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April 15 - Tax Day is Here

April 15 has arrived -- Tax Day.  The Indiana Department of Revenue says filing online is the fastest and easiest way to make sure your return gets processed quickly. Indiana has a free method for filing both your state and federal taxes. It's Indiana freefile. About 1 million Hoosiers qualify for this free service. Go to  to find out if you qualify.
You can hear more about tax day and filing your state taxes at News Audio on Demand here at our website, from an interview with Chetrice Mosley with the Indiana Department of Revenue.
If you're not going to make the April 15 deadline, you state officials say you will need to file an extension of time to file. Here's more info:
To file an extension, first determine whether you are going to owe state taxes, receive a refund or break even. If you are going to owe taxes:
Download Form IT-9 from the state's income tax form list.
Figure how much you owe and mail your payment with the IT-9.
Pay at least 90 percent of the tax you are going to owe.
You will have until June 17 to file your return along with the rest of your payment.
Note: Penalties for late filing are waived, but you will still be liable for interest accrued or any unpaid amount.
If you are not going to owe taxes and will receive a refund or break even, you will need to keep the following in mind:
If you have filed for a federal extension of time to file (IRS Form 4868), then you won't need an additional extension for Indiana filing purposes. A federal extension of time to file extends your filing period with Indiana to November 15.
If you don't have a federal extension, complete Form IT-9, get it postmarked by April 15 and file your tax return by June 17.
Even if you owe no tax liability, you still must file. You can still be charged late filing penalties if you don't file on time.
If you are in the military, Indiana has special filing considerations. The Indiana Department of Revenue's Information Bulletin #27 provides details about extensions, taxability of income, deductions and a range of information for those serving in the military. If you or your spouse is serving in a combat zone, this bulletin has tax information specific to your situation. You can also visit  for helpful information for military personnel.
The Department of Revenue offers a short video to help taxpayers understand how to file an extension. To watch the video, please visit
And for more information about filing an extension of time to file, visit

Career Ed Bills Signing Today

Indiana Governor Mike Pence will join Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, Senate President Pro Tem David Long, House Speaker Brian Bosma, Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, and House Minority Leader Scott Pelath today// Monday to sign career education bills, SB 465 and HB 1002, which both passed with unanimous, bipartisan support from the Senate and House.
Senate Bill 465 is the Indiana Works Council bill designed to boost vocational education. House Bill 1002, the Indiana Career Council bill, is meant to better coordinate the state's job skills and training systems with what's being sought in today's workforce.
Last week, Governor Pence signed nearly three dozen bills into law, including a measure that increases the fine for illegal parking in a handicapped spot from fifty to one-hundred dollars... and SB 153, which would exempt a child who is employed or works as a youth athletic program referee, umpire, or official from the state's child labor law.

Spring Bills Include Flood Fighting Fee

A new 45-dollar fee is popping up on Spring property tax bills for many residents of Lake County. A measure, signed into law last year, establishes a new annual fee for property owners who live in the watershed of the Little Calumet River and Burns Waterway in Lake County, meant to fund maintenance and repairs of river levees to protect residents and businesses from floodwaters. The fee is 90-dollars for agricultural land, 180 for commercial property, and 360-dollars for industrial or public utilities. House Bill 1264 also established a new Little Calumet River Basin Project Advisory Board to oversee repairs, and required the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission to expand its membership from five to nine.

Gary Woman Critically Hurt in Crash

Indiana State Police say alcohol is believed to be a factor in a single-vehicle rollover crash on I-65 just south of the 15th Avenue exit in Gary Saturday night that critically injured the driver. Troopers say 27-year-old Jennelle Taylor of Gary was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle, which police say rolled over four to five times. Authorities say there was no one else inside the car.

Dolton Man Victim of Homicide

Late Sunday night, the Lake County Coroners office says a Dolton man died at a Hammond hospital after suffering multiple gunshot wounds at his Dolton apartment. Officials identified the homicide victim as 27-year-old Keith Daniels, and Dolton Police are investigating.

Troopers Warn of Meth Lab Trash

With Spring here and more people out jogging or bike riding, Indiana State Police are warning Hoosiers to beware of meth lab trash that can include things like battery casings, zip style plastic bags, empty blisters pack and containers like pop bottles that contain a granular material.
The Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section says the trash may contain chemicals that are toxic, flammable, corrosive, and acidic. The combination of these chemicals could cause an explosion, fire or burns if they come into direct contact with the skin. Police say “meth cooks” use a variety of containers to manufacture the drug, a popular one being a half gallon gas can. Troopers say the cans appear to be new and have been found along the roadside by unknowing people who believe that they have found a new gas can and end up with a working meth lab.
Sergeant Mike Toles and Master Trooper Andy Smith, Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section, have identified some points for the public to keep in mind.
• Meth cooks are using a variety of containers to manufacture their product. A popular container is the one and a half gallon gas can. These cans appear to be new and have been found along the roadside by unknowing people who believe that they have found a new gas can and end up with a working meth lab.
• Other Items to be aware of include battery casings, Ziploc style bags, empty blister packs, and containers (pop-bottles, jars, etc.) that contain a granular material. They may or may not have a tube extending out of the top depending on whether it is a hydrochloric gas generator (HCL) or a one pot reaction. Both of these are extremely hazardous.
• Be aware of any type of cylinder found in an odd place (middle of a field, ditch line, wooded area) that has a modified valve. The valve will typically be modified in some way and will have a bright blue color to it. These cylinders are used to store or transport anhydrous ammonia, which is an extremely dangerous gas when direct contact or inhalation has occurred.
If someone comes across this type of trash, they should not handle it. Instead, contact your local  Indiana State Police Post or call Indiana State Police toll-free (800) 552-0976 (Indiana only). Any questions or concerns about meth can be directed to the Meth Suppression Section at (877) 855-METH or online at


Updated High School Challenge Schedule

Saturday, April 13th

4:00 p.m. - *Kankakee Valley vs. Thea Bowman

7:00 p.m. - *Bishop Noll vs. Lowell

Monday, April 15th

4:30 p.m. - *Lake Station vs. River Forest

Tuesday, April 16th

4:30 p.m. - *West Side vs. Gavit

Wednesday, April 17th

6:30 p.m. - *North Newton vs. South Newton

Friday, April 19th

4:30 p.m. - *Lew Wallace vs. Roosevelt

7:30 p.m. - *East Chicago vs. MC Marquette

Saturday, April 20th

1:00 p.m. - *Michigan City vs. Boone Grove

4:00 p.m. - *Chesterton vs. Griffith

7:00 p.m. - *Victory Christian vs. Calumet Christian

Tuesday, April 23rd 

7:30 p.m. - *Hales Franciscan vs. St. Patrick

*indicates home team
HS Challenge at US Steel yard ...


Michigan City Man Sentenced for Fatal July 2012 Crash

On July 19th, 2012 Katherine Atkins was negotiating a curve while traveling east on Joliet Road in rural La Porte County, when the vehicle was suddenly struck by a westbound vehicle.  As a result of the crash, Ms. Atkins was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Three children inside Ms. Atkins vehicle were injured as a result of the crash. The other vehicle was found to be driven by Mr. John MIKLE.  Initial responding Deputies from the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office at the crash scene activated the newly developed La Porte County FACT (Fatal Alcohol Crash Team). 

An ongoing investigation by FACT members determined that Mr. MIKLE had an extremely high level of the drugs of PCP and Marijuana in his bodily system at the time of the crash.  In August, an arrest warrant was issued for Mr. MIKLE for the offenses of Operating While Intoxicated, causing a death and serious bodily injury.  It was determined that Mr. MIKLE had fled the area.  The assistance of the United States Marshals was solicited who subsequently located Mr. MIKLE within a relatively short amount of time in South Bend, Indiana.

Based upon the extensive investigation of FACT, a guilty plea was entered by
Mr. MIKLE. Mr. MIKLE pled guilty to Operating While Intoxicated, B-Felony, and two counts of Operating While Intoxicated D-Felony.  On April 11th, 2013, in the La Porte County Circuit Court, Mr. John Mikle was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Thomas Alevizos.  Mr. MIKLE was sentenced to a total of sixteen (16) years in the Indiana Department of Corrections.  Mr. MIKLE will serve twelve (12) years with four years suspended.  Mr. MIKLE was remanded back to the custody of the La Porte County Sheriff.

The conclusion of this case is a significant event for La Porte County FACT due to its recent establishment.  La Porte County FACT is grant funded by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and is overseen and monitored by the Governor’s Council on Impaired and Dangerous Driving.  
LapPorte County Sheriff logo - this one  
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Rail Conference in Hammond: 'Junction 2013'

The 65-million dollar Potash Corporation investment in Hammond... at Gibson Yard... will be the highlight of the Northern Indiana Rail Conference, “Junction 2013”, coming up in Hammond next Friday April 19th. The Canadian fertilizer giant will talk about why they chose Hammond for their new distribution site and rail transfer facility, and a panel of experts will follow with info on the Indiana Harbor Belt Railway, the nearly three-hundred new construction and permanent jobs created by the Potash project and more. They'll also talk about the impact of the Potash project on the Region.
The Northern Indiana Rail Conference - Junction 2013, is sponsored by the Steering Committee of the Northern Indiana Rail Conference, and hosted by the Lakeshore Chamber and the Crossroads Regional Chamber.
Time: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Dynasty Banquet , 4125 Calumet Avenue, Hammond, IN 46320
Cost: $25.00
Due to limited spacing, prepayment is required. You're asked to confirm your reservations by calling the Lakeshore Chamber Office at (219) 931-1000 by Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Man Dies in Garbage Truck Downstate

Police in downstate Terre Haute say a Connecticut man is dead and his girlfriend was seriously hurt after they apparently sought shelter from the rain and spent the night inside a trash bin that was picked up and compacted by a garbage truck. Police tell the Terre Haute that the driver told investigators sleeping in dumpsters is more common than one might think, and that he's had several instances where someone woke up and popped up from under the lid.

That's Three For Merrillville Tree City Honor

For the third year in a row, Merrillville has been named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.
Merrillville achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
Matt Lake, Executive Director of Merrillville Stormwater Utility and former Indiana DNR State Urban Forester, says trees are a key component of green infrastructure, helping the environment and improving quality of life. “Trees are a key component of our green infrastructure, and the Tree City USA program recognizes our efforts to manage our urban forest", Lake said.
More information on the program is available at
“Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers and committed citizens in communities like Merrillville, make smart investments in urban forests,” said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Trees bring shade to our homes and beauty to our neighborhoods, along with numerous economic, social and environmental benefits.”

EPA: Potential Source of Cady Marsh Sheen Identified

Investigators from the U-S Environmental Protection Agency and others were back in Lake County today, trying to determine the cause of an oil sheen on the waters of Cady Marsh Ditch. The ditch flows from Gary to Munster, through Griffith, Highland, Munster and Calumet Township, eventually draining into the Little Calumet River. Jacob Hassan, on-scene coordinator for the US EPA, says they have identified a potential source, and the investigation continues.  The sheen is "pretty much gone", Hassan says, from this morning compared to Thursday. Both hard booms - physical barriers - and soft booms - absorbent/tubular booms used to absorb petroleum products -- were used to contain the sheen, and he says containment and cleanup are underway.   Hassan says they have not seen any visible impacts at this time on nearby residents or wildlife.  Hassan says the sheen was called in by a concerned citizen who happened to be driving past Ross Road and noticed a significant sheen on the river, and made a phone call the National Response Center, which is operated by the US Coast Guard, who then contacted the EPA.  Hassan also says the rain appears to have helped the sheen dissipate. You can hear more of our interview with Jacob Hassan from the US EPA at News Audio on Demand.


Officials Canvass Neighborhood for Help on Fires

Fire officials say they're investigating five suspicious fires within about a week's time in a residential area east of downtown Hammond, and they're asking for the public's help. Hammond Chief Fire Inspector Michael Opinker says he and members of the fire department were out this morning (Friday) reaching out to the neighborhood and handing out fliers.   Opinker says anyone who's seen anything suspicious can call the Hammond Fire Department, at 219-853-6419, and remain anonymous. Opinker says the fires all happened after midnight, within walking distance from each other, on State Street, Sibley and Erie, and three of them are believed to be connected -- those three, Opinker says, happened between 2:30 and 3:30 am. Opinker also says they usually have quite a few bystanders at fire scenes, but in these cases, there was hardly anyone around. Opinker says three occurred at abandoned houses, one was at an occupied residence but no one was home at the time, and another occurred with someone home and they got out safely.  Officials say there were no injuries. Opinker says two of the structures are expected to be torn down because of the fire damage.


Public's Help Sought on Hammond Fires

Fire officials in Hammond are asking for the public's help as they investigate five fires in an area of the city west of the downtown since the end of March. Reports say most of the buildings have been vacant. Hammond Fire Chief Jeff Smith told us earlier this week that some of the fires have broken out around the same time, very early in the morning, around 3am. Officials say the fires have been on State Street, Sibley and Erie. No injuries have been reported.

Fatal Crash in Newton County

The Newton County Sheriffs Office is investigating a fatal crash. Officers responded to a one-vehicle accident Thursday afternoon on State Road 16 near Iroquois River Road, and found the driver, 63-year-old Larry Strole of rural Brook, unconscious inside a pickup truck. Police say Strole was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Officials say it appeared the man's truck left the road for unknown reasons, struck a guard rail, utility pole, and came to rest against a tree.

Former School Guns Bill Heads for Vote

The Indiana House is expected to vote Monday on legislation providing ten-million dollars in matching grants to help school corporations hire security officers – a measure that no longer includes a plan requiring all public and charter schools to have at least one person armed with a gun, to protect against school shootings. If they didn't have an officer, for instance, a school employee would have been armed to serve as a 'school protection officer'. Hammond State Representative Linda Lawson was among those who very much wanted that provision removed from Senate Bill 1. The revised bill instead creates a summer committee to examine the idea.

Valpo University Volunteers Picking Up Trash Tomorrow

Indot Logo color
VALPARAISO, Ind. – The snow plows are barely off the roads but it’s time to think spring! Throughout the state of Indiana this month volunteers are strapping on safety vests and getting their hands dirty. They’re picking up trash as part of the Indiana Department of Transportation’s (INDOT) month-long “Trash Bash” for Adopt-A-Highway groups. The annual Trash Bash coincides with National Earth Day to join in the fight against littering on Indiana roads and highways.
On Saturday, April 13th volunteers from Valparaiso University will do their part by picking up trash on U.S. 30 near Sturdy Road, near Valparaiso University. Volunteers will be along this stretch beginning after 12:30 p.m. The media is welcome to visit their work site. Volunteers will be available to talk about their hard work to keep Indiana’s Highways looking great.
In 2012, nearly 2,300 Adopt-A-Highway volunteers, along with INDOT crews and the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC), removed 15,812 bags of trash from 3,367 miles of state road and right-of-ways. Adopt-A-Highway volunteers logged more than 4,831 hours of hard work in that time.
Everyone is encouraged to clean up and prevent litter on Indiana’s highways:
·         Don’t litter: Set a good example for everyone, especially children.
·         Be responsible: Carry a trash bag in your car instead of tossing trash out the window.
·         Report it: Report areas where people have illegally dumped garbage.
·         Adopt it: If you are involved in a civic group, scouting organization or sports program, encourage the groups to adopt-a-highway. Visit for details or contact the INDOT LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
For the latest news on Trash Bash, in addition to INDOT project updates and road restrictions, like us at and follow us at
You can find traffic restriction information at  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
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Circus Postponed at Porter County Expo and Fairgrounds

The weather today has caused the postponement of the circus scheduled for this afternoon and evening at the Porter County Expo Center and Fairgrounds. Office Manager Debbie Garner says the Circus Pages performance maybe rescheduled for sometime in May, but at this time nothing has been set in stone.
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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

indiana state department of health
INDIANAPOLIS—It is an uncomfortable topic that people often don’t want to discuss; however, sexual violence affects many Hoosiers and it’s time to start the conversation about how to prevent it. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and aims to educate individuals about sexual violence prevention. This year’s theme is “It’s time…to talk about it.” 
“Even one person impacted by sexual violence is too many,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Sexual violence is a public health issue and as such there are evidence-based interventions that can be applied to help prevent it. It’s going to take the collaborative effort of the entire community, including the State and local health departments, schools, faith-based organizations and community groups to move the dial in the right direction.”
In Indiana, one in five women will be victims of sexual violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly three in ten women and one in ten men will be victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner. Youth also feel the impact as nearly 15 percent of young women and five percent of young men have been physically forced to have sexual intercourse in their lifetime.
The Indiana State Department of Health Sexual Violence Prevention Program is working to stop this violence before it starts. Working with Indiana’s Sexual Violence Primary Prevention Council, whose members are from around the state, the program partnered with the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction in releasing the Sexual Violence Primary Prevention Policy Brief. This brief focuses on primary prevention and the state of sexual violence laws and policies in Indiana. Read the brief at
In response to issues raised in the brief, WFIU/WTIU Bloomington created a documentary examining sexual violence among Indiana's youth. The documentary aims to educate people on sexual violence and encourages prevention efforts. View the documentary for free online at
You can help prevent abuse. State health officials offer the following tips:
·         Be a role model by treating your kids and others with respect. Start talking to your kids about healthy relationships early, before they start dating.
·         Provide age-appropriate and accurate responses to questions about healthy and developmentally expected sexual development as children grow and learn.
·         Attend an awareness event during April, like the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault balloon release at the Indiana Statehouse on April 23. Get more information on this and other events statewide at
·         Promote boundaries and respect privacy. Practice respectful boundaries when it comes to touch and affection by not forcing hugs or other touch.
·         Learn what you can do as an active bystander when you see an instance of sexual violence. Visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s (NSVRC) Bystander Intervention resource page to learn more at
If you find yourself in a threatening situation, focus on getting out safely and then tell someone what happened. If you have suffered physical or sexual abuse, go to an emergency department immediately for an examination.  
To learn more about the efforts happening in Indiana, visit
For more information about sexual violence prevention, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center at
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Asner's One Man FDR Show to Return to Gary

ed asner
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
Today's Times reports Ed Asner is feeling fit, and ready to continue his one-man FDR show. The actor had to be hospitalized during a performance in Gary last month for exhaustion. According to the article, a makeup date has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 23rd, at the Wirt Emerson V-P-A Theater Auditorium, in Gary, at 7pm, and all tickets from the previous show will be honored.
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Laura-WAKE Scott-WAKE Brent-WAKE
Region News Team
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