Final Schneider National Job Fair in Gary Thursday

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City of Gary
(Gary, Ind.) – In a continued quest to bring more employment opportunities to its residents, the City of Gary has joined forces with Schneider National, one of the nation’s largest truckload carriers. As part of the city’s New Day, New Jobs Initiative, Schneider will host its last of three job fairs this year at the WorkOne office located in Gary.
“Our efforts to reduce unemployment are ongoing,” said Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. “We know that when people are gainfully employed, it has a direct impact on our economic growth, reduction in crime and overall quality of life.”
Schneider is looking primarily to hire truck drivers and mechanics in the Gary area.
“Our greatest need is for experienced over the road and tanker truck drivers and those who have just graduated from truck driving school” noted Rob Reich, vice president at Schneider National.  “These are good paying jobs that come with benefits. Currently, we are offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus for over the road drivers. There are a lot of good reasons Gary residents will want to learn more about what a company like Schneider has to offer.”

The final job fair will take place on the following date and time:
Thursday, December 12, 2013
10:00a.m. – 2:00p.m.
WorkOne Office
3522 Village Circle (located in the Village Shopping Center)
Gary, IN
Applicants are asked to wear interview attire, bring a resume and proof of CDL certification if interested in the truck driver positions. For more information, contact Darrell Comer at (219) 944-4317 or Cynthia Pruitt at (219) 881-1302....

Read more: Final Schneider National Job Fair in Gary Thursday


Update: Domestic Disturbance Sends 3 to Hospital

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An investigation continues after two officers with the Porter County Sheriffs Police Department were among three people taken to area hospitals this morning after a fiery incident near Hebron. Police say a 48-year-old Hobart firefighter, on leave after police allege he threatened his wife with a gun last month, allegedly drove his van into his Hebron-area home this morning, and crews responded to put out fire that broke out involving the vehicle and the house. Multiple departments responded, and the fire was quickly struck.
Police say John Wall was taken by ambulance to a local hospital with severe burns to his face and hands and later transferred to Loyola Medical Center after he jumped back into the burning vehicle. Officials say the two officers were inside the house investigating a battery complaint against Wall, after his wife called police to state her estranged husband gained entry to the home, jumped her while she was asleep and battered and strangled her, when the incident occurred. The two officers were transported to an area hospital and treated and released for smoke inhalation, with one suffering minor burns to his forearm, There were no further injuries to the man's wife....

Read more: Update: Domestic Disturbance Sends 3 to Hospital


Authorities Seek Help to Locate Missing Woman

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Teleka Patrick
(Photo Courtesy of Indiana State Police Lowell Post)
Authorities in Indiana and in Michigan are seeking the public's help in locating a missing woman from Kalamazoo whose vehicle was found abandoned the night of December 5th on westbound I-94, just east of the Porter/Burns Harbor exit. 33 year old Teleka Patrick was reported missing on Friday, December 6th after she failed to report to work and was last seen the evening of December 5th when she dropped off her vehicle in the parking lot at a Kalamazoo medical center. Teleka Patrick is described as a black female, 5'7”, weighing 160 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone who may have seen Patrick, possibly gave her ride or have any information about her whereabouts to call the Indiana State Police at 219-696-6242 or the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department at 269-383-8748....

Read more: Authorities Seek Help to Locate Missing Woman


Portage PD Investigating Burglary on Boulder Ave

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portage pd
Police in Portage are investigating a residential burglary that took place at noon on Monday in the 55-hundred block of Boulder Avenue. Police say a dark green vehicle believed to be a Kia, which was dirty from the weather, and has an Indiana handicapped license plate, was seen on Tulip Avenue, then driving to Boulder Avenue where it backed into the driveway. A heavyset black male wearing a stocking cap was in the driver seat according to police, and a second subject, described as a thin black male, was reportedly seen exiting the residence with a 32-inch flat screen television. Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Portage Police Detective Vaughan at (219) 762-3122. ...

Read more: Portage PD Investigating Burglary on Boulder Ave


Crash Backing up Traffic Westbound Borman

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12-10-13 WB 80-94 crash
Traffic is backing up westbound Borman (I-80/94) as INDOT is reporting the three right westbound lanes are closed near the state line due to a crash (above photo).  Drivers can expect all westbound lanes backing up from Cline Avenue.  traffic eastbound on I-80/94 can expect a gaper slowdown from about the Bishop Ford due to the westboudn crash.

12-10-13 Wb 80-94 crash 2
(Westbound traffic on the Borman (I-80-94) backing up due to crash blocking 3 right lanes near the state line.  the backup begins at Cline Avenue)


(photos: INDOT)


Read more: Crash Backing up Traffic Westbound Borman


E-911 Approved by Lake County Officials

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The E-911 consolidation agreement for Lake County was approved today. Lake County Commissioners unanimously approved the measure following a 4-to-2 vote in favor of the pact by the Lake County Council. The inter-local agreement merges 17 police and fire dispatch centers into a single county-wide communications network, as mandated by state law. The next step in the progress is for communities that operate independent fire and police dispatch to approve the same agreement. ...

Read more: E-911 Approved by Lake County Officials


NIPSCO Donates $5,000 to Lake County Salvation Army

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NIPSCO Check to SA
(Photo Courtesy of the Salvation Army of Lake County)
Last week, the Salvation Army of Lake County reported red kettle donations were down by 32 percent compared to this same time a year ago, today they announced NIPSCO, along with their partners at Helping Hands, donated five-thousand dollars to help needy families throughout Lake County. The iconic red kettles have been on the streets and at shopping centers since November 8th, with the goal of raising 940-thousand dollars to fund the emergency and social services provided during the holiday season and throughout the year.
The Lake County Salvation Army is also hosting the 'I Double Dog Dare You' bell ringing challenge, which allows groups, families and individuals to volunteer as bell ringers the week of December 16 - 21. The top ringer from each of the three categories will be announced Christmas Eve and will receive special recognition at the annual Spring Volunteer Luncheon. To sign up, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
To make a donation by mail, please send to
  • The Salvation Army Lake County, 8225 Columbia Ave, Munster, IN 46321, 219-838-1328

For more information on how to volunteer, please contact The Salvation Army closest to you:
  • East Chicago, 513 W. Chicago Ave., East Chicago, IN 46312, 219-398-2939
  • Gary-Merrillville, 4800 Harrison, Gary, IN 46408, 219-887-6588
  • Hammond-Munster, 8225 Columbia Ave, Munster, IN 46321


Read more: NIPSCO Donates $5,000 to Lake County Salvation Army


Tips for Safe Walking in Snow and Ice to Avoid Falls

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snow and ice managment Assoc
Every winter the hazards of driving in the snow and icy conditions are noted, but not often is walking on snow and ice addressed. The Snow and Ice Management Association, or SIMA, the North American trade association representing snow removal professionals, has put together safety tips to help prevent you from falling while walking on snow and ice, which they say accounts for a large number of winter-related injuries that can have an impact on your quality of life.
SIMA, the national nonprofit organization representing the snow removal industry, has some tips on safe winter walking.
  • TIP #1: Wear proper footwear. Proper footwear should place the entire foot on the surface of the ground and have visible treads. Avoid a smooth sole and opt for a heavy treaded shoe with a flat bottom.
  • TIP #2: Accessorize to see and be seen. Wear sunglasses so that you can see in the reflective light of the snow. Also, wear a bright coat or scarf so that drivers can easily see you.
  • TIP #3: Plan ahead. While walking on snow or ice on sidewalks or in parking lots, walk consciously. Instead of looking down, look up and see where your feet will move next to anticipate ice or an uneven surface. Occasionally scan from left to right to ensure you are not in the way of vehicles or other hazards.
  • TIP #4: Make sure you can hear. While seeing the environment is important, you also want to be sure you can hear approaching traffic and other noises. Avoid listening to music or engaging in conversation that may prevent you from hearing oncoming traffic or snow removal equipment.
  • TIP #5: Anticipate ice. Be weary of thin sheets of ice that may appear as wet pavement (black ice). Often ice will appear in the morning, in shady spots or where the sun shines during the day and melted snow refreezes at night.
  • TIP #6: Walk steps slowly. When walking down steps, be sure to grip handrails firmly and plant your feet securely on each step.
  • TIP #7: Enter a building carefully. When you get to your destination such as school, work, shopping center, etc., be sure to look at the floor as you enter the building. The floor may be wet with melted snow and ice.
  • TIP #8: Be careful when you shift your weight. When stepping off a curb or getting into a car, be careful since shifting your weight may cause an imbalance and result in a fall.
  • TIP #9: Avoid taking shortcuts. Shortcuts are a good idea if you are in a hurry, but may be a bad idea if there is snow and ice on the ground. A shortcut path may be treacherous because it is likely to be located where snow and ice removal is not possible.
  • TIP #10: Look up. Be careful about what you walk under.  Injuries also can result from falling snow/ice as it blows, melts, or breaks away from awnings, buildings, etc.
Following these tips will help ensure that you survive the snow and ice season safely. For more snow and ice removal tips, visit SIMA....

Read more: Tips for Safe Walking in Snow and Ice to Avoid Falls


Donnelly on Five Year Anniversary of Auto Rescue

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donnely at auto
(Photo Courtesy of Senator Donnelly's Office)
Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly held a conference call with Indiana media to discuss the progress seen in Indiana's auto manufacturing industry since the auto rescue five-years ago. Senator Donnelly says in early 2008, the state's automotive employment was at about 102-thousand workers and by June 2009, that number had dropped by 30-thousand due to the economic downturn. Donnelly says since the assistance was given to automakers there has been a rebirth in auto manufacturing in Indiana with over 100-thousand employees. Donnelly, who supported the auto bailout, says Chrysler has since invested almost two-billion dollars in Indiana, General Motors has added almost half a billion dollars and Honda, Subaru and Toyota continue to grow and invest in Indiana as well.
Last week, Senator Donnelly visited seven auto manufacturing facilities around Indiana to recognize the hard work of Hoosiers.  He visited GM plants in Fort Wayne, Marion, and Bedford, visited a Toyota plant in Princeton, a Honda plant in Greensburg, a Subaru plant in Lafayette, and a Chrysler plant in Kokomo....

Read more: Donnelly on Five Year Anniversary of Auto Rescue


Winter Weather Advisory Wednesday from 12am-10am

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national weather service
The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from midnight until 10am CST Wednesday. Officials report total snow accumulation of around two to four inches can be expected and may result in treacherous traveling conditions for the Wednesday morning rush hour. ...

Read more: Winter Weather Advisory Wednesday from 12am-10am


Indiana Extends HIP Benefits Through April

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The state is temporarily extending the Healthy Indiana Plan for more than ten-thousand current members through the end of April 2014 to provide more time to obtain new health coverage through the federal marketplace. Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration says many Healthy Indiana members have faced difficulties with the Obamacare website, healthcare-dot-gov. The extension is for those who will no longer qualify for Healthy Indiana due to lower eligibility standards.
Additional information from FSSA:
The HIP members impacted are those between 100-200 percent of the federal poverty level who will no longer qualify for the Healthy Indiana Plan due to lower eligibility standards set forth in the Healthy Indiana Plan waiver authorized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The new discontinuation date for these HIP members is April 30, 2014. FSSA Secretary Debra Minott requested this temporary extension in early November.
“We have a responsibility to assist Healthy Indiana Plan enrollees during this transition period,” said Minott. “The fact of the matter is the health plans HIP members were told would be available starting in October have proven difficult to access due to the federal marketplace’s well-documented technical issues. This extension provides additional time for these Hoosiers to remain on their HIP plans while they complete their enrollment and gain coverage through the marketplace.”
Governor Mike Pence announced in September that CMS had agreed to allow Indiana a one-year extension to continue to offer the innovative, consumer-driven Healthy Indiana Plan through 2014. During the discussions leading up to the extension, Pence administration officials and CMS officials mutually agreed that, in order to avoid duplication of efforts to cover individuals over 100 percent of the federal poverty level, HIP should focus exclusively on those Hoosiers who are beneath this income threshold. Individuals below the poverty line are not eligible for premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. The federal government’s position was that those over the federal poverty line could be covered under new subsidized federal policies through Obamacare. As a result of this agreement, approximately 20,000 more low-income Hoosiers will have health coverage in 2014. Indiana currently serves roughly 35,000 Hoosiers through HIP.
In early November, Secretary Minott expressed concerns to CMS about the technical difficulties HIP members may be facing in trying to obtain federal health exchange plans by January 1. Because of these technical issues, FSSA and CMS agreed to allow these HIP members more time to transition to other health coverage. This agreement is necessary because the State of Indiana cannot unilaterally change the terms of a CMS demonstration project waiver. 
The decision to extend HIP benefits while members roll onto federal plans could cost the state up to $11 million, which will be paid from the Healthy Indiana Plan trust fund.
“We still urge these Hoosiers to take action now to enroll in a health plan that will cover them in 2014,” added Minott. “The federal marketplace will require an application and payment long before the end of April. Also, the plans available on the marketplace all have annual deductibles which will start in January. It will help Hoosiers in the long run if they begin paying on their annual marketplace plan deductibles sooner rather than later.”

FSSA is reaching out by mail to all the HIP members expected to transition off HIP letting them know about the temporary extension and transitioning to the federal marketplace, and is encouraging them to call the Healthy Indiana Plan at 1-877-GET-HIP9 for help.


Read more: Indiana Extends HIP Benefits Through April


Two Officers Among 3 Transported After Fiery Incident

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Authorities say two officers with the Porter County Sheriffs Police Department were among three people taken to area hospitals this morning after a fiery incident near Hebron. Police say a 48-year-old Hobart firefighter on leave after police allege he threatened his wife with a gun last month allegedly drove his van into their Hebron-area home this morning, and crews responded to put out fire that broke out involving the vehicle and the house. Multiple departments responded. Police say John Wall was taken by ambulance to a local hospital with severe burns to his face and hands. Porter County Sheriffs Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry LaFlower says the two officers transported to an area hospital were inside the house investigating a battery complaint and taking a report when the incident occurred. No information was available at this time on the officers' conditions. There are no reports of injuries to the man's wife....

Read more: Two Officers Among 3 Transported After Fiery Incident


A Christmas To Remember

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This Sunday over 100 kids will have Christmas come early as part of the Lake County Police Association's A Christmas To Remember. Union President Daniel Murchek says the chosen kids and their families will be treated to a shopping day at the Merrillville Meijer with local law enforcement. They will be able to pick out a toy valued around $40, and must spent the rest of the money on essentials like clothing. This year's participants will also be treated to lunch at Outback Steakhouse.
For more on a Christmas to Remember, listen to our full interview with Union President Murchek On Demand here on our website....

Read more: A Christmas To Remember


E Porter Co Students Honored for Perfect ISTEP Scores

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A full house at Monday night's East Porter County School Board meeting -- about fifty people were there as a special celebration was held December 9 for twelve students from across the school corporation who had perfect scores on ISTEP. The students were recognized by the board and received a certificate, East Porter County water bottle, and $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble.  Cake and punch were served to the students and their family members.  "Celebrating these students' accomplishments is always the highlight of the school year," said Superintendent Dr. Rod Gardin.  Dr. Gardin asked the students how they were able to do so well, and they all had different answers that included teachers, parents, their own hard work.  Dr. Gardin said he summarized for them that it sounded like their achievement took a combination of efforts.
Listed below are the students who received perfect scores (the student's teacher's name is in parentheses after student's name)
3rd grade – Math
Liam Combs (Aaron Crague)
Lyndsey Kobza (Christine Paluch)
4th grade – Math
Breanna Carlson (Julie Miller)
Hannah Fields  2nd year in  row with a perfect score (Vicki Miller)
Hunter Kneifel (Julie Miller)
Parker Kneifel 2nd year in a row with a perfect score (Julie Miller)
Kaitlyn Reasoner (Julie Miller)
Bram Arnett (Mary Riffer)
4th grade – E/LA [English/Language Arts]
Maya Vickrey (Patti Howe)
5th grade - Math
Washington Twp
Valerie Churchill (Randy Roberts)
5th grade – Social Studies
Washington Twp
Jennifer Cahillane (Janine Krieger)
(3rd  year in a row with a perfect score)
6th grade – E/LA [English/Language Arts]
Washington Twp. Middle School
Matthew Sears (Christie Campbell)...

Read more: E Porter Co Students Honored for Perfect ISTEP Scores


Chesterton Clerk-Treasurer Leaving Dec 31

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In Chesterton, after a quarter century of service to the town, longtime Clerk Treasurer Gayle Polakowski is resigning effective the end of this year, due to health reasons. Polakowski has been Clerk-Treasurer for Chesterton since 1988. A caucus will be called for Republican precinct committeemen in town to choose Polakowski's replacement. Her term runs through the end of 2015. ...

Read more: Chesterton Clerk-Treasurer Leaving Dec 31


Date Changes for Indiana Food Stamp Recipients

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Food stamp recipients in Indiana will have a different schedule next year. A new state law changes the dates recipients receive their monthly benefits, beginning with a one-month transition in January 2014. This does not affect the amount recipients receive, but the day on which benefits are applied to their Hoosier Works EBT, Electronic Benefits Transfer, cards. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration says having distribution days spread throughout the month will mean fewer shoppers on those days, making shopping easier for SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, clients and easing the demand on grocery stores and other food sellers, allowing merchants to better maintain adequate stock throughout the month.
Here is the news release with details:
INDIANAPOLIS (December 9, 2013) -- The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) is informing  the more than 926,000 SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program  recipients in Indiana about important changes that will impact them starting in January. The changes are the result of Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 530, passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2013, and will change the dates recipients will receive their monthly benefits beginning with a one month transition in January 2014.
The amount of recipients’ SNAP benefits is NOT changing – but the day on which benefits are applied to their Hoosier Works EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards will change.
Payment dates for SNAP depend on the first letter of the client’s last name, and benefits have previously been made to clients during the first 10 days of each month. SEA 530 dictates that, starting in 2014, SNAP payments will be spread from the fifth through the 23rd of every month, on odd days.
However, to phase in the change, in the month of January 2014 only, SNAP clients will receive half of their benefits on their current date and the other half on their new date.
FSSA has developed a website to explain the date change at .There is also a chart (see below) showing clients’ current date and future date, based upon the first letter of their last name. In addition, on the website clients can gain a clearer picture of exactly how SEA 530 will impact them and their families by typing in their last names to determine their exact payment dates.
Having distribution days spread throughout the month will mean fewer shoppers on any of those days, making shopping easier for SNAP clients and for all food shoppers. Additionally, spreading distribution days will also ease the burden on grocery stores and other food sellers, as well, as those merchants can spread demand throughout the month.
This chart and the example below demonstrate the distribution of benefits for SNAP clients and how they will change:

First letter of SNAP recipient’s last name
A or B
C or D
E, F or G
H or I
J, K or L
M or N
O, P, Q or R
T, U or V
W, X, Y or Z
Old deposit date
New deposit date

Here, for example, are dates for a client with the last name “Smith:”
            December 2013 benefits - issued December 8, 2013
            January 2014 benefits – half issued January 8, 2014 and half issued January 19, 2014
            February 2014 benefits – issued on new date of February 19, 2014
In addition to the website, , FSSA has undertaken several different communications to inform SNAP clients of this important change. Those include:
  • FSSA has assembled – and been sharing information with – a team that includes the Indiana Association of United Ways, Indiana 211, Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (a group representing food pantries around the state), the Indiana Retail Council, the Indiana Independent Grocers and Convenience Stores and various individual retailers.
    • These organizations and retailers have begun posting and sharing information about the changes in their various locations.
  • Each SNAP recipient has received at least two mailings announcing the change.
  • FSSA has launched a statewide advertising campaign including radio advertising as well as ads on and inside city buses.
  • FSSA has created two videos to be used as public service announcements and to raise awareness of this important change in social media.
  • SNAP clients will receive a voice recording alerting them to this change, via telephone, sometime between December 14 and December 16.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food assistance to low and no income people and families living in the United States. It is a federal aid program administered by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), however, distribution of benefits occurs at the state level. In Indiana, the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) is responsible for ensuring federal regulations are initially implemented and consistently applied in each county. Approximately 926,000 Hoosiers from approximately 418,000 households across Indiana – or nearly one-sixth of the population of Indiana – receive SNAP benefits.
More information about SNAP is available at            ...

Read more: Date Changes for Indiana Food Stamp Recipients


Crash Closes WB 30 Near Valpo

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We're getting word this morning (approx. 750am) that westbound US 30 is closed at the Porter County Airport near Valparaiso due to a three-car crash.  No other information is available at this hour.  Valparaiso Police say at least one person was injured.

Read more: Crash Closes WB 30 Near Valpo


Saving on Heating Costs in the Bitter Cold

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As snow and bitter cold have Hoosiers turning up the thermostat, state officials say there are ways to keep heating costs down. Anthony Swinger with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor says a home energy audit can help you reduce use and better manage the bills. He also says many consumers are eligible for a free assessment from Energizing Indiana.  "They'll send someone out, do a walk-through, spend some time with you and actually show you where in your home you can make improvements that can really help and add up," Swinger said.  Other tips include a clean furnace filter, checking your insulation, setting ceiling fans to turn clockwise at a low speed, and using a programmable thermostat – turning down the temperature when you are at work or sleeping.
More information at 
Swinger says another easy way to save money is to seek out the “energy vampires” in your house, also referred to as standby power.  "We're talking about a cell phone charger that's plugged into the wall, but no phone is plugged in at the other end," Swinger said.  "Or another small appliance that you might keep plugged in, that doesn't really need to be plugged in, but it is using energy to some degree. "  He also says most Indiana natural gas and electric utilities offer budget billing programs, which all customers to pay specific amounts each month.


Read more: Saving on Heating Costs in the Bitter Cold


Police Investigate Carjackings in Merrillville

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In Merrillville, police are investigating two alleged armed carjackings occurring within about an hour of each other Sunday, the first around 5 pm in the 300 block of East 60th Drive and the second around 6 pm in the 1000 block of East 61st Place. Authorities say two East Chicago teenagers, both 17, who were allegedly in the first vehicle when it was found in Hammond Sunday night face auto theft and other charges, denied knowing of the carjackings. Police say they continue to search for suspects....

Read more: Police Investigate Carjackings in Merrillville


Police Warn of 'Porch Pirates'

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When packages start arriving on porches in the Region during the holidays, unfortunately police say they also start getting stolen.  "Obviously Christmas time a lot of people are shopping online, a lot of packages are being delivered with their gifts to residences," said Porter County Sheriffs Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry LaFlower. "We just want to remind residents to make sure that they or somebody else or a neighbor is going to be home when that package is delivered."  He said most companies now have tracking over the computer, so you can see when it's going to be delivered,within an approximate time range, and set it up to where you're going to be home, or a relative or a neighbor can be home to get that package as soon as it arrives. Sgt. LaFlower also says requiring a signature for delivery is a way to keep packages from being stolen.  Police say thieves look for big packages that are sitting on the porch of a residence or they follow an actual truck around and pick up packages afterwards.

Read more: Police Warn of 'Porch Pirates'


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Region News Team
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