Donnelly, Viclosky Testify to ITC on Tariffs

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Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly and Congressman Pete Visclosky today testified before the US International Trade Commission in support of anti-dumping tariffs on hot-rolled steel products from foreign countries. Congressman Visclosky says he believes we need a manufacturing base in the US to pay a living wage and internationally it is not a fair fight.
Visclosky says manufacturing is key to our national security and tariffs must continue to be enforced. Donnelly says the tariffs level the playing field. ...

Read more: Donnelly, Viclosky Testify to ITC on Tariffs


Woman Files Lawsuit Claiming Officer Caused Her Crash

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A lawsuit has been filed by a woman against Porter County Sheriff David Lain, the Sheriff's Department, a Sheriff's Department officer, and the Porter County Board of Commissioners, claiming an officer's actions caused her to get into a car accident that resulted in her being injured. The Times reports Melody King claims she was heading south on State Road 49, around 7pm, on November 4th, 2011, when an officer entered State Road 49 from eastbound Division Road against a red light. According to the article, King's lawsuit says the officer's action caused her to collide with the vehicle in front of her, which resulted in her injury, which has led to medical expenses and lost earnings. ...

Read more: Woman Files Lawsuit Claiming Officer Caused Her Crash


Four Region Communities Move Halloween to 11/1

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In Northwest Indiana, four Region communities – Crown Point, Winfield, Portage and now LaPorte, have moved the official trick-or-treat time to Friday evening. Portage Assistant Fire Chief Dan Kodicek says the fire department will also be out tomorrow night, passing out thousands of glow sticks purchased through donations from Firefighters Local 3151 and Porter Regional Hospital. For UNINCORPORATED Porter County, Sheriff David Lain wanted residents to know that trick-or-treat hours would NOT be moved. At last check, all other community trick or treat hours remain intact....

Read more: Four Region Communities Move Halloween to 11/1


Electronic Devices Okay to Use During Take Offs/Landings

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Airline passengers will no longer hear "please turn off all electronic devices" during take off and landings. The Federal Aviation Administration announced today passengers will be able to use most devices, unless the crew tells them otherwise. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says - talking on cell phones - is still prohibited, but it is now safe to read downloaded materials, like e-books and calendars, and also to play games.
The committee determined that most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference form portable electronic devices. ...

Read more: Electronic Devices Okay to Use During Take Offs/Landings


Sheriff's Office to Step Up Patrols Due to Break-Ins

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porter co sheriff dept
October has been a bad month for home break-ins in unincorporated Porter County. The Porter County Sheriff's Office reports a break-in Wednesday in Jackson Township was the 18th reported incident. The Sheriff's Office reports they will be stepping up patrols in the areas affected. Most of the incidents have reportedly occurred during the work day hours....

Read more: Sheriff's Office to Step Up Patrols Due to Break-Ins


Residents Asked to Not Call 911 for Trick-Treat Hours

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With inclement and possibly stormy weather in the forecast, some Region communities have moved trick-or-treat hours to Friday. (See Region Trick-or-Treat Hours article here online for updates).  There's been some uncertainty and confusion, but one thing that authorities are stressing is questions need to be forwarded to city or town halls, and not police.  "We're having a lot of people call 911 and our Central Dispatch to ask about trick-or-treat times, " Porter County Central Communications Public Information Officer Paige Connelly told the Region News Team this morning.  "What we're asking is that they contact their local city or town government instead, because they're the ones that actually make the decision about trick-or-treat tonight."...

Read more: Residents Asked to Not Call 911 for Trick-Treat Hours


Enrollment to Begin for Federal Heating Help

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Enrollment for federal heating bill assistance programs for low-income households begins on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013.
“While temperatures can be unpredictable, payment assistance programs help provide our customers experiencing financial difficulties with a sense of security,” said NIPSCO Customer Service Manager Kim Broader, who oversees the utility’s energy assistance programs. “We are fortunate to have great partnerships with local agencies across northern Indiana, such as the Salvation Army and township trustees, to help connect those customers with assistance programs.”
Households experiencing financial difficulties may call NIPSCO’s Customer Care Center, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT, to learn about available assistance options, including:
·        Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Program: LIHEAP support is available to households falling within 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Between December 1 and March 15, Indiana natural gas utilities do not disconnect service to customers enrolled in LIHEAP who are behind on their bills.
·        NIPSCO Customer Assistance for Residential Energy (CARE) Discount Program: The NIPSCO CARE Discount Program is designed to provide further bill reductions to LIHEAP-eligible customers. Once enrolled in LIHEAP, customers are automatically enrolled in the program.
·        NIPSCO Hardship Program: For customers just outside the federal poverty guidelines for LIHEAP, the NIPSCO Hardship Program offers up to $200 in gas bill assistance to households between 151-200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Eligibility information and a listing of agencies that help administer assistance programs can be found at Customers are encouraged to contact the agency for a complete list of required documentation ahead of visiting in person.  A full list of programs available to NIPSCO customers to help manage energy use can be found at

Read more: Enrollment to Begin for Federal Heating Help


Griffith Road Work Postponed due to Weather

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The town of Griffith today announced that due to the weather, the road work on West Main Street between Cline Avenue and Ernest Avenue will be postponed until Friday, November 1, beginning at 7 am.  West Main Street will remain open to vehicular traffic and all property owners and businesses will have access to their properties.  Lindberg, Raymond and Ernest Avenues will be closed to traffic at their West Main intersections.  Questions can be directed to Griffith Public Works at 219-924-3838....

Read more: Griffith Road Work Postponed due to Weather


Soggy Halloween in the Region

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Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Chicago say a mild but rainy Halloween is in store for the area. Some areas, generally south of a LaSalle to Chicago line, saw 1 to locally over two inches of rain overnight, and the potential remains for additional locally heavy rainfall today across the same general area. Heavy rainfall will cause minor flooding of low lying and poorly drained areas, as well as some street flooding. Meteorologists say thunderstorms are possible this afternoon, mainly south of Chicago, and an isolated severe storm is possible with gusty winds. Rain is expected to taper off and end from west to east this evening, behind a cold front, but this afternoon temps are expected to stay in the 60s before talling into the 50s by early evening. [Image/National Weather Service Chicago]

Chicago National Weather Service website:

Read more: Soggy Halloween in the Region


Family Members to Remember Flight 4184

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Family members of those who died on American Eagle Flight 4184 will gather at the site this afternoon as they've done for years to mark the anniversary of the crash. Sixty-eight people were killed 19 years ago when the plane traveling from Indianapolis to Chicago encountered icing conditions during a cold, rainy afternoon October 31st, 1994, and crashed into a Newton County soybean field near Roselawn.   [Photo/provided]
Pat Hansen, whose brother Frank Sheridan perished on the flight, says the public is invited to join family in paying their respects at the roadside memorial.  "If you're driving the street, feel free to stop by. Pray with us, remember.  We share good memories, we share painful ones sometimes, but it really is a very from-the-heart sharing," Hansen told the Region News Team.  Hansen also says they're in the process of trying to do some fundraising to have a permanent memorial.  They'll be gathering at 3:30 this afternoon (Central Time), and  Hansen says at 4:07 pm, the time the plane crashed, they'll  hold a moment of silence.
Click here for more information and directions:

Read more: Family Members to Remember Flight 4184


Region Trick-or-Treat Hours

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Halloween – in November? That's what's happening in a number of Hoosier cities and towns, including some in the Region.
The following are all this evening, except where indicated. Hours are subject to change due to expected showers and storms this evening. Check with your local city or town center and not local police.

The following are all this evening Oct 31, except where indicated. Hours are subject to change due to expected showers and storms this evening. Check with your local city or town center.

Lake County (unincorporated) Same as city or town of your address
Porter County (unincorporated) 5:30-7:30pm *Sheriff David Lain says trick-or-treat hours will NOT be moved

Burns Harbor 5:30-7:30pm
Cedar Lake 5-7pm
Chesterton 5:30-7:30pm
Crown Point (new hours, now Friday 5-7pm)
Demotte 5-7pm
Dyer 5-7pm
East Chicago 4-6pm
Gary 4-6pm
Griffith 5-7pm
Hammond 5-7pm
Hebron 5:30-7:30pm
Highland 5-7pm
Hobart 5:30-7:30pm
Kentland 5-7pm
Kouts 5-7pm
Lake Station 4:30-7:30pm
LaPorte 6-8pm (MOVED to Friday)
Lowell 5-7pm
Merrillville 5-7pm
Michigan City 5-7pm
Munster 5-7pm
New Chicago 5-7pm
Portage (MOVED to Friday 5:30-7:30pm)

Also moved to Friday, Nov 1, the Downtown Business District in Portage along Central Avenue will be open for Trick-or-Treating from 3:30pm - 5pm. Businesses who are participating will have a sign in their window/door. Regular Trick-or-Treat hours for the whole community will be from 5:30pm - 7:30pm that same evening.  The Portage Fire Department will be out on Halloween handing out 3,200 glow sticks to your children.  The glow sticks were donated by Portage Firefighters Local 3151 and Porter Regional Hospital

Porter 5:30-7:30pm
Rensselaer 5:30-8pm
Schererville 5-7pm
Southlake Mall 5-7pm
St. John 5-7pm
Valparaiso 5:30-7:30pm
Westville 5-7pm
Wheatfield 5-7pm
Whiting 5-7pm
Winfield (MOVED to Friday 5-7pm)


Read more: Region Trick-or-Treat Hours


Senator Coats: Delay Obamacare Mandates

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Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) Wednesday spoke on the Senate floor about the impact the Obamacare rollout is having on Hoosiers. Coats shared stories he has received from Indiana residents and reiterated his call for the Senate to pass his bill to delay the Obamacare mandates for a year.  Click here  &">& to view Coats' remarks.
The following is an op-ed article by Indiana Republican US Senator Dan Coats:
An email I received from Daniel in Elkhart, Indiana, summarizes the experience many Hoosiers are having with the recently launched Obamacare online health insurance marketplace:
“I have tried for two weeks to apply through the marketplace, only to electronically sign my application and be kicked back to my 'profile page.' This is the most bizarre system I have ever experienced. If a company put a business website together like this they would go out of business.”
Despite its $400 million cost to taxpayers, the president’s health care website has been plagued by nationwide accounts of technological complications since it launched on October 1. It also has been reported that the site has provided inaccurate information about the federal tax credits available to those seeking health insurance.
An experienced online database programmer told CBS News, “I would be ashamed and embarrassed if my organization delivered something like that.”
The administration has had almost four years to prepare for the rollout of their health care law and this is what it looks like – a complete disaster. A recent Associated Press poll revealed that only seven percent of Americans believe the rollout of Obamacare has gone either very well or extremely well.
Despite the website’s numerous glitches and many other implementation problems, the administration still insists on fining taxpayers if they don’t purchase health insurance.
Last week, the Obama administration announced a six-week extension to sign up for a health care plan before facing a penalty. This brief extension is not enough and certainly no consolation for the millions of Americans that are seeing their policies canceled, premiums rise and paychecks fall.
In September, I introduced legislation to delay the Obamacare mandates for a year, and as the problems with the health care law rise, I will continue to push for a vote on this bill.
First, a delay of the Obamacare mandates would provide all Americans with the same relief that the administration already has given to businesses. The Obama administration announced this summer that it will delay penalties for employers who do not provide health insurance coverage to workers, but not provide the same delay for all Americans.
Don’t individuals deserve the same relief from Obamacare as businesses?
My bill would codify the delay of the employer-mandate and extend the same delay to all individuals and families.
Second, delaying the Obamacare mandates until after the 2014 midterm elections would allow American voters to decide the health care law’s fate now that the impact of the law is being felt. Although the House has passed numerous bills to dismantle Obamacare, we do not have the votes in the Senate today to repeal or defund Obamacare.
If we delay the mandates, Americans will be able to decide whether they want to keep Obamacare or replace it with step-by-step, consumer-driven health care reforms.
The House already has taken the first step and passed similar legislation, introduced by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), to delay the employer and individual mandates. And it was bipartisan. Twenty-two House Democrats recognized the need to give Americans the same relief from Obamacare that businesses are receiving. Over the last several days, a number of Senate Democrats have expressed support for delaying parts or all of the president’s health care law as well.
As the President said last week, Obamacare is more than a website. It’s a law that has real-life consequences to Hoosier families and individuals.
President Obama - before and after Obamacare passed - promised all Americans they could keep their health care plans if they liked them. It was a promise he repeated time and time again.
But that isn’t the case and President Obama has known it for some time. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are receiving notification that their plans are being cancelled because of Obamacare, and reports indicate that the White House has known for three years that these cancellations were coming.

President Obama should keep his word to the American people. The President owes them an apology but most of all a solution.                                            ...

Read more: Senator Coats: Delay Obamacare Mandates


OE Ribbon Cutting at Lakeside Property

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Opportunity Enterprises President and CEO David Stupay cut the ribbon on the new wing of their OE Lakeside Day Services Facility Wednesday.  Photo:  David Stupay, President and CEO of Opportunity Enterprises, cuts the ribbon on OE’s new day services wing at OE Lakeside, alongside (L - R) Ellen DeMartinis, VP/COO of OE, Linda Hazen, Director of Development for OE, Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas, Rex Richards, Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce President, and Gary Mitchell, former President and CEO of OE. [Photo provided]
The facility is home to three of OE’s day enrichment programs for men and women with disabilities.  “This project has been three years in the making,” said Stupay. “And the results have been awesome!  Our participants are blossoming out here, enjoying the natural setting and robust curriculum schedule.  This building has the capacity to serve nearly 300 individuals, and we are not done with improvements to our Lakeside campus.”  OE serves more than 11-hundred adults and children with disabilities in Porter County and Northwest Indiana.
Just north of the new wing of the day services facility, OE also constructed an accessible 8-unit apartment building that is now home to 20 OE participants.  “This apartment building meets the accessibility needs of our participants beautifully,” said OE COO and VP Ellen DeMartinis. “And we couldn’t have done either of these projects without the support of our community.”  More than 700 individuals and businesses from Northwest Indiana contributed to the agency’s capital campaign, which raised nearly $4 million. 
Mayor Costas spoke briefly about the impact of Opportunity Enterprises on Valparaiso and the surrounding region, stating that “OE is all about amazing people serving amazing people, and I look forward to OE’s continued growth.”  
Lee Lane reminded those in attendance how much their support has mattered to the participants of OE and read a letter from Congressman Visclosky, who was unable to attend, “It is my hope that the addition of this building will complement the outstanding services for which Opportunity Enterprises is well known, and that its programs will improve the quality of life for all those who seek these services.”
Rex Richards concluded the short ceremony with the words, “OE is a large part of what makes Valparaiso one of the best cities in the State of Indiana.”
With 157 acres to develop, OE is planning on constructing additional apartment buildings among other possible improvements.  “We will invest in projects that make financial sense for us as an agency and those that serve our mission,” said Stupay. “At the end of the day, that is our most important task: to serve men and women with disabilities.  Every day we are making a difference in their lives, and our Lakeside campus is an instrumental part of that work.”
About OE Lakeside:
The property is 157 acres.  The original building is 13,000 square feet and the new wing is 19,000 square feet.  The apartment building is a two story 8-unit accessible building that now houses 20 individuals.  The property was purchased in 2007, the capital campaign “Build OE Lakeside” was launched in 2010, the groundbreaking for the new wing and apartment buildings took place in August of 2012, residents began moving into the apartments in March of 2013 and programming began moving into the new wing of the day services facility in September of 2013.  
 For more information, visit

Read more: OE Ribbon Cutting at Lakeside Property


Don't Drive Through Flood Waters

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Indiana State Police logo
Rain and the possibility of thunderstorms are in the forecast for tonight in northwest Indiana through tomorrow and some heavy rainfall could be associated, which means flooding could occur. Indiana State Police remind you to never cross or enter flowing water and driving through standing water may effect your brakes. If you find yourself stranded in flood waters, remain calm and call 9-1-1, and if you can do so, safely move to higher ground.
The Indiana State Police offers a few flood safety tips.
• Don’t travel unless absolutely necessary. If you have to travel carry a cell phone with a car charger.
• Purchase a weather scanner and heed all flood and flash flood warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
• Do not drive around barricades at water crossings.
• Be especially vigilant at night. Many drowning deaths occur at night when it is difficult to see water crossings.
• Do not cross or enter flowing water. Driving fast through high water on the road is not a solution. Faster speeds create less tire contact with the road surface and increase your chance of crashing.
• Driving through standing water may affect your brakes. Test your brakes at low speeds as soon as you exit the water.
• If you choose to abandon your vehicle, respect the force of the water flow, you may be swept off your feet. After you exit the vehicle seek higher ground.
• Be aware that road erosion may occur when there is running or standing water.
• Remember that six inches of water will reach the bottoms of most car doors. One foot of water will float many vehicles, and two feet of moving water can carry away most vehicles.
If you find yourself stranded in flood waters remain calm and call 911. If you can do so safely move to higher ground....

Read more: Don't Drive Through Flood Waters


Safety Guidelines for a Safe Halloween

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(Photos Courtesy of Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller)
Police in Hammond are offering some tips to keep your children safe this Halloween. Police Chief Brian Miller says children should always trick or treat in groups and that it is mandatory young children have an adult with them. Chief Miller says never go up to a house that is not lit up and to stay in neighborhoods that are familiar. As for checking candy, Chief Miller says in his 22 years of law enforcement, he has never investigated a case of candy tampering, but it never hurts to check. Children should also be highly-visible, especially in low-light conditions, and reminds parents you can add reflective strips to back of any child's costume or bags as an extra safety measure. Chief Miller says extra patrols will be on duty and the city's streets and sanitation workers will be traveling Hammond with their emergency lights on. Trick or Treat hours in Hammond are from 5 to 7pm.
Fall 2013 ...

Read more: Safety Guidelines for a Safe Halloween


Fall Harvest Festival in Gary

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City of Gary
Children and their parents are invited to Brunswick Park in Gary tomorrow for the Fall Harvest Festival. Gary officials report the event takes place from 4 to 6pm. There will be hayrides (weather permitting), games and activities, where children will learn about recycling, fire safety, going green, dental health and much more. Music, snacks, books and treat bags will also be available. For more information contact the City of Gary at (219) 881-1314. ...

Read more: Fall Harvest Festival in Gary


Victims Identified in Fatal Two-Vehicle Crash

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Portage Police say, at this time, they do not know why the driver of a gray Nissan Altima, which was being pursued by an officer, did not stop when a traffic stop was being initiated early this morning, which led to that vehicle ultimately crossing over to the southbound lane of Willowcreek Road, just north of US 6, resulting in a violent, firery crash that killed the driver, 40 year old Simon Moffat, and a passenger in the other vehicle, identified as 33 year old Karina Gonzalez, both of Portage. Authorities report the officer observed the suspect vehicle, just before 3am, drive off from the McDonald's drive through window on US 6, at a high rate of speed, and was advised by employees that Moffat was allegedly acting strange, possibly intoxicated. The driver of the second-vehicle, who was airlifted to a South Bend hospital has been identified as Rogelio Gonzalez and his condition is unknown at last check. Willowcreek Road was shut down in that area for several hours due to the crash and an investigation continues....

Read more: Victims Identified in Fatal Two-Vehicle Crash


Portage FD Passing Out Glow Sticks for Trick or Treaters

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Portage Fire Dept. 2
The Portage Fire Department's marked ambulances and engines will be out in the neighborhoods during trick or treat hours tomorrow passing out over three-thousand glow sticks. Fire officials say they are doing it in an effort to keep children safe and visible to motorists. The glow sticks were purchased through donations made from IAFF Firefighters Local 31-51 and Porter Regional Hospital. Halloween trick or treat hours in Portage tomorrow are 5:30pm to 7:30pm....

Read more: Portage FD Passing Out Glow Sticks for Trick or Treaters


Teachers in Hammond Settle Contract

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Teachers in Hammond have a new contract and a three-point-five percent salary increase. The contract, which was approved by the school board earlier this month, was passed by a vote of 632 to 11. The Times reports the contract also reflects a 39-point-four percent increase in the insurance rates, prompting higher insurance premiums. According to the article, of the district's 925 teachers, only 14 will not receive the pay raise....

Read more: Teachers in Hammond Settle Contract


Police Investigating Report of Indecent Exposure

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Hammond PD
Police in Hammond are seeking information regarding a heavyset man who reportedly exposed himself to two teenage girls who were walking home from school on Tuesday. Authorities report the first incident allegedly occurred in the 77-hundred block of Birch Drive, while the other happened in the 74-hundred block of White Oak Avenue. Police report the man in question was reportedly driving a dark SUV with tinted windows....

Read more: Police Investigating Report of Indecent Exposure


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