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Stores Sue to Sell Cold Beer

ipca
Convenience stores in Indiana are pursuing legal action to be able to sell cold beer. Executives and members of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, a statewide trade association, announced today that they have filed a complaint in U.S. District Court challenging the law governing the sale of cold beer. Under current law, convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores are only allowed to sell beer warm, and only liquor stores are allowed to sell beer cold. Indiana is the only state in the country that regulates beer sales based on temperature. The law doesn’t apply to wine products, including wine coolers.
Here is the full news release:
INDIANAPOLIS (May 14, 2013) – Executives and members of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (IPCA), a statewide trade association, announced today that they have filed a complaint in U.S. District Court against the State of Indiana challenging the law governing the sale of cold beer.
Under current law, convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores are only allowed to sell beer warm, while their competitors in the carryout market are allowed to sell beer cold.
IPCA and three of its members - Ricker’s, Thorntons and Freedom Express – claim this Indiana law violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by restricting convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores to selling beer only at room temperature. In the complaint, the plaintiffs charge that Indiana statutes and regulations have evolved into an irrational and discriminatory regulatory regime that favors one class of retailer over another.
“This lawsuit is about fairness, convenience, and promoting competition for the sale of cold beer in a rational and responsible way so that my members can serve their customers,” said IPCA Executive Director Scot Imus. “We are confident that the court will agree with us that it is not the job of government to pick winners and losers in the marketplace.”
Indiana is the only state in the country that regulates beer sales based on temperature. The current law doesn’t apply to wine products, thus allowing convenience stores to sell these products cold. On average wine products, including wine coolers, contain higher levels of alcohol compared to beer.   
Managing Member of Freedom Express Gregory Cobb, who owns three convenience stores in Kosciusko and Marshall Counties, explained that the current law is confusing to his customers who may purchase cold wine but not beer, even though wine products contain approximately double the amount of alcohol.  
“Some common sense needs to be applied to Indiana’s alcohol laws, so that Hoosier business owners like myself may provide products, including beer, without ridiculous temperature restrictions to their customers,” said Cobb.
Indiana Excise Police compliance figures show that package liquor stores were 138 percent more likely to violate Indiana liquor laws between 2007 and 2012 than convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores. Similarly, restaurants and bars, who may also sell refrigerated beer – were 1,376 percent more likely to violate Indiana liquor law over the same period of time.
“There is no logic with the current law that gives one class of retailer an exclusive right to sell cold beer,” said Imus. “Indiana’s alcohol laws have not always favored one retailer over another and in fact, it was just in the last 50 years that liquor stores were granted the privilege of selling cold beer.”
A look at the history of beer sales in Indiana shows a constantly changing regulatory environment. Coming out of Prohibition, only confectionary stores were allowed to sell cold beer. That practice ended when the General Assembly passed a law prohibiting such sales in 1941. Liquor stores could not sell beer - warm or cold - until 1953, and then, like other retailers, they were forced to sell it warm. A 1963 decision by the unelected three-member Indiana Alcoholic Beverage Commission granted liquor stores in metropolitan areas the right to sell cold beer. These changes were eventually codified into statute in 1979.
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Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (IPCA) is a nonprofit trade association that was formed in 1922 by Indiana wholesalers and retailers. Today, the IPCA has more than 250 members comprised primarily of small; to medium-sized, family owned businesses that own and operate convenience stores and supply petroleum (wholesale and retail), and related products and services throughout Indiana....
 

Report: Sentencing Date Moved

The Times today is reporting that the sentencing date for former longtime Gary Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas has been rescheduled for August 21. Krusas pleaded guilty in Hammond Federal Court last month to tax evasion, after being accused of failing to file tax returns since 1991 and failing to pay taxes on a 232-thousand dollar inheritance. She resigned in April from the Gary City Council, where she had served since 2000.  This past Saturday, Mildred Shannon was chosen at a democratic caucus to replace Krusas on the council.
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Farming Accident in N. Ind

In northern Indiana, the Marshall County Coroner's office reports a 61-year-old Plymouth man died in a farming accident in which his clothing got caught on a shaft connecting an engine and a pump on an irrigation device. Officials say he had gone out to the field Sunday night, and family members discovered his body Monday morning near the equipment. Coroners officials say the man suffered severe internal injuries
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Big Back-to-Back Jackpots

mega
Two nights of back-to-back jackpot drawings that feature combined more than half-a-billion dollars in jackpot money. Hoosier Lottery officials say tonight's (tue may 14 13) Mega Millions drawing offers an estimated jackpot of $170 million while tomorrow's night's Powerball jackpot currently sits at an estimated $350 million, marking the first time Mega Millions and Powerball have cracked the $150 million and $300 million marks, respectively, at the same time since Indiana began offering Mega Millions more than three years ago.
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AT&T Expands 4G LTE to Valpo


att soliday
Valpo State Rep. Ed Soliday, AT&T Indiana Pres. George Fleetwood
State and local lawmakers gathered at the Porter County Government Center today for an announcement regarding cell phone service in Valparaiso. AT&T has upgraded seven mobile internet cell sites in the area to expand 4G LTE coverage for residents and businesses. George Fleetwood is president of AT&T Indiana says the goal is for "our customers to have an extraordinary experience, and our investment in the local wireless network is another way we're accomplishing that."  Valparaiso State Representative Ed Soliday says technology continues to play a larger role in the way we communicate, and for "the many businesses and consumers who rely on wireless devices everyday to stay connected, this investment is a big step forward".  AT&T launched its 4G LTE network in Gary last October.
[photo by Karl Berner/Radio One Communications]
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Demolition of La Porte Church

laporte church
A more-than century-old church is in the process of being demolished in downtown La Porte. St. Paul's United Church of Christ was built in the late 1880's. Membership had declined and after the congregation dissolved late last summer, the property was transferred to the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ in Indianapolis. The parent organization has said necessary repairs and upgrades would have been very costly. The Indiana Department of Transportation this morning said there were some lane closures on State Road 2, also known as Lincolnway through there, as crews tearing down the church ran into some water problems.
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Forty 4-Stars in the Region

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz announced Indiana's 4 Star schools for 2013 . Nearly forty are in the Region. To achieve this designation, a school must be in the top 25th percentile of schools in ISTEP+ testing results. A total of 313 schools received the award throughout the state.
Here's the full list:
http://www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/news/fourstarschools-20112012.pdf
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Man Shot in Vehicle

Police in Gary are investigating a shooting that injured a 28-year-old man as he was reportedly sitting inside a vehicle in the four-thousand block of Connecticut Street. Officials say it was just before 8:30 Saturday night when the victim said an unknown male came from between two homes and started firing. He was transported to the hospital for his injuries.
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Sentencing Hearing Moved

The Times today is reporting that the sentencing date for former longtime Gary Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas has been rescheduled for August 21. Krusas pleaded guilty in Hammond Federal Court last month to tax evasion, after being accused of failing to file tax returns since 1991 and failing to pay taxes on a 232-thousand dollar inheritance. She resigned in April from the Gary City Council, where she had served since 2000.  This past Saturday, Mildred Shannon was chosen at a democratic caucus to replace Krusas on the council.
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LOFS Clubhouse Closed for Now

There were no injuries reported Sunday when a van went into the Lakes of the Four Seasons clubhouse, but officials say the building will be closed for an undetermined amount of time. The chief of the fire force for Lakes of the Four Seasons says there was structural damage in the kitchen area. Authorities say a resident accidentally put his car into reverse, and the vehicle went through the wall. Crown Point's Fire Department was at the scene to help get the vehicle out of the structure.
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High Court Sides With Seed Giant

The US Supreme Court has sided with Monsanto in a seed patent case involving an Indiana farmer. In a unanimous ruling, justices said farmers cannot plant the company's genetically-altered and herbicide-resistant Roundup Ready soybeans without paying the company to do so – including later generations of the seed. 75-year-old Farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman contended he was not violating Monsanto's patent by planting seeds that were produced by seeds he had purchased from a grain elevator, knowing that those would likely be Roundup-resistant as well.
The high court said Bowman is free to buy grain elevator beans to eat or feed to livestock or resell, but he could not plant the beans, and harvest them again and again without paying the agri-giant for use of its patented product. Bowman contended the soybeans replicated themselves, but the court said 'blaming the bean' was no defense.
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Indiana HS Graduation Rate Up

Indiana's statewide graduation rate went up last year, to 88-point-three percent from 86-point-one percent. The Indiana Department of Education also reported an 87-percent rate, based on the federal method of calculating the percentage, which exempts fewer students  Lowell and Calumet High Schools posted some of the biggest gains in graduation rates in the Region, accoding to figures released by the state Monday.
http://www.doe.in.gov/news/indiana-department-education-releases-graduation-rate-data
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Highland Assesses Town Facility

The town of Highland has hired a company to assess their current police station and town hall – with an eye toward possibly replacing both and starting the process within a year's time. Officials are especially concerned about getting more room for the police department, which is currently housed in the basement area of the municipal building on Ridge Road.
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Authorities Searching for Puppy Dumper

puppies
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
Authorities are seeking the public's help in locating the driver of a gold SUV that allegedly dropped off a mother dog and two litters of lab-mix puppies on State Park Road, east of State Road 49 in Porter County over the weekend. Published reports say all the dogs that were abandoned late Friday night are now at a Lakeshore PAWS, appear to be from two-separate litters, and could be available for adoption as soon as this Saturday. Anyone with information regarding the dogs being dropped off is asked to contact Porter County Animal Control, and for information on adopting the puppies, visit http://www.lakeshorepaws.org.
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Man Arrested After Chase from Hammond into E Chicago

A police chase in Hammond this afternoon ended in East Chicago with the suspect being apprehended after fleeing his vehicle. The Times reports Hammond Police were called out just before 3pm today for a call of shots fired in the 29-hundred block of 165th Street, and that a man and woman were witnessed leaving the scene. Published reports say officers followed the suspected vehicle into East Chicago, were the vehicle ran into another car at a railroad gate near 151st Street and Kennedy Avenue. A 20 year old man was eventually arrested in the five-thousand block of Melville Avenue, and officers reportedly recovered a gun from the man. A female passenger reportedly suffered minor injuries, and no other injuries were reported as a result of the crash or due to the initial call. Charges are pending.
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Seat Belt Citations Down in Hammond in April

Hammond PD
Over 300 citations were issued for seat belt and child restraint violations by the Hammond Police Department during the month of April, which is down a bit from previous tallies. Hammond Police Lt. Patrick Vicari says their traffic safety program focused on seat belt enforcement last month, and that officers also wrote an additional 189 citations for violations of drivers license and license plate laws. Hammond Police say they will soon take part in the statewide “Click-it or Ticket” blitz, and encourage drivers to buckle up even for the shortest of trips. As for those who need child car seats checked, police encourage interested residents, and those with financial restrictions, to contact their department as they are a permanent fitting station
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Hammond 2nd Dist Councilman Pleads Guilty to Bribery, Tax Charge

Al Salinas
A 52 year Hammond City Councilman had his guilty plea accepted today in U-S District Court for federal bribery and tax charges. 2nd District Councilman Alfonso Salinas pleaded guilty to one-count of accepting over ten-thousand dollars from the owner of Dave's Tree Service to steer city work in their direction, and to one-count of failing to file a tax return for the 2006 tax year. As a result of his plea, the Councilman's seat is now considered vacant due to the federal bribery charge, which carries a 10 year prison sentence and a 250-thousand dollar fine. He could face one-year in prison and a 100-thousand dollar fine for failing to file a tax return, and must pay over 20-thousand dollars in restitution to the I-R-S.
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7th Annual Indiana Fallen Officers Blood Drive Starts Tuesday

Indiana State Police logo
The Indiana Fallen Officer's Blood Drive began this month with the first donation site in the Lowell District slated to start tomorrow. The blood drive began as a way to keep alive the memory of Sergeant Dan R. Starnes, of the Morgan County Sheriff's Department, who lost his life during a line of duty gun battle in 2001. In 2007, that blood drive was taken statewide by Starnes's wife, and renamed, with donation sites located in nearly every county across the state. Blood donations will take place tomorrow, from 2 to 4pm, at the Jasper County Hospital Conference Room Basement, in Rensselaer. More blood drives are scheduled in June, and here is a list of dates and locations:
Jasper June 7th, 2013 12P-6P St. Luke Lutheran Church, 704 E. Grace
Rensselaer
Lake June 4th, 2013 9A-3PM Lake Co. Government Center-Sheriff
Department 2293 N Main, Crown Pt
Lake June 5th, 2013 9A-3PM Same location
Starke June 4th, 2013 12P-6PM Knox Community Center, East
Lake St, Knox
Newton June 19th, 2013 3P-7PM Newton Co. Fallen Officers, 12100
Punkin Vine, Kentland
Newton July 12, 2013 1:30P-6:30 PM Kentland Community Center, 401 N
4th, Kentland
Porter June 11th, 2013 12P-6PM Porter Co Expo Center, 215 E
Division, Valparaiso
Porter June 23rd, 2013 9A-2PM Nativity of Our Savior Parish Hall
2949 Willowcreek Rd, Portage
Pulaski June 11, 2013 3P-7PM Pulaski Co Sheriff Dept, 110 E
Meridian, Winamac
Pulaski June 26, 2013 11:30A-5:30 PM Knights of Columbus, 340 E
50 N, Winamac
LaPorte June 21st, 2013 9A-2PM LaPorte Co Annex, 809 State St
Laporte
Indiana Blood Facts:
• 1,000 units of blood are needed daily in Indiana
• Each unit of blood donated helps in three different ways:
o Red Cells
o Platelets
o Plasma
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Superload Traveling SB I-65 Toward SR-24, Remington

Oversized load I-65   05-13-13
Two semis in the far right lane/shoulder hauling a super load as seen looking southbound I-65 just past US-231 Crown Point exit.
(photo courtesy of INDOT) 
A number of traffic tipsters are reporting two semis hauling a super load are causing slowdowns and backups southbound on I-65 approaching the US-231 Crown Point exit.  Indiana State Police at the Lowell post, confirm that a superload is moving through the Region on I-65 toward the State Road 24, the Remington.Monticello exit.  Drivers should be alert to slowing vehicles and merge safely into the left lane.
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US Marshals Fugitive of the Week: Richard D. McClure

MCCLURE
(Photo Courtesy of the US Marshals Service)
A 45 year old man wanted by the Porter County Sheriff's Department for probation violation and dealing in a narcotic drug is the U-S Marshals Service, Great Lakes Task Force, “Fugitive of the Week”. Richard D. McClure is described as a white male, six-feet tall, weighing 210 pounds, with brown hair, blue eyes, with a tattoo of a devil on his left arm and a panther on his right arm. Richard McClure was last known to reside in the 42-hundred block of West 41st Avenue, in Gary, and in the 100 block of North 750 West, in Valparaiso. Anyone with information on Richard McClure's whereabouts may contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411). All tipsters will remain anonymous.
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