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Two Local Nature Trust Projects Approved

The Bicentennial Commission recently approved four new Bicentennial Nature Trust projects, including two in northwest Indiana.
News Release: The Bicentennial Nature Trust (BNT) is a statewide program aimed at expanding trails, wetlands and recreation sites to help celebrate Indiana’s 200 years of statehood in 2016. The state park system was created during Indiana’s centennial celebration in 1916, and BNT projects will provide a similar legacy for generations of Hoosiers.
BNT was first announced...
 

Suspect Remains At-Large after Highland Burglary

Highland Police Dept
Highland Police are asking for the public's help in finding a man accused of being involved in a burglary this morning. The Times reports an 18 year old Chicago man was apprehended, but that another man, believed to be 35 year old Timothy Colbern, of Hammond, remains at large. Published reports say the burglary took place in the 32-hundred block of Eder, just before 11 this morning, and as a precaution, schools in the vicinity operated under a lock-in through the rest of the school day.
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Lowell to Merge with Lake County E-911 System

E-911
The Times today reports in six weeks, Lowell will be merging its emergency communications system with the Lake County Sheriff's Office. According to the article, Lowell's Police Chief says residents should not encounter anything different with 9-1-1 calls after the transition takes place, which is reported to save the town 100-thousand dollars a year. State law mandates that all fire and police in the county merge their communications by the end of the year, or risk losing millions of dollars....
 

Gov Pence Gets Flu Shot, Hoosiers Urged to do Same

pence gets flu shot
Indiana Governor Mike Pence got his flu shot today... he received the flu vaccine in the Governor's Office. The state health department has been encouraging Hoosiers get the flu vaccine, which is still available across the state. The 2012/13 flu season has been severe across the nation, with a higher number of hospitalizations and deaths than in recent years. Flu season typically lasts from October through May, so it's not too late to become vaccinated.
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Rep Smith to Give MLK Day Speech at IN State Prison

Vernon Smith
A local state representative will be giving a special speech during the Martin Luther King Day Celebration Commemorative Service at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. Democratic State Representative Vernon Smith, of Gary, says the theme of his speech will be, “I Am an American Too”, but that he will deviate from that topic to encourage the spirits of the inmates by sharing bits of wisdom, and things he feels he has been inspired to share with them. The doors for the service at the pri...
 

Suspects Charged in an Indictment for Bank Robbery

Two men accused of shooting a 34 year old Hammond Police officer during an armed bank robbery incident last month were charged in an indictment Wednesday. The U-S Attorney's Office announced 24 year old Brealon Miller Junior and 22 year old David Hardin Junior, were charged with the robbery of BMO Harris Bank and use of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. The U.S. Attorney's Office also stated that Miller was also charged with possession of a stolen firearm, and that the charges filed...
 

Hoosiers Give Generously During Inaugural Events

Midwest food bank
The Governor's office today announced five inaugural events added up to more than 14-hundred pounds of non-perishable food items for the Midwest Food Bank last weekend. Governor Mike Pence and his wife had asked Hoosiers attending the events to bring donations with them for the food bank. More than 25-hundred dollars was also collected. A news release says thanks to the generosity of people from across the state, Midwest Food Bank can leverage the donations to provide a meal to 25-thousand...
 

Griffith Man Pronounced Dead After House Fire

Authorities say a 74-year-old Griffith man was pronounced dead early today after fire broke out at his home in the 400 block of Arbogast. Griffith Fire crews got the call shortly after 2:30 this morning.  The Lake County Coroners office says Maurice Campbell was pronounced dead at his home shortly after 5 am, and Griffith Police, Fire and the State Fire Marshal are investigating.  Griffith Police say there appears to be no indication of foul play.  There is no word on a possible cause at this ti...
 

$4. 1M in Unclaimed Property to Region Residents

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller today announced more than four-point-one million dollars in Unclaimed Property was returned to Region residents or former residents of Northwest Indiana last year. Statewide, over 44-million dollars in unclaimed property was reunited with Hoosiers in 2012.... and still, 400-million dollars worth of unclaimed assets remain ... more than 43-million dollars of it in the Region.
Unclaimed property includes investment earnings, insurance proceeds and benefits,...
 

Bill Requires Natl Backgd Checks for School Workers

wyss
STATEHOUSE (Jan. 17, 2013) – State Sen. Tom Wyss (R- Fort Wayne) today announced his legislation to protect students while in school moved out of the Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law. Senate Bill 160 passed the committee Tuesday by a vote of 9-0.
Currently, school corporations can request either a national criminal history background check or a background check that searches state records. SB 160 would remove the second option and mandate any prospective school employee to undergo a...
 

Sen Tallian Proposes 'Health Care Expansion' Bill

News Release: INDIANAPOLIS— During a press conference Wednesday morning, State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) presented her proposal for the implementation of guidelines within the federal Affordable Care Act. Flanked by democrats from both the Indiana Senate and House of Representatives, Sen. Tallian outlined her plan for a state health exchange and expansion of health care to as many as 400,000 more of the state’s residents.
Senate Bill (540) makes provisions for a state-based...
   

Natl Retail Co Opening Distribution Ctr in Ind

News Release: CLAYTON, Ind. (Jan. 17, 2013) - Gordmans, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMAN), a national apparel and home décor retailer, announced plans today to locate a distribution center here, creating up to 250 new jobs by 2017.
The Omaha, Neb.-headquartered company plans to construct and equip a 545,000 square-foot facility in Hendricks County to support Gordmans' continued growth. The facility will be the company's second distribution center in the Midwest and, including construction and equipment costs,...
   

Solar Panels Unveiled atop Region Tech School

Despite a windy day, the ribbon has been cut on the rooftop of Porter County Career and Technical Center completing the latest phase of a student built solar panel collection project.
Along with top management from NIPSCO, including the utility company's president, Kathleen O'Leary, their were faculty members, current and former students at Tuesday's ceremony.  Valparaiso Councilwoman, Jan Dick represented the Valparaiso Redevelopment Corp., which according to the school's principal and...
   

Hobart PD Now Holding P2D2 Program

The Hobart Police Department wants to let you know they are holding a prescription drug take-back program to so you can get rid of expired, unused, or unwanted prescriptions or over-the-counter medication. Police report residents just need to remove all labels and other identifying information from containers before dropping the items off in the drop box installed in their department's lobby, located on the seven-hundred block of East 4th Street. Police also remind you that syringes and lancets...
   

Valpo Events for MLK Day

Everyone is invited to a special presentation this Monday in Valparaiso focusing on the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior talent as a bridge builder. Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas will host a presentation entitled, “ Embracing Inclusion”, which will take place at 9am Monday, at City Hall, in conjunction with Valparaiso University. The presentation is part of a week of events celebrating Doctor King, entitled “Building Bridges: Dream, Dialogue, Service. For a complete list of events and tim...
   

IN Near Bottom of 2012 Humane State Ranking

The Humane Society of the United States today released its 2012 "Humane State Ranking," rating all fifty states and Washington DC on a wide range of laws ranging from animal fighting to farm animals to wildlife to companion animals. Though Indiana's score went up from last year, the state came in fifth from the bottom, the report saying Indiana has weak laws protecting wildlife from abuse and prohibiting the possession of dangerous exotic animals as pets. Illinois, however, was ranked near the...
   

Salvation Army Making Last Push for Campaign Goal

The Salvation Army of Lake County reports they are just under 90-thousand dollars, or seven-point-eight percent, short of meeting the goal of their annual Christmas campaign. At last check, they report the campaign has raised one-million-50-thousand-564 dollars toward their goal of one-million-140-thousand dollars, which translates into 27-thousand-400 people through Lake County not receiving services. The Salvation Army of Lake County reports they are asking friends, family, and you for help,...
   

Structure Fire in Boone Grove: Update

Multiple departments responded to a structure fire in the Boone Grove area late this morning. The call came in just after 11am, and the fire was reported to be in the walls on the attic, at a residence located on County Road 600 West. No other information ia available at this time, but according to the Boone Grove Fire Department's Facebook page, they thanked their mutual aid departments, Hebron, Kouts, Four Seasons, Morgan, and Porter E-M-S, for their quick response.
Boone Grove Structure Fire
(Photo Courtesy of the...
   

Indiana Democrats Outline Healthcare Exchange

Keep healthcare in Hoosier hands; expand access to Indiana’s families
INDIANAPOLIS— During a press conference Wednesday morning, State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) presented her proposal for the implementation of guidelines within the federal Affordable Care Act. Flanked by democrats from both the Indiana Senate and House of Representatives, Sen. Tallian outlined her plan for a state health exchange and expansion of health care to as many as 400,000 more of the state’s residents.
Senate...
   

Authorities say Ask for ID Before Letting Strangers In

Highland Police are asking residents to ask for identification before allowing anyone into their home after a reported theft of valuables from a residence on Delaware Street Monday. Authorities report a Hispanic man, weighing 250 to 300 pounds, wearing a gray coat, baseball cap, and sunglasses, introduced himself to the homeowners as a future neighbor, and asked to come inside. Police say once inside, the man inquired about basement flooding issues in the neighborhood, and after engaging in...
   

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