[Photos from Indiana State Police]
A three-vehicle crash in northwest Indiana overnight claimed the life of a semi driver and sent a Valparaiso man to jail on drunk driving charges. Indiana State Police say a preliminary investigation revealed at about 2 am, a semi driver was on 911 calling in an alleged drunk driver on eastbound I-94 a couple miles west of the Indiana/Michigan state line. Troopers say the semi- driver activated his four-way emergency hazard lights as he was talking to 911. The station wagon was reportedly going on and off the road anywhere from 25 to 60 miles an hour, before stopping in the right lane, where the driver got out and started walking around. The semi stopped behind the suspect car, and the driver got out to talk to the driver of the Audi, and as the semi driver was climbing back into his semi, another semi struck his rig.
Police say 52-year-old Steven Lunn of Olympia Fields was pronounced dead at the scene of massive trauma, and the the suspect driver, identified by Indiana State Police as 47-year-old Howard Gutenstein, was not hurt and had an alleged blood alcohol content of point-13. He was jailed on charges of Operating While Intoxicated causing Death, a Class C Felony and Endangering, a Class A Misdemeanor. Police say the driver of the first semi, 37-year-old George Leeth Sr. of Hammond, was hospitalized with what police say were non-life-threatening injuries. Police say the first semi was hauling perishable food and the second semi, ethanol, but no load was lost from either.
Indiana State Police are investigating an armed robbery early this morning at the BP Gas Station at 1 South Toll Plaza, which is on the eastbound Indiana Toll Road in Portage. A preliminary investigation revealed that at approximately 3:30 a.m., a male subject described as black, 6’ 2”, wearing a gray hoodie, dark jeans, and black tennis shoes, came around the counter inside the gas station and brandished a knife at the attendant. Troopers say the employee received non-life threatening wounds to their forearm, and the suspect took about six-hundred dollars, fleeing on foot to a lot on Plaza Road in Portage, then possibly fleeing in a vehicle. Some evidence was recovered at the scene. Anyone who may have any information about this robbery is asked to call Trooper Ronald Davidson at the Indiana State Police Toll Road at 574-206-2931.
The Kingsbury Ordnance Plant Employment Office in La Porte County is one of the new additions to the latest edition of Indiana Landmarks 10 Most Endangered List. Much of the ammunition fired by the allies in World War Two was manufactured at that plant, and its employment office was created by John Lloyd Wright, inventor of Lincoln Logs and son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The building has been vacant for decades. [Photos provided by Indiana Landmarks]
The prospects of seven places on last year's list improved enough that Indiana Landmarks removed the critical label, including the House of Tomorrow in Beverly Shores, which the group says has a chance at restoration with an agreement in the works between Indiana Landmarks and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
From Indiana Landmarks:
Kingsbury Ordnance Plant Employment Office
“In World War II, the allies fired millions of rounds of ammunition, much of it manufactured in a sprawling compound eight miles south of LaPorte. Built beginning in 1940, the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant employed more than 20,000 people during the war years, nearly half of them women. Every shell filler on the assembly lines passed through the Kingsbury Employment Office created by John Lloyd Wright, inventor of Lincoln Logs and accomplished designer of International-style buildings. The son of Frank Lloyd Wright lived in Long Beach, Indiana, from 1923 to 1946. Vacant for decades, the Employment Office needs a buyer who’ll renovate and use the landmark, appreciating its design and role in our national story.”
Since the first 10 Most Endangered list in 1991, Indiana Landmarks counts 12 losses among 92 historic places in severe jeopardy that have appeared on the list. The 2013 10 Most Endangered list includes seven new entries and three landmarks making repeat appearances.
New on the list:
• Anderson Athletic Park Pool, Anderson
• Bowen House in Delphi, overlooking Deer Creek
• Brookview-Irvington Park Historic District and State Boulevard, Fort Wayne
• Eagle Cotton Mill, Madison
• Flanner House Homes Historic District and Phillips Temple, Indianapolis
• Kingsbury Ordnance Plant Employment Office, Kingsbury
• Walkerton Church, Walkerton
Repeating from 2012 list:
• Harmony Way Bridge, between New Harmony and White County, Illinois
• Old Clarksville Site, Clarksville
• The Pantheon Theatre, Vincennes
The third edition of the Indiana Department of Correction's “Indiana Cold Case Homicides Playing Cards” was released this week and they're being distributed at state prisons and to police across the state. The cards profile 52 unsolved homicides and missing persons cases each featuring information and a photo of the victim. Officials hope the cards may jar an inmate's memory or provide a clue that, when combined with other information, might provide the break investigators need to solve a case. The latest edition includes seven homicide cases out of Northwest Indiana, two from Lake County, one from La Porte County, and four cases in Newton County that include three people yet to be identified. You can view the cards online at this link: http://www.in.gov/idoc/3280.htm
(Photo Courtesy of Portage Township Parks)
Ninety-five volunteers participated in the Portage Township Team Up 2 Clean Up event on Saturday, April 20th. “We had returning groups, new groups, and community residents participate in this year’s event” stated Joy Lundstrom, Superintendent of Portage Township Parks, “its heart-warming to see the commitment and pride all these groups have for their neighborhood parks”.
Returning volunteer groups included Brownies Troop #30003, Boy Scout Pack #487, South Haven Boys & Girls Club, Portage High School JROTC, and employees from Bounce N Around. New volunteer groups represented were managers and employees from area Starbucks stores, St. Peter Lutheran Church Youth Group and their parents, and local community residents like Melody Palmer and friends.
Projects took place at Haven Hollow and Field of Dreams Parks in South Haven, as well as, the South Haven Volunteer Fire Department.
South Haven Boys & Girls Club members expanded the tree nursery they created last year with seedlings from Indiana DNR’s Tree program. The Starbucks crew assisted with the project which included staking new rows, planting, and mulching seedlings. Brownies Troop #30003 spruced up their four flower boxes at Field of Dreams Park and placed recycle bins at the park. The Portage High School JROTC picked up debris and fallen limbs at Field of Dreams Park, raked and leveled-out fiber mulch under playground equipment at Haven Hollow Park and gathered over 30lbs of recycle trash. (Photo attached).
St. Peter’s Youth group tidied the grounds at the South Haven Fire Department, toured the facility and mopped the fire house bay where fire trucks are parked. Boy Scout Pack # 487 donated four rain barrels to the Portage Township Parks Department that they received from donations from Indiana American Water Company and Recycle & Waste Reduction District of Porter County.
“This is an amazing example displaying how the good works of a few groups can have such a positive impact in our Township Parks and our community”, stated Brendan Clancy, Portage Township Trustee, "we are very grateful for everyone’s participation and support”.
To learn more about these projects, the Portage Township Department of Parks and Recreation or how you can be involved, contact Portage Township Parks Department at 219.762.1623 x31.
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(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 27 year old Michigan City man today had 50 years added to his prison sentence. The Times reports last month, Aaron Windom plead guilty to murder in the shooting death of a 17 year old Gary man that took place in February of 2011. Published reports say Windom is already serving a 20 year sentence for a shooting incident that reportedly took place two days prior to that incident, and a judge has ordered the sentences be served consecutively.
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STATEHOUSE (April 24, 2013) — A bill authored by State Sen. Vaneta Becker (R-Evansville) to improve health-care access for Indiana’s rural residents gained final legislative approval today.
Senate Bill 554 would require the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning to reimburse health-care providers for telehealth and telemedicine services offered to Medicaid recipients. Telehealth and telemedicine services use telecommunications and information technology to provide remote access to health assessment, diagnosis and information. Becker lauded the legwork from both houses in the bill’s final legislative passage.
“I appreciate the hard work and support that has gone into this bill, from both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Providing health care to rural residents through telehealth and telemedicine services enhances both the quality and availability of medical care,” Becker said. “This bill is a common-sense measure that enables medical providers to utilize new technology to increase overall health-care access for Indiana residents.”
SB 554 now heads to the governor to be signed into law.
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Gary Police are investigating a stabbing incident Monday afternoon in the 54 hundred block of West 25th Avenue. Lt. Del Stout says a 21 year old employee of the Cricket store sustained deep cuts on his face, cheeks, both legs, and to his left arm, after a suspect, wearing blue hat with a dark hood pulled over it, pulled a knife, and demanded “everything.” Lt. Stout says the incident occurred around 2:30pm Monday, and the suspect, who had acted like he was going to buy a phone prior to the stabbing, fled the scene on foot. Police say they are checking to see if this incident is related to a similar incident on April 18th at an adult bookstore, also located in the 54 hundred block of West 25th Avenue. Anyone with information is ask to contact the Gary Police Department.
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Flood warnings continue for the Kankakee River affecting parts of the region with minor to moderate flooding. The National Weather Service reports the Kankakee River at Dunns Bridge was over two-feet above flood stage as of this morning, with the river there expected to change little in the next 24 hours causing secondary roads near the river to flood. Near Kouts, the river was almost two-feet above flood stage as of 9am this morning, and will continue to rise to near 13 feet by tomorrow morning, which could cause some county roads in that area to begin to be affected by high water. The river at Shelby is expected to rise just over 12-feet by early tomorrow, three-feet above flood stage, bring the river closer to spilling over part of U.S. 41.
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Expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications and over-the-counter solid dosage medications such as tablets and capsules will be accepted. Drop-off locations across the state will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
"National Drug Take-Back Day gives consumers an opportunity to clean out their medicine cabinets of old or unwanted prescription drugs and dispose of them safely,” Zoeller said. “This effort is especially important if you have children in your home that can access these drugs and potentially misuse or abuse them.”
Zoeller said residents need to be aware of the proper way to dispose of unwanted medicines and not flush them down the toilet or throw them away – which can pose possible safety and health risks.
“Prescription drug abuse continues to be a significant problem. Last year again, more people died from prescription drug abuse than from automobile accidents,” said Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Dennis Wichern, who’s responsible for DEA’s operations in Indiana. “The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day campaign is an important first step in keeping prescription drugs out of the hands of those who may misuse them, as well as helping to raise the public’s awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.”
In the five previous take-back events, DEA in conjunction with state, local and tribal law enforcement partners collected more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medications.
Consumers can find a location by visiting www.dea.gov or by calling 1.800.882.9539. Intravenous solutions, needles and illicit substances like marijuana or methamphetamines will not be accepted.
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The Griffith Police Department in conjunction with the Alsip Illinois Police Department served a search warrant at a residence in Alsip. and a subject was taken into custody for questioning in the kidnapping and murder of Griffith businesswoman Mary Austgen. Investigators say they are continuing to follow up on all other leads and other possible suspects. No further information is available at this time and no charges have been filed. Griffith and Gary Police are investigating, together with the FBI, ATF, and Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force. Earlier this week police announced a $10,000 reward was being offered as authorities were seeking tips in identifying a suspect or suspects in the kidnapping and murder of Austgen, who was found at a parking garage at the Majestic Star Casino in Gary with a fatal gunshot wound shortly after 2 am on March 29th.
- Job Fairs, Opportunities in Gary
- Valpo Police Investigate Scam
- Lucky Ticket for Lake County Man
- Silver Alert Canceled
- Man Sentenced for Lk Station Shooting
- The State of Pollution in the Region
- Pet Food Recall Expanded
- Runaway Horse Stops Borman
- Local Student in White House Science Fair
- Two Merrillville Schools Recognized by COSEBOC
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