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Region Trick-or-Treat Hours

Halloween – in November? That's what's happening in a number of Hoosier cities and towns, including some in the Region.
The following are all this evening, except where indicated. Hours are subject to change due to expected showers and storms this evening. Check with your local city or town center and not local police.

The following are all this evening Oct 31, except where indicated. Hours are subject to change due to expected showers and storms this evening. Check with your local city or town center.

Lake County (unincorporated) Same as city or town of your address
Porter County (unincorporated) 5:30-7:30pm *Sheriff David Lain says trick-or-treat hours will NOT be moved

Burns Harbor 5:30-7:30pm
Cedar Lake 5-7pm
Chesterton 5:30-7:30pm
Crown Point (new hours, now Friday 5-7pm)
Demotte 5-7pm
Dyer 5-7pm
East Chicago 4-6pm
Gary 4-6pm
Griffith 5-7pm
Hammond 5-7pm
Hebron 5:30-7:30pm
Highland 5-7pm
Hobart 5:30-7:30pm
Kentland 5-7pm
Kouts 5-7pm
Lake Station 4:30-7:30pm
LaPorte 6-8pm (MOVED to Friday)
Lowell 5-7pm
Merrillville 5-7pm
Michigan City 5-7pm
Munster 5-7pm
New Chicago 5-7pm

Portage (MOVED to Friday 5:30-7:30pm).

Also moved to Friday, Nov 1, the Downtown Business District in Portage along Central Avenue will be open for Trick-or-Treating from 3:30pm - 5pm. Businesses who are participating will have a sign in their window/door. Regular Trick-or-Treat hours for the whole community will be from 5:30pm - 7:30pm that same evening.  The Portage Fire Department will be out on Halloween handing out 3,200 glow sticks to your children.  The glow sticks were donated by Portage Firefighters Local 3151 and Porter Regional Hospital


Porter 5:30-7:30pm
Rensselaer 5:30-8pm
Schererville 5-7pm
Southlake Mall 5-7pm
St. John 5-7pm
Valparaiso 5:30-7:30pm
Westville 5-7pm
Wheatfield 5-7pm
Whiting 5-7pm
Winfield (MOVED to Friday 5-7pm)

...

 

Senator Coats: Delay Obamacare Mandates

coatsfloor
Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) Wednesday spoke on the Senate floor about the impact the Obamacare rollout is having on Hoosiers. Coats shared stories he has received from Indiana residents and reiterated his call for the Senate to pass his bill to delay the Obamacare mandates for a year.  Click here  &feature=youtu.be">&feature=youtu.be to view Coats' remarks.
The following is an op-ed article by Indiana Republican US Senator Dan Coats:
An email I received from Daniel in Elkhart, Indiana, summarizes the experience many Hoosiers are having with the recently launched Obamacare online health insurance marketplace:
“I have tried for two weeks to apply through the marketplace, only to electronically sign my application and be kicked back to my 'profile page.' This is the most bizarre system I have ever experienced. If a company put a business website together like this they would go out of business.”
Despite its $400 million cost to taxpayers, the president’s health care website has been plagued by nationwide accounts of technological complications since it launched on October 1. It also has been reported that the site has provided inaccurate information about the federal tax credits available to those seeking health insurance.
An experienced online database programmer told CBS News, “I would be ashamed and embarrassed if my organization delivered something like that.”
The administration has had almost four years to prepare for the rollout of their health care law and this is what it looks like – a complete disaster. A recent Associated Press poll revealed that only seven percent of Americans believe the rollout of Obamacare has gone either very well or extremely well.
Despite the website’s numerous glitches and many other implementation problems, the administration still insists on fining taxpayers if they don’t purchase health insurance.
Last week, the Obama administration announced a six-week extension to sign up for a health care plan before facing a penalty. This brief extension is not enough and certainly no consolation for the millions of Americans that are seeing their policies canceled, premiums rise and paychecks fall.
In September, I introduced legislation to delay the Obamacare mandates for a year, and as the problems with the health care law rise, I will continue to push for a vote on this bill.
First, a delay of the Obamacare mandates would provide all Americans with the same relief that the administration already has given to businesses. The Obama administration announced this summer that it will delay penalties for employers who do not provide health insurance coverage to workers, but not provide the same delay for all Americans.
Don’t individuals deserve the same relief from Obamacare as businesses?
My bill would codify the delay of the employer-mandate and extend the same delay to all individuals and families.
Second, delaying the Obamacare mandates until after the 2014 midterm elections would allow American voters to decide the health care law’s fate now that the impact of the law is being felt. Although the House has passed numerous bills to dismantle Obamacare, we do not have the votes in the Senate today to repeal or defund Obamacare.
If we delay the mandates, Americans will be able to decide whether they want to keep Obamacare or replace it with step-by-step, consumer-driven health care reforms.
The House already has taken the first step and passed similar legislation, introduced by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), to delay the employer and individual mandates. And it was bipartisan. Twenty-two House Democrats recognized the need to give Americans the same relief from Obamacare that businesses are receiving. Over the last several days, a number of Senate Democrats have expressed support for delaying parts or all of the president’s health care law as well.
As the President said last week, Obamacare is more than a website. It’s a law that has real-life consequences to Hoosier families and individuals.
President Obama - before and after Obamacare passed - promised all Americans they could keep their health care plans if they liked them. It was a promise he repeated time and time again.
But that isn’t the case and President Obama has known it for some time. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are receiving notification that their plans are being cancelled because of Obamacare, and reports indicate that the White House has known for three years that these cancellations were coming.

President Obama should keep his word to the American people. The President owes them an apology but most of all a solution.                                            ...
 

OE Ribbon Cutting at Lakeside Property

oeribbon
Opportunity Enterprises President and CEO David Stupay cut the ribbon on the new wing of their OE Lakeside Day Services Facility Wednesday.  Photo:  David Stupay, President and CEO of Opportunity Enterprises, cuts the ribbon on OE’s new day services wing at OE Lakeside, alongside (L - R) Ellen DeMartinis, VP/COO of OE, Linda Hazen, Director of Development for OE, Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas, Rex Richards, Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce President, and Gary Mitchell, former President and CEO of OE. [Photo provided]
The facility is home to three of OE’s day enrichment programs for men and women with disabilities.  “This project has been three years in the making,” said Stupay. “And the results have been awesome!  Our participants are blossoming out here, enjoying the natural setting and robust curriculum schedule.  This building has the capacity to serve nearly 300 individuals, and we are not done with improvements to our Lakeside campus.”  OE serves more than 11-hundred adults and children with disabilities in Porter County and Northwest Indiana.
Just north of the new wing of the day services facility, OE also constructed an accessible 8-unit apartment building that is now home to 20 OE participants.  “This apartment building meets the accessibility needs of our participants beautifully,” said OE COO and VP Ellen DeMartinis. “And we couldn’t have done either of these projects without the support of our community.”  More than 700 individuals and businesses from Northwest Indiana contributed to the agency’s capital campaign, which raised nearly $4 million. 
Mayor Costas spoke briefly about the impact of Opportunity Enterprises on Valparaiso and the surrounding region, stating that “OE is all about amazing people serving amazing people, and I look forward to OE’s continued growth.”  
Lee Lane reminded those in attendance how much their support has mattered to the participants of OE and read a letter from Congressman Visclosky, who was unable to attend, “It is my hope that the addition of this building will complement the outstanding services for which Opportunity Enterprises is well known, and that its programs will improve the quality of life for all those who seek these services.”
Rex Richards concluded the short ceremony with the words, “OE is a large part of what makes Valparaiso one of the best cities in the State of Indiana.”
With 157 acres to develop, OE is planning on constructing additional apartment buildings among other possible improvements.  “We will invest in projects that make financial sense for us as an agency and those that serve our mission,” said Stupay. “At the end of the day, that is our most important task: to serve men and women with disabilities.  Every day we are making a difference in their lives, and our Lakeside campus is an instrumental part of that work.”
About OE Lakeside:
The property is 157 acres.  The original building is 13,000 square feet and the new wing is 19,000 square feet.  The apartment building is a two story 8-unit accessible building that now houses 20 individuals.  The property was purchased in 2007, the capital campaign “Build OE Lakeside” was launched in 2010, the groundbreaking for the new wing and apartment buildings took place in August of 2012, residents began moving into the apartments in March of 2013 and programming began moving into the new wing of the day services facility in September of 2013.  
 For more information, visit www.oppent.org...
 

Don't Drive Through Flood Waters

Indiana State Police logo
Rain and the possibility of thunderstorms are in the forecast for tonight in northwest Indiana through tomorrow and some heavy rainfall could be associated, which means flooding could occur. Indiana State Police remind you to never cross or enter flowing water and driving through standing water may effect your brakes. If you find yourself stranded in flood waters, remain calm and call 9-1-1, and if you can do so, safely move to higher ground.
The Indiana State Police offers a few flood safety tips.
• Don’t travel unless absolutely necessary. If you have to travel carry a cell phone with a car charger.
• Purchase a weather scanner and heed all flood and flash flood warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
• Do not drive around barricades at water crossings.
• Be especially vigilant at night. Many drowning deaths occur at night when it is difficult to see water crossings.
• Do not cross or enter flowing water. Driving fast through high water on the road is not a solution. Faster speeds create less tire contact with the road surface and increase your chance of crashing.
• Driving through standing water may affect your brakes. Test your brakes at low speeds as soon as you exit the water.
• If you choose to abandon your vehicle, respect the force of the water flow, you may be swept off your feet. After you exit the vehicle seek higher ground.
• Be aware that road erosion may occur when there is running or standing water.
• Remember that six inches of water will reach the bottoms of most car doors. One foot of water will float many vehicles, and two feet of moving water can carry away most vehicles.
If you find yourself stranded in flood waters remain calm and call 911. If you can do so safely move to higher ground....
 

Safety Guidelines for a Safe Halloween

Pumpkins
(Photos Courtesy of Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller)
Police in Hammond are offering some tips to keep your children safe this Halloween. Police Chief Brian Miller says children should always trick or treat in groups and that it is mandatory young children have an adult with them. Chief Miller says never go up to a house that is not lit up and to stay in neighborhoods that are familiar. As for checking candy, Chief Miller says in his 22 years of law enforcement, he has never investigated a case of candy tampering, but it never hurts to check. Children should also be highly-visible, especially in low-light conditions, and reminds parents you can add reflective strips to back of any child's costume or bags as an extra safety measure. Chief Miller says extra patrols will be on duty and the city's streets and sanitation workers will be traveling Hammond with their emergency lights on. Trick or Treat hours in Hammond are from 5 to 7pm.
Fall 2013 ...
 

Fall Harvest Festival in Gary

City of Gary
Children and their parents are invited to Brunswick Park in Gary tomorrow for the Fall Harvest Festival. Gary officials report the event takes place from 4 to 6pm. There will be hayrides (weather permitting), games and activities, where children will learn about recycling, fire safety, going green, dental health and much more. Music, snacks, books and treat bags will also be available. For more information contact the City of Gary at (219) 881-1314. ...
 

Victims Identified in Fatal Two-Vehicle Crash

Portage Police say, at this time, they do not know why the driver of a gray Nissan Altima, which was being pursued by an officer, did not stop when a traffic stop was being initiated early this morning, which led to that vehicle ultimately crossing over to the southbound lane of Willowcreek Road, just north of US 6, resulting in a violent, firery crash that killed the driver, 40 year old Simon Moffat, and a passenger in the other vehicle, identified as 33 year old Karina Gonzalez, both of Portage. Authorities report the officer observed the suspect vehicle, just before 3am, drive off from the McDonald's drive through window on US 6, at a high rate of speed, and was advised by employees that Moffat was allegedly acting strange, possibly intoxicated. The driver of the second-vehicle, who was airlifted to a South Bend hospital has been identified as Rogelio Gonzalez and his condition is unknown at last check. Willowcreek Road was shut down in that area for several hours due to the crash and an investigation continues....
 

Portage FD Passing Out Glow Sticks for Trick or Treaters

Portage Fire Dept. 2
The Portage Fire Department's marked ambulances and engines will be out in the neighborhoods during trick or treat hours tomorrow passing out over three-thousand glow sticks. Fire officials say they are doing it in an effort to keep children safe and visible to motorists. The glow sticks were purchased through donations made from IAFF Firefighters Local 31-51 and Porter Regional Hospital. Halloween trick or treat hours in Portage tomorrow are 5:30pm to 7:30pm....
 

Teachers in Hammond Settle Contract

Teachers in Hammond have a new contract and a three-point-five percent salary increase. The contract, which was approved by the school board earlier this month, was passed by a vote of 632 to 11. The Times reports the contract also reflects a 39-point-four percent increase in the insurance rates, prompting higher insurance premiums. According to the article, of the district's 925 teachers, only 14 will not receive the pay raise....
 

Police Investigating Report of Indecent Exposure

Hammond PD
Police in Hammond are seeking information regarding a heavyset man who reportedly exposed himself to two teenage girls who were walking home from school on Tuesday. Authorities report the first incident allegedly occurred in the 77-hundred block of Birch Drive, while the other happened in the 74-hundred block of White Oak Avenue. Police report the man in question was reportedly driving a dark SUV with tinted windows....
 

RailCats Release 2014 Season Schedule

Railcats logo
The Gary South Shore RailCats have released their upcoming schedule for the 2014 season. The team will begin the defense of their 2013 American Association title on the road with a Thursday, May 15th game against the St. Paul Saints. The 2014 home opener at the US Steel Yard will take place on Thursday, May 22nd, verses the Wichita Wingnuts, last season's championship series opponent. A pre-game ring ceremony is also planned for the home opener.
In the coming months, the RailCats will unveil a full schedule of promotions, theme nights and giveaways for the 2014 season. Fans are encouraged to keep up with the RailCats online at www.railcatsbaseball.com, as well as on their Facebook and twitter pages.

2014 Schedule
May
15-18 @ St. Paul Saints
19-20 @ Sioux Falls Canaries 22-25 vs. Wichita Wingnuts
26-28 vs. Kansas City T-Bones
30-31 @ Wichita Wingnuts

June
1 @ Wichita Wingnuts
2-5 @ Sioux City Explorers
6-8 vs. Sioux Falls Canaries
9-11 vs. Sioux City Explorers
13-15 @ Lincoln Saltdogs
16-18 @ Grand Prairie AirHogs
20-22 vs. Lincoln Saltdogs
23-26 vs. Sioux Falls Canaries 27-29 @ Kansas City T-Bones
30 @ Sioux Falls Canaries

July
1-3 @ Sioux Falls Canaries
4-6 vs. St. Paul Saints
8-10 @ Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
11-13 @ Winnipeg Goldeyes
14-16 vs. Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
18-20 vs. Amarillo Sox
21-24 @ Sioux City Explorers
25-27 vs. Winnipeg Goldeyes
30-31 vs. Kansas City T-Bones

August/September
1-2 vs. Kansas City T-Bones
3-6 vs. Lincoln Saltdogs
7-10 @ Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
11-13 vs. Sioux City Explorers
15-17 @ Kansas City T-Bones
18-20 vs. St. Paul Saints
21-24 vs. Kansas City T-Bones
26-28 @ Sioux City Explorers
29-1 @ Winnipeg Goldeyes...
   

Previously Convicted Felons Carrying Guns Arrested

stops team bust
(Photo Courtesy of the Hammond Police Department)
It has only been around since August, but since then the STOPS Team, a full-time task force with police officers from East Chicago, Gary, Hammond, Lake County and part-time officers from other Lake County communities, have made a dramatic impact according to Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller.
On Tuesday night, the STOPS Team arrested two previously convicted felons, carrying handguns with extended magazines. Chief Miller says these subjects were affiliated with a criminal gang and they are testing the bullets to see if they match any homicides or shootings. Since its inception, the STOPS Team has confiscated numerous guns and drugs and was responsible for the arrest of the Hessville cell-phone bandits. Chief Miller says the task force was the idea of East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker and that it has created permanent friendships among officers from different departments. The STOPS team works primarily in East Chicago, Gary, Hammond and in the suburbs. ...

   

Previous Wanted Person of the Week in Custody

Kyle Craft
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
A 22 year old man previously listed by the LaPorte Police Department in July as a “Wanted Person of the Week” is now in custody. LaPorte Police report Kyle Craft is currently being detained in the St. Joseph County Jail. Craft had been wanted through LaPorte Circuit Court for revocation of suspended sentence for an original charge of felony sexual misconduct with a minor. ...
   

Police Seeking Answers After Fatal Crash in Portage

portage pd
Portage Police say, at this time, they do not know why the driver of a gray Nissan Altima, which was being pursued by an officer, did not stop when a traffic stop was being initiated early this morning, which led to that vehicle ultimately crossing over to the southbound lane of Willowcreek Road, just north of US 6, resulting in a violent, fiery crash that killed the driver, 40 year old Simon Moffat, and a passenger in the other vehicle. Authorities report the officer observed the suspect vehicle, just before 3am, drive off from the McDonald's drive through window on US 6, at a high rate of speed, and was advised by employees Moffat was acting strange, possibly intoxicated. The driver of the second-vehicle, whose name is also unavailable at last check, was airlifted to a South Bend hospital.  Willowcreek Road was shut down in that area for several hours and an investigation continues. ...

   

Franklin Street Bridge Inspections to Begin

The City of Michigan City says the Franklin Street Bascule Bridge over Trail Creek will be inspected for rehabilitation starting Monday, November 4, 2013.  Inspections are scheduled to continue on Tuesday, November 5th and Wednesday, November 6th.  If need be, Thursday, November 7th could be added to the inspection schedule.  Franklin Street at the bridge will be closed on Monday and Tuesday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and motorists are asked to use Center Street and Krueger Avenue as a detour.
On Wednesday and Thursday (if needed), city officials say Franklin Street at the bridge will be open but the bridge will be opened and closed periodically for mechanical inspection, these delays should be no different than what is normal for the passage of a  large boat. Detour signs will be put in place to help guide citizens and visitors to the alternative routes around this affected piece of Franklin Street....
   

UPDATE: Two Killed in Portage Crash

The identity of one of the individuals killed in a motor-vehicle crash in Portage early this morning has been released. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says 40-year-old Simon Moffat was pronounced dead at the scene. Harris says he was in a vehicle police were trying to stop, when his car collided with another car head-on on Willowcreek Road, just north of US 6. Harris says a passenger in the second car, a 33-year-old Portage resident, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the second vehicle was airlifted from the scene to a South Bend hospital. Portage Police Chief Troy Williams will be releasing additional information on the collision later today....
   

Two Killed in Portage Crash

Two people are dead after a motor vehicle accident in Portage early this morning. Authorities say a vehicle police were trying to stop collided with another vehicle on Willowcreek Road at Wonderland Road, just north of US 6. Coroners officials were called to the scene just before 3:30 this morning. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says the 40-year-old driver of the first vehicle, and a passenger in the second car, a 33-year-old Portage resident, were pronounced dead at the scene. Harris says the car police were trying to stop was apparently traveling northbound on Willowcreek Road when it crossed the median and struck the second car head-on.  The driver of the second vehicle was airlifted from the scene to a South Bend hospital.  Names have not yet been released pending notification of family. Portage Police Chief Troy Williams will be releasing additional information later today.  Willowcreek Road was closed between US Route 6 and Lute Road for about four-amd-a-half hours today....
   

Region Responders Attend Superstorm Sandy Reunion

Ice Arena empty
A group of four responders from Indiana, including three from the Region – Lori Postma, a nurse and Emergency Preparedness and Bio-terrorism Coordinator for Franciscan Alliance in Munster; Paige Connelly, Porter County Telecommunications Dispatcher; and Mike Webber, Porter County Emergency Management Agency Assistant Director; returned to Long Beach, New York, Tuesday for a “thank you” celebration marking the one-year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says the group had lunch, watched a video detailing recovery efforts and visited places that have recovered from the storm. Diane Mack, Director of Emergency Management and Continuity, Indiana University, was also on the Indiana team.
That's Postma in the top photo, taken in the past week, in the ice arena that's back open to the public.  The photo below was from last year when the Indiana team arrived in Long Beach, NY, and that arena was packed with donated goods.   The Indiana team helped manage those donations as well as thousands of volunteers in the area.   [Photos provided/Lori Postma, courtesy Indiana Department of Homeland Security]
arena Full
During the event, a letter was read from Governor Mike Pence to the City of Long Beach. It highlighted what an honor it was for Indiana to aid neighbors on the East Coast, and expressed support for the continuing recovery process.
“You couldn’t imagine that you would make that great a difference in just two weeks, but everyone remembered us,” said Postma. “It was emotional for us because we never got to see the end result, but everyone remembered us; we were treated like long lost family returning home.”...
   

Fire at Restaurant Confined to Storage Room

valpofireresize
Valparaiso Fire Crews were called out to Broadway Cafe at Sturdy Road and US Route 30 just after 10:30 am Tuesday.  Valparaiso Fire Department Battalion Chief Les Abraham says a fire began in a small storage room where he told the Region News Team paper products were stored too close to the water heater, which caused the paper products to burn, and the sprinkler system activated, which kept the fire under control until firefighters arrived and put it out.   Abraham says fire damage was contained to the storage room, with smoke and water damage to the building.  Abraham says there were patrons at the business at the time the fire was called in and there were no injuries. Abraham also says the fire would keep the restaurant closed until the sprinkler system could be repaired.  [Photo/Radio One Communications]

...

   

Man Hit by Bus Charged with Obstructing Traffic Earlier

A report from the Vincennes Police Department says a 36-year-old man struck and killed by country music star Jason Aldean's tour bus was arrested earlier this month for walking on the same road. The bus, which Aldean was on at the time, struck and killed the man on US 41 early Monday, after he reportedly walked into the bus' path.  Authorities say the same man had been taken into custody on October 8 after officers found him walking down the center line of the highway causing cars to swerve. He was charged with obstructing traffic.  He was arrested again for allegedly stealing a bicycle from the Knox County Public Library and charged with theft, a class D felony.
After the accident, Aldean expressed his condolences. "With a heavy heart, I'm sad to say that a man passed away last night after stepping out in front of my bus in Indiana," he tweeted. "In all the years I've been touring and all the miles we've driven, nothing prepares you for something like this to happen. I'm praying for Albert Kennedy's family and friends today and ask that you do the same."   An investigation into the crash and death is ongoing....

   

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