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Lake Co, Hammd Library Merger Measure Removed

Legislation that was moving through the Indiana House to merge the Hammond Library with the Lake County Library system has been removed and the measure, sponsored by Munster State Representative Mara Candelaria-Reardon, now instead would have a legislative study committee meet this summer to review the issue of library consolidation. A couple years ago two Hammond library branches closed due to budget issues.
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No Injuries in Porter House Fire

No word on a possible cause at this time on a fire in the town of Porter Tuesday night that is reported to have destroyed a home under construction on Sunset Avenue. Crews from several Region departments worked for hours in icy cold temperatures and high winds. There were no reports of injuries.
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Defense Begins Calling Witnesses in McCowan Trial

After two-and-a-half weeks, prosecutors have wrapped up their case against a 20-year-old man accused of fatally shooting 19-year-old Amanda Bach of Portage. Her body, police say, was found less than three-hundred yards from the suspect's former Union Township home, the day after her car was discovered off State Road 130 in Wheeler in September 2011. According to today's Times, a defense attorney for Dustin McCowan requested a mistrial, which was denied. In today's Times and at nwi-dot-com,...
 

Lawmakers Say Nay to School Letter Grades

An Indiana State Senate committee unanimously agreed with a proposal to dump the state's A-thru-F grading system for schools. Letter grades were first issued a couple years ago, now Democrats and Republicans want the State Board of Education to put together a new way of assessing school improvement and performance
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Cupboard Nearly Bare at St. Clare Health Clinic

franciscan alliance
CROWN POINT | St. Clare Health Clinic is seeking donations of nonperishable food items, paper goods, including toilet paper; laundry detergent and personal care products, such as deodorant, shampoo and soap; for its food pantry, which is nearly depleted due to increased demand.
The clinic, which is under the auspices of Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point, provides free primary health care for residents of Northwest Indiana who fall within established income guidelines, are uninsured and...
 

Portage Man Sentenced in Fatal Hit and Run

Reinaldo Figueroa III
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 22 year old Portage man was sentenced today in a fatal hit-and run that resulted in the death of 22 year old Frank Ivey, of South Haven. The Times reports Reinaldo Figueroa III was sentenced to six-years in prison, with the judge suspending three-years, so with good behavior, they calculate he could serve just 18-months. Published reports say Figueroa pleaded guilty to hitting a mo-ped, driven by Ivey, on County Road 700 North, in April, and fleeing the scene,...
 

Lake Co Commissioners Take No Action on Gun Shows

The Times today reports the Lake County Board of Commissioners took no action after Sheriff John Buncich requested tightening up prerequisites at six gun shows, scheduled this year at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point, so venders comply with federal firearms license regulations. The Sheriff's comments echoed those made last week in Gary, at the "Gun Trafficking Suppression Summit", where according to a study by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, 20-percent of weapons recovered by...
 

DeMotte Bank Warns of Fraudulent Text Message Scam

demotte state bank
DeMotte State Bank is continuing to urge their customers to not respond to a text message asking for your personal information for a security update, as it is a scam. Bank officials say it is a fraudulent text messaging scam that is circulating, asking you to contact the telephone number listed, but that DeMotte State Bank does not contact their customers in this manner. DeMotte State Bank is asking its customers to not respond to the text message, but if you already have responded, and entered...
 

How to Deal with Injured or Orphaned Wildlife

Indiana DNR
Wildlife biologists from the Department of Natural Resources are asking the public to help keep Indiana’s wildlife wild.
“Rescuing an injured or apparently abandoned baby wild animal may do the opposite of what you seek to accomplish and eventually cause the animal more harm than good,” said Mark Reiter, director of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.
A video that explains what to do when finding an injured or orphaned wild animal is posted on the DNR YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/je5O9Wjwu...
 

Lake Co Coroner Seeks Help in Finding Victim's Family

david lawson
(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Coroner's Office)
The Lake County Coroner's Office is seeking your help in identifying and locating the family of 47 year old David Lawson, whose body was discovered in an abandoned residence on the one-hundred block of East 39th Avenue, in Gary, on July 15th, 2012. Coroner Merrillee Frey says they were able to identify his father, Eugene Lawson, and mother, Lillian Coleman Lawson, from his birth certificate, which was located among his belongs. The Coroner's...
 

Officer-Involved Shooting Incident in East Chicago

The Lake County Sheriffs Office has been asked to investigate an officer-involved shooting in East Chicago. East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker says around 11:30 Tuesday night, an officer came upon a vehicle without working taillights in the 45-hundred block of Euclid, a vehicle allegedly reported stolen earlier that day in the city. A pursuit ensued, and police say the suspect vehicle went around a crossing gate at Chicago and Kennedy Avenues, and into a squad on the other side of the...
   

Local Income Tax for Lake Co Debated Downstate

A one-percent local income tax for Lake County is being discussed downstate.... as a Senate committee has added language to an existing economic development bill for Gary, Senator Ed Charbonneau's Senate Bill 585, that would let Lake County spend some of dollars collected from the tax on county needs...instead of putting it all toward property tax relief. Lake County is the only one of Indiana's 92 counties without such a tax, and because of that, property tax levies in Lake County have been...
   

Spring 5K Event Shapes the Lives of Region Girls

Girls On The Run of Northwest Indiana is the local chapter of a national organization that is a life-changing, character building program for girls in 3rd through 8th grade.  
Jill Schlueter-Kim, Council Director says  girls in Lake, Porter, Jasper and La Porte counties are invited to sign-up for this 10 week, after school course that through exercise, positive reinforcement and encouraging role models, develops confidence girls need during their critical pre-teen years.  Schlueter-Kim says the p...
   

Boone Grove HS Closed 2nd Day in a Row

Porter Township School officials sayt Boone Grove High School is closed today, Wednesday, February 20, due to a water damage from a water line break in the hallway -- a break described to the Region News Team Tuesday as "substantial". Principal Garry DeRossett says Boone Grove High School is the only school in the Porter Township School District included in this closure again today.  The high school was closed Tuesday, too.
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Variety of Proposals for Former Hammond Apt site

From a restaurant/brewery... to a veterinary facility... to something akin to a Wisconsin-like 'cheese castle' store... the Times today reports the city of Hammond is looking at a variety of proposals for the former site of an apartment complex at the corner of Kennedy Avenue and Borman Expressway. That's where the River Park Apartments stood for years, eventually becoming the site of many police calls, before being demolished in 2006. The development area is now known as Oxbow Landing.
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Office Store Merger in the Works

Breaking business news this morning... word of a merger between Office Depot, headquartered in Florida,  and Naperville-based OfficeMax as both firms look to cut costs. ABC reports Office Depot has been fighting an uphill battle against not just Staples, but also Amazon and Costco.
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Bill Would Require Licensure for Massage Therapists

The Indiana Senate unanimously approved a proposal by LaPorte State Senator Jim Arnold he says will improve safety for customers seeking massage therapy. Senate Bill 573 proposes individuals be licensed by the State Board of Massage Therapy to practice in the state of Indiana. Currently, they only need to be certified by that board. Arnold says Indiana is one of the few states that only require certification in this field. The bill would also retroactively license massage therapists with valid...
   

Hand Sanitizer, Static Electricity Spark Fire?

Investigators in Oregon believe hand sanitizer ignited by static electricity may have caused a fire that burned an 11-year-old girl in her hospital bed. ABC's Neal Karlinsky reports the recovering cancer patient who was back in the hospital after hitting her head while at school had just wiped down the table that slides over her hospital bed with hand sanitizer.  Investigators believe hand sanitzer may have been ignited by static electricity. "According to her father," Karlinsky reports, "she...
   

Jonassen Sentenced to 40 Years for Kidnapping Relative

Martin Jonassen
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A Kansas man was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison today on charges of kidnapping and obstruction of justice. The Times reports Martin Jonassen, who represented himself, was convicted by a federal jury in July for kidnapping an adult-female relative in attempt to take her from Missouri to Michigan in September of 2011. Published reports the woman escaped a Portage hotel, and ran naked into a liquor store, where surveillance footage captured Jonassen dragging...
   

Kubina Sentenced to 35 Years in Death of Christian Choate

kim kubina
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
47 year old Kimberly Kubina, who pleaded guilty in May to felony neglect of a dependent in the death of her stepson, was sentenced today to 35 years in prison. The Times reports Christian Choate's father, 40 year old Riley Choate, was sentenced last month to 80 years in prison, after pleading guilty to neglect of a dependent, altering the scene of a death, and habitual offender enhancement. Published reports says Christian Choate's body was discovered in Gary in...
   

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