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Brush Fire in Morgan Twp

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Traffic-Advisory
Fire crews were called out around 10am this morning for a brush fire in Porter County's Morgan Township. Motorist are being asked to avoid the area of Division, south of Smoke Road on Hunter's Trail, so crews can get that under control. No further information available at this time.
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I-80/94 Closed Near SR 51/Ripley St Due to Crash

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Traffic-Alert
The ramp of eastbound I-80/94 is closed near State Road 51 / Ripley St due to a crash. Expect long delays as you travel eastbound on I-80/94 near mile 15.
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Body Found in Hart Ditch, Identity Unknown

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Authorities report the body of a dead man was found in Hart Ditch Sunday morning in Munster. The Times reports Munster Police were called out to the 85-hundred block of Hawthorne Drive, and at last check the identity of the man is unknown. Published reports say there were no signs of anything suspicious that may have resulted in the man's death, according to a preliminary investigation.
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Coroner Investigating Sunday Death of Gary Man

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The Lake County Coroner's Office reports they were dispatched to five-hundred block of Taft Street in Gary on Sunday night, just at 9:40pm. The Coroner's Office reports by 10:18 that night they had pronounced the man dead. The name and manner of death of the deceased have yet to be released. The Gary Fire and Police Departments, and Indiana State Fire Marshall's Office are also involved. At last check no further information has been made available.
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Pence to Celebrate Dyngus Day in South Bend

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Gov Mike Pence
Governor Mike Pence will be spending Monday in St. Joseph County, for Dyngus Day. According to his office, Governor Pence will attend a Dyngus Day lunch at the St. Joesph County GOP Headquarters in South Bend, at 12:30pm EDT. The Governor is scheduled to join South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, at M-R Falcons at 3pm EDT, and then the pair will travel to Z-B Falcons for an engagement at 3:45pm EDT.
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Illiana Corridor Public Open House in Lowell April 18th

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A public open house regarding the second tier of a study for the proposed Illiana Corrridor is scheduled for next month. I-DOT and INDOT officials say the open house will focus on communities, landowners, and access need, along the preferred corridor, from I-55, near Wilmington, Illinois, to I-65 near Cedar Lake. Published reports say the proposed expressway would improve safety, reduce congestion and truck traffic on local roads, and improve accessibility to jobs while cutting commute times. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 18th, from 5 to 8pm, at Lowell Middle School.
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National Public Health Week

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National Public Health Week
INDIANAPOLIS—It may be April 1st, but don’t fool around when keeping your family safe and healthy at home. Today kicks off National Public Health Week (NPHW), an annual observance where communities across the country recognize the contributions of public health and highlight
issues which are important to improving the health of the nation.
“Public health is a term that’s not necessarily well understood in the community,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Simply put, public health protects and improves lives. It impacts every aspect of living, including the safety of the water and food you consume, response to emergencies, tracking and responding to infectious diseases, having an immunized population, long term care, prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, and so much more. Public health works to educate and empower citizens to lead healthy lifestyles.
This year's NPHW theme is "Public Health is Return on Investment (ROI): Save Lives, Save Money" and focuses on the economic impact of health and on the role that everyone in the community has to support public health and prevention. Each day from April 1-5 will highlight a different theme focusing on a specific prevention activity. Today’s theme is ensuring a safe, healthy home for your family. Proper preparation around the home can help protect the overall health of the family, including reducing infant mortality, falls, childhood and adult obesity, and more.
Creating a safe and healthy home environment can be done in many ways, such as keeping your home smoke-free, ensuring your children are current on their immunizations, stocking your refrigerator with fruits, vegetables and practicing safe and proper food handling techniques. In 2010, cardiovascular disease contributed to the death of more than 17,000 Hoosiers. Avoiding tobacco, eating nutritious meals, and getting regular exercise can all reduce the risk of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.
Accidents and injuries in the home pose a serious health threat. According to the latest State statistics from 2010, nearly 2,000 Hoosiers died from non-transport injuries such as falls, drowning, poisoning and exposure to smoke and fire. Taking precautions like installing and maintaining smoke detectors, putting fences around swimming pools, removing clutter, having proper lighting and creating an emergency plan can sometimes mean the difference between life and death or serious injury.
“Having an emergency plan and emergency kit are important steps to take in keeping your family safe during an emergency,” said Dr. VanNess. “Have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and if you have toddlers, place safety devices on electrical outlets and child-proof latches on doors and cupboards where little ones could get into toxic chemicals or other dangerous items.”
For information on how to create an emergency kit and emergency action plan, visit www.ready.gov.
To visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website, go to www.StateHealth.in.gov.
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Indy Woman Killed After Walking onto I-65 Sunday Night

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A 66 year old Indianapolis woman was killed Sunday night on I-65 in Jasper County after she walked out in front of traffic for an unknown reason, causing the highway to be shut down for almost six-hours. Indiana State Police report Betty Rush was pronounced dead at the scene on I-65, near the DeMotte/Roselawn exit. A preliminary investigation revealed a vehicle driven by a 22 year old Gary man could not avoid Rush, who walked out into the right lane of traffic, and was struck by the passenger side of the vehicle, then by a semi, and along with several other vehicles. State Police report Rush's vehicle was later discovered at a local truck stop.
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Pelath: GOP Has No Plan B if HIP Plan Not Approved

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House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath of Michigan City held a media availability Friday afternoon, expressing concerns about what he calls “dithering” by Republicans over implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said in a morning news conference that a blanket expansion of Medicaid is not viable, so he supports Gov. Mike Pence’s plan to use Indiana’s HIP plan instead of joining the federal program. There is a lot of uncertainty about whether the federal government would approve of the option. Leader Pelath expressed his great disappointment that the Republicans have no “Plan B” in case the federal approval doesn’t come. He is concerned that thousands of Hoosiers will lose health care coverage while Indiana waits to see what happens.
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FSA Loan Program for Disadvantaged Groups

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A loan program is available for members of socially disadvantaged groups interested in becoming farmers acquire land. The Indiana Farm Service Agency reports they are prepared to sell or lease farmland held in its inventory, if any are available in their county, or provide assistance to help the borrower with a loan. If you think you might be eligible, please contact your local FSA County Office.
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Fatal Dirt Bike Crash Saturday in Lake County

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Authorities continue to investigate a fatal dirt bike accident in Lake County. Indiana Conservation Officers say 16-year-old Matthew Soper from Crown Point died from severe internal injuries.  Officials say about 6:45 Saturday evening, Soper was riding a dirt bike on property in Leroy that he was unfamiliar with, when he became airborne and landed on a fence post.  He was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Offices say at the time of the accident Soper was riding with 3 other juveniles who were uninjured. Other agencies assisting included Lake County Sheriff Department, Crown Point Police Department, and Lake of the Four Seasons Fire & EMS.
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Two Semi Crash Shuts Down I-65 Late Saturday Night

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Indiana State Police logo
Indiana State Police say seatbelts probably lessened the severity of injuries in a two semi crash that had southbound I-65 shut down in Lake County for several hours Saturday night into early Sunday morning. Troopers from the Lowell Post say about a mile south of the State Road 2/Lowell exit, one of the trucks for unknown reasons struck the back of the other, and both semis went off the road, the first one overturned. Police say both drivers were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
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Demolition of Church in LaPorte Could Begin Soon

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Laporte church
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 19th century church in the 11-hundred block of Lincolnway, in LaPorte, could start being torn down soon. The Times reports St. Paul's United Church of Christ fell victim to declining membership, which left the church unable to keep up on maintenance costs. Published reports say demolition could begin in the next three to four weeks, and once cleared will be sold, with the funds to be used start churches or save those with maintenance problems.
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Sunday Crash in Illinois Kills Griffith Man

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A 27 year old Griffith man was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash in Illinois Sunday morning. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office reports Jonell Barlow was pronounced dead at 4:25am, after a crash on the Bishop Ford Freeway, near the111th Street exit. No further information is available at this time.
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21 Year old Passenger Killed in Sunday Crash

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Authorities report alcohol was discovered to be a contributing factor in crash that killed a 21 year old man early Sunday. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office says Kyle Flowtow, a passenger in the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash that occurred in the area of the 900 block of North County Road 875 East, in LaPorte County's Wills Township. Deputies were dispatched just after 3:30 Sunday morning, and report observations of scene indicated the vehicle was heading south on County Road 875 East, left the east side of the roadway for an unknown reason, and struck a tree, resulting in severe damage to the passenger side of the vehicle. The driver, 22 year old Ryan Flowtow sustained minor injuries, and the crash remains under investigation.
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S Shore Rail Service Resumes

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Traffic-Alert
South Shore train service has resumed with the departure of westbound Train 504, scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 10:16 am. Train 603 will be the first eastbound train departing Millennium Station at 10:45 am. Train 603 will terminate in South Bend.
Earlier this morning South Shore train service was suspended by Hazmat officials for several hours this morning, because of a CN train derailment, near Broadway, in Gary, north of the South Shore tracks. Hazmat had directed NICTD to suspend service until they determined it was safe to resume, which it now is.
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Senate Dem Leader on Federal Ruling on Illegal Immigration

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INDIANPOLIS—Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane released the following statement regarding Friday's federal ruling on illegal immigration:
“The court’s ruling confirms the concerns that many of us who opposed the law had at the time it was originally considered. 
“Not only do its measures unfortunately portray Indiana as intolerant, but the law has now also entangled our state in lengthy, time-consuming litigation, the only outcome of which is that many of its major provisions are held to be invalid.
“This ruling serves as a reminder to the legislature to be extremely careful when creating punitive public policy, which in the end, merely does a disservice to Hoosiers.
“It is my hope that moving forward, rather than creating short-sighted policies in need of lengthy legal review, we strive to create legislation that is inclusive and beneficial to all Hoosier families.
Sen. Lanane represents Indiana Senate District 25 includes the portions of Madison and Delaware counties, including the City of Muncie and the southeastern portion of the City of Anderson. For more information on Sen. Lanane, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/S25 .
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Cedar Lake Man Leads Police on Brief Pursuit

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Cedar lake Metro PD
A 28 year old Cedar Lake man has been taken into custody after leading police on a brief pursuit this morning. Cedar Lake Police report while traveling south on Cline Avenue toward the police station, a pickup passed an unmarked police vehicle in a no passing zone, at a speed of over 75 miles per hour. After an unsuccessful attempt to stop the pickup, a pursuit began, and the suspect fled south on Cline Avenue, then headed east on Vermillion to Hilltop Street, and finally onto 127th Avenue where the suspect, Andrew Dees pulled into a driveway and was ordered from the vehicle and apprehended without further incident.
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Munster Poplar Bridge Work Starts Monday

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In Munster, construction is scheduled to start back up this Monday (April 1) on the Poplar Lane Bridge that crosses over Hart Ditch going into the Twin Creek subdivision. The town says the traffic signal will be activated, and the contractor will be working on one lane while traffic in both directions shares the other lane. The traffic will be controlled by "pavement loops" which will detect a vehicle coming from either direction, the town says. Whoever crosses the loop first gets the green light. Motorists are asked to proceed with caution.  Anyone with questions may contact Munster Town Engineer Jim Mandon at 219-836-6995.
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SR 55 Closure in Newton County Begins April 1st

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NEWTON COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the closure of State Road 55 to through traffic between State Road 16 and State Road 114 beginning Monday, April 1st through the end of June 2013. Crews will be replacing a bridge. All traffic will be restricted at the work site, one mile north of State Road 16.
A detour will take northbound SR 55 drivers west on SR 16, north on U.S. 41, east on SR 114, and back to SR 55. Southbound SR 55 drivers will travel west on SR 114, south on U.S. 41, east on SR 16, and back to SR 55.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and project updates from INDOT, like us at www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and follow us at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
You can find traffic restriction information at www.trafficwise.IN.gov.  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
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