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Homicide in East Chicago

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In East Chicago, police are investigating a homicide. The Lake County Coroners office says 40-year-old James Currie of East Chicago died from multiple gunshot wounds in the 35-hundred block of Block Avenue early today (Fri Dec 20) . The man was pronounced dead at the scene at 6-o'clock this morning. No other information was available on the fatal shooting at this time....

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Valpo Schools Supt Retiring in August

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Valparaiso Community Schools Superintendent Mike Berta has announced his retirement effective August 6th. The 64-year-old Berta is leaving after two years, after coming out of retirement to fill the post. Berta retired from Portage Township Schools in June 2012, and less than two months later he was asked to join Valparaiso....

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Illinois Gov Quinn Wants $10 Minimum Wage

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is renewing his call for an increase in the state minimum wage. The current minimum wage of $8.25 an hour in Illinois has been in place since 2010. Quinn would like to see it raised to at least ten-dollars an hour saying no one should work 40 hours a week and still be living in poverty.  Opponents argue such an increase would be hard on businesses, especially small businesses already struggling to make payroll each month. Quinn says increasing the wage would be good for the Illinois economy.  Indiana's minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, same as the federal minimum....

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Man Found Guilty in Molestation Trial

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A jury in Porter County deliberated about three hours Thursday night before finding a 39-year-old Portage man guilty of nine felony counts in connection with accusations of molesting four boys. Sentencing for Christopher Truman was scheduled for February 25th. Defense attorney Larry Rogers critical of the evidence presented was quoted in final arguments as telling the jury the case “ought to scare” everyone in the courtroom. Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said molestation is a crime of a private nature and one that can lack physical evidence....

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Nine Charged in Insurance Investigation

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Nine people, including eight from the Region, are accused in an indictment that is said to allege car crashes were staged in northwest Indiana and Illinois for insurance money. Four of the individuals are from Michigan City, two are from Calumet City, one is from Valparaiso and one person is from Grand Prairie, Texas. The US Attorneys Office in Hammond says all nine have been charged with conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and mail fraud after an investigation by the United States Postal Service -Office of the Inspector General and FBI. The alleged fraud reportedly occurred between December 2005 and July 2009....

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Food Drive to Collect Soup Begins in January

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Food Bank of NW Indiana
A food drive designed to collect cans of low-sodium soup for children and seniors begins next month. During a recent Region News Makers interview, Northwest Indiana Food Bank Executive Director Arleen Peterson says they will be holding their first ever “Souper Bowl” food drive from January 6th through February 14th.
The Food Bank is looking to hopefully have schools sign on as donation sites as well as local businesses and organizations. If you are interested in becoming a collection site, please contact Victor Ortiz at 219-980-1777 ext. 307 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The Food Bank does ask if it’s at all possible for participants to pick up the collection boxes from the Food Bank. This helps save on fuel costs.
To hear more of interview with Peterson, visit http://regionnewsteam.com/...

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NW Indiana Home Sales Down From Oct to Nov

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The numbers of homes sold in northwest Indiana were up slightly from this time a year ago, but home sales from October to November were down. The Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors reports sales of single family units in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper and Newton Counties combined rose one-point-nine percent from November 2012 to November 2013, with the median selling price up one-point-two percent. Units sold between October to November fell 16-point-five percent, with the median selling price over that period dropping three-point-four percent. Even though the increase was small, it still marks 29 consecutive months of growth in year-over-year comparisons. ...

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Hit and Run Accident at LaPorte CVS

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LaPorte PD
Authorities in LaPorte are seeking help from the public to locate a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run accident at CVS. LaPorte Police report they were dispatched to the 14-hundred block of Lincolnway just before 12:30am today and, according to the victim and witnesses, an older, dark-colored Ford truck pulled into the parking lot, backed up and struck a concrete pillar, then pulled forward and backed up again, striking the victim's truck and causing damage to the rear passenger side of the vehicle. Police report the suspect truck then left the parking lot heading north. Anyone with any information regarding this hit-and-run incident is asked to contact LaPorte Police....

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Wake for Local Pearl Harbor Survivor on Sunday

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A Pearl Harbor survivor from Hammond passed away on Wednesday at the age of 94. John Latko was a marine aboard the USS West Virginia and gained popularity in a picture showing him in a boat pulling another man out of the water with the USS West Virginia burning in the background. Latko was involved with the local chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors, as well as the armed forces memorial in Munster. A wake has been scheduled for Sunday, at Burns Kish Funeral Home in Hammond, from 2 to 7pm. ...

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Man Charged with Recent Burglaries in Portage

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portage pd
Portage police announced today that a 34 year old man was arrested on Monday and charged with two-counts of felony burglary for a December 3rd burglary on Joseph Street. Police report the homeowner foiled Michael Oelling's attempt to burglarize the home and provided officers a license plate number of the suspect vehicle. Police say they were able to identify Oelling as the suspect in a burglary on Fallen Timbers Avenue in Portage and items stolen from that burglary were recovered. Chief Troy Williams he wants the community to know they make every effort to keep residents safe and informed and wants to assure the community they have and will continue to address any and all issues as swiftly as possible. ...

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Rolled Over Semi Blocks Traffic at Indiana Toll Road

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isp rollover 1
(Photo Courtesy of Indiana State Police Lowell Post)
A 55 year old Wisconsin man was cited for going too fast for conditions after he lost control of his semi while negotiating the curve portion of the entrance ramp of I-80/94 onto the eastbound lanes of the Indiana Toll Road. Indiana State Police Lowell Post reports just after 10am today the semi, loaded with over 30-thousand pounds of Sodium Hydroxide Solution, jack-knifed and rolled onto the driver's side blocking all eastbound lanes of the Toll Road until just before noon when one lane was reopened. Authorities say all lanes were reopened just before 2pm. The semi/tanker was totaled as a result of the rollover, but no load was lost and the driver was not injured....

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LaPorte Police Seek Help to Located Wanted Man

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samar peoples
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
Police in LaPorte are seeking the public's help to locate a 25 year old man wanted on a warrant for failure to appear on the felony charge of criminal recklessness. LaPorte Police report Samar Peoples is described as a black male, 5'5”, weighing 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, with multiple tattoos on both arms and hands.
If you know his immediate whereabouts, call 911. If you have any other information on Peoples, please contact the La Porte Police Department at 362-9446, or La Porte Metro Operations at 325-9022. You can remain anonymous....

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Elderly Man Stabbed at Michigan City Outlet Mall

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michigan city police
In Michigan City, police say two subjects were arrested on preliminary charges after a 70 year old man was stabbed multiple times in the parking lot of Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets on Wednesday. Michigan City Police report the elderly man and his wife were sitting in their vehicle when they were approached by a man who demanded the woman's purse. The 70 year old then got out of the vehicle and a struggle ensued, resulting in the elderly man being stabbed, who is now in serious condition. At last check a 43 year old man, who claimed to be homeless, was being held for robbery and aggravated battery and a 29 year old Michigan City woman was arrested for possession of stolen property after police allege she had some of the stolen property. The incident marks the third robbery at the outlet mall in the last month. ...

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Griffith Officers Catch Burglars in the Act

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Griffith PD
Griffith Police say two 19-year-old men from Gary and Chesterton have been charged with burglary after an incident around noon Monday – and police say they have recovered property that will likely be associated with burglaries that have occurred recently in neighboring towns. Police were investigating after someone rang a resident's door continuously, then left quickly upon hearing someone inside say they'd be there shortly. Police say they located two individuals in a car parked in the 900 block of Wheeler, who allegedly advised they were there to visit a friend, but appeared nervous. Police say inside the car was a large screen tv, a gaming system and jewelry box, and further investigation revealed a burglary had taken place.
“Arrests like this show that the citizens of Griffith and the Griffith Police Department are working in unison,” said Chief Greg Mance, “to send a strong message that crime will not be tolerated in our community. “...

Read more: Griffith Officers Catch Burglars in the Act

   

Search Continues for Missing Michigan Doctor

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Teleka Patrick
(Photo Courtesy of Indiana State Police)
The search continues for a doctor from Kalamazoo, Michigan - who has been missing for two weeks. Officials say Teleka Patrick vanished from her hospital parking lot. Her purse and cell phone were found at the hospital - her car was discovered abandoned in a ditch the night of December 5th on westbound I-94, just east of the Porter/Burns Harbor exit. Richard Fuller with the Kalamazoo Police Department says the Indiana State Police have gone out in the area looking all over for any clue related to this case.
Teleka Patrick is described as a black female, 5'7”, weighing 160 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Anyone who may have seen her, possibly gave her a ride, or has any information on her whereabouts is asked to contact either the Indiana State Police Lowell Post or the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department....

Read more: Search Continues for Missing Michigan Doctor

   

LAC Utilities Boil Order for N Burlington Beach Rd

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LAC Utilities has announced a water boil order notice for North Burlington Beach road in Valparaiso. There was a main water leak last night 12/18, and residents in the area should boil their water for three minutes before using. Those affected are directed to not drink the water without boiling it first, boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Symptoms of contaminated water include: diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms. LAC Utilities says if you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, please seek medical advice. Affected residents will be informed when they no longer need to boil your water, and for more information please contact lac utilities at 219.464.3770. Again, this is for North Burlington Beach residents only....

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Agreement Reached Over 'Petcoke' Piles

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced an agreement with a Hammond firm over "petcoke" and “met coke”. The company is being required to remove piles of the powdery materials from their facility on the southeast side of Chicago. Petcoke is a byproduct of petroleum refining, and met coke is metallurgical coke dust. Officials say they're trying to prevent petcoke from being carried by winds into nearby neighborhoods. Two weeks ago, the city of Chicago launched a campaign asking residents to report sightings of petcoke dust. Officials say inhaling the dust can contribute to respiratory health problems. Chicago is also considering new regulations requiring petcoke to be stored indoors.

For details on today's announcement:
http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/pressroom/2013_12/121913Petcoke_Release.pdf...

Read more: Agreement Reached Over 'Petcoke' Piles

   

Rollover Tanker Blocking EB Indiana Toll Road

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Traffic-Alert
Officials report eastbound lanes of the Indiana Toll Road are currently closed at Milepost 21 (near the Lake Station exit) due to a tanker truck rollover. The lanes are estimated to be closed for approximately 2 hours. Eastbound traffic is being diverted at the eastbound Lake Station Exit (MP 21).
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INDOT also reports the ramp of eastbound I-80/94 is closed near the Indiana Toll Road due to a crash. Motorista are advised to seek alternate routes as you travel eastbound on I-80/94 near mile 16....

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Robbery at Little Caesar's Pizza in Portage

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In Portage, police are investigating a robbery at Little Caesar's Pizza in the 63-hundred block of Central Avenue late Wednesday night. The police report states a man entered the restaurant around 10-o'clock, inquired about having several specialty pizzas made, then asked to have other employees come up to the front counter. Police say he then demanded they take all the money from the cash registers and put it in a bag. No weapon was displayed or implied police say, and the male suspect was described as white, 6-foot tall, thin build, blue eyes, and wearing a hat with a mask covering his mouth and chin area....

Read more: Robbery at Little Caesar's Pizza in Portage

   

Governor Statement on Passing of Hoosier Soldier

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence today issued the below statement regarding the passing of Hoosier soldier Staff Sgt. Jesse Lee Williams, of Elkhart.
"It is with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of Staff Sgt. Jesse Lee Williams, a heroic Hoosier who fell this week in the midst of his third deployment defending our freedom in Afghanistan. Jesse Lee Williams is an American hero whose service and sacrifice will never be forgotten by the people of this state and nation. On behalf of the First Lady and Hoosiers everywhere, I send our deepest condolences and prayers to his family, friends and all those mourning the loss of this exemplary Hoosier soldier.”
ABC News reported this week that a helicopter crash claimed the lives of six US service members in southern Afghanistan, citing officials saying there was no insurgent activity in the area at the time....

Read more: Governor Statement on Passing of Hoosier Soldier

   

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