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Peoples Bank to Acquire First Federal Savings Loan

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Munster-based Peoples Bank has signed an agreement to acquire First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Hammond. First Federal is headquartered on Rimbach Street in downtown Hammond and has a branch on Cline Avenue in Highland. NorthWest Indiana Bancorp, the holding company for Peoples, says Peoples will acquire the assets and liabilities of First Federal in a voluntary merger, pending regulatory approval.
“Peoples Bank is taking a significant step in expanding our community banking franchise and furthering our strategic goals through consolidation,” said David A. Bochnowski, chairman and chief executive officer of Peoples and the Bancorp. “The merging of our two organizations offers opportunities to create operating, investment and managerial synergies while offering First Federal customers a broader menu of traditional and electronic banking products to meet their needs now and in the future,” he added.
John Freyek, president and chief executive officer of First Federal, views the merger as the means to bring together two community banks that share a similar history of local decisionmaking, great customer service and commitment to the communities they serve. “Our goal this past year has been to explore possible relationships that would be meaningful to our customers, employees and the community,” said Freyek. “We’re excited to partner with Peoples and provide our customers access to a full range of deposit, lending and wealth management product and service options while preserving our community banking roots.”...

Read more: Peoples Bank to Acquire First Federal Savings Loan

 

Memorial Marker Unveiled for Fallen Trooper

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Scott Patrick Memorial
A memorial marker has been placed at the location where Indiana State Police Trooper Scott Patrick of Wheatfield was killed in the line of duty in Gary ten years ago. Police say Patrick was responding to help a stranded motorist at the Grant Street exit of the Borman Expressway on December 22nd, three days before Christmas 2003, when he was fatally shot. The marker was unveiled on a rainy, wet Saturday night this past weekend in a ceremony that included special guest speakers, Indiana State Police Honor Guard and the Scott Patrick family.
patrick2

Gary State Representative Dr. Vernon G. Smith filed a naming resolution which was passed by both chambers of the Indiana legislature and resulted in the declaration dated January 13, 2013. Indiana State Police say these efforts were enhanced with the assistance of Crown Point State Representative Shelli VanDenburgh and INDOT Deputy Commissioner Robert Alderman.   [Left to right: Lieutenant Jerry Williams (Lowell District Commander), Melissa Patrick (widow), Isaac Scott Patrick (son) and Jamie Patrick (brother)/photos Indiana State Police]
The ceremony included the Indiana State Police Honor Guard, the Lake County Pipes and Drums, Indiana State Police Chaplain Coffee, Senior Trooper Geoff Gruber (who was first on scene and wounded Darryl Jeter who was convicted of Scott’s death), Melissa Patrick (Scott’s widow), Isaac Scott Patrick (nine year-old son of Scott) and Jamie Patrick (Scott’s brother).  Patrick's widow was pregnant when he was fatally shot.  The ceremony also marked the tenth anniversary of Trooper Patrick's death.  In 2006, State Road 10 between Wheatfield and DeMotte in Jasper County was dedicated as the Trooper Scott A. Patrick Memorial Highway in his honor.
Darryl Jeter of Chicago was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 after being found guilty of murder in Trooper Patrick's death....

Read more: Memorial Marker Unveiled for Fallen Trooper

 

Ind License Branches Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

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The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles says license branches will be closed on Tuesday, December 24th and Wednesday, December 25th in observance of the Christmas holiday. All license branches will resume normal hours of operation on Thursday, December 26th.  In addition, license branches will be closed on Wednesday, January 1st in observance of New Year's Day. All license branches will resume normal hours of operation on Thursday, January 2nd....

Read more: Ind License Branches Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

 

Gold Coin Dropped in Porter County Red Kettle

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The first gold coin of the Christmas season for the Porter County Salvation Army has been found in a red kettle at the Strack and Van Til on Calumet Avenue in Valparaiso, during the morning to afternoon shift Saturday December 21. The coin has an image of the knight St. George, and was accompanied by a Christmas card with Santa Claus on front, signed "The Bright Metal Society", and identifying the gift as an 1883 Queen Victoria gold coin. Also inside the card was a special holiday message that read
card2a
"Three Wise Men
Came & one
Brought Gold...
Far Away Land
When Times were
old.
Sought for a
Mother & her
Child, Holiest
King – yet
Infant Mild...
Two Thousand Years
Have come & fled,
Still to the Manger
We are led.
Plowshares were
taken from a sword.
Bright Metal once again serves our Lord..."
Additional information from The Salvation Army of Porter County:
THE SALVATION ARMY OF PORTER COUNTY 2013 Christmas Season Red Kettle Campaign is at $121,805.93 (as of Thursday, 12/19) 81.2% of goal (150,000) in Porter County, which is our major fund-raising event for the Army each year and one of the world’s oldest philanthropic campaigns.  The monies raised over these days (excluding Sundays) will be used to assist those in need in Porter County for Christmas and throughout the 2014 fiscal year.  The traditional red kettle is an integral part of the Christmas scene with our overall Campaign Goal this year at $280, 000 (to date we are at $220,914.25 or 78.9%).  We plan to raise $150,000 through our Red Kettle Drive and $130,000 ( we are at $99,108.32 or 76.2%) through our mail appeal drive to serve needy families, youth & seniors in our Porter County communities throughout the year.  The Red Kettle Campaign is into the final week for Red Kettle Bell Ringing.  Please know that our Mail Appeal Drive continues to accept donations thru to January 30, 2014 for this annual campaign.
      We invite you to be part of this event to help spread the word about raising funds for The Salvation Army of Porter County to assist those in need.  Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who rung the bell; fed people on Thanksgiving Day; collected, sorted, wrapped and distributed gifts at The Salvation Army of Porter County Corps Community Center and local Nursing Homes.   “The Salvation Army has brought spiritual light and love along with food, clothing and gifts to over 433 families, 819 senior citizens and 722 children which were served this Christmas Season so that the real meaning is not forgotten.  We minister to the needy in Jesus name without discrimination.”  
      Other Christmas events held by the Army include the Angel Tree Food, Clothing & Toy Assistance, Collection and Distribution, Adopt-a-Family Assistance, Christmas Nursing Home/Shut-in Senior Gift Distribution, Christmas Food Distribution and Youth & Family Christmas Parties, Christmas and New Year Worship Services along with our daily help with food, rent/mortgage, utility, medicine, employment and transportation assistance.Thank you and may God richly bless Porter County, Indiana....

Read more: Gold Coin Dropped in Porter County Red Kettle

 

Improvements Noted at Lake County Jail

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Lake County Sheriff John Buncich says he will ask a federal court to dismiss US Department of Justice monitoring of county jail compliance duties for 27 of 99 deficiencies cited in a December 2010 court order that mandated improvements in jail conditions. The announcement comes after the sixth semi-annual inspection concluded Thursday and required by the court. According to Sheriff Buncich, federal inspectors said 56-percent of all problem areas have achieved either substantial or sustained compliance, up from 42-percent in May. A December 2009 report found inmates rights were being violated, officials say, in regard to medical and mental health care, suicide prevention and sanitary and safe living conditions....

Read more: Improvements Noted at Lake County Jail

 

Gary Homicide Investigated

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Police in Gary continue to investigate a homicide discovered during the weekend. The Lake County Coroners office says 55-year-old Richard Lewis of Gary suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead shortly after 12:30 Saturday afternoon in the 200 block of Polk Street on the far north side of the city. Police say the man's body was in an alley between the 200 blocks of Polk and Tyler Streets. Gary has seen more than fifty homicides this year. Last year there were 43 homicides recorded in the city....

Read more: Gary Homicide Investigated

 

219: Whiting Elks Sailor Dinner

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The holiday season is one of giving and that is what the Whiting Elks Lodge is doing this Christmas Day. As part of their annual tradition, they will host over 100 recruits from the Naval Station Great Lakes for Christmas dinner. Elks P.E.R. Helen Chapman says volunteers are needed and no amount of time is too small to donate. For more, listen to today's 219 at News Audio On Demand here on our website....

Read more: 219: Whiting Elks Sailor Dinner

 

Good Police Work Nabs 4 Burglary Suspects in MC

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michigan city police
An elderly Michigan City resident in the 200 block of Emma Street told police that after hearing a loud crash, he discovered his backdoor to be badly damaged and kicked in.  Finding that nothing was taken and after speaking with family the 98 year old called police.  Then according to police reports, while taking a report of that incident last Tuesday afternoon officers received another burglary call of an elderly homeowner in the 100 block of Ashland.
The 79 year old victim told police that she was home when her power went off but that she thought it was weather related.  Then she said she herd a noise in her kitchen area and thought it was a family member.  When she went to check, she said she saw two males running out of her house and like with the earlier victim, checked with family before calling police.
Two members of the burglary task force, Cpl. Al Bush and Cpl. Tim Baker were getting ready to investigate the crime scenes when two juveniles arrived at the police station for a scheduled interview with one of the members on an unrelated case, according to reports.  
Reports say Shift ll  officer Cracknell collecting evidence from the scene relayed information to officer Oberle who was working the front desk.  Officer Oberle picked up on certain similarities from the crime scene to the two juveniles waiting to be interviewed.
 
After the juveniles were interviewed on their cases, they were then asked about the burglaries.  Following the interview the two juveniles were arrested for burglary.  Cpl. Bush continued to investigate the case and that led him to more suspects and on December 18th and 19th two more juvenile suspects were arrested in connection with the case.  A total of four suspects ranging in age from 15 to 17 years of age each face 2 counts of B-felony burglary charges.
Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek applauds the officers and detectives for really good police and team work.
Suspects are presumed innocenter until proven guilty in a court of law....

Read more: Good Police Work Nabs 4 Burglary Suspects in MC

 

Wake for Local Pearl Harbor Survivor on Sunday

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USS West Virginia   
A Pearl Harbor survivor from Hammond passed away on Wednesday at the age of 94. John Latko was a marine aboard the USS West Virginia and gained popularity in a picture (above photo) showing him in a boat pulling another man out of the water with the USS West Virginia burning in the background. Latko was involved with the local chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors, as well as the armed forces memorial in Munster. A wake has been scheduled for Sunday, at Burns Kish Funeral Home in Hammond, from 2 to 7pm.
(photo:  Provided by James M. Laud Sr., Indiana State Chairman Sons of Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors)...

Read more: Wake for Local Pearl Harbor Survivor on Sunday

 

Sister of Missing Michigan Doctor Posts Plea

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Findteleka
The uncle of the missing Kalamazoo doctor, whose abandoned car was discovered on I-94 near Portage last week, told FOX 17 in Grand Rapids that the family wants authorities to keep searching the area where his niece's car was found and to also look in the direction of Gary and Gary itself.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Herman Bromfield says they would like to have missing Teleka (Patrick) back by Christmas and that their Christian faith is keeping the family hopeful of finding her.
Meanwhile, Teleka's sister has reached out to social media with a plea to help find her sister.  The photo above was found among over a dozen other posts at the popular  Pinterest website at: http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=findteleka
According to ABC News, Doctor Patrick, who has been missing for over two weeks, vanished from her hospital parking lot. Her purse and cell phone were found at the hospital and her car was discovered abandoned in a ditch the night of December 5th on westbound I-94, just east of the Porter/Burns Harbor exit. ...

Read more: Sister of Missing Michigan Doctor Posts Plea

 

50th Anniversary of Fallen Griffith Officer Observed

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Lt Tex Minter
You will find the name of Texas Minter among the names of over 19,000 other law enforcers who are honored at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. for their dedication and sacrifice.
According to the Griffith Police Department, it was 50 years ago on Friday, December 20th when, in the line of duty, Lt. Minter's  vehicle slid on an icy road and into the path of a passing train.  Fifty years later, members of the Griffith Police Department, Griffith town officials, surviving family members and Police Chaplain Father Mens gathered at Ridgelawn Cemetery in memory of the fallen officer.  
A police department press release says that In 1965, Texas Minter was one of four officers appointed to the Griffith Police Department when it was officially formed by the newly created Griffith Metropolitan Police Commission.  Appointed as a Sergeant, Texas Minter demonstrated himself to be a leader and was quickly appointed to the Lieutenant’s position, a position he retained throughout the remainder of his service with the department. 
 
Known both personally and professionally as a gentle and distinguished man, Lt. Minter was a devoted husband to his wife Elsa and an inspiring example to his nieces and nephew.  When not acting as a law enforcement officer, Lt. Minter enjoyed family and capturing the beauty of life through his hobby of photography.  When acting as a law enforcement officer, Lt. Minter was known as being fiercely protective to his oath as an officer and enjoyed a reputation of being a diligent protector of both the officers and citizens of Griffith.
Chief Mance says, “Lt. Minter’s reputation as an officer is an inspiration to us all and memorials like the one given today are a small token of our ongoing appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice he gave 50 years ago.”
In addition, Chief Mance thanked BerylMartin design studio for their donation of a memorial portrait that was given to the family and memorial programs that were given to the memorial attendees.
Chief Mance also thanked Griffith FOP lodge #161 for the memorial wreath that they placed at Lt. Minter’s grave.
(photo/provided)...

Read more: 50th Anniversary of Fallen Griffith Officer Observed

   

Red Kettle Campaign needs your Help to Reach Goal

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salvation army red kettle
In it's final week for Red Kettle Ringing the Salvation Army of Porter County are a little over three-quarters toward this year's goal. 
According to a press release as of last Wednesday (12/18) $111,451.98 of their $150,000 goal has been reached and with the Army's annual mail drive, the overall campaign goal for Porter County is $280,000 however, mail drive donations will be accepted through January 30, 2014. 
According to a press release, monies raised (excluding Sundays) will be used to assist those in need in Porter County for Christmas and throughout the 2014 fiscal year.  Specifically the Salvation Army in Porter County has brought spiritual light and love along with food, clothing and gifts to over 433 families, 819 senior citizens and 722 children in the county, according to the release.
The Army also sponsors other Christmas events including the Angel Tree Food, Clothing and Toy Assistance, Collection and Distribution, Adopt-a-Family Assistance, Christmas Nursing Home/Shut-in Senior Gift Distribution, Christmas Food Distribution and Youth and Family Christmas Parties, Christmas and New Year Worship Services along with the Salvation Army's daily help with food, rent/mortgage. utility. medicine, employment and transportation assistance.
Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or send a check to your local Salvation Army. Donors can also contribute on-line at:  http://www.usc.salvationarmy.org/portercounty, www.donate.salvationarmyusa.org or through a virtual red kettle on any number of corporate or individual websites.
HISTORY:  The Red Kettle campaign, first begun in San Francisco in 1891, has traditionally been The Salvation Army’s most prominent fund-raiser.  Last year, the funds helped The Salvation Army to provide assistance to more than 34 million Americans in need.  About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 5,000 communities nationwide. Almost 34 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 
 ...

Read more: Red Kettle Campaign needs your Help to Reach Goal

   

Precipitation to change to all rain in the Region

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National Weather Service
Despite an earlier issued freezing drizzle advisory from the National Weather Service, the mercury is hovering a few degrees above freezing in most areas of the Region.  While there is still a slight chance of freezing rain, especially in the southern suburbs, the Region should expect any mixed precipitation to change over to all rain by 3 p.m. CST.
If you are headed north and west, there is a Winter Weather Advisory in effect for the Chicago metro area but does not include northwest Indiana.
 
However, because of melting snow and the prediction of additional rain, the weather service has issued a flood watch in effect until early this evening for Newton and Jasper Counties along the Kankakee and Iroquois rivers as well as farm fields and low lying areas.
For the first full day of winter on Sunday, there currently is a 50% chance of snow, mainly before noon, with a high or 35 predicted.
Drivers should still allow for extra time, increase the distance between other vehicles and double check that their headlights are on as fog and misted reported in the Region is limiting visibility in some areas.
...

Read more: Precipitation to change to all rain in the Region

   

Union Carpenters Help Build New Building at Tri Town

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Tri Town Safety Village
Thanks to the volunteer work of union carpenters of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, Tri Town Safety Village in Schererville has a new building. According to a press release, union carpenters help to frame out and build Tri Town Safety Village's newest business--NIPSCO. The building features a classroom which will allow Tri Town to expand their curriculum to help kids learn about gas and electric safety.
Mike Stavitzke, IKORCC Senior Manager, says, “We were happy to play a role in building the NIPSCO structure. Tri Town Safety Village is the first facility of this type to educate children about gas and electric safety. As carpenters we understand the severe importance of this and are happy to do our part to help educate our local kids and hopefully prevent a lot of accidents."
William Jarvis, Tri Town's executive director praised the carpenters union saying, “Without the continued support of the Carpenters Union I did not know how we would be able to build this classroom.”
According to the release, Tri Town Safety Village in Schererville, is a “child-sized” town, complete with houses, roads, replicas of local businesses, and operational street lights and railroad crossings. This model city is a hands-on learning experience for local children, educating them on an array of safety topics such as fire, traffic, railroad, and police safety.  The safety village serves the Schererville, St. John and Dyer area. 
The NIPSCO building is slated for completion in late March, 2014. For more information about Tri Town’s Safety Village, please visit:  http://safetyvillage.us/

The Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters represents more than 32,000 professional tradespeople in 43 locals in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and parts of West Virginia and Tennessee. A proud affiliate of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, which has a century-plus tradition of representing the best of the building trades, the council works in partnership with more than 30,000 contractors, helping them find the best possible talent for their projects. The hallmark of the regional council is three-fold: training, professionalism and partnerships for economic development.
To discover more about IKORCC log onto:  https://www.ikorcc.com/

...

Read more: Union Carpenters Help Build New Building at Tri Town

   

Gary's Dollar Home Program Results to be Revealed

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city-of-gary-indiana
Just in time for Christmas, several Gary residents have received some great news that they are the recipients of a home for one-dollar.  Chelsea Whittington director of communications says Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson will be announcing the first round results of the City's dollar home program during a brief press conference to be held on Tuesday morning, Christmas Eve at City hall....

Read more: Gary's Dollar Home Program Results to be Revealed

   

Outlet Mall Suspects Face Formal Charges

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michigan city police
There's been a development in connection to the stabbing and robbery of an elderly man and his wife in the parking lot of popular outlet mall in Michigan City. Police say the two suspects, identified as Willie Jones and Kenisha Simpson now face formal charges of Robbery, Aggravated Battery and Fraud--all felonies.
Cpl. Tim Baker conducted a probably cause hearing in front of Honorable Judge Lange in Superior Court today (Friday). According to published reports, with the assistance of Chief Deputy Prosecutor Robert Neary, probable cause was found by testimony presented by Cpl. Baker.
Both suspects have been issued a 100-thousand dollar cash only bond....

Read more: Outlet Mall Suspects Face Formal Charges

   

Governor Reacts to A-F Accountability Grades Release

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Gov Mike Pence
The Indiana State Board of Education has approved the release of the 2012-2013 A-F accountability grades. Responding through a statement, Governor Mike Pence  thanked all the education board members including Superintendent Ritz, for "working together to complete this important task and for all their efforts on behalf of Hoosier kids."

The governor went on to say "Today's release of the...accountability grades demonstrate that our schools have risen to the challenge of improving outcomes across the state of Indiana and our kids are better for it."
Pence also said, "Education in Indiana is improving every day and our kids, our teachers and our schools deserve to be commended." ...

Read more: Governor Reacts to A-F Accountability Grades Release

   

INDOT to Drivers this Weekend: Plan Ahead

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Indot Logo color
The Indiana Department of Transportation is alerting holiday weekend travelers of the potential for changing road conditions due to different weather conditions expected in the Region.
INDOT's Matt Deitchly says that the Region is experiencing some rain this afternoon and with the snow that is already out there is melting, "and there is a serious risk of high water conditions throughout Northwest Indiana."  Deitchly is encouraging drivers to plan ahead and if you do see high water on the roadways, "obviously never drive through that it could be a very dangerous situation because you don't know how deep that water is."
The INDOT spokesman also says the department stays current with changing conditions monitoring different forecasts prepared just for INDOT.  He adds, "if it looks like were getting to that time where the temperature is dropping,  we'll have trucks on the road patrolling just watching to see where things are icing up."   Once the road begins icing up the crews will get right to work on that salt.
Freezing road surfaces are not drivers only concern as the National Weather Service Dense fog advisory remains in effect until 8 p.m. CST Friday.  The latest forecast for Saturday is calling for freezing rain possible in the morning with snow and sleet possibly mixing with freezing rain Saturday afternoon, with temperatures near 34 degrees.
For the latest major road conditions in Northwest Indiana log onto:  http://pws.trafficwise.org/ipws/nw/index.html...

Read more: INDOT to Drivers this Weekend: Plan Ahead

   

WB Borman Backing up Due to Crash near Chase St.

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12-20-13  WB Borman car in ditch
Traffic westbound on the Borman (I-80/94) is currently backed up from before the Broadway exit due to a two vehicle crash near Chase St. A traffic tipster reporting a vehicle landed in the right hand ditch and another vehicle was stopped on the left hand shoulder. Drivers should be alert to stopping traffic and delays westbound on I-80/94.
Along with a dense fog advisory in effect until 7p.m. CST for the Region, the Indiana Department of Transportation is warning drivers to be on the lookout for high water now as well, and potentially slick conditions later this weekend due to changing weather patterns being forecasted.

During this afternoons commute drivers are being advised to allow extra driving time, to increase the distance between them and other vehicles and to be sure they are driving with their vehicles headlights on.
(photo/INDOT)...

Read more: WB Borman Backing up Due to Crash near Chase St.

   

Trooper Scott Patrick Memorial Marker to be Unveiled

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patrick
Trooper Patrick
A memorial marker is being placed at the location where Indiana State Police Trooper Scott Patrick of Wheatfield was killed in the line of duty in Gary ten years ago. Police say Trooper Patrick was responding to help a stranded motorist at the Grant Street exit of the Borman Expressway on December 22nd, three days before Christmas 2003, when he was fatally shot. The marker will be unveiled Saturday night in a ceremony beginning at 8 pm (Sat Dec 21) that will include special guest speakers, Indiana State Police Honor Guard and the Scott Patrick family. Gary State Representative Dr. Vernon G. Smith filed a naming resolution which was passed by both chambers of the Indiana legislature and resulted in the declaration dated January 13, 2013. Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say these efforts were enhanced with the assistance of Crown Point State Representative Shelli VanDenburgh and INDOT Deputy Commissioner Robert Alderman. Gary Police and Fire will set a traffic pattern southbound on Grant Street to close the right lane for overflow parking and divert south traffic into the left lane. ...

Read more: Trooper Scott Patrick Memorial Marker to be Unveiled

   

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