Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart today announced the establishment of the Office of Mental Health Policy and Advocacy within the Cook County Sheriff's Office as well as the launch of a 24 hour mental health hotline. Sheriff Dart says the new office will expand the portfolio of mental health initiatives, including a mental health screening process at daily intake. The 24 hour hotline will be supported by live team-members to be used exclusively for ex-detainees of the Cook County Jail and for families of current detainees. Sheriff Dart says this new office, and it resources, represent important steps toward shutting the revolving door between the streets and jail for Cook County's mentally ill. The Cook County Jail is the largest single-site jail in the nation and typically holds between two-thousand to 25-hundred mentally ill detainees at any one time, giving it the dubious distinction of being the largest mental health institution in the country.
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A man found guilty for murdering a Hammond gun-shop owner in 2000, but who had the conviction overturned, and then was found guilty of murder again last year, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday. 37 year old Keon Thomas, of Hammond, along with co-defendent Styles Taylor, were found guilty in May 2012 for the shooting death at Firearms Unlimited. The original conviction had been overturned after an appeals court found the jury had been improperly selected. Thomas was also ordered to pay restitution to the family of the deceased.
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The Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) recently announced the release of the 2014 Indiana Official Roadway Map. The all-new map is the first partnership of its kind between the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and IOTD and provides Hoosiers with a single map reflecting INDOT’s roadway accuracy and IOTD’s statewide attraction information.
“This new map is an exciting consolidation of the two existing maps and reflects the great roadways and destinations throughout Indiana,” said Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann. “By housing this project with our tourism team, we have eliminated a redundant program while also providing a new outlet for our tourism partners to promote their attractions.”
The 2014 Indiana Official Roadway Map is a combination of two Indiana map programs. In previous years, INDOT produced the official transportation map on a biannual basis and IOTD produced a yearly Indiana travel map. IOTD spearheaded the consolidation of these two maps into one, easy to read product that retains all the functionality of a traditional roadmap while also highlighting many of Indiana’s tourism destinations. The new map will be produced by IOTD on an annual basis.
“By partnering with INDOT to transition production of our state map to the tourism office, we are able to promote Indiana’s tourism partners, destinations and attractions to a wider audience,” said Mark Newman, executive director of IOTD. “From the cover photo to the partners advertised on the map back, this project is a great representation of the beauty, accessibility and travel opportunities that exist throughout Indiana.”
The undulating hills of Crawford and Harrison Counties grace the cover of this year’s map. The image, not often associated with Indiana, is representative of the state’s diverse landscape.
The new roadway map reflects the boom in infrastructure improvements Indiana has undergone in recent years. Among the many new roadway projects on the map: the new Interstate 69 corridor in southwestern Indiana, the Hoosier Heartland corridor and expansion of U.S. 31 in and around Kokomo, both expected to open by the end of this year, and the Fort to Port connection. Additionally, many other projects currently under construction with completion expected in the coming years are noted on the map. These new and future projects provide connectivity throughout all regions of the state and allow travelers within Indiana to safely and quickly reach destinations and attractions.
This year begins a two-year transition to move all production, administrative and sales oversight of the official state map to IOTD. The 2014 Indiana Official Roadway Map will be available at the Indiana State Police and Indiana Office of Tourism Development booths in the expo hall at the Indiana State Fair. As in previous years, maps will also be available at state legislative offices, highway rest stops and state welcome centers. Individuals may also request a new map by visiting IndianasMap.com. The 2014 Indiana Official Roadway Map is free of charge.
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The Powerball jackpot has been raised again, and now stands at an estimated 425 million dollars, the third highest ever. Lottery officials report the record jackpot of 590 million was won in May in Florida, while the second largest jackpot of 587 million was split between two players in November 2012. If a Hoosier wins Wednesday's drawing, he or she would claim the largest jackpot ever won in Indiana. Powerball has been played by Hoosiers since 1992, and a Hoosier won the very first Powerball jackpot on April 22nd, 1992.
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Meetings Wednesday August 7:
Genesis Towers Ballroom, 578 Broadway, Second Floor
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
New Mount Moriah Baptist Church, 1917 Carolina Street
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The Center, 1845 West 37th Avenue
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The executive director of a Chicago-based non-profit has been named President/CEO of Opportunity Enterprises in Valparaiso. David Stupay, who begins August 5, will replace Ellen DeMartinis, who has been serving as Interim President/CEO since July, 2012. DeMartinis will return to her position as OE’s Vice President/Chief Operating Officer.
“The Board of Directors has been so thankful for the incredible leadership that Ellen DeMartinis has provided during this transition period. She has been wearing two hats – leading the organization as Interim CEO, while at the same time continuing to carry the load as our Chief Operating Officer. Her commitment has gone beyond what the Board could have asked, and this has provided us with the time to do a thorough search for our new CEO,” shares OE Board Chair Lee Lane. “As a result, we have been able to find a leader who has strong financial management skills, a proven track record of success, and the unique ability to truly inspire those around him. We are absolutely thrilled to have David Stupay join us as our new CEO, and the staff is incredibly excited as well. David’s selection came as the result of a unanimous decision by the Board and with the full support of every member of OE’s leadership team. You really can’t start with a better foundation than that.”
Stupay joined Esperanza Community Services, a Chicago-based non-profit that provides services to children and adults with developmental disabilities in the Chicagoland area, in 2008 as Director of Finance and Operations, and has been Executive Director since August 2011.
Prior to joining Esperanza Community Services, Stupay held two director level positions at The Salvation Army. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Park Community Shelter and Coat Angels.
Stupay holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Southeastern University in Business Management and a Master of Business Administration from North Park University. He and his wife Vanessa recently relocated to Valparaiso.
Opportunity Enterprises serves approximately 1,000 individuals of all ages with developmental and physical disabilities throughout Northwest Indiana. For more info visit www.oppent.org .
Residents in many region communities Tuesday evening will be getting together with their local law enforcement agencies for “National Night Out”, in an effort to promote community-police partnerships and get to know one another. In Gary, multiple events are planned for National Night Out, from 6 to 9 pm, including events hosted by the city at Pittman Square Park at 51st and Pennsylvania Street, and Horace Mann track at 5th and Garfield. National Night Out in Hobart takes place from 6 to 9pm, at the Community Pool in the 800-block of West 10th Street. National Night Out in Valparaiso takes place from 6:30 to 9pm, and in Dyer, events are planned from 5 to 9pm, at Northgate Park.
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Influential Women of Northwest Indiana awarded $8,000 to four charities associated with the United Ways serving Lake and Porter Counties with donations from sponsors and support of the 500 plus in attendance. This year's very worthy recipients were: Discoveries Unlimited, The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Sojourner Truth House, and The Caring Place.
Every year, Influential Women of Northwest Indiana celebrates successful women who have achieved success in 11 different industries, ranging from construction and healthcare to education and government, but the organization does not stop at recognizing the business world. Nonprofits are also selected to receive funding for important projects that make a positive impact on the community.
"Each of these amazing organizations is well-established in making Northwest Indiana a better place to live and assisting women and girls in a variety of ways," Influential Women Organizer Andrea Pearman said. "Influential Women is passionate about giving back to these nonprofits that give so much throughout the year."
These nonprofits were chosen based on their mission and values, and how the funds would be used to empower women and girls, Pearman said.
Discoveries Unlimited, based in Valparaiso, was created to help pre- and early teens discover, and further interest in, the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Math (S.T.E.M.). By forming mentoring relationships with S.T.E.M. professionals, the youth explore career opportunities and their educational requirements.
The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana acquires, stores and distributes more than 4.9 million pounds of food throughout Lake and Porter counties. Located in Gary, it is a
USDA-approved primary distributor of food to local pantries, shelters, daycare centers and soup kitchens.
Sojourner Truth House, also based in Gary, is a community resource and day center for homeless and at-risk women and children. It was founded to meet the needs of the
underserved in Gary and Lake County.
The Caring Place is a social service organization headquartered in Valparaiso that serves the needs of domestic violence and sexual assault victims, primarily in Lake, Porter and Starke counties. In addition to safe shelter, The Caring Place provides community education, support groups, legal counseling and case management, and independent living planning.
Pictured in the photograph are: (left to right)
Traci Owens, Administrative Assistant from Porter County United Way; Sherita Brewer, Development Manager with Sojourner Truth House; Jeni Elkins, Board Member with
Discoveries Unlimited; Mary Beth Schultz, Executive Director of The Caring Place; Andrea M. Pearman, President of Diversified Marketing Strategies; Angie Williams,
Executive Director of The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.
About Influential Women of Northwest Indiana:
Influential Women of Northwest Indiana is an organization devoted to providing women with the resources, recognition and motivation necessary to be successful in the
business world. Each year, Influential Women of Northwest Indiana honors the area's most successful women in eleven different industries, ranging from construction and
healthcare to education and government.
(photo and articl provided by Inluential Women of Northwest Indiana)
(Photos Courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff's Office)
COOK COUNTY, IL – The Cook County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a marrow donor registry drive on Tuesday, August 6 in honor of Sgt. Encarnacion Roldan, who has served as a correctional officer in Cook County Jail for 28 years. In September 2012, Sgt. Roldan was diagnosed with Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma, a rare form of cancer. Sgt. Roldan is in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant.
As such, Sheriff Dart is enlisting the entire Sheriff’s Office – with its nearly 7,000 employees across the county – to come together in a massive push to find a match for Sgt. Roldan within our own ranks. The Sheriff’s Office will be hosting the donor registry drive in three locations across the county:
- 26th and California (at a canopy outside the courthouse)
- Sheriff's Police headquarters in Maywood
- Daley Center
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(Photo Courtesy of LaPorte Police)
A 22 year old man wanted through LaPorte Circuit Court for failure to appear for felony theft and misdemeanor criminal mischief is the LaPorte Police Department's Wanted Person of the Week. The LaPorte Police Department reports Zachary Roberts is described as a white male, 5'10”, weighing 220 pounds, with black hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Zachary Roberts is asked to contact either LaPorte Police at (219) 362-9446 or LaPorte County Metro Operations at (219) 325-9022. You can remain anonymous.
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(Photos Courtesy of Indiana State Police: Lowell Post)
Starke County – Indiana State Police at Lowell held its very first Safe Schools/Active Shooter Training session today for school administrators. The training session was conducted at Knox Middle School and was attended by 40 school administrators from Starke and Pulaski Counties.
During the training session, troopers instructed school personnel on proper tactics for survival during an active shooter event. Troopers also conducted an active shooter scenario using blank ammunition. The scenario was designed to give the administrators a feel of what it might be like during an actual active shooter situation.
The training session was the result of several months of preparation by Indiana State Police in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Education to provide training for school administrators on the proper response to an active shooter.
The Indiana State Police has been tasked to serve as the lead agency in coordinating active shooter training with local school corporations throughout the entire state. Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter and Governor Mike Pence want to ensure that every effort is being made to provide the safest possible environment for all children in the State of Indiana.
This coordinated effort was launched early on with the Department of Education to create and implement a statewide training program that would involve all parties responsible for the care and safety of our children. This program, which was already in the developmental stages before tragedy in Newtown, CT, has come to be known as the “Safe Schools/Active Shooter” program. Dr. Rich Hogue of the Department of Education has been assigned as a liaison with the Indiana State Police to assist in this endeavor.
The purpose of this program is to educate school administrative personnel on proper response to an active shooter situation, how law enforcement responds to active shooter situations and what school personnel can do to mitigate injury and the loss of life in an active shooter situation.
If you are interested in having a Safe Schools/Active Shooter presentation at your school or want more information about the program, contact Sergeant Ann Wojas at 1-800-552-8917.
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(Photo Courtesy of the US Marshals Service)
A 30 year old man wanted in Porter County Court on a felony charge of dealing cocaine is the U-S Marshals Service, Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force, Fugitive of the Week. Danielle Jackson is described as a black male, 6”00”, weighing 170 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Jackson was last known to reside in the 12-hundred block of East 51st Place in Gary and is also believed to frequent the area of Miller Beach in Gary. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Danielle Jackson is asked to contact investigators. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Danielle Lammar Jackson may contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411). All tipsters will remain anonymous.
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- Harvey Toddler Among 3 Killed in ATV Crash
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- Indiana Files Brief in Prayer Case
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