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Give Day Sets New Mark

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Yesterday's Porter County Give Day surpasses last year's total. By late Thursday afternoon, more than 200-thousand dollars had already been collected through walk-in and online and matching gifts for the Porter County Community Foundation's “Porter County Give Day,” a 24-hour event Thursday where a portion of each online donation was being matched from a 75-thousand dollar match pool from various donations and sponsors. According to portercountygiveday-dot-org this morning, over 280-thousand dollars was collected to benefit kids via 25 participating nonprofits. Donations were collected online through 11:59 pm last night. Last year's Give Day total was 186-thousand dollars. ...

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Noll Girls Going for State Championship

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The Bishop Noll Institute Girls Volleyball Team will be competing for a class 2A state championship tomorrow. The Warriors will take on Providence at 12pm (Central) at Ball State University.
Schedule info:  www.ihsaa.org...

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Prep Football Tourney Showdowns Tonight

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There are some big match-ups in tonight's prep football tournament.  In class 6A... the 9-2 Lake Central Indians host the unbeaten Penn Kingsmen at the Burial Grounds in St. John for a Regional Championship.  Meanwhile, classes 1 thru 5A will be playing for Sectional Championships.  Munster travels to Mishawaka... New Prairie visits South Bend St. Joseph... 11-0 Winamac is at West Central... Unbeaten Andrean is at John Glenn... and some playing field musical chairs tonight, as the Rensselaer Bombers take on Bowman Academy at Central High School in East Chicago... while the big 4A showdown between East Chicago Central and Gary West Side will be played at Morton High School in Hammond.  
Schedule info: www.ihsaa.org...

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Historic Low for Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

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Workplace injuries and illnesses in Indiana have fallen to a historic low. The Indiana Department of Labor annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report for 2012 showed four out of every 100 workers sustained a non-fatal illness or injury on the job, the lowest rate since the survey was introduced in its current form in 1992. The rate also represents a one-year decline of more than seven percent from 2011, and the first drop since 2009. State officials say the most significant improvement among the major Hoosier industries was in the state’s mining industry. [Graph/Indiana Department of Labor]
News Release: INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 7, 2013) – Today the Indiana Department of Labor (IDOL) released its annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) report for 2012. Indiana’s non-fatal occupational injury and illness rate is 4.0 per 100 workers, the lowest experienced since the survey was introduced in its current form in 1992. The 2012 rate represents a one-year decline of more than seven percent from 2011 and marks the first time the rate has declined since 2009.
“Every Hoosier should be proud that Indiana’s workplaces are some of the safest and healthiest in the nation,” said Governor Mike Pence. “The continuing decline in the number of occupational injuries and illnesses demonstrates the dedication of employers, employees, trade associations, and professional organizations, and proves again, that Indiana is the place to do business.”
The most significant improvement among the major Hoosier industries was in the state’s mining industry (2.6 per 100 workers). The mining industry experienced a one-year decline of nearly 45 percent in non-fatal worker injuries and illnesses. The coal mining sub-industry experienced a 16 percent decline in non-fatal worker injuries and illnesses from 2011.
Some findings in the 2012 report include:
The overall state non-fatal injury and illness rate for 2012 is 4.0 per 100 workers, the lowest rate since the SOII report was introduced in its current form in 1992. The 2012 rate represents a one-year decline of seven percent from the 2011 rate.
The mining industry experienced the greatest one-year decline in non-fatal worker injuries and illnesses, 45 percent.
Nearly all major Indiana industry categories experienced a reduction in non-fatal worker injuries and illnesses in 2012.
The IDOL’s emphasis industries of agriculture, healthcare and transportation all experienced a decrease in non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses—agriculture (-24.2 percent), healthcare (-15.9 percent) and transportation (-2.2 percent).
The following major industry categories experienced an increase in non-fatal worker injuries and illnesses from 2011 to 2012: state and local government (+11 percent); arts, entertainment and recreation (+6 percent); and manufacturing (+2 percent).
For more information about the SOII, please visit: http://www.in.gov/dol/2341.htm
The IDOL will also release its annual occupational safety and health publication, IN Review, in early 2014....

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Two Lake County Elected Officials Oppose Illiana

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Rep. Niemeyer, Councilman Strong
Republicans Lowell State Representative Rick Niemeyer and Lake County Councilman Eldon Strong of Crown Point Thursday announced they have taken a stand against the proposed Illiana Expressway.  They're urging members of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission to not include the project in NIRPC's 2040 plan, a vote scheduled in December.  The highway would travel by Lowell through south Lake County connecting I-65 to I-55 in Illinois. Strong says money would be better spent on existing projects, like the Gary/Chicago International Airport expansion and revitalizating the Region's Lake Michigan lakefront. [Photos/Lake County; Indiana House of Representatives]...

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Disney to Release New Star Wars Film in December 2015

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Charge up those light sabers and break out those Stormtrooper uniforms - we now know exactly when we'll get to see the next Star Wars film. ABC News reports Disney has set a date for Star Wars episode VII - for December 18th, 2015. Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn says the date gives them time to make it great, and it will anchor the holiday film going season. Winter is probably a smart move because that summer is SUPER crowded, with the next Avengers, Jurassic Park, Terminator 5, Independence Day 2, and a little movie called Batman and Superman. ...

Read more: Disney to Release New Star Wars Film in December 2015

 

Habitat for Humanity to Receive Grant for Homes in Gary

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In Gary tomorrow, representatives from the JP Morgan-Chase Foundation will be presenting a check for over 74-thousand dollars to Habitat for Humanity. The grant is scheduled to be awarded during a ceremony in Gary City Hall at 10:30am. The grant will be used for the construction of homes in the 17-hundred block of Adams Street, otherwise known as the “Field of Dreams.” ...

Read more: Habitat for Humanity to Receive Grant for Homes in Gary

 

Valpo Employee Food Drive Now Through 11/11

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The City of Valparaiso is currently conducting its “City Employee Food Drive”, which runs through November 11th. The food collected will be distributed to nearby food pantries for local families for the holiday season. You can drop off food items or financial donations at Valparaiso's Town and County or Strack and Van Til on Saturday, November 9th. Residents can also give at Valparaiso City Hall anytime through November 11th, during normal business hours, 8:30am to 4:30pm.  If you would like to make a financial contribution or give after business hours, you may contact Jeffry Van Syoc, city employee and organizer of the food drive at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  ...

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Revenue in Indiana Down Compared to 2012

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Revenue for the state of Indiana failed to meet expectations during the first third of this budget year. From the July through October period, income tax revenue came in four-point-nine percent less than during the same period a year ago, totaling 76-point-six million dollars and the corporate tax revenue and riverboat wagering tax revenue were down about twice what was anticipated. Overall state revenue was down one-point-five percent compared to last year, at 64-point-five million.
On the bright side, October revenue came in at nine-million dollars above what was forecast, totaling one-point-zero-five billion, but that is still down three-point-three percent from what was taken in in October of 2012. ...

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Bears Fan Charged with Tazing His Packer Fan Wife

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A Chicago Bears fan has been charged and could face up to 6 years in prison, after allegedly tazing his Packer fan wife following a bet on the Monday night football game. ABC News reports Wisconsin Bar owner Chris Neu says its started as a friendly bet between the man and his wife... "Everybody walked outside, and she assumed the position on the wall. She put two hands on the wall. And he walked behind her and zapped her on the butt." He says the first two shocks were consensual...But the third time set his wife off. "She was talking to people, and he had come out of the bathroom, and he snuck up behind her, and he goosed her with it one last time." They got into a fight, she called police. John Grant is now charged with illegal possession of an electric weapon. ...

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Safe Family Travel Enforcement Blitz 11/8-12/1

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Indiana State Police are joining approximately 250 other law enforcement agencies across the state to make the upcoming Thanksgiving Day Holiday travel period safer. The annual “Safe Family Travel" campaign effort begins tomorrow and continues through December 1st. Law enforcement will be conducting high visibility enforcement efforts, including check points and saturation patrols, targeting drivers and unrestrained motorists.
Please help do you part to make the Thanksgiving Holiday travel period safe by observing the following safety rules:
-  If you are planning to travel make sure you are well rested, a fatigued driver is a dangerous driver
-  Avoid tailgating; remember the two-second rule
-  Make sure everyone is buckled up
-  Put down the electronic devices and drive
-  DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
-  MOVE OVERr emergency and highway service vehicles...

Read more: Safe Family Travel Enforcement Blitz 11/8-12/1

   

Longtime Highland School Board Member Dies

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(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A longtime Highland School Board member died this morning. The Times reports 78 year old Larry Vassar, who spent 32 years as a school board member, reportedly died in his sleep. According to the article, Vassar was a strong community supporter who loved his church and the town. The school board has 30 days to fill the remaining 13 months left on Vassar's term. Those who maybe interested are asked to contact the Highland School Board....

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Westville Correctional Center Employee Arrested

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Joseph Altemus
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office)
For the second time this week a Westville Correctional Center employee has been arrested. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office reports 26 year old Joseph Altemus, of LaPorte, was arrested Wednesday on a warrant for one-count of dealing a controlled substance, in this case hydrocodone, which is a felony. The warrant had been issued as a result of an investigation initiated by the LaPorte County Metro Operations Unit.
On Monday, a 51 year old Michigan City woman employed as a corrections officer at the prison was arrested for allegedly trafficking to prisoners. Prison officials did not disclosed what was being trafficked, other than saying the item was not an illegal substance. ...

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I-65 Lane Restrictions In Lake County Friday

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I-65, between US 30 and US 231, will have lane restrictions in place starting tomorrow in both the north and southbound lanes. INDOT reports crews will be patching stretches of the roadway requiring the closure of the driving lane of northbound and southbound I-65 in this area. Drivers are being asked to remain especially alert in this work zone due to the heavy congestion in the area....

Read more: I-65 Lane Restrictions In Lake County Friday

   

Valparaiso Man Charged with Rape and Incest

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A 41 year old Valparaiso man was arrested Wednesday night on numerous felony charges, including rape and incest. Valparaiso Police say on October 28th, the victim's mother and grandparents informed police of an incident that had occurred this summer, between the victim and the suspect. Police investigated and learned of two separate incidents where the suspect had sexually battered the victim. The suspect is charged with two-counts of criminal confinement, two-counts of incest and two-counts of rape and at last check was being held in the Porter County Jail. ...

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Lake Co Salvation Army Red Kettle Kick-Off in Highland

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The Salvation Army of Lake County is celebrating the start of the holiday season this evening (Thu Nov 7) at their Red Kettle Campaign Kick-Off Ceremony at Strack and Van Til, 9632 Cline Avenue, Highland, at 5 pm. The event will include a musical performance by The Salvation Army East Chicago Youth Band and Singing Company and hot chocolate for everyone. 2013 Lake County Advisory Board Chair Tom DeGiulio, Munster Town Manager, will kick off the campaign. The evening will wrap-up with the lighting of a six-foot tall red kettle. The event is free and open to the public. The Red Kettle campaign generates nearly 70-percent of the funds used year-round to provide programs and services to those in need. The iconic red kettles will hit the streets in Lake County Friday, November 8th. This year's goal for Lake County, Indiana, is 940-thousand dollars....

Read more: Lake Co Salvation Army Red Kettle Kick-Off in Highland

   

Lake Co Govt Workers to Be Honored for Military Service

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In Crown Point, about one-hundred veterans of the Armed Forces will be honored in a special ceremony, Friday November 8, 10am, leading up to Veterans Day.  Those veterans are all Lake County Government employees, men and women who have served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, representing a total of nearly five-hundred years of combined service, that includes wars and conflicts that span a half-century, from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan. They'll be individually recognized at the Lake County Government Center at 93rd and Main in Crown Point, in the Auditorium of Building "B", and Ray Guiden, Service Officer in the Lake County Veterans Service Office, told the Region News Team the public is invited.  The veterans are employed across over twenty different offices of Lake County Government. You can hear our interview today with Ray Guiden at News  Audio on Demand here at our website.
...

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Highland Town Council President Leaving

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The town of Highland will have a new councilman soon. Town Council President Brian Novak has resigned, citing a decision to focus on his professional career. Novak, representing the 4th ward on the community's northeast side, has been on the Highland council for six years. Highland Democrat precinct committeemen will need to gather for a special election to fill Novak's vacancy. [Photo/Town of Highland]...

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Hobart Chamber Names Next Executive Director

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The Hobart Chamber of Commerce has announced Dawn Duty will be their next Executive Director.  Mike Adams will retire from the position at the end of the year after seven years of service.  Duty, whose term begins January first, has over 25 years of non-profit professional experience that includes the Boys & Girls Clubs, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and Kids Alive International. Duty was born in Chicago and lived in suburban Chicago until her family moved to Northwest Indiana ten years ago. The Hobart Chamber of Commerce says Duty and her husband and their teenage son live on a small rural horse ranch in Porter County. 'I look forward to serving the City of Hobart and the Chamber of Commerce,' says Duty. 'Hobart has great history and this warm vibrant City continues those traditions with potential for economic and community development. I look forward to being a part of your team!'  [Photo courtesy/Hobart Chamber of Commerce]...

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Issues Reported with Indiana Welfare Website

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Problems with Indiana's welfare website. A spokesman for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration told the Indianapolis Star that Hoosiers who receive food stamps and other benefits have been unable to get information on the status of their cases for the past couple of weeks. Clients have been advised to call a toll-free number, 1-800-403-0864, or visit Division of Family Resources offices in the meantime. The website itself is running, but no word on when the specific site issues would be resolved. ...

Read more: Issues Reported with Indiana Welfare Website

   

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