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Coast Guard Also Investigating Reported Sheen

CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard is investigating a sheen Tuesday that was reported in southern Lake Michigan one day earlier.
About 3 p.m. Monday, a communications watchstander at Coast Guard Station Michigan City, Ind., was notified that people were coming out the water with an oily substance on them at Porter Beach, Ind.
The station directed the reporting source to contact the National Response Center.
Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago dispatched a response boat to the area, and pollution investigators found no visible sheen.
A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., was diverted from a training mission to conduct an overflight of the area from the Port of Indiana to Michigan City, Ind., and found no evidence of sheen. They did see a few pollen blooms.
The U.S. Geological Survey has taken water samples, and the results are pending.
Just after 4 p.m., Station Michigan City received a report that the sheen had reached Michigan City.
MSU Chicago is currently on scene investigating, and they have found no sign of sheen. Coast Guard investigators are also reviewing a surveillance video provided by the Port of Indiana and have not noticed any signs of pollution.
The cause of the sheen remains under investigation, and the Coast Guard is working diligently alongside partner agencies to determine any causative factors to see if there is anything that can be done to prevent similar occurrences.
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SR 2 SW of Westville to be Closed on Thusday

Indot Logo color
PORTER/LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the one day closure of State Road 2 for two culvert replacements, about two miles southwest of U.S. 6, on Thursday, June 20th. Local traffic may use State Road 2 up to each point of closure, from the east and the west.
Drivers wishing to travel west on SR 2 will be detoured west on U.S. 6, south on SR 49, and back to SR 2. Drivers wishing to travel east on SR 2 will be detoured north on SR 49, east on U.S. 6, and back to SR 2.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, like us at www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and follow us at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
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Beach Sheen Not From 'Shore or Stacks'

State officials say preliminary tests of a shiny substance on Lake Michigan that prompted the evacuation of Porter Beach Monday afternoon suggest it might be a few different things.  Indiana Department of Environmental Management Spokesman Dan Goldblatt says they're hoping to know a little more by the end of the week.  The state also continues to investigate a glittery substance reported on vehicles and outdoor furniture in the 15-hundred block of Brown Avenue in Robertsdale early this month, around June 4. Goldblatt says the substance in north Hammond was very localized, and its origin remains unknown. They are awaiting some other test results, but Goldblatt says they were not able to get a very large sample Until officials determine what was in the water, a swimming advisory is in effect til further notice for all Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore beaches. National Lakeshore Supervisory Park Ranger and Public Information Officer Bruce Rowe says whatever it was seems to have dissipated quite a bit.
You can hear our interviews with Goldblatt and Rowe at News Audio on Demand here at our website.
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NIRPC Certification Review Public Meetings

The Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration invite your comments on how NIRPC, INDOT, and public transit operators implement the federal transportation planning process. Two meetings will be held: one on Tuesday, June 18 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at NIRPC, 6100 Southport Road, Portage and another on Wednesday, June 19 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in the auditorium of the Savannah Center at IUN in Gary. Requests for accessibility accommodations must be received 72 hours before the meeting by calling NIRPC, (219)763-6060. More information can be found at nirpc.org.
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La Porte Considers Park Smoke Ban

In La Porte, the city council is considering a recommendation from the park board to ban all smoking in city parks. La Porte Mayor Blair Milo has posted on Facebook that there's an ordinance already in place for certain areas of the parks, but there's been difficulty enforcing it. Milo also says the issues of healthy lifestyles, second hand smoke and non-biodegradable cigarette litter are among the reasons for considering the ordinance.
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Fog and Sun in the Region

fog photos collage
INDOT cameras this morning -- photo on the left showing Lowell/SR 2 at I65, photo on the right is Hobart/Merrillville/I65 at 61st Ave, about 8 am CDT
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Storm Cleanup Continues in Crown Pt

Storm cleanup is continuing in Crown Point. The city and surrounding area were among the hardest hit when severe weather struck the Region about a week ago. The city's public works crews are going street-by-street, picking up tree debris, starting between Joliet and North Streets, with that area especially impacted by the storms.
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Heavy Fog in North Lake County

ridge road fog
[INDOT cam/Ridge Rd and I65 about 7:30 this morning]
Dense fog is rolling in over portions of north Lake County this morning.  One listener reported heavy fog in East Chicago, area of ArcelorMittal, about 715am.
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More Info on Proposed Illiana

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A couple hundred people were at Lowell Middle School last night for an open house on the Illiana Expressway... as the Indiana Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Transportation provide more information on refinements to the corridor for the proposed east-west toll-road that would link I-65 in south Lake County to I-55 in Illinois. There's a similar open house tonight at Peotone High School, also from 5-to-8, with a question-and-answer period at 6.
Illiana Corridor website:  http://www.illianacorridor.org/tier_2/prelim_alternative.aspx
This Monday and Tuesday, in Rosemont, INDOT and IDOT are hosting a two-day international industry forum for potential contractors, construction managers, partners and investors.
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Valpo Police Arrest Subject and seek others in Theft

The Valparaiso Police Department, in a press release, reports that last Friday morning around 2:45 a.m. Officer Ron Chapman observed suspicious activity at 358 West St while on patrol. Officer Chapman began to investigate and found property missing and individuals fleeing through a wooded area from a storage business.
Police continued to investigate and were able to identify a possible suspect later on Friday. Valparaiso Detectives assisted by Porter County Sheriff's Officers served a search warrant on a residence at 214 S. State Road 2. The renter of this property was identified as Scott Millender 26 yrs old. Millender was identified as one of the subjects that had fled from police earlier in the morning. Millender was not home at the time of the search warrant.
Police searched the property and located numerous items of stolen property. Stolen property recovered included; two wave runners, and two trailers. Included in the property recovered was a trailer stolen earlier in the morning from the storage site at 358 West St.  
Police have arrested Nicolas Sorba, 26 yrs old from Hobart on Aiding in a Burglary (Class C-Felony) and an arrest warrant for Burglary has been issued for Scott Millender 26 yrs old. Sorba admitted after an interview with Detective Brian  Thurman, that he was involved in the theft. A third subject identified as David Sharp 32 yrs old is a person of interest for police. Anybody with information regarding the location of Millender or Sharp are asked to call Valparaiso Police at 462-2135.
Millender
Scott Millender
Sharp
David Sharp
(photos provided by VPD)
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Crash Takes Out Traffic Light Downtown Valparaiso

light pole hit dwntwn valpo
(photo courtesy of Buddy Pearson)
Lack of sleep may have contributed to a crash that took down a traffic light at a busy, downtown Valparaiso intersection shortly before 3 p.m. Monday afternoon. According to an eyewitness, a woman traveling eastbound on Lincolnway allegedly crashed her car into the light pole on the northwest corner of Lincolnway and Franklin Street across from the Porter County Courthouse. Preliminary witness reports say the woman said she had not slept in three days. Traffic through downtown Valparaiso was affected for much of the afternoon and traffic tipsters reported seeing up to five squad cars on the scene. 
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Gary Man Receives Sentence for Firing a Gun

A Gary man charged with firing a gun in the parking lot of a Gary gas station last August, gets 18 years. In a press release, Lake County Prosecutor Bernard A.Carter announced earlier today that Roosevelt Lee Franklin of Gary was sentenced to serve 18-months in the Indiana Department of Correction for Criminal Recklessness. Franklin reportedly shot the gun in the direction of two people who were in the parking lot.
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Mayor helps Kick off Free Lunch/Recreation Program

Mayor 1
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson at the playground with youth
Earlier today, Mayor Freeman-Wilson had lunch at the Glen Ryan Park Pavilion with a group of Gary youth who are participating in the city’s Free Lunch and Recreation Summer Program. The program began today at 12 sites around the city and is being facilitated by the Parks Department and the Youth Services Bureau. In addition to receiving a healthy lunch, youth will participate in recreational and educational activities. After lunch, Freeman-Wilson headed to the playground for a little recreation of her own with the youngsters.
Mayor 2
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson having lunch with Gary youth
Mayor 3
Group photo of participants with Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson
(photos provided by city of Gary)
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South Shore Line Should be Back to Normal by Wed.

Service on the South Shore Line should be fully restored by tomorrow.  Damaged equipment found on two train cars apparently damaged the overhead wires west of the East Chicago station, causing delays this afternoon.  John Parsons of NICTD told the Times that there were indefinite delays due to damage to the pantographs--the device atop train cars that touch the wire above bringing power to make the trains move.  Read more about the story at http://www.nwitimes.com
As of 6:05 p.m. CST, NICTD is reporting that they are expecting eastbound rush hour trains to depart Chicago on time (except for EB Train 117) but may experience delays en route. All trains are operating on Track 1 from Indiana/Illinois State Line to Gary. Because of significant wire damage east of East Chicago earlier this afternoon. Train delays are as follows:
WB Train 20 is 53 minutes late out of Dune Park due to late turn of EB Train 9. It may incur additional delay as it waits for EB trains to clear single track.
WB Train 218 is 20-30 minutes due to late turn of EB Train 209 and waiting for EB trains to clear Track 1
EB Train 111 is running 25-30 minutes late after waiting for WB Train 218 to clear Track 1.
We expect EB Train 117 to depart Millennium no earlier than 6:10 p.m. waiting for arrival of WB Train 218
We expect delays in departure of EB Train 19 because of delays to WB Train 20.
(Source:  http://www.nictd.com/index.html )
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Schererville Man Gets 4 Years for Burglary Crime

Lake County Prosecutor Bernard  A. Carter announced today that a Schererville man was sentenced to four years in the Indiana Department of Correction for Burglary, a Class C felony.  
Jimmy Lagat Lopez was charged with entering a Hammond building in June, 2012 and taking two TVs, an XBox 360 and a PlayStation 3. He was ordered to make full restitution to the owner of the building.  Lopez will serve his sentence in the Lake County Community Corrections, according to the county prosecutor's office.
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NICTD: Expect Rush Hour Delays On South Shore Lines

In a press release from Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, NICTD is expecting EB rush hour trains to depart Chicago on time but may experience delays en route.  All trains are operating on Track 1 from Indiana/Illinois State Line to Gary.  Because of significant wire damage east of East Chicago earlier this afternoon.  Train delays are as follows:
EB Train 109 is 45-60 minutes late waiting for WB trains to clear Track 1
WB Train 20 is 30-45 minutes late due to late turn of EB Train 9
WB Train 218 is 20-30 minutes due to late turn of EB Train 209 and waiting for EB trains to clear Track 1
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Oily Substance Forces Swimmers Out of Water at Porter Beach

What is being called an "oily substance" is reportedly floating in Lake Michigan, moving from west to east at Porter Beach and officials have told swimmers to get out of the water..  Bruce Rowe, Supervisory Park Ranger and Public Information officer for the Indiana Dunes National Shoreline says officials do not know a lot at this hour, "whether it is oil or not has not yet been determined."  Rowe says Porter County Hazmat is on the scene along with National Park Service Rangers and the Porter Fire Department.  
 
Jessica Kadish of Westville, was one of the swimmers who were evacuated from the water and when asked whether she saw the oil slick approach Kadish said, "you could see...it was definitely dark, very dark water."
The Times is reporting that initial reports indicated swimmers were coming out of the water covered in an oily substance.
Porter Beach remains closed at this time.
Read more at https://ww.nwitimes.com
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Major Equipment Delays On the South Shore Line

NICTD logo
Due to significant wire damage east of East Chicago,  Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District is reporting the following train delays on the South Shore Line as of 3 p.m. CST:
Extra Eastbound Train departed East Chicago Station at 2:39pm
WB Train 116 has been cancelled at East Chicago
WB Train 216 will be departing Gary Metro Station in approximately 10 minutes
WB Train 18 departed Carroll Ave. approximately 1 ½ hours late
WB Train 118 departed Carroll Ave. 10-15 min behind schedule
NICTD is expecting EB rush hour trains to depart Chicago on time but may experience delays en route. All trains are operating on Track 1 from Indiana/Illinois State Line to Gary.
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Semi Lost Steel Coil On EB Indiana Toll Rd. at I-65

Traffic-Advisory
INDOT is reporting two left lanes are blocked eastbound on the Indiana Toll Road (I-90) at the I-65 exit due to a crash involving a semi and up to two passenger vehicles.  The semi reported lost a steel coil which ended up int he left lane with the semi stopped on the left hand shoulder.   At his time, it is unclear if the other vehicles became involved before or as a result of the truck loosing its load.  traffic tipsters are reporting that only one lane, the center lane is reportedly open.
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Munster Traffic Advisory

Traffic-Advisory
The Town of Munster Public Works Department says they will be closing Ridge Road beginning 9PM tonight [Tuesday, June 18 ] until 7AM Wednesday [ June 19] for water main replacement along Greenwood Avenue. The detour will use Columbia Avenue, 35th Street, and White Oak Avenue, and signs will be posted. Town officials also say tesidents will need to identify an alternate route to their homes, and anyone with questions should contact Munster Town Hall at 836-6971.
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