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Ivy Tech Receives Boeing 737 for Use as Training Lab

Training Lab
(Photo Courtesy of Ivy Tech Community College)
GARY, IN — Ivy Tech Community College has received a Boeing 737-400 as a donation from the Popovich Family Trust.  The plane, valued at $1.375 million, will be utilized by the Community College for various training and teaching opportunities.
“This is a wonderful example of how a local community helps make its community college even stronger by providing the resources it needs to be successful,” said Dr. Thomas Coley, Chancellor of the Northwest and North Central regions of Ivy Tech. “There is no substitute for hands-on experience, and that’s exactly what this plane will offer our students. The plane will allow us to provide training that we would otherwise have no way of facilitating.  On behalf of Ivy Tech Community College and its students, we say thank you to the Popovich Family Trust.”
Ivy Tech will use the plane in its Emergency Response Training Lab, which opened on November 22 at the Gary/Chicago International Airport. The lab will give Ivy Tech students the chance to train with special instructors as part of their education. Students will be greatly benefited by the opportunity for response training prior to graduation, as many are studying professions in highly demanding fields. The use of the plane will allow them to be better prepared for the workforce once they have completed their degrees.
Two different types of training will be offered by the Emergency Response Training Lab. First, Ivy Tech students who are studying criminal justice, public safety, law enforcement, and fire and emergency response will have the ability to learn from seasoned professionals by observing them in training. This training provides a simulated environment with the use of an aircraft, which differs from the current training classes that are offered to these students. Ivy Tech is working with outside law, fire, and emergency responder professionals to help coordinate this training program.
Second, there will be a training program for seasoned officers, so that the officers can potentially obtain college credit for participating in the training in order to earn their continued education units (CEUs). The CEU training will be made available with the assistance of Ivy Tech Corporate College. Additionally, the Corporate College is working to establish classes so that officers can continue to work toward their degree while satisfying CEUs. The Corporate College would provide the certificates to the instructors.
In addition to the training lab, there are many other opportunities made possible by the donation of this airplane. The plane allows for an expanded partnership with the city of Gary, as it could be used for valuable training for Northern Indiana law, fire and emergency responder agencies. It will also provide job opportunities for security trainers, which is a valuable asset in a field where jobs are very limited. Finally, it allows the chance for Northwest Indiana to put itself at the forefront of this type of training. This is a unique and rare opportunity, and by using the plane for various types of training, Northwest Indiana can position itself as a leader nationwide.
The airplane is provided in its entirety by sage popovich, inc. (SPI), one of the companies owned by the Popovich Family Trust, which has been in business since 1979 and works to repossess commercial aircrafts. SPI is now the world’s largest specialist in recovery of aviation related equipment. In addition to repossessing aircrafts, they also offer services to provide asset management, monitor project-oriented contractual obligations, and offer expertise in all phases of airline and charter operations. Nick Popovich is currently working with Ivy Tech and aircraft professionals to create an endowment fund for the airplane. The goal for this endowment is between $1 and $2 million.
“My family and I established the Popovich Family Trust to fulfill our obligation to give back to the industry, to the community and to our veterans,” said Popovich.  “We accomplish this with direct scholarships, internships and assisting educational institutions, programs for children and families with special needs, and by our work with Veteran Airlift Command where we fly wounded veterans for medical treatments, unit and family reunions and memorial services.   We have high hopes for Ivy Tech and the Emergency Response Training Lab for both educational and practical training.”
Ivy Tech Community College is the state's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association....

Gun BuyBack in Gary with GED Voucher Incentive

City of Gary
The Gary Police Department will be hosting another gun buyback event today, Saturday, November 23, from 8am-4pm at six local churches. City of Gary Director of Communications Chelsea Whittington says, in addition to receiving Wal-Mart gift cards, the first 50 people who turn in weapons that day will receive a GED testing voucher. Whittington says Pastor LaTonya Pettigrew, of St. Andrew AME Zion Church, put forth the idea back in August to have the GED incentive apart of this gun buyback event.
The participating churches are listed below:
Trinity Missionary Baptist Church
1831 Virginia St.
Pilgrim M.B. Church
1301 W. 21st Ave.
Embassies of Christ
4285 Cleveland St.
Grace Unity C.O.G.I.C.
3435 W. 21st Ave.
St. Andrew AME Zion Church
749 Chase Street
Beyond 4 Walls Christian Center
875 S. Lake St.


FDA Approves New Drug to Fight Hepatitis C

A new drug approved by federal regulators to fight hepatitis. ABC News reports Johnson & Johnson says the drug is designed to eliminate hepatitis C, the most common form of the liver-destroying virus. Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the drug that's a protease inhibitor that blocks a protein needed by the virus to replicate. The pill is taken daily in combination with other long-established drugs to fight the virus. The approval comes less than a month after an FDA advisory panel voted unanimously in favor of approving the treatment. More than 3 million people in the US have hepatitis C, a blood-borne disease that is blamed for 15,000 deaths a year. ...

High School Football Semi-State Finals

Only one region team will be heading to the state finals next weekend in Indianapolis. In Merrillville on Friday night undefeated Andrean had no problem verses 12-and-1 West Lafayette, winning 52-to-7 and now advance to the Class 3A state championship game.
In Class 4A, East Chicago Central traveled to Fort Wayne and was shutout 38-to-nothing. Rensselaer was also shutout, 27-to-nothing, in their Class 2A state semi-state match up verses Tipton.
Finally, host Winamac lost their Class A semi-state games against Tri-Central, 20-to-14. ...

Silver Alert for Missing Bloomington Man Canceled

A statewide Silver Alert for a missing 63 year old Bloomington man has been canceled. Indiana State State Police issued the cancellation for Jay Larry Bell on Friday at 6:10pm EST at the request of Bloomington Police. Bell had reportedly gone missing on Friday morning. No further information has been made available....

Valpo Convenience Store Robbed

Valpo PD
Police in Valparaiso are investigating a report of a convenience store being robbed on Friday evening. Valparaiso Police say around 6pm, they received a call that the Valpo Quick Pantry in the 300 block of West Lincolnway had just been robbed. Police arrived and were informed a black male allegedly displayed a handgun, requested cash from the register and then fled on foot in a northeasterly direction with an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect is described as 5'9”-to-5'10”, wearing a hooded sweatshirt with his face partially covered. ...

Suspect in Outlet Mall Attempted Robbery in Custody

Nathan Hatchell
(Photo Courtesy of Michigan City Police)
A 22 year old Michigan City man was taken into custody without incident this afternoon and charged with two-counts of attempted robbery for the incident that took place Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot of Light House Place Outlet Mall. Michigan City Police report they were able to identify Nathan Hatchell as a suspect and obtained two search warrants. Hatchell was arrested at 3pm in the one-thousand block of Chicago Street. Police are thanking the public for their assistance in this investigation. ...

3 Men Charged in LaPorte County Home Invasions

Three men were charged in LaPorte Circuit Court today on burglary and robbery charges stemming from two separate home invasions near Michigan City and Westville earlier this year. A 34 year old, 20 year old and 16 year old are accused of forcing residents into their homes and confining and beating them, on May 13th and July 4th, and taking money. The victim's injuries were non-life threatening, and the 16 year old suspect, who also faces battery and criminal confinement charges, has been waived into adult court. A 23 year old man charged in the July 4th incident is still awaiting trial. ...

State Wide Silver Alert Issued for Jay Larry Bell

jay larry bell
(Photo Courtesy of Bloomington Police)
A statewide Silver Alert has been issued for a missing Bloomington man. Bloomington Police report 63 year old Jay Larry Bell, also known as “Sam” was last seen at 6am EST todayand is believed to be in danger. Bell is described as a white male, 6'3”, weighing 250 pounds, with short gray hair, mustache and beard, has hazel eyes, a mole in the center of his forehead and on his right nostril and a diamond and green earring in his left ear. Bell was last seen wearing a long sleeve blue Kentucky Wildcats shirt, dark jeans, white and green tennis shoes and a black University of Kentucky hat. Anyone with any information on Jay Larry Bell, who police say maybe disoriented and require medical attention, is asked to contact the Bloomington Police Department at (812) 349-3300....

Prisoner Escapes, Injures Two Officers in Gary

Gary PD
Gary Police are seeking the public's help in locating a prisoner who escaped from custody this afternoon. Gary Police Corp. Gabrielle King says just before 1:30pm, officers were loading prisoners into a transport van when 21 year old Jamal Haskins kicked an officer, pushed another down and then fled in an unknown direction.
Corp. King says Haskins had just been sentenced to one-year in prison in the Lake County Jail, for not attending Edge Water Systems for Balanced Living as ordered, before injuring the two officers and fleeing. Haskins is described as 5'6”, weighing 220 pounds, wearing all black, with a short haircut. The injuries the officers sustained were non life-threatening. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jamal Haskins is asked to contact the Gary Police Department. ...


All Lanes Westbound Borman Reopened

Traffic congestion westbound I-80/94 should return to normal levels as the two left lanes have been reopened near Calumet Avenue.  Closed earlier to a rollover accident that was moved to the left shoulder.  Traffic tipsters were reporting gaper slowdowns eastbound on the Borman from Torrence Avenue until past Calumet Avenue.  Backups were also reported on the ramps from southbound and northbound Cline Avnue....

La Lumiere Raises $ for Washington Storm Victims

la lumiere donates to washington
(Photo Courtesy of La Lumiere School)
The student body of La Lumiere School in La Porte have raised funds to aid in the tornado relief efforts in Washington, Illinois. School officials report over Thanksgiving break, Washington will be hosting the 2013 Coventry Health Tournament of Champions, which La Lumiere will be competing in and when they arrive they will present a donation of over two-thousand dollars for the tornado relief fund. In addition to the donation, the team will be participating in the cleanup efforts in Washington, where an EF-4 tornado damaged one thousand homes....

Crash WB Borman Blocks 2 Left Lanes near Calumet

11-22-13 2 left lanes closed WB Borman
All lanes westbound on the Borman/I-80/94 is backing up from Cline Avnue due to a crash that is blocking two left lanes near Calumet Avenue.  Traffic tipsters are reporting that a vehicle has flipped over and is on its side on the inside shoulder/wall just past Calumet Avenue.  Emergency crews are on the scene.  Drivers eastbound should be alert to a gaper's slowdown to the westbound accident.
(phot/INDOT:  Looking westbound toward accident on the left shoulder)...

Gun BuyBack Event in Gary Offers Special Incentive

City of Gary
The Gary Police Department will be hosting another gun buyback event tomorrow, Saturday, November 23, at six local churches. City of Gary Director of Communications Chelsea Whittington says, in addition to receiving Wal-Mart gift cards, the first 50 people who turn in weapons that day will receive a GED testing voucher. Whittington says Pastor LaTonya Pettigrew, of St. Andrew AME Zion Church, put forth the idea back in August to have the GED incentive apart of this gun buyback event.
Gary PD

The participating churches are listed below:
Trinity Missionary Baptist Church
1831 Virginia St.
Pilgrim M.B. Church
1301 W. 21st Ave.
Embassies of Christ
4285 Cleveland St.
Grace Unity C.O.G.I.C.
3435 W. 21st Ave.
St. Andrew AME Zion Church
749 Chase Street
Beyond 4 Walls Christian Center
875 S. Lake St....


Toll Road Construction Halted for Thanksgiving Holiday

Officials with the Indiana Toll Road report seasonal road construction projects will come to a halt prior to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. All mainline lane restrictions will be removed as of 5am EST Monday, November 25th, to accommodate motorists. The only exceptions to this will be made for any emergency repairs on the Toll Road and for the westbound exit ramp at the Lake Station interchange, which remains closed for reconstruction. Any remaining construction projects will resume after 8pm EST Tuesday, December 3rd....

Valpo Five-Points Roundabout Opening Delayed

City of valpo
The opening of the new Five-Points Roundabout in Valparaiso, which was to occur this evening has been delayed due to the weather. Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission Executive Director Stu Summers says the weather has delayed the contractor's ability to apply the pavement markings, but they hope to have the new roundabout, at the five-points intersection of Calumet Avenue, Vale Park and Roosevelt Roads, open next week.
Summers says the tree-lighting dedication ceremony though will still take place as planned on Sunday, November 24th, at 4:30pm, in the Kmart parking lot. ...

Highland PD Offers Tips to Avoid Scams

Highland Police
Police in Highland are reminding residents to be wary of unknown subjects at your door or in the neighborhood with no identification after receiving several recent complaints of attempted scams. Highland Police report all of Highland's Public Work employees wear badges and uniforms with the Highland emblem and they drive town vehicles that are clearly marked with the Highland logo. Police say if someone claims to be from the water department or lawn service and requests access to your home, ask for proper identification, and if they cannot provide it, call 911 immediately. ...

New Study: Keep the TV Out of Your Child's Bedroom

Here's another reason to keep televisions out of your kids' bedrooms: A study from Ohio State University says, in preschoolers, TV can impair social development. ABC News reports TV can be really bad in a preschooler's bedroom (It's disruptive to sleep, it's linked with poor eating habits) And Ohio State professor Amy Nathanson says regardless of a 3-to-5-year-old's socioeconomic status - too much TV can weaken that kid's social development skills (another recommendation would be to limit the amount of time that a television is just on in the household) Even in the background, TV can be disruptive. ...

Snowmobile Stickers are in for Porter County

2013 – 2014 snowmobile stickers are here -- The Porter County Sheriff's Department is reminding the public that snowmobiles that operate on the traveled portion of public highways in Porter County must be registered with the Porter County Sheriff’s Police.
To register your snowmobile come to the Sheriff’s Dept. Monday thru Friday from 8am – 3:45pm (except holidays). Please bring:
State snowmobile registration card
Evidence of existence of an in-force policy of insurance covering personal property damage in the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) and personal liability in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00)
A new weather resistant registration sticker will be provided and must be attached to the vehicle. There is no charge for the sticker. The penalty for failure to properly register your vehicle is a $50.00 citation.
For the complete county code for snowmobiles go to:
For information on obtaining a state snowmobile registration go to:

Preparing for Winter in the Region

This is officially Winter Preparedness Week in Indiana... a week that started with severe weather and tornadoes more akin to Spring. The National Weather Service is encouraging Hoosiers to prepare for what could be a cold and snowy winter.
"Tornadoes and floods are also concerns for Hoosiers during winter," said Meteorologist in Charge Dan McCarthy of the NWS Indianapolis office.  "Indiana had two tornadoes and more than a half dozen flooding events last winter so being prepared and taking action for any hazard are keys to safety"."
Officials recommend assembling and maintaining a disaster kit, and including items like food and water for three days for everyone in the family including companion animals, a battery-operated or hand-crank all-hazards radio, flashlight, extra batteries, first aid kit, and cash (Small bills. Power outages can limit use of ATMs and credit cards).
The INDOT YouTube channel ( is debuting two new winter weather videos.  In one of them, the Indiana Department of Transportation talks about how they pre-treat roads with brine they make themselves, by recycling the water they use to wash their trucks.  The trucks are salty after hours on the road plowing snow, and when they're cleaned up, the salty water runoff is collected, checked for salt levels, and used to pretreat the roads before snow and ice --for less, INDOT says, than standard de-icers.
Check out the video here:
Drivers can also learn about road conditions in winter weather, INDOT plow progress, and snow forecasts through the INDOT social media pages? Learn how in this new video:
For more info on winter weather, visit  ....

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Laura-WAKE Scott-WAKE Brent-WAKE
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team


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