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The lawmakers say Grew and Sheldrake will be charged with:
· Evaluating the previous A-F assessment tool;
· Determining its validity;
· Ascertaining the fairness of previous grades given to schools;
· Determining whether manipulations of the system occurred; and
· Making recommendations to the State Board of Education and/or the General Assembly as to what next steps may be appropriate.
“The most important thing we can do moving forward is to have an independent and fair assessment of the A-F school grading process. This will help ensure that everyone, from our schools and teachers to our parents and students, can have their confidence restored in this past year's outcomes,” Sen. Long said. “Bill Sheldrake and John Grew are highly respected policy leaders who should have the confidence of Hoosiers everywhere.”
House Enrolled Act 1427 from the 2013 session required the State Board of Education to revise the A-F metric and to base it on growth and achievement. This revision is to be completed by November 15, 2013.
State regulators are adding an area code to southern Indiana. The 'overlay' will allow existing customers to keep their current numbers. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission says beginning in the second half of next year (2014), new phone numbers in the area may get either the current 812 code or the new 930 code. Prior to this week's announcement, 812 was the only area code in the state untouched since it was established in 1947.
The IURC says area codes for Indiana and the rest of the United States faced few changes from 1947, when they were established, until the 1990s, when cellular phones, fax machines, pagers and other technological advances created a rapid growth in the need for new telephone numbers. During the past 2 decades, “number depletion” has required Indiana and 35 other states to add new area codes. While 2 of Indiana’s original 3 area codes (219 and 317) have needed changes, short-term number conservation efforts have postponed the need for changes to the 812 area code.
Industry forecasts in the early 2000s predicted that the 812 area code would run out of numbers and need some form of long-term numbering relief by 2004. However, the state says they implemented number conservation efforts that delayed that need substantially. While number conservation has delayed the need for changes, industry forecasts now show the 812 area exhausting its supply of numbers in the second quarter of 2015.
Here is direct link to outage map: http://www.nipscooutages.com/WSSNisourceOutageMap/outagemap.html?action=city&reloaded=true
Link to report: http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/documents/20583/1356626/IllianaV6--07-30-2013.pdf/4f71fb90-c416-4d3d-a771-ac819a20626a
The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act signed by the Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn Thursday makes the state the twentieth in the nation to allow the use of medical marijuana. The law, which takes effect January first, is a pilot program that allows the use of marijuana to provide relief toward any of 35 diseases, including cancer, MS and AIDS. Those eligible will be able to purchase up to two and a half ounces of marijuana every two weeks. Sponsor of the legislation Illinois State Representative Lou Lang of Skokie says this law has the toughest standards in the nation, with just 22 growing centers to be licensed by the state.
[Photo/Illinois Office of Communication and Information]
Michigan City, IN – The next stop for Super Boat International is the 5th Annual Super Boat Great Lakes Grand Prix on Lake Michigan in Michigan City, Indiana, August 1-4. The 2012 Grand Prix Event brought in an estimated 100,000 people and nearly 7 million dollars to the community. As reported by the NWI Times, this year should even be better, as last year’s racing action never happened due to high seas. The crowds enjoyed sunny skies and a beautiful day, however the lake had 8-10 foot waves which made it unsafe to race and unsafe for the medical rescue teams. Super Boat teams have been racing hard all season, which started in April, and they are prepared for another exciting race in Michigan City. Along with the teams, the president of Super Boat International, John Carbonell, believes it will be a great event. “Last year was very unfortunate and something no one could have predicted. That was the first race we have had to cancel due to weather in over 500 races. The previous 3 races [4 events] have been fantastic and have been gaining momentum every year. In the event there is a threat of severe weather for Sunday, the decision will be made well in advance to run on Saturday. The LaPorte County team with Jack Arnett and Jason Miller and their entire group of volunteers make this a great event. We are proud to be the show that everyone recognizes as the area’s biggest draw and most rewarding for economic stimulus in surrounding counties.
Teams in the Superboat, Super Stock and SuperVee have been real crowd pleasers this season and that’s not to dismiss the other classes who just rip up the racecourse. The previous race in Sarasota, Florida was flanked by 1000’s of spectator boats on a beautiful sunny day. Super Boat is hoping to see the spectator fleet line the course from the lighthouse all the way down the 2-mile course.
In the Super Vee Class, one boat looking to make their season debut is the Snowy Mountain Brewery #14 Outerlimit. Owner / throttleman, Doctor Mike Janssen, is looking forward to the race. “It’s been such a very busy year with my practice and I haven’t had the opportunity to race. However, I was able to make it to the first race of the season and support the team who purchased my Fountain ‘Watch Your Back’ Vee bottom. The people there are very nice and the town is really getting behind the event.”
There are a lot of great racers and teams this year and the race for the National Title is very close. As teams close in on the later half of the year, the boat setup and managing to make it to the end of the race is becoming some of the highest goals for teams. Making to the end of an 80-mile race might not seem like a lot, but the races this year have been in rough seas and it has been very tough on equipment. The 2013 season has seen very little of equipment failure from teams and it has proven to be a very exciting season of racing.
Teams will be arriving Friday, August 2, for the dry pits to set up their equipment. This is where fans can get an up-close look at all the boats and can get a chance to talk to their favorite teams. Teams and drivers always encourage the fans to come down and spend time in the pits, where they can get a chance to swap racing (boating) stories.
This year, our Sunday races will be streamed on https://new.livestream.com/sbi/michigancity2013 so you won’t miss any of the action, if you can’t make it to the beaches. Or if you’re on the beach, you can watch and listen to it on your smartphone. On the Livestream page, listen to the race, see the interviews, chat live and watch all the action as it happens. Fans can stay connected with us at superboat.com and Like Us on Facebook for all this year’s news. The Super Boat schedule is posted through 2013 & 2014 with races coming up in New York, NY; Clearwater and Key West, FL.
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The Mayor had asked Governor Pence for State Police to assist the city in fighting the recent surge in violent crime, which has a total of 33 apparent homicide victims this year.
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The bill would give the VA the authority it needs to exhume the remains of Michael LeShawn Anderson, a veteran who shot and killed Indianapolis resident Alicia Dawn Koehl last year before committing suicide. The Koehl family later discovered that Anderson was buried at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Michigan.
“This legislation will give the VA the authority it says it needs to resolve this unacceptable mistake and help provide the Koehl family with a sense of peace and closure,” said Coats. “The victims and family members of this tragic shooting have suffered enough and deserve to have their request met. No one who commits a state or capital crime should be given the honor of a military burial and be laid to rest next to our nation’s heroes. I urge Congress to pass the Alicia Dawn Koehl Respect for National Cemeteries Act and help ensure that our fallen veterans can rest in peace next to loved ones and fellow soldiers, not criminals.”
“My office has worked with the Koehl family to address this injustice, and this week, we were informed by the VA that a legislative solution is needed,” said Donnelly. “Today, Senator Coats and I introduced a bill to help provide relief to the Koehl family and a solution to these tragic circumstances. We must preserve the honor of being buried in a veterans’ cemetery.”
On May 30, 2012, Anderson went on a shooting spree at an Indianapolis apartment complex, injuring three people and taking the life of Alicia Dawn Koehl, a wife and mother of two. Anderson killed himself as police were arriving.
After learning that Anderson was buried in a national cemetery, the Koehl family requested that the VA disinter his remains. Federal law prohibits persons who “have committed a Federal or State capital crime but were unavailable for trial due to death” from being given the honor of a burial in a national cemetery.
For nearly a year, Senator Coats’ office has been working with the Koehl family to get a response from the VA regarding the improper burial and the request for disinterment. Coats has had multiple calls with VA officials regarding this case and received word earlier this week that the department will not disinter the remains of Anderson because it does not believe it has the legal authority to do so. While current law permits the VA from granting military honors and a burial in a national cemetery to someone who has committed a Federal or State capital crime, the department claims it does not have the authority to exhume the remains if an ineligible veteran was buried mistakenly in one of their cemeteries.
Click here for a copy of the legislation.
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Of the 2,250 hours of summer, countless are spent vacationing, gardening or just enjoying time in the sun. By setting aside just one of those hours to donate blood through the American Red Cross, you can help save the lives of up to three people and give them the gift of summertime, too.
“We’re asking you to set aside one hour of your summer to give blood and help those in need,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion in the United State. We need everyone who is eligible to donate to make an appointment to give.”
The need for blood often increases during the summer when vacation travel and activities increase the chance of serious accidents which may require lifesaving or sustaining care. At the same time, the blood supply can dwindle as donors become busy with summertime fun and overlook giving blood.
While all blood types are needed, Type O is in highest demand because it’s the only type that be transfused to patients in other blood groups such as A, B and AB. Hospitals also use Type O-negative blood in most emergency trauma cases when a patient’s blood type isn’t known.
The Red Cross is encouraging Type O donors to schedule and keep appointments, or to optimize their donation by making a double red cell donation. Donors who meet certain criteria may be eligible to safely donate two units of red cells through the automated donation process.
“Depending on your schedule, a double red cell donation may be ideal for you since you can give twice as much in just one visit,” said Whitman. “Whatever your blood type, however you give, someone needs you.”
The Next American Red Cross blood drive in the Region will be held on Monday, Aug. 5, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Northwest Indiana Church of Christ in the Main Room, located at 1123 Merrillville Road in Crown Point.
UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:
· Friday, Aug. 16, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Culver’s, located at 980 W. Lincoln Highway in Schererville. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon good for one pint of frozen custard.
· Friday, Aug. 16, from noon until 4 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Celebrity West, located at 800 E. 81st Ave. in Merrillville.
· Sunday, Aug. 18, from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Our Lady of Consolation in Vamos Hall, located at 8303 Taft St. in Merrillville.
· Monday, Aug. 19, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at St. John Township Community Center in the Hall, located at 1515 Lincoln Highway in Schererville.
· Wednesday, Aug. 21, from 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at Prairie Point, located at 9123 Cleveland St. in Merrillville. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon good for one pint of frozen custard.
· Thursday, Aug. 22, from noon until 6 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in the Meeting Hall, located at 106 East 1100 North in Chesterton.
· Thursday, Aug. 22, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in the Community Room, located at 509 W. Division Road in Valparaiso.
· Friday, Aug. 23, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Midwest Services Center, LLC, located at 408 S. Shelby St. in Hobart.
· Saturday, Aug. 24, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the Eagles in the Hall, located at 13140 Lake Shore Drive in Cedar Lake. This blood drive is dedicated In Memory Of Miranda Jackson and Dave Marine.
· Sunday, Aug. 25, from 12:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Building T, located at 484 Willow Court in Hammond. Come to donate and be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card from Best Buy.
· Monday, Aug. 26, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Valparaiso University, located at 1509 Campus Drive in Valparaiso. Come to donate and be entered into a drawing for a $25 shopping spree.
· Monday, Aug. 26, from 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at Hobart Community Center, located at 111 E. Old Ridge Road in Hobart.
· Tuesday, Aug. 27, from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Franciscan Omni Health & Fitness in the Fitness Center, located at 810 Michael Drive in Chesterton.
· Wednesday, Aug. 28, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the YMCA, located at 1201 Cumberland Crossing Drive in Valparaiso.
· Thursday, Aug. 29, from 9:30 a.m. until noon at Purdue North Central, located at 600 Vale Park Road in Valparaiso.
· Thursday, Aug. 29, from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Porter Starke Services, located at 701 Wall St. in Valparaiso.
· Friday, Aug. 30, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Culver’s, located at 2101 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon good for one pint of frozen custard and a t-shirt while supplies last.
· The Merrillville Donor Center, located at 791 E. 83rd Ave. in Merrillville, is open every Monday from 12:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. and the first and third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. until noon.
How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in Indiana and Ohio), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
About the American Red Cross
The Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region serves northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio, and needs to collect about 500 units of blood a day to meet patient need in more than 60 hospitals. In addition to providing blood to our community, the American Red Cross also provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.06/13AP282
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WASHINGTON – In an effort to restore public confidence and accountability to the Gary, Indiana Housing Authority (GHA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced a mutual agreement with the City to work together to reverse years of financial mismanagement, improve physical conditions and increase occupancy rates.
“HUD will stand with the City in addressing the shortcomings at the agency,” said HUD Assistant Secretary Sandra B. Henriquez, who announced the receivership today. “We respect the mayor’s commitment to the city and its public housing residents to take this bold and courageous step.”
Citing a decade of neglect, Henriquez and Freeman-Wilson signed a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement to address administrative, financial and management concerns at the agency. HUD will lead the effort to help get GHA back on track. Freeman-Wilson noted that this move was a resident-centered decision and is expected to improve the quality of life for the residents of GHA.
“Upon a lengthy assessment of operations at GHA, we have determined that the existing problems are beyond the scope of our resources and federal assistance is required,” said Freeman-Wilson. “This decision was made with the residents in mind, and I am appreciative of HUD’s partnership and look forward to this change resulting in the high quality of housing that Gary citizens deserve.”
In a separate letter, Freeman-Wilson acknowledged the hard work of the GHA Board of Directors and thanked them for their extraordinary efforts during her tenure.
Henriquez named two HUD employees who will assist the agency effective immediately. Willie Garrett was named executive director and Steven Meiss will serve as the one-person board of directors. Garrett is the Public Housing Director in HUD’s Detroit Field Office with 15 years of housing experience in both the private and public sector. He will work directly with the housing authority staff to manage day-to-day operations to ensure residents will continue receiving services. Meiss is the Public Housing Director in HUD’s Chicago Field Office and a HUD-veteran with more than 36 years of housing experience. He has also served in a board capacity for other housing agencies that are under HUD control, most recently the Detroit Housing Commission and earlier the East St. Louis (Ill.) Housing Authority.
Under the partnership agreement, HUD will first develop a detailed action plan to stabilize the housing authority’s operations. The second step will be to address specific problems HUD identified in a comprehensive review of the agency’s operations. The receivership period will be for at least two years. Interim GHA Executive Director Mary Cossey will remain at the agency to assist with the turnaround efforts.
This partnership with HUD will allow GHA to implement a new property management structure, modernize each of the housing developments and establish a well-defined business and operation plan, and adequate financial management systems.
“The challenges that plague the Gary Housing Authority did not occur overnight,” said Henriquez. “Despite HUD and the city’s efforts over the years, the agency is not where it should be. This agreement is the beginning to the agency’s path to recovery.”
The mayor also stated that town hall meetings for GHA residents will be held next week and will be open to the media and members of the public.
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IMPORTANT ALERT - I-94, Porter County: Eastbound traffic on I-94 will be severely restricted this afternoon (down to one lane) between the SR 49 exit and the U.S. 20 exit, near the town of Porter.
Pavement striping must be replaced ASAP in our construction zone there for the safety of drivers. As a result we have to reduce traffic to one lane until the work is complete. We'll work as quickly as we can, but this could cause long delays through the rush hours. Avoid this route if you can.
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The Indiana Secured School Safety Grant opened for applications today August 1, 2013. The deadline to submit proposals for grant funds is September 30, 2013.
The Indiana Secured School Fund was created to provide matching grants to school corporations and charter schools or coalitions of school corporations and/or charter schools to make schools safer by hiring school resource officers, conducting threat assessments, or purchasing equipment to restrict access to school property or expedite notification of first responders.
School corporations, charter schools or coalitions with an average daily membership (ADM) of at least 1,000 can apply for grants up to $50,000 per year. Eligible applicants with an ADM of less than 1,000 can apply for grants of up to $35,000 per year.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) administers the grant program.
§ Be located in a county that has a County School Safety Commission.
§ The Commission must have specific members and perform certain duties described in IC 5-2-10.1-10. There is still time for County School Safety Commissions to be organized prior to the application deadline.
§ August 1, 2013 – Grant application period begins & Grant Program Guidance Released
§ September 15, 2013 – Deadline to submit notice of intent
§ September 30, 2013 – Deadline to submit proposal for grants funds
§ October 1, 2013 to October 31, 2013 – Proposal review
§ November 1, 2013 – Projected award start date
§ October 31, 2014 – Projected award end date
For more information on the Secured School Safety Grant Program visit www.in.gov/dhs/securedschoolsafety.htm.
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“Governor Pence believes in accountability and that students, parents and teachers deserve to know our state has a fair and impartial grading system that accurately describes the performances of our schools,” said Kara Brooks, Press Secretary. “The Governor supports our A-F grading system and believes that the people of Indiana should have confidence in the integrity of that system. Today, at the direction of Governor Pence, Claire Fiddian-Green, Special Assistant for Education Innovation and Reform, urged the Department of Education to conduct a thorough and timely evaluation of the questions surrounding the A-F grading system and to report their findings to the State Board of Education at the upcoming August meeting. After the Department of Education reports its findings to the State Board of Education, the Governor believes we will be able to make an informed decision about how we might best ensure public confidence in our A-F grading system going forward.”
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Democratic Party Chair John Zody released the following statement about the resignation of former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett as Florida Commissioner of Education in the wake of a scandal involving changed accountability grades for certain Indiana schools:
"Indiana schools and students deserved better than the disparate treatment they received during Tony Bennett's tenure, and it's a relief that Florida won't have to endure his approach to leadership.
"Unfortunately, this is the latest in a long line of stories that make it clear that Republicans have been in power too long and have let that power corrupt them and the way they govern. What's worse is that Governor Pence is still defending Tony Bennett and the mistakes he made instead of working with Supt. Glenda Ritz to improve schools for all Hoosier children. While prominent leaders from both political parties in the Statehouse, and even Bennett himself, have called for reviews and investigations into this controversy, Gov. Pence is saying nothing about it. Additionally, any individuals in the governor’s administration who were involved in this controversy should be held accountable.
"As Democrats, we're committed to recruiting candidates and supporting our elected officials, like Glenda Ritz, who approach government as public service and who intend to serve all Hoosiers equally, fairly and with dignity and common sense.
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INDIANAPOLIS—Thursday, August 1 begins World Breastfeeding Week, a global initiative to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and celebrate the efforts of all who embrace breastfeeding as the cultural norm. In conjunction with the worldwide celebration, Governor Pence has declared August 1-7 as Breastfeeding Week in Indiana.
"Breastfeeding protects babies by providing the ultimate infant nutrition," said Joan Duwve, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at the Indiana State Department of Health. "Breastfeeding Week is a great way for Hoosiers to recognize the value and importance of breastfeeding and demonstrate support for breastfeeding moms."
Breastfeeding promotes overall health, growth and development of infants. It reduces infant mortality by protecting the infant against infectious diseases and has been shown to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of developing asthma, obesity, diabetes and other diseases in childhood and later adulthood. And the physical contact of breastfeeding provides comfort and security to infants.
Mothers benefit from breastfeeding too. Breastfeeding provides a quiet time for mothers to bond with their babies and decreases the risk of postpartum depression. Breastfeeding is also economical because there is no formula to buy and healthier babies mean fewer visits to the doctor. In addition, breastfeeding has been shown to decrease the risk of ovarian and breast cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes.
National estimates suggest that if 90 percent of U.S. babies were breastfed exclusively for six months, nearly 1,000 infant deaths would be prevented, and the nation would save $13 billion per year in health care costs.
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated internationally August 1-7 each year. This year’s theme, “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers,” highlights the importance of support for breastfeeding mothers from others such as family, friends and breastfeeding peer counselors.
The Breastfeeding Week proclamation will be read by Dr. Duwve at the Indianapolis 2013 Big Latch On, an event hosted by Indy Breastfeeding Moms that will attempt to break the World Record for the most women breastfeeding simultaneously. The official “latch on” begins at 10:30 a.m. on August 3 at the Rivera Club in Indianapolis. Several Big Latch On events will take place around the state. For more information and to register, visit http://www.biglatchon.org/locations/indy-breastfeeding-moms-big-latch-on.
For more information on breastfeeding or to see a copy of the Breastfeeding Week proclamation, visit www.StateHealth.in.gov. Follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.
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Portage Police are seeking the public's assistance in locating three black male suspects being sought in the armed robbery of a tobacco store on Sunday evening. Police report an investigation found two of the three suspects had ties to Gary, but while neither suspects could be located, authorities were able to find the vehicle used in the robbery. Anyone who knows the whereabouts of 42 year old Garland Jeffers Jr. and 49 year old Roscoe McClendon is asked to contact Detective Captain Joe Reynolds at (219) 762-3122. Police say a third unknown suspect is also being sought. No one was injured in the armed robbery that took place in the 34-hundred block of Willowcreek Road, in which the suspects reportedly stole cigarettes and cash.
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- Fmr Ind School Chief Bennett Resigns Fla Post
- Illinois Gov to Sign Medical Marijuana Bill
- Gov Pence to Remember USS Indianapolis
- Two Big Presentations at NIRPC Committee
- Gary Leaders Seek Answers to Violence
- NIPSCO Earns 2013 Energy Star Housing Awward
- Harvey, IL Murder Suspect Arrested in Dolton
- Gary Man Faces 45 Year Sentence in 2011 Homicide
- Leo Finnerty to be New Chief Deputy Coroner in Lake Co
- CP Home Damaged by 2012 Fire to be Demolished
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