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Death Investigation Reported in Merrillville

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Breaking-News
Police in Merrillville are at Piatak Meats at 61st and Broadway investigating reports of a death. The Lake County Coroners office has reportedly been called out. The Major Crimes Task Force is on scene. Authorities were dispatched this morning. No other information was being released at this hour....

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GOP Caucus Chooses New Lake County Assessor

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Lake County begins this week with a newly-named 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, Lake County's first female county assessor, defeated Debra Johnson by a vote of 56-52. Adams was the first Republican elected to a countywide seat in Lake County in over half a century....

Read more: GOP Caucus Chooses New Lake County Assessor

 

Lowell Seeks New Tree for Christmas

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In south Lake County, Lowell is reaching out to the public for a new town Christmas tree for this holiday season. Council President Edgar Corns says the current one, an artificial tree that stands twenty-feet tall and used to be in Southlake Mall many years ago, is showing signs of wear and tear on the branches. Corns says one option is if someone has a live tree they need to remove this fall, and they'd like to donate the tree, the town will have the tree cut down and moved.  The town's artificial tree is set up each year in front of the American Legion Post off of Route 2. Corns said he didn't know if replanting a live tree would be an option or not.   For more information, contact Lowell Town Hall  (219) 696-7794.

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Read more: Lowell Seeks New Tree for Christmas

 

Donated Stone Placed at Boy's Gravesite

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A woman in the state of Washington spent a year collecting two-thousand dollars in donations to buy a gravestone for Christian Choate, someone she never knew. Pat Breslin says she was moved by what she had read online about the Lake County boy, who police say died after years of abuse, including being locked up in a dog crate. The child's father and stepmother are both in prison, having been sentenced in connection with the boy's death. The 13-year-old is buried at Ridgelawn Cemetery in Gary under the name Christian Eriks, the name of his biological mother. Police found the teen's body in 2011 buried beneath a shed at a mobile home park in the Black Oak section of Gary. The headstone was dedicated at the cemetery this past Friday. ...

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Woman Falls from Second-Floor Window

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In Hammond, police say a 25-year-old woman suffered serious injuries after accidentally falling out of a second-floor window while trying to install an air-conditioner. Responders were called out to apartment on Robinhood lane around 8:30 Saturday night. The woman was taken to the Morton High School parking lot nearby, then airlifted to a Chicago-area hospital....

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State Parks to Close for Deer Kills

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Twenty-one state parks in Indiana including Indiana Dunes will be temporarily closed to the general public two upcoming weekends for deer kills. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says the kills November 18 and 19 and December 2nd and 3rd help control browsing by deer to help maintain habitat for plants and animals.
Information from Indiana DNR:
Select Indiana state parks will close temporarily to allow for controlled deer reductions in the coming weeks.
The dates for the temporary closings are Nov. 18 and 19, and Dec. 2 and 3.
The state parks affected are Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe, Turkey Run, Versailles, and Whitewater Memorial. These state parks will close to the general public the evening before each of the two efforts and reopen the morning after each two-day reduction.
Only individuals drawn last September and those listed on their applications may participate at Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Harmonie, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe, Versailles and Whitewater Memorial. There will be no standby drawings at those parks.
For Fort Harrison (archery hunt) and Indiana Dunes, Spring Mill and Turkey Run (firearms hunts), a public standby drawing to fill spots left vacant will take place on property each morning of the reduction.
Indiana Dunes State Park will conduct daily standby drawings at 8 a.m. CST. Potential standby participants can apply on site between 7 and 7:45 a.m. CST but cannot enter the park before 7 a.m.
Turkey Run, Spring Mill, and Fort Harrison will conduct daily standby drawings at 8:30 a.m. EST. Potential standby participants can apply onsite between 7:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. EST but cannot enter the park before 7:30 a.m.
Eligibility for daily onsite standby drawings is limited to Indiana residents who are 18 years of age by Nov. 18, and have any valid license to take deer in Indiana. Indiana residents who possess an Indiana lifetime license to take deer are also eligible. Participants must wear a hunter orange hat or cap and vest, coat, jacket or coveralls at all times while on the property.
To participate in the standby drawings, individuals must present a photo ID and their valid filled or unfilled license to take deer. Applications can include up to three individuals. The number of participants drawn will be based on the number of unclaimed spots for each day; it is not a first-come, first-served process. The need for stand-in hunters tends to increase with each hunt day.
Questions about participating in the standby drawings should be directed to the property of interest.
DNR biologists evaluate which parks require a reduction each year based on habitat recovery and previous harvest rates at each park. The state parks are home to more than 32 state-endangered plants and numerous significant natural communities. The reductions help control browsing by deer to a level that helps maintain habitat throughout the state parks for all plants and animals.
Information on 2014 state park deer reductions, including online applications, will be available next summer at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild. The application deadline is usually the end of August.
A report on the 2012 reductions can be found at dnr.IN.gov/parklake/files/sp-DeerRMRR.pdf....

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Crown Point Boys Soccer Brings Home State Title

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The Crown Point boys soccer team took home the Class 2A state soccer title Saturday, defeating Avon in overtime 3-1. It was the second state championship in the past three years for the undefeated Bulldogs, who finished the season 21-0-1....

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Honda Announces Minivan Recall

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Honda says they are recalling over 300-thousand 2007 and 2008 Odyssey Minivans in the U.S.
A problem with the minivan's Vehicle Safety Assist System can cause sudden, unexpected braking without brake lights, increasing the risk of a crash from behind...but the automaker says they are not aware of any crashes or injuries related to the issue. Honda says replacement parts won't be available until early 2014. In the meantime, owners may contact Honda for safety information.
Call Honda at 1-800-999-1009 recall JC5. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236, or go to www.safercar.gov...

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Illiana Open Houses Begin in Indiana

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Few people attended an open house on the Illiana Expressway at IU Northwest in Gary Saturday, but a bigger turnout is expected at the one tomorrow night at Lowell Middle School, with the proposed expressway set to go through south Lake County, connecting I-65 on the east with I-55 in Illinois to the west. Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission has four open houses on the proposed tollway this month, including one in Porter County, at the NIRPC office in Portage, November 13th , and one in Michigan City, at Michigan City City Hall November 19th. Regional planners are expected to vote on the highway next month.
News Release NIRPC: Both the Departments of Transportation in Indiana and Illinois are actively working on a new limited highway facility from I-65 south of Crown Point, IN, to I-55 south of Joliet, IL.  This facility dubbed the Illiana Expressway would connect the south Chicago Suburbs with NW Indiana along its proposed 47-mile route.  The process behind the development of the expressway is complex, and this web page will serve as an information clearinghouse regarding important dates and documents relating to approvals and possible construction of the facility.  Documents are both public and private in nature, and include all updated public comments.  Please scroll down to the content you wish to view regarding the project.  This will also include any public comment dates and forms you can submit online.   Additional questions on the expressway project can be forwarded to Mitch Barloga at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
The official INDOT/IDOT website which holds all information regarding the study process and related documents can be accessed here:
http://www.illianacorridor.org
Schedule of Actions & Public Comment
NIRPC has been asked by INDOT to amend our 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan to include the Illiana Expressway project and widening of I-65 from US 30 south to US 231.  The following documents outline the planning process as well as any upcoming public comment dates.
    Illiana Expressway:  NIRPC Action Schedule (click image for larger view) NIRPC Approval Schedule
    Public Comment Open Houses: (Public Comment period commences October 14 and ends November 20)
                November 2: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
                             John W. Anderson Library
                             Indiana University Northwest
                             3400 Broadway, Gary, IN
                November 5: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
                              Lowell Middle School
                              19250 Cline Avenue, Lowell, IN
                November 13: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
                              NIRPC
                              6100 Southport Rd., Portage, IN 46368
                November 19: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
                              Michigan City, City Hall
                              100 E. Michigan Blvd., Michigan City, IN
The comments received at these meetings will be compiled into a public comment summary report and responded to, along with other comments received during the 30-day comment period. The summary report will be made available to the public and distributed to NIRPC’s Transportation Policy Committee (TPC) and NIRPC’s Full Commission prior to TPC action on December 3, 2013 and the NIRPC Full Commission’s action on December 12, 2013....

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Alligator Found at O'Hare Airport

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Officials in Chicago found a small alligator at Terminal 3 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.  Passengers spotted the two-foot-long animal Friday under an escalator.  Police aren't sure how the alligator came to be at the airport.  The alligator is receiving medical treatment and was transferred into the care of the Chicago Herpetological Society until a  permanent home can be found.  The alligator is believed to have been lacking a proper diet.  [Photo/Chicago Herpetological Society]...

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One Dead, Three Injured in Gary Fire

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Gary fire officials say a residential fire claimed the life of one person and injured three others Sunday morning.  Crews were called to the four-thousand block of Louisiana Street shortly after 6:30 am.  A 71-year-old woman was pronounced dead at an area hospital.  Authorities continue to try to determine the cause of the fire....

Read more: One Dead, Three Injured in Gary Fire

   

Closures Announced for MC Drawbridge Inspection

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Michigan City officials say the historic Franklin Street drawbridge near the lakefront will be closed at certain times this week in preparation for a major rehabilitation project. Today and tomorrow (Nov 4 & 5)  the drawbridge will be closed between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and motorists are asked to use Center Street and Krueger Avenue as a detour. Meanwhile, on Wednesday for sure and Thursday if needed, city officials say the bridge will be opened and closed periodically for mechanical inspection, but the delays should be no different than what is normal for the passage of a  large boat.   Detour signs will be put in place to help guide citizens and visitors to alternate routes around this part of Franklin Street....

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Indiana National Guard Honors Seven Fallen Soldiers

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The Indiana Army National Guard on Sunday paid tribute to seven Guardsmen during a recognition ceremony at Valparaiso University with family members and friends of fallen soldiers.
Photo, top: Personalized shadow box displays of seven fallen soldiers are unveiled to family members and friends during a remembrance ceremony held at Valparaiso University, Nov. 3, 2013 to honor their dedication and sacrifices for state and country.   US Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Tinsley.
“Today’s ceremony is great; while I have attended individual ceremonies for most of them, we get to put all of them to rest in our armory today,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kyle Leonard, former platoon sergeant in the 713th Engineer Company.
Individually designed shadow boxes for each soldier were unveiled at Valparaiso University. Each display contained an American flag, military service ribbons and medals, as well as a photograph of the service member. The displays were permanently mounted in the Valparaiso Army National Guard Armory following the ceremony.
Major Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, Adjutant General of the Indiana National Guard, addressed the families and friends of the fallen soldiers by recounting past memorial services. “Today is all about the memory of each of our soldiers.” Umbarger then reflected upon personal experiences he had with each of the fallen. “They were all heroes in every sense of the word.”
nationalgd2
Photo: The Indiana National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, hosts a ceremony to honor seven fallen soldiers of the 113th Engineer Battalion on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013 at Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind.  US Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Tinsley.
Indiana National Guard officials say Spc. Sergio Perez Jr. of Crown Point and Spc. Nicholas Taylor of Berne, Indiana, died from a direct fire ambush, July 2012 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Staff Sergeant Jonathan Metzger of Indianapolis, Sgt. Brian Leonhardt of Merrillville, Spc. Christopher Patterson, a Valparaiso University student who was from Aurora, Illinois,  and Spc. Robert Tauteris of Hamlet died as a result of a roadside bomb, January 2012 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Chavez of Portage died July 2008 from an illness contracted stateside at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, during specialized combat engineer leader training....

Read more: Indiana National Guard Honors Seven Fallen Soldiers

   

Obamacare Town Hall Meeting in Gary Monday

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City of Gary
The City of Gary on Monday will be hosting an Affordable Healthcare Act town hall meeting at the Genesis Convention Center. City Director of Communications Chelsea Whittington says a panel of experts will share updates about Obamacare and how to enroll.
Whittington says the city will also be hosting enrollment session this month at city hall, beginning on Friday, November 8th, from 10am to 2pm and continuing every Friday throughout the month with the exception of Black Friday.
The town hall meeting on Monday takes place at 5:30pm and for more information on the enrollment sessions or to sign up for them, please contact Gary City Hall....

Read more: Obamacare Town Hall Meeting in Gary Monday

   

Over $9 Million in Grants to Help Schools Improve Safety

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Gov Mike Pence

Indiana Governor Mike Pence on Friday announced more than $9 million in grant funding to local schools and school corporations through the Secured School Safety Grant Program. Governor Pence says, “these grants will allow our public schools and school corporations to add resources that will help secure our schools so they can focus on educating our students.” 14 schools in Lake County received over 476-thousand dollars, while five schools in Porter County will receive over 215-thousand. For a complete list of northwest Indiana schools receiving grant funding, visit http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=141036&information_id=190064&type=&syndicate=syndicate...

Read more: Over $9 Million in Grants to Help Schools Improve Safety

   

231 Shut Down Between Leroy and I-65

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Traffic-Alert
A crash has reportedly shutdown 231 this morning between Leroy and I-65. Traffic tipsters reporting a car struck an electric pole in that area and emergency crews were called out to the scene. At last check, NIPSCO's outage map is showing 640 customers are without power in Leroy and 855 customers are without power in Crown Point as a result of the crash. No further information is available at this time. ...

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Grand Opening of Dog Park in Dyer

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Dog lovers in west-central Lake County have a new place to take their four-legged friends. The Dyer Dog Park is celebrating their grand opening this afternoon at 1pm. The park is located in the 900 block of Central Park Blvd. ...

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Hammond Man Sentenced to Lifetime Imprisonment

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A 33 year old Hammond man was recently sentenced to life in prison in US District Court in Hammond for numerous felony convictions, including murder. According to court documents, Styles Taylor was found guilty of conspiracy to commit interference with commerce by threat of violence, use of a firearm to cause death during a crime of violence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Taylor, a three-time convicted felon, along with Keon Thomas, robbed and murdered the 72 year old owner of Firearms Unlimited Gun Shop inside his business in order to obtain numerous firearms, which they began to sell to any willing buyer in the Hammond area. Taylor was also involved in drug trafficking, the armed robbery of a pizza delivery man and two burglaries as a juvenile. As part of his sentence, he received five years of supervised release and must pay over 11-thousand dollars in restitution. ...

Read more: Hammond Man Sentenced to Lifetime Imprisonment

   

Monthly Warning Siren Test in LaPorte County

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A reminder...this morning at 11am is the next scheduled test of the LaPorte County warning sirens. During the test two, one-minute signals will sound with one-minute of silence between signals. In the event of an actual emergency, a three-minute signal will sound, with a short period of silence between signals, repeated one or more times. ...

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Coats Bashes Obamacare Website in GOP Address

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Senator Dan Coats
Many Americans are being told they can't keep their current health care plans ... because the plans don't meet Obamacare's new coverage requirements. In the weekly GOP address ... Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) says this means the President has essentially broken his promise
"This week the public learned that for at least the past three years, the Obama administration has known that millions of Americans will not be able to keep their health care plans, but the President has continued to promise repeatedly, If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period".
Senator Coats says perhaps the President hasn't tried logging onto the website himself because he and his political appointees are not required to join Obamacare. To hear the Senator's entire GOP address, click News Audio On Demand at http://regionnewsteam.com/...

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