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Hammond PD Doing Enforcement this Memorial Day Weekend

Hammond PD
Hammond Police are reminding the public about the dangers of drinking and driving after a couple of alcohol-related crashes this month, one of which was fatal. Lt. Patrick Vicari says 20 year old Tyler Hill died on May 10th, the day after losing control of his vehicle, due to massive internal injuries, after losing control of his vehicle and spun into the eastbound lane where he was struck by a van, whose driver was charged with driving while intoxicated. Another incident on May 18th, at 165th Street and Madison Avenue , resulted in a Hammond woman suffering non-life threatening but debilitating spinal injuries, after her vehicle was struck by another vehicle that failed to yield the right-of-way. Lt. Vicari says in this case, the driver, John Atchley, fled the scene, but was later located and arrested, and that was also a factor in the crash. Lt. Vicari says officers will be out doing enforcement this Memorial Day weekend, and urges residents that if must drink, please do not drive.
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Coats to Bernanke: Is the Fed Being an Enabler?

WASHINGTON, DC – In a Joint Economic Committee (JEC) hearing on the national economic outlook, Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today questioned Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, on whether the Fed’s monetary policy is allowing Congress to delay action on a credible, long-term fiscal policy.
In the hearing, Coats suggested that Congress and the administration need to summon the political will to address our nation’s long-term debt problem, rather than continuing to dependon the Fed’s unprecedented monetary policy, which keeps interest rates artificially low.
“I am starting to hear that the Fed is buying us time so therefore we don’t need to take action right now,” said Coats in the hearing. “Is the Fed being an enabler for an addiction that Congress can’t seem to overcome?”
Click here to watch Coats’ questioning in the JEC hearing.
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Man Charged in Attack on Officer at Planned Parenthood

A truck driver accused of assaulting an off-duty Merrillville police officer working as a security guard Monday afternoon has had charges filed against him today in Lake Criminal Court. 43 year old Craig Strand, of Portland, Oregon, was shot by the officer, for allegedly grabbing the officer's weapon, after an altercation between the two occurred due to the officer issuing parking tickets to Strand for illegally parking the semi in the parking lot of Planned Parenthood. Strand is charged with disarming a law enforcement officer, battery resulting in bodily injury, and resisting law enforcement.
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Rollover Crash on IN Toll Road Causes Traffic Back Ups

No one was injured after a semi rollover accident in the eastbound lane of the Indiana Toll Road this morning. Indiana State Police at the Toll Road say the incident occurred about 10:45 am, and was cleared at 2:16 this afternoon. The rollover, which blocked both lanes, took place between the Portage Toll Plaza and State Road 49 and resulted in traffic being backed up from mile marker 25 to mile marker 31.
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Valpo Man Accused with Rape of Minor

Matthew Moore
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A Valparaiso man is charged several felonies for allegedly raping an underage girl. The Times reports 31 year old Matthew Moore is accused of providing the girl alcohol, and that the incident reportedly occurred on November 21st or 22nd, when the girl was between the age of 14 and 16. A hearing is schedule for tomorrow afternoon in Porter Superior Court.
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Drill at Westville Correctional

Drill at Westville Correctional
Westville firefighters assist a mock boiler explosion victim during the annual disaster drill at Westville Correctional Facility. [Photo provided]
Emergency responders from Westville and La Porte County and the Indiana State Police were at the Westville Correctional Facility for the prison's annual disaster drill this week. Public Information Officer for the center, John Schrader, says the drill featured a simulated explosion of one of the boilers in the powerhouse.  Schrader also says one of the main reasons for running these drills is to make sure responders know how to get in and out of the facility. You can hear more of our interview with John Schrader at News Audio on Demand here are our website.
Drill at Westville Correctional
Westville firefighters assist a mock boiler explosion victim during the annual disaster drill at Westville Correctional Facility. [Photo provided]...
 

Region Home Sales Heat Up

gniar
Region home sales are heating up. The Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors says nearly 770 homes were sold in April across Lake, Porter, La Porte, Newton and Jasper Counties – a 26-percent compared to the same month a year ago. April also marked the 22nd straight month that home sales have gone up in northwest Indiana, according to a report from the association. The median selling price is now up to 130-thousand dollars, a point-three percent increase over April 2012.
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Urlacher Tweets Retirement

Via Twitter, Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher today announced his retirement from the NFL. After a 13-year career, all with the Bears, Urlacher wrote that he wanted to thank all who've helped him along the way, and that he will miss his teammates, coaches, and Bears fans, and the game, " but I leave it with no regrets".
Read the statement here: 
https://twitter.com/BUrlacher54/status/337222072075952128
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Good Deeds in La Porte

La Porte Police report – two other citizens setting an example for the community. A citizen came into the police department with a woman's purse he found at Fox Park Tuesday afternoon, and police were able to contact the owner, whose identification was still inside. Also Tuesday, someone came into the police department to turn in a bank debit card found lying in the parking lot of Kabelin's Ace Hardware. Police were unable to reach the owner, and the card was placed in recovered property.
… Last week, a citizen in La Porte turned in a wallet she found while picking up litter along Highway 35. Police say the wallet had ID and the owner said it must have fallen off his vehicle after visiting a local convenience store.
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Rollover Semi Blocks EB Toll Rd

Traffic-Advisory
Indiana State Police at the Toll Road are reporting minor injuries after a semi rollover accident on the eastbound Indiana Toll Road near Chesterton.  Police say the semi is blocking the eastbound lanes, but traffic is being allowed around on the shoulder.  A caller tells us the semi is under the overpass, and traffic is also being routed onto the State Road 49 exit.
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Purdue Hearing on Tuition Freeze

purdue
The Purdue University Board of Trustees is holding a public hearing in West Lafayette this afternoon on a proposed tuition freeze and some fee cuts at the main campus for the next two academic years. The same proposal calls for a two-percent tuition and fee increase at Purdue's three regional campuses, two of which are in Hammond and Westville, for each of the next two years. Fees at the regional campuses are assessed on a per-credit-hour basis. The university says a videoconference connection will allow public input from  regional campuses.
"This is the right thing to do for students and families in this period of economic stagnation. At the same time, keeping higher education affordable and accessible, especially for science and engineering degrees, is the best form of economic development Purdue can provide for Indiana and the country," said Purdue President Mitch Daniels.
Details:
Three pre-existing fees already slated for increases will rise on the West Lafayette campus. The student fitness and wellness fee will increase $82 the first year, and the student activity fee will increase $10 each year. The engineering differential fee, which only applies to undergraduate engineering students, will increase $250 each year.
Fees for meal plans will be cut 5 percent from a previously authorized increase, the internship/co-op/professional practice fee will be reduced by $514 for non-credit internships, and all other general fees will be held flat. A new instructional support fee of $500 would be added for incoming veterinary medicine students.
Tuition and fees for resident students would be $9,992 in 2013-14 and $10,002 in 2014-15.
Out-of-state students also would see an increase of $92 the first year and $10 the next year.Tuition and fees for nonresident students would be $28,794 in 2013-14 and $28,804 in 2014-15. International students enrolled prior to summer 2011 would pay $28,794; those enrolled prior to summer 2012 would pay $29,830; and those enrolled in summer 2012 or after would pay $30,794 in 2013-14, with an increase of $10 for each category for 2014-15.
The combined tuition freeze and meal plan reductions would save a resident student signed up for the 12-meal plan $358 per year over previously authorized levels. More than 9,000 students purchase campus meal plans.
Purdue's tuition and fees currently rank ninth out of 11public Big Ten universities for resident undergraduates and sixth for nonresident students.
Fees for students at other Purdue campuses are assessed on a per-credit-hour basis. The rates, which reflect a 2 percent increase, for resident and nonresident students, respectively, are:
* Purdue Calumet - $237 and $535
* Purdue North Central - $240 and $570
* Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne - $260 and $624
The public hearing will begin at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, in Stewart Center, Room 326, as a special meeting of the Executive Committee of the university's Board of Trustees. The proposed fees will be discussed, and the public will have a chance to comment. The Executive Committee will act on behalf of the board and will vote on the fee proposal and the 2013-14 system-wide conceptual budget plan during the meeting.
A videoconference connection also will allow public input from Purdue's regional campuses.
Those wishing to speak at the hearing should notify the Board of Trustees' office in advance at 765-494-9710 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Each speaker will be scheduled in the order they register and allotted three minutes to make comments at the hearing, which will last 30 minutes.
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Indiana Most Competitive in Midwest, 2nd in US

siteselection
Indiana as been ranked as the most competitive state for business in the Midwest and the second best nationwide, right behind Texas, in Site Selection magazine's Top 10 Competitive States of 2012. The magazine evaluated states on their ability to attract investment. Indiana's second place ranking is the state's highest finish in nearly ten years. Rounding out the top five for 2012 were Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. It's the second national top-five finish for Indiana economic development efforts in less than a month. Chief Executive magazine ranked Indiana as the best place to do business in the Midwest and the fifth best nationwide in a survey of more than 500 chief executives.
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Andrean Coach to Montana

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Andrean High School's head basketball coach is heading west. Dr. Carson Cunningham has been named the new head men’s basketball coach at Carroll College in Helena, Montana.  The former standout at both Oregon State and Purdue has spent the last five years at Andrean, also his alma mater, where his teams have won 43 of their last 50 games.  In five years at the helm, Cunningham has turned a program around that had won two games the season before he arrived into one that has won four straight sectional titles and has improved its win totals for five years running.  This year, his Andrean team made it to the final four in Indiana’s second biggest class (3A) and was ranked #3 in the state.
“We are very excited that Carson has agreed to be our new head coach,” said Saints’ Director of Athletics Bruce Parker Monday.  “He brings tremendous enthusiasm and knowledge of the game to our program.  He was an outstanding player and is a rising star in the coaching profession.  His passion for the game is contagious and I have great confidence in his coaching and recruiting abilities.  “It was a very intense search process and I was pleased with the outstanding pool of candidates (217 applicants) that were interested in the job,” Parker added.  “We feel that we have hired a great fit for Carroll College and a coach that will take our program back to the top of the Frontier Conference and the NAIA.”  
Cunningham has also been an instructor in the history department and the department of cinema and digital media at DePaul University in Chicago since 2006. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history at Purdue University (2000), a Master of Arts in Modern American History (2001) and a PhD in History (2006), also at Purdue.  He is also scheduled to complete his MBA at DePaul this spring.
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Farmers Play Catch-Up

Farmers Play Catch-Up
A farmer seized the opportunity to plant corn at LaCrosse in La Porte County on May 16 during a stretch of long-awaited good weather. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Jennifer Stewart)
Indiana farmers are getting caught-up, somewhat. Clearing skies and warming temperatures since early May have enabled Hoosier farmers to plant 64 percent of the corn crop as of the week ending May 19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service said, and that's just a percentage point below the five-year-average. Frequent and heavy rains producing soggy and flooded fields in April and into the first week of May left many farmers, especially in southern Indiana, weeks behind schedule during the spring planting season. The report said most of the corn acreage last week was planted across the northern and some central Indiana counties, as soils remained too wet in southern counties to allow much progress.
But they eventually got the break they needed, with May rainfall in Indiana so far averaging 1.9 inches, 30 percent less than normal. April rainfall, by comparison, averaged near 6.5 inches, about 70 percent more than normal.  Warmer-than-normal temperatures with near-normal rainfall is expected through the remainder of May.
"This should help farmers to finally reach the planting finish line after a slow start," said Ken Scheeringa, associate state climatologist, based at Purdue University.
There has been a wide variation in May rainfall across the state the past three weeks. Northern Indiana received just a third of normal, with about 0.7 inch, while southern Indiana averaged close to 3.3 inches - about normal.
By area, 84 percent of the corn acreage so far had been planted in northern Indiana, 59 percent in the central portion of the state and 36 percent in the south.
Plants in 20 percent of Indiana's corn acreage had emerged, compared with 44 percent for the five-year average. For soybeans, 30 percent of the crop had been planted, compared with the five-year average of 36 percent. Soybeans typically are planted after corn.
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National Veterans Awareness Ride in MC

veteransride2
Motorcycle riders are departing Michigan City this morning (8am) on the National Veterans Awareness Ride. They're headed southward toward Lafayette, and ultimately to the nation's capital for Memorial Day ceremonies. Riders in procession with police escort are departing American Legion Post 37 on US 20 at 8am, they will be heading southward along US 421. Motorists can expect delays and blocked intersections along US 421 at the procession passes.
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Homicide in Gary

The Lake County Coroners office says a 22-year-old Valparaiso man was pronounced dead of multiple gunshot wounds in Gary overnight, the victim of a homicide authorities say occurred in the 25-hundred block of Delaware Street. Coroners officials say Jovan Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:30 this morning. Gary Police and the Lake County Crime Lab are also investigating.
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Grants Include Sheraton Demolition

The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority has approved a combined half-million dollars in grants for four projects, including 200-thousand dollars for the demolition of the old Sheraton Hotel in downtown Gary, which has stood vacant next to City Hall since the early 80s. Another 200-thousand is earmarked for a sewer lift station in Valparaiso that is also meant to help attract investment along the State Road 49 corridor. 50-thousand dollars is set aside for a documentary on regional partnerships that have contributed to the restoration of the Lake Michigan shoreline. The fourth grant, for 75-thousand dollars, is meant for one of four alternative-fuel buses to shuttle between the South Shore rail line and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
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Merrillville Case to Prosecutor

Charges are expected to filed today against a man who allegedly assaulted an off-duty Merrillville officer working as a security guard at Planned Parenthood Monday afternoon. The Major Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident, in which the officer shot the truck driver. Officials say the officer had written two parking citations for the unoccupied truck, and the driver allegedly began striking and punching the officer when the officer approached to tell him about the citations.
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New Jobs to Region?

The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority is in the process of trying to bring an as-of-yet unnamed business to the Region... a company that already operates in the state, and is now eyeing Porter County, along with other midwestern sites. RDA CEO Bill Hanna says the project could be the largest his agency has been involved in, and that could mean over two-hundred new jobs for the area.   Tuesday the board authorized the potential use of its Deal Closing Fund on the project, which is currently under negotiation by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
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Disaster Drill at Prison

Several emergency responders from Westville and La Porte County and the Indiana State Police were at the Westville Correctional Facility for a disaster drill. The Tuesday exercise featured a simulated powerhouse explosion and fire with mock injuries and wounds. The powerhouse contains huge boilers as well as a backup generator for much of the facility.
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