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Munster and Whiting Receive Community Awards

Munster and Whiting officials are receiving awards from the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns today.  Munster has earned the 2013 IACT Community Achievement Award for a gas-to-energy project at Centennial Park that turns methane from a former landfill off Calumet Avenue into electricity. For the fourth year Whiting is receiving a Green Community of the Year award among cities similar in size.
IACT launched the Green Communities Initiative in 2008to identify potential cost savings to communities facing budget shortfalls, promote economically competitive quality of life concepts, and ultimately serve as role models for citizens while better protecting our environment. The initiative will expand educational opportunities for municipalities and create a consolidated clearinghouse of data and programs that can be accessed by municipalities. Whiting had to fill out a 49- question survey in the areas of purchasing, operations, measuring success, and sample projects. Not only did the city meet the minimum score required to be a Green Community, but ranked highest among other communities its size. The city’s exemplary efforts in the area of green programs earned them the 2013 IACT Green Community of the Year award in the 5,000–9,999 population category. This is the City’s fourth consecutive IACT Green Community of the Year designation
Munster is being honored for its waste to energy project that takes methane gas from CentennialPark, a former landfill, and converts the gas to energy. Munster’s plant opened in November 2012,becoming the first municipally-owned landfill in Indiana to construct and operate this kind of system.The electricity generated from the plant is placed directly into the local utility grid and sold to NIPSCO, resulting in addedrevenue for the Town. As a result of leveraging the $2.5 million federal grant and additional TIF funds, the Town will see a reduction in operational expenses for more than 20 years at no cost to residential taxpayers, all while reducing their ecological footprint for many more years to come.
“When I hear about projects such as Munster’s waste to energy initiative, I am completely energized by the limitless creativity found in municipal government. To take an old landfill and make it into a beautiful public space is visionary. To then develop that space into a revenue -generating, environmentally responsible endeavor is inspiring,” said IACT Executive Director and CEO Matt Greller.

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$1M Ticket Sold in EC; Avon Woman Nearly Tosses Winner

Hoosier Lottery officials say a Powerball ticket worth one-million dollars was purchased in East Chicago for this past Saturday night's drawing [Oct 5]. The ticket, matching the first five numbers but not the Powerball, was sold at Raceco at 4502 Indianapolis Boulevard. Prizes of $50,000 and more must be claimed at Hoosier Lottery headquarters in Indianapolis.
tanya

Meanwhile, a downstate Avon woman nearly threw away a ticket worth 100-thousand dollars. Hoosier Lottery officials say Tanya Raines admitted she was in a hurry when she scratched most, but not all, of the “20X the Cash” scratch-off on her way to work and because it didn't look like a winner, tossed it aside. Raines says she was cleaning out her car when she found the ticket and thought she better finish scratching it. She celebrates her 50th birthday today – she plans to put money aside for her nest egg and her 13-year-old daughter's college fund. [Photo/Hoosier Lottery]...
 

$1M Lottery Ticket in Indiana About to Expire

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A one-million dollar ticket in Indiana expires today, according to the Hoosier Lottery,who says the ticket purchased in April at a Circle K in Jeffersonville, just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, matched the first five numbers but not the Powerball in the Wednesday April 10th drawing of this year. Lottery officials say the ticket holder has until 5 pm Eastern time today (Mon Oct 7 2013) to present the winning ticket to Hoosier Lottery officials at Hoosier Lottery headquarters on North Meridian Street in Indianapolis. Officials say Powerball tickets purchased in Indiana expire 180 days from the date of the drawing.
Here's more info from the Hoosier Lottery:
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 30, 2013) - Do you remember what you were doing April 10 of this year? If you were in southern Indiana six months ago and purchased a Powerball ticket, you might want to drag out your spring jacket and check the pockets.
A $1 million Powerball prize won in the Hoosier state in the April 10 drawing is about to expire. The ticket was purchased at Circle K at 3830 Hamburg Pike in Jeffersonville, Ind., just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky.
The ticket matched the first five numbers, but not the Powerball number, in the Wednesday, April 10 drawing - and is set to expire Oct. 7, 2013.
The winning numbers in the April 10 drawing were: 1-36-40-52-53 PB:20.
The ticket holder has until 5:00 p.m. Eastern on Monday, Oct. 7 to present the winning ticket to Hoosier Lottery officials at Hoosier Lottery headquarters at 1302 North Meridian Street in Indianapolis. The ticket holder should sign the back immediately and contact Hoosier Lottery customer service.
Powerball prizes must be claimed in the state in which they were purchased. Powerball tickets purchased in Indiana expire 180 days from the date of the drawing. Profits from the sale of Powerball in Indiana stay in Indiana.
The Hoosier Lottery reminds all players to play responsibly. Must be 18 or older to play. Gambling Addiction Referral Line: 800-994-8448....
 

Student from Chicago-area Found Dead in IU Dorm

Officials in downstate Bloomington say an 18-year-old Indiana University student from the Chicago area was found dead in her dorm room Sunday afternoon. University Police say officers were called out to McNutt Quad on the report of an unresponsive female, identified as Abigail Bott from Clarendon Hills, Illinois. No word at this time on cause of death. An autopsy was being scheduled for today (Mon Oct 7)...
 

Woman Airlifted from Jasper County Crash

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Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say a Bowling Green, Kentucky, woman was airlifted from the scene of a multi-vehicle crash in Jasper County.  Here is the information released by Indiana State Police:
A four vehicle crash, Saturday afternoon, on I-65 north bound at the 225 Mile marker (this is five miles south of the Roselawn/Demotte exit) resulted in a Bowling Green, Kentucky woman being airlifted from the scene.
Preliminary investigation by Master Trooper Scott Balch revealed that at approximately 1:00 p.m., this Saturday, October 05, 2013, afternoon a 2003 Cadillac, driven by Scott Matczak Junior, 28 of Schererville and a 2012 GMC pulling a trailer driven by Patrick Wilsens, 57 of St. John, were merging back onto north bound into the right lane. Matczak had stopped to assist Wilsons change a flat tire on his trailer. Matczak and Wilsens had their left turn signals on and had built up their speed to approximately 50 MPH to merge into the right lane when a 2001 Kia, driven by Esparaza Lopez, 42 of Bowling Green, Kentucky failed to see them.
Lopez’ Kia hit the rear of Matczak’s Cadillac which pushed the Cadillac into the rear of Wilsens’ trailer.
The Kia slid sideways into the left lane and was hit in the driver’s door by a 2008 Mazda, driven by Eleanor Dimercurio, 18 of Louisville, Kentucky.
Lopez had to be extricated from her vehicle and was air-lifted from the scene and taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with non-life threatening injuries. Her front seat passenger Daniel Lopez, 16 (son) was taken to Jasper County Hospital in Rensselaer with non-life threatening injuries.
Matczak and Wilsens were not injured.
The Lopez’ Kia and Matczak’s Cadillac were totaled. Wilsens GMC was not damaged all damages were to the trailer and golf cart loaded on it. Dimercurio’s Mazda had approximately $6,000 in damage.
Assisting: Keener Fire and Ambulance and Newton County Sheriff’s Department
[Photo/Indiana State police]...
 

Five Escape Kitchen Fire in Hammond

Five people escape a fire at Renaissance Apartments in the 400 block of Logan Street in Hammond late Saturday that fire officials say began in the kitchen. Fire Chief Jeff Smith says the fire apparently started by an item left on an electric stove. Officials say the two adults and three children who were rescued were not injured. ...
 

TradeWinds New Hobart Facility Nearly Complete

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Construction at TradeWinds new location in Hobart is nearly finished. TradeWinds CEO Jon Gold says the move to a building south of US 30, at Colorado Street and East 83rd Place, formerly occupied by AmeriClean, will begin in the middle of this month, with administrative and non-programming offices relocating first, and the full move finished by late December. “We’re beginning with a ‘soft move’,” said Jon Gold, CEO of TradeWinds. “We will move consumer services, classrooms and equipment last in order to minimize disruption to our consumers and their caregivers.”
The current facility on West 7th Avenue in Gary will remain open through the end of the year, with a possible extension into 2014. “It is important that we have the capacity to continue serving our current consumers and new participants during the transition,” Gold explained.
TradeWinds, founded in 1966, provides special services needs for children and adults in the Region.  Services include Child Care and Adult Day Training programs, Residential and Employment Services, and a range of industry products.  “I am happy to report that TradeWinds is growing,” said Gold, “in fulfillment of our mission:  Serving people with special needs by empowering them to realize their full potential.” [Image provided]...
 

Local Bank Layoffs Expected in December

First Merchants Bank has filed notice with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development of a mass layoff across four bank branches in Lake County after their recent purchase of Munster-based Citizens Financial Bank. According to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Notice dated October 3, 2013, officials expect 84 employees from two locations in Munster and two others in Hammond and Schererville will lose their jobs starting in early December. In May, First Merchants Bank out of Muncie purchased Citizens Financial, which has twenty branches in the Region and Chicago's south suburbs. The president of Citizens Financial was recently quoted in The Times as saying the layoffs will affect workers in support roles including operations and technology....
 

One Injured in Gary Crash

No word at this hour on the extent of injuries in a crash in Gary late Sunday. Lake County Sheriffs Police say the driver went through a guardrail and landed in a ditch off the northbound lanes of Cline Avenue near the Fifth Avenue exit just before 10-o'clock last night. That person was transported to an area hospital....
 

Former Lake County Assessor Passes Away

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Former Lake County Assessor Hank Adams, who resigned less than a week ago due to health reasons, passed away Sunday. The 77-year-old Adams had been battling cancer for over a year. Adams was the first Republican to hold countywide office in Lake County in over fifty years. Prior to being elected county assessor, Adams also served as St. John Township assessor for several years, and was elected to the Schererville Town Council before that.  A native of Tennessee, Adams became a longtime businessman in Lake County, as the owner of Adams Village TV in Gary and Barelli's Furniture on State Street in Hammond.  Funeral arrangements are pending....
 

Marine Warning Issued, Other Severe Weather Possible

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A marine warning has been issued for our listening area, and other severe weather is possible around the Region. 
Here is a link to the National Weather Service Chicago website: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/ 
[Image/Radar Map, Chicago National Weather Service website]...
   

Four Human West Nile Virus Cases in NW Indiana

Northwest Indiana now has four human cases of West Nile Virus, three in Porter County and one in Lake County, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. The latest data available, from Friday, also show one human case in Elkhart County and eight other human cases in eight other counties across the state. Mosquito infections have been confirmed in nearly every Indiana county except for a handful downstate.  Indiana State Department of Health Senior Medical Entomologist Bryan Price told us in an earlier interview it's important to try to prevent mosquito bites. "Back before West Nile came to Indiana, people didn't worry all that much about being bitten by mosquitoes," Price told the Region News Team, "and a lot of people still don't worry about being bitten. But, with West Nile present, it's just not worth taking the risk, and we just want to emphasize that if you're out and mosquitoes start biting, then you should either go inside or make sure you get some repellent on."  Price says West Nile virus can cause a mild form of the illness, while some individuals will develop a more severe form that could include encephalitis or meningitis.
To hear our earlier interview with Price, visit News Audio on Demand here at our website.
Quick facts about West Nile Virus from Indiana State Department of Health: http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/2012QuickFact_WestNile%281%29.pdf
Here is a link to the Indiana State Department of Health West Nile activity map for 2013: http://gis.in.gov/apps/ISDH/Arbo/...
   

One Airlifted after I-65 Crash in Jasper County

Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say one person was airlifted after a multi-vehicle crash near mile marker 226 this afternoon in Jasper County.  The crash occurred on the northbound side near the Fair Oaks exit reportedly just after 1 pm. Police say the crash scene which involved four or five vehicles has since been cleared.  No other information was available....
   

Severe Weather a Possibility

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The National Weather Service says severe weather is a possibility in the Region today (Saturday October 5 2013). The Hazardous Weather Outlook issued out of the Chicago National Weather Service office says some thunderstorms may produce damaging winds in excess of 58 mph. Very heavy rain is also a possibility which may lead to flooding. Possible weather hazards also include hail up to one-inch in diameter and cloud-to-ground lightning.  Thunderstorms are expected to become more widespread mid to late afternoon as a cold front moves east through Illinois.  For forecast information click here: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/  [Graphic/National Weather Service Chicago]...
   

NICTD Issues Service Alert for South Shore

SShore Logo Tag 
The operators of the South Shore commuter line have issued a service alert for October 5-11, 2013.  Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District says South Shore trains will operate on a single track between Kennedy Avenue in East Chicago and 124th Street in Chicago in order to enable maintenance crews to install a new crossover and realign overhead wire near the Illinois/Indiana state line.    For details visit www.nictd.com...

   

Report: Suicide Steadily Increasing in Indiana

Indiana State Department of Health officials say a recently-released report shows suicide deaths steadily increasing in Indiana,  According to the Suicide in Indiana report, suicide is a leading cause of death for Hoosiers aged 15-54.  Reports of suicide deaths in Indiana increased steadily from 2007-2010, according to the report.  State health officials also say many suicides and suicide attempts are unreported.
“Suicide deaths leave a legacy of unimaginable hurt and guilt in families and communities,” said Indiana State Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Joan Duwve, M.D. “Information is available to learn more about the warning signs of suicide and how we can all work to prevent it.”
Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death overall in Indiana, the second leading cause of death among 15-34 year-olds and the third-leading cause of death for adolescents between 10-14 years-olds, making it an important public health issue. There were 872 deaths due to suicide in Indiana in 2011, according to the 2011 Indiana Mortality Report, up from 867 deaths in 2010.
Suicide is a complex problem, resulting from one or more biological, psychological, environmental, social and/or cultural factors. Certain situations and medical conditions put people at increased risk for suicide. Risk factors include recent crisis or loss, unemployment, severe depression or feelings of hopelessness, family history of suicide, physical or sexual abuse, substance abuse and access to firearms or other lethal means.
“Suicides are devastating to families and communities, so we must all come together to recognize those who need help, and then make sure they are connected to services,” said Dr. Duwve. “The Indiana State Suicide Prevention Plan was published last year to engage everyone including individuals, families, schools and places of worship and employment in the journey from hopelessness to health.”
Additional information from the Indiana State Department of Health --
Suicide warning signs include:
·         Appearing depressed or sad most of the time.
·         Talking or writing about death or suicide.
·         Withdrawing from family and friends.
·         Feeling hopeless and helpless.
·         Feeling strong anger or rage.
·         Feeling trapped -- like there is no way out of a situation.
·         Experiencing dramatic mood changes.
·         Abusing drugs or alcohol.
·         Exhibiting a change in personality.
·         Acting impulsively or recklessly.
·         Losing interest in most activities.
·         Experiencing a change in sleeping or eating habits.
·         Performing poorly at work or in school.
·         Giving away prized possessions.
·         Writing a will.
·         Feeling excessive guilt or shame.
There is help available for people considering suicide. If you or someone you know exhibits suicide warning signs, immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (800-273-8255), the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) or 911.
If you are concerned about someone, talk about it. Asking the following questions will not cause a person to consider suicide:
·         Do you ever wish you could go to sleep and never wake up?
·         When you feel sad, have you ever had thoughts of harming or killing yourself?
·         Are you thinking about killing yourself? Have you thought about how you would do it?
Then listen without judging, let the person know he or she is not alone and offer to help find a doctor or counselor or call a hotline together. Several resources are listed within the Suicide in Indiana report (2006-2011) at  http://www.in.gov/isdh/21838.htm  .Past reports are also available.
“Each of the statistics in the Suicide in Indiana report represents a person, and each person is important to those they left behind,” said Kevin Moore, Director, Division of Mental Health and Addiction. “This report will help us to target effective interventions that can help prevent future suicides. People who commit suicide often have untreated depression or substance abuse needs.  It is the responsibility of all of us to learn the warning signs and take appropriate action.”
To review the 2011 Indiana Mortality Report, go to  http://www.in.gov/isdh/19096.htm.
For more information, visit www.StateHealth.in.gov. Follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1...
   

Coats: Shutdown is a 'Pox on Both Our Houses'

coats

Indiana US Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) Friday spoke on the Senate Floor to urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to allow votes on individual funding bills sent over from the House of Representatives to provide funding for veterans and military personnel in the reserves as well as protect Americans from threats to their health and safety.
“We can do something right now to help Americans,” said Coats. “We can come together and fund important programs and departments right now and not put them in jeopardy because of Washington’s impasse.
 “A government shutdown is a pox on both our houses,” added Coats. “We need to do what the people of this great country elected us to do. We need to work to find a solution to the government shutdown. We can’t do that if the Democrat chair at the negotiating table is empty.”
Senator Coats' office says the House is sending the Senate a series of individual bills to fund several federal government departments and agencies. Coats is urging the Senate to pass these bills that would provide critical funding for veterans’ disability payments, the GI Bill, education training, VA home loans, pay for the National Guard and Reserve, food and drug safety programs, Federal Emergency Management Agency workers and intelligence and counter-terrorism personnel.
To view Senator Coats' speech click here:...

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September State Revenue Below Forecast

Indiana revenues for September were reported at approximately one-point-46 billion dollars, eight-million dollars below projections. The state budget agency says overall revenues would be higher if not for the redirection of one-percent of sales tax collections to the motor vehicle highway fund, as lawmakers directed for the 2013 budget.
Here are details released by the State Budget Agency Friday:
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The monthly revenue report of September 2013 state tax collections was released today.
Results:
State general fund revenues for September were $1,460.4 million, $8.0 million (0.5 percent) below the target based on the most recent forecast updated on April 16, 2013.
For the first quarter of FY 2013, total general fund revenues were $3,452.2 million.
Sales tax collections were $4.7 million (0.8 percent) below forecast for the month and $32.2
million below forecast for the quarter. HEA 1001-2013 redirected 1 percent of sales tax to the motor vehicle highway fund. Absent that change, quarterly sales tax collections would have only been $14.6 million below forecast.
Individual income tax collections totaled $541.4 million for the month, $26.8 million (4.7 percent) below forecast but $14.0 million (2.7 percent) above collections for the same month last year.
For the quarter, individual income tax collections were $81.7 million below forecast at $1,166.1 million.
Corporate income tax collections were $3.7 million (1.8 percent) below forecast for the month, but $10.6 million above target for the quarter.
Gaming revenues were $5.9 million (16.2 percent) below target for the month and $3.4 million (4.7 percent) below forecast for the quarter.
Commentary
Through the first quarter of FY 2014, state general fund revenues were $73.5 million (2.1 percent) below target based on the April 16, 2013 revenue forecast.
State general fund revenues were 0.9 percent lower than in the first quarter of FY 2013.
HEA 1001-2013's redirection of 1 percent of sales tax collections to the motor vehicle highway fund reduced general fund collections by $17.6 million for the three months.
Absent that change, sales tax collections would have increased by 3.5 percent over the same period last year. The April 2013 forecast projected sales tax collections to grow by 3.9 percent for the year.
Individual income tax collections were $81.7 million below target for the quarter and $58.4 million below the first quarter of FY 2013.
Transfers made to the LOIT reserve fund in the first quarter totaling $59.3 million resulted in a year-over-year reduction in individual income tax revenue; there were no LOIT reserve transfers in the first quarter of FY 2013.
These transfers were made in accordance with the December 2012 revenue forecast.
Another factor contributing to the year-over- year reduction in individual income tax revenue
is the modest growth in withholdings, which have only grown 0.4 percent year to date.
Through the first quarter of FY 2014, corporate income tax collections were $10.6 million
(4.6 percent) above the forecast target, but 7.9 percent below the same period last year....
   

Man Dies in Lawnmower Accident

In southern Indiana,  Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating the death of a man on Friday (10-04-2013) who was involved in an accident while mowing his property near the town of Dubois, in Dubois County. According to the information, Linus Bauer, 73 from Dubois was mowing his property with his lawnmower when it started sliding on wet soil, went down an embankment and overturned pinning the operator in a small ditch which had about 3 inches of water in it. It was reported that Bauer began his mowing around 12:00 p.m. on Friday. A family member went looking for Bauer and found the scene of the accident and called Dubois County 911 at 4:32 p.m..
Dubois Volunteer Fire Department First Responders, Jasper Memorial EMS, Dubois County Coroner’s Office, and Indiana Conservation Officers responded to the scene.The cause of death is undetermined at this time. The accident is still under investigation by the Dubois County Coroner’s Office and Officers from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. An autopsy is scheduled for today [Saturday]....
   

DeMotte Woman Passes Away After I65 Crash

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Indiana State Police say a 61-year-old DeMotte woman died after a crash that had southbound I-65 south of Crown Point closed to traffic until about 9-o'clock Friday night.  Indiana State Police say Sara Bergren of DeMotte had to be extricated from her vehicle and was airlifted from the scene to Christ Advocate Hospital in Oak Lawn, where she passed away.  Officials say a preliminary investigation by Trooper Dennis Simcoe revealed that at approximately 5:21 p,m Friday [October 04, 2013], a 2002 Peterbilt Recovery (big truck) tow truck, driven by Mark S. Rapo, 49 of Portage, Indiana, was south bound on I-65 in the left lane preparing to make a left turn onto the interstate crossover near the 245 mile marker (this is approximately two miles south of the Crown Point exit).
The tow truck was going to a service call for a semi that had lost part of its load on I-65 northbound at the 247 mile marker (Crown Point exit). Witnesses stated the tow truck had its flashing emergency lights turned on as it began to turn into the crossover when it was hit in the rear by a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Bergren. There were no passengers in the vehicle.  Police say Rapo was not injured.

All lanes south bound were closed for re-construction of the crash, airlifting of the driver, removal of the Malibu and clean-up of the scene. Motorists need to find alternate routes; expect back-up and long delays in this area. Also assisting were Troopers Brandon Henderson and Danielle Elwood, Sergeant Dan Leslie, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division Trooper Dale Turner, and Crown Point Fire and EMS. [Photo/Indiana State Police Lowell]...

   

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