griffith Police Department arrested 31 year old Antione T Gaines of Gary Indiana for a warrant arrest and 24 year old Jay Shawn Phippips III from Griffith Indiana for Driving While Suspended on two separate instances. The Griffith Police Department also arrested 23 year old Robert Timothy Donya Horton of Gary Indiana for Possession of Marijuana. These arrests stem from a cooperation with Officers of the Griffith, Highland and Munster Indiana Police Departments using the Violence Reduction Initiative Task Force Grant. The Violence Reduction Grant, which was obtained by the Highland Police Department, has allowed conspicuously increased police presence throughout the three communities. The result of these actions has resulted in traffic and investigative stops netting these arrests and numerous traffic violations within the Town of Griffith and will continue through the summer at various times and locations.
(article provided)


EB Borman Backing Up Due to Crash at I-65

crash  EB 80-94 before I65  07-03-13
The right lane of the eastbound I-80/94 exit ramp onto southbound I-65 is blocked with several rescue vehicles and a fire truck due to a rollover crash with injuries reportedly involving two vehicles.  Drivers can expect stop and go traffic with heavy volume from Cline Avenue to I-65.
(photo from INDOT)

Merrillville Man Shot in Leg in Calumet Township

Lake Co. Sherrif
The Lake County Sheriff's Office is investigation a shooting incident from Tuesday night in Calumet Township. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrived at one-thousand block of West 52nd Drive around 8pm, and found a 21 year old Merrillville man lying on the floor in the common area of the apartment building with a gunshot wound to the leg whose was hospitalized. Authorities have determined that words were exchanged between the victim and his companion, along with two other subjects, at which time the two suspect individuals walked toward the victim and began shooting, before fleeing the area.
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Fundraising Events for Relay for Life of Duneland

Dangerous Divas RFL bake sale
(Photo Courtesy of Relay for Life of Duneland)
Dangerous Divas, a team for this year's American Cancer Society's Relay for Life of Duneland, will host a bake sale during the Family 4th Fest on Thursday, July 4 at Hawthorne Park in Porter. The team has coordinated with the Chesterton Lions Club to have their delicious baked goods available during the annual pancake breakfast and turtle derby the morning.
Dangerous Divas was formed by Kylee Donnella, who lost her “Nana” to cancer.   She decided to form a team to honor her.   After talking to her friends about forming a team, she realized that being 12 years old doesn’t make you immune to cancer. Lots of Kylee’s friends had mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends who have fought cancer. Her team is a group of 12 to 13 year old girls committed to giving cancer a run for its money.
Please come out an support Kylee’s team as all proceeds will benefit the Relay for Life of Duneland, which will be held from noon to 6 a.m. July 13-14 at Chesterton Middle School, 651 W. Morgan Ave. For more information about this year’s relay, please visit
relay for life
Billy’s Sound Factory and the Hope, Faith, Family Relay for Life of Duneland team invite you to grab a friend, a few bucks and cast your vote for your favorite singer competing in this year’s karaoke fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society.
The team will be leading the karaoke singing contest and collecting votes (donations) during the evening hours on Friday, July 5 at Westchester Lanes and Lounge, 124 N. 8th Street, Chesterton. The finals will be 10 p.m. July 13 at this year’s American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Duneland at Chesterton Middle School, 651 W. Morgan Ave., Chesterton.
For more information about the Relay Idol contest, please call Becky at (219) 873-0626, or if you are interested in starting or joining a team, log on to If you’re not able to join a team, simply log on to make a donation.
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ISP to Dedicate More Staff to Process Apps for Gun Licenses

Indiana State Police logo
Indianapolis, IN - The Indiana State Police Department is responsible for issuing licenses to carry a handgun to citizens of Indiana that request a license. The Department is required to issue or deny the request - stating the denial cause - within 60 days from the time an application is submitted. Efforts to meet the time frame requirement have not been met due to a significant rise in the number of requests for handgun licenses. This is attributable to the number of shootings across the country, coupled with national news stories debating more restrictive gun laws.
Historically, applications received for a license to carry a handgun averaged around 5,200 per month, but increased dramatically toward the end of 2012. January of 2013 resulted in more than 23,000 application requests being submitted to the state police. The level of demand has marginally decreased in the months that followed, falling to just over 6,500 new license requests in June. However, the overall monthly increase has led to a substantial backlog in applications, pushing processing time to more than 110 days.
To eliminate the backlog, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter ordered a thorough evaluation of the procedures involved to issue a license to carry a handgun. Based on this comprehensive review, processes are being streamlined and additional personnel have been added to process some 45,000 pending applications. The review process also included plans to address future spikes in application requests. Barring unforeseen circumstances the backlog should be eliminated within eight to ten weeks of July 1st. New license applications received after mid September 2013 are expected to be processed within the required 60 day timeframe.
It is important to note that during the seven months from December of 2012 through June of 2013, the state police received 91,940 applications for a license to carry a handgun. To offer a point of contrast, for all of 2012 there were 62,934 applications received and processed, which resulted in the issuance of 60,906 new handgun licenses.
To decrease processing time of applications the state police encourage all applicants to submit their application and fingerprints electronically. While all applications are required to be electronically submitted there is an option to submit fingerprints that are either hand rolled or scanned onto paper print cards, or prints that are electronically recorded and immediately emailed to the Indiana State Police for verification and processing. Applications submitted with hand rolled or scanned finger prints take about two weeks longer to process than the electronically transferred fingerprints.
Superintendent Carter and the Indiana State Police are dedicated to meeting the required time frame to issue or deny a license to carry a handgun. We deeply regret the inconvenience far too many Hoosiers have experienced with this process. Members of the state police are working diligently to resolve this backlog and provide Hoosiers with the level of service they have come to expect from the Indiana State Police.
General Information of Interest for the Public & Media
Factors that add to increased processing time:
• Applications that are incomplete
• Submission of hand rolled or scanned fingerprints instead of electronic fingerprints
• Incomplete Criminal History information that has to be confirmed
• Common names with Criminal History information that must to be verified
Applications for License to Carry a Handgun received, by month, from December 2012 to June of 2013:
• Dec 2012: 13,954
• Jan 2013: 23,079
• Feb 2013: 15,945
• Mar 2013: 12,204
• Apr 2013: 11,397
• May 2013: 8,848
• Jun 2013: *6,513
• Seven Month Total: 91,940
* June number not final, subject to change
Issued Licenses to Carry a Handgun from 2009 to 2012
• 2009: 98,639
• 2010: 79,027
• 2011: 61,595
• 2012: 60,906
At the beginning of July 2013 there were 493,205 active licenses to carry a handgun, of which 392,520 were issued to men and 100,685 were issued to women. To see previous reports that reflect quarterly comparisons of active handgun licenses by county and gender of the license holder, please visit this site:
The state police remind media and the public that specific information about who possesses a license to carry a handgun is not a public record. The state police will not confirm or deny if a specific citizen possesses a license to carry a handgun.
For more information on the license to carry a handgun application process, inclusive of how to file electronic fingerprints, please visit this site:
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LaPorte PD Issues Reminder on Use of Fireworks

LaPorte PD
With the Fourth of July holiday upon us, the La Porte Police Department issues the following friendly reminders regarding the use of fireworks within the city limits.
In the State of Indiana, if you are 18 years of age or older, you may legally purchase, possess and discharge Consumer and Section 8 (a) fireworks which include bottle rockets, roman candles, fire crackers, sparklers, ground spinners, cone fountains, wheels and cylindrical fountains.
Those less than 18 years of age may only possess and discharge legal fireworks when accompanied by an adult.
Fireworks may only be discharged on:
- The user’s property
- The property of someone who granted permission to discharge fireworks on their property
- At a special discharge location
The discharge of fireworks within the La Porte City limits is restricted to the following dates and times:
- Memorial Day: between 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
- June 28th thru July 3rd: between 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
- July 4th: between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight
- Veteran’s Day: between 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
- From 10:00 a.m. on New Year’s Eve to 1:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
The penalty for violation of the ordinance is a fine of $300.00
For more information about fireworks laws, visit:
Indiana Law Code
Indiana Department of Homeland Security
La Porte Municipal Code – Article 1. Sec. 70-4 Consumer Fireworks
Brochure information is also available in the lobby of the La Porte Police Department.
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Valpo PD Enforcing Fireworks Ordinance During the Holiday

Valpo PD
The City of Valparaiso has a fireworks ordinance that will be enforced during the upcoming July 4th weekend.
Article 2: Discharging of Fireworks is Prohibited with the following Exceptions:
a. Public displays where a permit is granted.
b. Consumer fireworks can be used on the following dates and times:
1. Between 5pm and 2 hours after sunset from June 29 to July 3rd.
2. From 10 am to midnight on July 4th.
3. Between 5 pm and 2 hours after sunset from July 5th to 9th.
4. On December 31st from 10 am to 1am on January 1st.
Article 4: It shall be unlawful for anyone under the age of 18 to fire, shoot off, or discharge any consumer fireworks within the city limits without the direct supervision of the minor's parent or legal guardian.
Article 7: Penalties:
a. Any person convicted of violating any provision under this Ordinance shall be subject to a fine in the amount up to $25 for the first occurrence, $50 for the second occurrence and $100 for the third occurrence.
Valparaiso Police will be enforcing this Ordinance during the upcoming July 4th weekend.
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BBB Warning of Virus Attack and Address Change Scams

The Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana is warning of two separate scams circulating. The first scam comes in the form of a phone call from a person who won't give their name and tells people a virus is attacking Microsoft software, which will destroy your computer from the inside out, and that that granting him access to your computer is the only way to remove the virus.
The second scam concerns the website, changemyaddress-dot-com, which is charging 25-dollars to change your address via the internet. The Better Business Bureau says instead, go to the US Postal Service's website,, where the fee is only one-dollar.
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Increased Patrols in Construction Zones for the Holiday

Indot Logo color
INDIANAPOLIS – Motorists travelling during the Independence Day holiday and weekend should practice safe driving habits—especially through highway construction zones. Indiana State Police (ISP) will be utilizing special unmarked pickup trucks provided by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) in a visible construction zone enforcement blitz intended to maximize safety and mobility.
INDOT has directed contractors to pull back barrels and barricades to the safest extent possible during the heavily-travelled holiday, but Indiana State Police will continue to enforce construction zone safety utilizing all available tools, including pickups in construction zones (PICZ).
The pickup trucks resemble typical vehicles normally seen being used by contractors and INDOT inspectors.  Motorists are urged to comply with reduced speed limits, keep a safe distance from other vehicles and avoid driving aggressively. Motorists that fail to do so may meet one of the troopers driving the special pickup truck police vehicles.
Indiana now has nine trucks patrolling various construction zones throughout the state. INDOT and ISP launched the PICZ program in 2011 with converted pickups for traffic enforcement in and near construction zones. INDOT provides the trucks to Indiana State Police as part of their efforts toward reducing crashes and injuries and enhancing safety and mobility.
The trucks are equipped with LIDAR, which is similar to radar but uses laser light to measure the distance between vehicles, allowing police to accurately and consistently determine if vehicles are following too closely. Statistical analysis shows the top cause of work zone crashes to be following too closely.
During the holiday enforcement blitz, Indiana State Police will be specifically looking for drivers who follow too closely, exceed posted speed limits, make unsafe lane changes, drive aggressively and fail to buckle up or to properly restrain children.  Troopers will also be aggressively looking for impaired drivers.
To help ensure motorists reach their holiday travel destinations safely, please remember these safe driving tips:
  • Make sure you are well rested before traveling. 
  • Avoid tailgating. Remember the two-second rule.
  • Obey posted speed limits, and always use turn signals when turning and making lane changes.
  • Make sure everyone is properly buckled up.
  • Never drink and drive. If you are going to consume alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver.
The statewide TrafficWise traveler information webpage includes updated reports for all state roads, U.S. highways and interstates across Indiana. Motorists can learn about traffic conditions, road closures, construction information, and crashes by going to or calling 1-800-261-ROAD (7623).
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Temporary Evacuation of Animals after Humane Society Fire

fire at humane society
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A fire in the laundry room of the Humane Society in Munster was contained Tuesday night, but as a result of smoke throughout part of the building, a temporary evacuation of the animals occurred. The Times reports firefighters were called out earlier that evening for the smell of smoke, but a source of the smell could not be located, and then just before 11pm, crews were once again dispatched to the four-hundred block of 45th Avenue, this time for a fire. An investigation continues.
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Laura-WAKE Scott-WAKE Brent-WAKE
Region News Team
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Flash is not supported on this device. If you wish to listen to this audio, you must download and play an mp3 using an mp3 player on your device. CLICK HERE