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Highland Town Council President Leaving

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The town of Highland will have a new councilman soon. Town Council President Brian Novak has resigned, citing a decision to focus on his professional career. Novak, representing the 4th ward on the community's northeast side, has been on the Highland council for six years. Highland Democrat precinct committeemen will need to gather for a special election to fill Novak's vacancy. [Photo/Town of Highland]...

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Hobart Chamber Names Next Executive Director

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The Hobart Chamber of Commerce has announced Dawn Duty will be their next Executive Director.  Mike Adams will retire from the position at the end of the year after seven years of service.  Duty, whose term begins January first, has over 25 years of non-profit professional experience that includes the Boys & Girls Clubs, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and Kids Alive International. Duty was born in Chicago and lived in suburban Chicago until her family moved to Northwest Indiana ten years ago. The Hobart Chamber of Commerce says Duty and her husband and their teenage son live on a small rural horse ranch in Porter County. 'I look forward to serving the City of Hobart and the Chamber of Commerce,' says Duty. 'Hobart has great history and this warm vibrant City continues those traditions with potential for economic and community development. I look forward to being a part of your team!'  [Photo courtesy/Hobart Chamber of Commerce]...

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Issues Reported with Indiana Welfare Website

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Problems with Indiana's welfare website. A spokesman for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration told the Indianapolis Star that Hoosiers who receive food stamps and other benefits have been unable to get information on the status of their cases for the past couple of weeks. Clients have been advised to call a toll-free number, 1-800-403-0864, or visit Division of Family Resources offices in the meantime. The website itself is running, but no word on when the specific site issues would be resolved. ...

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Former Library Director Sentenced to Probation

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In Hammond Federal Court, former East Chicago Public Library Director Manuel "Manny" Montalvo was sentenced this week to 24 months probation, including four months of home confinement after pleading guilty to providing false information on his 2009 federal tax return. Court records say he was accused of falsely listing business and medical expenses for which he'd already been reimbursed by the board. The sentencing followed a plea deal reached in August....

Read more: Former Library Director Sentenced to Probation

 

Semi Accident Sends Driver to Hospital

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In south Lake County today, an early morning roll over crash on northbound I-65 between Lowell and Crown Point sent one person to the hospital. Indiana State Police report the driver stated around 4:30 this morning he reached down for a drink between the driver and passenger seat, and when he looked up the semi had drifted off the road, and when his tires hit the gravel he lost control and the semi overturned. The windshield had to be broken out to get the 36-year-old driver identified as Jeffrey Keel from Mayville, Wisconsin, out and he was taken to a local hospital with a large wound to his head that was said to be non-life-threatening. Police say he was wearing a seat belt.  The Freightliner was loaded with produce coming from Florida City, Florida, to Lemont, Illinois. No load was lost. The right lane of the interstate was closed for about three hours. The driver was cited for Unsafe Lane Movement and Log Book Not Current.  [Photo/Indiana State Police]...

Read more: Semi Accident Sends Driver to Hospital

 

Two Democrats in Race for Lake Co Assessor

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Two Democrats are now running for Lake County assessor in 2014. Schererville Town Councilman Michael Troxell this week announced plans to run for the post. Last month, Lake County Councilman Jerome Prince of Gary announced his campaign for county assessor.
Lake County began this week with a newly-elected county assessor. 46-year-old Jolie Covaciu of Cedar Lake was selected in a county Republican caucus of precinct committee members Friday to fill a post formerly held by the late Hank Adams. Adams passed away early last month at the age of 77 shortly after stepping down from his elected post for health reasons. Covaciu is Lake County's first female county assessor. Adams was the first Republican elected to a countywide seat in Lake County in over half a century. ...

Read more: Two Democrats in Race for Lake Co Assessor

 

Ind Dunes Natl Lakeshore to Conduct Prescribed Fires

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The National Park Service is planning four prescribed fires this Fall at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, across a total of about 550 acres, as part of the park's long-term restoration efforts.
Two are planned near the city of Portage. One includes 73 acres in the West Beach area north of the West Beach Entrance Road. An additional 125-acre fire will be conducted in cooperation with the Ogden Dunes Volunteer Fire Department on the west side of Ogden Dunes along the north side of US Highway 12. Park officials say the Ogden Dunes burn will reduce the threat of wildfires in the community by reducing available fuels on National Park Service and Town of Ogden Dunes lands.
The Dune Ridge Trail prescribed fire, in the east end of the National Lakeshore, will be burned in the area of East State Park Road and Lake Front Drive. These 262 acres will help in creating a buffer to lower the threat of wildfire in the Town of Beverly Shores. Additionally, habitat for wildlife and native plans will be improved. An additional 190 acres will be burned to improve plant and animal habitat in the area of Furnessville Road and US Highway 12.
The prescribed fire program at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is conducted by trained and experienced National Park Service fire personnel. Smoke dispersal is a primary concern and park staff will do everything possible to limit smoke in the area by monitoring wind and atmospheric conditions prior to ignitions. However, smoke drifting in and around park lands and roadways is possible.
Before burning, a designated set of conditions must exist including ideal air temperature, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity. Weather conditions will be monitored throughout the duration of the burn to ensure the fire is completed safely.  [File photo/National Park Service]...

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State Atty General Attends Ribbon-cutting in NWI

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Greg Zoeller
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller joined Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas, Porter County Sheriff David Lain, the owners of Prompt Ambulance Service and others in a ceremony to unveil a new ambulance dedicated to Porter County Triad at Prompt Ambulance's Valparaiso base on Wednesday, November 6, 2013.

Porter County's Triad is an important resource for area seniors that Attorney General Zoeller said is the coming together of people to help seniors who, "need a little more protection  because they are vulnerable in a lot of ways."   Zoellers added, "I think we all owe a duty to serve those people who have really been the generation to lead us."
Ron Donahue, Business Development Director for Prompt Ambulance says the company hopes this newest ambulance addition will help promote the triad's "unique programs available to seniors in our area."  Donahue said Prompt has other ambulances in their fleet dedicated to the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society and Supporting Heroes.
Ribbon cut
(The ribbon is cut on the lattest addition to the Prompt Ambulance fleet that will promote the Porter County Triad)
Mayor Costas, who is seen in the above photo cutting the ribbon with Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, Porter County Sheriff David Lain, Prompt Ambulance owners Gary and Shar Miller, officials with Porter County Triad, logo designer, IVY Tech Valpo student Courtney Anderson and other officials, says the Triad is a unique partnership.
The Porter County Triad is a partnership of law enforcement, area seniors, senior health care providers, clergy, social service organizations, and state and local agencies . Triads not only help with elderly related medical issues Zoeller said Triads also partner with his office to in "educating older adults about scammers to offers programs to assist according to a press release for the attorney general's office. 
Mayor
Mayor Costas (pictured above) told Region News that when it comes to helping with the needs of the area's aging adults that it's important to stay focused, "on preventative measures because that's always the best investment...to stop the problem before it exists and that is what Triad is doing."
According to Donahue, a triad must be first approved by the county's sheriff department and Porter County Triad is only one of 22 county triads in the entire state, an honor not lost on anyone at the dedication ceremony.
PC Sheriff David Lain
Indiana Porter County Sheriff David Lain (pictured above speaking with L-R Ron Donahue of Prompt, Chris Behrendt of Porter County Triad, and company co-owner Gary Miller and Linda Gurgel of Porter County Triad), said with attorney general Greg Zoeller attending the ambulance dedication ceremony attests to the fact that the triad is "something to be trusted."  "Seniors know that they are being preyed upon and so top have the power of the attorney general's office and local law enforcement , it gives (seniors) that comfort level," according to Sheriff Lain. 
Lain said that the ambulance being unveiled at the ceremony, "is going to be a beacon...for everyone around Northwest Indiana...people will see that Triad logo on the side of the ambulance, and that will say so much more than we ever could say as individuals."
Courtney Anderson
The look of the new Porter County Triad decaled ambulance was conceived by IVT Tech Community College's design class student Courtney Anderson (pictured above).
Susan Perry's design class at IVY Tech's Valparaiso campus partnered with Prompt for an ambulance design project.  Anderson said that the students were each given a different assignment that would allow the student to put in their own designs and her design was picked from all the others.  She said that "we were given a list of things that we had to specifically put on the ambulance and I made sure everything was on there."  The design student added, "I just had to put it in the right place to make everything look nice."
She wants to make sure that when people see her design they know that it is Porter County Triad she added, "it's important, I mean Prompt is supporting them."
You can hear Wednesday's entire ribbon-cutting ceremony online by selecting the News Audio On Demand link at: http://www.regionnewsteam.com
(photos: courtesy of Jay Stevens/Radio One Communuications)
 
 
 


 ...

Read more: State Atty General Attends Ribbon-cutting in NWI

 

Kubina's Prison Sentence Upheld

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Kubina Choate
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
The 35 year prison term for 48 year old Kimbery Kubina was upheld today by the Indiana Court of Appeals. Kubina was the step-mother of Christian Choate, the 13 year old boy whose body was discovered buried in a shallow grave at a Gary mobile home park in 2011. The Times reports Kubina claimed the judge improperly assessed her position of trust and did not account for her suffering as a victim of spousal abuse, ignored her mental illness and remorse. According to the article, the 48 year old witnessed the violent attacks on the boy but never told authorities. She also assisted the boy's father, Riley Choate, who is currently serving an 80 year prison sentence, in burying the body. ...

Read more: Kubina's Prison Sentence Upheld

 

LaPorte Man Accused of Indecent Exposure

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LaPorte PD
Police in LaPorte are investigating an incident of indecent exposure in the 13-hundred block of Kingsporte. Police report the victim informed officers she had arrived home from shopping, just after noon, on Tuesday, and while unloading items, looked over at her neighbor's house and observed a man in the front window completely nude and masturbating. The victim says she then called a friend and informed her of what happened. The friend arrived and advised officers she walked past the suspect's home and witnessed the same thing. Police report the 26 year old man, described as a heavy-set white male, denied the allegations, saying his cat pulled down a sheet being used as a curtain in the bathroom, so he jumped out of the shower to replace it and both women may have seen him by mistake. A review of charges has been forwarded to the LaPorte County Prosecutor's Office....

Read more: LaPorte Man Accused of Indecent Exposure

 

Ten New Gary Police Officers Swore In

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Mayor greets recruits 1
(Photos Courtesy of the City of Gary)
Mayor greets recruits 2
Ten new police officers were sworn in today in Gary by Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. Family and friends attended the ceremony in the Gary Room at City Hall, along with Police Chief Wade Ingram and his command staff, who welcomed the officers to the force. The new officers will continue to go through more aggressive training and are expected to hit the streets in early spring. The swearing in of the new officers now brings the total number of officers on the force to 232.
The names of the officers are listed below:
Diego Alvarez   
Nickole Cobb
Keith Dowdell
Michael Franks
Andrew Germonprez
Brandon Hernderson
Keith Hojkicki
Nicretia Jones
Nicholas Sanchez
Curtis Stiles
Chief addressing the recruits ...

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Authorities Seek Help In Locating Suspect

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Lake Co. Sherrif
Authorities in Lake County are seeking the public's help to locate a suspect accused of sexual misconduct with a minor in Gary on Monday. The Lake County Sheriff's Office reports a 14 year old girl, who was walking to school in the area of 45th and Grant Street, just before 8am, accepted a ride from a man driving a silver colored vehicle. The Sheriff's Office says the man drove her to a church parking lot, in the area of 47th and Pierce Street, where he allegedly forced her to perform a sex act on him. The girl was able to flee from the vehicle and the suspect reportedly left the area south on Pierce Street. The suspect is described as an older black male, with caramel colored skin, who is older and heavy-set, with black and gray hair and black facial hair on his chin, wearing a gray t-shirt, blue jeans and black shoes. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff's Detective Traci Harbin at (219) 755-3355....

Read more: Authorities Seek Help In Locating Suspect

   

Case of Missing Park Money Bag Goes to Prosecutor

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An investigation of a money bag containing an undisclosed amount of cash being missing from the Portage Parks Department's Woodland Park Office last month has been turned over to the County Prosecutor's Office. The Parks Superintendent informed officers last month the bar tender dropped off the money bag through a door slot in a secure room, which was witnessed by another employee early Sunday morning, October 12th. On Monday, October 14th, another employee, who was suppose to deliver the money bag to the accounting office, informed the Parks Superintendent the bag was missing. The Parks Superintendent informed the City Council on Tuesday the bartender has been cleared, and while there is a suspect in this case, any charges would now be up to the Prosecutor.
In the meantime, the procedure for dropping off money bags has been changed and that security cameras are being installed throughout the city parks....

Read more: Case of Missing Park Money Bag Goes to Prosecutor

   

Porter County GIVE Day is Thursday

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Porter County GIVE Day is Thursday Thursday, November 7th, is Point, Click, Give-- Porter County GIVE Day, a 24 hour event, this year focusing on kids and a variety of organizations that benefit kids.  The Stations of Radio One Communication are proud to be a part of this year's GIVE Day in association with the Porter County Community Foundation. 
Hear GIVE Day audio interviews from News On-Demand HERE!
Your gift will help improve literacy, healthcare, safety, and quality of life for local youth. The Foundation together with generous donors has created a $70,000 match pool to inspire giving. A portion of every donation made during the 24-hour event Thursday, November 7th, will be matched to benefit the participating nonprofit organizations.
Porter County GIVE Day – one day to make each gift go further
On GIVE Day, gifts to 25 organizations that support youth will receive matching funds from a pool of $70,000.
Here’s how it works:
1. On one day only -- Nov. 7 (from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.!) give online at www.portercountygiveday.org using your credit card. Your gift on this day will qualify for matching funds.
2. You choose the organization(s) you wish to help.
3. You may also give in person 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Times, 1111 Glendale Blvd. in Valparaiso.
4. Spread the word! They're on facebook. “Like” them at Porter County Community Foundation....

Read more: Porter County GIVE Day is Thursday

   

Burglary Suspects Captured, Lock Down Lifted

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Three suspects are in custody after a home burglary, in the area of Evans Elementary School in Lake Station and Ridge View Elementary in Hobart, forced a lock down of the schools as a precaution. Hobart Police Detective Dave Evans says the lock down for both schools was lifted around 2pm this afternoon. Detective Evans say no one at either school was ever in any danger regarding the burglary that occurred in the 39-hundred block of Barnes Street, in Hobart. The schools went into lock down around 11:30 this morning. ...

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Evans Elementary School on Lock Down

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A lock down of Evans Elementary School in Lake Station continues at last check as authorities are looking for suspects regarding a home burglary in the area. The school went into lock down around 11:30 this morning. No further information has been made available at last check....

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Vactican Wants to Know What You Think About...?

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For the first time in for than 50 years, Catholics around the world will have the chance to tell the Vatican what they think about everything from birth control to gay marriage and single-parent families. ABC News reports the Vatican is sending out a 38-question survey to parishioners to find out what its members think of its teachings on issues like marriage and sex. The survey, which needs to be returned by January, is being depicted by some Catholics as an overture to those disaffected with the church's conservative stance. ...

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Special Advisor Named to Lead IEDC Asian Strategy

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Pease
(Photo Courtesy of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and shows Governor Mike Pence, Rick Pease (right of governor) and other state leaders meet with representatives of NSK, the parent company of NSK Corp. and Franklin, Ind.-headquartered NSK Precision America, during the governor's 2013 jobs and economic development mission to Japan.)
Indiana Governor Mike Pence today announced Rick Pease will serve as special advisor for Asia, working with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to spearhead the state's strategy to strengthen and expand initiatives there. Pence welcomed Pease to the new position on Monday, at the ribbon cutting ceremony of Toyota Material Handling, USA's new North American headquarters in Columbus, Indiana. The Japan-based company relocated its national headquarters from Irvine, California to Columbus, creating 72 new jobs. Today's announcement comes less than two-months since the Governor returned from his inaugural jobs and economic development mission to Japan.
Pease joins the IEDC, the state's jobs hunting agency, following an extensive 30-year career at Enkei America, which included serving as chairman, president and chief executive officer of the $1.5 billion global automotive supplier's North American division. Based in Columbus, Ind., Enkei America, a subsidiary of Japan-based Enkei Group, produces automotive aluminum wheels, engine parts and industrial components. Pease, who grew up in Tokyo, is bilingual in English and Japanese.
...

Read more: Special Advisor Named to Lead IEDC Asian Strategy

   

Email Scam Alert

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Scam-Alert
Authorities are warning northwest Indiana residents of an email phishing scam that is circulating. LaPorte Police report the email arrives in your inbox as “security@Wells Fargo” with a subject of Wells Fargo Notification” and a message I-D number. Police say the email includes the Wells Fargo logo and while it looks very official and legitimate it is not. If you receive this email do not respond or click on the link as it is a way for criminals to obtain your personal and banking information. Officials with Wells Fargo's On-line Banking Department have verified this is not something they have sent out.
Authorities remind you to never give out your personal information over the internet or phone to those initiating contact with you. If you suspect you've been a victim of this scam, please contact the Wells Fargo On-line Banking Division at 1-800-956-4442, or you can report the activity 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 ....

Read more: Email Scam Alert

   

Rainy Days in the Region

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It's been a rainy couple of days in the Region. As of 10'o-clock this morning, just over one inch had already fallen in the previous 24-hours in Crown Point and at the Indiana Dunes in Porter County, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Chicago.   Valparaiso and Winfield have also had about an inch of rain.  Here's a list of  24-hour rainfall amounts for today (Wednesday Nov 06 2013); rain amounts for the previous 24 hours as measured  in the morning by NWS Cooperative Observers and COCORAHS Observers (observations usually taken between 6-8am).  http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=lot&product=pns&issuedby=LOT&format=CI&version=1&glossary=0
INDIANA                                        RAIN
  LOCATION (COUNTY):                           FALL (IN)
  CROWN POINT 1N (LAKE)........................1.05
  INDIANA DUNES (PORTER).......................1.04
  PORTER 1S (PORTER)...........................0.93
  VALPARAISO 5WSW (PORTER).....................0.88
  CROWN POINT (LAKE)...........................0.86
  WINFIELD 1NE (LAKE)..........................0.66
  CROWN POINT 2WSW (LAKE)......................0.65
  CHESTERTON 1ENE (PORTER).....................0.63
  VALPARAISO 6NW (PORTER)......................0.62
  GARY 4SSW (LAKE).............................0.60
  VALPARAISO 2NW (PORTER)......................0.60
  VALPARAISO 6NW (PORTER)......................0.57
  DYER 1WNW (LAKE).............................0.56
  CROWN POINT 8E (PORTER)......................0.55
  PORTAGE 1ESE (PORTER)........................0.52
  VALPARAISO 7WSW (PORTER).....................0.52
  (W9MAL)MERRILLVILLE 2NNW (LAKE)..............0.48
  VALPARAISO 1SE (PORTER)......................0.47
  DE MOTTE 1SSW (JASPER).......................0.45
  LOWELL 3N (LAKE).............................0.43
  HEBRON 4NE (PORTER)..........................0.43
  VALPARAISO 6WSW (PORTER).....................0.43
  VALPARAISO 5NNE (PORTER).....................0.41
  VALPARAISO 5NNE (PORTER).....................0.41
  LAKE VILLAGE 2W (NEWTON).....................0.39
  ST. JOHN (LAKE)..............................0.38
  PORTER 1S (PORTER)...........................0.37
  VALPARAISO 4SW (PORTER)......................0.33
  LAKE VILLAGE 8SE (NEWTON)....................0.28
  DE MOTTE 3SE (JASPER)........................0.27
  VALPARAISO 6S (PORTER).......................0.26
  (KB9F)VALPARAISO 4S (PORTER).................0.25
  LAKE VILLAGE (NEWTON)........................0.25
  DE MOTTE 4SW (JASPER)........................0.23
  KOUTS 2WSW (PORTER)..........................0.23
  RENSSELAER 5E (JASPER).......................0.21
  VALPARAISO 2N (PORTER).......................0.21
  DE MOTTE 6S (JASPER).........................0.20
  FAIR OAKS 6SW (NEWTON).......................0.20
  MOROCCO (NEWTON).............................0.15
  (WV90)HOBART 1ENE (LAKE).....................0.14
  VALPARAISO 6SSW (PORTER).....................0.14
  VALPARAISO (PORTER)..........................0.14
  RENSSELAER 4N (JASPER).......................0.13
  VALPARAISO 1ENE (PORTER).....................0.13
  WHEATFIELD 3S (JASPER).......................0.12
  REMINGTON (JASPER)...........................0.12
  DE MOTTE 1NNW (JASPER).......................0.11
  REMINGTON (JASPER)...........................0.11
  RENSSELAER 2SSW (JASPER).....................0.10
  KENTLAND (NEWTON)............................0.10
  KENTLAND 2SSE (NEWTON).......................0.10
  RENSSELAER (JASPER)..........................0.10
  MOUNT AYR 2NNE (NEWTON)......................0.06
  (W9OPR)WHEATFIELD 1ENE (JASPER)..............0.05
  KENTLAND 1NNW (NEWTON).......................0.04
  BROOK 4W (NEWTON)............................0.03...

Read more: Rainy Days in the Region

   

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