Westville Corrections Officer Arrest for Trafficking

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A Westville Corrections officer was arrested on Monday after a search of her personal property and subsequent search of her vehicle for allegedly trafficking to prisoners. Prison officials report 51 year old Mary Martin, of Michigan City, was charged with official misconduct and trafficking, but have not released what was being trafficked, other than saying the item was not an illegal substance....

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Interstate 65 Reopens After Fatal Crash

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Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say all lanes of northbound Interstate 65 at mile marker 214 are open again with traffic moving slowly through the area.  The interstate was closed earlier near Rensselaer due to a fatal crash.  No other information was available at this time....

Read more: Interstate 65 Reopens After Fatal Crash


Court Cases Many, Jury Verdicts Few

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New statistics out this week show about 13-hundred cases, out of one-point-six-million new ones filed in Indiana trial courts last year, were decided by a jury in 2012.  Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice and Hobart-native Brent Dickson voiced concern, saying it means fewer people are being exposed to how the judicial system works. The 2012 Indiana Judicial Service and Probation Report also showed more than 300-thousand cases involved people going to court last year without an attorney.
News Release:  1.6 million new cases were filed in Indiana trial courts in 2012.  The information is available in a collection of reports just released.  The reports include the 2012 Indiana Judicial Service Report and Probation Report, Supreme Court Annual Report, and a new website with comparative data.  For the links, click here:

Chief Justice Brent E. Dickson pointed to the accessibility of the reports, “There are multiple volumes with more than 1800 pages of information.  We have printed a limited number of hard copies and made all of the information available on our website.”
The reports provide details about court operations at the county and appellate level.  The following is just some of the information available (calendar year 2012, unless otherwise noted).
  • 1.6 million new cases were filed in Indiana trial courts
  • The Supreme Court was asked to review 1012 cases (fiscal year 2012-2013)
  • 1,338 civil and criminal jury trials were held statewide
  • 307,612 cases statewide included an individual who went to court without a lawyer
  • 235 murder cases were filed in trial courts
  • 33,876 mortgage foreclosures were filed in the state
  • 11,325 Child In Need of Services (CHINS) cases were filed
  • 13,077 cases included children served by the GAL/CASA program
  • An interpreter was used in 11,564 trial court cases
  • 5,900 cases statewide were referred to Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • 124,322 adults were under supervision by court probation departments
  • Cities, towns, townships, counties, and the state spent $386 million to operate the courts
  • Filing fees, court costs, user fees, and fines generated $205 million in revenue
The Indiana Judicial Service Report and Indiana Probation Report are produced annually by the Supreme Court’s Division of State Court Administration.  Executive Director Lilia Judson noted the requirement of the report by Indiana statute (IC 33-24-6-3) and Supreme Court administrative rules.  “We created the first report in 1976 with handwritten charts.  Today, we gather the information electronically and publish it online.  This year, a new website allows users to compare data easily such as caseloads between counties.”
The reports referenced above can be found online including: 2012 Indiana Judicial Service Report and Probation Report [ ], Supreme Court Annual Report [ ], and the website with comparative data [

Read more: Court Cases Many, Jury Verdicts Few


Porter County GIVE Day - On Demand Interviews

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Coming up this Thursday it's Point, Click, Give-- Porter County GIVE Day, a 24 hour event, this year focusing on kids and a variety of organizations that benefit kids. The Stations of Radio One Communication are proud to be a part of this year's GIVE Day in association with the Porter County Community Foundation.  Hear our News On Demand interviews HERE highlighting GIVE Day as we count down to Thursday.  And learn more about GIVE Day and how you can give HERE....

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Hunting Near or With Deer Attractants Illegal in Indiana

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The Department of Natural Resources is reminding Indiana hunters that even though deer attractants found at retail stores can be purchased legally and used in the wild, hunting near them is illegal.
Indiana regulations prohibit the hunting of deer with the use or aid of bait, which is defined as “a food that is transported and placed for consumption, including, but not limited to, piles of corn and apples placed in the field; a prepared solid or liquid that is manufactured and intended for consumption by livestock or wild deer, including, but not limited to, commercial baits and food supplements; salt; or mineral supplements.”
State officials say that includes artificial products marketed under names such as Deer Co-Cain, Buck Jam, Trophy Rock, as well as mineral blocks, salt blocks, and even natural foods such as corn and apples.
“Basically, if you place anything that isn't grown in the area and hunt there, it's illegal,” said Lt. Larry Morrison, outdoor education director for DNR Law Enforcement. “Hunting next to a corn field or from an apple tree is legal, but placing corn or apples under your tree stand would put you in conflict with current Indiana law.”
An area is considered baited for 10 days after the product and the affected soil is removed from an area.  The Indiana DNR says odor differs from bait. Cover scents or scent attractants are legal to use when hunting.
Archery season currently is underway in Indiana and continues through Jan. 5, 2014. The urban zone segment in designated areas continues through Jan. 31, 2014.
Indiana’s deer firearms hunting season begins Nov. 16 and ends Dec. 1, followed by the muzzleloader season (Dec. 7-22) and the special antlerless season (Dec. 26-Jan. 5, 2014).
A violation of Indiana’s no baiting regulation is a Class C misdemeanor....

Read more: Hunting Near or With Deer Attractants Illegal in Indiana


Fans Bear the Night Air, Pack the Park for Tailgate

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valpo tailgate
Hundreds of football fans enjoyed a relatively mild November night in the Region to watch Monday night's Bears-Packers game outdoors. The Great Downtown Tailgate at Central Park Plaza in Valparaiso hosted by Valparaiso Community Festivals and Events featured tailgating, refreshments sold on site to benefit high school and pop warner, and a giant screen showing a live broadcast of last night's matchup... it was Chicago over Green Bay, 27-20... Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a shoulder injury in the game, but the team won't have an official injury diagnosis until Tuesday.   [Photo/Valparaiso Community Festivals and Events]


Read more: Fans Bear the Night Air, Pack the Park for Tailgate


Not Election Day in Indiana for Most Hoosiers

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Today is General Election Day for a number of states, but in Indiana, it's an off-year, and the only voters going to the ballot box in the Hoosier state are casting votes in a handful of local referenda. One of those is in northwest Indiana, for Michigan City Area Schools, a district in La Porte County that also includes two precincts in Pine Township in far northeast Porter County. School officials say the referendum is asking voters for a property tax increase to keep from possibly having to close schools and lay off teachers. Indiana voters return to the polls May 6, 2014, for primaries. Next year's midterm elections include all US Representatives, all Indiana State Representatives, half of Indiana's State Senators, Indiana Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and State Auditor....

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219: Duneland Y Dancing Like The Stars

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The Duneland Y is hosting their annual Dancing Like the Stars Fundraiser this weekend to raise much needed funds for their Family Assistance Program. If you love the TV show, you'll wanna come watch eight local community leaders battle it out on the dancefloor! To purchase tickets or vote for your favorite contestant contact the Duneland Y in Chesterton at 219.926.4204. Be sure to listen to Annie's full interview at News Audio On Demand here on our website....

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Boy Scouts Recognized by Lowell Town Council

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Boy Scout Troop 697 was recognized by the Lowell Town Council for their recent efforts toward beautifying the south Lake County community. Town Council President Edgar Corns says the MS4, or Stormwater Coordinator for Lowell, Greg White, his son is in the Boy Scouts, and the group recently cleaned up a drainage ditch.  "It was really littered," Corns told the Region News Team, "and it took a lot of work. You know, car tires and oil cans and just every kind of thing that you could think of."  Corns says the ditch is behind the Lowell Library, in between houses and the Lowell Cemetery.  The town council presented the troop with a certificate of appreciation at the most recent council meeting. ...

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Police Investigate Homicide at Piatak Meats

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Police in Northwest Indiana continue to investigate a shooting death and attempted burglary discovered at Piatak Meats near 61st and Broadway Monday morning. Authorities have identified the victim as 27-year-old Andrew Fugate of Hobart, son of the proprietor. Police say Fugate arrived at the business at 4 am to to do prep work before opening the store.
Detective Robert Byrd, spokesman for the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force, speaks at a news conference Monday regarding the homicide at Piatak Meats
At last word, police said they had no suspects in custody and the investigation was ongoing.  Police say nothing was taken from the business, but physical evidence at the scene indicates an attempted burglary. Detective Robert Byrd, spokesman for the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force, says a previous burglary attempt occurred at the business this past June, in which an alarm sounded, but in this case, since an employee was on site, the alarm did not sound. Anyone with information is asked to call Merrillville Police at 219-769-3531.  [Photos/Karl Berner, Radio One Communications]...

Read more: Police Investigate Homicide at Piatak Meats


Expansion at Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer

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dyer hospital
Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation project over the next year expanding its emergency, surgical and laboratory departments.
 “The goal of the project is to expand a comprehensive emergency center of excellence. We will remodel and expand the current surgical space, remodel and improve the surgical preadmission space and expand and improve the central sterile processing department for surgery, as well as improve the main corridor and flow to the Emergency Department on the main level,” John Mentgen, hospital executive vice president and chief operating officer said, adding, “The new design will be targeted at meeting the ever-growing population in south Lake County and to help achieve our continual growth in the emergency services and surgical services areas.”  
Work began in late October and is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2014.  For the Emergency Department the project includes:
     * A 3,500-square-foot addition.
     * Renovating existing space and optimizing patient care areas.
     * Designing new, specialized patient exam rooms.
     * Adding a five-bed observation unit.
     * Creating results-waiting triage space to make visits quicker.
     * A new state-of-the-art trauma room that will double the size of the current facility.
     * Addition of a private, behavioral health suite.
     * A new isolation room for infectious patients.

Current operations will not be affected while the work is taking place, Dan Ratko, hospital project manager of construction, said.  “The project will be done in phases – everything will remain open while it is being completed,” he said, adding the result will optimize capabilities and offer patients the best possible care.  The department also will receive new monitors and an improved nurses’ station that will provide visibility of all exam rooms. A new nurse call and tracking system and staff assistance tags will help patients better communicate with caregivers, Ratko said.
Surgery department improvements will include a new, 760-square-foot advanced surgical suite, new preadmission testing space, expanding the sterilization process for surgical instruments and physician locker room upgrades, Marla Hoyer-Lareau, hospital chief nursing officer and vice president of patient services, said....

Read more: Expansion at Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer


Parental Involvement Helps Kids do Better in School

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Bill Stanczykiecz
Despite educational reform, the reassessment of schools and teachers and the increased popularity of charter schools and vouchers, research continues to indicate that high levels of parental involvement lead to high levels of academic achievement. 

Bill Stanczykiewicz president and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute says parents need to be active on two fronts when it comes to their child advancing in school.  Stanczykiewicz says parents or guardians need to be active at both the school by "going to parent teacher conferences and other school activities as well as checking in at home checking in on the homework, asking how the school day went, asking about school activities, what they're doing in school tomorrow" and other things like that.
Stanczykiewicz says, "We need to make sure parents know they're uniquely responsible and uniquely influential in the lives of their kids and it is up to them (parents) to be proactive in the schooling of their children." 
He adds that there on some steps schools can take to be even more inviting " so that those parents do take advantage of all the opportunities and help that are available to their kids in that school from talented educators."
You can discover more about parental involvement, November's topic of the Indiana Youth Institute by visiting:

(photo:  Bill Stanczykiewicz president and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute visit the Region News Team Studios last month)...

Read more: Parental Involvement Helps Kids do Better in School


Chicago Blackhawks Honored at the White House

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Five-time Stanley Cup champions ... the Chicago Blackhawks ... were at the White House today . President Obama says he's proud to have welcomed the hockey players twice since he's been in office ... and put a shout out to his other hometown teams saying he is term-limited, so to the Bulls, Bears, Cubs, White Sox, get a move on it.
The Chicago Blackhawks spent Monday morning visiting with wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center....

Read more: Chicago Blackhawks Honored at the White House


Pence Proclaims November Adoption Month

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Gov Mike Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence today issued a proclamation declaring the month of November as “Adoption Month” in the Hoosier state. Governor Pence says, “With increased awareness for adoption opportunities in Indiana, we strive to achieve permanent placement and successful adoption for Hoosier children, helping them to grow and develop to their full potential in a safe and loving environment.”
Currently, the Indiana Department of Child Services is actively recruiting adoptive families for nearly 100 children, and more than 100-thousand children in the U-S foster care system are waiting to be adopted. The proclamation coincides with an Information and Awareness Adoption Fair that Governor Pence will help to kick off Wednesday afternoon at the Indiana Statehouse...

Read more: Pence Proclaims November Adoption Month


Senator Coats' Staff Holding Office Hours in Rensselaer

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Senator Dan Coats
US Indiana Dan Coats' staff will be in Jasper County this Thursday afternoon to meet with local residents and assist them with any problems they maybe having with a federal agency. If interested feel free to stop by from 1pm to 3pm at the Rensselaer Public Library, located in the two-hundred block of West Susan Street in Rensselaer. ...

Read more: Senator Coats' Staff Holding Office Hours in Rensselaer


Quarry Blast Rattles West Suburban Chicago

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Residents in West suburban Chicago got an unexpected rattle this afternoon. ABC News says initial reports from the US Geological Survey show a 3.7 magnitude earthquake centered 20 miles southeast of Chicago....but the agency retracted that, saying it was the result of a quarry blast. Witnesses say the rumbling lasted about five seconds. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries....

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LaPorte Police Seek Help in Located Wanted Man

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marcus koehn
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Dept)
Police in Laporte are seeking the public's help in located a 28 year old man wanted on warrants issued by LaPorte Superior 3 Court for battery, two-counts of failure to appear for battery and invasion of privacy. LaPorte Police describe Marcus Koehn as a white male, 5'9”, weighing 180 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
If you know his immediate whereabouts, call 911. If you have any other information on Koehn, please contact the La Porte Police Department at 362-9446, or La Porte Metro Operations at 325-9022. You can remain anonymous....

Read more: LaPorte Police Seek Help in Located Wanted Man


Body Found in Burned Out Vehicle in Gary

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Gary PD
Police in Gary investigating another homicide, one-block from where a couple was found stabbed to death Friday afternoon. Gary Police Corp. Gabrielle King says an officer on patrol discovered a burned out vehicle, in the 27-hundred block of Maryland Street, and upon further inspection, found legs sticking out of it. Corp. King says Chief Wage Ingram is going to have the GRIT Federal Task Force make an identification of the body and see if the recent mid-town homicides are related.
A 62 year old man and his 54 year old wife were found stabbed to death inside their home on Friday in the 25-hundred block of Delaware Street. Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to please contact Gary Police. ...

Read more: Body Found in Burned Out Vehicle in Gary


Utility Work to Close Highland Intersection Tuesday

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The Highland Police Department want motorists to know that Garfield Avenue will be closed at Kennedy Avenue from 8a.m.-4p.m., Tuesday, November 5th so NIPSCO can perform utility work. The police department says Kennedy Avenue will not be accessible from Garfield Avenue and that the outside lane of northbound Kennedy Avenue will also be closed at Garfield Avenue.

Read more: Utility Work to Close Highland Intersection Tuesday


Press Conference on Murdered Hobart Man at Piatak

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piatak murder chief Byrd
At a press conference this afternoon the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force Spokesperson Robert Byrd released more information regarding the murder of a Hobart man found at a Merrillville business. Bryd says the victim has been identified as 27 year old Andrew Fugate, of Hobart, whose body was found by Merrillville Police inside a cooler at Piatak Meats. Byrd says Fugate, whose father is part owner of the business, arrived shortly after 4am to begin his daily food preparation duties and died due to a gunshot wound. Byrd says although nothing was taken, evidence suggests a burglary had taken place. A burglary had been previously reported at the business in June. Authorities have obtained some leads but there are no suspects at last check. Anyone with information regarding this homicide is is asked to contact Merrillville Police.
piatak murder site 1 ...

Read more: Press Conference on Murdered Hobart Man at Piatak


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