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LaPorte Co Hwy Dept: Johnson Rd to Reopen Friday Evening

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Officials with the LaPorte County Highway Department reports Johnson Road is scheduled to to be reopened sometime this evening, after rain last month washed away a section of the roadway. Pahs Road though won't reopen for at least another day or so, as a gas line needs to be relocated before drainage pipes can be installed there.
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Read more: LaPorte Co Hwy Dept: Johnson Rd to Reopen Friday Evening

 

Police Motorcade Traveling WB US-30 Toward Merrillville

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Rich Crawford
President of COPS Cycling for Survivors Foundation, and Mstr. Trooper of the Indiana State Police, Rich Crawford at the Porter County Sheriffs Department headquarters in Valparaiso


Drivers on US-30 need to be aware of a police motorcade escorting some 50 cyclists participating in the COPS Cycling for Survivors bicycle ride is in the right lane traveling westbound on US-30 from Valparaiso to Merrillville.  Mstr. Trooper Rich Crawford, President of the organization says fifty-one cyclists set out on Monday on a thirteen day trip that will cover nearly one-thousand milles around the perimeter of the state.  Crawford says funds raised during the ride help surviving family members and co-workers of officers killed in the line-of-duty.  The group is traveling to Merrillville, to remember Lake County Corrections Officer Britney Meux who was struck and killed by a vehicle while on a training run near the Lake County Jailm and Indiana Department of Corrections Officer Timothy Betts, who suffered a heart attack while escorting a prisoner to the segregation unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.


support vehicle
Support vehicle for Cycling for Survivors cyclists at Porter County Sheriffs Department in Valparaiso on Friday, July 12, 2013


cyclists leave
Cycling for Survivors cyclists depart for Graceland Cemetery before heading westbound on US-30 toward Merrillville for an overnight stay before leaving for the 65 mile trip to Kentland Saturday morning


(photos courtesy Jay Stevens & Radio One Communications)
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Read more: Police Motorcade Traveling WB US-30 Toward Merrillville

 

Man with Child in Vehicle During Police Pursuit Arrested

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Danielle Jackson
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 30 year old Gary man was taken into custody after leading police on a chase Thursday afternoon. The Times reports police attempted to arrest Danielle Johnson after receiving information about his alleged involvement in a possible drug deal in a restaurant parking lot off US 20, but Jackson fled east on US 20 evading authorities until he apprehended in a business parking lot in the 300 block of US 20 in Burns Harbor. According to the article, Jackson had his 11 year old son in the vehicle with him during the pursuit, who was released to relatives.
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Read more: Man with Child in Vehicle During Police Pursuit Arrested

 

Two Day Closure of SR 39 NW of Knox Starts Monday

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STARKE/LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the closure of State Road 39, between SR 8 and U.S. 30, beginning Monday, July 15th through the end of the day Tuesday, July 16th. Crews will perform a chip seal and fog seal operation to preserve the road surface. Please note: this project is dependent on dry weather and may be delayed if conditions aren’t ideal.
Drivers wishing to travel northbound on SR 39 will be detoured west on SR 8, north on U.S. 421, east on U.S. 30 and back to SR 39. Drivers wishing to travel southbound on SR 39 will be detoured west on U.S. 30, south on U.S. 421, east on SR 8, and back to SR 39.
The chip-seal process consists of distributing a liquid asphalt emulsion on the roadway and covering the liquid asphalt with crushed stone to provide a new wearing surface. Chip-sealing extends the life of a roadway by protecting it from moisture, ultra-violet degradation, and any other damaging exposures.
Drivers should exercise caution during these projects. Loose stone will be present on the roadway during the initial cure of the asphalt and can damage windshields and paint on vehicles that may be following each other too closely. It is recommended when travelling on a recently chip-sealed road to slow down and allow additional space between vehicles.
The fog seal is being applied on top of the chip-seal work. The fog seal is a light application of asphalt material that can lock in loose stone and help with dust problems. It also makes the road black, which makes pavement markings more visible.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news 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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Read more: Two Day Closure of SR 39 NW of Knox Starts Monday

 

Anew Life Youth Development Corp. to Receive Grant $

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pete visclosky
A non-residential, community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training will receive over one-million dollars in grant money for youth development. Indiana US Congressman Pete Visclosky announced today that Anew Life Youth Development Corporation will receive the funds for its YouthBuild Gary program, who works with partners throughout Northwest Indiana to assist youths looking to build professional skills while earning their degree. The Corporation's Executive Director, Pastor Marvin Davis, says the opportunity will allow them to build a stronger network of services for the YouthBuild Gary Program, and allow 60 selected youth a great pathway to self-sufficiency.
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Read more: Anew Life Youth Development Corp. to Receive Grant $

 

Some IL Counties Won't Wait for Conceal-Carry Permits

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Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart on Thursday issued a statement regarding the newly passed Firearm Concealed Carry Act, saying the earliest date an individual could be issued a conceal-carry license and be authorized to carry a concealed handgun under the Act would likely be February 10th, 2014. Sheriff Dart also reminds the public that conceal-carry licenses issued by other states does not authorize you to be able to carry a concealed handgun in Illinois, and that possession of a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card does not authorize the carrying of a concealed handgun under the Act.
Meanwhile, published reports say 14 Illinois County State's Attorney's report they will not arrest those carrying a handgun who have a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card, despite state police officials warning that they will arrest anyone carrying a gun.
Carrying a concealed handgun without a license constitutes aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, which is a felony, and punishable by one-to-three years in prison.
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Read more: Some IL Counties Won't Wait for Conceal-Carry Permits

 

Mosquito Spraying Underway In Michigan City

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Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer, Superintendent of Central Services, Robert Zondor, and Vector Control Officer, David Morlan would like to announce that the mosquito abatement and mosquito control spraying has begun and will continue throughout the city, weather permitting, between the hours of 11:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. The city is asking the public to please be alert and to give appropriate space when you see a truck with flashing lights and attached spraying ULV machine.
Vector Control is conducting the mosquito adulticiding (spraying for adult mosquito control.) The department started spraying on the outer perimeter of the city in late June and will continue working their way into the middle of the city until all areas have been treated. At that point, the process will start over again and spraying will continue until the mosquitoes are no longer a nuisance.
In addition to the adulticiding, vector control is also larvaciding low lying areas where there is standing water. With the excessive rain and warm temperatures, mosquitoes are particularly thick this season. Residents can help alleviate the breeding of new mosquitoes by addressing these items on their property:
  • Get rid of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles or any water holding containers
  • Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts) in yard
  • Clean gutters periodically
  • Keep drains, ditches & culverts clean of weeds & trash so water will drain properly
  • Cover trash containers to keep out rain water
  • Repair leaky pipes & outside faucets
  • Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week & store them indoors when not in use
  • Make sure your backyard pool is properly cared for while on vacation
  • Fill in tree rot holes & hollow stumps that hold water with sand or concrete
  • Change water in bird baths & plant pots or drip trays at least once a week
  • Keep grass cut short & shrubbery well trimmed around the house so adult mosquitoes will not hide there

The City of Michigan City would like to thank our citizens for their patience and active participation in these efforts.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Vector Control Department at 873-1500.
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Read more: Mosquito Spraying Underway In Michigan City

 

Church Celebrates 50th Anniversary

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Church Macedonian
In Crown Point, Saints Peter and Paul Macedonian Church is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week. His Beatitude, Archbishop G. G. Stefan of Ohrid and  Macedonia, arrived for this week's event. The church at 97-hundred Broadway was built in 1988, but the original church was built in the 51-hundred block of Virginia Street in Gary's Glen Park neighborhood and consecrated in 1963. Officials say the church was the first Macedonian Orthodox church to be built in North America.
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Conservation Groups Sue to Stop Illiana

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Three conservation groups have filed suit to stop the Illiana Expressway. The highway, as proposed, would be a 47-mile tollway linking I-65 in south Lake County in northwest Indiana to I-55 near Wilmington in Illinois. A lawsuit filed on behalf of Openlands, Sierra Club, and Midewin Heritage Association contends the highway conflicts with land-use plans developed by regional planning groups in Indiana and Illinois. Lawyers for the groups also contend the route will harm natural areas, and the complaint alleges the Federal Highway Administration should not have approved an environmental study on the project.
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Read more: Conservation Groups Sue to Stop Illiana

 

Indiana BMV to Credit Drivers for Overcharges

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The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles says they'll be issuing a credit to Hoosiers who paid too much for their driver’s licenses. A class-action lawsuit alleged that the BMV has overcharged for licenses collecting more than allowed under state law. Late last month, the agency issued a statement saying they were lowering the cost of licenses immediately, after discovering a “miscalculation resulting in a $3.50 discrepancy for the six, five and four year standard operator's licenses”. The BMV says affected Indiana drivers will see the credit reflected in their next transaction either through the BMV's website or at a local branch.  “In order to make Hoosiers whole, we believe it is important to return the overcharge directly to those who have been impacted. It is the right thing to do," said R. Scott Waddell, Commissioner of the BMV, in a news release issued this morning.
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Boater Education Class in Starke Co

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From Indiana DNR Law Enforcement:  Indiana Conservation Officers are offering a Boater Education course on July 13, 2013 from 9am – 5pm CDT at the Koontz Lake Homeowners Association clubhouse. The course is being sponsored by the Koontz Lake Homeowners Association and is free of charge. The clubhouse is located at 10896 E Cherokee, Walkerton. Lunch will be provided.

The class covers a wide variety of information, including:
• General information concerning boats and maintenance
• Information to make your boating experience safe and more comfortable
• Tips on how to be a more courteous vessel operator
• Laws and regulations you must follow

Upon successful completion of the class, boaters 15 years and older with an Indiana ID can operate motorboats on state waters.

Pre-registration is required.
On-line: go to  http://www.register-ed.com click on Indiana, follow steps to sign up.
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Indiana Reserves Reach Nearly $2 Billion

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pence and berry
Indiana Governor Mike Pence says the state's cash reserves have grown to nearly two-billion dollars. Thursday Pence was joined by State Auditor Tim Berry in announcing Indiana has closed the books on fiscal year 2013, which ended June 30th, with a nearly 483-million dollar budget surplus -- almost 100-million dollars higher than the budget bill projected. Officials also say the state's reserves have grown to more than one-point-94 billion dollars.
“Indiana is strong and growing stronger, and the Closeout Report confirms the balanced approach that we took in the enacted budget,” said Governor Pence.  “I proposed an honestly balanced budget in January, and that’s what the General Assembly passed in April.  The budget holds the line on spending and maintains adequate reserves while including tax relief for Hoosiers and investing in our priorities. As a result, Indiana remains the fiscal envy of the country.”
The state further strengthened its fiscal position by paying off $282 million in debt on state-owned facilities, reducing state tax-funded debt by 52 percent since the start of FY 2013. Pence also announced that the state will lower its debts by an additional $66 million by paying off the bonds for the Miami Correctional Facility. That will reduce state spending by approximately $27 million in the next two years.
“Once again, Indiana continues to be a model of fiscal responsibility,” said State Auditor Berry. “Our discipline when it comes to the state’s financial management allows us to meet our budgetary goals as well as positioning our state for a solid financial future. That is something most states today would envy.”
The FY 2013 Closeout Report is available at  http://www.in.gov/sba/2362.htm
[Photo/Governors office]
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Read more: Indiana Reserves Reach Nearly $2 Billion

   

COPS Cycling 4 Survivors Riding into Region

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riding to remember
The 11th annual COPS Cycling 4 Survivors bicycle ride is scheduled to ride into the Region today.  Today's 77-mile leg of the journey will take riders from Mishawaka to Merrillville.  Fifty-one cyclists set out Monday on a thirteen-day trip that will cover nearly one-thousand miles around the perimeter of the state.  President of the Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation Rich Crawford says funds raised help surviving family members and co-workers of officers killed in the line-of-duty.   The group this year is remembering Lake County Corrections Officer Britney Meux [mew] who was struck and killed by a vehicle while on a training run near the Lake County Jail, and Indiana Department of Corrections Officer Timothy Betts, who suffered a heart attack while escorting a prisoner to the segregation unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.   On August 22, 2006, retired Lake County Police Chief Gary Martin of Merrillville and Indiana State Police Lt. Gary Dudley of Indianapolis were killed during the ride when a large box truck struck the rear of the support truck, pushing the support truck into the cyclists.
Stops on today's (Friday's) route include La Porte, the Porter County Sheriffs Department, Graceland Cemetery in Valparaiso, and staying overnight in Merrillville, leaving for the 65-mile trip to Kentland Saturday morning.
Here is the COPS Cycling 4 Survivors website:  http://www.copscycling4survivors.org/
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ADD FOR WEB:
The ride is scheduled to end Saturday July 20 at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. You can follow the cyclists' route at www.copscycling4survivors.org/route. ...

Read more: COPS Cycling 4 Survivors Riding into Region

   

Gary Man Killed, Fifth Homicide in Seven Days

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Gary Police are investigating the fifth fatal shooting in a week. The Lake County Coroners office says 24-year-old Anthony Green Jr suffered a gunshot wound off 53rd Avenue just west of Broadway and was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 6:30 Thursday evening. Reports say he was shot outside a hot dog restaurant he managed on the far south edge of the city, near the Gary/Merrillville border. Less than 24-hours earlier, police say a Gary teenager was shot in the 15-hundred block of Burr Street. Corporal Gabrielle King says 17-year-old Joshua Passmore was in the backseat of a vehicle with some friends who'd gone to a gas station around 10-o'clock Wednesday night.   "As the driver was putting gas in the car, they heard shots being fired in their direction from an unknown location," said Gary Police Corporal Gabrielle King. Corporal King says the driver got back in his car, and as they were driving away,  realized that Passmore was slumped over, then called 911 advising authorities they were on their way to the emergency room with a gunshot victim. The Lake County Coroners office says Passmore was pronounced dead shortly after midnight. Authorities say three people were shot and killed in Gary over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, in the five-thousand block of Pennsylvania Street, near 5th and Delaware, and in the 51-hundred block of Georgia Street.
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NW IN Responders Deployed to Aid in Alaska Wildfires

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IDHS 2nd team to Alaska
(Photo Courtesy of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security)
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has organized the second deployment of four responders to Alaska to shadow key positions and aid in operational response to the wildfires.
The Indiana team deployed on Thursday, July 11 to North Pole, AK and will return Thursday, July 18.
The IDHS responder team consists of Susan Baugher, Michael Weber, Gary McKay and Thomas Sivak. Baugher is the operations quality assurance manager for Porter County.  Weber is the current deputy director for Porter County Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency (EMA). McKay is the manager of Emergency Preparedness, Safety and Bioterrorism Prevention for Community Hospital in Munster, IN. Sivak is the executive director for the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency. 
All will shadow their designated positions and assist in operations. Responders and their positions are:

§  Baugher and Sivak, planning section chiefs, will organize resources and develop strategies, tactics, and objectives.
§  McKay, liaison officer, will be the direct link between the incident commander and the internal and external stakeholders.
§  Weber, logistics section chief, will support the individuals affected by the incident, especially dealing with details of food, medical services, and communication.
Photo: From left to right: Michael Weber, deputy director for Porter County Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency; Susan Baugher, operations quality assurance manager for Porter County; Gary McKay, manager of Emergency Preparedness, Safety and Bioterrorism Prevention for Community Hospital in Munster, IN; and Thomas Sivak, executive director for the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency
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Read more: NW IN Responders Deployed to Aid in Alaska Wildfires

   

Coats Amendment to Defund Obamacare Fails 14-16

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Senator Dan Coats
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today offered an amendment to the Senate Fiscal Year 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill that would defund provisions in Obamacare if the health care exchanges put in place by the president’s health care law are not ready to enroll qualified Americans by the October deadline. The amendment is similar to the Exchange Sunset Act of 2013, legislation recently introduced by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and cosponsored by Coats. 
“The Obama administration has repeatedly demonstrated that it isn’t prepared to implement its massive health care law, and as a result, Hoosiers are left with even more uncertainty about their future,” said Coats. “If the administration continues to miss its own deadlines in setting up these exchanges, why should the American people be taxed and penalized for not complying with the mandate to acquire health insurance? The president and Congress should start over and work to reform our health care system with step-by-step, market-based solutions that will drive down costs for Hoosiers and increase access to quality care.”
The Coats amendment would prohibit funding for the health care exchanges and individual mandate provisions should the exchanges not be operational by the required October 1, 2013 administration deadline. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) suggested the administration has not been consistently on schedule in setting up the exchanges, and “the timely and smooth implementation of the exchanges by October 2013 cannot yet be determined.”
“I am disappointed Senate Democrats blocked my amendment despite knowing that the administration is not prepared to implement Obamacare and meet its promises to the American people,” added Coats. “Obamacare is one of the most drastic changes in domestic policy reshaping one-sixth of our economy and impacting the lives of every American. The messy and uncertain implementation of this law coupled with its burdensome taxes and regulations is already delivering a serious blow to American families and job creators.”
The Coats amendment was cosponsored by Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.). The amendment failed 14-16 in a vote along party lines. 
In addition, Coats supported the following amendments in the full committee markup:

·         Employer Mandate Delay: This amendment would prohibit any funding that would implement or enforce the employer mandate in the health care law. The amendment failed along party lines.

·         Individual Mandate Delay: This amendment would prohibit any funding that would implement or enforce the individual mandate in the health care law. The amendment failed along party lines.

·         Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) Repeal: This amendment prohibits any funds to be used to implement the Independent Payment Advisory Board under the health care law.
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Read more: Coats Amendment to Defund Obamacare Fails 14-16

   

Urschel Laboratories Breaks Ground in Chesterton

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Bob U with mic
Bob Urschel, President/CEO of Urschel Laboratories at the groundbreaking of the new Uschel Laboratories, Coffee Creek, Chesterton location.

Coffee Creek Center, Chesterton, Indiana -- "We look forward to starting another chapter in Urschel history by breaking ground today on what will become our new manufacturing and global headquarters," said Rich Urschel, Vice president of Operations at Urschel Laboratories, Inc.
The company officially purchased the Coffee Creek property earlier this month.  More than 300 employees received an invitation to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony which was also attended by executives from the construction firm of Tonn & Blank, Porter County Commissioner Nancy Adams, and members of the Chesterton Town Council and other local government officials. 
According to Urschel Advertising Manager, Debra Novello, the employees were bussed from Urschel's current plant on Calumet Avenue in valparaiso to the new site located on the south east end of the Coffee Creek area of Chesterton. 
Following a brief lunch, specially engraved shovels were handed out as the employees and other invited guests hollowed out a giant Urschel logo in the footprint of the new building.
The purchase of approximately 160 acres will allow for future growth of the company, according to Novello.  the company has been at its present location since 1958.  It has experienced tremendous growth over the years, and has expanded the facility over 28 times to equal its current size of 250,000 sq. ft.  In a press release, Novello said, the area that surrounds the cirrent manufacturing plant has also continued to grow leaving the facility landlocked.
Founded in 1910, Urschel Laboratories, Inc. is the global leader in food cutting technology.  An engineering-driven company, Urschel continues to partner with leading food processors to discover the latest in food cutting advances.  For more information visit:  http//www.urschel.com.
Urschel  employees line up
Employees from Urschel line up for a brief lunch at the Thursday, July 11, 2013 groundbreaking of the company's new Chesterton, location


Listening to Bob Urschel
Employees listen to Bob Urschel, President/CEO of Urschel Laboratories speak at employee lunch before the groundbreaking of the company's new Chesterton, site


Nancy Bass thanks Bob Urschel
Porter County Commissioner, Nancy Adams expresses her appreciation to Bob Urschel, President/CEO of Urschel Laboratories for staying in the county


handing out shovels
All 300+ Urschel employees are handed ceremonial shovels for the groundbreaking


Ceremonial Shovel
One of over 300 Urschel employees given a ceremonial shovel that features the Urschel Laboratories' logo on the shovel's blade


groundbreaking circle
Over 300 employees, company management, local government officials and othe rinvited officials line up in the foot print of the new Urschel Laboratories location to be built in Chesterton, during Thursday afternoon's groundbreaking ceremony of the new facility.


Brass Groundbreaking
The Thursday, July 11, 2013 groundbreaking of the new Chesterton, location of Urschel Laboratories

 
(photos courtesy of Jay Stevens & Radio One Communications)
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50 Year Sentence for Hammond Teen Charged with Rape

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A Hammond teenager who pleaded guilty to battery and raping three girls has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. The Times reports 17 year old Dedrick Johnson will have three and a half years taken off his sentence for time served. According to the article, Johnson pleaded guilty to three separate incidents of rape in 2011, occurring on January 20th, February 14th, and on February 24th.
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Read more: 50 Year Sentence for Hammond Teen Charged with Rape

   

Cook County Sheriff's Statement on Conceal-Carry Law

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Cook County Sheriff
Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart today issued a statement regarding the newly passed Firearm Concealed Carry Act, saying the earliest date an individual could be issued a conceal-carry license and be authorized to carry a concealed handgun under the Act would likely be February 10th, 2014. Sheriff Dart also reminds the public that conceal-carry licenses issued by other states does not authorize you to be able to carry a concealed handgun in Illinois, and that possession of a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card does not authorize the carrying of a concealed handgun under the Act. Carrying a concealed handgun without a license constitutes aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, which is a felony, and punishable by one-to-three years in prison.
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Read more: Cook County Sheriff's Statement on Conceal-Carry Law

   

Drunk Motorcyclist Injured in Crash on US 30

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A motorcyclist faces multiple drunk driving charges after crashing while heading east on US 30 late Wednesday morning. Authorities report Michael Lopez was witnessed passing by vehicle along the right shoulder of the roadway, and weaving through traffic, until he crashed. Published reports say the 48 year old had a blood-alcohol level that was three-times over the legal limit, and at last check he remains hospitalized due to his injuries
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Read more: Drunk Motorcyclist Injured in Crash on US 30

   

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