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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 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
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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 For more information, citizens can also call the Community Development Department at (219) 881-5075.

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?

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

(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)
Looking from the


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 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.

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.

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.

Gas Prices Up in Region

Prices at the pump have jumped recently in the Region, and Triple-A Chicago spokesperson Beth Mosher says it goes back to refinery issues that have been ongoing since about late winter/early spring. In the Gary Metropolitan area, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded has jumped nearly twenty-cents in the past week alone, according to the Triple-A Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Mosher says there's just no way to really predict if prices have topped out for the season.  To hear more of our interview with Beth Mosher visit News Audio on Demand here at our website.

Alleged Exposure Incidents in Parking Lot

In Valparaiso, police are investigating alleged acts of indecent exposure in the Target parking lot. Police say they received two reports of a male subject driving through the lot and exposing himself to female subjects shortly after 4-o'clock Friday afternoon. Police say the suspect vehicle was described as a gold older model Chevy Cavalier with an Indiana license plate.

146 Vehicles Stopped in La Porte Checkpoint

Nearly 150 vehicles were stopped in a sobriety checkpoint coordinated by the La Porte County DUI Task Force Saturday night on State Road 2, for westbound traffic, west of Andrew Avenue in La Porte. According to results released today , one set of field sobriety tests and one portable breath test were administered, with warnings issued for drivers license and vehicle registration violations, and one seatbelt citation written. At about the same time one officer from the La Porte City Police Department and one deputy from the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office conducted saturation/roving patrols, resulting in 23 traffic stops, 23 warnings and 6 citations for various offenses.

Farmers Surge Ahead

This chart, based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service, shows the progress of corn planting in Indiana, highlighting key years since 1993. (Purdue Department of Agronomy graphic/Bob Nielsen)
A month ago, Hoosier farmers were wondering how wet would it get... and when could they get into the fields? They got a break from rain, and by late May were able to surge ahead of the five-year average pace in planting corn and soybeans. Despite cool temperatures and intermittent rain last week, farmers had planted 86 percent of the intended corn acreage as of the week ending May 26, following weeks of planting delays from frequent and heavy rains in April, especially in southern Indiana.
Larger equipment also helped farmers make fast progress. Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension corn specialist, says a combination of favorable soil conditions and today's high-capacity field equipment allowed Indiana corn growers to plant 78 percent of the state's corn crop in three weeks.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service said most of the fruit and berry crops will make it through the bloom stage this year with little damage from frost.
More info at this Purdue link:

Triathlete Collapses; 900 Compete on Sunday

No word on the condition of an athlete who collapsed and reportedly stopped breathing soon after finishing Leon's Triathlon in Hammond Sunday. The Times today reports he was taken by ambulance to a hospital.
This year’s event at Wolf Lake Park brought over 900 triathletes from around the nation to the region to compete.  Leon’s Triathlon is an Olympic distance race beginning and ending at Wolf Lake, including a swim, a biking portion and a run, this year marked the 30th anniversary of the nationally broadcasted event. Leon’s Triathlon is an Olympic distance race beginning and ending at Wolf Lake, including a .9 mile swim, 24.6 mile biking portion and a 6.2 mile running portion.  The Amateur Female winners of the race were: Jennifer Garrison of Naperville, IL; Kristine June of Highwoood, IL; and Megan James of Portage MI. The top placing Amateur Males were Jason West of Breiningsville, PA; Mark Harms from Madison, WI; and Adam Zucco from Elburn, IL.
For the full list of winners and times of Leon’s Triathlon of participants visit

Hammond Caucus Scheduled

A caucus is set for today [June 3] to choose a new city councilman for Hammond to replace 52-year-old Al Salinas. Authorities say he resigned his second district seat after admitting to a felony bribery charge and misdemeanor tax charge in Hammond Federal Court last month. Indiana law prohibits a convicted felon from holding public office. Democratic precinct committee members will meet to choose the person who'll fill the remaining two years left on his term. State law requires a caucus be held no later than 30 days after the vacancy occurs.


Iron Ore Plant to Indiana

A 350-million dollar iron ore plant is coming to northern Indiana. Magnetation LLC of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, will build its plant at the site of an abandoned VeraSun Energy ethanol plant in the White County community of Reynolds. The company says the new facility will produce high quality iron ore pellets, raw material in the steelmaking process and anticipates the plant to become operational late this year or early next year and employ about 100 to 120 people. Reynolds is about eighty miles south of Gary.

Separation Comes Up at Great Lakes Summit

Indiana's Governor and First Lady spent the weekend in northern Michigan, to attend a leadership summit. Governor Mike Pence and his wife Karen were at Mackinac Island for the 2013 Council of Great Lakes Governors, where Governor Pence spoke on strengthening the Great Lakes region in the global economy.
Word from that summit that there could be a shift in a long-standing dispute over invasive species in the Great Lakes region. Addressing a gathering of Great Lakes governors, Illinois' Pat Quinn said he's willing to consider placing barriers in Chicago-area waterways to keep Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.   Quinn said separating the lakes from the Mississippi River watershed is the "ultimate solution".   Michigan and four other states sued - Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsyvania -- unsuccessfully, trying to force permanent barriers to keep the carp away from the lakes' multi-billion dollar fishing industries. Indiana has contended that such a re-engineering of Chicago rivers and canals would disrupt commerce and cause flooding, and Indiana Governor Mike Pence says his position, opposition to separation, has not changed.

House Fire in Sauk Village

Fire crews from northwest Indiana, including Schererville and Dyer, assisted departments from across the south suburbs in putting out a house fire in Sauk Village Sunday night. Firefighters were on scene in the 16-hundred block of 216th Place shortly before 8:30 pm. There were no reports of injuries. No word at this hour on the cause

East Chicago Death Investigated

East Chicago Police continue to investigate the death of an East Chicago man pronounced dead at 11:30 Saturday night at 140th and Deal Street in the city. The Lake County Coroners office says 47-year-old Brigido Lopez sustained blunt force trauma and the manner of death was pending investigation.

Body Found in EC Canal

Authorities say a man was found dead in a canal in East Chicago Sunday evening.  East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker says police were called shortly before 6 pm about a body in the canal near 155th and Indianapolis Boulevard. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is also investigating. The Lake County Coroners office says cause and manner of death are pending.

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Laura-WAKE Scott-WAKE Brent-WAKE
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team


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