Former Portage Teacher Sentenced

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A Porter County judge has accepted a plea agreement for a former Portage middle school teacher in an alleged 'sexting' case involving students. In November, Judge Mary Harper rejected an earlier plea deal saying she thought Bryan Tyman should serve additional jail time. Tuesday the 45-year-old Tyman pleaded guilty for a second time to two counts of felony child solicitation and was sentenced to 120 days behind bars and more than three years probation.  The original plea deal called for six years probation, including one year home detention, with no additional jail time. The judge had earlier delayed sentencing giving attorneys more time to discuss an alternative.

Read more: Former Portage Teacher Sentenced


Valpo Development Moves Forward

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Valparaiso planners have signed off on the latest business related to a proposed luxury apartment complex and business park on the east side of the city, between Evans Avenue and Vale Park Road, east of State Road 49. The Valparaiso...

Read more: Valpo Development Moves Forward


Ice Fisherman Falls Through Ice and Drowns in NE IN

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Indiana DNR
Indiana Conservation Officers in Northeast Indiana are investigating the death of a New Haven man who fell through thin ice and drowned Tuesday.

The D-N-R reports the 50-year-old man was ice fishing alone on a private pond located about eight...

Read more: Ice Fisherman Falls Through Ice and Drowns in NE IN


Red Cross Top Five Ways to Prevent Spread of Flu

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Flu season is here and more and more people across the country are getting sick. The American Red Cross urges people to get vaccinated now and offers tips everyone can follow to help prevent the spread of the flu.

Read more: Red Cross Top Five Ways to Prevent Spread of Flu


IFA INDOT Receive Six Responses for Illiana

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The Indiana portion of the Illiana Expressway Project has received six responses requesting the qualifications to develop, design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Indiana side of the expressway corridor. 
The Indiana Finance Authority and the Indiana Department of...

Read more: IFA INDOT Receive Six Responses for Illiana


Senator Coats Urges Republican Input on Legislation

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Indiana Senator Dan Coats and seven other Senate Republicans held a press conference in the nation's Capitol Tuesday after Majority Leader Reid rejected their compromise proposal to reform unemployment insurance benefits.
Recalling what the majority leader said last week about...

Read more: Senator Coats Urges Republican Input on Legislation


Republicans Respond to Governor's Speech

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Tim Berry
In response to Governor Mike Pence's State of the State Address, Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Tim Berry released the following statement:
"Governor Mike Pence's State of the State Address illustrated that the successes seen in 2013 were just...

Read more: Republicans Respond to Governor's Speech


Governor Delivers 2014 State of the State Address

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Gov Mike Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence delivered his 2014 State of the State address in front a joint session of the Indiana General Assembly in the House Chambers Tuesday night.
Governor Pence presented a big agenda and he led off and ended...

Read more: Governor Delivers 2014 State of the State Address


Purdue President Looking to Extend Tuition Freeze

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Tuition at Purdue University's main campus in Lafayette might not go up for a third consecutive year if University President Mitch Daniels has his way.
According to the university's website, on Tuesday Daniels posted a message stating that he plans...

Read more: Purdue President Looking to Extend Tuition Freeze


NIRPC Kicks off Waterway Watershed Initiative

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Working together with local communities and organizations, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) is kicking off a project to improve water quality and restore aquatic habitats in the Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway watershed.
NIRPC identified the watershed as a...

Read more: NIRPC Kicks off Waterway Watershed Initiative


Great Lakes Restoration Funds Could Go Back Up

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Funds to cleanup and restore the Great Lakes, which were slashed last year from 300 million to 60 million dollars by a US House of representatives subcommittee, could be restored back up to that 300 million dollar mark. According to published reports, congressional leaders are currently crafting a compromise bill to allocate funding to deal with issues such as toxic pollution and runoff, loss of wetlands and wildlife habitat and invasive species. ...

Read more: Great Lakes Restoration Funds Could Go Back Up


AUDIO: VITA Program at IU NW

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Beginning Friday, February 7th and continuing on most Friday evenings through April, most northwest Indiana families may take advantage of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at the Indiana University Northwest School of Business and Economics.

To our Region NewsTeam interview with Professor James Thomas, who is the head of the program at IU Northwest, click

Read more: AUDIO: VITA Program at IU NW


Remember to Address Asthma During the Winter

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The CDC reports the flu is widespread in the Hoosier state, which is why the American Lung Association is reminding Hoosiers that cold weather precautions are especially important for those with asthma. Hoosier with asthma are encouraged to wear a scarf over their nose and mouth and officials report upper respiratory viral infections, including influenza, increases the risk of asthma exacerbations and complications, which is why influenza vaccination is crucial for those with asthma. An estimated 9.5 percent of children and 9.1 percent of adults in Indiana currently have asthma, but only 45.3 percent of adults and 45.6 percent of children with asthma receive their annual flu shot.
For more information about asthma and cold weather, visit or contact your primary health care provider....

Read more: Remember to Address Asthma During the Winter


New Police Officers Swore-in in East Chicago

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East Chicago PD
East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland and Police Chief Mark Becker on Friday swore-in nine new probationary police officers, bringing the department's officer staffing level to 94. Mayor Copeland called the swearing-in a proud moment for East Chicago as it is a sizable increase in their police workforce. Chief Becker says this new addition of officers, along with new and innovated tools like ShotSpotter, which identifies gunshots and nearly exact locations from which the weapon is being fired, to the partnership with Dr. Joseph Ferrandino, of Indiana University Northwest, who works with his students to identify and map crime for the city, all help to make efficient and effective use of their resources.
Chief Becker says the city was recently awarding funding to address the hiring of additional officers and efforts are underway to identify qualified candidates. If interested, stop by the police department to collect an application. ...

Read more: New Police Officers Swore-in in East Chicago


Federal Support for Gary to be Announced Thursday

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City of Gary
Federal support for the City of Gary is expected to be announced on Thursday. The Times reports Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson informed those in attendance during the Gary Chamber of Commerce's meeting, at the Majestic Star Casino on Monday, that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the US EPA and the US Department of Transportation will be bringing unprecedented support for Gary. ...

Read more: Federal Support for Gary to be Announced Thursday


State Agencies Collaborate to Educate About Identity Theft

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The Indiana Department of Revenue and the Indiana Attorney General's Office are collaborating to educate Hoosiers about identity theft in light of the upcoming tax season. Attorney General Greg Zoeller says identity theft is a year-round problem, but tax season gives criminals an opportunity to use individuals' personal information and Social Security numbers to file fake tax returns and claim refunds, which he says is why Hoosiers need to be on-guard, especially while online. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, about one-point-six million Americans were victims of identity theft and tax return crimes in the first six-months of 2013, compared to one-point-two million in all of 2012.
Throughout the 2014 tax season, both agencies will continue to offer Hoosiers resources to keep their personal data safe and secure.
For additional information about how to prevent identity theft, visit:

Read more: State Agencies Collaborate to Educate About Identity Theft


Staying Safe on the Roads When the Unexpected Occurs

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Lake Co. Sherrif
Due to the recent severe cold and snow weather the Lake County Sheriff's Office wants to remind drivers about being safe on the roads when the unexpected occurs. Sheriff John Buncich says some tips include putting your flashers on when there is a problem, stay in your vehicle and don't make repairs while your vehicle is exposed to other traffic, call 9-1-1 and remain with your vehicle as an officer can provide assistance and a safer environment and to move your vehicle as far away from the traveled portion of the roadway as you can. Sheriff Buncich says there have been too many recent tragedies where drivers have exited their vehicles due to a breakdown or needing other assistance which resulted in fatalities....

Read more: Staying Safe on the Roads When the Unexpected Occurs


Airport Authority Accepts Ordinance, Public Hearing Set

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On Monday the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority accepted an ordinance for Aviation Facilities Company, or “AFCO” (af-coe), of Virginia, to operate and manage development. The approval sets the stage for a privatization deal, anticipated to last 40 years. The public will now be able to comment on the proposed ordinance terms that were accepted up until the date of a scheduled public hearing on January 27th.
Terms would include an investment of 25-million dollars in the first three years. ...

Read more: Airport Authority Accepts Ordinance, Public Hearing Set


Period of Heavy Snow Expected This Morning/Afternoon

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A period of heavy snow is expected this morning into the early afternoon hours mainly north of I-80. The National Weather Service in Chicago reports the snow could briefly fall heavy at times with localized accumulations of an inch or two possible and wind gusts over 40 miles per hour likely this afternoon into this evening.
Meanwhile localized river flooding will remain a possibility. A flood warning continues for the Kankakee River at Shelby until further notice....

Read more: Period of Heavy Snow Expected This Morning/Afternoon


Region Potholes: A Result of Temperature Extremes

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The rise and fall in temperatures following last week's severe winter weather was the main ingredient that caused potholes to form quickly.
Matt Deitchley INDOT Northwest District says, potholes begin when water seeps into the cracks in a road and freezes, expanding the layers of pavement, stone and soil beneath the surface. As the ice melts and contracts, heavy highway traffic further loosens the road surface, forming potholes.
Deitchley says the 50 degree temperature difference only exaggerated the process forming even more potholes in a shorter amount of time.
He says that INDOT understands the frustration of drivers and adds that crews, "have 5,000 lane miles to cover in the Northwest Indiana District and (crews) are still working weekends and nights."
Meanwhile Deitchley reminds drivers to take it as, "slow as possible and to stay as alert as possible." If you do see a pothole developing you can call 1-855-GO-INDOT.

Read more: Region Potholes: A Result of Temperature Extremes


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