Police: Infant Left in Sweltering Van

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In Schererville, police say a 34-year-old woman has been charged with felony neglect of a dependent after leaving her one-year-old daughter inside a van when she went into a supermarket in the 15-hundred block of US 41. Officers estimate the temperature inside the van was over one-hundred degrees. The woman reportedly told police she forgot her daughter was in the vehicle. Officers were dispatched to the parking lot after getting a report of an infant unattended in a vehicle.

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Ten Responses to Airport Request

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Ten responses have come in to a request for proposals for a possible public-private partnership with Gary/Chicago International Airport. They include firms and organizations with experience in a range of sectors including aviation, financial and real estate management as well as urban and environmental planning. An ad hoc committee will review, evaluate and recommend proposals to the Airport Authority Board in September.
"We are very pleased with the number of respondents and the breadth of their expertise," said Carrie J. Hightman, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee and executive vice president and chief legal officer of NiSource Inc. "These respondents demonstrate the value that can be unlocked at the airport to create good jobs and sustainable development for Gary and the region."
The deadline for submissions to the RFP [request for proposals] was 5 p.m. (CDT) on Monday August 26, 2013.
In addition to the public-private partnership exploration, major construction at the airport of a $166 million runway extending the main 7,000-foot runway by 1,900 feet continues.
ACO Investment Group, Inc.
Aviation Facilities Company (AFCO)/AvPorts Management LLC - lead
Associated team includes:
Guggenheim Partners
Loop Capital
The Arsh Group Inc.
Financial Network Center, LLC - lead
Associated team includes:
Purify Solutions
Visage 1 LLC
The GCIA Group, LLC - lead
Associated team includes:
NAI Hiffman
Clark Street Development
LCM, Inc.
The Williams Capital Group
Metropolitan Planning Council
MXD Development Strategists - lead
Associated team includes:
KAI Design & Build
Renditions Studio
Rice Financial Products Company
Z-Force Transportation, Inc. - lead
Associated team includes:
Illinois Bulk Carrier, Inc.

Read more: Ten Responses to Airport Request


Challenge of Dealing with Mentally Ill Detainees in Jail

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Cook County Sheriff
Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart today announced a jail detainee, 45 year old Ricardo Diaz, arrested on August 20th for armed robbery, attempted suicide Monday and was found unresponsive by officers at 9am. Sheriff Dart says Diaz was transported immediately to a local hospital, where he remained in critical condition until he was pronounced deceased at 6:15pm Tuesday evening.
Sheriff Dart says the jail is operating at near capacity, with a growing population of mentally ill detainees, many who previously received treatment in shuttered mental health facilities. The Sheriff says while managing the jail's mental health situation presents tremendous challenges to a correctional facility that was never envisioned to operate as a mental health hospital, his office is providing advanced mental health training to correctional officers, including how to identify suicidal detainees.
Sheriff Dart says Mr. Diaz's death marks the fourth suicide of the year at the jail, a rate far below the national jail average.
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Three Day Tribute to Honor Michael Jackson in Gary

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(Photo Courtesy of
(Gary, Ind.) - Fans of Gary native and world famous performer Michael Jackson will have a chance to celebrate this iconic entertainer for three days.
Beginning Aug. 29 at 3:30p.m., a block party will kick-off at 2300 Jackson St. filled with an afternoon of music, live entertainment and food vendors.  Festivities will continue Friday, Aug. 30 at 3:30p.m. with more performances by local Gary talent as well as acts from across the country. The block party on Saturday will begin at 11:30a.m. with music, fun, games and will conclude with a fireworks display at dusk.
At the request of matriarch Katherine Jackson, President of 442 No. Mass. Productions Sandy Christmas has been working with city officials to plan this tribute.
"Mrs. Jackson, in honoring her son, wanted to give back to the city of Gary, Indiana," said Christmas. "The city has been very helpful in identifying local talent and vendors to ensure that this event will be successful."
Jackson will also be presented with an award from representatives of Roosevelt High School at the start of Friday’s festivities.
Some of the vendors include Miller Pizza, Glen Park Shrimp, Big Daddy's Barbeque, Jamba Juice along with several others. There will also be a DJ on-site each day playing MJ tunes in between the performances.
"We are honored that Mrs. Jackson is hosting such a celebratory affair for Gary's most famous native son," said Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. "Fans from near and far are invited to come out and have a great time.  It's a perfect way to kick-off your long weekend."
For a more information about the line-up of performers, visit
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Gary Mayor Reflects on March On Washington Anniversary

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mlk monument
“Today, we commemorate the March on Washington, an event symbolic of a movement that changed this country and the entire world.  As I reflect on this day in history and Dr. Martin King Jr.'s key role in this march, movement and the transformation of our country, I am moved by how far we have come, but concerned about how many more miles we have to travel.  I hope we all use this day to challenge ourselves to do our part to right the wrongs that still exist.  The overwhelming majority of right-thinking people understand that the continued disparities in education, health, housing, and employment prevent the objectives sought by marchers 50 years ago from becoming a reality and overshadow the progress of those of us who have benefited greatly from their sacrifice.  I am eternally grateful for the ability to stand on the shoulders of trailblazers like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Mayor Richard Gordon Hatcher and others and clearly understand my obligation to create a path for other whenever and wherever I can.  Gary, Indiana is very blessed to occupy a place in the history of our country and the movement towards equality and change in this country.” – Karen Freeman-Wilson.
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Lansing PD Seek Help to ID Bank Robbery Suspects

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lansing bank suspect 2
(Photos Courtesy of the Lansing Police Department)
lansing bank suspect 1
An investigation continues into an armed bank robbery in Lansing, Illinois Tuesday. The Lansing Police Department reports at approximately 1pm, officers were dispatched to US Bank, at 17150 Torrence Avenue, and learned three masked offenders entered the bank, wearing hooded sweatshirts, one of which was armed with a handgun, and demanded money. Police say the suspects then fled with an undisclosed amount of money. Two bank employees suffered minor injuries and were taken to a local hospital for treatment. US Bank is currently offering a ten-thousand dollar reward for information that leads to the arrest of the suspects.  Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact the FBI Chicago Field Office at (312) 421-6700 or the Lansing Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at (708) 895-7150.
lansing bank suspect 3
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Donnelly Thanks Home Depot for Supporting Veterans

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Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly visited the Merrillville Home Depot today, as part of his “Serving Those Who Serve” Defense Jobs tour, which highlights industries and companies throughout the state that assist veterans and troops overseas. Donnelly says Home Depot employs a significant number of veterans and helps to supplement the income of active duty service members on-call, along with programs to help the National Guard, and another called “Team Depot” which helps with veterans homes. The senator is scheduled to be back on the road again tomorrow and plans on visiting VA facilities.
donnelly at home depot 2
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Pence Speaks at GNIAR Trade Expo Meeting

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 Indiana Governor Mike Pence wrapped up his visit in the Region today, speaking on the economic forecast and giving his take on the real estate market during the annual Trade Expo Meeting of the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors. Governor Pence commented on Region home sales showed their best performance since 2007, with single family home sales up around 25-percent in June of 2013. The Governor also highlighted his work to lower taxes, noting the passing of tax relief of more than 440 million dollars annually, lowering the personal income tax permanently, by five-percent across the board, and ending the death tax in Indiana.
gov at GNIAR meeting 2
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Two Separate Robbery Incidents by Masked Men in Gary

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Gary PD
Police in Gary are investigating two separate incidents where a masked man was involved in a robbery. Police report a black male, wearing a mask and a hoodie, entered a store in the 500 block of West 5th Avenue, at 6:50pm Tuesday, and announced a robbery, taking an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing. Then at 7:05pm, in the parking lot of a store in the 21-hundred block of Virginia Street, a woman sitting in her car was approached by a masked man who demanded money from her purse. Police say the woman told the suspect she had no money, so he reportedly took her cell phone and fled. Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to contact Gary Police.
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Aggressive Dog Escapes Porter Co Animal Shelter

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porter co sheriff dept
Porter County Sheriff's Police are reporting a dog on the lamb. The Sheriff's Office says a German short-haired Pointer, with a black, white and brown coat, and a brown head, escaped from the Porter County Animal Shelter at approximately 2:30pm Tuesday. Authorities report the dog is considered to be aggressive and should not be approached. The dog was last seen in the area near the Essex Park subdivision, west of the shelter. Anyone who comes across this dog is asked to contact either the Sheriff's office or Animal Control.
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IL Woman Robbed in Gary Responding to Craig's List Ad

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Gary PD
Gary Police are advising those purchasing items off Craig's List to make the exchange in a public place after an Illinois woman was robbed in Gary Tuesday evening. Gary Police Corp. Gabrielle King says in the last week, there have been four incidents like this, all at the same location, in the 500 block of Lake Street, where someone has been robbed answering an ad to purchase an electronic device like an iPhone or an iPad. Corp. King says make these transactions in a public place, so other people can see you, and remember, if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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Governor Honors Mt Baldy Rescuers

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gov at mc
A very special ceremony in Michigan City today, as Indiana Governor Mike Pence honored those who helped rescue a six-year-old boy trapped for more than three hours in a northwest Indiana sand dune last month. Our Karl Berner was there -- you can hear his report at News Audio on Demand here at our website.
[Photo/Karl Berner]

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Gary Program to Remember MLK Speech

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Today in Gary, Miller Beach Arts and Creative District presents a free program open to the public, “The Dream Continues: Remembering Martin Luther King's “I Have a Dream” Speech 50 Years Later,” 1 pm, at Marshall J. Gardner Center.  This afternoon President Obama will speak at the same spot [1:45pm CT] where Martin Luther King declared he had a dream in 1963. The President calls the I Have a Dream speech one of the five greatest in American history. Huge crowds have gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial - to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. At the end of his speech, church bells will ring out all around Washington and in other cities as well----the theme today - let freedom ring.

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Governor at Purdue North Central

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gov at pnc
Indiana Governor Mike Pence was in Westville this morning to tour and lead an education roundtable at Purdue University North Central.  Later, Governor Pence will honor Hoosier heroes who assisted in rescuing 6-year-old Nathan Woessner of Sterling, Illinois, from a hole that opened up at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Mount Baldy dune in Michigan City, trapping the boy under eleven feet of sand for more than three hours on July 12. This afternoon the Governor is scheduled to offer remarks at the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors Annual Meeting in Merrillville. 
[Photo/Governor's Office]

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Safety App for Worksite Heat

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The Indiana Department of Labor is letting Hoosier employers and employees know about a new tool to help assess worksite heat safety. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration smartphone app is free and available for both Android and iPhones. State officials say in 2011, 61 workers died nationally from heat-related injuries and illnesses, and that same year, Indiana workers experienced 100 cases of non-fatal injuries and illnesses related to heat exposure.

Read more: Safety App for Worksite Heat


Portage Man Dies on Interstate

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Officials say a Northwest Indiana man died on Interstate 94 early this morning. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says his office was dispatched to mile marker 20, about a mile east of the Portage exit, just before 4 am. Harris says the man died of blunt force trauma; manner of death has not yet been ruled.  Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say a preliminary investigation revealed that 44-year-old Mark Sulich of Portage parked his car on the outer shoulder for unknown reasons. Troopers say the semi driver noticed the Honda parked on the shoulder, looked to change lanes from the right to the middle lane, and as he looked back Sulich entered into the right lane for unknown reasons and was struck. Harris says according to eyewitneses there were no flashers or warning devices activated on Sulich's car.  The driver of the semi, a 37-year-old Avilla, Indiana, man was not injured. He was hauling approximately 36-thousand pounds of milk and juice. No load was lost. Troopers say the semi driver was cited for log book not being current.  Indiana State Police say the right lane was closed for reconstruction and investigation of the crash, removal of the deceased and car. The right lane was reopened at 7:45 am.

Read more: Portage Man Dies on Interstate


Fire at Portage Restaurant

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The Portage Fire Department says a fire at Santini's Pepper Pot Pizza in the 32-hundred block of Willowcreek was struck quickly this morning. At about 4 am, a Portage Police officer noticed smoke in the area of Lute and Willowcreek Roads, then discovered a large amount of smoke coming from vents at the restaurant. Officials say the restaurant is currently closed due to extensive fire and smoke damage, but all other businesses in the strip mall will be able to remain open. South Haven Fire assisted at the scene. Cause is still under investigation.
Upon arrival, Portage Fire found heavy smoke in the restaurant and light smoke in the Kwik-Mart adjacent to the restaurant in the same building. Fire crews forced entry into the restaurant and found intense heat and smoke in the kitchen area. Officials say the fire was contained to the restaurant. Light smoke was removed from the Kwik-Mart to the west and Hair Express to the east, fire officials say, and no fire extension or damage was found in the adjoining businesses.
A first alarm was struck. Ogden Dunes, Burns Harbor, and Union Fire covered Portage Stations and South Haven Fire assisted at the scene. Fire investigators remained on the scene as of this morning.
[Photo/Portage FD]

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Three Injured in Crash

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Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say failure to merge resulted in a single-vehicle crash on eastbound I-94 just east of the Burns Harbor exit early Tuesday afternoon that sent the 16-year-old driver from Grand Rapids, Michigan, her sister and her mother to the hospital, all with non life-threatening injuries. Troopers say a preliminary investigation revealed the teen was coming up to the end of a lane closure in a construction zone when she tried to get the middle lane, then had to swerve to avoid a semi, and struck a construction barrel and the concrete median barrier wall.

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Fatality on I-94

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Indiana State Police have been at the scene of an accident involving a fatality on westbound Interstate 94 in Portage this morning. It happened around 4 am near State Road 249.

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Ambulance Patients Warned of Data Theft

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Officials say as many as 860 people who used Valparaiso's ambulance service early last year may have had personal information stolen and letters have gone out alerting them. A statement from the city says there's no evidence any of the city's patients were affected, but the fire department has been notified that a former employee of Advanced Data Processing, the company that handles billing for Valparaiso's ambulance service, has pleaded guilty after being accused of illegally accessing patient data to try to file false federal income tax returns. Officials say those who could be affected used Valparaiso’s ambulance service between January first and June 21st of 2012.

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Laura-WXRD Scott-WXRD Brent-WXRD
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team


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