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Fiery Two-Truck Crash Closes I-65 in White County

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Indiana State Police say a crash involving two trucks early this morning closed I-65 north bound in White County when one of the trucks pulling double trailers caught on fire.
Authorities say a preliminary investigation by Trooper Kent Wainscott revealed that at approximately 1:30 A.M., this Friday, September 27, 2013, morning a USF Holland International straight truck, driven by James S Wilson, 32 of Missouri parked his truck on the outer shoulder of I-65 north bound at the 187 mile marker (this is just south of the Fowler/Brookston exit) for unknown mechanical problems. Wilson had activated his four-way emergency flashers on his truck before exiting. Wilson walked around to the front passenger side of his truck when it was hit causing Wilson to be partially pinned under the front passenger drive tire. Wilson was able to free himself and was taken to Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lafayette with non-life threatening injuries. The straight truck was loaded with general freight.
A Fed Ex semi pulling two trailers, driven by Vivian George Rose, 59 of Illinois, went off the road for unknown reasons and struck the USF Holland truck. The Fed Ex semi continued on for approximately 300 yards and came to rest under the 500 West overpass where it caught fire and became fully engulfed.
Rose was able to exit the semi and was taken to Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lafayette with non-life threatening injuries. The Fed Ex semi was loaded with general freight.
All lanes of I-65 were closed at this location and all traffic was being diverted off at the 178 mile marker (Brookston/West Lafayette exit). It was expected that all lanes at this location would be closed for several hours to ensure the fire is completely out, for off loading of the trailers, removal of the vehicles, and clean-up of the road.
Driver’s planning to travel north on I-65 were being asked to seek an alternate route. Delays are expected to build with the morning rush.
Assisting were Brookston and Monticello Fire Departments, Tippecanoe Emergency Ambulance Service, White County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana Department of Transportation and Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division....

Read more: Fiery Two-Truck Crash Closes I-65 in White County

 

Local Football Player Dies of Genetic Heart Condition

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jacob west

When an emotional La Porte varsity football team takes the field tonight, the familiar orange Slicers helmets will feature memorial stickers in remembrance of teammate Jacob West, who collapsed during a practice at Kiwanis Field Wednesday afternoon and was pronounced dead that evening at a nearby medical facility. LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan says the 17 year old linebacker for the La Porte High School football team died due to right ventricular cardiomyopathy, or a thinning of the right ventricular wall of the heart, which kept blood from being pushed out of his heart. Sullivan says no athletic physical would have been able to detect it..

The Slicers are taking on the Merrillville Pirates at 7pm this evening at Merrillville High School.
The LaPorte Community School Corporation issued an official statement yesterday, offering condolences, and announcing that a Celebration of Life service will be open to the public at Kiwanis Field this Sunday at 4:30pm:
The La Porte Community School Family wishes to express its deepest sympathy for the family and friends of Jacob West. Jacob passed away unexpectedly and he will be sorely missed. On Sunday, September 29th, a Celebration of Life Service will be held at Kiwanis Field starting at 4:30 p.m. This service is open to the public so that all can celebrate Jacob’s life and reflect on how he enriched our lives in his short time with us.
With heartfelt condolences,
The Staff, Administration and School Board of the La Porte Community School Corporation...

Read more: Local Football Player Dies of Genetic Heart Condition

 

Parking Concerns Come Up in Central Park Discussion

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The City of Valparaiso and the planning firm of Design Organization hosted a couple of public sessions at City Hall Thursday to get feedback on completing Central Park Plaza... and the issue of parking came up. Some of the comments were about bringing more places to park in downtown Valparaiso, to serve retailers and restaurants. The city is thinking about expanding Central Park by putting an open-air pavilion on a huge area just to the west across the street, that would be used year-round, but in particular, for ice-skating in the winter.  Officials say construction on the pavilion could begin in the latter half of 2014, but it probably wouldn't be ready for the 2014-2015 winter season.  [Image/Design Organization]...

Read more: Parking Concerns Come Up in Central Park Discussion

 

Chicago Man Dies After Being Hit on I-80/94

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Officials say a 23-year-old Chicago man airlifted to a Chicago-area hospital after walking out on to the Borman Expressway in Hammond about two weeks ago died Thursday. An autopsy is scheduled today. Indiana State Police say 23-year-old Talgat Orumbayev reportedly walked on the ramp from Indianapolis Boulevard to eastbound Interstate 80-94 almost getting hit, and as police were on their way to check on the pedestrian, for unknown reasons he walked out into the right lane of the interstate, just east of the ramp, where he was struck by a car....

Read more: Chicago Man Dies After Being Hit on I-80/94

 

Chickenpox Outbreak at Local Charter School

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A Northwest Indiana charter school is dealing with a chickenpox outbreak. Six students across different grade levels at Discovery Charter School in the town of Porter are said to have chickenpox, and about forty others were excluded from school Wednesday and Thursday because they weren't up-to-date on vaccinations. The school has about five-hundred students in kindergarten through eighth grade....

Read more: Chickenpox Outbreak at Local Charter School

 

Pre-Register Now for Upcoming Hunter Education Classes

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Indiana Conservation Police
Indiana Conservation Officers are offering several Hunter Education classes throughout northwest Indiana in preparation for the upcoming hunting season. Conservation Officer Keith Wildeman says anyone who would like to attend is asked to pre-register.
Indiana Hunter Education Certification is required for all hunters born after Dec. 31, 1986. Participants will learn basic firearms safety, treestand safety, and conservation ethics.
Students are required to preregister for the course prior to attending by visiting www.indianahuntereducation.com. A complete listing of available classes is available on the website.
Upcoming classes and locations include:
Sept. 28 – Portage
Sept. 30, Oct. 1 & 3- LaPorte
Oct. 5 – Lake Village
Oct. 5 & 6 – North Judson
Oct. 11 – Morocco
Oct. 12 – Cedar Lake
Oct. 19 – Michigan City
Oct. 19 & 20 – Hammond
Nov. 9 – Michigan City
Bow season for deer begins on October 1st with firearm season for deer starting November 16th.   To hear more our interview, click News Audio On Demand at http://regionnewsteam.com/

For more hunting start dates, http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/fw-Hunting_Trapping_Seasons_Poster_2013-14.pdf...

Read more: Pre-Register Now for Upcoming Hunter Education Classes

 

Man Accused of Threatening Girlfriend with Handgun

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Richard Day
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 53 year old Porter Township man faces numerous charges after he allegedly pointed a handgun at his girlfriend Wednesday night and threatened to kill her and her son because she refused to buy him beer. The Times reports Richard Day has been drinking when the incident occurred and his girlfriend informed officers she grabbed his arm and he fired a shot that went out their kitchen door towards a neighbor's home. According to the article, police confiscated nine vials of steroids from the residence and a total of 26 guns, including the one allegedly used in the incident, which Day reported denied ever pointing at his girlfriend....

Read more: Man Accused of Threatening Girlfriend with Handgun

 

9 Chicago Gang Members Face Racketeering Charges

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Nine alleged members of a violent Chicago street gang have been charged with federal racketeering charges. ABC News reports the indictment claims the nine were part of a near South Side Street gang known as the Hobos, who US Attorney Gary Shapiro says intimidated the neighborhood for years through the use of violence, intimidation, murders, attempted murders, and assaults with firearms against anyone who posed a threat to them, or jeopardized their operations.  Four of the nine alleged gang members face a mandatory life sentence, or the death penalty if convicted of murder....

Read more: 9 Chicago Gang Members Face Racketeering Charges

 

Cause of Death for West, Public Service Sunday

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jacob west
(Photo Courtesy of LaPorte High School)
An autopsy was conducted today on a LaPorte High School varsity football player who collapsed during practice Wednesday, and who was pronounced dead at a local hospital later that evening. LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan says 17 year old Jacob West died due to right ventricular cardiomyopathy, or a thinning of the right ventricular wall of the heart, which kept blood from being pushed out of his heart. Sullivan says no athletic physical would have been able to detect it and while unfortunate and sad, it was a natural death.
An emotional LaPorte varsity football team will take to the field tomorrow tonight, in Merrillville, with the familiar orange Slicers helmets featuring memorial stickers in remembrance of their fallen teammate. The LaPorte Community School Corporation issued an official statement today, offering condolences, and announcing that a "Celebration of Life" service will be open to the public at Kiwanis Field this Sunday at 4:30pm....

Read more: Cause of Death for West, Public Service Sunday

 

Improving Civil Legal Services to Low Income Hoosiers

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A statewide commission was established this week by the Indiana Supreme Court to develop a five-year plan to improve the availability of civil legal services for low-income Hoosiers. The Indiana Commission to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services is expected to meet four times a year and must provide the court with a progress report by June 30th. The Commission is meant to study groups and organizations that already provide services to low-income Hoosiers and improve cooperation between them....

Read more: Improving Civil Legal Services to Low Income Hoosiers

 

Hamlet Man Arrested for Hit and Run Accident

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william conner
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
A 40 year old Hamlet man faces numerous charges after a hit and run accident in LaPorte Wednesday night. LaPorte Police report they were called to the area of Rose and McCollum Street, just after 10pm, where a witness informed them he heard a crash and observed a dark-colored pickup truck with a flat front tire, traveling east. Officers were able to follow gauges in the pavement, which ultimately lead to the suspect vehicle, which was found heading south on Highway 35, with sparks coming from the front tire area. Police say officers were able to stop the vehicle at Greenlawn Drive and County Road 400 South, and the driver, William Conner, was taken into custody and faces multiple operating while intoxicated charges, resisting law enforcement, driving on a suspended license, possession of marijuana, and other misdemeanors charges. ...

Read more: Hamlet Man Arrested for Hit and Run Accident

   

Funding Secured for Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway

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The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission announced today that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has selected the four-year project proposal for funding for the Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway Watershed Initiative. The Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway watershed covers nearly 180 square miles and is the largest watershed in Northwest Indiana's Lake Michigan drainage area. NIRPC reports IDEM has identified approximately 125 miles of stream in the watershed that are considered impaired, with some of the known water quality issues being E. coli, siltation, low dissolved oxygen levels, and impaired biotic communities, which they report as being by far the most prevalent issue. IDEM is currently assessing water chemistry, habitat and biological communities at 35 different sites strategically located throughout the watershed and the information gathered will be used to develop a Total Maximum Daily Load report which will be incorporated into the watershed management plan.
IDEM has created a webpage for Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway TMDL study to help disseminate information such as public meeting dates, quarterly water quality data results, and site photographs (http://www.in.gov/idem/nps/3893.htm).  The next TMDL public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 5th beginning at 1p.m. at the Lake County Extension and Soil & Water Conservation District offices in Merrillville.  The watershed management project is expected to begin this January with a public meeting kick-off which NIRPC will announce as the project start nears closer. NIRPC hopes to draw in other partners as the initiative moves forward....

Read more: Funding Secured for Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway

   

Names of Deceased in Gary Murder/Suicide Released

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Gary PD
Gary Police say a husband and wife were pronounced dead at the scene this morning in a murder-suicide. Corporal Gabrielle King says at about 6 am, Gary Police responded to a call of shots fired in the one-thousand block of Harrison Street. Officers found 43-year-old Fredrick Smith and 37-year-old Alicia Smith in a bedroom, unresponsive, both victims of gunshots. Corporal King says a 17-year-old female told officers she heard her mom and step dad arguing, then she heard a gunshot, so she gathered her siblings and took them to a neighbor's house, while she called 911, then returned to her house and found her mom unresponsive and asked her stepfather, 'What did you do?' The 43-year-old man then turned the gun on himself, pulled the trigger, and shot himself in the head. The Lake County Coroner's Office has ruled Alicia Smith's death a homicide, and Fredrick Smith's death a suicide....

Read more: Names of Deceased in Gary Murder/Suicide Released

   

Portage Police Investigate Armed Robbery

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In Portage, police are investigating an armed robbery. At around 8-o'clock Wednesday night, police responded to the MCR Short Stop at the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Hamstrom Road. Authorities say the suspect displayed a semi-automatic pistol and fled in an unknown direction. He was described as a white male, wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, dark colored jeans and a black mask. Anyone who was passing through the area around the time of the robbery who observed anything suspicious is asked to contact the Portage Police Department at 219-762-3122 and ask for Detective Grynovich....

Read more: Portage Police Investigate Armed Robbery

   

Police: Husband, Wife Dead in Murder/Suicide

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Gary Police say a husband and wife were pronounced dead at the scene this morning in an apparent murder-suicide. Corporal Gabrielle King says at about 6 am, Gary Police responded to a call of shots fired in the one-thousand block of Harrison Street, where they came into contact with a 17-year-old female who was outside in front of the house screaming.  Corporal King says the 17-year-old told officers that her mom and her stepdad were inside the residence and both had been shot. Officers found a 43-year-old male and a 37-year-old female in a bedroom, unresponsive, both victims of gunshots. “The 17-year-old told officers that she heard her mom and stepdad arguing, then she heard a gunshot. So she gathered her siblings and took them to a neighbor's house, while she called 911,” Corporal King said. “The 17-year-old then returned to her house and found her mom unresponsive and asked her stepfather, 'What did you do?' The 43-year-old man then turned the gun on himself, pulled the trigger, and shot himself in the head” . Their names have not yet been released. Police say all five children are with family members.
...

Read more: Police: Husband, Wife Dead in Murder/Suicide

   

Did You See Fireball This Morning?

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The American Meteor Society reports getting nearly two-hundred reports of a large fireball this morning [September 26th] around 7 am Eastern time. Their website says witnesses from Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Missouri reported a bright light traveling across the morning sky from west to east.
Image: http://www.amsmeteors.org/2013/09/large-fireball-spotted-in-midwest/...

Read more: Did You See Fireball This Morning?

   

Emergency Management Vehicles Get New Logo

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Crown Point's Board of Public Works and Safety has approved a new logo for the city's Emergency Management Department vehicles to make them more visible and set them apart from other first responders. The design change, the first in more than twenty years, replaces a smaller logo that city officials say was more difficult to spot....

Read more: Emergency Management Vehicles Get New Logo

   

Indiana Fire Crews Fight Fires Out West

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Two National Park Service and a TNC firefighter dig line together on an Indiana crew on the Rim Fire this summer. [Photo provided]
Crews from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore were among 82 firefighters deployed from Indiana so far this year to respond to western wildfires in what's been described as one of the worst years on record. Maggie Schuetter, director of the Indiana Interagency Coordination Center, says all the Indiana fire fighters are home now, but the western fire season isn’t over and they could be called out again.   Of the 82, some were sent as crews, and some in positions helping with a variety of tasks such as logistics, safety, and operations officers. 
“Indiana firefighters worked on 47 different wildfire incidents this year; building fire lines, cutting hazard trees, and protecting homes,” Schuetter said. “They also managed fire camps, dispatched personnel and equipment, made maps and planned the next day’s work, and kept firefighters safe on the line and in camp.”
Crews and resources from Indiana were sent to 11 states -- Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin. "Towards the end of the season, probably the most activity was in California, where most of the crews from the east went to; however in the beginning of fire season, most crews went to Alaska,"  Schuetter said.  Schuetter says Indiana firefighters are ordered through a national system out of the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. The orders for personnel and equipment are filled by the closest available resources from a variety of state and federal agencies.
Firefighters come from across the state and represent the Hoosier National Forest (USDA Forest Service), Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Lincoln Boyhood National Monument (National Park Service), Big Oaks (US Fish and Wildlife Service), Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), and The Nature Conservancy.  Some are professional firefighters; many are foresters, wildlife biologists, recreation specialists, and other resource managers who have specialized fire training to do the many jobs required to support fire suppression efforts.  Each person who goes on assignment is expected to be out for at least 14 working days.  They all have completed a rigorous course of training specific to the job they will be doing.  They have also spent time in on-the-job training before getting certified in their individual positions.
Indiana personnel who are trained firefighters could go on multiple assignments throughout the year.  Demand for Indiana firefighters usually slows once cooler temperatures arrive in the mountainous western states, normally sometime in late September or early October....

Read more: Indiana Fire Crews Fight Fires Out West

   

Autopsy to Shed More Light on Teen's Death

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La Porte County Coroner John Sullivan says an autopsy is being conducted this afternoon at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka by a pediatric certified forensic pathologist to shed more light on the death of a La Porte High School football player Wednesday. Sullivan says responders were dispatched shortly after 5 pm on the report of a football player suffering cardiac arrest at Kiwanis Field, where the teen collapsed on the track during practice. When LaPorte Fire and EMS arrived, they found La Porte High School linebacker 17-year-old Jacob West unconscious and unresponsive, with coaches and bystanders performing CPR. Sullivan says West's heart was shocked three times by EMS crews using a defibrillator. The teen was transported to IU Health La Porte where resuscitative efforts continued. West was pronounced dead shortly after 6:30 last night. LaPorte is scheduled to play at Merrillville Friday night....

Read more: Autopsy to Shed More Light on Teen's Death

   

Former Mayor Daley Keynotes One Region Event

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Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley was the keynote speaker for the Times' annual One Region luncheon in Merrillville Wednesday. Daley applauded local efforts to take a regional approach to issues and challenges, saying this kind of regional cooperation is unique here in the US. More than six-hundred people attended the event, held at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville. To see the keynote speech, click here: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/merrillville/daley-tells-nwi-to-innovate-compete/article_80126291-6957-50c5-9813-7a6b3f93fae3.html  [Photo/Laura Waluszko, Radio One Communications]...

Read more: Former Mayor Daley Keynotes One Region Event

   

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