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Griffith Man Dies in Fatal Crash on Broad Street

A spokesman for the Lake County Sheriffs Department says their Reconstruction Unit responded to the 14-hundred block of South Broad Street in unincorporated Griffith overnight to investigate a fatal motor vehicle crash involving a passenger vehicle and a dump truck hauling asphalt for a local construction project. Police say their preliminary investigation revealed that the dump truck was southbound on Broad Street when a northbound Pontiac crossed the double yellow center line and collided head-on with the oncoming truck. The driver of the dump truck, a 51-year-old Highland man, suffered no injuries, but was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and mandatory testing in accordance with INDOT regulations. Authorities say the 19 year old driver of the Pontiac, identified by the Lake County Coroners office today as Cody Lejeune (leh-zhoon') of Griffith, was pronounced dead at the scene.
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Lake Co Native Knew Storm Chasers

A Region native tells the Times today that if it weren't for a business trip, he could have been in the path of the same tornado that claimed the lives of three storm chasers. Matt Grzych [gher'-zitch], originally from Crown Point, works at Boeing Company, investigating the cause of airplane accidents, and started working with the longtime tornado researchers five years ago when he joined onto the field research program featured on the Discovery Channel's “Storm Chasers”. Tim Samaras, his son Paul and colleague Carl Young were killed in a deadly tornado that hit the Oklahoma City area on Friday, and the National Weather Center says they are believed to be the first fatalities among storm chasers.
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/crown-point/crown-point-native-faced-storms-side-by-side-with-tornado/article_ba756088-78e2-5d14-9a03-14d1c21c3480.html
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Cook Co Police: Gary Gun Found in Arrest

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart says investigators working in Dolton found a gun they later learned was stolen in 2010 out of Gary. Authorities say a 32-year-old Chicago man scheduled to appear at the Markham Courthouse today has been charged with armed violence, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, child endangerment and other narcotics related charges. Dart says his department's Gun Suppression Team observed two vehicles in the street parked alongside each other and police allege the drivers conducted what appeared to be a narcotics transaction. Investigators conducted a traffic stop on one of the vehicles; the other sped away. Police say Armond Nelson of Chicago was scheduled to appear in bond court this morning at the Markham Courthouse. Nelson allegedly told investigators he purchased the gun from someone on the streets in Indiana.  Police say the suspect's five-year-old daughter was in the back seat, and was later turned over to family members.
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Indiana Blood Center Reduces Staff

Indiana Blood Center says 45 positions are being eliminated and other changes are taking effect July first in light of shrinking revenue. The center also announced it was streamlining bloodmobile operations and closing a donor center in downstate Avon. The non-profit says demand for blood from their more than sixty member hospitals has decreased by 24-percent over the last year. The organization says they are funded by service fees they charge hospitals to recruit, collect, test, process, label, store and distribute blood.
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Griffith Teen Killed in Crash

The Lake County Coroners office says a Griffith teenager was killed in a motor vehicle accident overnight. Authorities say 19-year-old Cody Lejeune was pronounced dead at the scene at two-o'clock this morning in the 14-hundred block of South Broad Street in Griffith. Officials say the Lake County Police Accident Reconstruction Team, Lake County Police Crime lab, and Schererville Fire Department are also investigating.
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Parents Asked to Behave; Lowell, Elsewhere

In Buffalo Grove Illinois, the community's park district recently installed “adult behavior” signs – meant to remind grown-ups, parents, to behave themselves and keep their cool at children's sports activities. Closer to home here in the Region, Lowell parents whose children participate in middle and high school sports will be signing a “civility clause”. The Tri-Creek School Board has added that to their handbooks in an attempt to keep adult behavior in check. School officials are also specifying that only those with permission can take pictures or video of athletes during an event, to protect students.
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Helicopter Crash in Lansing

No injuries were reported in a helicopter crash at Lansing Airport. Authorities say two people on a Robinson Helicopter R-22, a single-engine light utility helicopter, were taking part in a training exercise when the aircraft crashed for unknown reasons shortly before 7-o'clock last night. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.
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Beer Sales Approved

In Crown Point, the city council voted six-to-one in favor of allowing the sale of alcohol in city parks, but only in areas posted and designated by the city and Indiana Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The amendment to city law is specifically meant to allow beer sales in a fenced off area of adult league softball play at the city sports complex.
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Caucus Chooses Councilman

A caucus of Democratic precinct committee members in Hammond Monday night chose Jack Uylaki as their new 2nd District councilman. He'll serve the two years left on former councilman Al Salinas' term. Officials say Salinas, a longtime member of the council, resigned last month after pleading guilty to federal charges, including a felony bribery charge. Indiana law prohibits a convicted felon from holding public office.
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West Nile Detected in Illinois

ilhealth
The Illinois Department of Public Health  has confirmed the first West Nile virus positive mosquito batch reported in Illinois for 2013. Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District employees collected a positive mosquito sample on May 21, 2013 from Hillside in Cook County.
“Although we have been seeing a lot of what we call “nuisance” mosquitoes due to the flooding, those mosquitoes typically do not carry West Nile virus. We are now starting to see Culex mosquitoes, which often do carry disease,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Remember, as we head into the summer months, to protect yourself by wearing insect repellent and taking other precautions.”
The first West Nile virus positive result in 2012 was a crow collected by the Chicago Department of Public Health on May 16, 2012. Last year, 55 counties in Illinois reported a West Nile virus positive mosquito batch, bird and/or human case. For the 2012 season, IDPH reported the second highest number of West Nile virus human cases in state history with 290 residents and 12 deaths. This was second only to the 2002 outbreak in Illinois in which 884 residents contracted West Nile disease and 67 died. No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported so far this year.
The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel and report.
Public health officials believe that a hot summer increases mosquito activity and the risk of disease from West Nile virus.
For more info click here: http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/press13/6.3.13_First_WNV_Case_For_2013.htm
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Night Time Road Work Resumes Tonight on US-30

Traffic-Alert
Walsh and Kelly Paving Contractors report two night time work periods affecting traffic on US-30 in the Merrillville area.  Starting around 8 p.m. CST drivers can expect intermittent lane closes eastbound US-30 between State Road 55 and Rhode Island St.   Then around midnight to 1 a.m. CST work will commence primarily on the north side of westbound US-30 from Mississippi St. to Colorado St.
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Walk for Sojouner Truth House Fundraiser this Saturday

In 1997, the year it was founded, Sojourner Truth House (STH) served 800 individuals with emergency food, clothing and emotional support. Today, the day center serves more than 2000 people per month, many of them homeless women and their children from Gary and the surrounding communities.
According to STH Executive Director Sr. Peg Spindler, the numbers of individuals and families seeking services has been sharply increasing in recent years. “We saw a 30% increase in traffic from 2011 to 2012, and we’re already on pace to surpass that in 2013.”
Sojourner’s main fundraiser of the year, the Walk for Sojourner Truth House, is scheduled for Saturday, June 8, 2013. Registration is at 8:00 a.m. and the walk starts at 9:00 a.m. at 13th and Madison Street in Gary.
A special website has been created where individuals can register to walk or donate to help www.walkforsth.org. Registrations and donations will also be accepted on the day of the walk at Sojourner Truth House at 410 West 13th Avenue in Gary.  To learn more about the walk and the Sojourner Truth House visit http://indiana105.com/index.php/news/news-on-demand.html
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Gary Mayor Announces Dollar Home Program

Gary Mayor Announces Dollar Home Program
(Photos Courtesy of the City Of Gary Mayor's Office)
Arlene Colvin at Press Conference
(Gary, Ind.) – Earlier today, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Community Development
Director Arlene Colvin outlined the guidelines for the City’s updated version of the Dollar Home Program. Known for its wide appeal in the 1980s and 90s, the Dollar Home Program was developed by HUD to combat home abandonment in communities, assist new homebuyers and elevate the property value of neighboring homes.
Freeman-Wilson began the press conference by sharing a personal story of how her first home was purchased through the Dollar Home Program about 25 years ago.
“I still own that home and remember clearly how helpful the Dollar Home program was in helping me acquire my first home,” Freeman-Wilson. “We are excited to be able to reintroduce this program to Gary residents and look forward to it being another way that we beautify our neighborhoods.”
The Dollar House Program will launch with 13 homes located in the University Park area near Indiana University Northwest. Interested Gary residents may begin picking up applications June 7th at 839 Broadway, Suite 302 North. Applicants must come in person between 8:30a.m. – 5:00p.m., Monday through Friday, and the submission deadline is July 12th.
“This program is not a part of HUD,” explained Colvin. “This is a new program that is being run by the City of Gary because we want to help our citizens find affordable housing.”
Details about the Dollar House Program are listed in the fact sheet below and can also be found at the City of Gary website at www.gary.in.us. For more information, citizens can also call the Community Development Department at (219) 881-5075.

MAYOR’S DOLLAR HOME PROGRAM
What is the Dollar Home Program?
Under the Dollar Home Program, a home is awarded by drawing to an eligible participant for one dollar upon the condition that if the home is brought up to city building codes within six months and the participant resides in the home for a period of five years, at the end of that five year period, the participant will receive complete ownership of the home.

Who is eligible to participate in the program?
To be eligible to participate in the program, you must:
1. be at least eighteen (18) years of age;
2. be a Gary resident for at least six (6) months;
3. NOT be a current homeowner;
4. meet 80% of area median income standards;
5. have at least $1,000 in a savings account;
6. be able to demonstrate that you have the financial ability to rehabilitate a home.

What is the process for participating in the program? What are important dates to remember?
Persons interested in participating in the program may obtain an application package at the Community Development Department, 839 Broadway, Suite 302 N. Applications will be distributed beginning June 7, 2013. The deadline for submitting applications is July 12, 2013.

How many homes are available under the program?
13

Where are the homes located?
The University Park neighborhood.

Will participants be able to see the properties before they are awarded? How will the properties distributed?
All qualified applicants shall participate in an open house to inspect all properties. Each applicant will be allowed to designate three preferences. Participants shall be assigned a number which shall be utilized in a random drawing process. At the drawing, as each participant’s number is drawn, a home shall be awarded to that person from among those previously selected. This process will be followed until all participant numbers.
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INDOT Worker Injured When Bucket Truck Tips Over

INDOT TRUCK TIP OVER
(Photo Courtesy of Indiana State Police Lowell Post)
The right lane of I-65, just south of the Crown Point exit, was closed for about two-hours this afternoon to upright a bucket truck that tipped over, injuring one INDOT worker. Indiana State Police Lowell Post report a preliminary investigation revealed two workers were inside the lifted bucket, attempting to repair a large roadway sign on the right outer shoulder, when truck tipped over just before 12:30pm. A 31 year old INDOT worker from Westville sustained a broken leg and was transported to Saint Anthony's Hospital in Crown Point. No other injuries were reported, and all lanes were reopened just before 2:30pm.
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Stop and Go Traffic NB I-65 Between SR-2 and US-231

NB I-65 crash 06-03-13
Traffic backing up northbound I-65 from the on-ramp to northbound I-65 from State Road 2, Lowell exit.
Drivers can still expect stop and go conditions and an up to 20-minute delay all lanes northbound I-65 between State Road 2 (Lowell exit) and US-231 (Crown Point exit) due to an earlier crash that occurred near the 240 mile marker.  The crash has since been cleared away but the backup remains.
(photo from INDOT)
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LaPorte PD Thank City Park Staff for Finding Lost Wallet

LaPorte PD
Police in LaPorte are commending city employees who worked to get a Minnesota man his lost wallet back during this weekend's boat races. Authorities report City of LaPorte Park Department employees found the wallet near a trash can at Stone Lake Beach Sunday morning, and turned it into police, who were successful in reuniting the wallet with the owner.
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Lawsuit Filed Against Former Furniture Store at S Lake Mall

Indiana OAG Official Seal
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office filed a lawsuit against Selectionals furniture store for closing its doors after collecting more than $22,000 from customers.
Zoeller said the lawsuit was filed in Lake County against Carly E. Borrero doing business as Selectionals. The Attorney General’s Office received 22 complaints from consumers who made payments ranging from $220 to $2,954, but never received the promised furniture or refunds.
“In this case, customers didn’t realize they would not receive their furniture until the store had already closed its doors,” Zoeller said. “The Attorney General’s office is committed to holding businesses accountable for ripping off customers and will diligently pursue restitution to help make these consumers whole again.”
The store was formerly located at 2133 Southlake Mall in Merrillville and had collected money from customers since at least October 2012.
One additional consumer reported receiving her dinette set about two weeks after the scheduled delivery, but the set had a defective chair. According to the lawsuit, the company promised to fix the chair but failed to do so.
The state seeks an injunction, consumer restitution, civil penalties and attorney’s fees for violating the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act. Zoeller thanked Deputy Attorney General Mark Snodgrass for his work on the case and his dedication to the Consumer Protection Division.
Anyone who feels ripped off can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com or by calling 1-800-382-5516.
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US Supreme Court OKs DNA Swab

The US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of police collecting certain types of evidence. The sweeping, 5-to-4 ruling says it is reasonable for police to take DNA samples, just as they collect fingerprints during the booking process. ABC News reports a Maryland man arrested for assault, then tied to a rape, sued, saying a DNA cheek swab invaded his privacy. Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia joined with three liberals in dissent, writing that police should not be able to collect broad evidence on a suspect, before they believe he's committed a specific crime. The ruling also clears the way for law enforcement to establish a national DNA database.
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State Launches New Healthcare Tool

State Launches New Healthcare Tool
Governor Mike Pence joins representatives from Castlight Health, Indiana University, Cummins, Anthem and the Indiana State Personnel Department to discuss and sign up for Castlight. [Photo provided]
This morning, Indiana Governor Mike Pence launched a new healthcare transparency tool, Castlight Health. “Indiana is leading the charge in providing tools to state employees to educate them about being informed healthcare consumers,” said Governor Pence. “Whether the focus is cost or quality, our employees are now more empowered than ever to save money and provide for their families’ medical needs by using Castlight.”
Castlight Health is a searchable database that enables self-insured employers and their employees to take control of health care costs and improve care. It provides cost estimates and quality ratings for doctors and procedures, while also educating employees about compliance for chronic health care conditions.
“Both businesses and governmental bodies continue to be stifled by the high cost of medical care in the United States,” said Giovanni Colella, M.D., co-founder and CEO, Castlight Health. “As the first state to introduce health care transparency into its workforce, the State of Indiana is taking an important leap forward by empowering employees with the information they need to make more informed, cost-effective health care decisions. Indiana was an early pioneer in the transparency movement and we believe their success will become the model for entities committed to improving health care outcomes, while better controlling costs.”
This initiative has taken more than a year to complete and involved a coordinated effort from the state, Castlight Health and Anthem, the state’s medical insurance provider.
Other large self-insured employers from around the state have already launched or are preparing to launch Castlight Health to their employees. These include Cummins and Indiana University, whose senior leadership joined the Governor this morning to celebrate the launch.
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Body in EC Canal Identified

Officials say the discovery of a body in a canal in East Chicago is being investigated as a possible drowning, but results of today's autopsy are still pending. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement is investigating because the body was found in an Indiana waterway, part of the Little Calumet River that flows under Indianapolis Boulevard in the 55-hundred block. East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker says his department responded shortly before 6pm Sunday.  Indiana Conservation Officers say the body has been identified as 41-year-old Javier Pena of East Chicago, who was llast seen on May 29.
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