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Valpo PD to Host Church Security Seminar

Valpo PD
In Valparaiso, police announced today they will be hosting a church security seminar next month in response to the numerous illegal incidents that have occurred on church properties in recent years. Police say the focus will be on crime prevention issues and building awareness to potential crime. Some of the topics discussed will be, the purpose for church security, building/property security, child security while at church- including what to do with registered sex offenders, dealing with difficult people, developing a safety team and a church emergency action plan.   
The seminar is free and will be held at the Valparaiso Police Department on December 5th, from 8:30am to 12pm. Registration is required to attend.  To register or receive additional information contact Sgt. Michael Grennes at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 219-462-2135.  ...
 

Valpo V-Line Continues to Grow

vlinemap
Valparaiso's Board of Works has approved expanding the hours of the V-Line city bus service. Ridership has gone up by nearly forty-percent since the beginning of the year. So-called 'rescue buses' have had to sent out at times to assist when regular buses filled up. On December 2nd a new Purple night time route that loops around the city for two hours will supplement the Yellow and Green routes after those lines are through for the day. And the Brown line, which serves the area around Valparaiso University, will start two hours earlier. [Image/provided: The V-Line's new Purple Route]...
 

K-9 Search at Andrean High School

Andrean High School is marking a milestone today, with a first-ever K-9 locker and building search, a search that also included bathrooms, hallways, locker rooms, and every car in the parking lot. Eight K-9s took part. There were multiple police cars parked at the Catholic school at 5959 Broadway in Merrillville this morning, and Principal Mary Beth Ginalski told the Region News Team that a lockdown drill was called, and the search led by Hobart Police began, assisted by Lake Station and Portage, began.  "I'm really proud of everyone," Ginalski said, "because we didn't find anything.  I just wanted to make sure that the message is out there that Andrean High School will not tolerate any drugs on their campus or in the cars on the campus."  Andrean has six-hundred students from across Northwest Indiana, grades nine-thru-twelve....
   

Extended Hrs for Lake Co Treasurers Ofcs for Bill Pay

The Office of the Lake County Treasurer reminds residents that property tax bills are due tomorrow (Tuesday, November 12th). In Lake County, the County Treasurer's office is open today (Monday, Nov 11), and bills can be paid at their main office at the Lake County Government Complex in Crown Point, or at their Gary or Hammond satellite offices. Taxpayers with no questions or problems with their bills can visit any number of bank branches, or you can pay online, but a credit card fee is charged, so if you are paying online, Treasurer John Petalas suggests using the cheaper e-check system.   The rest of Lake County Government is closed for Veterans Day.
The Lake County Treasurer's office also anticipates office staff will be swamped with calls, and callers could be on hold for an extended period of time.
Extended office hours for Crown Point 2293 N Main Street, Hammond 232 Russell Street and Gary 11 East 4th Avenue offices are Monday (Veterans Day) 8:30-4:30 and Tuesday, November 12, 2013, from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm.
The following banks and all their branches will be accepting payments until November 12, 2013 (closing): Fifth Third Bank, American Savings FSB, Centier, Chase, Citizens Financial Bank, DeMotte State Bank, First Federal Savings and Loan, First Midwest, First National Bank, BMO Harris Bank, Horizon, Lake Federal Bank, Main Source Bank, Peoples, and Tech Federal Credit Union (Indiana branches only).
Credit card and e-check payments are accepted on the Treasurer's Web page at: www.lakecountyin.org ...
 

Veterans Day Observances

Indianapolis, IN - On Monday, Governor Mike Pence will celebrate Veterans Day by honoring those who answered the call of duty.
Monday, November 11:
 
11:00 a.m. EST - Governor Pence to offer remarks at Indianapolis Veterans Day Service, Indiana War Memorial, 431 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN
12:00 p.m. EST - Governor Pence to join Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation (HVAF) of Indiana for Veterans Day Chili Lunch, HVAF, 964 N. Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN
2:00 p.m. EST - Governor Pence to offer remarks at Sgt. Jeremy R. McQueary USMC Memorial bridge dedication, Brown County State Park North Entrance, 1405 State Road 46W, Nashville, IN
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The Valparaiso Rotary Club will be hosting its 15th annual Veterans’ Day Observance on Nov. 11. Valparaiso Rotary Club members are welcome to attend and are encouraged to invite veteran guests. When making reservations for veteran guests, club members are asked to list the veteran’s branch and approximate dates of service.
The event will be held at Strongbow Inn and will begin at 11:30 AM. Lunch will be served and entertainment will be provided by the Valparaiso High School Band.
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On Monday November 11th 2013 at 11am all Hobart military organizations will be gathered @ Veterans Memorial Park on East 73rd Avenue. Several military organizations will be partaking in a short service with the laying of wreaths. The Howlin Mad Detachment 93 will be firing off a volley of 3 rounds and the playing of taps.  All current military personel and veterans are encouraged to attend.
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Valparaiso: Veterans Day Observance – November 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM
The public is invited to a Veterans Day observance at the Service Memorial located at Foundation Meadows Park. It is hosted by the City of Valparaiso, the Valpo Parks Department, and the Valpo Parks Foundation, held on Monday, November 11, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. The Service Memorial at Foundation Meadows, 3210 N Campbell, will serve as the backdrop for remembrances from Army Veteran and Pastor of New Song Church Kurt Nichols.  Also speaking will be Mayor Jon Costas.  In addition, there will be a reciting of all names inscribed on the Duty & Sacrifice monument which is devoted to military service people from the Valpo area who gave their lives in the service of their country.  A wreath will be placed at the base of the monument to honor them and those who currently serve in the Armed Forces.
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Hammond: Veterans Day Memorial Dedication of the Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom memorial near the Federal Court Building, at the intersection of Lyman Avenue and Douglas Street, where the Monon and Erie Lackawana Bike Trail intersect  There are a variety of speakers in the program "A Tribute to Our Troops: In Grateful Remembrance". It concludes with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m.Parking is available at the Hammond Social Security Office parking lot adjacent to the dedication site. In case of inclement weather, the tribute will take place inside the American Legion Post No. 168, 721 State St., Hammond. For more information, contact project coordinator Ernie Dillon at (219) 789-0077.
VFW Memorial Post 7881 and American Legion Post 232 hold a Veterans Day Service from 11 to 11:45 a.m. at Hessville Park, 173rd and Kennedy Avenue.
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Crown Point: The Crown Point American Legion Post 20 along with the City of Crown Point are hosting The Veteran’s Day Ceremony on the East Side Courthouse Steps on Monday November 11th at 10:30 am.  Please join us as we pay tribute to all who dedicated their lives to our country!   For more information please contact the City of Crown Point at 662-3240.
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This Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11, Indiana University School of Medicine-Northwest (IUSM-NW) and Indiana University Northwest in Gary will host a remembrance ceremony to honor veterans who have donated their bodies for medical education and research through the International Human Cadaver Prosection Program (IHCPP), an internationally recognized program.
At 1 p.m., outside the east entrance of the Dunes Medical/Professional Building, members of the campus’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program will lay a wreath and recite the names of the program’s anatomical donors who have served their country.
Leading the ceremony will be Sergeant First Class James Caver, the primary ROTC instructor at IU Northwest, and three ROTC cadets: Christopher Prue, Brittany Jackson and Aidan Hussey.
Ernest Talarico, Ph.D. and Carl Marfurt, Ph.D. will speak on behalf of the IUSM-NW, along with Beth Tyler, interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs at IU Northwest.
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In observance of Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 11, Indiana University Northwest and the campus group, The Veterans Initiative, have planned a day-long veterans’ celebration, “Boots to Books.”
The campus’s Veterans Day activities will begin at 11 a.m. with an obstacle course contest in the Savannah Gymnasium. The match-ups will be veterans against “any team who dares.”
Between 12 and 5 p.m. there will be information booths and uniform displays in the Savannah Center lobby. If weather permits, there will be a display of military vehicles.
The highlight of the day’s events will be a panel discussion from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium, in which current students and alumni who are also veterans will speak about their experiences returning to IU Northwest after serving their country.
The discussion will be led by Colonel Richard Ligon and Veteran Team Leader Lisa Patterson.
Col. Ligon is a Gary native and the first African-American colonel and brigade commander in the Indiana Army National Guard. With more than 33 years of military experience, Ligon climbed the ranks from an enlisted private to a non-commissioned first sergeant. Now, the colonel commands more than 1,500 soldiers at various military bases throughout Northwest Indiana.
Patterson is a war veteran who is now working as a veteran team leader in the Readjustment Counseling Center for the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, located in Crown Point.
For the Fall 2013 semester, IU Northwest is proud to have 175 veteran students enrolled.
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Pines Village Retirement Communities will host a Veteran’s Day Commemoration on Monday, November 11, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. to honor and remember the men and women who have served our country in both peace and war time.   This is a day to give thanks and reflect on what has been sacrificed for our freedoms.   
The ceremony will begin with a prelude, followed by the Posting of the Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance by American Legion Post 94.  The featured speaker will be Bronze Star Vietnam War veteran, Bob Carnagey.  Serving as the local host for the national charity, Folds of Honor Foundation, Bob leads the fund raising efforts in Northwest Indiana to provide scholarships to children and spouses of our fallen and severely wounded military personnel post 911.  Bob is also a member of the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter #17 and the American Legion Post 94.
Armed service veterans, their families and currently serving military members will be our honored guests and the general public is invited to attend.  Refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the program.
Pines Village Retirement Communities, located at 3303 Pines Village Circle, in Valparaiso, is a non-profit organization.  We celebrate life by enriching the lives of older adults.  For more information call 219/465-1591.
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In the town of Porter, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2511 at 1290 Wagner Road is open from 11 to 2 daily for lunch and from 6 to 9 for dinner featuring a full menu of pizza, sandwiches and baskets with the profits helping to support various veterans’ programs. Dine in or carry out. Call (219) 926-4441 for information.
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American Legion Post 170 will have a Veterans Day Program at Thomas Centennial Park in Chesterton, 11 am
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East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland and the city of East Chicago invite all veterans, family, friends, clergy and organizations to a Veteran Day ceremony at 9 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park gazebo near City Hall, 701 W. 145th St. The ceremony will be preceded by coffee and doughnuts in the mayor's office.
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In Highland, the Timothy Ball Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution is coordinating the Veterans Day ceremony from 11 a.m. to noon at the Highway of Flags Memorial, Ridge Road and Indianapolis Boulevard.
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The Schererville Parks Department, VFW, and the American Legion hold a service from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the St. John Township War Memorial at the Schererville Police Department, 25 E. Joliet St.
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A Purdue University Calumet Veterans Day celebration in Hammond Monday includes assembly of care packages for military personnel and keynote remarks by an executive of the VA Center for Women Veterans.  The ceremony is co-sponsored by Fifth Third Bank and the university's From Boots to Books: Veterans and Student Service members Academic Support program. The PUC observance begins with a flag raising ceremony at 8 a.m. outside Lawshe Hall.
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Lake Effect Snow Possible in the Region

Parts of the Region could be seeing significant snow by early Tuesday.  The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued a Lake Effect Snow Watch from tonight through Tuesday. There is the potential for lake effect snow accumulations of more than six-inches in localized areas. Forecasters say a strong cold front will push across the area today with cold air pushing south across the warm waters of Lake Michigan.  Currently Porter County could be in or near the axis of the heaviest snowfall, according to the latest outlook. Bursts of heavy snow with whiteout conditions and two to three Inch per hour snowfall rates possible in the intense band. Localized snow accumulations of over 6 inches are possible.
Click here for the National Weather Service website for updates: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?map.x=284&map.y=130&site=lot&zmx=&zmy=...
 

Man Injured in Grenade Accident

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating an incident involving a grenade launcher in northern Indiana. Authorities say 41-year-old Kevin Patterson of Walkerton was injured after firing a starburst grenade round from an AR-15 platform rifle at a private shooting range in the 3000 block of Plymouth-LaPorte Trail in Marshall County.
“The 37 millimeter starburst grenade is an aerial illumination round, similar to an aerial firework,” said Conservation Officer Corporal Ashlee Jackson. The grenade detonated in the launch tube under the rifle barrel.  Patterson was transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for treatment of injuries to his arm.
The results of the investigation will be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms for review. Indiana Conservation Officers, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, and Indiana State Police responded....
 

Fall Cleanup Time Coming to the City of La Porte

La Porte seal
The annual Fall Cleanup in the City of La Porte returns the week of November 11th through the 15th.  According to a release from the City's police department, the City of La Porte and Waste Management will be conducting their annual cleanup.  Residents are required to place unwanted items at their curb by 6 a.m. on their regular garbage pickup day.
The collection is available to city residents only, no businesses or apartment buildings.
Household doors and windows, furniture, mattresses and carpeting will be accepted. Carpeting must be rolled and securely tied in no longer than 4-foot sections.  Bags placed for collection may not exceed 35 pounds and cans may not exceed 75 pounds.  All small items must be in bags or cans for collection.  Loose piles will be left for the homeowners' disposal.
Not accepted during the Fall Cleanup:  auto parts, engines, tires, batteries, lumber, chemicals, siding, plaster, drywall, paneling, fencing, concrete, iron, steel, appliances containing Freon....

 

Veterans Day Observance at Valpo Service Memorial

Service Memorial
Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas is scheduled to speak Monday morning at a Veterans Day Observance at the Service Memorial at Foundation Meadows Park in Valparaiso.
According to the City's Parks Department, Army veteran and Pastor of New Song Church, Kurt Nichols will also be speaking before the Duty and Sacrifice monument where a wreath will be placed at the base of the monument.  The monument is dedicated to Valparaiso military service people who  bravely sacrificed their lives in service to our country as well as those who are currently serving.  

The public is invited to attend the observance to be held starting 10:00 a.m. Veterans Day morning at Foundation Meadows Park located at 3210 N. Campbell.  Hosted by the City of Valparaiso, the Valpo Parks Department, and the Valpo Parks Foundation. 
For more information call the Valparaiso Parks Department at 219-462-5144.

(photo/Valparaiso Parks Foundation)
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List of Names Raises Concern at a Region High School

Lake Station Police Dept
The Lake Station Police Department is reporting that two students at Edison High School told school staff one day last month that they saw a 15 year-old student allegedly compile a "hit list" of students' and teachers' names.  That led to officers responding to the high school on October 29th in reference to a report of threats.
A police press release says that after other students said he would be in trouble for making such a list, the suspect reportedly crossed out the words "hit list" and wrote "reward list." The witnesses turned in cell phone photos they took of the "hit list" to school administrators and according to staff, the suspect was brought in to the office and searched. 
The suspect who admitted to having the list but he has since thrown it out, was removed from the school pending investigation.  Reports say the suspect's guardian refuses the juvenile to speak to investigators. Meanwhile, detectives continue to identify and talk to students on the list and their parents.  Reportedly, the suspect has only been at the school for about a month.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Detective/Sgt. Brian Williams at the Lake Station Police Department at 219-962-1186 or by email at:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
(graphic:  http://www.lakestation-in.gov)
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Man Faces Charges for Threatening Cook Co. Sheriff

Sheriff Tom Dart
A northwest suburban Chicago man is in custody facing Class 3 felony charges after allegedly cyber stalking and sending death threats to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.  A sheriff's office press release says following six months of threatening emails, including recent specific threats to Sheriff Dart's life, 49 year-old Steven Cleary of Franklin Park, Illinois was arrested on Friday, November 8th.  Cleary is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing today. 
The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.     

(photo:  Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart appearing at the Gun Trafficking Suppression Summit, hosted last February at the Genesis Center in Gary)...

   

75th Birthday of Region Leader Leads to Letter to Rome

Bishop-Dale-Melczek
After leading the Diocese of Gary for more than twenty years Gary Bishop Dale Melczek, who celebrates turning 75, will be retiring.  The Times is reporting that church law requires bishops to submit their resignation to the Holy Father by their 75th birthday.  Bishop Melczek says that he sent his letter earlier this week through Pope Francis' ambassador to the U.S. in Washington D.C. who, via his diplomatic pouch, will send it to the Vatican, according to the article.

Melczek, who was ordained a priest in 1964 and consecrated bishop of Detroit in 1983, became the Catholic Diocese of Gary's third bishop in 1996.  The retiring bishop told the Times that the challenge for the next bishop will be centered around how to "effectively staff our parishes and keep the schools vital to our faith."
You can hear Bishop Melczek discuss the Catholic faith's newest leader, Pope Francis during a Region Newsmaker interview from earlier this year.  Just log onto:  http://www.regionnewsteam.com and select the Region Newsmakers link.
You can read more about Bishop Melczek's resignation at: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/gary/region-s-bishop-melczek-sends-pope-required-resignation-letter-as/article_10bd70e8-26b2-51ac-a4b9-97fec3d4bce5.html  

(photo of Bishop Dale Melczek courtesy of Brent Brown)  

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Prep Football Tournament Action Friday Night

In High School Sectional action Friday night Andrean earns the Class 3A Sectioonal title in a shut out game beating John Glenn 42-0.  The Penn Kingsmen remain undefeated beating Lake Central 33-6 for the Class 6A Regional title.
In other games, East Chicago Central wins its first sectional title defeating West Side 46-44.  Mishawaka over Munster 24-17 and Rensselaer beat Bowman Academy 40-12, according the the Times Prep Football Extra.

Read more about prep football action at:  http://www.nwitimes.com/sports/high-school/football/  ...
   

GED Testing Voucher Incentive with Gary Gun Buyback

Gary PD
The Gary Police Department will be hosting another gun buyback event on Saturday, November 23, at six local churches. City of Gary Director of Communications Chelseas 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:
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.
For more information, call (219) 881-1201....
   

Chrysler Recalling 1.2 Million Ram Trucks

Chrysler is recalling over a million Ram trucks.  ABC News reports the problem -- says Chrysler - is steering system rods that may have been misaligned during assembly. So... 1.2 million Ram trucks are on the recall list. Chrysler says over 700-thousand of them may not need repairs but it has to recall so many to catch the ones that do. The recall affects Ram trucks going back to 2003. There have been seven accidents according to Chrysler. Affected customers will get letters in the mail.

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Lawsuit Against State Board of Education Dismissed

A lawsuit by Indiana School Superintendent Glenda Ritz against members of the State Board of Education was dismissed today. The lawsuit alleged the board violated Indiana's open meetings law regarding the shifting of school grade calculations to a legislative agency. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller challenged the lawsuit because it was done without his approval. State Board of Education members argued Ritz was taking too much time calculating the grades. ...
   

Traffic Stop Yields 82 Pounds of Marijuana

state Police Pot Bust
(Photo Courtesy of Indiana State Police Lowell Post)
A 23 year old South Bend man is facing felony drug charges after authorities report they found 82 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle. Indiana State Police Lowell Post reports a trooper pulled over Armando Bautista for speeding on the Indiana Toll Road, near the McCool Road overpass in Porter County, just before 10:30am on Thursday. A K-9 with the DEA alerted authorities and a subsequent search of the vehicle revealed two large compressed bundles of marijuana in the trunk....
   

Veterans Day Ceremony in Merrillville on Monday

The public is invited out to a special event regrading the celebration of our veterans for their service and sacrifice. The Hobart Marine Corps League Howlin' Mad Detachment 93 reports all Hobart military organizations will gather on Veteran's Day, at Veterans Memorial Park, in the 59-hundred block of East 73rd Avenue in Merrillville, at 11am. Several military organizations will be partaking in a short service with the laying of wreaths and they will be firing off a volley of three rounds and the playing of taps.
The Hobart Marine Corps League also would like to wish all current active duty and marine veterans a very happy birthday, as this Sunday is the U-S Marine Corps 238 birthday....

   

Vehicle Fire Closes 2 Left Lanes NB I-65 near US-30

11-08-13  Car Fire  NB I-65
All lanes northbound I-65 are backing up from 101st Avenue to just past 73rd Avenue due to a vehicle fire on the inside shoulder near 73rd Avenue.  Fire crews are on the scene at this time.  Drivers should avoid traveling northbound I-65 north of US-30 to avoid the backup caused by the blaze.  Drivers should consider taking Mississippi Street north to 61st Avenue or US-30 to Broaway back to 61st Avenue then back to I-65 northbound as an alternate.  Drivers traveling southbound I-65 can also expect gaper delays and slowdowns.

(photo/INDOT)...

   

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