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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

 

RailCats Release 2014 Season Schedule

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The Gary South Shore RailCats have released their upcoming schedule for the 2014 season. The team will begin the defense of their 2013 American Association title on the road with a Thursday, May 15th game against the St. Paul Saints. The 2014 home opener at the US Steel Yard will take place on Thursday, May 22nd, verses the Wichita Wingnuts, last season's championship series opponent. A pre-game ring ceremony is also planned for the home opener.
In the coming months, the RailCats will unveil a full schedule of promotions, theme nights and giveaways for the 2014 season. Fans are encouraged to keep up with the RailCats online at www.railcatsbaseball.com, as well as on their Facebook and twitter pages.

2014 Schedule
May
15-18 @ St. Paul Saints
19-20 @ Sioux Falls Canaries 22-25 vs. Wichita Wingnuts
26-28 vs. Kansas City T-Bones
30-31 @ Wichita Wingnuts

June
1 @ Wichita Wingnuts
2-5 @ Sioux City Explorers
6-8 vs. Sioux Falls Canaries
9-11 vs. Sioux City Explorers
13-15 @ Lincoln Saltdogs
16-18 @ Grand Prairie AirHogs
20-22 vs. Lincoln Saltdogs
23-26 vs. Sioux Falls Canaries 27-29 @ Kansas City T-Bones
30 @ Sioux Falls Canaries

July
1-3 @ Sioux Falls Canaries
4-6 vs. St. Paul Saints
8-10 @ Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
11-13 @ Winnipeg Goldeyes
14-16 vs. Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
18-20 vs. Amarillo Sox
21-24 @ Sioux City Explorers
25-27 vs. Winnipeg Goldeyes
30-31 vs. Kansas City T-Bones

August/September
1-2 vs. Kansas City T-Bones
3-6 vs. Lincoln Saltdogs
7-10 @ Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
11-13 vs. Sioux City Explorers
15-17 @ Kansas City T-Bones
18-20 vs. St. Paul Saints
21-24 vs. Kansas City T-Bones
26-28 @ Sioux City Explorers
29-1 @ Winnipeg Goldeyes...

Read more: RailCats Release 2014 Season Schedule

 

Previously Convicted Felons Carrying Guns Arrested

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stops team bust
(Photo Courtesy of the Hammond Police Department)
It has only been around since August, but since then the STOPS Team, a full-time task force with police officers from East Chicago, Gary, Hammond, Lake County and part-time officers from other Lake County communities, have made a dramatic impact according to Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller.
On Tuesday night, the STOPS Team arrested two previously convicted felons, carrying handguns with extended magazines. Chief Miller says these subjects were affiliated with a criminal gang and they are testing the bullets to see if they match any homicides or shootings. Since its inception, the STOPS Team has confiscated numerous guns and drugs and was responsible for the arrest of the Hessville cell-phone bandits. Chief Miller says the task force was the idea of East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker and that it has created permanent friendships among officers from different departments. The STOPS team works primarily in East Chicago, Gary, Hammond and in the suburbs. ...

Read more: Previously Convicted Felons Carrying Guns Arrested

 

Previous Wanted Person of the Week in Custody

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Kyle Craft
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
A 22 year old man previously listed by the LaPorte Police Department in July as a “Wanted Person of the Week” is now in custody. LaPorte Police report Kyle Craft is currently being detained in the St. Joseph County Jail. Craft had been wanted through LaPorte Circuit Court for revocation of suspended sentence for an original charge of felony sexual misconduct with a minor. ...

Read more: Previous Wanted Person of the Week in Custody

 

Police Seeking Answers After Fatal Crash in Portage

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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, fiery crash that killed the driver, 40 year old Simon Moffat, and a passenger in the other vehicle. 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 Moffat was acting strange, possibly intoxicated. The driver of the second-vehicle, whose name is also unavailable at last check, was airlifted to a South Bend hospital.  Willowcreek Road was shut down in that area for several hours and an investigation continues. ...

Read more: Police Seeking Answers After Fatal Crash in Portage

 

Franklin Street Bridge Inspections to Begin

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The City of Michigan City says the Franklin Street Bascule Bridge over Trail Creek will be inspected for rehabilitation starting Monday, November 4, 2013.  Inspections are scheduled to continue on Tuesday, November 5th and Wednesday, November 6th.  If need be, Thursday, November 7th could be added to the inspection schedule.  Franklin Street at the bridge will be closed on Monday and Tuesday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and motorists are asked to use Center Street and Krueger Avenue as a detour.
On Wednesday and Thursday (if needed), city officials say Franklin Street at the bridge will be open but the bridge will be opened and closed periodically for mechanical inspection, these delays should be no different than what is normal for the passage of a  large boat. Detour signs will be put in place to help guide citizens and visitors to the alternative routes around this affected piece of Franklin Street....

Read more: Franklin Street Bridge Inspections to Begin

 

UPDATE: Two Killed in Portage Crash

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The identity of one of the individuals killed in a motor-vehicle crash in Portage early this morning has been released. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says 40-year-old Simon Moffat was pronounced dead at the scene. Harris says he was in a vehicle police were trying to stop, when his car collided with another car head-on on Willowcreek Road, just north of US 6. Harris says a passenger in the second car, a 33-year-old Portage resident, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the second vehicle was airlifted from the scene to a South Bend hospital. Portage Police Chief Troy Williams will be releasing additional information on the collision later today....

Read more: UPDATE: Two Killed in Portage Crash

 

Two Killed in Portage Crash

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Two people are dead after a motor vehicle accident in Portage early this morning. Authorities say a vehicle police were trying to stop collided with another vehicle on Willowcreek Road at Wonderland Road, just north of US 6. Coroners officials were called to the scene just before 3:30 this morning. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says the 40-year-old driver of the first vehicle, and a passenger in the second car, a 33-year-old Portage resident, were pronounced dead at the scene. Harris says the car police were trying to stop was apparently traveling northbound on Willowcreek Road when it crossed the median and struck the second car head-on.  The driver of the second vehicle was airlifted from the scene to a South Bend hospital.  Names have not yet been released pending notification of family. Portage Police Chief Troy Williams will be releasing additional information later today.  Willowcreek Road was closed between US Route 6 and Lute Road for about four-amd-a-half hours today....

Read more: Two Killed in Portage Crash

 

Region Responders Attend Superstorm Sandy Reunion

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Ice Arena empty
A group of four responders from Indiana, including three from the Region – Lori Postma, a nurse and Emergency Preparedness and Bio-terrorism Coordinator for Franciscan Alliance in Munster; Paige Connelly, Porter County Telecommunications Dispatcher; and Mike Webber, Porter County Emergency Management Agency Assistant Director; returned to Long Beach, New York, Tuesday for a “thank you” celebration marking the one-year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says the group had lunch, watched a video detailing recovery efforts and visited places that have recovered from the storm. Diane Mack, Director of Emergency Management and Continuity, Indiana University, was also on the Indiana team.
That's Postma in the top photo, taken in the past week, in the ice arena that's back open to the public.  The photo below was from last year when the Indiana team arrived in Long Beach, NY, and that arena was packed with donated goods.   The Indiana team helped manage those donations as well as thousands of volunteers in the area.   [Photos provided/Lori Postma, courtesy Indiana Department of Homeland Security]
arena Full
During the event, a letter was read from Governor Mike Pence to the City of Long Beach. It highlighted what an honor it was for Indiana to aid neighbors on the East Coast, and expressed support for the continuing recovery process.
“You couldn’t imagine that you would make that great a difference in just two weeks, but everyone remembered us,” said Postma. “It was emotional for us because we never got to see the end result, but everyone remembered us; we were treated like long lost family returning home.”...

Read more: Region Responders Attend Superstorm Sandy Reunion

 

Fire at Restaurant Confined to Storage Room

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Valparaiso Fire Crews were called out to Broadway Cafe at Sturdy Road and US Route 30 just after 10:30 am Tuesday.  Valparaiso Fire Department Battalion Chief Les Abraham says a fire began in a small storage room where he told the Region News Team paper products were stored too close to the water heater, which caused the paper products to burn, and the sprinkler system activated, which kept the fire under control until firefighters arrived and put it out.   Abraham says fire damage was contained to the storage room, with smoke and water damage to the building.  Abraham says there were patrons at the business at the time the fire was called in and there were no injuries. Abraham also says the fire would keep the restaurant closed until the sprinkler system could be repaired.  [Photo/Radio One Communications]

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Read more: Fire at Restaurant Confined to Storage Room

   

Man Hit by Bus Charged with Obstructing Traffic Earlier

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A report from the Vincennes Police Department says a 36-year-old man struck and killed by country music star Jason Aldean's tour bus was arrested earlier this month for walking on the same road. The bus, which Aldean was on at the time, struck and killed the man on US 41 early Monday, after he reportedly walked into the bus' path.  Authorities say the same man had been taken into custody on October 8 after officers found him walking down the center line of the highway causing cars to swerve. He was charged with obstructing traffic.  He was arrested again for allegedly stealing a bicycle from the Knox County Public Library and charged with theft, a class D felony.
After the accident, Aldean expressed his condolences. "With a heavy heart, I'm sad to say that a man passed away last night after stepping out in front of my bus in Indiana," he tweeted. "In all the years I've been touring and all the miles we've driven, nothing prepares you for something like this to happen. I'm praying for Albert Kennedy's family and friends today and ask that you do the same."   An investigation into the crash and death is ongoing....

Read more: Man Hit by Bus Charged with Obstructing Traffic Earlier

   

Lowell Approves Westward Annexation

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There's more of Lowell on the map. The Town Council this week approved adding 117 acres along and off of Route 2 to the west of town, toward US 41. Town Council President Edgar Corns says it's been a number of years since an annexation that large for the south Lake County community, and it could present opportunities for development in the future. "People question us about the possibility of building or land development," Corns told the Region News Team, " and we have nothing available that's inside the town limits."   The land parcels are currently farmland. ...

Read more: Lowell Approves Westward Annexation

   

Valparaiso Police K-9 Frida Passes Away

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Frida
A sad post on the Valparaiso Police Facebook page today... saying retired K-9 Frida, a 10-year-old Belgian Malinois, lost her battle with cancer Tuesday. Officer Todd Kobitz and Frida worked together on the department for seven years. Frida began her career with the Valparaiso Police Department in 2005, and retired in the Spring of last year, spending her retirement at home with Officer Kobitz and his family.
Toddfrida
The department says Frida’s services resulted in more than three-hundred arrests. Frida was the department's first “full patrol” K-9, which means she was certified in narcotic detection, building searches, area searches, tracking of suspects, article searches and aggression.  [Photos/Valparaiso Police]...

Read more: Valparaiso Police K-9 Frida Passes Away

   

Fall Curbside Leaf Collection Begins in Lowell

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The Town of Lowell's Street Department fall curbside collection of leaves got underway this week.  Following the town’s ward map, crews begin working on the east side of town each Monday and work their way west, reaching the town’s western borders each Friday, with the program scheduled to continue through November 26. Leaves must be raked to the curb and should not be placed in bags, garbage cans or any other containers for collection. Leaves also should not be mixed with branches, dirt, plants, vines or any other debris or yard waste. Town officials also remind residents that leaf equipment cannot be properly maneuvered around parked cars, mailboxes, utility poles and street signs.

...

Read more: Fall Curbside Leaf Collection Begins in Lowell

   

219: Save The Kennnedy Theatre

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The Kennedy Theatre has been the site of first dates, movie premiers, and family fun for generations in Hessville and now they need your help. Owner Chris Benavidez says they need over one-hundred thousand dollars for studio mandated upgrades to keep showing movies in 2014. To help raise the money needed they have started The Save The Kennedy Campaign online and will be hosting a benefit November 2nd at the Hammond FOP Lodge. For more information, listen to today's 219 or our interview online at News Audio On Demand here on our website....

Read more: 219: Save The Kennnedy Theatre

   

Part of Willowcreek Road Closed in Portage

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Traffic-Alert
Police say Willowcreek Road in Portage remains closed at this hour between US Route 6 and Lute Road after an earlier accident.  No details available at this hour....

Read more: Part of Willowcreek Road Closed in Portage

   

Brugos Named to Indiana Urban Forestry Council

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Ann Brugos
(Photo Courtesy of the City of Valparaiso)
The founder and coordinator of the City of Valparaiso's Shade brigade effort, which promotes urban forestry, has been named to the Board of Directors for the Indiana Urban Forestry Council. Ann Brugos will serve on the 15 member board for a three-year term. Brugos (brew-goes) has been responsible for organizing tree-planting efforts, including two recent volunteer events that planted nearly 100 trees in Keystone Commons and the Jessee-Pifer Park area. She has also helped the city to win more than $40,000 in grants that have paid for reforestation efforts and she has led education efforts to help in identifying threats to trees. For information on how to get involved in the Shade Brigade, contact Brugos at Public Works, (219) 462-4612....

Read more: Brugos Named to Indiana Urban Forestry Council

   

Man Charged with Molesting Portage Girl

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daniel garcia
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A Hammond man has been charged with molesting a Portage girl. The Times reports 36 year old Daniel Garcia faces three-counts of child molesting and one-count of dissemination of matter harmful to minors. According to the article, police were informed of the accusation back in mid-June and Garcia is alleged to have molested the girl twice before and reportedly showed her pornographic videos. Garcia denies touching the girl in a sexual manner. ...

Read more: Man Charged with Molesting Portage Girl

   

3rd Quarter Loss for US Steel $1.79 Billion

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On Monday, US Steel reported a third-quarter loss of one-point-seven-nine billion dollars. The loss was lower than Wall Street had expected, and revenue, which fell 11 percent, was below predictions which caused the stock to fall five-point-two percent in after-hours trading following the release of the earnings report. US Steel operations in northwest Indiana are located in East Chicago, Gary and Portage....

Read more: 3rd Quarter Loss for US Steel $1.79 Billion

   

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