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More Info on Proposed Illiana

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A couple hundred people were at Lowell Middle School last night for an open house on the Illiana Expressway... as the Indiana Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Transportation provide more information on refinements to the corridor for the proposed east-west toll-road that would link I-65 in south Lake County to I-55 in Illinois. There's a similar open house tonight at Peotone High School, also from 5-to-8, with a question-and-answer period at 6.
Illiana Corridor website:  http://www.illianacorridor.org/tier_2/prelim_alternative.aspx
This Monday and Tuesday, in Rosemont, INDOT and IDOT are hosting a two-day international industry forum for potential contractors, construction managers, partners and investors.
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Valpo Police Arrest Subject and seek others in Theft

The Valparaiso Police Department, in a press release, reports that last Friday morning around 2:45 a.m. Officer Ron Chapman observed suspicious activity at 358 West St while on patrol. Officer Chapman began to investigate and found property missing and individuals fleeing through a wooded area from a storage business.
Police continued to investigate and were able to identify a possible suspect later on Friday. Valparaiso Detectives assisted by Porter County Sheriff's Officers served a search warrant on a residence at 214 S. State Road 2. The renter of this property was identified as Scott Millender 26 yrs old. Millender was identified as one of the subjects that had fled from police earlier in the morning. Millender was not home at the time of the search warrant.
Police searched the property and located numerous items of stolen property. Stolen property recovered included; two wave runners, and two trailers. Included in the property recovered was a trailer stolen earlier in the morning from the storage site at 358 West St.  
Police have arrested Nicolas Sorba, 26 yrs old from Hobart on Aiding in a Burglary (Class C-Felony) and an arrest warrant for Burglary has been issued for Scott Millender 26 yrs old. Sorba admitted after an interview with Detective Brian  Thurman, that he was involved in the theft. A third subject identified as David Sharp 32 yrs old is a person of interest for police. Anybody with information regarding the location of Millender or Sharp are asked to call Valparaiso Police at 462-2135.
Millender
Scott Millender
Sharp
David Sharp
(photos provided by VPD)
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Crash Takes Out Traffic Light Downtown Valparaiso

light pole hit dwntwn valpo
(photo courtesy of Buddy Pearson)
Lack of sleep may have contributed to a crash that took down a traffic light at a busy, downtown Valparaiso intersection shortly before 3 p.m. Monday afternoon. According to an eyewitness, a woman traveling eastbound on Lincolnway allegedly crashed her car into the light pole on the northwest corner of Lincolnway and Franklin Street across from the Porter County Courthouse. Preliminary witness reports say the woman said she had not slept in three days. Traffic through downtown Valparaiso was affected for much of the afternoon and traffic tipsters reported seeing up to five squad cars on the scene. 
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Gary Man Receives Sentence for Firing a Gun

A Gary man charged with firing a gun in the parking lot of a Gary gas station last August, gets 18 years. In a press release, Lake County Prosecutor Bernard A.Carter announced earlier today that Roosevelt Lee Franklin of Gary was sentenced to serve 18-months in the Indiana Department of Correction for Criminal Recklessness. Franklin reportedly shot the gun in the direction of two people who were in the parking lot.
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Mayor helps Kick off Free Lunch/Recreation Program

Mayor 1
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson at the playground with youth
Earlier today, Mayor Freeman-Wilson had lunch at the Glen Ryan Park Pavilion with a group of Gary youth who are participating in the city’s Free Lunch and Recreation Summer Program. The program began today at 12 sites around the city and is being facilitated by the Parks Department and the Youth Services Bureau. In addition to receiving a healthy lunch, youth will participate in recreational and educational activities. After lunch, Freeman-Wilson headed to the playground for a little recreation of her own with the youngsters.
Mayor 2
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson having lunch with Gary youth
Mayor 3
Group photo of participants with Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson
(photos provided by city of Gary)
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South Shore Line Should be Back to Normal by Wed.

Service on the South Shore Line should be fully restored by tomorrow.  Damaged equipment found on two train cars apparently damaged the overhead wires west of the East Chicago station, causing delays this afternoon.  John Parsons of NICTD told the Times that there were indefinite delays due to damage to the pantographs--the device atop train cars that touch the wire above bringing power to make the trains move.  Read more about the story at http://www.nwitimes.com
As of 6:05 p.m. CST, NICTD is reporting that they are expecting eastbound rush hour trains to depart Chicago on time (except for EB Train 117) but may experience delays en route. All trains are operating on Track 1 from Indiana/Illinois State Line to Gary. Because of significant wire damage east of East Chicago earlier this afternoon. Train delays are as follows:
WB Train 20 is 53 minutes late out of Dune Park due to late turn of EB Train 9. It may incur additional delay as it waits for EB trains to clear single track.
WB Train 218 is 20-30 minutes due to late turn of EB Train 209 and waiting for EB trains to clear Track 1
EB Train 111 is running 25-30 minutes late after waiting for WB Train 218 to clear Track 1.
We expect EB Train 117 to depart Millennium no earlier than 6:10 p.m. waiting for arrival of WB Train 218
We expect delays in departure of EB Train 19 because of delays to WB Train 20.
(Source:  http://www.nictd.com/index.html )
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Schererville Man Gets 4 Years for Burglary Crime

Lake County Prosecutor Bernard  A. Carter announced today that a Schererville man was sentenced to four years in the Indiana Department of Correction for Burglary, a Class C felony.  
Jimmy Lagat Lopez was charged with entering a Hammond building in June, 2012 and taking two TVs, an XBox 360 and a PlayStation 3. He was ordered to make full restitution to the owner of the building.  Lopez will serve his sentence in the Lake County Community Corrections, according to the county prosecutor's office.
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NICTD: Expect Rush Hour Delays On South Shore Lines

In a press release from Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, NICTD is expecting EB rush hour trains to depart Chicago on time but may experience delays en route.  All trains are operating on Track 1 from Indiana/Illinois State Line to Gary.  Because of significant wire damage east of East Chicago earlier this afternoon.  Train delays are as follows:
EB Train 109 is 45-60 minutes late waiting for WB trains to clear Track 1
WB Train 20 is 30-45 minutes late due to late turn of EB Train 9
WB Train 218 is 20-30 minutes due to late turn of EB Train 209 and waiting for EB trains to clear Track 1
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Oily Substance Forces Swimmers Out of Water at Porter Beach

What is being called an "oily substance" is reportedly floating in Lake Michigan, moving from west to east at Porter Beach and officials have told swimmers to get out of the water..  Bruce Rowe, Supervisory Park Ranger and Public Information officer for the Indiana Dunes National Shoreline says officials do not know a lot at this hour, "whether it is oil or not has not yet been determined."  Rowe says Porter County Hazmat is on the scene along with National Park Service Rangers and the Porter Fire Department.  
 
Jessica Kadish of Westville, was one of the swimmers who were evacuated from the water and when asked whether she saw the oil slick approach Kadish said, "you could see...it was definitely dark, very dark water."
The Times is reporting that initial reports indicated swimmers were coming out of the water covered in an oily substance.
Porter Beach remains closed at this time.
Read more at https://ww.nwitimes.com
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Major Equipment Delays On the South Shore Line

NICTD logo
Due to significant wire damage east of East Chicago,  Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District is reporting the following train delays on the South Shore Line as of 3 p.m. CST:
Extra Eastbound Train departed East Chicago Station at 2:39pm
WB Train 116 has been cancelled at East Chicago
WB Train 216 will be departing Gary Metro Station in approximately 10 minutes
WB Train 18 departed Carroll Ave. approximately 1 ½ hours late
WB Train 118 departed Carroll Ave. 10-15 min behind schedule
NICTD is expecting EB rush hour trains to depart Chicago on time but may experience delays en route. All trains are operating on Track 1 from Indiana/Illinois State Line to Gary.
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Semi Lost Steel Coil On EB Indiana Toll Rd. at I-65

Traffic-Advisory
INDOT is reporting two left lanes are blocked eastbound on the Indiana Toll Road (I-90) at the I-65 exit due to a crash involving a semi and up to two passenger vehicles.  The semi reported lost a steel coil which ended up int he left lane with the semi stopped on the left hand shoulder.   At his time, it is unclear if the other vehicles became involved before or as a result of the truck loosing its load.  traffic tipsters are reporting that only one lane, the center lane is reportedly open.
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Munster Traffic Advisory

Traffic-Advisory
The Town of Munster Public Works Department says they will be closing Ridge Road beginning 9PM tonight [Tuesday, June 18 ] until 7AM Wednesday [ June 19] for water main replacement along Greenwood Avenue. The detour will use Columbia Avenue, 35th Street, and White Oak Avenue, and signs will be posted. Town officials also say tesidents will need to identify an alternate route to their homes, and anyone with questions should contact Munster Town Hall at 836-6971.
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Valparaiso Man Killed in Borman Crash

motorcycle in crash
[Photo/Indiana State Police]
In Lake County, an early morning crash claimed the life of a 64-year-old Valparaiso man and caused a car and semi fire that closed the eastbound side of the Borman Expressway for almost four hours. Indiana State Police say a preliminary investigation revealed that shortly after 3:30 am, a three-wheel motorcycle driven by John Arama was just east of Chase Street in Gary when for unknown reasons he came off and landed in the middle lane, and the vehicle continued for about a half-mile before coming to rest in the left lane. Troopers say a semi was unable to avoid striking the motorcyclist, who was pronounced dead at the scene. A car driven by an Arizona woman sideswiped the motorcycle, then crashed into the rear of another semi. She and her 18-year-old passenger were able to get out before the 2003 Ford Taurus became engulfed in flames, and theywere taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police say both were wearing seat belts. The drivers of the semi's were uninjured.
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Motorcyclist Killed in Borman Crash

borman crash
[Photo/Indiana State Police]
In Lake County, an early morning crash claimed the life of a motorcyclist and caused a car and semi fire that closed the eastbound side of the Borman Expressway for almost four hours. Indiana State Police say a preliminary investigation revealed that shortly after 3:30 am, a three-wheel motorcycle, 2002 Road Hawk trike, was just east of Chase Street in Gary when for unknown reasons the driver came off and landed in the middle lane, and the vehicle continued for about a half-mile before coming to rest in the left lane. Troopers say a semi was unable to avoid striking the motorcyclist, who was pronounced dead at the scene. As of the time of the news release, the motorcyclist's name had not been released, pending notification of family.  A car driven by a 28-year-old Arizona woman sideswiped the motorcycle, officials say, then crashed into the rear of another semi. Police say she and her 18-year-old passenger were able to get out before the 2003 Ford Taurus became engulfed in flames, and they were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police say both were wearing seat belts. The drivers of the semi's were uninjured.  
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Life-Threatening Injuries in Lowell Crash

Lake County Sheriffs Police say a 20-year-old Lowell man suffered life-threatening injuries in a single-vehicle crash shortly after 5 a-m Sunday near Lowell. Police say Cole Midgett was in the 28-hundred block of Belshaw Road when for unknown reasons the Chevrolet Equinox he was driving left the roadway and struck a tree. He was extricated by Lowell Fire and Tri-Creek EMS, and transported to St. Anthony Medical Center, later to be airlifted to a Chicago-area medical center. In a news release today, Lake County Sheriffs Police said they had no update on his condition, other than he remained hospitalized, and that alcohol was considered to a factor in this crash, but no blood-alcohol content was available.
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State Safety Tips for Festival Season

indiana dhs logo
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana State Board of Animal Health and Indiana State Police are sending out basic safety information for Hoosiers visiting festivals and fairs this season... among them, monitor weather forecasts and know where to go in the event of an unexpected thunderstorm... wear sunscreen and closed-toe shoes, not flips-flops, to protect your feet... keep a watchful eye on children... and if you see something suspicious, say something. The department also says every ride should have a prominently displayed, current permit issued by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
More info from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security:
General Safety Tips
•Pay attention to weather forecasts and prepare appropriately.
•Be aware of your surroundings and know where you will go if you need to seek shelter from an unexpected thunderstorm.
•Be sure to use sunscreen and sunglasses to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Remember, even on overcast days UV rays are still powerful enough to burn skin so use sunscreen.
•On hot days, make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
•Wear closed toe shoes like tennis shoes, not flip-flops or sandals, to protect your feet.
•Remember “If you see something, say something.” If you see people or activities that seem suspicious, report your observations to the Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center at 877-226-1026. If you believe danger is imminent, contact local security or call 911.
Safety tips for kids and caregivers
Teach kids to stay calm and stay put if they become separated from parents or other caregivers. Knowing what to do in this scary situation will help prevent a lost child from panicking, and help safety officials locate them faster.
•Keep a watchful eye on children. It’s easy for children and caregivers to become separated in large crowds.
•Have an established family meeting location where you will reconnect if separated.
•Check with county fair organizers and ask for ‘missing parent’ contact tags your children can wear with your name and cell phone number in case your child becomes separated.
•If you do become separated from your child, notify local security immediately.
Animal Safety Tips
•Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching animals, and don’t consume any food inside of the barns.
•Watch out for animal feces on barn floors and aisle ways when walking or using strollers.
•Animals at the fair are in a noisy, crowded and unfamiliar environment, and may easily become dangerous if they are spooked or scared.
•Avoid running, yelling, talking loudly or making loud noises while in the animal barns.
•Never attempt to pet any animal at the fair without receiving explicit permission from the animal’s owner.
Fire Safety Tips
•Make sure all fires are extinguished and dispose of cigarettes properly.
•Ensure all wires being used for fair exhibits are away from flammable materials such as cloth or hay.
•If parking on grass lots while attending the fair, avoid parking on tall dry grass. Park on mowed grass whenever possible.
•Use caution refilling generators. Exhaust can be very hot. Make sure the exhaust vent is pointing up in the air and not down at the ground, where it could catch dry grass or other flammables on fire.
Amusement Ride Safety Tips
•Don’t board a ride if you see broken parts, signs of improper maintenance, or an inattentive operator. Report your observations to the ride operator or call IDHS amusement ride hotline at 1-888-203-5020.
•Every ride should have a prominently displayed, current permit issued by IDHS. If the ride has no such permit, call the amusement ride hotline at 1-888-203-5020.
•Read all posted rules and listen to instructions given by ride operators.
•Watch the ride with your child before boarding. Point out the operator and the entrance and exit locations prior to riding. Make sure they understand the instructions and warnings fully.
•Obey minimum height, age, and weight restrictions. Never sneak children onto rides if they are too small or too young. A smaller/younger child may not be physically or developmentally able to stay safely seated.
•If you can’t count on your child to stay seated with hands and feet inside, don’t let them ride.
•Keep all body parts (hands, arms, legs, long hair, etc.) inside the ride at all times. If you have long hair, keep it pulled up with a hat or hair tie.
•Always use the safety equipment provided (seat belt, shoulder harness, lap bar, etc.).
•Remain in the ride until it comes to a complete stop at the unloading point. If a ride stops temporarily due to mechanical failure or other reasons, stay seated and wait for an operator to give you further instructions.
•Know your physical conditions and limitations. If you suspect that your health could be at risk for any reason, or that you could aggravate a preexisting condition of any kind, do not ride.
•Additional ride safety tips are available at GetPrepared.in.gov.
IDHS coordinates the certification of all emergency medical services personnel in Indiana, and oversees the regular inspection of emergency medical transports and the required medical equipment. The Indiana State Building Commissioner’s Office, charged with permitting and inspecting amusement rides in Indiana, is also a division of IDHS.
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Lowell Man Critically Injured

A 20-year-old Lowell man reportedly suffered critical injuries in a single-vehicle crash shortly after 5 a-m Sunday in Lowell. Police say Cole Midgett was in the 28-hundred block of Belshaw Road when for unknown reasons the SUV he was driving left the roadway and struck a tree. He was taken to a local hospital then transferred to a Chicago-area medical center.
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Domestic Dispute Turns Deadly

In Crown Point, police say an apparent domestic dispute over the weekend left one person dead and another person seriously hurt. The Lake County Coroners office says 26-year-old Brittany Peters suffered multiple wounds in an apartment in the 900 block of Heritage Court and was pronounced dead just after 7:30 Saturday night at an area hospital. A 32-year-old man, believed to be the woman's boyfriend, also suffered stab wounds in an apparent struggle between the two, authorities say, and his condition was not available.
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Officers Investigate Two Drowning Deaths

Indiana Conservation Officers say they are investigating the drowning of a Lake Station man in Deep River. Officers say 25-year-old Jeffery Sandefur was with friends along Deep River near the Waterfront Lounge in Lake Station at 11:47 pm Saturday night when he told friends he wanted to go swimming. Authorities say witnesses quickly dialed 911 after Sandefur did not resurface. Indiana Conservation Officers were assisted by many agencies on scene including Lake Station, New Chicago, Hobart, Lake Hills, Cedar Lake, Crown Point, and Lakes of the Four Seasons, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and the Lake County Aquatics Team. Officials say Sandefur was recovered just at 3:37 am Sunday morning. The Lake County Coroners office says Sandefur sustained no visible trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 4:30 Sunday morning, and manner of death was listed as pending. 
In northeast Indiana, Indiana Conservation Officers say they are investigating the apparent drowning death of an 18-year-old Marion man Sunday afternoon at a state reservoir in Huntington County about thirty miles southwest of Fort Wayne. Officials say witnesses stated Jordan Laute swam out past the roped barrier into deep water, and that once it became evident he was in trouble, witnesses and bystanders attempted unsuccessfully to locate him. Indiana Conservation Officers utilized side scan sonar to locate Laute in 9’ of water at 6:15pm.
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Serious Accident Closes EB Borman

Traffic-Alert
Accident blocking all lanes eastbound Borman near 6 mile marker, just before Burr Street in Gary.  Involved a car that was on fire.  Crews on scene. May be a fatality investigation. 
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