Bus Rollover on I-65

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Occupants of a special needs school bus from the Lafayette/ Tippecanoe School Corporation, returning from a field trip to the Indianapolis Zoo escaped serious injury after a rollover crash on I-65. Thursday afternoon.  Indiana State Police say preliminary investigation and witness accounts revealed a box truck or white box trailer being pulled by a semi tractor reportedly made an abrupt move, and the 55-year-old bus driver of Lafayette, steered into the grass median to avoid a collision. The bus rolled over and came to rest on the wheels in the median. Troopers say the other vehicle, which did not make contact with the bus, did not stop. All 12 passengers, seven adults and 5 children ranging from kindergarten to fourth grade, were transported to St. Vincent’s and Methodists Hospital where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries. All bus passengers were reported to be wearing restraints.
bus one WinCE
[Photos/Indiana State Police]

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Man Dies After Construction Accident

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Officials say a Dyer man died after a construction accident on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston Thursday. Authorities say a beam was knocked off the sixth-floor of a building by a construction crane and struck 57-year-old Michael Kerr, who died at a Chicago-area hospital. An autopsy was scheduled for today.


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$450 Tip for Indiana Waitress

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A customer at an Indiana diner leaves her waitress a nearly 450-dollar tip. CeCe Bruce fits in her full-time job at the Steak n-Shake in north Indianapolis alongside her studies, thought there had to be a mistake when she saw the total sale written on the $5.97 bill. The generous customer known as Miss Jo, who regularly enjoys a breakfast on Wednesdays at the diner, had watched while Bruce waited on her table, as well as a table of four.

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Loaded Gun Found During Harvey Traffic Stop

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(Photo Courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff's Office)
A stop for a traffic violation Tuesday in Harvey, Illinois, led to the recovery of a loaded handgun and the arrest of a 20 year old Sauk Village man. The Cook County Sheriff's Office says they discovered the loaded handgun under the front passenger seat of the vehicle while taking inventory, after officers learned the car's driver had a revoked driver's license. The Sheriff's Office says the gun belonged to one of the three passengers in the vehicle, who did not have a Firearm Owner's Identification, or FOID, card. Sheriff Tom Dart says in the last three months the department's Gun Suppression Team, formed to remove guns from those who possess them illegally and confiscate revoked FOID cards from those who are no longer allowed to have them, have recovered 98 guns, 113 revoked FOID cards, and have resolved 74 FOID cases. The Sheriff says in Cook County alone, nearly four-thousand revoked FOID card holders have not returned their FOID cards to Illinois State Police.
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Read more: Loaded Gun Found During Harvey Traffic Stop


Portage PD Seek Help to ID Purse Theft Suspects

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portage purse theft suspects
(Photos Courtesy of the Times)
portage purse theft suspects 2
The Portage Police Department today released two surveillance photos showing two people suspected in a purse theft from a vehicle on May 7th. The Times reports the photos were taken at a Hobart store on May 8th, and also shows the vehicle they were driving. According to the article, a purse was taken from a vehicle in the 61-hundred block of Robbins Road and the woman in photo allegedly used the victim's credit and debit cards at the Hobart store where the photo was taken. Police say the vehicle appears to be a late 1990's model Ford or Toyota. Anyone with information is asked to contact Portage Police.
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Read more: Portage PD Seek Help to ID Purse Theft Suspects


IN Farm Bureau Optimistic for Long-term Farm Bill in 2013

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The Indiana Farm Bureau today applauded the House Agriculture Committee's approval of the 2013 farm bill Wednesday night. According to a release, the Farm Bureau says they are optimistic that approvals now from both the House and Senate Ag Committee will lead to the passage of a long-term farm bill yet this year. The Farm Bureau says the proposed legislation in both cases provides Hoosier farmers with what they need most: risk management tools that are built around crop insurance, and thanked U-S Senator Joe Donnelly for his work on the Senate Ag Committee in moving its version of a five-year farm bill forward.
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Read more: IN Farm Bureau Optimistic for Long-term Farm Bill in 2013


Man Shot by Riverdale Cops After Pointing Gun at Them

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A man who allegedly pointed a gun at officers in the Village of Riverdale, Illinois, on Wednesday was shot by officers. According to a release, Riverdale Police observed a rather large group of people at the corner of School and 142nd Street, around 3pm. Several people then ran from that location, one of which was holding a gun, who reportedly pointed it at police, who shot him. The victim was hospitalized and an investigation is being conducted by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and Illinois State Police.
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Read more: Man Shot by Riverdale Cops After Pointing Gun at Them


Lt. Governor Ellspermann to Visit Porter County Tomorrow

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The Lt. Governor will be in the region tomorrow, the second time this month. Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann is scheduled to meet with elected officials and local business leaders at the Hoosier Bat Company in Valparaiso tomorrow afternoon, at 3pm, to discuss her day of activities in Porter County as part of her “Listen and Learn” tour. Ellspermann visited Lake County on May 3rd, for a roundtable meeting with county business leaders and business owners at Merrillville's Albanese Confectionery, in an attempt to understand the needs and concerns of local economic development. Ellspermann says the tour, with stops in all 92 counties, is an opportunity for the Governor's Office and local government and economic-development teams to get on the same page.
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Read more: Lt. Governor Ellspermann to Visit Porter County Tomorrow


Illinois April Unemployment Rate Drops to 9.3%

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Today's released jobs report for Illinois shows a slight drop in unemployment for April. The Illinois Department of Employment Security reports the April rate came in at nine-point-three percent, down from nine-point-five in March, but still above the seven-point-five percent national average. Meghan Lockhart, Public Relations Manager for Robert Half International, contributes the dip to growth in professional and business services, education, and health services, as well as trade, transportation and utilities.
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Read more: Illinois April Unemployment Rate Drops to 9.3%


Unwanted Appliance, Electronics, Tires, Drop Off on Sat.

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Porter County, Indiana – The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County will help Porter County residents with their spring cleaning by providing a One Stop
Drop collection event that will accept old and unwanted appliances, electronics, tires and household hazardous waste.

The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the Porter County Expo Center/Fair Grounds, 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso.  Restrictions or fees may apply. For more information, call the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County, 465-3694, or visit to
 learn more.

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission will be at the event to present new environmentally friendly 2.5-gallon gas cans to residents who bring their old gas cans in for disposal at the collection. Limit one new gas can per vehicle/family, while supplies last.

The One Stop Drop is an opportunity for residents to properly discard materials that are harmful to the environment. Appliances accepted include refrigerators, stoves, dish and clothes washers, dryers, water heaters, air conditioners, freezers, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, furnaces, and just about anything metal. Water softener holding tanks will not be accepted.

Not only do old appliances contain hazardous components, including used oil, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury, they are much less energy-efficient.  Additionally, the refrigerant used in refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, water coolers and air conditioners is extremely harmful to the environment and must be extracted safely.

Many companies certified to remove refrigerants from appliances often charge for the removal of this toxic substance, leaving residents to dispose of the remaining appliances. Once old appliances are brought to the One Stop Drop, the refrigerant is extracted and properly discarded. The appliances will ultimately be taken apart and recycled.

According to Indiana law, households can no longer mix unwanted computer monitors, computers, televisions, printers, computer peripherals (such as keyboards and mice),
DVD players, video cassette recorders, or fax machines with trash that is intended for disposal at a landfill or intended for disposal by burning or incineration.

Electronics can contain lead and other toxic materials that pose serious threats to human health. Porter County residents can bring their old electronic devices to the May 18 event for safe disposal. Accepted items include anything with electrical cords or run by batteries.

Porter County residents also can drop off electronics at the Valparaiso and Boone Grove compost sites any time during their hours of operation. Additionally, Porter County residents can drop off their electronics at the following locations: Portage Street Department: 2302 Hamstrom Road, 762-4564; Valparaiso Public Works: 406 Don Hovey Drive, 462-4612; Porter Street Department: 550 Beam Street, 926-2771.   Residents should call the departments to determine hours of operation. Visit for more information, or call 465-3694.

Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients are considered to be “household hazardous waste” or “HHW,” and require special care when they are discarded.

Improper disposal of household hazardous wastes can include pouring them down the drain, on the ground, into storm sewers, or in some cases putting them out with the trash, which can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health.

HHW items accepted at One Stop Drop include aerosols; anti-freeze; oil; batteries (household and automotive); corrosives; mercury containing products (fluorescent tubes, CFLs, thermometers, thermostats, etc.); oil-based paint, thinners and solvents; pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and other poisons; diesel fuel, gasoline, kerosene, other flammable liquids; ammunition and expired medications.

Explosives, commercial hazardous waste and radioactive materials (like smoke detectors) will not be accepted. Old smoke detectors should be sent back to the manufacturers for recycling. Though latex paint is not considered household hazardous waste, it will be accepted at the collection thanks to the district’s intergovernmental agreement with the City of Hobart for paint recycling.

Approximately 300 million used automobile and truck tires are discarded by Americans annually. At landfills, tires take up large amounts of space and have been known to damage landfill linings. Around town, discarded tires become prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes and rodents that carry diseases such as West Nile virus and encephalitis.

Tire storage piles pose fire hazards that are extremely difficult to extinguish.  Burning tires release toxic gases into the air and leave behind a hazardous oily residue that pollutes streams and ground water. Once recycled, the rubber in tires can be used for paving material, fuel, mulch, floor mats, drain pipes, and more!

Porter County residents can dispose of their first four tires up to 20 inches for free at the One Stop Drop. The disposal fee for each additional tire up to 20 inches is $3. Residents can dispose of tires from 20 to 25 inches for $5 each, and tires over 25 inches for $15 each.
The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the Porter County Expo Center/Fair Grounds, 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso.  Restrictions or fees may apply. For more information, call the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County, 465-3694, or visit to  learn more.
Hear more about Saturday's event at News Audio On Demand at: 
drop off
(Photo Courtesy of the Recycling & Waste Reduction Dist of Porter County)
The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County is a government agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life for Porter County residents by providing convenient, voluntary waste reduction services. Visit for more information or call 465-3694.
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Read more: Unwanted Appliance, Electronics, Tires, Drop Off on Sat.


Dir of Center for Deaf Hard of Hearing Education Named

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indiana state department of health
INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana State Department of Health has named Gayla Hutsell Guignard as the director for the Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education, set to open July 1, 2013. She currently works as a contractor for the State Health Department as the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program Director.
“We are very pleased and excited to have Ms. Guignard as the director for the Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Her extensive experience, education and proven track record of success make her the ideal choice to lead the Center. Of course, the Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education would not be opening if it were not for the coordinated efforts of many people and organizations. I would like to thank Senator Pete Miller, former Representative Cindy Noe and Secretary Connie Lawson for working to establish the Center, as well as each member of the transition team for providing expertise and guidance.”
Ms.Guignard has a Bachelor of Science in Audiology and Speech Sciences from Purdue University and Masters Degrees in both Audiology and Speech Language Pathology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She has 13 years of experience as an instructor of speech-language pathology, audiology and deaf education at UT-Knoxville and served for nearly four years as the Chief Programs Director for the Alexander Graham Bell Association for Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Washington, D. C. She has worked as a contractor for the Indiana State Department of Health for the past five years. Over the course of her career, she has served on numerous related national-level committees.
“I am truly honored to accept the position as the director of the Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education,” said Gayla Hutsell Guignard. “Every child is a unique being whose own life and that of his or her family is impacted in various ways because of being deaf or hard of hearing. I am dedicated to ensuring that families receive clear, comprehensive information about all options available to them and that schools around the state receive the support they need to best educate deaf and hard of hearing students.”
The Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education was established in 2012 by House Enrolled Act 1367 and will be housed within the Indiana State Department of Health. The Center’s central office will be located on the campus of the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis. The Center will also have a presence across the state through the establishment of regional locations.  
The Center will be responsible for the educational needs of all deaf and hard of hearing children in the state, including:
·         tracking and monitoring individual child progress from birth through school exit
·         coordination with the various state agencies involved in providing services to deaf and hard of hearing children
·         training and support for both professionals and parents/guardians about all communication options
·         assessment services and support of schools in meeting the needs of the children in their districts
The State Health Department will be forming a committee of stakeholders to provide guidance as the Center is created.
Each year, approximately 225 to 250 babies are born with hearing loss in Indiana; more than 90 percent of those children are born to hearing parents. The Center will act as an unbiased resource for parents/guardians to educate them about their child’s language options, including American Sign Language, Listening and Spoken Language, Signed English, Cued Speech and combinations of these options to assist families in meeting their child’s individual needs.
For more information about the Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education, visit
To visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website, go to
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Read more: Dir of Center for Deaf Hard of Hearing Education Named


EB S Shore Train 9 Running 15-20 Minutes Late

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Eastbound South Shore Train 9 is running 15-20 minutes late due to mechanical problems.
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Fired Guardsman Arrested for Felony Intimidation

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Published reports today say an Indiana National Guardsman was arrested Wednesday afternoon for threatening to beat up and blow up the home of the non-commissioned officer who fired him. 26 year old Paul Young, a LaPorte member of the Guard, is charged with felony intimidation for the incident that occurred at the Valparaiso National Guard Armory.
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Read more: Fired Guardsman Arrested for Felony Intimidation


LaPorte Co. Metro Operation Nabs 3 on Drug Charges

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The La Porte County Metro Operations Unit, which is a multi-jurisdictional drug task force that is comprised of narcotics investigators from the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office and La Porte Police Department, arrested three wanted persons for their involvement in the distribution of drugs in La Porte County.  The arrests occurred on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at several locations in La Porte County.
Nineteen year-old Julian Townsel was arrested without incident at his home, located in the 5600 West block of Johnson Road.  He had been wanted for an arrest warrant that had been issued by La Porte County Circuit Court for Revocation of Suspended Sentence for Possession of a Controlled Substance (Hydrocodone) and Dealing in Cocaine or Narcotic Drug.  He is being held without bond in the La Porte County Jail.    
Twenty-two year-old Joseph Ukonga was arrested without incident at his home, located in the 1000 block of Weller Avenue in La Porte.  He had been wanted for Dealing a Schedule I Controlled Substance (heroin), a class “A” felony and Possession of a Schedule I Controlled Substance (heroin) and class “B” felony.  He is being held in the La Porte County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.    
Nineteen year-old Emmanuel Ukonga was arrested at his home in the 200 block of “I” Street in La Porte.  He had been wanted for Dealing a Schedule I Controlled Substance (heroin) and is being held in the La Porte County Jail without bond.  Joseph and Emmanuel Ukonga are brothers and had been wanted for criminal arrest warrants that had been issued by La Porte County Circuit Court.  All three suspects are scheduled to appear in Circuit Court on Friday, May 17, 2013.  
La Porte County Sheriff Michael Mollenhauer states:  “These arrests are evidence of our continuing series of narcotics investigations throughout La Porte County and the public is assured that these investigations continue and additional arrests are imminent.”     
The public is encouraged to report potential drug activity to the La Porte County Metro Operations Unit by calling (219)325-9022.
Julian Townsel
Julian Townsel
Joseph Uknonga
Joseph Ukonga
Emmanuel Ukonga
Emmanuel Ukonga
(photos provided by the La Porte County Sheriff's Department)
*The charges against the defendants are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.”
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Read more: LaPorte Co. Metro Operation Nabs 3 on Drug Charges


NWI Gas Prices Highest in State

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We could start seeing gas prices fall somewhat in the Region according to an analyst for Gasbuddy-dot-com. The cost of a gallon of regular unleaded has been hovering right around 4-dollars a gallon, with a price jump in the Gary and Hammond area early this week. Triple A's Daily Fuel Gauge Report says the average in Indiana right now is about 3-74 for a gallon of regular unleaded, but in the Gary Metropolitan area, it's about four-dollars-and-one-cent, the highest in the state.

Read more: NWI Gas Prices Highest in State


Powerball Jackpot Now $475M

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Hoosier Lottery officials say no player nationwide matched all six numbers in last night's $360 million Powerball drawing, propelling the top-prize estimate to $475 million for Saturday night, second largest in the game's history. The cash value of Saturday's jackpot is $302.4 million. Mega Millions, that'll be played on Friday, has another big jackpot, now up to 190-million dollars.

Read more: Powerball Jackpot Now $475M


Agriculture and Indiana's Economy

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A new report from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business says agricultural industries contributed $37.9 billion to Indiana's economy in 2011. "Agriculture's Bounty: The Economic Contribution of Agriculture," produced by the Indiana Business Research Center, also said that the state's agricultural output supports nearly 190,000 Hoosier jobs. Of those jobs, 103,000 are directly involved in crop production and processing. Approximately 83 percent of Indiana's geography -- 19.4 million acres -- is devoted to farming or forests.

Read more: Agriculture and Indiana's Economy


Two-Day Code Sweep in MC

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Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer says an enforcement sweep begins today as inspectors from the city will be issuing warnings and citations for code violations. The two-day sweep will cover an area within Springland Avenue on the north, Vail Street on the west, Michigan Boulevard on the south, and Carroll Avenue on the east. Michigan City Fire officials will also be available citywide to help the elderly or disabled with the installation or checking of their smoke detectors, and those who'd like assistance are asked to call the Michigan City Fire Department.

Read more: Two-Day Code Sweep in MC


Medical Center Abatement Tabled

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The Hobart City Council last night tabled a tax abatement request for a proposed medical facility off the interstate. Some council members and the police chief voiced concerns about traffic issues. The office/medical building would go up at the northeast corner of 62nd Street and Marcella Boulevard, not far from the busy I-65/61st Avenue interchange.

Read more: Medical Center Abatement Tabled


Hebron Recount Still an Option

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We should hear soon whether the Hebron Schools will be asking for a recount in their recent referendum. In a special election last week, voters in the M-S-D of Boone Township district were asked to approve a property tax increase for the schools, and the referendum failed by just four votes, according to as-of-yet unofficial tallies. The Porter County election board is meeting Friday. The school superintendent has said personnel cuts would be necessary without the additional funds.

Read more: Hebron Recount Still an Option


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Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team


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