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LaPorte PD Investigating Report of Sexual Assault and Battery

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LaPorte PD
An investigation continues after a woman reported to police in LaPorte that she had been sexually assaulted and battered by a local man she knew and had been out with earlier in the morning. LaPorte Police report officers were dispatched at 4:11am Tuesday for a woman screaming for help. Upon arrival, officers observed a 27 year old LaPorte woman standing at the intersection of Philadelphia and East Jefferson Avenue, covered in blood, with a swollen face, and several facial lacerations. The woman was taken to I-U Health LaPorte for treatment.
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Two Men Arrested for Disorderly Behavior Aboard S Shore Train

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Two 22 year old men were taken into custody for their disorderly behavior aboard a South Shore train Tuesday night in East Chicago. NICTD Transit Police report Gregory Clark, of Munster, and Paul Thompson, of Valparaiso, are each charged with intoxication upon a common carrier. Authorities report the two men were using profane language and frightened other passengers, and once removed from the train by police, argued and used profanity towards them as well. Officials say an ambulance had to be called out for a female companion of the two men, who fell and began convulsing uncontrollably, but after recovering refused medical treatment.
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New E-911 Director Approved by Lake Co Commissioners

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A 50 year old Minnesota native who helped guide consolidation of E-911 services for 30 public safety agencies in the Quad Cities area, and elsewhere in the midwest, received approval today by the Lake County Commissioners to become the county's new E-911 Director. Brian Hitchcock received unanimous support last week from Lake County police and fire chiefs for the position, and will face the task of consolidating the 911 services of seventeen city, town and county law enforcement agencies by the end of 2014 –as mandated by state law – to prevent the county from losing millions in public safety dollars from the state, pending the Lake County Council creating a salary for him in the 2013 budget.
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Two People Found Dead in LaPorte Home Tuesday

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LaPorte PD
A 20 year old LaPorte man and a 17 year old Dyer girl were found dead in a LaPorte home in the 500 block of East Lincolnway Tuesday evening. At last check authorities report the cause of death and circumstances surrounding these deaths are still under investigation by the LaPorte County Coroner's Office and the LaPorte Police Department's Detective Bureau. LaPorte Police say the male victim has been identified as Ethan Day, while the female victim's name is being withheld because she is a minor. Officials report police were dispatched to the home at 6:41pm, after Day's father discovered the victims and notified.
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Pence in Gary for Ceremonial Signing of the Gary Bill

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GOV signing gary bill 1
Indiana Governor Mike Pence was at Gary City Hall this afternoon for a ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 585, also known as the Gary Bill. Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says this legislation represents a great opportunity for economic development in Gary and all of Northwest Indiana.
Governor Pence told those in attendance that when he became Governor that his ambition was to be the Governor of all Hoosiers and to make job creation, job one, and today's ceremonial signing is further evidence that that decree.
The legislation will providing funding for a feasibility study for both a trauma center and teaching hospital, as well as a study to expand the Port of Indiana to Lake County. The bill will also provide the City of Gary with three-million dollars for the Gary Sanitary District, lifts Lake County property tax caps, and resets membership on the Gary Airport Board, requiring five-years of experience in business or aviation management. To listen to the entire bill signing event, visit http://www.xrock1039.com/index.php/news/news-on-demand.html
gov sgning gary bill 2
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Short Pursuit After Merrillville Burglary

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Authorities say one person was taken into custody after a burglary at the Speedway at 73rd and Madison around midnight this morning, an incident that Merrillville Police say led to a short pursuit where the suspect vehicle drove through yards at Turkey Creek subdivision, striking a fence and some trees. Police say the car was found in the seven-thousand block of Van Buren, and the suspect discovered behind Iddings School a couple blocks away. Possible charges include burglary and felony resisting arrest.
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Robbery Suspect Crashes in Hobart; Update

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Officials say a man wanted in connection with incidents in Hobart and Merrillville this morning led police on a pursuit that ended off Route 51/South Lake Park Avenue near where it intersects with 61st Avenue in Hobart. Merrillville Police took the suspect into custody behind the business complex off Bracken Parkway, across from St. Mary Medical Center. Merrillville Police say around 8:30 am, a strong-arm robbery occurred outside Cracker Barrel off I-65 in Merrillville, where an older couple were approached from behind while under the front porch of the restaurant, and the woman's purse was pulled off, knocking her to the ground. Merrillville Police Detective Commander Robert Wiley says about 20-minutes earlier, authorities allege the same man tried to rob a woman of her purse in the parking lot of Diner's Choice Restaurant on 37th Avenue in Hobart, just east of the I-65 interchange, Ridge Road exit.
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Robbery Suspect Crashes in Hobart

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Police are expected to release more information today on a pursuit that ended in crash in Hobart this morning. Authorities say the suspect was wanted in connection with a strong-arm robbery in the parking lot of Cracker Barrel off I-65 in Merrillville and an earlier attempted hold-up about three miles north at the Diner's Choice Restaurant on West 37th Avenue in Hobart, just east of the I-65 interchange, Ridge Road exit. The suspect vehicle reportedly crashed on 61st Avenue not far from St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, and suspect was taken into custody after a foot chase.
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Susan G. Komen Walks Dropped in 7 Cities

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‘Susan G. Komen for the Cure’ is canceling its three-day walks in Chicago and six other U.S. cities next year. Various published reports today say the breast cancer charity group noted participation in the fundraiser has dropped 37-percent in the past four years. Walks are also being dropped in Boston, Cleveland, Phoenix, Tampa Bay, San Francisco and Washington DC next year, and will remain in seven other locations.  Cities removed from 2014's schedule reportedly did not meet fundraising goals.  The organization says they are the largest non-government funder of breast cancer research.
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21 Tons of Debris in Operation Clean Sweep

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La Porte Mayor Blair Milo says more than 21 and a half tons of debris was removed from residential properties in La Porte during the city's recent Operation Clean Sweep, according to figures reported by the city this week. 645 properties received warnings Milo says, mostly for junk vehicles, garbage on the lawns, and fencing violations, and Mayor Milo says about three-quarters of owners who were cited have cleaned up their properties since the sweep. Mayor Milo also posted on her Facebook page  that a similar sweep is planned for La Porte's business district this month.
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Glittery Mystery in Hammond

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A Robertsdale resident is wondering what the glittery stuff is her yard and on her outdoor furniture. The complaint's been forwarded to Indiana Department of Environmental Management, who will be sending investigators to take a look at the substance, described as black and silver in color, in the 15-hundred block of Brown Avenue in north Hammond.
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Colleagues Reflect on Rudy Clay's Passing

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rudy clay
[Photo courtesy of the Times]
Former Gary Mayor Rudy Clay has died. Clay's political career in Lake County spanned four decades. He also served as Indiana State Senator, County Recorder, County Councilman, County Commissioner before becoming Mayor of Gary in 2006, and winning re-election the next year. Clay left politics two years ago because of prostate cancer.  Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson expressed her sympathy and condolences to the entire Clay family for their loss, saying Clay was much more than just her predecessor, but a friend and a member of the same church, and an icon in the community, who will be remembered and cherished for years to come. First District Congressman Pete Visclosky and Indiana U-S Senator Joe Donnelly also extended their thoughts and prayers to the Clay family, with both stating they had lost a friend.   Funeral services are pending, but Clay had asked they be held at the Genesis Convention Center. Clay died Tuesday. He was 77.
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/gary/rudy-clay-dead-at/article_67bb40e4-56af-5d61-9b74-b1f3e6f934db.html
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Gas Prices Remain High in Region

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Gas price averages for Indiana and Illinois are continuing on a high streak. Triple-A Chicago says Indiana drivers are currently paying on average $3.96 for a gallon of regular unleaded, while the price just over the state line is averaging $4.05.  While much of the rest of the U.S. has dropped in prices,  Indiana, Illinois and drivers elsewhere in the Midwest are finding themselves paying more. Illinois averages are among the highest in the continental U.S., and with a price of $4.44, Chicago has the highest city average in the continental U.S.   According to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report, a gallon of regular unleaded in the Gary Metropolitan Area is averaging about $4.08; it's jumped higher in the South Bend area, to $4.16.
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Councilman Says Prayer Will Continue

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In Hammond, city councilman Anthony Higgs says he will not stop offering a prayer prior to the start of city council meetings, until the nation's highest court issues their ruling. Concerns had been brought up by Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr in light of the recent announcement that the US Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether prayers can be offered at government meetings, based on a case out of the town of Greece in the state of New York.
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Donnelly Pushes to Prevent Sexual Assault in the Military

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Washington, D.C. — Senator Joe Donnelly, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today pushed top defense officials to improve their efforts to prevent sexual assault in the military.  At a hearing held by the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, Senator Donnelly told the first panel of witnesses, Service Component Chiefs and Judge Advocate Generals (JAGs), that they have an obligation to current and future service members to solve this problem and to address the psychological needs of survivors of sexual assault in the military.
“I was at the Indy 500 a week before the race, and we inducted a couple hundred men and women into the service.  And I want to be able to know when I look them in the eyes, that I can keep my obligation to tell them that you can serve our country, serve with dignity, have your dignity respected, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Senator Donnelly.
Senator Donnelly is working with his colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee to develop policies to improve the military’s efforts to prevent sexual assault.  The Pentagon released a report last month showing a 35% increase in the estimated number of sexual abuse incidents in 2012 compared with 2010.
Further, sexual assault has been found to increase the risk for death by suicide by as much as 14 times for female victims compared to women who have never been assaulted, even after controlling for psychiatric diagnoses present prior to the assault. According to results of a new study by researchers at the University of Utah, military personnel have experienced increased risk of suicidal thoughts or actions if they were the victims of physical or violent sexual assault as adults.
One of Senator Donnelly’s priorities is preventing military suicides, as we lost more service members to suicide (349) than in combat in Afghanistan last year (295).   Donnelly believes survivors of sexual assault in the military should have a safe and confidential place to go when they need help.  He is dedicated to working with his colleagues to ensure their psychological needs are addressed, that they are screened for risk of suicide, and that they have access to resources such as counseling and suicide prevention.
VIDEO: Senator Donnelly questions top military officials at today’s hearing on sexual assault prevention legislation
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Northern IN Residents Can Report Storm Damage Online

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INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers who sustained damage caused by severe weather and flooding in northern Indiana beginning May 31, 2013 can report damage online. These reports will aid in the evaluation to determine if federal assistance will be requested.
A link to the form is available on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) website at www.in.gov/dhs. In the middle of the page under "Featured Topics," click on "Report Damage From Severe Storms and Flooding – Beginning May 31, 2013."
Individuals will be asked to provide their name, address, phone number and type of damage the property sustained. Losses can include structural damage to homes and loss of personal property.
FOR QUESTIONS
For questions, contact your county emergency management agency. Local agency's contact information is available by accessing:  http://www.in.gov/dhs/files/Sanitized_Compact_Directory.pdf.
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS
Individuals without Internet access are encouraged to contact a friend, family member or neighbor for assistance. Web access is also available at many libraries, religious institutions, community centers or other public facilities. If none of those options are available, individuals may also contact their county emergency management agency to report damage.
THIS REPORT IS NOT AN APPLICATION FOR ANY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
This is NOT an application for a grant with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Information will be used to help local emergency management agencies and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security preliminarily assess damage to determine if federal assistance can be pursued.
All Hoosiers are advised to stay tuned to local radio and television weather broadcasts or listen to an all hazards alert radio for updated warnings and safety information related to potential weather threats.
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Pence Signs Anti-Bullying Legislation into Law

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HEA1423 Signing
(Photo Provided by the Office of Indiana State Senator Tom Wyss)
Anti-bullying legislation authored by State Senator Tom Wyss was signed into law Tuesday by Indiana Governor Mike Pence, updating the state's 2005 anti-bullying law, also authored by Senator Wyss. House Enrolled Act 14-23 will now require schools to track and report incidents of bullying and to train their employees and students on how to prevent bullying.
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Governor Pence to Stop in Portage and Gary Tomorrow

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Gov Mike Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence will be making a couple of stops in Northwest Indiana on Wednesday. The Governor is scheduled to give the keynote address at the Portage Economic Luncheon, scheduled at noon, and then its off to Gary for a ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 585, also known as the Gary Bill. The legislation will providing funding for a feasibility study for both a trauma center and teaching hospital, as well as a study to expand the Port of Indiana to Lake County. The bill will also provide the City of Gary with three-million dollars for the Gary Sanitary District, lifts Lake County property tax caps, and resets membership on the Gary Airport Board, requiring five-years of experience in business or aviation management. The bill signing is scheduled for 1:45pm, at Gary City Hall.
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Pence Signs Combat to College Bill

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SEA115 Bill Signing
(Photo Courtesy of the Indiana Senate Majority Caucus)
STATEHOUSE (June 4, 2013) –  Veterans will now have more support in transitioning into college, thanks to legislation authored by State Sens. Sue Glick (R-LaGrange) and Allen Paul (R-Richmond). Gov. Mike Pence signed Senate Enrolled Act 115 into law today.
SEA 115 requires state colleges and universities with at least 200 veteran students to establish a “combat to college” program, creating administrative and educational assistance for these students.
“As the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans remains high, we must take extra care to provide educational and career assistance for our returning soldiers,” Glick said. “The ‘combat-to-college’ program is pivotal to helping our veterans find success in civilian life.”
“The essential goal of this legislation was to support veterans pursuing a college education,” Paul said. “These policies and programs will not only meet the unique needs of veteran students but will give them more opportunities to succeed.”
Under the new law, relevant colleges and universities are required to implement the following policies and programs for veterans:
·         A centralized location for admissions, registration and financial administration services
·         Reasonable fitness accommodations for disabled veterans
·         Academic guidance and counseling services
·         Job-search assistance
Pence hailed the legislation as a victory for veteran students.
"Providing Hoosier veterans with better access to a college education will help them be more successful and will improve our workforce," Pence said. "I applaud Senators Sue Glick and Allen Paul, the authors of the bill, for their leadership on this important matter to help the brave men and women who made sacrifices to protect our freedom improve their lives through education."
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Lane Restriction Now In Place Along 54th Ave in Merrillville

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Motorists speeding on 54th Avenue in Merrillville through the storm sewer reconstruction project have caused officials to announce lane restrictions effective immediately to ensure the safety of workers and residents. The five-block area of the project on 54th Avenue will now be open to local residential traffic only, as well as daily mail delivery, and will take place after school buses have had their morning runs. Officials say block closures will begin no earlier than 7am to 3:30 pm daily, and that the road will be open to all traffic by 4pm each day. As the project moves east to Lincoln, Buchanan, Pierce, and Fillmore Streets, those segments will be closed when workers are at those locations. Meantime, it is recommended motorists who normally use 54th Avenue use 57th Avenue instead. The project is anticipated to be completed by the end of August or early September.
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